Alta Hensley & Stasia Black-Elegant Sins

Elegant Sins is the first book in a new series by Alta and Stasia. It’s all about a generations old secret society in the Deep South, involving blue blooded Southeren gentlemen who have that old school charm bred into their bones and dripping out of them like honey.

We start out with Grace. She’s a waitress in a diner in a dead end town. She’s busting her ass because she wants to be more than that. She doesn’t have much money, so she’s going to business school one free class at a time. (I totally think that this is awesome and there are so many great free classes offered online.) Grace has a goal, and she’s going to do everything she can to make it. Then she gets a notification that something is happening with her credit. Turns out her boyfriend has dumped her, stolen her money, stolen her ID, and ruining her credit all at once. Then, on what is the very worst day of her life thus far, she gets an invitation. She’s been invited to be a belle at the Order of the Silver Ghost, based in Oleander Mansion.

Montgomery Kingston has just turned 25. That means that it’s his time to be initiated into the Order. As soon as he finishes his 109 day long initionation, he’ll be able to take over the family business and get rid of his dad. But first, he has to find his belle, use her, and break her. You see, the belles aren’t the girls you take home to dear maman and marry. They’re the ones that you fuck in front of a bunch of other guys, and keep as your mistresses. For his inititation, he’ll have to choose one of the 20 beautiful women paraded in front of him, stay in a room with her for 109 days, and do whatever the Invitations tell them to. He looks at all the beautiful women lined up for him, and he sees Grace. He doesn’t know her name yet, but there is just something about her. She is dignified and regal, even though she has no fucking clue what is about to happen.

Did you know that Oleander, while very pretty, is incredibly poisonous? Pretty much every part of this plant, from the stems to the petals, will kill you. Even brushing up against the leaves of the plant can cause you to have some skin irritation. I think that fact makes it a perfect name for the home base of the Order. They are toxic and poisonous, and there is definitely something rotten under all the pretty trappings.

Grace is a very appealing character, at least to me. I really enjoyed her strength, courage, and determination. She had a goal in mind and she was going to do everything she could to meet that goal. It takes a lot of work, drive, and discipline in order to do everything she did for herself to meet her goal, even before she fell into the clutches of the Order. I have tremendous respect for her. Plus, when you add in her smarts and knowledge to all the other good things, you really see how she could be an asset to anyone at any point.

Montgomery, what a mouthful of a name, not that Monty fits him, really is torn in two at some points, I think. I really like his mother and the advice that she gives him before he goes to the mansion. I can really see her influence on him and on a lot of his actions. There are aspects of his father in him too, at least sort of. M does have some dark aspects to him, but really which of us doesn’t? I think that he fights himself sometimes, trying to figure out what parts of him he wants, doesn’t want, likes, doesn’t like, etc.

There are a lot of scenes in this one that really knocked me out, but I think the one that really affected me involved satin, canes, and 10 minutes and 9 seconds. And I hate M’s dad.

OK, that’s all there is to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Sacrificed to the Sea

So, when you go look at Sacrificed to the Sea on the mighty Amazon, you will see that it has a big orange banner for bestseller in number theory. That’s because, for some odd reason, the PTB at Zon have decided to put the book in Math. There is a warning on the blurb that guarantees this isn’t a math book, that it’s a romance. I think that’s a trip. This is a very Cari book. When I finished reading it, I just sat and stared at my kindle for quite a while. The whole book was a total WTF moment, and I totally WTFed over it.

We start with Rafaella. She is on a ship sometime hundreds of years ago, whoring herself out to the sailors in exchange for passage. Right up until there is a hurricane, then she’s bad luck, and she’s tied up and sacrificed to try to appease the sea. Instead of dying, she ends up becoming a mermaid. On top of that, Rafaella periodically has to go kill and devour a man.

Many years after her transformation, Rafaella takes Wolfgang’s lover and fucks and eats him. Of all the men she’s ever devoured, he may be the one that she actually regrets.

So, Wolfgang is a marine scientist who thinks he’s figured out the secret behind Rafaella. He comes and sits on the beach each night talking to her. Then he manages to catch her. Then, being a Cari Silverwood book, he decides to do horrible, terrible, sexy, dirty, wonderful things to her.

I don’t know whether I love to hate Wolfie or hate to love him. I do know that I’m fascinated by him. There’s just something about him that’s both hard and vulnerable. That’s a really tough line to have to walk, I think. I mean, he knows what he wants, he wants his revenge on Rafaella, and he’s very angry, rightfully so, but when he gets her, he’s pulled in and there are times that he gets really wrapped up in what he’s doing, and it seems like he loses his way and desire for revenge sometimes. He thinks of himself as a monster, and with some of the things that he does to Rafaella, yeah, I can see how he could think that.

With Rafaella, it’s different. I both like her and maybe kinda hate her. I understand why she is the way that she is. Frankly, I would probably be the same if I went through what she did. Especially since she really spent a lot of time completely alone in the sea. It’s easy to lose yourself, and she did. The reason that I kinda hate her is that she has completely lost herself too. I know, that doesn’t make any sense to anyone, but it makes sense to me. I think that she has some really hidden depths and there are things about her that she doesn’t know, and she doesn’t figure them out on her own.

I feel like this book really just scratched the surface of these characters, and I love that. It gives me a lot of room to decide how I feel about everything, and gave me room to imagine what comes next. While I wouldn’t mind another book with these characters, I am perfectly happy without one. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t line up to read one if Cari wrote it.

OK, no spoilers on this one, because, well, you really don’t want any. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Kitty Thomas-The Game Maker

Today is a twofer, and we are getting a new Kitty Thomas as our second post today. And if you’ve read here a minute or two, you know that I love Kitty Thomas. She writes twisty twisty mindfucks. I mean, the second you think you know what’s going on in any of her books, you find out that nope, you’re wrong. And that’s in her just more straightforward books. When you get into the REAL mindfucks, then oh my god, you might need a map to keep track of everything. And let me tell you, The Game Maker is well and truly a Kitty book.

We start with Kate. She’s just about to become homeless because she recently broke up with her boyfriend, who oh yeah, also caused problems with her job. So, she’s at the end of her rope and decides that she’s going to go out and get a goddamn drink. She decides, in her drunk brain, to call her former douchebag, and he says he’ll pay her to be his whore so go outside to wait for him. Only, that’s not quite what happens.

When Kate wakes up, she’s naked in a cell, and has no clue what’s going on. All she’s told is that there is a game and she’s a piece of it.

Oh, there is just sooooooo much going on in this. I really don’t want to go much further into anything, because it would be really easy to spoil anything. I like Kate. I think that she spends a lot of time in her head trying to figure out what is going on and how to handle it. It’s hard for her to get a good grasp on things, just because of the way that the game is played. When you look at chesspieces, I think that she is the pawn. Maybe. It’s not the best comparison, but I think it doesn’t suck. She can’t see the player, she just sees the moves that she makes, but not the pattern behind those moves and why she has to make those moves. If that makes sense. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and she’s not privy to any of that information. I don’t know what she would’ve done if she had any of that information.

OK, there’s really nothing going on under the pic, because I don’t have any spoilers. I do have a thought-ish. I wonder, if we came back and checked in on Kate in 5 years, what she would be like. That’s all for this one, go check it out.

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Jennifer Bene & Yolanda Olson-Scorched

Yolanda gave us the original Inferno books, and really, they are excellently disturbing books. She opened up the world to a whole lot of authors, which is what has given us the second round of Inferno World books. And she has teamed up with Jennifer to give us Scorched. Now, you have to be familiar with the Inferno books to understand everything that is going on in this one. At the very, very least you should read Burned before this one, but I personally recommend going back to the beginning and reading the original Inferno series, which is Sparks, Inferno, Cinere, and Embers. Do be aware that these are all dark, twisted, taboo, and all fucked up, so if you don’t like those things, these are not the books for you. However, I do like all those things, so here we go.

Scorched focuses on two groups of people. We have Richter and Skylar, and then we have Bryden and his bounteous brood.

Richter is fixated on making sure that Skylar is a good wife to him and to finding his sister Cleo. Their father took her away many years ago, and he wants to find her. He wants to bring her back home so he can love her the way that he should. It’s just been him and Skylar since the old man died, like 10 years ago. And it’s not like they are very old, early 20s, so they have been dealing with life on their own for a long time and from a young age. Richter finally finds out where his sister is and goes to bring her home, but he finds a huge surprise instead.

What he finds is Bryden, his much older brother. Their father dropped Cleo off at his house years ago and told him to raise her, which he did. Cleo has settled into the family, including calling Bryden Daddy and loving everyone equally. When Richter shows up, she’s upset because she doesn’t recognize him and he’s very aggressive and wants to take her away. Bryden’s house is relatively calm, he doesn’t allow hitting, yelling, disrespect, or any of that kind of stuff, so Richter’s aggressiveness is offputting, at the very least.

Bryden runs his house and his family based on what his father laid out, but he does it with love. His house seems much more friendly than his father ever had a hand in, and everyone truly does seem to love each other.

I want to say that this is one of the biggest mindfucks I’ve ever read, but I think that goes without saying. And considering some of Yolanda’s books have been mindfucks from the very, very, very first word, that’s gotta be saying something.

I both like and vehemently dislike Richter. Don’t ask me how it works, because, well, it does. I think he’s trying very hard to live up to the standards that his dad set up, but it just isn’t there. I think that the dad in his head is both better and worse than the real man had been. So I felt sorry for him for that. But he had choices he could make.

Bryden was really interesting, and I think that I liked him, mostly. He seems like such a kind and loving man.

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Family Meeting!

And that last chapter totally broke me.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Measha Stone-Simmer

Oh my beloveds, are you ready for the dark? I really hope so, because Simmer is dark, very dark, omfg what did I just read dark. This book is part of the Inferno world based on Yolanda Olson’s books. And yeah, dark.

We have Papa, Nicolette, Elijah, and Mark. They live in a homestead far away from everyone else. And they are all happy with that. At least, as long as Papa is happy. When Papa isn’t happy, well, then things go badly for everyone.

Papa wants to make sure that everyone is doing the things that they should, in the way that they should. He wants to make sure that Nicolette grows up to be a good woman, and that Elijah and Mark know how to be good men.

And really, that’s about all that I’m going to say about this because it is a really short read, and if I say too much about anything, then I might spoil it, and I don’t want to do that.

Do be aware that this is very dark, and it is very taboo. If you don’t like dark and taboo, you really should skip this one, because you won’t be happy. Read responsibly.

This definitely fits in with the rest of the Inferno world. If you aren’t wondering, at least a little bit, what you’ve read when you are done reading and if there might be a little something wrong with you because you liked it, then, well, I don’t know what to say. Because I do love these books, and I do wonder WTF I just read, and if there is something that is just a little bit wrong with me. I also want to know what’s going on in the author’s head.

OK, so I’m done with this one now. Go check it out!

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Nicolina Martin-Commanding Casey

Nicolina has written a fanfuckingtastic enemies to lovers story in Commanding Casey. It was a great book with a hateful hero who I really loved to hate. And I mean that seriously.

So, here’s our story. Casey is a mechanic. She grew up with her father teaching her everything about cars, and she loves working on engines and putting things together to make them work. But right now, she’s on an airplane headed far, far, far away from her family in FLA. In fact, she’s headed as far away from them as she can be and still be in the US. She’s on her way to Alaska. She has a really good reason for heading to Alaska. There was a man who attacked her, she sent him to prison, and he’s getting out early. And he fucking blames HER for his actions and him ending up in prison. She knows that he is going to hurt her if he finds her, and she knows he’s been asking for her. So, Alaska and working as a mechanic on heavy equipment at an oil field.

Then we have Cole. He’s been working at this particular site for a long time. He has his reasons for hiding, and working as the best welder on the site lets him hide and not think about his past. One day, his boss tells him he has to go to the airport to go get their new mechanic, some dude named Casey. Only, when he gets to the airport, he finds that it’s not a guy named Casey, it’s a chick named Casey. He’s livid. Women do not belong on the job site, the work is too hard, they’re too weak, and there are a lot of rough men. He lays into Casey, and is an all around nasty ass fuck to her.

I REALLY didn’t like Cole for a lot of the book. He is a total fucking dickhole. Now, if you’ve read my blog for a minute, you know that I love me a good bad boy *cough*Christian*cough*, buuuutttt I had a hard time even trying to like Cole. I mean I wanted to walk into the book, give him a good working over and then castrate him. I really, really, really didn’t like him. But, he did grow on me. And as I’ve said before, I don’t have to like all the main characters, as long as I can grab ahold of at least one of them and there’s a great story behind it. While I didn’t like Cole, he was a character that I had some strong feelings about and someone that I was able to grab hold of, and the story just kept me dragging in.

Let’s talk about Casey. I think that she’s fucking fierce, strong, powerful, and brave. I mean, first of all, let’s talk about the fact that being a mechanic on the racing circuit isn’t all that easy and it’s an insanely male dominated world. The fact that she’s not only there, but accepted and respected says a lot about her. Then the fact that she got on a plane to travel thousands and thousands of miles away from home? That’s sheer guts right there. Like superhero level bravery right there. And to not back out when she discovered that she pretty much walked into purgatory? Fortifuckingtude.

The story is fucking hot. I mean, even as I wanted to choke Cole out, and not in the fun way, it’s smokin’. And that’s just the suspenseful part of it. LOL. Kidding. The sexxxy parts are definitely on fire, and the rest of it kept me tense, in the best way.

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Ugh. The point I hated Cole the most was when he made his accusations. Fuckhole.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one! Go check it out! Happy reading!

Anthology-The Institute

Welcome to the Serenity Institute. Dr. Ansel Sterling started The Institute after seeing his mother suffer with her own mental illness. Now, he has created a safe place for other people to come and get treated. So, we have 6 stories written by 6 fantastic authors, 2 of whom are new to me. Without any further ado, let’s get into the stories, shall we?

Dani Rene-Echo

Dani gets the book started for us. She introduces us to Dr. Sterling and his special patient, Katya. Katya suffered a traumatic event and she broke into pieces, including one named Rose. Now Dr. Sterling is trying to treat her. So, the whole time I read this, I wondered if Katya or Rose was the real one, and what Ansel was going to do with them. Excellent. I mean, damn. This was definitely a great Dani story.

Anna Edwards-Marbh

Anna gives us Marbh, whose name means Death, and is a 500 year old assassin. She is currently locked up at Serenity because people are sure that she’s delusional. She just wants to get back to her Laird. The ending of this was spectacular. It is one of those that left me wanting and made me happy all at the same time. I often say that I would like to see more of a particular couple, but I think that this was perfectly perfect.

India R. Adams-Hostile Illusions

Vera has amnesia. She is covered with scars, but only on her left hand side. This story. OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. That is all.

Jennifer Bene-Mr. Cat Is Not Real

Nina is at the institute because she has hallucinations, and dangerous things have happened around her. But she’s not the one who does them, it’s always Mr. Cat. I thought that the treatments that Dr. Nickelsen gave Nina were… interesting. I do kinda think that Mr. Cat is real, though.

Murphy Wallace-Release Me

Brynn has a thing when it comes to sex. She’s what they call hypersexual. That means she likes it. A LOT. But she also blacks out sometimes, which causes her to end up at the institute, with Dr. Dick. I like Brynn, and I kind of agree with her about a doctor.

Sian B. Claven-Sanitorium

Molly’s identical twin sister, Lizzie, is a nurse at the institute, so they have permission for Molly to be treated there, since Lizzie has been taking care of Molly because of her illnesses over the years. Molly is so very sweet, and I just want her to be all kinds of happy. Sian was another new author to me, so I’ll be looking for more. The whole time I was reading this story, Metallica’s Sanitarium kept running through my head.

So, there are our 6 stories. They are all disturbing to some extent, some more than others. Some of them left me nearly destroyed. They were all fantastic though.

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Natalie Bennett-Periculum

Periculum is Natalie Bennett’s newest book. It’s the first book in a new series, and the first two books of the new series, called Devil’s Playground, are a duet, so you have a bit of a cliff at the end of this one.

So, Liliana, usually called Lana, is on a vacation with her two best friends, Gracelyn and Melantha. At the end of their trip, they hop on the shuttle with a bunch of other people so that they can go to the airport to get home. Four guys get on the shuttle too. One of them really catches Lana’s attention, and she is somehow really drawn to him.

But then, instead of ending up at the airport, the shuttle gets rerouted, and then crashes. That’s when the group gets a spooky message, and they have to try and figure out what’s going on. That’s when we actually meet the guys. The leader is Ciaran, there are twins Charon and Kyrous, and the 4th guy is Maverick. The guys kind of take over the lead, and they seem like they might maybe know a little something. I mean, there isn’t any point in time when they say they know what’s happening, it’s just a kind of air that I got from them.

Anyway, Ciaran and Lana have some chemistry, but it feels like that chemistry may be nitro and glycerin, and they butt heads a lot while they are trying to figure out what’s going on.

I’m not entirely sure that I totally like either Ciaran or Lana. I don’t dislike them, really, and I can’t really come up with any reason why I don’t particularly like them. They are both pretty sociopathic, although I think Lana has at least tried to pretend to be “normal” or have socially acceptable emotions or reactions. I’m pretty sure that Ciaran doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything acceptable or “normal”.

There is definitely something devious, evil, dark, and dangerous going on. I can’t wait to find out more about that.

There aren’t any spoilers down below, because I don’t have anything I want to put under there. So, go check it out!

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Measha Stone-Dolly

This isn’t a St. Patrick’s Day gift, so much as it’s St. Patrick’s Day nightmare. Measha’s Dolly is dark, twisted, scary at times, and so very, very good. When I finished it, I posted on FB that I was bored, and that it was Measha’s fault because she gave me a book hangover and I was just staring at everything. And that’s really the way that it was. I just sat and tried to put myself back together after reading it. Because, fuck. This really just knocked me out.

The book starts out with Dolly. She is in a basement cell, living in misery. Then Beardman comes and drags her up to the upper floor. And not nice things happen. Very not nice things. Poor Dolly.

Then Kendoll shows up. Beardman drags him down and throws him into a cell. It’s clear that Ken has been through some shit. He’s bleeding and has had his ass tattooed with a B, standing for Bossman.

I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen with this one. Measha has a little bit of a devious mind. OK, maybe a lot of a bit devious mind. And it’s all on display in this book. It was a fucking ride, and I loved it, but it really dragged me through some stuff. It was totally amazing.

No spoilers at all today, because there just aren’t. Go read it.

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Felicity Brandon-Countered

Countered is the second book in Felicity’s Rule of Lawes series. For those who may have forgotten which series that is, it’s the perverted dentists. I do just want to point out that I may or may not (definitely may) have the ARC for the last book in Felicity’s dark Daddy books. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Jared. But for now, let’s get back to Hannah, April, Mr. Fuller, and Mr. Lawes. Warning, there are likely to be spoilers for the first book. You know that I’ll try to not put any, but I make no guarantees.

So, we have Hannah, who tried her damnedest to escape, and we have April, who inadvertently gave Hannah her chance. Only, they are both recaptured and they are punished for their actions. Hannah’s is relatively mild, but only relatively. After all, she’s brand new, so she was only locked in a pillory and introduced to a paddle. But April, who is one of the first women they took, is stubborn AF. She’s been trying to escape since they took her and she’s been fighting them at every damn turn. She refuses to let them win, and she’s going to do everything she can to fight. Which, as you can guess, doesn’t really endear her to Lawes and Fuller.

I like April. I really like her stubbornness and the fierceness with which she fights to try and get her freedom. Not only her freedom, but also the freedom of the 10 other women who are trapped there with her. Until Hannah showed up, April was the only person fighting, but now the two of them are going to plot and plan together. The two of them are going to be great partners, I think.

There’s just something about Fuller and Lawes. Don’t get me wrong, they are definitely monsters, so I’m not saying that they aren’t, but there’s just something about them. I dunno, it feels like there is some humanity deep down there somewhere. It feels like maybe they could have some actual emotions. I don’t know. Were going to have to see what happens, I guess.

I think that this one was more intense than the first book was. We see more of the inner workings of the place, and we get to know the women more, so we’re more invested. We don’t get any looks into Lawes or Fuller’s heads. We only see through April and Hannah, and I like that. I think that seeing through either Lawes or Fuller’s eyes things may have been watered down some. I think that it would’ve taken away some of the aspect of the whole what’s going to happen next mindfuck that happens in this book. I like that aspect in this book.

I can’t wait until we get the next one.

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April’s punishment is just… wow.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out! Happy reading!