King of the Dark (The Prince’s Assassin #1) by Ariana Nash
In the red corner we have Niko, in the blue corner we have Vasili and in the rainbow corner we have Julian.
I have to admit to being as gullible as Niko, believing in the lies, fooled by the smoke and mirrors and devastated by the betrayals. This is such a twisty story, that sometimes it was difficult to know which way was up. Whilst this isn’t truly a love triangle, it is one heck of a complicated situation and it just goes to show that there is a very fine line between love and hate. Niko’s scenes with… well you’ll have to read and find out.. they were in parts tender and sweet, but also scorching hot and passionate. So unexpected from such a reserved and aloof man.
The story is written entirely from Niko’s point of view, and whilst I would have liked at least one other point of view, it was necessary to retain some mystery and an element of the unknown. Strangely enough, I felt as though I knew Julian and Vasili better than I did Niko, even though I’d only seen them through his eyes. It also turned out that both of them managed to surprise me more than once! I’m not sure why I struggled to connect with and understand Niko for a chunk of the book, though I suspect it was partly because he was so adrift and didn’t really know himself anymore.
There’s a part of me thinks Niko should just stay at his smithy, but that man is a soldier through and through. Loyal to his country, if not the crown, and determined to honour his fallen comrades. Just thinking through that last scene at the castle has made me realise that Vasili has a long way to go before I can like him. We can see throughout that he is a slippery fish and I have a feeling there is a lot more to learn about our erstwhile heroes, not to mention a lot more deceit, manipulation and heartache. Role on Reign of Darkness.
“Your love is worthless, it’s your hate I need.” ~Prince Vasili Caville When King Talos Caville surrendered the war to the elves, soldier Nikolas Yazdan vowed never to serve the royals again. He said the same to the prince who tried to buy his loyalty, and learned the Cavilles don’t take no for an answer. Whipped for his insolence, Nikolas is forced into slavery in a palace full of vicious, brutal royals. And Prince Vasili Caville is the worst of all. Malicious and cruel, the prince is more viper than man, and someone inside the palace wants him dead. Nikolas would kill the prince himself if not for one thing: Julian, the prince’s personal guard and Niko’s light in the dark. If Nikolas doesn’t submit to Prince Vasili and discover who is plotting against him, Julian will suffer. But there’s more wrong in the palace than just the prince. The king is on his deathbed, the ferocious elves are creeping closer to the great city of Loreen, and madness stalks the hallways. There’s poison in the Caville court, and if Nikolas doesn’t discover the real reason Prince Vasili tried to buy him with a bag of coin, the palace, the city, and everything he loves, will be lost forever.
The interesting and well paced plot meant that overall this was an enjoyable read and one that left me wanting to jump straight into the next book in the series.
I loved how the author built this world for us without it feeling as though we were subject to a large information dump. It perhaps isn’t the most detailed world building I’ve seen, but it was still pretty decent and allowed me to build a good mental picture of Nadira’s world. Personally I would have liked a little more detail on the present day Children of Orion organisation. Thankfully it didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the story.
The author used some excellent foreshadowing to hint at future revelations, and I have a suspicion there is much more to learn about Nadira’s situation in future books. Overall I really liked her, she sometimes seemed to make immature decisions, but given the whole situation it wasn’t surprising that Nadira struggled at times. There were some engaging secondary characters that I can’t wait to get to know better. This book very much focused on the main protagonist, developing those secondary characters would add extra depth and interest to the story.
I actually had a couple of books on the go at the same time, one which was an arc on a deadline. Sadly the arc wasn’t “speaking” to me, and I found myself returning to this and wanting to read it instead. This Time easily held my attention throughout the entirety of the book and it’s definitely one I’m happy to recommend to those who enjoy Urban Fantasy.
Resurrected into present-day New York, Nadira Holden is asked to save the world … again. Nadira achieved legendary status when she gave her life to protect humans from the demons. To her, it was yesterday. To the rest of the world, it was twenty years ago. People have made peace with the demons, worshipping them like celebrities. No one wants to believe that the beautiful creatures who brought magic to humans could be causing the disappearance of so many. When Nadira’s father goes missing, she refuses to play nice. Gloves off. She has to do what she does best. Fight. Experience why not even death can stop her. Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter is a fresh urban fantasy series from Azaaa Davis that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance.
A book that makes me both laugh and cry has to be a winner.
Iris and Jude stole my heart in Mister Baller. Their story was simply wonderful, so enjoyable to read. The perfect mix of humour, snark, angst and steam that all blends together to make an amazing love story. I adored Ivy, who was shy but brave and determined, and loved sexy, smooth but also vulnerable Jude.
Cassie-Ann L. Miller writes beautifully, so that you become immersed not only in the story but in the emotions of the protagonists too. I lived the feelings portrayed in this story, I was totally invested in Jude and Ivy, both as individuals and as a couple, cheering them on towards a HEA. Whilst somewhat slow-burn, this is still full of sexual tension and chemistry. An enemies-to-lovers that didn’t have to rely on forced angst to make it interesting, instead great characters and a fantastic story took care of that.
Reading Mister Ballerwas akin to taking a very pleasant journey, time flew past, there was lots to see and do along the way, we experience a few rough patches but it was all worth while when we got to the end.
My college rival. My ex-husband’s best friend. My new roommate? Oh, boy. The last thing I want is to rent my spare bedroom to my ex-husband’s best friend. His six-foot-three, dimple-faced, alphahole best friend. His injured-professional-football-player best friend. But desperate times, desperate measures, y’know? I can’t afford to hold grudges. These heaping bills of mine won’t pay themselves. Keeping my distance from my new roommate should be simple enough. I mean, I can’t stand Jude Kingston. Plus, as my ex’s friend, he’s so off-limits he’s virtually radioactive. In any case, Jude promises to stay out of my way. He’s just a broken football hero in need of a quiet place to focus on healing his injured knee and saving his lifelong dream. Harmless, right? Um, not so much… The man is infuriating. He spends his days parading that shirtless, muscle-bound body all around my house. He insists on involving himself in my private business. He has zero concept of personal space. But he also has this boyish, unintentional charm. And this inconvenient way of repeatedly coming to my rescue. Suddenly, lust is throbbing in every room of this house. Lingering gazes over the dinner table… Sweaty workout sessions on the living room floor… Stolen kisses in the moonlit hallways… I can’t fight these soft feelings growing roots in my belly. Jude is a vine, slowly wrapping himself around my heart. But when a piece of my past threatens his entire future, will our love even stand a chance?
Love and Music (Small Town Secrets Book 3) by Jade C. Jamison
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Sorry, excuse me whilst I compose myself.
I love a sexy hero with a soft side, I love an everyday heroine and I’m a huge sucker for second-chance romance. All that, added to great writing, meant that I thoroughly enjoyed Love and Music. A few chapters from Tyler’s pov would have pushed this from 4.5 stars to the full 5, though I can understand that the one person perspective left us as unsure and anxiously hopeful as Megan.
What really stood out for me was just how emotional this story felt. I could feel my heartstrings being tugged on pretty much from the first page. There were times when I felt anxious, parts that made me smile , moments when it wasn’t just the summer weather raising the temperature and pieces that sliced my heart into ribbons. The majority of the book is set over a really short period of time, and yet I found myself utterly convinced by the genuineness of their feelings for one another. Circumstances didn’t give them opportunity to totally talk, in the way that both wanted, but it did offer untold opportunities to reconnect in so many other ways.
For me this was a beautiful story of reawakening, both of the heart and soul. An opportunity to correct past mistakes and to love in a forever way.
Years later, he still takes her breath away. Does that mean he’s the one? Time has not changed the way Megan feels about her ex Tyler Green, now a famous rock star. It’s pathetic, and that’s why she absolutely will not—WILL NOT—attend her ten-year high school reunion. But her bestie convinces her that there’s no way a guy like Tyler would ever attend their reunion anyway. He’s got better things to do with his time. Megan feels like a complete idiot when he shows, but she feels even more foolish when she confirms she’s still head-over-heels in love with him. It’s doomed to fail: their worlds are now completely different, urban rocker and country mouse. But how will she ever be able to let him go again?
Curl up by the fire with a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate and settle into Winchester, Colorado—where the nights are cold…but steamy!
Take one Princess, literally and in all senses of the word, a man who has been to hell and back, also literally-ish, add in a fluffy creature of dubious origins, a quest to save True Love, otherwise known as Xander, and some delicious kinkiness. Stir it all well, add a great story line, cook with the heat from the sexy scenes and – voila! – you have, THE PRINCESS TIED.
“He liked that worse word far too much.”
Where do I start with this? Based loosely on The Princess Bride, this is a kinky, dub-con, thigh slapping, funny adventure of the swashbuckling kind. If Monty Python, Errol Flynn and EL James produced a menage love child, it would be this. (I know MP isn’t a person but per-lease, you get the idea! 😉) In case you’re wondering, I really likedthis book, which is why it got 4 stars here, but it will be 5 stars on Amazon. I’m pedantic like that.
Po shook her head and said nothing more. This adventure was feeling less organized by the hour. She liked her facts in rows and columns. She liked them organized in folders. With notes.
Floof Machines, magical doors(can you guess them all?), giant dwarfs and mechanised men join in the fun to produce a wonderful, adventurous, questing tale. The characters are somewhat stylized, deliberately so since this is a pastiche of a pastiche of the swashbuckling films of the 20’s and 30’s. These characters are also interesting, unusual, well crafted and genuine and despite being OTT they felt believable and loveable.
Making things happen, like fires, was a new thing. Many things were new, including naked men and sex.
This wouldn’t be a Cari Silverwood book if there wasn’t some dirty, filthy smut smut. And what incredibly hot and saucy sauce it is! Dabbling in the waters of dub-con, but mainly because Po is far too proper to admit to her unusual desires, there are lots of delightfully erotic scenes to indulge our baser desires. Sorry, I meant to say to indulge Prince Drakes deviant sexual preferences. Those scenes did absolutely nothing for me, no they did not. They didn’t induce hot flushes and a need to find privacy for a little one on one time. Who shouted Liar, liar, pants on fire? Humph, ok maybe those scenes are somewhat hot.
He walked on air with lust rampant in his veins. He took a small, careful bite of her neck then released it. She tasted of sex to him – future sex.
Whilst most of the book is written from Princess Po and John’s points of view, we do get just enough from Xander to both make him ‘real’ and to add interest to the tale. The adventure is epic, crazy and, at times, weird and I loved it all. The plot canters along, with your hands tied behind your back, oops sorry that’s Po I’m thinking of. The plot moves at a good pace, with surprises, twists and easter eggs thrown in to keep your interest. I know I’ve already mentioned the activities in Prince Drakes tent, but they’re so hot they totally deserve a second intimation. Talking of intimate, despite certain events that occur during the course of the story, the ending didn’t feel awkward, forced or contrived. In fact I was very pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything came together (#punalert).
She was sure he had an erection. Not being an expert, she had to file it under maybe.
If you’ve made it this far (TL;DR) this is a great story that I highly recommend.
Her tutors aimed to educate her in a wide range of subject, so she could rule with wisdom. Most of which, like algebra, she thought she would never use. Clocks had been quite fun, in comparison to math, autopsies, and string theory.
“Falling in love with Xander, the has-been noble I lined up to marry, is sadly wrong.” Princess Pollianna the First, smartest royal ever. Wrong is about to get wronger. Square-jawed, handsome Xander gets kidnapped and his brother, John, returns from Hell. The fire in this guy’s eyes says he’s not to be messed with. With Princess Po tied and roped over his horse, and a hand firmly clasped on her ample ass, John sets out to rescue his beloved bro, while not looking at aforesaid cute ass…or doing anything bad to it. As he travels the roads, a ragtag band falls in around him. True Love will light their way, except John doesn’t believe in True Love. “As wholesome as a threesome up against a thorn-entangled wall.”
Features Fighting, Dwarf Giants, a Killer Bunny, Storytellers, True Love, Angsty Tortured Anti-heroes, Snooty Princesses, Rope, Monsters, and sundry Mayhem. And quite a lot of Steam. Inspired by The Princess Bride. Written with naughty words.
I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I could have ever imagined such a conclusion to this series. Was it a little OTT? At times yes, but in a wonderful way that just made you smile, or cringe, wince and take panicky breathes. I loved this book, I loved this series, so much so that a little part of me wants to take a few minutes to mourn it’s end.
If you haven’t read this series, and you love a good kinky romantic suspense, with a fair dollop of wit and humour, then I do highly recommend it. Ms Mandara’smind is incredibly devious, twisted and sinisterly kinky. I wanted Kyle and Michael to face some retribution, but that??!!! My word it takes the word revenge to a WHOLE new level. They deserved it, maybe, no definitely, but I’m with Mark, someone else can make that decision.
We get some seriously erotic times again, before the story takes a darker turn and we get some breathe play scenes that would have been scorching had it been consensual, or even had it been at Leyland’s hands. (I missed him sooo much. He really, really needs his own book!) However since it was Kyle at the helm, things were never going to go well. Yes, I’m starting to think Laurel’s idea’s weren’t so horrific after all.
A part of me would have liked to see some consequences for Albrecht, given that they knowingly had unwilling participants there. Michael being the owner felt like a little bit of a lose end BUT I loved this too much for it to matter, in the end. I know this book has been out a while, but could we have a bonus epilogue of Michael’s downfall, and some tormenting of him and Kyle? Pretty please??? 😉😁
The writing is excellent, the plot rattles along at an almost break neck speed, though not so fast that you get left behind. It slows nicely for all the important parts (yes I do mean the sexy times) so that we can enjoy the delightful torment that Mark inflicts on Jennifer. Whilst the previously mentioned OTT parts of the story enable a somewhat easy resolution – though not easy from Mark and Jenny’s point of view, more from an author side of things – I felt it fitted well with the whole larger than life feel of the book. Anything else would have felt far too tame, boring and uninspired.
I’m hoping the final “Beautiful” book won’t be too much longer because I’m not planning on re-reading #1, reading #2 (which I already own) and I know I’ll be desperate for the ending, once I do.
I made a bet with my newlywed submissive wife. I told her that if she could behave herself impeccably for a week, she could wear the trousers for a day. That included being able to dominate me. The bet was almost guaranteed to be impossible to achieve, and yet somehow she did it. It looks like I’m in for a fun night, doesn’t it? If that wasn’t bad enough, Kyle has been spotted near our home. It scares me. I can feel the net closing in, and I’m still no closer to unravelling the pieces. We need to figure out what Redcliff wants, and fast. In order to do this, I’m going to have to talk to my mother-in-law, who still isn’t speaking to me. I have no idea what her problem is. She tried to kill me, not the other way around…
If you don’t love Ivy then you’re not welcome on my team. If they didn’t have some incredible issues of their own, I could be quite jealous of Ava and Emily for getting to be her besties. Ivy shines like a star, dazzling those around her and casting light into the shadows, where it’s not always welcome. Where Luca was strong in an almost foolhardy and naive way, Ivy’s strength is in her very ability to hide in the spotlight, keep a gameface, and lie as good as, if not better than, Fraud himself.
Talking of Gabe, he was a worth adversary to Ivy but was never going to beat the Queen of Deception. Oh he liked to think he had the upper hand, in fact he was allowedto believe that for such a long time, but then men always mistakenly believe that females are the weaker sex. This pair are so well matched, so absolutely perfect for one another and so amazing together, despite the lightning strikes and storms that occur when they are in close proximity – literally. You can feel the air crackling with tension and static electricity when they are in the same room. When they’re alone together – well just make sure you read this somewhere ‘safe’ because the word ‘hot’ doesn’t even come close to describing the heat and chemistry between Ivy and Gabe. They weren’t the only ones sweating!
Whilst I liked Tanner and loved Luca, their story didn’t draw me in the way Gabe and Ivy’s did. I could, and did, step away from that one. This book I couldn’t put down, well I did at 1 am but only because I had to be up at 7 for work. It felt as though Lily might have taken on board comments made about Treachery, though perhaps she already had those explanations planned. It doesn’t matter the how or why, just the fact that in this book I believed in the circle, their fight and their reasons more. I also really enjoyed seeing Tanner get his ass handed to him, that guy still rubs me wrong at times, though he does help Ivy so he’s forgiven, maybe.
This story felt as though it continually moved forward, little secrets and truths slowly revealed, new mysteries unearthed. Just the right speed to keep the tension humming, to drive the pace onwards, to hold me spellbound. We kept hearing about the ‘event’ that caused Ivy to ask Tanner for a favour. I’ll be honest and say that I almost expected to be disappointed by it. Just what could have been so bad but also ‘fixable’. Too many times otherauthors have set up the same premise of a secret, have built the anticipation and have fallen flat at the last hurdle by revealing a ridiculous, an unbelievable and/or a secret so pathetic it ruins the book. I should never have doubted Lily White‘s ability to pull this off. She is, after all, the Queen of the Messed Up, F’d up, Plot Twist, surprising us at every turn, pulling the rug out from under out feet and twisting the twist. Just remember this book isn’t called Fraud for Gabe alone. it takes a liar to know a liar and to foola liar.
Blurb: Eighth Circle. Fraud. Also known as Gabriel Dane.
He is a ray of sunshine that warms your heart with kind eyes and a dazzling smile. Don’t let him fool you with that silver tongue or lure you in with a body that draws every woman’s eye. This man is fluent in deception and a devil who only offers pretty lies. Gabriel is my old nemesis. I’m the girl that always fought back. He has every reason to hate me as much as I hate him. Now that he found me, he’s determined to make me pay for our past. Except, there are two small details Gabriel doesn’t know that will be his ultimate downfall:
There are no rules when it comes to our war. And I’ve learned to lie just as good as him.
***Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Standalone novels. Nine dangerous men. Nine unrepentant sinners you’ll hate to love.
Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.
I’m currently re-reading/completing the Pony Tales series and I don’t know why I only gave this four stars last time because I adored every moment of this book. It’s a lot less steamy and erotic than the previous books though we do get one heck of a sensuous scene towards the end. The reason for the cooler feel is because this book really allows us to know and fall totally in lust love with Mark. Oh my word he totally and utterly earned his redemption here. I would have loved being a fly on the wall of Sophia’s dungeon!
The story moves on at a good pace, with more intrigue thrown into the mix, more peril, a life-threatening danger for Mark, and an unexpected visitor. I adored Leyland, he wasn’t quite the butt-hole I judged him to be in The Ties That Bind. We saw glimpses of a less bad man in The Velvet Chair but in this we see a man who is as devious as Mark, but who doesn’t take himself as seriously. The scenes of him with Marianna were delightful and one day I’d rather like Ms Mandarato consider giving them a book of their own.
I utterly enjoyed every single word, line, paragraph and chapter. Totally recommend this series to those who enjoy BDSM accompanied by a good story and can’t wait to read The Velvet Collar, though will be sad to have to say goodbye to Mark and Jennifer.
When one lie is shattered, another begins. My wife is on her deathbed and I’ve barely been married a day. The poison she took was meant for me. I should be the one lying in a hospital bed looking as though each moment might be my last. The guilt I feel is indescribable. It’s a bit too late to realise I’m in love with Jennifer. I’ve screwed the poor girl over so many times she can barely stand to look at me. Every time I come near her she flinches, and I can hardly blame her. All I know is that I need to make this right. I owe her that much. I used to be good at delivering the impossible, but this time I’m not so sure. The odds are not stacked in my favour. Losing isn’t going to be an option, though. If I lose her, I lose everything…
Wow, just wow. How had I read this before and not left glowing reviews everywhere? Shame on me.
That said I think I enjoyed it even more this time, particularly since I’ve just completed a re-read of the first 6 Pony Tales books. You can read this without reading those, but you will definitely enjoy this more if you understand what happened in books 5 and 6 at the very least.
This is an amazing mix of salacious kink and damn good story. I got so many feels from this book (get your dirty mind out of the gutter! Oh alright I did get those kind too 😉). There are times when you want to step into the pages, give Jennifer a great big hug, and throat punch all those POS’s around her. Other times when you are jealous of the orgasm train she is riding and some where you want to high five and celebrate with her. For a good chunk of the book I also wanted to be able to enter their world just so I could punch Mark’s teeth out, or lights out, or both at the same time.
However, just as I decided that red hot poker enemas and entrail removal through small orifices sounded reasonable the damn man went and got a conscience. Then I had to admit how much I like the sexy devil. Admittedly the man has some many reasons to be annoyed, though if he just got his head out of his behind he would realise that the numbers don’t add up. Still after what happened in book #6 he’s bound to be more than a little perturbed and unsettled by current events. He needs to remember who the true enemy is though.
Talking of Michael, we get a couple of glimpses of that obnoxious streak of excrement, just enough to know that trouble is in store for someone. And chances are poor Jennifer will pay the price somehow. I totally loved seeing Leyland Forbes again, and again he is on Jennifer’s side – even if as he takes great delight in her sexual torment.
It ends on a thumping cliff-hanger but since all the books are out now that should no longer be a problem for those who hate them. I’m going to be diving straight into the next book, because (a) why not and (b) Jennifer and Mark!
“Oh, darling. You’re going to be so easy to conquer.” His finger reached under my chin and pulled my face back to meet his. “I can’t wait to strip you out of that dress and watch you crawl around my home naked. I’m going to spank that delectable ass with every damn pervertible I can find. Hairbrushes, wooden spoons, spatulas, and I might even try a damn baking sheet. That ass of yours is always going to be prettily pink and perfectly swollen while you’re under my roof.”
My name is Mark Matthews. I own half of London, and the part I don’t own, I’m working on.
Life was all going swimmingly well until Michael Redcliff entered my life, demanding that I marry his daughter. Actually, swap demand for blackmail. He’s got goods on me that I want no one else to see, so for the time being I need to be his little lapdog.
I’ll marry his daughter. I’ll give him all the status, money and power he can handle… for as long as it takes me to get a divorce. You see, I can’t renege on our little arrangement – but she can. I give her a week. One week and she’ll be screaming the place down for her legal counsel.
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.
3.5 Stars I originally read this somewhere between 3 and 4 years ago, so I’d forgotten that it’s pretty short (27 pages), but since it was a freebie I’m not complaining.
This can easily be read just as an erotic short story but if, like me, you become addicted to Jenny and Mark’s story it continues through 5 more books (8 if you count the Velvet series). One thing that stands out is that the author certainly has a way with words, despite the initial scenario requiring somewhat of a suspension of disbelief, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this boundary pushing, slightly (very?) dub-con, erotic romance.
Whilst I can imagine this type of school existing for the willing, enrolling unwilling participants and ‘selling them on’ would open them to a whole host of criminal charges, should that person ever get to contact the police. That said, this is fun erotic fiction and so, in the interests of enjoyment, I’m happy to let that little fact slide.
Despite Jenny being a selfish, spoilt individual, I kind of felt sorry for her. Particularly as it struck me that poor parenting might have been at least partly to blame. This is too light a read to worry about such deep topics (at the moment anyway). The heat level is quite very high, though the content of this book is fairly tame. I do seem to remember it getting kinkier and kinkier as the series progressed and I’m certainly going to be ‘Learning the Ropes’ next 😉!
4 Stars – because it’s brilliant but still only 37 pages This is another titillating, naughty and down right deliciously depraved snippet of Jenny’s ongoing introduction to the life of a pony girl. Books 1 – 3 are all short stories, they would combine together to make a story somewhere between novella and novel in length. Each is a vignette, a scene of Jenny’s torment and slide into the strange world of the Albrecht Stables. She isn’t there willingly, so the entire thing is very dub-con/non-con but at the same time it isn’t overly dark. Jenny is unwilling but also very much enjoys the punishments she is subjected to. There is nothing that would cause a threat to her life, nor cause severe, permanent or lasting damage to her body.
Whilst Jenny will suffer pain, humiliation and indignities galore, she is ‘only’ subjected to BDSM style activities. I say style because we all (should) know that the tenets of BDSM are based around SSC (Safe, Sane and Consensual), RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) and/or PRICK (Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink). Jenny has NOT given any consent so this immediately goes against everything BDSM holds dear. However it IS a work of fiction and not purporting to be an instructional guide, indeed the author has a very clear disclaimer regarding that very fact, so for me this is a non-issue.
I am loving this naughty story and am now moving on to ‘Hot to Trot‘ for a little more boundary pushing fun.
4 Stars for 55 pages of filthy fun Humiliation upon humiliation is heaped upon our poor heroine. Despite her being a rather petulant, spoilt and selfish individual, I do feel some sympathy for her. This is something the author does quite well. She makes her characters just imperfect enough, just the wrong side of right, so that whilst you like them, you don’t feel too much empathy or sorrow for their terrible plight! She enjoys a lot of that plight and a multitude of orgasms does sound enjoyable. However forced orgasm torture probably isn’t called torture because it’s so much fun.
We get more and more intrigue thrown in, and if I ever met Jenny’s dad I think I would castrate him with a blunt table knife before stabbing him in the eye with a rusty spoon. There are other players afoot in this game, and lots of backstabbing, not to mention tongue-stabbing – though that’s a very different activity all together.
I’m impressed with how well Jenny’s holding everything together. I’m sure I would have descended into a quivering mess of forlorn sobs or become a raving lunatic after being subjected to the same treatment. After all this is very much non-con, though very gentle non-con as there is no rape, violence or physical abuse. Being forced to train as a pony-girl does probably count as mental and emotional abuse though – even if she does enjoy some of it. Or maybe she’s just so incredibly used to getting her own way that poor Jenny’s brain can’t comprehend fully the truth of her situation. Either way it makes for a darn good, kinkily depraved, read.
I now own all 9 the books in this series, but overloading on arc commitments for the past two years means I’m very behind on finishing them. So the re-read is two-fold, firstly to remind myself of events so I can understand the books I haven’t read, second is that I read them in my pre-review on goodreads days, and not having a review on here bugs the heck out of me. This is the last and longest of the ‘short’ parts of the story, there are 3 additional full length books in Pony Tales plus the three Velvet Collar books (which in many ways can be read as a stand alone trilogy).
4.5 Stars for the one where Jenny is used, abused and given a new name. Where Pony Tales 1 -3 introduced us to Albrecht stables and the erotic delights that await Jenny there, this book gives us a more rounded story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, loved the heat factor, adored the intrigue and can not wait to find out what happens next. Not only do we have lots of delightful pony-girl training to look forward to, but there is a clearly emerging storyas well. One that is clearly about more than just simple erotica. But just as Jenny was teased to the edge of orgasm (repeatedly), so are we teased, by the author, with little hints and clues and snippets of information.
This book is significantly longer than the previous three (120 pages), allowing us to learn more about Mark as well as providing us with plenty of depraved, kinky torture of the hapless Jennifer. We understand that there is more to this story than just forced pony play, with the author introducing some finely crafted elements of suspense. We aren’t seeing the whole picture yet – where would the fun be in that? But we certainly know a lot more than Jenny does. Or should that now be P? Thus far we have gotten to know Jenny quite intimately, on all levels 😉, every pun intended! In Named and Shamed the personality of other main players is also built on, turning them from caricatures/outlines into recognisable, distinct characters.
There were so many times I wanted to slap Mark. His arrogant head is so far up his own behind and he is so busy thinking with his not so little head, that he is missing big clues. Particularly the one that points out how annoyed Jenny gets when he treats her like she is less than human. Which is a paradox because the objectification also turns her on. Unlike Mark, she never loses her intelligence, wisely knowing which battles to fight and making the best of a bad situation by finding pleasure where she can, whilst biding her time until she can somehow escape.
4.5 Stars I loved this much longer installment of the Pony Tales series. We got more gloriously kinky pony play, more dub-con deliciousness (which Jennifer enjoys immensely) along with lots more clues and hints as to what is in play behind the scenes. There was more of Mark in his ‘real’ life and some scenes of him at play with his submissives.
I will say that we still aren’t at a ‘romance’ point in the story, though there is a definite connection between Mark and Jennifer. There are scenes that some might interpret as cheating, or on the borders of it, but as there is no actual relationship/commitment between them, I don’t view it as such.
Jennifer learns some shocking truths in this book, enough almost to break her resolve. She also suffers the consequences of her naive/foolish trainer choice. Added to all that, she is subject to 48 hours of the most cruel sexual torture, humiliated beyond belief, set impossible to achieve tasks, barely fed and watered, driven to exhaustion and abused by a sadist. Despite all that she finds herself enjoying much of it and using the rest of it to keep herself angry and sane.
The writing is good, with some nice little touches of humour. The plot moves along well and this is an excellent read for when you want to indulge in a scorching hot, NSFW, filthily depraved story but also want a decent plot with it, rather than just crudeness. I’m off to read the final book now!
5 Starsand saving the best until last(?) How can a book be both wrong, funny and super sexy all at the same time? I’m not sure but Christina Mandarahas certainly achieved that with The Ties That Bind. She has also produced an amazing story, full of suspense, peril, snark and heat.
Over the last few books we got to know Jenny, in this book I felt we really got to grips with knowing Mark, and I really liked what I saw. Unlike the previous five books, in this one we spend barely any time at Albrecht stables, though there was still lots of delightful kinky and perverse fun to be enjoyed, involving carousel horses and fish tanks.
There are dark elements to the story, though it doesn’t ‘feel’ dark, in part due to Jennifer’s mental attitude and fortitude throughout the books. The vast majority of the kinky sexual torment that she is subjected to would be considered at best dubious consent, and sometimes non-consensual. It is softened by the fact that Jenny thoroughly enjoys most of what she is subjected to, and further tempered by both a message from the author in the foreword and the fact that so very much of this story is fairy tale like in it’s stretching of the possible.
I found myself totally absorbed in the story, spellbound by the excellent writing, drawn in by great characters (both good and bad), mesmerised by the twisted eroticism and entranced by the chemistry between Jenny and Mark. Theirs is not a conventional relationship, in fact it is still debatable if it could be called a relationship at all. It is, however, a compelling and all encompassing connection.
With each book read my enjoyment of this series has continued to increase. I really enjoyed the first few books but I am now totally invested in this pair and can’t wait to see how their future plays out in the Velvet Lies series. Just so long as Michael Redcliffe, and a few others, get their comeuppance!