Taking Her in Hand


Taking Her in Hand
by Marlee Wray







This is an author who is a little bit hit-or-miss for me.  Taking Her in Hand was definitely a huge hit, in fact there wasn’t really anything in it I could criticise. OK there is one thing – but it is very minor! The story starts about half-way through the blurb, we first meet Laci after the party that proves too much for the kink/BDSM/DD gated community she lives in.

I can predict some readers may have issues with Laci, what I see as dealing with loss, feeling alone and maybe just a bit of burying her head in the sand, others might interpret as childishness and even whiny behaviour. For me the author created a backstory for this character that totally explained the where and why of how Laci was. And she grows so much through this story, not just maturing but also getting stronger.

Eric could have come across as sleazy, but I was so drawn in by his passion for Laci. His desire not just for her but for her well-being sold me on him being a worth-my-time hero. Yes he didn’t always have the best words or actions to help Laci over her grief but that only made him feel a perfectly imperfect human. What I really liked was how the author allowed Laci to make decisions on her own. Too often in D/s books I find that the woman isn’t allowed a brain, the Dom is written as knowing what the heroine thinks/needs/knows better than she does. Oh my word does that bit of unreality annoy the heck out of me.

Now Laci’s slow progress to accepting her new feelings does lead to what some might consider OW drama, though it only touches the very edges. Kudos to the author for flipping overused cliches in how Eric felt and his actions over the situation. The slow progress doesn’t mean we don’t get plenty of heat and sexy times, some of which involves our couple (without intercourse) and some involves other couples in the community.

Whilst the setting is clearly kink/ Ds based, there isn’t a great deal of BDSM type play, though there is one very hot medical play scene towards the end. It has just enough for those who enjoy the kink but not so much that those unsure would be turned off.

This is a nice, steamy, NSFW kinky read.










Laci had just aged out of foster care and was jobless and sleeping on friends’ couches when she met Colin. He gave her the loving attention and firm-handed discipline she needed, and soon they were married and living happily in Haywood Hills, a community of likeminded people where a man spanking his wife when she is naughty is nothing out of the ordinary.

Then Colin died of a sudden, tragic illness, and Laci has been lost ever since. After a year of increasingly irresponsible behavior on her part, things finally come to a head. When Laci invites outsiders into Haywood Hills and her recklessness puts everyone at risk, she is given a choice. She can accept the guidance and correction she clearly requires or leave the community.

The man tasked with taking her in hand is Eric Renard, a close friend of Colin’s whom Laci has always considered too stern. When Laci reluctantly agrees to the community’s demands, she quickly finds herself over her handsome new guardian’s knee for a painful, embarrassing bare-bottom spanking in front of a room full of witnesses. Eric makes it clear that he will not put up with Laci’s sharp tongue and defiant attitude, and over the coming weeks his intimate, shameful punishments leave her with blushing cheeks and a burning backside on more than one occasion.

Eric’s bold dominance rekindles Laci’s passion in a way she thought nothing ever could, and part of her cannot help yearning for him to claim her properly, but is she truly ready to put aside the past and make a place in her heart for him?

Publisher’s Note: Taking Her in Hand includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.



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.

BIG SKY

BIG SKY by Kitty Thomas

This is a book that has been around for a little while, and when you read reviews you soon find out it’s a marmite book. It divides readers firmly into love it or hate it camps, which to me is a sign of great writing. A lot of the haters can’t accept the ending, many of them find the kink/darkness goes a step too far, others mentioned it was the ‘x‘ Kitty Thomas book they had read and hated. I do have to question why people continue to read an author they don’t ‘get’. Is it just so they can leave scathing reviews of a genre (dark capture fantasy) that they clearly disagree with?

I bought my copy a while ago, as part of a box set, The Capture Fantasy Collection. A Goodreads friend recommended it to me back in October last year. I had every intention of reading it then, but an over commitment to arc reading soon put paid to those plans! I’ve since stepped back from the majority of my arc teams, remaining on those where the authors only release a couple of books a year or where I love their work so much I need it asap.

One of those authors is Kitty Thomas, and it was reading The Escape Artist that triggered a need in me for more of her work. So I dug out the book that had languished untouched on my kindle for far too long, and jumped in.









Is this a romance? I’m not sure it is, and that ending…. my word I can’t remember the last time I felt that sad at how a story finished. Yet I loved the story, I devoured it in the same way Luke and the guys devour Ronnie’s milk. I gulped it down greedily and quite simply couldn’t get enough.

I’ll be honest, I read spoilers for this book and you know what? I’m glad I did. Forewarned is forearmed and all that jazz (and jizz). I knew this wasn’t going to be a ‘traditional’ happy ever after ending, and as I’ve already said it did feel sad. But it was that happy sad that only truly brilliant writing can elicit in you. Was Ronnie a victim of Stockholm Syndrome? Did it matter? At the end of the day, and the book, she might not have had everything her heart desired, but she was happier than she had ever been in her ‘before Luke’ life.


Was Luke crazy? I’m still on the fence with that one. Grief can make people do the strangest things. If Ronnie had hated the kink would he have pushed her the way he did? Who knows, that wasn’t the story that was written, and it’s fiction at the end of the day (even if it didn’t really feel that way when I was reading it.) There were times I wanted to hit the man, his actions were frequently indefensible, yet if Ronnie loved them were they truly wrong? And there we have just why I love this author’s writing. She takes such wrong storylines and weaves them into something that has you questioning your own morals and sanity.

I even questioned Ronnie’s sanity on several occasions, yet even as one half of my mind yelled at her to resist, to fight, to refuse, the other half pointed out that she was a girl with severely limited options.

To truly enjoy the story you do have to allow some flexibility on ‘reality’. Whilst I totally bought that looney Luke might take a vulnerable woman who reminded him of his dead wife, the complicity of the three ranch hands seemed to be pushing it slightly. But then they all had a ‘reward’ in keeping schtum, not forgetting that they had helped Luke keep other secrets that could get them all in trouble. So in the end I found that I could let it pass.

The book involves the sharing of Ronnie and hucow kink, if either of those is a hard limit for you then you will need to take a pass on this one. However Kitty Thomas knows how to write kink, even dark and depraved dub-con kink, in a smoking hot, can only read one-handed😉 manner, so if you’re on the fence get down and get kinky!

Oh and yes, I do recommend this one.







Veronica Cason lives in a small apartment with no clear view of the sky. It’s uncertain which might crush her first: her debt or the buildings squeezed in so tight that they surround her like ominous sentinels. She can’t breathe in the city. Her success is a lie, and her debt is coming to collect her — unless someone else gets there first.

When a stranger offers her a job at a ranch, it feels like salvation, but it could also mean her death if his motives aren’t pure. Which door has the tiger behind it? The claustrophobia of the city or ranch life under an open sky?







AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON CA – https://www.amazon.ca/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/d/ebook/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/B009KT2NUC/

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/big-sky-kitty-thomas/1112623129?ean=9781938639050

iBOOKS – https://books.apple.com/us/book/big-sky/id1227840416

GOOGLEPLAY – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_Big_Sky?id=0AmMBAAAQBAJ

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/big-sky

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241397

BOOK DEPOSITORY – https://www.bookdepository.com/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas/9781938639050


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.

The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas





The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas


Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Erotica, Romance


Synopsis:

Claire was held captive for 43 days by a man who did unspeakable things to her.

Three years after her escape, she gets her revenge. The only problem is, she’s got the wrong man.

God help her if he escapes.


Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49240279-the-escape-artist








I absolutely loved this book.


From the first line to the last, The Escape Artist held me captive, just as Claire and Ari were held captive by one another. Kitty Thomas has crafted yet another amazing masterpiece of a story, one where she takes all the elements of wrongness and twists them into something that is so very right. This story is by parts emotionally charged, depraved, incredibly hot, fantastically written and populated with great characters.

This was wrong in every way a thing could be wrong. But he hadn’t been able to leave her alone in a world she could no longer navigate, and he wasn’t nobel enough to pass up this opportunity or just keep her as his indefinite platonic house guest.


The relationship between Claire and Ari is consensual at the same time as it isn’t, with the author somehow skating a fine line between the two. Just as I decided it was one thing, the tables turned and it became the other. Even more amazingly, Ms Thomas manages to take a relationship based on everything wrong and turn it into something perfect.

Ari was a good man until life gave him an opportunity to be otherwise, and yet that wrongness was the perfect thing to save Claire. Despite how morally dubious his actions were I adored him, and it was always clear that Claire’s wellbeing was his top priority. Theirs may not have been the most conventional of relationships, erroneous in just about every way possible, but it was exactly the relationship both of them needed.

The author has taken the possibly overused “captive” trope and shaken it up, producing a story that feels fresh and new. This is one red hot NSFW read, pushing buttons and boundaries in the most delightful of manners. I totally loved every single thought, word and action in the book, I simply can’t sing its praises loudly enough. In fact it’s left me with a deep need to read more of her work.

He’d felt how badly she needed someone to take control of her, her shattered life, everything. Someone who wouldn’t truly hurt her. But she could never ask for such a thing. And she could never feel safe if it were offered. Because she didn’t know who to trust.



Purchase:
Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/bx8g6k?store=amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-escape-artist-kitty-thomas/1133948925
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-escape-artist/id1482334518?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo=4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-escape-artist-29
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=rpazDwAAQBAJ


AUTHOR BIO:

KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty’s New Release List:  KITTYTHOMAS.COM


Author links:
https://kittythomas.com/
https://twitter.com/kitty_thomas
https://bookandmainbites.com/KittyThomas
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas


a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


(c) Copyright 2020, Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved. Excerpt used with permission.

TEASER SCENE 1:

Claire pushed the memories away, gripping the leather arm rests, willing her heartbeat and breathing to calm. That was him. She had him in a cell. That was the guy. He had a scar where she’d cut him. How could he lie to her with such a straight face when they both knew he had that scar and how he’d gotten it?

Because he’s a sociopath, Claire. He isn’t like normal people.

She couldn’t let herself forget that—what he was. She couldn’t let herself be tricked by the beautiful monster into setting him free and losing her own life. She got up and went to the kitchen, taking another bottle of beer from the fridge. This one she drank all the way down until a light pleasant buzz of calm skated across her skin. She took a long, steadying breath and grabbed the broom and dustbin.

When she returned to the cell, at least the arrogance had left his face. Maybe he was starting to understand his situation, that the tables had turned and he was now at her mercy. Let him lie about things, as long as she could wipe the smug smile off his face.

She silently swept up the shards of the beer bottle. The last thing she needed was for him to have a weapon. That had been his mistake with her after all.

“You can still let me go,” he said. His voice was so gentle and soothing. Calm and reasonable. 

He’d never spoken to her like that in the basement. Of course not, he’d had the power then. He has to placate you now.

Claire just laughed. “Right. I’m going to let you go so you can hurt me again. Am I supposed to believe you’re reformed? After me, you stopped torturing and killing women? You realized the error of your ways?”

“What’s your name?” he asked, changing tactics. “My name…”

“Shut UP! If you speak your name I’ll kill you. I swear to fuck I will. I NEVER want to hear your fucking name. EVER. Don’t you try to humanize yourself. You’re a fucking monster, and you know it!”

“I’m sorry,” he said quickly, holding his hands up in surrender.

No he wasn’t, he was placating her.

“What’s your name, then?” he said, trying again.

“You know my fucking name. You used to hiss it in my ear while you were…” she trailed off, unable to say the words. She turned away from him and took a deep breath, quickly wiping the tears that threatened to spill over. She was not going to cry in front of him anymore. She’d cried all the tears for him she would cry.

She had the power now. Not him. NOT him. But she was shaking. She could feel the light tremors in her arms. He must be able to see them. He was the one chained up, and he was going to break her again.

Never.

“It’s okay if you don’t have it in you to hurt me. I don’t think you’re that kind of person,” he said gently.

“Just shut the fuck up!” she screamed. “I should starve you, just like you starved me for the tiniest act of defiance.” She turned back to finish sweeping the stray shards into the dustpan.

“Look at me,” he said.

It was a fucking command. He thought he could order her around when he was the prisoner? But she turned and looked at him.

“I would never starve you. Ever,” he said, holding her gaze in his.

He’d already starved her, and they both knew it. These head games… she had to regroup her strategy or he was going to get inside her head and mess with it. If she lost her nerve… if he got free again, he’d kill her this time. She was already in too deep. She had to get her shit together and finish this. It was the only choice.





TEASER SCENE 3:

“I thought you’d never wake up,” she said. “I worried I gave you too much. Wouldn’t that be a tragedy?”

But they both knew she wasn’t worried. Though it did cause Ari to worry because while there had been moments when he thought she might not have it in her to kill him—even though she had to know the price of not following through—now there was the new concern. She might accidentally kill him. She could give him too much of whatever drug she was dosing him with. One of these times when she was feeding him or injecting him with whatever, he could just… never wake up.

It sent a cold wave of anger running through him that she played with his life this way. He wasn’t her enemy, but she seemed dead set on turning him into one.

“I know you can’t control your smart mouth, and I don’t want to talk about last night,” she said, explaining the tape.

He nodded and remained silent. He knew the pointlessness of trying to speak behind the tape. Ari was beginning to feel more helpless than he’d yet felt while under her control. He couldn’t even talk to her. Or try to reach her. And he wanted to. He had no idea what he’d say after last night, but he needed to talk to this girl.

The previous night he could have forgiven her for what she’d done to him. Those helpless agonized screams would be seared into his own nightmares for a good long time. But now? With the way she was looking at him and whatever she might be about to do to punish him for hearing? He wasn’t so sure.

Ari flinched when her fingertips skimmed over the scar on his chest again. What he wouldn’t give to know what she thought that scar meant.

Her gaze panned over his naked body, and she flinched. Oh shit. Yeah, he still couldn’t control his body’s reaction to her. Damaged or not, she was exactly his type. She was everything he’d wished Holly had been. That sweet and fragile look just did it for him. Except that despite her fragile exterior and how she hung to the edge of sanity by a thread, this girl could fuck his shit up beyond recovery. He knew that now. It was probably better she’d used the tape. He needed to buy himself enough time to figure out the drugging pattern. And after last night she was far too volatile to risk any of the million wrong things he could say right now.

Both times she’d drugged him, it had been in the beef stew. Probably covering up the taste of the drugs. So then the other foods shouldn’t be drugged. Though she wasn’t a stupid woman. She’d no doubt send him some decoy stew so he could never be one hundred percent sure which meals were drugged and which meals weren’t.

His eyes widened as a hard slap connected with his face. His gaze flew to hers. He thought she’d smacked him because he’d zoned out, but the next words out of her mouth proved otherwise.

“You sick piece of shit. You can have a hard on until the end of time but you will NEVER touch me again, do you understand?”

He nodded quickly. It wasn’t as though he could help his physical reaction to her. She was so goddamned gorgeous. There was no part of Ari that liked being dominated. It wasn’t her act of being in control that affected him. It was the tragic vulnerability that threatened to escape out from under her mask of calm, cold retribution.

The mask had already slipped when she’d whipped him and fallen into sobbing fits on the floor. Some absolutely insane part of him had wanted to comfort her in that moment. Both of them were playing games they were ill-equipped to handle.

He didn’t do well without the control. His smartass remarks were a way to deflect from the very real distress over not being the one with the power. He didn’t even like the minor defiance of a brat sub, let alone being in a position like this. They were in the wrong roles here. She should be on her knees at his feet, and he should be the one holding the whip.

She paced back and forth across the cell, watching him carefully. Finally she snapped her fingers in front of his face to get his attention—as if there was anything else in this room he could give his attention to. She was in too deep. They both knew it. She was breaking apart at the seams even as she broke his skin with her whip. He needed control of her. And he needed it soon. Before this went too far. 

In one swift movement, she ripped the tape off his mouth.

“Owww, motherfuck!” he growled.

“I changed my mind. We should talk,” she said. “Does it give you a thrill to know you can get into my head in my dreams? I bet you just love that I’m still fucking running from you even when I’ve got you helpless and at my mercy. Do you like that? Is that why you’re so hard?”

Ari sighed. “I’m not him. I’m not the man from your nightmares.”

Those calm words earned him another hard slap across the face.

“Stop. Fucking. Lying to me! We both know the truth. You have the scar. You look the same. You’re HIM!”

She began to pace back and forth, her eyes wild.

“I don’t know what you want me to say. You’re not going to believe it anyway so what’s the point?” Ari said. She might become even more erratic if she knew how he’d gotten the scar. And if he made up any other lie he was sure she’d read it on his face. It was both risky and pointless.

She gripped his throat and held him against the wall. Even chained he could probably buck her off him, but if she got injured with him confined like this it wouldn’t help anything. And despite how crazy he knew it was, he didn’t want to hurt her. He wanted to take her out of here and fix this.

He just had to figure out a way to escape her inescapable fortress cell. 

She squeezed harder against his throat. He would no doubt have a bruise if she didn’t just kill him. He wished he knew her name. He needed something to call her. How could you reach and reason with a person if you didn’t even know their name? He was sure she wouldn’t respond favorably to any of his standard pet names. Calling her Doll might get him castrated.

Finally she released him and went back to pacing.

“I think this is hurting you more than me,” Ari said, knowing even as he said it, that it was probably the wrong thing to say.

She laughed. It was a bitter sound that bounced eerily off the walls of the cell. “Right. So… me letting you go… that’s for my benefit. You are an evil fucking piece of work.”

He captured and held her gaze in his. “Yes. I think letting me go is for your benefit. It will destroy you if you take a life. You and I both know it. You don’t have it in you. You don’t have to do this. I won’t go to the police. I’m not going to hurt you. I know it might seem that way, but I’m not him. Do I act the same way?”

“You’re the one in the chains! Of course you don’t act the same way. You have to act reasonable. You have to trick me! You think I’m dumb enough to let you trick me into my own grave?”

Ari took a slow calming breath and tried again. “If I was the type of man who would have done unspeakable things to you, do you really believe I’d still be calm right now? Wouldn’t I be yelling and threatening you?”

“You DID threaten me, the first day!”

Ari shook his head. “That was before…”

“When you thought you’d been taken by a man? Am I supposed to be charmed by the patronizing sexism?”

“Tell me your name,” Ari tried again.

“Fuck you!”

“Is that the way it’s printed on your birth certificate?”

She pulled another piece of duct tape off the roll and slapped the tape over his mouth. “We’re done talking. You’re not getting inside my head. It’s bad enough you can still do it while I’m sleeping. You will never be in control while I’m conscious.”

Ari raised a brow. Wanna bet? 


DADDIES OF THE CASTLE


Can their relationship ever survive beyond the castle’s walls?

Find out in Educating Ella by Katie Douglas … AVAILABLE NOW!!

4.25 stars

This is less Daddy Dom, more school master/school girl, and one incredibly hot read to boot.

The author managed to incorporate a fantastic mix of story, emotion, character development and kinky play. The two main characters, ‘Ella’ and ‘Idris’, really drew me into the story and I soon found myself rooting for them to forge a deeper connection.
I loved how the author meshed Ella’s strong personality from her everyday life with her submissive side. Both elements were cleverly portrayed and led to her being both a likeable and very believable character.

Whilst Idris was definitely a dominant character, he didn’t feel overwhelmingly alpha with it. In fact he was more like the nurturing and guiding school master he ‘played’ at the castle, which I found very refreshing and was totally on board with.

I have the book on pre-order and will review the remaining stories when I get chance to read them, but would happily recommend the book just based on this story alone.


Get it ONLY on Amazon as a part of Daddies of the Castle: A Masters of the Castle Anthology

Amazon US → https://amzn.to/33VCGc1
Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/32Ihiqv
Amazon CA →  https://amzn.to/2BEutx2
Amazon AU →  https://amzn.to/2Pl8RNU

Or read for #FREE in KindleUnlimited!!!


BLURB:

Welcome back to the Castle.

After almost a year of construction, the Castle looms on the cusp of its grand reopening. The only problem is, it isn’t ready. Something is up with the construction crew Marshall had hired to get them back to full working order. So when, two days before guests are due to arrive, the construction company bails, leaving Marshall with a Castle that is barely functional, he is forced to do the unthinkable. He calls in outside help in the form of any contract laborer who will answer his call.


In addition to Wanting Winona, a full-length story by Maren Smith, eight of the hottest authors have teamed up to bring you seven brand new novellas including:


Educating Ella by Katie Douglas
When mischievous Ella picks up the wrong phone by mistake, she finds herself under the watchful gaze of a stern British billionaire daddy, who intends to teach her how naughty schoolgirls should behave. But how can their relationship ever survive beyond the castle’s walls?


ADD TO YOUR TBR → http://bit.ly/2W8PaKN

About Katie Douglas

USA Today and worldwide number 1 bestselling author Katie Douglas is the sort of incorrigible British girl you’d find at St Trinian’s. She recently quit her job as a school librarian in China to write steamy romance full-time, and loves reading and writing books filled with steamy alphas with hearts of gold. She prefers cozy diners to fancy restaurants, coffee or whisky to champagne, and sometimes she adults.



Follow Katie Online!
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Katie-Douglas/e/B01GXOBJ24/
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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.

RELEASE BLITZ

Second Chances
by Anna Edwards

Release: October 8, 2019
Genre: Romance Suspense

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48194220-second-chances
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/31SyIjK

Model: Jered Youngblood
Photography: CJC Photography
Cover Design: Charity Hendry @ Judged by the Cover

MY REVIEW
A book I’m happy to recommend

There were things about this book I loved and things that didn’t work for me personally, but they were very much to do with my preferences rather than writing. Overall I enjoyed Elena and Ryan’s story and am happy to recommend it to others. The writing, pace, flow and characters are great. It interlinks to other books but was easy to read stand alone and whilst it does have some degree of BDSM/power exchange it is only lightly explored and should suit the tastes of many palates.

There were some truly wonderful plot ideas that could have given the book great intensity, and did to some extent. However I personally would have liked to see the emotional impact more fully explored, I didn’t always ‘feel’ how it affected them not only as individuals but also as a couple. It occasionally lent a somewhat disjointed feel to the story, with an air of ‘x happens, I feel y, oh here’s resolution z, problem solved’. Issues were resolved quickly and before the emotional/ intellectual/ psychological impact on the protagonists had been fully explored. I know from past experience that a lot of readers won’t have the same problem. For many a reader it’s all about the plot and action, and that’s fine – it would be a boring world if we all wanted and looked for the same thing. This book was chock full of plot and had plenty of unexpected twists and surprises too.

An analogy would be to compare this with a 400m hurdler sprinting around the track, attempting to clear the obstacles (hurdles) that block their path on a regular basis. Nothing wrong with that, it just isn’t for me. I prefer a story of many threads that weave together to form a rich tapestry. I like my plots and subplots to interconnect and run concurrently. So it would be unfair to say it wasn’t a great story, as I can appreciate how others would love it, the truth is it wasn’t a story that ticked all of my individual boxes. I needed to see Elena and Ryan be each other’s rocks in times of difficulty, not just be told it but be SHOWN it and experience it so that I could fully buy into their feelings for one another.

And now I feel as though this review is just full of negatives, which was definitely not my intention. It’s a well put together story, with two rounded characters who face and overcome plenty of issues. A book with a great plot and good writing, a book that is easy to read, a book that is at times fun, at times serious and a whole lot sexy. I hope I’ve made it clear that what didn’t work for me was very subjective and the vast majority of reviewers will probably totally disagree with me. And I hope they do because this IS a good book.

I don’t like coffee either – so what the heck do I know!

Blurb:

At the tender age of thirteen Elena Lopez saw her prima ballerina dreams ruined by injury. Now she passes her love down to the future generation as a dance teacher. A chance meeting at the premier BDSM club in London with the hypnotizing and charming, Ryan North leaves her examining her future. When tragedy strikes and the memories of her youth resurface, she’s left fighting for her life. 

MI5 operative Ryan North is struggling to adjust to the knowledge he was misled to by the one person he thought he could trust. His parents wanted him despite what his grandfather told him. The past few years have all been about revenge, can he find something or someone else, to occupy his time and distract him from his failing career. 

Second chances is a standalone novel from International Bestselling Author, Anna Edwards. It explores the collusion of naivete and lies leading to dramatic conclusion that threatens to blow apart a couple’s fledgling love. 

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2AN4nYc
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2VertjR
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2LQ5M6u
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2MfSNds

Except One: 

“Exactly.” My father is animated and claps his hands together. “Son, our first born, we can’t turn back time, but we can move forward together, and the only way to do that is to get you out of here and living again.”

“S-Son?” My voice catches on the word.

“That is what you are.” My father comes over and places his left hand on my shoulder and takes my mother’s hand in the other when she offers it.

“I’m a member of your family with James and Sophie?”

“Yes,” both my parents reply at once.

I get to my feet, and the three of us embrace. It’s the first time since we were on the roof, and I savor every moment of it. I’ve been reborn again. I’ll always carry a dark streak with me—it’s who I am, but I know the direction I need to take now. The path of protecting my family, not trying to destroy them. They’re my everything.

My counselor coughs behind us. We turn and look at him. I’m in the middle, and my parents are either side of me.

“I would say that’s a pretty phenomenal breakthrough in your treatment. How would you like to try and get back to some sort of normality?”

“Normality?”

Except Two: 

My breath catches in my throat, and a vision of being tied to a St. Andrew’s Cross while Ryan uses a whip on me enters my head.

“Fuck!” I exclaim out loud without realizing it. Everyone turns to look at me. Master Stone included. He raises an eyebrow toward us. Ryan gestures with his hand to tell the other Dom to continue. 

“I’m guessing you like the thought of whips. Let’s see how you feel after you’ve watched it.” Ryan’s voice is like smooth, velvet chocolate in my ear, and as he pushes his hips into me, I feel the hardness of his groin.

Shit, shit, shit  I chant in my head. What am I getting myself into?

I don’t reply to him, because Master Stone lands the first blow of his whip on his sub’s breast. She lets out a cry, and a glowing red line from the tendrils of the leather appears. 

My breath quickens when Emily states, “My Master loves this breast.”

“Good Girl.” Master Stone lowers his mouth to the breast he’s just struck and tugs the nipple into his mouth. He sucks on it, pulling it hard before standing back and striking the other one. Emily repeats her phrase. Two more strikes follow to each breast. Tears are pooling in Emily’s eyes, but she’s not using her safeword. 

Next, Master Stone delivers two carefully placed strikes to her stomach, and she responds,

“My master loves my stomach. It cradled his child. The product of our love.”

I can’t take my eyes off either of them.

Ryan leans forward and whispers into my ear. 

“If you want me to stop, say red.” 

I turn around and look at him, blinking briefly in confusion, but the crack of the whip turns me back to the show on stage. Master Stone brings the leather down between Emily’s parted legs. She cries out even louder this time, and I feel wetness between my thighs. I’m getting so aroused watching this.

Ryan lowers his hand from my waist and pushes under the waistband of my skirt.

Early Review:

Second Chances: a spin off Series that’s just WOW, a book that captivates and draws you into the story. A true emotional tale. There where so many emotions reading this book but the main emotion that flows through this book is love. This is a truly fantastic series that I will be keeping up with to see what comes next. Anna Edwards truly delivered with this story. – Goodreads reviewer

Author Bio:

All I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzi.

I’m an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of travelling and like to bring this to my stories to give them the air of reality.

I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.

Social Media:
Website: www.AuthorAnnaEdwards.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cwxJ6 
Facebook, Author Page: AnnaEdwardsWriter 
Twitter: @Anna__Edwards
Instagram: authorannaedwards
Pinterest: anna1000edwards
Goodreads: anna__edwards 
BookBub: @AnnaEdwards 
Email: anna1000edwards@gmail.com

SECURING HER SURRENDER

She gave him her heart.

Now he will accept nothing less than her total surrender.

Securing Her Surrender

★☆★Release Blitz★☆★

Only available on Amazon

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XYFFLFF/ 
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XYFFLFF/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07XYFFLFF/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07XYFFLFF/

Or read for FREE on KU.

BLURB:

She gave him her heart. Now he will accept nothing less than her total surrender.

Samantha was content to never settle down, but that was before Derrick bossed his way back into her life. Now, all she wants to do is surrender to his control.

Derrick spent his life protecting others, so taking over security at his club was a no brainer. What he didn’t count on was Samantha and his need for her submission.Danger from his past interrupts their present, and Derrick will do anything to keep Samantha safe.

All he has to do is find the enemy in the shadows before it’s too late.

EXCERPT:

“I believe you promised me something.” He stepped forward.

“I don’t remember saying anything, Sir.” This wasn’t a scene. She was flirting with him and enjoying every minute.

“You may not have said anything, but you made promises all the same.” Her mouth watered at the thought of what she was about to do. Right there in the shower, she kneeled down and stared at what she was about to take in her mouth. He was gifted to say the least. A little intimidated by the size of it, she was never one to walk away from a challenge.

She leaned forward and licked a drop of precum from the tip. He tasted salty and a little sweet, kind of like the man himself.

“Oh, Little Red, don’t tease me, you know what I need.” He shifted his hips forward slightly, and she opened her mouth eager to take him in. Samantha felt powerful when he moaned with her first approach. She moved forward inch by inch while swirling her tongue around his shaft. Eyes closed, he leaned his head back as if praying to the heavens.


About the Author

Lesley is first and foremost a wife and mother. She has been married for 26 years to a wonderful guy. Not bad for the marriage that nobody thought would last longer than 6 months. She has 2 beautiful daughters in grad school who have both kept her on her toes since entering this world. She has been a RN for the last 12 years and truly enjoys taking care of her patients.

Since learning how to read, Lesley has always had a love affair with words. Through childhood, she wrote short stories and always had a book in her hands. So, now that her nest is empty, she is following my dream, of becoming an author, and dreams do come true! My first novel releases April 19th.

Lesley writes stories with hot alpha men and sexy sassy ladies that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Sign up for her newsletter – https://www.subscribepage.com/lesleyclark

Website – www.thelesleyclark.com

FB Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/lesleysleadingladiesandgents/

FB Page – www.facebook.com/thelesleyclark

Twitter & Instagram @thelesleyclark

Email –  thelesleyclark@gmail.com

PRIMARIAN MATES #1

THE BARBARIAN’S CAPTIVE by Maddie Taylor

Sometimes you come across a book (or series, or author) and you wonder what rock you’ve been living under to have missed all the delightful yummy goodness. Well that’s how I felt when I started reading this series by Maddie Taylor. I’ve read a few of her BDSM romances, which I found enjoyable enough, but for me these are on another level. One of the big things is that these truly felt like a sci-fi story. It wasn’t something that was paid lip-service too, instead it was an integral part of the plot. At no point did I feel as though the story could have been set on Earth, or as though it was.

A better breed of barbarian than most!

When I first started this book I thought I was going to get the usual ‘alien captive’ fayre. Yes it had some of those common themes, a patriarchal society, where misbehaving females are spanked, and a civilisation in danger due to lack of fertile women. It also has the women being captured and claimed without any say in the matter, along with the usual tall, handsome aliens.

However this story also offered much more. For starters it was a good length, allowing us time to get to know both main characters, see a relationship/connection develop and also to include a good plot and decent world building.  The Barbarian’s Captive has a well developed alien world on which a good chunk of the story is set. Additionally there were plenty of supporting characters, several of whom we got to know fairly well. There was plenty of communication/discussion (and arguments) between Eva and Kerr, and whilst it was still a case of ‘my word is law’, I did feel as though Kerr listened to Eva and wanted her to be happy. Thankfully he didn’t presume that he knew best what would make her happy either!

In my mind the author did a good job of demonstrating the connection between Kerr and Eva, being shown their feelings and not just simply told of them. It took a few chapters for me to realise this wasn’t going to be like so many others from the genre, so if you try it, do bear that in mind. This is a book I am happy to recommend, especially if you like sci-fi power exchange stories. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and can’t wait to see what happens next! 

4.25 stars

AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

(Image: © Doug Cummings, Caltech)

Synopsis
Light years from home, plant biologist Lt. Eva La Croix and her all-female exploration team land on a planet they believe is a perfect substitute for the dying Earth. They are set upon by huge alien hunters and Eva is captured by the barbarian leader.

Deemed compatible, she and the rest of her team are whisked away to the barbarians’ world where they are matched to these powerful men. While pampered and protected, the women are expected to comply with the rules in this male dominant society.

Will Eva learn to adapt to their unusual beliefs and old-fashioned ways? Can she sacrifice her independence and surrender to this dynamic and commanding alien, or when escape is imminent, will she be able to set aside the claim he has on her heart and flee with the others, never to see him again?

CLUB DARK LACE

UNZONED & UNTIL DADDY by Measha Stone – 4 stars

Unzoned

This book slots nicely alongside Until Daddy , featuring the same mix of characters but this book focuses on Jade and Garrick. It’s a fairly quick read, it took me around an hour. It lacks a little in emotional depth and story development for my tastes BUT that is to be expected in a read this short. It certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of what is a great little read.

In many ways this is quite light on the BDSM aspect, though it isn’t lacking in the heat level. I liked both Garrick and Jade and, whilst she maybe made foolish choices, I could understand her worries and panic. Garrick has been an anchor in her life for so long and the thought of losing him would be worrying.

This, along with Until Daddy , make an wonderful ‘duet’ to read and I do recommend them.


Until Daddy 

A woman so used to losing out in love and the man who needs to convince her to stay

There has been a new epilogue added and a gentle polish up of the story. I can’t pinpoint anything specifically that has changed, since its over a year since I read the original version. What I do know is that I felt much more of a connection to both Carissa and Jamison this time around. I also was much more convinced about their feelings for one another, boy was I emotionally invested this time around.

Carissa doesn’t believe in successful relationships, Jamison is determined to prove her wrong and asks for a month. The story felt like it took place over a longer time period than the one given, though it was still believable and ‘workable’. There’s is a Daddy Dom relationship, with Carissa cared for and looked after but not as a ‘little’ in the more common understanding of the word. She doesn’t colour, play with toys or go on play dates. All their interactions are as adults, just with Jamison clearly in charge and Carissa happy to call him Daddy.

This is an excellent book to pop your ‘age play cherry’ with, as it doesn’t contain scenes that would take you too far out of your comfort zone. Even the sexual scenes are more along the D/s lines with very little BDSM elements other than spanking. However the author still manages to make this feel both very steamy and kinky. 

The side stories didn’t feel so overwhelming this time, perhaps that’s due to the reworking of the story or maybe it just goes to show that current mood is a big factor in how much one enjoys a book. Maybe it was more mindset than matter, who knows? I don’t, but I do know this is a great read and I definitely recommend it!



The two main stories fit together so well, each standalone but also with overlapping characters. I also really enjoyed the exclusive bonus scene – it was beautiful and really added something extra IMO.

**Unzoned was previously released as Until You, both Unzoned and Until Daddy have been reworked**

DARK LACE, the hottest BDSM club created just for you! 
Meet up with playmates in our brand new lounge area, then head into the main dungeon or private rooms to play out your dark desires. Need a special set up? Just ask, and we’ll be sure you have everything you need. 
If you would like to know more about the owners, check out their stories! 

Unzoned

Garrick has been in Jade’s friend-zone high-school. But that’s about to change. But moving from friends to lovers is hard enough without the complications of his dominating ways and her need to submit. 

Getting this wrong could ruin everything. 
Getting it right could mean the world. 

Until Daddy 

No matter how panty-melting the chemistry, Carissa knows relationships don’t last. Being with Jamison Croft is no exception. 

Jamison doesn’t give up easily when it comes to getting what he wants. And he WANTS Carissa. Not only is she intelligent, gorgeous, and generous- she feeds every desire the Daddy Dom in him craves. 

She believed she’d never have anyone in her corner. But that was Until Daddy.


PUNISHING HER (an exclusive Club Dark Lace short story)

Susan has made a BIG mistake. HUGE- and it nearly cost her her life. Now she must face her husband, if he’ll speak to her.This isn’t how their marriage thrives. Communication. Rules. Consequences. It makes their world turn. But her actions have thrown them off course. What she needs now is his dominance, and with that will come her PUNISHMENT.

BUY LINKS
Club Dark Lace
AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WCCZDQ5/r
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WCCZDQ5/
GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47563369-club-dark-lace


Unzoned

Garrick has been in the friend-zone since Jade put him there in high-school. But that’s about to change.
He’s done waiting, and he’s had his fill of women that aren’t her.
Jade had no idea going to a party would be so world-changing. That is until she sees Garrick and discovers he’s one of the club owners.
Surprises don’t stop there.
He’s done standing on the sidelines. It’s time to change zones. But moving from friends to lovers is hard enough without the complications of his dominating ways and her need to submit.
Getting this wrong could ruin everything.
Getting it right could mean the world.

AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WC5SV21/r
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WC5SV21/
GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47360511

Until Daddy

Carissa’s learned her lesson. No matter how panty melting the chemistry, relationships don’t last. And it won’t be any different with Jamison Croft- even if just looking at him sends tingles to all the right places.
But he’s not an easy man to shake. 
Jamison doesn’t give up easily when it comes to getting what he wants. And he WANTS Carissa. Not only is she intelligent, gorgeous, and generous- she feeds every desire the Daddy Dom in him craves. 
She may have given them an expiration date, but he’s not backing down.
And when the outside world threatens to crash down around them, he’ll show her he won’t abandon her. She believed she’d never have anyone in her corner.
But that was Until Daddy.

AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W97YMR3/
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07W97YMR3/
GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47498181

TEASER SHARE

We are HERE for an alpha alien commander!

Check out His By Command and the entire Primarian Mates Series by USA Today bestselling author Maddie Taylor!!!

It’s an Amazon exclusive:
US → https://amzn.to/31jA32n
UK → https://amzn.to/2RMcQkR
CA → https://amzn.to/2SWUMG2
AU → https://amzn.to/2QunUmv

AND FREE WITH #KindleUnlimited!!!

BLURB:

Two worlds in crisis.

Two missions that must be fulfilled by any means.

But at what price?

In a distant galaxy, under twin suns and a purple sky, a team of Earth scientists explores a jungle planet hopeful they have at last found a suitable new home for their people. Set upon by aliens they soon learn these warriors aren’t quite what they seem. They have a mission of their own and the female scientists who are remarkably like them, are much too tempting to ignore.

Whisked away to a far-off world, the Odyssey’s crew find themselves mated to these powerful men. Expected to comply with the rules of both an old-fashioned and yet surprisingly advanced society, the women struggle with their new roles by testing limits, denying their fates, and ultimately escaping.

Brought together again through an interstellar treaty, both the scientists and the warriors must face down the challenges of integrating their two differently-minded societies. Can there be a solution to the ill-fated futures of both Earth and Primaria?

Publisher’s note: This bestselling sci-fi series contains dominant aliens, capture scenes, steamy sex, and BDSM themes. If this isn’t your kind of romance, you’d probably enjoy another series more.

About Maddie

A USA Today and #1 international bestselling author, Maddie is a lifelong reader who became a romance junkie as a teen with her first romance novel, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. From then on, she was hooked, and gobbled up everything she could get her hands on, whether contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi. If there was romance to be found between a strong alpha male, and a sassy, adventurous and ofttimes defiant yet loving woman, Maddie was all over it. As an author, she stays true to those themes writing steamy erotic romance, with a side of kink, and adding elements of intrigue, danger and suspense to her plots.

Maddie started writing as a hobby. Her stories stayed private while she raised a family and worked full time as a registered nurse. It wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to take the plunge and submit her first book for publication: Captain My Captain. She went on to publish eleven novels the first year.

Follow Maddie Online!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BDc1Cd
BookBub: http://bit.ly/2E38Lpi
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Fwu1kd
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2DNtY35
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2rGaskn
Website: http://authormaddietaylor.com

HER MONTANA MASTER

Her Montana Master (Stateside Doms Book 1) by Maren Smith

Reading this made me want to immediately one-click all the Maren Smith books I haven’t yet bought.

This was just – *swoon*,  sigh – quite simply wonderful. The whole book revolves very much around Maddon and Clover, with just a handful of scenes involving other characters. This allows us to really form a connection with both main characters, believe in them and understand them. The emotion, wanting and heart ache both crushed me and filled me with a sense of longing of my own. 

Clover is so vulnerable, so damaged by the men in her life and her constant poor choices, Maddon has his own issues but is the rock that anchors her world. The chemistry and bond the author portrayed between the pair held me spellbound from the first to last word. I may even have shed the odd tear, especially at the end. The only reason I didn’t read it in one go was that it got so late I fell asleep before I could read it all.

This was very much a book you never wanted to end, it was sweet, steamy, loving, happy, sad and troubled all in one well written package. Madden is such a caring, loving Dom, not perfect but perfect for Clover. Strict when he needs to be, recognising Clover’s needs and filling them. Whilst the BDSM content is fairly ‘light’ it was still extremely hot and fitted well with the story. I’m definitely looking forward to more books in this series.

SYNOPSIS

He’s known her since she was two…

Abandoned by her father, ignored by her mother, Clover Harris has always fantasized about her brother’s best friend. He’s the only person in her life who’s always been there. The only problem: he’s never shown any interest in her as anything more than a little sister. Until the day she loses everything. Cast out of her home, with nothing and nowhere to go, Clover does what she always has. She runs… straight to Madden, only this time, he’s all done playing big brother.

He’s loved her since she was twelve…

A dominant man, Madden Briggs knows a submissive when he sees one, and in Clover he sees everything he’s ever wanted, but she’s kept him strictly in the like-a-brother zone for more than twenty years. That all comes to an end the day she shows up at his door. She wants a job; he hires her. She needs money; he’ll let her earn it. She dreams about a car so she can leave this town forever; he’ll even teach her how to drive. But it’s the lost and scared submissive inside her that he aches to touch, and her willingness to obey becomes his addiction. 

And in the end, she’s still going to leave… unless Her Montana Master can somehow change her mind.

AMAZON US https://www.amazon.com/Her-Montana-Master-Contemporary-Stateside-ebook/dp/B07W7TN935/

AMAZON UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Montana-Master-Contemporary-Stateside-ebook/dp/B07W7TN935/

GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47579418-her-montana-master