4 star review

Review – Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha

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The O’Kanes have a reputation for working hard and playing harder—except for Hawk. He joined the gang with one goal: to ensure his family’s survival through the impending war with Eden. It’s been years since he had the luxury of wanting anything for himself. Now, he wants Jeni. From the first moment he saw her, he’s been obsessed with making her his. Not for a night—forever. Jeni’s been lusting after the former smuggler for months, but he keeps shutting her down. She’s almost given up on getting him in her bed when he offers her the last thing she ever expected—a collar. Accepting it means belonging to him, body and soul. It’s a reckless gamble, but Jeni can’t resist the chance to slip under Hawk’s armor.

The only thing more shocking than the dark, dangerous pleasure they discover is how right it feels. But falling in love is even more reckless when forever is far from guaranteed. Because they aren’t just at war, they’re out of time—and every breath could be their last.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

I adore this series. Life got in the way and I am a bit late, but don’t let that give you any hesitation in snapping this whole series right up. Here we have the next to the last book in the series, and I can’t remember ever having quite this same level of both excitement to see where the story is headed, and sadness to see a series go. I often harp on a series knowing when to let go, and man-oh-man is writing duo Kit Rocha pulling out well before I am sick and tired of them.

I initially found this series in one of the earliest things I read specifically for the blog. And then I devoured all the currently written books. And then I had to wait patiently for Beyond Addiction, Beyond Possession, Beyond Innocence, and Beyond Ruin to come out. It has been a busy two years and I can’t believe it is almost over.

*Disclaimer-this being the eighth book in the series, I don’t advise you to start here, this is a complex post apocalyptic dystopian series, you will be lost and never so lost as with starting here than any other point in the series. Start from the beginning so you know the players and the arena. And if that is too daunting, there are a couple of novellas you could start with to see if this is to your taste. So there will be spoilers for previous books.

And we’ll start those previous book spoilers now. Hawke and Jeni have been circling each other for a while now, so it is flat pure relief to have them finally connect. And really the first half of the book is their dance in the midst of prepping for the war that started in the last book. Unfortunately for Hawke and Jeni… Ashwin and that whole thing almost completely stole the show for me. I need Ashwin like my next effing breathe. But that is a personal thing, I really get hung up on the freaky damaged ones.

But there is plenty going on with Hawke and Jeni. THIS is BDSM that is safe, sane, and consensual. We have honest discussion of boundaries, safe words, letting go (with some series thoughts about what it all means), and some mentoring. And because on many ways the sex in this series is egalitarian, we have a woman doing the mentoring in dominance for a man. This to me is feminist erotica, and it works for me.

And there is quite a bit of calm before the storm narrative taking place, which is a good backdrop for watching their love story unfurl as well as lining out the finale.

Be ready though, because when it hits? It hits hard and rips your effing heart out. This was honestly one of the more uncomfortable conflict points for a couple in this series, but it resolves so sweetly you just can’t stay mad. It is a really good installment that moves the plot forward an amazing degree. War is here, and it is dirty and ugly, but at least now there is an end in sight.

Don’t be too sad seeing all this awesome and thinking about it ending though. First we finally have our Nessa’s love story. Then Kit Rocha is going to be taking us to Sector One soon, and I for one can’t wait! Especially if Ashwin is up next (please, pretty please guys…let me have Ashwin next!).

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1 star review

Review – Falling for a Redneck by Eve Langlais

Falling for a Redneck
By Eve Langlais



So this is the second story in a row that simply hasn’t worked for me. And not just random stories, but things that should have worked. I don’t know if I’m heading into a slump or it’s just awful luck for this weekend, but whatever it is, I hope it straightens out PDQ.

Be forewarned, there WILL  be spoilers and ranting.

So generally speaking, even if Eve Langlais books don’t make my top favorites list, I can at least count on solid enjoyment. This is in fact the first book of hers that was completely wrong for me. It should have been right dang it. We have an uptight, germaphobe, white collar woman, and an earthy blue collar guy with two adorable plot-moppets to melt her icy facade. But this reprint should have stayed safely in the past.

From this point on there will be spoilers and rants, feel free to skip out, but if you haven’t read anything by Eve Langlais, skip this book and try her Freakn’ Shifters (ignore the horrible apostrophe usage) or Furry United Coalition (yes that does spell FUC). Both of them are full of humor, whimsy, and sexy times.

So, we start out meeting Marissa, the pro-Domme, in full regalia in a session. Except this isn’t her kink, it’s a job she does so she can punish men and vent her anger at all men over the horrible way her ex-husband treated her. So yeah, we have another BDSM practitioner doing it in lieu of therapy, a trope I quite despise. It actually gets worse though because her former therapist is the person who turned her onto it. So, yeah, that happened. And then she doesn’t even own it, she’s all conflicted over it. Enter the sexy redneck Dirk and his adorable plot moppets. I settle in thinking alright, this is working for me. I’m even getting into the mystery of Marissa’s stalker. And I’m especially enjoying getting to know Dirk and seeing him as a person and his back story unfold. Then WHAM, another trope/comment I abhor. Marrisa refers to her pro-Domme activities as “…as bad as prostitution”. Literally, WTF? First off, that’s just an awfully denigrating way to think about or write about prostitutes. Considering prostitutes as ” bad” is just not something I can condone. There’s plenty of ways to think about prostitutes (and that’s definitely a debate for another time), but that dismissive horrified line of thought is one that just pisses me the hell off. And secondly, if you aren’t having sexual contact with a human being for money (which she wasn’t), then it isn’t prostitution. It’s a service right up there with paying for massage, hair cuts, or spa services. Yes it’s a little out of mainstream for the general population, but it still isn’t sex for money. So she’s going to quit because she’s tired of it anyway, and her anger’s all cured by the love and care from her redneck and his magical peen. That’s a little bit of magical thinking, but I tend to accept it in romancelandia. Whatever, on with the story. So Dirk takes her to his parents house to be safe from the stalker. It’s a farm, which makes for some fairly funny scenes. We get to find out plenty more about Dirk and his kids, and both he and Marissa really open up. The plot moppets’ bio-mom even breezes in giving Dirk closure and forcing both of them to confront their feelings for each other, and then conveniently breezes right out with no real repercussions or consequences. So Dirk and Marissa head back to real life, and she’s figured out her stalker is actually one of her now-former client’s wife. She sets up one last appointment with the man to lure his wife in, and this part I actually did like, she talks the wife down and teaches her to dominate her husband as he likes to be dominated. Those two go home a happier and kinkier couple. Then Marissa finally confesses to Dirk that all her angst and anger came from the fact she had cervical cancer which resulted in a hysterectomy, and that her husband knocked someone else else up and left her. Yes, that’s very miserable, but Dirk is a sweetie who explains she’s not half a woman, she’s the other half of his heart. They get married and our formerly very starched and buttoned up clean freak doesn’t even freak over the handprints the plot moppets leave on her wedding dress. It’s sweet.

Now, if that were the end of it, at least it would have been a high note. Still not a great or even good story, but a high note. But of course I wasn’t that lucky, we then have the epilogue from hell. A year later they wake up and find a freaking baby on their doorstep. The plot moppets’ bio-mom has popped out another kid and left it on their doorstep as a belated wedding present. WTF?!?! I guess someone must think that’s a happy ending of massive wish fulfillment proportions. But personally, I just found it creepy and weird.

I think what frustrated me so much, is that there was the bones of a great story in there. And Dirk and his backstory were just excellent. He’s one of my favorite heroes so far this year. I actually kind of even liked Marissa. But the story around them just completely irked the hell out of me. How on earth does an author even write characters I like in a story I can’t stand? There’s some sort of voodoo going on here, but I’m still giving this story 1 star.


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4 star review

ARC Review – Beyond Possession

Beyond Possession
by Kit Rocha

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is listed as book 5.5 in this series. You can read previous reviews here and here.


This is a novella in what is a rather gripping post-apocalyptic dystopian world. While the author states she tries to make the novellas more accessible to new readers, at this point I don’t think it is possible. The world building and characterization of the other main characters in the series are simply too far along. So new readers, don’t start here, and don’t read this review if you don’t want spoilers for the previous books.

I really enjoyed Zan and Tatiana’s story. Zan is recovering from when he almost died attempting to protect Trix. Tatiana on the other hand is struggling to maintain her balance in Sector 4 as her father was the ruler that O’Kane over threw in order to come to power. O’Kane isn’t universally loved so this puts her, and her sister, in a hard place. When rebellion starts brewing, and her sister trapped on the wrong side, few choices falls down to none. Since this is a short story, there isn’t much to the courtship process, so Zan and Tatiana’s connection relies on back-story not seen on the page, which I infinitely prefer to the insta-connection. They are sweet and sexy, and Zan for all his dominant ways was remarkably sensitive to Tatiana’s needs. And Tatiana for her part recognizes this and learns to bend and to trust, but I appreciate the level of independence she maintained compared to some of the other heroine’s in this series. This book is grittier than the previous one and gives us some new insight into the politics within Sector 4. Overall 4 stars, but I couldn’t rate it any higher because Tatiania seemed a bit shoehorned into joining the O’Kane’s. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book, because that one should be another full-length one.

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3.5 star review

ARC Review – Beyond Addiction

Beyond Addiction
by Kit Rocha

Beyond Addiction

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is book 5 in the Beyond Series, a post-apocalyptic erotice/romance series. You can read my previous reviews here.

Trix was left hanging with one hell of a cliffhanger at the end of the last book. That is rather expeditiously resolved at the beginning of this story, when she lands right back into Sector 5 and the hands of her former lover, Finn. Finn is a man on the edge, a man who only wants a front row seat with no exit plan to the ruination of Sector 5. But, when Trix shows up everything changes. While he doesn’t start out wanting to change his path, he does have a new goal.

Despite the action, this book seems both more relaxed and introspective. Overall, I’d say this book was less about Trix and Finn (though don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of sizzle), and more about expanding the world building. And that is the thing about these stories; they are creating such a novel, raunchy, post apocalyptic-dystopian world, that these books just aren’t stand alones. While this is absolutely not my favorite story or couple, I still enjoy the world that is being built and can’t wait for the next one.

But one more thing, I’d love to find out more about Ryder.

3.5 stars
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2 star review

Wild Rides: 10 Blazing Hot Alpha Bad Boy Biker and MC Romance Box Set


Currently on sale at all retailers for $0.99.

Bikers, motorcycle clubs, and “curvy” or full figured women seem to be the overall theme in this set.
I’m completely baffled by the many five star reviews for this box set. It’s been the least impressive probably of any set I’ve picked up. I kept trying to make myself give this 3 stars based on the a couple of the strongest stories, but honestly it’s no where close to the quality of the other big box sets I’ve read, so I just couldn’t do it. For a buck it’s totally worth it and the sheer variety means most people are likely to find something that are going to want to follow up on. Which brings me to my next point. I hate it when authors include part of a story to tease you into buying the other half of the story. It’s infuriating. By all means, use a short story to introduce the reader to your characters and your world, but put a complete effing story in the bundle, or at least put a disclaimer at the front of the story. This sort of behavior doesn’t encourage me to purchase further stories, it lets me know I can’t trust the author so I’m less likely to make further purchases.

Safe House
by Dez Burke

2 stars
This should probably win some sort of prize for completely implausible story lines where not one but TWO supposedly highly educated, licensed professionals with serious codes of ethics do completely off the wall illegal things. It wasn’t badly written but I couldn’t suspend disbelief enough to just enjoy it.
Additionally, it ends on a complete cliffhanger making it more of a teaser for Liberated than an actual short story in its own right.

Rage
by Christina Wick

3.5 stars
This is written in first person from both the main characters perspectives. They’re a little chatty and young sounding, but overall I was enjoying the story until they were so blasé about the idea of getting her pregnant in the situation they are in. Despite the first person spring which I don’t tend to care for, and that one characterization oddity that pulled me out of the story for a minute, I really kind of liked this one. The sorry was fast paced and the characters were really kind of sweet with each other, and Callan was pretty hot.


2 stars
This story starts out with a bang when sheltered good girl Rachel’s father sells her to a vicious motorcycle club. She’s rescued by a rival club, but from there this thing ended on a whimper. It was tolerable till about the end if chapter right but then it fell further off the rails. There were a free sweet moments, but mostly it just dragged. One extra star because managed to finish it, but that’s about it.

Riding Danger
by Adriana Hunter

3 stars
This one isn’t bad. The two main characters both acknowledge the crazy situation they are in and how out of character their actions are. Sure they go with it, but it’s fun anyway. It’s a bad boy who isn’t so bad and a nurse with a heart of gold taking down the megalomaniac MC president.

Swish
by Marian Tee

Starts out strong but didn’t flip my switch, so I snuck to the last chapter to see if there was anything to make me go back and read it. Turns out this is an at least three part serial. So this goes on my DNF shelf at least until the other parts are out.

Stone Cold
by Olivia Rigal

3.5 stars
This is one of the stronger entries in the set. The plot is a bit tricky, there’s some mystery and the supporting cast is pretty great. It’s not a happily ever after but I liked it anyway. And I really want to see what happens next.

Fearless Curves
by D.H. Cameron

1.5 stars
Jack is an arrogant ass, and not in a good way, and even coming from a bad boy biker, repeated offers to go “get fucked up” just aren’t charming.
Plus this story had more spelling and grammatical errors than the rest.

Worthy of the Billionaire Biker
by Krista Lakes

3 stars
A lot of BDSM scenes with a billionaire biker businessman (say that three times fast) and his accounting liaison. They have some history together so it isn’t exactly a tumble between strangers. But there’s no safety or trust in this relationship and the female main character is a flipping doormat.
After we see how they work together in the present, we get the story of their first meeting in Worthy of the Biker: First Meeting. Then it’s back to the present in Worthy of the Billionaire Biker’s Trust. Then it’s back to the past when they first said goodbye. Finally we hit the end in the present with Worthy of the Billionaire Biker’s Love.

There’s a nice little mystery and finally a bit of emotional connection and Claire finally seems to firm up as a character, though it freaks me out a bit she continues to refer to him as Mr. King even in her own mind.
It looks like these are a bunch of short stories that were previously available separately. And the past stories are related to characters and the setting from Snow’s Outlaw Kind of Love.

Bear Biker Love
by Harper Ashe

3 stars
This story is an exciting introduction into a world with shifters and guardians. I enjoy stories about shifters so I initially was turned off by the guardian angle. But, while the main characters are interesting, the guardian really stole the show. I’ll be looking forward to further stories set in this world as I think there’s quite a bit the author can do with it.

City Girl, Country Wolf
by Aubrey Rose

3 stars
Interesting very short story. Not much to it, and no happily ever after, but in the rest of the box set crowd it stood out.
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Uncategorized

Fighting Fair

Fighting Fair
by Anne Calhoun

Natalie Copeland is tired of fighting for a marriage that in her eyes doesn’t even exist anymore. Her husband basically ignores her and takes her for granted in favor of his business goals. She makes a last ditch effort to save her marriage with couple’s counseling, which her husband can’t even be bothered to show up on time to. Shane doesn’t really see the problem, as far as he is concerned Natalie knew what she was going into and the time it would take to meet his goals.

Frankly speaking, I did not care for this story. It is all about Shane’s wants and needs. When he meets a goal at work he looks around the celebratory party and realizes he has no clue where his wife is. When he tracks her down he finds her having a business dinner with another man and sparks fly. I’ll admit it is really well written, I empathized with Natalie and it was all too easy to get into her head at the start of the book. But it doesn’t get better after the start of the fight scene. Shane’s method of “winning” her back feels like it is STILL all about him and his wants and needs and nothing really about her. Some of my issue with this is likely due to the shorter format, there simply was not enough time for me to make the transition between anger and hurt to passion, which means there was a really spicy scene that normally I would have enjoyed but instead left me cold.

Since it was well written I will probably try another longer book to see how it pans out, but this probably isn’t a good intro as a new reader to Anne Calhoun’s works.

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Uncategorized

The Professional

The Professional
by Kresley Cole

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This was originally published as a three part serial.

Another reviewer labeled this as “glitterkink” and that seemed oddly apt to me. To that I’ll add – BDSM plotporn meets superromance. It’s over the top in many areas from the hero, to the heroine, to their backgrounds and the events of the story itself. He’s a mafia enforcer with a tragic past and she’s the unknown daughter of a mafia boss. It isn’t safe or sane and should probably not be any one’s idea of a healthy relationship. The other thing the story is over the top on (this time not in a cheesy way) is emotional impact, though I found myself empathizing more with Sevastyan than with Natalie. Putting all that together created a luscious romp as long as you use a bit of willful suspension of disbelief.

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