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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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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Jennifer Bene-Burned

In the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson, hold onto your butts. Jennifer is back and she has brought us Burned. And damn. Just… damn.

So, a couple of years ago, Yolanda Olson who is a mistress of dark, horror, and the epic mindfuck, wrote a novella called Inferno. She added onto her world with Sparks and Cinere. The first is a prequel, the latter a sequel. But, Yolanda wasn’t happy with just those books in her very disturbing world. She decided to add on to it. She invited several authors to join her oh so very happy little world. And Jennifer was just one of those authors, and so we have Burned.

This is the story of Bryden, his wife Marian, and his children, Wesley and Ella. Bryden loves his family. He loves them a lot. A whole lot. All he wants is for his family to know how much he loves them all, and that he loves them all equally. He does what he can to make sure that they know that he loves them all equally. And if he has to do difficult things to and for his family, he’ll do that, because that’s what a good daddy does.

That’s all the synopsis you are going to get from me. This story isn’t happy. It isn’t light. And you really will get burned by it. This book is one of those books that you start reading and you don’t wonder what goes on in the author’s head that she creates something like this. You wonder what’s wrong with you for reading this. And not just for reading it, but for liking it. Burned is disturbing and uncomfortable in places. Did that stop me from reading it? Hello, have you met me? I read it faster at that point.

We get the story from Bryden, Wesley, and Ella’s POVs. All we know of Marian is what we see of her from those three, and since it happens that way, it really seems to marginalize her in the story. I thought it was a really interesting way to write the story. It’s also a very intimate and up close story because there is such a limited cast of characters. You are up close and personal with all of the happenings in the story, which makes everything hard to hide from.

In case you can’t tell, I really liked this book. It is not a romance though. I think that I might put it into horror, but more like psychological horror, but that might not be the right classification for it either. I think it just needs a fucked up, twisted, mindfuck category. It would fit really well right there.

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Laura Thalassa-Pestilence

I love a good post-apocalyptic story, and you can’t get much more apocalyptic than Laura Thalassa’s Four Horsemen series, which starts with Pestilence. And yes, it’s the four horsemen as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. See, can’t get much more apocalyptic than that.

So, here’s how this world works. Five years ago, the Horsemen rode out on Earth. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death each picked a direction and rode. And in their wake, everything that made up the modern world stopped working. Then, they suddenly disappeared. Now, some things are starting to come back, well, sort of. There is some television, there is some electricity, but not much. And they aren’t very trustworthy. But there is enough television to let people know that Pestilence has now come back, and where he rides, the Messianic Fever follows. The modern day plague has a 100% death rate. And it’s not a pretty death. It involves swellings, and sores, and pustules, and just yucky in general. Luckily, Pestilence the Conqueror is following a predictable path, so they are able to issue evacuation warnings so that the towns can empty. The further you can get from Pestilence, the better.

Sara is one of the few firefighters in her town who stayed to help everyone evacuate. Now it’s down to just these few, and they are drawing straws to see who is going to stay and kill Pestilence when he rides through their town. Guess who the lucky one is? She knows that it’s a suicide mission, but if she can kill Pestilence, then she can save the world, so her life is a good tradeoff. So, she sees off her friends, and goes to find the perfect place to hide so she can kill Pestilence with her grandfather’s rifle. Only, it turns out, Pestilence is harder to kill than you might think, and now Sara is stuck with him. He’s not going to kill her. He’s going to make her suffer.

This story just emotionally wiped me out. I had to spend a couple of days processing it until I could talk about how it made me feel. It’s a slow book. Not just a slow burn, but a slow book. There is a lot of riding, and a lot of analyzing of feelings, and a lot of suffering. There are quick bursts of action in places, but most of the time, it’s a fairly slow book. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s kind of like the Lord of the Rings books. There’s a lot of walking and riding to get to where they are going, but it’s during that walking and riding that you get to know the characters and get to see what makes them tick. Then you get the quick bursts of action which give you a nice jolt and make the characters realize things.

There are times I hate Pestilence, but the thing is, as I think about it now, it’s kind of hard to hate him. It’s like hating a hurricane or a force of nature. Pestilence just IS. How can you hate something that just is? I could easier hate a tree. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I like him a lot of the time. He is who he is, and he is implacable. He is doing his God-given duty, and Pestilence isn’t just his name, it is who he is.

Sara isn’t always likable either. I truly dislike her a couple of times, but in general, I tend to like her. She’s dealing with a hell of a lot of stuff and not just physical pain or anything. There’s a lot there, and I don’t think that I could’ve handled everything that Sara had to deal with. I would’ve probably totally shattered, never to be able to be put back together again.

I can’t wait for War to come out. It’s supposed to come out soon.

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Rob and Ruth just broke my heart and then put it back together again. It was a beautiful section of the book.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out and make sure to tell me what you think of it. Happy reading!

Ivy Chapman-Torn Apart

This is the first Ivy Chapman I’ve had on the blog, but I’m pretty sure that Torn Apart isn’t going to be the last one, because I kind of love this book a lot, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Seraphine and Arden.

This is a dark and fucked up book, and I think that Ivy could give some of the other dark authors I read a run for their money when it comes to dark and fucked up. Does that mean I didn’t like it? Fuck no. I really liked it.

So, here’s the story. In this particular world, Omegas are barely better than cattle. Maybe they are even worse, because cattle can give you meat and milk. Omegas are just there to be fucked and/or tortured. And every year, it gets worse. More and more rights are stripped from Omegas, and if you are an Omega, and get found out, you can expect hell to rain down on you. Seraphine and Arden are a set of twins, and they are both Omegas. As if being a twinned Omega isn’t enough, they are a set of boy/girl twins, with Arden being the boy. Their parents have kept them safe by hiding them. Not even the neighbors know that they exist, and they have a special safe room that takes a lot of work to get into to go when they are in heat. But then, it happens. Trackers find them.

I really liked the title of this book because it really fits what happens in the book in more than one way. It’s one of those titles that makes you wonder exactly which way the author meant it, and which way you should take it. Personally, I’m taking it as all the ways it could be meant in this story.

Another one of the things I liked about this is that Arden is a bit of a departure for male Omegas. I’ve never seen a male Omega in other MF Omegaverses, although, they have been talked about as existing in at least one world. So the male Omegas I’m used to seeing are in the MM books, and they usually are gay. There have been a few, a very few, that have had a male Omega and a female Alpha, but we only see them as something that happened in the past. But in this one, Arden is very interested in finding an Alpha female when he’s in heat, so that he can seed her. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he would turn down an Alpha male, if one were to present himself. I don’t know if mpreg is going to happen in this series, but I can see all kinds of interesting permutations going on if it does. I’m happy either way it goes. It will be interesting, no matter what.

Do pay attention to the warnings that Ivy puts on the book. And it’s not a spoiler to say it’s a cliffie, since she puts that in the warning, but it was a pretty satisfying place where she put the cliff, if you ask me.

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I found the differences between Arden and Sera and what they go through to be really interesting. I mean, it’s like night and day what they go through.

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

Addison Cain-Ravaged Captive

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I have another Omegaverse book on the blog today, especially since Addison just had one come out this weekend. Well, that and I warned you guys. LOL. I have the newest book from Ivy Chapman on the hook for later today, and a post about mpreg coming up soon. But first, Wren and Ravaged Captive.

As a reminder, Wren’s Song is a serial. That means the books cannot be read as standalones. This is book #4, but if you don’t read books 1-3, you are going to be totally lost. I know that a lot of people like to wait until the entire series is out before they start a serial like this, but I have no clue how many more books Addison is going to write for Wren, and I don’t think that Addison would tell us anyway. She’s a sadistic tease like that. Also, because of the nature of serials, there may be spoilers for books 1-3 in this, but as always, I will try really hard not to spoil anything. You have been warned.

When last we saw our intrepid heroine, she was with Caspian and Toby, but Kieran wasn’t around, until all of a sudden he was. And he wasn’t alone.

All Caspian knows is that the person that Kieran brought around is upsetting Wren, and he isn’t going to have any of that. When that whole situation has been handled, it’s time for Kieran to have his time with Wren, and he’s going to have it. He’s going to take her to the big room and do all the things to her. Well, the things that probably won’t get him killed by Caspian and/or Toby.

I have to admit, I hate one of the guys in each book, and it varies from book to book. Last book I liked Kieran. This time I pretty much hate Kieran and he can fuck right off into a deep dark hole, and he can make sure he doesn’t go alone.

I think that Caspian and Toby are changing, and changing for the better, maybe. It’s not like they are ever going to be good guys, but maybe they aren’t as rough as they have been in the past. They are still going to be dominant assholes, I mean, that’s just who they are, and no amount of Wren or any kind of bond that may or may not be there is going to change that. But, I think that she is going to round over some of those edges.

I don’t know what’s going on with Kieran. I don’t think he knows what’s going on with him. I think that I may be able to get a read on him in one second, but then something completely different happens, and I have no clue what’s going on. I don’t know what kind of bond exists between Kieran and Wren, if they even have one, or if they will ever be able to have one. I think of the three of them, Kieran is the most significantly broken, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men aren’t ever going to be able to put him back together again. I mean, we all know that Caspian and Toby are broken and ain’t quite right, but I think they are less broken.

I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next. I can only tell you it’s going to be sooooooooon. Addison never tells us when release day happens, until it happens, so I guess we’re just going to have to be happy with that answer.

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The Doll. We hatez her, we do.

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

Jennifer Bene-Reign of Ruin

Once upon a time, Jennifer Bene wrote a demented little story called Baptism in Eden, for an anthology called Twisted Sacraments. That lovely little anthology was full of all kinds of seriously fucked up stories. And now you can’t get it anymore, which is sad if you don’t have it, but fear not lovely and loyal readers, the rights have reverted back to the authors and now the stories are being put back out for you to read. Some of them, like Reign of Ruin, have new stuff added to them, so you know that you have to go read them now, right?

There is not a lot of happy in this story, unless you’re a man, then you get to have some happy. There’s a fuckload of dark, pain, and misery. And just to top it off, there’s some more pain, dark, and misery. This is dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and out Handmaid’s Tale the Handmaid’s Tale. And Jennifer took demented and turned it into fucking twisted. And damn, if I wasn’t glued to every word of the book.

It is the story of Danielle and what happened after the world lit on fire and went to hell in a handbasket. There is a prequel to the story in the back of the book, so you can read that first, if you want, just to get a little more information about the world and Danielle, and what happened, or read it after. I just recommend that you read it at some point.

Six years ago, the world caught fire and the religious extremists caught religion. And as happens, women got blamed. Now, Danielle, along with who knows how many other women, serve in Eden. And serving in Eden isn’t nice. You aren’t someone who cherished, you are just meat. When you get too injured, you get baptized, which heals you, so you never get to escape into death, you just keep wishing that you would die.

The first time I read this story, it sent chills up and down my spine. Then I read the prequel, and that fucking terrified me, because so much of it could happen right here and now. Then reading the full RoR? Fuck me. I had to go find a light MM story full of laughs just to get to another level in my head, because yeah, it got to me that bad. I’ve often said that The Handmaid’s Tale is hands down my scariest book ever, because it could happen, well, this one pretty much beats it.

I hope that Jennifer writes more stories in this world, because I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

There are no spoilers, and if you don’t like horror, this is one you should probably stay away from. Other than that, go check it out, and happy reading!

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