Alta Hensley-Villains and Vodka

Alta Hensley has come out with another book in her series about Spiked Roses and it’s super duper rich owners. Villains and Vodka is all about Harley and Marlowe

So, each of the founding members has their own thing, Harley is the assassin, and he makes sure that the club stays safe because he has a scary rep. Fuck with the club and you’re fuckin with Harley. Fuck with Harley and you won’t be a worry anymore. He keeps to himself, doesn’t have anything to do with any of the lovely ladies who work at the club or go to the Tastings. He just comes to the club each night and drinks his ice-cold vodka and watches the people around him.

While Harley is watching the people, Marlowe is watching him. She has a major league lust on for him. She knows that she should probably avoid him, but she has a thing for the bad boys, and Harley is the baddest boy on two legs. Marlowe keeps trying to work at the tables that Harley frequents, but she is always stopped. But, when she finds out that Harley is coming to an upcoming Tasting, she makes sure to sign up for it and she’s going to catch his attention and make sure that the two of them end up signing a contract together.

The theme of the Tasting is Who’s Afraid of the Dark? That means that there are going to be a lot of things dark, scary, kinky, and exciting going on. Marlowe is positive that she’s not afraid of Harley’s darkness and is willing to walk that line with him.

OK, time to split up, at least temporarily. This is a dark and lovely one. There is really interesting kink and a good romance on top of that. Alta never stints on anything in her books, and she sure didn’t here. Harley may be one of my favorite bad boys ever, and I really love this book. I may want to smack Harley, but that doesn’t make him any less my favorite.

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OMG, OMG, OMG. When I say dark, I mean this leads right into the dark, but in the best way. I’m not going to talk too much about what makes the dark dark, because… Well, you just have to read it for yourself and see why.

Marlowe has her own problems and her own secrets which she’s not willing to share. She is a former cutter, so there’s that warning to anyone who may be triggered, but Alta handles it really well. She doesn’t glamorize it in any way. I like that she doesn’t shy away from it being in the book, but isn’t shaming Marlowe for what happened. That can be a really tricky thing to handle.

I loved this book. It’s going to fit right into my book rotation for those days when I need some darkness and mindfuckery. Yes, I have a collection to fit that mood. I can’t wait for the rest of the series, and I’m really excited about the upcoming story. The Dolls are going to be interesting, I think. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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Isabella Starling-Breaking Belle

Isabella Starling decided to surprise us all with another wonderful, twisted, filthy fairy tale. Now if you are thinking to yourself, “Self, didn’t Isa just write an adult fairy tale?”, you would be right, she did. Last week we got Isabella’s take on Cinderella. Today we are getting Beauty and the Beast with Breaking Belle. Isabella’s version kind of combines the Disney version and the classic story. When you’re reading it, see if you can find all the mentions that reference the Disney version. I thought it was fun to do that.

Arabelle is the only girl in her family. She has 4 older brothers who she has little to do with, and one younger brother. She’s also got a father who is in deep. He owes more money than he will ever be able to scrape up. When it comes time to be paid, he’s proper fucked.

Dom lives high in a castle with his few loyal men. He’s been hiding from his enemies while planning his revenge. However, he keeps being betrayed by his people. When it comes time to collect money from Belle’s father, Dom decides that he’s going to do it in person.

Dom gives her old man all kinds of chances to pay up and threatens him. Too bad the  man doesn’t have any money. Belle doesn’t know what to do, all she knows is that she has to keep her younger brother safe. To that end, she decides that she will volunteer to go with Dom. She figures that he will kill her, but at least her dad’s debt will be paid off and her youngest brother will be safe. However, when he sees her, other ideas pop into his head. Or, would that be heads? Why yes, I am a 12 year old.

OK, this is where we part ways. This is a pretty quick read, with some really great sex. Of course, being an Isabella Starling story, it isn’t necessarily sweet. There are some pretty dark moments in this one. I got mad on Belle and Dom’s behalf more than once. But, if Beauty and the Beast is your favorite fairy tale and you have always wanted to see what an adult version would look like, this is definitely the story for you to pick up and check out.

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OK, so the rose garden. Oh man, my heart breaks for Dom. And the way that he has his house set up with the rose garden where it is? Wow. But, I’m glad that he’s able to change his associations with that particular area.

I love all the epilogue story we get. It was nice to get that glimpse into Belle and Dom’s lives. I also liked the little reference to Collaring Cinderella. I snerked just a little bit. I was also endlessly amused by all the Disney references that I was able to pick up. I thought it was very clever on Isa’s part to get all of them in the story, but mostly not in any overt, shove it in your face kind of way.

I enjoyed the story a lot. I enjoyed the sexy, sexy sex scenes. I even liked the dark parts, even when I got mad. So, go do yourself a favor and get a fairy tale to read to yourself before bed. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Parker Sinclair-A Darker Fall

This is one of the stories from the anthology The Aching Darkness. Full disclosure, I haven’t read the entire anthology, but it has been added into 234879805 book long TBR. I have different lists of them. I mean, how else is a girl supposed to keep track of her books? You should see my TBR collection on my Kindle, which I’ve decided to alphabetize by author. I like a nice organized library. Anyway, that doesn’t get us to our review of the day. It’s a novella, so it’s not going to be anything long since I don’t want to give anything away. So, without any further digressions, or too many, at least, let’s get to A Darker Fell.

Parker has described ADF as a dark fantasy, and I’ll agree with that. If you ask me, it also fits in with paranormal and urban fantasy. There are romantic parts to it, so I think it also fits in the romance categories too. I like stories that defy simple classification, and in my opinion, this does that.

Ilese is a Dark Angel. Her job is to fight the powers of evil and the spawn of the Fallen. I bet you can guess who the Fallen is. Could it be… Satan? Those Fallen come in different categories, Queens, S2, and S1. The latter two are also called the Walking Hollow by Ilese and her team.

Ilese is stronger than human and her Dark Angel-ness lets her disintegrate her enemies after she’s killed them. If a Queen is able to get to a human, they are able to turn that human into a Walking Hollow. That has happened to too many of her team. When her second-in-command, Josh, is captured by one of the Queens, Ilese runs to the rescue. Luckily, she’s able to get to him before the Queen can do anything to him, but something else happens, something potentially dangerous.

And that’s where I’m going to leave you because you need to go read this story. The book is on KU and it’s only 99 little pennies, so it’s not going to break the bank for you to buy it. I don’t know if it will stay available for a long time since I know Parker is going to continue to the story, so I don’t know who holds the rights to the story and all that. I know that this may give you the wrong idea when I say this, but for me, the end of the story was what made the entire story. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the story was bad, in fact, it wasn’t, but the big final fight is what really makes it.

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OK, she may not look like a traditional angel, but every time I look at this picture, I see her as a fallen angel, so in my head, Ilese looks similar to this. If she doesn’t look like this to you, I don’t want to know. Except, since she’s a fighter, maybe not the dress, but you get the idea, right?

There really isn’t too much I can day down here since it’s a novella and I don’t want to spoil anything. However, there were some mysteries brought up that I have theories on. Of course, I’m not going to tell you my theories, go read the story yourself, and then we can talk. However, one of the Queens tells Ilese that they want something she’s created, and I wonder if it’s something that she may have had help creating this particular something. That would be really, really interesting, in my opinion, especially in relation to things said earlier in the story.

I also have a theory that Ilese’s basic nature may change because of certain events, so I will be looking forward to the rest of the story.

So, we have fun stuff coming up in the next few days, including a new SEAL story, and hopefully something from the twisted brains of Lee Savino and Renee Rose. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Zoe Blake-Daddy’s Home

Zoe Blake is spoiling us this year. Not too long ago, we got her dark age play book, Papa’s Prey. Now, we are getting her dark age play/Daddy dom book Daddy’s Home. This book is super-duper steamy and nice and dark. I mean, what more can you want in a story? Like I said, she’s totally spoiling us.

Chloe has spent the last two years in hiding from her dark and chaotic past. She lives in her uncle’s cabin off in the woods outside a small town. She stays in her cabin, minds her own business and creates beautiful jewelry. Chloe’s biggest goals in life right now are to keep her head down, stay hidden, and keep making jewelry. She may be bored, but it’s better than the alternative.

Logan has been sent to find Chloe. He’s spent a long time studying her so that he could find her. He’s searched her social media so that he can get an idea as to where she might be hiding. Logan is so obsessed with finding her, he even carries a picture of her in his wallet.

When Logan finds Chloe, he has to get something from her. He knows that she’s hiding this particular item, and he will do anything he can to find it. But more than that, he finds that Chloe herself is something that he needs. He wants to protect her, care for her, and discipline her as necessary. He wants to be her Daddy.

You know what time it is. I’m going to go my way and you can choose yours. Logan is intensely focused, but from the moment that he meets Chloe, his focus goes from the recovery of what he was sent for to keeping Chloe safe. We don’t get to know him much, other than he is seriously Alpha male, very taciturn, and very protective. I’m perfectly fine with that. He’s not the kind of hero where we need to find out every little bit of his backstory in order to like him. That mystery suits him well and makes for a better story. Chloe is a strong woman and has used that strength to try to get away from her past. Of course, being strong doesn’t mean that you don’t need a Daddy to come and take care of you. It’s totally possible to be both. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait for more from Zoe. If you like dark and kinky af stories, this is another good one for you.

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There are so many, many, many great things about this book. Too bad I’m not going to tell you most of them. Like the other two books I’ve blogged this week, there are some serious twists and turns and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

I can, however, tell you how much I love Logan and how well he takes care of Chloe. She really does well under his care and she’s able to grow from it.

One scene in this book gives me some of my favorite lines. Some bad guys are threatening Chloe, and they are talking about being scared of the big, fucking dude. Chloe says, “That big fucking dude is going to kill you for touching me.” See how much faith she has in her Daddy to take care of her? Knowing that he’s there to help her out lets her be feisty and feel safe. Later on, in the same scene, we get this from Chloe, “Before the bleached gangland Barbie over there slapped my face, that one kicked in the shin. What kind of schoolyard bullshit is that? You know how much it hurts to be kicked in the shin?” Those lines left me laughing out loud, and not just that LOL you tell your friends, actually laughing. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to explain to him why I was laughing. I love that entire scene and that Chloe was able to have some of her own power during that.

OK, that’s all I have to say about Daddy’s Home, other than that you should immediately visit Amazon and 1 click it. You definitely won’t be sorry that you did. We have more interesting books coming up this week, so don’t go too far. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Jennifer Bene-Destruction

No matter how many other dark authors I read, Jennifer Bene is always going to be the queen of my list and a definite go-to author. Her books are dark and twisted and oh, so yummy. Destruction is no different. It’s jampacked with noncon goodness as well hot BDSM action, an anti-hero, and a strong and submissive woman. What’s not to love about that, right?

So, let’s get right into this story.

Lianna Mercier was born with a platinum spoon in her mouth. She has never wanted for anything in her entire life. She’s had an easy life, gone to college, and given a job at her father’s business. She’s worked there for a couple of years, working in acquisitions and helping to make a multi-national business even bigger. She really has no life outside of her work and her father. She even mostly stays in his apartment instead of going home to her own.

David Gethen is a man on a mission. He is going to take Robert Mercier down, no matter what it takes. He’s spent years and years doing research, amassing evidence, and preparing himself for his mission. All of that research led him to believe that there was only one way for him to take down Mercier. That was through his daughter, Lianna. David wants to ruin the spoiled rotten little princess that he knows that she is. He knows that she is complicit in everything so taking her down will do all kinds of damage. So, after years of preparation, David is ready to make his move and take down Mercier and he abducts Lianna.

OK, this is where we are going to go our separate ways. This story is dark and twisty, and I don’t want to give any of the twists away. There is a lot of very, very kinky stuff that happens, and it’s hot af. The story is wonderful. There are layers to the story that you have to get through. I love books that give me great plot as well as good sex. Of course, I love books that give me good sex. I think it may just be easier to say that I love books, period. This book isn’t for everyone. There are some very intense parts which may be upsetting to some people, but they heighten the story for me. They just made everything even better. If you love dark and twisted, then definitely, definitely check this one out.

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OK, OMG, I have so many things about this book that I loved so much. It really did hit all the happy buttons for me, so yay!

Of the scenes that made me happiest, there were two that I really liked and there’s a distinct possibility that those scenes were highlighted so that I can always find them. One has to do with a zipper and the other with a belt. Jennifer posted the zipper scene in her reader’s group (come join us if you like hot and kinky and dark) and I had to reread it often.

I love David’s struggle. He has to figure out who he is and what he ultimately wants to have happen. It can’t be easy for him since he’s had one thing be his purpose and goal for a long time, and when something happens that challenges that, he’s got to figure out how to handle it. Jennifer always gives her characters room to grow and change, and that’s part of what I love about her books. Her characters at the start of the books are different to how they are at the finish of the books. It’s that change and growth that makes me really like her books and her as an author.

Alright, I don’t want to say too much more about the book, even in the spoiler section, because you are going to want to go out there and read this book. Trust me.

Dani Rene-Whisper

So, a couple of weeks ago I reviewed Kneel, the first book in the Sins of Seven series by Dani Rene. Today, we’re getting into the next one with Whisper. Whisper is darker than Kneel, with some parts that made me cry. My poor husband doesn’t always know what to do when a book makes me cry. I won’t put it down, most of the time, otherwise how will I know if it comes out alright, so I just cry and he asks 14 times if I’m OK. So, let’s dive into the book, and then you can go read it and see if it makes you cry too. If it does, you totally have to tell me.

Once upon a time, Eli was a happily married man and a happy Dom with a lovely sub. Then he found out that his wife Raquel had been keeping secrets and that she is dying. His wife keeps trying to make him promise to find someone else to love so that he will be happy. She’s just being a good sub, always thinking of her Dom and his happiness. She even goes as far as pointing out a young woman who is also in the hospital and telling him that he should go talk to her.

Giana was that young girl. She was just 17 at the time and had already lived in the antechamber of Hell. Raquel talked to her and made her promise to watch out for Eli and to take care of him.

Eventually, Gia and Eli hook up. They spend a year being friends and making each other come. Eli walks away from an 18 year old Gia, thinking that he’s too old for her and wanting her to go and have a happy life.

Fast forward 7 years, Gia changed her name from the one Eli knew her as and looks different. She spent 2 years living in the deepest, darkest pits of Hell and has come through the other side. With Carrick’s help and a good psychiatrist, she’s managed to put her life together again. And she’s found Eli. She sees him every day serving as a barista at his regular coffee shop and most nights, working as a bartender at the local BDSM club, Seven Sins, owned and run by Carrick and Mason. She’s played with different Doms and occasionally shown up on stage in various shows. She’s also watched Eli play with various subs and then heard them come back and talk about him and try to get him to play with them again.

For his part, Eli has worked very hard to not have any real sub. He may bring the subs from the clubs home, but he’s never let them into any part of his home except for a room he’s set up to entertain subs in and his playroom. He’s bound and determined not to love anyone, not since Raquel died and he walked away from Riley.

One night, at the club, he hands Gia his card and tells her that he wants to play with her after her shift and to show up at his house. They scene, everyone is happy, and he sends her home. Mostly what Eli is looking for is a little girl he can love and cherish but also tie up, spank, and make cry. Gia is looking for someone who will love her.

Gia and Eli are two profoundly broken people who have serious shards and bits and pieces. Together they are less broken and they help to hold each others’ broken bits together. But when the past comes back to haunt them, can the hold they have on each other go on?

This is where I go one way and you may choose to go the other, there are definite possibilities that you may be spoiled if you keep going with me. Dani Rene creates wonderful characters that make you really cheer for them or hate them. This is a dark book, with BDSM scenes, capture and torture, and sadness. There is also happiness and lots of secrets. There are a lot of layers that go into this story and I loved being able to find them and dig into them. It was also nice to get a peek at older characters and see old friends.

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The layers and connections in this book are delicious. Everything is tied into everything else and into everyone else. I have to admit, that there was one thing that I kind of guessed, well, not really guessed, but more like thought wouldn’t be interesting if… And it was, and it was interesting.

Poor Gia. I mean, fuck. I mean, she worked as hard as she could to get away from her past and then it found her, and it nearly destroyed her. I spent that whole section of the book crying and cried while Gia and Eli were apart. I know why Gia chose to do what she did, and I even support the idea of her taking the time to heal after what happened. That doesn’t mean that my heart didn’t break for them both, especially since Gia was bound and determined to let Eli go. I love the way that it ended though. I felt very satisfied and my tears dried up.

I really loved this book. Not just for the kinky, kinky, sexy fun, but for all the layers of the story and the rich story-telling that goes into this book. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love books that are just sex for the sake of sex, I own several of them and enjoy reading them, but I also love reading stories that have real substance to them and that make you think and feel for the characters, and this one did that.

Anyway, that’s enough for today. We have a break tomorrow and then we’re back with more Parker Sinclair and a fun week ahead of us. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Callie Hart-Mr. North

I’ve read some other Callie Hart books, so when I got the chance to get an ARC of Mr. North so that I could read and review it, it was a no-brainer. I’m really glad that I did. It was a great story and it hit a lot of my happy buttons. It was twisty and turny, it was a helluva roller coaster ride, and it was kinky af. It was also full of suspense, well-written, and kept me guessing. All good things.

So, to the story. Beth is a law student at Columbia University. She’s just about to graduate and take the bar exam. She’s broke, dealing with a lot of student loans, and may have to move in with the brother she doesn’t necessarily like. That’s when her friend Thalia drops an opportunity in her lap. Thalia is running a company which lets people hire others to come and be their companion for a while. Get your brains out of the fucking gutter, not that kind of companion. The person that Thalia wants Beth to see is just looking for a chess opponent and someone to talk to. In return, she’ll get $6k for it, which for a starving student, is a helluva lot of money. The man who is hiring is named Raphael North, and he’s one of the richest people in the country.

Raph was in the public eye for many years, but in the last 5 years, he’s rarely seen. There are all kinds of rumors about him, like that he actually died in a car crash, his board hired doubles to stand in at meetings and a zillion others. Raph is looking for someone to come talk to him and play chess with him at his home. He doesn’t want anything else (or does he). He just has one requirement. He doesn’t want any blondes, so it’s a good thing that Beth is a brunette.

Thalia sets up the first meeting, and off Beth goes to meet Raph and play chess. There are a lot of things that Thalia tells Beth, including don’t beat him at chess. Well, that one didn’t last for very long. She has a game with him and then meets his friend Paxton, who obviously dislikes her. He dislikes her so much he tried to buy her off.

Alright, time to go our separate ways. Seriously, the sex scenes, most of them, are kinky. Very good kinky. There are some really sad bits, some really angry bits, some bits where I wanted to curse at various characters, and times when my heart was in my throat. While there was a very satisfying HEA, the journey to get there was nearly heartbreaking. It’s on special for $0.99 right now as well as being on KU, so go catch it while you can.

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OMG, can we just talk about THE CHAIR for a minute? You know the one I mean. That’s just fucking awesome. I mean, who doesn’t want a custom made fucking chair that’s made to their precise dimensions, can be put into a variety of positions, and has buttloads of tiedown points? It’s good to be a billionaire.

While most of the twists kept me guessing, I did guess that Raph has problems with leaving the house, but that’s because I live with an agoraphobic, so I recognized it from various things that Thalia said. I didn’t guess why he had problems leaving the house, but it made sense.

I really, really intensely disliked Beth’s brother from the very start, and I’m so glad that my first impression of him was correct. He was all into the whole I have a penis and I am right syndrome, if you ask me. Or he could’ve just been a douchelord. Or both. I’m willing to go with both.

OK, I think that I’ve had my say on this one. If I keep going on, I’ll let spill everything. If you want to talk to me about it, you know where to find me. We have all kinds of good books coming up, so watch this space. I won’t be blogging on Thanksgiving, but I have good stuff leading up to the day and after. My version of Black Friday features Sara Fields. Meanwhile, happy reading!

PS, if you are looking for one of the most mindfucking books you’ll ever read, check out Crowned By Hate.