// REVIEW \\ Surrender

Surrender
(Pleasure House #3)
by Kitty Thomas

Just in case you get the wrong impression as you read further through this, I’m going to state now that I loved this story. I continued reading it far too late into the night and picked it up as soon as I awoke the next morning. This was 5 stars all the way, all the way, though you might not guess that from what I’m going to say later in the review.


Julie, the heroine of this tale, totally, utterly and completely made the book a winner for me. Every scene from her pov absolutely captivated me, she drew me into this story and I adored her. She coped bravely, and fiercely with all the slings and arrows life threw her way. She never bent, never broke, but forged her own, quiet path to happiness.


That total and utter enjoyment was in spite of, but confusingly also because of, what a self-centred, narcissistic p***k Gabe is. After having read 3 of the interlinked books, I fully expected to adore him and worship at his feet. Instead I frequently wanted to throat punch the selfish, self-pleasing, sack of excrement. A fantasist who liked to paint himself as the knight in shining armour, which he was very much not. The whole implied threat of ‘be my slave or you aren’t safe from Brian’, even after all his promises, proved that to be true.


Oh he generally said all the right things, mainly because he was so convinced by his own pretty lies, but he didn’t really care about the trauma Julie had been through. What he truly cared about was how it would affect his training of her, and her responses to it, or whether she would ever agree to submit. It’s rather funny because he is one of the very few Kitty Thomas heroes to actually use the ‘love’ word, but he was the one I least believed that emotion from. I know the author deliberately avoids that word in general, as her men aren’t good guys, they aren’t men who know normal emotions, except social norms, so I do wonder if this was another of her little mind f**ks for the reader to unravel and digest!


But folks, BUT, this in no way ruined my enjoyment, in fact I think it added extra layers and depth. Because I chose to view this not as all Gabe’s desires and dreams coming home to roost, but as Julie’s journey into not only surviving her time at Dmitri’s but in finding a way to live with it and live beyond it. Gabe fulfilled her needs perfectly and because she was happy and content, so I was too. I didn’t even mind that he also got all his wishes granted too. Though I’m still a little mad at him for not recognising how much Julie had needed him after their first proper session in the dungeons.


I loved how Kitty messed with my head, how she made me so angry with Gabe, made me really dislike him but also made me want him to adore and treasure Julie, because SHE deserved it. And he did adore her. And it did scramble my brains into mush. And I still want to knee him in the balls. That is as long as it wouldn’t upset Julie too much.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic Romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34688241-surrender

Note: The books in the Pleasure House world are all stand alones featuring a different couple in each book. They can be read in any order without any trouble. The listed order is the order of publication.

Julie wants Gabe Griffin like fish want water, but what she wants is sweet domestic bliss and a white picket fence. What Gabe wants is to put a collar around Julie’s throat and train her in the finer points of being his slave.

At first too innocent, then too broken, can Julie ever surrender to the man intent on claiming her?

The Pleasure House by Kitty Thomas blitz with Xpresso Book Tours

The Pleasure House
by Kitty Thomas


Publication date: December 2nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance

Synopsis:
The Pleasure House is Kitty Thomas’s COMPLETE 5 book pleasure house series. (A $25 value!),
All five books from the pleasure house series are included: 
Guilty Pleasures, Broken Dolls, Surrender, Pretty Lies, and Twisted Fates.

“Kitty Thomas is a one-click author for me!”

-Anna Zaires, NYT Bestselling author of Twist Me

Very often with a box set, or a longer series, you expect at least one duff read, but Kitty Thomas is the Mistress of writing gripping, twisty, shiver inducing reads that are very wrong but oh so right.


This is the TL:DR version of the reviews of each individual book below.


I read these out of order, starting with the final book first and then books #1 through to #4. So I knew what and where Vivian was and could guess at the whys and wherefores. And that didn’t impact my enjoyment one little bit because Kitty Thomas writes with such passion, mystery and depth that I always find myself engaged by her characters. Even the ones I love to hate.


This set is at times dark and disturbing, at times sexy and NSFW and at other times frustrating but always captivating. Some characters I hated and grew to love, some I loved until I decided they were prime bottom holes (I’m looking at you Gabe, and if you smirk I really WILL throat punch you, just like you deserve), some had my emotions switching like the toss of a coin, *cough* Anton *cough*. However the sheer pleasure and emotional release, fulfilment and satisfaction each heroine achieves by being with her tetchy alpha male makes all the rest worthwhile.


The subtitle of all these books should be “Kitty’s Version Of Happy Ever After Where The Heroine Gets What She Needs.”


Book 1 is all from Vivian’s pov and is a story of letting go of your worries about what society considers normal and giving free reign to your sexual desires. It skates the edge of dubious and non-consent, because truly how can you consent to Hobson’s choice? However is it really non-con if you secretly want and love it?


Book 2 is Mina and Brian’s story. It’s the most unconventional love story of two individuals who can not be fixed but who somehow hold one anothers broken pieces in place. In contrast to book #2 it’s very low steam but I didn’t even notice that until I read reviews by others. The story just transfixed me and I didn’t want to put it down.


Book 3 was where I discovered what a donkey’s bottom Gabe truly is. Selfish, self centred, self serving, just self, self, self. However Julie was so amazing I was happy she was happy, so throat punching of the obnoxious POS that is Gabe was avoided.


Book 4 was the least consensual of the books and the most compelling. At one point I made a note of “this scene just feels like too much too soon”. I should have known to trust Kitty Thomas, because she already had plans for that! Boy is she Queen of the mind flux, Empress of the kink. Do I like Anton? I don’t know. Do I love Anton and Annette? Indubitably.


Book 5 was Lindsay’s redemption and Shannon’s reward. This book has a big twist and I do hope others don’t spoil it. Like several others from this box set, it’s a book that I just couldn’t put down and led to a very late night (or early morning!)


I highly recommend this series and box set.

Guilty Pleasures:

She was a bored housewife until she was taken and trained for the pleasure of the highest bidder.

Vivian Delaney leads a life of privilege, but behind closed doors she feels isolated and trapped in a gilded cage. Unable to achieve sexual pleasure with her husband, she finds herself in the capable hands of Anton, a massage therapist intent on awakening her to her full sexual potential. By any means necessary.



Broken Dolls:

Mina Calloway always finds herself in the hands of the wrong master: Gentle at first, then brutally sadistic and abusive. She no longer believes it’s possible to find a man who will be gentle with her. After seeing a kink-friendly therapist for months, the doctor makes her an illicit offer she isn’t yet smart enough to refuse: “Let me find you a good master.”

Brian Sloan is a borderline sociopath with a dark and brutal past. Only taking his sadistic urges out on the women at a submissive training house allows him to sleep through the night. When Brian sees Mina, she should be ripe for the picking, but her damage is too similar to his own. Can he fight past his demons to protect the one person he considers worth saving?



Surrender:

Julie wants Gabe Griffin like fish want water, but what she wants is sweet domestic bliss and a white picket fence. What Gabe wants is to put a collar around Julie’s throat and train her in the finer points of being his slave.

At first too innocent, then too broken, can Julie ever surrender to the man intent on claiming her?



Pretty Lies:

“She told pretty lies to the wrong man and now she must give herself to him to save her sister’s life”

As a phone sex operator, Annette Waincott knows how to tease to get what she wants. That is, until she teases the wrong man at a club, claiming kinky fantasies she doesn’t really have. It must have been too much vodka and his tantalizing Russian accent. Too bad he believes her.

When the Russian accidentally kidnaps her twin sister as part of an ill-fated sex game, things quickly get real. In a desperate bid to free her twin, Annette offers herself to him in trade. He both terrifies and excites her, but she knows she can never trust him. The things he wants will push her to her limits and beyond. And this time, she can’t tell pretty lies and run away.



Twisted Fates:

When Lindsay Smith brought her to the house, it was to train and sell her. They both knew it. She’d agreed to this arrangement. She wanted to belong to someone. But Lindsay wanted her to be his.

Three days into her stay at the pleasure house, Shannon Foster’s life is forever destroyed by a sociopathic monster. Lindsay saved her life that day, but the scars bind her to the house without a future.

Now, eight years later, Lindsay saves her once again, only this time he’s playing for keeps.

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

9 surprise signed books by Kitty Thomas and a $50 gift card

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70f5e72b21/

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

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


Author links:
https://kittythomas.com/
https://twitter.com/kitty_thomas
https://bookandmainbites.com/KittyThomas
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kitty-thomas
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas

Excerpts from The Pleasure House by Kitty Thomas. (c) 2020. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the author.

Teaser Scene one:

Brian had scarred her flesh. Lindsay could scar her soul. She couldn’t let him. She couldn’t let herself… want him. Not again. She’d had the stupidest crush on him when she’d first come to his office.

He backed her up against the leather table. Nowhere to run. Her heart pounded so hard in her chest she could hear it. She couldn’t think straight. She hated him. No… he was scaring her. No… God, why did he smell so fucking good? And the lack of a shirt… it was doing things to her.

He usually wore a suit. Business attire. Professional Shrink Wear. It covered up the physique he’d obviously worked hard for. She’d seen him in the gym on days off, or late in the evenings. Brian had the reputation for being the fitness buff, but Lindsay put in the time quietly without drawing much attention.

As recently as that morning, the doctor had just “been there”. Someone she despised, but otherwise nothing special. She hadn’t seen him this way since before the house. Shannon wanted to keep the more confusing hatred. This… yearning was more than she could stand.

“Why can’t you do this with me?” he asked with that professional practiced interest he was so skilled at.

“Because I fucking hate you.”

His hand moved to the back of her neck, threading through her hair, cradling her. He pulled her to him, his mouth covering hers in a kiss far more gentle than the danger in his eyes.

Against every normal instinct, she sighed and sort of… melted… against him. She missed this, so much. It had been so long since she’d been kissed like this—by anyone. It had been long before the house even. The last man who’d kissed her this way had been her last master. And he’d tossed her aside without a thought in the end.

You couldn’t trust a kiss like this. It was a lie to lower your defenses. A trap. It could never mean all the things it promised. But she wanted to believe it. She wanted to fall into it and pretend and believe just for a little while. Would that be so wrong?

Shannon pulled away from him, and then, as if to put extra punctuation on it, she put her hands on his chest and pushed him away. “This isn’t real. I don’t want your pity.”

He gripped her chin and forced her to look up at him. He was so tall. Had he always been this tall?

“Hear me. I want you. So get this pity nonsense out of your head. I want you. I’ve always wanted you. From the first moment you walked into my office. Now disrobe and get on the table like I told you to.”

Teaser Scene Two:

She’d just been unceremoniously dumped by someone she’d been having a 24/7 power exchange relationship with. She’d really thought he was the one, and she hadn’t been handling the breakup well at all—or the reintegration into normal life where she was in charge of everything again. She hated that feeling. It was too much to worry about. Life was too busy, too fast. Too stressful. She just wanted a place where she could hide away and not worry about all of it. To not have fifty thousand things on a never ending to-do list and never enough hours in a day to do them all. That would be heaven.

Over months, Lindsay had gained her trust, and then… he’d dropped the bombshell. He could give her what she needed. At first she’d thought he meant he wanted to keep her as his pet. Such a thought had occurred to her during more than one masturbatory session alone in her apartment after one of their increasingly intense appointments.

He’d never touched her in any inappropriate way. He’d never made any innuendo. He’d been perfectly professional. Despite the age difference, she’d been a bit disappointed when he’d explained the house.

So he hadn’t meant to keep her for himself.

But then she’d become excited again by all the new possibilities, and she let her attraction to him cloud her vision. The doctor was the worst mistake she’d made in her life.

The timer went off, jerking her back into the reality where she found, much to her dismay, she was still attracted. And even worse, he was even better half naked than he was in a suit. Even her imagination hadn’t been able to do the reality of a shirtless Lindsay Smith justice.

And still, the most he’d ever touched her was minutes ago, standing there holding her while the water had boiled. She didn’t want to think about that—to think she could want that. Especially not from him. The betrayal was too deep. There was too much bad history. She’d gotten used to seeing him as a hated piece of background furniture in her life. It was the one comforting constant. She needed it to stay that way.

Shannon took a long, slow breath. She just had to get through tonight. Within a day or two he’d forget about her again. They would go back to polite avoidance.

Lindsay brought the tea over and placed one of the cups and saucers in front of her, then he sat across from her again and took a sip of his own tea.

“Tell me what you need, Shannon.”

Her mouth set stubbornly in a firm line. She wasn’t going back to that doctor/patient place with him. She’d trusted him once all those years ago in his office. She could never be such a fool twice. She took a sip of her tea, placed the cup back on the saucer, and stared at the steam rising off the cup.

“I could beat it out of you.” The suggestion sounded almost casual.

Her gaze snapped up to his. “I don’t believe you. You feel too much guilt to ever lay a hand on me.”

All at once his stubbornness seemed to mirror her own as he held her gaze trapped in his. “I’ll work through it.”

Another flutter. That deep gravel voice.

She ignored it and drank her tea.

// REVIEW \\ Broken Dolls

Broken Dolls
(Pleasure House #2)
by Kitty Thomas

I read the fifth book of this series first, and I’m glad I did because I would have hated Lindsay too much to ever want to see him get his HEA. However enough of him, because this is Mina and Brian’s story and I loved every moment of this story about two broken souls “clinging to each other at sea on a raft that would never reach land” .


This isn’t a romance in the typical sense of the word, but this pair definitely care for one another in a very unconventional and very unique way. I’m not sure how Kitty Thomas managed it, but she totally and utterly convinced me that Mina and Brian shared a connection much deeper than romantic love. A lasting connection that didn’t make them whole, but made them able to cope with their brokenness.


Considering what we see and experience in book #1, this was a surprisingly unerotic tale, with very little sexual action and no real BDSM “play”. And I never once missed it. I was far too invested in Mina and Brian’s story, in how they would become the bandage that holds together the raw edges of the psychological wounds they both bear.


I do think this is the type of book you will love or hate, it isn’t bland enough to just be a “meh” read. It ticked all my boxes and rang all my bells, rather than pushing any buttons, so I’m firmly in the absolutely loved it camp. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23509910-broken-dolls

Mina Calloway always finds herself in the hands of the wrong master: Gentle at first, then brutally sadistic and abusive. She no longer believes it’s possible to find a man who will be gentle with her. After seeing a kink-friendly therapist for months, the doctor makes her an illicit offer she isn’t yet smart enough to refuse: “Let me find you a good master.”
Brian Sloan is a borderline sociopath with a dark and brutal past. Only taking his sadistic urges out on the women at a submissive training house allows him to sleep through the night. When Brian sees Mina, she should be ripe for the picking, but her damage is too similar to his own. Can he fight past his demons to protect the one person he considers worth saving?

// BLOG TOUR & REVIEW\\ The Proposal by Kitty Thomas

The Proposal by Kitty Thomas


Publication date: October 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance


Synopsis:
I got in over my head.
I bit off more than I could chew. 
And now my fate is sealed to the most ruthless man I know.
Two hundred and fifty guests. They think they know what’s happening today. But they don’t have a clue.
My wedding day. But it’s so much more than that.

NOTE: This is a standalone contemporary dark romance with NO cliffhanger!

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55511161-the-proposal

Purchase:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H5K5jj
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-proposal-kitty-thomas/1137783384
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-proposal/id1533862835
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-proposal-66
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_The_Proposal

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$100 Amazon gift card and 5 signed books by Kitty
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70f5e72b20/

You just have to take a risk on this one – I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

The blurb is deliberately vague to allow what unfolds to surprise you, so this review will be somewhat vague on details! Beware some reviews are not so spoiler free.


It took me a little while to totally get into the story, I’m not sure if it was me, or that it took a while to get to truly know the characters, or because the book hops around in time. (The latter is necessary to allow the story to unfold without spoilers and each chapter is clearly “timeline” labelled.) However that doesn’t mean I wasn’t loving this twisted and unusual tale. In part it was probably because I needed to get to know the characters, particularly Soren, in more depth before I could fall in love with them. I very enjoyed that this was written from multiple points of view, the story simply wouldn’t have worked otherwise, you definitely need to hear each characters motivations and reasoning.


I was fairly annoyed with Soren for quite a chunk of the story. He got so butt-hurt because Livia had the “gall” to date like a men do – keeping her options open and making no promises. She didn’t sleep around, and she was honest with him. So his reaction to finding out was totally unreasonable. It wasn’t until a scene from the last night of Livia’s honeymoon that I actually had a total 180 on the guy and realised that he was, at heart, a really good man. Livia I liked from the start and I’m so glad she got her HEA.


Whilst most of what I want to say would be spoilers, what I can say is that I was constantly surprised by this book, could never guess correctly what would happen next. Soren’s friends Griffin and Dayne were much more likeable, most of the time, than he was, but I was still happy with how things played out. By the end of the story I was very confident that Livia’s answer to Soren’s question would have been “yes”, but after all he had put her through, he definitely deserved the teasing non-answer she graced him with.

Chapter One from: The Proposal

(c)2020 Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the author.

I stand at the back of the enormous church. The stained glass windows mute the over bright sun outside on this unassuming summer Saturday at half past four. The string quartet begins to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Two hundred and fifty guests stand. I take a deep breath and walk down the aisle clutching the bouquet of pale pink roses which hide my shaking hands. I’m wearing a stunning white Valentino gown which I’m convinced has seven thousand buttons down the back. It’s a true white, but it’s a soft, elegant white.

You don’t realize the variety of white until you shop for your wedding gown. The color palette of white goes all the way from the harsh tacky bright white of office supply copy paper to off-white, into beige and blush barely-there pinks and lavender. Occasionally there is the most subtle mint green which you are sure must be a trick of the light. 

And even though they aren’t all really the same color, lined up on the racks they seem like they all belong together. Like family. I’d considered going a little less traditional with a pale lavender or pink gown, or even that daring pale fairy green, but in the end I went with tradition—anything else feels like half measures with a man who doesn’t know the meaning of that word.  

I chose to walk down the aisle by myself. I’ve never liked the idea of giving the bride away or what it represents. Besides, I don’t want to bring my father into this; it feels wrong. He’s here, on my side with the rest of my family and friends who admittedly take up a much smaller portion of the guest count than the groom’s side and business associates. His business associates are seated on my side, so everything looks more even and normal for the pictures.

I am twenty-nine, and to everyone here my story is the story of Disney Princesses—the story every seven-year-old girl fantasizes about until she’s long grown out of such fantasies. But I’m not walking down this aisle to my prince. I’m walking down this aisle to the most ruthless man I know.

I feel as though I’m being kidnapped in the middle of a crowded room, but I can’t scream. It’s like a dream where everyone acts as though everything is fine even though an evil killer clown is sawing my hand off. But still, everyone smiles politely and makes small talk—or in this case, everyone stands and murmurs complimentary things they don’t think I can hear as I drift down the aisle like a fairy tale princess.

They think this is the part of the story where the princess gets the prince, where they get married and live happily ever after. But this is the part where she gets locked in the tower.

When I reach the altar, he takes my hand in his, helping me up the two small steps to stand in front of him. The collective sitting of two hundred and fifty people is the last thing I consciously hear as his intense, searing gaze holds mine hostage. His thumb strokes over the back of my hand, and I don’t even know anymore if the gesture is meant to comfort or control me.

We stand there, staring at each other. Words fall over me like gentle rain. Vows are spoken. Rings are exchanged. The announcement that we are now husband and wife moves through the air like a cool breeze.

His hand snakes behind my neck pulling me possessively toward him as he claims my mouth as his property. Later he will claim everything else. 

I’ve never had sex with this man. I’m not an innocent. I’m not a virgin, but right now I feel like one—off balance and unsure of what’s in store for me behind the closed doors of our suite in only a few short hours. I want to run as far and as fast as I can, but I know he would catch me. Right now the reception is the only thing that buffers me from his dark intentions.

We take what feels like a thousand wedding photos, each one more intimate and romantic than the last. His hands and mouth suddenly feel foreign on me as though he’s a stranger and not a man I’ve been seeing for the past year. The reception is being held at a swank nearby 5-star hotel called The Fremont, where we’ll spend the night before taking his jet to our honeymoon in Costa Rica. Our jet. Is it our jet now? Or am I merely an indefinite extra on his stage? I’m not really sure anymore.

We don’t speak during the limo ride to the reception. I don’t know what to say to him. Suddenly, for the first time ever, I have no words. All I can think about is what will happen later when there are no longer hordes of unassuming guests to protect me from his attentions. I feel more and more uncertain about this devil’s bargain I’ve made—like I ever had a choice.

He would have destroyed me. At least this way there is a veneer of love and respectability. At least this way it looks like he is giving me the world instead of taking it all away.

I glance up to find his triumphant gaze locked on mine. It scares me as much as it thrills me, and then his thumb is stroking the back of my hand again. I find the courage to speak, but the words fly out of my mind as soon as they appear as the limo comes to a stop in front of the hotel.

The door is opened for us and my husband guides me out, helping me so that my dress doesn’t get dirty. Husband. That word feels so strange to me. So wrong and somehow scandalous. This can’t be real.

His grip on my hand tightens as he leads me up the stairs and through the hotel lobby back to where our reception is starting. The guests are already seated and being served their dinner. We’re led to our own private table at the front of everything. Some people come by and talk to him. He’s so polite to everyone, so normal, so different from the man I’ve come to know.

As we eat, silverware clinks against glasses, and each time we kiss as expected. Before the first dance, he rises from his chair, takes the microphone that is handed to him, and addresses our crowd of guests. And he is so charming. So smooth. The perfect beautiful lie.

“Livia and I would like to thank you all so much for coming to share this special day with us and supporting us as we start our life together. Don’t get too creeped out, but I filmed the proposal. If she’d said no, I would have burned the evidence.”

Obligatory laughter. He continues.

“But it occurred to me that probably many women wish they had a video of the proposal. And so now she does. With Livia’s permission I’d like to share that video with you now.”

Our guests are very excited about this prospect. No one knew they’d be seeing this. A large projector is rolled out along with a screen and a few minutes later a video begins to play.

He and I are on his boat in the middle of the ocean. I’m lying in the sun in a red bikini and oversized dark sunglasses. He approaches with a wrapped gift. It’s large—about the size of a Labrador puppy.

“Livia, I have something for you.”

My eyes light up on the screen. “A present? Is it a pony?”

He chuckles. “Not a pony.”

“A Ferrari?” 

“Nope.”

Our guests laugh at my antics, their anticipation growing, knowing somehow inside that giant box is a ring.

“Open it,” he says.

I dutifully open it, only to find another gift wrapped box, then another, then another as I go through about five boxes, each time the gift getting smaller and smaller. 

“Is it an empty box?”

He chuckles again. “No. There’s something in there.”

I open the final box to find a blue box. Yes, that blue box. A box from Tiffany in just the right size.

The me on the video screen looks up at him and says playfully, “Is it a clown pin?”

He laughs again. “No.”

I open it and start to cry when I see the ring.

He gets down on one knee and says, “Livia Fairchild, will you be my person?”

I’m blubbering and crying and say, “Yes, I will be your person.” We kiss. He puts the ring on me. It’s all so perfect.

Our guests say a collective, “Awwww” as the screen goes black. Then they’re back to clinking their silverware against their glasses, and he leans over and kisses me again. 

Before he pulls away, his mouth brushes my ear. “Time’s up. You’re mine tonight.” His words are a growl so different from the version of himself that everyone else in this ballroom sees. It’s jarring the way he can go from this charming facade to something so dark and menacing in an eye blink—the way he can transform only feet from our guests. Yet only I can see the monster. Everyone else sees the man.

I swallow hard at this proclamation and twist the wedding band on my finger. There are three words engraved on the inside of the band. Those three words seal my fate.

The rest of the reception goes by in a blur. The first dance. The dances with the parents. The cake. The bouquet. The garter. All the well wishes that come from guests as they each take turns wishing us a long and happy marriage. We go through a tunnel of sparklers created by our guests, riding off in the limo with the just married sign on the back and the cans dragging along the road behind us, only to circle back into the parking garage so we can go up to our suite for the night.

My hand is trembling as he takes it in his, leading me back inside the hotel and up the elevator to our room. He carries me over the threshold. Inside are candles and champagne and fancy chocolate and rose petals everywhere.

Two men in tuxedos step out of the shadows, looking me up and down with an appreciative once-over.

“It’s about time,” one of them says.

My husband guides me over to the other two men, and then all three of them are touching me.

The words inscribed on the inside of my wedding band are their names:

Griffin. Dayne. Soren.

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

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Author links:
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// REVIEW \\ The Proposal by Kitty Thomas

The Proposal by Kitty Thomas

The blurb is deliberately vague to allow what unfolds to surprise you, so this review will be somewhat vague on details!


It took me a little while to totally get into the story, I’m not sure if it was me, or that it took a while to get to truly know the characters, or because the book hops around in time. (The latter is necessary to allow the story to unfold without spoilers and each chapter is clearly “timeline” labelled.) However that doesn’t mean I wasn’t loving this twisted and unusual tale. In part it was probably because I needed to get to know the characters, particularly Soren, in more depth before I could fall in love with them. I very enjoyed that this was written from multiple points of view, the story simply wouldn’t have worked otherwise, you definitely need to hear each characters motivations and reasoning.


I was fairly annoyed with Soren for quite a chunk of the story. He got so butt-hurt because Livia had the “gall” to date like a men do – keeping her options open and making no promises. She didn’t sleep around, and she was honest with him. So his reaction to finding out was totally unreasonable. It wasn’t until a scene from the last night of Livia’s honeymoon that I actually had a total 180 on the guy and realised that he was, at heart, a really good man. Livia I liked from the start and I’m so glad she got her HEA.


Whilst most of what I want to say would be spoilers, what I can say is that I was constantly surprised by this book, could never guess correctly what would happen next. Soren’s friends Griffin and Dayne were much more likeable, most of the time, than he was, but I was still happy with how things played out. By the end of the story I was very confident that Livia’s answer to Soren’s question would have been “yes”, but after all he had put her through, he definitely deserved the teasing non-answer she graced him with. 

You just have to take a risk on this one – I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Contemporary Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55511161-the-proposal

I got in over my head.
I bit off more than I could chew.
And now my fate is sealed to the most ruthless man I know.
Two hundred and fifty guests. They think they know what’s happening today. But they don’t have a clue.
My wedding day. But it’s so much more than that.
NOTE: This is a standalone contemporary dark romance with NO cliffhanger!

Can’t Wait Wednesday

#Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Proposal by Kitty Thomas

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine

I’ve just returned back to work full time, at the same time as life has thrown a few curve balls, so blogging has taken a back seat. However a serendipitous email today has provided the perfect book to feature on Can’t Wait Wednesday.

THE PROPOSAL
Release Day: October 7th 2020 (still tentative release date.)

Blurb:
I got in over my head.
I bit off more than I could chew.
And now my fate is sealed to the most ruthless man I know.
Two hundred and fifty guests. They think they know what’s happening today. But they don’t have a clue.
My wedding day. But it’s so much more than that.

Review //\\ Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures (Pleasure House #1) by Kitty Thomas

Scorching hot and satisfyingly twisted

Her panties were soaked again. She wasn’t in the best position to make a rational decision. Most people weren’t when they were that horny, or they wouldn’t make half the stupid sexual choices they made.

Despite guessing the twist from the off (since there’s plenty of foreshadowing), I still absolutely loved this book. The richness and enjoyment of watching, of experiencing, Vivian’s battles with her submission was quite simply captivating. Added to that the excitement of wondering just how the twist would play out, how Vivian would react to the revelation had me on edge too. This is very much a story of forced submission, if that doesn’t float your particular boat then this might not be for you. Vivian, however, is a very repressed submissive though, so her conflict comes much less from what she is subjected to and much more from allowing herself to accept her feelings and desires.


As is so very common in a Kitty Thomas book, this is unusual in that there isn’t a clear “hero” character, nor is there a traditional HEA. Not really a HFN. In fact I think we need a new acronym of KVOHEAWTHGWSN – “Kitty’s Version Of Happy Ever After Where The Heroine Gets What She Needs.” I found my feelings of Michael, Gabe, Lyndsay and Anton very much reflected how Vivian felt about them, because we only have her perspective, her feelings and emotions to guide us on both characters and events. It’s capture/rape fantasy at it’s finest, a smorgasbord of everything our lusting little hearts and minds could desire. Those who don’t have these kind of fantasies, or who are as in denial about it as Vivian is, might feel that this is abuse, that it is degrading and criminal. As Vivian learnt, there should be no guilt or embarrassment in admitting and indulging in those baser desires, however “wrong” society tells us they are.


In terms of captive romances this was not as harsh or violent as some. Gabe, Anton and Lyndsay might torment and punish Vivian, but no more than one would expect from a consensual BDSM relationship. That line of consent is incredibly smudged and blurry, it is crossed but at the same time it isn’t crossed. Vivian may have had options but they were very much a Hobson’s choice of between the devil and the deep blue sea. What is clear is that her “true” self is fully onboard, but social conditioning and moral obligations hold her back.


The sex scenes are scorching hot, kinky and depraved, and even when she was punished the men made sure she was never scared. This quote here nicely sums up the feel, the ethos one could say, of the book.

“I’m not going to hurt you. That’s not the point of this exercise. I’m training you to like this, not be terrified of it for the rest of your life.”

Lindsay Smith, Guilty Pleasures

Talk about killing with kindness, though this was more breaking down inhibitions and repression with pleasure and orgasms. I’ve now got a complete hankering to read the next book in this series… but then I do find Kitty Thomas’ work to be utterly addictive.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title – Guilty Pleasures
Author – Kitty Thomas
Genre – Erotic Romance
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9922980-guilty-pleasures

Vivian Delaney leads a life of privilege, but behind closed doors she feels isolated and trapped in a gilded cage. Unable to achieve sexual pleasure with her husband, she finds herself in the capable hands of Anton, a massage therapist intent on awakening her to her full sexual potential. By any means necessary.

Book Tour & Review

The Game Maker

by Kitty Thomas

A dark contemporary standalone romance

Blurb:

I was too isolated. I was about to be evicted. I made a final desperate call to the man who ruined my life, but he didn’t come for me.

Someone else did.

And then there was Seven. When I first woke in the cell, I thought he was my captor, but he is a pawn, like me.

Seven is beautiful and kind. I want him so much I can barely breathe. He wants to protect me from our captor, but he can’t.

We are both locked inside a game neither of us can ever hope to win, and even though it’s wrong, I’m starting to want both men, not just the good one… the monster as well.

“Kitty Thomas is a one-click author for me!” Anna Zaires, NYT Bestselling Author of TWIST ME.

Kitty Thomas you have left me speechless.

Ok we all know that I always have plenty to say, but it has taken me a few hours to let me feelings stew and to garner my thoughts into some semblance of coherency. Just where do I start with this one? I guess that would be with the statement that I loved it!  The Game Maker is so very wrong in all the right ways, taking the over-used captive sex slave trope and giving it a whole new breath of life. I came to the dark side through  Comfort Food, it opened a door to a whole new world of temptation and titillation. That world had started to lose it’s sparkle and shine, but The Game Plan has not only refreshed my thirst but taken the trope to a whole new level.


Kate/Pretty Toy/Kitten is at the lowest point possible in her life when things take a really bad turn for her. Or do they? I guess they do at first, because her fear of what Master might do, or make her do, is overwhelming. There is a game to play and until she learns the rules, and figures out how to follow them, how can she not only stay safe but protect Seven too? It’s so difficult to tell you how I felt without spoilers! I was so in that moment there with Kate, in that cell, in the bathroom, in the dungeon. With her while she was tormented with the exquisite agony of pleasurable pain. Witnessed her own desires and emotions shatter her into a thousand sharp pieces.


I guessed one thing that happened in the book, before it happened. I think that comes from being highly suspicious of things, along with a bit of logic. Other twists and happenings I would never have guessed at. This has an ending that I’m sure some people won’t care for, though I loved it. It’s as ambiguous as you want to make it. But then again I loved the ending in Big Sky too. Broken people and sociopaths (view spoiler) ruins a dark book in my opinion.


There isn’t really any detail on how Kate fell prey to her fate. There is a very brief mention of her having been watched for a while. There is no real background on any of the main characters either, but then what does it matter when everything that went before is null and void? Kate, and I suspect both Seven and Master, were all (very?) different people before the captivity. Those people no longer exist, so knowing who they were has no influence on who they are now or on what they want. It’s a very “in the present” book and I loved it.

Giveaway – Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70f5e72b19/


Buy links:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BYS4DTD/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08BYS4DTD/
Amazon CA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08BYS4DTD/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08BYS4DTD/
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-game-maker/id1521046746
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-game-maker-kitty-thomas/1137247853?ean=2940162897200
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-game-maker
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_The_Game_Maker?id=x4vtDwAAQBAJ
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1030040

Excerpts from THE GAME MAKER (c) Kitty Thomas 2020
Used with permission.


He doesn’t repeat his request, just continues to watch me. After a few minutes, he stands and walks across the cell. This is the first time he’s been this close. I flinch when he reaches me.

He ignores my reaction and sits on the ground beside me, but he doesn’t make any attempt to touch me. Instead, he sighs and says, “Starvation is a bad way to die.”

“I know,” I say.

“I don’t think you do.”

I start to cry. It’s the first time I’ve broken down since those first moments in the cell. Supposedly, if we have sex, we’ll get food. And I want food, but then what happens? The longer I can delay this, the longer I delay the next steps in whatever sick game our captor is playing with us.

“You know what has to happen,” he says, echoing my exact thought of only minutes ago. “What’s the point of letting yourself get sicker and weaker than you need to be? You need your strength. You need to eat.”

“You mean you need to eat,” I say, unable to hide the bitterness seeping into my voice. So the nice guy act is finally ending? The gallant chivalry finally coming to an end. Everyone has a limit. And now I know his.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “I’ll be fine a lot longer than you will. Are you going to let yourself starve to death?”

I chance a look into his eyes. “What do you think would happen to you if I did?”

He shrugs. “He’d probably take another girl, bring more bait to tempt me. He wants to turn me into a monster and you…or whoever… into a whore. That’s my running theory, anyway.”

He stands and holds a hand out to me. 

“What are you doing?”

“Remember what I said about the cameras and the bathroom?”

I nod.  

He’s still holding his hand out. I try to ignore it. 

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he says.

I am so hungry. Finally, I take his hand and let him lead me into the bathroom. He guides me to sit on the edge of the tub and turns the shower on. Then he starts to undress. I tense, part of me wanting to run back into the cell.

“We’re going to take a shower, you and I,” he says calmly. “I won’t touch you in any way you don’t want. And no one will see.”

I know what he’s doing. He’s trying to make this easier for me. In the end, I’ll have to fuck him in the cell in front of the cameras so our sick mystery captor can watch. My co-captive is trying to give us some privacy and the illusion of choice at least to start, at least to let me get used to his body.

“Come on, drop the towel and get in the shower with me.”

He steps into the shower and closes the door behind him. I know he won’t hurt me. He hasn’t yet. I think I’m safe with this man, and there’s only one way to get food. I take a few slow deep breaths, wipe the stray tears off my cheeks, and take off the towel.

When I open the door, he pulls me in under the rain shower with him. His mouth moves close to my ear. His words are quiet, almost dwarfed by the sound of the water.

“I don’t know if there are listening devices in the bathroom, but if there are, the shower may give us some cover. What’s your name?”

I pull back from him and look into his eyes—really look at them. I’ve avoided his gaze so much in my time here. They’re hazel, but they seem far lighter than they are because of his tanned skin and dark hair. He’s growing the beginnings of a beard. 

“Kate,” I finally say.

Kate. That’s a pretty name. I’m Seven.”

At first I think I don’t hear him right. “Seven? Like the number?”

He chuckles. “Yes, like the number.”

“Are you from a big family? Are your siblings all named One through Six?”

“No siblings. Only child. I can be grateful they didn’t name me One, I guess.”

“Yeah, no kidding.”

Review //\\ The Game Maker

The Game Maker by Kitty Thomas

description

Kitty Thomas you have left me speechless.


Ok we all know that I always have plenty to say, but it has taken me a few hours to let me feelings stew and to garner my thoughts into some semblance of coherency. Just where do I start with this one? I guess that would be with the statement that I loved it!  The Game Maker is so very wrong in all the right ways, taking the over-used captive sex slave trope and giving it a whole new breath of life. I came to the dark side through  Comfort Food, it opened a door to a whole new world of temptation and titillation. That world had started to lose it’s sparkle and shine, but The Game Plan has not only refreshed my thirst but taken the trope to a whole new level. Just as you can kill them with kindness, you can ruin with pleasure.


Kate/Pretty Toy/Kitten is at the lowest point possible in her life when things take a really bad turn for her. Or do they? I guess they do at first, because her fear of what Master might do, or make her do, is overwhelming. There is a game to play and until she learns the rules, and figures out how to follow them, how can she not only stay safe but protect Seven too? It’s so difficult to tell you how I felt without spoilers! I was so in that moment there with Kate, in that cell, in the bathroom, in the dungeon. With her while she was tormented with the exquisite agony of pleasurable pain. Witnessed her own desires and emotions shatter her into a thousand sharp pieces.


I guessed one thing that happened in the book, before it happened. I think that comes from being highly suspicious of things, along with a bit of logic. Other twists and happenings I would never have guessed at. This has an ending that I’m sure some people won’t care for, though I loved it. It’s as ambiguous as you want to make it. But then again I loved the ending in Big Sky too. Broken people and sociopaths getting to nice and neat an ending ruins a dark book in my opinion.


There isn’t really any detail on how Kate fell prey to her fate. There is a very brief mention of her having been watched for a while. There is no real background on any of the main characters either, but then what does it matter when everything that went before is null and void? Kate, and I suspect both Seven and Master, were all (very?) different people before the captivity. Those people no longer exist, so knowing who they were has no influence on who they are now or on what they want. It’s a very “in the present” book and I loved it.

Title – The Game Maker
Author – Kitty Thomas
Genre – Dark Romantic Suspense
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54365965-the-game-maker

I was too isolated. I was about to be evicted. I made a final desperate call to the man who ruined my life, but he didn’t come for me. Someone else did.
And then there was Seven. When I first woke in the cell, I thought he was my captor, but he is a pawn, like me. Seven is beautiful and kind. I want him so much I can barely breathe. He wants to protect me from our captor, but he can’t.
We are both locked inside a game neither of us can ever hope to win, and even though it’s wrong, I’m starting to want both men, not just the good one… the monster as well.
*This is a standalone dark contemporary romance.