Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Challenge

So, two of my favorite authors and frequent fliers are back. In fact, Renee Rose is such a frequent flier, this is her second appearance on my humble little blog this week. But today is all about their fourth entry in their Bad Boy Alphas shifter series. Although, since Tank is a beta could it still be part of the Alpha series? Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Onwards and upwards.

So, Alpha’s Challenge. This story, timeline-wise, overlaps the previous 2 stories. While the action is taking place in Mexico, Tank is home in Tucson, dealing with potential loose ends. This potential loose end is named Foxfire. Great name, right?

So, Foxfire is Amber’s best friend. If we remember, Amber is Garrett’s mate, is psychic, and gets taken to Mexico with him to find his sister. But first, they have a seiously shitty first day, which Foxfire has to go save Amber from. At one point, Foxfire yells at Garrett that she doesn’t care about his Werewold gang, he had just better not hurt her best friend or else. Since she’s walking out of Amber’s house at the time and Amber knows that Garrett and his friends are actually shifters and she isn’t supposed to tell anyone, Garrett thinks that Amber told Foxfire. That means wen he has to go to Mexico, he sends Tank to talk to Foxfire.

I think that Foxfire might be my favorite heroine in this series, thus far. She walks to the beat of her own drummer. She has rainbow colored hair. She’s fiesty, and fierce, and protective. She’s also just out of a really shitty relationship. When Tank shows up, she gets all hot and bothered over him, because why not? He’s hot and the sex was crap with Benny boy. Tank talks to her and finds out that she thinks that Werewolves is the name of their motorcycle club, not that she knows they are shifters. But, just when his job could be over, he finds he can’t leave her. There’s just something about her that makes him want to stay. However, Foxfire isn’t down for that plan. She’s going to do what she can to get away. One of my favorite paragraphs in the book deals with one of her plans to get away.

“I chuckle at my own joke while Tank looks longingly at the door. Poor guy, stuck with me. I didn’t go to college, but I’ve mastered the art of annoying people.” Go ahead, tell me that’s not just a fucking awesome paragraph. Kudoes to whichever talented lady came up with that.

Anyway, this is where we are going to go our separate ways. You can read this one as a stand-alone, if you would like. You will be more enjoyment of it if you read the whole series in order though, because you will understand the background better. Each story is its own complete story, but there is an overarching story arc that each story builds on. The sex is hot, the chemistry between the two is even hotter. And I love Sunny. So, go check this one out.

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OK, there is one twist that I thought wouldn’t it be interesting if…, and then it turned out that yes, it was, and it really was interesting. Sorry, that’s all the more hint you are getting as to this particular spoiler, because I don’t want to ruin it. You will be happier if you go read it yourelf and see if you can figure it out.

Sunny is a hoot and a half, and just totally what you think of when you think hippy. And her plain talk about Tank and Foxfire’s sex life is just to die for. I wouldn’t really want to do yoga with her though.

While they get their HEA, there are some things that are really upsetting and made me a little mad and a little sad. However, Tank pulled his head out of his arse, so it’s OK and it worked out, over all. So, yay.

OK, go read the book, you’ll love it, especially if you love hot sex and hotter Alphas. We’re going to have a post on Isabella Starling’s latest story later this evening, and I have one waiting for Livia Grant’s book to go live, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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Renee Rose-Zandian Pet

Oh, Renee Rose has brought us another fun one. I read in the acknowledgments that she got the idea from an Aubrey Cara book. Yeah, I’ve read that book too, and I really loved it. I have to go reread that book. But, this is all about Renee and Zandian Pet.

A quick recap for people who aren’t familiar with the Zandian ‘verse or for people who haven’t read it lately:

Years ago, Zandia was invaded by the Finn. Some Zandians escaped, including Prince Zander, who was added by his weapons master Seke. The remaining living Zandians now mostly live in the palatial pod that’s flying around in Occretian airspace. Because they thought that there were no living Zandian females for breeding age, humans had been brought into the mix. The prince has a human mate and they have a baby. Recently some Zandian women have been found. One of Master Seke’s long-lost missing daughters, Talia, was found and rescued, along with a woman named Eslyn, who was kept as a sort-of-prisoner by her three “mates”. She has some children as well.

In this book, we have Taramina being found by Erick. Taramina is Master Seke’s other missing daughter. She, her sister Talia, and Rok, who’s a purple, horned Han Solo, were rescued and taken away from Zandia by another person, but sadly their ship crashed and the kids all ended up scattered. Taramina, now known as Mina, was taken as a slave and trained as a sex pet. She lived for years in the collection of one master, doing whomever and whatever he wished. When he died, she was sold to a brothel where she became their star attraction and did whatever she was supposed to, right out front in public. She felt like she was in control, the sex didn’t upset her, and she was looking for a way out. She knew that if she had a Zandian crystal that she could get free. Enter Master Erick.

Erick is one of Prince Zanders most trusted men. He is his business manager and does all the negotiating and such with business partners. He has built up a huge fortune for the prince to help position them to take back their planet. On this particular mission, he just had a massive loss that he’s dreading telling the prince about. So, to stall and blow off of steam, he stops at a brothel. Of course, the brothel that Erick stops out just happens to be the one where Mina is starring as a prized pet.

The brothel owner is more than happy to show Erick his prize, after all, everyone knows that there aren’t any Zandian women around, and Erick is stunned to see her. He gets to go into her cell for a while, and sparks start to fly. Erick decides that he wants to buy Mina’s freedom, but Mina isn’t waiting around and manages to escape on her own.

Here’s where we part ways. As usual, Renee has given us a hot, sexy story with a great plot. The Zandian books all end with HEAs, but they are all also part of a larger story arc, so while you could read them on their own, if you were bound and determined to, you really don’t want to. Read them from the very beginning and you’ll be much happier since each book builds up on the previous book. The sex in this book goes past panty-melting. I’m not sure what level that would be. Maybe it melts all your panties that are still in your drawers? Erick and Mina are now officially my favorite Zandian couple. So, go check it out. You can read it on KU, but it’s not that expensive to buy.

 

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OK, I full on loved this story. Renee writes such fun stuff, and I find that I’m really enjoying the various pet stories I’ve been reading lately. But, the sex, while super hot, is just a small part of it when it comes to this particular book.

Taramina has spent many years as Mina, a sex pet, many more years than she did as Tara, Master Seke’s daughter. When she manages to get herself to the palatial pod, she tries to be Tara and leave Mina behind. But, she doesn’t know who Tara is. She’s never had to be Tara as an adult, so she struggles. The thing I like is that Erick doesn’t step in and just magically wave a wand to help her be something else. In fact, the person who helps Mina figure out who Mina is is Mina. She sees something she wants to try and she goes after it. Erick, as possessive and dominating as he is, doesn’t stop her, instead, he supports her and even fights her father for her right to do it. I loved that she had that strength and he was that determined to do right by Mina that he was willing to put aside his struggles and let her do what she needed.

Mina is a definite kick ass female, and it sounds like she’s more than perfect for Erick, in all ways. I can’t wait to see what more happens with them and how they are able to help their people take back their world and rebuild their species. It ought to be interesting. I’m going to be so sad when Renee ends this series.

OK, there’s going to be another blog post later this evening. Probably really late. Tomorrow is one that I’m so excited about. I mean, I’m pretty much always excited about anything I get to read and review, but I’m Sawree by B. B. Blaque is above and beyond anything else I’ve read. It’s a mindfuck for mindfucks. I may also be just a little bit excited that B. B. has used some of my words from a review on one of her teasers. So, stay tuned for that one. Tuesday, we have another double header, a new one from Zoe Blake and a new one from Jennifer Bene that she surprised everyone with. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Her Cyborg Beast

So, Grace Goodwin. She’s shown up here before. I love her books. I own them all. I carefully watch the release dates and hit purchase as soon as possible. This one I was lucky enough to get as an ARC, yay me! I was so thrilled, I’m telling you, I love these books. I think getting any ARCs is exciting and I’m pretty honored when I get them. I love sharing the stories with you all. No one is forcing me or telling me that I have to write anything that I do on my blog, so if I’m gushing over something or excited about a book, that’s my honest opinion. Sorry, big digression there, it had to be said today. Don’t ask me why, but there it is.

OK, back to Grace and Her Cyborg Beast. This is another book in the Interstellar Bride Program ‘verse. There are several different series in this ‘verse. There’s the main IBP series, the Virgin Bride series, the new Rogue 5 series, and The Colony series. This book is in The Colony group.

Quick overview of the ‘verse. There are the good guys, the Alliance, and the bad guys, the Hive. The Hive captures Alliance fighters and converts them into cyborgs. Sometimes the fighters get rescued. If they do, they get sent to The Colony. The Colony is deep in Alliance space and protected from the Hive, which could control the partially converted fighters. In the past, the people on The Colony were thought to be contaminated and basically lepers. However, there are human women who are working to change that because the beings on The Colony are veterans and should be honored.

Rezzer is one of the males on The Colony. He’s an Atlan. I love the Atlans, I have a thing for big, hulking, massive Alpha males. The Atlans have a beast inside them. They can turn into the beast when they are fighting and such. If they don’t find their mate, their beast will take over in a mating fever. That’s not Rezzer’s problem here. He was captured by a Hive operative and his men who are hiding on The Colony. He and his team were out trying to find the bad guys and bring them to justice when he was captured. Somehow, the Hive managed to suppress Rezzer’s beast and nothing medical can do can bring it back. The governor of the base decides for one last ditch effort and gets Rezzer tested for the Interstellar Bride Program, hoping his mate can bring out his beast.

CJ worked in the financial sector. When her company got caught doing bad things, she was the one who had to pay the price. She was given the choice between going to jail or joining the IBP. Guess which one she chose? She got tested, which is where the book opens up. The first chapters of these books are always pretty damn sexy. I mean, wow sexy. She gets matched to Rezzer.

When she gets to The Colony, Rezzer tells her that he’s unworthy and will help her find a worthy mate. CJ doesn’t stand for that and does something about it.

OK, we’re going to separate here. I love Rezzer. He’s in a character in several other Colony books, and I have fallen completely in love with him. I really want him as a book boyfriend, but I’m afraid that CJ will cut a bitch. CJ is a strong, strong Alpha female who isn’t going to take any shit from anyone. I think that she makes such a great partner for Rezzer. There is lots of sex in this book, some violence, bad language, and lots of fun stuff. If you like hot romance, hot sex, and science fiction, this is a great book to check out.

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Great cover, right?

The Hive is definitely up to no good, which of course, they’re the bad guys, but I wonder how many more people they have infected the way they infected Rezzer. At least the Atlans seem like they can get it away from them, maybe? They are at least warned so hopefully no more Atlans get infected by the Hive.

I adore the twins and their names. I’m glad that they seem to be clear of whatever the Hive tried to do with Rezzer.

I think that I like the Colony books the most. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love the entire ‘verse, but the guys on the Colony are different. I think that it’s that we have had a chance to build a relationship with the guys through other books, so we are able to feel for them so much more. I look forward to the rest of Rezzer’s team getting mated since we’ve already seen some of them mated. It’ll be good.

Tomorrow, we have a new Ava Sinclair book. It’s totally filthy. We have the next Parker Sinclair coming up, as well as a new Jane Henery and Dani Rene, so keep a good eye on this space for all the good stuff. Remember to check out In Between the Page’s FB page. I pimp out authors, list free books, and just had a nice little contest, so come visit me.

Grace Goodwin-Her Rogue Mates

Grace Goodwin is making her very first appearance here on my humble little blog, but not her first appearance in my library. I have everything that she has available on Amazon. A friend of mine turned me onto her books early this year, and I’ve bought every one as soon as they have come out.

Her Rogue Mates is part of Grace’s Interstellar Brides universe. There are several series in that universe, and HRM is the first book of the newest one. We were introduced to this particular world in the most recent book of the series, His Virgin Bride, where the hero and heroine have to go to Rogue 5, a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Rogue 5 is run by a bunch of different legions. The legions are factions, some are sorta loosely allied with each other, others are mortal enemies. Styx is one of the leaders of a legion, the Styx Legion. Blade is his strong right hand. They decided long ago that they were going to share a mate when they found her. That way she would always be protected and loved. One day, when they are on Transport Station: Zenith, Styx meets Harper in a bar, and knows that he’s found their woman.

Harper is a human who has decided that she is going to help the Coalition with their fight against the Hive in her own way. Instead of signing up for the Bride program or joining Earth’s military to fight, she’s going to use her medical training. She’s an ER nurse and used to working in high-stress situations, so she signs up for the MedRec. They go in after the battles and triage the wounded and transport them to better facilities where they can get treatment for their wounds. It’s an exhausting job, but one she loves, and one she’s done for almost two years. One day, after losing a member of her team, she’s in a bar trying to drown her sorrows, when she sees Styx and follows him into the hallway for a little rough and tumble. When Blade joins them, she’s right on board with that idea too.

OK, it’s time for those who don’t want spoiled to part ways. This book is kinky in that it’s a menage, but it doesn’t have much in the way that the other books I’ve reviewed do. It does have a lot of really hot sex. Really, hot sex. It also has conspiracies, mysteries, and assassination attempts, so it’s an engrossing tale, all around. Grace is a mandatory 1-click for me, and if I could pre-order her books, I would. She’s created a very well-written universe. It’s defined enough that you know what it is, but loose enough that she can easily add in more aliens, worlds, stories, what have you, without crushing it. I look forward to books out of this universe for some time to come.

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After Harper is attacked on a mission, they rush her off to Rogue 5, where they know that they can keep her safe. They are a lethal team, in every sense of the word, and she is their mate.

I love that Blade and Styx make it obvious to their captains and enforcers that she is their mate, no matter what. They do that even before they do the whole claiming bite thing because they are that sure, which is awesome. I love the way that she proves that she is claiming them at the end. It was quite a statement, and not only claimed Styx and Blade, but the whole legion too, which was even more impressive.

I know that there are more traitors than the ones they found, I’m personally suspicious of the member of her team that disappeared right before the attack. Maybe he just got grabbed first, but it feels hinky to me. And I really hate the nasty spymaster doctor. I keep waiting for him to die.

OK, that’s it for this book, other than to say that Amazon is a dick, since they have blocked this from coming out on Kindle on release day for some damn reason. Next week, we have all new and exciting books to talk about. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Lili Zander & Lee Savino-Draekon Heart

Welcome to the first blog post of the day. Later on this evening, you’ll be getting the newest addition to the Blacklight series. But for right now, you’re getting Draekon Heart, the third book in the Exiled to the Prison Planet series.

Before we get started, I just have to say that I get a little bit of a giggle every time I see Lili Zander’s name (yes, I know it’s a pen name for Tara Crescent), because the last name Zander is in my family history not too far back. Well, enough of that little digression, back to the hot dragons and tough women.

Quick reminder on the back story. The Zorahn were talking 10 women to their planet, basically to act as guinea pigs for science. One of the Zorahn on the ship sabotaged it and they crashed on the prison planet where the Draekon are exiled. Draekon are a mutation of the Zorhan, and can shift into dragons when they find and claim their mates. Draekon always mate in pairs, so the series is a MFM menage series.

When the ship crashed, the women got separated. Some of them went with the main group of exiles. Well, I say main, but I mean main as in the exile group that we’ve focused on so far. Some of the other women were kidnapped by another exile group, which we haven’t seen anything of, until now. Backstory over.

DH is the story of Ryanna, Zorux (Surly Draekon most of the time and Sweet Draekon sometimes), and Thrax (Sexy Draekon).

By now, it’s been 3 months since the women crashed on the planet. We’ve already got 2 happy trios, but no new ones. The rainy season has ended, so it’s time to start acting on the information that Beirax gave them about the supply and Cloakship drop, and time to try and find the other women that were kidnapped.

So, we open with Beirax being sentenced to exile. The dragons are going to put him on a high plateau that he will not be able to escape from since he can’t fly. He isn’t real happy about that and he yells at Arax for wearing symbols of royalty, which, technically Arax is allowed to do, being the Firstborn and all. Arax then says that even if they are on another planet, he will uphold all the laws of their planet. That makes Zorux withdraw somewhat.

Ryanna has done everything she can to be useful and to learn all the skills that she can to survive on this planet. She’s gotten Zorux to teach her how to throw knives. Thrax and Zorux have helped her come up with a mark that she can leave so that she can be tracked when she’s out hunting. She has also done everything she possibly can do to make sure that she doesn’t fall in love with any of the Draekon, but Zorux and Thrax are both very sexy, and Thrax is a congenital flirt. Ryanna sleeps with a knife under her pillow because she was in an abusive marriage and she managed to escape, but her ex came after her. She knows that she’s on another planet and he has no way of getting to her, but that doesn’t stop her from being afraid. Fear is like that.

Anyway, Arax decides that he, Nyx, and Olivia will go looking for the other women. Dennox, Vulrux, Harper, Raiht’vi, Thrax, Zorux, and Ryanna will go to the ship, get Beirax’s tracker, and find all the Cloakship pieces. They don’t get very far before they realize that Harper is sick. Raiht’vi points out that nope, Harper isn’t sick, Harper is preggers. Vulrux, being the group’s doctor takes her home, while Dennox flies everyone to the ship and then to a base camp site and goes back to Harper.

So there we are. Ryanna, who keeps trying to think of her pants as nun’s pajamas, is left along with two Draekon who she’s been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to not fall in lust with, and Raiht’vi, who is warming up to people, slowly but surely. However, she’s got her own secrets and she’s afraid.

Before I put up my excellent Dragon of Protection, let me tell you that this series is getting better and better. Each book has increased the stakes, and this one really, really did. OMG, it really did. These are not standalone stories, you do need to read them in order to get the whole story since they do build on each other. That means you are getting a cliffhanger-ish ending for the story as a whole, but Zorux, Thrax, and Ryanna get their HEA, so that part’s all good. There is some really hot sex, because of course there is. There are a couple of places that could be triggery to people who have survived DV, but they are short and not too bad.

 

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Ryanna, while she is really attracted to both guys really wants to protect herself from being hurt again in any way. She worries about falling for them because she doesn’t figure that she is their mate because they didn’t turn into dragons the first time they saw her. In fact, they’ve all been around each other for months now and nothing has happened. And now that Harper is pregnant, Ryanna worries about bringing a child into it and then they find another woman as their mate.

Zorux is worried because he has a secret. While his tattoos show that he is a Highborn, the fact is that his father faked being a Highborn. When his mother found out, she killed him, one of Zorux’s sisters, and herself. She made Zorux promise to kill his younger siblings and then kill himself. It is the highest of the high crimes to fake your birth station. If the authorities were to find out, his siblings would die, their bondeds would die, their children and etc would die. So, when Arax said that he would enforce the laws of his world, that really scared Zorux even more.

I know I haven’t said much about Thrax, but he is a pretty mellow guy. He flirts a lot of Ryanna, doesn’t have a lot of angst in his story, and is pretty nice, all around. He was an orphan and was a pilot. When Zorux tells him his story, Thrax is pretty calm about it. He says that he’s learned that people are more than what their birth station is.

Obviously, because they get their HEA, Thrax and Zorux turn into dragons. There had to be some emotional breakthroughs to get to that point.

We find out more about Raiht’vi, but she’s still kind of mysterious. We also get a glimpse into Olivia, one of the women in the other group. Her story looks to be intense.

Wow, this is long. Bottom line? I loved the story. I love the Draekon and each book gets better and better. I can’t wait for winter for the next one! Meanwhile, happy reading!

Cynthia Sax-Cyborg Sizzle, Pt. 2

Hopefully, you read yesterday’s post and know the background of the Cyborg Sizzle-verse. Today, we get to the review of Seeking Vector, the latest of the books in this ‘verse.

So, Cynthia describes Vector as a side-quel. It happens at the same time as the previous two books, Hers to Command, Ace and Thrasher’s story, and Ghost of a Machine, Ghost’s story.

We meet Vector in the first of the cyborg books, Releasing Rage. He is the captain of the warship Freedom. It is the premier ship of the cyborgs’ fleet. When Rage and his brethren rebel, it’s to his ship that he goes. I kind of didn’t like Vector the first time we saw him because he didn’t want to let Joan, Rage’s female, come on the ship and made Green get rid of his beloved plant, Windy. Don’t worry, Green gets Windy back and good things happen there.

Anyway, Vector wasn’t a complete douchebag, and he did finally come around, at least on Joan’s case. And now, he has his own book with his own HEA.

In this book, we find out that an unknown female has been making contact with Vector over the private transmission lines that the cyborgs use. She’s been giving him information to pass along to the cyborg council so that they can use it in their rebellion. However, Power, the leader of the council, has so far refused to use any of the information. Pretty much all the cyborgs are convinced that this is a trap, so Power has directed Vector to find the female and eliminate her.

Vector is all set to go out and do that very thing, but the female doesn’t talk to anyone but him, and he keeps thinking, deep inside his mind, that she is HIS female, even though he keeps trying to logically tell himself that she isn’t. Spoiler, she totally is.

She won’t tell him anything personal about herself, and she uses a synthesized voice to interact with him. She tells him that it has been half her lifespan since she has even heard her voice and that she is lonely. She also sexts him.

Meanwhile, we find out that her name is Kaisa and she’s been hiding out on a Humanoid Alliance base for years. She does what she cans for all the J models that live there, including giving them hope and courage when they are getting tortured. She sneaks in to give them pain inhibitors whenever she can. Kaisa is also a hacker extraordinaire. Not only has she managed to back into all kinds of databases, she’s also managed to get rid of all kinds of references to herself and various weaknesses that the cyborgs have.

When Vector gets to the base where Kaisa is hiding, she tells him that he needs to wait for a couple of days, until the J models rebel and take over the station. He waits, and then goes to find her when he’s allowed on board. The J models all call her their woman because she talks to them, she has helped them, and she has done everything she can for them. They all love her and want to protect her, to the point where they tell Vector that they will die for her.

Anyway, this is the time when we need to go our separate ways if you don’t want to get spoiled. There is cussing, there is serious sex, and there is some spanking, but these aren’t kinky stories, in general. They are seriously sex heavy, but it’s good sex, so who’s complaining? I really like Vector as a character now, and we learn more about his past and his history and it explains why he has made some of the choices that he did. Vector is extremely honorable, even for cyborgs who very honor-bound. He does what he thinks is the right thing to do, which leads to conflict, but works well within the story. I’m looking forward to the next installment to the cyborgs, or to the spin-off series, the Refuge. I think we have to wait until December for it though, so I guess I can maybe be patient.

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So, poor Vector, I mean, man. That is some serious shit that he went through before he became free. I about wanted to cry for him, and now it makes sense why he didn’t want Windy around.

And Kaisa, man, I can’t even imagine how hard it was for her to completely shut herself away from her family the way that she did, especially since they appeared to be close. I mean, I know that she did it so that they would be safe. Sometimes curiosity isn’t always the best thing to have. Of course, if she didn’t have that curiosity, then the cyborgs would still be more vulnerable.

I was mad that Power didn’t suck it up and try to use her information before Vector leaked it out, but Power is a massive asshole, and I haven’t liked him since Hers. Of course, watch, Power will be the next book, and I’ll end up liking him.

It was nice to see Mayhem and his female and get that little look into what’s happening there.

Anyway, while you can read these books as standalones, you are going to be better off if you read the books in order since you run into the same characters throughout and the overall story builds from book to book.

I’m off for the evening, to finish reading an ARC for  LK Shaw that will be coming at you on the 9th. Tomorrow’s blog is the new one from Isabella Starling that came out today. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Sue Lyndon-Claiming Their Slave

Sue Lyndon writes a lot of sci-fi/fantasy based romance. She also writes MFM menage stories. Claiming Their Slave is a fantasy based MFM story. I would also put it in the fated mates category, because the Banded Men generally get some kind of sign that a woman is supposed to be their mate. CTS is the third book in the Barbarian Mates series, and yes, they are all very hot.

The way that this series works is that the heroes are twin brothers from a species called the Banded Men. They are like humans, but generally bigger and tougher, etc. The Banded Men twins have one of the light and one of the dark. The light twin is diurnal and the dark twin is nocturnal. The reason behind that is that their shared mate and children will never be unprotected. If one set of twins has a brother die, then he will join with unmated twins who are his brothers, if he has any, and all three will share a mate.

Anyway, the world in this series is roughly medieval-ish. Humans are relegated to villages that are widely separated by huge forests that are filled with terrible beasts. Humans used to be much more spread out, but as the forests started to magically grow, they all banded into smaller villages and they are far enough apart that the villages generally aren’t in contact with each other. Now that all the background is taken care of, it’s time to move to the review of the actual story.

Ava is a young woman who was born into slavery. Before she was even born, her father was executed for breaking the law and her mother was sold into slavery while she was pregnant with Ava. In this village, if you are born into slavery, you will always be a slave and so will your children. There are very, very rare occasions when a slave may be taken to wife, but that’s generally when the guy can afford to bribe the Elders to allow it. The guys can also have more than one wife.

So, Ava has been packing a bag with supplies and leaving it under her bed for a long time. She keeps telling herself that she is going to escape, when she gets the courage. Every day, she looks at the meadow of daisies in between her village and the woods and dreams of crossing that meadow and escaping into the woods. Part of what holds her back are the stories of the beasts that are in the forest.

One day, her master tells her that two of his son’s slaves have escaped. He searches her room and finds her bag of supplies. He asks her if she knew about the slaves who were going to run away, and then his son shows up and they decide to sell her at a slave auction.

Jaxon, a Banded light twin, is out on a trade mission and checking out how far the human villages in the area have spread out. He doesn’t want them to come too near his home. Generally, he does everything he can to make sure that he avoids human villages, but this day, something draws him to this particular village. He follows the noise and finds Ava, standing on the auction block. There is a creepy-ass old guy who is trying to bid on her, but Jaxon triples the bid and wins.

Jaxon leads Ava through the field of daisies that she’s looked at and dreamed of for years. As they walk through the field, she gathers an armful of daisies. When Jaxon asks her why, she tells him that the largest, most beautiful daisies grow right in the center and she’s never been allowed to go get them before.

When they get to the camp, Jaxon makes her promise that she will not try to escape. However, she has no plan to continue a slave, and she doesn’t know that Jaxon has planned to free her, keep her as a servant, and pay her. So, when he goes into the tent, she runs away. He tracks her down, brings her back, and spanks her. That’s when he realizes that he’s not going to be able to keep her as a servant, but that he wants to keep her as his mate.

Meanwhile, back at the old homestead, Wolfe, his twin, keeps dreaming of Ava, which lets him know that she is probably their mate. However, neither brother is aware of what the other feels at this point, so Jaxon does what he can to hold himself apart from her.

OK, now’s the time to separate. Spoilers will be coming. The Banded Men stories, while there is spanking and hot sex, are pretty sweet stories, overall. The men truly love and cherish their women and want to protect them, even if that means that they spank their mates when necessary. If you like spanking stories but you don’t want to get into anything dark, then Sue Lyndon’s Barbarian Mates series is a good choice.

 

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This is a lovely story, and very sweet. Wolfe and Jaxon take note of Ava’s concerns and make sure that they listen to them and do what they can to make her feel better.

I love their parents, and their mom is just awesome. I thought she was going to smack Jaxon when he told his parents that she was a slave. Of course, they managed to figure out that Jaxon meant to keep her as mate, even though Ava didn’t know it. I did get mad at Jaxon at holding that away from her, which left her unsettled, and wasn’t fair to her.

The battle scene was pretty interesting. I would’ve liked to know for sure who the humans were, more than just assuming that they were from Ava’s village and after the gold and jewels that Jaxon used to pay for Ava.

Anyway, huge long post. It boils down to a great addition to a favorite series. Go check it out! Meanwhile, happy reading!

(Imagine standard ARC disclaimer here)