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review 2017-05-26 06:38
Consider me impressed... again!
The Poison Within: An Order Universe Short Story (Inspector Skaer Book 1) - Kasia Bacon
FOUR HEARTS--And once again, I'm impressed with this author's writes.



Two for two, both short stories that left me wanting more but enjoyed the hell at what was given.

Set in the Order universe, a fantasy based world with supernatural beings and humans coincide, The Poison Withinis another creation from the author where the characters took a mind of their own.

And I'm not mad at it.

In fact, I need to send a bottle of bubbly to those blokes for getting their stories, or should say, start of their stories out for public consumption.

Clandestine human lovers of two years, low born Inspector Käyru Skaer has been meeting whenever he can with his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn. Käyru worries that his lower class status will call an end to this love affair with his "Elly". He knows one of these days Elly will wise up and leave him, even if it would crush his heart. He'd let his lover go. He tries to hide his feelings and takes all that he can get. Did I mention there is a noted size difference? And D/s undertones? Someone has a penchant for writing hints of D/s.

*stares*

The world they live in is xenophobic, some humans regard non-humans are lesser. Political warfare and unjust treatment runs rampant. Case in fact, nymphs are living on Elly's land due to being ousted by a power hungry, racist power that fuels on scaring the masses (sounds familiar?) Käyru is called on duty from his lover's thighs to a solve a multiple murder. And it gets a little graphic when described which I liked.

The suspense is very quick. Justice is met swiftly--hooray! And we're introduced to a new being, cousin to the vampire, the Furia. What they can do is cool! (And if this character shows up in future works, I'll have excite)

I can go either way with established couples. This couple wasn't boring in the least. The story is told from the Inspector's POV, so the reader has to rely on his feelings for Elly to get a sense of their relationship.


I craved his proximity to a degree that would've been mortifying if I hadn't long stopped caring about hiding my want for him.


I thought the author succeeded on that front. There was even snatches of snark. I don't want to include my fave snippet as it'd give away a key part to the action/suspense bit.

Now my nitpick: despite the story being short, there were two instances where the scene ended weird. Like there was either something more to be said or done or shown. Both instances are when Inspector Skaer leaves Elly. The last time, after such a pivotal moment, seemed off. The love of his life just survived, and he leaves quietly? It's a minor nitpick and most likely a me thing. The inspector has a bit of an issue with his self confidence with his lover... so it could just be his way,

This is the start of a serial, by the way. The story ends with: to be continued . After 'the end', has there ever been more cursed words?

The writing is sharp. The sense of setting is just right. The story has a way of pulling the reader in. This story has a little bit of a lot of things I enjoy reading: hint of kink, strong main characters, interesting worldbuilding, cool concepts and a hint of dark. (I wonder how dark this author could get, hm?)

A suggestion as this world and the beings seem to be intricate; a glossary of the types of beings wouldn't hurt. Especially if there are going to be more detours from the main event.

I've fold my napkin.

I'm holding my utensils.

I'm waiting super patiently.



So patiently.

Consider me there once the novel drops, which I hope is soon. Or maybe I'll need to chat with the characters a bit, ask them to plague the author.

The Order universe has facets. I'm curious to read them all. And looks like I'm victim of another serial. ;D

Recommended.

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review 2017-05-26 06:27
Age gap yum yum!
At Attention - Annabeth Albert
  • A Group Unicorn Review with Adam and Cupcake



    FOUR HEARTS--I've seen this author's work, perused the blurbs and I didn't bite.

    But this blurb was the prettiest show pony with SRAL approved buzz words and themes:


    widower still grieving after partner's passing (bring on the pain)
    widower has kidlets AND needs a manny
    manny is the widower's best friend's little brother
    best friend's brother has had a crush on widower since his teens
    AGE GAP
    NAVY SEAL


    RING A DING DING!!! GUESS WHO IS COMING HOME WITH ME?



    Of course, I lassoed the hell out of this book and gobbled all the words.

    Being as it's my first Annabeth Albert read, I'm not sure how it rates on the Annabeth Albert scale. If this was very on her A-game or there's better? *shrugs*

    I was entertained and had a great time reading At Attention.

    23 year-old Dylan gets a chance of his lifetime when his unrequited crush hires and moves him in his San Diego home for the summer. Dylan's crush, 34 year old Apollo needs a nanny to take care of his adorable 4 year old twins whole Apollo works on a naval base. This book can be read as a standalone, I wasn't lost. And I'm curious about the previous and future pairings.

    Dylan tries to tamp down his lusty feelings as Apollo works through his grief. Two years has passed but there is no time limit on grieving. And Apollo is a grumpy, more reserved bundle of emotions. He would take time to start to contemplate having feelings for another man. Luckily, Apollo's libido isn't broken. And try as he might, he can't deny the easiness he has with Dylan. The camaraderie and sharing his daily worries of being a single parent added more base to their friendship foundation formed with Dylan was just a teen.

    The story is a good mix of nerdy, adorable, (lightly) angsty, sexy and sweet. Dylan can't stop his feelings from blooming once again. Apollo sees his friend's kid brother in a new light, an adult. They try going the friendship route on equal terms, but their bodies won't be denied.

    The sex in this book?




    The sex was...hot. If I had to give it a flavor, it's hot vanilla custard. Sweet, varied and with a hint of spice. (highlights: intercrural (yay!), frottage, light domination/ control a smidge of exhibition) There is mirror sex but, it could've been hotter in my opinion. I might have been spoiled by a hotter mirror scene in another NA series I've read.

    The grieving and the time given for Apollo to work through his process was more important factor for me. Apollo plays hot and cold. The ghost of his lover is one he surrounds himself with daily and it's hard to break through. Dylan makes him crack through the shell. Plus, he's possessive and doesn't want any other guy getting Dylan's time. He wants it all to his self. That was bonus characteristics that I enjoy. The possessiveness and the control in the bedroom (of course).

    The best bonus of all? Dylan wasn't a pushover. And he spoke his mind even if might hurt, be it himself or Apollo. I'm #teamDylan all day!

    This story was really good. Not Earth shattering, or extremely memorable. For all themes it had going on, it worked. The writing is easy to read, all of the characters are likeable. All of them from kids to grandmas. I really liked how it ended, well maybe before the fluffed ending. It was added sugar I could have done without. But HEA lovers will totes lurve it.

    This couple totally worked for me and I see them having a long loving future ahead of them.

    Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary, like the tropes I listed and wallow in second chance romance.

    Come join me as I ride my pretty pony into the sunset.



    #NoRegrets #teamDylan

    A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-24 11:36
This author has skills! Urban fantasy lovers might want to check it out
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols
  4.5 HEARTS--I knew this author's first novel would be great. It was magical.



This isn't my first T.J. Nichols; all previous works were urban fantasy/ paranormal short stories: The Vampire's Dinner and A Wolf's Resistance . Both works had great world building and paranormal ideas. The same can be said for Warlock in Training. But what I wanted to see is what the author could do with something novel length.

Not disappointed.

Earth has changed, new countries have formed and magic is known. Well I should say warlocks and wizards are real on Earth, or Humanside. The Earth is continuing to change, forget global warming, it's approaching an ice age. Most of the population doesn't know what the cause is for it. Warlocks are believed to be the saviors to stop it, But what they don't want people to know is they're the culprits. Magic exists in Humanside and Demonside, a second world where demons and other paranormal beings live. Demonside is experiencing extreme global warming, the world turning into a desert, water is scarce. Do these changes share something in common?

Wizards practice magic without using demons. Warlocks on the other hand drain demons for their magic to be more power, have stronger magic. Wizards are looked down on in the magical society. Warlocks are the upper echelon, the 1% if you will.

Nineteen year old ginger Angus Donohue doesn't want to be a warlock, despite his prestigious warlock family history. His father is forced him to attend warlock college and threatened him not embarrass the family name or him. Angus doesn't even want to summon a demon during a requisite class and tries to fail.

And that's where the magic begins.

Enter demon Saka (I am 1000% for him). He chooses Angus despite Angus trying to fail and takes him to Demonside across the void (the bridge between the two worlds). Points to the story being dual POV. Both worlds are too interesting not to immerse yourself in.

The cover is so fitting! Because I think Angus has the potential to be the bridge.

Saka is a demon mage and is trying to help his world. He's smart, calm and wicked with a knife. He shows Angus there is more to life and magic. I couldn't help but imagine Saka something like Hellboy (black horns instead, no hair, the similar skin tone)



I always try to find a Hellboy in demons I read about. LOL

Saka teaches different types of magic: soul, blood and sex. Saka's really great at the last two.

A lot of urban fantasy, tends to have an alpha type as the lead. Not the case in Warlock in Training. Angus is nineteen and reads nineteen - unsure of himself, still learning his place in the world, exploring relationships with potential partners. But he's not the typical teenager. Demonside helps open his eyes.

There is a battle between two magical worlds that felt similar to what the political and global feel is right now. The 1% is ruining both worlds, damn the results as long as they're in power. It's magical politics. People are dying for a cause that does not benefit the greater good. The ones in charge lie to the masses and attacks any form of resistance.

But there is a resistance.



And it's growing.

The book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. There are loose threads that need to be answered. Such as who really is in charge? Why the harvesting of so much power? The suspense is well written.

Before jumping all over this, I feel I should warn potential readers of possible triggers/deal breakers: There are romantic undertones rather than a defined romance. Both main characters have sex with other people (But I feel I should explain demons have different views on 'relationships' - monogamy is not the norm,) There were brief MF moments. (Also, didn't mind. The moments were a blip on the entire scale of things) Cutting is practiced for magical purposes.

How erotic does this get? There is on page sex but don't expect pages of a drawn out sex scene. (Quite happy about that, it can be a chore to read drawn out pages) The relationship between Saka and Angus is still forming, is kinda fluid. There is another character that has a potential of maybe making this a love/lust triangle. It's not romantic. More as a means to an end but there is potential for deeper feelings. Sex on Demonside can be and is used for ritualistic needs. If you are a reader who needs the one and only, I would say to approach with caution. Because the way the sex, relationship and openness is written fits the characters. And they struggle. But it's secondary to the world building, action and suspense.

I want to rate this all the hearts but I have tiny issues, pretty minor. Technically, the story reads well. But I feel some of the chapters ended in odd spots. I like the fact the chapters aren't overly long but some ended with where it could have just combined with half of the next chapter for better impact.

But I see this book as the foundation for more to come. War is approaching. What side are you on? Will the resistance win?

Bonus was that this book stars my favorite paranormal beings: DEMONS!



And a ginger warlock! It was like it was written just for me. ;P

Fans of urban fantasy should definitely check this series out because the world building is tops. The author obvious is an urban fantasy fan and it shows in their work. The first third is mostly building. The other two thirds are fast paced and filled with intrigue. My heart started to crumble in the last 5-8% but the author pulled it through.

I am so there for this series! And I'm definitely a fan of this author after this. It's 3 out of 3 for me!

Recommended.



A copy provided for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-24 11:32
NSFW: For those who like it twisted...M. Caspian always gets the tone right.
The Salt of Your Tears - M. Caspian

For the dudes and dudettes who like it extremely dark and kinky!

Twisted folks step right on up!

 

 

In His Skin - 4 Hearts


A mute submissive is given the world by his Master, but it comes with a price.


Warning: do not enter if you can't handle pain play, blood play, sharing amongst partners and piercing certain sensitive parts.

 

 

Dylan yearns to please his master Harrison. He tries his hardest to follow his rules and be the best that he can be. But he yearns for something...the sea.

 

Dylan doesn't have to cook or clean. All he has to do is please Harrison, obviously in the bedroom. Though he never utters a word throughout the story, Dylan's thoughts and emotions were very present. The story is slightly mysterious as well as erotic. Who Dylan is and how he came to be with Harrison is the leading the question that pulled me into the story.

 

I'm not one for pain play, so not on #TeamPain. (#Team Lube represent!) But the verbal humiliation helped ease my squickiness. And when  Harrison and Dylan are alone together, the trademark Caspian possessiveness came tot he forefront, where hot breaths and threats are prevalent.

 

"Did your hole get enough tonight? Oh, no, wait, it didn't because I haven't fucked you yet. Only me, you hear me? It's only me who gets to have you."

 

That I liked. I figured out the mystery close to the end. The writing read poetic and a little somber at times. But I was super happy with the concept. It's my kind of paranormal.

 

 

 

At the end, Dylan prioritized what he needed the most. I'd like to think was a HEA.

 

Please heed the warnings before trying.

 

Asking For It - 5 Hearts

 

CHEESUS AND CRACKERS! THIS IS LIKE IT WAS WRITTEN FOR ME!

 

 

 

7+k words - I kid you not, I have about half of this story highlighted.  

"Bet you want it all the time, don't you, a boy like you? I'll have to visit you at work on your lunch break, gag you and tie your hands in the men's room, turn you around in a stall and fuck you 'til you're crying, then make you go back to your afternoon meeting with my seed dripping out of you."

 

 

 

All my favorites words came to play: cockslut, cunt, fuckboy!

 

Pornupcopia jackpot! Filth! Smut at its finest!

 

Cole needs. He needs bad. The 22 year old has been a good boy. He's repressed at work, doesn't try to explore the kink, the need in him. And when he tries to finally do something about it with a date with a Daddy type from online, he doesn't meet with much success.

 

Or does he?

"Your eyes are hungry, did you know that?"

Bar owner and bartender Garrett sees everything that night. And answers the body call Cole has going on.

 

"But you still need, don't you? It's okay boy. You've found me now."

 

Semi-public sex, humiliation dirty talk, possessive alpha Dom...I just don't where to begin on the high points.

 

The thrill Cole feels, the slight, miniscule dub-con feel to it all...oh the words.

 

If only that pool table could talk.

"I can't wait to fuck you raw, watch you push my cum out, see it dripping out of your hole."

Cole gets shown, owned and is so satisfied by Garret, any reservation has flew the coop.

 

And I imagine a very cum filled happy ending. From random hookup to lasting D/s relationship...

 

 

 

Aces in my book! ;)

Re-read worthy for sure!

 

 

A Song in the Blood - 4.5 Hearts

 

Where a masochist with a penchant for blood play finally meets his match.

 

 

Here's the thing. I started this a little confuzzled.

 

Then is as I read along I released this was “It is Our Bounden Duty To Protect The Empire”. (Love this new title BTW) and the tags helped make it clearer.

 

The tags: gun play, extreme violence, paranormal, power exchange, HEA, historical setting, Kiwi MC, extreme violence. All acts are consensual by the way.

 

Set after the turn of the 20th century, Corran McKenzie is a Kiwi soldier slowly dying in the African desert. He's picked up a friend by the name of Sephtis. And Sephtis watches and goads the young man as his will to live keeps him going.

 

Now if you look up the name Sephtis, you'll see exactly who Septhis is. Or I should say what he represents. Clever, clever, author. (It's a reason why I rated so high) We get a case study of Corran's life and the start of when he craved real pain and couldn't have his needs fulfilled.

"Your want is delicious."

All he needs is to make it hurt, to bleed.

 

Sephtis scratches that unfathomable itch. The story starts in 1902 and carries on into present day. There are erotic moments and scenes...like this:

 

 

Add that to the mindfuckery and it's a hot little number.

"Did you know your soul hungers? No wonder I heard you all the way out here in the middle of nowhere."

It reminded me of Deckard's "Better The Devil You Know", which had similar depravity, a witty entity and crisp writing.


Recommended for readers who can actually handle the tags, DMC and those who like extreme dark mixed in with their kink.

 



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-18 23:31
Easton kicks Dreamspun Desires ass yet again!
Snowblind (Dreamspun Desires Book 29) - Eli Easton

4.25 HEARTS--Tag team review with Adam

Dreamspun Desires aka cracky fluff has another home run with Snowblind by Eli Easton.



Me= when a new Dreamspun title is released

What fun romance tropes to find from the latest Dreamspun treasure? Stranded in a snowy cabin mixed with a damaged hero and disguise.

Delicious.

My favorite of the house line (so far) happens to be by this same author, so this book had big shoes to fill. A total 180 from The Stolen Suitor , this book toed the line of cracky fluff with dashes of realism. If this isn't your first time with the line, you know to expect some cheese, some sugar and fluff.

All founded in this novel.

Set in Alaska, Hutch is a damaged solitary former Marine (oohrah!) with a lot of baggage and not a lot of patience for others. He's suspicious of a nearly frostbitten stranger that falls on his property. He has a secluded cabin for a reason and is on high alert with the frozen man's arrival. The frozen man being model Jude Devereaux. Jude thaws...and so does Hutch. The story for the first half is all Hutch's POV.

What is it about their connection he wonders. Is it the fact they're stuck in a blizzard and have no chance for escape? Maybe the need for companionship? Whatever the circumstances, the men are trapped in that house for three days.

And what a hot three days it was...



I'm sure you heard all about it.

But sex only this story is not. It has quite a twisty plot. And the twists and turns change from instalove/stranded highs to betrayal, action, murder, gun fights...

Dudes, it was a wild and crazy ride.

The story doesn't feature Jude's POV until 51%. And once it does, the story twists even more. I got swept away in the cabin fever feelings and could almost but the love. See, it wasn't instantaneous ILY's but close. And the author did a decent job portraying the men's inner thoughts as to what drove them for the crazy actions.

I'll keep all the crazy plot twists to a minimum as to not spoil the read. Because even if you guess what went down, you get the scope of it until you read it.

How's the sex? Hot when it's there, even the fade to black/non-graphic interludes were hot. In the bedroom, the men do lack the chemistry. For what is allowed in the houseline, I found it to be hot.

How's the fluff? Not as fluffy and sugary, but it's there. A little heavier in the whipped sweet fluff in the second half.

It's a close second to my fave, just because there were moments when my fluff bubble popped. And I questioned Hutch's motives once or twice.

The extreme climes, the action, the subterfuge and intrigue....the romance. It all in all made it a satisfying read.

Recommended for fans of the cracky fluff, who like hot alpha men who are more on the silent side. But when it comes to their men, you can hear them loud and clear!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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