Review //\\ Black Light: Valentine Roulette

Black Light: Valentine Roulette

This is an anthology of short stories, all based around one event at the BDSM club featured in the Black Light series. I read the book back in 2018 but didn’t review it back then, and since I seem to be an a re-read streak I indulged myself by reading individual stories in between arc reads and other reads. Even though I have a mountainous TBR list of unread books.

Photo by Ellen Araujo on Pexels.com

Broken by Renee Rose – 4 stars

Slave to pain (aka Jennifer) and Master D scene together at Black Light each week. But that’s all Jennifer will ever allow them to be, ships that pass in the night, no attachment, no emotion, no connection, despite the fact that his brand of sadism is a perfect fit for her mile wide masochistic streak. Jennifer has barriers so high Master D will need a miracle to break them down but first he needs to win her on a spin of the wheel.

They spin three kinks, age-play, whipping and anal-intercourse. Don’t be put of by the age play, it isn’t really any more than her using the word Daddy, and if you skip this one you will miss a wonderfully intimate portrait of a man using dominance to release a sub from years of unhappiness and pain.
I liked that Jennifer and Master D already had a connection, it made the scenes more intense and I found I easily believed in the depth of their feelings. I remember first time round finding the level of sado-masochism in this hard to handle, but I’ve now read so much more that it no longer makes me cringe. It’s not my kink but I understand the beauty of the dynamic. This is one scorching hot read, and a great opening story.

Revealed by Livia Grant – 3.5 stars

I love Khloe and Ryder, and have read all their stories though I’d actually forgotten this one where they first met. I really felt a huge emotional connection to Khloe, reading about her pain and loneliness was like hearing it from a friend. The girl who seems to have it all has nothing at all. Her emotions were heartbreaking to read about.

There is some intense medical play, plus two other spins that gave us some scorching hot scenes to observe. My only issue at the end was that Ryder’s play felt far too hard core for a total newbie to the scene to handle. It was addressed at one point, and yes this is fiction, so perhaps others found it easier to let go. Personally it felt that, along with boundaries being severely pushed, believability was also being pushed too.

However this was more than made up for with the intensity of the connection between Khloe and Ryder. He went from zero to hero during the story, with the way he saw the true Khloe and what she needed. Though that ending is quite tough. If I hadn’t been aware of what the future had in store for this pair it would really have been a bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully it’s very much a sugar-coated one.

Wet by Jennifer Bene – 5 stars

Sienna so beautifully portrayed the lack of worth those of us with self esteem issues can suffer from. A sub willing to forego aftercare and any real affection because she wasn’t worthy of it. Alexander, of course, was the uber confident and in charge Dom with a liking to be called Daddy and a craving to push his sub’s buttons. Written so well, he induced shivers down my spine.

Ms Bene pushes our boundaries, and poor Sienna’s, with a terror inducing scene of water-based breath play. As someone who struggles to get their face wet in the shower, this both horrified and thrilled me in equal measure. It was certainly hot. Communication is vital to any BDSM scenes, so Alexander was determined to push until the very tongue tied and shy Sienna let go and talked. I can totally empathise with her when she struggled with answering his questions

There was no script for this interaction, no easy answers, she had to fucking talk to him, and that was the problem.

You either know, or you don’t know, that terrifying hot-cold feeling of opening your mouth and having a totally blank, panic filled mind. Because whatever you could say they will obviously find boring and not be interested in. It was both hard to read Sienna in those moments and uplifting too. I love that the author gives her characters real flaws that resonate with many readers.

Given that the majority of this scene wasn’t overtly sexual in nature I was amazed by how incredibly intimate it felt. A part of me did feel that Alexander overstepped the boundaries in demanding personal information from someone who he had no long term commitment with, but without it we wouldn’t have had such an amazing story.

Unmasked by Lee Savino – 2.5 stars

Whilst this story didn’t have quite the emotional or ‘kink’ impact of other stories in the book, I appreciated how it examined the feminists dilemma of submitting to a man. Chessie and Kane were both easy to like characters, though neither really captured my heart if I’m being honest.

Kane did seem to take extra care with Chessie since she was yet another “totally new to the scene and never tried it before” submissive. However I would have liked him to remind Chessie of her safeword/signal given that very fact. I also felt the ‘nasty/jealous sub’ moment was not only cliched but fed into that cliche of having to have a rival and bitchy female in the story.

Unraveled by Addison Cain – 2 stars

This was one of those books that I enjoyed well enough as I read it, but mental cogitations after the fact saw it mimic the title and unravel somewhat. The ‘hero’ of the story not only isn’t the Dom that the heroine plays Valentine Roulette with, but their relationship prior to the night had been toxic. So it made believing that they had any sort of feelings for one another very difficult. All three characters also had personality defects, and not in a good way.

Klara was brilliant in that she had taken on huge responsibilities at a very young age. She was so tough and strong, when life kicked her in the lady balls she pulled up her big girl pants and kicked it back twice as hard. So it made my wonder why she would burn her bridges by not giving adequate notice to her employer. Nor did I believe that employer held enough sway to get her blacklisted by his competitors.

For an ex-military man, Spencer was a childish, whiney bottom-hole whose behaviour was as far from professional as it was possible to get. Self-centred to the nth degree he didn’t deserve Klara in any way shape or form.

And Will, I kind of liked him until their last scene where he deliberately pushed Klara beyond her breaking point, despite knowing she was totally inexperienced and that she was unlikely to safe word until he took things to the extreme. He even acknowledge that the play wasn’t ‘sane’ because Klara had felt forced into taking part. He knew that and still continued. He also knew, from the previous scene, where her breaking point was and he stomped right over it. At that point I wasn’t sure who was the most despicable male, him or Spencer. The only way either man would ever get any sympathy from me was if I threw a dictionary at their conceited, idiotic heads.

Unbroken by Maren Smith – 3 stars

This story is less about the BDSM play and much more about the two protagonists, Abby and Newton, connecting. This really left me in a quandary because I loved the depth it gave the story, and you could really see not only the characters grow but also the fledgling connection start to bloom. However it meant, for me, that it lacked that sizzle that I want from a BlackLight book but overall the pros and cons are balanced.

I did like both characters and enjoyed the story, it was also a nice change of pace to give the book some balance. Extra points were earned for the pair NOT being madly in love with one another at the end of the story!

Bared by Measha Stone – 4 stars

I’m a real sucker for second chance, so this was already going well with me. Add into the mix a heroine who hid her vulnerabilities behind a hard as nails exterior and an amazing Dom who was determined not to let her run away a second time, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

They spin humiliation, but don’t worry, it never felt too much or too over the top. In fact it was very gentle in those terms. However Dane does lay bare all of Riley’s insecurities and fears, pushing her to truly accept her submissive nature. Yes he pushes her, and pushes her hard, but he is there every single step of the way, ready to catch her should she fall and always, always giving her the strength and support she needs.

When Dane got Riley to wash the word she wrote about herself off of her arm, I wasn’t sure whether to sob or swoon.

Stripped by Sophie Kisker – 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this story, though it did stir a bit of conflict inside me. I admired that Sari made the decision she did (in the bathroom) though I could equally understand why Adam was upset by it. I didn’t agree with his “special” comment, that’s a very male perpetuation of a problem that has been around for a long time.

I felt we spent more time in Sari’s mind during the story, which was great because the author really showed us what some peoples submission looked like. I found her thought process and decisions to be fascinating and enlightening. It wasn’t the steamiest offering in the book but it was a well written and very entertaining story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title – Black Light Valentine Roulette
Author – Various
Genre – BDSM Erotica/Romance
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34209488-valentine-roulette

Three hours. Four hard limits. Eight sexy stories.
Are you brave enough to spin the wheel?

Black Light is the most exclusive BDSM club in Washington, D.C. and for one night they’re changing the rules of play to entertain their members with a game of chance – Valentine Roulette. Challenge and adventure awaits as these sexy dominants spin to win their submissives, and the subs spin to choose how they will play. Their prize if they last the night? One free month at Black Light, and for some of our daring participants… even a chance at love.

Bookish Friday

Bookish Friday… Animal Sidekicks.

This weeks prompt for Bookish Friday, hosted by Lauren and Georgi, is “Animal Sidekicks”. My initial thoughts were that the Famous Five was the last book I read with an animal sidekick, then I realised all those Dragons of Pern books would count too. I’m probably going to stretch the prompt so much that it will be in danger of snapping – would Rincewind’s Luggage, from The Colour of Magic, count? Maybe not but Lady Sybil’s swamp dragon’s would.

Hedwig, Harry Potter by JK Rowling

This is probably the closest choice, and most widely known choice, that will appear in my list. I loved reading the Harry Potter books and was so sad at Hedwig’s ultimate fate.

Novo and Boz, Cats of War by Carol Van Natta

Novo and Boz are genetically modified cats who help Kedron (H) and Ferra (h) in their bid to prevent a sinister plot coming to fruition. The fact that Kedron and Ferra fall in love along the way was an added bonus to this great little sci-fi novella.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44320639-cats-of-war


Tiger, Ruthless Sinner by AJ Adams

Ruthless Sinner releases today, so there will be a review on my blog tomorrow. The heroine, Spirit, is an exotic dancer who manages to upset Coop, the local organised crime’s chemist. Tiger’s love of hard wood floors and 2000 thread cotton sheets helps smooth things over and seal the deal between this quirky pair.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53410129-ruthless-sinner

Milo, Rogue Wave by Gwyn McNamee

At the start of Rogue Wave, Milo is the only ‘person’ that Cutter really has any time for. Except Milo is his dog and in this story he really is this man’s best friend. Brave, loyal, fierce, demanding and fond of treats, though whether that describes the man or dog I’ll leave for you to decide!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46034314-rogue-wave

Nibbles, Condemned by Cari Silverwood

Nibbles befriends our heroine, Avalon, whilst she ventures to complete a perilous task whilst in a foreign land. He is a mousebot and proves to be both a faithful friend and a useful ally in troubled times.
Condemned is one of the few reverse harem romances where the male characters have all had their own personality. It’s a Cari Silverwood book so you are automatically assured of great world building and a genuine sci-fi feel to the story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52004118-condemned

Nora, Becoming His Pet by Measha Stone

If a mousebot pushed things this takes things beyond all reckoning. Nora is the heroine and this is one hot and steamy pet play book. It won’t be for every reader – I didn’t think it would be for me either, but boy oh boy Ms Stone wrote one scorching hot, erotic romance with this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43165562-becoming-his-pet

Review //\\ Mafia Lullaby

Mafia Lullaby by Alta Hensley & Measha Stone

Whilst this deals with dark themes of captivity and sex slavery, it didn’t hit very high on my dark-o-meter.


Reading reviews on Goodreads, I was surprised at the number that mentioned finding the DD/lg theme disturbing, I thought it featured fairly minimally. Ariana’s co-captives had been regressed mentally to a 6 year old, via drugging, though if you don’t regress, well there’s no returning to your normal life, which leaves living out your days in a whore house, or not living at all.


To my mind the shock factor/ horror comes from the fact that these are drugged sex slaves being sold off to goodness knows what future abuse. The age play element was mainly calling their trainer Daddy, the reader being told they were colouring and the fact that they had ‘nannies’ who looked after them during the day. I was more concerned that we didn’t truly see much in the way of any credible training, if I’m honest.


The writing flows seamlessly and I couldn’t say author A wrote this part, whilst B definitely wrote that. The two voices were blended into a very easy to read writing style. The characters felt very firm and consistent, the story had good pace and, whilst it is similar to many other “captive” stories, I definitely found it to be an enjoyable read. Both Ariana and Costello were likeable characters and their story was quite sweet, if also a bit kinky and a lot ‘wrong’ (though NOT for the kinky element I hasten to add!).


It was all just a little too nice for my tastes, a little too gentle with its timely interventions and easy solutions. I like my captives to suffer and other than a few spankings/paddlings I didn’t really experience that. I didn’t feel enough fear, terror or despair from Ariana, nor menace and cruelty from Costello. In fact he was just far too nice and gentle a man, particularly considering he was involved in the abduction, torture and training of sex slaves. Acknowledgement was given to the fact that he was a “bad man”, and Ariana did challenge him over his attitude and regard of his previous trainees. I just couldn’t marry the man we saw in Mafia Lullaby with the job he was doing.


I would have enjoyed this more if they had both been a little bit fiercer, if there had been more fire and fight. However that’s because I like my captive romances on the pitch black end of the spectrum and I’m confident this book will be perfect for many readers who like a lighter shade of grey.  Mafia Lullaby is still a well written book and one that is definitely worth giving a try.

Genre – Mafia/Contemporary Romance

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53319152-mafia-lullaby

She’s a Lullaby girl. Her fate is sealed.
In a twisted, underground House of depravity, the women do not belong to me. But they are mine to train. To groom. To perfect in the most wicked of ways.
This dark House changed me.
What was asked of me, corrupted the man I once was. But the sickness did not break me. I remained in control regardless.
Until her.
Cloaked in secrets and lies, I have a new focus…
I want my own Lullaby girl.

REVIEW //\\ Finding His Strength


FINDING HIS STRENGTH by Measha Stone


WARNING

My review DOES contain a spoiler. I’ve starred the (possibly) offending paragraph and put it in italics, so that you can skip that part. The book does require a trigger warning for one particular scene (the one mentioned IN said spoiler)!



A hot and steamy re-telling of greek mythology.


Other than watching Jason and the Argonauts, I don’t have much knowledge of greek mythology. However this was clearly based on some of the myths and legends of old. My lack of knowledge didn’t affect my ability to enjoy the story as clever world building filled in any knowledge gaps.


Rather than gods and goddesses, the individuals in this story are the members of several crime syndicate families. The plot was engaging and the pace moved things along nicely, so that my attention never wavered. Both main characters were written with dimension and depth and, despite being very different, seemed to fit together perfectly. There were some great darker moments in the book too.


Megara was strong and determined, picking her battles wisely and making the best of a situation where she had very little control. I very much liked her, and could believe in how her gentle and sweet nature would impact on Henrik. My first impression of Henrik was that he was a complete and utter $£1! . There was very little to like about this arrogant, egotistical and self-centred individual at first. Thankfully he did make amends, including knowing when he was in the wrong and needed to apologise. He definitely went through the most growth in the story, totally fulfilling the fantasy we all have of taming the bad boy!


******Whilst I very much enjoyed the story, there were two aspects that prevented it from hitting the full 5 stars for me. First was the speed with which Megara went from hating and fearing Henrik to not being able to get enough of him. Given the non-con scene, and resulting loss of her virginity, I couldn’t quite believe that by the next night she was all up for lots of bedroom shenanigans with him.********


The other was how Henrick went from menacing bully to swooning suitor in the blink of an eye. Given that pair aren’t even together 24/7 in those first few days it was too quick for me personally. I’m just not a fan of insa-love so I personally needed just a little more time of them building a connection, developing a bond. A time frame of a few weeks would have made all the difference, allowed me to believe in the D/s relationship that was emerging.


Despite how it might sound, they were two minor issues that I overcame fairly quickly, allowing me to really enjoy what is a well written story. The amazing mix of steam, intrigue, politics, kink and power battles add up to make a really good read.



Captured and forced to marry Henrik, Megara vows never to forget his monstrous behavior… but her hatred for her husband doesn’t weaken her attraction to him.


Henrik chases his legacy with the ferocity and strength worthy of a God. He will not be deterred, and he will not fail. Nothing will stand in his way. Not even a wife.


But Henrik’s strength can not keep Megara’s beautiful soul from seeping into his heart. A choice is coming, between everything he ever wanted and the one thing he didn’t know he needed.




IM!WAYR?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Date. It’s a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly of your recent reads, as well as looking forward to the reading week ahead.


Books I Read Last Week


I had a real binge reading week – including the incredible Reign Trilogy by Zoey Ellis. The other 4 books were all arc reads that release this week. If I had to pick one to recommend, it would be Black Light: Charmed by Jennifer Bene, though Nathan by Elin Peer is a very close second.


What Am I Currently Reading?





What I Also Hope To Read Soon


Review//\\ Dolly by Measha Stone





Dolly by Measha Stone






Oh my word, Measha Stone does Dark incredibly well.


Dolly throws you into the dark end deep end right from the start. It’s fairly harrowing at times, particularly because we experience the suffering, rather than just impassively observing. What I really enjoyed was how the story moved forward and how we got to really know Dolly and Ken.


It’s really difficult to discuss the book without revealing spoilers, so I’m just going to say that the plot totally and utterly held my attention throughout. I’ve read vaguely similar plotlines previously, but this was not a weak or carbon copy of them. Instead it far surpassed those previous reads, due in no small part to the quality of writing and the amazing characterisation of its protagonists.


The symbiotic relationship between Dolly and Ken, the self-reflection, self-understanding demonstrated by the both of them, the incredibly believable love and connection they shared just took this book to another level. With all the difficulties and stress of the current world situation, a dark book felt like the last thing I wanted to read. However the darkness here was filled with such strength, it transformed to such power that, instead of dragging me down, instead it lifted me up in a way I hadn’t expected.


I massively recommend Dolly and am hoping Ms Stone dips her toes into dark waters again.


















He’s promised me sunlight.
Hope for a better future.
Freedom from this horror.
A life that doesn’t end in a dark cellar.


But, we’re trapped together.
Forced to live for the worst kind of people.
Desperate to survive for each other.


I crave his touch with every breath I take.
My heart aches for him.
He’s my hope for survival.
The man I want a future with.
I can have it all again, if only I trust him.
Even if that’s the only thing I can’t do.













Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51076103-dolly



Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.


4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.


3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.


2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.


1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

RELEASE /// Dolly (review to follow)




DOLLY by Measha Stone

Dolly by Measha Stone is available now!

Amazon — getbook.at/DollyMS


Free with Kindle Unlimited 

He’s promised me sunlight.

Hope for a better future.

Freedom from this horror.

A life that doesn’t end in a dark cellar.

But, we’re trapped together.

Forced to live for the worst kind of people.

Desperate to survive for each other.

I crave his touch with every breath I take.

My heart aches for him.

He’s my hope for survival.

The man I want a future with.

I can have it all again, if only I trust him.

Even if that’s the only thing I can’t do.

Note from the publisher: Dolly is a psychological thriller with a dark love story. It is completely stand alone and does not have a cliffhanger. Enjoy!





About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Measha Stone is a lover of all things erotic and fun who writes kinky romantic suspense and dark romance novels. She won the 2018 Golden Flogger award in two categories, Best Advanced BDSM and Best Anthology. She’s hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories in the U.S. and the U.K. When she’s not typing away on her computer, she can be found nestled up with a cup of tea and her kindle.

Connect with Measha:
Website — https://meashastone.com/
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/authormeashastone/
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/meashastone/
Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/authors/measha-stone 


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Release Blitz – Black Light: Roulette War

Release Blitz – Black Light: Roulette War


Authors: Jennifer Bene, Livia Grant, Renee Rose, Measha Stone, Sue Lyndon, Golden Angel, Eris Adderly, and Kay Elle Parker 

Genre: Contemporary BDSM

Release Date: February 7, 2020







Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50691557

One Click in Amazon: https://amzn.to/389aGEd



About the book:

One crazy bet. Two sexy clubs. Eight bestselling authors.

During this Roulette, only one can come out on top.

Black Light’s naughty game of Valentine Roulette returns with eight brand new scorching hot stories. For the first time, Black Light East and Black Light West will compete against each other to capture the title of hottest BDSM club of the year in Black Light: Roulette War.
More than bragging rights hang in the balance when couples risk their hearts in this wild game unlike any other. With stories from Jennifer Bene, Livia Grant, Renee Rose, Measha Stone, Sue Lyndon, Golden Angel, Eris Adderly, and Kay Elle Parker, everyone will be betting on this sizzling game of chance.






Excerpt 1:

Wicked by Jennifer Bene:

“Are you a dirty girl, Tori?” he asked, squeezing her hip in a firm grip. “Have you ever been treated like a filthy little slut, or have you only let people call you Baby?”

Her brows pulled together, a flicker of something on her face that he actually couldn’t figure out when she replied with, “I’ve only let people call me Baby, sir.”

Hmm…
Lifting the marker, he carefully wrote the words ‘DIRTY GIRL’ on her right thigh. “Do you know what dirty girls get, Tori?”

“No, sir,” she replied, her eyes glued to the stark contrast of the black marker on her pale skin.

“Exactly what they deserve.”

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Excerpt 2:

Unexpected by Measha Stone

“I didn’t mean to sound rude,” she said, and she meant it. People threw her into the bitch category before getting to know her. She wouldn’t blame any of them. First impressions weren’t her strong suit. His lips cracked into a smile, not a pleased and handsome one, but rather a grin that soaked her panties—a knowing grin filled with dark and sinister promises. 

“I know you didn’t.” His fingers tightened, sending another jolt of fire through her scalp. “And I know you weren’t trying to manipulate me into letting you top from the bottom.”

She opened her mouth to agree with him, but the arching of his brow stilled her tongue. That was exactly what she’d been doing.

“I don’t think we’re supposed to start yet,” she said instead.

His smile didn’t fade as his other hand caressed her jaw.

“I can tell our couples are ready to get started, so everyone have fun and play safe!” Madison’s voice boomed over the crowd.

“Now we are.” He released her hair. “Let’s go.”





Teaser 3:

Facade by Livia Grant:

Just as the marble fell into its slot, the stress of the day and heat of the room combined with the dizzy feeling from watching the wheel spinning caught up to her.

Stephanie wobbled on her feet enough that Master Wilde had to reach out and steady her with a tight grip on each of her hips. He crowded closer, molding his muscular chest against her back to help prop her up.

“Whoa, I’ve got you, baby.”

Baby? Stephanie Kranowski was no one’s baby, least of all some guy she’d met thirty seconds before. “I’m not your baby,” she whispered back, trying not to make a scene on the stage.

“Oh, baby. Tonight you’re gonna be whatever the hell I want you to be.”

His ominous words flowed over her. Most women might be afraid of the edgy promise he’d whispered against her ear, but to Stephanie they were like a long-lost song she’d been waiting to hear again.

As the wheel finally came to a halt, her Dom for the night chuckled. “Hey look at that. The perfect kink to marry up with the belting you’re going to receive. I’ll have to consider changing over to a nice crop instead of my belt.”

Fucking great. I rolled Pony Play.

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CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:

Jennifer Bene: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeneauthor/
Livia Grant: https://www.facebook.com/LiviaGrantAuthor/
Renee Rose: https://www.facebook.com/reneeroseromance
Sue Lyndon: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSueLyndon/
Golden Angel: https://www.facebook.com/GoldenAngelAuthor/
Measha Stone: https://www.facebook.com/authormeashastone/
Kay Elle Parker: https://www.facebook.com/kayelleparker/
Eris Adderly: https://www.facebook.com/ErisAdderly/


Available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Giveaway:
Win SIGNED paperbacks of the first 3 Roulette Box Sets

Enter Here: http://bit.ly/BLRouletteWar

Windy City Series – Measha Stone

This is a re-release of a series. Each book has been reworked, updated and improved.

Overall I would rate this series 4.25 stars.

This first and foremost is a love story of two people who chose to include a power exchange dynamic in their relationship. The BDSM element is fairly tame but still incredibly hot and very well written. In fact it was perfect for the story, their play was private and didn’t involve dungeons, clubs and other people – it was abut what was right for them. Which nicely leads me into how very real and honest the play felt, there was some negotiation but this wasn’t a Dom collaring his submissive, it was a guy who liked to be the dominant partner in a relationship but didn’t want a 24/7 thing.

I found Jessica to be an incredibly likeable character and very easy to both connect and sympathise with. She didn’t regard herself as a submissive and had never had any leanings towards a D/s relationship but found something in Royce that enabled her to explore things and give it a try. Now that leads me onto where I had one struggle with the story. Jessica and Royce had only just met when he ‘pulled’ some Dom moves on her. Nothing too extreme and all above board and consensual, so there was no issue there. However I really couldn’t understand Jessica’s actions and response at that point. I wasn’t totally convinced of her following his instructions as she did, it seemed to opposed to her frame of mind immediately before that. Later in the book we hear her musing on how she is ‘choosing’ to follow his instructions and see where things take them, to try new things. I guess I needed more of that in the first scene where her behaviour was totally out of character.

At times through the story I felt like Royce teetered on the edge of being overbearing. BUT at the end, when I reflected back, I could see how his actions could equally be interpreted as demonstrating his care of and concern for Jessica. He totally put her happiness and wellbeing before all else. Hindsight turned some of his ‘bombastic’ actions into nurturing and caring ones – clearly he wanted more control than I could have given up to him, lol! Jessica is also one closed off, stubborn woman who needed his less than gentle pushing, because that pushing was done with respect and love.

There is so much I want to say about the ‘hiccup’ and ending, but that would include spoilers. So what I will say is that their ‘reconnection’ (and that word is important) was perfect and since neither of them had behaved perfectly anything else would have felt unfair and left a bitter taste. Instead it was everything I could want and hope for.


BLURB

Royce Blandford follows a promotion to Chicago, because when he wants something- he gets it. He’s a man with determination.And after one evening with Jessica, he’s determined to claim her as his.

Jessica is perfectly content keeping relationships casual. She’d rather fall in lust than love. And one glance at Royce- she’s definitely in lust.

But Royce doesn’t kiss and bail. Jessica may try to hide behind a thick wall, but he senses the fires burning hot.

If he has to break through kiss by kiss, he will.

Having not read the original books I can’t comment on how they have been changed. What I am able to do is recommend the well written, steamy, emotion filled and action packed story that it now is. With each story Measha cleverly explores a new issue/concern/worry that faces those entering a long term power exchange relationship.

Kelly appeared as in book #1 as one of Jessica’s friends. From the representation of her in Hidden Heart I didn’t expect to like her very much, however we really get to know her in this book AND begin to understand that her friends may not really know the current Kelly as well as they thought. However she is very impulsive, which not only gets her into trouble but also causes her lots of heartache along the way.

Kendrick was really good at guiding Kelly into her submissive role. There were times, however, that I wanted to kick his butt or shake him. He demanded Kelly always give him her words, told her how important it was that she speak to him about her concerns. That was a plus, particularly since she was new to a PE relationship. However he didn’t always share HIS feelings with her. Communication is a two way street and for someone who insisted on complete honesty, he wasn’t so forthcoming with his own emotions and reasoning. I didn’t mind that he did this – no one’s perfect and I like my characters to have human flaws and foibles. It would just have put the cherry on the icing if he’d verbally acknowledged that he could have been more open with Kelly. The significance of the bracelet and the ‘cooling off’ period being two of the main events.

Ms Stone cleverly blends the BDSM relationship with both a contemporary romance feel and a swirl of suspense. The book does have ‘play’ scenes, though these are all fairly tame and are ideal for those newer to the genre, or those not wanting too heavy a BDSM element. The punishment/discipline scenes were wonderful, I loved that it wasn’t the overused spanking scenario!

To sum up this is a well written and engaging story with two main characters that are not only likeable but also very believable. The growth of the romantic relationship, alongside the power exchange, felt very natural and was very consensual. Kendrick never felt overbearing or determined to push Kelly to do more and more, his say was final but he never assumed he knew her better than she did herself. The last half dozen or so chapters were absolutely packed, filled to the brim with both action and emotion. I really enjoyed this and definitely recommend it to others.


BLURB

Kelly has been waiting for her knight in shining armor to ride in on his white horse and rescue her from her ordinary life. But he’s taking his sweet time. Taking matters into her own hands, she dives into a world she’s unprepared for.

Kendrick has never seen a woman more impulsive than Kelly. She wants everything, and she wants it now. And damn if he doesn’t want to be the one to give it to her.

But there’s more at play here than boy meets girl. Bad men linger in the shadows where fears are hidden and doubts hover.

Can they pull together to secure a future or will the darkness tear them apart?

Another well written instalment in this group of friends lives

Alex and Alyssa are both strong and determined characters who have one heck of a battle to find their form of a D/s relationship, as well as to overcome the baggage life throws at them. I very much enjoyed their story, especially the fact that Alex wasn’t all perfect and infallible, though personally I might have made him grovel a LOT more than Alyssa did. However that might just have led to cutting my nose of to spite my face!

I love how these books blend ‘real life’ alongside both the developing relationship of the couple AND the BDSM relationship. You end up feeling as though you should be out with the group of friends each Friday night, being an emotional support when needed and offering advice. Whilst each book is stand alone, I would advice reading them in order just to gain the maximum understanding and enjoyment.

The BDSM is fairly low key and only in the bedroom, so this is suitable for those new to the genre, those who don’t like too much BDSM play or those who enjoy any level of kink in their books. It’s well written, with great characters and an engaging plot and I’m more than happy to recommend it.

BLURB

Alyssa Sanders spent her childhood raising her mother, but that’s all behind her now. She’s on her way to Chicago for a fresh start. No stranger to bad luck, she’s keeping her expectations low.What she’s not expecting is to find her severely dominant, extremely attractive boss is also the son of a close friend.

Alex Trebelli would do anything for his father, so when he’s asked to escort an old friend’s daughter to dinner he doesn’t hesitate to agree. Except she isn’t the small town, young woman his father described. She’s all grown up, full of beauty and curves, with a submissive nature begging his dominant side to emerge.

Alyssa’s never been good at relationships. But Alex is easy to be with, even when he’s being overprotective and bossy. So when he tells her he wants more than friendship can she put aside her fears of failures and give them a real try?

My favourite of the series yet. (These books have been rewritten/updated and re-released in October 2019)

After all the rules she’d broken, all the things she’d done wrong that day, he was trying to soothe her worries? Where had this man come from?
Despite being a real hard ass, strict and ‘mean’ Dom, I think Bradley came across as the most caring, patient and committed of the men in this series so far. So many times his words and actions not only supported Erin but reassured both her and the reader of just how consensual the relationship was, and how Erin held all the power via her safe words.

The next half hour would be trying for her, but she wouldn’t be alone, he would be with her every step of the way
I even loved that we were told his stern voice and demeanour was not anger but rather his way to elicit and facilitate Erin’s submissive mind set. It made a character, who could easily have been unpleasant and overbearing, an absolutely divine man who you couldn’t help but warm too.

Whilst I didn’t mind that Erin made mistakes – particularly since she is a newbie sub – I did get a little exasperated that it seemed to be the same ‘not talking’ mistake again and again. However without it we (a) wouldn’t have had a story and it (b) felt very ‘real’ and natural, particularly given the ‘dynamic’ of her only other serious relationship.

Whilst there are several detailed BDSM scenes, including a couple of punishment scenes, there was plenty of story to balance these out. I never felt like there was an excess of sex scenes and didn’t find myself skimming them either. The chemistry between Erin and Bradley was palpable, they had an intensity to their relationship that was easy to believe in.

I very much recommend this book to those who enjoy a well written BDSM romance.

BLURB

As a devoted fiance with a house in the ‘burbs and friends she trusts with her life, Erin Stamper is living the dream. Until she finds the dream was just that, when her fiance announces he’s in love with another woman, shattering her entire world.

Just when she’s about to be crushed beneath the weight of the pain, she’s delivered another blow. A new BDSM club has opened in the city- and one of her own friends is the owner.

With so much sudden turmoil in her life, Erin decides to stop being the practical, dependable, and vanilla person she has always been and looks to explore this new world.

Dominant Bradley Sorenson promises to show her everything she wants to see, and more. But just as she begins to find contentment in her true self, she receives a letter which starts a chain of blackmail that could ultimately end her new relationship.

Can Erin fight the urge to retreat into the safety of her old life and work to liberate her heart?

Ryder and Samantha’s story is a wonderful read. The DD/lg element is written in a way that not only makes it accessible to those not into the kink but I found it opened my eyes to the thoughts and needs behind that type of relationship. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about their style of relationship, Ms Stone portrayed it very sensitively and with great respect.

As with many of her books, there is an element of romantic suspense in Daddy’s Heart. It certainly added an edge to the story that was a nice counterpoint to the rather sweet and warm relationship developing between Ryder and Samantha.

Plot, pace, prose and characterisation are all executed to a high standard in the book. You can’t help but fall for these characters, as you fall into their world. A great conclusion to a wonderful series.

BLURB

Samantha is starting over, this time in Chicago, and she needs a place to crash when she gets there. Luckily a family friend is hooking her up with a spare room.

The catch? The room is in the apartment of an insanely hot guy. To make matters worse, he has every mannerism of a Daddy Dom that sets her imagination ablaze.

Ryder doesn’t mind giving up his spare room to help out a friend. But, his friend didn’t explain how attractive Samantha was, or how easily Ryder would become consumed with her.

She’s a friend of a friend- making her completely off limits.

But Samantha crosses the line and pulls him with her, sending them both down a new path. There’s a past catching up to her, and he’s going to be certain she stays safe.

He’ll take care of Sammy and give her everything she needs. More importantly, with his stern ways, he’ll give her everything she deserves.

Windy City – Measha Stone

I will be reviewing this title in a few days – in fact I plan on featuring the whole series, so stay tuned!

Releasing today is

Daddy’s Heart (Windy City Series)
by Measha Stone

Release: November 5, 2019

Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481261-daddy-s-heart

Blurb:

Samantha is starting over, this time in Chicago, and she needs a place to crash when she gets there. Luckily a family friend is hooking her up with a spare room. 

The catch? The room is in the apartment of an insanely hot guy. To make matters worse, he has every mannerism of a Daddy Dom that sets her imagination ablaze.

Ryder doesn’t mind giving up his spare room to help out a friend. But, his friend didn’t explain how attractive Samantha was, or how easily Ryder would become consumed with her. 

She’s a friend of a friend- making her completely off limits.

But Samantha crosses the line and pulls him with her, sending them both down a new path. There’s a past catching up to her, and he’s going to be certain she stays safe. 

He’ll take care of Sammy and give her everything she needs. More importantly, with his stern ways, he’ll give her everything she deserves.

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34p7ouh

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2C9TTCR

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/36wulO0

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2C8NEiC

Also Available

Hidden Heart: https://amzn.to/2J7q4XB

Secured Heart: https://amzn.to/33ByHkX

Indebted Heart: https://amzn.to/2IRzeas

Liberated Heart: https://amzn.to/33xhN6L

Author Bio:

Measha Stone is an international bestselling author of erotic romance. She’s had #1 top-selling books in BDSM, and suspense. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband and children, who are just as creative and crazy as her. Her vanilla writing has been published in numerous literary magazines, but she’s found her passion in erotic romance.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.meashastone.com

Blog: http://www.meashawrites.com/blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/measha_stone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormeashastone

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meashastone