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review 2017-09-21 11:12
I think this was the best Shadowlands book so far.
This Is Who I Am - Cherise Sinclair

I think this was the best Shadowlands book so far. With a great mix of erotic scenes, real life and a side order of crime syndicate and FBI, the story just flowed.

Sam as our male lead showed another side to the Gods of Shadowlands; older, sadist and emotionally closed, all something a little new! He didn't always get it right, he wasn't always perfect!

Linda, our female lead and submissive in this book, was again, something a little different. Older, mother, and masochist, Linda is also a survivor and tough as nails. Not that the other subs weren't, but this was just different, more real!

Despite the S/M relationship being a strong part of the story, and not to my tastes, I thoroughly enjoyed the story with all of it's ups and downs.

Things in the bedroom got a little repetitive and dare-I-say-it 'boring' at either of their homes, but Shadowlands play sessions were amusing and exciting despite being pain related. Towards the end of the book things got more interesting which helped the pacing around the climax.

I liked that serious relationship issues, including failed marriages and communication concerns were explored and felt very natural to the relationship. This was by far the best representation of relationships I've seen from Cherise.

Some of the supporting cast had large life events in this book which was a nice touch to remind the reader that the lifestyle isn't all sex and chains, but that real life continues too, with all its craziness.

If you're put off by the S/M relationship, don't be, it was handled well and the pain rather delicately described. Quite a few explosions and pleasure waves were ridden between these covers.

To me, this was one of the sadder tales in the Shadowlands series. And that's not because the others lacked sadness, but more that these characters felt very real, with Linda's self-loathing and doubt and Sam's emotional withdrawal. They both did and said things that real people do. 

The added sweetness of Conn, Sam's trusted canine companion, and the lovely ladies of Linda's seaside hometown wrapped things up nicely.

I am quite interested to see what happens in book 8, the next one in the series! I will be getting to it in short order!

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review 2016-04-08 03:51
non-con and tentacles all wrapped up together...
Sacrifice - Kate Pearce

So it was quite fortuitous that I picked up this short story/novella on Halloween, because if you'd told me it included aliens and tentacles and all sorts of sordid, creepy stuff before I'd started, I would have put it in the horror basket. In my brain, tentacles and creatures that have them looked a little something like this:

tentacles of doom

I've never in all my born days looked into the anime tentacle sub-culture, but I imagine that this book would fit within its realm quite well.

The premise of the book was interesting and quite different to anything else I've read before. The idea of a human being on an alien planet and being incarcerated and then indentured to the tribute program working for Rehz Akran piqued my interest. Especially when the alien planet's humanoid inhabitants didn't recognise that Earth existed.

Rehz was an interesting character, he did the most deplorable things to our protagonist, Anna Lee (whose names are used interchangeably throughout the story - which irritated me to no end), and while Anna doesn't know why, the reader is lead to believe that there's a higher purpose for all this 'training'.

While I'm on the topic of training... I need to say, this book is not about training. It's about taking a sex slave and abusing her (and other trainers did the same to men as well). And not just a little abuse, no, this is full on non-con. It is hour upon hour of being filled... not just with male body parts, but also various fake versions too. It's about physical and mental torture at its most cruel. Anna is made to submit to Rehz, to hand over her extremely strong will, along with her body and do these things because Rehz says so... without knowing why.

Now, this probably sounds like I have an issue with the non-con... in fact, I don't, but I do have a problem with the book, just not with this part.

The part that I thought let down the rest of the book was the time period of the 'tribute'... once I'd come to terms with what the tribute scheme actually was and why they were training these 'tributes' the way they were... well... I was intrigued. How was this going to play out? Was I going to have my first tentacle sex scene reading experience? I had no idea.

And I still don't!

This is my problem with it. The seeming climax (pun totally intended) was brushed over so quickly, with so few details that it was an epic let down.

If you trawl for dub/non-con and other dark kink readers, you had best deliver. Don't dangle this thing in front of your readers and then skim over it so lightly that it was almost as if that event didn't even exist... get down and dirty. Step so far over that line that there's no uncertainty about how far you're willing to go.

Baby likes it

Ultimately, I bought into the somewhat shallow story line and wanted to know what happened in that scene that was skimmed over. I, as a a reader of LGBTQ romance and erotica, found the varied sexual partners and combinations of partners quite refreshing. But, some of the sex scenes were rather dull and seemed repetitive.

I did like the ending, despite it's someone vanilla tinge compared to the rest of the book. I am intrigued to know what happens next. I will be trying out book 2.

Oh, and if you've read all the way through this and you're still not aware that this book is not for children or people who have weak dispositions, then here's the trigger warning... just in case you missed all that above!!

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

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review 2014-08-28 07:43
Beta reading fun...
Bound to Accept - Nenia Campbell

I beta read this for Nenia, so I was privy to this in its initial drafts. My copies might be slightly different from the finished product.

In a way, I think that beta reading this allowed for me to see it grow from Nenia's initial concepts into the amazing BDSM erotic tale it's become. 

I really enjoyed the realistic look into a D/s relationship with Tristan and Kelly, with all its amazing highs and some of the lows. I can only hope that this sort of book can one day outsell 50SoG, because this one is so much more. 

The content is hot, sexy and varied. It ranges from sensory play to full blown, hard-core fucking.

There is one trigger warning - rape fantasy play is explored in quite graphic detail. This will cause some distress to those who have issues with that sort of play.

Outside of that, though, the content should be easily enjoyed by those who enjoy D/s and erotica between characters who are realistic, flawed and occasionally naughty.

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review 2014-02-18 03:52
Review: Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties #1) by Jenn Bennett
Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties) - Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett 
Series: Roaring Twenties #1 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance 
Published by Berkley Sensation on January 7, 2014 
Format: eBook 
Pages: 336 
Source: Purchased 


*This book may be unsuitable for readers under 18 years of age due to one or more of the following: strong sexual content, language, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. 


A sexy throwback supernatural adventure!


I was already a total fan of Jenn Bennett’s writing when I picked up BITTER SPIRITS, her Arcadia Bell series holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t expect to fall in love so quickly with a new set of characters but that’s the beauty of her story telling…it only gets better!


Aida Palmer is a spirit medium who can summon the dead and help them cross over. She earns a living by using her talents performing private seances and shows in speakeasys around the county. Her latest gig brings her back to her hometown of San Francisco during the era of Prohibition, to the Gris-Gris speakeasy. It’s there she meets the handsome bootlegging Winter Magnusson who’s been hexed by a powerful dark magic and is in dire need of her services. Aida’s bewitching ways captivate Winter and his charm has her wanting to get closer. Soon this infamous bootlegger and feisty medium venture to the supernatural underbelly of San Francisco’s Chinatown in order to find the one behind Winston’s curse and confronting the ghosts from their pasts.


BITTER SPIRITS is another Jenn Bennett gem with plenty of suspense, phenomenal characters and smexiness set in one of the most glamourous eras, the 1920s. I’m a huge fan of TV shows that take place during the Prohibition Era like Boardwalk Empire and Mob City, I love the allure of glamour and danger…and BITTER SPIRITS delivers all that with an exciting paranormal twist! Aida and Winter’s sexy banter left me hanging onto every word and the intriguing mystery made me pull an all-nighter. I was magically transported back in time, enjoyed every minute of it and didn’t want it to end!


Aida instantly became a favorite leading lady for me, she’s pretty modern for a woman in the 1920′s has a feistiness to her that’s endearing. Aida is smart, funny, independent and I love that although she has some emotional baggage she never let’s it define her or stop her from accomplishing her goals. As much as Aida tries to resist Winter’s charms she finds herself flirting and engaging in some sexy banter with him while still staying professional, she definitely has more willpower than most women in her situation (myself included)!


Aida and Winter are two very similar and down to earth characters. Winter’s scars are a small clue into his haunted past. He’s a wealthy businessman who’s made most of his money through the family business of bootlegging and labeled somewhat of a rogue in society, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Winter exudes confidence, has plenty of charm and is not lacking in the sense of humor department, he’s definitely a suave alpha male without all the unnecessary brooding. Aida brings out the best in him and he does the same for her.


I can’t help but thank Jenn Bennett for introducing us to a leading couple that are not physically flawless, it’s quite refreshing in this genre. Aida and Winter’s romance evolves over time despite their intense attraction, which makes their relationship that much better. Both Aida and Winter keep their hearts guarded due to their pasts and it’s great to wonder if a HEA is in store for them as you turn the pages. All of the flirting and sexual tension between them is fun to read and paves the way for some surprisingly racy love scenes as the two go from friends to lovers. Ms. Bennett pulls out all the stops with the smexiness in this book and I couldn’t love her more for it!


We’re introduced to an array of supporting characters on Aida and Winter’s adventure who are just as entertaining as our protagonists. Velma, the owner of Gris-Gris who hired Aida has some magical powers of her own and still remains a mystery. Winter’s right hand man Bo has plenty of connections on the streets of Chinatown and is a loyal friend and then there’s also Astrid, Winter’s baby sister who steals the scenes with her playfulness and snark. And what mystery is complete without a few crime boss villains to keep the suspense going? Oh yeah..we have those too.


The short version is BITTER SPIRITS rocked my world! It’s an enthralling read laced with magic, mayhem and a sweet romance. Jenn Bennett captures the essence of the time spectacularly with rich details and imagery for a stellar paranormal romance debut. I can’t get enough of this author’s easygoing and familiar voice, she really brings her world and characters to life with her writing. This is a must read for lovers of historical romance, fans of mystery and those who like a little supernatural mixed in. Winter Magnusson is officially my latest book boyfriend and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him, Aida and the rest of the Magnusson family!

Source: romancingthedarkside.com/2014/02/review-bitter-spirits-by-jenn-bennett.html
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review 2014-02-13 21:35
Review: Thief (Brook Street #1) by Ava March
Thief - Ava March

Thief by Ava March 
Series: Brook Street #1 
Genre: Erotic RomanceHistorical RomanceM/M Romance 
Published by Carina Press on March 19, 2012 
Format: eARC 
Pages: 125 
Source: Publisher 


*This book may be unsuitable for readers under 18 years of age due to one or more of the following: strong sexual content, language, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. 


Gentleman meets bad boy thief in this sweet and scandalous historical romance!


Lord Benjamin Parker has struggled with his sexuality for years, wondering if a man will satisfy him more than any woman has. He decides to put an end to his curiosity one night and visits Clements, a gambling establishment of questionable repute. There he meets the handsome Cavin who wins him over with a sexy smile and flirtatious personality. As a thief, Cavin initially sees Benjamin as an opportunity to fill his pockets with a little money. Sparks fly between the two and soon Cavin and Benjamin share a night of passion that changes them forever.


I love a smexy M/M romance and Ava March delivered exactly that, ten times over with THIEF!


Benjamin and Cavin start off as a simple one night stand that turns into a sweet romance. They come from different worlds, Benjamin is a lord of wealth and privilege and Cavin lives in the darker streets of London with his band of thieves, but both men see past their social status and help each other become who they want to be. Cavin is comfortable in his skin and when he learns of Benjamin’s inexperience, he’s surprised and touched that Ben has chosen him to be his first, throwing his initial intention of stealing from him out the window. Ben’s first sexual encounter with Cavin is spectacularly written, equal parts sexy and sweet. It was extremely hot to watch these two come together (pun intended!) and quite believable, no smoke and mirrors here!


One of my favorite aspects of this book is the friendship between the two characters, there’s no insta-love (hurray!). Ben and Cavin’s personalities mesh perfectly well and while they are extremely attracted to each other they also share personal details with one another, building a solid friendship before the romance. There are some obstacles each must overcome before the HEA, especially Cavin. He doesn’t feel worthy of Benjamin’s love, which makes him somewhat of a tortured leading man, which I absolutely love. Their romance also brings a sense of self-worth for both Ben and Cavin that they’ve struggled with in the past. No matter how hard they tried to stay away, they managed to find a way back to each other. I couldn’t get enough of these two!


THIEF is a beautifully written story filled with sensuality, compassion and a sweet forbidden romance that will tug at your heart strings and have you in need of a cold shower…all in the same chapter! Benjamin and Cavin’s chemistry is off the charts and left me wanting more (thank goodness it’s part of a series). Ava March is a brilliant romance author who knows how to deliver a heartfelt story with compelling characters and just enough steam to keep you turning the pages! I’m an offical fan <3

Source: romancingthedarkside.com/2014/02/review-thief-by-ava-march.html
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