Anthology-Six of the Best

We have a fun little anthology today. Six British authors got together to bring us some short stories out of British history. We have stories from the Restoration to the late Victorian period. While they may all take place in different points in time, they all include an Alpha male spanking his wife. I wouldn’t strictly call them Doms and subs, but closer to domestic discipline, I think. Well, until you get to Katie Douglas’s story, but that’s a whole other tale. LOL.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the 6 stories that go into making up Six of the Best.

Ashe Barker starts us off with her story, A Scandalous Career.

Cecily is the only sensible member of her family. Her mother and her sister are both feather-headed, and her brother is too young to take care of the family. After her sister got married, Cecily is trying to handle all the debts that the lavish affair accrued plus trying to keep her mother’s lavish spending under control. The problem is that there just is no money coming in, which means that King Charles can’t come stay with them. Cecily goes to a neighbor’s house and tells the neighbor that they are passing over hosting duties to them. Benedict Avery is the neighbor’s prodigal brother. On his long-delayed trip home, he’s robbed by a highwayman.

This is a fun little story, and I have to admit that I really like Cecily. She’s stubborn, resourceful, and sometimes a little too smart for her own good, but she’s also loyal and loves her family.

Felicity Brandon’s The King’s Vice brings us up close and personal with King Charles II.

Lady Jane Pembroke has been told by her mother and uncle that she needs to go to court, snag a rich husband, and keep them in the manner to which they would like to be accustomed. She’s accepted to work as a lady-in-waiting. And she’s brought to the attention of the King. Now, King Charles II had a reputation in real life. He had a number of mistresses and illegitimate children. He was a party boy and wanted to eat, sleep, and fuck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, not at all. King Charles is enamored with Lady Jane and takes her down to his little sex rooms, where he introduces her to the pleasures of the flesh, including being spanked.

Even though I’m not British, I tend to have my favorite English royals. I’m a real fan of the Tudors. Charles has never really done anything for me, but that’s OK, Felicity’s version of Charles is better than the one I ever imagined. She does take some liberties with history, but that’s all good. Altogether, a pleasing story, and one I’ll read again.

Gracie Malling’s His Impertinent Wife brings us up to the Regency.

The Regency is the time period of Jane Austin and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Good manners and high fashion were all the rage. So, what happens when those manners start to run against two deeply unpleasant people? Well, if you’re Lettie Hunter, your arse gets paddled.

Lettie has recently married Andrew. They have a fine house and live near his half-brother who is married to her sister. Lettie is impetuous and has a temper. However, she’s generally very polite. But, when new people move into the neighborhood and they are rude to her, her husband, her sister, and her brother-in-law, Lettie’s mouth runs away from her and writes checks her bottom has to pay. The Nicholsons do deserve every word that Lettie said to them. I’m not kidding, they are really fucking rude by today’s standards, which is even worse back in the day. Jane Austin would’ve eviscerated them. I think, of all the heroines, Lettie is the one I identify with the most, mostly because I have problems with my temper, I’m deeply sarcastic, and I do not suffer fools gladly. I do love this story a lot, and was really pleased with how it came out.

Vanessa Brooks takes us back a step from Regency England to Georgian England with Petticoat Tyrant.

Owen Rackham has just found out that he is the new Lord Rackham. And not just that, but he has also just inherited an almost 18 year old ward named Cassandra. The majority of her family died in a fire, and her grandmother arranged with the previous Lord Rackham to be her guardian in case something happened to her. Well, dear Grandmama shuffled off the mortal coil much sooner than anyone expected, leaving Cassandra with a stranger, living in the country in isolation. She’s got issues, and she tries really hard to take control as she can and to make everyone feel as miserable as she does. When Owen decides that he’s going to marry her off as soon as possible, Cassandra does everything she can to drive as  many of the men away as possible.

Jaye Peaches brings us back up into the Victorian era with The Accused Wife.

Caroline Dewhurst is a beauty but doesn’t have a large dowry. She needs to find a rich husband so that her family can continue to keep her mother in the hospital. Maximillian Hampton sees her and tells Alexander he’s going to marry her. Alexander doesn’t think much of it, since he’s getting ready to go to Greece. However, when he comes back, he finds out that she’s in jail for murder. She stands accused of murdering her husband, Maximillian. Alexander knows she didn’t do it and is determined to make her his bride.

Poor Caroline, she has such bad luck. But, Alexander does what he can to help her with it and to help her feel better about everything that’s happened. I feel sorry for Caroline. She really was in between a rock and a hard place, and they kept moving towards each other. She just ended up squished in the middle, no matter what. Alexander, though, was a blast of dynamite that let her free. Very awesome story.

Katie Douglas rounds out our 6, and she gives us His Reluctant Bride, set in Scotland in the late Victorian period.

Laura and Andrew have just been married for 3 weeks. You would think that everything would be great, right? Well, not so much. They still haven’t consummated the marriage. Laura has come up with an excuse every night. She has a book that is all about married women keep their modesty, in other words, their maidenhead. Laura’s heard horrible things about sex and how men are ravening beasts and no woman ever likes it. Andrew’s not willing to not have sex with the woman he loves and is attracted to. With the help of a friend, he’s bound and determined to show his wife that sex isn’t a bad thing. I think that this was my favorite story of all. Mostly because of the sex scenes, which are very, very hot.

So, that’s all of our stories. It’s hard to talk about short stories because I don’t want to spoil anything, so if it seems like I’m not telling you much about the story, well, I’m not. You need to go read the book and find them for yourself. They are a great bunch of stories, and you are going to read sweet, hot, sexy, and romantic stories.

No spoilers, today, but an appropriately themed picture.

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Alien Alphas Part 1

Alien Alphas is an anthology with 23 authors. That means that I’m going to be reviewing a lot of them. If I blogged all of them in one blog, I would get bored and so would you. I endeavor to not bore myself, and I figure if I’m bored, you’re bored. See how that works? Anyway, I’m breaking it into 2 pieces. This first blog will have all the ARCs I got for this one. The second one will be all the other stories which made me go wow. Of all 23 authors in this book, I’ve read all but two of them, so I was really excited to get this one. I was practically drooling over the book when I got it. So, here we go.

Strangeways by Addison Cain 5*

Of all the things that I have to blame Addison Cain for, turning me onto some tentacle porn is one of the weirdest. Or maybe it’s a combo between Addison and Cari Silverwood, whichever, it doesn’t matter, this story was hot. I really enjoyed it and the twists are twisty. I’m hoping that Addison gives us some more out of this universe. Well, after Consumed, and Irdesi Empire, and Alpha’s Control and a surprise that she keeps teasing us about.

But yeah, the sex in this story? Completely out of the galaxy. What girl doesn’t want to get with a cock that can do all the things that Phi’s equipment can do? That bitch Emily is lucky. Well, maybe lucky, but she’s still getting the good dick. I love the whole basis of this story and think that it is an interesting way to do what Phi and his brethern are trying to do.

You may think that you may not have an interest in tentacles, but really, this story will change your mind and make a believer out of you.

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Finding Sitra by Jane Henry 4.5*

OK, first thing I have to say about this story? I love the title. It’s my kind of wordplay. It can be taken in so many, many, many different ways, and once you read it, you’ll see what I mean. (Seriously, go buy this book right now. It’s only 99 pennies, what can go wrong?)

What do you do when you are a big bad space soldier and you go to a brothel only to find out that your dead best friend’s baby sister is the prostitute that you just rented? Well, you tie her down and spank her, of course! What happens when that brothel gets the shit bombed out of it? You end up with Cy and Sitra’s story.

They get their HEA, which is wonderful, but it’s not an easy thing for either of them. They both have a lot of baggage that they have to deal with, which makes it even more satisfying when they get together. So, yay for them, and yay for Jane!

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Sold to the Enemies by Sara Fields 4*

Sara Fields brings us into a whole new scifi world for her offering and I will gladly follow Sara anywhere she wants to go, please and thank you. 🙂

Aubrie was the leader of Earth’s space forces, right up until she went and attacked a much more technologically advanced force. She may have killed some of them, but her forces were devastated. The men were killed and the women were taken prisoner and dragged off by slavers. She was on the dais being sold when Edogan sees her and decides to buy her himself. After all, as the commander of the forces she attacked, he’s well within his rights to take her and punish her.

One of the things that I like about Edogan is that he’s secure enough as an Alpha to let Aubrie be the strong person she is. he also takes the time to help her figure out what’s going on with her life.

And this is what my head Aubrie looks like, mostly because I think Starbuck is very cool. So, please, let me have this without harshing it, OK?

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Katee Sackhoff, (Season 4), 2003-,. Photo: Justin Stephens / © SCI FI CHANNEL

 

 

Fated Possession by Cari Silverwood 5*

My Cari Silverwood collection is well up into double digits. I think it’s at nearly 20. I’d have to go look. But there’s a really good reason for that. If you’ve read anything of hers, and if you haven’t why not?, you’ll understand.

This story takes place in her Machinery of Desire series. You don’t have to read the series to understand what’s going on in the story, but it does help. It happens at roughly the same time that the last book in that series happens, but doesn’t connect up with that story.

Blue is one of the humans who has been abducted and dragged to Aerthe for one thing. Her blood. Human blood has something that the Mekkers need. When she escapes, she gets caught by Scavs. Sassik is passing by and sees her and sees what’s about to happen to her and decides that he’s going to buy her. Of course, his plan is to buy long enough to find a good owner for her.

This is one of those series that I want the next book as soon as I finish the last book, so having this story to tide me over and give me another look into this world is great.

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Drakeon Rescue by Lee Savino and Lili Zander 4*

Dragons are cool. I love dragons. You love dragons. Everyone loves dragons. Flying and breathing fire, I mean, what more do you really need? So, of course my love extends out to Draekons, Lee and Lili’s alien dragon shifters.

A few months ago, Zorhans landed on Earth and gave the humans some miraculous cures. They also took 10 women back with them. Now, on the worst. day. ever. Dor gets abducted by a spaceship and dragged away.

Tin is a Draekon who has spent a year trapped in hell by evil scientists. They are testing to try to find his mate. Cro is his best friend who isn’t about to give up on finding Tin and rescuing him. When Dor gets taken to the evil scientists’ lair, she’s placed with Tin, and Cro shows up with perfect timing.

The Draekon guys are awesome. They are uber-protective and they are also willing to let Dor do what she is good at without smothering her. While this story does take place during the rest of the Draekon books, it doesn’t connect up with them in any way, shape, or form.

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Under Contract by Jaye Peaches 4.5*

Remind me never to break a contract anywhere where Jaye can see me. Or maybe, remind me to do that, if she’ll arrange someone like Brax to come get me, because damn. This story gave me the screaming thigh sweats. I mean, dayum. This story is pretty heavy on the BDSM and sex aspects, so be aware of that, and prepare appropriately.

Brax is an extraction specialist. He gets a contract and goes in and extracts women from suboptimal situations, then takes them back to his facility and rehabilitates them. Kleo’s guardian has contacted Brax to go extract Kleo from another planet, rehabilitate her (read make her submissive again), and bring her back. Kleo ran away because she doesn’t like her “guardian’s” plans for her. I wouldn’t either. What no one told Brax is that she’s a human who has been trained with some very particular skills. Skills that affect her rehab.

Brax is a super intense alpha. And dayum, his junk? Yeah, he’s got some good junk going on. I love how cherished he makes Kleo feel and how he changes how she feels about herself.

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Her Zandian Masters by Renee Rose. 5*

Horny, purple, horned aliens. The don’t have one eye, they don’t fly unless they are in a flying ship, but they do eat women. (Snerk) I love the Zandian universe. A lot. Thank you, Renee Rose.

Eslyn is one of the few Zandian women left in the entire universe. We originally met her back in one of the full length Zandian stories. She and her “mates” were left on Zandia when it was attacked, and they spent 15 long years as the only Zandians that they knew of, along with their kids. When other Zandians came to where they were, her “mates” tried to kidnap the other woman and kill the man with her. Eslyn, those men, and her young were all brought back to the royal pod for Prince Zander to judge.

He decides that she should be rehabilitated and chooses the three men who have been guarding her to do it. Granit, Laake, and Damon have been best friends and brothers for the majority of their lives, and are almost like one organism with three bodies instead of three separate beings. It makes sense for them to share a mate.

Generally, Renee doesn’t write menage in this series, because it turns out big purple horned aliens also tend to be somewhat possessive. However, it really works in this case, and it is hot af. The guys are awesome and caring, and they go out of their way to show Eslyn how much she matters. Totally awesome.

I know this isn’t what the Zandians look like, but I love this picture anyway, so here you go.

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The Ghost in the Stars by Sophie Kisker 4.5*

This is an intro to a new universe by Sophie Kisker, and I can tell it’s going to be hot as fucking fuck. Because damn, this one was amazing. I can’t wait for more of this universe so that I can get to enjoy everything. By everything, I mean all the books and stories, of course.

Siridian is off flying in space by himself when he runs across a ship just floating around. While he waits to get permission to get in and go salvage it, he has the feeling he should just go in and do it, so he does. When he’s there, he finds a dead body and Keelie. Keelie is a human nectar slave who was abducted from a past Earth and dragged into the future to serve the men of Anteros and their addictions.

Siridian has experienced nectar slaves before and he wants nothing to do with this one. He feels guilty about things that weren’t under his control, and he wants to just get rid of her. However, he keeps having a nagging feeling in the back of his mind. Keelie keeps hearing voices and when she tries to tell Siridian about it, he just gets angry and ends up punishing her. Turns out, he should’ve listened to her.

The ideas behind this world are filthy and obscene, which are two of my favorite words when it comes to my reading material. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the ‘verse grows and expands.

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So, I had a migraine yesterday and got behind yesterday, and I’m in recovery mode today, which means I’m still a smidgeon behind. The second half of Alien Alphas will be up on Sunday, and the other blog that was supposed to get posted today will be up tomorrow. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Jaye Peaches-Sold to the Gladiators

The last couple Jay Peaches stories I’ve read were scifi stories, so it was nice to take a step back a few hundred years and step into ancient Britannia. Sold to the Gladiators takes us back to the days when Romans ruled over what’s now England and slavery was legal.

Many years before this got started, Felix was kidnapped by a neighboring tribe and sold to the Romans. He was trained to be a gladiator and was a very good one. While he was a gladiator, he trained Rufus. Rufus was a Gaul who volunteered to be a gladiator. When Felix was freed and awarded lands in Britannia, Rufus decided that he would go too. As a quick aside on the names, I congratulate Jaye on them, I got a good laugh. Felix is Latin for lucky, and he was lucky to survive being a gladiator and to get free. Rufus is described as having yellow and red hair, and Rufus means red-haired. I loved that.

Anyway, before they left, Felix visited a soothsayer. The soothsayer told him that he would have to make sacrifices to the fertility goddesses, however, since they are fertility goddesses, the sacrifice was sex and orgasms and cum. The soothsayer described the woman that he would need, including that she would have very hard nipples, a narrow waist, and wide hips, like the neck of a vase. He would have to take her a lot. And sharing here wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Enter Bethan.

Bethan is a native Briton. She was captured and sold to the Romans as a slave. Her current master is a bit of a prick and she often gets in trouble for stealing food that would otherwise go to the pigs and giving it to beggar children. One day, she happened to do that right in front of Rufus and Felix, who were there to give her master a message from the Roman emperor. Her master offers Felix the chance to punish her for theft, and he realizes that she fits the description perfectly and so buys her.

OK, so we know the drill by now. You get to decide which path to choose. I liked this story. I didn’t always like Felix, but I did always like Rufus. I like Bethan and can understand where she is coming from and why her emotions get the better of her sometimes. Her entire situation could be overwhelming, I’m sure. So, go check this out on Amazon and see how good it is for yourself.

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Felix tells Bethan that she is basically the land. As long as she is doing he job well and making sure that the land is fertile, mostly by being fucked out of her mind over an altar daily, then she’s all good and going to get loads of orgasms out of it. But if the rains don’t come or the crops fail or any of a dozen other things happen, she will be punished. In fact, that nearly happens once. That belief of Felix’s did kind of make me mad, especially since ancient peoples of that day mostly believed it was the king whose job failed if the land wasn’t fertile, but that wouldn’t work for the story, so I’m just going to set that point aside. It still made me mad though. I mean yeah, some Roman soothsayer says something and all of a sudden a Briton woman is the land? Ok, sure, whatevs ancient soothsayer.

Anyway, Felix does give Bethan to Rufus for Rufus to love and meet her emotional needs, since he has decided that he won’t ever love her, she’s just a slave and sacrifice. Protip: That never works.

I love the chemistry between the 3 of them. I love the glimpses that we get into the guys and their POVs as well as knowing what’s in Bethan’s mind. That works really well in this story.

That’s all I have to say on this one, other than go check it out.

 

Jaye Peaches-To Know You

So sorry for the delay in play for the past couple of days! Your reward for being patient is getting an amazing 3, yes 3, review blog posts today! First up, is this lovely Jaye Peaches book, which you are getting now. Later this afternoon, you’re getting Isabella Starling’s newest book, and finally this evening, you’re getting a new one from Summer Graystone! So, stay tuned for all that, and we’ll dive right into Jaye Peaches and To Know You.

There is a lot of BDSM and D/s in this, which could move the story into the dark romance category, but, for me at least, I’m not sure that’s where it belongs, so I’m keeping it strictly in romance. That’s because, to me, BDSM and D/s aren’t automatically dark romance, there has to be something else that moves it to that, and while there is a plot point that could move it to dark, that’s not really the main part of the plot. The story focuses more on Gemma and Jason, and their budding relationship and romance. With all that said, let’s dig in.

Gemma is a young submissive woman. She spent several years playing in the world of kink, sometimes with long-term Doms/masters, and other times, she’s done one-off scenes with Doms at clubs or through other arrangements. The last dominant man she was with wasn’t really a Dom, and he traumatized her, badly. It was bad enough that she has completely walked away from the kink world, doesn’t go to clubs, parties, munches, or any other get together. She doesn’t even really contact her kinky friends. In order to avoid that man from finding her, she’s even quit her very good job and taken an internship at Jason Lucas’ company. It’s a good job, but a somewhat backwards step for her. One day, she helps a man who is standing by the copy machine, flummoxed by the error codes. That turns out to be Jason.

Jason Lucas is a very driven Type A kind of guy. In fact, he’s a Type A’s Type A. He’s also a Dom. He’s currently without a sub. He’s generally a one-off kind of guy, hit it and quit it, and do it hard is his motto. He doesn’t want a relationship, he doesn’t want the complication, but then he meets Gemma.

He gives her a ticket to a big choral charity concert, but doesn’t tell her that he’s going to be there too. After they hear part of it, they go out for drinks, and then there is some really hot sex. There are lots of weekends of really hot sex, vanilla-style, mostly. She doesn’t really hear from Jason during the week, which somewhat disturbs Gemma, and makes her question what’s going on.

Eventually, they both figure out that they are kinky and that their kinks mesh. Talking about limits brings up the trauma that Gemma went through.

So, here we go. I’m going to continue to spoilers, you get to decide whether or not you want to read them. Overall, I enjoyed the story. I liked Gemma most of the time, sometimes she got on my nerves, which happens. However, I didn’t like Jason most of the time. I thought that he was cold, dismissive, and ignored Gemma way too much. Gem had to try to figure out his rules and motives, and within the D/s relationship they set up, she had some issues with that. Sometimes that made her doubt, and she chose to hide those doubts in her submission. The book is exclusively from Gemma’s POV, so we never know what’s going on in Jason’s head, which may be part of why I didn’t care for him. This is just my personal opinion on this, and like I said, I overall enjoyed the book, and quite enjoyed the work that they did on their relationship to make things work, so go and take a chance on it. Just remember, that there is a lot of sex as well as a lot of BDSM scenes. Gemma does have some flashbacks which could trigger some people.

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So, the plot point I mentioned is that Gemma’s former-whatever-he-was turns out to be stalking her. Apparently, what he did to her leaked out and it turned out that he did similar things to other people, so the kink community decided to police their own. He blames Gemma for what happened. He was also a possessive dickhole, which made him want to get Gemma and do not nice things. That really is just a side plot though. I think that parts of it could have been left out and the story could’ve been nearly the same, but again, personal opinion.

I kept waiting for the other shoe to ddrop with Jason. I thought that he was going to end up doing something terribly terrible to Gemma, so that pulled me out of the story a bit, trying to figure out what he was going to do.

There are a lot of things that I did like, just in case you thought that I only found problems with the book. I do like the fact that the relationship is a work in progress. We get to see her doubts, but we also see the negotiations that go into any relationship, let alone a D/s relationship. I thought that was really well done, and I like seeing that in any book.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Check back in a few hours for Isabella Darling, and then a few hours after that for Summer Graystone.