Nicolina Martin-This Is Not Love

This Is Not Love is Nicolina Martin’s second semester freshman offering. She says that she considers it her first published book, but she does have a short story that she published. Because I’m a damn nice person and why the hell not, I’m giving away a copy over on my FB page. It closes tonight, but since I haven’t had any entries as of yet, I may expand it out. Go check it out and take your chance!

When I told Nicolina that I was going to blog her book, she told me that she was nervous. I think she’s afraid that I’m going to tear her up one side and down the other. But seriously, have any of you guys ever seen me do something like that? I’m just too nice to do that. Or something like that. Well, Nicolina, you have nothing to worry about or be nervous about. I liked the book.

So, it’s a short, quick read, so I’m not going to say a lot about it, because I don’t want to spoil anything. Here’s how the story goes.

Bree has spent the last 2 years hiding from the world. One night, her fiance decided to beat her, strangle her, and stab her. It did actually end up in her death, but she was able to be saved. Now she lives on medication and booze and hides as much as possible. But on this day, she has to go to the bank to get some stuff out of her safety deposit box. While she’s waiting, a handsome guy comes to chat her up.

Roarke is a stone cold killer. Or maybe he’s just stone cold. He feels nothing about anything. He’s gone all over the world killing people. Then he gets contacted about doing a bank robbery. While he’s at the bank, waiting for his partner to show up, he starts chatting up a beautiful woman waiting there. When everything goes to hell, he feels like he needs a hostage and grabs Bree to take her with him.

This is a dark read. When the title says that this is not love, believe it. There isn’t a whole lot of love in there. There is a lot of WTFery, a lot of dafuq did I just read, and a whole lot of I need more, but love? Nope. The story kept me on my toes and did make me wonder what was going to come next. I would really love to see more Roarke and Bree, because that would be fucking awesome.

There aren’t going to be any spoilers, but here, have a picture. Meanwhile, go check this out and happy reading!

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Natasha Knight-Torn

A few days ago, I reviewed the first book of this series, Taken, here. Today, we have the second book in the duet, Torn. Because this is the second book of a duet, there are going to be spoilers for the first book here. I will try to avoid them as much as possible, because you know I don’t want to spoil anyone, but it’s the nature of the beast. If you haven’t read Taken yet, I highly recommend it, especially now that we have the second book out. So, if you have read the story, and you are ready for my review, take a leap off my cliff with me.

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OK, if you’ve come down here, you are either ready to read my review or you like spoilers. Either way, you were warned.

We left off with Lucinda shooting Sebastian and Ethan capturing Helena, after Lucinda set her up. This does not bode well for either of them because we all know that Lucinda is a psycho. I mean, she should totally be diagnosed, because damn.

Lucinda takes Helena and puts her in a stone room somewhere underground in Venice. It’s dark, it’s dank, it’s cold, and Helena is there all alone. Well, all alone except for Lucinda and Ethan. Lucinda takes her hate out on Helena and tries to get Ethan to rape her, after all, she’s a Willow Girl, and that’s what they are there for, right? Only Ethan isn’t willing to go there because he’s still afraid of Sebastian. Which he totally should be. Then Lucinda leaves Helena down, in the dark, really all alone this time. Helena keeps counting on Sebastian to save her, but the longer she’s in the cold dark, the less hope she has of him coming for her.

Natasha has done an excellent job with this book and with the duet in general. The way that her characters interact with each other, in whatever combination, is great. She really shows the tension between Gregory and Sebastian, and how hard everything happening is on both of them. She also does a fantastic job with Lucinda. Lucinda is a predator, plain and simple. She has taken poor Ethan and groomed him into what he is. I mean, it’s not her fault that he acquired brain damage, but she’s taken advantage of that and turned him into her puppet. Of course, he could’ve tried to go against her, and we saw that he can make decisions that Lucinda doesn’t like, but still, she has twisted and groomed him. I almost feel sorry for him. Almost. I said elsewhere that there was nothing that Natasha could do to redeem Lucinda for me. I mean, Lucinda could find god, become a nun, and spend the rest of her life working in a leper colony, and I would still totally hate the bitch. And that still holds true.

I can totally see more books coming out of this world, and I really hope that Natasha writes them.

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I find the death of Sebastian’s mother to be a little too serendipitous for Lucinda. I think that she had her hand in at least his mother’s death, and possibly his father’s death as well. It’s nasty as hell that she might have killed Seb’s mom, considering that they were sisters.

I want to know who Helena’s sister Amy is mixed up with. Since she’s in the same general area as Ethan, I really want to say that it’s him, but I don’t know.

I hope we get stories for both Ethan and Gregory, because I can see how Natasha may have set them up for both.

That’s all I have to say on this one. If you like dark, go check this out. Happy reading!

Stylo Fantome-Preach

Well fuck. This is an epic mindfuck. And not only did Stylo fuck my mind once with this, she fucked it over and over and over. Preach made me feel all kinds of ways, and honestly? It may take me a while to get over this one.

Before I start in on the review, I have some other things to say. One is that I absolutely love Stylo Fantome’s pen name. It’s all kinds of fun wordplay. It translates out from French as ghost pen. Taking it liberally, I’m going to say that it probably would be something like Ghostwriter. Funny af, right? Totally awesome.

Secondly, this is the second book of the series. I did not review Church, the first book, on here, I did review it on Amazon. The series is a serial, so talking about this book may very well spoil parts of Church, so I’m going to be very careful as to how I talk about this one. I don’t want to spoil it for any of my dark lovers, and trust me, this is one you want to read, if you like to play in the deep dark.

So, here’s the way that the books work. Emma is the 23 year old daughter of Margo. Margo is a gold-digger. She’s always on the move and on the make for her next meal ticket. She’s not very nice. Various husbands and boyfriends have abused Emma, and Margo knew all about it. In fact, Margo may have even dangled her beautiful little girl in front of men.

Margo’s latest husband is Jerry. Emma sees Jerry as a milquetoast, a blah and bland little man who is inoffensive and doesn’t hurt anyone or even do anything. His company is paying for Emma to go to college, and she’s having a hard time fitting in. Then Paul shows up.

Paul is Jerry’s son, who has been at school in NY. But now he’s back, and he goes by Church. Church and Emma meet and a match made in hell is born. And they start on the long road to a metaphorical car crash into a huge cliff.

The second book starts a few weeks after the first one, and the cleanup of the disaster of that was Church and Emma has started. Emma has actually spent the last few weeks in a mental institution and Margo has been granted a conservatorship. Part of Emma’s treatment is that she has to have no contact with Church. In the last 15 minutes that he got to see her, he told her to act normal and he would always be near her and they would be back together as soon, just do her best to act normal.

I love the way that Stylo has chosen to tell the story. Most of the story is in 2nd person, from Emma’s POV, although over the books, we get a couple of glimpses of 2nd person POV from Church. But, interspersed through the books, we get chapters of 1st person POV from both Emma and Church. It’s a really interesting way to tell the story, and we learn more things than we would otherwise be able to. There are a fuckton of things that I didn’t expect in this book. It was just fucking wow. Like I said, my brain was fucked every which way but up.

These books were my first Stylo Fantome books, but they sure as hell aren’t going to be my last. There isn’t going to be anything down past the pic, so don’t go looking. I’ve been really careful to try to avoid any spoilers, so I want to keep it that way. So, go check it out, and happy reading!

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Loki Renard-Angelo

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that I love Loki Renard, that tricksy fox. And, you know that I love her House of Vitali books. I think Angelo is a simply marvelous character. He’s devious, deviant, twisted, tricky, sly, and convoluted. But, we’ve never gotten a lot of his backstory. I mean, something had to turn Angelo into the Angelo we know and love. You aren’t just born that convoluted, at least I don’t think so. But now, Loki has gifted us with Angelo:Making a Monster.

Bobby and Angelo are… well, they are being Bobby and Angelo. Bobby is falling in love with Angelo, you know, as one does. And he wants to know more about his lover. Of course, we know Angelo. he doesn’t want anyone to love him. He wants them all to be afraid of him. Bobby, being Bobby, won’t let anything drop and keeps asking Angelo questions about his past. Angelo, being Angelo, finds a way to stop him from asking questions, but of course, it pisses off Mark.

The story switches between current time and flashbacks. We get to see Angelo’s history through his eyes, as it’s happening to him, instead of him telling Bobby or Mark about it, which you know he would filter and skew. I found his history to be fascinating, and I really want to know about it.

And as always, when it comes to Angelo, you know, he has so many plans on top of plans on top of plans. He always knows how Bobby and Mark are going to act. Always. But here’s my latest question about Angelo. Does he know what they are going to do because he forces them to do it? Because if he does action A he knows that Bobby is going to do action B, which is usually try to kill Angelo? Or does he take into account their personalities and act in a way that if he does something he can predict the most likely action that they will take? We already know that he has plan A-ZZZ set up so that he is ready for anything and everything. There’s no way to trip him up, really. He’s just so damn twisty.

I love Angelo. He’s one of my favorite characters. I’d count him as a book boyfriend, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the parts that he’s looking for, and well, frankly, I’ve seen what he does to his lovers.

There are no spoilers today because it’s a short read and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Hit up the Zon and check it out. Happy reading!

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Natasha Knight-Taken

Oh, ducklings, my sweet and precious ducklings, Natasha Knight has taken us on a roller coaster in Taken. One word of warning before I proceed, Taken is part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffie. The second part will be out in 2 weeks, so it’s not like Natasha is making us wait for a long time for the resolution. So, if you are interested in this one but you don’t like cliffies, wait a couple more weeks. Now, on to the review.

The Willows and the Scarfonis have a centuries-old relationship. That’s not a good thing here. For centuries, the Willows have always had quadruplet daughters and the Scarfonis have had sons. It used to be that they had 4 sons, but now they only have 3. Well, they still have 4 sons, but one son in each generation dies. Anyhow, once every generation, when the Willow daughters turn 21, the Scarfoni sons go and reap one of the daughters. They choose one, and keep her for 3 years, each brother getting their year with her, from oldest to youngest. The 3 sisters who don’t get chosen go on with their lives, get married, and one of them has quadruplet daughters, and the cycle begins again. The Willow Girl, the one that the Scarfonis choose, doesn’t always fare well. Their life expectancy after their 3 years is rather short, with a number of them committing suicide. There is one who seemed to survive her 3 years of service well, and that is Helena, the great-aunt of this generation’s Willow daughters.

Helena is also the name of one of the current generation of daughters. She actually looks like her great-aunt Helena. She’s dark to her sisters’ light. They are golden dolls, but Helena has dark hair, with a silver stripe. Ever since her 16th birthday, when her mother told her and her sisters what was happening, Helena has hoped that she wouldn’t be the one chosen. In fact, she went and got rid of her virginity, just so that she could knock herself out of the running.

Sebastian, Ethan, and Gregory as this generation’s Scarfoni sons. Along with Lucinda, who is Ethan and Gregory’s mother and Sebastian’s step-mother, they have come to the library at the Willow estate where the 4 women are standing in transparent shifts and on blocks so that they can be chosen. Helena has had to be bound and gagged while she is standing there with her shift that has a smear of blood on it, marking her non-virginal state. Sebastian is the one who gets to choose which of the 4 women standing in front of him is to be this generation’s Willow Girl, and by all rights, it should be one of the golden girls, but that would make our story really short now, wouldn’t it? Of course, Helena is the one that Sebastian wants.

There’s a lot going on in this book. I don’t know if I like Sebastian. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That’s OK, that’s how Helena feels about him too. She likes parts of him and she likes what he makes her feel, but she really basically just hates him. He’s told her that he wants to break her, she’s told him that he might have her body but can’t have her soul. There are things going on with Sebastian that we don’t understand or have access to, as of yet. I hope we find them in the next book. I’m interested in them. Helena, I like her a lot. She’s strong and fragile, broken and whole, all at the same time. She has to keep being rebellious because that’s the only way that she can be, the only way she can survive. Ethan and Lucinda deserve to burn in hellfire and lava, or to be cast into the center of a sun. I hate them, a lot. Gregory is… an unknown. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him too.

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Aunt Helena’s ring, OMG, I love her ring, and especially love how she got it. But yeah, I agree, Auntie Helena didn’t come back all that sane. But, you gotta wonder, what exactly happened to her to make her do what she did? It had to have been bad.

I’m kind of thinking that maybe Sebastian’s mom didn’t commit suicide, maybe she was helped along by someone near and dear to her. That person seems like they would do that to me.

And fuck, that ending. Ugh.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I may not survive the wait. Happy reading!

Aria Adams-Invaded

This really has been a big month for Aria/Katie. This is her 3rd release in a month. She’s a busy, busy, busy lady. Since this is an Aria, you know that it’s going to be dark, and boy howdy, Invaded sure did have some dark sections.

This one takes place on another planet. Earth colonized this planet, then started sending over the dregs of society. They all live in a huge complex called the Stack. The Stack is a dystopian, fascist state, the higher up you go, the richer you are and the more powerful you are. Anything below level 40 and you are exposed to radiation and basically left to rot. If you do something wrong, you face some not-very-nice consequences. That includes being given to Grande Pharma. Grande Pharma isn’t very nice. They conduct nasty experiments on people and create horrible illnesses that they unleash on the people on the lower levels. And Aspen has just been given to Grande.

After twice failing in another project, Grande has the perfect plan for Aspen. They knock her out and when she wakes up, she’s in a bloody room with an alien. An alien with a really large cock and one who is really fucking pissed. He informs her that she is his newest fucktoy and he is her Master.

Keth is one of the natives of the planet. Humans have pretty much taken away everything from Keth, including his freedom. They’ve now stuck him in a room where they try to run all kinds of psychological experiments on him. They send in women to try to spy on him, and he fucks them and kills them. Now they’ve sent in Aspen. After all, she is just expendable trash from the lower levels.

Aspen is also very stubborn, with a rebellious streak. She’s not going to bow down to Keth, no matter what. But then she realizes that he can get into her mind and control her body, so she’s going to do what he wants her to, no matter what.

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I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to put down here, but I’m not sure what to put here. I found the book ridiculously hot, except for when Keth made Aspen lick the blood up off the floor, but the rest? Yes, please.

That’s all I have to say today. Go check it out! It’s a quick and easy read. Happy reading!

Measha Stone-Tower

A lot of authors over the years have come up with their own spins on fairy tales. I mean, they are a pretty great framework to hang your own story on, and they’ve shown up time and again in various forms over the centuries. And with a name like Tower, I bet you can guess which fairy tale Measha decided to go with. That’s right, she decided that the Gingerbread Man would be the best choice. No. Wait, that’s not it. Let me think a moment… Oh yeah, it’s Rapunzel.

Peter Titon is Ash’s cousin. He has decided to open Tower, his own kink club. It has nothing to do with the Annex, but he’s not staying completely away from the family business, after all, he is Ash’s right hand man, and while Ash and Ellie are away on their honeymoon, Peter’s the one in charge, including dealing with the collection on bad loans.

Azalea has spent her entire life under the thumb of her mother, Bellatrix Gothel. Is that not a fabulous name for a villain? You know that it is. Anyway, she manages to escape one night and sneaks into Tower. She’s always fantasized about the kinky side of the world, and Tower is perfect. While she’s there, she catches Peter’s eye. He comes up and says something to her and then walks away. The next time he sees her, she’s running through the streets because she has to get home. He decides to help her and drives her home, noticing that she’s in a panic over the time.

The next day, Peter decides that he’s going to go on a collections run, which ends up with him at Azalea’s house. Her guard owes them money, so they are going to go get it. While they are in the house, Peter notices a locked door and doesn’t like it. That’s when he decides that he’s going to take Azalea as the missing part of the debt.

OK, Measha’s stories are always hot, but this one was pretty smoking. I think part of it is that Azalea is so into what’s going on, no matter how much she’s fighting against Peter and his orders. They are things that she’s wanted, so of course they are making her all hot and horny. I think another part of it is that Measha writes erotic humiliation so well, and it works really well here. I’m pretty sure that Azalea thinks so too. She seemed to really get into it when Peter called her slutty. I think that Peter didn’t necessarily think about everything that Azalea needed all the time, and when she called him on it, she was totally right to do so. He kind of needed a smackdown.

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I expected parts of the book, just because they are part of the Rapunzel story, but there were a few places that I was very surprised.

I love that Daniel basically hit Peter with a cluex4 a couple of times, because he totally needed it. The whole feeling sorry for himself thing wasn’t pretty.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check out all of Measha’s great books. Happy reading!