Alta Hensley-Scoundrels & Scotch

If I were a drinking woman, which I can’t be, I would be a Scotch kind of woman. The few times I’ve tried Scotch, I’ve liked it, so there it is. I also am a huge fan of scoundrels. I mean, my first crush was Han Solo, you can’t get much more of a scoundrel than him. Harrison Ford, yummmmm. Hmmm, maybe my head version of Victor Drayton will now be Harrison Ford in a super sharp suit. Anyway, what does my little digression have to do with anything? Well, that’s because Victor Drayton, the hero of Scoundrels & Scotch is always sharp looking in his expensive suits.

S&S is the third book in Alta’s Top Shelf series. It’s also the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the other two books, and Harley has a special place in my heart, but Victor Drayton and Drayton’s Dolls is something I’ve been looking forward to reading since they were first mentioned.

So, Victor is a performance artist. He uses a very particular type of material to create his art and his pieces tend to be very sexual and taboo in nature. His material is his Dolls. These are beautiful young women who he has trained, dressed up as dolls, and displays as his art. He has taken them all over the world and shown them in all kinds of ways. He’s also a founding member of Spiked Roses, New Orleans’ premier kink club. Together with the rest of the founding partners, he has agrred to strict rules for the staff, so that they don’t have problems like they had before. That includes a zero tolerance policy for drugs. Anyone who tests positive for drugs is immediately fired. No ifs, ands, or buts, they are out on their butts.

Ivy is one of the waitresses at Spiked Roses. She works hard, does as many Tastings as she can, and loves her job. She also got busted doing drugs. She says that she’s not a junky, but she does have a good reason for doing them, on occasion. The problem is, that even if she only does them every now and again, she tested dirty for drugs and that means that she is going to be fired. However, Victor is willing to offer Ivy a job.

Victor wants Ivy to be one of his Dolls. He knows that she will be a beautiful Doll and covets her for his collection. More than that, he also wants to possess her in other ways. As one of his Dolls, he will be able to have her whenever he wants, as well as spank her, or use one of his other, more creative punishments. She will be perfect for his collection and for his art.

Ivy takes him up on his offer and goes off to be one of the famous Drayton’s Dolls. She learns what being a Doll is all about and puts a lot of work into becoming a Doll and being a credit to Victor’s artistic views.

Time for you to choose, dear reader, which path you shall take. We know which one I’m going to take, in fact, I’m off to blaze it for you. Aren’t I such a nice, nice person? S&S is, thus far, the darkest of the series, less mindfucky than V&V was, but darker overall. The kink is very kinky and damn hot. The story did make me sad on occasion, when you read it, you will see where I got sad, and I’ll be you get sad there too. Honestly, go read this story, especially if you love to read kinky kink that is put into a good story. Each of these books can be read as a stand-alone, but you will enjoy them more if you read the entire series. They aren’t in any kind of larger story arc, but they do interconnect, so you will get the world a little better if you have read the other books.

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Pretty, pretty dollie, right? When I was out looking for pictures for this post, I ran across all kinds of doll pix. You have to be really careful when you put in search terms looking for pix like this. Some of the pix I found were… horrifying. But, some of them were like this, beautiful and perfect. I now have a doll folder on my computer in my smutty pictures files.

Anyway, Victor’s punishments are really interesting. I love the whole doll stand. That was just wow. That was just such a wicked, wicked idea.

I liked seeing Harley, like I said, he has a special place in my heart. I hated seeing him for the reason that we did, because that was terrible, and that’s why I thought that the story was darker overall than even Harley’s book.

I was sad for Victor for what happened, although, he was a tad bit short-sighted, or maybe just obsessively focused on what he was doing with his art. I hope his further artistic endeavors are as interesting. I’d love to get a glimpse into what he and Ivy are doing in later books.

So, this is all I have to say about this one. Later tonight, you’ll get the first half of my review of Alien Alphas, and tomorrow will be the other half, plus a brand new to me author. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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Bry Ann-Axel

Axel is a suspense story from Bry Ann. She’s a new to me author and this was a book she asked me to read.

When Axel was a teenager, he had a best friend named Sarah. She was the love of his life and he was hers. One day he walked around the corner and found her just after she had been raped. Axel, who already had serious anger issues, beat the shit out of the guy who did it, nearly killing him. Axel walked Sarah home, called his dad to help him, and then found out that Sarah killed herself. He spent the next several months in juvie while his dad spent the time trying to get the rapist convicted. The second he turns 18, he is out of his small town.

Two years after that, we meet Aly. She’s just turned 18 and is on her way to the big town of Seattle. She’s lived under her overly religious parents’ thumbs for years, and she’s ready to break free and find out who Aly is. Neither her parents, nor her best friend Brandon want her to leave. They are positive that she’s going to get to the big city and literally turn into a slut immediately. She has to smack her father to get out to go to the train station, where she runs into Axel, who is now going by X.

OK, normally this is where I would separate out for spoilers, but I really don’t have anything to say, spoiler-ish-wise. So, I’ll just keep talking about the things I would generally say, and then put in a picture. Overall, I thought that the story was pretty good. I was entertained, and isn’t that the whole point of reading a book? To gain some entertainment from reading it? My one real problem with it is that I felt like the story was just a little too convoluted sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I like convolutions in my stories, and a good twist is always interesting. However, I think that there was maybe one too many twists in Axel. I think that if one of the twists or convolutions were left out, it would’ve been a tighter story, and thus, more enjoyable. Of course, remember that’s all my opinion, and opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. I did like the story, even with all the convolutions, so there’s always that. So, go check it out and tell me what you think. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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K. Webster-My Torin

Regular followers of my humble blog know that I am a huge K. Webster fan. I’m well on my way to owning everything I possibly can. She has written one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read in Whispers and the Roars and one of the most moving stories I’ve ever read in The Day She Cried. Well, she has now managed to rival herself in both categories with just one book, My Torin.

Before we get started, I just want to say that the feelz are complex with this one. When I finished reading it, I was happy, sad, triumphant, exultant, devastated, and everything in between. It gave me a book hangover. When you read this, start early because you aren’t going to want to put it down once you do start. I can’t be blamed if you stay up too late reading the book.

On Christmas, 1999, in a church, a man heard a child screaming. He got up to go to where he thought the screaming was coming from, but it turned out to be something other than what he expected. It was a tiny infant, wrapped in a ratty blanket, laid outside in a nativity scene, and covered in snow. He rescued the baby and brought her into the church where she was then taken into the system. Her name was Casey.

Almost 18 years later, little Cocaine Casey has grown up. She hates her life and can’t wait until she turns 18 and is able to get out of the system and is able to start her real life. She has to go to see a mental health professional who she delights in torturing. She picks up every penny she sees. One day, outside of her doctor’s office, she sees a beautiful penny, and goes to pick it up, but then a man beat her to it. He tried handing it to her, but she had to get into her foster father’s car. His name is Guy, but she calls him Dude just to annoy him. I love that. Funny as hell.

Torin and Tyler are brothers, their mother died years ago when they were both children, and their father died a few years ago. They have been Torin and Tyler vs. the World for a while now. Tyler, the older brother, has spent his life watching out for his Torin. Torin is 7 years younger than Tyler and is autistic. Now, before you jump to the Rainman place, let’s just get it clear right now that the movie and reality are two vastly different things. That is not a good, realistic, or healthy depiction of people who are autistic. However, K has spent the time to make sure that Torin is an accurate depiction of a person who is on the spectrum. K really does handle sensitive issues like this really well.

Anyhow, back to Torin and Tyler (OK, one more side note, I’m related to a couple named Tori and Tyler, so I’ve had to double check all the Torins to make sure I got that N in there. Enough side notes now, really.) Torin and Tyler live in a house with no windows and secret passages all over the place. Cool house. Tyler goes to Casey’s foster father and asks her to come live with them. Turns out that Torin was the one that picked up the penny and both brothers felt a connection to Casey. Torin actually paid attention to her, which was a change. Tyler thinks that having Casey with them is a good thing.

OK, here’s where we go our separate ways. True to any of K’s books, there are layers and layers and layers in there. More layers than you can shake a stick at. And possibly even more layers than the last 5 books I’ve read, combined, and those books had some layers in there too. It is a beautiful story, filled with some beautiful threads and some ugly threads, but you have to have the ugly to get the beautiful. The story is lush and amazing and I really can’t just describe how beautiful and sad and triumphant and happy and romantic and… You have to read it for yourself to get it. There is so much in this and I can’t even tell you about it because there are things that would get spoiled. There isn’t a whole lot of sex, because it’s not that kind of story. It is the kind of story where the focus is so much on the people and their relationship and connections. I mean, yeah, all stories should be like that, but they aren’t necessarily or not to the level that this one is. It’s a laser focus on all the main relationships and on how they are built. I love Corey, Torin, and Tyler so much. I want to stand next to their relationships and let them shine on me.

On a very much more personal note, my son is autistic. He is on the milder end of the spectrum, diagnosed as Aspergers. There are a lot of misconceptions about autism and about autistic people. It is obvious that K has done the work and spent the time on the research to make sure that she showed this population so well. And from one mom to a truly loved and sometimes very difficult son, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that work and for the loving way in which Torin was written.

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Ok, this is the spoiler section, as we all know, but I’m unsure as to what to say. Usually, I can come up with some things to talk about that aren’t spoilers, but all the important things for this are spoilers, really, in one way or another, so that really limits me.

But, I can say I love the connections that we eventually find out about. They are convoluted but in the best way. I didn’t guess them, which is even better. They make sense though, once you find them out and everything comes together.

I love the relationship between Casey and Tyler, but I have to say, I never was hoping that it went the way that Casey thought it might. I always wanted it to work out the way it did, well, minus one big thing, but you’ll see what I mean when you read it.

I think K did well showing some of the adaptations that some autistic people have to use so that they can communicate with the world better. For example, Casey finds an app that helps Torin communicate with her, and Torin is able to talk to Tyler through email because it’s easier for him. I know that these are both things that make the world easier for people who are autistic to communicate and interact with the world and other people.

OK, if you get the idea that I loved this book and will be recommending it all over the place, you are right. I do and I will. But we’ve reached the point where I have nothing more to say. We have interesting books coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, happy reading!

M. Malone & Nana Malone-Deep

Before I get started on this review, I have two things to say. One is that there is a free prequel called In Deep that you can grab over on Amazon. It’s a quick read and it will help you with a little more backstory. The second thing, and this isn’t a spoiler since it’s right out in the open, is that this is a cliffhanger. The Malones say that the story just can’t be told in one book, and I agree with them, just as I want to curse the name Malone. Deeper comes out later this month, and we’ll just have to hold on until it does. Deep is the story of Rafe and Diana.

Rafe is a former FBI agent and professional killer. He infiltrated an organization named ORUS on orders of the FBI and spent years as their pet assassin. Now, he works for Blake Security, owned by his brother-in-law and former mentee. That doesn’t mean that the FBI doesn’t want to pull him back in. They keep trying to get more information out of him or get him to work for them again. Obviously, Rafe and the FBI can’t agree on a definition of retired or no.

One thing they keep coming after him about is information on the Vandergraff job. He killed the father because they were into human trafficking, drug trafficking, and other kinds of terrible shit. When Rafe killed him, his young daughter was in the room and saw him kill her dad. He hid her in the closet and didn’t tell anyone she was there.

Now, all these years later, the FBI and Interpol are coming to him for more information because the diamond called Jewel of the Sea went missing from the Vandergraff family at the same time that he killed the patriarch. Everyone seems to think that he took the diamond, except he keeps telling them he didn’t.

Diana has been following Rafe for months and months. She knows that he’s a stone cold killer, after all, she watched him kill her dad, right in front of her. He may have worn a mask and all she saw was his eyes, but after a lot of work, Diana Vandergraff has finally figured out who did the killing. What she doesn’t know is why and what he did with the diamond when he stole it. That means that she needs to get closer to him so that she can find out those things.

She figures out what she’s going to need to get an in with Rafe, but as Diana Renquist, not Vandergraff.

OK, this is where we are going to have to go our separate ways. This book drug me right the fuck in and wrung me right the fuck out. My poor husband listened to me cursing when I got to the end. I really didn’t want it to end and I want the next part of the story RIGHT NOW! *deep breath* I’m back under control now. Go read this. I mean it, go read this, even if you don’t like to read cliffies, don’t wait. Deeper comes out on the 29th, so it’s not too long to wait. It is so, so good.

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OK, I didn’t expect the ending to happen the way that the ended. OK, I mean I did expect what happened, but I thought that it would come about in a different way. Like, I thought that the stupid Interpol bitch would be more involved in what happened than she was. At least, so far. I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her, and since I’m a huge weakling, I’m relatively sure that I wouldn’t be able to throw her all that far.

I think Diana and Rafe have wild chemistry, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Days like this I’m glad that I’m a blogger because it means that I’ll get the book sooner and will not have to wait for much longer. I’ll have much more to say after I read Deeper.

Tomorrow, we have the newest one from K. Webster, and oh, the feelz. They are huge. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Ava Sinclair-Big Daddy

For some reason, I really enjoy reading DD/lg and age play stories lately. So, when Ava Sinclair, who has written some beautiful books in this genre comes out with a new one, I have to be all over that. Big Daddy is her newest entry into the genre, and I thought it was a great story.

Jill is a hot mess. She drinks to the point of blacking out on a regular basis. She has burned through job and job after job. Her best friend and roommate has reached her breaking point.

One day, Jill wakes up at home, but she doesn’t remember what happened and how she got back home. All she knows is that she is home, her clothes are neatly folded, and she’s pretty sure she didn’t have sex. She tells her roommate that she doesn’t feel well and doesn’t want to go out. Her roommate gets pissed off at her because she’s once again gotten drunk to the point of blacking out. She tells Jill that she is sick of all the drinking and that she’s not going to carry Jill again is she somehow blows her job. Jill needs to suck it up and straighten up. One way to do that is for Jill to do really well at this huge presentation.

When she gets to work on Monday, Max Iver is there. He gives all the women at the office the screaming thigh sweats. He’s hot, he’s rich, and he’s the perfect daddy. Everyone wants to be his friend. Her presentation is for him.

Max went to a PR agency to get a new ad blitz for his company. He wants something that will attract younger people. Jill has worked really hard on a presentation that she thinks will work for him. Sadly, it’s not what he wants and he tells her so. When Max tells Jill that, she goes off on a tear and ends up getting fired.

As she’s walking out the door and to her car, she gets a message on her phone. A video of her, boozily answering questions. She also gets a message telling her to be in a certain place at a certain time. When she gets there, Max is there and he tells her that she needs a Daddy and he makes her an offer. She can come live with him and he will take care of her, including helping her to get her life back under control.

OK, now it’s time to choose your own adventure. I’m going to go one way, you can go the other, or you can follow me, it depends on you. Max is a good Daddy and he does take really good care of Jill. He spanks her as necessary and rewards her as necessary. One of my favorite things about Max and Jill is that they both push each other to be better and do better. You don’t always see that, but it made me really like their relationship because that’s the way a real relationship works. It’s a lovely relationship, in my opinion.

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Just a warning, if you don’t want spoilers, definitely pass the next paragraph up.

One way in which Jill pushes Max to do better is that she pushes him to meet with estranged family. There is a lot of pain surrounding family in Max’s life and he really doesn’t want to handle it, but Jill makes him do it and it’s better for everyone involved. It fit in really well with the story for her to do that and for him to listen to her. It wouldn’t work in every story, but it does here.

I love that Max pushes Jill to be more responsible and that she is able to talk to people in her past who she may have hurt and is able to apologize and tell them that they were right to do what they did. That takes a lot of emotional maturity and not everyone can get to that point, no matter how old they are, so for Jill to go from where she was to that point is pretty amazing.

OK, that’s all I have to do for today. Go check out all Ava Sinclair’s book and find out why I like to read them so much. See you next week! Meanwhile, happy reading!

Mark S. R. Sterling-Arsenic and the Socialite

Mark Sterling is a new author to me. Lady Theodora Strangways is a character in his new series.

Lady Theodora is a woman who married into the English nobility. When her husband died, she should technically have lost her title, but since Queen Vic liked her and kept referring to her as Lady, then the rest of the world has to as well. She is pretty, quick-witted, adventurous, wears slightly scandalous clothes which are amazingly fashion-forward, and gives just about zero fucks about anything. She’s going to go out, do things, live her life, and then have everything written up in books.

In Arsenic and the Socialite, Lady Theodora is called to Glasgow, Scotland by an old friend, John Digby, who is an inspector with the Scotland Yard. He needs her help to find a poisoner who murdered a man. They also take the time to renew their FWB status, including a little spanking.

While the Lady Theodora is the person the series is named after, we don’t actually see a lot of her. We see much more of Madeline Smith, the young woman who has been accused of poisoning her lover.

The story starts out several months after the murder when Lady Theodora is called to court as a witness for the prosecution. When she gets asked a question, she goes back in her mind to the past, and we get a little look into what happened during the investigation. Then, we get into a whole different timeline and POV because we find out what Madeline, or Mimi, was doing.

Apparently, this story is based on one that actually happened in Glasgow, Scotland in 1857. Madeline Smith was accused of poisoning her lover with some arsenic in his cocoa. Obviously, Starling has taken a few liberties here and there, but when I looked at the Wikipedia page, it seemed reasonably true to the story.

The story is pretty light on sex, but there is some, and some spanking, both for fun and for punishment. Because it takes place in the Victorian era, the sex isn’t overly graphic and the language is very euphemistic. Remember, from this point, you may find spoilers.

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I overall enjoyed reading the story, but there were a few things that did pull me out of it. One of those things is that we keep going back and forth between Lady T in court and Lady T investigating, and then back and forth between Mimi’s letters and what Mimi is doing. It just seemed a wee bit too much to me. If one of the timelines was cut, and we saw more of Lady T, I would’ve been happier.

Lady T is pretty much a character that I would really like, so I’m looking forward to future books to see how she develops and if I get to see more of her in action in her books.

That’s it for today! Go check out this book, I think that you will probably enjoy it.

Maggie Ryan-Daddy Commands

Maggie Ryan has written some utterly delicious stories. I enjoy reading her stuff. She’s shown up in several anthologies I’ve read and/or own. I also have several of her books in my library. So, today, she had a new one drop, Daddy Commands. And it’s as good as I expect anything I read of Maggie’s. (almost put the wrong book link on there! Yikes! Good thing I always double-check.)

I’m betting that with a title like Daddy Commands that you can tell that it’s a DD/lg book. Although, it’s not the most Daddy Dom book I’ve ever read. In the book, it’s explained that Hannah calls Brett Daddy because as a Major in the Army, he gets called Sir all the time and Daddy would be something special that’s just theirs. I think that makes a lot of sense and it does make the Daddy term have more meaning. When you are called Sir all the time by people around you, I would expect it would lose its impact.

OK, here’s the story, morning glory. Hannah and Brett have been married a year. Brett is a Major in the Army, Hannah is an Army wife. She has jumped into that life with both feet. She’s joined every committee, signed up for every everything, and managed to end up either doing everything on her own or doing all the work anyway. She has a whole bunch of things that are in various levels of doneness. Her house and husband are starting to fall by the wayside. She’s stressed out to the max. Hannah goes to Brett, says oh hey, dear, can you help me? He’s all like yeah, babe, I can totally help you.

Together, they come up with an agreement and enter into a Domestic Discipline relationship. That means that Brett will set out rules and establish consequences. There are also other things when it comes to sex. They also set up a Maintenance Night. Those are nights that happen on the same night each week. Brett will give Hannah a spanking every week, whether or not she’s earned it, to help keep everything working out well.

Anyway, that agreement starts on their anniversary, which happens to be a Friday, which happens to also be their Maintenance Night. When they are out for their wedding anniversary dinner, Hannah is disrespectful to Brett and he tells her to take off her panties. (Hawt, right?) She keeps going and he reminds her of their agreement, and she keeps digging a hole. When they get in the car, Hannah thinks that she’s figured it out, Brett’s just playing a super-sexy game with her. Except… Whoops, he wasn’t. And she figured that out pretty damn quick.

The next morning, she figured out that he was going to make her exercise every day. And I mean, who increases their runs by a 1/2 mile a day? Well, a Major in the Special Forces I guess. Anyway, he got her up and running and exercising daily, and blowjobs if she wasn’t ready on time, so win/win for him?

OK, you know what time it is. I loved Brett and Hannah. He really cared about her so much, and he really wanted her to be all that she could be (in the Arrrmy) (am I the only one who remembers that commercial?), and he pushed her to do that and supported her in her choices. Brett also helped her figure out what she could and couldn’t do and helped her figure out how to delegate and how to see how her actions made others feel. You could tell that everything he did came from a place of very deep love for Hannah. You can see why Hannah is doing all that she is. She’s trying to support Brett and help his career. She figures if she’s the PERFECT ARMY WIFE ™, it will help Brett get further in his career. But… Great story, some fantastic sex scenes, great romance and relationship, and strong characters. Go check it out.

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The whole garden store and gardening adventure is just super cute, super romantic, and in the Garden of Eden, super hot. I swear to heaven, I will NEVER look at zucchini the same way again. Ever.

I have friends who ran a mudder run. I know from them how hard they are, so the fact that Hannah managed to run one with her friends and with Brett is pretty cool. I love how she handled some of the obstacles. I actually laughed loudly about it. My husband asked why, and he just rolled his eyes when I told him why. He’s a silly man. I also loved that Hannah decided to do that on her own, without Brett pushing her, and that she wanted to surprise him with it. The fact that he had helped her get her life more under control let her make friends who could help her with getting ready and the confidence to know that she could. I loved that. You won’t see me on one of those runs, and if you do see me running, be scared because it’s the end of the world, but good for Hannah!

OK, that’s all for today. Really, go read this book. It’s a good book and you will like it.