A book that makes me both laugh and cry has to be a winner.
Iris and Jude stole my heart in Mister Baller. Their story was simply wonderful, so enjoyable to read. The perfect mix of humour, snark, angst and steam that all blends together to make an amazing love story. I adored Ivy, who was shy but brave and determined, and loved sexy, smooth but also vulnerable Jude.
Cassie-Ann L. Miller writes beautifully, so that you become immersed not only in the story but in the emotions of the protagonists too. I lived the feelings portrayed in this story, I was totally invested in Jude and Ivy, both as individuals and as a couple, cheering them on towards a HEA. Whilst somewhat slow-burn, this is still full of sexual tension and chemistry. An enemies-to-lovers that didn’t have to rely on forced angst to make it interesting, instead great characters and a fantastic story took care of that.
Reading Mister Ballerwas akin to taking a very pleasant journey, time flew past, there was lots to see and do along the way, we experience a few rough patches but it was all worth while when we got to the end.
My college rival. My ex-husband’s best friend. My new roommate? Oh, boy. The last thing I want is to rent my spare bedroom to my ex-husband’s best friend. His six-foot-three, dimple-faced, alphahole best friend. His injured-professional-football-player best friend. But desperate times, desperate measures, y’know? I can’t afford to hold grudges. These heaping bills of mine won’t pay themselves. Keeping my distance from my new roommate should be simple enough. I mean, I can’t stand Jude Kingston. Plus, as my ex’s friend, he’s so off-limits he’s virtually radioactive. In any case, Jude promises to stay out of my way. He’s just a broken football hero in need of a quiet place to focus on healing his injured knee and saving his lifelong dream. Harmless, right? Um, not so much… The man is infuriating. He spends his days parading that shirtless, muscle-bound body all around my house. He insists on involving himself in my private business. He has zero concept of personal space. But he also has this boyish, unintentional charm. And this inconvenient way of repeatedly coming to my rescue. Suddenly, lust is throbbing in every room of this house. Lingering gazes over the dinner table… Sweaty workout sessions on the living room floor… Stolen kisses in the moonlit hallways… I can’t fight these soft feelings growing roots in my belly. Jude is a vine, slowly wrapping himself around my heart. But when a piece of my past threatens his entire future, will our love even stand a chance?
If you don’t love Ivy then you’re not welcome on my team. If they didn’t have some incredible issues of their own, I could be quite jealous of Ava and Emily for getting to be her besties. Ivy shines like a star, dazzling those around her and casting light into the shadows, where it’s not always welcome. Where Luca was strong in an almost foolhardy and naive way, Ivy’s strength is in her very ability to hide in the spotlight, keep a gameface, and lie as good as, if not better than, Fraud himself.
Talking of Gabe, he was a worth adversary to Ivy but was never going to beat the Queen of Deception. Oh he liked to think he had the upper hand, in fact he was allowedto believe that for such a long time, but then men always mistakenly believe that females are the weaker sex. This pair are so well matched, so absolutely perfect for one another and so amazing together, despite the lightning strikes and storms that occur when they are in close proximity – literally. You can feel the air crackling with tension and static electricity when they are in the same room. When they’re alone together – well just make sure you read this somewhere ‘safe’ because the word ‘hot’ doesn’t even come close to describing the heat and chemistry between Ivy and Gabe. They weren’t the only ones sweating!
Whilst I liked Tanner and loved Luca, their story didn’t draw me in the way Gabe and Ivy’s did. I could, and did, step away from that one. This book I couldn’t put down, well I did at 1 am but only because I had to be up at 7 for work. It felt as though Lily might have taken on board comments made about Treachery, though perhaps she already had those explanations planned. It doesn’t matter the how or why, just the fact that in this book I believed in the circle, their fight and their reasons more. I also really enjoyed seeing Tanner get his ass handed to him, that guy still rubs me wrong at times, though he does help Ivy so he’s forgiven, maybe.
This story felt as though it continually moved forward, little secrets and truths slowly revealed, new mysteries unearthed. Just the right speed to keep the tension humming, to drive the pace onwards, to hold me spellbound. We kept hearing about the ‘event’ that caused Ivy to ask Tanner for a favour. I’ll be honest and say that I almost expected to be disappointed by it. Just what could have been so bad but also ‘fixable’. Too many times otherauthors have set up the same premise of a secret, have built the anticipation and have fallen flat at the last hurdle by revealing a ridiculous, an unbelievable and/or a secret so pathetic it ruins the book. I should never have doubted Lily White‘s ability to pull this off. She is, after all, the Queen of the Messed Up, F’d up, Plot Twist, surprising us at every turn, pulling the rug out from under out feet and twisting the twist. Just remember this book isn’t called Fraud for Gabe alone. it takes a liar to know a liar and to foola liar.
Blurb: Eighth Circle. Fraud. Also known as Gabriel Dane.
He is a ray of sunshine that warms your heart with kind eyes and a dazzling smile. Don’t let him fool you with that silver tongue or lure you in with a body that draws every woman’s eye. This man is fluent in deception and a devil who only offers pretty lies. Gabriel is my old nemesis. I’m the girl that always fought back. He has every reason to hate me as much as I hate him. Now that he found me, he’s determined to make me pay for our past. Except, there are two small details Gabriel doesn’t know that will be his ultimate downfall:
There are no rules when it comes to our war. And I’ve learned to lie just as good as him.
***Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Standalone novels. Nine dangerous men. Nine unrepentant sinners you’ll hate to love.
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.
3.5 Stars I originally read this somewhere between 3 and 4 years ago, so I’d forgotten that it’s pretty short (27 pages), but since it was a freebie I’m not complaining.
This can easily be read just as an erotic short story but if, like me, you become addicted to Jenny and Mark’s story it continues through 5 more books (8 if you count the Velvet series). One thing that stands out is that the author certainly has a way with words, despite the initial scenario requiring somewhat of a suspension of disbelief, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this boundary pushing, slightly (very?) dub-con, erotic romance.
Whilst I can imagine this type of school existing for the willing, enrolling unwilling participants and ‘selling them on’ would open them to a whole host of criminal charges, should that person ever get to contact the police. That said, this is fun erotic fiction and so, in the interests of enjoyment, I’m happy to let that little fact slide.
Despite Jenny being a selfish, spoilt individual, I kind of felt sorry for her. Particularly as it struck me that poor parenting might have been at least partly to blame. This is too light a read to worry about such deep topics (at the moment anyway). The heat level is quite very high, though the content of this book is fairly tame. I do seem to remember it getting kinkier and kinkier as the series progressed and I’m certainly going to be ‘Learning the Ropes’ next 😉!
4 Stars – because it’s brilliant but still only 37 pages This is another titillating, naughty and down right deliciously depraved snippet of Jenny’s ongoing introduction to the life of a pony girl. Books 1 – 3 are all short stories, they would combine together to make a story somewhere between novella and novel in length. Each is a vignette, a scene of Jenny’s torment and slide into the strange world of the Albrecht Stables. She isn’t there willingly, so the entire thing is very dub-con/non-con but at the same time it isn’t overly dark. Jenny is unwilling but also very much enjoys the punishments she is subjected to. There is nothing that would cause a threat to her life, nor cause severe, permanent or lasting damage to her body.
Whilst Jenny will suffer pain, humiliation and indignities galore, she is ‘only’ subjected to BDSM style activities. I say style because we all (should) know that the tenets of BDSM are based around SSC (Safe, Sane and Consensual), RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) and/or PRICK (Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink). Jenny has NOT given any consent so this immediately goes against everything BDSM holds dear. However it IS a work of fiction and not purporting to be an instructional guide, indeed the author has a very clear disclaimer regarding that very fact, so for me this is a non-issue.
I am loving this naughty story and am now moving on to ‘Hot to Trot‘ for a little more boundary pushing fun.
4 Stars for 55 pages of filthy fun Humiliation upon humiliation is heaped upon our poor heroine. Despite her being a rather petulant, spoilt and selfish individual, I do feel some sympathy for her. This is something the author does quite well. She makes her characters just imperfect enough, just the wrong side of right, so that whilst you like them, you don’t feel too much empathy or sorrow for their terrible plight! She enjoys a lot of that plight and a multitude of orgasms does sound enjoyable. However forced orgasm torture probably isn’t called torture because it’s so much fun.
We get more and more intrigue thrown in, and if I ever met Jenny’s dad I think I would castrate him with a blunt table knife before stabbing him in the eye with a rusty spoon. There are other players afoot in this game, and lots of backstabbing, not to mention tongue-stabbing – though that’s a very different activity all together.
I’m impressed with how well Jenny’s holding everything together. I’m sure I would have descended into a quivering mess of forlorn sobs or become a raving lunatic after being subjected to the same treatment. After all this is very much non-con, though very gentle non-con as there is no rape, violence or physical abuse. Being forced to train as a pony-girl does probably count as mental and emotional abuse though – even if she does enjoy some of it. Or maybe she’s just so incredibly used to getting her own way that poor Jenny’s brain can’t comprehend fully the truth of her situation. Either way it makes for a darn good, kinkily depraved, read.
I now own all 9 the books in this series, but overloading on arc commitments for the past two years means I’m very behind on finishing them. So the re-read is two-fold, firstly to remind myself of events so I can understand the books I haven’t read, second is that I read them in my pre-review on goodreads days, and not having a review on here bugs the heck out of me. This is the last and longest of the ‘short’ parts of the story, there are 3 additional full length books in Pony Tales plus the three Velvet Collar books (which in many ways can be read as a stand alone trilogy).
4.5 Stars for the one where Jenny is used, abused and given a new name. Where Pony Tales 1 -3 introduced us to Albrecht stables and the erotic delights that await Jenny there, this book gives us a more rounded story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, loved the heat factor, adored the intrigue and can not wait to find out what happens next. Not only do we have lots of delightful pony-girl training to look forward to, but there is a clearly emerging storyas well. One that is clearly about more than just simple erotica. But just as Jenny was teased to the edge of orgasm (repeatedly), so are we teased, by the author, with little hints and clues and snippets of information.
This book is significantly longer than the previous three (120 pages), allowing us to learn more about Mark as well as providing us with plenty of depraved, kinky torture of the hapless Jennifer. We understand that there is more to this story than just forced pony play, with the author introducing some finely crafted elements of suspense. We aren’t seeing the whole picture yet – where would the fun be in that? But we certainly know a lot more than Jenny does. Or should that now be P? Thus far we have gotten to know Jenny quite intimately, on all levels 😉, every pun intended! In Named and Shamed the personality of other main players is also built on, turning them from caricatures/outlines into recognisable, distinct characters.
There were so many times I wanted to slap Mark. His arrogant head is so far up his own behind and he is so busy thinking with his not so little head, that he is missing big clues. Particularly the one that points out how annoyed Jenny gets when he treats her like she is less than human. Which is a paradox because the objectification also turns her on. Unlike Mark, she never loses her intelligence, wisely knowing which battles to fight and making the best of a bad situation by finding pleasure where she can, whilst biding her time until she can somehow escape.
4.5 Stars I loved this much longer installment of the Pony Tales series. We got more gloriously kinky pony play, more dub-con deliciousness (which Jennifer enjoys immensely) along with lots more clues and hints as to what is in play behind the scenes. There was more of Mark in his ‘real’ life and some scenes of him at play with his submissives.
I will say that we still aren’t at a ‘romance’ point in the story, though there is a definite connection between Mark and Jennifer. There are scenes that some might interpret as cheating, or on the borders of it, but as there is no actual relationship/commitment between them, I don’t view it as such.
Jennifer learns some shocking truths in this book, enough almost to break her resolve. She also suffers the consequences of her naive/foolish trainer choice. Added to all that, she is subject to 48 hours of the most cruel sexual torture, humiliated beyond belief, set impossible to achieve tasks, barely fed and watered, driven to exhaustion and abused by a sadist. Despite all that she finds herself enjoying much of it and using the rest of it to keep herself angry and sane.
The writing is good, with some nice little touches of humour. The plot moves along well and this is an excellent read for when you want to indulge in a scorching hot, NSFW, filthily depraved story but also want a decent plot with it, rather than just crudeness. I’m off to read the final book now!
5 Starsand saving the best until last(?) How can a book be both wrong, funny and super sexy all at the same time? I’m not sure but Christina Mandarahas certainly achieved that with The Ties That Bind. She has also produced an amazing story, full of suspense, peril, snark and heat.
Over the last few books we got to know Jenny, in this book I felt we really got to grips with knowing Mark, and I really liked what I saw. Unlike the previous five books, in this one we spend barely any time at Albrecht stables, though there was still lots of delightful kinky and perverse fun to be enjoyed, involving carousel horses and fish tanks.
There are dark elements to the story, though it doesn’t ‘feel’ dark, in part due to Jennifer’s mental attitude and fortitude throughout the books. The vast majority of the kinky sexual torment that she is subjected to would be considered at best dubious consent, and sometimes non-consensual. It is softened by the fact that Jenny thoroughly enjoys most of what she is subjected to, and further tempered by both a message from the author in the foreword and the fact that so very much of this story is fairy tale like in it’s stretching of the possible.
I found myself totally absorbed in the story, spellbound by the excellent writing, drawn in by great characters (both good and bad), mesmerised by the twisted eroticism and entranced by the chemistry between Jenny and Mark. Theirs is not a conventional relationship, in fact it is still debatable if it could be called a relationship at all. It is, however, a compelling and all encompassing connection.
With each book read my enjoyment of this series has continued to increase. I really enjoyed the first few books but I am now totally invested in this pair and can’t wait to see how their future plays out in the Velvet Lies series. Just so long as Michael Redcliffe, and a few others, get their comeuppance!
A very sympathetically told and erotically charged age-play tale.
This was somewhere between a 3 and 4 star read, but for the sheer bravery of the author in tackling a difficult topic, with a mature couple, and I’m plumping for the higher rating. The writing engaged me and I found the book really easy to read. Given the subject matter, this isn’t an overly erotic tale, it is much more about the emotional and mental aspects of their lifestyle choice than it is about kinky sex.
Cheri’s New Rules was really well written, I definitely felt a connection with both main characters, as well as believing in their love for one another. Cheri’s struggles to accept her own desires felt very true and were a real strength of the story. And what an unusual but also compelling story it is.
We don’t get to see a couple falling in love, we don’t even meet them on the start of their journey into an age-play relationship, and that is a very bold decision for any author to make. I’m really please Markie Morellidecided to do just that, because what we got was a story that was so plausible it could, perhaps, have been based on real life. I feel if we had joined them as they embarked on their new life adventure, it might have felt a little ‘fairy tale’, left on an impossible to achieve HEA. I loved that we joined them and saw that even after three years things weren’t always perfect. That both still made mistakes, and had new things to try out and to discover, including new play, themselves and about their spouse.
Whilst the story refers to new rules, what we see are the current rules in operation along with Cheri’s consideration of agreeing to a move from ‘play’ to a 24/7 life. In some ways I wanted a little more from the ending BUT there is a book 2. I don’t think an epilogue or a few chapters would have satisfied me either, so on reflection I quite like where the author chose to end this book. I’m definitely planning on reading the second book at some point in the future.
Title – Cheri’s New Rules (New Rules #1) Author – Markie Morelli Genre – DD/lg BDSM Romance Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34110542-cheri-s-new-rules Blurb – Every marriage has its ups and downs and for twenty years, Judge Michael Reynolds has been reminding himself of that fact. His wife, Chéri, is the epitome of the perfect suburban wife. Chéri works for an advertising agency, raises their twin sons, and micromanages them all to within an inch of their lives. It’s working, he reassures himself. It’s not working well, but it’s working. He keeps his nose to the grindstone and stays out of her way as best he can, avoiding confrontations and acting as a buffer between her and the boys. Even now he isn’t sure if he is having a mid-life crisis or it has something to do with the boys going off to college – but one day he’s had enough, more than enough! It’s time for some new rules, and for the first time in a very long marriage, he feels capable of enforcing them. Michael tries not to present them as an ultimatum, but Chéri knows what they are just the same. Her husband is tired of her domineering, controlling ways. While he readily accepts his part of the blame for what their marriage has become, he is not willing to continue with the status quo.
Oh my poor, sweet Aida. If you want some help disemboweling Er’it with a rusty spoon then I am more than happy to offer my services.
Rite of Omegais, quite simply, a captivating, dark, fantasy omegaverse tale. It was a story I couldn’t put down, a story of pain and suffering, a story of dark deeds and twisted souls, a story of a corrupted alpha and an unwitting omega. Eva Dresdenhas created a dark, middle ages style world, one where magic is every day and omegas are more rare than the Gutenberg Bible. The author imbues such emotion into her descriptions, painting mesmerising images with her words. She leaves some of aspects a little open and vague, allowing the reader to make their own interpretation of it.
As the first of a duet, there wasn’t a great deal of ‘romance’ in this part, just as there often isn’t in the first half of a novel. I know without a doubt that this will unfold in the second half. Possibly when absence makes the heart grow fonder, or indeed wakes up the block headed lout and opens his eyes to the future he may just have squandered. There is an undeniable chemistry between Aida and Er’it, and it was during these passionate scenes that he showed glimpses of just how caring he could have been, though often it angered him so much he reverted to his poor treatment of her. I couldn’t help but adore Aida, what some might consider doormat tendencies, I saw as years of abuse and conditioning to never question, keep your head down and follow the rules.
Initially, I though Er’it might discover some redeeming features, might show some care for Aida. Boy oh boy I couldn’t have been more wrong. The inhumane and degrading acts he subjected Aida to were, at times, heartbreaking. Yet I found myself unable to hate him, like Aida there was something about him that called to me. He has a long way to go before he has redeemed himself, and I’m almost hoping it requires him walking barefoot over hot coals, strewn with broken glass, whilst being whipped with stinging nettles. Even then I might need to see more suffering from him. Perhaps Kel will stick that horn where the sun doesn’t shine, Er’it deserves it.
I can’t wait for part two – particularly not after that intriguing cliff-hanger.
Title – Rite of the Omega (Blood Rites Duet #1) Author – Eva Dresden Genre – Dark Fantasy Omegaverse Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50263074-rite-of-the-omega Blurb – Orphan. Jealously guarded possession. The object of her cruel guardian’s desires. These are the only things Aida Vertia has known in her life. Locked away in the high towers of Logoria, the seat of Aeslomor, she has little contact with the outside world. Knowing nothing of its splendor and beauty, she sees only the cruelties within the sooty stone walls of her prison. Then he comes on the crest of a raging inferno. Destroying everything she’s ever known. Freeing her from one prison for the cold, hard chains of the next. They call him the Usurper. A blood crazed mage, no different than the one before. Yet he is wholly different. Forcing her to bend to his will, she is helpless to stop the way he makes her soul sing. No matter the murderous vengeance in his eyes or the vicious oaths he swears. He claims she has a purpose that he’ll see fulfilled, but amid the ruins of her past, she’ll find a destiny far more devastating.
A well crafted, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable story.
Spirit is definitely full of just that, a tough cookie of a heroine who, even when life kicks her down, paints on a happy face and thinks of others. Coop is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, all parceled up in one gorgeous package. Both of them have secrets, both of them have known suffering, both of them are loners, used to coping on their own.
When Coop first met Spirit he really didn’t impress me, he wouldn’t take a polite no and then took offence when she stretched the truth to fob him off. It took a loooooong time but Coop did eventually realise just how wrong he had been, but not until Spirit has suffered through a few fraught encounters, and a lot more, with him.
I don’t want to say too much due to spoilers, so I’ll stick with how much I loved these characters. We get glimpses of old favourites, from previous books, though this story could very easily be read standalone. Neither of the main protagonists are perfect, they both have made mistakes but equally they are incredibly loyal people. The chemistry between them felt very natural, meaning it was incredibly easy to believe in the developing relationship.
The romance between Spirit and Coop is only one element of the book. There are also a couple of different mystery elements and plenty of action filled plot that add up to one really great read. Ruthless Sinner is quite a long book, allowing plenty of time to fully develop both the characters and the story line. It was the perfect balance, so that nothing felt rushed but at the same time it didn’t drag either.
I sort of guessed who the bad guy was, though it was more of a hunch. I wasn’t totally convinced it was definitely that person, for a while, and I did waver over other suspects too. The suspense element was really well written through the story and the big “show down” was unexpected, twisty and amazing. I loved how it drew in previous elements of the story, how it sort of drew a line under things and allowed a fresh start of sorts.
Elements of the book are pretty thought provoking too. Coop is a “chemist” who cooks up drugs for the cartel to sell, he kills other bad guys and makes no apologies for that. Spirit, with no qualifications and in need of money, spent a brief period as a sex worker and she seemed to be the more judged for that past. She had done nothing to harm anyone, but was a pariah in her community. Looked down on, disregarded as trash, yet she had the most caring and forgiving soul. In real life I really wouldn’t want to know a Coop, because drugs to ruin lives, but (a) this is fiction and (b) in all other aspects he was a very honorable man. He drove himself into the ground to try and ensure the safety of local women. He was also loyal to those who had earned his trust and respect. We can be pretty quick to judge and in some ways this is a case of ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.
TL;DR In summary this is an action packed, well written, steamy mafia romance with two great main characters and a fantastic plot. Highly recommended.
Blurb Determined to get her mother the healthcare she needs, drop dead gorgeous Spirit Westcott works as a stripper, not caring that it cements her reputation as the Beauview village bad girl. But when Spirit falls foul of John Cooper, the newest member of the notorious Zeta Cartel, she loses her job. Furious, Spirit confronts Coop–only to discover his secret drug lab. When Coop decides to save her, by disappearing her and keeping her captive, Spirit is less than impressed. However, she quickly learns that Coop has an even deadlier secret, and one that may drag her into the abyss. When dangerous, single-minded John Cooper learns his best friend was murdered, he resolves to exact bloody vengeance. The knowledge that his prey is a Zeta, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cartels, doesn’t stop him. Coop joins the organisation, only to discover that finding his prey won’t be easy. To his annoyance, sexy Spirit Westcott is also a spanner in the works. After embarrassing him in public, Coop suddenly finds himself saddled with her as an unwanted captive. Then, just as things couldn’t get worse, a killer starts to pick off Beauview village girls. As Coop is drawn further into the cartel, he is forced to make decisions that may cost him his life–and that of his love.
Boy was this something else, not perfect, but still an amazing read.
I had already read and reviewed the first quarter of the book, which was originally released as a prequel. This time I skimmed over that part but my thoughts on it can be found here Treachery Prequel.
I’m also going to point you towards this review here Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️’s Review as it perfectly captures how I felt about this book. When I was struggling to connect to Tanner, when his arrogance was almost too much and I was considering DNF’ing Treachery (yep, I went from that point to giving it 4 stars!!!!) I read this review, which not only resonated with me but gave me the impetus to complete the book. Thank you Ꮗ€♫◗☿, not only did it enable me to finish the story but I LOVED this book by the end.
So how does a book go from being an almost DNF to almost 5 stars? Well in the case of this it has the brilliantwriting of Lily White. It has characters that, love the or hate them, have personality. It has a twisty plot filled with scorching passion and devious manipulations. The last third of this was, without doubt at leasta 5 star read but in all honesty and fairness I couldn’t give it that rating given my initial feelings.
Firstly it took me a long, long time to like Tanner. A very long time. Too long. He was just too much of an arrogant ass, too self-centred, too uncaring. The ‘excuse’ that he has been raised to be manipulative, that he hadn’t had loving parents, didn’t wash with me. Plenty of people use that experience to become a better person, to not repeat the sins of their fathers.
Tanner hated everything about his Dad but I couldn’t see how he was any different, in the long run. He was selfish to an extreme with, at one point, no redeemable qualities. I really wasn’t sure how the author would ever turn my dislike of him around, but my god she did, and then some. That alone indicates just how amazing her writing is.
The story starts with our protagonists at Yale, where they are all completing graduate courses. First of all I suffered from having to suspend my disbelief at how powerful these nine men supposedly were. At how everybody other than Luca succumbed to that power, became ensnared within the web these guys had spun. Nope, just not buying that, not for one minute. There was an over emphasis on how different Luca was in her behaviour, and I get that maybe it was to make her stand out, but it was another thing that was hard for me to believe.
Then there was the number of times Tanner mentally threatened that their fathers’ days were numbered. At Yale they were toeing the line because daddy was paying their way. Yet three years later, and financially independent, they still hadn’t cut those ties. How they built this multi-million (billion?) dollar business so quickly wasn’t explained, nor how it continued to thrive when none of them seemed to spend much time there. Tanner even bragged about letting others do all the work, if only running a business really was that easy!
Finally, whilst a lot of their manipulation, and lies, felt possible, there were instances when far too many stars needed to align in the right order, at the right time, for their plans to work. The thing is these plans relied on people choosing one particular action where that outcome was not guaranteed. Where independent thoughts and actions could have thrown all those careful plans awry. And let’s face it Luca never follows the expected path. The repeated need to suspend disbelief is where my biggest issues occurred, the thing that made me want to close the book and leave it behind. BUT I didn’t do that, and thank goodness because boy did this turn out to be one heck of a ride. I couldn’t read the last third, or so, quickly enough. There were red herrings and twists galore and I don’t think I managed to call even one of them.
Luca kept me in this for quite a while, her strength, her fight, her determination not to be manipulated, her ability to throw a spanner in the works and to ruffle Tanner’s feathers. She learns from her mistakes and whilst she plays a dangerous game, she doesn’t have many options. If Tanner wanted her help, her support and ultimately her love then he needed to earn it. Not by manipulating her, not by backing her into a corner and demanding it, forcing it, but by opening up, showing her the truth and letting her choose.
It takes a long time, and Gabriel’s intervention, for Tanner to realise his lies, his tricks and his manouverings would not work on Luca. To give her the FULL respect she deserved and to allow her the freedom of deciding her own fate and future. And my oh my, when Tanner decides to do something he puts everything into it. He 100% earned her trust and loyalty. He worked for and deserved her forgiveness. He laboured for her love and there was nothing else to do but forgive him and accept him. Best of all was that in many ways he didn’t change, he was still the same arrogant, full of himself, manipulative bastard, but not with Luca. In fact I’m fairly certain he would kill for her, literally.
So in summary TL;DR after suspending some of your disbelief and ignoring what an annoying arse Tanner is, this is a cracking read with a fantastic heroine and a hero who does eventually earn her forgiveness.
Also known as Tanner Caine.
He is a temptation with cold, dark eyes.
A man with a seductive smirk and a body built for pure sin.
The linchpin of a group of wealthy bad boys known as the Inferno.
A dark presence that repels as much as he attracts, Tanner is the poisoned apple I want to bite even when I know it will destroy me.
Our story started in college, but I ran from him so far I believed I was safe.
I should have known he’d find me eventually.
I should have known that nobody escapes.
He has me in his sights again with an offer I can’t pass up.
I know better than to make a deal with the Devil.
Not unless I’m willing to pay his sensual price…
(Treachery is Book One of the Antihero Inferno Series. Nine Standalone novels. Nine dangerous men. Nine unrepentant sinners you’ll hate to love.)
Excerpt: Some monsters are frightening because they kill and maim without remorse. Some are scary because they get in your head and make you doubt everything you believe you know about the world around you. Tanner is terrifying because it takes nothing at all for him to set his sights on you, to ignite his anger and draw his attention. And instead of simply destroying you physically or mentally, he is the type of monster who will alter your entire world and leave you struggling to breathe while watching it all come tumbling down. He leaves you alive to witness the chaos. He leaves you drowning while he storms off, satisfied that there isn’t so much as a shred of what you once had left for you to cling onto. Maybe monster is the wrong word. It’s too simple. Too ordinary. Other men are monsters. Lesser men are monsters. Not Tanner. Tanner is a maelstrom. He frightens me now even more than he had at Yale. I try to lie to myself and swear the fear has everything to do with the money I will lose. But there’s something else, something deeper, something shadowed and burning with fierce carnal desire that lingers like a fog within my core. Memories collide with the present, the aching I feel every time Tanner is nearby. Because it hadn’t been easy to avoid him so many years ago. It had been a fight, a war, a bloody battle occurring inside me.
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.
Whilst I’m not quite convinced that this was quite a 4 star read but it was much closer to that than 3 stars, so 4 it is.
Zhànshì is a well paced, entertaining, has a great heroine, a sexy hero and held my interest throughout. The story is set in modern times, though this is only obvious when modern technology is mentioned. Most of the time it had either an historical or a fantasy feel to it, but that made it more interesting not less.
Whilst this didn’t totally absorb me it did retain my attention and, unlike a couple of other recent reads, I never considered DNF’ing it. I appreciated how skillfully the author wove a tale that really did feel like a darker retelling of the Disney fairytale (as opposed to the original Chinese legend). Lia has always felt like an outsider, uninterested in becoming a warriors wife but rather wanting to be the warrior herself. I liked both her and Jaxon, they both held honour, faith and family in high regard and were prepared to die for their principles.
We all have our own interpretation of dark, so for me it was more that this had dark themes. However it does need a trigger warning as it contains one more detailed scene, and another implied, of sexual assault on the heroine. There are also incidences of physical assault too. However I find my darkness in the psychological effects and emotional impact on main characters but Lia was too strong, too much of a warrior to allow the enemy to break her, so for me it made the dark aspects easier to read. It fitted well with Lia’s strength of character so I had no qualms about her response to Wang’s treatment.
I would have liked just a bit more drama, a touch more angst and not quite such a quick resolution (I won’t say easy because it wasn’t). Not so much plot holes as glossing over the difficult parts. However I still enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting, it’s a decent story.
Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is?
Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him?
Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.
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.
Sorry, Jake needed to grovel so much more, but I still really enjoyed this!
There is just something so warm, soft and comfortable about this author’s voice. Not bland, not boring, not *meh*, more of a soft kiss and a gentle caress, with a bit of hair pulling to add a frisson of excitement. As with book 1 I felt that the female character underwent a LOT of personal growth, and really grew in this story. Charlotte was a strong character and I loved how she made things work for her and be on her terms.
We do get a fair amount of internal monologue, more so for the heroines, but I never found it boring, pointless or trite. Every time we experience the heroine thinking through the situation she was in, mulling over her options, reflecting on her reactions we really got to know her intimately. It also meant that I understood her responses to a situation, the whys and wherefores of a decision, so rather than her appearing weak willed or like a doormat we saw the bravery in her choices and she felt more like a warrior than a wimp.
Her chemistry with Jake was off the charts, the heat between them was enough to give me a sunburn! What I find unusual, but in a refreshing way, are the number of scenes where the couple aren’t together. Whilst this runs the risk of not convincing us of their connection – because how do a couple fall in love if they’re apart more than together? – clever use of conversations, clear representation of passion and emotion, all round great writing never left me in any doubt of Jake and Charlotte’s bond.
Yet again this was a book I didn’t want to put down, it just drew me in and was so very enjoyable., engaging me on an emotional level too. My only criticism is how easily things were resolved, in fact we don’t really get to see that part. In this situation I not only needed to see Jake grovel but also to earn back Charlotte’s trust. And after his crappy behaviour towards her, which was sort of semi understandable but also showed a complete lack of trust and respect for Charlotte, I needed more than the declaration of love that I got. I also felt it ignored the fact that the hadn’t opened up to her in the same way she had for him. It made the relationship feel a little one sided and I felt as though she had invested more into the relationship. I needed to see Jake work to repair the damage he had caused and to earn his forgiveness.
Overall this felt like quite a small thing in a story where 99.9% felt perfect, so I would still happily recommend the book. And when I’ve cleared my arc backlist (oops) I will definitely be reading the next books too – especially Micah’s because *swoon*.
Genre – Contemporary / BDSM Romance
Charlotte and Jake keep getting thrown together. After twelve years of crushing on the hot businessman she first met as a student at university, travel journalist Charlotte is more than prepared to see how things progress, but Jake keeps getting cold feet. When he walks away for the second time, Charlotte decides to explore the unusual lifestyle he keeps throwing up as a barrier. But because of a terrible past experience, Jake misinterprets her interest and believes she is out to scoop a news story at the expense of him and his newly acquired club. Can she convince him of the truth or will this be the end of what was beginning to be a beautiful relationship at last?
This story has more depth and complexity than most Domination/submission/spanking stories.
Having read, and loved, most of this author’s Russo Saga series (and if you haven’t read it yet you need to rectify that!) I of course couldn’t resist reading this story. Whilst it doesn’t have the darkness, the grittiness, of that series it DOES have the same great writing and a hero who needs the love of a good woman to save his sorry ass.
Nicolina Martinsure can write a damaged, cranky, dangerous but utterly sexy and totally desirable alpha-hole hero. Cole was both loveable and smack-around-the-head-able at the same time. No wonder Casey couldn’t resist him! His constant blowing hot and cold could have become irritating BUT I felt that we got enough of his mental battles, his emotional struggles to understand his inability to not be a complete dick most of the time.
Casey living, working and surviving in what was very much a man’s world meant that she never felt weak. Even when she maybe made silly choices (especially regarding Alex) they came from a desire to protect, or to not be dictated to. I really liked her, and her bravery in going after what she wanted, what she needed, from Cole.
I’ve read a fair few Stormy Nights books and you sort of get to know the ‘formula’ of them. However, whilst this stayed within their remit, it also felt like it offered so much more. More complexity in its characters, more depth from them, more conflict both between them and within them, more story, just… more.
I started reading this last night and gritty, tired 1 a.m. eyes were the only thing that stopped me completing this in one sitting. If you’re looking for a great story, with themes of power exchange, a redeemable bad boy and a tough take-no-prisoners heroine then you need to be reading this book right now.
Casey Keagan is fleeing from a man hellbent on destroying her. I couldn’t care less. She needs to run somewhere else. Being a mechanic at a construction site in Alaska is no job for a girl, and I intend to put her on the next flight out. She claims that she hates my guts, but her eyes tell a different story and her big mouth is going to get her into so much trouble one day. Trouble spelled Cole Hooper. When her submissive side calls to the Dominant in me, it’s only a matter of time before she becomes my latest addiction. The dirty games we play are forbidden, and if we’re caught it will ruin us both. I keep telling her it’s only temporary. But telling her is one thing. Convincing myself is another.