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!

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Jane Henry-Conviction

We’re back in NYC and at Verge, the best BDSM club in town with Jane Henry today. I really enjoy this series and all the folks we’ve met in this world so far. But, I’m pretty sure that Zoe is going to be my favorite. So, let’s talk about Conviction, shall we?

We open to a big party. Zack and Bea eloped, but they’ve decided that it’s high time they celebrate their marriage. Zoe is out drinking and dancing and having a good old time. She’s Zack’s old partner in the NYPD, and she and Bea have become good friends. Brax, who’s Zack’s best friend and works as a dungeon master at Verge, is watching her. Zack warns him off because Zoe has a lot of baggage and it wouldn’t be good. He doesn’t care. She’s hot and he wants to get to know her.

When Zoe sees that Brax is looking at her, she seems surprised, but then he comes over to see her and they start dancing. Bea catches her eye and tries to warn her off, but Zoe ignores the phone ringing. Bea does track her down before she and Brax leave and tells her that she doesn’t think that Zoe and Brax would work well together because he’s into things she isn’t. That doesn’t deter Zoe. In fact, I’m pretty sure it made her more eager to go after Brax.

The next morning, it seems like they are going their separate ways, never to see each other again. But of course, if that actually happened, we wouldn’t have a book, now would we? It turns out that Zoe is keeping secrets, and Brax gets wrapped up in them as a PI and her protector.

So, you know that Brax is a Dom. But Zoe is so not a sub. I mean, NOT A SUB. If it were tattooed on her forehead, it wouldn’t be any more obvious. She’s feisty, mouthy, independent, stubborn af, damaged, and fierce. All of these things are good things, in my opinion, but you notice how submissive isn’t on that list? It’s not anything she’s ever really tried. Brax says something interesting when he and Zoe are talking about where their relationship is. She points out that she isn’t a sub. He says it’s not being about being a submissive, but of giving submission. Submitting to his Domliness doesn’t mean that she’s a sub, it means that she’s giving submission. I thought that was a really interesting point, and one that gets brought up a few times. Brax likes her feisty, and likes the fight to gain her submission to him and Zoe needs that fight and needs for him to make her submit. It works out really well for them. And it’s a change from females that we see in a lot of BDSM books, where the heroine finds out that she’s a subbie girl all along. I get where Zoe is coming from, with her history of emotional damage, not being in control can be really scary and she has to face feelings and emotions which is scary. Brax taking control releases her from those fears and lets her face everything in a safe place, which makes everything better.

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Oh, I hate Brax’s ex, but I adored when Zoe smacked her down at Devin’s art show. I just wanted to cheer for her. The fact that she was able to keep it together well enough in a place that is traumatic for her and not get all cursy in front of Devin is pretty awesome.

I love that she saved Brax and he saved her all at the same time. It was a beautiful part of the story, for all that happened during that section.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go read this one and all of Jane’s books. They are great romances, but her BDSM is so excellent. Happy reading!

Ava Sinclair-King’s Bride

Today we’re going back into Ava’s Drakoryan world. And how proud of myself do you think I am that I can remember how to spell Drakoryan? Also, my Grammarly no longer recognizes Drakoryan as a misspelled word. LOL. But, I digress. Again. Like that never, ever happens. But, that doesn’t get us to King’s Bride, does it? So let us talk dragons.

Zara was taken when her village of Branlock was destroyed by the Shadowfell. They managed to take all but her sister, Isla, who has already mated with her own dragon mates. When Zara was found wandering the woods, cold and starving, nothing was able to heal her, so Isla begged for her to be sent to the witchs. However, the evil dragons had pumped Zara full of dark magic like a Trojan Horse so that they could use her to break into the stronghold.

In the great battle to try to keep the ShadowFell out of the witchs’ mountain and away from the deep and wild magic, King Vukuris died. That means that Drakoryan are currently left without a king. The four princes, Bymir, Rargi, Yrgi, and Oneg decree that they will take Zara as bride and queen. But, naming the king isn’t as easy as picking the oldest or the one who was trueborn from Vukuris versus his brothers. No. They are going to have to battle. The princes will fight to see which has the right to the first night with Zara and to be King. To the winner goes both prizes.

Each of these books gets more and more interesting. There’s just so much more going on as we build up from where we started with Sacrifice to where we are now with King’s Bride. I love that each book gives us a new happy grouping, but that we are also getting an overarching storyline. And I totally love that we aren’t getting instant happy families. There is work that has to be done for each grouping to be happy. I can’t wait to see what the next one is going to bring with all the changes that showed up in this one.

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I’m loving that Layla had twins and that one is a girl. That’s going to make some seriously interesting changes. I really love that the witches are still able to get through and tell people what’s going on. I look forward to learning more about Sabine and what she is going to do.

Poor Oneg. I both do and don’t feel sorry for him. There’s the whole he wants to be his father’s son thing going on and then the whole they are all their fathers’ sons and blood doesn’t mean all that much. I love the line that Bymir says along the lines of yes, Father treated us all as his sons, and I will treat your sons as if they are all my sons, and you will be happy that I do. I also like that Bymir was able to realize when he needed to apologize. I think that if he hadn’t done that, then Oneg wouldn’t have been able to get past his stuff.

I loved this book, just as I have loved all the Drakoryan books, and I look forward to reading new ones. Happy reading!

R. Lee Smith-The Last Hour of Gann

So, Addison Cain is my pusher and enabler. Not only does she write books that I read over and over and over and over and over, but she also suggests books that she’s read that she thinks people will like. Well, I’ve learned through experience that if Addison suggests a book, I should totally go read it. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet. So, when she raved about R. Lee Smith’s The Last Hour of Gann, I knew I was going to read it. I had looked at the blurb a couple of times, so it wasn’t a hard decision.

OK, so let’s talk book. The book takes place in the future. The Earth is crazily overpopulated. In fact, it’s so overpopulated that there are laws about reproduction. Women are given implants so that they can’t get pregnant. There is a group called Manifest Destiny that has come up with a pioneering ship. The people on this ship are going to go on a 5 year trip in suspended sleep. They are going to do something called tunneling through space to get to an Earth-like planet where they can colonize. On the first trip, they are offering all kinds of bonuses to get people to go. And this is where we enter.

Amber and her younger sister Nicci have just lost their mother. She was a prostitute and a drug addict. Less than 5 minutes after their mother has died, an eviction notice is posted on their apartment door. They basically have 30 days to figure out what to do, and their options are shit, a bigger pile of shit, an even bigger pile of shit, or to get on the colony ship. Amber is pragmatic, realistic, and doesn’t give a fiddler’s fuck about what anyone thinks of her. She’s tough. She’s had to be. So, she lays out all the information to Nicci and tells her what she thinks they should do. Nicci, a whiny little twat, cries and cries and cries, but finally decides she’ll do it. When they go in for the signup, Nicci goes through with no problems, but Amber is overweight and asks for a little time. (I don’t mention this for no reason, her weight is a big deal.)

So, Amber manages to lose just enough weight to get to go on the ship and it’s all of a sudden loading day. Part of their agreement was that Nicci and Amber would be together, because Amber has to take care of Nicci. Nicci’s a little bit of a wet noodle. But, since they got approved a couple of weeks apart, they aren’t in the same area. So, Amber talks to the Manifest Destiny guy nearby, Everly Scott, to try to get them back together. She doesn’t make friends with Scott.

The next thing Amber knows, the ship has crashlanded on an alien planet. Of the tens of thousands of people who were on the ship, very few survive. Scott, of course, is one of them. There are also some Fleet personnel. Amber tries to get everyone to leave the area near the burning ship, but the nice Fleet man convinces most people to stay there. However, Scott, kind of stealing Amber’s plan, suggests that the set up a “forward outpost” on a hill. Turns out that was a good idea. On the other side of the hill is a lake, and as the small group of people go to look at the lake, the ship explodes.

Meanwhile, Meoraq, a Foot and Sword of God, sees the burning ship and decides that it’s an omen for him. He’s basically a holy judge. He has a patrol area of various cities and he goes through each of those cities, and will do trials by battle. He also gets to fuck pretty much any female that he wants. Anyway, he sees the omen and decides that he’s going to go find it. On his way, he stops at a city and finds out that his father has died and he is now head of his House and he’s going to have to go take up that mantle. But before that, he’s going to go on a pilgrimage to the most holy shrine, which just happens to be in the same direction as the tower of fire.

The humans have tried to figure stuff out. Scott has decided that he’s in charge and that the 48 people, 37 men and 11 women, are a colony, and they have to take everything they have with them, including machines that won’t work and bags of cement. He’s also going to ration out all the food. Everyone is getting 3 meal bars, except for Amber, because she “has a lot of reserves”. In reality, it’s because she has argued with Scott over everything, and he has to punish her. He does this by taking food away from her and by othering her. So, she decides that she’s going to go hunting, and finds Meoraq instead.

This is a long book. It’s a long slow burn too. The thing is, that you can’t take a word out of the book and make it any better. For all that it’s long, it’s really tight. Smith put a lot of work into the book, and it’s obvious. There are also so many, many things that go on in this. Meoraq is crazy religious. His whole society is set on this religion, and he’s one of the elite in it, so he does a lot of praying and thinking about God. So when the humans show up, he has to figure out where they fit within his religion’s framework. So there’s that whole journey, which is fascinating to read. Generally, he’s pretty good with it, but he does use prayer as a passive-aggressive tool as well, which is occasionally funny. He is also very, very obvious in who he likes (Amber) and who he doesn’t (everyone else). Amber is smart, stubborn, fierce, determined, and tenacious. She also has a better grasp on what’s going on than Scott does, and she tries to get people to listen to her, but she’s really Cassandra. So, there’s the whole layer of the way that Amber gets treated and that evolution. Then you have Scott and the rest of the humans and how they behave. It’s a really interesting story and one that I really loved reading.

One nice thing about the book is that neither Amber or Meoraq are perfect. In fact, they are both pretty damn imperfect a lot of time. They are also downright unlikable at times. It takes a lot of guts to make your heroes be as unlikable as these two are at times. It really upped my enjoyment of the book.

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I hated Scott from the first time we saw his officious petty ass. He was slimy and he schmoozed really well, which made it easy for everyone to believe him. And since everyone wants to have someone to blame and Amber made herself not popular, she made it really easy for him to treat her the way that he did. I mean, damn, it got really bad. And he treated Meoraq really, really bad, but even then, I think he tried Meoraq better than he treated Amber. Of course, Amber didn’t carry swords, so there’s that. I was really happy that Scott got his. I wished he got more though. His fate just didn’t go far enough, especially since Amber tried to save him time and again.

And Nicci. Too bad she didn’t stay on Earth. I’m an older sister, so I totally get wanting to care for your younger sibs, but Nicci never loved Amber and it became more and more obvious as they were on the alien planet longer.

I didn’t like any of the humans outside of Amber. Some of them tried to be decent sometimes, but trying to occasionally be decent doesn’t mean anything when it comes to being a prick all the rest of the time.

I would love to see a short story that catches us up on Amber and Meoraq and what’s going on with them now, but I’m perfectly happy if we don’t. The end was a satisfactory end for me, so I’m good with that.

Go check this out, it’s on KU. It’s worth reading, especially if you love epic scifi. Happy reading!

Rebel West & Renee Rose-Bought by the Zandians

Yay! More of my favorite big purple guys! I’m so glad that Renee moved them into the menage/RH direction and grabbed Rebel West to write them with. I was very sad with the thought that we wouldn’t get to see them anymore. I like the way that the overall storyline as changed as we changed the dynamic. Instead of fighting to free Zandia, we’re now watching as the Zandians and the humans who helped them are trying to repopulate Zandia. It’s a nice change, and one I’m grooving on.

Onward and upward toward Bought by the Zandians. Now, let’s recap a little here. There aren’t a whole lot of Zandians left because the Finns killed most of them off when taking the planet. There are only a very, very few Zandian women of breeding age, 3, I think without going back to check, but humans and Zandians can cross-breed. Humans were enslaved by just about everyone, but King Zander declared that humans on his planet would be free. His queen is a human, and humans helped win back Zandia. To increase the species, the king has decreed that all matings must be done in at least groups of 2 men to 1 woman. Side note, I really hope that they have someone paying good attention to family trees over the generations. Meanwhile, there are Zandian scouts out searching the galaxy for other Zandians to bring them home and let them settle on Zandia. And that brings us up to current.

Benn and Gorde are two of those scouts. Their job is to take information they are given about locations of other Zandians, find them, and bring them home. While they are doing that, they are hoping to find a nice Zandian woman out there to mate with. After all, there are other males who have done it, so why can’t they? One day, while they are out and about in space, they land on a planet and happen to notice a human slave who is tightly bound to a post. They decide to buy her and rescue her.

Danica is an escaped slave. She has a very good reason to have escaped. She’s pregnant by her old master, a member of a cruel and evil species, and she knows that he will kill her as soon as her child is born. She will never see her child and the life she has until that point will be horror-filled and miserable, just like it has been up to this point. When she sees two large Zandian warriors stop where she is strapped to a pole, she is wary. She’d like to escape again so that she can get to Jasel, the planet where can live free. Hopefully they won’t check her barcode and find out she’s an escaped slave and take her to her old master. If they do buy her, she may be able to escape from them and raise her child in safety.

Benn and Gorde do buy her and they all have a lot of fun together. The guys feel a little bad because they know that Zander has ruled that all humans are free on Zandia, and technically she can’t be their slave, but they aren’t telling her that. When they get a mission, they figure that they can always sell her on if she gets in the way. But that gives both guys a twinge.

So, here we are. This one really made me cry. Benn and Gorde are overall good guys, but they do have their horns up their asses a couple of times. I think that they could’ve used a strong, swift kick in their asses more than once. I think that sometimes they were so willing to be distracted when Danica offered sex that they didn’t always pay attention and let things slide. I loved the story, even though I cried. Luckily I was in the other room while I did it, so my husband didn’t know. He still worries when I cry while I’m reading. I am loving watching the Zandian books mature into the new setting and I am really looking forward to seeing how Zandia progresses as more Zandians and humans mate and move to the world.

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OK, the baby’s genetics? That was totally awesome! I would love to check on her as she grows up to see what she matures into and would really love to see her mated with her own family.

I get why Danica didn’t tell the guys about the baby, especially after the whole we won’t allow dangerous species to come to Zandia thing. I would’ve done it too. If she had told them at the beginning, would she have been able to mate with them and spent that time loving them and would their baby be who she was? I dunno. That’s a really good question.

OK, that’s all I have to say other than go read all these books. I’m off to watch Linda Carter in Wonder Woman and have a Jack and Coke to finish my day. Happy reading!

3 Ms-Wonderfully Wicked

There’s a reason that I’m calling Morganna Williams, Maddie Taylor, and Meredith O’Reilly the 3 Ms. That’s because the 3 of them share a newsletter, and that’s how it comes. And also, I’m just terribly amused by it. And as a side note, can I just say how awesome I think the name Morganna is? It’s not one you see a lot, so it’s so neat.

Anyway, back to Wonderfully Wicked. Morganna, Maddie, and Meredith have collectively written 12 stories. Many of them are pretty short, which is hard to do. I’ve heard writers say that writing really short stories are harder than writing the longer stories. I expect that would be true because trying to keep everything tight in 300 words would be harder than 3000 words. Not that any of the stories are that short, but you get what I’m saying, right?

Most of the stories are more like glimpses of a day in the life. We are getting a look at the life of the couple and whatever the reason is that the woman is getting spanked. These are the shorter ones. I really liked them because. There are also several that are holiday themed, which was really nice, especially when you get to think about shamrock underwear. There are some longer ones which is really nice. Sometimes, in anthologies, it can take you forever to feel like you are getting anyway, but with the size differences going on in the stories, it really does make it feel like you are reading the book really fast. And, of course, since some of the stories really are short, quick reads, you really are reading them that fast. As an example, I sat out on my front porch eating breakfast yesterday, and found that one of the shorter stories, the Valentine’s Day story, was the perfect length for me to read and enjoy over breakfast.

I’m not going to summarize all of them, mostly because it’s really hard to do that with short stories. I will say that my favorite story is Maddie’s 2 part story, Bridget’s Brilliantly Bad Idea. There are so many reasons why, but I really liked Bridget, I though that she was pretty funny when she was pretending to be drunk, and I just liked her as a character. I have a confession to make, just like Sean, I haven’t seen Bridget Jone’s Diary either. I’m not a chick flick kind of chick.

Seriously, I can’t recommend this book enough. The 3 Ms are very talented writers, and I really enjoy reading all of their books, but getting a chance to have stories by all of them in one place? Totally awesome! So, hit up the Zon, read the stories, tell me what you think. Happy Reading!

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Skye Warren-Survival of the Fittest

This is the first book in the newest duet from Skye Warren. If you are used to her writing, you know what that means. If you aren’t familiar with her writing, you know that it means that you are going to have your heart ripped out of your chest, stomped on, mashed into bits, and then handed back to you so that you can wait for the next one to come out.

Survival of the Fittest brings us the story of Harper and the two men who have her in their sights, Sutton and Christopher. Like other Skye books, it takes place in Tanglewood, so we get to see old friends, like Bea and Hugo, and Penny and Damon.

When Harper was 15, she flew to Boston to spend spring break with her extremely rich father and his newest wife on his yacht. She isn’t planning on getting close to this wife, because she knows that all his wives are temporary. There’ll probably be a new one next year, so why bother really paying any attention to her. This wife brings a tag-along. She has a son, who is a little holder than Harper, and already in college. In the middle of the night, Harper sneaks out and goes to sit on the railing of the yacht. Christopher follows her and asks her if she has a death wish. She tells him that she’s been sitting there for years without any problem. Of course, we all know what that means. Yup, she falls into the ocean. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to fall into the ocean around Boston in springtime. That fucker is cold. Luckily, Christopher is there, he jumps in after her, and drags her over to the swim steps on the yacht so that she can haul herself up and out of the water.

Over the years, even after their parents divorce, Harper and Christopher write letters back and forth. She even invites him to a huge art show she’s doing, all about Medusa. Then things change. Christopher is left in charge of Harper’s money until she turns 25, and there are strict proscriptions as to what the money can be used for. The money cannot be used to take care of her mother in any way, shape, or form. It can only go for Harper’s education and her immediate living expenses. This leads to years of Harper and Christopher’s cold war, until she has to go to Tanglewood to confront him. When she does, she meets Sutton, who is Christopher’s business partner. He starts hitting on her, and she’s definitely interested. But then, she’s got feelings for Christopher too, even though she’s pretty sure that she hates him.

OK,  I don’t trust Sutton as far as  I can throw him. He definitely has some kind of agenda going on. He’s just going to keep fucking with Harper and with Christopher. It’s going to be a huge fucking mess, until Skye manages to pull it all back together and makes it work out the way that it should be. I know how I want it to work out. But, at this exact point in time, I’m not sure if that’s going to be the way that it actually works out. Christopher is a good man. He’s an honorable man. I think that he does what he always thinks is the right thing in any situation, at least the right thing for everyone but him. I like Christopher, but that kind of thing makes me mad. It’s perfectly OK to be selfish sometimes and do the things that you think are right for you and fuck what may be right for someone else over what may be right for you. All I know is that I can’t wait for The Evolution of Man to get here. And pro-tip? It’s already on pre-order. And I can neither confirm nor deny that I 1-clicked that fucker.

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Damn, that ending. Fuuuuuuck. I went back to reread the last chapter just so that I was sure that I didn’t miss anything because damn. I knew that it was going to be a cliff because this isn’t my first go-round with Skye and how she likes to rip people’s hearts out. But still, it nearly killed me.

I love how fierce Harper is. But, I think that Sutton will wear that fierce right off of her. He’s not a good person, I don’t think.

Christopher is just being too fucking nice for his own good. He knows that Sutton wants Harper. And he knows Sutton, so he’s going to know what Sutton’s motivations are. I’m pretty sure that there is more than just Harper is pretty and sexy. He knows that Christopher is into Harper, so he’s trying to hurt Christopher or play some kind of game. I hope Christopher smashes him down good.

All I know is that Harper and Christopher had better end up together. I refuse to envision any other outcome.

Go check this out. You can also get the prologue for free, called Trust Fund. Happy reading!