Felicity Brandon-Taken

So, in Taken, Felicity has decided to go all meta on us. I loved it. One warning, it is a serial, but the next 2 parts will be out in December and January, so Felicity isn’t going to be all that sadistic towards us. Just a little bit sadistic.

Molly Clary is an author. She’s an author who writes capture fantasy books, along with noncon/dubcon, objectification, and pet play aspects. She’s tremendously popular. So, she does as many authors do, and sets up readers’ groups on social media where she can connect with her readers and goes to signings. Her latest signing is in London, which is really far away from her home in Pennsylvania.

As she’s packing up to go back to her hotel at the end of her signing, a beautiful man comes up and asks her if it’s too late for him to get a book signed. When Molly tells him that it’s fine, he hands her a book called Amelie’s Abduction, and she signs it to Connor Reilly, a self-professed superfan.

When Molly leaves, she ends up wandering the streets of London around where the signing was so that she can find her car. Instead, what she finds is trouble. A pack of young men tries to attack her, but then Connor comes to her rescue. But only for so far. He ends up abducting her and taking her to his house, where he ties her down and chains her. And oh yeah, forces her to write their story. (See, that’s where it gets all meta)

So yes, not only has she been captured and is being held by Connor, she has to write all about it, because he is her biggest fan.

OK, this one is ridiculously hot and filthy, and it may have one of my new favorite scenes ever in it. And I say this admitting that Felicity has one of my favorite scenes ever in one of her Viking books. We get both Connor’s and Molly’s POV, but sometimes it seems to really blend together, so there are times when it seems like you are in both of their heads at the same time. There are times when it is very distinct. It works really well here. I wouldn’t suggest it for everyone or in every book, but like I said, it really did work here.

I loved watching all of the struggles and confusion that goes on in Molly’s head. It’s fascinating to see her go through trying to figure out what she should do at any given point and how she feels at any point in time. I would love to see what she’s writing, because I think that it would be a great window into her mind and how she’s feeling, even more than her POV in the book. Does that make sense? It makes sense to me, but you know how it is. Things we think make sense don’t always. I just think that seeing how she processed it through her writing would deepen our understanding of her. I also wonder what Connor thinks of her writings.

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Ok, not so many spoilers here as much as a I love the fucking end of this story. I mean, WTF. I can’t wait to read it. And fucking hell, what a cliffie.

Go check it out. Happy reading!

Anthology-Twisted Sacrament

These stories are dark, dark, dark, dark, and even darker than that. There are no happy anythings here, there’s no light. There’s nothing that will bring you any kind of hope. I’d say abandon all hope, but even just abandoning it isn’t enough. You have to completely scour any kind of hope from your soul. You have to erase the word hope from your memory. Then you might, just possibly might, be ready to read Twisted Sacrament. Consider yourself warned.

The anthology consists of 7 authors who write dark anyway, but then they got let off the leash. Not only that, they were given the brief of writing the most sacrilegious and blasphemous story possible. And let me tell you, SJ Cole, Zoe Blake, Addison Cain, Jennifer Bene, Celia Aaron,¬†Ashleigh Giannoccaro, and Alta Hensley fucking delivered. These 7 stories are depraved, twisted, desolate, full of mindfucks, horrifying, and darker than fuck. They are disturbing. And yet. And yet, I couldn’t stop reading them. I couldn’t get enough of them. I loved everyone one of them, even the ones that left me shaking at the end. (I’m looking right at you, Jennifer.)

They are all short stories, none of them much longer than 30 minutes to read. I wouldn’t recommend reading them at night before bed though. You might not sleep well. But because they are short, you’re only going to get my reactions, as is my usual practice in this situation. I got ARCs for 4 of them, but like I said, they are short, so I had no problems reading the rest of them.

Addison Cain-She Came Before God

There is a period of Catholic and Italian history where the high ranking clergy weren’t as… celibate as they should’ve been. During that time, Rodrigo Borgia became Pope. There are all kinds of rumors about orgies in the Papal palace while he was there, and it is historical fact that he had children, born when he was a cardinal. You know, when he wasn’t supposed to be dicking around. Lucrezia Borgia, who you may have heard about as a poisoner, was one of his children. So, what does this have to do with Addison’s story? Well, her story involves a pope and some fucking.

Addison’s story really just was straight up horrifying. Our poor little heroine learns that she’s part of a horrible family tradition, and everything that she thought was true isn’t. This story stuck with me. I mean, I dreamt about it. Even days later, I’m still trying to get a total handle on certain things. I really wanted to scream at the end of it, and maybe sit and cry in despair.

Zoe Blake-Lilith’s Revenge

Lilith comes out of Jewish mythology. She’s generally considered to be Adam’s first wife, but when she wouldn’t behave the way that they wanted, she was kicked out of Eden and Eve came in in her place. Lilith then went on to become the mother of demons. In her demon partying and fucking days, she fucked everyone she wanted to, including some angels.

In Zoe’s story, she is back in her demon party girl aspect, tempting a priest. Now, here’s the thing. She and her priest get it on in all kinds of ways and do all kinds of depraved things, but… The question is, is what they are doing real, or is the priestly part real, or is anything real? Zoe has written an incredibly mindfuck and my mind is still fucked from it. I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t and what was going on in the story. I have theories as to what’s going on, but they vary from minute to minute.

I recommend following Zoe’s instructions when it comes to her story.

Alta Hensley-Last Rites

I personally think that the end of the world is going to be some kind of plague. In this jet-setting world, it’s going to be too easy for something to be across the world before anyone gets diagnosed with it in the first place. Why do I mention this? Because Alta destroys the world with The Itch, an illness that makes people want to scratch their skin off, makes their blood foam, and makes them pretty fucking crazy. There are rumors of a safe place for women to go (and only women), where they won’t be exposed to The Itch.

This is so disturbing. It’s short, it’s brutal, and it’s dark as fuck. I kind of wanted to take a very, very hot shower after reading this one. And maybe scrub for about 30 hours.

Jennifer Bene-Baptism in Eden

If you look at my GR/Zon review, it says “Oh my fucking god. That is all.” Yeah, that’s about all I could say about this one on there. Jennifer writes dark at the best of times, but let her off the leash, she’s simply dazzling. And dazzle she does.

You may think of Eden as paradise, but Jennifer’s Eden is as far away from paradise as you can possibly get. It’s so dark and so twisted. I know I’m saying that a lot, but there aren’t words in the English language to describe it. But the fact remains that this story is Stygian. It’s also a very Jennifer Bene story. If I were given all the stories in this book and asked to pick out which one Jennifer had written, this would be the one that I choose. When I was done reading it, I was literally sitting on the couch and shaking. I had to go read something else to calm down. I may be traumatized.

Celia Aaron-Communion

I know that I’ve raved about Celia on here before. She totally deserves every good thing I have ever said about her.

I loved this story. It wasn’t quite as dark as some of the others, but it’s by no means light. I love the byplay between Cate and Ted. It is very interesting to see how Ted talks to her and what goes on. I feel like this is very topical too. I have to wonder how much Celia was influenced by what’s going on in the world right now, because it really feels like there was some serious influencing going on. Frankly, I think it makes it better.

Ashleigh Giannoccaro-Say Yes

I’ve only read one other Ashleigh Giannoccaro book, but I own a couple of more. My TBR is totes ridic and one day I’ll get to them.

Ashleigh takes us for a tour through a cult. A very, very creepy cult. A very creepy cult that says men have to have 2 wives or they can’t get into Heaven. OK, I grew up Mormon, and there has always been the whole polygamy thing surrounding the church, and then the FLDS church around, which are a polygamous cult, so this one felt really close to home, if you know what I mean. I don’t know how much Ashleigh took from there, how much came from other cults, and how much came straight out of her head, but it was a fascinating read. It also looks like it’s setting up for a new series, so I’ll be all over that one.

SJ Cole-I’m Better Than You

SJ Cole is Stevie J. Cole writing under a new name. And OMG, her heroine is totally cuckoo for coco puffs. I mean, the cheese not only done slipped her cracker, it left the room, the house, the zip code, the state, and the country. Then it changed its name, cut its hair, and got plastic surgery. The cheese wants to have absolutely nothing to do with Violet anymore, and I don’t blame it. I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her either. I can totally get why she’s upset, but damn, girl takes it to another level. She’s creepy as fuck. She’s crazy as fuck. SJ says there’s more to the story, and I’m going to have to read it. Can’t fucking wait. I like creepy and crazy.

OK, there are my reactions to each of these 7 stories. I loved this book. But, trust me, don’t look for light. Don’t look for happy. Don’t look for hope. Don’t look for this book to last long. I recommend you go buy it soon if anything I talked about sounded good, because anthologies don’t tend to last very long and then the rights revert back to the authors.

No spoilers, but a picture I thought was great for this.

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Addison Cain-Silent Captive

Well fuck me sideways, our Soul-Devouring Dark Empress has done it again. I mean, oh holy fuck. Not that there is one damn thing holy about Silent Captive, holey maybe, but not holy. And sideways may actually be the only way that Wren doesn’t get fucked, but I make no guarantees.

Silent Captive is not a standalone. If you haven’t read Branded Captive, stop right now, go read it and Silent Captive and then come back. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here. There will probably be spoilers for Branded in here, just because that’s the nature of the beast. I work really hard at keeping them out of the blogs, you know I do, at least until after the picture, but with serials like this, it’s really hard to avoid.

Take a deep breath, we’re going in, and watch your step, it’s muddy as fuck out there.

So, we open to Wren being paraded from her sparse but spotless little apartment to the pipeworks. Caspian doesn’t want to have to wade through the mud to fuck her, so he’s taking her back to his base. All she’s allowed to take back is the stuff that Caspian, Kieran, and Toby brought to her house for her to nest in. She’s not allowed any of her own belongings. And, since none of the Alphas sign, she’s also mostly unable to communicate. If they give her pen and paper, she can write them notes, but other than that…

Caspian, Kieran, and Toby aren’t nice guys. Not nice guys at all. They think they are ddoing her a favor by putting her in “the big room”, which is where they keep the Omega of the moment until she falls from favor. Then, the Omega ends up in the pens where they are meat for anyone.

Not only are these guys not nice, they are fucking brutal. I mean, Caspian wears a coat made out of people, FFS. But Wren is going to do what she agreed to do, for her boys. She will do anything to keep them safe, even sell herself to the 3 worst Alphas around. She’s under no illusions that any of what’s going to happen is going to be good or nice. I feel so sorry for Wren. She’s doing what a mother is supposed to do, but even so, it’s pretty horrible to have to do it. They’ve already done terrible things to her, they will probably do even more now that they have her under their noses all the time.

I’m not joking about being soul destroying. A lot of what Addison writes will rip into your soul, but this one, OMFG, whatever little soul I had left is now totally destroyed. I think she eats the souls for breakfast and chases them with the tears of her readers. It was also so good. I couldn’t put the book down, and I may need to reread it, right now. How soon is too soon to reread? I dunno. But, it may be the only way I can survive until the next one.

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OK, now we know why Caspian doesn’t want Troy to go at Wren immediately. That’s just… I want to say fucking horrifying, but I’m not sure that horrifying is the right word for it. Is there something beyond horrifying? Who would want to do that to themselves? I don’t even have the right equipment, and what Toby did to himself hurt me. As for Wren, I can’t imagine it from her side. I don’t want to imagine it from her side.

I can’t wait to see how the two biggest bits of action are going to affect the rest of the series. There’s going to be a lot to unpack there, and I’m pretty sure that Addison isn’t going to be able to fucking redeem these guys. None of them are a Shepherd.

That’s all I have to say about this one. Really, if you like noncon, Omegaverse, dark af, twisted, and soul destroying, and lots of fucking you need to go get this one. Happy reading?

Addison Cain-Branded Captive

Addison Cain was my first experience with Omegaverse stories, whether they were Mf or Mm. Now I read a lot of them. So, when I heard about Branded Captive, you know that I was first in line to get it. I might have had to cut a bitch to get it. Or maybe I just begged. I don’t remember. I’ve slept since then. What I haven’t forgotten is just how filthy and obscene this one is. It is sooooo wrong. So, very, very, very wrong, and yet so very, very, very right. And did I mention filthy and hot? I just want to make sure that you know that. And since it’s an Addison book, you know that it’s dark.

Wren is a Deaf Omega. Her parents have kept her pure and innocent. Her mother didn’t tell her anything about what she needed to know. So when her father sells her virginity to a big Alpha and she doesn’t meet his needs, because she doesn’t know what to do, she ends up being branded as defective and thrown away and ends up in the Warren, but not before the Alpha caused her even more pain by ripping his knot out of her.

Five years later, she’s managed to build some kind of life for herself. She has rooms that she keeps scrupulously clean and two boys who were also abandoned that she has adopted as her own. As an Omega, she’s driven by her instincts to nest and have a family, so that’s what she’s done. But when her boys disappear, she worries that she has lost them to Caspian and his syndicate. So she decides to go get them, even though she wants to stay away from Caspian. Alphas are bad and hurt people and the ones in the Warrens are even worse.

Caspian is not a nice dude. His second is Kieran and his third is Toby. They are all very not nice men. Even when they do nice things. Caspian controls everything in the Warrens and a good chunk of what’s going on above too. He wears a coat that is reputed to be made out of human skin, and I’m more than willing to believe it. When he sees what he thinks is a skinny man dragging one kid out of his area by his ear while carrying another one, he has to know what’s going on. That’s when he finds out that it’s not a skinny man, it’s a beautiful Omega.

I’m not sure if I hate Caspian or love him. He’s cruel and brutal, pragmatic and straight forward. If he wants, he takes. He wants Wren. He’s going to take her. He’s also going to share her when he wants, with Kieran and Toby. It doesn’t matter what Wren wants at this point. She’s going to have to just deal with whatever Caspian wants to do and suck it up. This is dark, it’s gritty, it’s filthy, and it’s Wren’s new life. There isn’t a whole lot of good and happy going on right now in her life, and frankly, I don’t know that there will be. However, I’m going to reread this book a lot and when the next ones in the series come out, I’ll read those too. I need more of this story and I need it soon. And I really hope that Caspian kicks that other Alpha’s ass up one side and down the other.

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Toby gives me the creeps. I’m not too proud to admit it. Caspian is pretty straight forward I think. Kieran may be a little softer than the other two, for all that he’s the second strongest Alpha, but I think that Toby is as bent as a pretzel. I don’t trust him around Wren.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I cannot recommend it enough, so go check it out! Happy reading!

And hey, if you really like me and think that I’m a pretty awesome blog/blogger, can you pretty please go over to this FB event and vote for me? I’ve been nominated for fave blogger, and if I’m in the top 5, I get to move to the next round. I promise, I’ll love you forever.

Adara Wolf-Under His Heel

I find book recommendations all over the place. Various authors, other readers, blogs, so on and so forth. I also get some from the groups I belong to on Goodreads. Two of the groups have book of the month reads. This is one of the books from one of those groups.

Under His Heel is dark. It’s noncon. It’s intense. It’s an M/m book, which not everyone likes, but I do. I will warn you that when I say dark and intense, I know of what I speak. The light in here is only lighter in comparison, and there are things which may trigger some people. Neither of our main characters are necessarily all that nice or likable, and they are very much written to be that.

So, here’s the story. Alex, who isn’t stupid but isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box and who has been manipulated by his twin brother for years, has been set up to sell his services as a bondservant. In the world in which they live, if you are in debt, you can sell your services and you end up doing whatever. For most people, for bondservant read sex slave. You write a contract that both parties sign stipulating what can and can’t be done, and then the owner pays off the servant’s wages. For Alex, his contract included that he gave up all bodily autonomy and no body mods were allowed, for a time period of 5 years.

The reason that Alex has to do this because his twin brother, Nick, has run up a gambling debt in his name, and they weren’t able to escape. Now Alex is the one who has to come up with the money, so the two of them hatched this plan. More like Nick hatched the plan and conned Alex into doing it.

Captain Tracht is a very authoritarian, strict, blunt, gives no fucks kind of guy. He’s also a pure sadist. He loves causing pain, both physical and mental. It gets him off big time, and for him, it’s even better if the person doesn’t get off on being hurt. I’m pretty sure he’s a total sociopath too. He’s also scrupulously polite and doesn’t like foul language. He runs a very tight ship, literally and figuratively. He is at the agency to get a new bondservant because the one he just returned was unsatisfactory. That guy was a masochist and he liked Tracht’s games just a little bit too much.

After a full body inspection that Tracht performs on Alex, he decides that Alex will be perfect. Alex isn’t all that excited, but he figures a 5 year contract with this guy is better than having a contract with the gangsters that own his debt. He saw one of their bondservants once, and she’s the reason that he has no body mods written into his contract.

Tracht isn’t nice. I’m relatively sure that we aren’t supposed to like him. I kinda do. The thing is that he is exactly who and what he says he is. He never says one thing and does another. He is consistent within himself. He’s a WYSIWYG system, even if he does like to play mind games with Alex. But that’s part of who he is, and he never told Alex that he would have loads of fun or that Alex wouldn’t be hurt.

Alex. Poor, poor Alex. He’s lost all over the place. He thinks that he can survive Tracht, but it’s pretty immediately obvious that he can’t. He has spent most of his life in way over his head and Tracht throws him right into the very deep end of the pool. Alex has such a hard time. Tracht is not an easy man.

Then there’s Parsons. He’s a member of the crew and he tries to be friends with Alex. I don’t like him. He’s a douche.

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I’m so glad that Alex saw through Nick, eventually. I hated Nick even before we ever saw him. He’s absolutely terrible. I mean, who does that shit to their twin brother? Alex is all about trying to protect his brother, but Nick is all about getting whatever he can out of everyone, including Alex.

Ugh. Parsons. Gods save me from people like him. He’s just such a shit. He’s judgmental, condescending, and turns into a user. The thing is, Alex could’ve really used a friend outside of Tracht, and Tracht was mostly OK with it. Luckily there was doctor’s bondservant he could talk to, but only when they were in coms range. She at least got it.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. I loved it. It left me gasping at the end. There’s a followup novella called Kidnapping. She’s also written another book called In Life, In Death. It’s totally different to Under His Heel. It was so lovely. They are all available in KU, so check them out.

Sara Fields-Mastered

Here we are back on a futuristic Earth that has been invaded and devastated by the Vakarrans, thanks to Sara Fields. Mastered is the second book of this series, and I’m really interested to see where it’s going to go after this one. I think some really interesting things will be happening.

Alaina Stryke, sister to rebel Kira Stryke from our first book, is now in charge of leading their rebellious little band. Kira had gone to her command center to make sure that no Vakarrans were around while Alaina and their two younger sisters moved the rest of the group on to another hidden area. They have to stay hidden because the women would be taken by the Vakarrans and turned into breeders and sex slaves and then men will just be slaves. But when Kira doesn’t come back, Alaina fears the worst.

She decides that she will go to the command center to see what she will find. When she gets there, she discovers that there is a lone Vakarran near one of Kira’s traps, so she’s going to capture him and make him tell her where her sister is so that she can be rescued. Davvan is the youngest member of the second battalion. Alaina gets him trapped in a pit and then goes to talk to him. He tells her that he can’t get her any info on her sister and that he can’t communicate with any Vakarrans. As she goes to shoot him, she feels a gun held up to her own head. Turns out that Davvan is devious and the tables have been turned on her.

The rest of Davvan’s team has arrived and they are going to make this human woman pay, because she’s a human woman and she’s a slave. On top of that, she had the audacity to consider killing a Vakarran. Ryder, Morgn, and Aarom have to all give shit to Davven about it first, but she’s well fucked and punished by the time they drag her into the nearby training facility.

OK, everyone may want to think of the Vakarrans as bad guys, not all of them are. Her guys save a human from another Vakarran who was whipping the shit out of her. Whipping her enough that it was probably going to leave marks. So really, the Vakarrans are like anyone else. There are some that are dicks and that let the power they have go to their heads. There are others who are decent guys, like Kira’s guys and like our current 4. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to tie up Alaina, spank her until her ass is a bright cherry red, and then fuck her senseless. They just aren’t going to harm her. However, they are worried about her being harmed, because their new commander will want to take her and keep her and will probably kill her. Even though he technically can’t because they have a claim on her, that won’t stop him. He’s an asshole and a nasty piece of work who is a political appointee because he’s part of the old boys’ network.

I really liked Alaina, and to quote the movie Slither, “Bitch is hardcore.” She is fierce. She’s a warrior and she has a huge heart. I liked all her guys, for different reasons. I think that Aarom is my favorite though. He’s a little softer, maybe, than other Vakarrans we’ve seen. Not saying he won’t punish Alaina when she needs it, but he is also her emotional support and her friend as well as her lover. I liked that a lot.

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I really liked the ending. I’m eager to see what changes are going to come in the series because of the choices that the guys made. It was a pretty bold choice.

I loved that Alaina handled certain things on her own. I knew that she was walking into a trap, but that she did what she did made me really happy. And the fact that other women were taken out of that situation because of her decisions is a good thing. And if the women had to be rescued by Vakarrans, it’s a good thing it was these guys.

I’m really looking forward to the next book and to see where Sara’s going to go with it. I’m wondering if there may be a small rebellion starting in the Vakarran ranks because of Kira and Alaina. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? Go check these books out and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

Aria Adams-The Belle Jar

Aria Adams is a pen name for Katie Douglas. It’s the one where she writes dark stuff. And the Belle Jar is dark. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it sure as fuck isn’t any kind of fairy tale. It’s dark, horrific in places, merely scary in others, but it has glimmers of light in it. It’s a great story and I loved it.

Marea lives in Darkholm, which isn’t a very nice kind of place to live. Her mother was burned as a witch and the people of her village keep accusing her of being a witch. The only thing that has saved Marea from being burned is the fact that her mother had the foresight to have a chastity ring inserted on Marea. This ring went into her bits, making sure that she would retain her virginity. No one could figure out how to take the¬†ring off, and frankly, Marea is pretty happy about that, because it proves she’s still a virgin and never had sex with a demon, meaning she couldn’t be a witch. But the fact that she’s a redhead doesn’t endear her to the people in her village.

In the dark and evil woods near their village, is a castle. Every 7 years, the denizens of the castle demand a sacrifice. This year, the village has decided that it’s going to be Marea, so they bundle her into a sack and pop up onto the doorstep of the castle. When she’s taken out of the sack, she’s confronted by monsters who pop her into a bell jar and begin doing terrible things. She manages to survive that part, but more and more horrible things happen.

I loved the story. Aria managed to put a lot of different layers in it and to leave you wondering what’s going to come next. I wasn’t sure what Marea was going to do when she got stuck with horrible choices. When your choices break down into a handful of shit or a bigger handful of shit, there’s not really any good choice for you to make. I’m pretty sure that Marea would’ve been happy if handfuls of shit had been her choice.

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I love the dichotomy of the castle boys and the mirror boys. It was really interesting to see. I’m not sure if it made it any easier for Marea or not. I mean, she had someplace to escape to, but when she came back to the castle, she had something terrible to deal with. I would think that each time she was able to go to the mirror, it would make coming back so much worse.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go read it, but make sure you have a comfy blankie with you while you do.