Natalie Bennett-Crucible

International best selling author Natalie Bennett is back with the start of a new series. And it looks like it’s going to be just as dark and fucked up as some of her other books. I can’t fucking wait. It all starts with Crucible.

A crucible is a vessel in which metal ore or solid metal goes into before it’s put into a smelter so that it can get refined and melted down. When most people talk about a crucible, they are talking about a difficult trial that they have gone through, and which makes them stronger or breaks them altogether on the other side. And this is definitely a crucible for Raelynn.

Rae has left all the life she knew before to start over in the tiny town of Harmony Springs. It’s so small, I don’t even know if it has the population to be an actual town. Maybe it’s only a village, but I digress. Her parents helped her find a Tudor style home and fixed it up for her. It’s got a real retro glam feel to it, because that’s Rae’s personal aesthetic. While she doesn’t really need to work, she sees a help wanted sign at the local diner and decides to be a waitress. While she is working there, she meets the Blackwood twins, Jace and Kaiden, which totally changes her life.

The Blackwoods are THE family of Harmony Springs. Those in the know know that they are up to something, but not everyone in town knows what they like to do. Some of the people who don’t know kind of suspect that something is up with them, but no one says anything. The twins are the town heartthrobs, and they know it. Their dad saw Raelynn on her first day in town, and knew that she was the right person for his boys. And that was all she wrote. Or he wrote, or someone wrote.

As this is a Natalie Bennett book, you aren’t going to be surprised that there is a heavy dose of mindfuckery going on in this book. Nor should you be surprised that there is some serious darkness. Natalie can go to the horror place, and does sometimes (a lot of times?), but I don’t think that this one goes to that place, at least not at the moment. It does go to the dark place, but again, Natalie. There is a lot of tension going on and only some of it seems to be resolved at any point. Because it is a quick prequel to a new series, it is rather cliffhanger-y, but it’s going to be worth it, I do believe.

I like Rae, but I think that she’s a little naive at times. The twins are just kind of creeperish and creepy at the same time and definitely hiding every damn secret in the world. I’m looking forward to finding out more about their sister and their friends. The story is going to be so good. Again, because Natalie. I haven’t found anything of hers that I haven’t liked, as of yet.

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I have to say that the cat showing up with a tag that had my address on it would’ve had me noping right the fuck out of there. And if that didn’t do it, the picture in the mail sure as fuck would’ve. This is what I mean about me thinking that Rae was kind of naive. Eddie Murphy does a whole comedy bit about how if a black family had been in Poltergeist or Amityville Horror, they would’ve been out of there at the first sign of something paranormal. Yup, I totally agree. The first creepy ass thing that happened would see my ass out the door and waving bye-bye. I might’ve even left skid marks. Then again, if Rae had done that, it would be a totally different story, right?

I think that she should’ve broken into the shed much earlier, like the first or second day she was there, but again, see above about different story.

I have to wonder, how much are Rae’s parents involved in what’s going on? Maybe I’m just paranoid AF, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t in it up to their eyeballs.

OK, that’s all for this one. If you love Natalie Bennett, this is definitely one you are going to have to go read. Happy reading!

Felicity Brandon-Tamed

Stop! If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Taken, don’t go any further until you do. This series is a serial and it has cliffhangers. The third book will be out in January, so if you don’t like to read a serial until everything comes out, then you won’t have long to wait. I, myself, don’t mind a little bit of a cliffhanger, but there’s a rumor that I’m a literary masochist. But, I’m telling you now, I can’t wait to get to the third book, because the end of this one? Wow! So, if you are ready to visit Felicity Brandon and get Tamed, then jump over the cliff with me.

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So, when we last left Molly and Connor, she was running away from him at the cabin in the woods. She was sure that she couldn’t handle anything more from Connor and that he had turned into a serious monster. So, trying to be sneaky sneaky, she got the key, grabbed a blanket, and fled into the woods starkass naked. Connor was awake, and he decided to give her a minute before he started chasing her. He did warn her that if she ran, he would chase her, and she would never be able to escape him. So, after a while, he started to chase her.

When he couldn’t find her quickly, he started freaking out, went back and got the car and headed for the road, where he was lucky to see her. Well, lucky for him. Not so lucky for Molly, who is in for some serious punishment.

That punishment includes a serious paddling, a punishment fuck, because really, what punishment is complete without getting it up the ass, and some time spent caged in the mostly dark.

There are a lot of changes in this book, not just in Molly but also in Connor. I mean, of course there are going to be changes in Molly, because when you are in the place that she is in, you are going to do everything you can to make sure that you can keep the person who is keeping your captive happy, because it’s obvious that bad things are going to happen if your captor gets mad. So, she’s going to learn to do everything he wants so that he will stay happy, as well as learn to read his moods so that she can do what she needs to do to keep him happy. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, right? Uhhhh, nope. But all that makes there be serious changes in her. But, the more surprising thing is that there are also changes in Connor, changes that Molly is making in him.¬†On top of seeing those changes, we also get to learn more about Connor. I mean, we get to know his age now, which is something more than we had before.

We are still getting the split perspective, but like in the last book, I think that there are times when the perspectives almost merge so that we are seeing both of them together, if that makes sense. I don’t think that split perspectives work for all books and I’ve read a few books in which there was a split perspective that I wished wasn’t there, but it really is a necessity for this book, and Felicity does it really well.

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OMG, the scene with Conor in the bathroom? Just wow. Says quite a bit about him and his brain, doesn’t it?

I’m looking forward to finding out more about The Syndicate. I’m pretty sure that they are going to figure pretty heavily in the next book. I can’t wait to see.

I wonder how well Molly is going to do now. I’m pretty sure nothing is going to be all that good right now.

That’s all that I have to say. If you like dark, suspenseful, and sexy, go check this one out. Happy reading!

Zoe Blake-Damaged Doll

Oh, my sweet summer children, what a dark and chilling tale we have today. Zoe decided that Broken Doll, formerly My Name Is Jane from When the Darkness Wins, needed to have a sequel, and thus, Damaged Doll was born.

Warning, this is not a standalone. You have to have read Broken Doll in order to know what’s going on. You will be well and truly lost. Warning the second, this is not a pretty tale. This is not a light tale. This is dark. This is chilling. This may even be horrific. This is also a wonderful read, albeit one that’s going to totally fuck with your head, because, well, Zoe thinks it’s fun to do that. And since I apparently think it’s fun to read it, I don’t get to complain all that much when my head is completely done in. And really, I don’t complain all that much, because I really do like to read the mindfuckery stuff.

This picks up right where BD leaves off, which means I’m not going to tell you all that much about it, because I don’t want to spoil Broken Doll if you haven’t read it yet, and if you like dark and twisted, I’m telling you, you really should. We still get all Jane’s inner monologue, but now we’re also getting flashbacks of Jane’s life before everything happened. It’s really interesting to find out more about Jane.

Like I said when I reviewed WtDW, this plays into a very particular fear of mine, which makes it both chilling and fascinating to read. It’s like when you know that the horror movie is going to scare the pants off you, but you can’t walk away from it because you want to watch it so much? Yeah, that’s what’s happening here. I know that this feeds that fear, but I know that the story is just so good. It gives me the shivers in just the right way, if that makes sense.

There aren’t any spoilers down there, because it is a short read and any kind of spoiler will spoil everything. So, go read it. Happy reading!

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Sansa Rayne-Enslaved

I ran across Sansa when I read Erased, which totally gave me a new appreciation of straight jackets. Then I got to ARC Exalted. It’s on here somewhere. And today, I’m reviewing Enslaved by her. Enslaved is the third book in the series, which isn’t really as much of a series as it is a series of standalones that are connected, if that makes sense. There is some crossover from book to book, but the characters are secondary at best.

Quinn Harris is in trouble. She’s sitting in an interrogation room, just waiting for the police to come talk to her. You see, she assaulted a Senator’s son. She pushed him, he fell out a window. Of course, he was trying to rape her and her best friend, so she was totally justified. But, he’s now in a coma and probably in a persistent vegetative state. Can’t have happened to a nicer guy. But now, the Senator wants vengeance. First, in comes a judge to offer her a prison diversion option. She would go to Walker for a year, instead of a prison. Of course, Walker is a private prison owned by the Senator. Then the Senator comes in and tells her that he’s going to use his son being in a coma for his election for years and years. And she’s going to Walker, no matter what, because he forged her signature. And he’ll see her when he wins the election.

Reed Nolan is Lance’s, the Senator’s son, friend. He’s also a guard at Walker. And the Senator and the warden have made Quinn his especial project. He’s supposed to break her. He’s good at that. And, did I mention that he’s an unrepentant sadist?

Walker isn’t a prison diversion program. It’s the annex to Hell. The guards all beat and rape the women. Every so often, they sell the women to sponsors, or, you know, rich men who want their very own sex slave. All the guards like it, because hey, all the pussy they want, just right there. Quinn is introduced to Hell by being put in a stockade and whipped, then left. All the other women are told that if they talk to her, they will be punished, and that’s that.

I love Quinn. She’s fucking fierce. She isn’t going to go down without a fight, and she will use everything she can to fight. No matter what any of the guards or any of the other men who come there are going to do, she’s going to fight them. In fact, what she does to the Judge is fucking epic.

There are times when Nolan is just too fucking stupid to live. I wondered if he had Breathe tattooed on the inside of his eyelids. OK, he wasn’t quite that bad, but he was definitely naive and didn’t think things through. And yeah, he was definitely stupid about people. He believed Quinn about what Lance tried to do, but when she tried to point other things, he didn’t believe her. I mean, why would she be telling the truth about all these other things that he believes her on and not this one particular point? Dumbfuck. But, he does smarten up and catch a clue.

I am glad that he chose to believe her and that he started to think and act differently because of her. I feel like he grew up because Quinn pushed him.

Because I feel like warning people every now and again, just in case we have new readers, remember, anything under the picture is a spoiler. I don’t generally get too spoilery, but you have been warned.

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Oh my motherfucking god! Why would the Senator not be bent when it’s his fucking prison, the warden is his friend, the judge is his friend, and he’s making massive bank by selling women? I mean, come on Reed, use a little logical thinking here. It’s not that hard, really.

And Quinn? Oh yeah, everyone she hurts totally deserves it. Totally. And I wouldn’t feel bad about it either.

I did get mad at Jacquline for a hot minute, but then I understood the spot she was in, and the name Bitch finally made sense. Fucking Senator. He was a twatwaffle.

OK, so that’s all I have to say on this one. Check it out. Happy reading!

Felicity Brandon-Taken

So, in Taken, Felicity has decided to go all meta on us. I loved it. One warning, it is a serial, but the next 2 parts will be out in December and January, so Felicity isn’t going to be all that sadistic towards us. Just a little bit sadistic.

Molly Clary is an author. She’s an author who writes capture fantasy books, along with noncon/dubcon, objectification, and pet play aspects. She’s tremendously popular. So, she does as many authors do, and sets up readers’ groups on social media where she can connect with her readers and goes to signings. Her latest signing is in London, which is really far away from her home in Pennsylvania.

As she’s packing up to go back to her hotel at the end of her signing, a beautiful man comes up and asks her if it’s too late for him to get a book signed. When Molly tells him that it’s fine, he hands her a book called Amelie’s Abduction, and she signs it to Connor Reilly, a self-professed superfan.

When Molly leaves, she ends up wandering the streets of London around where the signing was so that she can find her car. Instead, what she finds is trouble. A pack of young men tries to attack her, but then Connor comes to her rescue. But only for so far. He ends up abducting her and taking her to his house, where he ties her down and chains her. And oh yeah, forces her to write their story. (See, that’s where it gets all meta)

So yes, not only has she been captured and is being held by Connor, she has to write all about it, because he is her biggest fan.

OK, this one is ridiculously hot and filthy, and it may have one of my new favorite scenes ever in it. And I say this admitting that Felicity has one of my favorite scenes ever in one of her Viking books. We get both Connor’s and Molly’s POV, but sometimes it seems to really blend together, so there are times when it seems like you are in both of their heads at the same time. There are times when it is very distinct. It works really well here. I wouldn’t suggest it for everyone or in every book, but like I said, it really did work here.

I loved watching all of the struggles and confusion that goes on in Molly’s head. It’s fascinating to see her go through trying to figure out what she should do at any given point and how she feels at any point in time. I would love to see what she’s writing, because I think that it would be a great window into her mind and how she’s feeling, even more than her POV in the book. Does that make sense? It makes sense to me, but you know how it is. Things we think make sense don’t always. I just think that seeing how she processed it through her writing would deepen our understanding of her. I also wonder what Connor thinks of her writings.

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Ok, not so many spoilers here as much as a I love the fucking end of this story. I mean, WTF. I can’t wait to read it. And fucking hell, what a cliffie.

Go check it out. Happy reading!

Natalie Bennett-Depravity

You don’t have to get very far into Depravity in order to realize that this is a very Natalie Bennett book. It has her mix of total innocence and total chaos all wrapped up together in a pleasing package. This is dark and it does have MM, MFM, MMF sex in it. And I’d give it 5 scorching flames just for that part, let alone for the rest of the story.

Helena is sick. At least, that’s what her mother has told her all her life. That she’s sick and that nothing can fix her, no matter what. Her daddy has left her mother, and her mother says it’s all Helena’s fault. Helena likes to fix things that are broken. When Buddy breaks her mother, she breaks Buddy, and then she fixes them. She makes them smile at her and if she had a dog, they would be the perfect family. But it doesn’t work that way, so she calls her daddy to help deal with it. So he takes her home with him.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Declan and Ethan are getting their rocks off the way that they do. Mostly, that’s by killing someone while fucking them, and Declan fucking Ethan at the same time. They are partners in so many ways, including being lovers. And they like to kill together, in their playroom in the Dahlia. They have been looking for their perfect center, to help make their little family complete. Declan’s the lemon tier of cake, Ethan is the strawberry, and they need their vanilla tier. Then they meet Helena, and discover how perfect she is for them. Their biggest problem is going to be convincing her of that fact.

I like Helena as a character. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around her in real life, though. At the beginning of the book, she really has all the emotional knowledge and maturity of an infant. In fact, an infant may be more in touch with their emotions than Helena is. Of course, she’s been extremely isolated, to the point where for the majority of her life, she’s only been around her mother, father, and Buddy. And when one of those people spends all of their time telling you how sick you are and how broken you are and how no one will ever want you, you kinda end up not all that emotionally mature and you probably don’t think all that much of yourself, either.

Declan and Ethan are, of course, sick and depraved, but they know that and they willingly embrace it. And since Declan is an Andreou, ain’t no one gonna say nothin’ to them ’bout it, either. In fact, since the Andreous own the town, they could probably murder someone walking down the street and not have a problem. You know, that could be really interesting to see. I’ll have to go read all the other Andreou books to see if something like that happened. I have read the Mercy books, which are Morganna and Julian’s story, but I haven’t read the Obscene Duet, which is Mason and Katie, as of yet. I actually own them, I just need to find some spare time to read them. I used to joke that I would be 3 days dead before I finished my TBR, but these days, it’s going to be more like 3 years.

Anyway, this is darrrrk. There are glimmers of light, but it’s black light. Does that turn me off reading anything else that comes out of this world or about this trio? Oh fuck no. In fact, I’ll probably be right up on the front line in order to get it, because, well, I’m me.

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One of the things that really struck me about this book, and it’s down here in the spoiler section instead of up there because it could be a spoiler, is the whole nature vs. nurture argument. Is Helena sick because her mother treated her as sick and abused her? Or Is Helena sick because she’s a sociopath or psychopath? Or is it a combination thereof? Unfortunately, I don’t think that we’re ever going to be able to know the answer to that, and I didn’t really see anything that showed one way or the other what Natalie thought. I mean, yeah, one of the guys at one point says that she isn’t a socio/psychopath, but really, can we trust them? And it’s kind of seriously unethical and immoral to run any kind of experiment in the real world to test out nature vs. nurture. (Not that I would or would even advocate it.) I think, at this point, it’s going to be up to us, as the readers to decide, unless Natalie comes right out and says.

I hated Molly from the very beginning, so I wasn’t all that surprised that she tried to do what she tried to do. I have to wonder how much she knew about anything that Heath might’ve done to Helena. She seemed way too interested in getting Helena in that basement, if you know what I mean.

OK, that’s all I’m going to say on this one. I could go on and on, but you have to go check out this story and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

Nicolina Martin-This Is Not Love

This Is Not Love is Nicolina Martin’s second semester freshman offering. She says that she considers it her first published book, but she does have a short story that she published. Because I’m a damn nice person and why the hell not, I’m giving away a copy over on my FB page. It closes tonight, but since I haven’t had any entries as of yet, I may expand it out. Go check it out and take your chance!

When I told Nicolina that I was going to blog her book, she told me that she was nervous. I think she’s afraid that I’m going to tear her up one side and down the other. But seriously, have any of you guys ever seen me do something like that? I’m just too nice to do that. Or something like that. Well, Nicolina, you have nothing to worry about or be nervous about. I liked the book.

So, it’s a short, quick read, so I’m not going to say a lot about it, because I don’t want to spoil anything. Here’s how the story goes.

Bree has spent the last 2 years hiding from the world. One night, her fiance decided to beat her, strangle her, and stab her. It did actually end up in her death, but she was able to be saved. Now she lives on medication and booze and hides as much as possible. But on this day, she has to go to the bank to get some stuff out of her safety deposit box. While she’s waiting, a handsome guy comes to chat her up.

Roarke is a stone cold killer. Or maybe he’s just stone cold. He feels nothing about anything. He’s gone all over the world killing people. Then he gets contacted about doing a bank robbery. While he’s at the bank, waiting for his partner to show up, he starts chatting up a beautiful woman waiting there. When everything goes to hell, he feels like he needs a hostage and grabs Bree to take her with him.

This is a dark read. When the title says that this is not love, believe it. There isn’t a whole lot of love in there. There is a lot of WTFery, a lot of dafuq did I just read, and a whole lot of I need more, but love? Nope. The story kept me on my toes and did make me wonder what was going to come next. I would really love to see more Roarke and Bree, because that would be fucking awesome.

There aren’t going to be any spoilers, but here, have a picture. Meanwhile, go check this out and happy reading!

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