Amo Jones-Razing Grace

Contrary to what may be popular belief about my blog, I do review more than just ARCs on my humble little blog. What does that have to do with today’s blog? Today’s blog is about a pair of books that I actually bought. The first part of the duet I got as a Christmas freebie but as soon as I read it, I knew that I had, just absolutely had, to buy the next part. It was that good, just so good. So, Razing Grace 1&2 by Amo Jones here we go. (Everyone say thank you to Tyi for introducing me to Amo.)

Before I get into it, I didn’t realize that RG was part of a larger series, The Devil’s Own. I bought the first two of the books and I’ll be reading them this weekend.

Millie is a nun. She has sisters that she loves, and at the wedding of one of them, she gets betrayed and grabbed by some very, very bad guys, and dragged down to a dungeon. She is trapped in the dungeon of one of the bases of The Army, led Kurr. She hears screams of others, smells their deaths, and is left in a cold, dark cell. Except for when THEY visit her.

They are the 6. Six men who each wear a different mask and whose faces she has never seen. All she knows are the names they go by, Executioner, Joker, King, Royal, Soulless, and Angel. Our virginal Sister Millie, who has spent her life being the very good girl and who doesn’t even cuss or drink, is told that she will be visited each night by one of the 6 to be trained, and on the 7th night, they will all have her. They won’t do anything to take her virginity though, since she’s worth more when they sell her as a virgin. She doesn’t know that part of it yet. All she knows is that they are doing things to her that she doesn’t want in her head, but her body seems to want, and each day, it breaks her a little more and makes her a little crazier.

One day, Kurr and a priest come to visit her. The priest wants her. He killed someone in front of Millie, and he wants to handle Millie. He suggests that he’s going to buy her, have fun with her, and be done with her.

Meanwhile, 000, the Executioner, whose real name is Raze, has decided that Millie is HIS. He wants her and he hates what has to happen to her, but only because it’s other guys touching her and that he can’t publicly claim her. There are too many things that he can’t control and too many plans in motion that he can’t upset.

OK, I can only gloss over the second part because to do anything else will mean that I spoil everything. And really, you don’t want me to do that. I don’t want to do that. You may come after me with some horrible thing if I spoil it, and Amo Jones might call me horrible names. So, let’s suffice it to say that Millie still has horrible shit happen to her and she is still the crazy broken person that we came to know and love in the first part. Raze is still the crazy-ass mother fucker who we met in the first one and probably came to love. Well, I came to love, at least.

This series is seriously dark and has some very serious trigger warnings. Heed them. It has heavy doses of non/dub-con, and while I am all for some dark non/dub-con goodness, with heavy doses of kink and mindfuckery, there are people out there who don’t like that kind of thing, and for whom noncon sexual activities can be triggery.

I did really love these books. I seriously couldn’t put it down while I was reading it, and stayed up way too late at night to finish it. It is compelling, well-written, intriguing, and angering. The books left me satisfied and in a book hangover. You get both Millie’s and Raze’s POVs in the books, so you have some idea of what each is thinking, even though we don’t see a whole lot of Raze’s thoughts. He’s much more a doer than a thinker. I’m fine with that. He’s one of those main characters who wouldn’t work so well if we had a window into his inner angst. So, here’s where we part. I’m going to leave you a picture of the lovely Audrey Hepburn as a nun as a spoiler space. In my head, Millie had that Audrey Hepburn-ish kind of thing, so it works well, at least for me. If you have a different pic in your head, please don’t spoil mine for me.

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Beautiful, right? Wasn’t she just graceful and elegant, and all of those things?

I love the title of the series. I am always thrilled with authors who play with words when they title a book. The title Razing Grace does that on so many levels. It’s that kind of cleverness and wit that drags me into a story and makes me want to read it before I even get into it.

In the second book, in the prologue, we get Raze’s POV, and when I read it, I was so scared of what was going to happen because of what happened at the end of the first book. I was both glad that it wasn’t what I thought it was and terribly saddened when I figured out what it was. However, having that be the prologue and epilogue to the book was perfect. And if you think that I’m being vague, you’re absolutely right. I’m being very vague.

The end of book one killed me, completely. The end of book two, I was right there with what happened and why it happened, and I totally support their actions. I found the way Millie handled it to be very appropriate. I would probably have done that too, in her place.

OK, that’s really all I’m going to say about these books. I have the first two in the series to read, and I’m waiting for book 2 of Crowned By Hate, which was the first book of Amo’s that I read, and which is one of the biggest mindfucks I’ve ever read, and we all know that I love to read mindfucks.

Tomorrow, we have a new Daddy Dom book, so look forward to that!

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Sophie Kisker-Finding Home

Odyssey

1a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
2an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest 
Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Sophie Kisker and her work. I’ve reviewed several other of her books. This time, I’m going with the Finding Home series. Sophie has it listed as Finding Home: An Erotic Tale of Love and War. And yeah, it totally is. I wouldn’t take them as 3 separate books, because they aren’t a stand-alones, but more as one book that has been broken into 3 sections, like the Lord of the Rings. Luckily, all three books are out, so you can read them all back to back to back. Protip: Odyssey, the first one, is on sale for $0.99 today 12/17. All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited.
Finding Home takes place in Meridia. It’s a country that is broken up into several provinces. Think Canada or maybe Australia instead. Only, there really is no country-wide government, there is a committee that all the leaders belong too, but nothing like an overarching prime minister or president. Because each province is self-ruled, the laws and treatments of the people can widely vary. The rulers also tend to be hereditary, with the leader choosing one of his children or adopting someone to be an heir. Depending on the leader, you may get someone who is competent and has a competent heir, or you can get a family that runs their province into the ground and their heirs are just as incompetent and maybe tyrannical. While there are several provinces, we are mainly concerned with three of them. In the first book, we are dealing with Edwal and Alaine. In the second and third books, Orre becomes just as important.
Now, there are a lot of politics that go on in these books on top of the sexy, sexy, sex. Sophie doesn’t relate the politics back to the real world in any way, so if you don’t like politics, then you aren’t going to have to deal with the real world politics. The politics are braided in through the story with the sex and the romance. You really can’t have one part without the other. When you read it, you’ll see what I mean.
OK, back to the world of Meridia. Edwal is ruled by  Elias Palm. He is a tyrant and dictator. He has severely restricted the rights of his people. He has had houses of college professors bugged, there are security cameras on every corner, and people are encouraged to inform on each other. Palm is suspicious, paranoid, and an all-around fuckhead. Alaine is one of their neighbors and is run by Daniel Weiss. Weiss is a sane, rational person, who tries to rule his province as well as possible and keeps his people’s needs in mind. So, of course, Palm hates him. Orre is run by Benjamin Aldriss. More on him later.
Odyssey was the first book I read by Sophie. It has some intense points in it and I had a hard time with some of those places. I’ve read other intense books and even books that are arguably more intense, but there’s just something about this one that really, really got to me. Even on rereads, when I know what’s coming, the same points get to me. However, that doesn’t put me off reading the series, and I hope it doesn’t put you off it too.
So, Odyssey. Edwal decides that it’s going to invade Alaine. Mostly because Palm is a motherfucker. So he institutes a draft for every male up to the age of 50, which includes Liz Peltier’s dad. The Alaine military manages to drive the poor men of Edwal back, and they invade Liz’s town since it is closest to the border. As part of the reparations, the leaders of Alaine decide that they are going to take young women hostages for ransom. So women between the ages of 18-40 who aren’t mothers are at risk of being selected. Twenty of the wives and daughters of the most important people in that town are selected to be hostages instead of all the men being arrested. This is a relatively common practice, so no one expects it to take long. Except, no one takes Elias Palm and his nuttiness into consideration.
The women are taken to an army base, where they are actually held for weeks. During that time, Liz steps up as a leader and does what she can to help make the stay easier on everyone. Can I just say that I think Liz is a total badass? She really is, and it shows up throughout the entire series. When Palm refuses to do anything, one woman is selected to stay as a hostage slave in Chairman Weiss’s home. That means sexual slavery. And of course, I bet you can figure out who that woman is. Liz has quite a journey to go through to get through the end of the book and through the end of the series, and some seriously shitty things happen. More about it after the spoiler warning.
In Sanctuary we are still staying in Alaine and the Weiss estate, for the most part, but this is where Orre and Benjamin Aldriss come into play. Aldriss has a daughter named Jenny. In the beginning of the book, Jenny is sitting outside of their house, having come home from college, because she needs some space. While she is sitting there, she watches her whole family be destroyed, along with everyone in the house, and even the house. She knows that she needs to find somewhere safe and everyone thinks that she’s dead. The safest place she can think of is with her father’s friend, Daniel Weiss of Alaine. She manages to get there, and she’s going to have to live as a slave there, because who’s going to think of looking for her there, and she will be protected as much as is possible. But, she can’t just pretend. She has to go through the whole training. That’s when she meets Liz, who is acting as a mentor, and who helps her get through her training. Meanwhile, back in Orre, Palm has decided that he’s going to “help” out Orre and takes over huge swathes of the country. Now on to the next book.
Refining Fire is the third and last book. In metalworking, you refine metals by subjecting them to high heat, back in the day, fire would be used in one way or another. Heating up the metal to a certain point lets all the impurities burn away. When the metal comes out of the fire, it is pure. Certain objects made of metal, like knives and swords, go through heat treatment as part of their manufacturing. The heat treatment allows them to be stronger. Both of these things are important in this book. Michael and Jenny, Liz and Ryan all four have their own issues as people and as couples, and as a group. There are all sorts of shitty things that happen in this book. I know it sounds like I’m not saying a whole lot, but I’m being careful so that I don’t overly spoil it. The main action of the book is for Jenny to be allowed to rule her family’s province and what it’s going to take to get there. There’s also a lot of discussion about what submission means when circumstances change.
Wow, this is a long post. And I know that it seems that I have kind of brushed over the second 2 books, but the thing is, if I talk too much about book 2 or 3 then I am going to spoil the books ahead of it. So, if you want more info about the books, then you need to go read them yourself. Told you, they are all on KU and you can get Odyssey at a steal today. Meanwhile, I’m going to go on and make this long post even longer when I go on to the spoiler section. This is a great series, and it should definitely get more love than it does. The story is really well-written and everything winds together so very well. All the characters, all the themes, all the everything, just braids into a cohesive whole and turns into an epic odyssey.
foundry-equipment
OK, in O, the original slave trainer, Master Thomas, abuses Liz, after the assistant trainer, Ryan, did all he could to put her fears at rest because in Edwal, terrible things happen to sex slaves. That really makes it hard for Liz, until Daniel fires Thomas. Ryan takes over, and he changes the way that things were done. He wasn’t about forcing submission but more about guiding a woman to find her submission and be able to give it. It works really well, and you can see from the very beginning of the story that Liz and Ryan are going to end up in some sort of relationship, it’s just hard to figure out how, since they are Master and slave. Ryan is incredibly protective of her, and it shows up when Liz is attacked and actually ends up in court.
In S, Ryan is still training and Liz is really his assistant, as much as possible, because she’s a natural leader. When Jenny comes in, she has a very hard time, since she’s been to the house many times before as a guest, and her mindset is hard to switch from. Liz becomes her mentor. She helps Jenny and if Jenny fucks up, they both get punished. It may seem mean to do it that way, but it works. Michael, who is Weiss’s heir, falls head over heels with Jenny, which makes it hard on both of them, since she’s a slave and he’s her master, plus they are trying to keep her safe. And this is where some serious, serious orgasm control comes in too. Jenny is very orgasmic, so the goal is to keep her from coming without permission. She goes through training for that. Sadly, there’s a point where that gets used against her. The Palms and their followers are massive fuckwads.
In RF, oh man, I cried. Jenny and Liz are both freed and with their loves, but Liz and Ryan are trying to figure out what him being her Master and her being the slave works with her being technically free. That’s the relationship that they want, but there are going to be bumps and bruises. Jenny is busy trying to figure out how to rule her province and how to fight Edwal while trying to get her rights as a leader. At the same time, she’s trying to figure out how to be with Micheal who is now the leader of Alaine and be both a strong woman and leader and a submissive partner to Michael. Really interesting dynamics going on in the book. While they are trying to figure everything out, something happens to Jenny that sidetracks those dynamics, and causes her to have a tremendous loss. It’s at this part that I cried, and is one of the intense parts of the book. It was a rough part to get through.
It really was the book I needed to finish off the entire series. It gave me that emotional satisfaction that I look for in the end of a long series. Yeah, I felt wrung out more than once, but that just makes the happy at the end happier. I got wrung out over the past few days as I’ve read the stories again, and I needed the end and the epilogue to feel better.
I hope I didn’t lose anyone while talking about the series. I hope that Sophie likes what I wrote. I hope no one thinks that I didn’t do justice to these stories and to the characters. Go give these stories some love.

Measha Stone-His Captive Pet

Measha Stone has a series that is called Owned and Protected. She has just recently released the third book in the series, His Captive Pet. On a side note, the book quite literally had a title change the night it released. Poor Measha, that’s one way to torture a writer while they are waiting for their book to go live. But, it went live and we got a new story, so in the end, everything worked out the way that it was supposed to, and the whole world rejoiced.

With a title like His Captive Pet, I’ll be that you can figure out what kind of kinkery fuckery goes on in this story. And you would probably be right. There is some definite pet play in here, and it is hot. It also works really well in the story, so it’s not like something that Measha just popped into the story as gratuitous kinkery. It’s not as over-arching as some stories I’ve read, but it’s definitely there, and very definitely hot. Did I mention that it’s smokin’? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the story.

Aubree is a vet. She loves animals and will do just about anything she can to take care of animals and keep them safe. That includes infiltrating the Chicago’s illegal dog fights held by a big scary gang. Aubree hooked up with a guy named Luiz who calls her to let her know when there is another fight. She can’t rescue all the dogs, but she can rescue at least some of them. It’s hard on her though. She sees all those terrible things that happen to those dogs, and as a vet and animal lover, it just rips her heart out.

One night, after a fight, she goes into her neighborhood bar. She’s a regular there, but she usually only drinks Diet Coke with a lime. However, on this night, she gets bombed out of her mind. Bombed out of her mind enough that she tries to break up a bar fight. Blake, the bar’s proprietor, picks her up, slings her over his shoulder, and she promptly starts yelling that he’s stealing her. I laughed out loud at this. Woke my poor cat up.

Blake has been watching Aubree for months. He knows her habits. He knows that if she is this drunk, it was a really, really bad day. You see, Aubree’s family history includes a drunken father who killed her mother and a stranger in a drunk driving accident. When Blake finds out that Aubree went to a dogfight, he promises to strap her ass the next time it happens, even if she isn’t his. (Not for lack of desire on his part)

When something happens and Aubree gets blamed, Blake knows that he has to do something about it, no matter what Aubree thinks or wants. Aubree is very stubborn and doesn’t want his help because it’s all up to her to fix everything, or so she thinks. Blake is the perfect combo of asshole and patient man and uber Dom-ly. They are perfect for each other.

So, here we are. It’s that time in the blog again. You get to decide where you go. No matter what you decide, this book is definitely worth the money you are going to spend on it. There is spanking, whipping, strapping, fucking, and butt plugs with puppy dog tails. There is also a really cute puppy dog. A real puppy. There is also a great story to go along with all of the sex and kink. I do love this series, and it has had frequent rereads. The stories can be read as stand-alones or you can read them in order. Each book is complete in itself, but the stories are linked together so you can get info about previous characters in following books.

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So, yeah. There isn’t really anything about this book that I don’t like, except for the bad guy. Then again, you aren’t really supposed to like the bad guy in this book. He’s a massive prick of epic proportions. Then again, he’s the head of a gang, so what are we supposed to think about him, right?

I love each and every one of the sex scenes in this book. Measha writes hard, kinky, filthy, obscene sex scenes in the very best ways. The whole book sucks you right in. The plot and story are the yummy chocolate cake while the sexy sex is the decadent chocolate ganache icing on the cake. Either one is really good on its own, but when you combine the two you get sheer perfection. OK, now I really need to have some chocolate cake. Wonder if I can talk my husband into making me some.

I think that Greg, Blake’s brother, is going to be the subject of the next book, just because. I wonder what his kink is going to be like. Blake said something about Greg liking darker things, so that out to be interesting. Sadist, maybe?

OK, I have said a lot of words about this book. I really liked it a lot. I’ve liked everything of Measha’s that I’ve read. I have all kinds of fun stuff coming up this week, including the review of a Sophie Kisker series. Meanwhile, happy reading!

The Rite

Hey everyone! You know how I love to recommend books, right? Well, here’s another Jennifer Bene book for you to check out!

The Rite by Jennifer Bene is available now and available on KU!

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Heather isn’t a witch – yet. She’s a woman with a complicated love life and an even more complicated family who is pushing her to complete the rite that they have guarded for generations. A rite that will give her unimaginable power at the cost of someone else’s life.

All she has to do is choose someone, take them to bed, and curse them to die.

After her cousin pressures her to go to a speed-dating event and just pick someone, she meets Neil. Ex-army, ex-foster kid, who just moved to Cambridge. He’s blond, dimpled, and gorgeous. He seems like the perfect choice, almost too perfect, but he’s her only choice if she wants to survive her family.

Can she choose him, and take him to bed, knowing that he’ll die for her to gain her power? To be one of the Pritchett witches? And can she live with herself, can she have the life she wants, if she does?

Publisher’s Note: This is a dark story that involves some delightful BDSM, heavy decisions and themes, and scenes of dubious consent and torture aided by magic.

US: http://amzn.to/2vKHekM
UK: http://amzn.to/2vKPeT2
CA: http://amzn.to/2vLikla
AUS: http://amzn.to/2vKI8xU