KINGMAKER SAGA #5 – Dark Horse




Dark Horse
(The Kingmaker Saga #5)
by London Miller



Oh my that twist!

For a while I thought this would be a 3 star book (4 on Amazon), good but not great. However I’m now debating between 4 and 5 stars! The start was slower, less intense than previous books, we met several new characters and also learnt a lot more about some of the supporting characters. On reflection this world and character building was vital, building up to the most emotional of endings. Karina and Uilleam are not the people they once were, and I’ve gone from loving to hating and back to loving them at various times through both this and the DoM series. I can’t wait for this pair to get the HEA they so very much deserve.

As already mentioned there is a huge bombshell of a twist, you start getting hints half-way through the book. The signposts for the big reveal are intentionally very obvious and easy to spot because the beauty of London Miller’s writing is in the subtle, tiny, little details. She weaves seemingly irrelevant snippets of information into complex stories and she breathes such life into her characters that you feel, live and breathe their emotions.

Whilst much anticipated resolutions are attained, suddenly the rug is pulled out from under our feet and we discover that the bad guy was someone else all along. Now I’m left wondering just what will happen in the next book, Alpha Omega, and hoping that London finds time, amidst becoming a first-time mom, to continue writing this series.


PS will we ever find out what happened to Uilleam’s uncle?





First came love.
Then came hate.
And now? Now, there was only war.

When he crossed paths with Karina Ashworth all those years ago, Uilleam Runehart didn’t expect his world to get turned upside down—but he also hadn’t known what it meant to love someone as he loved her.

But greed can corrupt so easily, and what he possessed, he lost just as quickly.

Even knocked off his feet, however, Uilleam isn’t one to back down without a fight, no matter how impossible the odds.

There’s a reason they call him the Kingmaker, and now it’s time to show everyone what that title really means.

From Romantic Suspense Author, London Miller, comes the next thrilling installment in the Kingmaker Saga where emotions run high and love may be the thing that saves them all …






AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS



Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

SPECIAL AGENT BDSM #6

Ashes: A Dark Romance Love Triangle
(A Special Agent Novel Book 6)

by C.P. Mandara




An amazing conclusion to a fantastic series – I’m going to miss these guys so much

I already know I’m going to struggle to write a review that does this book justice without also throwing spoilers around like confetti at a wedding. Suffice to say Alain continues to terrorize with how twisted, evil and psychotic he is. Which means James, Lois and Adie continue to suffer at his blood stained hands.

The story is fast-paced and action-packed, venturing repeatedly into some pretty dark territory. It didn’t want to put this down, and when my thoughtful teenage son had me awake at the crack-ass of dawn, instead of being sensible and attempting to grab a couple more hours of sleep, I picked this up and read it until it was finished.

Strike that, I didn’t read it, I devoured it like the most delicious of meals, savouring every morsel and extracting every last drop of flavour that I possibly could from it. I want to say I loved every single word of it but the author, and those who have already read the book, will know that isn’t possible. There is possibly a tiny little lose thread that was left. It didn’t play out the way I expected, but I’m hoping against hope that the author possibly has plans for it. Please. Otherwise I may seriously fall out with her.

Written first person from Adie, James and Lois’ points of view, all 6 books must be read in the correct order, this isn’t a stand alone. (I made the mistake of attempting to start with book #4 and quickly found myself totally lost.) This, along with Ariana Nash’s Silk & Steel series, is my joint favourite series of 2019 and is without a shadow of a doubt my top BDSM/romantic suspense/dark read of the year.









All hope is lost. James has slept with me twice. When we arrive back at Lavande, Alain takes a great deal of pleasure in telling me I have two weeks to live. Two miserable weeks where he will torture me with his hands and knives until I am screaming for mercy. The worst part is that James will be forced to watch every second of it.

Why didn’t we run when we had the chance? It’s a question I will ask myself again and again over the upcoming days because Alain is rather inventive with his torture methods. At first, I thought we might stand a chance, but then he brings out the drugs. There’s a reason his nickname is ‘The Chemist.’ The man is truly evil in every way that counts.

This is a war we cannot win, fought against an adversary who is one step ahead of everything we do.

We desperately need to turn his dark and twisted games against him. There is always a way – I hope.


Publisher’s Note: The Sixth Book in C.P. Mandara’s intense, suspense-filled thriller ‘Special Agent Series’ is a Dark Romance featuring BDSM erotic romance, complete power exchange, violence and drugs. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.












AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS




Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

Favourite Reads of 2019 – Part Two

So yesterday I revealed the more ‘real life’ favourite books of 2019, even if that real life was firmly fictional. Today I’m showcasing my favourite books from those worlds that definitely could only exist inside a writers ingenious mind. The sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and omegaverse worlds where the ‘normal’ rules don’t apply and pretty much anything goes. They all still fall into the romance genre, because I love me some smut, but I still see them as different and distinct categories.

Sci-Fi Romance


1. Delirium by Myra Danvers.
Iris is hands down my favourite heroine of all times. I may want to marry her, I definitely want to have her children. Sadly Myra Danvers has also struggled with writing, and life, of late, so we are still awaiting the next book in the series. However I remember the days of only knowing my favourite author had released the next book in a series when I found it in the local book shop. I’m happy to wait, and should there never be any more Iris I would still recommend this book because it is simply that good.

Read my review.


2. Deliverance and Her Dark Legion by Pippa DaCosta.
OK, so I’m cheating a lot little here, but I love both of these books for hugely different reasons and can’t even fit a cigarette paper between to separate the pair of them. Deliverance is a much awaited instalment of the 1000 Revolutions series. I totally love Caleb and One and was sooooo happy to catch up with them a little more. I wouldn’t like to say if you could read this stand alone, since I have read the rest of the books, but it was a complete segment of a story, so it’s a possibility.
Her Dark Legion was the final book in the Messenger Chronicles and you definitely need to have read the previous 4 books. This is high on my list of All Time Favourite Series’ Ever, possibly only pipped by the series written under the authors other pen name, Ariana Nash.
Her writing is phenomenal and both books are brim full of feels, have amazing characters and outstanding world building.

My reviews are here and here.


3. Virgin Tribute by Delta James.

Set in a dystopian future this is a dark tale that contains dubious consent and non-consensual power exchanges. It left me speechless and hungering for more, much more, of this world. Especially since Drake had a barbed phallus…. oh the possibilities!
This is another book that could have easily fitted into the Dark catagory, but since I was already having trouble slimming that one down the decision to place it here was an easy one to make.

My review.



Paranormal Romance


1. Happily Ever Crowned by Lexi C Foss and Anna Edwards.

“Wow. Dark, powerful, gut-wrenching, twisted, steamy and amazing. “
Lexi C Foss has the golden touch as far as I am concerned. I can’t believe I only discovered her work this year but am massively grateful that I did. Her writing holds my attention from the first line to the last, and fills me so full of feels like you wouldn’t believe.
It is subtitled as book 1 of a series and I for one can’t wait to join in with more adventures.

Review.


2. Mesmer (and the Dark Hearts Series) by Cari Silverwood.

Whilst Mesmer is a stand alone read, to fully understand and appreciate the story I would recommend having read the super dark, super amazing Dark Hearts series first. It contains a lot of world building that enhances the story in this book.
Mesmers are a group of men who can mind control susceptible women, turning them into sex (or I guess any other kind of) slave. Sadly the mesmer gene, or the power it conveys, causes most of these men to travel down the wrong path. It’s a pretty dark read (co-written by Jennifer Bene what else can you expect?), with lots of boundary pushing kink to boot.
Cari has a unique writing voice, it actually takes on its own character, Greta, in this book and is what makes her my favourite current author.

Review of Mesmer.


3. Sin & Magic by KF Breene.

Actually I should be listing this under it’s series title of Demigod of San Francisco, since the books need to be read in chronological order. Written by the the amazingly talented KF Breene, this is only one of dozens of her must read books. The word awesome was invented to describe this lady and I recommend ALL her work to you.

My review for particular book is here.


Fantasy Romance


1. Silk & Steel Series by Ariana Nash.

Ariana Nash is the brand new MM, steamier version of the author Pippa DaCosta. In the Silk & Steel series she has created a world of dragon shifters, elves and humans. It’s a dark read, very dark and all trigger warnings should be seriously heeded. The romance between natural enemies Lysander (a dragon shifter prince) and Eroan (an elf charged with destroying dragons) develops slowly over the course of the trilogy. And with all great stories the course of true love never does run smooth.
Some reviews talk about plot holes and inconsistent details, however if those reviewers had read books 1-3, they would have found that those questions were answered at some point.

My reviews
Sealed with a Kiss (Book 0.5)
Silk & Steel (Book 1)
Iron & Fire (Book 2)
Blood & Ice (Book 3)
Lost & Found (Book 3.5)
The Black Prince (Book 4)


2. Last Titan Series by Myra Danvers.

An absolutely amazing new author sprang onto the scene this year, though she’s been on literotica for quite a while. I’ve already featured her sci-fi romance, Delirium, but such is my admiration for this author, and her work, that I’m also featuring her fantasy romance series.
Ravenous Innocence, Insatiable Corruption and Lavish Destruction are the first three books of the series. I’m still not Asher’s biggest fan, but I’m slowly being persuaded by Ms Danvers that he deserves his chance with Mila, even if he has taken her power and bound her to him. The balance of power however was slowly shifting to her direction and I am eagerly awaiting more books in the series. Particularly since the writing is so amazing.

Ravenous Innocence, Insatiable Corruption and Lavish Destruction.


3. Condemned by Cari Silverwood.

I do believe that I’ve already mentioned this author is my favourite. Her writing just speaks to me on a level that many others don’t. She’s like a super kinky version of Terry Pratchett, always pushing boundaries but usually making me giggle along the way.
Condemned was one of two books written she published via Stormy Nights, which meant a toning down of the darker elements she usually includes. It’s a RH kink-fest and one of the few stand alone books where the males have distinct characteristics and there is also a well developed plot. Not only did she includes the prerequisite cute and quirky bot in this story (a mouse), but her heroine is half Mauleon, a genetically-engineered leonine type species. And that right there is a huge pointer to Ms Silverwoods off-beat humour right there – the cat relying on and caring for the mouse. Oh and did I mention there are winged horses that “hop-fly”?

Review for Condemned




The final category is Omegaverse, which as been hugely popular within the MM realm, but has seen a huge growth in both the MF and dark romance tropes.

Omegaverse Romance


1. Broken by Eva Dresden.

I think this is one of the best debut novels I have ever read. It’s very dark and is part of the as yet unfinished Omega’s Destruction series. Ms Dresden really does put her heroine, Quinn, through the wringer. I’m surprised she can still function after all that she has endured!
Eva’s writing has a somewhat poetic feel to it, things are often suggested or implied rather than always being blatantly and very obviously told/shown. It provides a breath of fresh air and makes this very much a must-read series. The book does end on a cliff-hanger and whilst book 2 is available (and a highly recommended read too), the final book of the series is currently still in production.

Review.


2. December (Sacred Omegas #1) by Merel Pierce.

Blending Omegaverse with a slightly dystopian feeling organised crime/mafia romance gave this book a VERY unique feel. It took me by surprise with how dark it got, things were trotting along quite nicely and then BAM! it veered straight into darksville. This book is certainly not all sweetness and light, although the acts are not perpetrated by the hero. He is a more than a bit of an alpha-hole at first, but he does treat her with respect and I found myself caring deeply for both December and Nikolai.

Review.


3. Primal Possession by Tabitha Black.

This is the very last book I’m highlighting from 2019 but it is by no means in last place in any other respect. I started of hating the hero of this book, but by the end was totally besotted by him. The author wrote a very convincing story that definitely had it’s own feel and carved it’s own spot within the omegaverse world.
It’s the first book in an interconnected series of stand alones and I’m looking forward to Ms Black releasing more of them.

Review.

Favourite Reads from – Part One

For the last few years I’ve written a post on my top 12 books of the year, and my top 12 series’ of the year. This time I’m going to do thinks a little differently and talk about my top 3 reads in various categories/genres/tropes.


First category is Contemporary Romance.

This is a genre I’ve found myself reading less and less of, at least in terms of ‘straight’ contemporary. My first, and greatest, love in reading was the sci-fi/fantasy genre with authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton and David Eddings being amongst my favourites. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will forever hold a special place in my heart, and prominence on my book shelf. Of late I have found myself drawn back to the genre, but preferring those books which also combine it with a good love story.

However I have read some excellent contemporary romances this year, and actually struggled to narrow the group down to a top 3! Colour me surprised because I didn’t actually expect to find even that number to include.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


1. Bass-Akwards by Eris Adderly.

This is one seriously under-recognised author. Her writing is superb and I just wished she was more well known, Eris thoroughly deserves it.

It’s the story of a seriously messed up pair, who are dysfunctional to the extreme yet who somehow come together to create something wonderful. It’s one of those “so wrong, it’s right” stories and I loved every minute of it.

My full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/04/09/bass-akwards-eris-adderly/ – for what, to me, is a must read book.


2. Crazy on You by Amelia Wilde.

This is part of a series of books on the Bliss brothers, and oh what bliss they do bring. I really enjoyed the whole series, but Charlie and Leta just had that something extra special about them.

It’s a second chance romance, which has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m just a sucker for folks getting their much needed HEA and this story just ticked all my boxes.

The full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/31/crazy-on-you-bliss-brothers-4-by-amelia-wilde/. This is a book that will give you plenty of feels.


3. Rogue Wave by Gwyn McNamee.

This is part of an ongoing series, which really needs to be read in order to fully enjoy and understand the back story. Each book features one couple, Cutter, the hero in this one, is a complete alpha-hole but in the best way possible. He’s constantly brought down to size by the bad-ass heroine that is Valentina.

The book is full of twists, turns and steam. Find the full review here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/22/rogue-wave/.



I did have a fourth book, Rebel’s Redemption by Lexi C Foss, that I also need to mention. It is A-MAZ-ING and it’s only because I’m going to be featuring this author in other categories that I didn’t feature the book more widely here.



Next are my favourite 3 books containing BDSM. This was a category that I DID struggle with deciding on, I could easily have included many more books. In fact I’m featuring a series as one of my choices.

BDSM romance

1. Special Agent BDSM series by C.P. Mandara.

There are 6 books in the series, the final one was released a few days ago and I am currently reading (and loving) it. The first book, Sparks, is free. It is more erotic, less dark than the subsequent books, which take us into a dark, underground world full of danger and kink.

These have been amongst my most favourite reads of the year in any genre/trope. The author writes with a subtle humour and her characters are always strong. In fact along with Cari Silverwood, she has written some of my favourite heroines.

Sparks review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/03/special-agent-bdsm-1/
Smoke review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/04/special-agent-bdsm-2/
Flames review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/05/special-agent-bdsm-3/
Fire review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/06/special-agent-bdsm-4/
Embers review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/12/21/embers/
Ashes – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3104159478



2. Twisted Fates by Kitty Thomas.

Let’s face it, Kitty Thomas is the QUEEN of the dark romance. If you haven’t read Comfort Food I can only say – “Why?”. It’s not an easy read but it is amazing, as is Twisted Fates which is part of the interlinked Pleasure House series and may be read as a stand alone story.

Whilst it’s a morally dubious story, it doesn’t contain non-consent and the dubious consent isn’t all that dubious either. On paper we should hate the hero, and in real life I’d want to see him locked away from society for a very long time. However Kitty persuades us that not only is Lyndsay perfect for Shannon, but she made me love him too.

My review can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas – heaven only knows why I haven’t shared it on the blog yet. It must have been a busy arc period!


3. Black Light: Scandalized by Livia Grant.

Technically the Black Light books can be read stand alone, though part of this story builds on a short story by the same author in the Celebrity Roulette anthology. The book features two separate couples, mainly focusing on two new characters, Shane and Nalani, but also concluding Piper and Nolan’s story that began in Switched.

This book should have a trigger warning – there is a very violent and detailed rape scene. It wasn’t added just for the shock factor and the aftermath was handled well, in my opinion.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/10/30/a-journey-into-the-world-of-black-light/.




Romantic Suspense


1. The Savage Duet by Nicolina Martin.

The link will take you to all 5 books of the Russo Saga. It’s a series of interlinked books, all of which I can highly recommend, but the duet of Absolution and Redemption are definitely my favourites. T

he story takes you to hell and back, along with the anti-hero and heroine. There were times. whilst reading Absolution, where i had to take an “feelings break” in order to recharge my emotional batteries.

My reviews for this duet can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/08/redemption/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/24/book-review-absolution/


2. The Kingmaker Saga #2, 3 & 4 by London Miller.

Book #1, White Rabbit: The Rise, was listed amongst my favourite reads of 2018. The series has gone from strength to strength this year, with the release of 3 further books and the imminent release of book #5, Dark Horse.

White Rabbit: The Fall, Black Swan and Red Herring continue the story of Belladonna and The Kingmaker, otherwise known as Karina and Uilleam. And oh what a twisty, cat-and-mouse, game-of-chess, power-play story it is. London Miller has an amazing talent for weaving a complex tale where a seemingly random array of threads pull together at the last minute to form an intricately detailed tapestry.

My links can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2722883777?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 , here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/27/black-swan-the-kingmaker-saga-3-by-london-miller/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/17/red-herring/.


3. Beauty (Part 1 & Part 2) by Kirsty Dallas.

Part of the Blaire’s World collection, and based on Anita Gray’s books of the same name, this is a dark and delicious duet. It delves into the underbelly of society, a world of pain, cruelty and evil and it doesn’t pull it’s punches.

One could argue that this belongs in the “Dark” catagory, below, but it’s my post so it’s my rules.

My reviews can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2705398076?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/19/beau2y-part-1-by-kirsty-dallas/.


Again, I need to mention a Lexi C Foss book, this time it is the amazing Scarlet Mark. Part of the Cavalieri Della Morte series, it was the book that brought the author to my attention. When I discovered this was her first foray into Romantic Suspense I was gobsmacked to say the least. I tell you, she hit this one out of the ball park, and then some.





I’m going to finish today’s post with my top 3 Dark Reads of the year, and will be back tomorrow with 4 other categories of goodness to share. I think this was the hardest group to pare down to just 3 books, but I did it eventually!

Dark Romance


1. The Five by Lily White.

No list is complete without a Lily White book, she is an expert at knowing how to mess with your mind. She’s had some personal struggles this year, so has been very quite for the last few months, but we are expecting a new release soon and I, for one, can’t wait to read more by this wonderful author.

The Five is typical Lily White, and was a very popular Book of the Month over in the Dark Erotica group on Goodreads. It’s not your typical romance and is very psychological, testing your morals, pushing your boundaries and challenging your judgemental side. It was a book that seemed to have a marmite effect, dividing readers into loved it or hated it. I was most definitely in the former camp and highly recommend it.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/03/20/the-five-by-lily-white/.


2. Crazy Broken Love by Jennifer Bene.

This story started life as Cocoon in the ‘Just Breathe‘ anthology, but has since been extended and improved, even though I didn’t feel that was possible as I thought the original was already perfect.

This is not as dark a piece of work as we are used to from Ms Bene. It does contain strong elements of dub-con, hence including it in this group. Crazy Broken Love spoke to me deeply and left me questioning my own prejudices, however unintentional they are.

My review of this amazing story can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/11/16/a-truly-crazy-story/.


3. Dark Necessities Prequel series by Felicity Brandon.

For some reason the link only takes you to the first two books of the trilogy. Book #3, Forbidden, can be found here. The trilogy of books are NOT stand alone and must be read in order, they feature Ethan and Lily, the parents of Conor, who is the anti-hero of the original Dark Necessities trilogy.

Despite not liking Ethan for most of the story, my love for Lily (and her love of Ethan) made this one gripping must-read series for me. It’s dark and Ethan is not a good man, not a good man at all. But he does love Lily and that was his saving grace for this reader.

My review of the books can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/07/flawed-by-felicity-brandon/ – here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/06/26/fallen-dark-necessities-prequel-by-felicity-brandon/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/10/forbidden/.

Darkholm Pre-order

PREORDER ALERT!!!!

Can you handle another dark twist on a fairytale favourite?

The Darkholm series by Aria Adams continues with Eternal Nightmare  … out on January 3!!



AND YOU CAN RESERVE YOUR COPY NOW!!
Amazon US → https://amzn.to/3709fqM
Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/390TEsU
Amazon CA → https://amzn.to/2rgUGzW
Amazon AU → https://amzn.to/2PK9EYK






BLURB

“I sleep forever. Dream after dream. Tormented by them. I never get to awaken.”

Lucy has slept for a hundred years. Everyone she ever knew is dead. Her kingdom is in decay. She doesn’t have anything to wake up for, but it has to be better than the nightmares, doesn’t it? Every time she thinks she’s opened her eyes, another nightmare begins. Endless horror. Can anyone help her?

This is a dark fairytale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. The heroine is asleep. The hero can’t save her. The villain is long-gone, but her legacy lives on. If you don’t like your HEAs to come easily, this series is for you.




ADD TO YOUR TBR: http://bit.ly/38tMZqM

FOLLOW ARIA FOR RELEASE ALERTS: http://bit.ly/2neJCkP






Read the Darkholm series now:

Belle’s Betrayal → https://amzn.to/2J65tCC
Torn Apart → https://amzn.to/2Q7QI6Z



About Aria Adams

Aria is an author of dark erotic romance that dances on the boundary between horror and romance. Her heroes are not always immediately obvious, and neither are the villains. Her books often have elements of horror, and the characters at the end of a story are forever changed by the events that befell them. But she always makes sure there’s a happy ending, even if the characters have to work for it.

Aria also writes the warm fuzzy romance stuff as Katie Douglas, where she has had USA Today and multiple Number One bestselling books in the US and worldwide.


Follow Aria Online!
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Aria-Adams/e/B079VFP8CW/
Website: www.ariaadams.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AriaAdamsDarkER/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KatieAndAriasWildcats/
Newsletter: www.freeeroticabook.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/aria-adams

THALIA #3

Continuing both with my ‘blast from the past’ reviews AND the Thalia series, today I’m spotlighting the third book – Salvaged by Love. This book delves back into some of the darkness found in Security Binds Her, tying up some of those loose ends along the way.

I know that technically this isn’t the last book but what an amazing conclusion to Thalia and James’ story.

This is part of a series of books and you need to read both Security Binds Her (which is very dark) and Striking a Balance (which isn’t dark) before reading this. Salvaged by Love is a both a wonderful tying up of loose ends and also a fantastic blend of darkness, heat and a D/s relationship. The book held my attention from start to finish, even the parts that were difficult to read. I’m guessing that if you’re contemplating reading this you will have read SBH and therefore know how dark a tale this author can spin!

The six month deadline is looming for James and Thalia and tough decisions need to be made. Added to that is a threat from Thalia’s past, an evil that refuses to let her be free.

The first part of the story focuses on James and Thalia building strength into their relationship and really establishing themselves as the couple they want to be. This couple have intense chemistry that leads to some incredibly steamy situations and this book is very definitely NSFW in all the best possible ways.

However there is someone else who wants Thalia, regardless of what she herself wants. When that shoe drops the story takes a very dark turn. Be prepared for some very tough scenes and a battle for survival. My word Ms Bene does not pull her punches and Thalia shows just how strong she is when life seems determined to break her apart.

The writing is quite simply astounding. I was listening to the pounding music in those clubs, I felt the lash of the flogger in the playroom, I heard the cane whistling through the air and I felt Thalia’s despair and desolation in that concrete prison. The actions, thoughts and emotions, in the various scenes and situations, all felt so real and genuine.

I absolutely loved this book.




Are you ready to get through the darkness to find the light?

Love conquers all, or so they say, but is love enough to overcome James and Thalia’s history together? Is it enough to carry them through the heavy decision about whether they should stay with each other? And is it enough to take on the ‘normal’ relationship steps of meeting friends and family in James’ privileged world?

As Thalia and James work to build a life together, a real life, there are other challenges brewing on the horizon, and Thalia’s past isn’t done with her yet.

In this rollercoaster continuation of the Thalia series, she is taken to the loveliest of highs and the darkest of lows as she fights to decide who she is, and who she wants.


AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS



Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

THALIA BOOK #2

Striking a Balance (Thalia, #2)
by Jennifer Bene

Since I featured Security Binds Her yesterday, I thought I’d post my review of the second story in the series today. Striking a Balance, whilst not particularly dark, is still a full of emotion and a brilliant follow up to the first book.

A really good follow up to Security Binds Her

The first thing I will say is that Striking a Balance must be read after reading Security Binds Her. This book really won’t make any sense without an indepth knowledge of the events that occur in Book #1.

Whilst the first book is a very dark read, this was much more of a contemporary BDSM romance read, though I do believe the next book edgers into darker territory. Having read and loved SBH, I very much wanted to continue on this journey with Thalia. Although the story didn’t quite proceed in the way I imagined it would, it is still a very captivating and engaging read. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, loving how it was more about getting to know James, the hero, and to understand the dynamic between he and Thalia

This picks up from where SBH ends, with Thalia setting off to begin her new life with James. At one point (and this was a fair chunk into the book) I began to wonder why Thalia wasn’t receiving more help following her captivity, rape and torture. I got that letting the authorities know what had happened would put James in the firing line, but with his resources he should have been able to get her some type of support. It was almost enough to reduce my enjoyment of the book, until it wasn’t. Stick with it because, just as I reached that point, we get a very unexpected twist that leads to truths being revealed and a total change in direction of the book.

Most of the time it felt as though Thalia still remained a captive, captive in a different way but still not truly free. This gave a much needed edge to the book and kept me reading. She is so totally lost that at times it was difficult to ‘get’ her character, but that is the whole point. I felt that the author did an amazing job of portraying how very broken Thalia is.

Written in third person the book also allowed me to get a very good feel for James, both as a character and also as a Dom. There were times I wanted to shake the arrogance from him, thankfully Thalia did a damn good job of doing just that when her confession pulled the rug out from under his feet. He has a selfish streak, that was shown by the fact that he watched footage of Thalia, knowing the girl wasn’t a willing trainee slave. But I liked how it made him fallible and human, so much more believable as a ‘hero’.

Finally, and oh my word, that cliffhanger – the only reason I’m not cursing the author is because book #3 is already available, lol!




Thalia may be free, but can she learn to live after the darkness?

Thalia and James have just met under the most insane of circumstances. He purchased her at an underground auction from a man who kidnapped her, tormented her, and sold her to the highest bidder.

In their first few months together Thalia wants to view James as her savior, her knight in shining armor that she can stay with in safety, but she can’t escape the trauma she went through and the lingering effects it has caused. James isn’t sure, now that he has Thalia, if he can handle the depth of submission she displays.

Can James help her strike a balance between who she is as a person and her newfound craving for submission, or will her urge to submit swallow her whole until James has no choice but to set her free?


AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

THALIA SERIES

Security Binds Her (Thalia #1)
by Jennifer Bene

Since I’m currently busy with the festive season, beta reading and a book that is loooong, but thankfully also really good, I’ve dug through Goodreads for an older review to share here. This is one of the very few books that I’ve not only given a second chance to but have gone on to totally change my opinion of. It also lead to me attending a book signing, back in June, just because this author would be there.

The first time I tried to read this it proved too dark and non-consensual for me. It was a DNF and whilst I appreciated the quality of writing the content proved too much. However I became corrupted by the writings of Addison Cain and Cari Silverwood, authors who both write excellent dub-con/non-con stories but in the Sci-Fi/fantasy genre. For me this step away from reality makes it easier to accept the lack of sexual consent.

Since the entire Thali series was one I’d seen repeatedly mentioned, and recommended, I entered a competition and won an e-book copy of Security Binds Her. This time, because I was not only more aware of the type of content but also more mentally prepared to read it, I found it a much more enjoyable experience. In fact I LOVED the story. This is NOT and never will be an easy read, it has some very difficult and challenging scenes, but what makes the difference is Thalia’s strength through out.

You can’t help but admire this heroine, and hope she gets a HEA of some sort. Marcus/The Guard is a complex character, obviously twisted and evil (or mentally unbalanced) to think
it is ok to snatch women off the street and force them to be sex slaves. However he shows real moments of tenderness and care for Thalia too. Be careful when reading reviews for this book, as there is a huge twist at the end. Just in case you’ve missed it I won’t spoil things but I will say that I loved this unusual approach to resolving the story.

I read this in two sittings, and that was only because I had to get SOME sleep before going to work the next day. Whilst I feel that you could read this as a stand alone, the story does continue in other books. They are not as dark as this one but are still great reads and this is a must read series for all dark erotica fans.




The first book of the #1 bestselling Thalia Series from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Bene, acclaimed as “dark, intense, and emotionally harrowing…” ★★★★★

“I’ll break you down. It may take time, but I will.”
“And if I don’t break?”
“You will.”


Taken from work one night, Thalia is thrust into the violent, controlling world of a man she thought had been the security guard for her building, but she quickly learns that this was only a cover to get to her, to take her. As her old life is erased, the guard pushes Thalia to recognize the darker sides of herself, while Thalia endeavors to hold on to who she is.

Trapped alone with her abductor, can Thalia fight to retain her sense of self, or will his small glimpses of kindness cause her to finally submit to him?


‘Security Binds Her’ is a dark, brutal journey that leaves readers breathless and waiting to turn the page to find out if Thalia will break, or be lost forever to the darkness around her.


AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

HIS WILLING OMEGA #1

Yes, Alpha (His Willing Omega, #1)
by Merel Pierce



Not just Yes, Alpha, but yes please and thank you very much Alpha!

This is a short read that managed to provide some great world building alongside making me fall in love with both Daniel and Meghan. Whilst Daniel is all alpha and Meghan an omega, this is not the dark omegaverse worlds we are more familiar with. Instead this is a BDSM story, heavy on the consent, lighter on the kink and chock full of heat. I adored this opening episode, which could in theory be read as a standalone, since it ends on a HFN note. However once you’ve experienced the sheer smexiness that is Daniel, and the beautiful soul that is Meghan you will not only want, but will also need, to follow their story until the end.

Meghan is a total newbie to the scene, so I felt that Daniel’s insistence on taking things slowly was perfect. I just know that the heat level will increase ten-fold in the next book, and Daniel will push Meghan to the very edges of her limits. I don’t want to spoil anything but there is a beautiful example of not only how consensual all activities are, but the depth of caring that Daniel showed to the relatively inexperienced Meghan, towards the end of the book. When you get to the piece of black fabric you’ll know what I mean. To my mind this was perfect, allowing Meghan to build trust with a man who was still relatively a stranger to her.

The book is written third person and, even though view points change fairly often, I never struggled with knowing which character I was following. Best of all the dual point of view really allowed me to get a feel of both characters, seeing the desperate loneliness of an isolated and misunderstood omega and the dominant but deeply caring nature of the alpha who was called by her. I just hope Merel Pierce cracks on with writing the next book as I already have a Daniel and Meghan shaped hole in my heart.





Meghan

I don’t belong here.
A BDSM club isn’t a safe place for an unattached Omega.
I should know better, but I can’t help myself.
He’s just too perfect an Alpha to resist.

*
Daniel

She’s so sweet and vulnerable,
I can hardly stand it.
She needs a real Alpha to show her how it’s meant to be.
She may not wear my mark,
but she’ll wear my collar.


***His Willing Omega is a novella length Omegaverse/BDSM romance. It is a work of fiction meant for adults. While the relationship between the main characters is consensual, it will contain aspects of power exchange. If you are uncomfortable with this trope, please consider whether or not this book is right for you.***





AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.