REVIEW //\\ Bind and Keep Me



Bind and Keep Me
(Pierced Hearts #2)
by Cari Silverwood




I read this without reading the blurb, so colour me surprised by where the story went. So, 4.5 Stars for this great, twisty, boundary pushing, somehow dark but not dark, dubious, yet non-consensual yet utterly consensual, rollercoaster of a read.


…shunting up and down, dipping a half-inch into me, while he kept talking in that deep and deliberate way that was as nasty as swallowing pure scotch. So good. So bad.


I was reading reviews for a book that popped up on my bookbub feed. It’s an older story so there were lots of comparisons to 50 shades. What has that got to do with this book, you ask yourself. It’s that Klaus and Jodie are every day people. Not only do they have normal jobs, heck Klaus is an accountant for Pete’s sake – no billionaires here -, they are down to earth, honest to god believable. And that includes the very drastic and unusual steps they take to solve a problem not entirely of their making.


I’ve read darker, more nasty, more horrific stories, but those books feel like stories, whereas Bind and Keep Me, well it held undertones of truth. Enough honesty that I’m wondering what might be found in Ms Silverwood’s basement. It didn’t take wild flights of fancy to picture yourself in a similar situation. Just where would you draw (or not draw) the line to protect your future with those you love?


You can’t read this book without questioning morals, whether that be of the characters, the author or yourself. I do love a book that makes you think and question, whilst simultaneously providing great entertainment. Oh and indulging in lots of dirty, kinky smut.


Klaus is a bad good man, sometimes more one than the other.



He waited. Patient as a fucking demon with a soul to harvest.


He was by parts scary, concerned, sadistic, gentle, demanding and loving. I’ve heard lots of fellow fans pick Klaus as their favourite Cari Silverwood hero and I can see why. The inner workings of his mind are fascinating, and deep down everything he does is edged with care and concern. It might also be nasty and pushing the dub-con boundaries, but it’s also understandable why others fall for his very particular brand of charm.


I’d thought I was a pillar of society. But now, I knew I was a thousand miles from that. And I wasn’t sure I cared anymore. My empathy waxed and waned with the tides of my sadistic desires.


I’d turned to the dark side. Apparently, they didn’t have cookies like someone had once told me, but they did have hot women.


There are incredible contrasts of hard and soft, dark and light, severe and gentle in the relationship. There may even be mentions of the ‘L’ word. Despite the questionable ethics and morality of it’s inception, the relationship that emerges in this book is both heartwarming and genuine. It’s also probably not totally healthy, but it’s ultimately one of choice, maybe not free choice, but choice nevertheless.


The sex scenes are mind blowingly hot. It is a kink that balances between pleasure and pain, a confusion of being unwillingly willing, all trussed up in the most carefully constructed bondage and satiated with soul crushing orgasms. And doesn’t she enjoy it all so very much.


The tiny drops welled up like water from a slow spring. Fresh and red on her paleness. Truthfully I’d exaggerated. This was a bit of a mindfuck. I’d scratched her repeatedly rather than truly cut her.

(Yeah and didn’t the author mindfuck me with that little scenario too!)



I’m going to finish with a quote that delighted the Biologist in me. If you know, you know.


Negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement. I was a self-aware Pavlov’s dog.





This book is part of a dark kinky fiction series and may disturb some readers.

How far would you go to protect your love and your life?

When two deaths turn his world upside down, Klaus must wrestle with a problem that goes soul deep. With Jodie it was capture fantasy but now he’s made the fantasy real, dragging her along as his accomplice. No one should feel so good about something so wrong.

Maybe his soul is darker than he feared. Maybe the rules shouldn’t apply to him.





AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EUFPNIA

AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EUFPNIA

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18298854-bind-and-keep-me

REVIEW //\\ Stealing Cinderella

Title: Stealing Cinderella

Collection: Sinister Fairy Tales Collection

Author: A. Zavarelli

Release: April 2, 2020

Genre: Dark Fairytale Retellings

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46260492

Cover Design: Dee Garcia







I’d started to have my doubts about this series, but Stealing Cinderella has certainly turned the tides favourably.


The book has a nice swirl of darkness to it, and is certainly fits the billing of ‘Sinister’ perfectly. Ella and Thor’s story is set in modern times, which made a few elements at the beginning seem a little far fetched, and I did find myself having to let several things ‘go’ at the beginning, hence the loss of half a star. However I can appreciate that not only were they necessary for the story, they strongly echoed the fairy tale on which this book is based. Though this prince is very more devillish than he is charming.


Stealing Cinderella has an excellent plot, well thought through, nicely paced and with some unexpected twists along the way. There are possible triggers in the book, more alluded to than truly experienced, though there is one brief flashback scene that occurs. Ella and Thor have both experienced abuse and neglect, though it has shaped them into very different characters.


Ella is very much the sweet natured, caring and loving Cinderella of the fairytale. Thor, however, has a much darker, bleaker nature and is very much an antihero – to the point that it took me quite a while to warm to him. However as we, and Ella, get to know the true man, as his secrets and hurts are gradually revealed and as he warms towards her, so I found myself warming towards him.


Whilst the Sinister Fairy Tales series has been very hit and miss for me, and mainly miss if I’m being brutally honest, this book has made the whole experience worthwhile.  Ashleigh Zavarelli took the brief and very much stuck to it, producing a story that closely paralleled the original on which it is based. At the same time she modernised the tale, threw in a good dose of all things dark, add a generous helping of steam to create a really great story.


This is one Sinister Fairy Tale I am more than happy to recommend.






Every royal has their dirty little secret. His was… me. 

It should have been simple. 

Go to the ball, meet the prince, and secure his patronage for my favorite charity. 

But beneath the mask, the brooding beast of a man was not at all who I expected. 

He was dark and intense and eerily quiet. 

When I left, I could still feel the ghost of his touch branded into my skin. 

He haunted my dreams, but I never expected to see him again. 

Then he came for me. 

And he took me. 

And I learned that his darkness was a void I never could have conceived. 

He’s the crown prince of Norway. 


And, now, I’m his captive.  



Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34brCZX
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2UVIXS6
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2X5k7SN
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2UvgQu5



Author Bio:
~
A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of dark and contemporary romance.
When she’s not putting her characters through hell, she can usually be found watching bizarre and twisted documentaries in the name of research.
She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies. 



Social Media Links:
Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/azavarelliauthor/
Facebook Reader Group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/943497375705372/
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/azavarelli/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/AZavarellibooks
Mailing List- https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/b7o9l3
Website- https://www.azavarelli.com
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13549895.A_Zavarelli
Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/A-Zavarelli/e/B00U2562W8
Bookbub- https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-zavarelli





Also Available

Venom (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Dee Garcia
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/32bmFOF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/31fSncd
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2VC9ns0
iTunes: https://apple.co/32cLzh1


Cold Queen (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by K Webster
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/31XvTxm
Eden Books: http://bit.ly/2Wl4qUN
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2pHdlnt
Apple: https://apple.co/2pSa84x
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2niT07e


Sacrifice (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Isabelle N. Blanco
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2CutWhg
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/36LrPUt
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/34M619f
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NApwMs


Insolent (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Cynthia A. Rodriguez
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/37BUdc4
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RuYCaT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2rmDusW
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2PjmtrD


Madness (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kailee Reese Samuels
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/SamuelsMADNESS
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/34pNija
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2RUPHjf
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/35qCaDZ


Siren (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Hazel Grace
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bM9gqV
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2v24KhO
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Os99RT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2v6rBss
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2UseIDM


Legend (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by M.R. Leahy
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2U6zzeg
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2UwCZbI
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vTauLr
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3beoEXk


Mirage (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by C.M. Radcliff
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SFshi7
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2HypsJa
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/38Feg9n
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2P4gKqn


Imprisoned (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by KL Donn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2mTCt96 
Apple: https://apple.co/2llcIOv  
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2mQTbpD  
Nook: http://bit.ly/2mV7ytb 
Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/imprisoned/


Lock (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kimberly Knight
Universal (Books2Read): http://bit.ly/2moQVpD
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QklSqK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/3cZCVYZ
iBooks: https://apple.co/2Wf9qfP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/3d4dwxa

REVIEW //\\ Mafia Captive










I’m really disappointed with how low the average rating is for this book, because to my mind it takes the “captive romance” genre and twists it into something uniquely and refreshingly different.



Kitty Thomas writes complex characters in difficult situations and refuses to follow the expected conventions and ‘rules’. Perhaps that is why so many give the books low ratings, their enjoyment comes from a certain set of expectations being fulfilled, plot rules and routines being stuck to, no criticism if that is your preference. However I loved this book because it really DIDN’T stick to those preconceived notions of what happens in a captive romance book.



They do say to be careful what you ask for because you just might get it, and that’s what happened for me with this story. So often when I’m reading a dark romance I want the heroine NOT to be dripping like a leaky tap (faucet to you USA folks) in the hero’s presence. Faith was attracted to Leo, but the situation she was in, and his sadistic desires left her cold. I feel it only fair to warn you now that this does contain a lot of dubious-consent and one scene that is non-consent. It wasn’t the darkest non-con scene but it is pivotal to the story.



Leo is a good man prepared to do bad things for, at least to his mind, good reasons. So despite now owning Faith, when she reacts with the inevitable (and oh so realistic but usually missing from these books) fear and terror he, as the blurb says, keeps her almost as one would keep a pet or a piece of art. Leo is a complex man, born and raised in a mafia family but with too many morals and too good a heart to live that life. However it has left him with a darkness in his soul and a liking for the more sadistic aspects of BDSM.



I did think the abuse Faith had suffered as a child, her utter fear of ‘the belt’, would feature as an aspect later in the book. It almost felt like a loose end but, at the end of the day/book, this was a M/s relationship and really it was never going to make a difference. The ending, for some, may feel abrupt. Kitty Thomas doesn’t really go for the nice, sweet, tied-up-in-a-bow ending. She leaves us with a raw, realistic ending, one where I would argue quite ferociously that both characters are happy.



Neither has exactly what they want from a relationship, Leo felt like he compromised a lot less than Faith did, but isn’t that what life is like? And that ultimately is what I most enjoy about Kitty’s work. Whilst the original plot basis might be a slight stretch, how the characters feel and react does feel very genuine and real. I adore dark romances but so very often I can predict how the story will proceed almost blow-by-blow, or beat for beat I believe the literary version is. How much I enjoy the book is then entirely down to the quality of writing. Mafia Captive is just a breath of fresh air and the type of read that I just didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend it. 




























Without any family, Faith Jacobson faces the grim reality of Christmas alone. Walking home one night after drinks with friends, she stumbles upon a mob hit. Faith expects to be killed for what she’s seen; instead she is given to a wealthy and dangerous man tied to the Raspallo crime family. As a gift.

Leo Raspallo is beautiful, yet terrifying. But inside his home Faith is no longer alone, especially when his family arrives for the holidays, forcing her into the ruse of a fake wedding engagement. But she isn’t his beloved fiancé; she’s his captive. And he can’t be her savior while harboring dark desires of his own.









Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CF4U874/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CF4U874/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17737134-mafia-captive





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.





Review //\\ True Control 4.1 & 4.2








The True series, by Willow Madison, is one that very much polarises readers. I’m obviously in the ‘loved them’ camp since I don’t usually post reviews on here of books I didn’t like or books I DNF’d.


The series has been out quite a while now, I know the author and reviews mention editing issues but I can’t say this was a problem for me, which means I was either so caught up in the story I missed them, there weren’t actually that many for it to cause an issue or the books have been polished up at some point. I have no idea which of the three it is, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter. I just wanted to to let people know that the editing wasn’t atrocious.


Following reader reaction as she released the first three books, Willow decided to write two alternate endings to Max and Lucy’s story, thus allowing readers to choose their own conclusion to it. Personally I’m glad I chose True Control 4.1, Willow’s original ending, to read first. It’s a very dark story that finally opened my eyes to the true consensuality of the relationship that Max and Lucy are in. It is full of triggers, so I strongly advise readers to proceed with caution. However it is also the most perfectly imperfect ending and fits so well with what BOTH Max and Lucy want and need.


I read True Control 4.2 a couple of weeks after reading 4.1 and whilst the writing was top notch, with a story so full of incredible feels it left my emotions reeling, I was still left with a slight feeling of unease. It felt like the ending was a bit of a cop out, as though somehow Max and Lucy’s relationship was wrong, was unacceptable, that Max needed to change. It’s definitely the “morally easier” story to read, and if Willow Madison ever decides to write an angsty contemporary romance I’ll be buying shares in Kleenex tissues because boy did it pack an emotional punch to the feels. But without having read 4.1, which will forever by MY ending to the story, I think I would have felt robbed. The whole point of the True series was to push buttons and boundaries, have you questioning your beliefs and judgement and 4.2, whilst a brilliant book, felt like a sop to the unease of readers. It felt like an easy out, a get-out-of-jail-free card, it felt like a travesty of the truth.









TRUE CONTROL 4.1 by Willow Madison





So addictive I read all 4 books over 2 days – and nights *ahem*. Good job it was the weekend!



The beating I gave her once would be nothing in comparison to this amount of rage. It wouldn’t just be once. I’d have her black and blue for weeks for what she’s done.
I stop pacing though.


It’s no use to imagine. She’s not here. God help me, she may never be here again.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Having taken the chance on the original, darker ending to Max and Lucy’s story, I’m not sure if I want to read the alternative. Though I am super curious as to what happens in that book, having bought 4 books one after the other I’m not sure my pocket can take the financial hit. If I had any sense I would have saved myself a few quid and signed up to KU for the month – ain’t hindsight a bitch?


Anyway, back to the important thing – my review of this dark beauty. So it’s difficult to truly do this book justice in a review without scattering it with too many spoilers. And you need to go into this book as blind as I did, because that allows you to truly understand the TPE dynamic that Lucy and Max share.




I know my girl. Lucy didn’t know her submissive side when I met her. I saw it in her. I recognized the signs, saw what she could be for me.
I broke her and made her mine quickly. I forced her to submit to me completely. I gave her only one choice, one chance to back away from her destiny with me. I smile thinking about that night.
She was so scared. And so yielding.


Max, True Control 4.1, True Series




So all those debates we’ve had over whether this pairs relationship was healthy, was consensual, was a TPE or abuse, were blown wide apart in this book. Because the author took us down a pitch black path of genuine abuse. There are some very traumatic and possibly triggering events in this book and it really is a proceed with caution read. However if you appreciated the first three books (I’m not sure enjoyed properly describes the experience 😉) then hopefully you are someone who is used to the difficult and troubling journey a truly dark read can take us on.


Lucy suffers in new ways, ways that make clear her true feelings, needs and desires. Suddenly we see that she isn’t the weak, doormat we all assumed her to be. We discover that her quietness is just her truth, her willingness to bend in order to please Max was her choice and her subservience was her pleasure. I owe the girl a massive apology, she is the strong one of the pair, the cement that secures their foundations.


I haven’t mentioned it before, which is very remiss of me “Sorry, Sir.” but Max had a very traumatic and difficult start to life. He suffered physical, emotional and mental abuse. It powers his need for control, and may well be the source of his anger. And I think it’s the author’s portrayal of that anger, constantly bubbling below the surface, that has concerned me most throughout this series. It wasn’t until this book that I truly believed in Max. Truly understood the depth of his feelings for Lucy and accepted his ability to control his anger.




I’ve never felt helpless before, powerless. I always had choices. And I know that it’s choices that give a person control.
That’s why I don’t give Lucy any. I am in control. Of her. Of me.
But … not now.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Within the first few chapters it became glaringly obvious that, however much Max’s behaviour pushed our buttons, however much it made us uncomfortable, made us frown and judge (and oh boy does this book make that judgement so very apparent) Lucy fully agreed, participated and welcomed it. And yes, he does love her. Not in a way many of us could understand, not in a way many of us would probably want, but he loved her with every fibre of his being. It’s a crazy way of caring, but it’s what they both want and need.




She tries to stall, talk back. Bad move, little girl. I slap her. Not her left side, this is still too hurt.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Whilst this isn’t a conventional love story, whilst it isn’t a typical romance, IMO it does deserve both labels. Each couple are entitled to live and love in the way that best suits them, and that’s what Max and Lucy do.


Even that final chapter, where it could be assumed that Max took away every last scrap of Lucy’s ability to choose and decide. I was just getting angry at Max for not respecting Lucy’s wishes when I realised that he was doing exactly what Lucy wanted. If she truly hadn’t wanted that reaction from him she could have made some very different decisions earlier in the day.




I am a monster. And she just loves me. Always.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



















WAIT! YOU HAVE A DECISION TO MAKE BEFORE BUYING THIS BOOK!


Note from the author:

I’ve written two completely different, alternative endings to this series. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.


This is the end one way or another.
~Willow


ONE OR TWO
There was only ever one ending for Max and Lucy, but I aim to please—or torture—however you wish to look at it. I believe in true choices, so I give you control of their fate to pick which ending you prefer.


LOST OR FOUND
This is the darker ending for Max and Lucy. The monster gets the girl. When love is lost, it may be impossible to find a way back to True Control.



NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperback too!


Excerpts:
I know my girl. She didn’t know her submissive side when I met her. I saw it in her. I recognized the signs, saw what she could be for me. I didn’t go slow. I didn’t have patience. I didn’t ease her into anything.

I broke her and made her mine quickly. I forced her to submit to me completely. I gave her only one choice. One chance to back away from her destiny with me.

She can’t be lost. I need her. Here with me. I’m lost without her.

…..


He’ll kill me eventually. In a rage, he’ll do it without thinking. I start to cry again, but shout at myself to stop.

I look in the mirror again…I’m only getting more broken by the day…mentally and physically. I try to stand up, to take a deep breath. But I wince at my reflection.

I hear him shouting at me and I turn away from the girl in the mirror…I can’t be her today. I can’t be strong when I’m this weak.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~







True Control 4.2 by Willow Madison




I really enjoyed this, with all it’s emotional intensity, but I would still recommend 4.1 for the true dark romance lover.


I wasn’t sure if I would read this alternative ending because for me True Control 4.1 was the perfect ending to Lucy and Max’s story. This one I both loved and hated. I definitely loved the amazing story telling of the author, my word did she make me feel . So many emotions, so much pain, such sweet love. These more subtle emotions had been masked by the anger, fear and total domination in previous books. This book is worth reading just to recognise how incredibly skilled this author is at crafting complex characters and situations. Because I wasn’t distracted by my Lucy’s struggles with submitting to Max, my focus was less on being shocked, irritated, angry, surprised, horrified, awed and bemused and more on the beautiful nuances of the story.


On the other hand I hated it too. I won’t say what caused that feeling, because that would be a spoiler, though if you read the other reviews many of them allude to just why this made me feel both hurt and let down. I didn’t like the suggestion, or impression, that Max was somehow wrong. Max was never wrong, he quite happily told us that on many an occasion. Whilst his brand of domination wouldn’t be for many, he wasn’t wrong or bad, he was just a different sort of hero.


On the surface we see a much stronger Lucy in this story, however I still firmly believe that her true strength lay in her decision, her choice, to submit to everything Max demanded of her. Her ability to let go and acquiesce with every fibre of her being. There is a very judgemental part of me that believes if you needed this book as the ending of the story you should hand your “dark romance reader” card in right now. For chunks of this I felt as though I was reading an angsty contemporary romance. An amazing and well written one but one that wasn’t true to the rest of the series. A bit like putting a sticking plaster on deep gash, this was fantastic but not suited to the job of being the conclusion of a dark romance.


Thank you to the author for kindly gifting me a copy of this book, because my curiosity had me desperate to know what the alternative ending was. I don’t regret reading it but I’m really, really glad I read the other one first. If this is the ending you prefer that’s fine because we all enjoy and need different things from our reads.
















ONE OR TWO
There was only ever one ending for Max and Lucy, but I aim to please—or torture—however you wish to look at it. I believe in true choices, so I give you control of their fate to pick which ending you prefer.


LOST OR FOUND
This is the lighter ending for Max and Lucy. When destiny gets in the way, love may have trouble finding a way back to True Control.



NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperback too!



Excerpts:
I try to be still in Max’s arms. I’m too chilled by his words. So calm. So clear. “What if…what if that’s not what I want…what I need…?” I say this as almost a whisper, too afraid to say it…to afraid to keep it in.

He doesn’t say anything for a long time. I almost think he didn’t hear me until his voice answers in a whisper too, “You gave up having a choice when you became my wife, Lucy. What you want…what you need…I decide. You’ll take whatever I do to you.”

Even in a whisper, I know his final tone when I hear it. There’s no point in talking more. I swallow and still only speak in a cracked whisper, “What…what are you going to do to me, Max?”

And he waits to answer me again. His voice slides across the words, like he’s enjoying hearing the fear in my voice, feeling the shiver in my body. “Do you really want to know, little girl?”


…..


I don’t really want to be cruel to her. I like hurting her, sometimes just for my pleasure…but I want to be loving and kind to her too. And most of the time, I am.

I give her all of my love. I deny her nothing. Within reason anyway. I’m not a fool though. I know what I demand isn’t for everyone. I’ve had enough girlfriends throw modern feminism and equal rights crap in my face to know that Lucy isn’t like any other girl.

She understands that she needs my guidance. She gets that all of my rules, demands, punishments are meant to help her, to help us. To be happy.

I know I’m a monster. I’ve come to terms with this. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I only care about Lucy. About her obeying and submitting to me.











True Control 4.1
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S9YNP7O/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00S9YNP7O/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24517063-true-control



True Control 4.2
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S9YNMBS/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00S9YNMBS/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24516154-true-control




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.

Review//\\ Dolly by Measha Stone





Dolly by Measha Stone






Oh my word, Measha Stone does Dark incredibly well.


Dolly throws you into the dark end deep end right from the start. It’s fairly harrowing at times, particularly because we experience the suffering, rather than just impassively observing. What I really enjoyed was how the story moved forward and how we got to really know Dolly and Ken.


It’s really difficult to discuss the book without revealing spoilers, so I’m just going to say that the plot totally and utterly held my attention throughout. I’ve read vaguely similar plotlines previously, but this was not a weak or carbon copy of them. Instead it far surpassed those previous reads, due in no small part to the quality of writing and the amazing characterisation of its protagonists.


The symbiotic relationship between Dolly and Ken, the self-reflection, self-understanding demonstrated by the both of them, the incredibly believable love and connection they shared just took this book to another level. With all the difficulties and stress of the current world situation, a dark book felt like the last thing I wanted to read. However the darkness here was filled with such strength, it transformed to such power that, instead of dragging me down, instead it lifted me up in a way I hadn’t expected.


I massively recommend Dolly and am hoping Ms Stone dips her toes into dark waters again.





















He’s promised me sunlight.
Hope for a better future.
Freedom from this horror.
A life that doesn’t end in a dark cellar.


But, we’re trapped together.
Forced to live for the worst kind of people.
Desperate to survive for each other.


I crave his touch with every breath I take.
My heart aches for him.
He’s my hope for survival.
The man I want a future with.
I can have it all again, if only I trust him.
Even if that’s the only thing I can’t do.













Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51076103-dolly



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.

Review //\\ True #4

True Choices
(True #3)
by Willow Madison


















Am I ever going to actually like Max for more than a few pages at a time?


This was the book where for me the relationship between Lucy and Max seemed to slide slowly from consensual DD to abuse. MY boundaries were overstepped in the previous books, but that doesn’t mean it was wrong for Lucy and Max. However the more I read this the more I truly worried for Lucy. The way she took all the blame for his anger, his disappointment, even when she wasn’t really at fault. He criticises her parents for “not having raised her properly” (ie subservient to the man of the house) and reacts badly when this unsurprisingly upsets her.


Yet as with the previous two books, two things shine through. Max does deeply care for Lucy, even though he is a selfish bastard, and Lucy craves the dominance that Max wields. Whatever one thinks about this relationship, however one feels about these characters, there is no denying the skill with which the author had written the book.






I want to please Max. I want to give him everything that he demands. I want to bend to his will.

Lucy, True Choices, True #3




You find yourself questioning if this IS abuse or not, you realise that you DON’T have the right to judge how anyone else chooses to conduct their relationship (as long as it is consensual), and if you’re like me you will see-saw back and forth on whether this IS a consensual relationship or not. He forces her into jogging and keep fit (so she can run with him) but also joins an Art Institute, which is Lucy’s favourite museum. Lucy has a desperate need to please Max and it’s hard to know if he is taking advantage of that or filling a need in her.


I still don’t like Max, I admire that he is driven, he is single-minded in his focus and he does what he says. My issue is that it is all about him. He is very narcissistic when all is said and done. He may do nice things for Lucy, but often it’s only because it suits him to. He enjoys hurting her too much, especially during sex. He revels in inflicting pain and in giving punishments, and whilst I’m not experienced in the M/s world, I’ve chatted with enough Dom’s to know that most of them don’t get this type of pleasure out of punishing their submissives. They don’t enjoy seeing them in true pain. A sadist might enjoy inflicting sensual pain that ultimately brings the masochist pleasure, but that wasn’t quite the vibe I was getting here. He gets hard seeing her bruises, his marks on her body.






“I know my cruelty excites her.”


“I want to take my time hurting her.”


“I need to see her tears. I need to hear her screams.”


“Something about how embarrassed Lucy is acting makes me want to embarrass her even more.”

Max, True Choices, True #3









There were many occasions when I questioned the validity of Max’s feelings for Lucy. Does he truly love her, or does he love her submission? Her willingness to go along with everything he demands? Her desire to please and do as he tells her regardless of her own needs and wishes?


I’d rather be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt on the water, but I don’t have a choice.
….
“You look great…but you’re still going to freeze. I’ll get a scarf and gloves for you from Mom.”

Whilst it’s nice that Max is concerned about Lucy being cold, it’s his insistence on her wearing girly dresses and skirts that puts her in that position.


And yet there ARE times he is very solicitous of her wellbeing.
“Lucy, are you cold?” Max saw me shudder and is raising the car windows.
“No, I’m fine.” I smile at his attentiveness. He always notices everything. “Thank you.”



Despite rushing her to get married, and not allowing her a say in it, he DOES want to know her wedding day dreams and plans. He arranges for her friend to be a support and shoulder to cry on when she packs up her apartment before they get married. He reassures her that she will still see her friends once they are married and he uses ice packs and gives her pain killers after a very severe punishment. To top it all off, Lucy gets turned on by his actions and reactions – so is it wrong?


But then the author reminds us of how on edge Lucy is.




“Her bright blue eyes, so telling. Fear.”


“She know’s she’s angered me. Her fear is electric.”


“I just smile up at him, hoing this won’t turn into an angry night.”


“I’ve never been more scared of him.”

Lucy and Max, True Choices, True #3





Then there is how quick to anger Max is, he “goes ballistic”, his “temper flares so quickly with her”, “anger is flaring back up”


Followed by just how very controlling Max is.





“We’re getting married next month and that’s final.” He turns and walks away. I wait before following him downstairs.
I know Max likes being in control, but… but this is our wedding. This is the rest of our lives together. Maybe I’ll try to talk to him again when we’re back in the city. We really need to make some decisions together.
But I know I’m kidding myself. Max doesn’t just 
like being in control. Max is in control.

“This ring means that you are no longer in control of 
anything. So when I tell you that we’re getting married next month…that is what we’re doing.”

Lucy and Max, True Choices, True #3










Whilst Max acknowledges Lucy’s feelings, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by them. As though Lucy’s emotions really, really don’t matter to him. Yet later he tell’s Lucy –
“I will always try to take into consideration how you feel about something. But you need to understand that in our marriage, I will make all the decisions.


He tells her that if she really doesn’t like one of his decisions she may ask him to reconsider it. Though he won’t (and doesn’t) allow her to express her thoughts/reasons/opinions on it because it is “tantamount with arguing.”


I think one of the most disturbing aspects is how Lucy is unquestioning in most of this, how she readily accepts the blame for the pain he inflicts. Though there are some doubts.


It all seemed to happen so fast. But that look…I didn’t know him.
I remember what I thought when I turned away from the terrace…that I had to get away from him.

Lucy, True Choices, True #3












A DARK ROMANCE
True Choices is the third book in a series that includes two alternative endings. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.

WIN OR LOSE
Max leads; Lucy follows. How far he’s willing to push her may test both their limits though. With his prize in sight, Max can’t afford to relinquish control now.

DO OR DON’T
Lucy embraces all that Max offers, giving exactly what is demanded of her. How far she’s willing to go in order to please him may have her facing the ultimate True Choices.

NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperbook too!

Excerpts:

“Lucy, I understand that you’re trying. I know you want to be respectful and you’re figuring out your limits. And I want to help you.” His hand moves my chin gently back to look at him, but his voice is edgier. “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”

He drops his hand and I keep my eyes on him while he continues. “You may ask me to reconsider a decision, but giving me your reasons for wanting me to is tantamount with arguing. Try again.”

…..

What if I couldn’t give him something that he demanded? What if he couldn’t control everything about me? What would happen to us if I couldn’t bend to his will no matter how hard I would try?

I shudder and put my arms around my middle, hugging myself. I’m not ready to face a possible darkened future. A day that I couldn’t give in to Max’s needs.

I shake my head a final time, close my eyes and breathe in normally. I let go of my waist and square my shoulders. But I keep my head down. I’ll do whatever it takes to make Max happy. Whatever is in my power to do.









Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R3W9TD2/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00R3W9TD2/






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.

Review //\\ True #2

True Beginnings
(True #2)
by Willow Madison



















I finished book 1, bought book 2, started it immediately and then read it straight through.


So many things to say. So many. I still doubt that this relationship is totally safe. But then I don’t doubt either that it is what Lucy wants, or at least thinks she wants. And I’m pretty sure anyone in a M/s relationship will find me a judgemental a-hole. Whilst Lucy and Max don’t define their relationship in that way he DOES want to control her even down to her thoughts. He doesn’t want her to have any free will other than the will to please and live for him. That scares me half to death and is what makes this both and uncomfortable AND a gripping read.




“I crave your love, Max. I need your love. The pain… is part of your love and I crave it.”


It’s all my fault! If I hadn’t been indecent, if I hadn’t let those men touch me, if I hadn’t gone out to lunch {this is a WORK event} without his permission…none of this would have happened. I berate myself in silence.

Lucy, True Beginnings, True #2





I’ve never really ‘felt’ any romance in either book so far, but this to me is a psychological mind-f**k of a read anyway. One that has you questioning Lucy, Max, the author and your own sanity at times. I’m determined to finish this series over the weekend, as for the first time in a long time I am TOTALLY DESPERATE to know how a story ends.


He enjoys seeing bruises he has made on her – ok I could go with that, but these bruises are on HER FACE. Conversely this means he isn’t ashamed of what he does and therefore in his mind at least it isn’t abuse. It’s part of his control over Lucy. Though at times I got the impression all he wants is a doll who dresses, acts, thinks, speaks and poses exactly to his design. He doesn’t want Lucy. THAT is where my struggle is with Max. And yet I’m still fixated and enthralled by the story – kudos to the author for such great writing.





“…I want to get you to a point that your thoughts are automatically centered on me. And nothing else. And that your behaviour is second nature.”

She’ll make a good wife… with a few more lessons.


Max, True Beginnings, True #2









So there I am hating on Max when he says
“But I don’t want you to be afraid of me truly hurting you. I will never do anything to you.. that can’t heal without damage.” I want to reassure her not frighten her this morning.


So just as I step back from the edge he then tells me
I expect her not to close any doors to me. She doesn’t have the right to privacy anymore.
aaaannnnndddd I’m right back at wanting to suffocate him.





“You don’t have the right to decide what you do, what we do, anymore. I expect you not to make plans again, Lucy. You get my permission first.”

I’ve been controlling and demanding.

“I’ve never lied to her. Lucy knows her place.”

“You belong to me, Lucy. You are mine. And I want you dependent on me.”

There may be times when she is unable to leave the bed after a spanking, legs and ass too swollen or sore.

She knows she can’t argue with me.

Her cries only drive me to want to hurt her more. I stop and take a few deep breaths, she keeps her eyes closed still.

Max, True Beginnings, True #2




Lucy doesn’t help matters either. She has me questioning her sanity on more than one occasion. I never could have imagined him slapping me, let alone me accepting it as punishment for breaking one of his rules. But he did… and I did. And now I’m forever changed somehow. I think and feel differently. It’s all about Max, pleasing him, not disappointing him… not angering him..


It’s those last three words that bother me. So often it’s all about Max but then just when I’m back to hating him he does something thoughtful for Lucy. I turn to Max and give him a kiss on the cheek, “Thank you for thinking of this.” I know it’s really his doing. His attentiveness to me, his caring nature, is what I fell in love with first.

No, my old self didn’t have someone who cares so much about me, loves me as much as I love him.



The number of times she flinches when he raises his hand – woah. She is on edge, she is jumpy, she is scared to upset or disappoint him. That is why this doesn’t really sound a healthy relationship. 




I’m afraid to move or speak.

And he told me the next day that was the only chance he was ever going to give me to make a decision for myself. I no longer had a choice of leaving him.
And I knew he was right. My heart no longer had a choice. I’d given in to him…to his anger…to his control…to his love.

Lucy, True Beginnings, True #2




description




Seriously girl? I’m torn between wanting her to just get the heck out of there and respecting her right to choose that relationship. Particularly as there are times Max’s control really does feel more like abuse. He frequently slaps, pinches and grabs at her. He seems to enjoy thrusting deep enough to hurt her during sex, he twists her wrist at one point, he controls what she is able to wear – even when this leaves her too hot or too cold. How is any of that showing care for her welfare and wellbeing? He gets angry that she “let guy’s touch her” as though she can control the actions of others.


And yet again there are times when he DOES seem to value, care for and put her needs first.




I’m glad that I’m still in control of my anger enough to stop from slapping her as hard as I want to.

My anger is only slightly spent. I am hurt by her betrayals. My anger keeps heating up and I have to breathe deeply to get it under control again.

“But I can’t punish you more… not tonight. You are too swollen already.” Knowing that he’s putting my safety and care ahead of his anger, even in his darkness, tortures me more.

I take aspirin out and walk back to the bed. When she returns I make her take these with the water. We have a long drive today and I don’t want her too stiff to go.

“I want to make everything perfect for you, Lucy”

Max, True Beginnings, True #2



I still like Jake better 


“I don’t want you to get hurt, Lucy, because he thinks it’s the only way to love.” He adds, softly, “You deserve better than that….”

Jake. True Beginnings, True #2
















A DARK EROTIC ROMANCE
True Beginnings is the second book in a series that includes two alternative endings. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.

MORE OR ENOUGH
Max is all about being in control. It’s the only way he knows how to be. There’s never been a question in his mind about what he wants. Lucy may accept all that he demands, but his true nature could get in the way of their happy-ever-after.

GIVE OR TAKE
Lucy is head-over-heels in love, but she’s starting to figure out that this relationship may demand more than just the surrender of her heart to make it work. With a man as dominant as Max, nothing less than her absolute submission will suffice. She may not be ready for True Beginnings.

NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperback too!




Excerpts:

Max has been more attentive than any other guy I’ve dated. He notices everything, keeps an eye on me at all times when we’re together, and always does little things to show me how special I am to him. But his attentiveness also means he has a lot of these pet-peeves. A long list of things he does or doesn’t want me to do. I don’t have to guess how to make him happy. He tells, shows me.

And I have surprised myself with how much I like it this way. He’s in control. I’ve wanted to please him from the beginning. I’ve wanted to follow his little rules and old-fashion-ness to show him how much he means to me. I’ve been proud of being able to do every little thing he’s asked. Since he slapped me, though, there’s also been this element of fear of not pleasing him.

And the depth of my response to that has been the hardest for me to understand. Just looking at the darkened look he still wears now… I know that I can give into these feelings…that I’m safe…to be turned on by his anger, his control.

…..

I put my hand in her hair, give a slight tug, but mostly rub her softness. She’s so small, so soft, so yielding. “I like hurting you, Lucy.” She rubs her head against my hand, the obedient puppy. “I like that you give yourself to me completely. That I can cause you pain and fear…I can make you my good girl again with my belt or my hand…” I lower my hand to her butt. Still a little warm, the pinkness not quite faded. I pinch her lower cheek, not hard, but it’s still tender enough to squeeze the breath out of her. “That’s what punishment does…it makes you my good girl again. You want that, don’t you?”

“Yes, Sir!” Her whole body answers, trying to sway closer to me, but not moving from her spot, arms still held tight against her back. 

















Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QJISVDA/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00QJISVDA/





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.

Review //\\ Treachery



TREACHERY PREQUEL by Lily White









I really, REALLY enjoyed this prequel, this taster of what is to come from Tanner, Luca and the rest of the Inferno boys.


This started life feeling like *sigh* one of those over-done, over-the-top, so-over-them, bully romances. And a NA one to boot. I almost put this down in annoyance and frustration but then…. well we get into Tanner’s head. Now I’m not saying he was some sweet, kind, warm and generous guy, because he isn’t. Tanner is an ass. A top-of-the-range, grade-A, stab-him-in-the-eye alpha-hole of the first order. Every single time I started having kind thoughts towards him (or at least less dark thoughts) he did or said or thought something that made me immediately need to throat punch him. Repeatedly. But I did kind of get him. Yep he’s a selfish, self-serving, greedy, avaricious piece of &%$* but he does have reasons, almost.


Luca isn’t a walk over, so I’m pleased that she had backbone. She IS a little to easily led my her vajayjay at times, but she does mainly stick to her guns and plans. Though the plan to get wasted seemed a touch STUPID!!!! However the folly of youth and all that jazz.


So in summary this book was so good that I read it in one sitting (or laying since it was the wee hours of the morning when I finished it) Also – WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK OUT because I if it isn’t soon I’m gonna be going loopy whilst I wait because I need to know “what’s occurin'” as Nessa would say.











PREQUEL NOVELLA TO TREACHERY

Ninth Circle.
Treachery.
Also known as Tanner Caine.


He is a temptation with cold, dark eyes.
A man with a seductive smirk and a body built for pure sin.
The linchpin of a group of wealthy bad boys known as the Inferno.


A dark presence that repels as much as he attracts, Tanner is the poisoned apple I want to bite even when I know it will destroy me.


Our story started in college, but I ran from him so far I believed I was safe.
I should have known he’d find me eventually.
I should have known that nobody escapes.


He has me in his sights again with an offer I can’t pass up.
I know better than to make a deal with the Devil.
Not unless I’m willing to pay his sensual price…


(Treachery Prequel comes before Treachery of the Antihero Inferno Series and occurs during the college years.)


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 Standalone novels. Nine dangerous men. Nine unrepentant sinners you’ll hate to love.














Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2InEkdS
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/39rfoOn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2vIOlzr
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2vIOqDf





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.

REVIEW //\\ True Nature



TRUE NATURE (True #1)
by Willow Madison














Now I know how my friends felt after reading this. I’m not quite sure just what I want/need to say.


So I’ve seen rave reviews and scathing reviews, for this book, and I can see how both have merit, because this deals with a D/s relationship that verges on the abusive. The deciding factor for me was that Lucy chose Max, even knowing what might be instore for her (more on this later). There are a lot of things about Max to dislike, but none of that is due to bad writing or bad characterisation. In fact I’m pretty certain this is a deliberate move by the author and it certainly had me questioning both his morals AND my morals at times. You don’t have to like Max to enjoy this story, in fact I’m firmly in camp “toss his ass to the kerb” at the moment. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story unfolds and experiencing the journey it takes me on.


I liked Lucy, she was sometimes confused by her reactions, and struggled with her unexpected responses to Max. To quote her directly 




“My brain said to run, my body said to stay, my heart… my heart was afraid to decide.” 


There were times she felt a little weak BUT that’s from my perspective of knowing I could never be that submissive in a relationship. It was what Lucy craved, so if it was OK for her, who am I to judge? Between SSC, RACK and mind-your-own-goddamn-business, no one decides on someone else’s relationship.


Max knew exactly what type of relationship he wanted, it verged on a Master/slave one. He pretty much wanted to dictate Lucy’s entire life, at times it felt almost to the point of what she thought. And however much my modern, liberated woman brain screams against that, if it is what works for the couple involved it is no-one else’s business. We did get an insight into why he feels the way he does, and whilst it doesn’t excuse some of his behaviour, it does explain it and allow us to understand his motivations.


What did cause problems for me is that in that particular dynamic the welfare of the sub/slave should be paramount to the Dom/Master. Her needs should be met and her safety, both physical and mental, taken care of. Max was sometimes a thoughtless, selfish, ignorant ass and I severely wanted to kick his behind on more than one occasion.  If he wants total control of her he has a responsibility for her welfare, ones that he frequently seems to shirk. For example, despite knowing how overwhelmed Lucy is at meeting his parents for the first time, despite knowing she needs his support, he sends her to help in the kitchen and later on orders her around like his skivvie, despite her not having agreed to a “dynamic” style of relationship at that point. He also ignores her distress “I stand up and Lucy gives me a pleading look.” and her pain “I can’t… I’m too sore.” (for more sex). He is either totally responsible for Lucy or he isn’t, but it shouldn’t only be when it suits him.


I also struggled with how he revelled in her fear. She should fear a punishment but not because of the pain it causes but because of the disturbance to their dynamic. And should Max really enjoy her fear in those situations? Hmmmm……..


So getting back to the “might” from earlier. I did feel that at the end this did stray into the area of dubious consent, when Max punished Lucy before he had discussed consequences of her actions – particularly when she hadn’t been punished for it previously.  However when given the choice she DID decide to stay. Whether she is staying in a consensual relationship or an abusive one remains to be seen in the next book. Which I bought and read the moment I’d finished this one.











DARK ROMANCE
A warning comes with this book. It’s not a typical hearts and flowers romance. There are thorns and it’s not for the faint-of-heart.

LOVE OR LEAVE
Max, true to his nature, takes control right from the start. Lucy has no choice but to give in. As she fights to understand her willingness to give him everything, he pushes her for more.

STAY OR GO
Theirs is a journey with many a twist and turn, but isn’t love always? It’s the slow build that happens when sweet and shy meets determined and dominant.

In the end, the choice is clear. Stay or go. Love or leave. Be what is needed or turn away from True Nature.

This is the start of something darker. True Nature is the first book in a series that includes two alternative endings. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.

NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now Available in Paperback too!


Excerpts:
Max is a gentleman. A very old fashioned guy. He explained to me. That previous girlfriends had claimed he was chauvinistic, misogynistic, a bully, possessive, antiquated, abusive. He used those words.

And he said he didn’t care if that’s how today’s world would view him. He only cared about being true to himself…and about how I viewed him.

Therein lies the problem…how do I view him? How do I reconcile the loving, gentle man who takes such attentive care of me, to the one who makes me wet ordering me around, to the one who scares me with how much he demands?! I don’t know what to think!

…..

I lift Lucy’s chin to my face. She slowly raises her eyes. The most beautiful light blue, the lids a little red from crying. “Let me see you.”

She blinks the last of her tears away as I turn her face to the right. “You’ll have a mark.” She tries to jerk her head away, but I hold her in place. Only her eyes dart to me, the fear back in an instant. “You can look in a minute.” I let go of her face, putting my hand back around her waist. She’s still shaking a little. She sniffs and starts to lower her face again.

“You have one more thing to do before you can wipe your face and nose.” Her head jerks back up. I love how responsive she is…how open she is. Her eyes tell me so much…fear, hope, and that beautiful look of shame again. “You have to say you’re sorry for misbehaving.” 








Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q2AVXG2
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Q2AVXG2
Amazon AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00Q2AVXG2
Amazon CA – https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00Q2AVXG2



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.

Book Review ~~~ In the Garden of Discontent



In the Garden of Discontent by Lily White

In the Garden of Discontent

by Lily White

Release: February 19, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense



An at times difficult read, jam packed with abuse, helplessness, neglect and misery.


This is more “psychological Lily” than “dark Lily”, an into the pits of hell mix of both. Please don’t ignore the warnings on this one!


This is one of those books that frequently switches between past and present, though it’s always made clear both WHEN you are and who’s point of view you were getting. The story is built mainly from the flashbacks, and I must admit I did struggle a little bit around 35% or so. I came close to skimming this because I was just getting a little frustrated, wanting to get somewhere in the now. However I set it aside and when I picked it back up the next day I couldn’t put the book down, so it was either me in an off mood or the story started moving in a way I needed it to. It doesn’t matter to much which one it was because after that I just couldn’t put this down.

“I love you, Ensley Bennett.”
My teeth slammed together, and I screamed, a noise tearing from my throat that has been stuck there since I was a kid.




I really, really, REALLY didn’t care for Noah at first, but as I saw the pain and misery he had willingly endured as a child/teen my feelings did a total 180 flip. And then I had to avoid thinking too much about the years he had spent in prison because that just broke my heart and crushed my mind.


Our pain had raised the boy, but prison had shaped the man.



He was the firm anchor that held Ensley’s sanity in place whilst her body and soul were battered by the storms and terrors of her life. She lived in a miserable pit of hell, let down by the very people who should have protected her. To be honest I didn’t care either way if Noah had killed her parents, they didn’t deserve any kindness.


There were so many things that could potentially make you dislike Ensley, her decisions, her secrets, her refusal to ask for or accept help. But at the end of the day we have to remember that she was a child, a victim of neglect and abuse, a girl who survived the best way she could and who wanted more for Noah. He was the best thing, the only thing of joy in her life, and because she loved him she wanted to set him free.

Noah had owned me since the moment he watched me from his window and called out to me the first time. I may not have known it then, but I knew it now, and was a better woman for it, his name was chiseled over every bone and branded on every organ.
I was his.
In body. In mind. And in spirit.







God this isn’t an easy read, and you’ll find yourself both loving every word whilst hating them. Hating the evil, the pain, the suffering but loving Ensley and Noah, two survivors who just never gave up.

He never stopped loving me.
Not when we were kids.
Not while he was locked away.
Not tonight.
And I just cried, the sobs shaking every part of me.
His arms a cage that kept me safe.




This book made The Five seem quite sweet and light by comparison. Don’t say you haven’t been warned, but DO give this a chance if you love a dark, psychological romance.

Noah’s mouth was next to my ear, a gritty whisper dragging me back, his erection rubbing between my legs.
“I loved you every time you couldn’t love yourself. Every time you hurt me. Every time you ran away.”

Still, he whispered, the words a low growl from how hard he f**ked me. “I love you, Ensley.”
Another thrust, the slap of skin.
“Always have.”
Another. “Always will.”




Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50498768-in-the-garden-of-discontent

Blurb:

This is a love story.
It’s brutal.
Heartwrenching.
Terrifying, honest, and raw.

But a love story nonetheless…because it is so beautiful.


Ensley:
Noah Carter was the type of guy that every girl wanted.
Gorgeous. Talented. Smart and kind.
He was the world that revolved around me even though I didn’t deserve him.
But then something went wrong.
He snapped maybe, just lost his mind.
I found him the night my family died, their blood staining his hands.
I put him in prison. I got my revenge.
But then years later he broke free and stole me away from my life.


Noah:
You couldn’t know Ensley without wanting to strangle her.
She was beautiful. She was wild. She was the girl next door.
I grew up with her by my side.
I watched her destroy herself while I held on.
I protected her when she had been blind to the danger that surrounded her.
I let her go once, only to find her again.
She would see me this time no matter what. 

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39BPPK7
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/323vxGX
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2SG75He
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2UUN7eU




Praise:

A barbaric love story of mangled hearts, who despite standing in ravaged lives, find love in stolen hours in the darkness of night. It hurt my heart to go on, yet I couldn’t stop. ~ Shabby, Book Bistro Blog

A truly unique, unpredictable, raw, heartbreaking and utterly riveting read! ~ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

A love with no limits, no restrictions and no bounds. A pure unconditional love. This story is so devastatingly heartbreaking. It is raw, gritty and disturbing. ~ Literati Literature Lovers

Giveaway: https://www.facebook.com/authorlilywhite/photos/a.693425087366777/3632050363504220/?type=3&theater





Excerpt: 

Leaning down, Noah trapped my bottom lip between his teeth, the hold a punishment, the sting a balm. A part of that ugliness inside me fractured, that tiny amount of pain enough to knock something loose until its was rolling around and rattling.

Opening my lips with his, he swept his tongue into my mouth, filling me with his taste. 

I was held up only by his grip on my shirt, balanced only by the strength of his arm and shoulder. My head fell back as he kissed along my jaw and down my neck, teeth scraping the skin, his bite sinking into my shoulder.

Lifting his head, he pressed his mouth against mine and moved to shove me against the wall, trapping me in place.

“I won’t fight you anymore, Ens.” 

Noah spoke against my mouth, his knee coming up between my legs, spreading them until he could bring it up further. I rubbed against him, desperate to soothe the throbbing pulse that beat for only him, but he grabbed my hip with his other hand and held me still.

“Not anymore. You want to feel something? You need a release? I’ll give it to you, but not like this. I’m not a teenage boy whose hand can be forced. Not by you, and not by anyone.”

Our pain had raised the boy, but prison had shaped the man.

Tears welled in my eyes, the need so overpowering, that I slapped at him with my hands. He didn’t wince at my blows, he only pushed me tighter against the wall trapping my body with his own.

“Please…” The word tumbled from my lips, my body crumpling against him.







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.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlilywhite/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lilywhitebooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilywhiteauthor/

Website: www.lilywhitebooks.com



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.