TL Smith-Sinister Love

Well, here we are, another day, another book. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my reading life and getting to read all kinds of fantastic books? I get to find a bunch of new authors and find books that I might not otherwise have seen. Today’s book is the sequel to Distorted Love, Sinister Love by TL Smith. And this one is as good as the first one, and kept my mind going crazy trying to figure out what was going on. So yay, that is great.

Warning, there will be spoilers for Distorted Love, so if you have read it first, go read it before reading this review. I can’t not spoil parts of DL, just because of the way it left off. You guys know that I try really hard not do that, but sometimes it’s pretty unavoidable. So, you’ve been warned.

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Kitty Thomas-Pretty Lies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charity B-Sweetened Suffering

As a warning, this review will spoil Candy Coated Chaos. If you haven’t read CCC yet, put this down and immediately go read it. I can tell you that I highly recommend it. It’s not often that first-time authors blow me the fuck away, but Charity did with that one. Sweetened Suffering is a worthy successor to CCC. I highly recommend that anyone who loves darkness should go out and read the books. If you have read the books, then jump off the cliff with me.

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Sara Fields-Conquered

If Sara Fields writes it, I will read it. It’s like the whole Field of Dreams thing, but better because I don’t have to walk out into any corn fields or sit on an uncomfortable bleacher bench. I can sit in my nice comfy couch, with a nice cold beverage, and just read the books. So, totally better.

Today, she decided to write a dark scifi reverse harem book. Is it the darkest thing I’ve ever read? Nope. I have a feeling title will be coming soon. Is it darker than other things that she’s written? Yeah, I think so. Did I love it? Fuck yeah, you better believe I did.

So, on to Conquered. This is an alien invasion/abduction story on the top of it. The Vakarrans are a ruthless species. They can’t really afford to be if they want their species to survive. There are no Vakarran women, so if they want to continue, they need to find species with which they can breed. Humans just happen to be one of those species. The Vakarrans pretty much figure if the humans didn’t want Earth to be invaded, they should’ve just been better at protecting themselves. Oh well, they weren’t, and now all the men are slave labor and the women are all sex slaves and breeders. Women were supposed to all go to training camps so that they can be trained and such.

Kira was just a teenager when the Vakarrans invaded the Earth. Her two younger sisters weren’t even teenagers. On invasion day, their parents shoved the girls out the door and into the forest behind their house. The girls ran and hid in a cave. They expected their parents would be there at some point, but they never showed up. The girls had to figure out how to live in the wilds. Luckily, they had always played out in the woods and were familiar with stuff, so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Now, Kira and her sisters lead a rogue band of humans. Mostly they are women who are hiding from the Vakarrans, either they’ve escaped or they just never went to the camps at all. There are a few men there too, but not as many. Kira would like for her group to be a resistance, but right now she just wants to make sure that they are all safe. She may be rebellious, but she’s also a very responsible leader and has done everything she can to make sure that they stay hidden, including laying traps for the Vakarrans.

The Vakarrans have sent another patrol out to find her, and she’s used her traps to kill them, in a very nasty way. That made the leader very angry, since they were his buds. He wants Kira caught and punished. So he sends out a very good team to get her, Zaavyr, Jax, Coltan and Aedan. They are veterans, smart, wily, careful, and tricksy. They manage to come up with a way to catch Kira and bring her to their training camp.

I love Kira. She’s very strong and very smart. Sometimes, I think that she may be a little too smart for her own good. She is always thinking, and that can get a person in trouble. But, I think that our guys value her intelligence, strength, and spirit. Not everyone did, but if they didn’t, they deserve what they may get. This is a true fact. I do like the guys, even though some people may think that they were a little hard on Kira. I think that they were as hard as they had to be at times. Things that people may think were terrible could’ve been a lot worse than they were, and the boys had to do what they did in order to keep from having to do things that would’ve been worse or letting other people do those things to Kira. The important thing is that while they may hurt her while they are punishing her, they would never harm her, and that’s better than others would’ve done. And, I think they may have had to be hard on Kira, at least at first, because she was so used to being independent, and it can be really hard to go from being the one in control to being the one who has no control.

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I love that the guys kept Kira’s secrets and let her keep an eye out for things. They are really trusting her, but they love her, and theoretically, you trust the person you love, right?

I do also like the way they managed to get rid of the nasty captain. It let Kira get some of her own back, and I’m all for that. He’s the one who hurt her, he deserved what he got.

OK, that’s it for Sara’s new book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. It can’t come soon enough for me. I want to know if it’s going to be a RH book too. Go check it out. I’m going to settle in for the night and read some Tanya Huff while eating brownies. Happy reading!

Jane Henry & Maisy Archer-Hustler

Jane and Maisy are still working on giving Manhattan the same kind of treatment they gave Boston with the Boston Doms. To that end, we have the second book of the Masters of Manhattan book, Hustler. When my husband asked what I was reading, I told him the name, and he asked if Larry Flynt had helped to write it. Have I mentioned that he thinks he’s funny? And when you search it on Amazon, make sure that you put in Jane’s or Maisy’s name on there, otherwise, you will get info on the magazine.

Anyway, on to our book. Ethan was a grifter. His father was a grifter and he taught Ethan and his twin brother Elias to do the same. When they were in high school, Elias went straight and Ethan dropped out. He went on doing what his father taught him to do. Easy money and he was good at it. When he was 19, he was working with an older partner. They set up a phony investment deal and took a lot of money from a lot of people.

Haven is a lawyer in Manhattan. She’s currently defending a man named Max Pederson who was accused of killing his wife. Max told her to go see the people at Master’s Security. His best friend’s daughter Sabrina is in a relationship with one of the guys, and they have backstory and insight as to what was happening. When she gets there, she meets all but one person, Ethan. When Ethan walks into the penthouse, she looks at him and recognizes him as Tad. Nine years earlier, Tad had made her fall in love with him and used that relationship to steal all her parents’ money. So, when she sees him again, she sees red.

This is a second chance romance. I have a personal fondness for this trope because I’m living my own second chance romance story. I don’t love all of the books written under this trope, they aren’t always done well, and sometimes there isn’t a really good reason for everything to manage to get back together. That’s not the fact here. Every second chance story I’ve ever read out of Jane or Maisy has worked really well. Everything makes sense and everything happens in sensical fashion. But more than just the second chance thing, we also have a redemption thing going on. Ethan is working to redeem himself from his background. He been doing that to some extent before he got together with the other Masters, but there were things that made him do it more, including Haven. The combination of the two tropes is a really good one in this book. I really thought that it worked well. Now, just because he’s redeeming himself doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still use those skills, he’s just using them in furtherance of justice. Justice doesn’t always mean getting the baddies arrested and put in jail though, just remember that.

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I have to say that I kind of liked the fact that Ethan volunteered to go to prison to get the info. I’m not liking that he got the shit beat out of him, but it was a sign that he was regretting what he had done and wanted to make up for his past choices. Whole lot of symbolism going on there. Love it.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Ava Sinclair-War Bride

We’re back in Ava Sinclair’s world of Drakoryans, those hot, hunky dragon shifters. The first two books of the series focused on Lyla and her mates, but now we’re looking at a new bride. We still have hot Alpha dragon shifters, but we have 3 of them now, but we are also in an active war situation, which is different to the last two books. Thus the name, War Bride. See how that works? LOL.

So, our heroine is Isla. In the last book, her village was destroyed by the ShadowFell and Lyla, her mates, and one of the Lords of Za’vol found her in the bottom of the well. She had jumped in there to escape the firey breath of the bad dragons, and hadn’t been able to get out, so if they hadn’t come along, she wouldn’t have lived.

They all took her back to Lyla’s castle so that Isla could be ministered to. While there, news is given that the Drakoryans will now be able to take War Brides, instead of the way that they had been doing it. The Lords of Fa’vol are the first to be given a war bride, Isla.

So, Turin, Zyvis, and Jayx are the Lords of Za’vol and they are pretty jazzed about being able to have a bride. I mean, who doesn’t want to have a mate and who doesn’t want to have a chance to have their bloodline go on? At least in these books. The boys are trying to get Isla to warm up to them because it’s time for them to seal their mating. But first, they must have their big fight so that the order in which they are with Isla for the first time.

There are a lot of really interesting things that go on in the book. One of them is we get to see more into the ways that Drakoryan¬†families can interact, both positively and negatively. I found that to be really interesting because we don’t always see the bad side of heroes and their families, so getting to see the ugly and how it affects a lot of things was refreshing. There are lots of things that have really whetted my appetite for the next books, and hopefully, Ava won’t make us wait for very long.

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Yeah, this may look like it’s a weird thing to go with a story about dragon shifters, but trust me, when you read it, you will get it.

It’s going to be a huge change for the villagers and for the Drakoryans to have the villagers right there.

I think I know who our new grouping is going to be. If I’m right, it’s going to be explosive and I can’t wait for the fireworks to start.

OK, that’s it for this one. Go read the whole series, you won’t be sorry.

Natalie Bennett-Queen of Diamonds

I love reading Natalie Bennett. Deliciously dark, twisted, and mindfucky. Wooohoooo! I mean, can you get anything better? Well, maybe if Jason Mamoa was reading it to me while I was sitting in his lap, but until he comes to his senses and leaves Lisa, I’m going to read them to myself. And I’m perfectly happy with that. That means I can stay up to the middle of the night reading, if I so desire, and I often do.

Anyhow, Queen of Diamonds is her latest one. It’s the first book in a new series, Old Money Roulette. It looks like it’s going to be dark with no redeeming lightness, features, or anything going on. I am loving it. We have a baddie bad guy, a complicated heroine, and a twisted situation that makes me wonder exactly what’s happening and who’s going to survive the road to hell. Or, more precisely, the hell in which they already find themselves.

Elena has to come home because her aunt has been brutally killed and her twin sister, Eva, is missing. Her grandmother and uncle have convinced Elena that the best thing she could do is make sure that everyone knows that her sister is dead, so they buried an empty coffin along with her aunt. At the reception after the funeral, a beautiful man comes up to Elena and starts talking to her. It turns out he’s Mateo Remmington, scion of the biggest crime family in Vice City. This is perfect for Elena, she’s going to worm her way into his affections and trust so that she can find out what happened to Eva.

Mateo, oh man, Mateo. He’s ruthless, twisted, and pretty much evil. He wants Elena. He wants to take her, break her, and turn her into something else. He has plans on plans on plans. He’s at the reception because he owes someone a favor. We don’t know who that someone is or what the favor is. What we do know is that he’s fixated on Elena, and he’s told his brother and cousin that she’s going to be his wife. Now, he has to tell Elena.

OK, that’s the easy plot, the one that we can see. But, being a Natalie Bennett book, we all know that it’s not that easy. She likes to put layers and layers and layers and machinations (I love that word), plots, and secrets in her books. I mean, her books are the ones that you go back to read to find the hints after you know what’s going to happen, and you still can’t find them. QOD is going to be one of those books, for sure. Even a few days after reading it, I’m wondering what is going on. I don’t even have guesses as to what’s going on, really. All I know is that I can’t wait to find out because it’s going to be so good to find out. I can’t wait to find out Mateo’s plans and how Elena is going to fit into them.

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I am wondering about Elena’s friends and how involved they are in what’s going on. It seems like it would be a huge thing if she were trusting them in and they were up to no good. I’m also wondering what her grandmother and uncle are up to. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them.

I would like to find out more about Elena’s dad. We know that he was part of this world, but he sent the girls away to live with auntie, but we don’t know why. I wonder if he’s the person Mateo owes a favor too? Wouldn’t that be an interesting thing?

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I will say that if you don’t like to wait for the whole story of things to come out, you may want to wait for the rest of the books. You may end up with more answers than questions while you are reading this, and some people find that frustrating. I’m obviously not one of them, probably I’m a masochist or something. Anyhow, go check it out.