Natalie Bennett-Heathens

Oh, holy fuck, y’all. Natalie Bennett is a sick and twisted individual and I so totally don’t want to get stuck in her head. That being said, I like sick and twisted individuals and I totally love what she wrote. The Badland books have been dark, intense, and definitely twisted. Heathens is definitely a worthy addition to the series and a great way to cap off this part of Natalie’s world.

Cobra is the final member of the Holy Trinity of the Savages. His friends, partners, and brothers, Romero and Grimm, have found their Queens and loves. Romero and Cali are definitely the Dark King and Queen of the Savages and have their Princess. She’s too young to be dark, light, or other, but I’m pretty sure that Adelaide isn’t going to be light and fluffy, not with her parents. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Rome and Cali, but… Grimm and Arlen aren’t quite as intense as Rome and Cali, but they sure as hell ain’t a comedic pair either. That leaves Cobra, who is obsessed with one particular woman. One who isn’t there. One who has blue hair.

Blue was traded to Vitus and the Venom as part of a way to solidify a partnership between the Savages and the Venom. Rome is going to need Vitus’ help to take down The Kingdom, Centriole, and I’d say that Rome has made a deal with the devil when it comes to Vitus, but since Romero is a Satanist and Vitus isn’t, I’m pretty sure that it’s sort of the other way around. Blue has spent her time trying to make sure that Vitus is happy. She’s not happy there, but she’s smart enough to know that she shouldn’t let that show. But that doesn’t mean that a particular Savage, one with a snake tattoo, isn’t always on her mind. There is a connection between her and Cobra, but she’s here and he’s there, and she has to deal with Vitus.

Then a mysterious woman shows up, and she seems to have a connection to Vitus too. Blue works really hard to not show any curiosity, but in her situation, curiosity can get her killed, but when the chance comes to talk to this wraith of a woman, it turns out that she’s a woman who is supposed to be safe in Centriole, not huddling in a literal prison run by Vitus, looking like hell, and shaking with withdrawals.

Then Blue is able to get back to Cobra, but not without collateral damage. And she has a lot to say to the leaders of the Savages.

OK, yeah, I really do mean holy fuck, y’all. This is dark and twisted. Cobra isn’t nice. Cobra isn’t anywhere near nice. He’s a very not nice who does even not nicer things and enjoys them. I mean, we aren’t talking about a guy who is a good guy who is doing bad things for a reason. We’re talking about a bad guy who gets off, pretty much literally, on torturing people and who tortures people for fun. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have a soul, I know that he has no conscience, and he has no morals. I’m relatively positive he couldn’t define moral if you asked him to. But, all that being said, within his personal boundaries and beliefs, he is pretty much doing what he thinks is right and there are no problems with him doing it. I mean, the only person who is going to take him to task is Romero, and I’m about 150% sure that Romero isn’t going to stop Cobra at all. Well, unless he wants to get in on the fun. I have loved this series, and it has gotten stuck in my head. Now that Heathens is out, I’m going to have to do a full reread.

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The description of Rome, Cali, Grimm, Cobra, and Blue’s attack on Centriole is pretty fanfuckingtastic. The way that they work together is almost like magic. I can totally see them doing it in my head. It’s not pretty, in that there is all kinds of blood and gore, but the way that they are working together is pretty, if that makes sense.

I’m looking forward to the next evolution of the series. It’s going to be all kinds of wrong. ALL KINDS. It’s going to be so awesome too. I can’t wait to read it. And Natalie, being Natalie, is going to torture us until we can get that into our hands.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go read the series. Trust me. I’d be willing to say happy reading, but, yeah…

Loki Renard-Bought

Loki Renard writes like the wind. I think that she maybe has a time machine and manages to put more hours in a day than the rest of the world has. I don’t know what it is, but she manages to put out a lot of books. And she’s just released a new one in Bought. Wouldn’t you all just freak out if I said that this was a light and fluffy one and not one of Loki’s dark stories? I don’t think that she knows how to write light and fluffy, so fear not, this is lovely and dark, and very much in much in Loki’s wheelhouse.

Casey is a brilliant programmer. That is both her greatest achievement and her greatest downfall. So when she tracks down some odd code that turns out to scrape users’ data, she decides that she needs to go to Vyper, the company who makes it, so that she can talk to Ethan, who is the CEO. Is she going to blackmail him? No. Is she going to ask him for a lot of money? No. Does she want him to hire her? No. What she wants to do is to ask him to stop. He tries to hire her, but she’s not interested. She has principles. Casey walks out of his office, gets in the elevator, gets in her car, and then is promptly pulled out of it by the police. She’s not put under arrest, she’s just locked in a room, waiting for Ethan to come. And he does, but not before he belts her with two cops holding her down. That’s OK, he makes sure she comes too.

Ethan decides that he’s going to take her home with him and keep her there. That way she can’t tell the world what’s going on and she will be safe. Meanwhile, he now has a new fucktoy, if he can just keep her under control.

I really like Casey, she is very smart. That’s also a serious problem for her. Being smart means that she thinks she figures things out and she thinks that she has things over on other people. Oh, not in a mean way, but still. She’s also a programmer, which means she tends to think in patterns and logical kinds of ways. Someone who is sneaky and who doesn’t think that way can almost always get around someone who thinks very logically. I mean, the people may both get to the same place, but where one person goes A->B->C, another person goes 2->5->B->A->K->C. They both end up in the same place, but the ono-logically thinking person is able to get around the other person because they’ve seen around the corners. But I probably digress. Ethan is a prick a good deal of the time, but he’s a prick that Casey enjoys, at least, at certain times.

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Not to be all super-paranoid, because it’s not really paranoia if they are really doing this, but if there aren’t companies doing this, I’ll kiss this venemous snake. It’s kind of creepy to think of, even when it’s happening in fiction, but when you consider that it’s very likely happening in real life, then it gets even worse, doesn’t it?

Go, read, enjoy! Happy reading!

Addison Cain-The Golden Line

So, a while back, Addison Cain wrote a short story called Consumed. It was in an anthology (don’t go look for it, it’s not for sale on Amazon anymore). When Addison got the rights to the story back, she turned it into The Golden Line. It’s a dark Omegaverse story. It is not related to the Alpha’s Claim books or the Wren’s Song books. It’s a brand new Omegaverse ‘verse. I believe it’s called the Knotted series. Addison promised it to us in August, and she dropped it as a surprise and barely made it in August. But, it was worth every second of the wait and every single tease that Addison put out. And damn me, if she didn’t tease the fuck out of everyone. She bragged about how Simin flirted with Morgaine, but didn’t tell us how. She just gloated about how good it was. A lot. She’s a sadist. But that’s OK, I’m pretty damn sure that I’m a masochist, at least when it comes to Addison Cain and her books.

Morgaine is a simple young woman who lives in a village with her mother. Her mother is a seamstress and Morgaine helps with dyeing the cloth and doing things like beautiful needlework, as well as the gardening and suchlike. But every now and again, the Alphas come to raid the village. They take the best of everything, and occasionally take people too. Morgaine always has a warning that they are coming. She starts to hurt and ends up nearly paralyzed. On the day that the Alphas come to her village, she barely makes it into hiding in time. When she comes back out, after heating the Alphas leave, it turns out that not all of them have left. Esin is there, and he’s threatening her mother. In order to keep her mother safe, Morgaine goes with him. That’s when she finds out she’s an Omega, and exactly what Esin and his comrades think that an Omega is. Even the ones that have an Omega mate treat the Omegas poorly. When the Commander doesn’t like the way that Morgaine is behaving he orders her caned. The next day, Simin comes.

Simin is a barbarian, at least that’s what those “civilized” Alphas would like to believe, but the first time he sees Morgaine, he knows that she is his. His Omega, his love, and his soulmate. Of course, it takes him some time to calm down after he sees what’s been done to her. Esin and all those Alphas tell her how Simin is going to rape her and kill her and all sorts of terrible things. So when Morgaine is handed off to him, she’s terrified. It doesn’t help that she and Simin don’t share a common language. All she knows is what Esin and the others have trained and forced her into. But Simin isn’t like them.

For a very, very long time, since back when I first read the Alpha’s Claim books which were my very first Omegaverse books, Shepherd has been my favorite Alpha. He’s one of my top 3 book boyfriends. Shepherd has now got some serious competition. Simin is pretty fucking awesome. He’s different to Shepherd, but the ‘verse is different too, and their ranking and background is different. Addison puts it as a dark read, and it is that, but it’s not completely dark all the way through. I’m going to guess that it won’t stay that way though. I’ve read too many Addison Cain books *cough*all of them*cough* to know that she’s going to move into something light and squishy. She writes dark and sticky instead. Dark and very, very sticky, with lots and lots of fluids. I like Morgaine. She’s got guts. Simin is a very interesting character and I like him a lot. And he really does flirt with Morgaine in an interesting way.

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I love how the title turned from Consumed to The Golden Line and even more, why it turned from Consumed to The Golden Line, or at least why I think it did. The short was a lot more about what Esin et al did to Morgaine, which really was consuming her, while Simin was much more about that golden line and what it represented, not necessarily to him, but to Morgaine. It showed his priority and how Omegas are valued in his culture.

I love this book, just as I love everything that Addison writes, but this one gets to me in a different way than the other Omegaverse books do. In a totally good way. Go check it out and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

Celia Aaron-The Butcher

I can never get enough of Celia Aaron and her books. They tend to burrow under my skin and make me want to keep reading them. The Butcher is no different. It definitely got under my skin and I loved it. It gave me so many feelz. All the feelz. Allllllll the feeelz. When I started to read this one, I wasn’t aware that it was the 3rd in a series, so I’m now going back to read the first 2 books. But not knowing didn’t matter because this was enough of a standalone that you don’t have to read the first 2 books. I’m looking forward to reading them, because, well, Celia Aaron.

So here’s our story. When he was 16, David Raven and his younger brother, Peter, lived with a foster father who was just terrible. David was going out and doing what he could to make sure that they had the money to escape. Mostly that meant going out and acting as a collector and enforcer for the Genoa mob. He breaks kneecaps and noses and does whatever he has to. It’s not nice work, but he’s 16 and dropped out of school when he was in 7th grade, so what’s he going to do? When he’s out and about, he sees a beautiful girl. At first, he only catches glimpses of her from time to time, but then, he finally gets to talk to his mystery girl.

Angel was 15. She lived with her monster of a father, and her goal is to get out. So she’s doing what she can to get money. She can’t go out and break knees and noses, so she picks pockets, breaks into cars, sneaks in and out of houses, and does what she can to get money. She’d seen the boy wandering around before, so when he talked to her, she decided to talk about. They connected so nicely. One night, sitting under a tree at a park, they were each other’s first kiss. Then everything went to hell. David walked her home, but a black car that had been following her off and on showed up near her house, but she tried to talk herself out of worrying about it. However, after the bottom apartment door closed and she couldn’t see David anymore, it turned out that her dad had sold her off to another mobster. Meanwhile, outside the door, David’s friend Nate told him that he had heard a huge fight going on at his house and it sounded like Peter was getting the shit beat out of him. And that was that, for 5 long years.

One of the things that Celia Aaron does really well is to create layered characters. Her characters are never what you see at first or even second glance. You have to spend a lot of time in their heads in order to completely figure them out, and if the characters are broken, you have to slide in between the cracks and fissures to get to the real character. She’s also really good at creating broken characters who fit together at all the jaggly bits so that they can be perfect together. I really love Angel and David both on their own and when they are together. They are both fascinating characters.

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For our main couple, we barely ever see them together, which breaks my heart for them. I mean, they find each other, lose each other for 5 years, have a few weeks together, and then lose each other for 5 more years? How many love stories can survive that? And theirs survived that. That’s just amazing. I don’t know that I could do that.

I love Angel’s pseudonym, I was greatly amused by that. I was also greatly amused by her escapades in setting up a series of fences across Europe. She is a very resourceful young woman.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out as well as the two other books in the series. Happy reading!

Claire Marta & Anna Edwards-Beauty’s War

Oh, these two. When they got together to write this book, they completely did something completely awesome. Beauty’s War blew me right the fuck away and left me gasping. Before we get started, let me just say I love this title. It means different things, depending on where you put the emphasis and what way you are thinking of. I love those kinds of titles, you know. Word play is so awesome, and I appreciate it so much.

Claire and Anna are taking on Roman mythology and modernizing it. I really like the way that they are doing it and spin that they are putting on it. Basically, you have two sides of the eternal war between good and evil. On one side, Jupiter and his sons, Mars, Apollo, and Hercules. On the side of evil, Pluto and his minions. Only these minions aren’t cute and yellow and probably don’t like bananas. The way that it works is gods and goddesses still walk among us, but not all of them know who they are. The goal, of both sides, is to find the gods and goddesses before the other side does. Pluto wants to either kill them or turn them evil, while Jupiter wants to save them and bring them back to their glory. If the deity in disguise dies, then they are reincarnated, but each time it happens, they add on the trauma of that death and their memories slip a little bit further into their deepest unconscious.

And to add to all that, Jupiter and his sons own and run one law practice in Rome while Pluto runs another, and they are frequently legal adversaries as well, as what opens this book shows. Pluto has been trying to get off a truly vile man while Mars has been trying to get him put behind bars. Sadly, Pluto prevails at this point. (Boooooo, hissssss)

While this is going on in one part of Rome, outside the Coliseum, very British Vicky and her best friend Susan are having a girls’ vacation. Vicky loves to draw, sketch, paint, and create art, Susan tolerates her doing it, but get bored watching her do it. So, when Susan asks if Vicky is done drawing the Coliseum, Vicky says sure, and they go off to get pizza. One of my favorite kinds too, margherita. Across the crowded restaurant, Mars and Vicky catch each other’s eyes and the connection is sizzling.

Mars immediately disappears off to tell his dad that he thinks he found another goddess, and Jupiter tells him to become her friend. I love Mars’ interior dialogue at this point where he is saying that he’s the God of War, not the God of Making Friends. That was hilarious, if you ask me. But, Mars pops into where he senses Vicky and manages to save Susan from a couple of lechs by saying he was there for their 3some. Again, I laughed. Spoiler, there wasn’t a 3some.

There are a lot of really terrible things that go on in this book. This isn’t really a nice, light, and fluffy romance. This is gritty and dark and occasionally tortured romance. Poor Vicky has a seriously shitty time of it. Seriously shitty. OTOH, I think Vicky is pretty damn fierce from the very beginning, just to deal with everything, and only gets more so. I think that she’s definitely Mars’ match. I like Mars too. I think that he’s a little arrogant sometimes, but, you know, god. What are you supposed to do? I think he sometimes gets blinded by what he wants versus what needs to be done, but I can see why he got that way when he did. I can’t wait to see what these two talented ladies come up with next in the series.

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OMFG, what they do to poor Vicky. And not just once. I think Claire and Anna must’ve really hated her. Maybe they knew a Vicky who really pissed them off at some point because, damn. I mean, just damn.

I feel sorry for Bellona. I don’t excuse her actions, but I would probably have done the same thing in her place, but I still feel sorry for her. She was put in such a difficult place and loving someone more than they love you is always painful.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Sophie Kisker-Saved

It’s been a while since Sophie has been on the blog, but that’s OK, she’s Saved us with the newest book in the Nectar of the Gods series.

In case you don’t remember, Anterrin men are addicted to the nectar that is produced by human women when they are aroused and orgasm. Because of this, they have figured out a way to use portals to grab human women and bring them forward in time and space so that they can serve as nectar slaves. There are various levels of slaves, from ones who are in the dive bars all the way up to the most private and exclusive slaves who produce the most exotic nectar. There are also privately owned nectar slaves, as well as slaves who serve at the king’s pleasure. But, probably the human women are kept in common taverns where the Average Joe can come and sip straight from the source.

Abriela is one of the women who is kept in one of those common nectar houses. She has been there for nearly a year, and is trapped with several other human women, including one woman who has spent the last 5 days trapped in a cubby that has been completely shut, with no light at all and within a sound dampening field so she can’t even hear herself talk. On this particular morning, their evil master lets that poor woman out and tells her that she will have to be at work the next day, and then he lines up the women to be drugged with arousal enhancing drugs and tied up out in the main room so that the men can lick them raw for the next 8 hours. Abriela stops counting after 30 orgasms in a day. OK, orgasms are pretty damn nice, but 30 forced orgasms in 8 hours, day after day after day would get old and pretty painful too. I probably wouldn’t ever want to have an orgasm again after that. When one of the customers gets mad because she won’t keep her eyes on him while he’s using her, her master says he’ll punish her. When he does, Stella, the poor woman who had been trapped attacks him and he kills her. When Abriela sees that he killed her, she grabs the strap that her master was about to strap her pussy with and whips him across the face. Then he knocks her across the room and fades to black.

Meanwhile, across town, Kirin is an Anterrin male, and like all Anterrin males, he has a twin brother, named Damek. Kirin is a researcher trying to figure out how to deal with a terrible illness that children born to human women and Anterrin males get. It doesn’t affect all the children, but any child it does affect dies. He has a clinic full of human women that he’s studying and a director who is on his side. Damek works as an assistant to a governmental minister, basically a cabinet member to the king (who is kind of bugfuck). One day, Damek has to come pick Kirin up from work because his transport is busted. When Kirin opens the door to leave, he discovers a tiny, bloody human woman. Of course, it’s Abriela. He and Damek check her out, clean her up, hear her story, and decide that they are going to take her home with them.

While there is all kinds of naughtiness, happy sexy fun times, and spankings, this one gets more into the politics and the background of what’s going on with the Anterrins and humans and Earth at the moment. The King, who I might have mentioned is kind of bugfuck, is starting to decompensate. That’s never a good thing. I liked getting into all those politics and all that background and I found that it didn’t overwhelm the rest of the story with Abriela, Kirin, and Damek. In fact, the politics and such really added to it because there are a lot of choices that are getting made by a lot of people that affect our trio because of what His Majesty, King Bugfuck is doing.

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At least Earth, in some time period, is finally putting its foot down. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Anterrins try to retaliate, of course, the decision was made hundreds of years ago, so I don’t know if retaliating against Earth is going to do anything about it now.

I wonder how bad the war is going to be, if there’s a war. King Bugfuck sure seems like he wants to start a war or three. I wonder if he has a bad combover? I wonder if he’s going to get offed, because I think he really needs to, right soon now.

I think it’s about to get really scary, well more scary, for the human women stuck here now. It’s going to be much easier for them to get “lost” in the series.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out all the series. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Scar

So, a couple of weeks ago, Loki Renard released a new book. This one pretty much decimated me. It was wonderful and terrible and brutal and tender, all at once. Honestly, I still don’t quite have all the right words to describe the feelings that Scar inspired in me.

Mary Brown has been trapped in a hospital. Well, let’s be generous and call where she is a hospital, I mean, it is in the upper story of a hospital. She doesn’t know how long she’s been there, all she knows that is that she’s nearly gone. So when a man in black stands over her and tells her that he’s there to get her out, she’s pretty sure that she’s hallucinating.

Ken Ares is a Special Forces soldier who is in between enlistments. So he took a private job. It was his job to bust Mary Brown out of the torture hospital that she’s spent untold months in. When he sees her, she’s nearly catatonic, and there isn’t a whole lot of life in her eyes. He manages to get her out, gets her to someplace sort of safe, and calls for an evac for her. He never thought he would see her again.

Fast forward to Afghanistan and a year or so later. Mary is there as an embedded journalist and Ken’s commanding officer just embedded her in the unit that he is in. He’s doing some scouting before his Special Forces team joins him. On their first mission, she doesn’t listen to him and talks to some of the women in the village and gives them some little things like soaps and shampoos. Ken yells at her, and since they are sharing quarters, spanks her, and then they have mindblowing sex. A few days later, on another mission, they go back through the area after an attack, and Mary sees one of the women she had talked to before having her soap taken from her and a man beating her. Mary jumps out of the transport they are in and goes to beat the shit out of the man. Ken totally flips out because she’s blown all kinds of things now, has her press credentials pulled, and then sends her home. She’s devastated, of course, and is pretty sure that he hates her. So when she gets to the airport in the states, and his brother Tom is there, she’s not sure what to think. She tells Tom that she’ll just leave because bad things will happen, but he brings her to his house anyway.

This isn’t the darkest thing I’ve read. It’s not even the darkest thing that I’ve read that Loki is written. But then again, it kind of is the darkest thing that I’ve read that Loki has written. I know that doesn’t make sense at all, but, like I said, this one is still defying my prodigious vocabulary in trying to define my feelings. Probably if I spoke German, I could mash a few words together to come up with the right emotion. German is good for that. I cried because of this one. When I reread it, I expect that I will cry again at the same spots, and probably for the same reasons.

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OK, I so totally didn’t expect anything about Mary’s past. That was a total shocker. But I can see why she said that she had secrets and that bad things would be happening and were coming.

I have to say that I saw the Head as Amanda Waller from the DC comics, also known as the Wall. It’s that same kind of I will bury you and not think of you after I do kind of attitude. If you saw Suicide Squad, remember where Viola Davis as Waller shoots all the FBI agents who were there to help her? Yeah, that’s the attitude. That’s who I saw the Head as, and frankly, that works really, really well.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. I want to hear what kind of emotions it inspires in you.