Kallista Dane-Chaos Born

I reviewed the first book of the Warriors of the Seven Stars on here back when it came out. The series is a reverse harem series, but Kallista is doing it in an interesting way. In each book, a new man is added in. So Chaos Born gives us the second man in Queen Melisandre’s harem.

OK, so here’s the way this story goes. A 1000 years ago, the Dark Lord was locked away by the Woman Clothed in the Sun and her mates. She went on and married King Vidos I and there was a Prophecy of Doom. A millennium later, Melisandre was born and after her father died, she became queen. Her vizier took her to see the Oracle and she found out that she was the culmination of the prophecy, The One Who Commands the Seven Stars. She was told that she would have 4 warriors by her side that she would be fighting with. In between hearing the prophecy and her first warrior, the Fire Born Drayke, a dragon shifter, Meli did what she could to train and become a warrior since she was going to have to fight.

So now, Meli and Drayke have destroyed the first item they were supposed to destroy, the Fire Flask, and it’s time to go back to the fortress and relax for a minute, before getting to the job of destroying the next one. When they get there, there is another man, one who tells Meli that he is the best warrior in all the land. Meli says that she’s a warrior and challenges him to a duel. He makes a wager, if he defeats her, she has to kneel and call him Master until sunrise. And of course, he’s going to win, because he really is the Goddess chosen warrior, and the best one ever. Meli tries to get out of their wager, but after Magnus, the warrior, thoroughly spanks her, she agrees to do what she already agreed on. But, she wants to warn Magnus that she has a lover waiting just outside who can turn into a dragon and she doesn’t want anything to happen to Magnus. That’s when she hears Drayke, who has been watching in the shadows. Magnus and Drayke are brothers of the heart, so Meli is basically fucked. And proper fucked, every which way.

I know, in book time, there isn’t a lot of time in between FB and CB, but I think the first battle has really matured Melisandre. I mean, it’s not like she wasn’t mature to begin with, but there’s a difference between knowing that you are going to have to fight and actually doing it, and doing it changes you and makes you more… mature, grave, serious, something, I don’t know. But that’s where she is now. While we see some Drayke in this story, it’s primarily Magnus’ story, so most of the interaction is with him and we get his backstory. His learning and training help Meli. Magnus and Drayke settle in well with Meli, and settle Meli in well with them. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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OK, I totally think that Meli is going to have to sleep with the Dark Lord and claim him as one of her mates in order to defeat him. I don’t know why I think that, but there’s just something in the way that the Oracle is talking about the defeat that makes me think that’s what’s going to happen. I know we have at least 2 books to go, so I’m going to just keep reading so that I can find out.

I’m looking forward to how Magnus and Drayke are going to react to the sorcerer being added into their group. It’s one thing to share with someone you consider your brother, but to share the woman you love with a total stranger? Even if it’s something the Goddess has said must happen?

And OMG, the Vizier. When he came out with his personal story, I was like dayum, old man’s a freak! In a good way, though.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check out both books. Kallista has done a great job with this world. Happy reading!

Celia Aaron-Blood Prince

I guarantee that if Celia Aaron writes it, I will read it. Every.damn.time. I love her work so much. I’ve talked about before about how I think she’s a new chapter in Modern Southern Gothic fiction. She writes such layered stories with a lot of nuance. Her FMCs are strong characters in and of themselves, and she gives them a lot of smarts and stubbornness. Blood Prince fits in well with her style, even if it doesn’t take place in the South, unless, well, you consider the Underworld the South.

So, this is Celia’s take on the Helen of Troy story. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Paris, the prince of Troy is asked to judge a beauty contest between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They bribe him and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. That just happens to be Helen, Queen of Sparta, wife to Menelaus. As the story goes, either he went and kidnapped her and brought her to Troy or Aphrodite spirited her away. Either way, Helen and Paris end up together in Troy and madly in love. Menelaus, understandably, is really fucking pissed, so he and his allies lay siege to Troy. Eventually, Menelaus challenges Paris to a duel, and Paris either dies or runs away, depending on which story you read. Then, the Trojan Horse shows up.

OK, that’s the way that Homer told it. Celia’s version is slightly different. In her version, Priam, Paris’ dad, is the vampire king, and the vamps aren’t bad. Menelaus is a demon lord, and demons are bad. Menelaus bought Helen, a daughter of Zeus and full of magic, at an auction to be his wife. He did terrible, terrible things to her. We don’t know most of what he did to her at any point, other than killing her brothers and torturing her mother, we just know that it was terrible. When Paris was there and saw Helen in a rose garden, lightning struck, and they fell in love. He took her home to Troy, where they lived happily ever after, at least until Menelaus showed up and tried to get her back. Paris went to fight Menelaus and he lost. Then when Menelaus came to get Helen, she killed herself so that he couldn’t have her anymore.

Flash forward a few centuries and Elena, one of the maiden warriors of Artemis and her chief strategist, is out wandering through the streets of Paris. She runs into a huge guy who ends up taking her and shoving her in his car. Right before that happens, she sees the vampire prince Paris teleporting towards her, with a really angry look on his face. Last she knew, he was dallying with Artemis, so she can’t figure out why he’s mad at her. When she gets in the car, the man sticks some silver bracelets on her which block her magic and then tells her that, oh, BTW, he’s her husband.

Paris manages to help her escape, and tells Elena that she’s actually Helen of Troy. Artemis rescued her body after death, took her memories, and turned her into one of her warriors.

Elena/Helen is pretty damn kick ass. She’s smart, tricksy, wily, and a master tactician. She pretty much strategically outthinks everyone. Paris is more than willing to go with her plans because he knows that she’s not only the best at it but that she’s already thought through all the possible steps and problems before she finalizes anything. It’s like she already has seen every possible outcome and knows what definitely happen. It’s pretty cool. I love that Elena/Helen is so kick ass and that she is seriously fierce. She isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress. She definitely causes the distress. She’s confident and sure of herself and her power. The nice thing is that Paris isn’t threatened by that. He values her, her powers, and her abilities. He knows that if she’s by his side then he can’t fail.

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Oh, Iphi. I love her. She and Helen are a pair. I think that she’s just super fun, and not quite right, but in a good way. I would love to see a story about Iphi because I’m pretty sure that she would get into all kinds of good trouble.

Apollo is such a horndog. So funny. I wonder how many upset husbands he’s left in his wake over the centuries, because you know he has. Or maybe he just managed to charm them all, who knows. I feel like he’s one of those jackasses who is such a huge asshole but you can’t help but like him because he’s a charming fuck.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check this one out! Happy reading!

Megan Michaels-The Dragon Warlords

Megan is making her first appearance here on IBtP with a trio of terrific tails. And before you say, oh Clara, you misspelled tails, trust me, I did it on purpose. The 3 books are all great with a wonderful storyline, but they also have a breakout star, the tails. OMFG, the tails.

So, these books take place on the planet Trexotera, which has dragons. Thing of those dragons as warplanes, but you know, living and breathing warplanes. When the Trexoterans go to war against other planets, they take their fire-breathing dragons and go. The warlords and Commanders also carry guns and swords. While they may fight with dragons and swords, the Trexoterans are advanced with all that scifi tech we all love. Trexotera is run by King Zorander Quinn and his Queen, Gossamer. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters and one adopted son. The sons are Drayce and Cloven, with Artemis being the adopted son. The daughters’ names are Rosary and Willow.

While the story takes place primarily on Trexotera, the planet Zelora is also important. That planet is ruled by Alastair Tempest, who has twin daughters, Satin and Thistle, and at least one son, Thunder. I’m pretty sure that there is at least one more, but I haven’t checked the first book.

So, with all that, let’s talk about the books, shall we?

The first book is The Dragon’s Secret, and it’s Satin and Drayce’s book. Satin’s quiet, shy, and retiring sister Thistle is supposed to go and marry Drayce, prince of Trexotera. Satin decides that she’s going to take Thistle’s spot and go marry Drayce. That’s because she has always wanted to be a dragon warlord and ride a dragon. Her father wouldn’t hear of it, so her only way to do it is to take her sister’s place. When she gets to Trexotera, Drayce meets her and punishes her. Then he marries her. And we get to learn about the awesomeness that is a tail. Tails and spanking, pure awesome.

OK, the way that this works is that when a dragon feels a person is worthy, they gift the person and they are then turned into a warlord. One of the things to prove that they are a warlord is that they get a tail. Yup. A very flexible and talented tail. The warlords use their tails when it comes to sex. Pretty much anywhere the tail can go, it does. And at the end of it, there is a little barb that pops out when the tail owning person comes. It locks into their partner for a few minutes. Then there are Commanders who are warlords who have a dragon patch, which is a section of skin that looks and feels like dragon skin. Drayce is a Commander, and Satin becomes one as well.

Then we have The Warlord’s Priestess. Thistle is now on Trexotera and she has a new Daddy. Artemis rescued her and he knew as soon as he saw her that she was the one for him. Thistle was supposed to be the shy, quiet one, but Artemis has found out that she has quite a bit of fire in her, once she finds out that she has certain magics and can help out the dragons and their warlords. Thistle, Satin, and their friend and fellow warlord, Wish, manage to help when it comes to a huge confrontation in the war that Zelora started. Again, lots of spanking and fun tail sex. I’m in serious lust with the tails. I really want one. I mean, yeah. Imagine all the fun you could have with it.

Finally, we have Cloven’s Only Wish. Cloven and Wish’s relationship has gotten deeper. He’s her Dom, she’s his baby girl. Wish is strong, stubborn, has some issues with her temper, and very independent. The war with Zelora has heated up and Alistair has threatened the royal women of Trexotera, which means that they are all being kept under lock and key and heavy guard, which is difficult for all the women, but especially Wish, who has worked really hard to be the warlord that she is. The fact that their men are going off to war without them is really hard on all the women, and not good things happen.

Yeah, I know, it sounds vaguely vague in places, doesn’t it? That’s because if I go too much into any one book, I spoil the next one. Oh well, that means that you have to go buy them and read them. I wouldn’t read them as a standalone. They are all interconnected and if you miss one, you are going to miss out not only on the overall storyline but also the full story on each of the couples. Overall, I like the series, a lot. There are a few places that I don’t like, but that’s pretty typical. For example, I don’t really like Cloven much in the second book, but Megan rehabbed him and I liked him in his book. Even though I liked him in his book, there were a couple of times that he made me mad. It may sound like I’m picking on Cloven, but that’s just because I read his book yesterday, so he’s fresh in my mind. I’m hoping that there is more to come, I mean, Rosary and Willow should have their books too, don’t you think?

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OK, I just have to say that I hate Alistair. I mean, he’s a serious prick. He hates his daughters, obviously, and he’s a jealous little prick. I thought that he was going to do terrible things to Gossamer, even more terrible than having her kidnapped and thrown into his prison. I’m pretty sure he’s not altogether in between the ears, especially after he takes the dragons.

The big punishment scene in Priestess wasn’t my fave. It wasn’t that it was hot, because it was. I understand why it was done the way that it was done, and it makes sense in the book, but for me, it took away a sense of support that I thought that the women needed. Of course, that may just be me projecting how I would feel on the characters. Of course, that’s just how I feel about it, and you may like it. And that’s totally awesome. There are probably parts that I liked that you didn’t. It all works out in the end, right?

Alright, I think that I’ve said all that I want to say today. Megan’s books aren’t on KU, but they are priced reasonably. Go check them out. Happy reading!

Lee Savino-Owned by the Berserkers

Lee’s back with her Berserkers. They are a bunch of Viking and ancient Celtic warriors who were changed into wolves by magic. They have three forms, the man, the wolf, and the monster. The Berserkers walk a fine line between being sane and crazed. The monster can eat away at their sanity. Because of that, most of the Berserkers have paired up in brother bonds, to help keep their sanity intact. It wasn’t until the Alphas found their woman and found out that she was something called a spaewife that they learned that spaewives can mate with them and can control the beasts. There were originally four sisters, but then the Berserkers found out about an abbey filled with orphans who are spaewives. So, they raided the abbey and took all the orphans with them.

In Owned by the Berserkers (Berserker is a fun word to type), we get the story of another one of the orphans, Fern, and her mates, Svein and Dagg. This book flashes back and forth between the present and the past. We get to see what happened at the raid and what’s currently happening.

At the raid, Svein and Dagg discovered Fern and carried her away. They knew that she was her mate and they decided that they were going to be very careful with her and woo her before they told her. All Fern knew is that she felt safe with them and that being with them held off her visions of the skeletal monster who wanted to have her. She got to spend just a few blissful days with them before that monster, the Corpse King, decided to attack. He managed to make Svein and Dagg crazy and cause them to do things they never would otherwise.

Now, Fern lives with all the other unmated spaewives and orphans. They live in a lodge on the mountain, isolated from all the Berserkers so that they don’t cause any problems. When each of the women goes through the heat that each spaewife goes through, she is mated to the Berserkers who are their mates. The women get to see some of the already mated women from the orphanage, but other than that, they are kept under close guard.

Fern has problems though. One is that her visions of the Corpse King are coming back and they are coming back stronger. All she knows is that she was safe with Svein and Dagg. And there are wolves that are howling around the edge of the mountain. She’s been feeding them on the sly, but she finds out that they are to be driven away after a blizzard. That’s when Fern knows that she has to do something.

Fern, Dagg, and Svein are going to be my second favorite trio, after Sage, Rolf, and Thorbjornn. Fern is an incredibly strong character. She knows that she has to do something and she goes out and does it, even after she’s been warned that the wolves howling at the mountain are monsters with nothing left of their humanity and that there’s a horrible blizzard on its way. She goes out and does it anyway and nearly dies from the weather, but succeeds at her overall goal. I was sad about some things in this story, because, well, they are sad things. I was also worried about some things. But, overall, I was hopeful and knew that Fern would be successful in her goals. She was too determined to win for her to manage to fail. If you haven’t read any of the Berserker books, you could read each as a standalone, I guess, since each is a story in and of itself, but they are all part of a larger story, and you will like them more if you have read the ones before it.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how Fern’s new power is going to fit in with the rest of the story. I do love that the women are powerful and that they are actually powers in their own right, not just because they are mated to a Berserker pair. I think that’s pretty awesome.

I’m looking forward to seeing Juliet’s story. I know that Jarl has something to do with it, so it’s going to be interesting to see. She may be the first Berserker bride without a flower name. Maybe she needs to have a name change.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out both the Berserker Saga, for how the story began, and the Berserker Brides for how the story is continuing. You won’t be sorry! Happy reading!

Aria Adams-The Belle Jar

Aria Adams is a pen name for Katie Douglas. It’s the one where she writes dark stuff. And the Belle Jar is dark. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it sure as fuck isn’t any kind of fairy tale. It’s dark, horrific in places, merely scary in others, but it has glimmers of light in it. It’s a great story and I loved it.

Marea lives in Darkholm, which isn’t a very nice kind of place to live. Her mother was burned as a witch and the people of her village keep accusing her of being a witch. The only thing that has saved Marea from being burned is the fact that her mother had the foresight to have a chastity ring inserted on Marea. This ring went into her bits, making sure that she would retain her virginity. No one could figure out how to take the ring off, and frankly, Marea is pretty happy about that, because it proves she’s still a virgin and never had sex with a demon, meaning she couldn’t be a witch. But the fact that she’s a redhead doesn’t endear her to the people in her village.

In the dark and evil woods near their village, is a castle. Every 7 years, the denizens of the castle demand a sacrifice. This year, the village has decided that it’s going to be Marea, so they bundle her into a sack and pop up onto the doorstep of the castle. When she’s taken out of the sack, she’s confronted by monsters who pop her into a bell jar and begin doing terrible things. She manages to survive that part, but more and more horrible things happen.

I loved the story. Aria managed to put a lot of different layers in it and to leave you wondering what’s going to come next. I wasn’t sure what Marea was going to do when she got stuck with horrible choices. When your choices break down into a handful of shit or a bigger handful of shit, there’s not really any good choice for you to make. I’m pretty sure that Marea would’ve been happy if handfuls of shit had been her choice.

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I love the dichotomy of the castle boys and the mirror boys. It was really interesting to see. I’m not sure if it made it any easier for Marea or not. I mean, she had someplace to escape to, but when she came back to the castle, she had something terrible to deal with. I would think that each time she was able to go to the mirror, it would make coming back so much worse.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go read it, but make sure you have a comfy blankie with you while you do.

Ava Sinclair-Rebel Bride

Ava is just rocking this RH gig hard. I think her Drakoryans are my fave RH heroes. Of course, that could just be because of their magic cocks. The storyline is pretty good too, so that’s could be the reason too.

Her latest book, Rebel Bride, brings us back to their world and makes things much more intense. The books aren’t really standalones, there is an overarching storyline that spans the books, although each of the books (after the first two) focus on one particular group. Each book builds on the one before, so if you are reading these, you really want to start at the first one and go through them all. You will enjoy the books a lot more if you do.

Anyway, this book features Thera the healer and the Lords of Kri’byl, Jareo, Gyrvig, Erdorin, Yrko, and Tyri. The last two boys are twins, that’s important. Thera was a woman from one of the villages who now lives in the valley that is surrounded by the mountains where all the Drakoryan lords and their brides live. The villagers were all brought there to keep them safe from the Shadowfell. The king of the Drakoryans decided that the Lords of Kri’byl should live in the village to help out the people and  keep them safe.

So, that brings us to now, roughly. Not all the villagers are happy about living where they are. Winter has come and it is cold. Since the Shadowfell burned the harvest, there just is barely enough for the people to eat. Even the Drakorayn in their castles are rationing. None of this leads to happy conditions in the village, especially as the villagers still haven’t seen the Shadowfell, so none of them quite believe that they exist. Then you get Thera, who is… angry. She is a widow. A few years before, during a winter like this, her husband and her father had gone out hunting because the Drakoryan punished their village and they had no extra food. While they were out hunting, they died. Thera blames the Drakoryan for that. I can’t blame her for that, I probably would too.

Well, because she hates the Drakoryan, she does what she can to stir up trouble. She thinks they are all liars and that they are the enemy and they have just taken away the villagers’ free will. So, she stirs and stirs and stirs until the pot comes to a boil and boils over. The Witches decree that there is only one way to make things better. Thera is to mate with the Lords of Kri’byl.

Overall, I like Thera. But, there are a few times where I really don’t like her. She knew what she was doing. I’m not sure what good she thought she was going to do though. I get being angry and wanting revenge, and I think that in her place, I probably would want revenge on the people who I blamed for my husband’s death too, but there’s a difference between revenge and cutting off your nose to spite your face. I think the guys were probably a little more patient with her than I would’ve been at times. I can’t wait to see where the next one is going to take us. It’s going to be a doozy.

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I can’t wait to see how the issue with Zara and the king is going to change things. The Witches being gone is going to be interesting too.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Happy reading!

Alta Hensley & Zoe Blake-Queen and the Kingsmen

Alta and Zoe have given us their third filthy fairy tale. And oh, my kittens, when I say filthy, I mean fillllllttthhhhy. Forget having to be over 18 to read this, you may have to be over 25 to read this one. It was definitely the dirtiest of the group. I think it was also the most playful.  So, on to Queen and the Kingsmen.

Alright, so this is somewhat based around the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent. Not enough that you can point and say oh, that’s straight from X, but enough that it gives you the flavor. And that’s perfectly fine with me. I think it’s awesome, and it’s nice to see newer fairy tales being used.

So, our evil Queen Zelladine is taunting the piddling little mortal king and tells him that she’s never going to give him back the body of his dead daughter, Briar, and oh yeah, she curses the hell out of him. Well, King Dickbag isn’t about to let that stand, he’s going to do something about it. While Zelladine has gone home to make sure that all her people are safe, mostly done by sending them away to safety, he decides he’s going to put out his big guns, the Kingsmen. No one really knows who they are or much about them. Zelladine isn’t all that worried, she’s never met an impressive mortal man. Then again, she’d never met the Kingsmen.

The Kingsmen, Gripir, Sigmun, Troylus, and Regin, are tasked with finding Queen Zelladine and making her give Briar’s body back so her father can bury her. The thing is, that Zelladine is just as determined to not give them that information. She’s going to keep her mouth shut on that matter for as long as possible. The Kingsmen capture her and keep her in a tower where her magic was neutralized. They punish her in several different ways, but they still can’t break her. In fact, she likes what they are doing, and sees it as a game.

OK, the interactions between the Kingsmen and Zelladine are awesome. She is strong and stubborn and isn’t about to let the guys roll over her. She enjoys all the sex, she enjoys exasperating them, and she enjoys what they are doing to her. The guys get rather frustrated with her, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t enjoying themselves as well. This is an awesome story and it does have appearances of characters from the other stories. It’s a short, hot, filthy read, and fabulous.

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Oh, I love the game of hide and seek at the end of the book. I also like how many times Zella manages to trick the guys. She was really three or four steps ahead of him most of the time, wasn’t she? It was lovely.

OK, that’s all I have to say for this one, so go read it. You’ll love it.