Kitty Thomas-The Escape Artist

On this chilly Tuesday, or at least chilly in my area, Kitty Thomas has given us a gift to keep us nice and toasty warm. The Escape Artist is her latest book, and when you read it, you will run into some old friends. This isn’t a sequel to any other book, and you don’t have to have read any of the other books to read and understand this one, so if you haven’t, you’re all good.

So, here’s the story of Claire and Ari. (I wonder how many times I’m going to have to catch myself typing out my name instead of Claire.)

Three years ago, Claire went through hell. She was abducted and held prisoner by a nameless man who did unspeakable things to her for 43 days. She counted each and every one of them. On that last day, she barely managed to escape with her life. Her captor was coming to kill her, but she managed to get the knife away from him, and ran away. Now, three years later, she’s hiding in her apartment which she has turned into her own Fortress of Solitude. She has massive amounts of security set up so that nothing can get to her. She rarely leaves her house, and when she does, she makes hides her face as much as possible, just in case the man is out there. It hasn’t happened yet, but she might run into him.

Ari is a Dom-ly type. He’s a D type without a sub right now, because he and his last one broke up. She was a brat and liked to try and top from the bottom, and he wasn’t having that. She ran away to be a model in Paris. Even though the two of them weren’t all that great together, he is still mourning. And by mourning, read getting shitfaced. He goes out a lot to various bars, but there is one particular cafe that he often goes to for lunch. Which wouldn’t usually be a huge problem, except for the fact that Claire saw him at the cafe. And was scared shitless because he’s the man who took her for 43 days of fucking hell. So of course, she’s going to do something about it.

I feel really sorry for Claire. I mean, what she’s gone through would seriously break anyone. Then the 3 years after, and feeling like no one has noticed what had happened… If she hadn’t been pretty damn broken before that, that would’ve definitely done it. And then, once she sees Ari out there, it just gets worse. I wish that she could’ve gone to see someone who could’ve helped her with her issues, but I’m not surprised that she didn’t. There are a lot of people who don’t go through near what she does who don’t go see a professional about it, for whatever reason. So, I’m not going to blame her for not getting help. She did what she needed to do for herself, and that’s all that any of us can do, right? I think that Ari is good for her, for a lot of reasons.

Ari is an interesting character. He is extremely controlled and very disciplined. I mean, we can see that in just the way that he acts in the beginning of their story. And even more, we see that in the way that he acts as the story goes on. I wouldn’t blame him if he had lost his temper and just gone bugfuck, but he didn’t, not at all. There really is only one point where he gets really mad, but it’s not at Claire, and even then, he is very controlled. All that control and discipline is good, I think. I mean, I think it’s good in general, but when it comes to Claire, it’s definitely what she needed. And patience. Lots of patience.

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Kane really did overstep at one point, but I totally get why he did. It doesn’t excuse it, but I do get it.

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

Felicity Brandon-Captured

Oh, Felicity is back with one of her delightful capture, noncon fantasies. Captured is all gothicky and suspenseful, and dayum, soooo good.

So, here’s the story. Fuller and Lawes are dentists. They, along with their assistants, have come up with a letter to send to women who have some serious dental anxiety. They’ve done all kinds of research and background searches to find the perfect women to send these letters out to. Sounds all nice and shit, doesn’t it? Yeah, don’t you believe it.

Hannah is one of the women who got the letter. She’s had some issues with dental fear for years. One bad appointment when she was a kid, and that was all she wrote. So, she gets this letter that says hey, we can give you the dental treatment you need while helping you to deal with your dental anxiety. Hannah thought that sounded good, so off she went.

She gets to the doctor’s appointment, and is taken to the office of one of the dentists and starts talking to him. The next thing she knows, she wakes up naked, secured in a dentist chair, ready for her examination.

There is a lot of dirty deliciousness going on in here. I mean, Felicity dug deep for the obscenity here. I’m not going to complain one little bit, because I’m not joking, it really was delicious. Pretty much everything that happened hit a good place for me.

I really empathize with Hannah, because I had a really traumatic appointment with a dentist when I was a kid, and I have some serious dental anxiety too. I will, however, never ask for sedation dentistry again, because heaven only knows what I’d wake up to. And, as I was reading this, I had to run my son into town because we needed to go to the store superquick. He told me he’d run into store for me, yay kid, so I was sitting in the car reading while I was waiting for him. As I was doing that, a commercial came over the radio for a dentist office that specialized in patients with dental anxiety. Yup, I laughed my ass off.

So, I like Hannah. I think that she shows a lot of spunk. Not necessarily a lot of planning, but spunk. She fights against what’s happening, and I can respect that. I don’t know if her lack of planning ahead is just from the whole unexpectedness of what happens and opportunities that show up, or from fear, adrenaline, or whatever. Whatever it is, I think that if she had waited and played along for a little while that she would’ve been in a much better place.

I find the guys there to be very interesting. I don’t like Fuller at all. I think that he’s scary af. But I find Lawes and Matthew to have something that I like. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something that draws me to them. I think that there is something that Lawes likes about Hannah too.

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I think that Lawes should get his ass beat, just because. I mean, stick him in the pillory and have 40 whacks at him. Seems to be poetic justice to me.

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

Felicity Brandon-Mastered by Daddy

Felicity is back with the 2nd book in her dark Daddy trilogy, Mastered by Daddy. This one picks up right where the first one left off, so there will probably be spoilers. You have been warned.

So, Jared has taken Sophie away from her home and family, and now he has his little girl tied up in her little pink bedroom. He has plans for all kinds of depraved things that he’s going to do to her. He ties her up, fucks her, shaves her, punishes her, and puts a bib on her. He forces her to eat breakfast even though she doesn’t want it.

Then there is Sophie. She both hates and loves what he’s doing to her. I mean, it hits all her happy buttons, even though she really doesn’t want it to, but she’s still trapped by a terrible man, who took her without her permission, keeps her tied up, is forcing her to call him Daddy, and won’t let her go to her kids.

Yeah, that’s kind of a quick synopsis of the story, but I don’t want to get too much into it, really. There are several reasons for that, but one of them is the fact that there is a lot of sex in this, and I can’t synopsize the sex scenes and do any justice to what Felicity wrote. That’s why she’s the author and I’m the blogger.

Like the first book, I had a hard time with this one. I think that part of the reason that I had problems with it is carried over from the first book, which totally makes sense because they are the same characters, so my feelings are going to carry over. The book should hit a lot of my happy buttons, because it’s dark, it’s a capture story, and it’s a strong bad guy, but I’m still having some problems with it. I like a good bad guy, but I really hate Jared, and not in a love to hate, hate to love kinda way, I really just don’t like him. I haven’t been able to find anything that I can latch on to, and the fact that he has taken Sophie away from her children and doesn’t give a flying fuck, as long as he gets his dick wet, is probably the biggest reason that I don’t like him. But even with me hating Jared, Felicity has still written a book that I felt was really intense. In fact, I had to put it down a couple of times and take a break because of that intensity.

I am still wavering back and forth on Sophie. I like her, and I think that she’s fighting against Jared as hard as she can, and fighting to get back to her kids, but she also finds herself in a place where she almost accepts what’s happening. Which is totally a sensical thing, considering, and that doesn’t make me waver on her. I honestly am not sure why I waver on her. Here’s the thing though, me wavering on her is a compliment to Felicity, I think. That’s because I’m thinking about the characters even after I’m done reading the book.

So, you might be asking yourself if I will read the 3rd one even though I’ve had issues with the first two. My answer is yes, and I’ll tell you why. Because I am invested in what happens to Sophie and if Jared can be redeemed.

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I found Daniel’s comments on consent to be really interesting. I’m wondering if they are foreshadowing anything.

OK, that’s all there is on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Kitty Thomas-The Con Artist

So, we have another Kitty Thomas book on the blog today with The Con Artist.

Here’s our story. We have Saskia. She’s a very talented artist. She used to create her own original art, but after a fire, she just hasn’t had the energy to start back up. It wasn’t like she was selling anything anyway, so now she’s a starving artist. She paints forgeries, or more accurately, she paints reproductions for people who want to have their copies of the great art. The difference between a reproduction and a forgery is basically whose signature she signs on the picture. If she signs hers, it’s a reproduction. If she signs the original artist’s, it’s a forgery. There’s more to it than that, but that’s a good basic difference.

Saskia has run into Lachlan Niche. He is a tech whiz, and is worth piles and stacks of money. He wants a particular painting by Joseph Quill. Quill had died years ago, and he specialized in nudes. This particular painting is one of his early nudes. Lachlan has tried to buy the picture more than once, but the owner isn’t selling. So he hired Saskia to make a forgery and to steal the original for him. She’s supposed to switch the paintings around, easy peasy, lemon squeezie. Except, yeah, it never is.

For one thing, Saskia isn’t any kind of art thief, no matter what she told Lachlan. And for the second thing, she’s not planning on giving him the original. She’s running the long con. Her goal is to get her own pile of money from Niche, who is sleezy and who she feels perfectly justified in stealing from, then go to a tropical island and spend the rest of her life happy and creative, painting her own art and not caring if anyone buys it.

And again, it’s not as simple as it sounds, because if it was, the book wouldn’t be all that exciting or all that dark, would it?

This is a very Kitty book. I don’t think it’s the darkest one I’ve read of hers, but it is dark. It’s like a sensual dark though, thick, and rich, and velvety, and layered, and nuanced. Does that make sense? It does to me, and that’s about the best I can explain it. Part of what makes it a very Kitty book is her “hero”, not that I would call our MMC a hero, really. She writes these men that you want to hate and hate to want and yet can’t pull yourself away from. You know how, in nature, the venomous and poisonous bugs and critters are all brightly colored and basically scream leave me alone? Well, imagine that some of her heroes are neon pink with acid green stripes. Everything is saying to stay away from them because they are dangerous, deviant, and dark. You know that they are the bad guys, but you just need to be with them, no matter what. There isn’t necessarily a whole lot of redemption arc for the guys to go through, and in some books, they get worse as the books go along, but you still can’t manage to stay away from them.

That’s not to say that her women aren’t strong or they are pushovers, because they aren’t. They are flawed, deeply flawed, often broken, and are basically just like every person out there. You can really see yourself in her women, even if you aren’t an artist or whatever, because they are so real.

Saskia got cocky, and thought that she could get away with everything she wanted, and she ended up in trouble because she found someone who had this whole dominant huge personality thing going on. He’s also more broken than she is. But even in that damage that both of them have, he does what he does for a purpose. Might not be the way that you or I would do them, but, he has his reasons.

There are some really hot scenes in books that always stick with me, and the performance art installation is one that is in my personal top 10 list, because dayum.

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The first time I read this, I wondered what went through the MMC’s head sometimes. And frankly, I still do. There’s a lot that runs through there. Fascinating though.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out all of Kitty’s work, you won’t be sorry you did. Happy reading!

Felicity Brandon-Daddy’s Little Captive

Felicity has given us a really dark Daddy book with Daddy’s Little Captive. It’s a very intense story that gave me a lot of feelz. A lot of very, very complicated feelz. It took me a lot of time and some serious conversations with my husband about the book while I tried to work my way through them. I’m not going to lie to you, I had a hard time with some of this book. But, you know, that’s actually kind of a good thing, because that meant that it affected me, and isn’t that every author’s desire? To make their readers feel something or be affected by their book?

So, here’s the story. Sophie is a married woman with two children that she loves very much. But her marriage isn’t the best, part of it is that her husband works all the hours of the day, and part of it is that she and her husband have different desires. She wants some kink going on, and every time she talks to her husband about it, he keeps telling her that he just wants to have “nice” sex. In other words, no kink. No ropes. No gags. No spanking. Missionary, lights off, socks on. (I’m not trying to shame anyone who likes sex that way. You do you.) Because she isn’t getting her needs met, she signed up to a kink website, and started talking to someone named Carl. They spent a lot of time talking about what was going on in their lives and their various desires, needs, and wants.

Then one day, Sophie’s husband reminded her that the carpet cleaners were coming that day, so she should be ready. Well, she might’ve been ready for the cleaners, but she wasn’t ready for what really happened. What happened was 3 men burst into her house, drugged her, and then tied her up to her bed. Jared was the ringleader, and when she woke up, he told her that he was really Carl, and he was there for her.

This is all dark, intense, noncon, capture fun stuff. It’s all stuff that’s right in my wheelhouse, right? And it is. And I enjoyed the book, overall, but there were times when it was just too much. I don’t like Jared at all. Not one tiny bit. Right now, I don’t feel like there is any redeemable quality to him. Of course, Felicity being the excellent author that she is, she probably has turned him into something that I can like in the next book. She really does quite well with redemption arcs and giving her male characters some changes that make people like them. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

I am truly torn when it comes to Sophie. I can relate to her in some ways. Probably in more ways than I would like to count. But I think that she made a lot of choices weren’t necessarily the best, and I’m judging her a little bit for it, I think. Or maybe a lot of bit.

I liked the book, I hated the book, I was left with all kinds of feelings and a hangover from it. It lives in my head, and I may never get rid of Sophie and Jared.

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I really don’t think that I can put anything down here. Sorry, not sorry.

Ok, if you are into dark and noncon, then this may be something you should go check out. Happy reading!

 

CP Mandara-Beautiful Tears

CP Mandara is another one of those authors that I’m surprised that I haven’t featured here before. Well, I’m fixing that now, with Beautiful Tears. This is the first book in a new series of hers. It’s an enemies to lovers, revenge books. I’m also going to warn you that CP is just a litttttle bit sadistic in the way that she ends her books. They keep you riiiiiight on that edge. Right.On.The.Edge. I have, more than once, cursed CP’s name when I hit the end of her books. But does that stop me from going back and reading them again? Of course not!

So, here’s the story from this one. Harper’s life is falling apart. The man that she helped put away with a lie 5 years ago is about to get out of jail, and she knows that he’s going to come after her. She wants to get away from London to make it harder for him to find her. The problem is that she is so broke that to be flat broke would be a financial uptick for her. But, she manages to get to Nottingham, where she figures that she’ll be safe.

Meanwhile, Brandt is counting down the minutes to his release. He has plans for Miss Harper. He wants to make her pay, and pay but good. He has spent 5 years in hell, and for each and every second that he was in jail, Harper is going to suffer. After all, he’s lost his wealthy family, who now want nothing to do with him, the woman he was supposed to marry, his chance of college, and any hope of a future. If he can get Harper to confess to police that she lied and actually did the crime, then he might still get that stuff back.

Here’s the thing when it comes to CP Mandara’s work, it’s intense. She builds up layer after layer of suspense and just keeps you on the edge. You can’t wait to turn the page and get to the next part because you just need to know what’s going on. Her sex is also just as intense. She writes very kinky stories, with a capital KINKY. The sex scenes are just searing because of the intensity between her characters.

She also works dark. I’m not sure where I would put her in the spectrum of dark authors, but considering one series has a father basically selling his daughter to a pony stable and this one has the male main character kidnapping the female main character, it’s definitely on the darker end. CP also puts her characters through the wringer, physically and mentally. She doesn’t save what she does for one side or the other, all the main characters go through it.

Anyway, I can’t wait for the next part of this series. I am pretty eagerly counting down the days.

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I need to know all of Harper’s secrets. I mean, there is just so much there. I can’t wait until they all come out.

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

 

Alta Hensley-Caged

Alta wasn’t happy with just one surprise release in the past few days. She had to come out with two! Caged is a fun, filthy, dark, little Mafia tale, involving, guess what? That’s right, cages!

We start out at a funeral with Nayla. One of her co-workers has been killed in the line of duty of taking out one of the big Mafia families. And of course, one of those two families decides to interrupt the funeral with a little gunplay, because what funeral doesn’t need a whole lot of people getting shot. Nayla is lucky enough to survive it.

She’s a prosecutor who is after one of those two families. She has pix of the head of the family, Eddie, on her apartment’s wall because it is supposed to help her focus on her job. She stares at him a whooooole lot. I mean, like a lot a lot. Then, one day, she meets the real thing. In her apartment. Who has come to take her away. Yeah.

Meanwhile, Eddie has decided that he’s going to take Nayla. He has his reasons to do it, and he kinda doesn’t care what she has to say about it. He’s going to do what he wants.

There is a lot of fun and filthy filthy filth in this. And I love it, a lot. A lot a lot. There’s just something about the way that Eddie treats Nayla that is so twisted and kinky and hot like burning.

Overall, I really like Eddie. You wouldn’t know that he was the head of a Mafia family unless you knew that he was the head of a Mafia family. He seems like such a good man. OK, I’m not saying you can’t be a good man and a crime lord, but you get what I mean, right? Anyway, he is definitely honorable, and has very definite ideas.

I liked Nayla too. With that said, I thought that there were times that she was a little naive. I dunno, naive might not quite be the word, but I think that’s the closest that I can come to it. She’s willing to believe the good in people who might not have that good. I think that she might also have a little bit of a black and white view on life.

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I have to say, I love Eddie’s house. And his choice in dinner parties.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. You’re going to have to go check it out! Happy reading!