Cari Silverwood-Branded Possession

Cari Silverwood does some amazing world building. If you read any of her series, you are going to find a world that is detailed, intricate, and nuanced. All of these things come together to create worlds that I love to find myself in time and again. Today, we get to visit Aerthe again in Branded Possession, the third book in her Machinery of Desire series. So, background on the Machinery of Desire world.

There are three groups of people who live on Aerthe, the Mekkers, the Scavs, and the Grounders.

The Mekkers are the remnants of invaders from space who attacked Aerthe. Aerthe hates the Mekkers and will chase them off the face of the planet if they stay in any one place for too long. So, they live in ginormous landships and those ships create Swathes. They travel across the face of Aerthe, harvesting and mining as they go. There are several Swathes, including the Royal Swathe, which is the one we’re concerned about today. The Mekkers have lost the knack of creating the technology that they had and what tech they do have is slowly falling apart.

The Scavs are nomads and scavengers. They travel Aerthe, searching through the ruins of ancient cities to find things that they can use. They also raid Grounder villages so that they can take slaves that they may sell to the Mekkers or keep for themselves. There is some trade between the Scavs and Mekkers and the Grounders and Scavs.

The Grounders are the settled people on Aerthe. They have their own villages and try not to bother anyone, doesn’t always work, the Scavs will occasionally raid villages or caravans, but they try. They will trade with Mekkers and Scavs. We really don’t see a lot about Grounders in any of the books.

Humans exist on Aerthe as slaves. They were brought to Aerthe through portals. As they came through the portal, their hair and nails became all polished and shiny, making it impossible to disguise who they are. The Mekkers are right happy to have the humans for a couple of reasons. One is that they are fantastic fucks. The other is that Mekkers need something called Factor H. The best source comes from human blood, so all human slaves (as far as we know), have a collar that has a port that goes down into their bodies so that they can bleed whenever that port is opened. Some people like to take the blood straight from the source, others wait until it’s been processed and the Factor H has been concentrated.

Aerthe is a magical, mystical place. It’s somewhere just south of sentient, but very much north of completely lifeless. It’s very aware and doesn’t like Mekkers because they raided the planet and aren’t natives. But, Aerthe also has its own agenda, and we aren’t all that sure what it’s up to. I’m sure that Cari will clue us in further.

Now that we’ve gotten all the way through that background, let’s get into Branded. Gio is a human. She’s the one who has been opening portals that have been bringing the humans to Aerthe. She’s been trying to reverse engineer the process so that she can send the humans home. On her first try, Gio lost the tips of some of her fingers. But, she persevered and was able to send Sawyer and his Grounder lover back to Earth. She also managed to kill Drette, who was her owner during the Scav attack in the last book. Gio wasn’t able to get away and was taken prisoner and was tortured and then sent to a blood snack room to die. In those rooms, Mekkers go crazy and drain the slaves while fucking them. Gio has tied a tourniquet around her arm to keep the drug that the Mekkers injected her with away from the rest of her system because she sees that it turns the women into very horny, very mindless slaves. Just before she’s going to get taken, in bursts a man in a coat and hood. The mystery man shoots everyone there, cuts off the tourniquet and takes Gio away.

Ryke is the King’s Own Lawgiver. He’s a phantom. There aren’t a whole lot of people who are sure that he exists, and they are mostly the people who have been his “clients” or the people in charge of him. Ryke is only answerable to the King, but he gets the King’s orders through the King’s advisor, Gyle. Ryke is the person who gets the answers from the people who don’t want to give them. He does all kinds of things to get those answers, including using sex. He really, really likes breaking women. He doesn’t generally fuck them, but he uses his fuckspears, which yeah, are exactly what they sound like. So, when his newest client is Gio, and the goal is to find out the secret of making portals, he’s got all kinds of dark, dirty, obscene, filthy, and darkly delightful things to do to her body. And he’s going to start with medicine that will drive her out of her mind with desire and a large fuckspear.

OK, it’s that time. Cari’s world is a slaveworld, which means there’s a lot of noncon/dubcon and discipline going on. And because it’s Cari, there are some really imaginative sex scenes. Really imaginative. They are also very intense. If you are a fan of the lighter side of things, then this is probably not the best book for you. Not only are we getting all that lovely sex going on, we’re also learning a lot more about the Mekkers and Aerthe. We get to learn more about Aerthe’s agenda, but not a whole lot, just enough to figure out that there is one. When it comes to the Mekkers, we get a good look at their society, which isn’t anything we’ve seen in the other books. Mekkers are divided into those who are Above Deck and those who are Underdeckers, which is where Ryke comes from. Ryke has a brother named Badh. Now, if you’ve ever looked at my Goodreads, you’ll notice that Badh is my user name there, and it’s the name on an account I keep for when I end up in FB jail. Cari decided that she needed to use it. I think I made her mad at one point. Well, not really mad, I hope. And so, Ryke’s brother got his name. I’m so glad I could help Cari. This book also had a lot of changes going on, changes which are going to affect all the people on Aerthe and can really upset the status quo. It’s going to be really interesting to see in the next book, Exquisite Possession, which will also be the last book.

I know that I’ve had a whole lot to say about this one and that it’s a lot longer than many of my other reviews, but trust me, I’ve barely touched on the book or even the world.

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The whole religious aspect around Ryke is fascinating. I really enjoyed reading about that. You don’t often get to read books with the beginnings of a religion going on, so that’s fascinating to watch.

It’s also really interesting to watch Ryke’s evolution in general and how it comes to Gio. Gio has her own evolution, but I don’t think her changes are quite as drastic as Ryke’s are. And I don’t know that Ryke’s are an evolution as much as they are a de-evolution, bringing him back to where he was before he went Above. But, there’s the fact that he embraces things that he never really did before, so maybe it’s a combo of both.

I can’t wait to see the next book. I have questions and I need them answered and I know that it isn’t going to happen until the next one comes out. I just hope it’s soon. Of course, it’s not going to happen until after we get monster cock story from Cari, but since I’m excited to read that story, I’ll be happy(ish) to wait.

So, go check out all these stories, you won’t be sorry. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend a binge read. Happy reading!

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Natalie Bennett-Deviants

So, a few weeks back I reviewed Savages by Natalie Bennett. OMG, a serious mindfuck of a crazy book. Loved it. Left us on a cliffhanger. Today, we have book two in the Badlands series, Deviants. And yeah, it works really well as the sequel to Savages. If you haven’t read book 1, immediately stop reading this blog, go read these books and then come back. I’m going to put a jump here so that if you haven’t read the first book, I’m not spoiling it for you. Trust me, if you like dark books, this one will make you happy, go read it.

Continue reading “Natalie Bennett-Deviants”

Aria Adams-Violated

Violated is the second book in a series which started with a book called The Last Rancher, but is now called Hunted. It is a standalone, but it has a connection to things that happened in Hunted, so reading Hunted will help you understand the world better, but you don’t have to. It is a scifi book that takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. In this world, the majority of the world live in huge cities, with the rest of the world being some kind of wasteland or wilderness outside. There are still people who live in the outside, some who thrive, some who don’t. Each city has its own culture. This book takes place in an area that is associated with the city of Telona, and then the city of Novara.

Telona keeps its people on the edge of starvation and barely awake. The city is pretty much a totalitarianism, and conformity is safest. People are encouraged to not make any connections to other people, because connections can cause strife. Of course, connections will give people something to care about. The people of Telona are lied to and believe that the world outside is a total nuclear wasteland, which is why there are no resources to have enough food.

Novara, on the other hand, is pretty much the land of plenty. They have all kinds of vending machines where you can get anything that you need or want. All you have to do is go and choose what you want out of the vending machine. No money needed or anything. Novara is obsessed with sports. Any kind of sports. That’s what they do.

And so, with some background into the world, let us get into the story, yes?

Isla is a 20 year old young woman from Telona. She was an orphan and raised by machines in an orphanage where she was placed as pretty much a newborn. Her parents weren’t around for a very good reason. They didn’t have permission to have her. In Telona, you have to have a breeding permit. If you don’t have one, you are killed and your baby taken away from you. When Isla turns 18, she’s taken from the orphanage to a breeding farm, where she is put into a chair, completely sedated, and artificially inseminated until she is pregnant. She spends the next two years of her life asleep for the most part, and either pregnant or in the process of getting so. She has already had two babies.

Adam is the last doctor in the world. He was a traveling doctor with his brother, but his brother went missing 2 years ago. Adam tried to carry on in his stead, but he was taken by the people who run Telona and imprisoned in the breeding farm to take care of the sedated and possibly brain-dead women who are forcibly impregnated and then cut open to take their child. One day, as he’s caring for the women, he notices that Isla’s IV site needs to be changed, so he takes out the IV and gets ready to switch it to the other side. He leaves her alone without the sedation for a little while, because he believes that she’s brain dead. When he gets back, she’s able to talk to him. He changes out her IV, but it doesn’t take immediately. Isla saw how he stopped the drip, so she stopped it herself and tried to escape.

The guards bring her to Adam, and he says that he will train her to obey, and lies to tell them that she’s pregnant. Isla isn’t valuable in and of herself, but her offspring is. Adam can’t show any kind of kindness to Isla, but he immediately starts plotting to get them out of the breeding farm.

OK, it’s that time. This book handles some dark themes. It’s really good. I enjoyed it a lot, but I enjoy everything written by Katie Douglas, who is using Aria Adams as a pen name. Isla is a fascinating character, at once an adult and a small child. I really enjoyed watching her grow through the whole book.

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OMG, Telona sounds like a total nightmare. I mean, I wouldn’t want to live there at all. Thinking that the glorious leader can read your mind? Terrifying and scary. I’m not entirely sure that Novara is a whole lot better, especially after Hunted, but at least the people aren’t being purposely starved.

I cheered for Isla when she conquered her fear and was able to leave the hotel room. Being in Novara had to be so scary for her, especially since her entire life had been so controlled and she had never done anything that she hadn’t been told to. It took Adam a long time to figure that out. When you’ve been free your entire life, it’s hard to figure out what it’s like to have never been free, I should think.

Anyway, that’s all for today. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in this series. I enjoy scifi and post apocalyptic/dystopian fiction. Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Aldric

Jane Henry has shown up here with her filthy grown-up fairy tales. But today, we’re looking at her backlog and at a dark, dangerous, and sexy scifi romance called Aldric. As a note, she’ll be showing up tomorrow too, when we revisit the Black Light for Valentine’s Day. Mark that on your calendar.

R-482 is a woman from the planet of Freanoss. When the New Dawn came, all the scholars went to Freanoss. They value conformity, regularity, uniformity, and progress. The people all wear the same clothes, don’t really eat, don’t reproduce sexually, don’t do anything messy. R-482 has been sent from Freanoss to Avalere to act as a spy. She’s been told that the people from Avalere are stealing valuable resources from Freanoss. She’s supposed to get the information about what the people of Avalere are planning and then report to her government so that they can stop the Avalerians from continuing to steal.

When she comes through the portal, she changes out of her uniform white clothes and into a tunic so that she looks more like the women of Avalere. She sees a group of laughing women, and figures that she’ll blend in with those women. It seems to be working, right up until she figures out that the group of women are headed into a circle right in front of a bunch of tattooed warriors. So, R-482 decides to try to get away.

Aldric is the Warrior King. He and his men are there to choose out a mate from the women being presented to them. He sees one beautiful young woman trying to get away and decides that she’s the one for him. She keeps trying to get away from him and defies him, which means he has to punish her right out where everyone can see it happen. Then he takes his little one to his rooms where he talks to her and finds out that she has no name, just a numerical designation, so he names her Carina.

I like the story. It’s an interesting premise. It’s pretty hot too. If you like kinky fuckery and Dom-ly types, this is a good book for you to read. Aldric does take good care of Carina. I don’t necessarily like him all the time. I don’t dislike him, there are just times when I care for him a little less. I think that he’s sometimes a little harsher on Carina that he could otherwise be. He knows good and well that she’s from Freanoss and that the worlds are very different and she doesn’t know the rules of Avalere. He seems to expect her to know the rules even when they aren’t laid out. OTOH, he really does take care of her, and he’s trying to train her so that she will be obedient and safe. So, I get why he does it. He’s just one of those Dom-ly types who we love and hate all at the same time.

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I think that Aldric should’ve listened more to Carina when it came to certain things and definitely used her greater knowledge on some subjects to their advantage. It would’ve avoided some conflict, I think.

I thought that the decoy was going to be more of a problem than he was. I expected a whole betrayal of Carina, but what I expected didn’t happen. I do love what Carina did after that episode though. It was pretty awesome.

OK, I’m done for today. Go check this out.

Natalie Bennett-Savages

I’ve read some other Natalie Bennett and really enjoyed them, so I thought that I knew what I was in for. I knew that what I was going to get something dark, raw, and gritty. Savages exceeded everything I was expecting. Like I said, I thought I knew what I was in for and thought that I was prepared. But, it’s intense and dark from the very start and will knock you 10 feet away and leave your shoes and socks knocked off right where you stood. Savages did just that. It savaged me and left me raw and needing more immediately.

Calista has grown up in her father’s pseudo-religious cult. She’s done whatever her father has wanted, no matter what it was, just hoping that he would approve of her. On what may be the worst day of her young life, she sees a woman she thought of as a friend being killed in a horrible way. After that, she’s dragged out by her own brothers to be taken out. Miraculously, she manages to survive what they do to her and then drags herself away. Years later, she’s still surviving.

Roman has been the leader of the Savages. He has something against Cali’s father, and he goes out of his way to make the man’s life as terrible as possible. He may not be able to strike directly at him, but he can take bites around the edges. When something happens and he’s put face-to-face with Cali, the world they are both living in starts to implode and make huge changes in the both of them.

This book. Man. This book is really explosive. Everyone is holding back major secrets. I mean considering what we do learn about them, you know that the secrets have to be huge. The chemistry between Rome and Cali is unlike anything you may have ever seen before. I don’t think that there is anything that can explain it. The rawness and grittiness of this book also can’t be explained. I love raw, dark, dirty, and gritty, and I reveled in this book, even as it scoured me raw. I can’t wait for book 2.

There are so many things that I’m dying to know and that I’m hoping that book two answers. And no, I’m not going to really tell you what all those things are. I’ll be more than happy to tell you if you PM me about it, but that’s as far as I am going to go with it. Suffice it to say, I expect anyone else who’s reading these books to want to know all the same things that I do.

Rome is super intense, and I really want to know more of his backstory. Then again, if I know more about him, will it ruin him for me. I dunno. There’s always a fine line authors have to work with there. How much can they show us about any character without taking that character’s power away? Does taking a dark protagonist like Rome and showing him split open and spilling his secrets make him more dark or less dark?

OK, that’s all that I have to say about Savages, other than go out and buy it as quickly as you can. I don’t normally mention what I’m listening to when I’m writing a blog, but today it seems appropriate to mention that I wrote this to David Bowie’s Blackstar. It was his goodbye album and it fits this for me. So, I’m off to prepare myself to share other things with you. Meanwhile, happy reading!

 

Kit Rocha-Beyond-The People

Thursday was a brief overview of the world of the Beyond series. Today it’s all about the people. I’ll probably end up talking the most about the people of Sector 4, just because I love them so much. I love this series, it’s one I read, reread, and then read some more. I’ll go straight through the entire series and then the sequels and spinoffs. Yes, I am that person. I won’t talk too much about couples, just because I don’t want to give any spoilers away so it may seem like I gloss over some people. I’m also going to have to be careful because if I’m not, just this part will end up as 17 parts. I think I may just end up naming a few of the really key players. Of course, they are all key players, but… It’s so hard to write this post, you don’t even know! I mean, do I list all my favorite characters and couples? Do I list every single main character? Do I list them by books? I think that I will just list a few, and talk about more as I talk about the various stories. That’s probably the best way to do it.

Really, the characters are so good and so layered, and as each book goes on, we learn more about old friends and meet new ones. You can’t pick up the novels and read them out of order, but there are novellas that you can check out.

No discussion of the sectors can be complete without talking about Dallas O’Kane. He is the barbarian king of all he surveys. He rose up from nothing and created an empire on the back of his liquor. His real name is Declan, and he came from a ranch in TX, run by his mom. He eventually made his way to Eden and the sectors and started carving out his place. He took over leadership of 4 because he really needed to and now leads it as well as he can. He’s a responsible leader and does what he can to make the people of his sector have a good life. Dallas’ parties are legendary, for good reason. They turn into orgies. Really, the O’Kanes are into touching and affection, whether that means fucking or not, and there is A LOT of fucking, in any way that you can think of. Don’t let all that fool you though, Dallas is wicked smart and has a plan. He also has his queen, Lex.

Alexa Parrino, don’t call her that though, she will cut you, was born in Sector 2 and sold to Orchid House to be trained as a courtesan. Orchid House has always led 2, which means Cerys was the leader when Lex was there. Lex ran away as a teenager and lived on the streets of 3 as a thief. She was trained in just about every way you can manipulate a man, anatomy, politics, how to cut a bitch, all that kind of stuff. She is smart, tricksy, astute, and can read you in 10 seconds or less. She doesn’t just exude sex, she is sex. Dallas may be the power, but Lex is the finesse. Without either one, you don’t have the O’Kanes. She helped him build it up, after she got caught stealing from him. People who underestimate Lex end up with her knife being the last thing they see. I really want to be Lex if and when I ever choose to grow up.

If Dallas is the king, and Lex is the queen, then Nessa is definitely the O’Kane Princess. Nessa was born on Dallas’ family ranch, and he thinks of her as a little sister. Nessa and her grandfather followed Dallas up from TX. Nessa and her skills are vital to the O’Kanes and their success. She is the key to their fortune and is protected, sometimes a little much, by every O’Kane out there. The guys tend to run off anyone she’s interested in. She is their distiller and has been making the O’Kane booze since she was a teenager, taught by her grandfather. There are times that things have to happen to her alcohol that causes her pain. I like Nessa, mostly because there are things about her that I really connect with, in particular, her habit of trying new things until she gets bored, and then moves on. I’ve BTDT, and I’m pretty sure I may have made the t-shirt before I got bored.

Jasper and Bren are Dallas’ right and left hands. Jasper came out of the farms, having been sold to a farmer when he was a child. Jasper was given to Dallas and has been his good right hand and chief enforcer ever since. Bren is about as different to Jasper as you can get. He was Military Police in Eden, but was framed and kicked out. He is patient, careful, and methodical. If Dallas needs a sneak job or an assassin, Bren is the man to do it. He’s also really into pain, as in on Fight Nights, he lets he opponents beat on him for a while and then a willing volunteer takes her place in the cage with him.

Taken as a whole, the O’Kanes are a family, led by Lex and Dallas. Whether they came out of Eden, like Cruz, Noelle, Rachael, Bren, or out of the sectors, like Mad, Jade, and Ace, or out of other places like Jas and Six, they have all managed to come together and turn Sector 4 into a home and the O’Kanes into a family who accepts them and loves them.

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Kit Rocha-Beyond-Eden and the Sectors

Kit Rocha is a pseudonym for Donna Herren and Bree Bridges. They have another one as well, but that’s a subject for another day. Today we are looking at the cheerfully filthy world of the Sectors and the O’Kanes.

The Beyond series is post-apocalyptic and dystopian. In this series, the world as we know it ended in a series of solar flares, which pretty much killed off anything electrical, and pretty much ended the world. There was one city in the US which was prepared. Of course, it was prepared because they had some warning that this was happening. It was the city of Eden. Eden was supposed to be the most perfect, magical, wondrous thing ever. Of course, it wouldn’t be dystopian if that were true, now would it?

Outside of hygienic, self-righteous, sanctimonious, and puritanical Eden are the sectors. The sectors are dirty, gritty, run by different leaders, filled with gangs, and just about everything you could think of. There are 8 of them, and each one has its own flavor and its own thing.

Sector 1 is run by Gabriel Rios, the grandson of the Prophet. It’s run as a religious republic, full of love, light, and other sunshiny, sparkly things. There are a lot of artisans and crafters who live in Sector 1. Sector 1 also has Gabriel’s Riders, a group of fighters and enforcers who do Gabriel’s work. More about them later.

Sector 2 is run by Cerys, head of Orchid House. Sector 2 is all about courtesans and training girls to be courtesans. There are different Houses, specializing in different things. Generally, a House takes a young girl and spends years training her up until she gets sold to her patron. Lex was trained in Orchid House and Cerys wanted her to be her successor. We’ll learn more about Lex later too. Let’s just say Long Live Our Queen.

Sector 3, when the first book opens, is run by a guy named Trent. Pure fucking asshole. Sector 3 used to be one of the manufacturing bases for Eden until they got too uppity and Eden firebombed them. Now they are pretty much a pile of rubble. Dallas has to deal with the leaders though since the grain for his whiskey often comes from farms outside of 3.

Sector 5 makes medication and suchlike. They also make a lot of street drugs. The leader, whose name I can’t currently remember but who becomes more important in a couple of later books, is a right fucker. He likes to get young women strung out on his drugs and fuck them. He also makes sure that there is an ingredient that makes the drugs more addictive, even if they don’t need to be.

There isn’t a lot of difference between Sectors 6 and 7. They are both farming sectors, providing the majority of the food for Eden. Whatever is left, the farmers are welcome to have. However, Eden is greedy, and they want more and more and more, leaving the farmers with less and less and less.

Sector 8 is the head of tech and manufacturing. It’s run by Jim Jerrigan, a wily man who plots and schemes. We really don’t ever learn too much about him other than that, or spend much time in 8.

Outside of the sectors are the communes and illegal farms. The communes are another way for Eden to get food. Unlike Eden, which pumps contraceptives into the water, having babies is important on the communes. The more babies, the more people to work the farms and the more people who work the farms, the more Eden gets. It doesn’t matter if women wear themselves out working and having babies with the fertility drugs they are given, there are always more. Yeah, the people in Eden are a whole lot of fucking hypocrites. The illegal farms are just that. They’ll deal with just about anyone.

Outside of that, there is pretty much a wasteland. There are other people around, but there aren’t a lot of them and there aren’t a whole lot of settlements. Trade exists, but it’s hard to do, making imported goods really, really expensive.

You may have noticed if you were paying attention, that I skipped Sector 4. I did that for a reason. That’s because Sector 4 is where the majority of our stories take place. Sector 4 is led by our King, Dallas O’Kane. He’s a bootlegger and a damn good one. He has made a fortune by selling whiskey, good, better, and the absolute best ever. They also make some other kinds of liquor, but whiskey is what O’Kane is known for. He has Lex, his Queen, to help him. They met back when she tried to rob him and he caught her. But, she did help him build up his power base.

Dallas has a gang, the O’Kanes. They help him to run the sector. They are also all casually and cheerfully debauched. I take that back, some of them are debauched like it’s their job. All the O’Kanes wear tattoo cuffs around their wrists, laid by Ace, who is obscene, filthy, and talented. He uses the O’Kane logo for part of the cuff and then designs the rest of it depending on the person getting the cuffs. Each tattoo is different. Whenever a new O’Kane gets their cuffs, they drink in and have a helluva party.

The O’Kanes have a compound in which they live, make the booze, have fight night, and have their bar, the Broken Circle. The bar not only is a bar, but it’s also the setting for all kinds of shows, stripping, sex, whipping, so on and so forth. Then there’s Dallas’ party room. That’s where the O’Kanes let loose and really party. Those parties make Roman orgies look tame. Pretty much anything goes, as long as no one gets hurt more than they want, and it’s all consensual. You can have sex with anyone you want, any way you want, and in any number you want. If you want to play with a group, you can. If you want to be watched, you can. If you want to watch, you can. Basically, if it feels good, do it.

OK, I thought this was going to be a 2 parter, but I think it’s going to be a 3 parter, with part 3 on Sunday, talking about the newest book. Tomorrow is going to focus on the people of the Beyond series. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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