Myra Danvers-Delirium

Last week, after I blogged about Livia Bourne’s book and said that scifi was my first love, Myra got in touch with me and told me that she loved scifi and space opera too, and she had one that she thought that I’d like, and she sent me Delirium. And she was right. I loved it. I loved it so much, I think that I might reread it this weekend. If you like harder scifi, space opera, or completely deranged heroines, then this is definitely a book for you to try out.

Iris has spent many years as a space cargo transport pilot. She has her ship, her androids, and her opium, which she grows on her ship. She pays off people so that she can fly under the radar, and she’s very happy being alone. As long as she has her opium and is high, she’s perfectly happy. This is who she is in the After, and it’s good. There’s just one thing that causes her problems, and that is Big Evil, who is floating around somewhere. She’s trying very hard to avoid him, but that’s OK, she has some very shocking plans around for him if he shows up.

You see, Iris isn’t just a junkie pilot. She’s also a Mech. That means that she can McGuyver anything, with even less than McGuyver would need. She could probably make a death ray out of nothing but a chewing gum wrapper and scotch tape. She wouldn’t even need duct tape for that. She’s also a little bit crazy. And by little bit, I mean full-on sociopath with little to no morals and ethics. I love her. I wouldn’t want to be around her, because the amount of chaos that surrounds her, even when she’s asleep, is at an epically high level. I mean, I can’t even describe the chaos when she’s not trying. When she does try, stand the fuck back. I mean allllll the way back.

Myra’s dedication is a thing of beauty, and that needs all the acknowledgment. And now that we have done that, let’s talk about the way that Myra describes things. Her use of descriptive language is beautiful and elegant. It really brings the story to life and pulls you in. I could practically feel the world because of the textures that she created with words. I want to say that it’s not world-building, not quite, maybe it’s world-building adjacent. I’m not saying that Myra didn’t create a rich and wonderful world, because she did, it’s just something different. I don’t think I’m explaining it well, and that’s sad. I guess that means you are going to have to go read it and find out for yourself, won’t you?

One of my favorite heroines in all the books I’ve read is Sigil from Addison Cain. I’m going to have to put Iris right there next to Sigil. And they are totally in a category of their own.

Big Evil and Daxx are definitely interesting. Daxx has no clue what he is doing. And Big Evil? Well, his name is pretty descriptive, don’t you think?

This is one of those books that I’m almost mad that I’ve read because I can never read it for the first time again.

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OMG, that poor Nanny! And the Detox Fairy. And Daxx is just stupid.

OK, go check this out. You’ll thank me. Happy reading!

 

Alta Hensley-Fallen Daughters

 

Alta Hensley has an interesting writing technique. She writes short stories that show up in various box sets, and then she either expands them or puts them in other books, using the box set as a kind of testing laboratory. There are others that she has written that have just sat on her desk. If you are like me and have read most of what Alta has written, then you will recognize most of her Fallen Daughters, either in their original form or in the form they showed up in other books. I recognized all of them, except for Fallen Daughter 3. Did that stop me from rereading all the stories? No way. I love to reread, so this was awesome for me.

Fallen Daughter #1

This one got tested out in Daddy’s Demands, and then found its way into one of the Top Shelf books, the one with Roman and Cheri, to be precise. I loved it in both its forms, and it’s still as fucking hot the second time around. Or third time. However many, it’s still ridiculously hot.

Fallen Daughter #2

This one first showed up in an anthology called The Dark Forest, which is a collection of adult fairy tales. Alta’s was a take on Sleeping Beauty. A very, very dirty version of Sleeping Beauty. I know that it showed up in another book, in parts at least, but my brain fails me right now, so I don’t remember which one it was. I loved the way that our heroine was given her gifts, and how they really did help her in her captivity.

Fallen Daughter #3

This was the only one of the stories that I haven’t read before. I will say that I haven’t read every single thing that Alta has written, so it may be in one of the books that I haven’t read yet. I really liked it though. It was a pretty sweet little story, which kind of makes it not Alta’s usual fare, but it is just a lovely little story, and left me very happy.

Fallen Daughters #4 & #5

There is a reason that I am combining these two. It’s because they were together in a book called No White Knight, and it was one of the first things that I read by Alta. #4 was known as Pallid Slave, and it disturbed me on a couple of levels. Disturbing good, though. OK, I have to get a smidge personal here. I have lost 2 brothers, one 31 years ago, one 16 years ago. There really isn’t a mark of that loss that shows everyone that you have lost someone you loved so much. That can be both a blessing and a curse. You don’t have to worry about anyone giving you sympathy when it’s overwhelming. Then again, you have to tell them that you are grieving when it gets too much, and that can be really hard to do. In Pallid Slave, there really is a very visible outward sign of mourning, which I think is more of a curse than a blessing in this case, but I found it to be a really interesting way to handle it. #5 was called a Hero in Disguise, and frankly, it could be ripped right out of today’s headlines, and that’s what makes it so fucking disturbing to me.

Fallen Daughter #6

This one first showed up in Twisted Sacraments. If you read those stories, you know that there is no happy in any of them, and it’s no different with Alta’s story. Frankly, I’m pretty sure that the world is going to end in a plague, and so any stories that have some kind of plague in them play right into that fear. And then you put the coocoo for cocoa puffs bits in there, and yup. I’m properly worried.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve read these stories in any form before, they are definitely worth a reread.

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Kay Elle Parker-Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows is the second part of the Shadowcrown Duet by Kay Elle Parker. See my review for King of Shadows here.

There are likely to be spoilers from the first one in this review, since it was a duet, and it was left on a cliffhanger. We all know that’s just the nature of the beast, but we also know that I will do everything possible in order to keep that from happening. But, you have been warned, and if you get spoiled, I’m sorry, but you were warned.

So, we left pregnant Allianna after she has lost both Kian and Islador. The one to a demon, the other because he was trying to save her. Now, Lucifer is doing his damnedest to turn her into his queen. He wants her and her child, plus any other children she may bear, so that he’ll have heirs. Luci may be bound and determined to have her, but Allianna is even more bound and determined to not have him, and one of the reasons is that she’s pretty sure she can’t be touched again, let alone ever have sex again. However, Luci left her a surprise.

Isla wakes up in Alli’s bathtub. While only short time has happened in the Shadows, it was an endless time in Hell, and Isla was tortured. He’s not quite the same person he was before. That’s OK, Alli isn’t exactly the same person she was before either, and now she’s even more because she’s the queen. She is doing all she can to hold her world together and to rule while she’s falling apart inside. She has Dhur there to help her and to protect and care for her, and now she has Islador who will help her. The problem is she also has Lucifer who likes to pop in now and again and pretty much be a douchelord. All this is making Alli just fall apart inside, which she tries really hard to hide, but not so well.

Meanwhile, Kian is being tortured, until Isla makes a deal with Lucifer, and he is put into a “safe” place for a few months. I don’t know what the agreement was, but it was something. But Luci has his plans for Kian too.

I kinda like and hate Lucifer at the same time. The thing is you can’t trust him further than you can throw him, because hello, Prince of Lies, original Fallen Angel. But, you can trust in the fact that you can’t trust him. It’s hard to know if he is lying or telling the truth, because again, Prince of Lies. But not every word out of his mouth is a lie. It would be easier if it were. He will always tell the truth if it will hurt more, but he may not be telling all the truth, or the absolute truth. And he does it all in such a charming way. Right until his charm fails and his monstrousness shines through.

Kian and Isla try to do their best by Allianna, but it ain’t always possible. And she is strong-willed enough that she’s going to fight hard to find out any secrets that they are keeping from her and keep them from packing her in cotton wool. In fact, I think it would be utterly impossible to pack her away and keep her safe.

The last time I wrote about these characters, I said that Allianna was high up in the tough, kickass heroine list? Well, this book did absolutely nothing to dispell that. She is definitely a kickass heroine, and she is there to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she ran out of bubble gum a looooooong time ago. I think that anyone who wants to go against her or her kingdom or her family should think about least 15 times, and then reconsider. And then they should probably run far, far, far, far, far away, so she can’t even find out that they were thinking about anything.

Isla and Kian are both good men who dearly love her. And Dhur is more than just a guard or anything else, he is family, and is utterly devoted to the royal family.

I would still kill for a book about Dhur, and I would love to see the next generation.

Tiara

OMG, OMG, OMG!!! The baby drama!

And the ultimate solution?

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

Livia Bourne-Alpha’s Capture

If you’ve read here for a while, you know that I am an eclectic reader, and will read many genres, tropes, sub-genres, what have you. But in all that reading and in all those options, I have two true loves, and this book hits one of them. I adore science fiction. I like hard science fiction, classic science fiction, light science fiction, and of course, science fiction romance. You also know that I have a deep and abiding joy of Omegaverse. So, when Livia Bourne wrote Alpha’s Capture, I was like yaaassss! It hit all kinds of happy buttons for me. Now, while this is technically Livia Bourne’s first book, you might recognize the name Livia Grant. This is her new pen name, for books like this.

This is a serial, which means that it’s going to end up on a cliffhanger, but Livia said that she won’t leave us hanging for a long time for the next book. It’s also, at this point, a relatively slow burn in a couple of respects. One is that there isn’t a whole lot of sex yet, and the other is that the Omegaverse stuff is just ramping up. But, before you immediate cock readers out there think, oh no, just wait, I am pretty sure that there is going to be a lot of the good dick flying around in the future books, since this is an RH. So, yeah, really, all the good Alpha D going on.

Here’s our story. We have two species here, Gradonians and Trakonians. The Gradonians are the good guys, and the Trakonians are very much not. Very, very, very much not. I’d call them fuckholes, but that would probably be too nice for them. On the Gradonian side, our major players are Khalil, the captain of the Viper, Onyx and Thrash, his first and second officers, and Avincent, the med officer. They are all Alphas. Then we have Zahara, a Beta. She is the assistant to Princess Audra of the Gradonians. They are all out on the Viper because Audra was on a peacekeeping mission to a nearby system. But now they are near Trakonian space, so they have to be very careful.

Thrash, Onyx, and Avincent call Khalil up to the bridge because there is something he needs to see. They show him some crystal thingies that have just appeared on the ship, from who knows where. Avincent found some, and he’s just brought another. The problem is, no one knows what the doohickies are, because they don’t register on any scan.

Now, when I call the Trakonians the bad guys, I truly feel like I’m not giving them enough credit. They are sadistic, torturous, despicable, twisted, and pretty much straight evil. I mean these fucks are sadistic enough that the Marquis would look at them and say, yeah, you stepped over the line about 3 miles ago. And again, I might be underestimating the sheer douchebaggy sliminess that are the Trakonians. I keep trying to come up with something to compare them to or the words to describe the vileness that Livia has come up with, but I just can’t. You are going to have to go read the book to see.

I like Khalil and Zahara. I have to say, I love Khalil Khan’s name. It’s got a really lyrical quality, and it makes me think of Genghis Khan, who we all know that he would totally have been an Alpha, right? Totally off-topic, but there are millions and millions of people who are descended from Genghis because of his conquering ways. Anyhow, that’s where Khalil’s name took me, to a great warrior. I think the name Zahara flows really well with it too. Just a nice rhythm.

We really don’t know a whole lot about any of the characters at the moment, other than Zahara is brave and a bit rebellious, Khalil is strong and honorable, Onyx is smart, Thrash is tough, and Avincent is well, him. Like most serials, the first book is really just an intro, enough to get you hooked and to make you want more. Which frankly, I would without even reading it, because, well, I’m me.

I can’t wait for the next book to come out, and really, even if Livia were to release it tomorrow, it wouldn’t be soon enough for me.

Nothing below the pic today. So, go check it out, especially if you love Omegaverse. Happy reading!

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Renee Rose-His Queen of Clubs

Renee is back with her mafia series all about the Taccone family. In His Queen of Clubs, we are taking a decidedly eastern turn though, since we are going to go to Russia and play with the bratva.

So, a book or two ago, Junior Taccone went to a restaurant and killed himself a bunch of Russians. The fact is that they asked for it and the lead guy there that day really deserved it. But that day has had repercussions. There are always consequences, right? And the Taccones are about to meet theirs.

Junior has decided to have a surprise wedding, and where else do you elope to but Vegas? And if your brother owns a huge hotel and casino, you already know you got somewhere to stay. So Junior packs everyone up and heads to Vegas, including his little sister, Alessia, the only daughter in the family.

Meanwhile, Vlad has been watching so that he can get his revenge. The Russians that were killed were his guys. He had to go to Russia for a funeral, and while he was gone, his dipshit second made a stupid move and then badabing badaboom. Not only did they kill his guys, they also orphaned a 12 year old kid named Mika. When Vlad got back to Chicago, he found Mika, alone, in an apartment where he had been scrounging. Now he’s taken Mika under his collar. But today, they are in Vegas and they are going to make the Taccones pay. He is going to take the one woman who it will really hurt the family to lose, Alessia.

Vlad did so much research, but he missed one little thing. He missed that Alessia has diabetes and is insulin dependent. And that causes all kinds of issues.

A lot of times, I hate-ish the male main character in the beginning, before he starts to change a bit. But Vlad wasn’t like that. I think there is only one time when I outright disliked him, and that was because he was being stupid af. Mostly, I liked him a whole lot. I think that he was a pretty good guy from the beginning, even if he didn’t want to acknowledge it. Even when he was telling Alessia that she only had to stay married to him for a period of time, he was doing what he thought was the best and right thing to do, for Alessia, if not for him. Alessia was a good influence on him though.

I like Alessia. She’s feisty. She knows who she is and knows her worth. I liked how she really wanted to be independent, at least from her brothers, even though she knew that it would be pretty much impossible. I also like how caring she was, and how even though she was this whole mafia princess, she wasn’t spoiled or entitled or any of that. She just was truly a loving caring person who wanted to do what she could to make the world a better place.

I did get mad at her brothers though. I think that they pushed into places where they didn’t belong and frankly, she shoulda just smacked the shit out of them at least once or twice. I understand that they loved her and all that, but still.

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Sabina. I totally get why she did what she did, but damn. Bitch.

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

Christine Besze-Revenge

Christine Besze is a new author to me, but I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for her, especially for the rest of this series, because I really liked Revenge, and I’d like to see how Axel and Zane do in later books. I think Axel is going to be the next one, and I have a sneaking suspicion on who he’s going to be with, but we’ll have to wait and see. But today, we’re going to talk about Asher and Charlee.

Asher was a cop. He had a lovely wife and they were just about to have a son. Then he came home and his life suddenly changed. He found someone beating the everloving hell out of his pregnant wife. He tries to save her, but he gets knocked the fuck out, and she gets shot. With his gun. Then he gets arrested, by his own force no less, gets tried and found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Which he survives, but he’s not the same as he was.

When he gets out, his brother Zane is there, and he takes Asher to the house that he designed specifically for his revenge. He’s positive he knows who is behind his wife’s death, and he’s going to make him pay.

Charlee’s dad is a crime boss. She doesn’t want to be dragged into his life, and she does everything she can in order to stay away from him and his life. But then, Asher and his brothers take her. She’s just part of Asher’s revenge plan.

I waver back and forth on my opinions on Asher. I feel sorry for him, because of what he went through with the loss of his wife and unborn son, and then being charged and found guilty in their deaths. But sometimes he’s a right prick. I don’t know what he was like before he went to prison, but the years in prison definitely changed them, as they would, of course. I’m not always sure how much of him being a prick is because he’s really a prick or because he’s learned to shut his emotions down and has serious hyperfocus and everything outside of his hyperfocused revenge plan just gets ignored, including how Charlee might feel. I’m glad he has his brothers there, because they smack him upside the head as needed, both metaphorically and literally.

Charlee has a lot of fire and sass. I think it works well for her, most of the time. I don’t think that she was too isolated by her father, but there was some there at least. She has a pretty accurate view of her dad and what he does for a living. I don’t blame her for wanting to get away from him. I feel like we don’t get to know Charlee as much as we get to know Asher. The book is told in dual POVs, I just feel like we get more of Asher’s POV and state of mind. It doesn’t bother me, because I think it works well in this book. I don’t think I would like it in other stories, but like I said, I think it works really well here.

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I felt sure that there was someone involved in a way in which they weren’t. It was one of those, hmmm, it would seem like it would work.

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

 

Nicolina Martin-Shame

Shame is the latest addition to the Russo books by Nicolina Martin. This one is technically a prequel and it can be read as a standalone, so no worries if you don’t know the characters.

This is Carmen’s story, really. Yeah, you are dealing with Luciano and Lucas, but really, this is all about Carmen. Most of the story is from her POV, so we really get to know her really well. We also have some from Lucas’ POV, but nothing from Luciano, and I can’t say that really bothers me a bit. I really don’t want to see any more into his head than we really have to, thank you very much.

So, Carmen came from Columbia with her uncle. After having left her uncle, she’s done what she can to survive, and sadly, there isn’t a whole lot for her to do. So she ends up selling herself. For a while, she freelances and splits an apartment with some friends. However, she eventually ends up in a house owned by Luciano Salvatore, the biggest mobster in San Francisco. While it’s definitely a step up from where she had been, there’s one big drawback. And that is Luciano Salvatore. He will occasionally send for a woman from the house to come and service him. Usually, she only goes once, and then she comes back to the house, forever changed. Sometimes, though, they never come back. This time, it’s Carmen’s turn. Everyone kind of looks at her like she’s the walking dead. When she walks out of the house, she sees the driver, who she thinks looks like a young Viking.

Lucas, the driver, is pretty young. He’s only 20-ish to Carmen’s 18. He has been doing a lot of little jobs for the Salvatore family, but he wants to get further into the family. He wants the freedom and such that can come from being a mobster. But for right now, all he is is the driver. So, he drives a beautiful young Carmen to Salvatore’s house so she can service him.

I’d like to say that Luciano was nice. Of course, I’d also like to say that I was a multi-millionaire. Too bad I can’t say either of those things. Luci was so far from nice that there aren’t even words to describe it. Let’s just stay that when Carmen did get back home, she was in bad enough shape that she had to have days of morphine to handle the pain. Lucas looks at the poor broken butterfly and starts to feel something for her.

Like I said before, this really is Carmen’s story. We get to see her try to put herself back together and come to grips with the aftermath of her trip to Luciano. Since we see her POV the most, we really get to see the psychological effects of what has happened to her and what it looks like to be the survivor. Carmen has some changes in her views of things that were interesting to watch. She is awfully cynical for someone who is so young, but then again, I can’t blame her for that, because, well, look at everything that she does go through.

I mostly like Lucas, but sometimes I just think he’s so young. Of course, my son is 24, so of course I think Lucas is young. I think the parts of him that kind of made me frustrated or angry were mostly because of that very young part of him and they would change as he got older and a little less naive. Because face it, he really is kind of naive.

Luciano. Well, what can I say about Luciano other than that he’s a massive prick who should die in a lake of hellfire?

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I thought for a few minutes that I might have to yell at Nicolina, there towards the end, but I should’ve had more faith in her.

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