Anna Zaires-Obsession Mine

Holy intensity, Batman! Obsession Mine is OMG, OMG, OMG. I can’t compare it to other books I’ve read that are intense because they are each intense in their own ways. But, this will probably make it on my Top Ten intense story list, because damn.

Before I even get started, I’m going to tell you that this post is going to spoil Tormentor Mine. There are no two ways about it, that’s just what’s going to happen. If you have ever thought about reading TM, go read it right now and then come back to this post. I’ll put the rest of the post behind a jump, just to give you a chance to stay unspoiled. I’ll just say that yes, I loved TM, and yes, I love OM. They are some dark, twisted, intense stories. I mean, just the way that Peter and Sara meet is dark and twisted. Go check TM out and then come back. If you’ve read it or you’ve prepared yourself for spoilers, then let’s crack on, shall we?

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Rose Devereux-Breaking Grace

I haven’t reviewed Rose Devereux here on my blog yet, though I have read some of her other books. I think I’ll probably need to rectify not having more reviews of her books on here. This one, Breaking Grace, is one that I’ve been waiting on for a while, so when I got the opportunity to read an ARC, you better believe that I jumped on it with both feet. I’m so glad that I did.

This is such a good book. It stayed with me and made me think about it for quite some time afterward. I love stories that do that. This one is intense and dark and light and gritty and hopeful all at once. I’m not even sure if I can describe how I felt after reading this book, even after several days. I came out of reading it feeling refreshed and exhausted and hopeful and sad. See why it is hard for me to explain how I feel about this book?

In the end, BG comes down to perceptions and how even a small change in perception changes everything, how Grace perceives Bram, how he perceives her, how they both perceive James, and how you perceive the villain. It reminds me of the saying that there are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine, and the truth. That’s so true when it comes to BG. So, without any further ado, let’s get into this story.

Grace is a woman in mourning. Two years prior, her fiancee was shot dead by Bram. A witness says that it was a road rage incident, that Bram was driving like a madman and James followed him to his house, confronted Bram, and was subsequently shot. She can’t let go of her mourning, and it’s tearing her apart. Bram wasn’t charged, so she tried going after him with a wrongful death suit, which didn’t go her way. She hates Bram and wants to ruin him.

Bram has no problem with admitting that he killed James. He doesn’t talk much about it because he’s protecting Grace. He’s positive that she’s a liar and knows what really happened with James’ death, but for some reason, he wants to protect her. When he sees her in court, he is drawn to her, and he can tell that she is drawn to him, like two magnets.

When the party planning company that Grace is working for has to meet with Bram’s company for events, she walks away from her job. She goes home, writes him a letter, and tries to give it to him. She goes to his company and starts to create a huge scene, eventually getting to pass the letter on to him.

When she gets home, Issac (boo hiss) is waiting outside her apartment. She’s been locked out and he was sent to take her to her parents’ home. This leads to her falling apart.

Bram goes to a bar, rants to some friends, and talks about what he would like to do to Grace. He never meant for it to happen, but there are forces at work beyond his control.

OK, this is where we are going to part. Grace and Bram are so real. It’s so easy to be dragged into their story and have to stay in it until they can let you go, which may or may not be when you are done reading it. Like I said, it really stuck with me. One reason for that is that there is a part of BG that is deeply personal to me. The book would’ve been real to me as it was, but that just made it even more real to me. I could see everything in the book really happening, like Bram and Grace were my neighbors and I was watching it through my front room window. BG is currently $0.99 on Amazon, so grab it while you can.

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No one can tell who the villain is. Bram thinks it’s Grace, Grace thinks it’s him. The problem is that it’s neither. I’m not entirely sure that there is a villain, at least not in the traditional sense. There are bad people who do some bad things, but they aren’t so much in the story. Personally, my vote for villain is Issac and her dad. You can’t have one without the other, they are too wound up with the other. They are just barely around in the story at all. So, villains? Maybe. Can you have a story without a villain? That doesn’t mean there isn’t conflict. There is conflict out the ass.

Just because Bram isn’t the villain doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily a good guy. He’s done some bad, bad things. The title comes from the fact that he does literally tries to break Grace. He’s done interrogation in the past, and he’s going to use the same thing with Grace. But, it doesn’t exactly work out that way. He can be a total dick at some points, but overall, I think he’s just a guy, neither all good, nor all bad. It’s the same with Grace. She’s neither all good nor all bad. Thy are both imperfect and failable.

There is no insta-love here. In fact. there’s a lot of hate at the beginning. But, it eventually changes, bt it’s not something that happens overnight. They are attracted to each other, even if they hate each other, so that is an interesting dynamic. The chemistry between the two of them is pretty awesome, even when it has hate beams being carried along with it.

I always suspected that there was something up with James. He dies before the book begins, so it’s not like we have interaction with him, but I thought there was something wrong with him the entire time. The way that Grace talked about him just seemed too good to be true. I was pretty right on there.

Alright, if I say anything more on this book, I’ll probably never finish saying things, because it is so good. Go, read it yourself, then come back and we can talk about it more.

Tomorrow, we have Yash from Danielle Fin. I’m not sure what will be coming Thursday and Friday. If there is something you’d like to see, let me know! Meanwhile, happy reading!

Sophie Kisker-Fear and Desire

Sophie Kisker is one of my favorite authors, and she’s an all-around nifty person. Hi, Sophie! That would be why she shows up here a lot. Today, we’re talking about one of her books from her backlog. Fear and Desire used to be known as Captive of Fear and Desire, but Amazon is run by a bunch of pearl-clutching prudes, so she had to drop the Captive part. Luckily, she didn’t have to change the book, and we get a book full of non-con/dub-con goodness. F&D also shows up on my Top Ten dark and fucked up books list. I had just read it for the first time a few days before that post, I think, so this was a reread, so yay!

So, let’s just dive right into this one, shall we? Fair warning, this one is pretty dark all the way through.

Dan is an undercover Fed working on busting a human trafficking ring. There are a couple of reasons why he was chosen. One is that he’s from the area where The Farm, the group’s training facility, is based. The other is that he’s a Dom. The powers-that-be think that makes him perfect for training women to be sex slaves. The bosses don’t get the difference between consensual BDSM and forced training to be a sex slave. Pearson, the guy in charge? Is a massive douche of douchian proportions. Every time I’ve read the book, I’ve wanted to just reach my hands into the book and punch the guy and then strangle the shit out of him.

Anyway, Dan and his partner Josh, also a Dom, do what they can to help the women, including changing up the the “training” program so that the women can actually have something survivable and aren’t just beaten, raped, and broken. They both know that what’s happening to these women is going to cause psychological damage, but they are doing what they can to make it less.

Dan meets Laura for coffee on Saturday nights, after her shift on the OB ward. They were childhood friends who grew apart, but now that they live in the same area again, they’ve been getting closer and closer. One Saturday, Dan asks Laura, who doesn’t know for sure what he’s doing, if she’ll go away with him in a few weeks. What neither of them knows is that Marco, the incompetent nephew of the head of the ring, is spying on them. He’s got it out for Dan because he thinks he should be in charge.

The next thing we know, he’s kidnapped Laura and brought her to The Farm. His stated thought is that he’s doing it for Dan so that Dan has someone for him to use.

This is where we are going to part. Since I have things to say about this book, there will be spoilers. This book could be triggery in regards to rape, so be aware of that. Sophie has been careful in the way that she handled the situations, hopefully, it doesn’t trigger anyone because it is a good book. It is dark, it stays pretty dark, but when you get through that dark fucking tunnel, you do get an HEA. It’s on KU, but it’s only $0.99, so grabbing your own copy isn’t going to break the bank.

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When Laura figures out that Dan is there, she tries to run away, not to really run away but to make sure that Dan sees her. However, that means that she has to be punished, and it’s a pretty brutal one to her feet. That punishment also brings her to the attention to the big bad guy, who decides that he wants her, and he wants Dan to train her. He has very specific plans for Laura, and he wants her broken. If Dan won’t do it, then the nasty fuck nephew will. Dan is left with no choice.

Dan manages to get Laura away from the base, at least long enough to talk to her, under the guise of physical training. He explains to her what he needs to do and that it will be hard. She gives him her consent to do whatever it takes to get them both out safely. So, here’s the thing, can she truly be said to have given consent? While yes, she was willing to let him do what needed to be done, was it true consent since she really had no choice otherwise? It can’t really be consensual non-consent because that’s a voluntary thing. She would’ve entered into the relationship willingly, they would’ve discussed limits, punishments, likes, dislikes, so on and so forth. That’s not anything that could’ve happened in Dan and Laura’s situation. I suggested to Sophie back when I read this the first time, that maybe informed non-consent was a better phrase for it. Dan told her what she was going to have to live through, so she knew, but she can’t really consent, thus informed non-consent.

The last part of the Laura and Dan’s journey is terrible, just terrible, and intense. I was glad to get through it the first time and every other time, even though I knew what was coming up. I still got teary and all twitchy over it.

I think that all of Sophie’s stories are really good. I always look forward to the newest ones, and I like to reread the older ones fairly often. F&D is one that really grabbed me the first time, and it has grabbed me every subsequent rereading. Anyway, if you like dark, non/dub-con, but with an HEA, try out Sophie Kisker and check out this one.

Tomorrow, Breaking Grace by Rose Deveraux.