Jennifer Bene-Destruction

No matter how many other dark authors I read, Jennifer Bene is always going to be the queen of my list and a definite go-to author. Her books are dark and twisted and oh, so yummy. Destruction is no different. It’s jampacked with noncon goodness as well hot BDSM action, an anti-hero, and a strong and submissive woman. What’s not to love about that, right?

So, let’s get right into this story.

Lianna Mercier was born with a platinum spoon in her mouth. She has never wanted for anything in her entire life. She’s had an easy life, gone to college, and given a job at her father’s business. She’s worked there for a couple of years, working in acquisitions and helping to make a multi-national business even bigger. She really has no life outside of her work and her father. She even mostly stays in his apartment instead of going home to her own.

David Gethen is a man on a mission. He is going to take Robert Mercier down, no matter what it takes. He’s spent years and years doing research, amassing evidence, and preparing himself for his mission. All of that research led him to believe that there was only one way for him to take down Mercier. That was through his daughter, Lianna. David wants to ruin the spoiled rotten little princess that he knows that she is. He knows that she is complicit in everything so taking her down will do all kinds of damage. So, after years of preparation, David is ready to make his move and take down Mercier and he abducts Lianna.

OK, this is where we are going to go our separate ways. This story is dark and twisty, and I don’t want to give any of the twists away. There is a lot of very, very kinky stuff that happens, and it’s hot af. The story is wonderful. There are layers to the story that you have to get through. I love books that give me great plot as well as good sex. Of course, I love books that give me good sex. I think it may just be easier to say that I love books, period. This book isn’t for everyone. There are some very intense parts which may be upsetting to some people, but they heighten the story for me. They just made everything even better. If you love dark and twisted, then definitely, definitely check this one out.

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OK, OMG, I have so many things about this book that I loved so much. It really did hit all the happy buttons for me, so yay!

Of the scenes that made me happiest, there were two that I really liked and there’s a distinct possibility that those scenes were highlighted so that I can always find them. One has to do with a zipper and the other with a belt. Jennifer posted the zipper scene in her reader’s group (come join us if you like hot and kinky and dark) and I had to reread it often.

I love David’s struggle. He has to figure out who he is and what he ultimately wants to have happen. It can’t be easy for him since he’s had one thing be his purpose and goal for a long time, and when something happens that challenges that, he’s got to figure out how to handle it. Jennifer always gives her characters room to grow and change, and that’s part of what I love about her books. Her characters at the start of the books are different to how they are at the finish of the books. It’s that change and growth that makes me really like her books and her as an author.

Alright, I don’t want to say too much more about the book, even in the spoiler section, because you are going to want to go out there and read this book. Trust me.

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LK Shaw-Secrets of Betrayal

LK Shaw is a new author to me, so this is her first appearance on the blog. I’m a member of the Purple Prose Society on FB, where authors and ARC readers can hook up so that everyone is happy. That’s where I hooked up with LK and this book.

Secrets of Betrayal is a new book in LK Shaw’s  Secrets series. Full disclosure, I have not read the rest of the series, but they are currently in my Kindle’s TBR collection so I will be reading them soon. Keep an eye on my GR feed for when I review them.

Anyway, Secrets is the story of Phebe and Donovan.

We open to Phebe trapped in a dark, windowless cell. She keeps imagining sunshine to help get herself survive in that room. She’s huddling in a corner and when the door opens, she’s convinced that she’s about to die, and she’s kinda perfectly OK with that. Death would be freedom, at least. It turns out that she’s being rescued.

Phebe has had a hard life. She’s spent all her adult life in a relationship with Kieran Underwood. He started out as a DJ, but soon became a little drug dealer and then worked himself up to a higher-level drug dealer. It turns out that he was working for Phebe’s dad, not that she ever knew her dad.

When she is rescued, she is asked whether or not she will provide evidence and testify against Kieran, she says that she will, especially since one of the things that they want to prosecute him on is working with Russian sex traffickers. She knows all too well that Underwood was working with the Russians since he sold her to them. She agrees to do so and she wants to see his ass locked up for pretty much always. So, she’s put into a heavily guarded safe house.

Donovan is a complicated man. On one hand, he’s a successful prosecutor, who also does pro bono work to help out various women’s shelters. He’s also a Dom and part owner of a club called Eden. However, he has been trying to keep his Dom side a little more under wraps since his sub betrayed him and left him. He’s been appointed to be the lawyer on the Underwood case, which means that he will be spending a lot of time with Phebe, deposing her and getting her information. When he first sees Phebe, he gets some Dom-ly urges to take care of her and protect her, but he has to keep reminding himself that she’s not his sub.

They end up spending a lot of time together, working on the case, and things progress as they normally do.

OK, final thoughts before we move to the spoiler section. I did not connect deeply with these characters. I thought the book was very well-written and it’s a good premise. It did do some things that I really liked. For example, it shows Phebe going to a mental health professional to help in her recovery. Nothing happens overnight, and there is a lot of patience on everyone’s part. It also shows how a healthy D/s relationship can help women who have been in a very bad situation get back to trusting people and help them gain their power back. Will that work for everyone? No, of course not, not everyone has submissive tendencies, and you kinda gotta have those to be in a D/s relationship.

There are some things that may be triggery to people who have been in a relationship with violence in it, so be aware of that if you read this book. There aren’t a lot of them, but it’s better to know that they are there than to be blindsided.

 

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Ok, I think that one of the reasons I didn’t really connect well with the characters is that sometimes I felt like Donovan’s betrayal and Phebe’s betrayal were being placed at the same level, or even that his was a little higher than hers. Yes, he had a sub, they were in a committed D/s relationship until she went off and cheated on him. That’s pretty bad and would be hurtful, but it doesn’t compare to being in a relationship with a drug dealer who hits you or being sold to a sex trafficker. That is my personal perception of it, colored through my viewpoints and experiences. Your perception will vary, so please don’t let me turn you off the book, OK?

I like that Phebe does research into the whole kink world on her own, by talking to her therapist and Bridget, before she talks to Donovan about it. That lets her figure out what she wants before she talks to Donovan. She needed that time to get things straight in her own head, which was important.

Donovan did do everything he could to make sure she was safe, and when something did happen that could hurt her, he made sure to rescue her and take care of her.

It was a well-written book, I could tell that LK Shaw put a lot of thought into it, and I enjoyed the premise behind it.

We have more goodies coming up this week, meanwhile, happy reading.

Lili Zander & Lee Savino-Draekon Heart

Welcome to the first blog post of the day. Later on this evening, you’ll be getting the newest addition to the Blacklight series. But for right now, you’re getting Draekon Heart, the third book in the Exiled to the Prison Planet series.

Before we get started, I just have to say that I get a little bit of a giggle every time I see Lili Zander’s name (yes, I know it’s a pen name for Tara Crescent), because the last name Zander is in my family history not too far back. Well, enough of that little digression, back to the hot dragons and tough women.

Quick reminder on the back story. The Zorahn were talking 10 women to their planet, basically to act as guinea pigs for science. One of the Zorahn on the ship sabotaged it and they crashed on the prison planet where the Draekon are exiled. Draekon are a mutation of the Zorhan, and can shift into dragons when they find and claim their mates. Draekon always mate in pairs, so the series is a MFM menage series.

When the ship crashed, the women got separated. Some of them went with the main group of exiles. Well, I say main, but I mean main as in the exile group that we’ve focused on so far. Some of the other women were kidnapped by another exile group, which we haven’t seen anything of, until now. Backstory over.

DH is the story of Ryanna, Zorux (Surly Draekon most of the time and Sweet Draekon sometimes), and Thrax (Sexy Draekon).

By now, it’s been 3 months since the women crashed on the planet. We’ve already got 2 happy trios, but no new ones. The rainy season has ended, so it’s time to start acting on the information that Beirax gave them about the supply and Cloakship drop, and time to try and find the other women that were kidnapped.

So, we open with Beirax being sentenced to exile. The dragons are going to put him on a high plateau that he will not be able to escape from since he can’t fly. He isn’t real happy about that and he yells at Arax for wearing symbols of royalty, which, technically Arax is allowed to do, being the Firstborn and all. Arax then says that even if they are on another planet, he will uphold all the laws of their planet. That makes Zorux withdraw somewhat.

Ryanna has done everything she can to be useful and to learn all the skills that she can to survive on this planet. She’s gotten Zorux to teach her how to throw knives. Thrax and Zorux have helped her come up with a mark that she can leave so that she can be tracked when she’s out hunting. She has also done everything she possibly can do to make sure that she doesn’t fall in love with any of the Draekon, but Zorux and Thrax are both very sexy, and Thrax is a congenital flirt. Ryanna sleeps with a knife under her pillow because she was in an abusive marriage and she managed to escape, but her ex came after her. She knows that she’s on another planet and he has no way of getting to her, but that doesn’t stop her from being afraid. Fear is like that.

Anyway, Arax decides that he, Nyx, and Olivia will go looking for the other women. Dennox, Vulrux, Harper, Raiht’vi, Thrax, Zorux, and Ryanna will go to the ship, get Beirax’s tracker, and find all the Cloakship pieces. They don’t get very far before they realize that Harper is sick. Raiht’vi points out that nope, Harper isn’t sick, Harper is preggers. Vulrux, being the group’s doctor takes her home, while Dennox flies everyone to the ship and then to a base camp site and goes back to Harper.

So there we are. Ryanna, who keeps trying to think of her pants as nun’s pajamas, is left along with two Draekon who she’s been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to not fall in lust with, and Raiht’vi, who is warming up to people, slowly but surely. However, she’s got her own secrets and she’s afraid.

Before I put up my excellent Dragon of Protection, let me tell you that this series is getting better and better. Each book has increased the stakes, and this one really, really did. OMG, it really did. These are not standalone stories, you do need to read them in order to get the whole story since they do build on each other. That means you are getting a cliffhanger-ish ending for the story as a whole, but Zorux, Thrax, and Ryanna get their HEA, so that part’s all good. There is some really hot sex, because of course there is. There are a couple of places that could be triggery to people who have survived DV, but they are short and not too bad.

 

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Ryanna, while she is really attracted to both guys really wants to protect herself from being hurt again in any way. She worries about falling for them because she doesn’t figure that she is their mate because they didn’t turn into dragons the first time they saw her. In fact, they’ve all been around each other for months now and nothing has happened. And now that Harper is pregnant, Ryanna worries about bringing a child into it and then they find another woman as their mate.

Zorux is worried because he has a secret. While his tattoos show that he is a Highborn, the fact is that his father faked being a Highborn. When his mother found out, she killed him, one of Zorux’s sisters, and herself. She made Zorux promise to kill his younger siblings and then kill himself. It is the highest of the high crimes to fake your birth station. If the authorities were to find out, his siblings would die, their bondeds would die, their children and etc would die. So, when Arax said that he would enforce the laws of his world, that really scared Zorux even more.

I know I haven’t said much about Thrax, but he is a pretty mellow guy. He flirts a lot of Ryanna, doesn’t have a lot of angst in his story, and is pretty nice, all around. He was an orphan and was a pilot. When Zorux tells him his story, Thrax is pretty calm about it. He says that he’s learned that people are more than what their birth station is.

Obviously, because they get their HEA, Thrax and Zorux turn into dragons. There had to be some emotional breakthroughs to get to that point.

We find out more about Raiht’vi, but she’s still kind of mysterious. We also get a glimpse into Olivia, one of the women in the other group. Her story looks to be intense.

Wow, this is long. Bottom line? I loved the story. I love the Draekon and each book gets better and better. I can’t wait for winter for the next one! Meanwhile, happy reading!

Aubrey Cara-Bambi’s Alien Abduction

The full title of this book is completely and totally awesome, I mean, just totally awesome. I love it. It’s Bambi’s Alien Abduction: Earth Girl’s Guide to Surviving an Alien Abduction. Tell me that isn’t a title that tells you what you are walking into.

So, Bambi is one of Aubrey Cara’s scifi romances. Unlike her most recent scifi romances, the Monrok series (very good series), which are more intense, especially Their Human Pets, Bambi is really light-hearted and a lot of fun along with being sexy. It takes place in the same universe as the Monrok books do, but I’m not sure that I would call it a spinoff. I would probably call it Monrok-adjacent. Of course, Aubrey may disagree with me, but that’s my opinion on the matter.

This is our introduction to Bambi, and I think it’s awesome, and I should let you meet her in her own words.

“I’m Bambi Rodriquez, daughter of a Vegas showgirl and an internationally renowned Formula One race car driver, Jose Pasto Rodriquez. To say my upbringing was unorthodox would be an understatement, but this goes far beyond drag queen nannies and rhinestone-bedazzled lunchboxes.”

So, into the story. Bambi, with her friends Briana and Brooklyn, was vacationing in France. The next thing she knows, she is waking up and being sold to aliens. The Zapex, the evil bad aliens, have decided to claim Earth, and are slowly harvesting women. They are using them for all kinds of things, including testing them to see if they are compatible with breeding for many alien species. One of those species is the Alogorians.

Oathar is the Yon Tor of Alogoria, from the planet Lehor. His population is slowly dwindling. There are several reasons for that, but one of them is the breeding cycle of the people of his plants. There are actually three different species that live on that planet, the Alogorians, who primarily live in the plains and deserts, the Angarians, who live in the oceans, and the Gyhans, who live in the forests. The Alogorians and Angarians are all male. The Gyhan are female. They have lent their wombs to the Alogorians and Angarians for many years so that each species could increase. The problem is that the Gyhans only ovulate once every 15 years, so the other two species have been alternating as to when they breed. That means that each species only gets the chance to breed every 30 years. Frankly, I think this is a pretty cool set up for needing to find breeders and not one I’ve seen before.

Another reason that the Alogorian people are dwindling is that more and more of their young and the young Gyhans are choosing to stay offworld, so aren’t coming home to breed. When Oathar’s father died, he told Oathar to find other species to breed with. Thus, Bambi.

So, Oathar pays to take Bambi from the slavers, he had paid for 3 women, but Kaihan of the Zapex (boo, hiss) requires the other two women that the slaver bought, and Bambi was the one that Oathar chose.

The first interactions between Oathar and his men and Bambi when they are on his ship are hilarious. The guys are so clueless about anything that’s going on. They were really not ready to get a human on board. But that really sets the tone of the whole book. So, now I’m going to find a pretty picture and set it up for spoilers. This book was a lot of fun. Mostly fairly light-hearted, definitely funny. The sex is hot, if somewhat maybe towards the tentacly side, but not overly so. Bambi is feisty as hell and doesn’t take a lot of shit off Oathar, and when he tries to spank her as discipline, it doesn’t work so well, as discipline anyway.

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So, really, there are so many things about this story that I like, up to and including the pussy shaped fruit. I thought that was hilarious, myself.

I liked the fact that Bambi is stronger than anyone wants to give her credit for. I mean, she throws a spear like she would a javelin and helps Oathar take out the big scary monster. When she is kidnapped, she not only knocks out the guy who takes her, she manages to save him too. She is a total badass. I love that she helps to change Oathar and makes him be a better man. I also like that she’s pretty much irreverent about everything. It’s a great way to survive and it makes things a little easier on her, I think.

I did come close to having to smack Oathar though when he made Bambi feel bad because he was worried about her pheromones controlling him. He was kind of a dick then. At least he got over that shit.

So, this is in the same universe as the Monrok, which I really like. I’m looking forward to seeing the Monrok are going to make more appearances than the just random one that has already shown up. I’m looking forward to the next books in the series, as well as more Monrok books.

Tomorrow is double header, two reviews, one in the morning and then one in the evening, so make sure that you keep your eyes open. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Cynthia Sax-Cyborg Sizzle, Pt. 2

Hopefully, you read yesterday’s post and know the background of the Cyborg Sizzle-verse. Today, we get to the review of Seeking Vector, the latest of the books in this ‘verse.

So, Cynthia describes Vector as a side-quel. It happens at the same time as the previous two books, Hers to Command, Ace and Thrasher’s story, and Ghost of a Machine, Ghost’s story.

We meet Vector in the first of the cyborg books, Releasing Rage. He is the captain of the warship Freedom. It is the premier ship of the cyborgs’ fleet. When Rage and his brethren rebel, it’s to his ship that he goes. I kind of didn’t like Vector the first time we saw him because he didn’t want to let Joan, Rage’s female, come on the ship and made Green get rid of his beloved plant, Windy. Don’t worry, Green gets Windy back and good things happen there.

Anyway, Vector wasn’t a complete douchebag, and he did finally come around, at least on Joan’s case. And now, he has his own book with his own HEA.

In this book, we find out that an unknown female has been making contact with Vector over the private transmission lines that the cyborgs use. She’s been giving him information to pass along to the cyborg council so that they can use it in their rebellion. However, Power, the leader of the council, has so far refused to use any of the information. Pretty much all the cyborgs are convinced that this is a trap, so Power has directed Vector to find the female and eliminate her.

Vector is all set to go out and do that very thing, but the female doesn’t talk to anyone but him, and he keeps thinking, deep inside his mind, that she is HIS female, even though he keeps trying to logically tell himself that she isn’t. Spoiler, she totally is.

She won’t tell him anything personal about herself, and she uses a synthesized voice to interact with him. She tells him that it has been half her lifespan since she has even heard her voice and that she is lonely. She also sexts him.

Meanwhile, we find out that her name is Kaisa and she’s been hiding out on a Humanoid Alliance base for years. She does what she cans for all the J models that live there, including giving them hope and courage when they are getting tortured. She sneaks in to give them pain inhibitors whenever she can. Kaisa is also a hacker extraordinaire. Not only has she managed to back into all kinds of databases, she’s also managed to get rid of all kinds of references to herself and various weaknesses that the cyborgs have.

When Vector gets to the base where Kaisa is hiding, she tells him that he needs to wait for a couple of days, until the J models rebel and take over the station. He waits, and then goes to find her when he’s allowed on board. The J models all call her their woman because she talks to them, she has helped them, and she has done everything she can for them. They all love her and want to protect her, to the point where they tell Vector that they will die for her.

Anyway, this is the time when we need to go our separate ways if you don’t want to get spoiled. There is cussing, there is serious sex, and there is some spanking, but these aren’t kinky stories, in general. They are seriously sex heavy, but it’s good sex, so who’s complaining? I really like Vector as a character now, and we learn more about his past and his history and it explains why he has made some of the choices that he did. Vector is extremely honorable, even for cyborgs who very honor-bound. He does what he thinks is the right thing to do, which leads to conflict, but works well within the story. I’m looking forward to the next installment to the cyborgs, or to the spin-off series, the Refuge. I think we have to wait until December for it though, so I guess I can maybe be patient.

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So, poor Vector, I mean, man. That is some serious shit that he went through before he became free. I about wanted to cry for him, and now it makes sense why he didn’t want Windy around.

And Kaisa, man, I can’t even imagine how hard it was for her to completely shut herself away from her family the way that she did, especially since they appeared to be close. I mean, I know that she did it so that they would be safe. Sometimes curiosity isn’t always the best thing to have. Of course, if she didn’t have that curiosity, then the cyborgs would still be more vulnerable.

I was mad that Power didn’t suck it up and try to use her information before Vector leaked it out, but Power is a massive asshole, and I haven’t liked him since Hers. Of course, watch, Power will be the next book, and I’ll end up liking him.

It was nice to see Mayhem and his female and get that little look into what’s happening there.

Anyway, while you can read these books as standalones, you are going to be better off if you read the books in order since you run into the same characters throughout and the overall story builds from book to book.

I’m off for the evening, to finish reading an ARC for  LK Shaw that will be coming at you on the 9th. Tomorrow’s blog is the new one from Isabella Starling that came out today. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Sasha Byrne-Brothel Beauties

Don’t worry, you’re still getting the second part of the Cynthia Sax post later today, but I kinda got to finish the book first, lol. Besides, I wanted to drop a super quick post about this story that got a drop yesterday. I honestly can’t say too much about it, because it’s short, a super quick read, around 10k words or so. It only took me around 30 minutes to read it. So, on to Sasha Byrne and Brothel Beauties.

If you’ve never heard of Sasha Byrne, don’t worry, you may know her under her other name, Zoe Blake. In fact, check this space on the 10th to get a review of her upcoming release, Papa’s Prey. Very dark, very intense. (And Zoe has offered some kind of giveaway, I need to figure out what that’s going to look like, because Zoe is very cool to do that.)

There isn’t going to be a spoiler section on this, just because with as short as it is, anything I try to say about spoilers will totally spoil everything. So, just a quick synopsis and then you have to go read it yourself.

This book is a menage, and primarily a lesbian menage, although there is some Mf action. All the action takes place in a brothel. Lola, Jasmine, and Tiffany are whores. Mike is the bartender of the brothel. Tiffany is new and has stepped on some toes and needs to be schooled. So, Tiff didn’t know that she needed these lessons and she learned some things about herself along the way.

When I went to read this book, Zoe warned me it might kill me because it is so depraved. And she’s right. It killed me. Luckily, it also brought me back to life so that I can share it with you. She’s also right about it being depraved. It’s depraved, filthy, dirty, wrong, and oh, oh, oh so right. If all of those things sound like something you want to try, make sure that you have a bottle of ice water and a hanky to wipe the sweat off your brow, because you are going to need them to try to extinguish the fire under your… collar. You can read it on KU, but you only need 99 shiny pennies to keep it for your very own.

Cynthia Sax-Cyborg Sizzle Pt. 1

Today’s and tomorrow’s blogs are a two parter. That way I don’t have to spend the whole blog tomorrow writing about the back story to Cynthia Sax’s cyborg universe. This way, you get the back story today and as soon as I read Seeking Vector, which comes out tomorrow, is pre-ordered, and will be on my Kindle at midnight, I can get that reviewed and out on the blog to you! I’ve been really looking forward to reading Vector. Cynthia doesn’t keep us waiting for long in between books, usually, but as with most series and authors I like, any wait after I finish The End is too long.

In this universe, there are 3 main groups that we deal with. There’s the Humanoid Alliance. They are the bad guys, and they are mostly all guys. Rude, abusive, misogynistic, specieist, destructive assholes. They commit genocide and destroy planets. Then you have the Rebels, who are the good guys. The final group are the cyborgs.

Now, cyborgs are part human and part machine. The ratio of organic to machine varies from universe to universe. Usually, cyborgs are created, think Borg from ST:TNG, but that’s not quite how they work in Cynthia’s world. They are basically born as cyborgs. They have been manipulated so that they born with the mechanical side that they will need in their lives as the ground pounders for the Humanoid Alliance. The cyborgs have nanocybiotics running through their bodies that help repair them and keep them from aging. The nanocybiotics are strongest in their saliva and their semen.

The current model series is K, I think. Each successive model series looks and acts more human. Rage and Ghost, both C models, are more primitive, don’t act as human, and have gray skin, making them look not so human. Ace and Thresher, who are much more advanced models, act more human-like and look more human-like. In fact, in their book, they aren’t clocked as cyborgs immediately because they cover up the model number that they have under their eye.

The HA thinks that the cyborgs are just mindless machines that do nothing but follow orders. Most of their handlers and the others who are near the cyborgs mistreat them, torture them, abuse them, rape them, and all manner of not good things. However, the cyborgs have free will. They’ve been slowly but surely rebelling and leaving the HA. They have to do it carefully so that they don’t risk their brethren that are still in the hands of the HA.

One thing that all of the cyborgs want is to find their female. The one person who is destined to be theirs. There is only one female who is their genetic match. When they find that person, they can make little baby cyborgs. The cyborg’s nanocybiotics are transferred to the female every time the kiss or fuck. They help keep the female from aging and dying, and will help to repair her if she is injured.

OK, this backstory blog is long enough, I think. Tomorrow is the day that the new book is dropping, so I will read it and review it. I can’t wait! Meanwhile, happy reading!