// REVIEW \\ Beyond the Compound

Beyond The Compound
by Claire Thompson

Photo by Paul Deetman on Pexels.com

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

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance

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

Securing It All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic BDSM Romance

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

Having it All

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic BDSM Romance

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

Balancing It All

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

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

Defending It All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

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

Review //\\ No Love Lost by Lexi Blake

Photo by Michaela on Pexels.com

When Ezra Fain joined the ranks of the CIA, the last thing on his mind was romance. After meeting Kim Soloman, it was difficult to think of anything else. A tragic mistake drove them apart, leaving him shattered and unable to forgive the woman he loved. But when his greatest enemy threatens her life, Ezra leaps into action, prepared to do anything to try to save her.

Solo accepted long ago that she won’t get over Ezra. She’s worked for years to get back into his life, looking for any way to reignite the love they once shared. Unfortunately, nothing seems to penetrate the wall he has built between them. When she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she believes she’s on her own.

Racing across the globe, Ezra and Solo find themselves together again, caught in the crosshairs of the agency they sacrificed so much to serve. Days on the run soon turn to steamy nights, but Levi Green isn’t about to let them find their happily ever after. And when the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.

Download your copy today!
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“Kim, stop.” Beck sighed, an exhausted sound. “Please.”
It was the please that did it. He was so rarely polite to her. She took a deep breath and turned to him. They needed to ratchet down the emotion. It was what always tripped them up. “I don’t think we can work together.”
“We certainly can’t if I continue to be a massive asshole.” He moved toward her, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry. You’re still a touchy subject for me.”
She nodded, unable to say a word for fear of unleashing a tidal wave. Not seconds before she’d told herself to tamp down the emotion, but here it was, threatening to overwhelm her and all he’d had to do was touch her.
“How about we agree that Levi Green is a problem for both of us and we work together to solve it,” he offered. “Kim, we’ve been going in circles for years. Maybe it’s time we find a way to move on. I know I’m tired of hating you.”
She stepped back. She couldn’t have his hands on her when he used that word. It was wrong when all she’d ever done was love him. “Ariel pointed out that it would be easier on both of us if I stopped showing up in your life.”
His gaze softened. “Would it? I didn’t see you for a couple of years and it didn’t feel any easier.”
She let a moment pass. How was it she felt even more vulnerable than she had when she was with Levi? “I know. I’ve tried to move on. I don’t seem to be able to.”
His hands moved as if he wanted to touch her, but he seemed to rethink the idea. “So maybe we should go about this another way. Maybe we should take this time and do what we didn’t do before. Talk. Try to find a way to get through this. I’m sorry I said what I did about you and Levi. It still hurts and I’m lashing out. All I know is when I thought you were in danger, I knew I couldn’t sit on my hands and let it happen. I can’t do it now either. Let me come with you. Let me help fix this.”
No. It was the only word she should say to him, and then she should turn and walk out and never look back. If she let him in, he would hurt her no matter how good his intentions were. Beck had always had a well of rage inside him that he wouldn’t deal with, wouldn’t acknowledge even existed. He hadn’t changed.
“Okay.” She hadn’t changed either. She was still helpless when it came to this man. She was still in love with him and likely always would be.
He let go of a heavy breath. “Good.” He was silent for a moment, looking her over. “Did he hurt you? Are your wrists okay?”
She’d managed to get what was left of the zip ties off in the car. She had some red marks on her wrists. “They’re sore, but all right. He didn’t slap me around this time.”
She watched as Beck’s hands formed fists and wished she hadn’t said that. His rage was always simmering under the surface when she was around.
He seemed to let it go. “All right. We should get on the road. Can you grab some water and protein bars? I don’t know what we’ll find when we get to Paris.”
She kind of thought she did know. She’d done a lot of homework on Big Tag, and if Rene was who she thought he was, then Beck would feel right at home.
Still, she grabbed the water bottles and bars and stuffed them in the duffel Steph had provided for her. There were a couple of T-shirts and a pair of sweatpants that would likely be too short, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
This was all she had in the world. It was odd. She would have said possessions were meaningless, but now that she had no access to any of the things that brought her comfort, she missed them with all her heart.
She had one thing. She reached up and found some peace knowing her ring was still there. All these years and she still had her wedding ring. It hung low around her neck, and she always hid it under her shirt when Beck was around.
It was all she had left of her marriage.
“You ready?” Beck fitted a cap to his head and passed her another. “You might want to put your hair up. I know if I was looking for you, all that hair would be the first thing to catch my eye.”
How many nights had he tangled his fingers in her hair and gently tugged, had he told her how beautiful it was and that he never wanted her to cut it? “Yeah. I’m ready.”
He stepped in front of her and placed the cap on her head, his gorgeous eyes staring down at her. “I really am sorry I said what I did. Can you forgive me?”
Her whole soul threatened to melt. She nodded.
“Can I hug you? I want to. I want to reassure myself that you’re really okay.”
She nodded again and then she was in his arms for the first time in years.
“Promise me he didn’t get a chance to hurt you,” Beck whispered.
He sounded like he actually cared. His arms around her made her feel safer than she had in forever. “He threatened me with a bunch of stuff, but I don’t want to talk about it. I will, but not now.”
They stood there for the longest time, the sound of his heartbeat the only thing she could hear.

I did enjoy this, but I just can’t say I loved it. I adored the first 4 or 5 books in the original Masters and Mercenaries series, they had kink, passion, a story that didn’t drag and a fresh feel. Whilst I’m sure Lexi Blake fans will love No Love Lost, for me it didn’t bring anything new to the table.

It had great characters and plot twists galore, but those twists seemed to come out of nowhere. With a plot twist, I like to know there were clues and hints to it scatted throughout the story. This felt more like new facts or information was introduced to move the plot on, rather than revealed secrets where hindsight allows us to see the foreshadowing.

1 – It’s a second chance romance, which I’m a total sucker for.
2 – The story is well written, the characters had depth and were believable. Most of all was how convincing the emotions of the main protagonists were. Despite the con mentioned below, I could feel their emotions, they definitely felt authentic.
3 – Beck recognising his mistakes in the past, seeking help to change, and genuinely attoning for them.

1 – The huge amount of time this couple spent apart (view spoiler) whilst supposedly being so madly in love and such utter soul mates they barely/didn’t have any other relationships in the meantime. They were together as a couple for about two years in their early/mid-20’s and I’m meant to believe that all those many, many years later they are STILL in love with one another. Too much, sorry.
2 – The pace was too slow. There is a LOT of intrigue and plenty of twists but I felt like the actual relationship was going nowhere for far too long. At 75% we’d had a bit of spanking and a few, very basic sex scenes.

It’s really difficult for me to rate this because it is a good read but, for me, it’s also a fairly forgettable one. That’s partly due to the large number of books I read every week, many of them are forgotten, but it just didn’t have that edge to it that I needed. It’s still a good romantic suspense, but for a series that mentions BDSM clubs so much, there has been a noted absence of any significant kinky action in it.

About Lexi Blake

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

Connect with Lexi
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uUiScN 
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Stay up to date with Lexi by joining her mailing list:  http://bit.ly/LexiBlakeNL
Website: http://www.lexiblake.net/

Release // No Love Lost by Lexi Blake

No Love Lost
(Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten #5)
by Lexi Blake

“Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of suspenseful and sexy, and I never want to leave.”

“Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

No Love Lost, an all-new, sizzling and action packed standalone romance in the Master and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series by New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is available now! 

When Ezra Fain joined the ranks of the CIA, the last thing on his mind was romance. After meeting Kim Soloman, it was difficult to think of anything else. A tragic mistake drove them apart, leaving him shattered and unable to forgive the woman he loved. But when his greatest enemy threatens her life, Ezra leaps into action, prepared to do anything to try to save her.

Solo accepted long ago that she won’t get over Ezra. She’s worked for years to get back into his life, looking for any way to reignite the love they once shared. Unfortunately, nothing seems to penetrate the wall he has built between them. When she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she believes she’s on her own.

Racing across the globe, Ezra and Solo find themselves together again, caught in the crosshairs of the agency they sacrificed so much to serve. Days on the run soon turn to steamy nights, but Levi Green isn’t about to let them find their happily ever after. And when the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QXUO1o 
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/30wKmRx 
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/NoLoveLost 
Nook: http://bit.ly/374qPdC 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/389tseg 
Google Play: http://bit.ly/38eU79Q 

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3agoiiH 

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2G2hS8J 

About Lexi Blake
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

Connect with Lexi
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uUiScN 
BookBub: http://bit.ly/2Gdjy03
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2u5wX75 
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Blog Tour & Review // Violence

Title: Violence

Series: Antihero Inferno #3

Author: Lily White

Release: July 29, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Design
Photographer: Michelle Lancaster; @lanefotograf 
Model: Lawrence Templar; @Lawrence_Templar

Goodreads:  https://bit.ly/ViolenceTBR

Seventh Circle
Also Known As Ezra Cross

He’s one of a pair. Identical twin to Damon. And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed.
I knew better than to get involved with him. With his aggression. With the constant fights. With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them.
We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love. He fell in love. His brother fell in love, too. What used to be a good time is now a tragedy.
Our story is messy. It’s cruel. It’s forbidden. Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.

*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.

Nine Dangerous Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.

Mine is probably not going to be a popular opinion and I am perfectly fine with that because it is much more to do with me as a reader than anything else. I read most sub-genres of romance, but I’m not a huge fan of straight-up contemporary romance. Unlike the first two books, which I enjoyed because they had plenty of secrets, battles and mystery/suspense to whet my appetite, this read more like an angsty contemporary story. It just didn’t float my particular boat. There isn’t anything specifically wrong with this book, it just didn’t fit with my preferences. I know without a shadow of a doubt that for most readers this will be a 4 or 5 star read, so I do recommend giving it a try.

I found myself both questioning and frustrated by Emily. Controlled by her parents at 18 I could get but still under their thumb at 28? Really? I was told how tough she was, how brave to take on the Cross twins, what fire burned inside her, but all I saw was a little girl who allowed others to run her life. And the only conclusion I could draw was because she liked having access to her parent’s money too much to try and be independent. So whilst I liked her, it made it difficult to respect her.

At times I found the pace to be slow. After a couple of hours of reading, and only a third of the way through, I’ll admit that I started to skim parts of the book. This was because there didn’t seem to be a clear focal point for the story. Tanner needed Luca’s servers and Gabe wanted Ivy’s secrets (or at least her father’s secrets) but that was lacking for me with Emily and Ezra.

There was a lot of OTT angst, push and pull between the protagonists, which simply isn’t for me. If you love angsty reads then grab this book because Lily White is an amazing author, I have zero complaints about the writing. I did enjoy the final half/third of the book and am glad I read it so that I can continue with the series, which is still a winning one overall.

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/306EuzX
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2X5xy4i
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2OXAM5o
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/305L0Hi

Praise for the novel: 

‘CONSUMED! ADDICTED! OBSESSED with the Inferno Boys!!!’ ~ Keri Loves Books

‘HOLY ish!!! I thought I was in love with Tanner and Gabe…but Ezra…I love him and all his broken parts.’ ~ Boys in Books are Better



In the Series:
Treachery (Antihero Inferno Book 1)
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Txmb39
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Twhyqa
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2ytP216
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2A4aGct

Fraud (Antihero Inferno Book #2)
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Nxxvcp
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/31a4ZW3
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2zUwnw1
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2V680D9

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

Review //\\ United

United by Karen Nappa

This writing duo have been highly recommended to by several different people, so when I saw an arc available I jumped at the chance to find out more about them. Maybe I was expecting too much but I have to admit that whilst I did enjoy this book, it did leave me disappointed at times. I enjoy BDSM in romance and am fine with F/f (as long as it is accompanied by some m/f action) but I am very much a character/emotion driven reader. This felt more plot driven, so I didn’t find the connection I needed to pull me into the story and make it a great read for me personally.

One issue I did have was that this felt quite short and, considering we have THREE characters to get to know, it needed to be longer for me. We had significant time jumps within the book, all very clearly delineated but it meant many events were told to us in a sentence rather than us experiencing them first hand. In fact a LOT of the book felt very tell and not show, I never found myself inside the characters heads, feeling their emotions.

Some of the BDSM/sex scenes were very hot and steamy but I found their first one as a triad at Club Indigo boring. Especially given that we’ve been told how much of a masochist Yvonne was. On the flip side I appreciated the realism of some other scenes, especially one showing that they didn’t always work as planned but that was OK. However, again, they just lacked emotion for me – the word that sprang to mind as I read this book was “dry”.

Several scenes felt quite choppy, almost incomplete. We were told something was going to happen, then we were told it had happened but we didn’t see it happen and we didn’t know how it impacted on any of them mentally or physically. For example the scene where they met the lawyer was redundant, adding nothing to the story. A scene of them talking WITH him and showing how they FELT and learning what they faced would have been so much more valuable.

It also included the male character spitting on the female subs behind. They were in a sex club for heaven’s sake, so I’m sure lubricant was readily available, spitting was just stomach turning for me.

I hate that this review sounds so negative, because the book wasn’t bad. I read it through to the end, the story made sense and the characters were likeable and had clear personalities. A lot of what didn’t work was down to that telling not showing style of writing, which many readers still enjoy. It wasn’t a great read for me, though it was ok, but I’m sure many others will love it, so I would still recommend trying it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Title – United (Club Indigo Series #6)
Author – Karen Nappa
Genre FMf/ BDSM Romance

They’ve ignored their mutual attraction for years … until one night changes everything!
He is gorgeous, playful, and kind… and he is one of Kate’s best friends. She’s been admiring Chris from afar, but he is as domineering as she is.
After their one night stand, Kate tries to forget how good he made her feel and watches him at Club Indigo … until his play with Yvonne goes wrong, and Kate steps in. When more than love grows between the three of them, their lives will never be the same.
Starting a relationship between two people is hard; they’re about to discover living a threesome is even harder. Especially when they not only have to overcome their own misconceptions and difficulties. They also struggle with rules and regulations laid upon them by family and society.

Review //\\ Capturing Kate

Capturing Kate by Alexis Alvarez

This is a pleasant enough read where the punishments were consensual. The first one skated the line of dub-con but I gave it a pass as I felt that Kate didn’t really put up much of a fight to avoid it.

Whilst the book is written third person, the perspective is always Kate’s, so I did feel as though I got to know her more than I did Sloan. I liked them both, even though Kate’s behaviour was described in a very childish way a couple of times. I’m not sure if the author was trying to convey just how emotionally distressed and ‘off-kilter’ Kate felt but it didn’t quite work when she described her stamping her feet etc. Maybe it was to show she was a brat? shrug

The story was entertaining, the plot was engaging and the pace kept things moving forward. It didn’t have the depth that I need to give a 4 or 5 star rating, but it isn’t a bad book either. It’s a nice, low-angst, ‘spanking’ romantic suspense that fills a couple of hours

Title – Capturing Kate
Author – Alexis Alvarez
Genre – BDSM Romantic Suspense

Sparks fly when a feisty reporter and a dominant undercover FBI agent spend a week alone together.
Journalist Kate Klein knows reporting on a powerful businessman’s disregard for the safety of the local water supply was a dangerous assignment, but she is nonetheless shocked when she is taken captive, bound, and brought to a remote cabin.
Her gruff yet undeniably handsome captor turns out to be a man named Sloan Masters who claims he is an undercover FBI agent investigating the same organization she has been trying to expose. Kate is unsure whether Sloan can be trusted, but he makes it clear that he plans to do whatever is necessary to protect her, whether she likes it or not. If keeping her safe requires taking her over his knee for a stern punishment to ensure her obedience, then so be it.
When Kate keeps some critical information from Sloan, a long, hard spanking on her bare bottom quickly proves that his warning was not a bluff. To her surprise, however, the painful, embarrassing chastisement leaves Kate not only promising to be good but also yearning for Sloan to take her in his arms and claim her thoroughly.
Sloan’s skilled, dominant lovemaking is unlike anything Kate has ever experienced before, and she finds her desire for him growing more intense by the hour, but she cannot help wondering if she is just a means to an end for him. When something goes terribly wrong and the entire investigation is put in jeopardy, can Sloan prove to Kate that she belongs to him no matter what?

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Review //\\ Viking Raid

Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

Viking Raid (Replay #1) by Nia Farrell

This is a quick, hot read. I would place it more in the erotica genre than erotic romance, as it lacked development of any credible relationship between Gunner and Brianna. However it was steamy, easy to read and entertaining enough in a bubble-gum and candy-floss way, sweet and flavoursome at the time but not long lasting. I wasn’t convinced as to why a virgin would choose a public play scene with a man she really didn’t know as the place to lose said virginity.

If the author had explored Brianna’s decision more, which on paper felt like a very impulsive choice that didn’t hold water, this would have improved the story. I got the impression that losing her virginity in public would not have been her ideal choice. So why did she? The reason given within the story was one that would quickly have been reversed in real life. Exploring the decision and Brianna’s feelings would have not only strengthened the plot, but would also have given this book real depth.

99 pages just isn’t long enough to do more than give the bare bones of a tale. A novella has to sacrifice something, and in this case it was getting to truly know our hero and heroine, so that instead we could have several very hot and heavy scenes. If you go in not expecting anything more than to be lightly entertained, then you will enjoy this. I got it free in A Taste of Submission, by Pandora Spock, so it was a win-win all round for me.

Title – Viking Raid (Replay Book 1)
Author – Nia Farrell
Genre – BDSM Erotica

Gunnar Falk portrays a Viking leader at Replay, a BDSM theme resort where patrons role play in the past. He’s the Dom everyone wants but no one has had…until the resort’s musical director Breanna Campbell makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
Gunnar isn’t looking for a permanent sub, but he’ll take what Breanna is offering—only because he can’t stand the thought of another Dom claiming the beautifu
l blonde harpist. Her music enchants him. Her innocence beckons him. She’s agreed to give him everything, but will one night be enough?

Review //\\ His Ranch, His Rules

Photo by TheOther Kev on Pexels.com

His Ranch, His Rules by Shanna Handel

His Ranch, His Rules is an easy to read, low angst, somewhat steamy read. Georgia is a hot mess at the start of the book, and I liked how brave the author was in writing the heroine this way. We saw growth in her character and, with one exception (which I will return to later) I liked how she grew in strength and resilience.

Whilst the hero spanks the heroine for the first time really soon after they first met, it was entirely consensual. However, the book really suffered from a very “tell not show” narrated style of writing, this then impacted on my connection with Brody, since the book is written entirely from Georgia’s point of view. However this is perfect if you’re looking for a light, sexy “beach read” with a side of spanking.

I loved Georgia’s uncompromising attitude when Brody messed up and let her down, especially regarding his lack of trust. Now here is where me exception from earlier comes in. Brody not trusting Georgia was what really upset and hurt her, yet this was never addressed. I felt that Brody didn’t truly earn his forgiveness. However I definitely enjoyed this book – hence the three stars.

Title – His Ranch, His Rules
Author – Shanna Handel
Genre – Erotic Western Romance

Georgia Hamilton has done her best to keep her life together since her boyfriend of four years left her broken-hearted, but if she were being honest, she’d have to admit she isn’t doing great. She’s getting tipsy–if not drunk–more and more often, and now she’s lost both her job and her apartment. So when an old friend sets her up with a position complete with room and board on a ranch run by a man who looks like he stepped out of a cowboy movie, she jumps at the chance.
But there’s a catch, of course. Brody Jenkins is an old-fashioned man who believes in hard work, clean living, and firm-handed discipline. That means no drinking, and when she’s caught with a bottle of alcohol, Georgia soon finds herself sobbing and promising to be good as she is very soundly spanked and then pouring her heart out as she is gently held in Brody’s strong arms.

Brody’s stern correction leaves Georgia blushing and sore yet deeply aroused, and she cannot help longing for him to make her his. Once he does, however, she soon learns the hard way that naughty girls can just as easily be punished with pleasure more intense than they can stand. But after a terrible misunderstanding creates a rift between them, will Brody prove to be the man Georgia has always needed, or will she end up leaving his ranch and his rules behind forever?

Review //\\ Bound in Sacrifice

This was a pleasant and fairly quick read that held my attention from start to finish. This is a great book for those who love a darker tale but do not enjoy dub-con and non-con in their story. It is a very lose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, though the Beast seemed to start of all evil and threatening but very quickly morphed into a pussy cat.

My personal preference would have been for a little more conflict between Master B and his little lamb. Rosabelle took to the whole submissive life too easily, quickly embracing and accepting the new experiences thrown her way. That said they were very tame and we didn’t get much detail. Don’t expect highly detailed or boundary pushing BDSM play – a light flogging and an outdoor adventure with a rose was as audacious as it got. At the very end we get the heroine reminiscing on a punishment scene – had the author included this in ‘real time’ in the book it would have added some needed depth and emotion. There were a lot of great plot idea’s but they didn’t feed into the story and help drive the plot or develop character depth. They could have been cut out of the story without altering it’s feel or flow.

The writing, pace and flow are very good and create a very easy to read insta-love story. In terms of La Tour itself, this book very much stayed in “Le Cote Debutant” side of the club, along with the other newbies and tourists, never straying into the “Avace” side. 

Title – Bound in Sacrifie
Author – Murphy Wallace
Genre – BDSM Romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52259902-bound-in-sacrifice

Once upon a time, a scorned Queen opened a box, unleashing horrible evil on the world’s heroes.
Instead of gallantry and chivalry, they now possessed much more perverse traits.
They’ve fallen victim to their darkest and most deviant desires.
This is one of their stories…

A regular at my club racked up a large debt that he couldn’t afford, so I sent my men to collect. Instead of delivering the money I was owed, they brought me her. Unable to fulfill her father’s debt, I told her he would pay for it with his life. When she begged to trade her father’s life for her own, I was intrigued. But she couldn’t hide the shiver of fear cloaked beneath the façade of strength and bravery she tried to portray.

Silly girl, you don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
I’m going to snuff out your pride and stomp on your courage.

My father was a good man with strong values, who put his family above everything else. We weren’t perfect, but we were happy. Then, Mom died and took our happiness with her. Dad quickly got caught in a downward spiral that spun our world into chaos. The warm, caring man that I knew from my childhood was replaced with a complete stranger.

It sucked the light from my world. Now, I feel I will pay greatly for his transgressions.