Livia Grant-Defending It All

The 5th book of the Punishment Pit series is here, and in Defending It All, we don’t just get all the kinkery fuckery we’ve been getting in the other books, we also get to see what’s going on with Jake. Boooooo hisssss. We also get a peek at what may end up being a new couple, and it’s going to be interesting, I think.

Markus and Briana are settling into their new routine and adjusting their marriage to their new dynamic, including having a dungeon set up in the basement. Hey, when you’re married to a pain slut, having a home dungeon with all the fun stuff that a pain slut could possibly love to hate and hate to love. Things are starting to settle into something they both like. Markus, though, isn’t as happy as you might thing, being a Domly type with a masochistic sub. You’d think he’d just be thrilled to no end, and he is really, when it comes to Bri, but Jake is still wandering around and after what he did to Bri, Markus wants him to pay amd pay big time. So, he talks to Lukus, who also runs security company, about finding Jake and doing something about him.

Lukus and Tiffany are settling into their relationship. Lukus is going really slow introducing her to the full amount of kinkery fuckery that he’d like to be in, but she has agreed to be in a D/s relationship with him. She still has to step in and question him a lot, but she’s getting better. They are doing really well, and they have admitted to each other that they love one another. But, Tiff is still having nightmares because of Jake, so Lukus is motivated to go find Jake too.

Our new couple appears to be Dylan and Hannah. We don’t know much about either one of them yet, but I hope we’ll see more of them. I think I could like Dylan.

We get to know more about Tiffany’s family in this one. I have to say that I really don’t like most of them, other than her mother and maybe her younger brother, Mateo. Everyone else can go suck rocks. Especially Aiden. He’s just ugh. I mean, I get that they love her and all that, but she’s a 27 year old woman, and is an adult.

I do think that Lukus and Markus are doing a good thing to try and track down Jake, but I think that they shouldn’t keep the ladies out of the loop. I mean, hell, if anyone deserves to be in the loop, it’s totally Briana. We’ll have to keep our eyes out for what is going to happen. One more book, that’s all we have left, and it will be out soon!

Nothing under the pic tonight. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Livia Grant-Balancing It All

We’re at the 4th book in the Punishment Pit books with Balancing It All. We’re in the back 9, and we’re building up to all kinds of interesting things. I can’t wait until we get to those things. Again, remember, these books are cliffhangers and when I talk about the book it will spoil the previous book. If you are waiting for all the books to come out to read them, you might want to skip this post and wait for the books to come out. Livia is getting them out quickly, so you won’t have a long wait.

So, we have Tiffany and Lukus starting a relationship and Markus and Briana putting their relationship back together. I’m going to put Markus and Bri on hold for a little bit, and talk about Tiff and Lukus, mostly because we focus more on them in this book.

Tiffany has spent all her dating life up until now in vanilla relationships, and while she has kinky fantasies, she’s been dealing with Jake’s shit for as long as Bri has. Not that Jake hurt her, he just mindfucked her, and not, you know, in a fun way. So, now trying to come up with some kind of D/s relationship with Lukus isn’t easy. She’s slightly scared about everything, and while she’s willing to trust Lukus, she has issues with doing things like looking at contracts.

Then we have Lukus, who has spent his dating life in kinky relationships. Well, being kinky. He’s the Master’s Master, and doesn’t do relationships, and boy howdy, is it obvious. He has his issues, mostly with the fact that he’s dealing with a total newbie, who for all her reading and fantasies, has never been in a real D/s relationship, and up until now, the closest she’s come to it is being a witness to Jake abusing Briana.

Neither one of them are really having it easy here. Tiffany is trying to deal with her brain saying one thing, her heart saying something else, and her body saying a complete third thing. Her heart and her body want to team up, but her brain isn’t quite onboard. Her brain is mostly there, but she overthinks and fights with herself. She’s at the point where she’s finding out what she likes, but there’s a part of her brain that tells her that she’s a freak for liking it. It’s a hard place for her to be. And that makes her feel kind of insecure, I think too. I don’t think it’s a purposeful kind of thing, but there’s something that niggles at her.

Lukus is having his issues with being in a relationship too. Like he’s trying to figure out how to turn off his entire Domly persona. His Dom-ness sometimes wants to be in charge of EVERYTHING, but that’s not the kind of relationship he’s in with Tiffany, and that’s not who Tiffany is, and that’s not what he wants. But it’s his default, so when things go wrong, that’s where he goes. There is one point where it made me really mad at him, because he was jumping when he shouldn’t have. Thank goodness for Derek.

OK, nothing under the again, but I do have one point. There are some piercings that take place in this, and the piercer uses a piercing gun, which wouldn’t happen. Piercing guns tend to cause more trauma to the area than using needles. That’s not a dealbreaker for the book, it’s just a point that I wanted to say something about, as a person who has multiple piercings, including some in interesting places.

Go check the book out! Happy reading!

Livia Grant-Having It All

Having It All is the 3rd book in Livia’s Punishment Pit series. Now, remember, these books are cliffhangers, but the following book comes out pretty quickly, so you aren’t going to have to wait too long to see what’s going to happen. We’re now on the home stretch, with the 2nd half of the series to come.

The first 2 books focused on Brianna and Markus, with Lukus around and some shots of Tiffany. This book focuses more on Lukus and Tiffany, with some side shots of Brianna and Markus. I’m glad that we don’t lose them altogether, since they were the original reason we got the books. I would hate to not see them. Altogether, though we’re in the 3rd book, and there has been so much action, it’s only been about a week from the 1st book to the end of the 3rd book.

Now, remember, these are all cliffhangers, and each book picks up immediately where the last one left off, so there are going to be spoilers for previous books. So, if you haven’t read the previous books and you don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. Otherwise, you have been warned, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

So, we pick up after Brianna’s punishment with Markus. They are talking things out and figuring out the things that went wrong and what they can do to make things better.

Then we have Tiffany and Lukus. They are trying to figure out their own things right now. They are both attracted to each other, but there are concerns. On Tiffany’s part, she’s basically a BDSM newbie. For all that she’s read and watched, she’s never experienced. And she had to watch Brianna go through Jake’s torture, which had to really color her expectations and ideas. On Lukus’ part, he knows who he is and what he likes, and he’s nowhere near a newbie when it comes to BDSM. I mean, he owns a kink club. And he’s not a huge relationship guy, so having relationship feelings for Tiffany is new for him. And, to top it all off, she kicks his ass at basketball. Like he’s standing still, with his feet nailed to the floor. I don’t know why that just tickles me, but it really does, to no end.

I really like Tiffany. She’s sassy, fiesty, opiniated, loyal, strong, and loving. She has stood by her friend, Brianna, for years, and has been there to help put her together after everything that happened. She has been strong for Brianna, and in turn, Brianna has been strong for her, so it works well. It’s good to have good friends like that. She also overthinks things at times, which is something I think that all of us do, especially when she’s doing something new, which she is with Lukus. I really like Tiffany a lot.

With each book, I like Lukus even more. I understand why he did the things he did in the first book, but one of the things I really liked is that as he learned new information about the situation, he was able to adjust his actions. He didn’t just go Me Dom, Me Know Best. Of course, he still was all about him Dom, but you get the difference, I hope. I get it, but I’m not sure that I can quite eplain it.

I like Brianna and Markus more as we get to know them. Especially Markus. He made some admissions in this one that really changed the way that I thought about him.

I’m not happy that Briana had to go through the things with Jake that she did, but I’m happy that Markus is finally seeing the truth of things.

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

Livia Grant-Securing It All

Securing It All is the second book in Livia’s re-released Punishment Pit series. It’s the continuing story of Markus and Brianna, and Lukus and Tiffany. Although, Lukus and Tiffany aren’t in an relationship as of yet, but I’m pretty that it’s going to be happening in the 3rd book. As a warning, this one takes place immediately after the first book, and if you haven’t read it, you might want to skip this review because there are definitely spoilers.

So, Brianna has gone through her first night of punishment, Lukus is feeling kinda like a jerk, because he didn’t know everything, and while he’s willing to punish her, he really knows that it’s not his job, and that there’s more to the story. He decides that he needs to go see Markus and talk to him, especially since he wants to fuck Brianna so much. Considering they are punishing her because of her infidelity, that would be way ironic. And so, off goes Lukus to confunt Markus.

Markus is home, dunk as a skunk, asleep in a trashed house. Lukus talks to him about what Brianna has said, and about his actions. They come up with a better plan. While he’s there, Tiffany shows up, concerned about Brianna, and she gets into it with Markus and Lukus, then follows Lukus.

I am still not quite on the Markus Like Wagon. I’m very not impressed by him at the moment. His actions just make me angry. I think he needs to Dom up and do what should be done, instead of letting other people take over his Dom-type duties. It doesn’t help that he and Brianna don’t have a clear line of communication in between them. Anyway, I’m really hoping that Livia is able to redeem him. He really needs it, at least for me he does.

I do like Brianna. I got to liking her more from the first part of this book to the end. I think that there is a lot of growth in her over the book, let alone over the span of the first 2 books. I think that she has really taken responsibility for her actions. While there are some extenuating circumstances as to why she did what she did, she isn’t using them as an excuse for anything. I respect her for that, and I respect her for owning up to them and doing the time.

Lukus is definitely becoming a well-rounded character. We get to see a lot more of him in this one, and we get a good look in his head, so we really get to know him more. I think that he’s a good man who really cares for his friend, and he wants to help him. I think he really needs to give Markus a serious kick in the ass. Maybe he could give Markus 12 of the best with his cane? I kinda think that maybe Markus could use it. There was one spot where I wish that Lukus had stepped in more, but…

We get to see more about Tiffany here too. She’s very loyal. I’m looking forward to learning more about her.

No spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Livia Grant-Wanting It All

Livia is putting her Punishment Series back out into print, and we are starting with Wanting It All. Now, as you read parts of my review, you might think that it sounds like I didn’t like this book. On the contrary, I did. But, I came really close to DNFing this one, for a lot of reasons. However, I pushed through it and am so glad that I did, because this book was worth it. It was intense and left me with a lot of interesting feelings. We’ll get more into that in a bit. 

So, we start with Brianna and Markus. They are a loving couple who have been married for a few years now. They are both hiding secrets from each other, oddly enough their secrets are nearly identical. She wishes he was a little rougher, he wishes she were a little more submissive. 

Brianna has a former boyfriend, named Jake, who liked to tell everyone that he was a Dom, but he was really just an abusive dickhole. But when she got together with Markus, she was still physically and mentally healing from Jake’s abuse, and she told Markus that she just wanted sweet and soft loving. And Markus had no problem with that. He wanted to make sure that Brianna was taken care of. But…

Anyway, Markus, a super high powered attorney, is about to go to court to help his friend Lukus, who owns a BDSM club. He’s being sued by two subs who went to the club, but Markus has it handled. Until things happen. 

Brianna is off to the salon that she owns, but then Jake. And things happen. 

So, OK, here’s why this almost became a DNF. I really, really, really don’t like Brianna OR Markus. OK, maybe only one really, but my point stands. At the beginning, I really don’t like Brianna much at all. It’s better at the end, I like her better, but I’m still not all the way on the like train. I started out liking Markus a little more than I did, but by the end, yeah, I’m really pissed off at him. 

In the past, I’ve talked about how I really need to have some kind of connection to at least one of the main characters. I don’t necessarily have to like them, I just have to feel something for them, and I definitely feel something for both Brianna and Markus. Luckily, we also have Tiffany, Brianna’s friend and co-worker, and Lukus. I’m not necessarily a Lukus fan at the moment, but I at least like Tiffany. So, there’s that. 

I completely understand the reasons that each person does what they do. I don’t like their actions, and I think that Brianna and Markus both had much better choices they could’ve made. I think, at the very base of everything, that if they were honest with each other, that things would’ve been better, but it would’ve been a much shorter series. 

I think that Markus should’ve waited and talked to Brianna to find out why she made the choices that she did. I think that if/when he finds out everything, he’s going to be so fucking angry at himself that it will destroy him. Of course, I think that he really deserves that right now. I hope he just eats his heart out and it chokes him. Maybe the second book will change my mind on him. Heaven knows that there is a lot of space for a redemption arc for him, and Livia can definitely write a good redemption arc, so, we’ll see. 

Now, Brianna. Hmm… Again, she really should’ve talked to Markus about a lot of things. I can’t judge her. No, wait, I can judge her, in fact, I am, but I can’t tell you what I would do in her place. I’d like to say what I would do, just for my own sake, but we never know until we are in the middle of the situation, and if it weren’t just me? Well. 

We don’t get a whole lot of Tiffany in this one, but I like what we’ve seen of her. 

And so we come to Lukus. Again, I understand his initial feelings as well as everything that comes from there. I think that I like him, but we really don’t quite get enough of his head for me to completely decide my feelings. 

I really, really, really can’t wait for the upcoming book. 

OK, no spoilers here. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

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Anthology-Black Light: Roulette War

We just had Valentine’s Day, which means it’s time for the annual Roulette book from Black Light. Black Light: Roulette War is the 4th Roulette book, and the start of a new Black Light season. The first two books took place at the only Black Light at the time, the original in DC. Last year’s book took place in Black Light West, and featured celebrities. This one takes place in both clubs.

Now, I was lucky enough to get to read an ARC, and I was so thrilled to read it. I mean, the Roulette books are always great and always kink AF. But do you know what those mean authors did? They didn’t tell us ARC readers who won! How mean is that? LOL. I mean, really, when it comes down to it, we’re the real winners, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

So, here’s how the story goes. Spencer, the DM for BL East, is at BL West with his wife, Klara. While they are there, Spencer decides to start some shit with Elijah, the DM at BL West. Now, we all know that shit-talking happens, especially among friends and co-workers, which Spencer and Elijah are. But sometimes it gets way out of control, which happened here. Spencer, who can get a little over sometimes, got a little over, and it escalated to the point where the guys are arguing over who is going to have the best ever Roulette. They finally get to a point where they place a bet on it, with Chase and Jaxon acting as judges. (Which pisses them off for reasons.)

We get the stories of 4 couples from each of the clubs. You can judge which one is the hottest for yourself, and which one you think should be the winner. Then you can find out which one the authors thought should win, andI’ll never tell. Ever.

Black Light East

Renee Rose-Prelude

Renee’s story is all about Ravil and Lucy, Master R and Lady Luck. He’s a member of the bratva, she’s a lawyer. She’s all about control, but she’s the sub today, and Ravil isn’t about to give her any control. The thing that I really liked about Renee’s story is that we get to see how much Ravil’s plan is to get inside Lucy’s head, and how quickly he does that. It’s like there is a trapdoor only he has. And it looks like Prelude is the perfect name for this one, and I’m really happy about that.

Eris Adderly-Breathless

This is Eris’ intro into the BL world, (other than the fact that all the covers are hers) and damn, did she hit the road running. Breath play really isn’t my kink at all, it’s a personal hard limit, but the way that Eris wrote about it? Holeeee fuck. And the latex with the gloves? Woooooowwwwww. Violet and Anson were one of my favorite characters.  That put everything over the top. Eris writes kink in such a good way. And she didn’t step back from Anson’s issues while she was writing him, and I thought that was interesting. (Also, can you find the Lit easter egg?)

Kay Elle Parker-Burn

Kay Elle s another newbie to BL. If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ve seen me review some of her stuff, and I’m absolutely in love with her books, so I was glad to see her here. I’m hoping that this means she’ll get to do a full book at some point. This is the story of Finn and Ava. I really adore Ava. She’s been through so much, but she was really strong, and Finn challenged her in just the right way. And the fisting and the trust? Wow.

Golden Angel-Inflamed

Golden wrote a full length BL Daddy book last year, and in that book we met Elliot. He gets to play with Lisa, who is excited to play with him, but he’s not all that excited to play with her. He thinks she’s manipulative. They have an incredibly hot scene. And by hot, I mean seriously hot. He sets her on fire. Fire flogging is a thing. Fantastic. I thought the way that Lisa chose her hard limits was hilarious. One of their scenes is something that lives in my head, so yeah, that was so hot.

Black Light West

And now, just as the event at Black Light East is ending, we’re gearing up for Black Light West to get started.

Jennifer Bene-Wicked

Jennifer is one of the original BL writers and is a total staple in Roulette. Her story gives us Pierce and Baby, whose real name is Tori. Tori is a little and Pierce is totally not a Daddy. He’s pretty fucking hardcore, and he really loves humiliation, so the fact that they rolled that works for him. I’m telling you, Roulette makes for interesting play partners and scenes. That scene is hot, but the face fucking that happens is just amazing. I always look forward to Jennifer’s stories because of the touches like that.

Sue Lyndon-Trained

Sue wrote a fun little story with Daddy Xavier and his Dolly, Rachel. Their first roll was pet play, and she made an adorable kitten. You know, one of the things I really liked about Sue’s story is that it is very sweet and it is truly lovely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still sexy AF and Rachel and Xavier have a great connection, it’s just also low angst and low drama, just the perfect touch for the book.

Measha Stone-Unexpected

Measha’s story has Jack and Quinn. Quinn is new to LA and is looking for new people to play with, so Roulette. Where she gets Jack, and oh yeah, diaper play. Which is totally not what she wants. Jack is actually perfect for her. I love how he gets into her head so much and how she teaches Quinn so much about herself.

Livia Grant-Facade

Livia finishes out this year’s Roulette with her story about Sean and Stephanie AKA Karly Starr, former porn star. Stephanie has come to Black Light because she wants someone who will fuck her silly, without playing any of those silly BDSM games, but she signed up for Roulette, and Sean is going to make her play. These are two words I never thought that I would say on this blog: spontaneous fisting. And the breath play? Siiiiiigggghhhhh. I think that Facade is a really great title for this one.

OK, there you go. Eight fantastically kinky stories by 8 fantastic authors. When you read the book and get to find out who the winner is, you get some great 3 way sex with Emma, Jax, and Chase. Yay!

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Roulette, a whole year from now. I’d love to see an Mm, Fm, or Ff couple in the upcoming season some time, but I’ll be perfectly happy however the authors end up writing their books, so it’s all good.

Go check it out and make sure you have plenty of really cold water to cool yourself down.

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Livia Grant-Scandalized

Livia Grant started writing the Black Light world when she wrote Infamous Love, which was Emma, Chase, and Jaxson’s original story. I fell in love with those characters the first time I read the book, and I’ve continued to love them, as well as all the new entries into this world. In Liva’s newest book, Scandalized, we get to catch up with the trio a little bit, as well as get more of Piper and Nolan’s story from the last Roulette book, and meet a new couple, Shane and Nolani. It sounds like it could be a really busy book, but it really isn’t, especially because Chase, Emma, and Jaxson are really secondary characters here.

So, Shane is a big movie star, I mean up for an Oscar kind of big movie star. He’s also a kinky fucker. A really, dirty, obscene, filthy kinky fuck. The kind of kinky where you might have to stop and take a second before you are sure that you aren’t going to have to safeword. Anyway, he’s currently staying at Runway/Black Light West in one of the suites there because his house is getting worked on, and well, hell, he’s a member and he likes to play in the dungeon. So, why the hell not? Then one way, a beautiful woman literally runs into his arms in the hall outside his suite.

Nolani is a housekeeper at the club. She’s worked there for a while and is friends with pretty much everyone there. One day, she’s up in the suites doing the cleaning, and she hears a woman screaming and that it hurts. Now, this *is* a sex club, and the suites and rooms upstairs are open to members to use and to play with, but these screams and such don’t sound quite right. So, Nolani uses her code to get into the room, and finds a fat fuck with a broke dick fucking a woman who is tied down and crying. Nolani just stands there, in shock, while the fat fuck talks to her, and then tries to chase her and grab her. That’s when she literally runs into her huge celebrity crush, Shane Covington. And all the filthy things ensue.

Elsewhere in the world, we have Piper and Nolan. They had a relationship once upon a time, but something happened and it went away. Now, instead of being a sub, Piper has turned herself into Mistress Ice, the Ice Queen, the very powerful Domme. Nolan paid $100K for a chance to play with her at the Celebrity Roulette. Then, she got spooked, and left. Now she’s running and hiding, and not answering his phone calls, but Nolan isn’t going to let that be that. He’s going go after her and get his woman.

There is a lot of really hot, filthy, obscene sex in here. I mean, yeah, all kinds of good and kinky stuff. There’s great phone sex in here too. But more than that, there’s a lot of relationship stuff. We get to watch a new relationship being built as well as an old relationship getting put back together. We get to watch people who are at vastly different places in their lives and how they manage to work with everything. It’s really fun to watch, and sometimes really heartbreaking to watch. There was a part that was incredibly hard to read, and it made me cringe.

I can’t wait for more Black Light and to see both these couples as side characters in other people’s books.

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I wondered what Nalani was hiding, because I knew it had to be something. And wow, was it something.

I wondered if Piper and Nalani were connected, and they were. Which makes me sad.

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

Anthology-Black Light: Celebrity Roulette

It’s Valentine’s Day again, which means it’s the start of the 3rd season of Black Light, and as usual, we are starting it off with a Roulette anthology. This one is a little different though. Instead of being at Black Light East, we’re in LA, and instead of random drawings to match Doms and subs, we have a celebrity auction. A number of celebrities, both dominant and submissive types, put their name into the ring, and members got to bid for them. Once they get to the event and all the celebs find out who has purchased them for the night, then the subs roll for the activity. The rules of Celebrity Roulette say that they have to do the rolled activity for at least 30 minutes, and they are welcome to roll for something else after that. If they finish the night, they get a free month, if someone calls Red, everything is done. And oh yeah, no staff gets involved this year, or else. So, without further ado, let’s spin the wheel and find out where we end up, shall we?

As always, since this is an anthology, and there are 9 stories, plus the beginning and end bumpers, you are just going to get my basic impressions and feelings about each story, otherwise I’d be writing for the next 3 days, and I’d like to sleep sometime. Probably.

Guarded by Renee Rose

Scarlett A is a rock star. She’s also a sub. Once upon a time, she had a bodyguard named Lincoln, but a year ago, he ended fired. In that time, he’s learned a whole lot of new tricks, and he’s just waiting to show Scarlett. There is a lot of connection there between them, but of course, they have history. I think that Lincoln makes a great Dom for so many reasons, but one of them is that he really pays attention to Scarlett, and he has for a while. He might not say a lot, but it’s obvious how he feels about her from the very start.

Hooked by Jennifer Bene

By day a principal ballerina, by night a sub, Vanessa is the one who Wyatt really wants to win. He’s obsessed with her, but in a good way. There’s the typical Jennifer heat, but it’s not your typical Jennifer story. It’s sweet and light. It’s just so beautiful. There’s something about the way that these two connect and interact. They fit each other’s weird edges, and it’s perfect. Plus? I’m totally never going to be able to look at the ballet the same way again, because who knew toe shoes and tutus were sexy AF? The barre was just inspired.

Switched by Livia Grant

This is a first for Black Light. We have a Domme, Mistress Ice. Then there’s Nolan, the Dom who wants her, so he buys her and will submit to her for a night. I don’t know that there are a lot of Doms out there who would submit like that, even for 3 hours. Of course, I don’t know that many in person, so who knows. It was a really interesting dynamic to watch. I’ve read other Domme/sub books, and I’m pretty sure that this one was slightly unhealthy. But, Livia is mean. She’s a meanie meanie head. I need more. I need to know what the past holds.

Determined by Maren Smith

This is one that I really hope that Maren expands, because it really seems like there could be more to the story. So Maren, if you’re reading, take mercy on me and let me out of my suffering sometime in the nearish future, please and thank you? Out of a book full of some seriously hot scenes, I think that the scene between Claire and Adam is really the totally hottest one in the book. It’s just wow. I’m surprised my Kindle didn’t melt down. I figured it would’ve. I love the power struggle that goes on between Claire and Adam, which just makes the whole thing even hotter.

Pressure by Measha Stone

Michele thought about signing up for Celebrity Roulette. She had everything ready to go, but then stopped. Of course, she has that well-meaning friend who decided to submit her application for her and just not tell her. That’s how Michele ends up with Egan for the night. I felt sorry for Michele because she has such a hard time letting go and she has to try to stop her brain from thinking and worrying about if she’s doing the right thing. I can totally get that. I have the same problem, but no Egan to help me.

Savor by Maggie Ryan

Carnegie ends up with Ronan, a celebrity chef. I love her name, BTW, it’s just an awesome story behind it. They have a really sensual scene in here, and one that is really different to anything else we’ve ever seen in any of the Black Light stories. In fact, I think it’s the first scene like it I’ve seen in any BDSM book. It was hot but in a more lowkey kind of way. And fan paintbrushes? I will never look at them the same way again.

Cherished by Sue Lyndon

Once upon a time, Serena met Trenton right after she dumped her boyfriend. He held her during the countdown for NYE and kissed her on her forehead. Now she gets to bid on him. Sue gets a first for the Black Light books too. I’m not saying what it is, because I don’t want to spoil it. But it’s a great scene, and Serena really gets into it. I wonder how much she’s role-playing and how much she’s actually into the scene. Either way, I think it works perfectly. And I saw Trenton as Jason Statham the whole time in my head.

Jazzed by Lesley Clark

I think that this is Lesley’s first Black Light story, but I hope it won’t be her last. And it’s another one that I would love to see expanded out. Jazz is a rock star and Michael is a psychiatrist. Together, they are going to go back to school. The picture that she would’ve presented while she was sitting at a school desk was ridiculously sexy. Their whole story was really connected and really lovely.

Control by Dani Rene

Kaelin’s father, who seems like a super-prick, just sayin’, is Jed’s agent, so Jed feels that she’s off limits. She’s pretty sure that he hates her. But, when they get together, it’s definitely a match in S&M heaven. I love the chemistry that they have together. Of course, they have years of history behind them so it’s no wonder they have such a connection and such chemistry. They are another one that I would like to have more of.

And of course, as always, we have the bumpers about planning the event and the conclusion of the event, written by Livia and Jennifer. We get a little look at Emma, Chase, and Jaxon, which is always nice. I love them so much. We also get to see Madison volunteer to be the MC. And if you haven’t read a Valley Girl MCing at a bondage club auction, you are like totally missing something. I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of Madison in the future.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. The nice thing about short stories is that you can work them in whenever you have time, so go check it out. Happy reading!

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Just Breathe

This anthology is more than a collection of excellent stories by excellent authors, it’s also a way to support To Write Love on Her Arms. I’ve talked about them before. They are an organization that helps support people who are dealing with self-harm and suicidal ideations, among other things. This is such a great organization. Even if you only want one or two of the stories in Just Breathe, you should definitely buy it to support TWLOHA.

Before I get further into my review, I want to warn people that the stories in this book all deal with mental illnesses of some shape or form. There are things in these stories which may trigger you. Please be aware of that and read responsibly.

All of the stories are pretty short, so if you only have a moment here or there to read, you should have no problem finding one that will fit. Because they are short, you are going to basically get my reaction to each story. For most of them, if I were to put anything about them in the review, it would totally spoil the story. So, here we go.

Missy Ann-Forbidden Sorrows-Grief

Missy Ann was a new author to me, and I’ll be looking up more of her work. Grief is hard to deal with at the best of times, and is highly individual. In most cases, you and your grief can be acknowledged, but what happens when it can’t be? It’s not anything I’ve ever thought of before, and wow, Missy brought it to life so vividly.

Anna Edwards-Grounded-Anxiety

I deal with an anxiety disorder and Anna’s story rang so true for me. It was very much like what can go through my head when I feel out of control. It was a great story. And, it looks like it’s the start of a new series, when Anna gets the rights back to it. I can’t wait to see it.

Michelle Brown-Little Lies-Self-Harm

Michelle is still a pretty new writer, but damn, the girl has some serious chops. Self-harm is a very, very touchy subject and has to be handled just right. If you go too far one way, you end up sensationalizing it, if you go too far the other way, you end up making it not believable. Michelle walked that line perfectly. Not so much that it’s glorified, but just at the point where you can understand why Lindsey does what she does. Self-harm was the very reason that TWLOHA was created, so I felt like this one was so important.

K.S. Marshall-Wreckage-Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder

PMDD is PMS with roid rage. As the hormones in a woman’s body ramp up for ovulation and menstruation, they can have an effect on the woman even at the best of times. But brain and body chemistry being what it is, sometimes the best of times isn’t what happens. K.S. Marshall explored that really, really well. You are inside her heroine’s head as these changes are happening to her and she can’t figure out what’s going on. It’s kind of chilling, but in a good way.

Livia Grant-Purged-Eating Disorder

If you’ve read any of the Black Light books, you’ve probably run across Khloe and Ryder before. It’s no secret in their book that Khloe, a big time movie star, has a history with an eating disorder. What Livia’s story shows so well is that dealing with something like an eating disorder is that it isn’t as easy as one day being cured. There are always going to be things that can trigger you and it’s something you are always going to have to be diligent at fighting, and sometimes that fight is really, really hard.

Yolanda Olson-Sickness in the Sunrise-Erotomania

Erotomania generally happens to women, and it’s when they believe that someone who is of a higher status than they are is in love with them. For example, Yolanda’s story. Yolanda is one of my favorite authors when I want dark, creepy, and chilling, as well as beautiful. Her characters are always so real to me. Just like you can reach out and touch them. That’s no different when it comes to this one. You can feel what’s going on in Dice’s head and why her thoughts make perfect sense.

Natalie Bennett-Ashes to Ashes-Depression

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say with this one. It got deep inside me and moved me. I had to take a break and read something completely different after reading this one. It was so… Yeah.

Dani Rene-Tattered Pieces-Abuse

The one thing we always ask when we talk about people who are in domestic violence situations is why did they stay? Why didn’t they leave the first time, the fifth time, the twentieth time? The thing is, the question isn’t that simple, and the answer is nowhere even near that simple. I could probably write a thousand words on that alone, and it wouldn’t even come near answering anything. And I wouldn’t have gotten it anywhere near as good as what Dani said. I hope that this is the start of a series, because it looks like it could be. I want more of Toni’s story. I’m rooting for her.

Jennifer Bene-Cocoon-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jennifer managed to write a story that is very true to her storytelling while still exploring OCD. People who have OCD have rituals that they have to follow or their world ends, and that’s not really an exaggeration. That’s the way it will feel, at the very least. Amy was an interesting character and Colton was tortured in so many ways. Such an excellent story and a viewpoint of OCD that most people won’t ever see.

Ally Vance-Ignite-Pyromania

Fire can be very pretty. But, for most of us, pretty is as far as it gets. For people who are pyromaniacs, it’s like their lifeblood. Ally showed that really well. I’ll never look at wooden matches the same way again. Nor, I think, will I ever look at a bonfire the same way.

Murphy Wallace-Hostile Takeover-Split Personality

Murphy Wallace is another new to me author. And another one I’ll be tracking down more of. This was really intriguing to me. I’m not sure how to describe it or even to talk about how it made me feel. I really enjoyed it though.

Jane Anthony-The Row-Addiction

Addiction is a serious illness. Too many people want to see it as some kind of moral failure or something, but that’s not the way it works. Jane’s Trinity fights with addiction, and when you see her backstory, you see why. I thought that Jane did so well. Trinity and King made me cry.

Ashleigh Giannoccaro-Awake-Insomnia

When I was reading Ashleigh’s story, it was both kind of creepy and engrossing. I mean, yeah. I’m hoping any of her insomniacs stay right away from me, please and thank you.

Skye Callahan-Unbearable-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

When you go through a traumatic incident, there are changes that are made to your brain’s chemistry and your body. Those changes can trigger PTSD. And there’s no way of telling who is going to have it and who isn’t. Two people who went through the exact same event may not both have PTSD, and if they do, they might not be triggered in the same way. Skye handled the subject really well, and explained it in ways that many people don’t necessarily hear.

Toni Lemay-Loops-Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect is something that was totally new to me. Basically, it has to do with alternate realities and the way that your brain makes memories. That’s probably a way too simplistic description, but it’s what I got from in when I looked it up. If I had more time to research it, I would probably be able to come up with something more, but I tend to fall down the rabbit hole when I start researching things. I will probably be looking into this more when I have a chance because Toni made it sound really interesting, and I want to see how it works.

I want to applaud all these authors for writing about these mental illnesses. I don’t know how many of these talented people deal with the subjects they wrote about, but they handled all of them really well. People who are mentally ill aren’t always handled well in fiction, let alone real life, and the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses makes it hard for those of us who are mentally ill to get the help that they need. We are made to feel bad because our brain don’t work the same way that other people’s brains do, and are shamed because we have to take medication to get through our days. I’m very open about the fact that I’m mentally ill and that I take medication to help me be stable. My thought is that if I’m open about it, maybe that fact can help one person get the help that they need. Also, the more we talk about it, the less the stigma is going to be there.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. You really need to get this.

And because I hate to post anything without a picture, here’s a fogbow.

fogbow

 

Livia Grant-Complicated Love

I think that Livia Grant’s Infamous Love was my first Mmf menage. It was definitely a good one to start with, and I’m glad that I did. But, I’ve been waiting for the next part of the story to come out ever since. We’d get to see Jaxson, Chase, and Emma a little bit in the Black Light stories, and it was a nice way to check in with them, but we never got to really see their story. So Livia finally decided to take pity on us and give us their story with Complicated Love.

So, Jaxson, Emma, and Chase have decided that they are going to open Runway and Black Light West in Los Angeles, since the originals are doing so well. That means that they are currently living in a small rental house near the site where they are going to have the club while they are waiting for all the reno work to get done. As if that’s not enough of a problem, there is the fact that Jax wants to have the clubs open on an insanely tight schedule. That puts a lot of stress on everyone, mostly because that’s just a lot of work anyway. As an added bonus, Emma is very unhappy and seems to be feeling ill, but she isn’t talking to either Chase or Jaxson about it.

Then there’s Lola, who I hated from the very first moment we saw her. She’s Jaxson’s assistant, and she acts like she owns him. She just walks into their house whenever, disrespects Chase and Emma, and is an all-around nasty person. I mean, I think the first time we saw her, she walked into the house, literally took the coffee cup out of Emma’s hand, filled it, and started drinking from it, all the while ignoring Chase and Emma and pushing Jaxon around. I could tell that she was into Jaxson, or at least I thought she was. Of course, he doesn’t see it, and he’s already stressed enough.

Chase gets hit on by a reporter who was his old babysitter, but he shut her down beautifully. I just laughed at that. And Emma was happy that he did it too.

Of course nothing goes smoothly because do you really want to read a book where everything goes smoothly and there are never any problems? Emma’s keeping secrets, Jaxson is stressed trying to get everything done, Chase is running around like a crazy person, and the whole relationship is just stressed. It can be hard enough to keep 2 people together and in a healthy relationship, but with three, that must be really difficult.

One of the things that I really loved about this book is the fact that it showed the day-to-day work that a relationship needs. Yay! You get your HEA! But that HEA still needs work, and we see that in this book. We also see how a healthy D/s relationship should work. Well, mostly healthy, there are some bumps, but again, no one and no relationship are perfect. I love these 3 and have from the very second that I read their first book.

 

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OK, the first thing that I need to say is I WAS RIGHT! Anyone in Livia’s group will know what I mean. Yay for me!

I really, really, really hated Lola. I mean I really hated her, but I didn’t think that she would go to the lengths that she did. That was just cruel and evil on her part. Good thing that Jaxson usually hires exceptional people.

I loved it when Emma smacked the interior decorator down. He was so out of line in so many ways, but Emma was a goddess. Go Emma!

I was so surprised that Jaxson went so far that Emma had to safeword, but the awesome thing is that we get to see that being honored and that’s just awesome.

OK, you have to go read this for yourself. It’s a wonderful book and I love them so much. Happy reading!