Sara Fields-Mastered

Here we are back on a futuristic Earth that has been invaded and devastated by the Vakarrans, thanks to Sara Fields. Mastered is the second book of this series, and I’m really interested to see where it’s going to go after this one. I think some really interesting things will be happening.

Alaina Stryke, sister to rebel Kira Stryke from our first book, is now in charge of leading their rebellious little band. Kira had gone to her command center to make sure that no Vakarrans were around while Alaina and their two younger sisters moved the rest of the group on to another hidden area. They have to stay hidden because the women would be taken by the Vakarrans and turned into breeders and sex slaves and then men will just be slaves. But when Kira doesn’t come back, Alaina fears the worst.

She decides that she will go to the command center to see what she will find. When she gets there, she discovers that there is a lone Vakarran near one of Kira’s traps, so she’s going to capture him and make him tell her where her sister is so that she can be rescued. Davvan is the youngest member of the second battalion. Alaina gets him trapped in a pit and then goes to talk to him. He tells her that he can’t get her any info on her sister and that he can’t communicate with any Vakarrans. As she goes to shoot him, she feels a gun held up to her own head. Turns out that Davvan is devious and the tables have been turned on her.

The rest of Davvan’s team has arrived and they are going to make this human woman pay, because she’s a human woman and she’s a slave. On top of that, she had the audacity to consider killing a Vakarran. Ryder, Morgn, and Aarom have to all give shit to Davven about it first, but she’s well fucked and punished by the time they drag her into the nearby training facility.

OK, everyone may want to think of the Vakarrans as bad guys, not all of them are. Her guys save a human from another Vakarran who was whipping the shit out of her. Whipping her enough that it was probably going to leave marks. So really, the Vakarrans are like anyone else. There are some that are dicks and that let the power they have go to their heads. There are others who are decent guys, like Kira’s guys and like our current 4. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to tie up Alaina, spank her until her ass is a bright cherry red, and then fuck her senseless. They just aren’t going to harm her. However, they are worried about her being harmed, because their new commander will want to take her and keep her and will probably kill her. Even though he technically can’t because they have a claim on her, that won’t stop him. He’s an asshole and a nasty piece of work who is a political appointee because he’s part of the old boys’ network.

I really liked Alaina, and to quote the movie Slither, “Bitch is hardcore.” She is fierce. She’s a warrior and she has a huge heart. I liked all her guys, for different reasons. I think that Aarom is my favorite though. He’s a little softer, maybe, than other Vakarrans we’ve seen. Not saying he won’t punish Alaina when she needs it, but he is also her emotional support and her friend as well as her lover. I liked that a lot.

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I really liked the ending. I’m eager to see what changes are going to come in the series because of the choices that the guys made. It was a pretty bold choice.

I loved that Alaina handled certain things on her own. I knew that she was walking into a trap, but that she did what she did made me really happy. And the fact that other women were taken out of that situation because of her decisions is a good thing. And if the women had to be rescued by Vakarrans, it’s a good thing it was these guys.

I’m really looking forward to the next book and to see where Sara’s going to go with it. I’m wondering if there may be a small rebellion starting in the Vakarran ranks because of Kira and Alaina. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? Go check these books out and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

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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.

Sara Fields-Conquered

If Sara Fields writes it, I will read it. It’s like the whole Field of Dreams thing, but better because I don’t have to walk out into any corn fields or sit on an uncomfortable bleacher bench. I can sit in my nice comfy couch, with a nice cold beverage, and just read the books. So, totally better.

Today, she decided to write a dark scifi reverse harem book. Is it the darkest thing I’ve ever read? Nope. I have a feeling title will be coming soon. Is it darker than other things that she’s written? Yeah, I think so. Did I love it? Fuck yeah, you better believe I did.

So, on to Conquered. This is an alien invasion/abduction story on the top of it. The Vakarrans are a ruthless species. They can’t really afford to be if they want their species to survive. There are no Vakarran women, so if they want to continue, they need to find species with which they can breed. Humans just happen to be one of those species. The Vakarrans pretty much figure if the humans didn’t want Earth to be invaded, they should’ve just been better at protecting themselves. Oh well, they weren’t, and now all the men are slave labor and the women are all sex slaves and breeders. Women were supposed to all go to training camps so that they can be trained and such.

Kira was just a teenager when the Vakarrans invaded the Earth. Her two younger sisters weren’t even teenagers. On invasion day, their parents shoved the girls out the door and into the forest behind their house. The girls ran and hid in a cave. They expected their parents would be there at some point, but they never showed up. The girls had to figure out how to live in the wilds. Luckily, they had always played out in the woods and were familiar with stuff, so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Now, Kira and her sisters lead a rogue band of humans. Mostly they are women who are hiding from the Vakarrans, either they’ve escaped or they just never went to the camps at all. There are a few men there too, but not as many. Kira would like for her group to be a resistance, but right now she just wants to make sure that they are all safe. She may be rebellious, but she’s also a very responsible leader and has done everything she can to make sure that they stay hidden, including laying traps for the Vakarrans.

The Vakarrans have sent another patrol out to find her, and she’s used her traps to kill them, in a very nasty way. That made the leader very angry, since they were his buds. He wants Kira caught and punished. So he sends out a very good team to get her, Zaavyr, Jax, Coltan and Aedan. They are veterans, smart, wily, careful, and tricksy. They manage to come up with a way to catch Kira and bring her to their training camp.

I love Kira. She’s very strong and very smart. Sometimes, I think that she may be a little too smart for her own good. She is always thinking, and that can get a person in trouble. But, I think that our guys value her intelligence, strength, and spirit. Not everyone did, but if they didn’t, they deserve what they may get. This is a true fact. I do like the guys, even though some people may think that they were a little hard on Kira. I think that they were as hard as they had to be at times. Things that people may think were terrible could’ve been a lot worse than they were, and the boys had to do what they did in order to keep from having to do things that would’ve been worse or letting other people do those things to Kira. The important thing is that while they may hurt her while they are punishing her, they would never harm her, and that’s better than others would’ve done. And, I think they may have had to be hard on Kira, at least at first, because she was so used to being independent, and it can be really hard to go from being the one in control to being the one who has no control.

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I love that the guys kept Kira’s secrets and let her keep an eye out for things. They are really trusting her, but they love her, and theoretically, you trust the person you love, right?

I do also like the way they managed to get rid of the nasty captain. It let Kira get some of her own back, and I’m all for that. He’s the one who hurt her, he deserved what he got.

OK, that’s it for Sara’s new book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. It can’t come soon enough for me. I want to know if it’s going to be a RH book too. Go check it out. I’m going to settle in for the night and read some Tanya Huff while eating brownies. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Perfect Evil

Loki Renard is evil. That’s all there is to it. She is just pure evil, just ask Bobby and Mark. They will definitely tell you. Perfect Evil is the sequel to Taken Boy. You could read PE without having read TB, if you really wanted to, but you will not get near as much enjoyment from it. Knowing Angelo and Bobby’s story will help you to understand the changing dynamic when Mark gets added in.

So, here’s our story. It’s been some time since TB. Angelo and Bobby are still together. They don’t have the easiest relationship in the world, but they are making it work for them. The FBI is trying to put together a case against them, which means they are following our man and his boy around. They tried to bug everything, but Angelo is just a wee bit smarter and a helluva lot more paranoid than FBI are, so he has everything scanned for bugs constantly.

Agent Mark Locke was in the military and now he’s in the FBI. This is his first field mission. He’s gay and his teammates know it, but generally, no one is making a thing out of it. He also uses anti-anxiety medication, which he hides from his teammates, because he knows that they would rag on him about.

His team hears about a party that Bobby and Angelo will be at. The person throwing the party usually brings in some pretty boy escorts to act as man candy. So, his team figures since he’s the only gay member of the team and he’s very good looking, that Mark is going to be the one that is going in. Instead of anyone actually trying to figure out what the man candy would actually wear to such a party, they dress poor Mark up in ’80s leather boy style. That, of course, makes him stand out and not in a good way. Mark has everyone’s hands on him at some point.

Then, bullets start flying and Mark gets hit. Angelo decides that he’s going to grab him up and take Mark with him and Bobby. He’s not sure why he’s doing it, but he trusts his instincts, and his instincts say to grab this guy and take him, so he does. Angelo directs Bobby to drive them out to a house in the country.

They get there, and the fun and games get started. I’m not going to even say anything about the fun and games, except for the fact that Angelo is a right bastard with an incredibly inventive and sadistic mind. There isn’t a whole lot of safe, sane, or consensual about anything that Angelo does.

OK. You know the deal. Angelo has plans and schemes and more plans and schemes inside machinations and manipulations. I would never want to play chess with Angelo. I’m pretty sure he has already won the game we were playing and the next one and the one after that. I wondered how Bobby was going to handle having Mark around, and it was… interesting. I need more of Angelo, Bobby, and Mark so that I can watch their dynamic play out some more. Angelo may be evil, but he’s my kind of evil.

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Since it’s a short book, there isn’t a lot I want to say about spoilers. But, I just want to say that I’m pretty sure that electricity isn’t going to be someone’s friend for a while. Also, the last chapter was a very interesting chapter when it came to Angelo. Gave some me some insight into him. I need more of Angelo. All the Angelo.

So, go check it out, it’s only $2.99. Happy reading!

Celia Aaron-The Maiden

I know that this isn’t the first Celia Aaron’s book I’ve had here, but the other one I had wasn’t dark. This one is dark. Dark af. And it’s a mindfuck. So, hey, that’s great. Hits a lot of my happy buttons.

Celia Aaron writes books that are set in the South. She’s kind of a modern Flannery O’Connor, if Flannery wrote dark, noncon, erotic, thrilling, suspenseful romance. I mean, you get a real taste of the places where she’s writing about, mostly because she’s from the places she’s writing about. That’s also why her lawyers are really authentic too, because she was a lawyer. Anyway, I love reading her books because of all the work she puts into creating her worlds and how they really enhance the story. So, let’s get to The Maiden.

The Maiden is the first book in The Cloisters trio. Well, I don’t know if trio is the right word, but that’s the one I’m going with. There are going to be three, The Maiden, The Prophet which releases in May, and The Church, which releases in June. If you don’t like waiting reading a duet or trio like this one at a time, I would probably suggest that you wait until Church releases. I won’t be, because I neeeeeeeeeed to have them in my hot little hands the second they come out.

So, here’s the lowdown. There is a cult, a church called Heavenly Ministries. The church is run by the Prophet, Leon Monroe. He used to be just a good Baptist pastor,  but then God talked to him and told him to create Heavenly Ministries. The church is basically an end-times are coming, the apocalypse is coming, the end of the world will happen, but if you are a member of our church and live in perfect obedience, you can be saved, kind of church. Things may not necessarily make a lot of sense, but if you have a charismatic leader, like it appears good old Leon is, you can hook people who are looking for something. There are always going to be people who are searching for something or someone or the right path.

Every year, there are Maidens who are accepted into the Cloister. The Maidens are beautiful young virgins. Some go back home at the end of the year and some end up married to someone rich and powerful. The draw of becoming one of the Maidens is that they are choice women, pure and chaste, and their year in the Cloister will keep them safe and pure. Of course, if that’s all there was, I probably wouldn’t have read this book and wouldn’t be talking about it here.

Delilah has been chosen as one of this year’s crop of 12 Maidens. She’s done everything she can to make sure that she was one of the chosen. She follows everything the Prophet says, she goes to church every chance she gets, she is meek, mild, and modest. On the night that she enters the Cloister, there is a big ceremony. The Maidens are led to a huge bonfire where there is a circle of men. They stand in between the men and the fire. The Prophet goes on and on about the story of Abraham and Rebecca. Then, each Maiden is given to a Protector who is going to help her, guide her, and train her for the next year.

Delilah looks at the man across the way from her, and it’s Noah Monroe, the Prophet’s younger son. She thinks that’s OK. Standing right next to him is his older brother, Adam. Adam sees something a little rebellious in Delilah and he trades places with him so that he can become her Protector.

The young women all think that wonderful things are going to be happening. But Adam, Noah, and the other guys all know that it’s not. The Protectors haul their Maidens to the Cloister, where they are told to take off their clothes and get a new name from the Prophet. When they are allowed to get dressed again, they get a birth control shot and a microchip tracker shot into their arm. That’s when things start getting real.

Delilah had an idea as to what would be happening, because she’s there trying to find out information about a young woman named Georgia. Georgia went to be a Maiden, but was later found dead. Delilah knows that the secret of Georgia’s death lies in the Cloister. The only way she could get there was to join the church and become a Maiden. She thought that she knew how bad it was going to be, but she really didn’t.

OK, this book is really intense. It’s dark. There is really no fucking light in this book. There are some lighter black parts, but yeah, not light. There is all kinds of fucked up shit that goes on. It’s all kinds of triggering. There are triggers on top of triggers with a side of triggers. I mean, seriously. Triggers. The Spinners, the women in charge of the Maidens, are sadistic bitches, especially Grace. The Protectors, well, aren’t. Terrible things happen to the Maidens. I would say that they are fucked, but that would probably be too nice to describe it. It is a really great book. I loved it. I couldn’t put it down. I quite literally read it until I was cross-eyed in the middle of the night and my Kindle was nearly falling on my face. That’s how much I got sucked into this book.

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It’s a cliffhanger. I’m not going to lie to you. If you’ve made it down here, you know that you’re going to see spoilers, so you have no one to blame but yourself to find out that yes, it’s a cliffhanger.

I don’t know whether to like Adam or to hate Adam. I kind of want to do to both. I know what I feel about his father, and I haven’t yet come up with something bad enough to happen to him. I’m sure I will. I’m pretty sure that Adam has some kind of long game he’s playing here, but I don’t know what it is. I can’t wait to find out what it is though. It’s going to be interesting to find out. Of course, Celia is going to keep us guessing right until the end.

So, that’s all that I have to stay about this one. Really, check it out, especially if you like dark and dirty. Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-Devils & Rye

Alta has some more top shelf booze for us to drink today. Today, we get to have Devils & Rye. This is the 4th book in the series and is just as good as the others. Harley Crow is still my favorite, because well, he’s awesome, but that doesn’t that this isn’t a great story. I enjoyed it a lot.

Alec is one of the founding and managing members of Spiked Roses, the premier gentlemen’s club of NOLA. He’s also a man who has run away from his past. There was a sneaky, nasty, gross secret society called the Iron Colt Brotherhood, that he walked away from because of what they did and what they stood for.

Alec’s best friend Rhett has a beautiful daughter named Makayla who is just shy of 21. After spending all her life locked up under her father’s thumb, he finally let her go to NOLA so that she could work at Spiked Roses. That would let Alec watch out for her. On Makayla’s very first day of work and what she thinks might be her new, normal life, Alec gets a letter from her father, begging him to take her away and hide her at their place, a house on the lake. She’s in danger, and Alec would know why. Rhett also sent a letter for him to give to Makayla so that she would know that she should do what Alec tells her to do. Of course, when Alec goes to give the letter to Makayla, she’s naked to the waist, with Tennessee trying to zip her into a red lace dress. That stops Alec in his tracks and makes him realize that little Makayla isn’t so little anymore.

OK, it’s that time. I’m going to go on and continue to drink this lovely glass of rye, you can choose which way you want to go. There are some very dark things that happen in this book. Not the darkest things I’ve ever read, but they are moving towards that way. I really do like the book, and I’m looking forward to more of the series.

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I have two words. Dildo. Bench. You’ll see.

I did kind of want to smack the crap out of Makayla because she went and made a supremely stupid choice right after Alec told her what was going on. I mean, who does that? I get loving your father, but she knew what was going to happen to her. As a parent, I would much prefer to see myself get hurt than to have my child in a position where something bad was definitely going to happen to them.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this. Go check out this one and all of Alta’s work. Happy reading!