Mercy by Debra Anastasia

Book Description:

Published: August 20, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

Review –

If you were to go off the synopsis, you’d be thinking this was a particularly sinister, dark read – for us, it wasn’t. Yes, there were dark elements, especially in the last 20% of the book, however the story was essentially one of never ending love, acceptance, destiny, redemption and courage; interspersed with guffaw type humour, loads of emotion and some really sweet romance, all delivered with this authors fabulous ability for gripping and entertaining storytelling.

Mercy is the story of Fenix Churchkey and Rebecca Dixie Stiles. Two children who had a very brief interaction, yet it’s one that would stay with them and have a particularly lasting effect on the young Fenix (Nix). Becca and Nix were a destiny, a love story in the making – written in the stars if you like.

Becca stood up to Nix’s brute of a father when they were kids and that made her a target. Flash ahead fifteen years later and Nix is watching out for (really, stalking) Becca to make sure she’s safe. He never lets her see him. Nix always made a pact to never let Becca see him, to always protect her, thinking up ingenious ways to be a part of her life, to watch over her without actually being a part of it. Well, that was all about to change when Nix, at the coercion of his best friend Animal, seizes an opportunity for Becca to get to know the man beneath the menacing appearance, to know the man inside

The author didn’t rush the romance between Nix and Becca, instead treating us to a slow build, allowing us to get to know the characters before the feverishness of their feelings took hold, summoning our emotions through Nix’s past and his healing process. I loved this man(whole body skeleton tattoo and all)! Nix begs the question, what is normal and he shows us how we need to dig beneath the surface to find the jewel. Their love story was intense, exhilarating, sweet, honest and beautiful, if not a little chaotic and crazy.

The secondary characters were fabulous – in particular the relationship between Nix and his best mate Animal. This huge big brute of a man who spoke so sweetly and sometimes had the hilarious demeanour of a little old lady won us over. Animal soon became a crucial part of the story and holy cow  I cannot wait for his story and to learn who his love interest is, though I have some idea!

There is finally a HEA, but I’m not telling anything else other than to say that Becca may have gotten a tattoo, too.(Hmmm, let me see, I wonder what she choose?)

Great read.

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Jason (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #23) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: December 2, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive/Second Reading

“Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don’t. If you get it, then you don’t really need it explained, because you know how good it feels, and if you don’t get it then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense.”

But sometimes you have to explain the unexplainable, especially if the love of your life needs to understand, or she’ll leave you. Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake’s best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She’s accomplished, beautiful, and she’s crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?

J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things. She plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can’t meet that need, just like she can’t meet Jason’s need for rough sex and bondage. J.J. doesn’t understand why Jason isn’t content to go elsewhere for a need she can’t fulfil, so Jason asks Anita to help him explain.

Anita is having her own relationship growing pains with her only female lover ever, Jade. Jason suggests that J.J. might be able to help Anita with her girl problem, while she helps him with his kinky explanations. With some encouragement from a few other lovers in Anita’s life she reluctantly agrees, and J. J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of them will ever forget.

Review –

I started the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series at number fifteen and have read all but the most recent. That being said, when Jason, which is number twenty-three, became available on OverDrive it sounded very familiar so I checked and I had read it in January of 2015 and gave it three stars for a lack of a real plot and the over abundance of sex. I thought, what the heck, and decided to LISTEN to it this time and I gave it four stars for the same reasons, but I did  enjoy it more this time. 

Like I said, there is no real plot other than showing, through example, the amount of roughness during sex a were animal,(I forget if he was a werewolf, wereleopard, or weretiger) NEEDED during sex.  There is bondage,FFF, FF, MFFF,MFMF,  and a lot of other stuff included. It is NOT for the faint of heart.

I’m going  to start looking for the early books in the series so I can re-acquaint myself with how Anita Blake came to be all she is in Jason.

 For anyone wanting to start this series I would definitely start at the beginning and not in the middle like I did.

 

 

Brie’s Submission, Books 4-6 by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: February 16, 2017

Format: E-Book

Sexy. Passionate. Mysterious.

Brie Bennett’s life becomes an exotic adventure as a newly collared submissive.

Heated Russian encounters, seductive nights bound in rope, kinky birthday fun…

Brie is living out her favorite fantasies in the loving arms of her new Master—but darkness lurks in the shadows.
Love and loyalty is about to be tested.

Can Brie survive the demons from her Master’s past?

This boxed set includes Try Me, Protect Me and Hold Me from the Brie’s Submission series.

Review –

The bond between Brie and her Master, Thane Davis grows deeper as he pushes her past her boundaries to teach her  things that she didn’t even know she would like, such as fire play.   They travel to Russia to visit Rytsar Durov, the Russian Dom and friend of her Master and he reveals the truth behind his dominant nature, making her shiver in her and pure pleasure as her ultimate fantasy comes true.

Brie is GIVEN to Tono to be her Dom temporarily when Thane has to be gone for three weeks and doesn’t know if she can do it. If it hadn’t been for the displeasure of Tono’s father she would have asked Tono to collar her so her feelings run deep for him. Though it is a challenge for both of them, they come out as friends and not lovers.

Also in this group of books, Tono loses his father and it’s up to Brie to comfort him, per her Master’s decision.

Thane asks Brie to marry him and she finishes the film.

I know this is choppy but these are just a few of the high points. I can’t wait to continue this series and think I will try an audio version of book seven. Can’t wait!!!!!!

 

 

 

Brie’s Submission (Books 1-3) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

Take a peek into the sensual world of BDSM

Brie Bennett’s life is about to change.

An invitation to the exclusive Submissive Training Center is one she can’t turn down.

As Brie learns the art of submission under the skilled hands of a team of Dominants, her boundaries are tested and her heart is put on the line.

But as Graduation Day approaches, she can only be collared by one.

Which Dom will win her heart and … her submission?

*This boxed set includes Teach Me, Love Me and Catch Mefrom the Brie’s Submission Series.

Review –

This set of three books in the Brie’s Submission series was free, but I knew shortly into the first book that I would definitely  be buying the others.

I only know what I know from reading about the BDSM life style but it fascinates me and I find that books involving D/s storylines are my favorite kind of erotic/contemporary romances.

That’s why I love this series. These three books take Brie through her 6 week training at a famous school for submissives. Six weeks doesn’t sound very long for all the instruction involved BUT the class hours were long and the practice sessions demanding. Without knowing any better the depiction seems very believable.

Brie is a young woman who feels like she’s missing something from her life but can’t pinpoint what exactly until a man comes in the tobacco shop and leaves a card to a Submissive Training Center for her. Her curiosity piqued, she enrolls in the course, unwilling to fail since she feels it to be her calling, needing to learn things she never expected to not know. With each new week, Brie and the other subs are put through various scenes to push their limits and dedication, to see who will graduate at the top of their class.

Brie goes through so many trials, even faces her deepest fears and prejudice, in ways she never saw coming. So many themes are discussed throughout this box set- menage, lesbianism, anal, DP, submission, and much more, putting into words some of the many aspects of what a D/s relationship is. I did wonder if these types of schools exist since they sound intriguing, and yet as much as Brie grew with all the teachings, I can only imagine the heartbreak at having to choose between her suitors to be the one to collar her.

There is jus t so much in thees books the it would be impossible to relate it all, just know that at graduation Brie chooses to be collared and the Master she picks turn her down – AT FIRST.

I’ve already started reading books four through six of this series and can’t wait to find out what happens between Brie and her Master.

The Pawn (Endgame #1) by Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: December 6, 2016

Format:Free Digital Book

“Sinfully sexy and darkly beautiful, The Pawn will play games with your heart and leave you craving more!” – Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

Review –

Avery’s world is falling apart. Her father is very bad off after getting severely beaten over bad business dealings with a man named Gabriel. Gabriel  sells and buys things – things like guns and drugs. Avery goes to the “King of the Underworld” Damon Scott for hopes of a loan, but when she discovers Damon reports to Gabriel, she knows she is big trouble.

When Gabriel learns eighteen year old Avery is a virgin, he tells her that her virginity is the most valuable thing she owns and if it is sold, she would make enough money to help her father and keep his house. But she would be owned for a month. He will sell her body to the highest bidder at auction. After thinking on it, Avery feels as if she has no choice.

Of course, the night of the auction, Gabriel actually bids and wins Avery – and now she is his for one month in exchange for a million dollars.

Gabriel never forces Avery to have sex – you actually learn he has had a thing for her for quite some time and kind of arranged this entire thing so he could have a chance with her. While Avery is bought by him, she enjoys the pleasure he gives her. He saves her virginity for as long as he can – but does act out in other ways with her. Around the third or fourth day (at least that’s what it seemed like to me) he does take her virginity and none too gently. It seemed it was being cruel on purpose. Afterwards, he left her in the bedroom, alone, bloody and shaken. When she goes to him asking if he was coming back to his room, he tells her NO. He’d gotten what he’d paid for and now he wanted her GONE.

The housekeeper calls a car to take her home and once she there she finds out her father has had a heart attack after learning that the family home has been taken in criminal forfeiture by Gabriel’s company. Avery is livid. She sold her virginity so this wouldn’t happen but Gabriel made it happen anyway. END

Talk about cliffhanger!

I wanted to shake Gabriel by the shoulders for being such a bastard. He was so dark and you get the feeling he likes it just fine that way.

I’m looking for a free copy of the next book, The Knight, because I don’t feel like paying $4.99 for it and the others in there series, but who know, I might cave. 

 

 

Surrender to Me (Wicked Lovers #4) by Shayla Black

Book Description:

Published: March 1, 2011

Format: Audio/Audible

A secret fantasy.

Hunter had everything until a bullet put his career as a Navy SEAL on hold. Restless and uncertain about his future, he accepts an intriguing proposition: share an acquaintance’s girlfriend and fulfill her fantasy of a ménage. It should have been just a night of sexual adventure between three consenting adults. But Kata is like no other girl Hunter has ever met. By turns audacious and sexy, then vulnerable and aloof, she’s a heartbreaker he’s determined to master. But he needs more than one night. And he wants to do it alone.

An uncontrollable obsession.

Kata never expected to leave her comfortable relationship and explore something so dangerously forbidden with a stranger. Hard as she tries to resist, the guilty pleasure overwhelms her, and she surrenders herself, inch by inch, to the hardcore man who wants her for himself. Consumed by blazing desire, they’re soon threatened by the shadows of the past. And now to keep Kata safe, Hunter makes her a bold proposition of his own. Saying yes will destroy her heart. But saying no could cost Kata her life.

Review –

This is the fourth book in the Wicked Lovers series and I loved the character of Hunter, a hunk of dominant alpha male but Kata did things that just got on my last nerve. 

Kata meets Hunter at her birthday party in Vegas and her male friend with benefits has asked Hunter to help make her fantasy of a menage come true. He agrees but soon realizes he wants her all to himself, so he gets the other guy drunk so he can’t take part. Later, neither her or Kata are feeling any pain and on a whim get married.

In the morning she doesn’t remember that part and wants out. Hunter says NOT SO FAST, he can see that she will be a perfect submissive for him. He just has to convince her and he doesn’t have much time. His military medical leave will be up soon.

Hunter is an all-or-nothing kind of guy, so he expected a full surrender from Kata. But Kata just kept resisting and resisting until it just got annoying. I understand her conflicts with her stepfather, who demeaned her mother, and her independent nature, but all her crying and whining started to get to me.

She didn’t want to submit, so she gives Hunter  divorce papers and he said he would sign if she would give him one more romantic night without any BDSM kink (which is what she said she wants) But then she realizes that she doesn’t want that and insist on doing things Hunter’s way. And let me tell you, when she surrenders completely, it’s worth it all for Hunter.

The last few chapters of the book were the best. The sex scenes were somehow hotter, the pace picks up and I just thought it made up for Hunter’s sometimes scary dominance and Kata’s whining.

This was a VERY HOT read. Loved it!

 

Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers #1) by Shayla Black

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2007

Format: Free Digital Book/OverDrive

She didn’t know what she wanted…

Morgan O’Malley has seen a lot of kinky things as the hostess of a cable sex talk show. But she’s never met a man like Jack Cole before. A self-proclaimed dominant, he’s as alpha as a male can get—and good for Morgan to have around when an obsessed stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her.

Until he made her beg for it.

Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence because, slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it—and starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure, but she has no idea how personal they are…

Review –

I love this series even though I’m not necessarily reading them in the proper order. When I find one, I grab it.

I love the characters, Morgan and Jack and  the sexual tension between them is edgy and sensual. The plot is intriguing, as are the secondary characters.

Morgan O’Malley has a stalker. She needs protection and only bodyguard Jack Cole can offer it. And as they find themselves sharing a small house while hiding out, their attraction for each other becomes impossible to control.

But Jack doesn’t want just a lover, he wants Morgan’s submission, total and complete. He wants to be the one to see to her needs and to her pleasure, to have her complete trust. How can Morgan admit to him, or to herself, that she can do this? That she wants it, even needs it?

Jack brings out desires in her she didn’t know where hidden, and will test her and bring her to heights she never even thought possible.

Jack more or less pushes his wicked lifestyle onto Morgan and used whatever it took, sex toys, bondage, etc. to get her there. He was forceful and never gave up and did I mention, he is French cajun? (swoon) Jack’s accent alone will have you melting at his feet! He doesn’t make excuses for what he wants but he  does have hidden intentions, and when he finally figures out he has true feelings for Morgan, nothing will keep him from her.

The sexual chemistry between them is HOT and the story does have a  HEA, although it takes a bit of time to get there.

Loved it!!

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Book Description:

Published: July 11, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Review –

Ten years ago, Quincy Carpenter, then a college student, became the sole survivor of the Pine Cottage Murders, a massacre that claimed five of her friends.

Now a successful baking blogger, living with her public defender boyfriend,Jeff, in a beautiful Manhattan apartment, she likes to think she’s gotten past the trauma — she’s even conveniently forgotten most of that night’s events. Only her wine and Xanax dependency, some light kleptomania, and a complete unwillingness to talk about the murders say otherwise.

But her denial holds no sway with the press, which labels Quincy a “Final Girl” — one of three sole female survivors of headline-grabbing massacres who fascinate the public. When the first of the Final Girls is found dead in her bathtub, the second one shows up in New York, looking for Quincy. Sam is cagey about her history and quick to force intimacy with Quincy. She doesn’t buy the all-is-well front, and seems dead set on releasing Quincy’s demons, including her repressed memories of the murders.

And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

The author keeps the reader guessing as to the WHAT, WHY and WHO with a couple of gigantic twists that you  won’t see coming.  I loved it and gave it five stars!

 

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

Book Description:

Published: November 22, 2016

Format: Soft Cover

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Review –

In this five-star read  two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long without fear of disease, aging, or accidents.If for some reason they are killed they can be revived in a few days. There is a  governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), and is independent of the Scythedom so scythes rely on ten commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population.

After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty.

The action, violent at times, unfolds slowly, anchored in complex world building and propelled by political happenings behind the scenes . Scythes’ journal entries, which are mandatory, accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual points of view, revealing both personal struggles and problems within the society.  The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and melancholic, brooding but steeped with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. 

Recommended for young adults 14 and up.

Five stars for story and cover!

 

Little Black Dress by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

Book Description:

Published: July 28, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Can a little black dress change everything in her life?

Magazine editor Jane Avery spends her nights alone with Netflix and Oreos – until the Dress turns her loose. Suddenly she’s surrendering to dark desires, and New York City has become her erotic playground. But what began as a fantasy will go too far… and her next conquest could be her last.

Review –

In this BookShot, James Patterson ventures outside the genres for which he is known, waltzing onto a more romance/erotica pathway.

Jane Avery is living the typical a thirty-five  year old divorcée life, at least in her eyes; a slave to her work whose social time is filled with cookies and binge watching television. When she purchases a dress, black and slinky in nature, she finds herself filled with new confidence. While the dress does not possess any magical power, per se, Avery is pulled into a level of confidence she lacked up to that point. This confidence is primarily that of no strings attached sexual encounters with men, most of whom she has never met and all of whom will not get a second chance to unzip her.  Avery’s confidence reaches a climactic point when she visits a sex club and finds herself drawn to a man whose intrigue matches his prowess. However, after taking him back to her apartment, which she has vowed to never do, she finds that she may have bitten off more than she can chew.

When she doesn’t show up for work the next day, her sister goes to her apartment and with the help of the landlord, gains entry and finds Jane, naked and handcuffed to a radiator.

Jane rethinks the her behavior and decides that from now on she will be more careful.   END.

It was a pleasant read but I thought the ending could have been better.