// Review \\ Faris by Shane Starrett

Faris (Dad Bod Doms #4)
by Shane Starrett

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

Loved it!

Whilst Faris is book #4 in the series, I read this one first, so I can absolutely guarantee that it can be read stand alone! It does contain one smallish spoiler for Henry’s book, but the blurb for that book also hints at it. I loved that we got both point of views in this book, and Shane Starrett is one of those male authors who CAN write a woman’s pov accurately. He can also write scorching hot, erotic scenes – I never knew dancing at a club could be so hot.

There are so many things I loved and enjoyed about this story, but the main one was how humble Faris was. Well, once he’d stopped being a complete head-up-his-backside idiot. It’s no spoiler to say that Faris and Leyla have relationship issues and they were the sort of things that happen to ALL couples as the shiney newness wears off a marriage, as the birth of children and the pressures of life distract from what is actually important.

Too often in books containing some kind of PE dynamic, when things go “wrong” somehow it’s the submissives fault. Too often the Dom is a mind reading, all seeing, all knowing, omnipotent genius. Too often I get annoyed by that (even if unintentionally) misogynistic crap. So this got a gazillion kudos points for sharing the blame equally, for having a Dom that not only made mistakes but owned up to them. Admitted them not just to himself, but to his peers and his submissive, and that was not only refreshing but it just made the whole story feel so much more honest.

I found myself believing in Layla and Faris, they were characters living a real life, facing real problems and finding real resolutions to those problems. I would easily believe it, should I be told, that the author had drawn on his own experience, or the experiences of close friends. It had such an air of authenticity about not only the problems, but their feelings, their responses and their solutions. They were both absolutely perfect in their imperfections, totally honest characters – though not always honest with one another. I adored them, even when I wanted to shake them! These were so true to life they feel more like people than book characters.

Whilst this isn’t a romance in the traditional sense of “boy meets girl” etc, it is still a beautiful love story and one where the depth of that love is so transparently obvious. Both protagonists are prepared to sacrifice their own wants and needs for the happiness of their partner, it’s just a shame they take so long to find out exactly what it is that the one DOES want. I’m fairly certain anyone who has been in a live together relationship for a few years would relate to this couple. So hooray for fishing weekends and Dom’s waking up and smelling the coffee, because it makes for one amazing, sexy and full of feels read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic BDSM romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54852845-faris

Four men… One challenge.
The Dad Bod Doms are ready to put the spark back in their relationships and prove their mettle.
He stalked her. Watched her. And took her for his own. Faris is domineering, possessive, and harbors a dark secret he never told anyone until her.
Leyla is sultry, seductive, and Faris’ secret is her deepest desire. They were a match made in heaven until things went to hell. Now they have one chance to salvage their love, their life, their family, their home. But it’s not going to happen in the boardroom or PTA meetings. They’re back to where it all began: in the dungeon where he’d first seen her on her knees, begging for release…

As he watched her.

REVIEW //\\ Jaded

Jaded by Shane Starrett

Four and a half weeks into a lockdown, still trying to get my head around working from home (a surreal situation when you’re a 1 to 1 home ed teacher who can’t video call students because of safeguarding). Rapidly loosing track of the days along with my sanity, I’ve struggled to read anything other than lightweight stories or fantasy books, things that take no brain power or are so far removed from real life that I can sink into them.  The last thing my head thought it could cope with was a gritty romantic suspense.  Yet not only did Jaded prove me wrong, it damn well hooked me tight and reeled me in.

Mason was a substantial side character in the book Jasmine, Trish held a much smaller role.  However fantastic writing means that you don’t need to have read ANY of that story to both understand and enjoy this one.  I adored Mason, really grew to understand him and, yes, my heart broke for him when we got the 10 years ago prologue.  Trish was strong, smart and so, so sassy and I loved her.  She set her sights on Mason Jones and was not going to let her quarry escape. 

The suspense element was very convincingly executed, the various threads weaving together into a fast paced, engaging, fleshed out and convincing tale.  The balance between the romance, character building, story development and plot was perfect, I mean *maybe* we could have had another steamy scene between Trish and Mason, but I loved that what there was felt like an organic development of the storyline, rather than being shoe-horned in to tick a box.  And boy do that pair have some scorching hot chemistry!

To summarise – Jaded is well written, captivating and just an all round wonderful read.

One broken FBI agent.
One sassy, sarcastic journalist.
Brought together by one set of circumstances, there’s another—a threat which could destroy them both—that may push them even closer.
But he’ll need to bring down the walls he’s built so carefully and let her in.
And she’ll need to trust a man so jaded…

He might be incapable of the very thing she’s looking for.

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B087R4VVP3

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087R4VVP3

Goodreads – TBA

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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

JASMINE – Jennifer Bene and Shane Starrett

Jasmine by Jennifer Bene and Shane Starrett

4.75 stars – Not to be read if you’re feeling delicate in any way!

I’m a long time fan of Jennifer Bene but have not read anything by Shane Starrett before (well other than his super witty/sarcastic posts on social media). I may need to rectify that omission fairly soon, since the book this duo has produced is pretty darn fantabulous.

It’s dark and goes there on so many occasions. If you’re wondering where there is, it’s all the way to Depravedville, via Shock-Horror Town and taking in the sights of Psycho City along the way. Because no sane person can withstand the level of dark that is “Jasmine’s” (Her) existence, we occasionally get chapters from the POV of other characters in the book. Whilst these aren’t necessarily sweetness and light, nor full of positivity, they do add texture and dimension to this sorry, sordid tale.

The parts written from “His” perspective were both chilling and somewhat heart wrenching. I found myself feeling pity for him and his severely messed up head. I’m not sure if his skewed perspective, his complete lack of understanding around his actions, his removal from all reality actually made his actions worse or a tiny bit understandable. And many may not understand or agree but I did feel sadness for him. In fact the more I read from his perspective the more my heart broke for him. Even though he was mad as a box of frogs, or perhaps BECAUSE of that, he sort of, maybe, snuck into my heart a little. His actions might have been evil but his heart was pure and in his own way he truly loved and revered Jasmine.

In many ways he became the main character for me. Other readers, those with a more normal disposition, probably hated him from the tips of his toes to the very roots of his hair. And it’s fair to say his actions WERE deplorable, unacceptable and so very damaging both mentally and physically. Yet somehow, when I ‘heard’ things through his voice, I wanted to save him. He was so broken, so damaged and so in need of help. However his actions probably meant he would never receive the help that his poor deranged mind was so desperately in need of. I struggled, really struggled with the end result of his actions. I didn’t feel he deserved those consequences, even though he did some very bad things he wasn’t a bad man, just a deluded one. Perhaps it was the only resolution that wouldn’t cause him more mental suffering, and sadly (strangely?) that is what I have to remind myself of in order to ‘deal’ with the conclusion. 

With excellent writing, great characterisation, a twisty, convoluted plot and extreme nastiness this is a must read for all those who love a very dark, gritty and hard as nails read.

Add it on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48394506-jasmine

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946722529/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZCC3QC2/

I am his obsession. His property. His Jasmine.
And he will never let me go.

Trapped in the middle of nowhere, taken by a madman, I’m forced to be his wife. Obedient, meek, righteous in the eyes of God.

But I am none of these things, and I can’t give in. No matter what he does to me, no matter how much he hurts me, I have to get out of here.

I have to escape… before I forget who I was before him.