Alta Hensley-Bastards and Whiskey

We’re reviewing another great book written by the fabulous Alta Hensley! Alta writes some lovely dark books, and this is one of them. We were introduced into this world back in Royally Mine with Roman and Cherie’s story. This story has a different couple, Kenneth and Anita. This is a lush story with bad guys you love to hate and a good guy you are going to hate to love.

“But I saw it first hand. I saw that the men got what they wanted, or they took it. Not necessarily by force, but by the power of money, gifts, compliments, promises of a future of never having to work again. They hung a carrot of a new life only girls like me dream of, which meant that yes, they got whatever wanted. You were all nothing but a room full of bastards and whiskey.” Anita to Kenneth, talking about a Tasting Room party. This is one of my favorite quotes from the story. Anita gets all the best lines. Poor Kenneth.

Anita is a young woman from Muckaluk, NV. She’s lived her entire life there, in a trailer behind an abandoned gas station. Anita never thinks of Muckaluk as a town, she just calls it exit 222, mile marker 51. Her grandparents brought her up, and when they died, she got left with nothing but their trailer. She works as a caretaker for her friend, Virgie. Virgie has led a long and interesting life, including spending time in New Orleans.

Virgie doesn’t want to see Anita spend her entire life in the middle of nowhere. She wants Anita to follow her dreams. When Anita tells Virgie that she has no dreams, she immediately calls the daughter of the woman who owned the boarding house she stayed in when she was in NOLA, arranges for a room for Anita, and then takes her to the bank and Greyhound. All of a sudden, Anita is on her way to NOLA.

Kenneth is one of the founding members of Spiked Roses. It’s a gentlemen’s club where the word no is never heard. You have to be a multi-gazillionaire to join, but once you do, just about anything goes. Kenneth is a lawyer who helps to settle all the lawsuits that the club racks up. At the beginning of the book, he tells all the other founding members that the club is close to closing, and puts forward some… interesting ideas. One of those ideas is the contract.

The idea of a contract is that instead of the members randomly fucking staff and then getting sued by employees when the relationship breaks off, they will sign a contract, which basically states that the member owns the women. That contract will negotiate everything that will happen between the two people during their relationship. It will also arrange a financial settlement for the employees for after the relationship ends. Then his other big idea is the Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room is a party room. In there, they have special, themed parties. The women who work at Spiked Roses are able to go to parties and contract with members and get $$$$$$$. The contractual period and the remuneration depends on the theme of the party. The woman can make serious bank and never have to work again.

When Anita gets to NOLA, one of the other women in the house gets her a job at Spiked Roses. Kenneth interviews Anita for the job, and she impresses him. He watches her all the time but never does anything. Then, she volunteers for a Tasting Room party with the theme of Dark. And that’s where she gets into big fucking trouble.

OK, here’s where we part ways if you don’t want any risk of spoilers. I spent a good part of the time wanting to strangle Kenneth. He is a self-professed bastard, and damn, if the title doesn’t half fit. He does get better, and I did stop wanting to strangle him, and once he got out of his own way, he turned into a good man. Anita is a strong woman who stands by her friends. She and Kenneth are really oil and water for a lot of the book, and while they have sex early, it’s not the best time for them, and it’s pretty close to hate fucking at that point. Anyway, sex, spanking, language, more sex, and other fun perversions exist in this book. If you aren’t willing to take a sip of this whiskey, I can suggest some other stories for you.

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OMG, the guy who buys Anita’s contract at the party she goes to in the Tasting Room? He is loathsome. He’s a nasty piece of shit and the one that you are really going to love to hate. He pushes Anita to a point where she just can’t take any more, which makes her run away. Frankly, she went a wee bit further than I would’ve. I would’ve done more than just run away with $100K. She had a good reason to do the party and a good reason for the money.

Kenneth does at least realize that he feels something for Anita and chooses to be the one to track her down because any others doing it could end with her getting hurt. Even while he’s trying to remain a bastard to her, he still feels something, so he acts more like a bastard to Anita than he might otherwise do.

I really like Anita a lot more than I like Kenneth. Funny little note, my husband’s name is Kenneth, and when I get mad at him I tell him he’s an asshole. I may start calling him a bastard now. Love you, honey!

Anyway, I loved this book, and I’m waiting to see what Alta does with the rest of the series. I know that there are going to be more, so I’m looking forward to them.

Pretend my ARC disclaimer is here.

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Royally Mine Review

I’ve talked about Royally Mine off and on for the past few weeks. It’s an awesome anthology by 22 great authors. How can I know this for sure? Well, for one thing, I’ve read ARCs from several of the authors. I haven’t read the entire book as of yet, since my TBR is currently stacked up sky high, but I can tell you about the ones that I’ve gotten to read. There are a whole bunch of stories in the book that I’m really looking forward to, including ones by Annabel Joseph, Jenika Snow, and Sue Lyndon. Without any further ado, let’s get to the reviews for the ones I’ve read.

Decadence by Jennifer Bene

Normally, my girl Jennifer writes some dark shit. I love her dark stuff. The darker the better. I’ve reviewed her Thalia series here, which starts out pretty dark. Decadence is not dark. It is, however, one of the most joyously filthy things I’ve read in a while.

What do two sex addicts say to each other? My current answer is “Thank you, come again.” Finn and Aubrey are those sex addicts. The story starts out with Aubrey talking to her therapist and Finn being forced to go to a therapist. However, he sees Aubrey and ditches his therapist to follow her to a bar, where they have a close encounter of the 69th kind in the bathroom. Neither one of them knows the other is a sex addict, which leads to some great banter between the two of them.

These two characters are totally fun. Finn swears that Aubrey is perfect just the way that she is, and sets out to show her that she is. The bacchanal scene? Yeah. It’s hot. Like, Death Valley hot.

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This story is great, and the happily-ever-after is fantastic. It works well for Finn and Aubrey, even if it’s not a typical HEA. I liked it. I really enjoyed this story, can you tell?

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Consumed by Addison Cain

Now Addison, she writes dark too. And this one is dark. She takes us back to an Omegaverse. This is NOT the Omegaverse from Alpha’s Claim, but a brand new world. It still follows the same rules though.

Morgaine is an Omega who has no clue who or what she is. All she knows is that when the Alphas come to her village, she gets sick and she hides. That works well until one day when it doesn’t and the Alphas take her away. She still has no clue what an Omega really is, and the Alphas who originally take her do nothing to help her, they just traumatize her. They keep telling her how they love and protect Omegas, but if you ask me, there is no love and protection there, just cruelty. Simin comes to her rescue. He’s a former enemy of her people, and he looks like a barbarian. But, he saves her.

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Yeah, I know Simin isn’t Conan, but you get the whole idea.

I had never read any Omegaverse stories before I read Addison’s stories for the first time. I really enjoy the dynamic. Addison left this one on a bit of a cliffhanger (I think she’s a closet sadist), but the story is to be continued. She’ll be picking it up and publishing the rest of the story. I can’t wait.

Royalty, American Style by Livia Grant

Livia has an interesting take on royalty. Instead of going with some blue blood, she goes with baseball royalty. Colton King (I see what you did there) is at the top of his game when it comes go baseball. He’s also a bad, bad boy. He’s a lover, and he loves a whole lot of women. Unfortunately for him, he got conned into doing a Bachelor style reality show. He’s going to be in a house with 6 beautiful women who are all competing to be his special someone. Enter Harper Gardener, unemployed chef-extraordinaire, who got the temporary job of cooking for the show.

With just one taste of Harper’s cooking and one glimpse of her, Colton is attracted to her. Harper, on the other hand, is just out of a bad relationship and her life plan doesn’t include falling in love with Colton King. When that’s what happens, everything turns upside down.

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I loved this story. Colton really goes out of his way to do everything he can to protect Harper. It’s really sweet. Their HEA is well deserved.

Bad Boys and Bourbon by Alta Hensley

When they were children, Cheri and Roman were promised to each other. They were each other’s first loves, first kiss, and first time. Then Cheri, the daughter of a count and countess, decided that she couldn’t handle all the circus that royal life would entail, so she left Roman, a prince and ran away. Years later, she gets dragged to Monaco where she is presented to Roman so that they can get married.

When they get back together, sparks fly and the action turns very, very steamy. Alta writes steamy really well, and this story is definitely that.

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This is the start of a new series by Alta. The new books are all going to be themed around alcohol. The bad boys are also going to be part of an exclusive club called Spiked Roses. As this series is an Alta Hensley series, expect to see spanking and sex. And some more spanking. And some more sex.

Mafia Princess by Natasha Knight

Gregorio Santa Maria is the head of his Family, along with his brother. When the Antonino Family call him up because Allegra has run away from Florida, he has to go find her. He doesn’t want to do babysitting duty, but since the Families are associated, then he has to do it. So he and Enzo, one of his men, go and find Allegra at a bar.

When he takes her to his house, she does everything she can to escape. Allegra makes it very clear that she doesn’t want to go back to her half-brother. He’s not a very nice guy, and their father is in a coma, so her half-brother is the one in charge. Of course, since this story is included in a romance anthology, you can guess what happens, they get their HEA.

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One of the things I really enjoyed about this particular story is that it is entirely written from Gregorio’s point of view. That’s not something you normally find in a romance story. You may get a dual point of view that goes back and forth between the Hero and Heroine, or one entirely from her POV, but very, very rarely one that is solely from his point of view. It was a nice twist to the traditional romance story, so great job Natasha!

Her Royal Master by Renee Rose

Renee Rose writes great spanking stories that just happen to have a great love story that goes with them. Or may those are great love stories that have great spanking stories that go with them. Whichever way you choose to look at it, Her Royal Master fits right into her wheelhouse.

Chelsea is a journalist who happens to be rooming with an Italian model. On the day of the model’s big job, she gets sick and talks Chelsea into going to the job for her. The job? To be a sub on Prince Kaspar’s yacht for a few days. Now, Chelsea doesn’t know that until she gets there, and then it’s too late to do anything about it. When one of the prince’s friends does something that freaks her out, Darius, Kaspar’s black sheep cousin comes to her rescue and saves her from the wanna-be Doms.

After spending a hot weekend together, Chelsea runs off the yacht, and straight to Los Angeles, and promptly becomes miserable.

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I really enjoy reading Renee’s books. She twists sweet and spice together really well and brings it all home really well. She also creates wonderful worlds and I can easily see them. If you read The Russian in Heroes Undercover, then you may recognize the DJ from this story.

Royally Fucked by Lee Savino

With a title like this, you pretty much know what you are going to get, from the get go. Lots of fucking and lots of royalty. Theo, the son of a Greek hotelier and a disinherited Swedish princess, is the epitome of bad boy. He has had several sex tapes show up and the public is familiar with the dimensions of his cock, thanks to interviews with former sex partners. He’s also got the reputation of a sex god. His grandmother, the Queen of Sweden, has all of a sudden decided that she wants to meet him for the first time ever, and the board of his father’s hotel business wants to vote him off the board. In walks Vesper.

Vesper is a fixer. If you have a PR problem, you call Vesper. She can make it go away and rehabilitate your image. When she starts her job, she lays out a long-term plan, only to find out that she has one week to update Theo’s image and make him look good.

Of course, when you put a sex god in a room with an attractive woman and it’s a Lee Savino story, sparks are going to fly, and you are going to get lots of sex and an HEA. Of course, it’s never that easy, is it?

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This was a nice story. One reason that I liked it was because Vesper was a strong woman who took no shit from anyone. She managed to stand up to Theo, even when he tried really hard to fire her, and to get him to consider doing what she told him. But, she didn’t run him over and roll him down either. That’s a very fine line to walk, but Lee made it work well. By the way, when you try to review something named Royally Fucked on Amazon, you have to write it as Royally F***ed, or you don’t get your review approved.

Well, that’s what I’ve got. I received ARCs of all these stories, and you have now received my honest reviews, you lucky people.

Coming up this week, the spoiler post for Kate Daniels 1-3, a review of a new-to-me author, and a review of B. B. Blaque’s Beautiful Insanity: Twisted, and let me tell you what, it lives up to its name. Stay tuned, and happy reading!

Royally Mine

 

Powerful kings. Dirty-talking princes. Insatiable dukes. They’re ready to rule your heart.

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Royally Mine is a sexy collection of bad boy romances featuring HOT royal heroes, brought to you by twenty-two New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors. This deliciously naughty bundle of ALL-NEW standalone novellas stars panty-scorching kings, princes, and dukes who are used to being in command. Charge up your e-reader, clear your schedule, and put on your best tiara, because these royal bad boys are ready to conquer your heart while making you blush oh so hard.

Featured authors: Susan Stoker, Annabel Joseph, Katy Regnery, Nikki Sloane, Renee Rose, Molly O’Keefe, Alta Hensley, Nora Flite, Natasha Knight, Sue Lyndon, Jenika Snow, Maggie Ryan, Celeste Jones, Lee Savino, Livia Grant, Alexis Alvarez, Rayanna James, Ava Sinclair, Addison Cain, Jennifer Bene, Becca Jameson, Mikey Lee

Publisher’s Note: The stories included in this smoking hot box set are MF and MFM pairings. Some contain kink. All will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

22 Royal BAD BOYS are only 99c!
GRAB THIS AMAZING ANTHOLOGY NOW!
http://www.royallymine.com/
Amazon → http://amzn.to/2sE7o7r
iBooks → http://apple.co/2u6yuZo
Nook → http://bit.ly/2uFaeud
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2u0tTqv

 

33 Free Books

Everyone loves free books! Thirty-three authors have gotten together to offer up 33 free books!  The offer is good through the 12th, so check it out, especially if you like smexi romances.

The books include Born to Be Bound, the first book in Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series, The Invitation by Jennifer Bene, who I love and it’s a book I enjoy, and Wicked Ways by Cari Silverwood. Cari is a new author to me, but I really enjoy her. She just put out a steampunk, dark erotica, science fiction story called Acquired Possession. (Check out my review!)

There are also other authors I enjoy, Skye Warren, Maren Smith, Maggie Ryan, Alta Hensley, Lee Savino, and Meredith O’Reilly. Honestly, I can personally recommend about 1/2 of the authors and their books, either because I have read them or have read other books by the various authors.

If you like your romance with a dash of spice (or maybe a little more than a dash), check out the giveaway.