Emily Tilton-The Oak Street Method: Heather

I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks past on one of Emily Tilton’s books and wrote about her particular style. Emily writes a very dystopian world with a very particular point of view. Many of the heroines in her books are 18-20 and have been raised in a world where New Modesty rules have kicked in and young women are taught to be very modest and to even think of sex is wrong. It puts a specific kind of shame and humiliation in place. The young women end up with a mix of innocence and naughtiness, one where they know what they want, but know that it’s not their place to give it to themselves. Emily uses a lot of clinical names for genitalia, which you generally don’t see in this genre, but it’s perfect for her books.

Anyway, she has a series with the Institute, which is where young women can go to be trained to be concubines in a dystopian timeline. In this world, the Institute has several different programs to turn out bed girls or concubines. The Institute has it down to a science, and I mean that in a literal way. They have studied sexuality, taught sexuality, created new programs, and can just about predict how the frog will jump. With that skill, they decided to start a new program, and placed it on Oak Street.

The goal of this program is to take young women who have gotten in trouble in one way or another, and then place them with Mommies and Daddies who will spank them, monitor them, and guide them. The entire point is to keep these girls on the boil, so to speak. Constantly horny, but without any way to satisfy it, and with that sense of submissive shame. Shame has such a loaded connotation in it, but it’s the word that Emily uses, and I think it’s the best word for it. You just have to read it and see for yourself.

Once the girls have reached a certain point, things start moving in a whole different way for them. The Oak Street Method: Heather is the 4th book in the series. Each book focuses on a new family, usually just one girl per family, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule. And while Heather is the heroine of her book, we see recurring characters from the past books and girls who will be in the next books.

Yeah, they are technically women, being over 18, but since the girls of Oak Street are purposely being treated as girls, and that’s the way that they act, I think it’s appropriate to call them that.

Anyhow, all of this to say that this is Heather’s story. It’s pretty short, so with all of what I wrote, I’m not telling you much about the story because I don’t want to ruin it.  I would personally read them all in order. I know that Heather is in KU, and I think the others are still there, but they are pretty inexpensive if they aren’t. I really love Emily and the way that she writes, I read her books as soon as they come out, if I can. Anyway, there’s no spoiler section today, so enjoy this lovely picture.

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Maddie Taylor-Defying the General

I think that the first Maddie Taylor book I read was The Barbarian’s Captive, which is the first book of the Primarian Mates series. I bought each one as soon as I possibly could and I was a happy camper. I look forward to each book, and I’m pretty invested in the recurring characters. Defying the General is the 4th book in the series, and it’s the most emotionally tense one, for me at least.

So, here’s the basic background on the series. The Earth is basically imploding. There are constant natural disasters and it’s a ticking time bomb. There are many more women than there are men, so the government decided to send out a ship full of 300 women to go out and explore the universe. They are on a mission to find a planet that is similar enough to Earth that they can colonize. Eventually, the goal will be to have as many humans as possible off Earth and on to the colonized planet.

A few years into their mission, our intrepid heroes find a planet that looks like it will fit. Some of the women go down in a shuttle so that they can evaluate the planet to see if it will work. While they are there, they run into some huge barbarian looking dudes who are running around in loincloths. Some of the scientists manage to get back to the shuttle and get away from the barbarians who are chasing them. Eight of the women don’t. They are captured by the barbarians who aren’t really barbarians but men from an advanced society who are come to this planet to hunt.

The women on their home planet all have massive issues with infertility due to outside causes. That means that as a species they are going to die unless they can find a species that they can cross-breed with. Humans fit. Humans and Primarians are genetically compatible. So, the 8 women are taken to the homeworld, where they are tested for compatibility to the men who captured them, and then they are mated.

Defying is the story of Lana and Trask. Trask is the highest military authority on Primara. He’s cousin to the leader and related to a huge chunk of the council. He’s a VVIP. Lana is a geologist. She and Trask manage to make their relationship work almost from the beginning. It looks like they are going to be one of the relationships that starts out smoothly and just keeps trucking along. However, she starts getting sick whenever Trask is around, very sick with migraines and can’t keep anything down. The healers can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. With a treaty made with Earth, she now has the ability to petition to dissolve their mating, which she does, telling Trask she’d rather be back on Earth.

I will fully admit to crying my fucking eyes out on this one. I just cried and cried. I loved Lana and Trask when we first met them, and when they showed up every other time in the books, I was glad to see them. But their own book? There were some seriously sad bits. I ended up with a huge pile of tissues next to me, and since I was reading in the middle of the night, I had to be really careful to be quiet so that I didn’t disturb my husband. Honestly, I couldn’t put this one down until it ended. When it was done, I felt weirdly hollow and happy. It sounds like a really fucked-up combination, and it is, but it’s the way that I felt. I really went on a roller coaster emotionally, and had that whole stomach dropping feeling going on, but in a good way. Go and read the whole series, it’s a great one. It is very kinky as well as a great story.

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Ugh, I hated that Lana and Trask were apart for so long. It was so terrible. Poor Lana just never got better from being away from Trask. When they met on the ship right after they left, I was hurt for both of them. It was so traumatic. I was mad at Trask, I mean, couldn’t he tell how much she was hurting? He was supposed to love her and it was so obvious that she was lying to him, but…

I’m not surprised that the bad guy turned out to be who the bad guy was. What a prick.

I can’t wait for the next one. I’m pretty sure who the next couple will be. I can’t wait to see if I’m right.

OK, that’s all for today. I’m going to go settle in with my Sansa Rayne book and eat some canollis. Go check these books out and see what you think. Happy reading!

Jane Henry & Maisy Archer-Hustler

Jane and Maisy are still working on giving Manhattan the same kind of treatment they gave Boston with the Boston Doms. To that end, we have the second book of the Masters of Manhattan book, Hustler. When my husband asked what I was reading, I told him the name, and he asked if Larry Flynt had helped to write it. Have I mentioned that he thinks he’s funny? And when you search it on Amazon, make sure that you put in Jane’s or Maisy’s name on there, otherwise, you will get info on the magazine.

Anyway, on to our book. Ethan was a grifter. His father was a grifter and he taught Ethan and his twin brother Elias to do the same. When they were in high school, Elias went straight and Ethan dropped out. He went on doing what his father taught him to do. Easy money and he was good at it. When he was 19, he was working with an older partner. They set up a phony investment deal and took a lot of money from a lot of people.

Haven is a lawyer in Manhattan. She’s currently defending a man named Max Pederson who was accused of killing his wife. Max told her to go see the people at Master’s Security. His best friend’s daughter Sabrina is in a relationship with one of the guys, and they have backstory and insight as to what was happening. When she gets there, she meets all but one person, Ethan. When Ethan walks into the penthouse, she looks at him and recognizes him as Tad. Nine years earlier, Tad had made her fall in love with him and used that relationship to steal all her parents’ money. So, when she sees him again, she sees red.

This is a second chance romance. I have a personal fondness for this trope because I’m living my own second chance romance story. I don’t love all of the books written under this trope, they aren’t always done well, and sometimes there isn’t a really good reason for everything to manage to get back together. That’s not the fact here. Every second chance story I’ve ever read out of Jane or Maisy has worked really well. Everything makes sense and everything happens in sensical fashion. But more than just the second chance thing, we also have a redemption thing going on. Ethan is working to redeem himself from his background. He been doing that to some extent before he got together with the other Masters, but there were things that made him do it more, including Haven. The combination of the two tropes is a really good one in this book. I really thought that it worked well. Now, just because he’s redeeming himself doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still use those skills, he’s just using them in furtherance of justice. Justice doesn’t always mean getting the baddies arrested and put in jail though, just remember that.

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I have to say that I kind of liked the fact that Ethan volunteered to go to prison to get the info. I’m not liking that he got the shit beat out of him, but it was a sign that he was regretting what he had done and wanted to make up for his past choices. Whole lot of symbolism going on there. Love it.

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

Loki Renard-Broken by the Alien

Does it seem like I’ve had a lot of Loki Renard posts here lately? Well, there’s a very good reason for that. Loki has been ridiculously prolific lately. I’m not complaining, since that just means more books for me to read. And, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but I LOVE to read. If it came down to giving up chocolate or giving up books, I’d give up chocolate. But, since I don’t have to choose, I will eat my chocolate while reading, just like I did while reading Broken by the Alien.

Loki tends to write on the darker end of things, and this one fits in really well with the other books of hers that I’ve recently blogged. It is a scifi romance though, instead of being here on Earth.

This is the way that the story goes. The Rathkari have invaded Earth. They are very much into breeding. They want to do everything they can to make sure that their species continues. Each person is going to be the parent of millions, so it’s important to mate and breed. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to let humans keep doing that. No, their plan is to take all the human males off of Earth and do heaven only knows what with them. Then they take all the women of breeding age and go make happy little Rathkari babies. Either they do that through a mating bond or there are breeding facilities where women can go and just keep having babies. Women who are too old to breed are used as slave labor on Earth to produce food for the Rathkari fleets and people.

In the very intense first chapter, we meet Era. She has lost her father and brother, and her brother’s fiancee is now one of the women having Rathkari babies. Era literally has no one left on the face of the Earth. She’s of prime child-bearing years, but instead, she’s laboring in the rice paddies, planting, harvesting, and hauling huge bags of rice around. She’s hiding and trying to make it look like she’s older than she is. The fact that the Rathkari don’t treat their slaves well or feed them all that particularly well makes it even easier to sell her masquerade. But, when the overseer sees her period blood on her leg one day, he decides that she’s broken and is going to take her to the recycler, which will let her be used to nourish the fields.

That’s when Karlo shows up. He’s the superior officer in charge of the particular quadrant that Earth is in. He just happens to be doing an inspection of the fields that day and sees Era struggling with the overseer. She wants to live, so she’s trying to get him to let her go. Karlo recognizes that she’s probably of childbearing years, so he goes to save her. Era suddenly changes her mind and decides that nope, the overseer can just go toss her in the recycler if that means that she doesn’t have to go with Karlo. She quite literally would rather die than to have him save her life. But since he’s bigger than she is and much healthier, she doesn’t have a lot of choice. He takes her, straps her into the shuttle, and takes her back to his ship and his quarters. He’s planning on taking her as his mate, but first he has to get her healthy, and it turns out that she’s going to keep fighting him the whole time.

OK, it’s that time. Era hates the Rathkari, and I gotta say that I can’t blame her for that at all. If I were in her place, I would probably hate them as well. But, it also sounds like the occupation may have been mismanaged, so if things had gone better, would that have changed her feelings? I dunno. I often play what if… with books, but I don’t think this is one that I’m going to do that with. The fact is, she hates the Rathkari in general, and quite often, Karlo in particular. He doesn’t do a whole lot to endear himself to her either. Of course, they both have very different POVs so there are a lot of misunderstandings, but he doesn’t really try to get where she’s coming from. I liked Karlo, but there are times that I was really furious at him. I will say that there are times when I’m mad at Era too. Just as he doesn’t really try to get her POV, I don’t think that Era really tries to put herself in his shoes. There are just huge chasms between the two of them that are almost impossible to bridge at times. The book made me feel happy, sad, angry, stressed, and joyful, sometimes all at once. I totally loved it.

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The rope work that Karlo does is pretty damn awesome, and I would totally love that. Not entirely sure that I’d want the first punishment he does with it, though.

I was really mad at Karlo during the whole explanation that Era couldn’t get pregnant and his reaction. Of course she’s going to be angry about the whole thing, but anger is a secondary emotion, and it’s always easier to be scared than it is to be afraid or to be vulnerable or to tell him that she has some kind of feelings for him. It’s not like I expected him to read her mind, but I did expect something better out of him.

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

 

Kallista Dane-Defending Their Mate

Kallista is an author that I’ve been reading for awhile now, but this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to ARC one of her books and now share it with you guys. Aren’t you excited? I must say that I am. I love sharing authors that I like with all my readers.

Anyway, I got started reading Kallista with her Alien Masters series, which is a really interesting way to have aliens. Well, I’m not entirely sure I’d call them aliens, per se, go read the books and tell me what you think. Then I moved to her Tharan Warriors series. This is a menage fated mates series.

The basic premise is that there is a military ship full of human women who are out doing their business when they are raided and captured by a pirate. The pirate then uses their ship to do other raids. All the women are locked up in the hold for nefarious purposes. However, in order to land on the Tharan homeworld, the pirates need to have one of the women to help them. Cass manages to escape and tries to get help. The problem is that the pirates have already raided the world and ended up killing some of the women.

Any male of any Tharan species is born part of a set of twins. The Tharan males are deeply entwined, to the point that they feel what the other feels and tastes what the other tastes. Because they are so close, they even share a mate. Our first twins are Rhyn and Rhom. They find Cass and think that she’s with the people who raided their planet and killed their mate. They drag her on a ship and go off to chase the bad guys. This is actually a good thing because the pirates are selling off human and Tharan women to various places, like pleasure domes an arenas.

The Tharan males also have another nifty thing. They produce this thing called gyron, which is basically a seriously potent pheromone. When their mate encounters it, the woman gets uber-horny. And the Tharan males have a pretty extreme reaction to the pheromones secreted by human women.

So, the rest of the series is about rescuing the various women who the pirates sold off. This book, Defending Their Mate, is about Aliya. She’s a human medical officer, but more than that, she’s a Healer. She’s empathic and can help heal the psychic hurts that a person may have. She can also tend them physically. She’s been working closely with Aartan, who is a Tharan medical officer. Among other things, he’s a very talented surgeon and fits people with cybernetic prosthetics. They are both wildly attracted to the other and dream of each other, but nothing has happened, yet. Aliya knows that there is something there because his gyron affects her, and she knows from all her mated friends, that only happens with mates.

Finally, after talking to another Tharan male and finding out more of Aartan’s story, she goes to confront him. She tells him that she knows they’re mates. He tells her nope. She says fine, if you can kiss me and then tell me the same thing, then I’ll believe you. Well, there was a lot of kissing in as many places as possible involved, but then he pushed her away. She stomped into her room, started getting really angry, and decided to burst into Aartan’s room and confront him again, mostly because he made her feel really bad. That’s when she meets his twin, Azar and finds out that she’s been tricked. They spend one perfect night together, and then they tell her that nope, she’s not their mate, and she has to leave the ship and go back to the homeworld with all her friends. And that’s when all the bad happens.

Ok, you know the drill, if you go past this pic and you get spoiled, don’t blame me. You know what’s going to happen. I really enjoy reading this series. You get a pair of really alpha males who aren’t afraid to spank their mate if she needs it, but they cherish her, love her, and pleasure her. Sign me right up for that. One of the nice things about the series though is that the women aren’t pushovers. The human women were all trained military officers, each with her own skills and specialties, and those skills are valued by their mates. The guys don’t try to put the women in a padded room and not let them do anything. Well, scratch that, they may want to try, but then they realize it’s not going to work. There’s compromise instead of anything else, and that’s just perfect. And that’s one very good reason as to why I’ll keep reading this series when the new ones come out.

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I don’t blame Aliya for wanting to strangle Aartan and Azar, I totally would’ve. In fact, I did want to on her behalf. It was such a shitty thing for them to do, to send her away like that. I mean, they should’ve known how she would feel.

I do love how tricksy the boys were when it came time to rescue Aliya from the arena and the dragons. And Ceres, she is totally awesome. I mean, who expects this little slip of a girl to go in and calm down 3 huge, scary, carnivorous dragons just by singing at them? Totally unexpected, but the coolest thing ever.

So, that’s all I have to say on this one. Really, go check out the rest of the series. Happy reading!

Maggie Ryan & Shanna Handel-The Wolf’s Demand

A few months ago, I wrote a review of a book called Princess of the Pack by Haven Handel, which is a nom de plume for Shanna Handel. It was a good book that I enjoyed. It featured wolf shifters, evil spirits, and domestic discipline. It was low on the steam scale, but it was a sweet, lovely read. Well, Shanna decided to pull the book and partner with Maggie Ryan to do some reworking on it. It’s still the same basic story, but has a definite steam factor added in, and has been fleshed out.

So, let’s get into The Wolf’s Demand. Here’s our story. Cassandra and Deo Ambrosia are married. They’ve been going through a difficult stage of their marriage, and it’s been very hard and cold at their house. They are either arguing or ignoring each other. Right up until the night that Cassandra comes home and tells Deo that she’s leaving. There are all kinds of reasons that this isn’t a good thing. Deo basically says the hell you are, and takes her into his office and spanks her. She didn’t really want to leave, she just wanted to get his attention, and that was the only way she could do it. Turns out, she really, really likes him spanking her and it worked out well for them.

The next day, she walks into her law practice late, on purpose, so that she didn’t have to sit down at the partner’s meeting, after all, her ass was still tender. Her friend Cynthia asked her about it, and Cassandra told her about it. Then Cassandra goes out to lunch with Andrew, another lawyer at the practice. He has a thing for Cassandra, it’s pretty obvious. When Deo shows up where they are having lunch, Andrew tries to get all alpha male with him, but the problem is, Deo is the Alpha, and it’s hard to out-alpha the alpha. When Cassandra gets back to work, there is a strange man there who tells her that Deo sent him and that she should come with him.

Deo and his family are Greek. Their names all have special meanings, and when you meet them, they are more than happy to tell you the meanings. Deo means godlike. Balthazar, AKA Baal, means protector of the king. Draco means dragon, but also means guardian, and he’s there to protect Cassandra. Alekos, who is Deo’s little brother, means protector of mankind. And Xander means protector. Yeah, it’s important to know all those things.

So, the Ambrosia family is hiding a secret. Hundreds of years ago, back in Greece, an ancestor was cursed. They have to fight against evil and they shift into wolves. Most of the time, the evil spirits they have to fight against stay away. But, every now and again, when an Ambrosia breaks a solemn vow, like oh, telling her husband that she’s leaving, the evil spirits are able to break through. That’s what has happened here, and that’s why Deo sent Baal to pick up Cassandra from her office. Deo has Baal take Cassandra to a castle in upstate New York, where the Ambrosia family has gathered. Deo also tells Cassandra that their marriage is going to change. He knew that she was begging for him to control her and he’s going to do that know.

OK, here we go. Like I said, the basic story is the same from the original book. Or, at least the bones are. There are some changes, outside of the added sexy times scenes. There was a cheating storyline which is now gone, which I like. The storyline wasn’t as fleshed out as it could’ve been, so getting rid of it made the story better, IMO. The ending is also different, and I like the ending a lot better. I liked the original, I like the rework better.

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One of the changes I like a lot is the fact that we’re going to have a menage situation. I thought that there was a point in the original book where we were headed for a reverse harem, which would’ve been an interesting setup, but it didn’t go there, so I’m very pleased to see the menage set up in this book. We really didn’t see much of it in this book, just the setting up of it, and Cassandra agreeing to it, but the next book looks like we’ll have the full thing going on then.

So, that’s it for this one. Go hit up King Zon for it. Happy reading!

Katie Douglas-Protected by the Scotsman

Great Britain lost a good many things in WWI. One thing they lost was most of a generation of young men. Trench warfare was brutal, and WWI was just nasty. Meanwhile, back in Old Blighty, there was a generation of women who were more educated than ever before and who took over running the country while all the men were at war. They were working in factories and land girls went out to the farms to make sure that the food was handled. Then the Armistice came and only some of those men came home. WWI created a whole lost generation of young women who didn’t have men to marry. If marry they wanted. So, what does all that history have to do with today’s book by Katie Douglas? Well, it takes place in the mid-1920s, and it stars a stubborn English young lady and an even more stubborn Scottish man. (As a side note, Sean, our hero, remembers being in the trenches on the Western Front for the Christmas truce. If you don’t know the story, hit the link and visit Wikipedia. The Christmas truce is the reason I can never make it through singing Silent Night without tearing up.)

So, enough with history, let’s get into spanko fiction with Protected by the Scotsman. Bobbie is a scholar. She wants to get out into the ruins of the world and explore. She wants to find the next great discovery. She doesn’t want to put it in the British Museum, since she doesn’t like it, but she wants to prove that her research was right. The problem is, in the 1920s, as a woman, she’s still at a disadvantage. People just want to pat her on her head and say isn’t that just so cute. But, she’s got a very sharp mind in her head, and she wants to use it. So, she spends time researching and then goes out and about. In 1924, she’s on her way through Egypt. She’s got a theory about a great discovery that she wants to find. She also wants to do it before that thief, William Petrie, finds out about it. He’s forever following her and stealing her work. While she’s on the train, a Scotsman opens up her door and asks her if she’s her.

Sean has been tasked by her parents to track her down and bring her home. They know that she’s off and gallivanting, and they want her under their thumb, trying to make a good match. That’s not what Bobbie wants. When Sean tells her that he’s taking her home, she refuses. Then he turns her over her knee and spanks her. But, Bobbie isn’t done yet. She’s smart and crafty and manages to get away from him. Too bad she doesn’t escape for good. This pattern goes on, and on, and on, and on.

So, here’s where you get to choose your own adventure. I loved this story. It’s fun, it’s sweet, and it’s sexy. There are easter eggs and funny bits all through it. I had to read parts of it to my husband and he just rolled his eyes at me. But, you do have to watch out for snakes. Trust me on this. You’ll see why. The only thing I really wanted out of that whole bit is for someone to say “Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?” It’s a great story, and a very Katie Douglas story. While she does go dark, she also has a way of sticking in humor and lightness, so it’s perfect. I love Bobbie. She’s strong, she’s feisty, and she’s smart. Sean is a good man who stops to think when Bobbie points out several things to her. I really liked him a lot.

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Poor Sean. Bobbie just ran him ragged. Egypt, Norway, Turkey, Siam, the Shetlands, wherever she went, he went. Most of the time he was chasing her down and spanking her, but not always. But, I think they both liked it, mostly.

So, that’s all I have to say about this one. If you are in the mood for a lighthearted romance along with some spanking, Katie has your back. Happy reading!