Stylo Fantome-Preach

Well fuck. This is an epic mindfuck. And not only did Stylo fuck my mind once with this, she fucked it over and over and over. Preach made me feel all kinds of ways, and honestly? It may take me a while to get over this one.

Before I start in on the review, I have some other things to say. One is that I absolutely love Stylo Fantome’s pen name. It’s all kinds of fun wordplay. It translates out from French as ghost pen. Taking it liberally, I’m going to say that it probably would be something like Ghostwriter. Funny af, right? Totally awesome.

Secondly, this is the second book of the series. I did not review Church, the first book, on here, I did review it on Amazon. The series is a serial, so talking about this book may very well spoil parts of Church, so I’m going to be very careful as to how I talk about this one. I don’t want to spoil it for any of my dark lovers, and trust me, this is one you want to read, if you like to play in the deep dark.

So, here’s the way that the books work. Emma is the 23 year old daughter of Margo. Margo is a gold-digger. She’s always on the move and on the make for her next meal ticket. She’s not very nice. Various husbands and boyfriends have abused Emma, and Margo knew all about it. In fact, Margo may have even dangled her beautiful little girl in front of men.

Margo’s latest husband is Jerry. Emma sees Jerry as a milquetoast, a blah and bland little man who is inoffensive and doesn’t hurt anyone or even do anything. His company is paying for Emma to go to college, and she’s having a hard time fitting in. Then Paul shows up.

Paul is Jerry’s son, who has been at school in NY. But now he’s back, and he goes by Church. Church and Emma meet and a match made in hell is born. And they start on the long road to a metaphorical car crash into a huge cliff.

The second book starts a few weeks after the first one, and the cleanup of the disaster of that was Church and Emma has started. Emma has actually spent the last few weeks in a mental institution and Margo has been granted a conservatorship. Part of Emma’s treatment is that she has to have no contact with Church. In the last 15 minutes that he got to see her, he told her to act normal and he would always be near her and they would be back together as soon, just do her best to act normal.

I love the way that Stylo has chosen to tell the story. Most of the story is in 2nd person, from Emma’s POV, although over the books, we get a couple of glimpses of 2nd person POV from Church. But, interspersed through the books, we get chapters of 1st person POV from both Emma and Church. It’s a really interesting way to tell the story, and we learn more things than we would otherwise be able to. There are a fuckton of things that I didn’t expect in this book. It was just fucking wow. Like I said, my brain was fucked every which way but up.

These books were my first Stylo Fantome books, but they sure as hell aren’t going to be my last. There isn’t going to be anything down past the pic, so don’t go looking. I’ve been really careful to try to avoid any spoilers, so I want to keep it that way. So, go check it out, and happy reading!

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Natalie Bennett-Devils With Halos

Natalie Bennett is back with a new wicked series. The series is called Malignant and the first one is Devils With Halos. And trust me, it’s definitely dark and malignant. It has Natalie’s undeniable touch, and anyone who has liked any of her other books is really going to like this one too.

So, Faith is a recovering addict. She quit drinking and drugging the day that her best friend, Sam, ODed. Even after having gone through rehab, she’s still trying to put her life back together. She was given a trip to a resort for her and her 3 friends, Lilly, Camilla, and Marcy, to enjoy. Faith kept trying to get in touch with Ryker, the one man she loves and who is also Sam’s older brother, but he’s not answering his phone. As she drives away, she waves to her dad, who gets on the phone to someone. She’s pretty sure that it’s Ryker.

Faith wakes back up in the SUV having fallen asleep while the car was driving. She wakes up because the car has stopped. They are at a strange, empty, closed gas station so that they can get gas. The problem is that Faith is pretty sure that there is something wrong, because there’s a white van with no windows in the back just sitting there. Too bad she didn’t pay attention to those instincts, because her sweet trip went from a girls’ resort trip to a less mutanty and cannibalistic version of a Wrong Turn movie.

It turns out that she and her friends, as well as some other people, were taken by a group called Malignant. And guess who’s in charge of Malignant?

There are some serious mindfucks going on here. Poor Faith. Nothing is what she expects it to be anymore. She is standing with her feet on two separate pieces of debris in the middle of a whirlwind and they are going to go in different directions any microsecond, leaving her completely falling. But, she doesn’t quite realize that yet. She’s starting to, but… Seriously, this is dark. There’s some nasty shit that happens. There isn’t a whole lot of good and happy at all in this book. I don’t expect any good and happy to happen. There may be a small ray of light, but I don’t know. We’ll see.

I wouldn’t exactly call this a cliffhanger, but there is a hill, so if you don’t want to be left hanging on the side of that hill, you may want to wait until the next 2 books come out. Luckily, Natalie tends to write pretty quick and doesn’t leave us hanging too much.

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You know, I don’t have a lot to say down here. I really don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to spoil anything at all.

Go read it. I’d say happy reading, but…

Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Bane

The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. However, that’s a rule that Renee and Lee decided needed to be broken. Well, sorta. Alpha’s Bane has nothing to do with Chuck Palahniuk or Brad Pitt, but hey, there’s still a fight club involved, so it’s all good, right?

We’re once again back with the Tucson pack, headed by Garrett with his 3 friends, including Trey. As teenagers, they were all kicked out of the Phoenix pack by Garrett’s father. Because the guys were so popular, most of the younger wolves left Phoenix to move to Tucson with Garrett. Now, the Tucson pack is thriving and it’s starting to change from a frat pack to one with mated couples. Three of the 4 leading members of the pack have now mated, leaving Trey as the only one who hasn’t. But that’s OK with Trey, at least most of the time. He’s perfectly happy running his fight club and fighting once a week.

Trey’s fight club is in neutral territory, which allows any shifter to come in and fight. It’s a good place to handle any stress or conflict you might have with another shifter, and if you like to fight, well, there’s always someone there to fight with. It’s working reasonably well for Trey and for the Tucson pack at large. There’s one problem though, because it’s neutral, vamps are starting to come to the club too.

Sheridan is Garrett’s cousin, and high up in the Phoenix pack structure, as well as high up in the business that funds that pack. Her father and uncle, who is still the Alpha, have sent her to Tucson to shut down Trey’s fight club. There have been vampire related deaths, and people are starting to get curious. Then there’s the fact that there have been federal law enforcement agencies interested in the club. So, off goes Sheridan to shut it down. However, Trey and Sheridan have some history and it complicates things.

They were each other’s first everything, and then he betrayed her. She turned around and betrayed him right back. Because of what she did, most of the Tucson pack hates her, a lot. But she’s there to do a job, and she’s going to do it.

Poor Sheridan, I feel so sorry for her. I really do. She’s got her uncle and her father on one side of her, especially her father, who want her to be one way and jam her into that particular way to be. They expect her to be the perfect pack princess and do whatever they tell her. Then, there’s the other side of Sheridan. The one that she lets out on very rare occasions when she isn’t anywhere near her pack, and then shoves back into a little box and ties it up tightly so that it can’t escape when she’s at home, being Miss Prim and Proper and doing what she’s expected to do and being who she’s expected to be. Her father is a jackass of mammoth proportions and he needs his ass kicked so hard his butt cheeks act as earmuffs. And frankly, I want to know what right the Phoenix pack thinks they have that they can come down to Tucson and shut down anything that the Tucson pack is doing? Just because Garrett’s dad is the Alpha of Phoenix doesn’t make him the boss of Garrett.

Trey’s a good man, we’ve seen that in other books. But, even good men are blithering idiots sometimes, and Trey is so guilty of that. He thinks that he’s doing the right thing for everyone, but a lot of times, what you think is the right thing is the total wrong thing. And he’s been doing that for years, which just makes things worse. He needs to have his cranio-rectal inversion forcefully cured, and Sheridan is just the woman to do that.

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Yeah, I couldn’t resist, because damn, just look at how fiiiiine Brad Pitt is. He’s proper fit.

I loved it when Sheridan took Trey down, and then when she knocked over Grizz. It shocked the shit out of everyone when she did that, but it was fucking AWESOME! Lee and Renee write some kickass heroines, and that was just great.

I also love all of Sheridan’s outfits, especially the catsuit she wears to the vampire club. And what happens in the club.

I couldn’t believe that Trey did what he did. I mean, motherfucker. To do what you did and then just run? Sheridan should’ve had his cojones for earrings.

OK, go check out the whole series, there are all sorts of hot and steamy things going on in it. Happy reading!

Kallista Dane-Chaos Born

I reviewed the first book of the Warriors of the Seven Stars on here back when it came out. The series is a reverse harem series, but Kallista is doing it in an interesting way. In each book, a new man is added in. So Chaos Born gives us the second man in Queen Melisandre’s harem.

OK, so here’s the way this story goes. A 1000 years ago, the Dark Lord was locked away by the Woman Clothed in the Sun and her mates. She went on and married King Vidos I and there was a Prophecy of Doom. A millennium later, Melisandre was born and after her father died, she became queen. Her vizier took her to see the Oracle and she found out that she was the culmination of the prophecy, The One Who Commands the Seven Stars. She was told that she would have 4 warriors by her side that she would be fighting with. In between hearing the prophecy and her first warrior, the Fire Born Drayke, a dragon shifter, Meli did what she could to train and become a warrior since she was going to have to fight.

So now, Meli and Drayke have destroyed the first item they were supposed to destroy, the Fire Flask, and it’s time to go back to the fortress and relax for a minute, before getting to the job of destroying the next one. When they get there, there is another man, one who tells Meli that he is the best warrior in all the land. Meli says that she’s a warrior and challenges him to a duel. He makes a wager, if he defeats her, she has to kneel and call him Master until sunrise. And of course, he’s going to win, because he really is the Goddess chosen warrior, and the best one ever. Meli tries to get out of their wager, but after Magnus, the warrior, thoroughly spanks her, she agrees to do what she already agreed on. But, she wants to warn Magnus that she has a lover waiting just outside who can turn into a dragon and she doesn’t want anything to happen to Magnus. That’s when she hears Drayke, who has been watching in the shadows. Magnus and Drayke are brothers of the heart, so Meli is basically fucked. And proper fucked, every which way.

I know, in book time, there isn’t a lot of time in between FB and CB, but I think the first battle has really matured Melisandre. I mean, it’s not like she wasn’t mature to begin with, but there’s a difference between knowing that you are going to have to fight and actually doing it, and doing it changes you and makes you more… mature, grave, serious, something, I don’t know. But that’s where she is now. While we see some Drayke in this story, it’s primarily Magnus’ story, so most of the interaction is with him and we get his backstory. His learning and training help Meli. Magnus and Drayke settle in well with Meli, and settle Meli in well with them. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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OK, I totally think that Meli is going to have to sleep with the Dark Lord and claim him as one of her mates in order to defeat him. I don’t know why I think that, but there’s just something in the way that the Oracle is talking about the defeat that makes me think that’s what’s going to happen. I know we have at least 2 books to go, so I’m going to just keep reading so that I can find out.

I’m looking forward to how Magnus and Drayke are going to react to the sorcerer being added into their group. It’s one thing to share with someone you consider your brother, but to share the woman you love with a total stranger? Even if it’s something the Goddess has said must happen?

And OMG, the Vizier. When he came out with his personal story, I was like dayum, old man’s a freak! In a good way, though.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check out both books. Kallista has done a great job with this world. Happy reading!

Sue Lyndon & Celeste Jones-Papa’s Captive

Sue and Celeste are taking us back to Talcott House where young ladies are trained and brought up to be the perfect little brides to their Papas. This is the 4th book in the series, and they can all be read as standalones. The 4 women are all friends and they are all referenced in each other’s books, but you aren’t going to be lost if the first one of these books you pick up is Papa’s Captive.

Lord Caldwell has been courting his beloved Rosie for quite some time. They are betrothed, but she’s nervous about setting a wedding date. When he doesn’t show up to see her in some time, Rosie is very worried that her hesitation has driven him away. It doesn’t help that she already has a secret that makes her worry that her betrothed would abandon her if he found out. It’s a terrible secret.

On the day that two of the other girls at Talcott house start poking at her because Lord Caldwell hasn’t been there for a while, all of Rosie’s anxiety pops up and she ends up smacking Lettie and rolling around on the floor, fighting with her. But, just as she’s about to be punished, Lord Caldwell shows up. The two of them are going to go out walking through the gardens, but Lord Caldwell has other plans. He gives a gift to Garland so that she’s distracted and then he spirits Rosie away to Gretna Green to get married. You see, back in the day, England had very strict regulations concerning getting married. But Scotland, you see, did not. Gretna Green was the first Scottish town over the border and so many, many people eloped there. Luckily for Lord and Lady Caldwell, Gretna Green was a quick ride away from the familial castle in Scotland, so after the 2 day trip to Gretna Green and a quick marriage, they were able to spend their first night as a married couple in their own bed. But of course, nothing is ever all that easy, now is it?

I like Rosie. She’s sweet and loving. She also deals with a lot of anxiety, and I can totally relate to that one. And, while she works really hard at trying to be a good girl and a proper lady, I think that she definitely has some fire in there. I mean, she tried to punch one of the other girls and threatened to punch Garland. And by the way,  I totally think that Garland was trying to get with Lord Caldwell. I would’ve wanted to punch her too. Lord Caldwell seemed a little flighty at times, but that started to calm down, and I liked him a lot.

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The secret about Rosie’s father wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, I mean, I did expect something criminal, but not that particular thing. I expected something more gruesome, I think.

Lord Caldwell’s cousin is a raging bitch. Maybe she would benefit by a few trips over someone’s knee with a belt and a whole lot of time sitting in a naughty chair or in the corner. Or, you know, being bricked up in a wall. You choose.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, along with all the other books. Happy reading!

Natasha Knight-Taken

Oh, ducklings, my sweet and precious ducklings, Natasha Knight has taken us on a roller coaster in Taken. One word of warning before I proceed, Taken is part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffie. The second part will be out in 2 weeks, so it’s not like Natasha is making us wait for a long time for the resolution. So, if you are interested in this one but you don’t like cliffies, wait a couple more weeks. Now, on to the review.

The Willows and the Scarfonis have a centuries-old relationship. That’s not a good thing here. For centuries, the Willows have always had quadruplet daughters and the Scarfonis have had sons. It used to be that they had 4 sons, but now they only have 3. Well, they still have 4 sons, but one son in each generation dies. Anyhow, once every generation, when the Willow daughters turn 21, the Scarfoni sons go and reap one of the daughters. They choose one, and keep her for 3 years, each brother getting their year with her, from oldest to youngest. The 3 sisters who don’t get chosen go on with their lives, get married, and one of them has quadruplet daughters, and the cycle begins again. The Willow Girl, the one that the Scarfonis choose, doesn’t always fare well. Their life expectancy after their 3 years is rather short, with a number of them committing suicide. There is one who seemed to survive her 3 years of service well, and that is Helena, the great-aunt of this generation’s Willow daughters.

Helena is also the name of one of the current generation of daughters. She actually looks like her great-aunt Helena. She’s dark to her sisters’ light. They are golden dolls, but Helena has dark hair, with a silver stripe. Ever since her 16th birthday, when her mother told her and her sisters what was happening, Helena has hoped that she wouldn’t be the one chosen. In fact, she went and got rid of her virginity, just so that she could knock herself out of the running.

Sebastian, Ethan, and Gregory as this generation’s Scarfoni sons. Along with Lucinda, who is Ethan and Gregory’s mother and Sebastian’s step-mother, they have come to the library at the Willow estate where the 4 women are standing in transparent shifts and on blocks so that they can be chosen. Helena has had to be bound and gagged while she is standing there with her shift that has a smear of blood on it, marking her non-virginal state. Sebastian is the one who gets to choose which of the 4 women standing in front of him is to be this generation’s Willow Girl, and by all rights, it should be one of the golden girls, but that would make our story really short now, wouldn’t it? Of course, Helena is the one that Sebastian wants.

There’s a lot going on in this book. I don’t know if I like Sebastian. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That’s OK, that’s how Helena feels about him too. She likes parts of him and she likes what he makes her feel, but she really basically just hates him. He’s told her that he wants to break her, she’s told him that he might have her body but can’t have her soul. There are things going on with Sebastian that we don’t understand or have access to, as of yet. I hope we find them in the next book. I’m interested in them. Helena, I like her a lot. She’s strong and fragile, broken and whole, all at the same time. She has to keep being rebellious because that’s the only way that she can be, the only way she can survive. Ethan and Lucinda deserve to burn in hellfire and lava, or to be cast into the center of a sun. I hate them, a lot. Gregory is… an unknown. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him too.

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Aunt Helena’s ring, OMG, I love her ring, and especially love how she got it. But yeah, I agree, Auntie Helena didn’t come back all that sane. But, you gotta wonder, what exactly happened to her to make her do what she did? It had to have been bad.

I’m kind of thinking that maybe Sebastian’s mom didn’t commit suicide, maybe she was helped along by someone near and dear to her. That person seems like they would do that to me.

And fuck, that ending. Ugh.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I may not survive the wait. Happy reading!

FAA2018: Valarie Kinney-The Knowing Child

Well, Follow an Author 2018 is over, and I’ve loved being a part of it. I got to learn more about a new author and read new books. Don’t forget that I’m giving away the first book of the Windy Springs series on my FB page so take advantage of that.

So today, we’re talking about The Knowing Child, the last of the Windy Springs books. This one is 3 years after the last book. Evie is now 3 and just as sweet as can be. She also now has a little brother, named Fallon. Keisha and Rogan are still going strong, with a pretty good relationship, and are happily parenting their children. But not everything is happy and sunny in their world. Keisha is now Knowing, and she’s dealing with having horrible headaches and extreme anxiety. She’s always had problems with anxiety, which, considering her past, I would be more surprised if she wasn’t fighting anxiety, but it’s worse now, and when she hears voices because of the Knowing, it’s even harder. But, it’s not until she fractures her collarbone and Captain Dash comes to spend time with her while Rogan is at work, that things start to change.

We really learned a lot about Dash in this book, and it really explains why Captain Dash is the way that he is. I think his story really helped Keisha, and I hope that it helped people reading it too, since it was really important and incredibly moving. I like when we get to follow a couple and get to see what comes after the happily ever after, and that’s what we get to do here. It’s pretty awesome. I like seeing how Keisha and Rogan’s relationship has grown and matured and how the characters have grown and matured. And can I just say, I hate Evie’s pediatrician? My son had serious problems with ear infections when he was little, and his doc was more concerned about his health than Evie’s doc was and he didn’t see my son nearly as often. I hope we get to see more of this world.

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Dash and Diana. Wow, isn’t that just… something? Diana is nasty and I hate her. And she’s rotten to Layla too, which is even worse. Layla is so awesome and so sweet.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this. Go check them out. Happy reading!