Whilst all these stories can be read stand alone, I do recommend reading the whole series, both for the story arc and the sheer wonderfulness of them. This story just had so much going on, I had wondered how we’d find out some of what happened during Eryn’s time with Ram on Primaria. I’m not going to say how we find out that story, but it was both inspired and, if not unique, at least very unusual. And it worked so incredibly well.
It felt like we had a lot more of Erin’s perspective in this book, and I absolutely adored her. The scenes following their reuniting on Earth were truly heart wrenching and even brought me to tears at times. However the book doesn’t end there, oh no, the author built a truly layered story that was full of emotion and intrigue. She wrote two amazing main characters in Ram and Eryn, and it was great to find out more about Lana and Trask too.
This series is so much better than many of the sci-fi romances out there and I highly recommend it.
Staunchly loyal Eryn Lockwood heads up security on the USIF Odyssey, an all-female research ship charged with finding a new world to call home. Her team is guarding a group of scientists exploring an uninhabited planet when they are set upon by a band of powerful alien warriors. Entranced by Eryn’s long auburn hair, fair skin, and green eyes, the fiercest of the attackers gives chase, and claims her for his own. Though passion ignites between them, she remains steadfast in her need to escape.
To fulfill her mission and save her people, she commits an unpardonable act, something she’ll never forget…and he can never forgive. Returning to Earth, she attempts to pick up the pieces of her life, but thoughts of her gorgeous, golden-eyed alien consume her.
Master Warrior Ramikin, the biggest, baddest, and most skilled fighter on Primaria, has never been bested—until now! And by the beautiful Earth woman destined to be his! Furious, he lets her go, resolved to eradicate her from his thoughts. But Eryn’s face haunts his dreams, and he lives every day yearning for what can never be.
An alliance between their worlds thrusts them back together, but not everyone is in favor of mingling their two species. When harassment by anti-integration zealots turns violent, Ram races to her rescue, but he is seconds too late. With her life hanging by a thread, the deep, mate-bond between them becomes clear.
Is there hope for the independent, rebellious soldier and the proud warrior she betrayed? Can he bring himself to forgive her? Will they be able to put aside the past and come together to fight those who would tear them apart? And, as they accept their fate, can Eryn and Ram rekindle the spark they once shared?
His by Command (Primarian Mates, #2)by Maddie Taylor
This is just as good, if not better, than Book #1.
I have to say that I love how the heroines in these books don’t go all doe eyed and lose all sense of self around their mates. Maggie remains strong and determined throughout and I definitely sensed that Roth, whilst not willing to meet half way, certainly made allowances for Mags, given her unfamiliarity with their way of life. As the story unfolded he also appeared to grow in tolerance as well as try to appreciate Maggie’s perspective.
I read this back to back with the first book, and am really happy to be able to say that it is very much it’s own story and that Roth and Mags each had well developed personalities, distinct from other’s in the series. The fact that it didn’t rehash a chunk of the previous book, and any overlap was either from a new perspective or, more commonly, of events not previously experienced. I had wondered if the author would have all the stories running concurrently, which can soon lose it’s appeal, but from this book it appears that each book will both move the story arc along as well as the overall time line.
His by Commandis a great read, and a little longer than most other ‘alien romance’ books I’ve come across. It has good world building and a detailed plot that goes much further than capture, spank, submit! I’d go as far as to say that the submit part is never totally achieved nor, for a power-exchange story, are their really all that many punishments. Which is great as sometimes they end up distracting from the story whereas these ones enhance it. Instead time is devoted to allowing us to connect with the main characters and to believe in their relationship.
I’m definitely up for reading book #3 and very much recommend this series.
Leading an all-female crew on a deep space expedition weighs heavily on Maggie Vohlmer’s young shoulders. Their mission, find a habitable planet to replace the dying Earth. While a landing party comprised of her best and brightest scientists is exploring a promising new world, they are attacked. Maggie is left with an untenable decision, pursue a powerful enemy who has taken eight of her own, or leave them to their fate while protecting those still under her command.
Unexpectedly, their ship is seized by the same enemy, aliens who are gorgeous, human-like men, except for their incredible height, long glossy dark hair, and extraordinary gold, teal, and violet eyes. Maggie and her crew are further shocked when they are whisked away to the aliens’ world where the males make the rules and their women are expected to follow.
As leader of the Primarian Space Fleet, Commander Roth is dedicated to protecting his people and planet from otherworldly threats. With so much at stake, he doesn’t have the time for a mate. But fate has other plans for him, sending him the perfect match in the form of the little Earth captain.
As the Odyssey’s captain, Maggie will not give up the fight for their freedom, not while her mission to save the people of Earth is unfulfilled. Can these two dedicated and determined leaders find a way to coexist? And will Maggie, who tries her mate’s patience at every turn, find a way to rescue both of their worlds.
Sometimes you come across a book (or series, or author) and you wonder what rock you’ve been living under to have missed all the delightful yummy goodness. Well that’s how I felt when I started reading this series by Maddie Taylor. I’ve read a few of her BDSM romances, which I found enjoyable enough, but for me these are on another level. One of the big things is that these truly felt like a sci-fi story. It wasn’t something that was paid lip-service too, instead it was an integral part of the plot. At no point did I feel as though the story could have been set on Earth, or as though it was.
A better breed of barbarian than most!
When I first started this book I thought I was going to get the usual ‘alien captive’ fayre. Yes it had some of those common themes, a patriarchal society, where misbehaving females are spanked, and a civilisation in danger due to lack of fertile women. It also has the women being captured and claimed without any say in the matter, along with the usual tall, handsome aliens.
However this story also offered much more. For starters it was a good length, allowing us time to get to know both main characters, see a relationship/connection develop and also to include a good plot and decent world building. The Barbarian’s Captivehas a well developed alien world on which a good chunk of the story is set. Additionally there were plenty of supporting characters, several of whom we got to know fairly well. There was plenty of communication/discussion (and arguments) between Eva and Kerr, and whilst it was still a case of ‘my word is law’, I did feel as though Kerr listened to Eva and wanted her to be happy. Thankfully he didn’t presume that he knew best what would make her happy either!
In my mind the author did a good job of demonstrating the connection between Kerr and Eva, being shown their feelings and not just simply told of them. It took a few chapters for me to realise this wasn’t going to be like so many others from the genre, so if you try it, do bear that in mind. This is a book I am happy to recommend, especially if you like sci-fi power exchange stories. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and can’t wait to see what happens next!
Synopsis Light years from home, plant biologist Lt. Eva La Croix and her all-female exploration team land on a planet they believe is a perfect substitute for the dying Earth. They are set upon by huge alien hunters and Eva is captured by the barbarian leader.
Deemed compatible, she and the rest of her team are whisked away to the barbarians’ world where they are matched to these powerful men. While pampered and protected, the women are expected to comply with the rules in this male dominant society.
Will Eva learn to adapt to their unusual beliefs and old-fashioned ways? Can she sacrifice her independence and surrender to this dynamic and commanding alien, or when escape is imminent, will she be able to set aside the claim he has on her heart and flee with the others, never to see him again?
Holy hell, this book made me uncomfortable in that way only an amazing dark read can.
Kitty Thomas’writing is absolutely amazing in this book. She really takes you on a journey that is at times disturbing, shocking, dreadful, misguided, worrying and yet also filled with passion, tenderness and hope. In Asher and Grace she has created two individuals whose wants and needs mean they don’t fit within the bounds of what society considers ‘normal’. This is so different to the usual fayre offered by dark reads and is testament to the very twisted imagination of its creator. There’s very little actual BDSM/kink content, this is much more about the psychological aspects and power exchange, but that was fine – I really didn’t need anything more.
There are so many things ‘wrong’ with Asher and Grace’s relationship, one that in real life would probably horrify most of us. However it not only worked for them but fulfilled their deepest, darkest needs. Grace makes what is a really foolish choice, probably based more on the fact that so many others told her not to – and we all know how being told not to do something has you instantly itching to disobey. That girl really didn’t weigh up the pro’s and con’s properly, but she was so desperate to experience a total Master-slave relationship that she threw all caution, and sense, to the wind.
Months of abuse and misery have left Grace broken, possibly damaged beyond repair, but that makes her perfect for Asher, who is seeking redemption. Because Asher rescues her from deplorable and horrific circumstances he almostfeels like a hero, however the author cleverly weaves just enough grey into his character to ruin the effect. He isn’t a good man but rather a good bad man. One who is still happy to own a woman, but he also wants her, no needs her to be healthy and happy. His methods aren’t always honourable, and he sure gets turned on by things he shouldn’t, but he is perfect for Grace.
They are both quite damaged individuals, ensnared in a very unhealthy relationship but yet also perfect and so good for one another at the same time. I loved that twist towards the end, I should have guessed or at least expected it, but I was so caught up in the story it never even entered my head. I LOVED this book and it really should be a must read for all dark romance lovers.
“Grace. That word that finally meant something again. Mercy. Favor. Good will.”
Fed up with play kink, Grace Warner moves to an island that embraces voluntary enslavement to be with a man she met online. Within hours of her arrival, everything is ripped from her, and she quickly learns play is preferable to reality.
Asher Collins has spent the past year mourning and blaming himself for the death of his slave, Darcy. When Grace catches his eye at a showing, obviously abused, he becomes obsessed with buying her and finding a way to atone for his own past sins.
REVIEWS (author blurbs):
“Kitty Thomas’s hottest book yet . . . emotionally gripping and painfully real . . . impossible to read and remain untouched.”
Annabel Joseph, author of Owning Wednesday
“Tender Mercies is a heart-rending tale that proves Prince Charming doesn’t always come charging in with a white steed . . . Sometimes it’s just a piece of paper and a platinum collar.”
Claudia D. Christian, author of Devil’s Descent II: Impure
“I have never been more invested in a piece of fiction in my life. Kitty Thomas writes with a passion and purpose so pure she makes her readers live and breathe every word.”
Emma Petersen, author of Reign of Pleasure
“An eerie and disturbing story tempered with compassion and love. I couldn’t put it down.”
Fallon Blake, author of Wrapped Around Your Finger
I had heard good things about this series and I wasn’t disappointed.
I was fortunate to read a Tabitha Black arc a few weeks ago (Primal Possession) which I adored. I knew I had a couple of her books languishing on my kindle, so decided to bump them up my TBR list. I went into Restraint fairly ‘blind’, for some reason believing it to be a darker read. It isn’t, it’s actually a BDSM resort read, similar to the Masters of the Castle series and a darn good read too.
I liked that we didn’t have just one hero and heroine in this, we actually follow several different characters, some more than others. This allows us to participate in some very hot scenes with an established Master and his slave, George and Faye, as well as enjoy a budding romance between a Dom and a very new-to-it-all sub, Dain and Hazel. I loved the characters, found them all easy to connect with and was totally captivated by the story.
The plot was interesting and the pace was perfect, moving the story along whilst also holding my attention. I was actually disappointed when I discovered I was almost at the end of the book, thankfully I also have book 2 on my kindle and will be diving straight into it. A definite recommend to BDSM romance lovers.
I absolutely loved this second instalment of the ‘His Empire’series. We get to see more of the characters from Book 1, lots more of Hazel and Dain, plus a new couple in dungeon monitor Cav and holiday guest Shanna. I found myself gripped from the very first page and couldn’t read the book fast enough to find out what would happen next – especially at Simeon’s ‘special’ meal!
The chemistry between the different couples is amazing, the scenes are hot, and there are plenty of interesting sub-plots too. Personally I felt the play scenes were a little limited, focusing almost solely on bondage and discipline, I would have loved a little more variety and some boundary pushing. However they are still very well written, following the precepts of RACK and SSC. T he more experienced kinksters are very good at making the newbies aware of how to play safely, of the need to negotiate, have safe-words etc.
I’m certainly hoping that the author gets back to this series, I really need more of Simeon, his employees and guests at Nox Oasis.
ABSOLUTION (Savage Duet #2, Russo Saga #5) by Nicolina Martin
5 BURNING HOT STARS
Wow, I was worried the second book wouldn’t live up to the brilliance of book 1. Well it most certainly did, and then some.
You can’t read this without having first read Redemption (Savage Duet #1), this review probably contains spoilers for that book.
Oh Christian Russo, you made my heart ache but you also totally redeemed yourself. Kerry may have taken a long, long time to make her choices but that so worked for me. First of all she’s considering getting VERY involved with a man who not only lied to her, but also tried to kill her. That right there is gonna make it hard to learn to ever trust him again. Secondly there’s all the family/mafia baggage that comes along with him, not to mention that at one time he was one of their “very worst” – gulp.
I loved his patience and determination, and his interactions with Cece will make you melt. Sometimes he was an overbearing, overstepping, arrogant SOB but always, always, his two women came first. The growth BOTH main characters undergo felt so natural, as did Kerry’s eventual decision regarding if she could allow Christian back into her heart.
It took me a couple of days to read the book, it’s not that it isn’t gripping because believe me it very much is. However it was just so emotionally charged, so soul wrenching and heart breaking that I had to allow myself some recovery breaks in between devouring each finely crafted emotion, every twist and hiccup of the plot. It’s a story of shuffling steps forward, stumbles back and one pretty nasty drop down a ravine.
There is just so much in this book, so much story, so much action and adventure, so much loss and sorrow, so much hope. There was also what felt like a teaser for a future story involving one of Kerry’s friends. I’m really hoping we find out more of that story!
This duet has firmly placed itself as one of my top reads of the year and put this author firmly on my ‘must read’ list.
Absolution: Part two in the Savage duet.
An obsessed hitman. A woman on the run.
Finding Kerry was more complicated than Christian ever imagined. Disaster loomed around every corner, pulling his violent nature to the surface. True change must come from within, and breaking old habits is hard when you’re used to taking everything – and everyone – by force.
Kidnapping. Murder. Betrayal.
Her luck had run out and this time, there was no escape. He had found her. He would claim her. Resisting the enigmatic and dangerous Christian Russo would be Kerry’s hardest trial. Resisting her own feelings might prove impossible.
Absolution is part two in the Savage duet. For the greatest enjoyment, the Savage duet needs to be read in order.
Publisher’s Note: This is a dark, steamy romance featuring suspense, danger, harsh elements, and potential triggers. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
In Squall LineI couldn’t really find much to like about Cutter, but we see the true depth of the man in Rogue Waveand he puts the Mariana trench to shame. He’s still a major a-hole but he’s a hot, sexy, messed up, courageous, idiot of a man too.
This is a decent length novel but I wanted more time with Valentina and Cutter because they are so fantastic. I absolutely adored both main characters, they are both strong, emotional and caring individuals, Cutter is more willing to cross lines but Valentina is not innocent either. Theirs is a fairly slow burn story but there is so much OTHER passion and action that it never once felt lacking. When they do eventually consummate their relationship the wait is definitely more than made up for.
The story just held my attention, staying with me when I had to put the book down, and quick to get back into when I picked the book up again. The writing is excellent, as usual, the plot twisty, fast paced and exciting and the story is wonderful. I think I loved this book even more than Squall Lineand now I’m really excited to read the rest of the series.
CUTTER Complete the mission. It’s what I was trained to do—no matter what. But when things go to shit right in front of me, my objective gets compromised by a set of fathomless amber eyes. This isn’t a woman’s world. Yet, Valentina refuses to see how dangerous the course she’s plotted really is. How dangerous I am.
VALENTINA The man who saved my life is just as lethal as the one trying to take it. Maybe even more. While he may have rescued me, in the end, Cutter is my enemy. The one intent on destroying everything I’ve striven for. But the scars of his past draw me closer even though I know I should move away.
Cutter and Valentina. Anger and desire. Fight and surrender. This wave may drag them both under…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gwyn McNamee is an attorney, writer, wife, and mother (to one human baby and two fur babies). Originally from the Midwest, Gwyn relocated to her husband’s home town of Las Vegas in 2015 and is enjoying her respite from the cold and snow. Gwyn has been writing down her crazy stories and ideas for years and finally decided to share them with the world. She loves to write stories with a bit of suspense and action mingled with romance and heat. When she isn’t either writing or voraciously devouring any books she can get her hands on, Gwyn is busy adding to her tattoo collection, golfing, and stirring up trouble with her perfect mix of sweetness and sarcasm (usually while wearing heels).
Gwyn is the author of The Hawke Family Series, The Slip Series, The Deadliest Sin Series, The Inland Seas Series, and The Supernatural Love Stories in the Absurd (as her alter-ego D.P. Payne).
THE BOYFRIEND COLLECTOR, Book #2 by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes the STEAMY Part Two and conclusion of The Boyfriend Collector.
My name is Dr. Bex Hughes, and I’m in love with a woman who cannot truly love me back. Unless I help her as my patient, and that is forbidden—a taboo in the eyes of the world and the worst professional sin for a therapist.
But what else can I do? Rose was once a real-life Cinderella. Now she’s wealthy, single, and free. Except she’s convinced that love is used to hurt people, family tries to murder you for money, and no one can be trusted. It’s all she’s ever known.
So I’m bending every rule I’ve ever lived by and helping her find her way to real happiness. Only, my self-control wears thin as I hear the details of Rose’s dating adventures. Can I prove I will love her unconditionally before my jealousy shatters her trust in me forever?
Author Bio: MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a New York Times bestselling author who’s sold over one million books around the world. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dreams. Mimi lives with her Latin lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and their three spunky dragons (really, just very tiny dogs with big attitudes) Snowy, Mini, and Mack, in the vampire-unfriendly state of Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.
Just over two years ago I kept seeing a particular book mentioned on Facebook. It was called Acquired Possession and was by the author Cari Silverwood. Turned out I’d already read a book of hers, but one written under the pen name Wren Tirrell – and I’d been most disappointed to find that was the one and only book by that ‘author’. I loved the humour, the twists, and the engaging writing.
So getting back to Possession, once I was aware of the book and had read the blurb I was both interested and intrigued. I was a little worried that it might be one of those ‘instantly in love with the alien’books OR might be too dark for my taste. So I did what any self respecting book whore would and used the ‘send me a sample’ option. OK the book doesn’t cost a huge amount of money but none of us like to waste what money we have. Anyway, as soon as I reached the end of said sample I immediately, and without any shadow of a doubt nor hesitation, hit the ‘buy now’ button on my kindle.
Then I sat and read the whole book in one sitting.
It was so good I pre-ordered Claimed Possession (The Machinery of Desire #2) before I’d even finished it. I then joined the authors group on Facebook and bought the rest of the series as they were released, including the no-longer-available Alphas and Aliens anthology where a short story from the world was included.
I’m here to share the amazing news that this series is available as a box set, including all 5 stories at a knock down price. The series is perfect for those who love well written sci-fi, dubious consent, naughtily steamy kinkiness and fantastic characters who you don’t forget.
Wrenched from their beds and into another world, three earth women and one man find themselves in an alien, violence-infested land.
Powered by old tech and carrying the captive humans, the immense landships of the Mekkers grind on track and wheel across the countryside. Fern, Gio, and Emery are property and must learn to kneel and beg, to open their legs, and to stifle their shame. Pleasure will be their reward.
Even if fated to fall in love, these women fight to the last.
Their weapons will be guns and words, or bots from the tiniest in size to giant war machines, though sometimes running away works best. Only Sawyer, ex-soldier, will never bow, for being the master beckons to him and drums through his blood. With everyone at war with everyone else, the planet seems ready to implode. Can humans be the healing catalyst?
The journey to peace on Aerthe will be paved with the dead, as well as the screams of women climaxing in the hands, ropes, and chains of their masters.
“… the wonderful, strange, demented, naughty and twisted things that have been dreamt up and included, all just roll together into an amazing read.”
“So many scenes are laced with darkly sexual undertones, occasionally outright blatantly delicious ones.”
“I was on edge until the last sentence faded.”
ALL FIVE BOOKS IN THE SERIES IN ONE BOXSET.
350,000 words from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cari Silverwood. Featuring Acquired Possession, Claimed Possession, Branded Possession, Exquisite Possession, and the novella, Fated Possession.
This is a very graphic and carnal story for those who love the fantasy of being taken by an alien warrior.
WARNING: Contains alien butt.
ACQUIRED POSSESSION REVIEW – 5+ stars
Firstly it didn’t feel that dark of a read, possibly because of the sci-fi/alien world aspect of the book. There was no where near as much ‘punishment’ or cruelty as I expected and instead I found this to be a very erotic but also action-packed read.
Emery came across as a tough cookie, with plenty of spirit and determination, I loved her character. Mako was also incredibly well written, his internal musings allowed us to see that actually he was a fairly decent ‘man’, despite his sadistic leanings. We only learn some very important facts about the Strathe, the Mekkers and Aerthe as we progress further into the story, but this is also very necessary for the plot to work.
This isn’t a conventional romance in any sense of the word, and not just because of it being set on an alien planet. But the chemistry and the connection between Emery and Mako is believable and works, and so much of it is in the small kindnesses that Mako shows to Emery (even when he doesn’t always mean to).
This book had me gripped from start to finish, it even had me fall in love with a small mechanical child’s toy! The writing is excellent, the plot is literally out of this world and notyour typical ‘snatched by the alien’ story, the pace kept me turning pages as quick as I could and the whole book was just so easy to read.
Claimed Possession Review – 5 stars
This book had a different feel to Acquired Possession, whilst still being as captivating and well written. A large part of this is due to it being mostly written from the hero, Sawyer’s, POV but also because it is set in the Scav ‘part’ of Aether. I’m also pleased that this was the case, as now I’m wondering both what will happen in Book 3 and when it will be out as I’m desperate for more of this world.
It was interesting to ‘see’ the male perspective on all the dubious consent and dominance ‘stuff’ and it involved my emotions in a very different way to Emery’s story. I still felt the emotions and empathised with both characters, but I usually ‘connect’ more to the female character just because it is easier to put myself in her shoes. That in no way affected my enjoyment of the book, it was still full of action, had amazing pace and was incredibly steamy and it allowed this story to take us more into the world of Aether and its people.
Sawyers battles with his base desires, Scav expectations and his own morals turned him from what could have been a despicable individual into quite an attractive, and definitely one heck of a sexy, anti-hero. Despite the dubious consent aspects, and even at the start when he was still very angry, his scruples led him to protect and take care of Ari. I loved those moments, when he wasn’t conscious of his actions, where he would hold her close to him for comfort.
We had enough of Ari’s viewpoint to know she is an intelligent, feisty, caring and deep down brave woman. She is also a little naive and a lot confused by the lust she has for Sawyer and his treatment of her. That treatment and Sawyer’s behaviour was depraved at times but somehow, given the setting, it felt acceptable, especially as he often battled with his conscience or drew a line where the Scav wouldn’t have. This along with JI’s emotional/mental growth raised some deep questions on how the thoughts and actions of society – or a lack of morals by those in charge, can affect our own behaviours. To my mind it posed similar warnings to those raised by The Lord of the Flies.
There were so many unexpected twists in this story that it kept me gripped. That ending – it came out of nowhere for me, but it was perfect for the relationship Sawyer truly wanted with Ari. JI’s ending was even twistier – and send disturbing shiver’s down my back., he (it?) is no longer the person that Emery knew and cared for.
I can’t even begin to guess where this story is heading but I know I can’t wait for the next book.
Fated Possession – 5 stars
This is a quick but engaging, hot and fantastic story from the Machinery of Desire series. Whilst it can be read as a standalone, and indeed Cari managed to briefly fill in the important details of this world, having read the other books will really enhance this story. (Book 1 world builds and Book 2 has Sassik as a side character).
I know it’s a short story but there was no way I was putting this down and going to sleep – it had me gripped. Blue was such a strong heroine, never giving up or giving in and I’d love to see more of her. Sassik was as honourable a man as you are going to find on Aerthe and I’d love a Sassik of my own. The characters spoke to me, drew me in and made me love every moment of this book.
+ Branded Possession – 5 Stars
This is my favourite book of the series so far. I just loved the mind games and manipulation by both parties, though Gio was too caring to ever succumb to doing anything truly bad or evil. Ryke on the other hand did bad things for good reasons, or just because he wanted to. I could happily live in this book, I wanted it to never end. The detailed world building, the tiny little touches that seem insignificant at first but that will prove to be important later, the wonderful, strange, demented, naughty and twisted things that have been dreamt up and included, all just roll together into an amazing read.
If this was a contemporary romance, based on Earth with Ryke as a human, I would consider him morally depraved and somewhat evil. He carries an air of menace and dark about him, exploiting the attraction between Gio and himself in order to manipulate her. However, since this is based in another universe I really liked him instead. I’d run screaming in the opposite direction if I met Ryke, but my word he did some hot things to Gio.
Gio is absolutely amazing, her mind was a constant whirl of plans, worries, analysis and pushing crap into boxes to ignore forever or to examine later. I adored her mental debates with herself, and how honest she was in these. She was so scarily rational. So rational, in fact, that it didn’t take her long to accept what Ryke did because, well damn, she enjoyed it.
You can really feel the plot building in this story, with lots of political and Aerthe machinations occurring as sub-plots. Towards the end these almost pull us away from Gio and Ryke, but those final scenes make it clear that this was (I think) deliberate by the author, reflecting Gio’s feelings of being adrift and purposeless, perhaps of abandonment too. Whilst there is a scene that suggests the title refers to Gio, it could equally refer to Ryke and his marked role as the KOL (King’s Own Lawgiver), the belief that he is the prophet or even the Dekkers with their blue etchings from their livelihoods, or following Aerthe’s manipulation of them. That is the wonder of Cari Silverwood’s writing. She opens so many doors for your mind to travel through, scattering little breadcrumbs to lead you on the most fantastical of journey’s. It doesn’t harm that she writes damn good kinky scenes too.
If you ever join this authors facebook group DON’T LET ON WHAT SCARES YOU. She is more sadistic than Ryke and merrily wove mechanical 8-legged creepy-bots and claustrophobia inducing headgear into the story, just to torment her readers (evil woman, lol). However her brief homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide made me forgive her. Well that and all the really good naughty stuff in here.
Exquisite Possession – 4.5 stars
Fast paced, filthy, funny, frenzied and fabulous. An exciting, humorous and often thought provoking conclusion to this epic series.
I’m probably (OK definitely) going to take a while to get to the crux of this review, so I’m going to lay down now how much I LOVED this book, how gripping the story was, how fabulous the characters were, how hot the sex was and how sad I am that the series has ended. Whilst this can be read as JI and Fern’s stand alone story, reading the series will give you a better understanding of where all the other characters fit, along with how and why certain events happen.
I fuck therefore I am. He would rewrite Emery’s ideas on what made a self-aware AI.
JI, Exquisite Possession
Each book in the series has brought something new to the story of Aerthe and it’s inhabitants. Each tale has opened our eyes to a new facet of what life is like for its people. They’ve also contained some downright filthy and perverted sex scenes, and boy are they wonderful to read. Now normally I’d be bleating on about the amazing world building skills of the author, but in Exquisite Possessionshe took things in a different direction. We had a story that looked inwards at what makes us human and what constitutes a good or a bad person, rather than focusing on the outwards.
Still learning how to human … Some days he seemed a cross between her perfect Dom and a teenager.
JI/Osta was a mechanoid, a sentient robot for want of a better description. He took over a ‘human’ body (or technically a Scav body) in Book 2 of the series. Fern is a human, dragged through time and space, otherwise known as a portal, to become a blood slave to the Mekkers. Only Fern stabbed the judge who ruled that they weren’t ‘sentient’ enough to have rights and ended up being ejected from their landship broken, battered, bruised and close to death. So it’s fair to say that both characters come with a fair bit of baggage.
The first part of this book focuses on JI and his battles with the fantasies he has about Fern. Fantasies that include pain, humiliation and domination. Fantasies that just perhaps Fern might have too.
With a thrill to top what already had grabbed his balls … he realized Fern could be his experiment. His little experiment on sex. Little being more due to her size compared to his, not to what was possible. Because there was everything. Possibilities seemed endless. He, an ex-mech with control of a girl.
JI goes through a lot of soul searching, but it never felt too introspective or naval gazing. Usually because CS would always drop in some of her wonderful humour when things started getting a little too serious.
This was much more of a love story than any of the other books, possibly with the exception of Blue and Sassik’s story. It still retained dark edges and some very extremely kinky play, some of which involved the surgical implantation of blunt spikes around a part of JI’s anatomy. However JI was always far too caring to ever truly be a bad man, and given Fern’s traumatic past he was the perfect hero for both her and us. That didn’t stop him from using the connection both he and Fern had with the mechlings to his own benefit.
“Is a part of you still Osta? The thinking part of you?” “No. I’m not him at all. I told you that.” He wanted to ask her if that would scare her more than she could bear but didn’t dare to. Because the answer might scare him.
The second part of the story is more ‘traditional’ sci-fi action, if being strung up naked on the nose cone of a war ship, your body pierced by countless wires, could ever be considered traditional. Like all truly great books, lots of strands and easter egg clues all wove together to bring a very satisfying ending to this amazing series.
Did I also mention that there is a lot of very hot, kinky and lust filled sex?
“Must be slim, able to stand for long periods of time, and be impervious to the cold.”
The headline caught my attention.
“Hours are negotiable, pay is minimal, clothing absolutely forbidden.”
The second line piqued my curiosity.
“Able to hold your bladder and tongue, refrain from opinions or suggestions, and be the perfect living canvas.”
The third made me scowl.
“Other attributes required: non-ticklish, contortionist, and obedient. Must also enjoy being studied while naked in a crowd.”
The fourth made me shudder.
“Call or email ‘YOUR SKIN, HIS CANVAS’ if interested in applying.”
The final made my heart race.
I should’ve kept scrolling past the advertisement.
I should’ve applied for the boring receptionist job at minimum wage.
I should’ve clicked on any other job where I got to keep my clothes on.
But I didn’t.
My interview is tomorrow…
My Review – 3.75 stars
I loved this book and yet I didn’t.
Yes that makes no sense, I know. The Body Painter is so full of beautiful imagery, powerful writing and emotion that spills from its pages into your very soul. I loved every single word that was written, really enjoying the dual point of view. All the present day is from Olin’s perspective, and makes up the majority of the book, with brief glimpses of their past from Gil’s viewpoint. For me that worked well, allowed each narrative to have it’s own voice and feel, rather than become overloaded and confusing.
This story will leave your emotions bleeding, your heart torn into a thousand pieces. It will have you doubting your sanity and there are twists that will break you. Pepper Winters is a master of writing broken and deeply flawed characters, Olin and Gil are no exception to that.
However a star was lost because parts of this dragged, it just became a little too repetitive and irritation set in that so much centred around what we weren’t told in this story. I felt like I was watching a tumble drier throwing the same emotions around in the same pattern on an endless spin cycle. I got that Olin had been broken by Gil’s disappearance, I got that Gil had some big secret, I got that there was danger and also that this pair had explosive chemistry. I got that by 30% into the book, and by 40% and by 50%, which is when I got to skimming present day chapters, in order to feel as though I was making progress.
It could well be me, I’ve been struggling to enjoy any of the last few books I’ve read. I’ve skipped in and out of several, putting them down and picking them back up. At some point I will give this another go and hopefully be able to change my review.
Author of Bestselling Titles: Monsters in the Dark Trilogy, Indebted Series, Pure Corruption Duology, Unseen Messages, Destroyed, Can’t Touch This, Dollar Series, & Truth and Lies Duet, Ribbon Duet.