Natasha Knight-Taken

Oh, ducklings, my sweet and precious ducklings, Natasha Knight has taken us on a roller coaster in Taken. One word of warning before I proceed, Taken is part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffie. The second part will be out in 2 weeks, so it’s not like Natasha is making us wait for a long time for the resolution. So, if you are interested in this one but you don’t like cliffies, wait a couple more weeks. Now, on to the review.

The Willows and the Scarfonis have a centuries-old relationship. That’s not a good thing here. For centuries, the Willows have always had quadruplet daughters and the Scarfonis have had sons. It used to be that they had 4 sons, but now they only have 3. Well, they still have 4 sons, but one son in each generation dies. Anyhow, once every generation, when the Willow daughters turn 21, the Scarfoni sons go and reap one of the daughters. They choose one, and keep her for 3 years, each brother getting their year with her, from oldest to youngest. The 3 sisters who don’t get chosen go on with their lives, get married, and one of them has quadruplet daughters, and the cycle begins again. The Willow Girl, the one that the Scarfonis choose, doesn’t always fare well. Their life expectancy after their 3 years is rather short, with a number of them committing suicide. There is one who seemed to survive her 3 years of service well, and that is Helena, the great-aunt of this generation’s Willow daughters.

Helena is also the name of one of the current generation of daughters. She actually looks like her great-aunt Helena. She’s dark to her sisters’ light. They are golden dolls, but Helena has dark hair, with a silver stripe. Ever since her 16th birthday, when her mother told her and her sisters what was happening, Helena has hoped that she wouldn’t be the one chosen. In fact, she went and got rid of her virginity, just so that she could knock herself out of the running.

Sebastian, Ethan, and Gregory as this generation’s Scarfoni sons. Along with Lucinda, who is Ethan and Gregory’s mother and Sebastian’s step-mother, they have come to the library at the Willow estate where the 4 women are standing in transparent shifts and on blocks so that they can be chosen. Helena has had to be bound and gagged while she is standing there with her shift that has a smear of blood on it, marking her non-virginal state. Sebastian is the one who gets to choose which of the 4 women standing in front of him is to be this generation’s Willow Girl, and by all rights, it should be one of the golden girls, but that would make our story really short now, wouldn’t it? Of course, Helena is the one that Sebastian wants.

There’s a lot going on in this book. I don’t know if I like Sebastian. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That’s OK, that’s how Helena feels about him too. She likes parts of him and she likes what he makes her feel, but she really basically just hates him. He’s told her that he wants to break her, she’s told him that he might have her body but can’t have her soul. There are things going on with Sebastian that we don’t understand or have access to, as of yet. I hope we find them in the next book. I’m interested in them. Helena, I like her a lot. She’s strong and fragile, broken and whole, all at the same time. She has to keep being rebellious because that’s the only way that she can be, the only way she can survive. Ethan and Lucinda deserve to burn in hellfire and lava, or to be cast into the center of a sun. I hate them, a lot. Gregory is… an unknown. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him too.

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Aunt Helena’s ring, OMG, I love her ring, and especially love how she got it. But yeah, I agree, Auntie Helena didn’t come back all that sane. But, you gotta wonder, what exactly happened to her to make her do what she did? It had to have been bad.

I’m kind of thinking that maybe Sebastian’s mom didn’t commit suicide, maybe she was helped along by someone near and dear to her. That person seems like they would do that to me.

And fuck, that ending. Ugh.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I may not survive the wait. Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Island Captive

When I think about running away from home, which I do a lot, I’ll admit, I dream of going to a deserted tropical island where I can just live. Of course, I generally want to have Wifi to go with that deserted island, but I could probably live without that as long as I have a lot of books and an Adrian of my very own to stay with me. I’d be pretty happy to be an Island Captive.

So here’s our story. Once upon a time, there was a US Marshal named Nadine, whose mother had a perfectly charming nickname for her, BTW, la petite belette. I’ll give you a minute to go translate it. Nadine was very good at her job, which included doing things like hunting down fugitives and bringing them to justice. Her latest target is Adrian, who escaped from prison. He brutalized a woman, tied her up, beat her, and then strangled her. He was caught pretty much red-handed, so everyone knew he was the one who did it. But he still managed to escape from jail and is now hiding away in a foreign country.

With a lot of work and patience, Nadine and her partner have tracked him down and they are ready to take him home to face justice. She’s studied his file and looked at his picture, and now she knows him as well as she knows herself. She knows that as soon as she sees even the faintest hint of him, she will be able to get him. Which she does, but not before literally jumping on him down through a staircase. So, Nadine gets her man, and eventually gets him on a plane. Where she knocks him around just a little bit. For justice, you know. Nadine really didn’t like what he was put in jail for. Of course, Adrian was a little bit of a dick and had to just screw around with her.

On the way to the US, they come across a small problem. The plane develops a fuel leak. The pilots do what they can to get them somewhere safe, but they end up having to ditch in the ocean right outside a deserted island. Only, it wasn’t a pretty ditch. Of the 5 people aboard, only 2 come through it alive, Nadine and Adrian. And Nadine is only alive because Adrian pulled her out of the plane while she was unconscious. She woke up on the beach with a piece of shrapnel in her leg, which she managed to pull out on her own. Hard core. So, she goes to look at what she can, and sits on a rock on the beach, that turns into a rock in the ocean because the tide comes washing in, as the tide is wont to do. I’ve nearly gotten caught out by the tide before. Our tide comes in pretty fast, and if you aren’t careful, you end up on the wrong side of high and dry. I don’t know how fast it comes in on Nadine and Adrian’s island, but you still don’t want to fuck with the tide.

Meanwhile, Adrian is watching her and trying to figure out what is going on with the island. His first priority is to look around and find shelter. Then he decides that he’s going to go back and get Nadine. He doesn’t want to be left alone all the island, and she owes him anyway, and he’s going to make her pay, and pay, and pay… Well, you get the idea. So he drags her to the hut that he found, handcuffs her, strips her, fixes her wounds, and then drags her to bed with him. To sleep. This time, at least.

I think that this is probably supposed to be an enemies to lovers deal, but I have to say, the hate intimacy that goes on here is wicked fucking awesome. The interactions between Adrian and Nadine, no matter what part of the book, are just fascinating to watch. Adrian is just oh so yummy and Dom-ly, so, so Dom-ly. And twisted af. Twisted in all the right ways. Alllllll the right ways. Nadine is fierce and strong. She is intelligent and driven. The two of them are really perfect for each other. And the things that Adrian wants to do with Nadine’s hair? HAWT!

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Oh man. I’m not entirely sure that I have much to say about this one down here. Mostly I don’t have a lot of spoilers, and the things that I wanted to talk about I did up at the top.

I do have one question though. I want to know if Adrian had something to do with the leak in the plane. When the pilots announced it, he got a little smile on his face, and he had done a lot of research about islands in the area. So, did he plan it or was it just a happy accident? Well, happy for him, at least. Hmmmm, maybe I should ask Jane. She probably won’t tell me anyway. She’ll make me wonder. She’s mean like that. LOL.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out and take a tropical holiday. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Captive

Loki is so prolific. Which means that there is pretty much always either a brand new release or one just around the corner. Well, today, it’s a brand new release, Captive: A Dark Cyborg Romance.

A lot of Loki’s books have left me just speechless when I’m done reading them. This one didn’t. Instead, it left me saying fuuuuuuuuccccckkk. It totally deserved that reaction.

Lilly is a scientist. She was on a project to help build a cyborg. She saw pretty much every step of the process, from the physical body and brain being printed, to helping to make sure everything functioned the way it should. When Adam, the first cyborg, opened his eyes the first time, she was there, and they had a moment when their eyes met. It formed a connection between the two of them. When Lilly finds out that the other researchers are torturing Adam, she tries to stop it, only to find herself getting fired. They gave her a huge payoff, which was good, because she basically couldn’t work in her field anymore, so she spends the next 3 years sitting around her house, just drifting through life. Then the government men show up.

After 3 years of torture, Adam has managed to escape. But before he did, he killed all the researchers. But the government knew enough to know that Adam was fixated on Lilly and that he would go after her. They are there to take Lilly somewhere safe. She doesn’t trust them, so she says she has to go to the bathroom, grabs her purse, and runs.

Too bad she can’t avoid Adam that easily. When he catches her, he drags her out of the safe room she’s hiding in, and then carries her off to his hidden lair, where he wants to breed her and make little baby cyborgs.

One of the things I wondered when I read this book is why Loki didn’t name Lilly Eve, but then I thought that might be a little too precious. Then I thought about it some more, and decided that I liked the name Lilly for this character. Then I wondered if maybe Lilly was somehow related to Lilith, who was Adam’s first wife and the most dangerous demon and mother of demons, in Jewish mythology. And I decided that if it is, that is really cool. I also decided that if it wasn’t, it was still really cool. These are the things that go through my head when I’m reading. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading a book to be blogged or one that is a pleasure book, these are the things I think, especially if I’m reading late at night, like I did with this one.

I love Lilly. She may not always think all the consequences of her actions through, but she really commits to them. She’s smart and stubborn and she knows what she wants to do and she is more than willing to go out and do what she needs to do to get what she wants. I think Adam underestimated her a bit. There is a lot of kinkery fuckery going on along with some spanking, chains, and cages. I mean come on, it’s a Loki Renard book. There’s got to be a cage somewhere. I loved this one. I mean, I pretty much love all Loki’s books, but this one is going to be close to my heart, I think. I never really knew what was going on, and every time I thought I had a good handle on things, Loki through a twist in there. And just wow.

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Of course, there is a reason that Loki chose not to call Lilly Eve, but I had already had my thoughts before I got to that point in the book, so that did explain that. I felt so sorry for Eve, just so sorry. I mean, what the people who created her did to her was just sheer evil. They should totally burn in hell. Definitely in the lowest, deepest, burny-ist pits of hell. They deserve no better.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this on. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Sara Fields-Abducted

Sara Fields should be a very familiar name to those of you who have been around for a long time. That’s because I’ve been lucky enough to get to read her books early for a while now, which means I get to blog them. And today, it’s time for me to talk about Abducted, which is both a Vakarran book and a Celestial Mates book.

So, as we discussed back on Golden Angel’s latest book, the Celestial Mates series is one that’s been written by a bunch of different authors. The premise is that a human woman is matched to her perfect mate/mates by this dating agency. They promise the perfect match 99.9% of the time. How the woman gets matched to her mate depends on the author’s choice. I’ve read a couple where an extra-dimensional cherub pops in, grabs the woman (and her pet in one case) and drops her off on another planet in the future. So yeah, there’s an interesting mix of things going on with the Celestial Mates series.

Sara took advantage of her Celestial Mates book to give us another hot and sexy Vakarran reverse harem book. Yay! Those Vakarrans are sooooo hot.

Mya’s family saw the writing on the wall and saw the Vakarrans coming. They made escape plans for them, father, mother, Mya, and her younger sister, to escape. Only her father died right before they were going to leave the Earth. So it left the three females to flee together. They still escaped, but they went to the Celestial Mates space station. Mom got matched right away, but the girls were too young to get matched, so they’ve been staying on the station with other women who are waiting to be matched, taking classes, hanging out with other young women, so on and so forth. And now it’s time for Mya to get matched. She’s shown her perfect match, an alien named Prince Radock. She talks to him and gets the creeps, but the algorithm is always right.

On the good ship The Vengeance, Talor, Biran, Ejan, and Dex are exiled Vakarrans. They crossed the wrong military commander and were kicked out. Now they are out doing all kinds of things to earn some money. Talor intercepts Mya’s file when it’s getting sent to her match. He looks at her blue eyes and red hair and knows that she’s his. He’s Vakarran, he takes what he wants, and he wants Mya for him and his team. So, they zip over to the Celestial Mates station and say oh hey, we want Mya, send her on out. The PTBs at the agency said alrighty then, put her on a ship, and sent her out, where the Vakarrans promptly captured her.

I found this one to be different to the other two Vakarran books. I think it’s that Mya hadn’t lived on Earth during the Vakarran occupation and she had expected to be mated to an alien this whole time. Yeah, it was the Vakarrans who got her, but she didn’t seem to have the same amount of fear of the Vakarrans, maybe. I don’t know that that is the right way to put it, but I’m not sure it isn’t either. It can’t be that Mya had a real strong fighting spirit and was a fierce fighter, because our other heroines had the same thing and were fighters too. I think she was just more accepting of the whole situation. I really liked Mya though. There was just something about her that I was just drawn to. I like her guys too. I mean, they are fierce Vakarrans and they are all into hot, dirty, kinky, filthy sex, but I think they are also a little more relaxed than the guys we’ve seen in the other books. I look forward to seeing how this book fits in with what is going on in the main body of the series.

I just have one question. Where can I get my own Robo?

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Alright, I love that this hooked up with the last Vakarran book in the end, so I think we will probably see some more of this 5. I’m betting that Mya’s younger sister is going to end up a Vakarran bride at some point too.

OMG, Radock. Gross, right? I hope that the Celestial Mates Agency gets their computer stuff on lock down so that doesn’t happen again.

Mya knocking Bluey the fuck out was awesome. And the fact that the guys were impressed by it was better. Not that they didn’t punish her, because, well they are Vakarrans.

Go check out all the Vakarran books and all the Celestial Mates books. You won’t be sorry. Happy reading!

Maggie Ryan & Alta Hensley-Bride to Keep

I’ve been looking forward to this one since like January. The release got pushed back for reasons, which meant I had to wait and wait and wait. But yay! It finally released today and we’re all happy. So, let’s talk about dark and sorta scary bad boys, the woman they take, and their sister in Bride to Keep, shall we

We have the 4 O’Shea brothers, Cal, Derrick, Nolan, and Rogan. (Pro-tip: always highlight the names of the guys in RH books so that you can keep them all straight.) They are connected with the Irish Mob, and they have just burned down everything that Dallas Callaghan has because he killed their parents and traumatized their beloved baby sister, Alana. Then they are off to the witch’s den so that they can confront her about their sister.

Monet is not a witch, but she is very much into natural healing, holistic healing, herbalism, and all that. She sells all of those things plus crystals and such in the tea shop she inherited from her grandmother. She knows that she’s not a witch, but the mystique and ambiance help her bottom line, so she will make people think that she’s a witch. The boys show up and warn her to stay away from Alana. They don’t want her to take advantage of their baby sister.

Alana was with her parents when their boat blew up. She was out on the waterskis while they pulled her around. When she came to after the accident, she was terribly devastated. When she woke up the next day, she was slightly less connected to the world. She was happy. She figured out a way to live in the world but not of the world. She found Monet’s shop by accident, but she kept going back because she loved it and Monet so much.

After sneaking off to see Monet again, Alana gets found out by her brothers. They come up with a plan. They’re getting ready to move to Ireland, so they’ll just kidnap Monet and take her with them so that Alana has a friend and more help to get their farm up and running.

OK, I have to say that I didn’t like the guys for a chunk of the book. I looked at my husband and told him that I thought they were dicks. But, I did love Monet and Alana, and they were more than worth getting through the boys’ prickishness and they do get better. And yeah, this is a RH romance, but that’s not all it is. There’s also the journey of friendship between Alana and Monet. Some of the stuff that Alana said just kind of sticks with you and makes you think, it’s really deep and really important. There were a couple of points where I cried. It was terribly sad and very sad. And I can almost guarantee that when I read the book again, I will cry again at those parts. But, it was a great book and the O’Shea boys won me over, so it’s all good.

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Alana! No! I do not accept this version of reality.

And those jerks. How dare they do what they did? I mean that was just a shitty thing to do after everything they’ve been through. Seriously, I liked them by that point, but I wanted to smack each and every one of them. Dicks.

OK, I loved this book. Go check it out. Happy reading!

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!

Loki Renard-Shamefully Shared

Loki Renard has brought us another shameful book, Shamefully Shared. I am completely unashamed to say that I loved reading every single dirty word of it. I love Loki’s work and her various worlds. My Loki Renard collection on my Kindle just keeps growing by leaps and bounds, and with books like Shared, it’s not hard to see why, now is it?

Lacey is a journalist. She likes to get the big stories. Three years ago, she was abducted by a Venezuelan militia group, accused of being a spy, and tortured. There was an elite military group that was there for another reason, and they decided to rescue her, even though she wasn’t a direct part of their mission. She promised the guys that she wouldn’t say anything about them, since they were a very, very secret group. But, when she gets home, she writes a story about her time and outs the guys. I mean, she’s a journalist, right? She believes in a good story and that people have the right to have information, and all. The problem is that her story gets them dishonorably discharged and disgraced.

Flash forward, and Lacey is in trouble again. This time, she and several other journalists have been digging into a huge story of high-level corruption. Over the past few months, most of the other journalists have died. One of them managed to end up streaming his death to a file-sharing site that they were all using. So when Lacey gets home and finds that there are guys in her house, she knows what’s coming. So, she calls the only person she can think of to keep her safe, Chase.

Chase is the only one of the guys who saved her who ever answered the phone when she called to apologize. So, when she calls for a rescue, he tells Rex, Brian, Col, and Max what happened and that he’s going to get her. After an argument, they all go out to rescue her.

So, with all the names, you can guess that it’s a reverse harem. Each of the guys has a very distinct personality and a very distinct relationship with Lacey. It’s really interesting to watch each relationship grow and evolve and see how each man reacts to Lacey and to everything that happens. It’s a great set of stories combined into one larger book, and it’s done pretty seamlessly. Since it’s a Loki book, expect spanking and all kinds of kinkery, and of course, a cage. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this group.

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OK, I want to know Brian and get into his workshop. He’s definitely got a flair for machinery. He’s devious and I love his devious mind.

Col. I like Col. He has a very clear view of Lacey. I think that he’s the only one who really saw through her. He watched her and knew her. He’s also right in that it will definitely take all of them to keep her happy.

Lacey would definitely run over the guys one on one. It’s not that she’s high-maintenance. She’s just very smart and very clever, and her brain is always working and trying to find the edges of the puzzle and how she can get around things.

I mostly liked the guys, there was one thing that they did that made me really mad. I understand why they did it, but I don’t like the way that they did it. It was pretty shitty.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out and read all the other books that Loki has. Happy reading!