// REVIEW \\ The Dom With A Safeword

The Dom with a Safeword
(Badass Brats #1)
by Cari Silverwood, Sorcha Black and Leia Shaw

Oh my, I’m not crying it’s just a bit of dust in my eye.

She bit her lip hard all the way there, trying not to cry before she was somewhere safe. With a gasp, she rushed into the room. It was empty. A flood of tears erupted, her hands unable to hold them back. Her heart fractured, grinding down into dust. She locked a stall door behind her. The sobs were too loud and she tried to quiet herself – she didn’t want to be the girl that made scenes in public restrooms. It’s okay, it’s okay, she kept telling herself, frantic to calm down before they came looking for her.

The very title hints to the quirky humour in this wonderful, BDSM-themed romance. The book focused more on the emotional and mental aspects of kink, with fairly “gentle” play in most of the sex scenes. Personally I would have liked a few more scenes of them just “being” in one another’s presence, a chance to see the relationship build and their emotions develop. Some of this was done “off page”, and it very occasionally left me playing catch-up on being convinced of the depth of their feelings. However I can’t complain about how the characters were shaped and developed through the story. I’d rather have that personal growth, which is why this still hit 5 stars.


For me, the biggest strength of this book was the realistic feel to the relationship, regardless of it being an MFf one. Something that often leaves me dissatisfied with BDSM romances is how the D/s relationship seems to be the only connection the couple have, or at least the feel that it is more important than the romantic one. The dynamic between Jude, Q and Sabrina always felt natural, always felt real and always felt believable. Each character was distinct, strong, consistent and I loved them all, imperfections included.

She’d always adored the hint of humor in his eyes, and his mouth that turned into a grin at unexpected moments. It made him a man and not just her Dom.

I really appreciated how Jude allowed the girls to be themselves, how these three were a romantic triad as much as a kink one. That being together was the priority, not protocol and calling Jude “Sir”. It felt much more like a sustainable relationship than those found in books by more popular and well-known “BDSM authors”. This was a relationship where there was no attempt to change or alter the sub to fit the Dom(me)’s desires, where the Dom didn’t claim to know the sub(s) better than they knew themselves. (I HATE that trope!!!!!!!) This ticked boxes for me I didn’t even know I had. I have to admit to having previously steered away from ff, but the scenes in this one were incredibly hot.

Q put her hands around Sabrina’s shoulders and tugged her closer. “Thank you for trying to distract Nico.” She lowered her head and kissed Sabrina. Not hard and sexual, just the kiss of a woman appreciating the one who held her heart. As quietly as the sun rising at dawn, he felt peace drift down on them. Magic.

One thing I really do have to mention is how seamlessly the author’s writing and voices blended together. I discovered partway through reading this that each wrote one character, though I still swear blind Cari Silverwood encouraged all the brattiness! I’m pretty certain Q and Sabrina personalities are very much based on the three authors themselves. The story is unlike the majority of books you could read by Ms’ Silverwood and Black. It’s very consensual and contemporary, with quite a gentle feel. That said, it’s full of the snarky humour and great writing that I’ve come to expect from this pair.


We got to see the individual dynamics of the pairs within this triad, and I loved how it never felt as though the third person were being left out. Their presence was felt emotionally and mentally even when they physically could not be present. I bought the box set, so I shall soon be jumping into the follow-up book, and will be interested in seeing how the authors deal with issue of prejudice and family expectations.

When they went out to eat, she could predict what the others would order, they picked off of each other’s plates, and there were so many inside jokes it was like they had their own language. It made her feel important, valued, loved.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic Menage Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16054193-the-dom-with-a-safeword

Late at night, on an amateur ghost hunt, Sabrina and her best friend Q are caught trespassing by the gorgeous, blonde Jude. The embers of attraction between them sizzle when they discover Jude’s kinks match their own.
Jude is a Dom on his last summer of freedom before starting the prison sentence that is med school. Q is a bad-ass bi switch who knows what she wants, and for years it’s been her cute, doe-eyed straight friend Sabrina. But the only way into Sabrina’s heart and panties may be with Jude’s fist wrapped in her hair.

Domming the bratty Q and mischievous Sabrina isn’t going to be easy but Jude relishes the challenge. At the end of the summer, will they find a way to stay together when everything is tearing them apart? 

// REVIEW \\ Dirty Retaliation

Dirty Retaliation
(Twisted, Dark and Deadly)
by C.P. Mandara




Nothing less than compete surrender will do here, and I swear the guy is trying to suck out my soul via my mouth. Jesus. My mind has gone to mush.

I think I’ll leave my review in gifs because words just aren’t adequate enough to do this book justice. It is…

Aide is deliciously vile, depraved, evil and yet also incredibly sexy and immensely attractive. I both hated and loved him in equal measure. The things he dreamed up to do to both Sharkey and to Mel, well…..

Though Ms Mandara deserves a spanking for not leaving poor Lois out of the mix. James/Jake deserves everything he gets, after all he double crossed Adie, but Lois suffered enough LAST time! The book held me spellbound from start to finish. I never knew where the story was going to take me next, I didn’t even know where I wanted it to take me. But every single twist, turn and revelation was perfect and I wouldn’t change a single thing.


OK I lied, I am going to rabbit on about how absolutely fantastic this new series is. I fell in love with Aide in the Special Agent novels, though you don’t need to have read those to enjoy this series. This isn’t stand alone, you need to read Deadly Retaliation first, and this one also ends on a cliffhanger. Back to Adie, who is so damn sexy it should be illegal – in fact he probably is. Adie is not a good man, though he does have a sliver of conscience which he often ignores. Somehow, despite how bad he is, you still can’t help but adore him and his wicked sense of humour.

Thankfully, my voice returns and my anger rockets. “Does it take practice to reach the exalted state of ‘the-biggest-fucking-asshole-in-the-world’, or does it just come naturally? Tell me. I’m genuinely curious to know.”
Adie smiles. If I could knee him in the balls right now, I’d make sure they were permanently relocated to somewhere just below his chin.

Mel is a very typical Mandara heroine – strong, feisty, determined, stubborn but also more than a little messed up deep down. However she is definitely her own person and not only did I adore her but I loved, loved, loved how she and Adie interacted. Hopefully she will get a chance to kick his ass, though not too much because I have a feeling she’s going to want to keep him in one piece so that they can mutually adore one another at some point in the future. It’s going to be a long, sticky, tough, dangerous and difficult road ahead to that HEA and I am totally onboard for the entire journey.


And just one last summary gif about this book…

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Dark, Romantic Suspense
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55748618-dirty-retaliation
Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08PVRFTSC/


I wasn’t going to hurt her.
If I were a better man, I’d just keep her chained up and then let her go – but I’m not. I’m an animal. I’m a sick and twisted beast that feeds off the fear of others and eats tears for breakfast.
Besides, kidnapping Ione was too easy.
She’s fighting me every step of the way, but she should be careful. That shit turns me on, and I can give as good as I get.
James won’t take long to come to her rescue, though. Right now, he’ll be imagining all the fucking depraved things I’m about to do to her, and that should be incentive enough for him to come running.
I can’t wait to see him on his knees, begging for my forgiveness. He’s not going to get it. He’s got until midday. If he doesn’t show, I am going to hurt her.

Dirty Retaliation is an intense dark romance suspense series. It features a bully alpha male special agent and a female assassin. They are involved in a underground world of organised crime and espionage. These books are dark and horribly twisted. You have been warned!

// REVIEW \\ Surrender

Surrender
(Pleasure House #3)
by Kitty Thomas

Just in case you get the wrong impression as you read further through this, I’m going to state now that I loved this story. I continued reading it far too late into the night and picked it up as soon as I awoke the next morning. This was 5 stars all the way, all the way, though you might not guess that from what I’m going to say later in the review.


Julie, the heroine of this tale, totally, utterly and completely made the book a winner for me. Every scene from her pov absolutely captivated me, she drew me into this story and I adored her. She coped bravely, and fiercely with all the slings and arrows life threw her way. She never bent, never broke, but forged her own, quiet path to happiness.


That total and utter enjoyment was in spite of, but confusingly also because of, what a self-centred, narcissistic p***k Gabe is. After having read 3 of the interlinked books, I fully expected to adore him and worship at his feet. Instead I frequently wanted to throat punch the selfish, self-pleasing, sack of excrement. A fantasist who liked to paint himself as the knight in shining armour, which he was very much not. The whole implied threat of ‘be my slave or you aren’t safe from Brian’, even after all his promises, proved that to be true.


Oh he generally said all the right things, mainly because he was so convinced by his own pretty lies, but he didn’t really care about the trauma Julie had been through. What he truly cared about was how it would affect his training of her, and her responses to it, or whether she would ever agree to submit. It’s rather funny because he is one of the very few Kitty Thomas heroes to actually use the ‘love’ word, but he was the one I least believed that emotion from. I know the author deliberately avoids that word in general, as her men aren’t good guys, they aren’t men who know normal emotions, except social norms, so I do wonder if this was another of her little mind f**ks for the reader to unravel and digest!


But folks, BUT, this in no way ruined my enjoyment, in fact I think it added extra layers and depth. Because I chose to view this not as all Gabe’s desires and dreams coming home to roost, but as Julie’s journey into not only surviving her time at Dmitri’s but in finding a way to live with it and live beyond it. Gabe fulfilled her needs perfectly and because she was happy and content, so I was too. I didn’t even mind that he also got all his wishes granted too. Though I’m still a little mad at him for not recognising how much Julie had needed him after their first proper session in the dungeons.


I loved how Kitty messed with my head, how she made me so angry with Gabe, made me really dislike him but also made me want him to adore and treasure Julie, because SHE deserved it. And he did adore her. And it did scramble my brains into mush. And I still want to knee him in the balls. That is as long as it wouldn’t upset Julie too much.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic Romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34688241-surrender

Note: The books in the Pleasure House world are all stand alones featuring a different couple in each book. They can be read in any order without any trouble. The listed order is the order of publication.

Julie wants Gabe Griffin like fish want water, but what she wants is sweet domestic bliss and a white picket fence. What Gabe wants is to put a collar around Julie’s throat and train her in the finer points of being his slave.

At first too innocent, then too broken, can Julie ever surrender to the man intent on claiming her?

// REVIEW \\ Broken Dolls

Broken Dolls
(Pleasure House #2)
by Kitty Thomas

I read the fifth book of this series first, and I’m glad I did because I would have hated Lindsay too much to ever want to see him get his HEA. However enough of him, because this is Mina and Brian’s story and I loved every moment of this story about two broken souls “clinging to each other at sea on a raft that would never reach land” .


This isn’t a romance in the typical sense of the word, but this pair definitely care for one another in a very unconventional and very unique way. I’m not sure how Kitty Thomas managed it, but she totally and utterly convinced me that Mina and Brian shared a connection much deeper than romantic love. A lasting connection that didn’t make them whole, but made them able to cope with their brokenness.


Considering what we see and experience in book #1, this was a surprisingly unerotic tale, with very little sexual action and no real BDSM “play”. And I never once missed it. I was far too invested in Mina and Brian’s story, in how they would become the bandage that holds together the raw edges of the psychological wounds they both bear.


I do think this is the type of book you will love or hate, it isn’t bland enough to just be a “meh” read. It ticked all my boxes and rang all my bells, rather than pushing any buttons, so I’m firmly in the absolutely loved it camp. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23509910-broken-dolls

Mina Calloway always finds herself in the hands of the wrong master: Gentle at first, then brutally sadistic and abusive. She no longer believes it’s possible to find a man who will be gentle with her. After seeing a kink-friendly therapist for months, the doctor makes her an illicit offer she isn’t yet smart enough to refuse: “Let me find you a good master.”
Brian Sloan is a borderline sociopath with a dark and brutal past. Only taking his sadistic urges out on the women at a submissive training house allows him to sleep through the night. When Brian sees Mina, she should be ripe for the picking, but her damage is too similar to his own. Can he fight past his demons to protect the one person he considers worth saving?

// REVIEW \\ … TEMP/sub Books 1 & 2

Forbidden Fantasies
(TEMP/sub #1)
by Lauren E. Rico

Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

I thought I had grown bored with captive romances, Forbidden Fantasies proved me wrong.

TL:DR – I loved this book, highly recommend it and am already reading book 2!

Every now and then I can’t resist the offer of an arc book from a totally new-to-me author. Forbidden Fantasies was one such book, in fact the author kindly sent me the first two books. Which only ratched my stress levels up because ‘What if I didn’t like the first book? Would I have to force myself to read both? How would I kindly let the author know I didn’t enjoy her work? Well I need not have pondered on any of those questions because once I got into the book, I got really into it and read it virtually in one sitting.

And if you’re wondering if the rating is because this was an arc read – so were these
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

At times it was almost easy to forget that this was a dark read, because in many ways Alison is treated quite well, and kept in the lap of luxury. However just as I would feel comfortable with the situation, the author would throw in a little twist, or a little reminder that all of this was taking place without Alison’s consent. Well, her being on the island and “owned” by her Master is without her consent, other aspects she does seem to agree to, though given the circumstances you are constantly aware of it being dub-con rather than full consent. You also get a feel of Stockholm Syndrome at times.

I did feel as though Alison would, should?, have been more worried about her company (I did!), since she was so very hands on in the running of it. However given how much she IS having to deal with, it’s not totally unbelievable that she just didn’t have the mental strength to add that to her list of woes and worries. I did also question why such a high profile, rich and powerful woman would be targeted, though her lack of close friends and family could mean that no-one would really cause a ruckus for her to be found. Yes, the author didn’t overtly explain away my questions but the world she created did allow me to find my own reasons.

For such an erotic read, there were surprisingly few sex scenes. Part of what made this such a compelling, and unusual, read was that they mainly focused on Alison’s pleasure and sexual fulfillment, which certainly led to a very hot story.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Genre- Dark Erotic Romance
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55656321-forbidden-fantasies

Alison Armitage has more responsibility than God. At least, that’s what it feels like some days as she manages her multi-billion-dollar business. She’d give just about anything to NOT be in charge. Just for a little while. Just behind the closed doors of her incredibly expensive and incredibly lonely apartment.
​One night after one too many cocktails, she stumbles upon a chat room for people like her—dominant in their everyday lives, looking to be dominated. Just a little bit. Titillated, she explores further and soon finds herself with a very exclusive invitation to participate in a very unique ‘experiential’ resort. A place where people can come to live out their fantasies in an immersive environment, for a short term period. Where all guests have been carefully vetted and all “play” is consensual—and closely monitored for safety.
Too late, Alison discovers that the sexy world of her fantasies is a long way from the reality she now faces. And the only thing keeping her on the right side of safety and sanity is the dark and brooding man she’s been made to call “Master.”
The problem is, she’s not so sure which side is the “right” side anymore. 

Photo by Adam Kontor on Pexels.com

Darkest Desires
(TEMP/sub #2)
by Lauren E. Rico

Book #2 had me just as captivated, if not more so, than Book #1 did!

Darkest Desires
 picks up straight from where book #1 left us and I was immediately caught up in the intensity and tension of the story. I found myself so confused with how to feel because Alison was clearly suffering from a massive dose of Stockholm Syndrome but was also the most content and happiest she had been in her entire life. Kudos to the author for her excellent mind-fritzing, because part of me wanted to be angry at what was being done to Alison, part of me was enjoying the delicious eroticism of it all and part of my wanted her to find her HEA with her mysterious “Master”.

There was some great foreshadowing, along with a good deal of misdirection and throwing in of red herrings! I constantly found myself not being sure who to trust, and totally didn’t expect some of those retrospective reveals. I “knew” what was going to happen with Marty, then I didn’t, then I did, then I gave up trying to guess because ALL my guesses were so very wrong!

I adored seeing Alison and Master’s relationship grow and develop, it was clearly not something either of them expected to happen. Their connection, their love was so incredibly easy to believe in and I totally bought into their relationship. In book 1 we saw Alison discover (rediscover?) her submissive side, in this I felt that we actually got to know the real person and that felt totally down to the confidence she gained from her Master’s loving approval. Though we also saw the strong and determined woman that runs a massive corporation and she was pretty kick-ass. Normally I prefer dual POV in a romance but the author managed to convince me of HIS feelings just as easily as she did with Alison’s.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Dark Erotic Romance
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55656341-darkest-desires

Alison Armitage is a powerful woman at the top of her field. But just once, she’d like to give up control to someone else…control of her decisions, her body, her life. It was only a fantasy…until it wasn’t. Until the day she was abducted and brought to a remote island where she was trained to serve a man known to her only as Master. A man who promised to cherish her and keep her safe. A man who considered her to be his personal property.
What she never anticipated was developing feelings for the stranger with the dark, stormy eyes and commanding tone. Nor did she expect that his touch would ignite her body with a passion she thought only existed in movies and romance novels. Now, with each passing day, she falls harder and deeper for him and for this lifestyle as she finds a freedom and contentment she never imagined possible.
But no sooner has she come to terms with her new role and her new life than her world is up-ended once more, leaving her bereft, heartbroken and furious. This time, it’s Alison who has the upper hand and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants…as soon as she figures out what exactly that is. And until she can untangle fantasy from reality, she is destined to be a slave to both.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

// REVIEW \\ Beyond the Compound

Beyond The Compound
by Claire Thompson

Photo by Paul Deetman on Pexels.com

Whilst Beyond the Compound is a well written story, with some excellent BDSM scenes, for me it just lacked that something that makes a great read. I didn’t feel a lot of emotion from the two main characters and as a result the story was felt fairly bland.


However I did finish it, which is more than I can say for a few recent DNF’s that were due entirely to my current reading mood – so perhaps I’m being a little harsh with this one. I’m just not convinced there was much to remember about this book. I wanted more passion, or angst, or… just something to get my teeth into. What I got was a pleasant enough palate cleanser of a read. A sugar and spice treat when you want a quick read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23363905-beyond-the-compound

Deeply submissive and highly trained, Hailey hungers for the profound connection all slave girls crave. Too bad her new Master has other ideas…
Movie-heartthrob Ronan Wolfe doesn’t need the hassle of getting caught with a whip in his hand, but he misses having a sub under his control. When a friend gifts him Hailey’s six-month slave contract, the Dom in him just can’t resist.
Too bad Ronan forgets one thing… The world is watching his every move.
If you love edgy, romantic BDSM with plenty of sizzling plot twists and turns, you’ll adore Beyond the Compound
*A stand-alone novel within The Compound series

Review //\\ The Punishment Pit Series Books 1 – 5

Wanting It All (The Punishment Pit #1) by Livia Grant

There are spoilers contained within this review, marked by ***

There were parts of this book I enjoyed and other parts I struggled with. Those were mainly near the beginning of the book, and I did briefly consider DNF’ing, mainly because I wasn’t fully invested in the story at that point. With encouragement from both the author, and another reader, I forged on and ultimately am very glad I did so.


My stumbling block involved aspects of the hotel scene, however it was definitely worth pushing through as I found the second half of the book much more to my liking. The writing and overall story are good, really good, in what is a fairly quick read and where the story of all four protagonists will continue in future books.


Very often the more I think about a book I’ve struggled with, the more negative my feelings for it become. The converse is true here. As I’ve sat and worked through what I want to say in my review, reflecting on the story and characters, I can see how the author is throwing questions and challenges at the reader. How often have I whinged to friends about “too perfect” characters in books? How often have I begged for real characters who make real mistakes? So even though I’m going to outline some “negatives” below, I have a feeling that (a) they may have been deliberately placed in the book to cause a reaction and (b) they will be dealt with later in the series.


The Positives
• Excellent writing
 – the author’s “voice”, the story flow, the dialogue, knowing who is speaking, descriptions etc are all executed to a high standard. There was no “effort” required to read the book. Not once did my attention drift, nor did I skip or skim any parts. I did wince at the use of the word “tool” but it also made me smile!


• Tiffany – This book features TWO couples, the series will feature two separate relationships and we get all 4 points of view in the book. Even though it could have ended up being too many points of view in such a short opening, it didn’t feel that way. In fact – and this is a testament to the great writing of Livia Grant – despite only having 2(?) chapters from Tiffany’s perspective I felt as though I got to know her personality quite well. I liked her. She showed integrity, respect, kindness and loyalty. Tiffany’s a strong factor in me wanting to continue the with the story.


• Lukas – Despite Lukas agreeing to something he shouldn’t have, I believe it was a decision taken in the heat of the moment, and it certainly became clear it was something he regretted doing. His self-reflection was the highlight of the book for me. It took me from almost disliking the guy, certainly not respecting him, to absolutely adoring him and totally accepting him. I’m hugely #TeamLukas.


• Final Chapters – The scenes and conversations between Brianna and Lukas in the latter half of the book did change most of my feelings about it, perhaps NOT quite in the way the author hoped, but enough to have me invested in reading future books in the series.


• Subject matter covered*** – As odd as it might sound, I liked the idea of exploring infidelity and rebuilding that shattered trust. There are reasons behind Brianna’s foolishness, it isn’t a simple cut and dried matter, though I’m not sure we still have all the information as to the why.


Neutral/Undecided
• Markus
 – we didn’t really see much of Markus, so for me he is still very much an unknown quantity. Whilst I can appreciate that his actions were born out of pain and anger, they still weren’t acceptable actions. Be an adult, sit down and talk to your wife. And a lawyer of his calibre would have been aware of the possible ramifications of his actions. The premeditation of his undertakings I can put down to a variety of negative emotions caused by what he witnessed. However to maintain that level of cold calculation, of epic fury, during the time he spent waiting for Briana along with all the actions he took to deceive her as he did – well that makes him almost as bad as her in my eyes. Both of them are going to have to earn my respect back – but I’m fairly confident that at some point they will.


Negatives
• Brianna
 – When I struggle with a protagonist it is usually an overbearing, arrogant male. However it was Brianna who I found myself disliking, though I suspect she may have been deliberately written that way. I did warm towards her a little by the end, but she was just so stupid, almost too stupid to believe at times. Since she, and others, acknowledge that very thing later in the book it did go a fair way to ameliorating her behaviour. She does still have some way to go yet.

***
• Cheating with  JAKE specifically – This was my BIGGEST hiccup with the book. I could get to grips or even be ok with Brianna making stupid decisions because her needs weren’t being met. Ish. However I just COULDN’T believe that she would choose a man who had abused her in the past. Treated her so badly it had taken months/years to recover. *** Jake had raped her and abused her repeatedly and violently.  There is no explanation in the world as to why she would choose HIM in the first place. ***  The interaction we do witness is not consensual, so I can’t and won’t call that cheating.  I might have to eat crow because a good reason will come up, but I didn’t get one here and I do need one.


I was confused by Brianna’s response *** to what was a very serious assault. Her words acknowledged what had happened but her demeanour didn’t. I did get the impression she slut shamed herself by accepting blame for the rape by admitting she was stupid to trust Jake/go anywhere with him. I think that she either denied the seriousness because then it wasn’t real or she wouldn’t name if for what it was because her body had reacted and she got turned on by what Jake did. I’d really love the author to explore this more in later books – and perhaps she does!


TL:DR – So to some up, this isn’t an easy read in terms of character actions and subject matter, it is in terms of technical writing. It is a story I will continue with, and if you’re open minded to a challenging read, one where you might not warm to all the characters immediately but where the journey is worth the challenge, then I do recommend this series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54815328-wanting-it-all

Everyone has a dark secret from their past… hers just forced his way back into her life.
Brianna’s moment of weakness cost her everything but she’s not giving up.
She’ll do anything… anything… to convince her husband to give her a second chance. Even if it means facing her demons and finally accepting the darkness which lies within. The only problem is… she’s not the only one with a past.
It turns out… her husband has secrets of his own.

Securing It All

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bondage-5-e1598894409165.jpg

I definitely enjoyed this more than the first book, mainly because Brianna wasn’t quite as much of an idiot (that might be in part to her POV not being used that much.) However I am still carrying two issues from book #1. Both are spoilers, I’ll warn when we get close to them, but I’ll try my best to convey my feelings on both of them. Before I get to them I need to praise the author’s prose, her writing flows smoothly and I found myself “sinking” into the story and being totally absorbed by it. Her characters are believable and have real depth to them, I’m looking forward to getting to really know Markus in future books.


Lukas and Tiffany are still great characters, Brianna did behave better in this book, though Markus still has room for improvement. For a man who’d only just been found not guilty of stepping over the consent line Lukas (along with Markus) seemed to forget this and made choices that, to my mind, were neither wise nor SSC. Both men realised how stupid their decision was and apologised for it. However given it was another mistake on top of one made only 24 hours earlier, clearly these Dom’s don’t learn their lessons too well, perhaps they need the spanking?


#1 – I do get why Brianna made her original, off-page mistake

***spoiler***
 [have “kinky” sex with an ex who was also a Dom ].


That’s not to say I agree with what she did, but I understand the why of it. However it’s the fact that Jake had abused and raped her repeatedly in the past that still doesn’t make that aspect of the storyline work for me. Why would she ever have wanted to speak to or see the guy again? I do know that there may be more to be revealed about Jake, but I’m not sure it will clear up this specific issue.


#2 – In the last book there was definitely an act of sexual assault. 

***spoiler***
[When Briana meets Jake at the hotel, he has sex with her regardless of her telling him “No”. There has been NO real move to acknowledge or treat the incident as what it is – rape.] 


However because their body responded with pleasure to the act, it doesn’t seem to have been acknowledged, or treated, as such. Markus and Lukas have been so focused on their punishment and retribution, that they seem to have pushed that fact aside as an inconvenient/forgotten truth. There is a lot of murk surrounding the assault, and the murk becomes the focus rather than the act.


Because I’ve had a break between book #1 and book #2 I could go with the flow and enjoy this story, but I know if I’d read this immediately after #1 I would perhaps struggle to believe that Brianna would not have been more affected by ALL the events that happen to her over a 48 hour time period. It’s a strange dichotomy because great writing made me believe in Brianna and her feelings as I was reading, however if I cogitate on what has actually happened then her calm acceptance isn’t realistic. The story, the book, the emotions I feel whilst reading it tell me one thing, my cold logical head tells me another. 


I do now feel much more invested in the series and definitely intend to continue reading it. I need Markus to show me how/why he is worth the suffering Brianna went through and I hope Lukas proves to be the great dominant and guy that he so far appears to be.

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic BDSM Romance
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54818697-securing-it-all

Punishing his wife for her mistakes was the right choice. Having his best friend handle it definitely wasn’t.
Choosing dominance should be easy.
He did it for years, and there’s too much on the line to fail now.
But Markus has been torn apart by betrayal, twisted up and confused by all the lies. His and hers. A matching set. But leaving Brianna at The Punishment Pit didn’t help.
Lukus has always been the Master’s Master. Permanent bachelor and hardcore dom, yet seeing Brianna’s submission has him wanting more.
But she’s forbidden fruit, his best friend’s wife, and a good man would help them fix this mess.
Everything is a gamble. A game of pain and pleasure. One that might be too dangerous with all of their futures are at risk.

Having it All

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After reading the first two books, and being on the fence with the series, and having indulged in purchasing a KU membership, I decided to see where the story went in these books.

I got more into the flow of this one, particularly the Lukas and Tiffany scenes, which were very steamy, consensual and totally had me captivated. I really enjoyed seeing their developing relationship and the compromises Lukas was prepared to make. It was also good to see Tiffany retaining her independence and strength of character.

Markus learns the truth about an event in book #1, I can’t say I was a fan of his response. It still seemed a lot of “about him” rather than how was his wife coping. And I still didn’t find her reaction very realistic. The emotional turmoil and stress Brianna had gone through in a very short period of time would surely have resulted in some sort of break down, at some point. I just failed all round to connect or really believe in this couple.

However Tiffany and Lukas carried the story for me, so I didn’t mind too much. And that cliffhanger ending really had me on edge!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54818713-having-it-all

Submission is an addiction she thought she’d left behind, but who can say no to him?
Best friends are always supposed to be there for each other, but walking into a place like The Punishment Pit was above and beyond.
Now Master Lukus is holding her captive, intent on punishing Tiffany for her mistakes, and instead of saving Brianna, she’s trapped with a man from her darkest fantasies.
She’s in way over her head. Falling too hard, too fast. And the dangerously dominant owner of the club is pushing all her buttons, waking up every naughty desire she’s ever had — and more.
But his life isn’t simple, and neither is hers, and nothing is easy when hearts are involved. Everyone has decisions to make, but when every choice is hard, can any of them really have it all?

Balancing It All

I loved how Derek talked Lukas down, following Tiffany’s foolish venture at the end of the last book, he really did lay down some home truths. I loved the heat of Markus and Brianna’s scenes, I quite warmed to the couple in this one. A real strength of them was in their roles as friends to Brianna and Lukas. Having learnt their lesson, the communication between them was very good too.

Lukas needed to follow their lead, he fell far too often into telling Tiffany not to do something, rather than explaining why. I suppose he’s used to submissives who obey his every word, but he knows that isn’t Tiffany. It also felt like a lack of respect for her, keep the little woman in the dark because it’s easier for him.

I was definitely on Tiff’s side regarding the contract. I know Lukas was worried about over stepping boundaries but for me they were embarking on a relationship as a couple who would explore D/s and BDSM, not one as a Dominant and his submissive. I was surprised, after how much her strong spirit and independence was drummed into us, that she folded and went for the 24/7 relationship Lukas was after, rather than a compromise that allowed her to retain some autonomy. It felt like an easier path for the author than an honest path for the couple.

I more and more felt as though Lukas was wanting everything his way, waiting for the right time to push on, rather than truly compromising. By the end (and yet another tough cliffy) he felt like a total selfish ass who really didn’t deserve Tiffany. Lukas was the only thing that kept me reading after book #1. He and Tiffany have held me into this series. Sadly in this book he took a huge nosedive in my estimation.

I loved the introduction of Violet and Gray, it helped me believe in Tiffany’s progress and acceptance of events. Seeing a strong female submissive, one who had her own “mind” was a nice touch, and definitely a reassurance Tiffany needed. The scenes prior to the collaring ceremony were incredibly hot, though I felt as though Lukas and Markus were more interested in their own sexual gratification than they were the well-being of Brianna and Tiffany. They crossed from dominant to overbearing at times. In fact the upset at the end of the ceremony was a prime example of Lukas not being as open with Tiffany as he expected her to be with him.

However, overall I enjoyed the book and the ending left me on tenterhooks for the next book! Someone has a lot of grovelling to do.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54818764-balancing-it-all

Balancing it All is book four in the deliciously dark and dirty Punishment Pit series that readers are devouring. 
It’s a battle between dominance and submission. 

Defending It All

For me this books was very up and down with some parts I loved and others I really didn’t. I think the biggest problem for me was that Lukas, disappointingly, fell into that tired old BDSM cliche of deciding things for Tiffany, or not telling her things, “for her own good”. In other words because it was easier for him.

Had she kept things secret for as equally justifiable a reason he would still have subjected her to a punishment and I just cannot abide that type of double standard. I’m not sure if I’m an oddity amongst readers in not loving these mind-reading, “know you better than you know yourself” Doms, but they get right on my goat.

For heaven’s sake Tiffany is a grown up women who runs her own business and has managed to live her life really well until she met Lukas. She is capable of making her own decisions and choices, given ALL the relevant information. So when Lukas treats her like she is incapable of this he really goes down in my estimation. It’s misogynistic and smacks of Christian Grey, not a truly consensual BDSM relationship and very much not a partnership!

I also felt that Lukas definitely got off lightly (from his terrible decision at the end of book 4), considering it demonstrated how little respect he had for Tiffany. I appreciated how strongly she made her point to him – and I was glad he realised how unjust and out-of-order punishing her would have been. Would he have found it so easy to forgive and forget had the boot been on the other foot? Yeah, I doubt it. Double standards again

Over the last book and this Lukas became quite whiney and woe is me, just because Tiff wasn’t a pushover submissive. Oh let’s all feel sorry for the poor little Dom who doesn’t have everything going his own way. He fell in love with Tiffany’s independence and sass but then seems to want to change her and dampen her spirit.

The book took on a more suspense element and moved away from focussing so much on just the two couples, and that was a very welcome addition to the story. There were also several new characters introduced, two of whom I suspect will feature strongly in the next book. I look forward to getting to know them both.

I’m coming back to rant about the men keeping information from their women, again. Their excuses for not telling their romantic partners where they were disappearing off to or why they couldn’t go to the bachelorette party were, quite frankly, weak. Whilst I appreciate their will be times Lukas wouldn’t be able to give Tiffany details,that wasn’t the case here. He could AND should have warned her about Jake. Yet again it felt as though the men were refusing to be totally honest when they wouldn’t accept the same treatment from their submissive.

I did really enjoy how Lukas handled Tiffany’s family and the lengths he went to in order to ensure her happiness. He did manage to melt my heart with the depth of his love. And the author can definitely write, the stories are really easy to read, the pace is good and the plot flows smoothly.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54818794-defending-it-all

Defending love at all costs. The devil is coming for them all. 

// Review \\ Deadly Retaliation by C.P. Mandara

Deadly Retaliation (Twisted, Dark and Deadly #1) by C.P. Mandara

Kaboom! Adie Dumortier is back, and he’s definitely taking prisoners.

Conversation is highly overrated, I’m allergic to feelings, and she can have whatever opinion she likes as long as she doesn’t feel the need to share it with me. Generally, she’s gagged, though, so it isn’t a big problem. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t completely terrible, but Grey was way too normal and a bit insipid for my tastes.

If you’ve read the author’s Special Agent Novel series then it’s very likely that you will already be madly in love with Adie. In Deadly Retaliation the sense of betrayal he feels seems to have unbalanced his ego somewhat.


He’s in parts a lost little boy, looking for love, and a complete and utter bar-steward, determined to wreak revenge on those he considers to have done him wrong. How you can want to both hug and slap a hero at the same time, I’m not sure, but Adie makes me feel extremes of emotion simultaneously. I don’t think there are many of us who would turn down a night with this man – even knowing that it will leave us wrecked.

For the first time in my life I am madly in love with a girl, and I cannot have her. It sucks, but if my love life was a Dyson, it would be one of those top-of-the-range animal and pet hair varieties.

Whilst we have met some of the characters in a previous series, you can jump into the story here. Anything you need to know has been worked into this book, so whilst all the pertinent backstory is covered, it does mean it contain spoilers for that previous series. The book ends on a cliffhanger, though at a natural break point rather than a high octane moment. Written from multiple POV, though mainly we hear Adie’s along with a few chapters each from the women who both would like to have him under their thumb, as well as in their panties.


There is just something about Ms Mandara’s writing that resonates with my id. Her characters charm me, I find her naughty scenes a delightful mix of kink, darkness and scorching heat and there is an undercurrent of tartly sarcastic humour throughout. The pace readily held my attention, as did the amazingly creative, and crazy, plot. I absolutely, totally and utterly recommend this book.

There is a pause that’s as long as an elephant’s fart.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55442658-deadly-retaliation

My name is Adrien Dumortier. My best friend, James Leveritt, has just married the woman I love. That’s not the worst of it. She’s also pregnant with his child. To be fair, the man thinks I’m dead. He was supposed to rescue me from the clasps of my brother, but turned up ten minutes late, so had I not managed to get rid of the bomb that was strapped to my waist, I would now be dead. Thankfully, I am more resourceful than the bastard gave me credit for.
So, how do I get even with someone like that? Not face to face, that’s for sure. The man is black ops trained and knows more styles of martial arts than I know ice-cream flavors. No, I’m going to be a little underhand about this. I’m going to kidnap his sister. Then, I’m going to torture her until she’s screaming down the fucking phone and send him the video. Then, I’m going to mess with his wife.
Buckle up. It’s going to be quite a ride.

// REVIEW \\ Beautiful Tyrant by C.P. Mandara

Beautiful Tyrant
(Enemies to Lovers #3)
by C.P. Mandara

The man is about as much use as the ‘g’ in lasagne.

Harper, Brandt, Gabriel et al definitely saved their best until last!


C.P. Mandara never ceases to amaze me with the unexpected and eccentrically offbeat way her stories evolve. That’s “eccentrically offbeat” in a very mesmerising, amusing and bloody brilliant manner, just in case you wondered. It’s a cliche but it’s also true that I couldn’t put this book down. No I’d not had an accident with superglue, it was the fast paced and exciting plot, the mind-bending twists and the even more amazing characters that had me hooked.

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This was the book where I fell in love with Gabriel, and where he found that gooey, soft centre that we all knew he possessed. He’s still a sadistic alpha-hole but one that you worryingly find quite attractive and appealing. Especially once you compare him to the unhinged malevolence that is Mal. These two are cut from the same cloth, but it’s the tailoring of the outfit crafted from that fabric that makes all the difference.

Is it me, or are we going around in circles? Why won’t Mal take no for an answer? I seem to be a homing beacon for psychopaths.
His question hangs in the air between us like an STD, because Mal’s sure he’s got it, and I sue as hell don’t want to touch it. I don’t have the energy to lie to him any more , either. Still, I guess I can give him a weak smile. Sell the lie, Harper. Sell it good.

How I can be reading scenes of torture and terror and laugh at the sarcasm and irreverent humour is testament to the superior writing of this author. That or I’m just a twisted saddo, but I prefer to believe it’s the first option. The lies, the secrets, the hope offered, the nightmare promised, the pain, the joy, the horror and love, the bluffs, the double bluffs are piled one atop the other until your head is spinning in the best possible way.


Whilst there is foreshadowing, it is very lightly done, so there is no guessing as to just what exactly will transpire next. However all the shock reveals and gob-smacking twists worked . I’ve read plenty of stories where the big twist was obvious from chapter 2, and others where the twist required a sudden influx of never previously mentioned characters or facts to work. It’s rare for me to genuinely feel surprised by a twist and yet know that all the hints were there just waiting to be woven together. C.P. Mandara has that ability in spades.


This ending gave me everything I wanted, including the requisite HEA, a scorching hot sex scene (I’m still wondering just how big that butt plug was) and an epilogue to go to heaven on. I adored this trilogy and highly recommend it to all those who love a good dark romantic suspense with a generous dollop of kinkiness in it. In fact I already want to re-read the whole thing because I was in such a rush to read it all I’m bound to find even more amazingness to absorb from within it’s pages. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romantic Suspense

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55050165-beautiful-tyrant

Brandt and Gabriel have me tied down on the bed. While Mal points a gun at them, they’re going to mess with me a little. Gabriel looks almost gleeful at the prospect, Brandt not so much. It’s too bad. He might as well get his kicks where he can.
After Mal’s finished with them, hopefully he’ll find something unpleasant for them to do. He always needs a patsy to murder someone or other. My fingers are crossed that the pair can find an opportunity to run and get out of this mess. That’s what I’d do if I had the chance.
Unfortunately for me, my last few days are to be spent at Mal’s warehouse. The Airfix King is about to take his superglue addiction out on me, before he chops me up into little pieces and leaves me for dead.
This is probably not the time to wish I’d killed myself earlier, right?

// REVIEW \\ Daddy P.I. 2.0 by E.J. Frost

Daddy P.I. 2.0
(Daddy P.I. Casefiles #2)
by E.J. Frost

Where to start? This is a long book but never felt looooonnnnnggg, I was shocked when I got to the end! It picks up a few months on from where Daddy PI 1.0 finished, and whilst you could at a push read this standalone, I do recommend reading book #1 first for maximum enjoyment – plus that is a damn good read too. It’s obvious there will be a Daddy PI 3.0, since there are a few loose ends in this. However for those who hate cliffhangers, think of this more like Star Trek films. You’ve got a complete story/adventure within the book, but those characters have more stories to tell.


Flog and spank me if I’m wrong, but to me this had quite a different feel to the first book. In that one Emily and Logan were a new couple, just embarking on their relationship, plus for most of it they were on a BDSM holiday cruise. As a result that story had quite a light, playful feel to it, especially since a lot of their scenes involved role play. In Daddy PI #2 things felt more serious, especially their time spent in scenes. I enjoyed how this made the seriousness of their relationship, the depth of it, more emphasised.


It’s as though EJ Frost has read my reviews, looked at everything I disliked in BDSM stories – particularly around Doms – and wrote the antithesis of that here. In this book we have a Dom that CAN’T mind read, that doesn’t know his sub better than she knows herself, that isn’t perfect and intent on constantly pushing her beyond her limits “for her own good”. Logan makes mistakes and – gasp – apologises for them. He shows his emotions. He asks for help. He DOES know and understand his sub, because he doesn’t just talk about needing to communicate, he actually does it. He talks AND listens to his sub. He even has Dom friends who challenge his decisions, rather than a coterie of yes men. The pièce de résistance was when he asked Emily if she wished to add a piece of equipment to her list of hard limits list in case her punishment with/on it had left her scared of using it again.


Emily didn’t ever feel like she was pretending to be a little. She isn’t playing at it, she is living and breathing it. I never once doubted her, nor did I ever find it creepy because whilst she has a child-like joy of life, she also has a very adult sexuality about her.


There were a couple of times when I wanted to immediately shout “unfair” to Emily being punished for not following Logan’s rules. Not when she had been provoked and her insecurities deliberately triggered. However as those scenes unfolded it became very clear how it was much more about Emily feeling the slate had been wiped clean, along with knowing Logan’s boundaries would hold firm, than it ever was about Logan’s disappointment or anger. I loved how EJ Frost subtly wove so much of the psychology of Domination and submission into the thoughts, words and actions of both main characters.


Not once did I feel as though discipline or play scenes were dropped into the book for their salacious appeal or to satisfy the reader, as much as to demonstrate how it connected Logan and Emily on a subterranean-ly deep level. Don’t get me wrong, those scenes were scorching hot to read, but it’s not often a sex scene adds depth, meaning and texture to the story in the way they did in this book.


I highly recommend this book to all DD/lg and romance fans.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Genre- DD/lg erotic romance
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53465741-daddy-p-i-2-0

A movie star. A stalker. And a Daddy Dom to the rescue.
P.I. James Logan has finally found his perfect submissive in little Emily Martin. He wants nothing more than to enjoy spoiling his babygirl as she adjusts to life with him in New York City. But nothing’s easy when you’re a Daddy.
Logan’s best client, adult movie star Rick Errol, has a stalker, and what starts as an online trolling quickly escalates into attacks that could cost Rick his liberty and his life.
Hunting Rick’s stalker is hard enough, but a Daddy’s work is never done. When Logan’s former flame claims he’s the father of her baby, Logan has to fight for Emily’s trust all over again.
The need to protect those he loves is written on Logan’s heart and soul, but can he protect them all, or will he have to make a terrible choice?

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