Katie Douglas-Take Me Hard

Katie Douglas has a thing for lemons and Arizona, I think. Or at least, that’s my working theory for right now. Mostly because Take Me Hard is the 3rd book in her Arizona Heat books, and they all take place on the Lemon Tree Ranch. See? Lemons and Arizona.

This one is about Kinsley and Clay. Clay is Lawson’s brother, from the first book, and a part owner of the ranch. He’s a total Dom, but mostly just at clubs and play parties. He’s watched his brother and his friend both find their matches, but he hasn’t yet, and he hasn’t really been looking. That is, until he quite literally hits Kinsley with a car.

Kinsley is hitchhiking her way from Alabama to Los Angeles. She has dreams of becoming an actress. She’s been good at acting in school, so surely she can get in to acting easily. She got left at the side of the road by the last jerk to pick her up, and when she saw Clay, she got desperate and decided to take matters into her own hands and jumped out in front of him. Luckily, the horse trailer behind him was empty and he was mostly able to stop fast enough to not barrel right over her. I mean, yeah, he still bumped into her, but bumping into her at 5 MPH is a helluva lot better than bumping into her at 55 MPH, and a helluva lot more survivable.

I like Kinsley a lot, but she is painfully young. She is 18, but I don’t necessarily mean chronologically young. I mean, she is that too, but that’s not what I mean here. She has a dream that she’s hooked onto and she doesn’t want to let it go, but then she doesn’t have a plan for how to get from Point A to Point B. She just kind of thinks that everything is going to happen the way that she wants. And, for me at least, that’s a very young kind of thing. But, she’s also got a very old streak. She has spent years taking care of her father because her mother really can’t, and that part of her is really just old and cynical. I do think that it’s possible for both parts to co-exist in one person. Not easily, true, but possible.

I think Clay is really well pulled together. He knows who he is and he’s perfectly happy with being who and what he is. He’s not interested in what anyone else thinks about him, he’s just happy being Clay. He’s really grounded, and I think that’s exactly what Kinsley needs.

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I love how she describes her first experience with the riding crop.

I love how good Clay is when it comes to her mom. He’s just there, doing what needs to be done. It’s pretty awesome.

OK, that’s all from me today. Go check it and all the other books out. Happy reading!

Measha Stone-Red

So, Measha has come out with her latest Ever After book. These are adult retellings of fairy tales. Very adult. And with a name like Red, you know that the latest one is all about Pinocchio. OK, you got me, it’s all about Red Riding Hood.

In this story, our Little Red Riding Hood is Melinda. Melinda lost her parents when she was a child, and then went to live with her grandparents. Now, she only has her grandmother left, so when it’s time to go to dinner at her grandmother’s house, she’s always happy to go. She always looks forward to her grandmother’s cooking. But today is different. When she opens the door, there are strangers in her grandmother’s house. Strangers who say that they now own her. Apparently, her grandfather had a gambling problem, and when he hit rock bottom, he put up his granddaughter as collateral, and now they are here to collect.

Erik’s uncle was criminally stupid in a lot of ways. When he died, his will was written in such a way that Erik and his two younger brothers had to collect the 3 women he “owned” and finish the contract so that they could get the inheritance he left them. Erik needs that so that he can open his casino. Melinda is the last woman on the list, so as soon as he figures out what to do with her, he can finish the conditions on his uncle’s will, finding a wife.

Melinda isn’t going to go easily. She’s going to fight with everything she has because she wants to get back to her grandmother. If that means that she’s going to break a window to see what’s outside or mouth off to Erik and his brothers, that’s exactly what she’s going to do.

I mostly liked Melinda. I love the fire and spirit that she shows, and her stubbornness has gotten her through a lot. I do think, however, that if she had learned to bend a little earlier, things might have been easier on her. I get why she had to stand firm like she was. She didn’t want to lose who she was or herself, and it would be really easy for that to happen with Erik.

Erik is a good man, but more than once he’s a total fucking idiot. There are some times when he needs to get smacked upside the head because he loses track of what’s important and what isn’t. He’s so focused on what he wants that he misses big things that happen right in front of him.

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I understand why Erik did what he felt he had to for Melinda, but the fact is that he was doing exactly what he said everyone else had done to her. He never asked her anything or bothered to see what she wanted, he just was positive that he knew best. That made me so mad on her behalf. He was so very, very blind, and she should’ve just smacked him hard.

OK, that’s all for this one! Go check out all of Measha’s fairy tales! Happy reading!

Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Blood

Every. fucking. time. Every fucking time these two come out with another book in the series, I swear it’s the best one evah. Then, they write the next one. And the cycle starts all over again. I’ll bet that Alpha’s Blood is going to be hard to beat though. Now watch them make me eat my words. Because you know that they will try.

Lucius is the King of Tucson, when it comes to vampires. The centuries old vampire is the one in control of the area and he keeps all the vamps to the rules that he makes, and if they start to screw up, then he will do what needs to be done. He has something that isn’t quite an alliance with the werewolves in the area, maybe it’s more that they exist in a perpetual state of detente. Both sides recognize the authority of the other and that they both need to exist, and they will even work together toward a common goal, but in general, they really, really don’t like each other.

Lucius’ biggest curse is his sired. They all turn against them at some point. And he knows that they are up to something now. That means that he’s going to have to figure out what it is so that he can thwart it and punish the ones doing it. And for thwart, read kill. So, when he gets a sudden invite to a shifter auction, he knows that something is definitely up. Then he sees her. Selene.

Selene is the lone survivor of the massacre of her pack. She was saved from the foster system by a vampire named Xavier, who spent all her formative teen years being trained to kill Lucius, because Xavier showed her proof that he was the one who killed her pack. Now, after all the years of pain and training that she’s gone through, it’s time for the ultimate payoff. She’s standing on the stage at the shifter auction waiting to be sold, and the plan is that Lucius will buy her, because she’s perfect for him. And of course, Lucius does. Because our story would be so short otherwise.

I’ve respected Lucius every time we’ve seen him in other books. He seems like he’s as benevolent a king as he can be. I don’t think that benevolent is quite the right word, but he’s not a complete tyrant or anything. He doesn’t necessarily rule by fear, and he does give his sired and the vampiric citizens of his kingdom free will and enough rope to hang themselves by, but he also isn’t going to let them run willy-nilly over him. He’s willing to work with other supernatural types, as necessary. He’s ruthless when he needs to be, and rather pragmatic, I think. I really enjoyed getting to know more about him and about his history. Overall, it made me respect him even more, and definitely like him a whole lot.

I like Selene. I think that she’s a fantastic character. I also think that she started out the book a little emotionally stunted, but that’s pretty natural, considering what happened to her and the fact that Xavier wasn’t there to make sure that she was emotionally mature. He just wanted a fighter and he wanted a fighter who believed in what he believed in, and that’s what he got. I like the journey and the growth that we get to see in her over the book. It’s not easy for her, and I don’t think it was ever going to be easy for her, but it was a fantastic journey to read.

I can’t wait to see what Renee and Lee come up with next. I think that Lucius and Selene, and how perfect is that name for a werewolf, are going to be really hard to beat.

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The whole electrical scene? I’m pretty sure that my Kindle melted down after that one for a little while.

Also, I think that Selene and Lucius are going to be so fucking great at their roles.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check them all out! Happy reading!

 

Katie Douglas-Make Me Stay

On this lovely cloudy day in Central Maine, I’m happy to bring you Katie Douglas’ newest book, Make Me Stay. This is the second book in her Arizona Heat series, and it takes place in… You guessed it, Arizona. And this particular series takes place on the Lemon Tree Ranch.

So, Harper’s been everywhere, man. She’s a perpetual wanderer. She lives in her VW van, and is perpetually on the road. When she needs money, she’ll pick up a job at a diner somewhere for a few weeks until her feet get itchy again. She’s also a member of the hit it and quit it club. She doesn’t want a relationship, she doesn’t really want to have anything to do with guys outside of their cocks. When that starts happening, it also prompts her to leave and start back on her perpetual journey to wherever it is she’s going. One night, after leaving one man, she ends up having to pull over to find somewhere to sleep. She ends up blocking the access to a ranch and since it was dark, she didn’t know that she did it.

The next morning, Barrett goes out to do his job, and finds a van blocking his way. Since he can’t get his truck in, he goes out and does his patrol on horseback. Then he decides that he will wake up whoever is in the van and get them to move their van, and oh yeah, to make them do a full day’s work to help him make up for the time he missed doing stuff on horseback instead of in his truck. He figures it’s some guy, right until Harper pops up, barely awake and even more barely dressed. He pretty much just fell for her right then and there. At least fell in lust with her. He tells her that she has to do a full day’s work, and she’s like whatevs, I’m out of here. Until she wasn’t.

I think that Barrett was kind of an asshole in the beginning, but not necessarily on purpose, if that makes sense. I think it’s more that he’s just a little bit awkward, socially, and he didn’t know how to actually handle the fact that he wanted to spank and fuck Harper, and that he doesn’t want her to leave, but not, you know, in a creepy way, even if it did reach a bit creepy there for a minute. I do think that he’s mostly a good guy, with a good heart, who has been hurt, and who hasn’t quite figured out how to get past that. He’s also pretty damn kinky.

Harper is kind of afraid of everything, I think. She didn’t have the best role models, but that happens to a lot of people and they don’t run away, but none of us react the same way. Anyway, fear became Harper’s reaction, and she was afraid of everything and she was trying to find whatever she could to fill up that hole and control her fear. Does that make sense? I think it does, at least it does to me. LOL. I think that she is pretty self-reliant and independent and I do really like her.

This book overlaps the last book, but you don’t have to have read it to be able to read this one, they are both standalones.

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I was so sad when the VW met its fate, because it meant so many things to Harper.

I also liked their first scene, it was hot!

That’s all I have to say for this one! You know where to go to find it. Happy reading!

Tracy St. John-Kalquor

So, lately I’ve been working my way through Tracy St. John’s Kalquor universe. It started out as one series, but now has spun off with two more solid series, and then some shorts. I am really enjoying these books, and I keep going back and forth in between the two main series, The Clans of Kalquor, which was first, and Clan Beginnings. There’s also a new series called Clan Companions.

OK, so here’s how the books work. Kalquor is an alien planet (obviously) where women are slowly dying out. There was a virus that went through and killed off a lot of women back in the day, and what Kalquoran women are left are often infertile. To help make the most of the remaining women, and to, you know, give the guys some relief, they form family groups, or clans. Kalquor men break down into 3 distinct breeds, Dramok, Nobek, and Imdiko. Dramok are the leaders, Nobek are the warrior/protectors, and Imdikos are the caregivers. Each clan has one man from each breed in them. And they get together the same way that any relationship would. The guys meet, court, fall in love, and have awesome sex, often seriously kinky.

When the Clans books start out, the Kalquorans are at one generation or so away from extinction. The best scientists have been working on trying to figure out what to do to make their women fertile again. They’ve also taken to testing out other species to see if they can cross-breed, but so far no one has shown up. Then, voila, Earthers happen.

This Earth is a world-wide theocracy. And not a nice theocracy. We’re talking the nasty, conservative, makes evangelicals look liberal kind. It’s the kind where women don’t do anything that may draw attention to themselves, because they all know that they are just one teeny tiny step away from work camps or even execution. Women who are sexually assaulted are found guilty and punished because they tempted the men into assaulting them and they are now sexually impure. It’s not a nice place for anyone to live, let alone women. The Kalquorans come to them and ask them if they can test to see if they are compatible, because apart from one real difference, they are identical, physically. The one difference? The Kalquoran males have two self-lubricating cocks.

Well, Earth, of course, wants to have nothing to do with the demons who mate in groups, have the wrong number of appendages, and have sex with other males. Plus, you know, Earthers are God’s only creations, so they can’t possibly be related to or compatible with aliens.

Some women manage to leave the planet, but they are still watched very carefully by the government, and they are all told to stay away from the Kalquorans. But one woman didn’t listen. Amelia was talking to one of the clans while they were on another planet, and they tested her and found out that Earther women were compatible. When the Earther government found out, it turned really ugly.

The rest of the series involves clans finding their Mataras, or lifebringers, and the struggles that they go through. That’s all set against the larger story arc. You could, maybe, read them as a standalone, but you would be confused, so you really should read them all in order.

Beginnings is the stories of the various clans that show up in Clans as they get together. You get to see what brought each clan together and what they had to deal with to get there. The books aren’t in order to the way that they show up in Clans, and there aren’t as many of those as there are Clans, at least as of yet. It really is interesting to get to know those guys before they get together with their women. There is a lot of sex, a lot of it kinky, but very awesome.

The Clan Companions series only has one book so far, but it deals with one Kalquoran male who prefers males and an Earther male that is gay. It’s a great book, and is related to the greater series.

I really enjoy reading these books, and I think when I get to the last one, I’ll have to turn around and reread them.

 

Maddie Taylor-Tough Love: Mandy’s Take Charge Daddy

Maddie Taylor writes some great stories. I have read and reread her Primaran Mates series, several times, and I think I like it more every time I read it. Today though, we aren’t out in space, we are right here on Earth with Mandy’s Take Charge Daddy. I didn’t forget the Tough Love part, because that’s really the series name. There are a couple of other books in this set too. And while I can’t speak for the other books, I can say, for this one at least, I don’t necessarily think that the love in this one is all that tough. But, I’m not going contradict Maddie. 🙂

Amanda and her husband Aiden are still newlyweds. They’ve been married for just about a year. He’s her Dom, and she’s his sub. They are not quite weekend players, but not quite lifestylers either. But, Amanda thought that it was working well for them. Right up until Aiden set up a special night in a theme room at their club, and all she could say about the sex and the scene was that it was nice. Whoops. No man wants to hear that his woman thinks that their sex was nice. No Dom wants to hear that their sub thought a great scene was just nice.

Aiden loves his wife so much, and he thought that maybe there was something wrong, but when Amanda says that their scene was nice, it’s confirmed. He knows that there is something wrong, and he tells Amanda that they need to talk, which of course, freaks her out. But, what he wants to tell her is that he thinks that they should try something new. It’s something that he thinks she needs and something that he thinks will help their relationship and help her find a submission that’s right for her. So, he’s going to be her Daddy.

I love how Amanda and Aiden interact and how Daddy and Mandy interact. There really is a whole different vibe in between the two of them, but not in a bad way or anything. It’s not that they are two different couples, it’s more that they are different sides of a coin, maybe. You need to have both faces to make up the coin, and it’s one whole thing. I dunno, maybe I’m stretching and trying to make some kind of metaphor where there isn’t one, but that’s how I saw it.

And here’s the reason that I don’t think tough love fits this one. I tend to think of tough love as a, well, tougher thing. Like tough love being when you take away all your child’s privileges when they are messing up and need to get their heads right.  Aiden didn’t give Mandy any ultimatums, didn’t force her to do anything, and went out of his way to make sure that she understood his thinking and why he thought this would work for them. He also made sure that he had her consent for their trial period and reminded her that she could end things if she needed to. See, for me, that’s not tough love, but like I said, I’m not going to contradict Maddie. At least, I’m not trying to or anything. It’s my perception of everything, I guess. Does that make sense?

Either way, I think that this a beautiful story about vulnerability, love, trust, and finding the person who understands you and your needs most in the world. And about finding the person who gives you want you need, which isn’t always what you want, and may not even be something that you consciously know or understand.

On a side note, Mandy gave me that fuck I’m old feeling. I grew up listening to heavy metal. Motley Crue, Kiss, Metallica, Poison, you know, heavy metal. So, when Amanda says that she listened to heavy metal as a teenager, and she mentions Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold, I was just like fuuuuuuuck my life. That’s the music that my 23 year old son listens to. Of course, Mandy is 29, so she’s not that much older than my son.

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I love that no matter what age Mandy is when they are doing their weekend, when she pushes Aiden, he doesn’t push back. He just enforces her boundaries. He’s patient with her, even when he knows that she’s pushing on purpose. She’s being vulnerable, and that’s hard, and she doesn’t even realize she’s testing him. Finding out that he’s not going to leave her or get angry with her helped her settle into her self.

OK, that’s all I have to say today! Go check it out! Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Opposition

Today, we’re going to NYC and visiting Club Verge again with Jane Henry. We’re going to see some Opposition, and it’s going to be really interesting.

Cora is a good friend of Chandra and Giada, both of whom are submissives, and we’ve seen them both in other Club Verge books. Go check them out. She also works at Marla’s bookstore. Marla is a sub, but she doesn’t have a permanent Dom. I’m going to say that it’s probably yet, not never. I expect that we will see her featured soon enough. Cora also is a bartender at Verge, because Marla and Chandra got her the job. She needs to have as many jobs as she can get because she’s in college, and she’s the guardian of her two younger sibs, her sister Bailey who is 14, and Ben, who is 10. She is working all the hours of the day, and is fucking broke and exhausted.

On a day where her younger sister has just called because she doesn’t know what to make for dinner and the only thing in the house is a box of mac and cheese, and Cora hasn’t eaten since breakfast, a customer comes in and starts giving Cora attitude for being on the phone with “her boyfriend” instead of serving him immediately. He makes fun of the books, he’s just a general fucking prick. It’s obvious he’s rich and snooty and used to being obeyed. Once he’s gone, she brushes him off her day, and heads to Verge, where there’s a Masquerade going on.

Liam is rich and used to getting his way. He owns a very high powered Wall Street company and he’s a Dom, so yeah, more money than he knows what to do with, and no one really says no to him. So, when he decides to go to Club Verge for the night, he remembers that it’s a theme night, and dresses up as a mime. He gets there, and lo and behold, he finds Cora at the bar and signals for her to come to him. She does, and they have a little bit of fun, or a lot of bit, maybe. But she doesn’t know who he is. Yet.

OMG, I really didn’t like Liam at the beginning of the book. It took me forever and ever and ever to warm up to him. And even then, he’s definitely not my favorite of Jane’s heros, not by a long shot. I really did want to just strangle him almost every time he talked there for a while, because really, he just made me that mad. He’s a prick. I know, I know, it’s probably hard for you to get how I feel about Liam, I’m just so subtle.

I love Cora. She’s fabulous. She’s also feisty and fierce. She’s not afraid to say no to the big bad Dom, whether or not he likes it, or even whether or not she gets her ass spanked for it. She’s also not afraid to stand up to large companies in order to save what she thinks is important, like saving a botanical garden from a company that wants to destroy it and build some building. I love how she takes care of her brother and sister. She thinks that she’s doing a terrible job, but I guarantee that every parent, especially single parents who have to work every hour of the day, feel like they’re doing a terrible job. My son is nearly 24, and I’m still pretty sure that I’m doing a terrible job with him. I’m 46, and my mom is still pretty sure that she did a terrible job with me. See, what I mean.

I do think that they are good together. Cora does something for Liam that makes him human, which he needs. As for what Cora is getting out of it, she’s getting someone who lets her feel safe and can take some of the burden off her shoulders, which lets her flourish and bloom.

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I’d like to say that I thought that Liam was high handed when he handled their living spaces the way that he did, but I really can’t because it was the right thing to do, and I’m glad that he did it.

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