Alison Aimes-Stolen

We have another new to me author today, with Alison Aimes and Stolen. This is a futuristic story that has some aliens in it too. It’s a nice combo, and one that I really appreciated.

Here’s our story. We start out with a young DaKar who is living with his father, step-mother, and younger half brother. He half Martian and half elithe, which is the ruling Earther families. Because of that, his step-mother hates him, especially since he’s his father’s heir. One day, the family is throwing a huge ball, and DaKar is staring over the rails at everyone, and there is a beautiful girl that he somehow feels very connected to, and when their eyes meet, all he can think is “Minel”.

Fast forward a few years, and DaKar, who is now a Warlord with his mother’s family, has come back to Earth because his father has died, and he’s got to fight with his idiot brother and evil step-mother to get his rightful inheritance. The elithe want to have very little to do with him because he’s a heathen half-breed, but they still want him around, because juicy gossip. He knows that he’s going to have to fight with everyone to get his estate, but his plan is to get it, sell it off, and then go back home to Phobos. At one of the first balls he goes to, he is out in the garden, being really, really, really friendly with another woman when he happens to look up at a balcony and see a beautiful blonde. The two of them connect, and he starts talking dirty to her, but the woman he’s with thinks he’s talking to her. Nope, not so much.

Lady Aurora has been going around to all the big balls and stealing bits of jewelry. It’ss not that she’s a thief, really. She’s just desperate. You see, she has spent the last year living with her horrible, terrible, disgusting, evil stepfather, and she wants nothing more than to escape. But he keeps a very tight grip on her. Very tight. She doesn’t have any money that she can spend and he keeps all her jewelry for her, so she has to steal and pawn things so that she can try to get the money she needs to escape. One night, as she’s trying to make a clean escape, some ladies come into where she is, so she has to sneak out on the balcony so that she can hide. Then she sees a golden skinned man with a woman in the garden, and their eyes meet.

Turns out that they are having a Martian meeting heat, and they have the start of a soul bond going on, but DaKar isn’t interested, and he tells her that he can control it. Aurora is still just drawn to him, and is aware of him, no matter where he is. And no matter how much DaKar wants to hide it, he’s just as drawn to her too.

I thought that Aurora was really brave. She knows that her stepfather is an evil son of a bitch, and she’s scared, but she’s still taking steps to do what she can to get the fuck away from him. She might not be going about it the right way, because it can be hard to tell real from fake, and she has to seek them to a pawnshop, which means she’s not getting anywhere near what they are worth, and frankly, I think her fence is cheating her, a lot. But, with what few freedoms she has and the space she can get, this is what she can do. So, there’s that. I also think that she’s incredibly fierce. She stands up to people, when she can, and she fights back, when she can. Sometimes she has to stand quiet, but only when she has no other choice. I really like her.

DaKar is a good man who has been through a lot and has been hurt a lot. It takes him a minute to get through all that, but no matter what, his heart is in the right place. He wants to take care of all the little people on the estate, and even goes out of his way to hire people his stepmother and brother had fired. No matter what, his plan is to make sure those people are taken care of. He has a deep streak of honor and courage, and he’s generally pretty smart. Sometimes he’s an idiot, but we all are at some point.

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Ugh, there are so many fucking assholes in this book. Soooooo many.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Lily White-Treachery

I think this is the first Lily White book I’ve read, but I am going to be all over the rest of this series beccause Treachery was just so good and so intense.

So, we start out in the past with Luca and her best friend and roommate Everly headed out to a big party hosted by these 9 guys at their university called the Inferno. These guys are rich, old rich, and their families are in control of a lot of the freaking world. Each of these 9 guys is named after one of the 9 rings of Hell. As you can guess, these guys aren’t all that nice. Everly is dragging her to this party because she’s dating one of the Inferno guys and wants Luca to be her wing woman. Only, when they get to the party and into the room, one of the guys kicks Luca out, and she runs out to wait for the guy she’s been seeing. The following weekend, Everly, Luca, and the jerk she’s seeing all go to the huge party the Infernos are having, and she ends up having an up close and personal encounter with Tanner, AKA Treachery, and it’s not a good one. Things get even worse when Luca gets forced into Tanner’s space.

I had such a hard time liking Tanner. I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to at first. I mean, he isn’t named Treachery for shits and giggles. He really is a treacherous asshole. I mean, everything that he could do to fuck people over, he did, and then some. There were all kinds of things that he did just for shits and giggles, or that he did and didn’t see a problem with. In the later part of the book, I really warmed up to him and started to like him more and more. He’s still not necessarily a good person, I mean, he’s still Treachery, and he still wants to fuck people over. Of course, some of the people actually deserve it this time. We learn more about him and his motivation, which is part of what makes me like him more.

I really like Luca all the time. I think that she was smart and had some tricks, but I think that she was also a little naive. Not in a bad way or anything, but she is mostly honest and pretty open, which makes it hard for her to plan ahead like Tanner and his friends, because she just doesn’t think in the same way that they do. She gets ideas and comes up with things that she’s pretty sure will help her win, but the problem is that she is just one person and one person who hasn’t been twisted the way that the Inferno boys have been, so it’s hard for her to get ahead of them more than a step or two.  I think that she’s a brave woman though, and I think that she is going to be very powerful.

I can’t wait for the upcoming books.

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I have suspicions as to what happened to Everly, and I can’t wait for her book to see what it was.

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

 

Claire Marta-A Hellion Heart

I had never read any of Claire’s Cease Fire series before I signed up to review this one, and Claire was kind enough to send me the first 3 books. Now I’m kicking myself for not having read the books before, because the series is just so very good. A Hellion Heart definitely fits in with the rest of the series, and it kept me really engaged.

So, we have Cade, and his brothers Ryan and Benson. They are triplets and werewolves. They have been hired by Lucifer to make sure that the seals between Hell and Earth stayed sealed. They have been able to make sure that most of them are closed and sealed again, but there is one that they haven’t been able to find. Early on in their search for everything, Cade slept with a demon named Jinx, who just happens to be the person who was hired to open the seals. During that time, they ended up mated. Somehow, Jinx got a mate mark on her hand from him, and now, they are bound together, whether she wants it or not, and right now, she really, really, really doesn’t. But Cade knows that he is the one for him and his brothers, since they will share a mate, they just have to find her and convince her of that.

Meanwhile, Jinx has stopped messing with the seals, for reasons, and now she’s trying to stay one step ahead of some bounty hunters. Bounty hunters other than Cade, Ryan, and Benson. There’s someone in her past who wants to capture her, and her sister Karma, and own them again. If/when they do find her, horrible things tend to happen. And one such terrible thing has happened right now. She was caught and has been delivered to her own personal nightmare, and she’s been through into a place called The Glory Hole. Bet you can guess what happens there. The wolves manage to get her out, and take her someplace safe, where Karma shows up, and oh, Lucifer and his queen, Mavi.

I think the wolfie brothers are actually pretty good guys. They are bounty hunters and aren’t really the good guys, but they are pretty good men. They seem to have a strong sense of honor that they follow. While they are kind of idiots about Jinx in the beginning, since they were coming at it from the world view they’ve always had, they were eventually able to get their heads out of their asses and make good decisions when it comes to Jinx. There were times when the things that happened between the brothers and Jinx absolutely broke my heart.

I like Jinx. I love how fierce and confident she is, at least most of the time. She has some very, very, very thick walls up, and knowing her past, I don’t blame her for having those walls up either. I would probably buttress them so that they are even stronger. She loves her sister, and she loves her fiercely. Anyone who is inside of her walls is fiercely cherished and loved. I like that she slowly decides to give Cade and his brothers a chance.

I can’t wait to get Karma’s story, if we ever do. She has mysteries that I want to know more about. I am also looking forward to Cassandra’s story. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a hard one.

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I worried about what might happen when we met Thanatos. I mean, Greek angel of death, never a good thing.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Measha Stone & Alta Hensley-Mafia Lullaby

Measha and Alta teamed up and gave us a really perverted, perverse, kinky, debauched, deprived, and filthy story with Mafia Lullaby.

So, we start with Ariana. She works at a bakery, lives her quiet life, and just goes about her life. One night, after working late, she goes to check her ATM and it says that her account is empty, which WTF? She should have money there, so now she has to ride the bus, so she’s sitting at the bus stop, in the dark, at night. And there are two strange men who sitting there with her. At least, until they grab her, shove her in big black car, and inject her with something.

When she wakes up, she discovers that she’ being held in a place where she’s going to be trained as a little girl and sold off to a permanent Daddy.

Costello is her Daddy. He’s part of the Mafia family who developed a special drug called Lullaby that causes the people who take it to regress, so when they give it to the girls they have taken, the girls regress back to acting like a little girl who just wants to make her Daddy happy, and it lowers all their inhibitions. They take women who are isolated so that they can sell them. Ariana is the latest girl for him to train, and there’s just something about her. She has a fire that most girls there don’t seem to have, and there’s something that draws him to her. There may be some reasons that she seems to have that fire, but Costello isn’t sure.

I like Ariana. I think that she has a lot of strength. I think that she is very smart, and more importantly, she’s very canny. She scopes out the situation and figures out what she has to do in order to survive. I think that she is also a good actress. I don’t know if she’s always been good at acting or if it was one of those things that she learned how to do as a survival technique after she was stolen. One way or another, she managed to do it.

I liked Costello from the get-go, basically. He has a good heart. He’s not a good guy, I mean he is highly involved in human trafficking, but he’s not the absolute worst guy out there. He does at least make sure that he takes good care of his girls while he trains them, which is good, I guess. His girls are at least ready to go when their adoption day comes out.

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I do hate Nanny Nancy. She’s a fucking bitch. She needs a house to fall on her.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Anna Edwards-Zhanzhi

Anna Edwards has spun us a beautiful fairy tale in Zhanzhi. This is part of a collection of fairy tale retellings. Anna chose to tell us Mulan. And can I tell you that the whole time I was reading this that I had I’ll Make a Man Out of You from the original show. That’s my favorite song from the movie. I totally enjoyed the hell out of this story.

Instead of being in ancient China, we’re in modern Chinatown in San Francisco. Lia and her family are part of the Yu Shi which is a triad that is in control of California from SF to all points north. They have an enemy that wants to take over their territory. Now, triad are generally associated with the criminal underworld, but they were also organizations that helped out immigrants from the old world back in the day. Anyway, the Yu Shi helped Lia’s grandparents get from China to the US, and her family have sworn their fealty to the group for forever. So, any time they call for the oldest male of each family to come fight the war, they have come. Only now, the oldest male member of her family is Lia’s father, he has no sons, just two daughters, and he has a damaged leg, and if he goes to war, he’ll probably die. Lia begs him to not go, and to let her go instead. He’s been training her for the majority of her life, and she’s an excellent fighter. And of course, you know what’s happening here.

Jaxon is one of the generals in the Yu Shi army. He’s not Chinese, but he’s sworn to the family. His father brought him to the head of the family when he was a child, and Jax swore to follow him always and to follow the rules of the Yu Shi, which he does. When it’s time to recruit for a new war, Jax went around and told all the families and neighborhoods in Chinatown that they needed to send their oldest male family member to be trained. At his last stop, there was a man who had an injured leg, who he knew would probably die at the first sign of fighting, but the man had no sons, so what could he do? He wanted to make an exception, but it doesn’t work that way.

The next morning, he oversleeps and wakes up to find the 4 trainees he’ll be working with, including a mere slip of a boy named Zhan, who he is pretty sure will die immediately. But, he’s surprised to see how good a fighter Zhan is. Guess who?

The Mulan story, if you look at the original Chinese tale, focuses on a strong woman who goes out and follows her heart and does what she feels what she needs to be done. Lia/Zhan does not fall far from that tree. She is an extremely strong character. She has a hard time being a woman in her world, because all she’s supposed to be is the wife of a Yu Shi man and the mother of the next generation, but she’s so much more than that. She’s always felt like that, and the fact that her father taught her to fight and she’s just so good just reinforces that. It isn’t until she cuts her hair while she’s becoming Zhan that she actually starts to feel like who she is. I mean, she has a whole journey she has to go through to finally figure out who she is, and I was totally here for it.

You know, Jax, the Blond Demon, doesn’t have to go through as much as a journey as Lia does. He is pretty much a complete person from the beginning. I mean, he does have things that he has to work through, but they aren’t really finding out who he is. He’s a really, really good man, who has to occasionally has to do some really bad things, but his goal is always to protect and care for his people instead of trying to expand territory or kill people just because. I think that he’s just a great character.

I think every version of Mulan would be really happy with Anna and her book. Well, might be a little much fucking for Disney.

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Lia made some hard choices in this, and one really, really hard one that I don’t think I could’ve made.

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

Cari Silverwood-Clockwork Stalker

Cari has joined the Dirty Heroes collection. This collection is made up of retellings of various stories and fairy tales. Cari took on Sherlock Holmes and gave him her particular touch in Clockwork Stalker. My husband and I really love Sherlock Holmes, so I was excited about this. In fact, while I was reading this, my husband started binging Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes series. I told him that I was reading a kinky reimagining of S.H. He asked how many times Holmes fucked Watson. LOL. My husband knows me. But nope, no Holmes and Watson fucking. Just lots of fucking. With the word clockwork in the title, it’s a pretty good tipoff that it’s got steampunk aspects, which it does. It also has some Lovecraftian/horror/paranormal kind of stuff going on, which shows up more than you might realize in steampunk stuff.

So, we start out on an airship on its way from France to England. Holmes and Watson are on the ship so that they can find a stolen wife. They are pretty sure that she is on the ship, so they are going to find her. Except that’s not what they find. What they find, or rather, what Holmes finds. He finds a nubile redhead and discovers that her name is Wilhelmina Moriarity. He knows that she’s involved in the missing woman case he’s working on, and so he leaves his card with a note, and leaves. He wakes up with no idea where he is or what has happened, but he has left himself a note that says many things, including forget about Watson and resist.

Wilhelmina Moriarity is the infamous Moriarty’s niece, but she’s not been involved in his crime syndicate. She’s been living in Russia, India, or France, with her late husband or her father. But now that her dad is dead, she’s off to London, because she should have a lot of money in the Bank of England, and she has a machine that she wants to enter in the World’s Fair. It measures a very particular kind of energy, she calls it malignant energy. Only she gets to the bank and finds out that her inheritance has been stolen, which leads to her being stuck in a shitty boarding house, then she gets a note from Sherlock Holmes, which she ignores.

OK, so Sherlock is a huge asshole a lot of the time, but that’s pretty much canon for him. If you look at every single story, movie, show, whatever, from the originals on out, he’s a conceited, know it all jackass. But everyone lets him get away with it, because he really is just that good. (And frankly? I’m not surprised that Doyle did really hate Holmes at one point.) But, Cari being Cari, she takes that assholeishness even further. Her Sherlock has been infected with this malignant energy stuff, and it has done… things to him. All the things. All the kinky, fucked up, debauched, depraved, super sexy things that he can think of. Holmes really isn’t all that into sex, if he feels the need to have it, he goes and finds a prostitute and gets his swerve on. So, wanting to tie a string around Wilhelmina’s nipples and hammer the string into the floor is a whole new thought for him.

Holmes really does go through a long journey in this story, and I like that for him. I like him much better at the end of the book. He really needed the journey, and I think that he’ll be a better detective for it.

Then we have Wilhelmina. She isn’t strictly an innocent, she has been married before, and is relatively aware of how the world works and things work in between and women, but everything that Sherlock wants is totally new to her. She kind of hates to love it and loves to hate it. She’s an extremely smart woman, and very interested in science. I think that leaves her with some blind spots. I think that she doesn’t expect things to be as chaotic as they are in real life. She wants to have a nice, ordered life and do her studies, but then things change. She has a journey to go through too, but I don’t think that her journey is near as transformative as Homes’ is. I think that her sense of self isn’t as set in granite as Holmes’ is, and changes aren’t as much a threat to her as they are to Holmes. I like that she acts as a catalyst to several things. I think that she’s just an awesome character.

Watson isn’t in this story much, but I really didn’t like him all that much anyway, so no huge loss.

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I thought it was interesting to find out the name of the person that Holmes and Wilhelmina saw at the club.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Nicolina Martin-Commanding Casey

Nicolina has written a fanfuckingtastic enemies to lovers story in Commanding Casey. It was a great book with a hateful hero who I really loved to hate. And I mean that seriously.

So, here’s our story. Casey is a mechanic. She grew up with her father teaching her everything about cars, and she loves working on engines and putting things together to make them work. But right now, she’s on an airplane headed far, far, far away from her family in FLA. In fact, she’s headed as far away from them as she can be and still be in the US. She’s on her way to Alaska. She has a really good reason for heading to Alaska. There was a man who attacked her, she sent him to prison, and he’s getting out early. And he fucking blames HER for his actions and him ending up in prison. She knows that he is going to hurt her if he finds her, and she knows he’s been asking for her. So, Alaska and working as a mechanic on heavy equipment at an oil field.

Then we have Cole. He’s been working at this particular site for a long time. He has his reasons for hiding, and working as the best welder on the site lets him hide and not think about his past. One day, his boss tells him he has to go to the airport to go get their new mechanic, some dude named Casey. Only, when he gets to the airport, he finds that it’s not a guy named Casey, it’s a chick named Casey. He’s livid. Women do not belong on the job site, the work is too hard, they’re too weak, and there are a lot of rough men. He lays into Casey, and is an all around nasty ass fuck to her.

I REALLY didn’t like Cole for a lot of the book. He is a total fucking dickhole. Now, if you’ve read my blog for a minute, you know that I love me a good bad boy *cough*Christian*cough*, buuuutttt I had a hard time even trying to like Cole. I mean I wanted to walk into the book, give him a good working over and then castrate him. I really, really, really didn’t like him. But, he did grow on me. And as I’ve said before, I don’t have to like all the main characters, as long as I can grab ahold of at least one of them and there’s a great story behind it. While I didn’t like Cole, he was a character that I had some strong feelings about and someone that I was able to grab hold of, and the story just kept me dragging in.

Let’s talk about Casey. I think that she’s fucking fierce, strong, powerful, and brave. I mean, first of all, let’s talk about the fact that being a mechanic on the racing circuit isn’t all that easy and it’s an insanely male dominated world. The fact that she’s not only there, but accepted and respected says a lot about her. Then the fact that she got on a plane to travel thousands and thousands of miles away from home? That’s sheer guts right there. Like superhero level bravery right there. And to not back out when she discovered that she pretty much walked into purgatory? Fortifuckingtude.

The story is fucking hot. I mean, even as I wanted to choke Cole out, and not in the fun way, it’s smokin’. And that’s just the suspenseful part of it. LOL. Kidding. The sexxxy parts are definitely on fire, and the rest of it kept me tense, in the best way.

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Ugh. The point I hated Cole the most was when he made his accusations. Fuckhole.

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