Cari Silverwood-Claimed Possession

Cari Silverwood is becoming a frequent flyer here on In Between the Pages. I spend a lot of time in her books and her worlds. There are a lot of reasons for that. One is that I think Cari is an excellent worldbuilder. It’s easy to get involved in her worlds and characters. And the Machinery of Desire series is no different. I got dragged into the world and it wouldn’t let me go.

Claimed Possession is the second book in this series, and wow. It packs a punch. There are so many things to unpack in this book. I mean, you get the whole human slave in a slave world series, then you get the dark alpha hero/anti-hero and his journey, and then you get the heroine’s journey. I see layers, and I love layers.

OK, so let’s just jump right in here. Here we are, back on Aerthe. Aerthe is an Earth-like planet. There are three groups of people who live on Aerthe, the Mekkers, the Grounders, and the Scavs.

The Mekkers live in huge landships called the Swathe. There are a few swathes, each made up of more than one ship. They never stop moving, harvesting and mining as they move. The Mekkers are not native to Aerthe, and she hates them. Aerthe generates magic, and when the Mekkers stay in one place for too long, Aerthe gets after them. The Mekkers arranged the portal for the humans to be brought through. The portal shines the humans up real pretty when they come through. Their hair and nails are kinda glowy, so it’s quite obvious that they are humans. In the first book, the Mekkers ruled that humans are property.

Grounders and Scavs are both native to Aerthe. Grounders are settled into villages and other communities. Scavs are nomads, formed into groups led by the strongest leader, and they can and will challenge the leader for leadership. The Scavs tend to be pretty wild and will raid Grounder settlements and take/sell slaves. They also go scavenge through old cities that were destroyed in the war between the Mekkers and the people of Aerthe, back in the day.

When Emery, Fern, Sawyer and the other humans were brought through the portal, they were sent to different places. Emery was given to a master in Acquired Possession. (Right now only 99 cents on ‘zon, go grab it) Sawyer was given as a slave to the Grounders. So, let’s catch up with Sawyer.

When the book opens, Sawyer is in a caravan with a bunch of other slaves. He wants to escape, because of course he does. The caravan stops so that everyone can take a rest break. When the slaves are let out, Aribelle, the caravan owner’s niece happens to walk by. Sawyer, being a big of a dicklord, takes a piss at her feet and hits her shoes. He manages to get a key away from a guard so that he can escape, but Ari sees it and tells the guard. Then she orders Sawyer to be castrated. Right after she says that all hell breaks loose. Scavs are attacking. Sawyer drags Ari down and under a wagon and saves her. When the raid is over, Sawyer comes out and tries to get in good with the Scavs and tells them that Ari is his. The Scavs tell him that he will have to wait to talk to their leader.

You all know the routine now. I’m about to put a pretty picture up, and after that you get all the spoilery goodness. Sawyer is a very imperfect hero. He’s got some serious anger problems with more than a little desire for vengeance. That gets taken out on Ari, who both does and doesn’t like it. I think he may have gone a little far sometimes, but I totally get his point of view on it. He does question himself at times, and tries to figure out where morality on Earth and morality on Aerthe should lie and how he can live with both of them. There is some spectacular sex. There are spankings and more. There is a bloody cock. There is also a hard won HEA. This story is a great journey, not just for Sawyer and Ari, but also for JI, a recurring character. Like I said, layers on layers, so awesome. Cari is devious that way.

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If you came down here, then you must not be too worried about any spoilers I may drop from my fingertips.

OMG, the bloody cock scene. I got to read it in Cari’s group before I read the ARC and oh my fucking shit, it was hot. I mean, Ari didn’t like blood, Sawyer rubbed blood on his cock and made her suck it. It’s so wrong, and yet so completely right, and very much hot.

I like that Sawyer starts to realize that he cares for Ari, and that what he wants to do to her has gone past revenge, like it started out, and into he wanted her to be his forever. The fact that he freed Ari and then wooed her was really impressive to me. It let Ari have her own journey from an angry forced slave to a willing and eager submissive who wanted to belong to Sawyer.

And JI? I cannot wait to see what Cari is going to do with him. I liked him when we met him in AP, but he was basically a child, really. In CP, he’s a teenager and then adult. Now he’s a very, very devious, sneaky, and tricksy adult. With a cock.

I wonder, with Gio’s new portal skill, if more humans will be going back through the portal. I kind of hope not because I like Aerthe. I wonder what’s happened to Fern, Sawyer’s sister. Last we knew, in AP, she was stabbed and then thrown off the ship to die. But JI was able to give some of the mechlings medical training, so maybe she lived? I want to know. I need to know. I need to know more about Gio too. Obviously, she was there before Emery, Sawyer, Fern et al, so how did she get there? So many questions, so few answers.

Alrighty, I could go on and on, but then you wouldn’t need to go to Amazon and read this book, and you really need to do that. And grab AP while you’re at it since it’s on special for the next 4 days. Trust me, if you like dark, gritty, and spanky, this will do it for you.

Tomorrow we have a book from Summer Greystone, so keep an eye out for that. Meanwhile, happy reading.

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Cari Silverwood & Nicolette Hugo-Nightmare Rising

OMG, you guys, this book. This book was so good. I know I say that about every book that I review. After all, why am I going to review a book I don’t think is good? But this one wowed me. It took me in, swallowed me whole, drained me, and then refilled me.

I’ve been looking forward to Nightmare Rising ever since I heard Cari and Nicolette first started talking about it on FB, and then they posted the prologue. That prologue did me in. It is an incredibly dark scene. Intriguingly so. While the book is within the dark category, it isn’t completely black, more like dark gray with great black streaks. However, with the ending of this one, the knowledge of what these two talented ladies write, and being the first book of a series called The Nightmare Trilogy, I see very, very dark clouds on the horizon.

The prologue sets the stage for the rest of the story, which is an eternal battle between immortals, the Nightmare King and the forces of good, including the Cucitrice.

Fast forward many, many years, and we get to the start of the story.

Zara is a woman who came from the middle of nowhere. As a teenager, she was thought to be crazy because she told everyone her friend Yvaine was taken, but no one could find any proof of it. Yvaine’s family were wanderers and when she disappeared, so did they. Years later, Zara is trying to stay one step ahead of her stalker, who sends her letters and postcards. Those postcards give hints that her stalker killed Yvaine and others associated with Zara. Because of that, she keeps to herself, and only has one friend, Chester, who she mostly talks to by cellphone. He is a computer genius and helps her out as much as possible. Zara has done everything she can to keep herself safe, including carrying a gun with her. If her stalker ever comes for her, she’s ready to take him down.

Valor is a soldier who has survived war and loss, including his son being blown up in a terrorist attack. Valor carries a small teddy bear of his son’s around with him everywhere he goes, as a touchstone. These days, he’s a member of a very deep, dark, dark ops CIA team. He and his team are tracking terrorists on American soil. They are surveilling a bomber one day. They think they get him, but there’s another bomb. It goes off near a school bus, killing Valor’s partner, and knocking Valor out.

Zara is at work when the bomb goes off and she rushes out, just in time to see the Cucitrice (which is a fancy word for seamstress), using a knife and stabbing something into Valor’s arm, over and over. Then the Cucitrice gets shot, drags herself over to Zara and downloads as much of herself into Zara as possible.

And this is where we cut away. This book is just so amazing. Zara and Valor have a hard time trusting themselves let alone each other, which sets up so much conflict in this book, it’s totally awesome. Their partnership, when it happens, makes them stronger, but they have to make it that far first.

Like I said, this book tends toward the dark side and the series will only be getting darker. There is violence and language, and you immediately get dropped into the deep, dark end of the pool and never quite get to the shallower end. There is hate and angry fucking galore, and it’s glorious. And forget the idea of a happy ending. If this isn’t your shot of tequila, definitely avoid it. You’ll be happier.

 

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This book is seriously good. I mean so good. I was so pulled into it, so immersed, that just the fact that the book ended traumatized me almost as much as the ending. It gave me a massive book hangover and it took me awhile to find something else to read. Even once I did, Zara and Valor, and can we just mention how great a name that is, followed me into the next book.

Valor is hiding the Nightmare King inside his head. He knows it’s there, but he hides it from Zara, even after they have become lovers. At the start, he doesn’t really stick with Zara so much for the fact that Zara is nifty neato and more for the fact he wants to access the Cucitrice’s memories to figure out how to get the Nightmare King out of his head.

The Nightmare King’s name really fits him. Not only does he control all the nightmare creatures that came into our world, he is nightmarish. Every thing that he wants Valor to do in general, and to Zara specifically, is right out of someone’s nightmare.

The search for Zara’s stalker goes to places that she never expected, especially after Valor points out that the latest postcard she got is a faked up card. Valor kind of thinks that she may be faking it at first, but then changes his mind as proof shows up. But, I didn’t expect that storyline to end up the way that it did. What happens with that ending directly affects the way that the book ends.

The story has a hell of a cliffhanger. Fuuuuuck, I really hated Cari and Nicolette for a minute. Then I remembered that I loved their writing, and I know better than to expect a HEA from them, especially from a book called Nightmare Rising in a trilogy called Nightmare.

I’m willing to do a deal with the devil or associated demons in order to get the next 2 books sooner, but Nightmare Rising pretty much destroyed what little soul I had left.

If anything I’ve written makes you want to check it out, go visit Amazon. It’s on KU right now, but I recommend buying it so that you are ready for when the next one comes out. I’m going to be sitting in the corner, suffering the DTs until it does. Meanwhile, happy reading!

 

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.