Jane Henry-Safeguard

Jane has brought us the second book in her solo NYC Doms series. Safeguard features the best friends of Tobias and Diana from the first book, Zach and Beatrice. I found this book to be much more intense than the first book, and a lot more of a roller coaster.

Zach is an officer in the NYPD. He’s also a Dom. He’s been seeing Bea for several months. They go to Verge and play, they play at her house, but they’ve never been to his house. It’s working well for them though. He’s her Dom, she’s his sub, and they are both getting what they need from the relationship. That includes Zach making sure that she pays her bills, checks her mail, and that she always tells him where she is.

Bea is a yoga teacher and hairdresser. She’s blissfully happy with Zach, especially when he calls her his good girl. Then one day, while he’s at her house, he finds a stack of mail she hasn’t opened in a while. Turns out her cousin Chantilly is getting married and wants Bea to show up, and it’s next weekend. While Beatrice wants to see her cousin get married, she doesn’t want to go home, but with Zach there, hopefully it will all be fine.

There is so much that happens in this. One of them is that Bea has feelings about marriage, and between her favorite cousin getting married and her best friend Diana planning her wedding, there’s so many feelings that she’s dealing with. I kind of don’t blame her for all her feelings about marriage, and weddings, and children and all after we meet her mom. I kind of want to urge her mother to take a long walk off a short pier, she’s such a nasty, haughty bitch. I’d dread going back home too.

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OK, back to her mom. I can’t believe her mom at all. I mean, first she tosses away someone and then she uses that person to do something terrible? That’s some serious bullshit. And Judson? I didn’t trust him from the very second we met him.

I totally get Bea’s freakout. With all the stress about faking an engagement, everyone getting married, and everything else going on, a freak out was kind of imminent, I think. Zach not only made her feel safe, but he was her safe place, and when we melt down, we tend to melt down on safe people. I like Diana helping to talk her through her problems though. Everyone needs a best friend who can lay some hard truth on them when necessary.

I can’t wait for the next book, but I have no clue who it’s going to be. Maybe Brax. He gets mentioned a lot. I’ll just have to wait and read it. Darn, make me read another book.

So, go check this out, as well as the first book in the series and all of Jane’s other books. Happy reading!

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Emily Tilton-Theirs to Use

Back when I was looking around on Amazon for kinky dark-ish books, I think Emily Tilton’s books were some of the first ones I ran across. I’ve since worked my way through the majority of them, both by buying them and on KU. I can’t ever wait to read the next one, because I’m always in love with her worlds. Her books tend to be set in dystopian worlds of one sort or another. Some of them are scifi and take place on other worlds, some aren’t. Theirs to Use is one of the latter.

In Emily’s books, the heroines tend to be right around 18-22, with little to no sexual experience. They are also generally rather sheltered. Emily tends to emphasize shame in these girls. Shame that they are doing the things that they are doing and the things that their bodies want. Modesty is generally emphasized, especially with the books around the Institute and its particular world. Her heroines walk a real fine line between being ashamed by the degrading things that they are being told to do and the love of the way that the things make them feel. It’s a really interesting dichotomy, and I love how she does it.

Part of the way that Emily uses language fits into that too. Normally, in anything involving sex, you don’t see words like penis, vagina, and anus used a lot. But, in Emily’s books, you do. The clinical language wouldn’t fit in with a lot of other author’s books, but it works really well in Emily’s work. There’s just something so hot about a guy telling his virgin bed girl that he’s now going to put his penis in her vagina because he wants to feel good. It sounds like it shouldn’t work. It sounds like it should be stilted, but it fits right into the whole forced shamed/modesty/degradation thing that Emily has going on.

In the world that this book is set in, the lenders are predatory. When Karen signs her contract for her loan, she doesn’t really pay attention to the small print. If she misses 3 payments, not three payments in a row, just three payments, she will end up in jail, and that’s exactly what happens. The particular jail that Karen ends up in has a wing that special young ladies are put in, the fuck wing. Men can come in and rent the girls for 30 minutes at a time. The girls often get spanked with paddles when they misbehave and when they don’t want to have sex with the guys and even if the guys just want to. It hasn’t happened to Karen yet, but she figures that it will soon enough. So, when two guys walk into her cell, she’s pretty sure that she knows what’s going to happen.

Joe and Pete are there on a mission. They are there on behalf of their employer, Mr. Green. They are supposed to find 3 girls that their boss and his 9 partners can buy as their own personal sex slave. Karen is one of the girls that they chose. When Green and one of his partners, Singleton, show up at the prison, they evaluate the 3 girls, but Karen is the one who they choose.

OK. This book is marked as a reverse harem, and I suppose that it could be marked that way, by a loose definition, since there are 10 guys who own her now. But, a RH generally has a relationship between each of the guys and the woman. That doesn’t particularly happen in this book, where we get a gangbang instead. It may be because of Karen’s actions, but I’m not sure that changed anything that would have happened, really. I’m not going to complain about it, since it’s a nitpicky thing, and I liked the book, so it worked out well. One way or the other, it’s a great story and one that I will definitely reread.

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I really hated Green, so I was glad to know that he was going to be out of the picture, at least most of the time. I thought that he was a real dickbag. So, there’s that. I think some of the other guys seemed OK, but we really didn’t get to see enough of them to really know them.

Anyhow, that’s all I have to say about this one. I deeply recommend that you get all of her books. Many of them are on KU. Happy reading!

Aubrey Cara-The Untaming of Kat

I’ve had an Aubrey Cara book here before. It’s all about Bambi and her adventures after being abducted by aliens. Funny as all get out, as well as pretty sexy. The book is part of her Monrok world, which is what introduced me to her books. I loooovvvve the Monrok world. Anyway, while those are great science fiction, that’s not the genre we are looking at right now. Today, we’re looking The Untaming of Kat, which is a cowboy romance with some BDSM tossed in. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

Untaming is a re-release of a book called Taming Kat. Aubrey took it, updated it, brushed it off, polished it up, added in some new stuff, and gave us Untaming. I love the name title. Generally, you get titles in this genre that would be Taming.. So, Untaming in the title is pretty cool.

Kat is a native Bostonian. Since she finished college, she’s been drifting around trying to find the right path for her life. Her mother nitpicks her, her sister nitpicks her. When her friend Del invites her to TX for her wedding, Kat falls in love with it and starts working at Del’s husband’s parents’ ranch. She also has to work at a local bar, but she gets to spend a lot of time, out in the great outdoors, chasing cows and horses. She also gets to spend time doing her art. There is only one little hitch in her get along. His name is Caleb. He’s a former soldier, now come home to work on the same ranch Kat is. That wouldn’t be such a problem, if he hadn’t been a one night stand, 6 months ago, in a whole different state.

When Caleb saw Kat again at the wedding 3 months ago, it was a total surprise. But a happy one. He had been thinking of her ever since she snuck out of his hotel room after their one amazing night. She has worked really hard on ignoring him since they met up again, but she pretty much just lives in his head. When he happens to be in the bar the night something terrible happens, he gets to be back with Kat.

OK, I have to say, I totally get Kat. I spend a lot of time judging myself too, so I understand why Kat does it and why she thinks that she’s not good enough. I totally get the self-sabotage thing that she has going on at times too. I’ve BTDT, got several t-shirts. It can be hard to get past that. Of course, no one has really tried Caleb’s method. I never really get mad at either of our main characters, which is kind of a change for me. I often get mad at one or the other, but neither one of them really do anything for me to be mad about. There is someone I do get mad at, but she’s not even a secondary character. Oh, scratch that, there are 2 other people who I’m mad at too, who would both be secondary characters. One of them I wanted to go in and just smack her.

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OK, Candice. She’s the one I really wanted to smack. She knew who the walking douchebag was the whole time and didn’t say anything until the very end. That’s not cool. Not cool at all. In fact, I think that she should have some serious consequences because, really. When you read it, you will understand why I think that. But, I’m pretty sure that she’s going to get something in her own book. I’m going to have to read it and be sure.

And? Aubrey has totally ruined leprechauns for me.

So, go check this one out, and then read everything else she’s written. You’ll thank me for it. Happy reading!

Kitty Thomas-Pretty Lies

I have Addison Cain to thank for getting me hooked on Kitty Thomas, so thank you, Addison! Comfort Food was the first book of her’s I’ve read, and I know that I’ve mentioned it here before, at least once. It’s one I recommend to anyone who is looking for a new dark read or new dark author to read. It didn’t take me long to move from that one onto more of her books, including the Pleasure House series. In fact, I think that the first book I read of Kitty’s after reading Comfort Food was Broken Dolls, one of the books in that world. That’s where I first fell in love with Brian and Anton and decided that I really hate Lindsay. Nothing has changed from that time to now. Except, Pretty Lies, the newest one in the Pleasure House world, has only made me love Anton even more. In fact, he may actually be tied with Brian, if not, he’s really, really close.

Anyway, even though this one was written last doesn’t mean that it takes place last. In fact, Anton and Annette’s story is the first story in this world. It’s also the origin story, more or less, of the house. I’ve wanted Anton and Annette’s story ever since I read Broken Dolls and first met them. Anton and Annette had a beautiful, settled relationship and it was obvious how devoted to each other they were. I was so excited when Kitty said that she was writing their story. I was looking forward to finding out how they got together. When I got Pretty Lies, I stopped reading the book I was reading so that I could immediately read it, that’s how excited I was.

Annette is a phone sex operator. She stays home, answers the phone, and tells men all the pretty lies that they want to hear. She’s good at lying and telling them all those pretty little lies doesn’t cost her anything and doesn’t hurt them. On this particular morning, she barely woke up in time to take her regular call because she had been at a bar the night before and gotten rip-roaring drunk. All she remembers is a beautiful Russian man and whispering filthy little lies in his ears.

Annette has a twin sister named Janette. Janette calls Annette and tells her that she’s going to go to a spa to get a massage. When Janette never comes home, Annette worries because that isn’t like her. That’s when she finds out that Janette has been abducted by a beautiful Russian man.

Anton met a beautiful woman at the bar, after listening to all the filthy things she told him, he was planning on taking her home and playing with her, except she drunkenly slammed the cab door in his face. When the beautiful woman wearing her face walks into his spa, he figures that she tracked him down and wanted to play, so he took her.

Anton and his friends, Lindsay (boo hiss), Brian, and Gabe have decided that they are going to start a house where they can train submissive women and sell them to men who want them. Theoretically all the women are supposed to be volunteers and screened carefully before they come to the house. They’ve just purchased the house and are just getting it set up. They don’t really have anything set up yet, including a training protocol, but that’s where Anton took the woman he kidnapped. She keeps telling him that she isn’t who he thinks she is, but he doesn’t want to believe her, until he’s confronted with the truth, with Annette walking in to trade herself for her sister.

OK, you know the way it goes. You get to choose whether you are going to stop here or keep going. I’m sad to say that my beloved Brian doesn’t come off really well in this book. Then again, he’s a complete and utter psychopath, so… Anton doesn’t come off all that well throughout this book either. There are a few times when he’s almost dislikable. I did really enjoy seeing the start of the house and what it took to get it moving smoothly. The other books all take place well after the house has already been established and is running the way that it should. I also liked seeing Anton not quite combobulated. He makes mistakes, all kinds of mistakes, and it takes some time for him to figure things out. He may or may not have to get smacked upside the head once or twice too. I was glad to see as little of Lindsay as we did. Don’t ask me why I don’t like him, I just don’t. There’s something about him that just annoys the fuck out of me. I don’t want him to ever have a HEA. In fact, can we have an unhappily ever after just for him?

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I was really disappointed in Anton after the big Brian episode. The fact that he threatened Annette with Brian right after what he had done was just bad. I’m not surprised that Annette did what she did after that. This was definitely one of the places that Anton screwed up, big time. He should have realized after that episode that Annette wasn’t OK.

I hated Phyllis. I mean, what a judgemental bitch. I really wanted to someone to just smack the crap out of her. She shouldn’t have been so nasty to Annette. She didn’t know the situation at all, which means that she should’ve just kept her big mouth shut.

Anyway, I totally recommend this book. I’ll read it over and over, just like the rest of her books. So, go grab it, and happy reading!

Claire Thompson-The Master and the Secretary

Imagine that you find out that your grandmother isn’t who you thought that she was. That’s what happens with Tess in Claire Thompson’s book, The Master and the Secretary.

You don’t want to think about your parents or grandparents having sex. I mean, we all know that it happened at least once or twice, or more, but we really don’t want to think about it.

When Tess’s Nana dies, she goes over to the house to help clean it out and get it ready to sell. When she’s in the attic, she finds a locked strongbox and tries everything she can to get into the box. When she finally finds a key to open the box, she finds out that there are some ledgers in the box, number 1-5. The books are handwritten journals from her grandmother, detailing her submissive journey with her boss, Mr. James Stevenson.

Shocked, Tess closes the first book, worried about invading her Nana’s privacy, but eventually, she can’t fight off the curiosity and starts to read the notebook again, getting a little hot under the… collar. Then she wishes she could talk to someone about it, but knows that her mother and sister would totally freak out about it. But maybe her new boyfriend, Ryan?

Ryan and Tess work together at a law office. Their relationship is pretty new, but she feels like she can tell him about what’s going on. They start reading the journals together, and it helps them figure things out.

OK, so it’s that time. The book is told between two viewpoints, that of Olivia’s journal in the ’60s and the modern day Tess and Ryan. I love the parallel between the two stories since Olivia was the secretary to a lawyer and Tess and Ryan are both lawyers. It creates a really interesting look at the fact that things are a lot different now to then. Not just in the whole BDSM practice bit but also in the sexual harrassment in the workplace thing. Just very interesting. The story is steamy. It’s not a dark story, it’s more of a book about journeys and self-discovery. I liked it.

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I felt sorry for poor Olivia. She must’ve felt like she was torn in two, being subbie Olivia at work and Mommy/wife Livvie at home. That must’ve taken some real mental gymnastics to make it work for her in a way that didn’t completely make her brain melt. I think that I would have a hard time doing that. Too bad that there wasn’t a way that she could meld the two of her parts into one relationship.

Ok, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check this out on Zon and look for other Claire Thompson books. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Broken by the Alien

Does it seem like I’ve had a lot of Loki Renard posts here lately? Well, there’s a very good reason for that. Loki has been ridiculously prolific lately. I’m not complaining, since that just means more books for me to read. And, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but I LOVE to read. If it came down to giving up chocolate or giving up books, I’d give up chocolate. But, since I don’t have to choose, I will eat my chocolate while reading, just like I did while reading Broken by the Alien.

Loki tends to write on the darker end of things, and this one fits in really well with the other books of hers that I’ve recently blogged. It is a scifi romance though, instead of being here on Earth.

This is the way that the story goes. The Rathkari have invaded Earth. They are very much into breeding. They want to do everything they can to make sure that their species continues. Each person is going to be the parent of millions, so it’s important to mate and breed. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to let humans keep doing that. No, their plan is to take all the human males off of Earth and do heaven only knows what with them. Then they take all the women of breeding age and go make happy little Rathkari babies. Either they do that through a mating bond or there are breeding facilities where women can go and just keep having babies. Women who are too old to breed are used as slave labor on Earth to produce food for the Rathkari fleets and people.

In the very intense first chapter, we meet Era. She has lost her father and brother, and her brother’s fiancee is now one of the women having Rathkari babies. Era literally has no one left on the face of the Earth. She’s of prime child-bearing years, but instead, she’s laboring in the rice paddies, planting, harvesting, and hauling huge bags of rice around. She’s hiding and trying to make it look like she’s older than she is. The fact that the Rathkari don’t treat their slaves well or feed them all that particularly well makes it even easier to sell her masquerade. But, when the overseer sees her period blood on her leg one day, he decides that she’s broken and is going to take her to the recycler, which will let her be used to nourish the fields.

That’s when Karlo shows up. He’s the superior officer in charge of the particular quadrant that Earth is in. He just happens to be doing an inspection of the fields that day and sees Era struggling with the overseer. She wants to live, so she’s trying to get him to let her go. Karlo recognizes that she’s probably of childbearing years, so he goes to save her. Era suddenly changes her mind and decides that nope, the overseer can just go toss her in the recycler if that means that she doesn’t have to go with Karlo. She quite literally would rather die than to have him save her life. But since he’s bigger than she is and much healthier, she doesn’t have a lot of choice. He takes her, straps her into the shuttle, and takes her back to his ship and his quarters. He’s planning on taking her as his mate, but first he has to get her healthy, and it turns out that she’s going to keep fighting him the whole time.

OK, it’s that time. Era hates the Rathkari, and I gotta say that I can’t blame her for that at all. If I were in her place, I would probably hate them as well. But, it also sounds like the occupation may have been mismanaged, so if things had gone better, would that have changed her feelings? I dunno. I often play what if… with books, but I don’t think this is one that I’m going to do that with. The fact is, she hates the Rathkari in general, and quite often, Karlo in particular. He doesn’t do a whole lot to endear himself to her either. Of course, they both have very different POVs so there are a lot of misunderstandings, but he doesn’t really try to get where she’s coming from. I liked Karlo, but there are times that I was really furious at him. I will say that there are times when I’m mad at Era too. Just as he doesn’t really try to get her POV, I don’t think that Era really tries to put herself in his shoes. There are just huge chasms between the two of them that are almost impossible to bridge at times. The book made me feel happy, sad, angry, stressed, and joyful, sometimes all at once. I totally loved it.

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The rope work that Karlo does is pretty damn awesome, and I would totally love that. Not entirely sure that I’d want the first punishment he does with it, though.

I was really mad at Karlo during the whole explanation that Era couldn’t get pregnant and his reaction. Of course she’s going to be angry about the whole thing, but anger is a secondary emotion, and it’s always easier to be scared than it is to be afraid or to be vulnerable or to tell him that she has some kind of feelings for him. It’s not like I expected him to read her mind, but I did expect something better out of him.

So, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Jane Henry and Maisy Archer-Knave

Now that Jane and Maisy have finished off their Boston Doms series, they have teamed up to bring us a new series. This one is called the Masters of Manhattan. You would think that with a name like Masters of Manhattan, there is going to be all kinds of sexy kinkery or a new club, but you would be somewhat mistaken. There is spanking and bondage, but it’s nowhere like it is in some of their other books. So, let’s find out what Knave and the Masters of Manhattan is really about, shall we?

Anson “Saint” Daly is a cat burglar, and a damn good one. He’s highly successful and he loves what he does. He’s also a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and being a good thief feeds that for him, even if he does make sure that he has a very, very well-thought out and executed plan that he always sticks too. When he gets an invitation to show up at a penthouse, he’s intrigued by it and the message, so off he goes. When he gets there, he finds out that there are several other men there to meet. Xavier, Caelen, Walker, and Ethan have all gotten the same invitation that he has. They all have their own specialties, but none of them seem to have any connection to each other. That is, until the video that was made by Eugenia Carmichael started to play.

Eugenia’s husband had died, but even though it looked like a natural death, it wasn’t one. She revealed the thing that tied these 5 men together. They had all lost someone they loved and they were all killed by the same person or persons. In Anson’s case, it was his mother. She left the men her not inconsiderable fortune and her penthouse and gave them all the information that she had so that they could track down who killed her husband and their loved ones, and make them pay.

The 5 men decided to start a security company, Masters Security Systems, Inc. On the surface, they are white hat hackers and thieves. They install and test out security systems, showing where things can get broken into or stolen, and pointing that out to their clients. However, their real purpose is to use their less legal skills and talents to find the information they need.

Tonight, they are trying to get some information from the office of a dead attorney named Fowler. He had been arrested and sentenced to prison and was killed in prison. The Masters knew that his office was going to be cleared out and he had information that they needed, so in went Anson to get it. Only, Anson didn’t get the information. What he did get was Sabrina.

Sabrina was the dead man’s daughter. She was there to pick up a picture of her and her father when someone came rushing into the office. The security guard shoved her in a closet and told her to stay quiet. Then he was killed. Whoever killed that poor man broke into her father’s safe and took all the information. So, when Anson came in, he found the dead body, an empty safe, and Sabrina. He decides that he will take her, because maybe she has some information.

When everyone gets back to the penthouse, the guys find out that she is Fowler’s daughter, but she doesn’t know what they need. But, it’s not going to be safe for her to go home, which means that she’s going to stay with them. Anson offers her his room and tells her that he will take the couch.

I’ll bet that you can tell that Anson and Sabrina are our focus couple. And you would be right. But, even though they are our focus couple, there is more than just them going on. We are also getting a lot of story and conspiracy. Sabrina’s dad was killed by the same people who got the guys’ family members, so they all have a common cause. So, we are getting to see a lot about their plans, what the conspiracy is, and stuff like that. The relationship stuff and the sex scenes are peppered in there like, well, pepper in a stew. It works really well. I have a tiny inkling as to who our next couple may be, but I’m probably wrong. Maisy and Jane didn’t leave us any clue. Sneaky, tricksy authors.

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I think, maybe, just possibly, that X may be our next hero, because he does take a woman back to her house at one point. We don’t see who and I don’t know if she was just some kind of cover or what, but that’s my best guess. Now watch them both come and say oh, silly blogger, you are so, so, wrong.

Max Pederson is just gross. Gross, gross, gross. I think he needs a good smack around the earhole. Maybe Caelan can oblige? That would be really nice.

I think that Sabrina fits in really well with our guys, and is going to be like the heart of the team.

So, that’s all I have to say about this one. I’m really excited to be in at the start of a new series by these ladies, so I’m really looking forward to the next books. Go check it out! Happy reading!