Protecting It All (The Punishment Pit #6) by Livia Grant
Well Livia Grant certainly saved the best until last. Or at least last for now since a “series 2” is already in the pipeline.
I’ve had my ups and downs with this series, so it was a great relief to end on a truly big “up”. The fact that this book didn’t really include much D/s or BDSM seems very telling. Generally I enjoy the author’s style of writing, but I did find myself agreeing with one reviewer who spoke of how the punishments seemed more important than the welfare of the submissive. I get that this is fiction, and clearly many readers have enjoyed the books, I just struggled with the men never seeming to atone for their wrongs yet going over the top in their punishment of the submissive for the slightest transgression. Particularly given that one was pretty much still a sub-in-training.
However I’m digressing form Protecting It All, which is a great romantic suspense and even though it was insta-love I still found myself believing in Dylan and Hannah’s emotions. Probably more so Dylan but that’s because he’s already a little obsessed by Hannah before she’s even really acknowledged his existence. Whilst we do get some Lukas/Marcus/Tiffany/Brianna scenes, most of the book was either from Dylan or from Hannah’s POV, so it gave it a bit of a “spin off” feel. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it more, I wasn’t carrying any previous baggage for the two MC’s of this book.
I am wondering if you could read this one stand alone. A part of me thinks that you could, but I’ve read the other books so can’t be sure. I really did enjoy this one though, and I do recommend it.
Sometimes life is just too short to waste on a book that isn’t hitting the mark. I feel I gave this one a good go but at 64% I just can’t do it to myself anymore.
Unlike some readers the “darkness” in this didn’t bother me – particularly as it didn’t really seem to bother the heroine either. Despite being technically raped anally and vaginally she put up all the fight of a week old well-fed kitten. Jeez this book, and heroine, had my eyeballs rolling so much I’m surprised they didn’t fall out of my head. If I had a pound for every time she decided she would fight back/say no/take control and then promptly folded like an undercooked souffle I’d have enough to buy me a book or two with strong heroines.
I get this is fiction, so I’m prepared to give the plot some leeway but this one sailed so far from the shore of anything believable that reality is a tiny dot on the distant horizon. There is absolutely nothing likeable in the least about Gerald, and to be honest nothing sexy either. He is a murderer and a rapist and has yet to demonstrate either the tiniest morsel of remorse or show any real care towards Cara. The only positive is that it was a Kindle Unlimited borrow, so I didn’t waste any money on it.
A debt is owed, and he takes me as payment. HER When my father runs up too much debt, I pay the price. I’ve been sold. Sold to a man who vows to break me. A man who keeps his face hidden from me, even as his dark desires awaken mine. It wasn’t my debt to pay, but he took me, anyway. He said he would have his payment, even if it cost me my soul. HIM I run the club. If someone steps out of line, they either work for me or disappear. But when a local man runs up too much debt, I take his daughter as payment. She is mine to do with as I please. I will have her completely; mind, body, and soul. Nothing would please me more than breaking her. I didn’t think I would feel for her. I didn’t think I could love again. Now I might be the one who ends up broken.
Scorpio and Harlan’s story was engaging, quite sweet at times and super hot. It was a really easy, pleasant and light read, with a little bit of angst and a lot of steam.
Whilst I liked Scorpio and Harlan, I never really felt like I got to know them deeply. It’s not that they were one dimensional but I felt like we only skimmed the surface of them. I didn’t really care for all the “edge” references, I still couldn’t say with 100% certainty if it meant something good, something bad or just pushing boundaries. In fact there was too much talking in code and I think that was part of what prevented me from connecting with these particular characters.
That said, the story flows really well, the kink scenes, the negotiations, the actions and reactions felt very natural and real. I love the banter, the humour and the support between not only Harlan and Scorpio but also with their friends. It added a fullness to the story.
Things progressed quite rapidly between Harlan and Scorpio and it did feel very insta-love, which is somewhat of a soft limit for me. However I enjoyed them as a couple, and loved how they connected as much more than Dom and sub.
Scorpio is a retired punk-rock singer and the baddest wedding logistics coordinator in the biz. She knows what she wants – and edges aren’t it. They make you bleed. Harlan’s the big, tough floor manager of Fettered, Seattle’s best BDSM club. Which isn’t anything Scorpio wants, because tats-and-leather bad boys are all about the edges, and she’s done with those. Except she’s having trouble saying no, and it’s not the tats and leather getting in her way. It’s the glimpses of what lives underneath. And maybe inside herself, too.
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?
Wow, this is quite a story and I really enjoyed it. It felt far more honest and ‘real’ than so many of it’s genre.
This is my first E.J. Frost read but it won’t be my last. In Daddy P.I. she created two amazing characters and a story that just got better and better. It’s quite a long book but not once did I get bored or put it aside (well apart from when I eventually got too tired to keep my eyes open any longer!).
There was one scene right at the very beginning that was, to paraphrase Emily, “a little icky” to read. In fact had I not promised a friend that I would read this book, it might have been enough to put me off. It’s a fairly controversial memory by the Dom, Logan, and whilst nothing really untoward happens, it will push buttons and boundaries for many. I urge you to push through this very tiny part of what is a great story. It IS pertinent to the plot and goes a long way in showing how deep a connection Emily and Logan have. When I first read it I considered contacting the author and suggesting it was too much, but it didn’t take long for me to realise just how important it actually was.
The book is quite unusual in that we meet the pair a week into their relationship. This wasn’t an issue in any way because we still get to see Emily and Logan both grow within their relationship and the dynamic they forge together. I loved that Logan was on as much of a learning curve as his little girl, maybe more of one. He wasn’t some super know-it-all-already all powerful Dom. He made mistakes, owned them and made sure not only to NOT repeat them but also to learn and grow from them. So refreshing and yet it made him so much more likeable too.
Emily is a little, but she isn’t a colouring in and playing with dolls little, it’s more to do with the power exchange. I loved the role play scenes, it isn’t something I’ve read much of before but they were both entertaining and surprisingly hot. In fact we are treated to some really amazing, very well thought through and engaging play scenes, some public and some private. We learn each public scene is discussed and agreed upon in advance, then discussed/evaluated again afterwards. Again it gave a level or realism sadly lacking in many BDSM novels. Yet it avoided sounding preachy or like a manual, it blended seamlessly into the story and felt a natural and organic progression.
With the book being long, there are also plenty of non-play opportunities to both learn about our two protagonists, to experience their developing relationship, to see them both grow as individuals and a couple, to meet some great side characters and to enjoy a back plot too. Emily and Logan are a very easy to fall in love with and I can’t wait until the next book is out.
Death. Pirates. And a Daddy Dom to the rescue.
Former Naval officer James Logan is used to being in charge, both in his personal life and his new career as a private investigator. When he’s hired to investigate the suspicious death of a passenger on an alternative lifestyle cruise, Logan swaps his gun for a flogger. All he needs is a good cover, and he knows just the sub to provide it. Author Emily Martin is no stranger to the lifestyle; she’s a veteran of emotionally unavailable Masters and see-you-later sadists. However, Logan’s no weekend Dom, and his dedication to being her daddy could just convince Emily to give full-time power exchange another try. But there’s no chance for a happily-ever-after with a killer at large. When the chase turns lethal, Emily must call on every ounce of courage to save her daddy. Because a Little takes care of her daddy, too.
Her mother is dying, and her step-father Merrick is a jackal waiting to stake his claim the second she is legal. In her world, Sasha is promised a choice. But if Merrick gets his way she will be married before anyone can protest against it.
Desperate to secure the futures of herself and her workers, Sasha makes a dangerous gamble… She seeks out Constantine Kane, the most feared and respected man in the 12 Sectors.
Sasha has made her choice… Will it be one she lives to regret?
Warning: This dystopian romance explores 18+ themes including scenes of violence, sexual content and power exchange.
This is a great omegaverse read, especially for a debut novel.
Towards the lighter grey end of the “dark spectrum”, Choosing Her Alphais a great addition to the omegaverse genre. The sex is all consensual, though there are a few scenes of violence and a near miss scene. Isoellen has created a dystopian future that reminded me a little of that in the O’Kane series of books by Kit Rocha. I’m not suggesting any copying, this is definitely it’s own book and a really great one too. Several friends had recommended this book as one to read, and since it was in KU I decided to give it a try. I’m so happy I did because this proved to be a very captivating read, I really didn’t want to put this one down.
It’s pretty difficult to do anything other than adore Sasha, a strong and determined girl who cared about those around her. In a world where fertile Omega’s are already quite rare, she displays gifts that truly set her apart. This is one area that I would have liked to have seen more detail on, or to have it play a more significant role in the story. In fact there were a couple of different plot strands that allowed a more detailed picture to be painted of Sasha’s background and life, but that didn’t really add to the story going forward.
Whilst the members of Kane’s harem weren’t the nicest of females, I liked that the author didn’t go down the route of all other females being nasty and bitchy to the heroine. In fact there is a good blend of supporting characters to give the story extra depth.
The story is quite slow burn, we have to wait a fairly long time for the first sex scene between Kane and Sasha. There was just so much great story within the pages that I didn’t miss them. In fact I felt it made the relationship between Kane and Sasha feel more believable. There was also some necessary world building that took place in this time.
The epilogue is written from Kane’s point of view with him reminiscing over certain events, allowing us to understand his actions and reasoning. Whilst it was really good to understand some of his motivations and feelings, in future I would love the author to have both point of views scattered throughout the book. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split, but including it more frequently does allow us the reader to form a deeper bond with both characters.
This is an author I will most definitely be keeping track of and reading in the future.
Missing Pieces series by RJ Gray, Stella Moore and Rachel Blake
Finding Rowena by Rachel Blake
Adopted as an infant, Rowena Erikson has a nearly perfect life with wonderful, loving parents and her sexy, dominant husband, Octavius, who adores her.
She’s always wondered about her biological family, but never thought she’d actually meet them – until an extraordinary series of events reveals she has not just one, but two identical sisters. She is a triplet!
However, her newfound family is nothing like she imagined. Each sister is struggling with her own heartache, and as Rowena has learned the hard way, perfect is just an illusion.
Publisher’s Note: This story contains elements of power exchange.
Review – 3.5 Stars
On balance Finding Rowena is an engaging and enjoyable read and one that I recommend if your looking for a lighter BDSM/ DD read. The characters are likeable, Rowena and Octavius are already a couple so whilst there wasn’t so much of a romance there is plenty of steam both BDSM and discipline wise. The pace was good and there are some great supporting characters.
There were a few minor issues that meant I wasn’t able to rate this any higher than “liked it”. The first is that it felt as if I’d arrived in the middle of a story or series of books, characters and situations were spoken about as though I already had knowledge of them. This proved to be quite distracting at times and left me floundering a little.
The book also felt a little more tell than show. Since Octavius/O/Bear/Daddy (perhaps one name would have been sufficient?) and Ro were already in a dynamic and married this didn’t prove too much of an issue in terms of believing in their relationship. However it DID impact on what felt like a very abrupt and slightly out of left field decision at the end. Because we didn’t hear their ‘mental thought processes’ it felt like choices and actions came out of nowhere.
The final thing was that I wasn’t quite sure what the actual main focus of the book was, which also played into me being a little surprised by the ending. I thought the story was heading somewhere else altogether! There are quite a few loose ends left at the end of this book, which I assume will be picked up and form part of both Teagan and Evelyn’s stories.
I liked this enough that I do intend to continue reading about them all.
Will Teagan open herself up to be loved unconditionally by the new people in her life, or will she put up her defenses and shut everyone out once and for all?
Growing up as an abandoned orphan, Teagan Smith is determined to make something of herself while providing justice for abused women and children. As a ballsy, independent police detective, she does just that. Her career is fulfilling even while her personal life is nonexistent… Until the moment she looks up and sees her identical twin sister on television, a sister she didn’t know she had. Using her detective skills, she discovers not one but two identical sisters. Triplets.
Teagan suddenly goes from having no family to an instant sibling group. Not only does she have two sisters to contend with, but her brother-in-law’s best friend is a dominant, nosy, and incredibly sexy former navy Seal who won’t take no for an answer. He challenges Teagan to love not only him, but herself as well. He makes demands that even her training could have never prepared her for.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.
Review – 4 Stars
This is a very pleasant read, maybe not the deepest of stories but it was both captivating and entertaining. Luca and Teagan were immensely likeable characters and I found it easy to buy into their feelings for one another. The book easily held my attention and I loved how Luca supported Teagan as she struggled, disciplining her but also treating her with respect and care.
This is a Domestic Discipline story, with elements of power exchange, but whilst it was discussed a fair amount we actually saw very few discipline scenes first hand. I felt the balance of plot, steam and discipline was excellent, the pace and story never dragged. Whilst I’m not sure that type of relationship would be for me, the author definitely portrayed it in a way that made it easy to understand and also to enjoy. I always wonder when the guy says “you’ll answer to me”, who exactly HE will answer to, but then he shows just how thoughtful, caring and dependable he is, so I let it pass!
I’ve not read RJ Gray before but I will make an effort to do so in the future.
Adopted into a life of wealth and privilege, Evelyn Berkshire’s ivory tower has become her prison. Her fiancé, the charming, newly elected governor of Oregon, is a monster, and she is convinced she will never escape. That is, until she meets the sisters she was separated from at birth, and they refuse to abandon her to a life of hidden bruises and fake smiles.
Through her sisters, she finds the pieces of herself she never realized were missing, including the adorably nerdy former Navy SEAL, Jason Campbell. Evelyn is drawn to his quiet strength, and he quickly becomes the rock she clings to when her life spins out of control.
But when their carefully crafted escape plan takes an unexpected turn, her faith in her new family is put to the test. Can Evelyn trust them to do what’s right, or will she strike out on her own and risk the lives of everyone she loves?
Publisher’s Note: This steamy, action-packed romance contains elements of power exchange.
Review – 4 Stars
This was. at times, quite an emotional read and I found myself not wanting to put it down. Most of the story is tied up in this book, with Evie finding the perfect man in her Daddy Dom, Jason.
One of the impressive things about this book is that the secondary characters still feel true even though this book was written by yet another author. The plot was really captivating, the pace held my attention from start to finish and I really, really enjoyed every moment of reading this.
Missing Piecesis a fantastic series and one I’m very happy to recommend.
Finding Forever by Rachel Blake, RJ Gray and Stella Moore
Three sisters, separated at birth, identical down to their DNA. For over thirty years, they lived without knowledge of each other’s existence until one fateful night changed everything.
Now, a new revelation is testing the bonds of their relationships. Hidden family secrets and broken promises threaten to tear them apart and destroy the family they’ve just begun to build. And it’s not just their relationships with each other on the line.
Can they work past their differences and face these trials together? Or will these three sisters once again become nothing more than strangers who happen to look alike?
Publisher’s Note: The steamy conclusion of the Missing Pieces saga contains mystery, secrets, and elements of power exchange.
Review – 4.5 Stars
After reading the first book I so very nearly didn’t complete this series, thank goodness I had KU and decided to give book 2 a chance because I have to say the stories have gotten better and better. I really, really enjoyed this tying up of loose ends, this securing of futures, this learning to love and forgive.
As others have said, the writing flows seamlessly and there is never a feel of certain scenes or chapters having been written by one particular author. It felt as though one hand had written this story. A story that captivated me from the off, took me down some very unexpected paths, nicely showed that the guys weren’t perfect either and was packed full of adventure. It was also stuffed to the gills with feels and emotion. I may have found myself blinking away tears on more than one occasion!
The epilogue is Hallmark-ly sweet. On paper it was overdone, far to sugary and impossibly perfect. However I loved every darn minute of it and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Bravo ladies on a great series of books.