Trent Evans-Mate

As I was sitting and digesting Mate by Trent Evans, I came to realize that I hadn’t reviewed anything by him on my blog, and what a travesty that is. Obviously, I need to rectify that oversight. So here we are. Trent is one of the few male authors I read, romance or otherwise. I really like his books, and I like how well he writes from the woman’s perspective, which can’t be all that easy sometimes. I don’t know if it’s different than a female author writing from the male perspective, but as long as I’m getting well-rounded complete characters, I’m pretty happy and relatively easy. But I’m not cheap. Or maybe I’m cheap but not easy. I can’t ever remember.

Anyway, back to Trent and his latest science fiction erotic romance. And don’t get me wrong, erotic is the very best word here, because, well, yeah.

Selena is a very determined woman. She wanted to pilot spacecraft and that’s what she ended up doing. But, she didn’t want to have to deal with having anyone take it easy on her because she was a woman, so she did what she could to make her look a little less womanly, including strapping down her breasts and wearing loose clothing. However, her plan may have backfired at certain places and involving certain people. All of which went into making Selena feel like she might not quite fit in where she was. But now, she’s met her goal and she’s now the pilot of a research vessel that has a small crew. She and her crew are investigating a planet that they have found that have some primitive humanoids, and they are watching one of the women about to be sacrificed.

Then, they end up having to abandon ship, and Selena ends up in the hands of Malcolm.

Here’s the thing about Malcolm. For each answer Selena gets from him, she ends up with 50 more questions. And seriously, some of those questions come down to semantics. You know the kind, how do you define the word is kind of answers. Selena asks Malcolm a question, he gives her an answer that is not so much straight as it is a corkscrew, and then when she tries to get some clarification, his answer is always something like yeah, something like that, or it depends on how you look at it. The times he does give her a straight answer, I still wouldn’t really call it all that straight. I think that there is only one time when he gives her all the necessary information in an answer.

I don’t know how much he is doing it to be contrary and how much he is doing it because he and Selena don’t have concepts in common to actually have meaningful answers to her questions. Of course, it could very well be both things, because, well, that would totally fit Malcolm’s personality, I think. Even days after reading it, I’m still trying to figure things out myself. It tugs on the back of my mind.

I like Selena. I can understand her and how she feels. There’s a lot there for her to feel, and at times it’s completely overwhelming, and I understand that feeling all too well, as I expect many of us do. It makes Selena really relatable, even if we’ve never been in the situation in which Selena has found herself.

Trent’s books are heavily D/s and full of total or near total power exchanges. They can be very intense. But for all that they are intense, there are some very loving and tender moments in his books, so it’s not all fucking and spanking and sentient vines. Oh, the vines. Those vines are so wickedly awesome. And the flowers. Oh, and the vines. Did I mention the vines?

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I was less than pleased with Selena’s crewmates. They could pretty much all go straight to hell, if you ask me.

Ok, that’s all I have to say about this one. I highly recommend it, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Sophie Kisker-Given

Given is the last book in Sophie’s Nectar of the Gods series. And I am mad and sad about that. I am not mad at Sophie for it, because I don’t think that any author owes me books or anything, but just mad in general about it, because I really like the series. And of course sad because I really like the series and there won’t be anything new in that world. But, I’m also happy and satisfied because the series ended up in a good place and in a satisfying way. So, with all my mixed up emotions, let’s talk about this book, shall we?

As you may or may not remember, human women have been pulled through portals to an alien world where they are turned into slaves. The Anterrin men are addicted to human women’s nectar, the fluids that are created when a woman orgasms. It makes the guys a little high. Because of that, human women are tied up and forced to orgasm over and over and over. The nectar slaves tend to have a very short, very painful life. It’s even worse if you end up at the palace as one of the King’s nectar slaves. Just ask Emmie. She was one of the nectar slaves, but then she ended up being hurt, leaving a burn mark high up on her thigh, ending near her pussy. That made her too ugly for anyone to want to sip directly from the source, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t still serve. They bottled her nectar.

That’s not the only way that she can serve though, the King is going to use her as currency for a bet with one of his commanders. He tells the dude that she’s one of his best nectar slaves, but doesn’t tell him about the scar. When the commander wins her, he isn’t sure what he’s going to do with a nectar slave, and a defective one at that. So he decides that he’ll take her back to his base, toss her in a hut, and let his men at her.

Garet and Dev are twin brothers, like all Anterrin males. They shared a mate, but she died a year ago. Now they are stuck with trying to raise their 2 boys and a daughter on their own. They are in the military and they are taking turns as to which one is working and which one is home with the kids. Their commander is starting to get antsy about it, so he has come up with a great idea. He’s going to send his defective nectar slave to take care of their children for them so that both brothers can come back to work. Well, you can only guess how thrilled the boys were about that.

I think Emmie is strong af. I mean, look at all the shit she gets handed and all the shit that she survives, and she still manages to hang in there and not only just hang in there, but eventually even thrive. She is able to help with things that no one thought that she would be able to do and to make things better for all kinds of people. I want to give her mad props for everything she managed to do. I think that without Emmie, the series wouldn’t have ended so satisfactorily.

I felt so sorry for Dev and Garet. They had so many terrible things happen all at once, and they are just floundering so badly. They are trying and trying and trying, but nothing is working right, not even the house. And if you ask me, I think Merila did that on purpose to them. I got a little laugh out of it. I liked how they changed after they met Emmie and spent time with her. I mean, I think some of their views were there already, but meeting Emmie and having that relationship with her changed them even more.

The High Priest is really awesome and I really liked the bit of Anterrin spirituality that we got. It was a nice contrast to all the evil stuff we usually get about the Anterrins in general.

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That punishment wall. I don’t know whether it was scary or exciting or excitingly scary. I did like the pad that she had to write lines on. That is just evil.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! It’s available at Zon and at Eden books. Happy reading!

 

Jane Henry-Opposition

Today, we’re going to NYC and visiting Club Verge again with Jane Henry. We’re going to see some Opposition, and it’s going to be really interesting.

Cora is a good friend of Chandra and Giada, both of whom are submissives, and we’ve seen them both in other Club Verge books. Go check them out. She also works at Marla’s bookstore. Marla is a sub, but she doesn’t have a permanent Dom. I’m going to say that it’s probably yet, not never. I expect that we will see her featured soon enough. Cora also is a bartender at Verge, because Marla and Chandra got her the job. She needs to have as many jobs as she can get because she’s in college, and she’s the guardian of her two younger sibs, her sister Bailey who is 14, and Ben, who is 10. She is working all the hours of the day, and is fucking broke and exhausted.

On a day where her younger sister has just called because she doesn’t know what to make for dinner and the only thing in the house is a box of mac and cheese, and Cora hasn’t eaten since breakfast, a customer comes in and starts giving Cora attitude for being on the phone with “her boyfriend” instead of serving him immediately. He makes fun of the books, he’s just a general fucking prick. It’s obvious he’s rich and snooty and used to being obeyed. Once he’s gone, she brushes him off her day, and heads to Verge, where there’s a Masquerade going on.

Liam is rich and used to getting his way. He owns a very high powered Wall Street company and he’s a Dom, so yeah, more money than he knows what to do with, and no one really says no to him. So, when he decides to go to Club Verge for the night, he remembers that it’s a theme night, and dresses up as a mime. He gets there, and lo and behold, he finds Cora at the bar and signals for her to come to him. She does, and they have a little bit of fun, or a lot of bit, maybe. But she doesn’t know who he is. Yet.

OMG, I really didn’t like Liam at the beginning of the book. It took me forever and ever and ever to warm up to him. And even then, he’s definitely not my favorite of Jane’s heros, not by a long shot. I really did want to just strangle him almost every time he talked there for a while, because really, he just made me that mad. He’s a prick. I know, I know, it’s probably hard for you to get how I feel about Liam, I’m just so subtle.

I love Cora. She’s fabulous. She’s also feisty and fierce. She’s not afraid to say no to the big bad Dom, whether or not he likes it, or even whether or not she gets her ass spanked for it. She’s also not afraid to stand up to large companies in order to save what she thinks is important, like saving a botanical garden from a company that wants to destroy it and build some building. I love how she takes care of her brother and sister. She thinks that she’s doing a terrible job, but I guarantee that every parent, especially single parents who have to work every hour of the day, feel like they’re doing a terrible job. My son is nearly 24, and I’m still pretty sure that I’m doing a terrible job with him. I’m 46, and my mom is still pretty sure that she did a terrible job with me. See, what I mean.

I do think that they are good together. Cora does something for Liam that makes him human, which he needs. As for what Cora is getting out of it, she’s getting someone who lets her feel safe and can take some of the burden off her shoulders, which lets her flourish and bloom.

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I’d like to say that I thought that Liam was high handed when he handled their living spaces the way that he did, but I really can’t because it was the right thing to do, and I’m glad that he did it.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. I really enjoyed this, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Aria Adams-Punished

Today we are looking at the last v of Aria Adams’ Unbreakable series, Punished. This really is the perfect book to end this series with.

Instead of just focusing on 1 couple, we are actually focusing on two. We have Kirie and Lafayette, both humans from the Stack, and then we have Harrow and Rahul. You may remember the evil Doctor Harrow from the first two books. Well, if you hated her, you’re going to be really happy.

After the happenings in the last book, Lafayette, who is one of the Controllers of the Stack, goes down to the military commander’s rooms, and finds a woman in a cage who is just staring out of a big hole in the wall, and who could possibly fall. She’s been brutalized, so he lets her out of the cage and takes her to his quarters. After a while, he finds out that her name is Kirie, that she was taken from her parents when she was 14, and 2 years later was given to Lark, where she’s been living in hell for the past 10 years. He decides that he’s going to keep her.

Dr. Harrow is the evil scientist that is behind Grande Pharma and all its terrible experiments and actions. And while she might think that she is beyond everything that could happen to her, the fact is, she really isn’t. And now, she’s about to learn that actions have consequences, and she’s about to get hers in the worst possible way. She gets tossed naked into a cell with Rahul, the last Alaxian that Grande Pharma has imprisoned. She’s going to learn some hard lessons, including things like there’s always something bigger.

Even though this is a dark romance book, and some really terrible things happen, it isn’t the darkest one in the series. In fact, I would give that title to the second book. Have you ever noticed that the 2nd book is often the darkest? Well, definitely the truth here. Even though there are some terrible things that happen in this book, I really feel like it’s hopeful overall. I know that sounds weird to say that, but the fact that Kirie is rescued in the beginning sets the hopeful tone for me. The fact that Harrow is taken out of power adds to it.¬†There are a lot of other things that add to that tone, but I’m not going to say what they are. You’ll just have to read and find out.

I really like Lafayette. He may be the top of the heap in the Stack, but he’s amazingly human. When he finds Kirie, he doesn’t just leave her there, which he could. He doesn’t call someone else who could use a slave like her. No, he takes her into his home and cares for her. He gives her a familiar framework to work within, but does it in a much better way. He’s looking for a D/s relationship that is more equitable and healthy. He is very patient about the whole thing and doesn’t get all frustrated and start yelling.

You have to remember that Kirie has spent nearly half of her life in hell. She’s been very, very painfully trained to be and act in a particular way. While Lafayette is helping her, she still has a long way to go. You don’t get over 10+ years of conditioning in 2 seconds flat. But she’s getting there, and Lafayette is going to help her with that. I think that Kirie is very strong. I mean, think about what she’s gone through and how she’s survived it. I think she is fractured, but has somehow managed to keep herself from being completely broken.

I never liked Harrow, I mean, isn’t she the whole villain of the piece? And I still don’t particularly like her. I don’t even feel sorry for her. I think that she made her bed and now she’s going have to lay in it. And it ain’t all that particularly comfortable. I think Rahul is perfect for her. They are a match made in heaven, or hell, depending on how you look at it.

While Aria says that this is the last book in the series, I kinda hope that she writes more in this world, because I can see more stories in it.

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I like how Kirie gets her own back. I’m so proud of her.

I also like the secrets we find out about Lafayette’s background.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out the entire series, I thought it was amazing. Happy reading!

Felicity Brandon-Entwined

Felicity has finished up with Molly and Connor in Entwined and the ending was everything I could’ve wished for and more. The book is intense in places, and it took me a hot minute to get handle the feelz from it. I had to decompress, and there was one point where I had to step away for a little bit. It isn’t the most intense book that I’ve ever read, nor the darkest, but there was just something about Molly and Connor’s story that hit me hard. Don’t ask me what it was, I couldn’t tell you, but there you go.

So, Molly is home in the US, staying with her parents and trying to handle being alone. As you can expect, she’s not handling it well. I mean, think about what her year has been like, first she was abducted, then she was freed, and had to deal with being stuck in England and interrogated by the cops because they thought she knew something. Then, she goes home and everyone tiptoes around her. It’s no wonder that she’s having a really shitty time. And, she misses Connor. She didn’t think that she would, but she does.

Then there’s Connor, who misses Molly desperately. Even though The Syndicate got him out of jail, that doesn’t mean that he’s not still having to hide from the cops. They would probably love to get ahold of him again. But, he wants Molly. He wants to have her back with him. He at least wants to contact her just to see if she’s OK. But, secret society, wanted man,¬† blah, blah, blah. Gotta stay hidden and all that. And he can’t go just jump on an airplane because see above. So, he’s kind of shit out of luck.

I pretty much hated Connor in the first book and liked him a little more in the next book, and I actually liked him quite a bit in this one. I got mad AF at him once, because he was stupid. I mean, he became Stupid McStupidpants who loves on Stupiding Way in the city of Stupidville and the state of Utter Stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why certain choices were made and certain actions were done, but I’m not entirely sure that it was completely Connor’s decision. I think that he was egged into it or coerced. I know that it seems kind of funny to think about Connor being coerced into something, but that’s just kind of the feeling I got.

Molly really does show a lot of strength at times in this book. I liked to see that for her. She really came into her own and showed her own strength.

I don’t think I have anything to say as spoilers, so enjoy this picture of London’s skyline, and the building my husband calls London’s Buttplug.

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Aria Adams-Defiled

Defiled is the second book in the Unbreakable series by Aria Adams. I thought that the first one was dark, but that was nothing compared to this one. This one is super dark. There is mindfucking, regular fucking, noncon, aliens, humans behaving badly, and evil mosquitoes. Of course, I tend to think all mosquitoes are evil, but at least the ones that I have to deal with every summer aren’t trying to spy on me. Nope, they just want to suck my blood and leave huge welts.

So, here’s the background of the story for those who have forgotten or didn’t read the first one. Humans are living on the planet of Alaxia. They live in a huge building that’s a 1/2 mile square and at least 42 levels high called the Stack. It’s run by Controllers and Grande Pharma. Grande Pharma are the bad guys. The very bad guys. The even worse guys. As far as the average human knows, there are no such thing as aliens, but those in charge know better. There are native Alaxians. Not many anymore, not after the humans committed an almost complete genocide. There are only about 20K left, down from 4bil. And the humans are still out to completely wipe them all out. To that end, if they capture an Alaxian, they experiment on them and torture them. Like they have done to Algers.

Sage was a scientist who worked for Grande Pharma. She didn’t do anything except really collate data that she thinks is coming from purpose created cells. But, when she overhears a conversation, she learns that things might not always be what she thought they were. It turns out that Grande Pharma is experimenting on humans. She finds out because she snuck down into the lab and saw what they were doing. It was horrific. The next thing she knows, she’s been tossed into a cell and chained up and a giant purple alien is trying to pull her away from the chains and then kills her.

That would be a really short book if it ended there, wouldn’t it? Of course, that’s not how it ends. Sage is revived and wakes up in a cell with the same giant purple alien, who fucks her with a barbed cock. Yeah, can you guess what that did to her? Luckily, he has fancy-schmancy cum that will heal.

This is a dark story. There isn’t a whole lot of light and happiness that goes on here. Sage goes through a whole lot of horrible fucking stuff. I mean, yeah. First of all, she’s being experimented on by the people that she thinks are the good guys, and she’s being experimented on by them after finding out that they were totally destroying other humans. It completely messed up her worldview. Then she’s shoved in with an alien who fucks her to death and then shoved in with him again, this time with a barbed cock. And those are some of the EASY times. Like I said, there’s not a whole lot of happy here at all.

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OMG, I felt so bad for Sage. Being stuck alone in a cell and having to deal with trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. Every time she thought she had a grip, it would change. Like I said, serious mindfuckery.

I can’t wait to see what happens to the next one, because it’s going to be fucking awesome, I think.

That’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!?

Adara Wolf-Under His Heel

I find book recommendations all over the place. Various authors, other readers, blogs, so on and so forth. I also get some from the groups I belong to on Goodreads. Two of the groups have book of the month reads. This is one of the books from one of those groups.

Under His Heel is dark. It’s noncon. It’s intense. It’s an M/m book, which not everyone likes, but I do. I will warn you that when I say dark and intense, I know of what I speak. The light in here is only lighter in comparison, and there are things which may trigger some people. Neither of our main characters are necessarily all that nice or likable, and they are very much written to be that.

So, here’s the story. Alex, who isn’t stupid but isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box and who has been manipulated by his twin brother for years, has been set up to sell his services as a bondservant. In the world in which they live, if you are in debt, you can sell your services and you end up doing whatever. For most people, for bondservant read sex slave. You write a contract that both parties sign stipulating what can and can’t be done, and then the owner pays off the servant’s wages. For Alex, his contract included that he gave up all bodily autonomy and no body mods were allowed, for a time period of 5 years.

The reason that Alex has to do this because his twin brother, Nick, has run up a gambling debt in his name, and they weren’t able to escape. Now Alex is the one who has to come up with the money, so the two of them hatched this plan. More like Nick hatched the plan and conned Alex into doing it.

Captain Tracht is a very authoritarian, strict, blunt, gives no fucks kind of guy. He’s also a pure sadist. He loves causing pain, both physical and mental. It gets him off big time, and for him, it’s even better if the person doesn’t get off on being hurt. I’m pretty sure he’s a total sociopath too. He’s also scrupulously polite and doesn’t like foul language. He runs a very tight ship, literally and figuratively. He is at the agency to get a new bondservant because the one he just returned was unsatisfactory. That guy was a masochist and he liked Tracht’s games just a little bit too much.

After a full body inspection that Tracht performs on Alex, he decides that Alex will be perfect. Alex isn’t all that excited, but he figures a 5 year contract with this guy is better than having a contract with the gangsters that own his debt. He saw one of their bondservants once, and she’s the reason that he has no body mods written into his contract.

Tracht isn’t nice. I’m relatively sure that we aren’t supposed to like him. I kinda do. The thing is that he is exactly who and what he says he is. He never says one thing and does another. He is consistent within himself. He’s a WYSIWYG system, even if he does like to play mind games with Alex. But that’s part of who he is, and he never told Alex that he would have loads of fun or that Alex wouldn’t be hurt.

Alex. Poor, poor Alex. He’s lost all over the place. He thinks that he can survive Tracht, but it’s pretty immediately obvious that he can’t. He has spent most of his life in way over his head and Tracht throws him right into the very deep end of the pool. Alex has such a hard time. Tracht is not an easy man.

Then there’s Parsons. He’s a member of the crew and he tries to be friends with Alex. I don’t like him. He’s a douche.

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I’m so glad that Alex saw through Nick, eventually. I hated Nick even before we ever saw him. He’s absolutely terrible. I mean, who does that shit to their twin brother? Alex is all about trying to protect his brother, but Nick is all about getting whatever he can out of everyone, including Alex.

Ugh. Parsons. Gods save me from people like him. He’s just such a shit. He’s judgmental, condescending, and turns into a user. The thing is, Alex could’ve really used a friend outside of Tracht, and Tracht was mostly OK with it. Luckily there was doctor’s bondservant he could talk to, but only when they were in coms range. She at least got it.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. I loved it. It left me gasping at the end. There’s a followup novella called Kidnapping. She’s also written another book called In Life, In Death. It’s totally different to Under His Heel. It was so lovely. They are all available in KU, so check them out.