Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Farthest Edge (Honey #2) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 @InkSlingerPR

5 Stars

Explosive best describes this second standalone in The Honey Series. Every facet of Branch and Evangeline’s journey in The Farthest Edge ignited, from their fiery sexual chemistry to their erotic playtime, and I felt as if my heart was going to explode all over the place. My emotions became so entwined within the pages of their love story it consumed me. All their joys, heartbreaking sorrows and passion had me reeling, tumbling over the edge right along side them.

“Ready to slip over the edge with me, baby?”

Hellz yeah, I was ready. Intrigued by these two characters when first introduced in The Deep End, I was more than willing to jump into this novel. It’s erotica at its very best; brimming with scene after salacious scene of heart thumping, body clenching kinkery. Loved every minute of their sexy time. However, there’s so much more substance to this read than the BDSM element and sizzling hot sex. It has all the old school vintage KA romance feels laced throughout its gripping plot, lifting this story to an entirely different level.

“He breathed, he did not exist.”

Branch Dillinger is a ghost of a man haunted by demons and focused on revenge. My heart ached seeing all of his pain. Buried under a tremendous amount of guilt, he’s stone cold and detached. No commitments. No emotional ties. Just looking for a quick release with a temporary club Domme and then moving on. Everything changes when Evangeline Brooks (Angie) falls into his life, turning his world upside down. This feisty woman is determined to break through his glacial demeanor in hopes of soothing his ravaged soul.

Evangeline is such a lovable heroine ~ a spirited, down to earth girly girl who’s sassy yet sweet. She’s also broken, barely surviving the horrors from her previous D/s relationship. It is her temporary ‘no strings attached’ arrangement with Branch that eventually brings her back to life. Under Branch’s care, she blossoms and finds herself again.

What I adored most about Angie was her persistent faith in their connection and her extraordinary strength. Despite the pains of her past, Angie trustingly gives all of herself to Branch. She understands his desires as her sub, as well as his needs as her man, and guides their relationship with care. She becomes strong enough to fight for their relationship. And the love she has for Branch is powerful enough to push him to the edge, giving him reason to stay and to finally exist.

I can’t begin to explain my love for this ex-military badass. I dislike comparing heroes since each is unique, but I saw hints of past loves within his personality namely Deacon, Raid and (strangely enough) Sam Cooper. It was so easy to fall for Branch as he embodied everything I love when it comes to a KA hero. The fact that he sexually submits to Angie does not, in any way, minimize his Alpha male tendencies. He’s dominating, gritty, has an outrageous carnal appetite and extremely protective as well possessive. I loved his gentle side, tending to Angie's needs knowing her traumatic past, gaining her trust and heart. But what truly drew me in, aside from all his sexiness, was his agony.

Branch’s heartache affected me in an unforgettable way. There’s one particular scene towards the end where Branch unleashes all his sorrows that totally annihilated me. I was a wreck and honestly, it’s one of the most achingly beautiful, tearful moments ever scripted. I love when characters, especially from this author, are so completely shattered their healing seems impossible. I want to feel their pain because I know for certain Ashley’s words and her couples will guide me through the gloominess to a place filled with love and beauty. KA has a magical way of bringing me joy through her writing. And when the road is paved with intense sorrow, as it is in this read, I appreciate the overwhelming feeling of bliss so much more. Both Angie and Branch suffered great betrayals in their past and it was beautiful seeing how their love healed. The way they comfort one another, establish trust and fall in love truly made this a touching story.

An enticing BDSM romance bursting with beauty, passion and raw emotions, The Farthest Edge is pure KA gold. If you’re hesitant because this book may seem vastly different from Ashley’s norm, don’t be. Everything I needed to lose myself within a great story was here, just with a heavy dose of kink. The familiar world building descriptive writing style, a captivating plot, dynamic characters, strong Alpha hero, powerful and breathtaking moments – I was in heaven, happily lost in Branch and Angie’s journey.  Another stunning novel from The Queen. I’m not sure what other bees will be buzzing in the future at The Honey, but I do hope to see more from Aryas and Gerbil.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sweet Surrender by Nina Lane @NinaLaneAuthor

5 Sugary Sweet Stars

I’ll never get my fill of Nina Lane’s eloquent writing style and her swoon-worthy heroes totally own me. Whether they are a loving professor, a badass biker, or the rulers of a candy empire, these perfectly flawed and devastatingly sexy men are forever branded within my heart. My latest obsession…Tyler Stone, the wickedly sensual black sheep of his family. Tyler and Kate’s journey to true love told in Sweet Surrender was yet another memorable romantic tale brimming with such beauty, I was easily lost within the pages of the fantastical world Lane created.

I simply adored Tyler and the way his character developed. On the surface, he was the quintessential spoiled trust-fund guy whose priorities were women and parties. But as the story progressed, he revealed there was so much more than to his playboy persona.

Misunderstood and overshadowed by his successful siblings, Tyler divorced himself from the family business, and lived a carefree lifestyle. It all came to a crashing halt when one bad decision forced Tyler to become accountable and atone for his mistakes by working at Sugar Rush’s corporate library. Clueless on how to get the job done, he used his overly sexy charms (that I instantly fell for) to finagle a deal with the very reserved, prim and proper Kate Darling, the company’s executive assistant. In exchange for helping Tyler, Kate will get some much-needed lessons on how to become more alluring.

Kate was a likeable, strong willed heroine who lacked confidence when it came to dating. She was bright, paid attention to details, focused on her career, but deep down she saw herself as nothing more than practical and undesirable. However under Tyler’s tutelage, Kate found herself and blossomed into a self-assured woman. In Tyler’s eyes, she was an attractive little minx from the moment they first met. She just needed his passion to help guide her to a more comfortable place sexually. And the incredibly sexy, dirty-talking Tyler was all too willing to show her the way with all his scorching hot lessons.

Kate was a positive force and the perfect match for sweet Tyler. She whole-heartedly believed he was more than just a simple playboy. Under Kate’s loving care Tyler discovered his own self-worth. She grounded him, gave him purpose while feeding him reasons to shed his wild ways. I loved his transformation. Gone was the Lothario and in his place was the tender-loving, responsible Tyler Stone - a man deserving of Kate’s affections and a true hero I fell in love with.

Tyler and Kate have become my favorite couple within this series. Their instant connection was powerful and I savored every moment of their fiery sexual chemistry. Sweet Surrender is the perfect choice for when your in the mood for a truly feel good, heartwarming and flirty romance. Thank you, Nina for another amazing reading experience.

I voluntary reviewed an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mister Romance (Masters of Love #1) by Leisa Rayven @LeisaRayven

4 Stars
WOW! This certainly was one heck of a slow burning, all consuming romance and true to Rayven’s style, an exceptionally well-written tale filled with loads and LOADS of relationship angst. Honestly, the sexual tension was so thick I savored this steamy read from beginning to end. Sparks ignited when Eden Tate, the ambitious and opportunistic reporter looking for her big break, wormed her unwelcomed way into the life and heart of New York’s most infamous male escort – the mysterious Max Riley – aka the overly sexy Mister Romance.

It’s so easy for me to fall in love with Leisa Rayven’s leading men and Max was no exception. A perfectly flawed, lovable book boyfriend that had me gushing over his oh-so-dreamy charismatic ways and witty sense of humor from the very moment I met him. Totally charmed by his off the charts sexiness and tortured soul, Max pulled on my heartstrings and made this entire story for me. His character intrigued me. A man with so many secrets and a past that controlled his current situation, Max held his cards close, slowly unraveled bits and pieces of himself throughout the story leaving me wanting more. In every sense he was a true romantic hero that possessed a beautiful and sincere heart.

I like a sharp-witted, sassy and strong willed heroine who holds her own and Eden certainly had all of those qualities. She was fiercely tenacious, determined to reveal and report Mister Romance’s salacious story to better her career. But hidden beneath her driven character was a vulnerable girl with her own painful past, which tainted her views on relationships. To her core she was a doubter and at times, I found her to be a little too cynical. With a solid disbelief in true love and quick to distrust Max at almost every turn, Eden was exceedingly skeptical, and it was a challenging to connect with her character for part of this read. However, as she opened her heart and mind to the possibilities and promise of all that was Max, I warmed up to the softer side of Eden and walked away for this story liking the heroine she grew to be.

All in all Mister Romance was an enjoyably fun read with just the right mix of passion, intrigue, sexual tension and heart pounding angst. With laugh out loud shenanigans, witty banter, tender moments and steamy passion this story captivated me from the first page. I always relish loosing myself within the pages of Rayven’s tales, getting to know her characters and their experiences. Can’t wait to devour her next romance!

 I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this publication

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Twist (Dive Bar #2) by Kylie Scott

4 Stars

Here’s to a second round at the Dive Bar with some pretty loony characters, another adorable couple and a fun-filled spin on Kylie Scott’s friends-turned-lovers romance, Twist.

A blossoming online relationship with the dreamy and outrageously gorgeous Eric Collins caused Alex Parks to impulsively step outside her comfort zone and travel cross-country to finally meet the swoon-worthy man behind the keyboard. As she entered the Dive Bar unannounced and smack in the middle of his birthday celebration, the huge surprise was on Alex when discovering the man she strongly connected with through emails was not pretty boy Eric, but his brawny and bearded brother Joe. Poor Alex. Already dealing with trust issues, she was far from thrilled about being played and embarrassingly caught off guard.  Did not blame her one bit for ticked off BIG time over the deception. However all that was Joe ~ his magnetism, his patience and immeasurable tenderness, made him irresistible. From their awkwardly comical beginnings, to their hysterical banter and scorching sexual chemistry, Twist was a passionate and enjoyable love story.

Alex is everything I adore when it comes to this author’s heroines. Intelligent and sassy, she’s a witty chick who’s quirky yet a bit vulnerable. Her inner monologues, which were very entertaining, had me laughing out loud.

“When it came to Joe Collins, my pussy was a wanton whore. And seriously, who could blame it? His body was one big beautiful playground. There wasn’t an inch of him I didn’t want to explore.”

She had a headstrong stubborn side, giving Joe a tough time when it came to understanding the reasons behind his duplicity, which added some push and pull drama within the story line. I savored the build up of sexual tension between this couple, as it made their journey to love even more exciting and the chemistry between them explosively hot. Alex was the perfect woman for Joe. She was a positive force, persistent in encouraging him to pursue his dreams and helped boost his self-confidence.

Sweet Joe.

The gentle lumber sexual, who was patient, kind, and downright sexy. A rugged sex-god who cuddles – what more can a heroine wish for?

Once my guard was down, due to complete and utter exhaustion, Joe had cuddled me. It was terrible, disgusting. Fingers caressing me, lips pressing soft kisses to my shoulder and the back of my neck. Normally I’d never allow it, but it felt so good.

I adored the way he tended to Alex and his determination to prove that despite his deliberate misrepresentation, his online exchanges were his truths. He worked hard to regain her trust and eventually, to earn Alex’s heart. Aside from using his brother’s identity, Joe was a sincere and compassionate guy who went above and beyond for his friends and family. I loved that about him the most.

Joe had me in the palm of his hand, adoring everything about his character, up until nearly the end. Somewhere along the way, Joe lost just a tiny piece of my heart with some of his actions and choices he made. In his defense, there were some intense, tear-jerking events that totally threw me for a loop and utterly devastated me. The tragedy absolutely messed with Joe’s mindset and I fully understood his pain. But, his missteps affected the dynamics of their relationship as well as my feelings towards his character. Regardless, in the end I walked away from this read liking Joe for all his big hearted, caring ways.

Twist was another well-written, steamy romance from Scott that I truly enjoyed and hope you do as well. A good choice for when you are in the mood for a humorous contemporary romance with just the right amount of relationship angst and emotional drama. Joe and Alex’s romance captivated me, as well as the story lines involving the secondary characters. Looking forward to revisiting Coeur D'alene, Idaho in Eric’s story – Chaser.

 I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this publication

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Deep End (Honey #1) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 @InkSlingerPR

 4 Stars 

The Queen of all Alphas finally entered the BDSM genre realm with her latest release, The Deep End. Welcome to the decadent world of the Bee's Honey Club and prepare yourself for Olivier and Amèlie’s wildly erotic ride.

I'm always excited when hearing there's a new series in the making and Kristen Ashley, my favorite author, now writing BDSM stories is like making all my literary dreams come true. Her romances are extremely steamy, I could only imagine what a full-blown D/s read would be like. Reading the synopsis piqued my curiosity and all these wicked thoughts flooded my mind…
A love story set in a sex club! Sign me up!
A hedonistic den where all dark desires are fulfilled;
Limits of sexual fantasies are boundless;
The promise of sizzling mouth-watering kinkery;
And gorgeous Alpha males submit to the salacious commands of their Mistresses...
Wait. What??

Okay, so the concept of an Alpha submitting to a Domme was nerve-wracking and screwed with my mind a little. It was inconceivable that KA, the author who spoiled me with so many beloved and incomparable heroes, would write about an Alpha-sub. (Not even sure what an “Alpha-sub” was for shit's sake – but I certainly do now). I LOVE the way her fictional men dominate both in and out of the bedroom. How can I possibly love a hero who sexually submits? It's their overly controlling nature that melts me into a big pile of goo and one of the countless reasons why I love getting lost within her stories.

Nervousness be damned, I trustingly laid my heart in KA's hands knowing full well that she would never - could never let me down. Delighted to say she hasn’t. Admittedly, the beginning of this read had a different feel than what I'm used to and it took some time for me to connect with Olivier and Amèlie. However, the vividly descriptive writing that I am familiar with surfaced as the story progressed. Once these characters revealed themselves, and their relationship evolved from sexual encounters and club scenes to feelings of love, I was all in. And note ~ it is a testament to Ashley's story-telling talents to pen an extremely different kind of tale, one that really tested my comfort level, while remaining true to her a style. That's why she's my queen of romance. Whether writing about badass bikers, anti-heroes, vampires & werewolves, ghosts that haunt the living, insanely hot PI's, brooding sexy cops or D/s erotica - I know down to my bones the very essence of a KA story that I relish will ultimately shine through. This time, she sprinkled a heavy dose of delicious kink into her goodness.
Olivier (Olly) is a KA hero through and through, who could be extremely dominant at times, despite his sexually submissive nature. He's all sorts of sexy, swoon-worthy manliness and I love him. A cocky and cheeky S.O.B who's insanely intense, temperamental, possessive, controlling and most importantly... ALL ALPHA-MALE. Amélie is undoubtedly his woman, and Olivier goes about claiming her in every way, in a very clear and dominant way, inside and out of the Honey Club.

Olivier is a mighty beast. Strong, passionate, devoted – he possesses some of the important qualities I look for in a storybook hero. But it was his internal conflict that fascinated me.
He struggled with submitting, regardless of his deep-seated yearning to surrender control. I loved the way Amélie sensed his hesitations and as his Mistress, handled him with care by freely giving exactly what he desired during their scenes.
Amélie was both patient and forceful when opening up her world to Olly. She broke through the barriers while allowing him the time to find comfort with his sexual proclivities. Conversely, being a dominant herself, Amélie willingly accepted the man Olly needed to be when playtime was over. It was an essential part of their dynamic relationship that I needed to understand in order to connect with this couple.

Amélie's (Leigh-Leigh) character took me by surprise and not what I expected a Domme to be. Overly sophisticated, reserved and confident in her sexuality, she wielded her dominance and riding crop with finesse. However, she was burdened with insecurities. Tired of entertaining temporary "toys", Amélie wanted to share her life with a man who could own her heart and satisfy her desires. I adored the way Olivier recognized Amélie's vulnerabilities and affectionately tended to her needs as well. Together, this couple’s relationship grew sexually and emotionally, both giving and taking. They balanced each other beautifully. I savored every moment of their journey from building bonds of trust to discovering a shared deep-rooted connection from their play/love relationship.
Now with a new series, a new genre and taking a great departure from the norm, fans may be apprehensive fearing the unknown. After all, this is unchartered territory for Ms. Ashley. Having read The Deep End and expressing the same concerns, I would encourage both fans and those who enjoy BDSM reads to open their minds, take a faithful leap into this couple’s story, and judge it for themselves. I had my doubts, it was unfamiliar to me in the beginning, but happy to say I enjoyed it. I will warn that Olivier and Amèlie's sexual play was wildly kinky and outrageous at times. More than once I needed to take a step back, catch my breath and wrap my head around the scenes – they were extremely intense and scorching hot. A good start to what I believe will be a great series. I cannot wait to play with more sexy bees from the Honey.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this publication