The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Book Description:

Published:July 25, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Review –

Alice and Jake are on top of the world on their wedding day and then receive a strange gift and an invitation to join The Pact, a very private and exclusive organization which supposedly will help them maintain a healthy marriage.

They accept, and realize very shortly The Pact is an abusive,dangerous and maybe murderous cult-like club with no way out. Alice is accused of infractions and taken to a Pact prison facility and sentenced by a Pact judge to wear a neck brace-like contraption for the purpose of focusing more on her marriage and less on her job. Jake tries to seek answers from a woman he knew while in college but she seems afraid to talk to him. Later he is taken to the prison facility, has his head shaved, suffered electric shocks for hours and stripped naked and anchored between two large piece of plexiglass and rolled into the prison cafeteria for all to see. After several days he is allowed to go home.

Alice and Jake discuss how they can get out of the group and things come to a head when Alice is kidnapped and Jake has to travel to Ireland to find and talk to the founder of The Pact. This is does and without giving anything away, he find Alice is okay and then there is the ending.

There was two ways the book could have ended and I would have been alright with either one but I must admit the decision made by the couple surprised me.

Below is a list of a few of the rules provided in the Manual (required reading, in fact members were told to memorize it)

“The Manual,” a huge tome in tiny print containing regulations like those of Unit 3.12, Health and Fitness, which specifies that neither partner may gain more than 10 percent of what they weigh on their wedding day. Other rules require that couples exchange thoughtful gifts monthly, take a trip together once a quarter, always answer a spouse’s telephone call, and never, ever mention The Pact to anyone. Also mandatory is timely attendance at the group’s parties, meetings, and one-on-one sessions. “

Five stars!

The cover does bother me-not sure about the significance of the red tentacle looking thing.

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The Prisoner(Criminal & Captives #1)by Annika Martin and Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: October 22, 2014

Format: E-Book

He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.

Review –

This is definitely a dark, gritty romance. Grayson is in prison for killing a cop (he was framed) and Abigail is there working on a writing assignment for a college class. When Grayson figures out that she is intent on eventually publishing some of the inmates stories as part of an online journal it doesn’t take him long to bribe his way into her class. He needs to get word out to his crew in order to facilitate a break out. Abby is buttoned-up, all prim and proper, and also completely fascinated by the big, hardened prisoner. Grayson is dangerous and her attraction to him leaves her jumpy and confused. But she is determined to finish the assignment.

Predictably, during his prison break, Grayson takes Abby hostage.  She is terrified of what he is going to do to her, but their fascination for each other continues to build. If there isn’t a content warning, there should be because  there are several instances where Grayson’s sexual advances aren’t welcome and even one scene  where Abby has been drugged by Grayson so she can sleep and isn’t completely in control of all of her faculties. Regardless, Abby does slowly come to trust him as she learns of this history and the horror he lived through as  a child. And it is horrific. Her back story is also pretty terrible and in a way made me believe that these two scarred people might be made for each other.

There is a violent bloody beating where Grayson also loses himself and there are twists and turns and a huge change of heart from one of the supporting characters, Stone. It was dark, edgy and a true page turner.

I loved it. If you like DARK AND EDGY, this one is for you.

The sequel, Hostage, has just been released. It is Stone’s story and I can’t wait.

 

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1) by Dot Hutchison

Book Description:

Published: June 1, 2016

Format: Audio

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Review –

I can’t really say too much about this book without giving away the “stomach churning”(as used in the blurb) events that occurred in the Garden. It’s kidnapping/imprisonment and sexual abuse taken to a whole new level.

Maya was a strong individual with problems of her own when she came to the Garden and was looked upon by the other “butterflies” as a leader of sorts. As she is questioned by the police, after an explosion in the Garden, we find out just how strong she was.

Five stars!

UnRaveled by K. Bromberg

Book Description:

Published: May 18,2014

Format: E-Book

One night.
One mistake.
Filled with fear.
Sated by pleasure.
Robbed of control.
Blindfolded and bound.
Shamed she liked it.
Doomed to want it.
Limits tested.
Boundaries pushed.
Desire awakened.
Inhibition unleashed.
An identity unraveled.
Lives changed forever.

Review –

OMG!!!!!

This book is so HOT!

Lily and Anderson are supposed to be spending their 15th wedding anniversary in Italy but Anderson puts work first and stays behind. Lily isn’t happy in their marriage. They are in a sexual rut. Anderson refuses to try anything new or the least bit kinky.

She’s having a drink in a bar and notices a very handsome man staring at her and she can’t help but stare back. The bartender places a drink in front of her from the sexy gentleman and she drinks it (of course).

On leaving the bar and walking back to her hotel she realizes she is very drunk, but NEVER does it enter her mind that she might have been drugged.

The handsome man speaks to her in an alley and tells her “you are mine” and she blacks out and awakens naked, blindfolded and gagged with her wrists restrained as well as her ankles.

The handsome man tells her is going to use and abuse her in ways that her husband would never dream of.

Lilly is appalled that she is turned on my the dirty talk coming out of this man’s mouth but SHE IS.

Everything he does to her, breath play, hot wax, ice, leather gloves, (you’ll have to read the book to find out how the handsome man used those in a sexual way) anal play etc. are the things she has fantasized about doing with her husband.

After awhile r=she realizes there is another man in the room. He is called Marco by the handsome man and he just watches. At least that’s what he does for a while. Soon the handsome man tells her that Marco has been the one calling the shots. After that things get real KINKY. There is DP and sex in other asunder positions all night and into the wee hours of the morning until she is finally begging them to stop because having just one more orgasm is going to kill her.

She wakes up a few hours later in HER hotel room and because she is so sore she had barely move, she remembers what took place the night before and she is ashamed.

So, to make a long story short – Her husband, Anderson, calls her that morning to see how she is and of course she is feeling horribly guilty for being abducted, having sex with strange men and enjoying it. She tells him she is coming home early and flies home. Once there she is a total mess and debates telling him all about it but decided not to.

She does tell him the she loves him so much but that spicing up their sex life would make things even better.  He agrees and goes to shower and his phone rings.  She answers and it’s the hotel where she stayed in Italy and they have the bracelet she lost. She finds out the man was calling for MARCO so now she knows that her husband was MARCO, the other man in the room calling all the shorts, and  had given her the fantasy of a lifetime as an anniversary present and she knows in her heart they are going to be just fine from here on out.

Fantastically sexy read.    FIVE STARS *****

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Caged (Caged #1) by D.H. Sidebottom

Book Description:

Published: May 18, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book

Judd Asher was taken from his front garden when he was just four years old. After an extensive search he was never found.
Twenty-one years after a random call out, Judd is found chained and beaten in the basement of an old rundown farmhouse where he has lived the life of an animal for the last twenty-one years.

Kloe Grant is assigned as Judd’s personal therapist. It’s her job to rehabilitate him, to guide him back to normal life. But as Judd’s only emotion is rage, Kloe finds it both heart-breaking and challenging mending a soul that’s not only broken but caged inside him by the demons of his past.

However, when Kloe’s relationship with her patient raises some eyebrows, Kloe can’t fight against the powers that want to see her fail, and with an arm behind her back, she walks away, leaving behind a man who has come to live life again for her.

Four years later Judd, now known as Anderson Cain, the darkest and most formidable cage fighter in a world where violence and crime are the only way to keep breathing, Judd finds there’s not a lot in life that can abate the rage that still twists and prowls beneath his skin.
Not until a chance encounter brings him to her door. To the woman with the bluest eyes and the most stunning smile, the woman who took his hand in the darkness and led him through the door into the sun.
But Kloe Grant left him when he needed her the most. She took the only shred of hope and trust he had left and annihilated it. She starved his belief, and she fed his fury.
She owes him. And he’s going to make sure that this time, she pays. In blood. In lust. In pain. And with her soul.

Review –

This book was not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be another story about the kidnapping of a young boy and his release from captivity twenty-one years later. I thought it would be about his rehabilitation and merging back into society. But it was NOT.

Anderson WAS more than damaged. He was a savage, a sadist, a masochist, insane, and hell-bent on revenge.

We learn that Kloe, the personal therapist, meant to help him, had her demons as well and together they fall to the depths of depravity.

This is absolutely everything you want in a dark erotic novel. Suspense, actual brutality and emotion, intensity and strong characters. Sex scenes so dark and yet so erotic it makes me uneasy at your own reactions. More than anything, this wasn’t just a simple novel focused solely on sex, but a focus on mental health and finding life, consolation and comfort in questionable actions, something to fill the empty void of the two lead characters. The unliveable nature of Anderson in particular was wonderfully troubling, attractive, arrogant, broken and cruel.

There were so many jaw-dropping  moments I didn’t know what to do with myself.  

This book will not be for everyone, so be forewarned that it is DARK, very very DARK, with triggers.

I didn’t know going in that this had a sequel but it did and I’m reading it now. HAD to!

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Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2016

Format: Audio

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession.

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

Review –

I am a big fan of psychological thrillers and found myself really enjoying this book. Some parts are completely over the top and, at times, even downright silly, but you expect that stuff going into it. Obviously, these stories aren’t happening in real life–and if they are, well, Heaven help us !

Kubica’s style is fresh and unique, staying true to her strength–which is dialing up the suspense until it reaches the boiling point. While I found some of the characters a bit too quirky and Alex was a bit too Norman Bates-like. I thought they were all tied up nicely at the end.

I did want to pull my hair out where character of Ben, whom Quinn had a huge crush on, was concerned. He was oblivious to her calling him at all times of the night and leaving notes on his desk at work but the author did give us a glimmer of hope for them at the end too.

If you’re looking for a story to suck you in and get your heart pumping, Don’t You Cry would be a worthy pick to meet all of your suspense-loving, thrill-seeking needs!

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Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Book Description:

Published: July 6, 2010

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Still Missing interweaves the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfold through sessions with her psychiatrist, with a second narrative following the events after her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted novel.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Once I started listening to this book I found it almost impossible to stop because after reading the blurb I knew what was coming and felt edgy waiting for it to happen.

It starts out so innocently, a young realtor doing her job showing a house on a slow day, packing up her things when a van pulls up and a man with a very friendly smile asks if he can see the house. Annie, tired and ready to get home, almost says “no”, but gives in and that one decision would change her life FOREVER.

She’s kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin, hours away from her home town. There she is raped repeatedly and put on strict schedules, when and what she can eat, when she can pee, when she can bathe,what to wear etc. There is no way out of the cabin and every cabinet and door is locked. She gets pregnant, gives birth (basically all on her own) to a daughter, who the “freak”(that’s what Annie calls her kidnapper) names after his mother. In her mind and heart, Annie gives her another name, which we find out at the end.

It goes without saying that the “freak” is seriously unstable and we find out he was sexually abused as a child and that he has killed before and gotten away with it. He’s not happy that the baby is a girl and gets very upset when she cries and won’t quiet down. In his mind she is showing him disrespect. The baby catches and severe cold and he refuses to admit she’s sick and the baby dies while in his care. He takes her away and Annie never finds out what he did with her. The baby had lived one month.

There is a turning point and a surprise twist  in the story and I won’t say what they are  (you’ll have to read the book) but they are doozies and change the direction of the whole story.

Although the story does not end with a HEA, in my mind I added one last  chapter and gave Annie at least the HOPE of a future with happiness made possible for her. She deserved it.

Fantastic book!!!

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Owned (Decadence After Dark #1) by M. Never

Book Description:

Published: September 29, 2014

“I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.”

Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes – until temptation finally gets the better of her. Impulsively, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo’s infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts.

In a hidden corner of a trendy New York City lounge, the spark kindling between the two of them ignites. Unable to resist the sinful attraction, Ellie agrees to leave with Kayne, believing she is finally bedding the man of her dreams. Little does she know when she walks out the door, she’s about to be Owned.

***Content Warning***
Owned is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Review –

I have to get over feeling guilty about reading erotic romances/dark erotica, but I’m not there yet.

This book was fantastic and the author could have left out half the sex scenes and it sill would have been fantastic but not near the PLEASURE to read.

Ellie has known of Kayne for a year or so because of her job but has never, to her knowledge, attracted his attention. Little does she know that he noticed her from their first meeting and he wanted her, Finally she asks him if he’s going to a party being thrown by her boss and he says he’ll go if she is going to be there. Kanye notices a business associate coming toward him so send Ellie off to fetch drinks. Javier, a drug and slave trafficker says he like to take Ellie for his own, so Kanye jumps in and tells him that she already belongs to him. Now he has no choice but to kidnap her and make her submit and be his slave/pet. He drugs her and takes her to his huge palatial whore house.

There she will remain to be brought to the point of breaking being humiliated,left chained to a bed,in total seclusion,naked, and made to have sex whenever Kanye wished, He hates what he’s doing to her but at the same time loving it. He loves to punish her with spankings using paddles, crops and straps. He loves to make her cry. He’s a real bastard. He collars her and tells her she is his KITTEN, a pet and at times she is made to crawl on all fours.  She is stubborn and refused to submit and she is beaten many times. Kanye tells him best friend, Jett, who also works with him , that he’s doing it for his own good. While all the training is taking place Kanye falls in love with Ellie and Ellie finds herself falling in love with Kanye.

After a month, she is pretty well beat down and does everything he says and the sinister Javier is bringing the BIG BOSS  in from outside  of the country for a meeting about drugs Kanye knows that after the party being held in honor of the drug lord, everything will change.

Javier kills his own drug lord and takes Ellie, who he has been lusting for since he first saw her, and shots Kanye in the shoulder. Then all hell breaks loose and men in black bust in and start shooting..

When all is said and done we learn Kanye is a covert agent and has been working undercover for the last six years to bring down the drug lords and the slave traffickers. Ellie finds out about this from Kanye and once her collar has been removed with a bolt cutter she leaves and says she never wants to see him  again.  End

I loved this book and I’m anxious to the next installment in this series to see how they get back together, because I know they will.

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Faith by Terry Towers

Book Description:

Published: November 25, 2014

Emily

I had no idea the wickedness that lay beneath his angelic features and pleasurable touch.

I wanted one night out to be wild and crazy; to be like all the other young women my age. I’d been living such a sheltered life that when a new group of friends took me to a nightclub for some drinks and dancing – nothing overly rebellious, considering – I jumped at the chance.

And you can imagine my surprise when the sexiest man at the club, heck, the sexiest man I’d ever set eyes upon wanted to spend some alone time getting to know the plain Jane daughter of a pastor! I jumped at the chance. Most of the other young women regularly left with men they’d just met and nothing bad ever happened, so what were the chances it would turn out badly for me?

I had no idea…

Tanner

I had no idea she’d challenge everything I believed about myself and make me feel.

My job is simple – train them and break their spirits without shattering their minds, which isn’t the easiest task, I assure you. But I’m the best at what I do.

But now The Organization I previously worked for is gone and I’m a freelancer – of sorts. And I couldn’t be happier. I used to have to abide by their rules, follow their protocol, but not anymore. The lives and minds of the women are mine to do with as I please.

Unfortunately for Emily Fennel, the daughter of a small-town pastor, she’d caught my attention. She was so pure and virtuous, she’s the light in contrast to my darkness and she’s going to be my greatest accomplishment.

People thought I was a monster before…

From the Author

Please Note: This is a dark romance novel, it contains themes of violence and mature situations that may upset some readers. While some people may feel it was over the top, please understand that in order to really appreciate the mental/emotional journey Tanner and Emily take I felt the book needed to start at its darkest point.
Review –
Though this may be a dark romance novel I found the ending to be too unbelievable.  I won’t say what the ending was but for all that went on in the story it’s just not plausible, at least, to me.
I also found it to be very predictable. Preacher’s daughter kidnapped and held hostage by a sex crazed dominant  who uses her and abuses her only to have her fall in love with him.  It seems like I’ve read this somewhere before.
I enjoy reading but sometime it’s like WHY AM I DOING THIS?
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Nowhere Blvd by Ryan Notch

15940410Book Description:

Published        December 28th 2011         by Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Eleven year old Spencer Williams mysteriously re-appears in his bedroom after having been missing for two years. The story of where he’s been is one no sane person would believe, a tale of being kidnapped by a creature out of legend and taken to a strange underworld. A place where missing children the world over are subjected to horrible experiments by the original boogie man, the living nightmare known as Smiling Jack.

Spencer keeps his secrets, happy to have been the only child ever to have escaped the clutches of Smiling Jack and his minions. With his nightmares fading into the past, Spencer returns home and tries to live a normal life. But when his baby sister goes missing, will Spencer be willing to take the ultimate risk to save her?

Review –

It took me some time to get into the book and each page seemed harder and harder to turn.  I just never really cared for it. Maybe I just read it at the wrong time.  Perhaps I’ll go back and read it again someday.