Thank you to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer for hosting this weekly meme, which starts on a Friday and ends the following Thursday. There is a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.
This weeks question for 31st – Aug. 6th is – “If you haven’t read a book in awhile and someone asks about a character or the plot, can you recall the details?” (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)
The answer is very much dependent on the book in question. Over the last few years I’ve become increasingly stingy with my 5 stars. I use them like confetti on Amazon, since 3 stars or less is considered negative. However on my blog and on Goodreads I use them much more sparingly. I also have a shelf for 5+ star reads. Those books that just have that magical something extra. Stories that buried their way into my heart and soul, and they are the books that would have me answering an emphatic “Yes” to Elizabeth’s question.
For instance, I could tell you about the meaning of chicken noodle soup in Comfort Food, or pennies in My Torin. I could tell you how Ren and Delta stole my heart in The Boy and His Ribbon, before completely shattering it in The Girl and Her Ren. Tears are gathering in my eyes just thinking about that heartbreaking read. I might say how Wishing Well by Lily White reduced me to a heaving, sobbing mess, or how much I loved Kesh, Kellee, Talen, Sota, Arran and Sirius in The Messenger Chronicles. It might just be how a little, elephant-like, purple, bot helped Emery adjust to her new life in Acquired Possession or perhaps how very taboo The Wild by K. Webster was.
However the truth of the matter is that it’s only a very small proportion of the books I read for which I could give that answer of “yes”. I started using Goodreads as a place to review and set reading goals in 2017 (very late to the party I know!). In that year I read 439 books. It was also the year that nearly broke me, I was out of control with arc reading and really overstretched myself. In 2018 I read 337 books and last year 307, though neither of those figures include the books that I beta read (often more than once). I’m on about 160 so far this year, so if you add those figures up, I’ve read over 1000 books in less than 4 years. Some would have been DNF’s, some I might have skimmed parts, but most I’ve ploughed through from start to finish. For a lot of them, the well written ones that touched me emotionally, I can recall limited details and main plot points. There are others that, even after I’ve read the blurb and my review, I no longer remember at all.
I can recall limited details from some books I read in my 20’s, over half a lifetime ago. I still vividly recall the King Kong pastiche scene from Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett, of a gigantic women climbing the side of a high tower, clutching an orangutan in her hand.
Diego Ortega: The wild, sexy rock guitar legend with the raunchy strut, long onyx hair and dazzling soulful eyes. His renowned rock band, Medieval Steel, will be performing at the anticipated music festival, Get Rocked in Vegas!
Diego has it all! A life in the fast lane, parties, booze, drugs, power and sex. However, the bright lights can’t erase the price he paid on the raw, lonely road to the top. Diego has rocketed to fame while his heart is starving.
His one and only soulmate, Susan, who has been his constant companion and true love, will become a permanent fixture in his life. Unbeknownst to her, he plans to present her with a Cartier diamond engagement ring.
Fates collide. As the music blasts to a climax, one deranged and obsessed fan and her secret, rage filled vendetta will trap each and every one of them in its sudden, murderous heat.
“The story is mixed with love and danger, police, and civilians, good guys and bad, some action and steam. A satisfying short read.” ~ Cheri
“Definitely worth a read. I’m curious where she’s going to take the series from here.” ~ Andrew
“A quick easy read about a rock god and one crazy deranged fan and her obsessed, rage filled vendetta that will change all of their fates…” ~ Vickie
Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her “Hollywood” story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. She is also the author of an erotic short story series, “The S&M Club” and “The Mile High Club”. Her short film “The Lesson” was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000. She is also an actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama “Sunset Beach”. She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children.
This is an anthology of short stories, all based around one event at the BDSM club featured in the Black Light series. I read the book back in 2018 but didn’t review it back then, and since I seem to be an a re-read streak I indulged myself by reading individual stories in between arc reads and other reads. Even though I have a mountainous TBR list of unread books.
Broken by Renee Rose – 4 stars
Slave to pain (aka Jennifer) and Master D scene together at Black Light each week. But that’s all Jennifer will ever allow them to be, ships that pass in the night, no attachment, no emotion, no connection, despite the fact that his brand of sadism is a perfect fit for her mile wide masochistic streak. Jennifer has barriers so high Master D will need a miracle to break them down but first he needs to win her on a spin of the wheel.
They spin three kinks, age-play, whipping and anal-intercourse. Don’t be put of by the age play, it isn’t really any more than her using the word Daddy, and if you skip this one you will miss a wonderfully intimate portrait of a man using dominance to release a sub from years of unhappiness and pain. I liked that Jennifer and Master D already had a connection, it made the scenes more intense and I found I easily believed in the depth of their feelings. I remember first time round finding the level of sado-masochism in this hard to handle, but I’ve now read so much more that it no longer makes me cringe. It’s not my kink but I understand the beauty of the dynamic. This is one scorching hot read, and a great opening story.
Revealed by Livia Grant – 3.5 stars
I love Khloe and Ryder, and have read all their stories though I’d actually forgotten this one where they first met. I really felt a huge emotional connection to Khloe, reading about her pain and loneliness was like hearing it from a friend. The girl who seems to have it all has nothing at all. Her emotions were heartbreaking to read about.
There is some intense medical play, plus two other spins that gave us some scorching hot scenes to observe. My only issue at the end was that Ryder’s play felt far too hard core for a total newbie to the scene to handle. It was addressed at one point, and yes this is fiction, so perhaps others found it easier to let go. Personally it felt that, along with boundaries being severely pushed, believability was also being pushed too.
However this was more than made up for with the intensity of the connection between Khloe and Ryder. He went from zero to hero during the story, with the way he saw the true Khloe and what she needed. Though that ending is quite tough. If I hadn’t been aware of what the future had in store for this pair it would really have been a bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully it’s very much a sugar-coated one.
Wet by Jennifer Bene – 5 stars
Sienna so beautifully portrayed the lack of worth those of us with self esteem issues can suffer from. A sub willing to forego aftercare and any real affection because she wasn’t worthy of it. Alexander, of course, was the uber confident and in charge Dom with a liking to be called Daddy and a craving to push his sub’s buttons. Written so well, he induced shivers down my spine.
Ms Bene pushes our boundaries, and poor Sienna’s, with a terror inducing scene of water-based breath play. As someone who struggles to get their face wet in the shower, this both horrified and thrilled me in equal measure. It was certainly hot. Communication is vital to any BDSM scenes, so Alexander was determined to push until the very tongue tied and shy Sienna let go and talked. I can totally empathise with her when she struggled with answering his questions
There was no script for this interaction, no easy answers, she had to fucking talk to him, and that was the problem.
You either know, or you don’t know, that terrifying hot-cold feeling of opening your mouth and having a totally blank, panic filled mind. Because whatever you could say they will obviously find boring and not be interested in. It was both hard to read Sienna in those moments and uplifting too. I love that the author gives her characters real flaws that resonate with many readers.
Given that the majority of this scene wasn’t overtly sexual in nature I was amazed by how incredibly intimate it felt. A part of me did feel that Alexander overstepped the boundaries in demanding personal information from someone who he had no long term commitment with, but without it we wouldn’t have had such an amazing story.
Unmasked by Lee Savino – 2.5 stars
Whilst this story didn’t have quite the emotional or ‘kink’ impact of other stories in the book, I appreciated how it examined the feminists dilemma of submitting to a man. Chessie and Kane were both easy to like characters, though neither really captured my heart if I’m being honest.
Kane did seem to take extra care with Chessie since she was yet another “totally new to the scene and never tried it before” submissive. However I would have liked him to remind Chessie of her safeword/signal given that very fact. I also felt the ‘nasty/jealous sub’ moment was not only cliched but fed into that cliche of having to have a rival and bitchy female in the story.
Unraveled by Addison Cain – 2 stars
This was one of those books that I enjoyed well enough as I read it, but mental cogitations after the fact saw it mimic the title and unravel somewhat. The ‘hero’ of the story not only isn’t the Dom that the heroine plays Valentine Roulette with, but their relationship prior to the night had been toxic. So it made believing that they had any sort of feelings for one another very difficult. All three characters also had personality defects, and not in a good way.
Klara was brilliant in that she had taken on huge responsibilities at a very young age. She was so tough and strong, when life kicked her in the lady balls she pulled up her big girl pants and kicked it back twice as hard. So it made my wonder why she would burn her bridges by not giving adequate notice to her employer. Nor did I believe that employer held enough sway to get her blacklisted by his competitors.
For an ex-military man, Spencer was a childish, whiney bottom-hole whose behaviour was as far from professional as it was possible to get. Self-centred to the nth degree he didn’t deserve Klara in any way shape or form.
And Will, I kind of liked him until their last scene where he deliberately pushed Klara beyond her breaking point, despite knowing she was totally inexperienced and that she was unlikely to safe word until he took things to the extreme. He even acknowledge that the play wasn’t ‘sane’ because Klara had felt forced into taking part. He knew that and still continued. He also knew, from the previous scene, where her breaking point was and he stomped right over it. At that point I wasn’t sure who was the most despicable male, him or Spencer. The only way either man would ever get any sympathy from me was if I threw a dictionary at their conceited, idiotic heads.
Unbroken by Maren Smith – 3 stars
This story is less about the BDSM play and much more about the two protagonists, Abby and Newton, connecting. This really left me in a quandary because I loved the depth it gave the story, and you could really see not only the characters grow but also the fledgling connection start to bloom. However it meant, for me, that it lacked that sizzle that I want from a BlackLight book but overall the pros and cons are balanced.
I did like both characters and enjoyed the story, it was also a nice change of pace to give the book some balance. Extra points were earned for the pair NOT being madly in love with one another at the end of the story!
Bared by Measha Stone – 4 stars
I’m a real sucker for second chance, so this was already going well with me. Add into the mix a heroine who hid her vulnerabilities behind a hard as nails exterior and an amazing Dom who was determined not to let her run away a second time, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
They spin humiliation, but don’t worry, it never felt too much or too over the top. In fact it was very gentle in those terms. However Dane does lay bare all of Riley’s insecurities and fears, pushing her to truly accept her submissive nature. Yes he pushes her, and pushes her hard, but he is there every single step of the way, ready to catch her should she fall and always, always giving her the strength and support she needs.
When Dane got Riley to wash the word she wrote about herself off of her arm, I wasn’t sure whether to sob or swoon.
Stripped by Sophie Kisker – 3.5 stars
I really enjoyed this story, though it did stir a bit of conflict inside me. I admired that Sari made the decision she did (in the bathroom) though I could equally understand why Adam was upset by it. I didn’t agree with his “special” comment, that’s a very male perpetuation of a problem that has been around for a long time.
I felt we spent more time in Sari’s mind during the story, which was great because the author really showed us what some peoples submission looked like. I found her thought process and decisions to be fascinating and enlightening. It wasn’t the steamiest offering in the book but it was a well written and very entertaining story.
Three hours. Four hard limits. Eight sexy stories. Are you brave enough to spin the wheel? Black Light is the most exclusive BDSM club in Washington, D.C. and for one night they’re changing the rules of play to entertain their members with a game of chance – Valentine Roulette. Challenge and adventure awaits as these sexy dominants spin to win their submissives, and the subs spin to choose how they will play. Their prize if they last the night? One free month at Black Light, and for some of our daring participants… even a chance at love.
I only have one request… All three of us to be together… right now.
Luke Longfellow is a brilliant student at the University of New York, who recently graduated in flying colors. He comes from a religious family, and his parents expect him to get married to Annette, daughter of a local deacon at their church. Luke, on the other hand, has a secret; he’s bi-sexual and enjoys the company of both men and women.
During his time at the university, he has been exposed to this fact and has had the chance to explore himself and learns he can no longer go back to being heterosexual. A week into the wedding, Luke’s friends take him on vacation to Las Vegas for their version of a bachelor’s party. There, he meets Matt. A handsome hazel-eyed stranger/ Luke reveals that he is basically being forced into a marriage that will make him miserable.
He lets on that he does not have amorous for Annette, who he sees more as his sister than a lover. Luke advises Matt to break off the engagement; an advice which Matt takes. Breaking off the engagement leads to a breakdown in relations between Matt and his parents. This forces him to leave the house and head for a bisexual themed nightclub as a sign of defiance.
At the club, Luke and Matt meet again and eventually go home together. They continue seeing each other with no commitment until Luke caught Matt with someone else just a day after they were together. Matt shows no remorse, and they eventually break up, leaving Luke to focus on his career.
After Luke becomes wildly successful in his career, he meets Susan, a client and billionaire heiress who has an interest in him. Luke and Susan start seeing each other and have a perfect relationship until Matt gets in the middle of their business.
Susan has been sent by her controlling father to set up a new business branch in the US from England. Things are going smoothly until Matt comes along and buys up parts of the land where Susan has earmarked for development on her father’s orders. Matt is willing to sell on one condition; he wants to have a drink with both Luke and Susan.
The three of them meet, and old flames are rekindled, leading Matt and Luke to have sex while Susan is passed out from alcohol. What they do not know is that she is not out cold, and she confronts Luke the next morning. Luke is surprised at her reaction. Instead of anger, she makes a request. She wants a threesome: Matt, Luke, and her. Luke agrees, and it happens. The threesome paves the way for a successful transaction and lays the foundation for the future, which could include an industrial war between Susan and her father.
In Unnatural Diaries Vol. II: MMF Bisexual Menage Romance, you have MMF and MM scenes. You also have a story full of power, will, and hot steamy satisfying pleasures. Can you handle it?
Author Bio: Hi! My name is Tara Rhodes, and I’m from San Francisco, California! I’m a full-time housewife, mother of 3 beautiful children, and part-time romance novelist. I love to write and I’m proud that I get to share my ‘Rhodes World’ with everyone in my spare time. I live a fairly simple life, but in my reads I share a hidden part of myself. I hope you all enjoy and spread the love and positivity as I share my reads with you!
Luke and Matt sat together on a sofa in the mansion. His trance-like stare was half because it was beautiful and half because he was drunk. Matt placed his hands on top of Luke’s shoulders and whispered something Luke did not hear. Although they had a prior discussion on being attracted to each other, Luke did not quite expect it when Matt reached in for a kiss. However, although it felt strange, he did not flinch, he wanted Matt’s lips on his. One kiss and he felt a volcano of emotions erupt in his pants.
Luke instantly hardened and yearned for Matt. Soon enough, they were both covered in sweat, breathing each other’s breath, and all Luke could think of was the increasing want to have Matt’s body thrusting into his. Without warning, Luke pushed Matt into the couch where they had sat a few minutes ago, and taking Matt’s already hard erection into his mouth, Luke slowly sucked on it, while Matt groaned. The response excited him, and he increased the tempo with a passion that seemed to borrow its fire from hell.
Matt dug his hands into Luke’s hair as he muttered, “fuck.” Luke smiled, he knew he was doing a good job, he could feel his balls shiver. But Luke wasn’t ready to end this, and as though Matt read his thoughts, Matt grabbed Luke’s jaw and kissed him gently. Luke could feel a smile on Matt’s lips as he helped himself to Luke’s mouth. Luke buried himself in what seemed like an unending barrage of kisses filled with fire. He was so enveloped in it, he barely heard Matt when he said, “turn around, Luke.”
Can’t Wait Wednesday – One Crazy Bite by Cassandra Faye
Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.
I’m not waiting on many books, for once, but I am really looking forward to reading One Crazy Bite by Cassandra Faye, which is the paranormal/fantasy pen name of Jennifer Bene. OCB is a reworking of a short story that first appeared in Bite Me, an anthology that is no longer available. However the first chapter had been obliterated and replaced with five, yes FIVE, new chapters. An epilogue has also been added.
“If you’re going to get stalked, at least make him hot and immortal.” It’s always nice to feel wanted, but Grace wasn’t exactly looking for a boyfriend. Plus, getting stalked by a super hot vampire who’s invisible to everyone else just makes you look — and feel — crazy. Not that her mental health is a high priority for the immortal. Nic says they’re destined to be together. She’s pretty sure he’s a magical figment of her imagination… but he’s not taking no for an answer. He wants her body, her blood, and to make her his forever.
But does he have the magic wand to make her scream ‘yes?’
He’s one of a pair. Identical twin to Damon. And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed. I knew better than to get involved with him. With his aggression. With the constant fights. With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them. We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love. He fell in love. His brother fell in love, too. What used to be a good time is now a tragedy. Our story is messy. It’s cruel. It’s forbidden. Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.
*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Dangerous Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.
Author Bio: Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks prompt wasn’t a prompt – it was a free choice week. So I’m going to tackle my ever growing TBR list, large enough to fill a library.
OK so we’re quite a way into summer, here in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’m stretching this out to August and September. I’ve got a TBR list of purchased and free books that mean I wouldn’t need to buy a book for another two years and still wouldn’t get them all read. So over the next 2 months I want to read the following books, although I have to confess that the last two are ones I don’t own yet but have been promising to read for a while now.
GLAM yourself up and get ready for Dinner at Midnight as twelve of your favorite dark authors take you on a wild ride for New Year’s. When a Good Boy shows his Aberrant Desires for Delicious Deviance, and being a Chew Toy can fulfill a wild fantasy. Step into the role of being a Muse that comes from decadent Champagne Dreams. Get enticed into being Bait as you enjoy the show of the Hung. And when all is said and done, prepare to end your night with a tempting Bang, Bang. Devious Resolutions: A Dark M/M Anthology.
Saskia Roth is the stereotypical starving artist. She’s failed as an original artist. She’s failing as a reproduction artist. So why not try con artist? A local art collector and tech tycoon with far too much money for his own good has taken Saskia’s bait. She’s promised to steal a nude he covets from a private collector, but plans to substitute her own forgery instead. But which one of them is really the mark?
Anything that was nothing wasn’t human… Stolen from her old life. Stripped of her humanity. Robbed of her voice. Nothing but a number… Lost and alone, she collapsed at the feet of men, silently pleading for help. Only one came forward, protected and defended her from the jackals lusting for blood. With no voice, no ID, no belongings, she was nobody, she was nothing. Inconsequential in the revolving wheel of life. For Connor O’Malley, she was an angel, fallen from the heavens. Broken and battered, scared spitless of everything and everyone, he knew he had one hell of a job ahead of him. Her wounds were man-made, inflicted by a cruel hand, but the dirty, bloodied girl at his feet couldn’t tell him anything of what happened to her. The brand seared into her flesh spoke volumes, but nothing could prepare him for the full atrocity of what had been done to her. Death stalks her, wants her back. How long can she remain speechless?
Delicate and reclusive Shay Baird had a charmed childhood on a rural Florida farm complete with a picture-perfect family. Her youth was spent adventuring with the boy next door. Life was sweet and simple until Pax was removed from his home and her own life turned inside out. Shay now lives a solitary existence, with only her memories to keep her company. Navy SEAL Paxton Pearsal is no longer the little boy who barely survived his abusive parents. He’s a defender and protector, no trace of the victim he once was. When Pax returns home to claim his family’s land, he’s shocked to find a beautiful woman in the place of his childhood friend. Shay is in trouble and as much as he wants to be the one to save her, he enlists help from his friends at Sunset Security to keep her safe while he’s deployed. The illusion of living a sheltered and quiet life is shattered by secrets from the past, leaving her vulnerable. When Pax returns from his final mission, he finds that everything has changed… except the way he feels for Shay.
Once upon a time…Happily ever after…all of the fairytales we know and love begin and end the same, but what if they were altered? Fractured? Would the magic still happen? Does that happy ending still come at the stroke of midnight or with a kiss?
Join this group of SaSSy authors as they take you on a journey, weaving their own magic and putting a spin on the fairytales we all know and love to support Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.A stalker sent Rachel’s world reeling. Now she’s running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It’s a good place to start over. Max and Rye are just the men to catch her. Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they’re both in love and fighting their true natures. A town like no other…. When Rachel’s past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It’s time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.
One thing has become incredibly clear to Alexis and Kieran, if they hope to last in the arena of Demigods, they’ll need a more robust defense team. They must take two incredibly dangerous journeys, seeking the prized talents other Demigods would kill for. Except, there is a reason other Demigods don’t have these magical workers–they are as ruthless as they are dangerous, and the last thing they want is to be on a Demigod’s team. If that isn’t enough, Alexis has received an invitation from Demigod Lydia, the only Hades Demigod who hasn’t openly declared war. She’s talking like they could be allies, but those of Hades cannot be trusted. A trap is just as likely as a handshake. Still, it’s a chance they must take. Any one of these trips could be their last, but to back down would be the most dangerous of all.
It’s the moment Kieran and Lexi have been preparing for. The Magical Summit. Ready or not, they will take their assembled team into the belly of the beast. The stakes couldn’t be higher. If the powers that be don’t approve of Kieran, he will not earn the official title of the Demigod of San Francisco. The real danger concerns Lexi, however. With Kieran away in meetings, she must brave the treacherous halls of the Summit with just her crew and her wards, fighting for social placement and status, open to attack from all angles. She could’ve never expected what comes at her. No one could’ve
Taking what you want may come at a terrifying price. Chris calls his darkest, nastiest fantasy into the light of day when he has to kidnap Kat to save a friend. For years, he’s wanted to bring her to her knees. But claiming her draws attention. Andreas wants to save Kat, until he sees her response to raw male dominance. More dangerous are the human traffickers, who regard the acquisition and selling of women as a very high stakes business. And they’re watching. Everything. Death. The perversion of love. The loss of freedom. Sometimes there is no choice. Also contains one Dom gone bad who believes obsession means never having to say you’re sorry.
In this dirty, bloody world we live in, the answers to prayers aren’t always pretty angels. Retaken by human traffickers, Jazmine’s one hope is ex-cop, ex-mercenary, Pieter, a man with a glower that stops lesser men in their tracks. She prays he can save her. But this savior is far from perfect and his flaws may prove as devastating to Jazmine as the torture of her captors. The fire of dominance never dies.
Fall in love. Get married. Have a baby. Live happily ever after.
That was how it was supposed to go, right? Love and here comes the bride and babies and forever.
But sometimes, forever has a strange way of sorting itself out.
Like a post-baby dry spell with no end in sight—unless a naughty schoolteacher pulls on her fancy panties and takes matters into her own hands.
Foundations is the Underneath It All (Matt and Lauren) novella featuring Six Years Later, the happy-ever-after novella originally published in The Walsh Brothers plus the Jenga, Cocktails, and Cookies novella originally available only to Kate Canterbary’s newsletter subscribers, and several additional bonus scenes.
Blurb: Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must be bought with blood…
The Zodia are real. Clawing their way from a long-forgotten tomb, they emerge, ravenous to claim everyone born under their star signs. Plotting to resurrect kingdoms no human knew existed, they are driven by a hunger for vengeance against the one who buried them: Aries.
Larken is a natural born sprinter, but even she can’t outrun the darkness closing in. A shelter-in-place order has been issued, causing widespread panic. Some brush the alarm off as a drill, until people begin to disappear… vanishing without a trace. Left with only one option, Larken’s brother does what he must to save her life… and calls forth Aries.
Considered a traitor by his own kind, only Aries has the power to stand against the Zodia. But he can’t do it alone. Mystically bonded to Larken, the pair must band together for the fight to come if either hope to make it out alive. Neither anticipated the passion that would ignite between them. Yet, in a world suddenly thrust into chaos, it may be the key to their survival.
The Zodia are out for blood with their attentions inexplicably focused on Larken. When long buried truths finally come to light, will their love be their salvation or their curse?
“A mesmerizing and haunting twist on a familiar tale you don’t want to miss. “ – Cameo Renae, USA Today bestselling author of the Hidden Wings Series
“Casey L. Bond reaches for the stars to bring us Things That Should Stay Buried. The Zodia are beautiful, dangerous and to die for.”- New York Times Bestselling Author Chanda Hahn
Author Bio: Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.
Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at http://www.authorcaseybond.com.
#SixforSunday is a weekly blog post where you get to share 6 books which fill a certain prompt. It’s hosted by A Little But A Lot, do go visit them and say hello!
Oops – I forgot to hit publish yesterday, never mind! I’m going to have to be careful and NOT repeat my list of tropes that I love, because those I just can’t seem to get enough of.
1. Mature Protagonists
This is a controversial one, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I find it hard to empathise/connect with heroes and heroines under the age of 30. That is STILL a lot younger than I am and also links into my avoidance of NA books.
2. Main characters who are “average”
Especially those women who are insanely attractive to every male within a 50 mile radius but don’t even have the faintest idea of just how beautiful they are. Even when the MFC at first appears to be a plain jane, there is often a miraculous ugly duckling transformation and a beautiful swan emerges. The heroes don’t always need to have chiselled abs, a 6 pack you can bounce pennies off and that overused magical V pointing to the promised land. I get that we need to be attracted to the characters but – sigh – they could just be ‘normal’. This also extends to jobs, though blue-collar romance does seem to be more common these days.
3. Space Opera Romance
Ok so already I’m in the “not trope”-osphere but I love a good sci-fi story that has strong elements of romance in it. However the vast majority of what is available on the market is heavy on the romance and often lacking in those elements that make a good sci-fi story just that, good. I can find great space opera stories, but they usually lack the romance I want. Those with romance lack the “alienness” and space travel elements of science fiction.
4. Consensual Non-Consent
I’ve just read what will remain as one of my favourite books containing this trope. My review of Cruel Idols by Sorcha Black can be found here. The author managed to give us a darker edge, hinting that maybe we had crossed the line into genuine non-consent, before taking us back to safer ground. I love darker reads, but the nice thing about CNC is that the hero can be just that, a hero, a good guy, a decent man rather than an antihero.
Anti-heroes are ten-a-penny, or a dime a dozen for my US friends. However books with a good anti-heroine are few and far between. Whispers in the Dark by LeTeisha Newton, Lethal Sin by Jennifer Bene and Bedroom Hymns by Morgan Reeves are some good examples of when the trope is done well.
6. Anti-heroes who don’t turn soft
Which isn’t a trope at all but it occurs often enough that it sort of ought to be, or at least a warning should be given so that I don’t waste my time and money on the damn book. I’m ok with a proper anti-hero, a sociopath or a psychopath as the MMC because this is fiction NOT real life. You wouldn’t believe the high horses some people climb on because of the darker content of romance books. Apparently it’s going to encourage kidnap, violence and rape. Those things are fine in horror, murder mystery and suspense books but not romance, well at least according to those who like to pour scorn, shame and blame on the romance genre. I’ve digressed. Dark romance is my favourite genre but when the hero turns into a gooey mess for the heroine then I tend to leave dissatisfied. I prefer him to make exceptions for the heroine but not change for her.