BEAUTIFUL TEARS (Enemies to Lovers #1) by C.P. Mandara
Over on Goodreads, this is the Dark Erotica groups BOTM for August and I was only to happy to join in for this book. I very much enjoyed the story, once or twice I felt the pace slowed and that the story wasn’t moving forward as quickly as I’d like, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. The author has written two complex characters who you shouldn’t like but somehow you do. S he doesn’t hold her punches and whilst we don’t experience some of the more horrific events as they occur, we do still get to hear about them and suffer the consequences of them.
The writing, plot and characters all combined together to produce a captivating read. There are some incredibly hot BDSM type scenes, though they do contain elements of non-consent/dubious consent. However there is no rape and only really one incident of true physical abuse. The book easily held my attention and it was really easy to read.
Whilst the book is set in the UK, it has clearly been adapted to appeal to the larger US market, neither of the protagonist names are typical of England (or the UK as a whole) but that isn’t a ‘biggie’. I did have an issue with a twist at the end, based on the fact that Brandt had served time in prison I can’t see how that trip would be possible, but since the book ends BEFORE that trip I will withhold further judgement. (Edited to add – the author discussed the book with us and yes she is aware of this and does have alternative plans!)
This was certainly good enough of a read that i will definitely be continuing with the series. I’m also happy to recommend it to others, as long as they are ok with dubious consent, non-consensual BDSM without intercourse and the blurb appeals to them!
Five years ago I told a lie that would land Brandt Browning – local hero and heir to the Mentley Mill fortune – in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
I ruined his life with three small words. “He did it.” I didn’t even have to be there to testify in court. It was too easy.
But that was five years ago. And now Brandt has been released.
He’s coming for me.
This time I’m not waiting around. I’m going to run so far away that no one will ever find me. The trouble is, you can’t hide from money. Eventually Brandt will catch up with me, and when he does, he’ll want payment in blood.
I’m not strong enough to resist the pull between us. If that man gets his hands on me he’ll realise I’m still half in love with him – and that can only end in disaster.
A story that captures your heart, just as Raider captures his Lyric
Raider’s Bounty is set in a ‘middle-ages’ type world, similar in feel to some Viking romances and a little like Lee Savino’s Beserker world, but definitely something of the author’s own creation. Whilst the world building wasn’t massively detailed it also wasn’t really necessary, as this is a story that focuses very much on the two main protagonists. What we do get is a well written, entertaining and nicely paced love story.
Lyric is an omega and Raider is not only an alpha but the leader of his tribe. The tribe who attack Lyric’s village, leaving death and destruction in their wake and capturing a handful of female omegas. Leann Ryanswrites a more gentle alpha-omega dynamic, one where omegas are not repressed and alpha’s to do not have the right to subjugate them. This doesn’t take anything away from the book but does offer an alternative for those who don’t always want, or enjoy, a darker read.
Over the course of the book not only do you get to know both main characters, but I found myself really connecting with them both and believing in their feelings for one another. It’s actually quite a slow burn book, with only a couple of steamy scenes (and they are VERY steamy). I was caught up in enjoying the story that I didn’t even miss them!
This is an ideal book for those who love a ‘captive romance’ but don’t enjoy dubious/non-consent.
When Lyric’s quiet life is shattered by a group of alpha warriors attacking her village, she thinks her worse fears are going to come true. When an omega is captured by an alpha, there’s little question about what is going to happen to her, but is this life any worse than the one her father had planned for her? Will she have a chance of being treated like a person and, maybe, find happiness?
This is a Barbarian Omegaverse Romance with mature themes meant for an adult audience. This book is a standalone with a HEA.
BREAKING IN BELLA, by Isabella Laase, is a wonderful mix of DD, BDSM and pure smexyness.
Sometimes I want a sexy, easy read, so I jumped into this, which was a free serialisation in via the Stormy Nights Publishing newsletter. I wasn’t expecting too much from it, so was pleasantly surprised with the quality of writing, the engaging story line and with just how much trouble Belle could get herself into.
Belle really was an unpleasant brat but as the story progressed we got to know the real her, and to see her grow up and mature. She was a very likeable character by the end and I was only too happy to see her get her HEA with Jack. The book is written third person but pretty much from Bella’s perspective – I would have liked to have had Jack’s too as I find this helps me connect with the character more. However it wasn’t a major issue for me, though he did feel a more distant character.
The book actually had far fewer spanking scenes than I expected, particularly given her bratty and rude behaviour for a chunk of it. From a personal perspective that was fine, I actually enjoyed that this focused on the characters and their lives more. However I would have liked some variety in the spanking scenes we did have, particularly in Belle’s reaction to them.
Whilst perhaps not having the emotionally intensity of other similar books I’ve read, it is still a very enjoyable story. I ‘m happy to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys BDSM/spanking/Domestic Discipline stories.
Birdie and Ace really called to me in Confess, Sin City Salvation #1, and whilst I still loved them in this story, at times they felt like slightly different people to the ones I’d met before. However we viewed them both through the eyes of others, and their misconceptions were part of the explanation for that. I also thought Birdie and Ace’s story overlapped more with Gypsy and Lucian’s story, but we didn’t get to see any of that part.
Ms Zavarelliis the master of writing broken and damaged characters. Protagonists whose very existence is filled with darkness, whose innocence was ripped away far too early in their life. Both Ace and Birdie will make your heart bleed when you learn of their pain and suffering. A lot of the book deals with this pair trying to understand and accept their OWN feelings, never mind negotiating the minefield of forming a relationship with another damaged soul.
My attention never wavered as I read Conflict. There was never a point where I felt bored, was tempted to put it down and read something else or wanted to skim parts. The author writes with such practised ease and in a way that holds your interest. There were a couple of things I would have liked to be different, but these are more along the lines of personal preferencethan a criticism of the book.
Personally I wanted more of the ‘suspense’ element woven through the central sections of the book. That part of the story felt just a little shoe-horned in at the end, just a touch too rushed and easily resolved in some ways. It would also have stopped that same chunk in the middle starting to feel a little ‘ground-hog day’. Ace’s blowing hot and cold and Birdie’s misunderstanding of the situation was repeated just a few too many times with nothing of substance to dilute it down.
However neither of those made this a ‘bad’ story. It was wonderful to see these two get their HEA as well as getting some very brief glimpses of Lucian and Gypsy. Bearing in mind that 4 stars on GR does mean ‘really liked’ this is a book that I am only to happy to recommend to those who love a contemporary romance with troubled characters, a dash of suspense and some darker themes too.
From the shadows, I’ve tracked her every move. I was just supposed to watch her. But now, I can’t stop. She’s my obsession. My addiction. My poison. Watching her isn’t enough. The savage in me won’t be satisfied until I take her and make her mine. One taste and I’m hooked. Too bad for her… I’m never letting her go.
Stalked. Hunted. Captured. He took me from my life and locked me away in his compound. The ex-con. The big bad biker. Inked, bearded, and inhumanely sized. And yet, every time he looks at me, I melt. This broken beast hides demons behind those brutal eyes. I hate him… and I crave him. His touch, his words, his lips. When my enemies come for me, he vows to protect me as long as I do what he says. I’ll be secure in this prison he created for me.
But who will protect me from him?
He dragged his nose through my hair,
breathing me in. And then he pressed his lips against the shell of my ear,
repeating the process all over again as he kissed his way down my jaw. When he
finally got to my lips, I was hungry and wet for him. Dinner was scattered on
the floor around us, long forgotten as his fingers grazed the hem of the silk
robe against my thigh. He pulled it aside, then repeated the action on the
Leaning back, he studied my face
before his eyes drifted to the part of me he’d exposed. I was open for him.
Vulnerable to him. He could see everything, and I didn’t try to hide it. This
was the broken, filthy part of me he needed to see. It was now or never. He
could take it or leave it.
His attention drifted up while he
tugged at the loose fabric covering my breasts. When he was finished, all that
remained was the rope around my waist and the fabric pooling at my sides. I
held my breath as I waited to see what he would do next. After everything that
had just happened, more than anything, I wanted him to want me, and yet I was
terrified he couldn’t. It didn’t make sense, but it was undeniable. He’d seen
me at my worst, and I wanted him to tell me it was okay. It didn’t matter how
fucked up I was, he wanted me anyway.
Just like with everything else, Huck did it in his own way. He reached for the zipper on his jeans, slowly dragging it down while his eyes locked onto mine. They were filled with dark promises and threats that reflected in his voice.
“Tell me to stop, Birdie. If you don’t, I’ll never let you go.”
“Don’t stop.” I forced the words from my raw throat. “Don’t you fucking dare.”
About the Author: A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.
She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time. She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.
Asher has been such a mystery throughout this series, often mentioned but never seen. He doesn’t have the answers to the cash flow mystery but he does arrive with one heck of a surprise for his brothers. Actually make that two surprises, one of which is his wife of one day, Everly.
We find out where he has been and what he has been doing and, eventually, the truth behind all those secrets. I really want to avoid spoilers so will just say that, for me, it fitted well with the overall background history of the Bliss family.
I did feel that the romance element of this book felt a little rushed, I think, given all the story to get through the book perhaps needed to be a little longer. There just wasn’t quite enough time devoted to just Everly and Asher. The plot was really good, the twists, turns and discoveries very much held your attention whilst Asher and Everly were two very likeable and appealing main characters.
The story is very ‘feel good’ and is a perfect beach or comfort read. The sexual content makes it suitable for 18+ but there isn’t anything else in the story that would offend or be a trigger. This is a wonderful story that provides a very happy few hours reading and is one I can happily recommend.
This is one of those books that leaves you wondering what exactly it was you just read, whether you should really be reading it and if there is something wrong with you because you enjoyed it.
I read all the warnings, fully heading the author repeatedly saying this was dark and hopeless. And boy did this take me to the darkest, most depraved depths of hell. I knew going in that this wouldn’t totally be my kind of read, but I also adore Ms Bene so much that, despite that fact, I had to read this. It very much makes it difficult for me to rate the book though. I’ve settled on four stars quite simply because I felt the story flowed, the characters were well crafted and had personality, there was some good world building and background detail and the writing is of a high standard.
Burned is a no-holds-barred and no happiness whatsoever type of read, just in case you didn’t know. There is NO romance, NO happiness and NO satisfactory bad guy getting their just deserts. And until you’ve read one of these types of books you can’t be sure whether or not you will like it. What I will say is that I didenjoy this much more than the original Inferno books. It just felt like it had a little more direction and reason. I also like that the ending, whilst totally a Debby Downer of a conclusion, felt like a hopeless hope. Believe me that will make more sense if and when you’ve read the book!
Bryden is a loathsome man and whilst his actions are not reasonable or acceptable, I could almost understand the ‘why’ of it. Marian was much more of a monster to me, she knew the truth, she knew right from wrong, she knew better. To allow, condone and participate in those acts made her much more of a monster in my eyes. It takes a talented author to craft truly believable, hateful and despicable characters.
My only criticism, which was also true of the original Inferno book, is that there is no explanation of how the family is funded. Bryden goes grocery shopping and I didn’t get the impression that they were self sufficient. Whilst that information wasn’t vital to the story, it was something that I made me ponder and pulled me from the story at one point.
The connection between Ella and Wesley, despite the way Bryden tried to pervert it, gave my poor little soul something good to cling to. It was what allowed me to connect to the story and ‘enjoy’ it, though I’m not sure how appropriate a description enjoy is. They gave each other strength, comfort and ultimately a choice. It was a tiny sliver of grey amidst the pitch black.
I didn’t want to be this man. I never wanted to be like my father.
I just wanted to be loved by him. Accepted. That’s how this happened, that’s how I became this person. Too many years of listening, too many years craving his approval. His words burned into my mind.
And now I crave things the world says I shouldn’t.
I open doors that should remain closed. I cross lines meant to be straight and narrow. But they’ll understand, they’ll see just like I did.
This is the right way of things. The way it’s meant to be.
And whether I have his name or not, at least I’ve finally become the perfect son.
Three men cursed to be ravens; one woman trapped in her swan form. Can they save each other before it’s too late? Read Her Raven Mates by Aria Adams and you can find out how. It’s AVAILABLE NOW!!
4.25 Stars – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
(From the Fated Mates Anthology)
This was a very unexpected but pleasant surprise by Aria Adams. Firstly it’s not as dark or dubious in consent as I’ve become used to and secondly it’s a RH that actually has an interesting and well written plot. There is one ‘dubious’ scene, involving an incorporeal demon and probing tentacles, other than that this is actually much tamer than Aria’s usual work (NOT a criticism just an observation!)
I really loved Eileen’s character, whilst she could be naive, gullible and, perhaps, a little foolhardy it all fitted well with how isolated her life had been, up to that point. Nor did those qualities make her annoying, in fact I was totally behind our girl 100% of the way.
The guys I did find a little interchangeable. I liked that Aria didn’t go for the cliched ‘sweet one’, ‘alpha one’ and ‘kinky one’ BUT I would have liked just a little more delineation between their characters. There were some differences, I personally wanted just a bit more. That said, these are 3 brothers who live together, and it’s not unusual for siblings to have similar personalities. I also wouldn’t have wanted it to be at the expense of the plot either. Stories in anthologies often have a word limit so I can see how that would come into play too.
It’s on the novella/novel border so was easily read in one (quite late to bed) evening. I read it in one go quite simply because I didn’t want to stop or put it down. What a twisty tale full of intrigue! I would love to see Aria expand this story at some point in the future – I want to know so much more about this world and it’s inhabitants!
BLURB Can four raven shifters save the cursed girl they love?
Eileen gets to be human for thirty minutes each day. The rest of the time, she’s a swan. When she meets four injured ravens during a routine errand, she uses her power to save them, and changes her destiny in the process.
The four ravens are cursed men seeking the evil witch who keeps sending dark forces to kill them. Her latest attack leaves them near death. One act of kindness from a stranger brings them back.
Crossing paths with Eileen brings them closer to the witch they hunt, and as the men all find themselves falling for their savior, they realize their fates are intertwined more deeply than they could ever imagine. How can they kill their nemesis, knowing they will lose Eileen in the process?
Stephen King’s Carrie meets The Swan Princess in this chilling paranormal reverse harem. HEA guaranteed.
About Aria Adams Aria is an author of dark erotic romance that dances on the boundary between horror and romance. Her heroes are not always immediately obvious, and neither are the villains. Her books often have elements of horror, and the characters at the end of a story are forever changed by the events that befell them. But she always makes sure there’s a happy ending, even if the characters have to work for it. Aria also writes the warm fuzzy romance stuff as Katie Douglas, where she has had USA Today and multiple number 1 bestselling books in the US and worldwide.
I’m so glad I stuck with the series because I enjoyed this so much more than book 1.
Ravished drew me in from page one and never let me go! There were times when I wanted to smack Dylos in his overbearing face, but most of the time I wanted to trade places with Trina and have me some masterfully dominant alien loving. The characters were nicely rounded and I definitely felt as though I ‘knew’ them.
This had the same great story idea’s as book one but took the story so much further, showing the deepening bond and connection between Dylos and Trrreeena (I loved that little touch!) This is really shaping up to be a very hot alien captive romance series, with a nice swirl of darkness in the centre. The plot was well paced, easily holding my attention and with enough depth to really make the book enjoyable. There were some very sweet touches, especially the pet names and tomatoes, and more of the world building that I enjoyed in the last book.
I can’t wait for Joran’s story and even though we barely met him in this book I sense sparks and spankings galore between him and his human ‘breeder’! I hugely recommend this series to all those who love a great alien/sci-fi romance.
I was an old-fashioned girl, saving myself for Mr. Right. Now, I’m the property of an alien warrior—and he’s determined to make me his mate.
An unknown enemy destroyed Arythios, killing every living creature on the planet. The only survivors of their race are an elite band of male warriors who were away on maneuvers when the attack occurred. Vowing to track down and crush the enemy, they turn to the Interstellar Federation for help. Instead of aid and shelter, they are given a handful of females from a minor planet called Earth.
Dylos Arythios is no more. We’re the only survivors. Though I’m still grieving the loss of my mate, it’s my duty to claim one of these primitive aliens as my own. Mate with her and produce offspring to save our race from extinction. They’re uncivilized, but I’ll train mine to be properly submissive.
To my dismay, the alien female I’ve chosen is stubborn and defiant, often in need of stern punishment. I’ve tried to keep her at a distance, but her virginal innocence stirs my loins, awakening a savage hunger I thought was as dead as my world. And her beautiful soul has touched my heart.
Trina After I refused the advances of one of the most powerful leaders on Earth, he locked me up until I’d agree to participate in his kinky sex games. When his wife found out, she insisted I be sent far away. So he added me to what he said was a diplomatic mission to another world.
I woke up on an alien warship staring into the eyes of a hulking gray-skinned warrior who says I’m now his property. He’s ordered me to call him Master and obey his every command. When I don’t, he punishes me.
He can be kind, too—and he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before. But he’s an alien from another world. How can someone so wrong be the right one for me?
Centauri Captives is a brand new sci-fi romance series from USA Today Bestselling Authors Kallista Dane and Kate Richards featuring masterful alien heroes and captive Earth women they take as mates in a desperate attempt to save their race from oblivion
After Wrath is written entirely from the main male characters pov. I say main male character because no way would I ever call Aleksander/The Dragon a hero! He is glowering, moody, aggressively alpha and deliciously dark. Unafraid to get blood on his hands and with very little patience, Aleks is the man you know will be very bad for you, but who you just can’t resist.
Written entirely from his point of view, and with it also being a novella, it is harder to get a full picture of Brynn/Kitty. I liked what I saw, a strong woman willing to do what it takes to get by but with a good heart and kind soul. I definitely need more of her in future books, more of her with Aleks but also more of her just being.
Having only just read Squall Line I can barely believe this is written by the same author. The entire feel of the book is different it is rougher, sharper, grimier and darker. Violence and torture is second nature to Aleks, living in his world of power, pursuit and pain.
The book is part of an ongoing series and whilst you could probably follow most of this book without having read Wrath first I would encourage reading the books in order. The ending is at a natural point, rather than a cliffhanger, though with the story definitely unfinished! With its captivating writing, enthralling plot, amazing characters, not to mention that doozy of an epilogue I will 100% be continuing with this series.
They took something from me. Something that can never be replaced. They destroyed something. Something that can never be repaired. Only one thing can appease the burning rage in my soul. Unleashing my wrath on those responsible. The Dragon will rise. Death will reign. Because wrath is the deadliest sin. 💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥💀🔥
I really, really enjoyed this story. It’s not terribly deep and meaningful read but it IS hugely entertaining, well written, steamy and twisty. It has touches of darkness, though is more in the lighter grey range.
The story mainly follows Kirie and Arundel Lafayette, who are a strange pairing but who somehow fit beautifully together. There is also a side story of Harrow, who definitely gets her just deserts but ALSO gets the perfect male for her brand of cold in the Alaxian Rahul.
I highly recommend this great read, the writing flowed smoothly, the plot was engaging and the pace held my attention. Some of the punishments are quite extreme but they aren’t painful, as such, and Harrow actually seems to appreciate, if not enjoy, them. Whilst Kirie has been treated awfully, we don’t experience much of that ‘first hand’, so the story didn’t feel overly dark.
It nicely ties up the Human/Alaxian conflict, though there is still opportunity for further books in the series. It can be read as a stand alone, I have read book #1 of the series but not book #2 and easily followed it. I did enjoy this more than the first book, my only complaint is that it ended! I could have happily read more about these couples!
Kirie: I was taken from my family, brutalized by Grande Pharma, and handed over to the psychopath Controller Lark as his plaything. Controller Lafayette saved me. Expecting punishment at every turn, will I ever overcome my shattered past to serve my new master the way he demands?
Lafayette: The Stack is in turmoil. The Alaxians are fighting back. In the midst of dealing with all of this, I can only think of her. The slave I found in a cage. Beautiful. Broken. She is mine, now, and I will teach her to obey me in everything.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy dark sci-fi tale features total power exchange, dominant alpha males, and potentially triggering situations. If any of these elements bother you, please do not purchase. This is the third and final book in the Unbreakable series. While it can be enjoyed as a standalone, reading book one, Invaded, and book two, Defiled, is highly recommended.
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.