Anna Zaires-Obsession Mine

Holy intensity, Batman! Obsession Mine is OMG, OMG, OMG. I can’t compare it to other books I’ve read that are intense because they are each intense in their own ways. But, this will probably make it on my Top Ten intense story list, because damn.

Before I even get started, I’m going to tell you that this post is going to spoil Tormentor Mine. There are no two ways about it, that’s just what’s going to happen. If you have ever thought about reading TM, go read it right now and then come back to this post. I’ll put the rest of the post behind a jump, just to give you a chance to stay unspoiled. I’ll just say that yes, I loved TM, and yes, I love OM. They are some dark, twisted, intense stories. I mean, just the way that Peter and Sara meet is dark and twisted. Go check TM out and then come back. If you’ve read it or you’ve prepared yourself for spoilers, then let’s crack on, shall we?

Continue reading “Anna Zaires-Obsession Mine”

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Sansa Rayne-Exalted

Sansa Rayne has written some dark and gritty stories, and Exalted fits right into this category. It’s set in the same world as Erased, but can be read as a standalone. Marla and Gabriel make an appearance in the book, but it isn’t necessary to have read Erased to enjoy the book. I definitely suggest reading Erased though. You can earn a new respect for straight jackets. I don’t know that I would so much call it a direct sequel as much as I would call it a connected story.

Carson is a PI. She doesn’t do a whole lot of work outside of cheating spouses, but she hasn’t been a PI for very long, so she’s still trying to get her business up off the ground, but she’s pretty confident in herself and her skills. One night, her phone goes off in the middle of the night. While her ad did say call anytime, Carson really wished that people would have a little more decency than to call in the middle of the night. It turns out that the call was from her old friend Summer.

When Carson talks to Summer, Summer tells her that she’s afraid of “them” coming to get her and begs for help. Carson tells her that she’ll help and gets to Summer’s house just in time to see Summer get abducted by men in robes who drag her into a van. Being aware of Summer’s fear of “them”, Carson decides to not go to the police. She doesn’t know who they are, and she doesn’t want to do anything that could put Summer into even more danger. She’s a PI, so she’ll go and find out what happened to Summer and save her. So, Carson sets out to find out about her friend. She talks to people and discovers that Summer was seen coming from The Pit.

The Pit is owned by Aldous Occestem. It’s a Satanic-themed sex club, featuring Aldous as the Lord of the Pit. All the fun stuff happens at The Pit, you know, spankings, bondage, whippings. Carson gets some fetish wear and goes there undercover. While she’s there, Aldous sees her. Carson runs into Marla and Gabriel, who are PIs who specialize in human trafficking, and they tell her that all the missing women in this town, of which Summer is only the latest, are tied to The Pit.

Meanwhile, down the road, we have the holier side of Coventry, the Purity Home Church. The PHC has been around for years, and most of Coventry’s citizens are members or have been members. The church is now run by Marshall and Anita Jones. They have taken a small church and turned it into Coventry’s very own megachurch. They are trying to do everything they can to get rid of Aldous and The Pit. Outside of that, Marshall, Anita, and Aldous all have history. They all went to school together. Anita was with Aldous at one point, but she chose Marshall.

OK, you know what time it is. If you like dark, you’ll like this. If you like a healthy dose of BDSM, you’ll like this one too. Don’t show this one to your maiden auntie, it would probably shock her out of her shoes. I really enjoyed this story. It switches POVs frequently, and it’s more than just Aldous and Carson. We get glimpses into Summer and Anita as well. I found that it gave the story more depth that way, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t have to have it in all the stories I read, but there are books where it really works, and Exalted was one of them. I think that the story would be a little confusing otherwise. I think that the connection between Aldous and Carson is a good one. I also think that I would be like Carson and have doubts sometimes. It would be really hard not to.

 

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Alrighty, now that it’s just us chickens, I thought that this story was wow. I mean, we know the bad guys from the very beginning, but even so, I could almost believe that it was Aldous, like we were supposed to.

I have to admit, I probably at some point knew that this was a followup to Erased but hadn’t remembered it when I first started reading, so running into Marla and Gabriel was a surprise. I read Erased a few months back, so I knew who they were. Erased, in my opinion, is darker than Exalted is, but the premise is different, although they both deal with human trafficking in some shape.

I get why Aldous started with the Satanic theme when he started The Pit, but I think that those into kink get enough shit with being into kink without the stigma of Satanism in there as well. But, if you are going to thumb your nose at a bunch of holier-than-thou prudes, a Satanic BDSM club would be the best way to do it.

Another thing I liked about this book is that Carson already knew that she liked submission and pain, so this wasn’t a case of a kink virgin all of a sudden discovering that she is into it. Not that there is anything wrong with those stories, I like them too, I just don’t think that it would’ve worked well in this particular case.

Anyhow, I think that’s all I have to say about this. I loved the book, it’s worth a read and even a reread. There are all kinds of good books coming up this week. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Rose Devereux-Breaking Grace

I haven’t reviewed Rose Devereux here on my blog yet, though I have read some of her other books. I think I’ll probably need to rectify not having more reviews of her books on here. This one, Breaking Grace, is one that I’ve been waiting on for a while, so when I got the opportunity to read an ARC, you better believe that I jumped on it with both feet. I’m so glad that I did.

This is such a good book. It stayed with me and made me think about it for quite some time afterward. I love stories that do that. This one is intense and dark and light and gritty and hopeful all at once. I’m not even sure if I can describe how I felt after reading this book, even after several days. I came out of reading it feeling refreshed and exhausted and hopeful and sad. See why it is hard for me to explain how I feel about this book?

In the end, BG comes down to perceptions and how even a small change in perception changes everything, how Grace perceives Bram, how he perceives her, how they both perceive James, and how you perceive the villain. It reminds me of the saying that there are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine, and the truth. That’s so true when it comes to BG. So, without any further ado, let’s get into this story.

Grace is a woman in mourning. Two years prior, her fiancee was shot dead by Bram. A witness says that it was a road rage incident, that Bram was driving like a madman and James followed him to his house, confronted Bram, and was subsequently shot. She can’t let go of her mourning, and it’s tearing her apart. Bram wasn’t charged, so she tried going after him with a wrongful death suit, which didn’t go her way. She hates Bram and wants to ruin him.

Bram has no problem with admitting that he killed James. He doesn’t talk much about it because he’s protecting Grace. He’s positive that she’s a liar and knows what really happened with James’ death, but for some reason, he wants to protect her. When he sees her in court, he is drawn to her, and he can tell that she is drawn to him, like two magnets.

When the party planning company that Grace is working for has to meet with Bram’s company for events, she walks away from her job. She goes home, writes him a letter, and tries to give it to him. She goes to his company and starts to create a huge scene, eventually getting to pass the letter on to him.

When she gets home, Issac (boo hiss) is waiting outside her apartment. She’s been locked out and he was sent to take her to her parents’ home. This leads to her falling apart.

Bram goes to a bar, rants to some friends, and talks about what he would like to do to Grace. He never meant for it to happen, but there are forces at work beyond his control.

OK, this is where we are going to part. Grace and Bram are so real. It’s so easy to be dragged into their story and have to stay in it until they can let you go, which may or may not be when you are done reading it. Like I said, it really stuck with me. One reason for that is that there is a part of BG that is deeply personal to me. The book would’ve been real to me as it was, but that just made it even more real to me. I could see everything in the book really happening, like Bram and Grace were my neighbors and I was watching it through my front room window. BG is currently $0.99 on Amazon, so grab it while you can.

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No one can tell who the villain is. Bram thinks it’s Grace, Grace thinks it’s him. The problem is that it’s neither. I’m not entirely sure that there is a villain, at least not in the traditional sense. There are bad people who do some bad things, but they aren’t so much in the story. Personally, my vote for villain is Issac and her dad. You can’t have one without the other, they are too wound up with the other. They are just barely around in the story at all. So, villains? Maybe. Can you have a story without a villain? That doesn’t mean there isn’t conflict. There is conflict out the ass.

Just because Bram isn’t the villain doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily a good guy. He’s done some bad, bad things. The title comes from the fact that he does literally tries to break Grace. He’s done interrogation in the past, and he’s going to use the same thing with Grace. But, it doesn’t exactly work out that way. He can be a total dick at some points, but overall, I think he’s just a guy, neither all good, nor all bad. It’s the same with Grace. She’s neither all good nor all bad. Thy are both imperfect and failable.

There is no insta-love here. In fact. there’s a lot of hate at the beginning. But, it eventually changes, bt it’s not something that happens overnight. They are attracted to each other, even if they hate each other, so that is an interesting dynamic. The chemistry between the two of them is pretty awesome, even when it has hate beams being carried along with it.

I always suspected that there was something up with James. He dies before the book begins, so it’s not like we have interaction with him, but I thought there was something wrong with him the entire time. The way that Grace talked about him just seemed too good to be true. I was pretty right on there.

Alright, if I say anything more on this book, I’ll probably never finish saying things, because it is so good. Go, read it yourself, then come back and we can talk about it more.

Tomorrow, we have Yash from Danielle Fin. I’m not sure what will be coming Thursday and Friday. If there is something you’d like to see, let me know! Meanwhile, happy reading!

Sophie Kisker-Fear and Desire

Sophie Kisker is one of my favorite authors, and she’s an all-around nifty person. Hi, Sophie! That would be why she shows up here a lot. Today, we’re talking about one of her books from her backlog. Fear and Desire used to be known as Captive of Fear and Desire, but Amazon is run by a bunch of pearl-clutching prudes, so she had to drop the Captive part. Luckily, she didn’t have to change the book, and we get a book full of non-con/dub-con goodness. F&D also shows up on my Top Ten dark and fucked up books list. I had just read it for the first time a few days before that post, I think, so this was a reread, so yay!

So, let’s just dive right into this one, shall we? Fair warning, this one is pretty dark all the way through.

Dan is an undercover Fed working on busting a human trafficking ring. There are a couple of reasons why he was chosen. One is that he’s from the area where The Farm, the group’s training facility, is based. The other is that he’s a Dom. The powers-that-be think that makes him perfect for training women to be sex slaves. The bosses don’t get the difference between consensual BDSM and forced training to be a sex slave. Pearson, the guy in charge? Is a massive douche of douchian proportions. Every time I’ve read the book, I’ve wanted to just reach my hands into the book and punch the guy and then strangle the shit out of him.

Anyway, Dan and his partner Josh, also a Dom, do what they can to help the women, including changing up the the “training” program so that the women can actually have something survivable and aren’t just beaten, raped, and broken. They both know that what’s happening to these women is going to cause psychological damage, but they are doing what they can to make it less.

Dan meets Laura for coffee on Saturday nights, after her shift on the OB ward. They were childhood friends who grew apart, but now that they live in the same area again, they’ve been getting closer and closer. One Saturday, Dan asks Laura, who doesn’t know for sure what he’s doing, if she’ll go away with him in a few weeks. What neither of them knows is that Marco, the incompetent nephew of the head of the ring, is spying on them. He’s got it out for Dan because he thinks he should be in charge.

The next thing we know, he’s kidnapped Laura and brought her to The Farm. His stated thought is that he’s doing it for Dan so that Dan has someone for him to use.

This is where we are going to part. Since I have things to say about this book, there will be spoilers. This book could be triggery in regards to rape, so be aware of that. Sophie has been careful in the way that she handled the situations, hopefully, it doesn’t trigger anyone because it is a good book. It is dark, it stays pretty dark, but when you get through that dark fucking tunnel, you do get an HEA. It’s on KU, but it’s only $0.99, so grabbing your own copy isn’t going to break the bank.

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When Laura figures out that Dan is there, she tries to run away, not to really run away but to make sure that Dan sees her. However, that means that she has to be punished, and it’s a pretty brutal one to her feet. That punishment also brings her to the attention to the big bad guy, who decides that he wants her, and he wants Dan to train her. He has very specific plans for Laura, and he wants her broken. If Dan won’t do it, then the nasty fuck nephew will. Dan is left with no choice.

Dan manages to get Laura away from the base, at least long enough to talk to her, under the guise of physical training. He explains to her what he needs to do and that it will be hard. She gives him her consent to do whatever it takes to get them both out safely. So, here’s the thing, can she truly be said to have given consent? While yes, she was willing to let him do what needed to be done, was it true consent since she really had no choice otherwise? It can’t really be consensual non-consent because that’s a voluntary thing. She would’ve entered into the relationship willingly, they would’ve discussed limits, punishments, likes, dislikes, so on and so forth. That’s not anything that could’ve happened in Dan and Laura’s situation. I suggested to Sophie back when I read this the first time, that maybe informed non-consent was a better phrase for it. Dan told her what she was going to have to live through, so she knew, but she can’t really consent, thus informed non-consent.

The last part of the Laura and Dan’s journey is terrible, just terrible, and intense. I was glad to get through it the first time and every other time, even though I knew what was coming up. I still got teary and all twitchy over it.

I think that all of Sophie’s stories are really good. I always look forward to the newest ones, and I like to reread the older ones fairly often. F&D is one that really grabbed me the first time, and it has grabbed me every subsequent rereading. Anyway, if you like dark, non/dub-con, but with an HEA, try out Sophie Kisker and check out this one.

Tomorrow, Breaking Grace by Rose Deveraux.

K. Webster-The Day She Cried

There are a lot of books that when I’m reviewing I can write funny things. This is not one of them. This is going to be a serious blog.

Before I get into it, The Day She Cried does have some subject matter that could be triggering to some people, including self-harm and suicide. Please be aware of that and read responsibly. As a recovering cutter, I’m going to say that the way K handled it was excellent. It didn’t glamorize the subject, nor did it shame people who self-harm. As an aside, if you are self-harming or feeling suicidal, please find help. There are resources out there that you can take advantage of. In the US, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. I am always open to talk as well. I’m going to put the rest of the blog behind a jump, just to give people extra protection if they don’t want to read this.

Continue reading “K. Webster-The Day She Cried”

Tillie Cole-Sick Fux

Hey, it’s a surprise double header. Sick Fux was making the rounds through some of the dark reader groups I’m in. I read a sample, and I knew I had to read it. I finished it last night. It’s amazingly stunning. The pain in the book is so beautifully written that it’s breath-taking. I was sucked in almost immediately. It gave me the whole range of feelz, and the journey from start to finish is a painful one.

There is a huge trigger warning here, it does deal with the sexual abuse of minors, and there are some flashbacks to said action, so if that’s something that you can’t handle, then please, pass this by. I don’t want to recommend a book to you that will trigger you.

I’m not going to go any further in reviewing it, since I absolutely don’t want to spoil anything with this book because you need to experience the full journey on your own. You know where I am if you want to talk to me about it afterward. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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.