Thursday, June 28, 2012

Burn For You by Annabel Joseph

I loved Club Mephisto and was majorly excited when I heard Annabel Joseph was writing a sequel.

Burn For You is the sequel, and while I loved the story, I'm conflicted about it as well. I mean, I'm giving it a perfect ten, but my fantasy Mephisto is a much kinder and gentler Dom in this book, which both makes me happy and blows some of the fantasy.

It's a very emotional book, with lots of ups and downs, and Mephisto really does need to be gentle and loving to help Molly through. Hmmm, let's get the blurb out of the way, so I don't start giving spoilers:

When Molly loses her longtime Master, she feels lost, angry. Confused. She’s unsure of her future, even her calling to the BDSM lifestyle. She knows her Master always intended her to go to his friend Mephisto next, but their emotionally—and sexually—fraught history is still a confusion of desire and fear in her mind. 

Mephisto wants to help Molly, but he doesn’t want to force her into service she’s not sure she wants. He owes it to Clayton to help her find happiness, but how? Molly and Mephisto advance and retreat from one another as they try to untangle their complex feelings for one another. More and more it seems their tense standoff will only end one way… 

This 63K word novel contains consensual BDSM play, Master/slavery, sado-masochism, anal play, objectification, caging, and other consensual activities which some might find offensive.

See? Lots of emotion to deal with.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: There are a few intense scenes, but it's not the focus. 2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: Again, it's not the focus, but with these two it's still intense when it happens. 3 of 3
  • Extra Point: No
Burn For You is more about the emotional trip Mephisto and Molly undergo, and not so much about their sex life. I mean, this is Mephisto and Molly, so that part is eventually important, and this is still an intense book as far as BDSM goes. I debated on the extra point, but in the end, Burn for You is about emotions more than kink, though it's all bound up together, as Molly has to figure her life out, and that includes where kink fits into it.
As for the writing elements: the plot picks you up and carries you through the book on a wild rollercoaster, pacing is well done, prose and dialogue were exceptional, as was character development.
  • Book Rating: Burn for You: 10 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
  • Heat Level: 5 of 5
See the heat level? I don't want to give the wrong idea, that there isn't any sex or kink in this one, 'cause there is... it's still a scorching book. Could Annabel Joseph write anything else? Let's hope not :)
All three books in this series gets a 10 of 10 from me. The original Mephisto is still my favorite, but in a way, seeing the intense Dom from book one turn caretaker in book three is also a little heartwarming.

Books in the Mephisto series:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spin Out (Deputy Joe Book 2) by James Buchanan

Spin Out is the second book in the Deputy Joe series. I have no idea if there will be more books, but I'd love to see a book written about one of Joe's out of town friends. Yummm.

I enjoyed the first book, but I believe I may have enjoyed the second book even more.

Here's the blurb:

Right guy. Wrong time. Deputy Joe Peterson understood the risks when he got involved with ex-con Kabe Varghese. He didn't, however, see fit to warn Kabe. Now, in the middle of searching for the killer of a local boy, he has to contend with his career and his relationship spinning out of control. Solving the case may be easier than repairing broken trust.

I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say Kabe does have quite a backbone, and he's more than capable of standing up for himself. I wanted to shake some sense into Joe a few times, which did kind of annoy me, but it all worked out eventually.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3.
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3 . 
  • Extra Point: No
As for the writing elements: The plot was once again well constructed, pacing had a few issues this time but nothing major. Prose and dialogue are hard to comment on, as the regional dialect is written in and it started to wear on me a bit in this book. Character development was once again exceptionally well done.
  • Book Rating: Spin Out: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 4 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5
The Deputy Joe novels:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hard Fall (Deputy Joe Book 1) by James Buchanan


I enjoyed the Taking the Odds books by James Buchanan, and figured I'd give Hard Fall a chance.

Law enforcement plays big into this author's books, and that's no different here. The difference is instead of two cops coming together, we get a cop and a felon coming together. It works out, but it certainly adds a lot of drama.

I loved the wilderness scenes. I live in the southeast, nestled between several mountain ranges, and I've spent more than my fair share of time on a mountain. The climbing scenes were authentic, the emotions felt real, and the BDSM wasn't really BDSM, but still worked for me.

Here's the blurb:
Deputy Joe Peterson is Mormon and in the closet. Then ex-con Kabe Varghese lands in town on parole. When a tourist falls off the mountain, Joe finds he needs the help of this cliff climbing adrenaline junky to solve the case. Will Kabe tear him apart or does Joe need to fall hard before he can start living?

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline:1 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism:1 of 3
  • Extra Point:No
As for the writing elements: The plot was well structured and interesting, pacing was fine, the prose and dialogue had a few issues but was mostly okay, and character development was stellar.
  • Book Rating: Hard Fall: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 4 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5
Hard Fall is a well done M/m book with elements of BDSM, without it actually being BDSM. There is light bondage, heavy spanking, and Deputy Joe just kind of runs things because that's his personality.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Erotic Dark by Nina Lane

The Erotic Dark had a promising premise, but unfortunately, didn't follow through.

The writing style didn't work for me -- too much purple prose for my tastes, and a few times I couldn't focus on what was being said because of the flowery writing. I had to read a couple of the sentences a few times to get what the author was trying to say.

Some of the scenes were hot, but some of them disturbed even me, and it's kind of hard to squick me. It was the childish and taunting humiliation aspects that bothered me more than the lack of a safeword, though two scenes had me wanting to beat the crap out of the Dom bully, for taking things too far.

Here's the blurb:

SUBMISSION IS HER ONLY ESCAPE... And punishment takes many forms. Seeking escape from her criminal past, a desperate woman enslaves herself to a dark trio of men who own an antiquated Louisiana plantation. Known only as Lydia, she becomes controlled by three very different men -- malicious Preston, inflexible Kruin, and gentle Gabriel, all of whom introduce her to a world in which the lines between pleasure, pain, and shame are irrevocably blurred. 

The plantation becomes both Lydia's haven and her prison as she surrenders to the desires of her unholy trinity. Lydia's submission is fraught with tension and hunger, but what happens when the outside world enters her dark, anonymous sanctuary?

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3. Lots of discipline, a little bondage. But the discipline in some cases was irresponsible.
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3.  Two of the men were Doms, one was just an ill mannered childish bully.
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3. There was plenty of Sadism, too bad she didn't appear to be enough of a masochist to truly enjoy it. 
  • Extra Point: No
As for the writing elements, the plot was a nice idea, but had some flaws in the execution.  Pacing was slow. Prose had issues, dialogue was fine. Character development was written well enough, I just didn't like most of the characters. 
  • Book Rating: The Erotic Dark: 5 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 5 of 10  (the book is rough, but too much of it doesn't fit my definition of BDSM)
  • Heat Level: 2 of 5
The story is basically about four criminals who hide in this luxurious plantation, so they can escape prison sentences. The men are allowed in with, presumably, friendship and money. However, when Lydia wants in, she has to agree to submit to all three men. No safeword, no way to escape what they want to do to her, available to them at all times. The story could have been a good one, but one of the men isn't a Dom, he's an immature jerk focused on making her pay for turning him down when they were teens. Now she can't turn him down, must submit to whatever he wants to do to her. He's not a Dom, he's a bully, and the things he did to her were not arousing in the least.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cirque du Minuit by Annabel Joseph


Annabel Joseph writes complexity in a way you don't often see in BDSM flavored erotica. In Cirque du Minuit there is complexity of emotions, plot, performing arts politics, and basic human nature. There was even a plot I didn't realize was there until it slapped me upside the head about ninety percent of the way through.

Here's the blurb:

It’s no easy feat transitioning from the disciplined arena of competitive gymnastics to the artistic whirl of the Cirque du Monde. Kelsey Martin finds secret inspiration in Theo Zamora, a dark, taciturn trapezist--until his partner dies in a tragic accident and he decides to leave the circus for good.

Theo doesn’t understand why Kelsey reaches out to him, only that she compels him with her unique combination of innocence and recklessness. Before long the two are collaborating on an aerial silks act for a new production, the Cirque du Minuit. Theo’s impatience with Kelsey’s naivete is matched only by his passion for her, and the two soon become embroiled in a tempestuous, consuming romance.

But some still blame Theo for his partner’s accident, and danger wraps up the two performers as inevitably as the scarlet silk of their act. Theo and Kelsey must find a way to connect and trust one another as he leads her deeper and deeper into a dangerous world of control and desire.

Publisher’s Note: This erotic romance novel is approximately 70K words and contains sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, m/f/m menage, BDSM scenes, power exchange themes, and swinging/partner sharing.

See that last little bit? About partner sharing? Part of me didn't want to like that part (though the baser parts of me loved it - LOL). I've been watching the new TV show, Smash, and wasn't surprised when the director chose the girl who slept with him. As my husband noted when I griped about it, if you've got to have a tie breaker, that's as good of one to have as any. My point here being: Like it or not, that sort of thing is often a part of the performing arts. Even though Theo may not have liked it, he wanted it to be her decision, and he didn't want to hold her back from it.  Even at that, he had his limits as to what he was going to be okay with, and he was very clear about them.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: There are a few bondage activities, but it's not a huge part of their play. However, the discipline most certainly is, enough I'll give this category a 3 of 3.
  • Dominance and Submission: Mmmmm. 3 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: Again, a 3 of 3. It's beautifully written, with the perfect note given to show how painful ecstasy can work when done right. 
  • Extra Point: Oh, yes.
As for the writing elements: The plot was woven together beautifully, tying various aspects together in unexpected ways. Pacing was mostly okay, with a few snags (for me) based around the main antagonist. Prose and dialogue were beautiful - no one quite captures the emotions in an intense BDSM scene the way Annabel Joseph can. Character development was exceptionally well done, as was the world-building showing the almost closed system you get in some of the performing arts social structures.

One final note -- submissive does not equal doormat. If you've any doubt about that, read this book.

I can easily give Cirque du Minuit a 10 of 10. Great story, great characters, and off-the-charts sex. 
  • Book Rating: Cirque du Minuit: 10 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 10 of 10
  • Heat Level: 5 of 5
  Click here to see my reviews of other Annabel Joseph works.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sins of the Father [Angel and the Assassin 3] by Fyn Alexander


Sins of the Father picks up after the first two books in this series. I would not recommend starting with this one, you should begin with Angel and the Assassin.

I've really enjoyed these characters even if we do get the stereotypical huge muscled bad-ass and small skinny twink with longer hair. They are unique enough in their own ways, and the author does a good enough job with character depth, to keep it from feeling quite so stereotypical.

As I warned in my review of the first book, if you've got a problem with the Daddy honorific then you may want to skip this one. While I may prefer Sir or Master, in the right context the Daddy option can work, too.

Fyn Alexander does a good job of showing the boring day-to-day aspects of a twenty-four-seven D/s relationship without it being boring. He also brings up the conflict that can happen when the Top lays down the law and the bottom isn't so happy with the edict. I love that Kael and Angel's relationship has reached this level, it's been nice watching them go from just-met to a long-term relationship. I also appreciate watching both men struggle through figuring things out. Kael has his own demons to face in this book, it isn't just about Angel learning and growing and changing.

Fyn Alexander writes hot sex and great D/s. It is both tender and rough, harsh and sweet. 

Here's the blurb

MI6 assassin, Kael Saunders, is a larger than life, dominant master who finds himself becoming a Daddy to nineteen-year-old Angel Button. Over the last year and a half Kael and Angel have settled into a loving Dom/sub relationship. But no matter how comfortable the highly intelligent and ruthless assassin and his sweet, eager, loving boy become with each other, Kael is still the boss and Angel wants him to remain so, whether in the dungeon, the bedroom, or the kitchen. Naturally submissive, Angel has learned how to be a good Daddy’s boy and a good slave, but his childlike willfulness still makes itself known now and again.

When Angel is kidnapped by an enemy of Kael's, he'll stop at nothing to save his boy, but his boy may have to take what he's learned and help him.

Ummm, that second paragraph is a bit misleading. I won't give spoilers, except to say the title tells you more about the main plot than the blurb.

We don't just get a relationship story from Fyn Alexander, we get a bit of a spy/adventure/assassin story, too. Good stuff.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3.
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3 .
  • Extra Point: Yes
As you can see, the BDSM isn't quite as intense as it was in the first two books. It's still there, but it's a bit mellower now -- with a few very nice exceptions. The extra point is there because the D/s theme is a constant throughout the book.
    As for the writing elements: there are several plots woven together and I liked them all. Pacing is fine, prose and dialogue are well written, and character development continues to be exceptionally well done.
    • Book Rating: Sins of the Father: 9 of 10
    • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
    • Heat Level: 4 of 5
    Books in this series:

    1. Angel and the Assassin
    2. Angel and the Assassin 2: Be Brave
    Angel and the Assassin 3: Sins of the Father

      Thursday, February 23, 2012

      The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas


      Kitty Thomas' writing style appears to be pretty straightforward and minimalistic when you first begin reading her stories, but she can really pack an emotional punch. Comfort Food haunted me for days, my thoughts going to the psychology of submission way more times in a day than can be considered normal by any stretch of the imagination. By looking at a relationship that begins as non-consent and turns into consent, it sheds a whole new light on a relationship that begins consensually and gradually gets edgier and edgier. What I'm going around the bush to try to say is that her writing makes you think.

      The Last Girl is another non-consent story, and with the addition of a vampire who has powers a mere mortal man does not, the story has some extra twists and turns.

      Here is the blurb:

      Six years ago strangers broke into Juliette’s house; she was home alone and only thirteen. She kept her eyes closed, praying that if she didn’t see anything, she wouldn’t be killed. No one harmed her. In fact, one of the thieves protected her. Now Juliette’s dreams are haunted by him.

      Christian has waited to take her, resisting the urge each night. It always ends badly with human pets. They’re too fragile. The longer he can wait, the better, because the moment he takes her, the clock on her life starts ticking down.

      Then she’ll be gone forever.

      I both liked and disliked Christian, which I'm pretty sure is how I was supposed to feel. He is a monster and he makes no apologies for it. He is honest though, even when it isn't convenient to be, and I always respect that in a person.

      BDSM elements:
      • Bondage and Discipline: 3 of 3
      • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
      • Sadism and Masochism: He is certainly sadistic, and she has some masochistic tendencies, but not on the level of his sadism. 2 of 3 
      • Extra Point: I've gone back and forth on this one. It is an extreme book, and the D/s play is a major factor throughout. However, it is not consensual, and in my mind BDSM by definition is consensual. But, if I don't give it then that puts the intensity level at an 8, and it's more intense than that. So, yes.
      As for the writing elements, the plot is exceptional and has an unexpected and satisfying ending, something I had no idea was possible throughout most of the book. Pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were well written, character development was exceptionally well done, and world-building was detailed and interesting.

      The Last Girl is a 10 of 10 for me, and the heat level a 4 of 5.
      • Book Rating: The Last Girl: 10 of 10
      • BDSM Intensity Level: 9 of 10
      • Heat Level: 4 of 5

      One final note, the author has her own warning about not condoning "behavior done to another human being without their consent". I'll add my two cents to that and say non-consent can be hot in a fiction book (or in role play with your husband), but it has no place in real life.


      Tuesday, February 21, 2012

      The Stroke of Twelve by Kim Dare


      The Stroke of Twelve worked for me. Devon is wondering rather aimlessly through life, and Mr. Templeton helps him find direction.

      I loved that we see a bit of both sides, so we know how Mr. Templeton is feeling a bit as well as seeing Devon's side of it.

      I had a few issues with the whole structured time thing at first, but as things progressed I understood more of the purpose.

      Under normal circumstances, I think a Dom and sub should negotiate, but for a fantasy? It worked for me to have the Dom dictate things and then ask if there was a problem with what was said. He got agreement before they went to the next step.

      Here is the blurb:

      On the stroke of twelve Devon belongs to him for one hour. One hour that will change the course of his life forever.

      Free of responsibility and provided with an independent income, Devon Ashford floats through life thinking only of where the next party might be. When a note orders Devon to present himself at Templeton, Crawford & Associates at noon on Wednesday, he’s curious enough and bored enough to follow the order.

      He doesn’t know what to expect when he arrives, but it’s not to be told that on the stroke of twelve, he’ll belong to the stern man on the other side of the desk for exactly one hour. He doesn’t expect anyone to command him to strip for an inspection. Nor does he expect to follow the orders of a stranger. He certainly doesn’t imagine he could like doing that enough to go back for more.

      Whatever he expects, Devon’s about to discover that what happens at the stroke of twelve could change the course of his life forever.

      BDSM elements:
      • Bondage and Discipline: There isn't much bondage, and only a little discipline. But, there is a suspension scene that more than makes up for it.  3 of 3
      • Dominance and Submission: Yes. Tons of it. 3 of 3
      • Sadism and Masochism: Some, not much. 1 of 3
      • Extra Point: Yes
      As for the writing elements, it was more of a narrative than a plot, but it was perfect. Pacing was mostly fine, prose and dialogue were well done, character development was perfect.
      • Book Rating: The Stroke of Twelve: 9 of 10
      • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
      • Heat Level: 5 of 5 . 

        Monday, February 20, 2012

        By His Rules by J. A. Rock


        I'm a bit conflicted by By His Rules. The beginning of the story is supposed to show us the difference between abuse and BDSM. The ending of the story is supposed to show us what a trusting BDSM relationship is supposed to look like.

        My conflict comes from the fact that neither relationship was actually a healthy relationship. Aiden is just too immature and too conflicted. He didn't give his submission, he wanted the Top to fight him for it.

        The writing was good, and the sex scenes were hot -- even the semi-abusive scenes. And, to be honest - while the first relationship clearly crosses lines that shouldn't be crossed, Aiden does have to take some of the responsibility. Scott has to take more of it, sure... but Aiden set up a pattern of Scott having to fight him and hurt him to ensure his submission.

        Here is the blurb:

        Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the BDSM scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.

        Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.

        I appreciated Scott's character, and I liked Keaton. I liked Aiden's friends. I just didn't like Aiden very much.

        BDSM elements:
        • Bondage and Discipline: I loved many of the bondage and edge play scenes in the first relationship. If they'd ended with afterplay they would have been fine. 2 of 3
        • Dominance and Submission: It was warped, all the way around. Scott needed more compassion, Keaton did a great job with a very damaged sub but his style didn't do much for me, and Scott needs to just grow the #*%& up.  1 of 3
        • Sadism and Masochism:Aiden is a masochist, Scott is a sadist -- if the two of them were more grown up and mature they would have been great for each other. Keaton has a touch of sadist in him, but he's all about the Dominance, trying to control a bratty masochist who wants to be made to submit. 2 of 3 
        • Extra Point: No

        As for the writing elements, the plot had a lot of promise, pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were very well written, character development was well done (I just didn't like one of the characters I was supposed to like, and maybe didn't dislike another as much as I was supposed to).

        • Book Rating:By His Rules: 7 of 10
        • BDSM Intensity Level:5 of 10
        • Heat Level: 3 of 5

        I will keep my eyes out for this author in the future. I had some issues with By His Rules, but I was impressed with the author's knowledge of BDSM, and her (?) ability to tell a story.


        Sunday, February 19, 2012

        The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt


        The Surrender of Persephone is one of those books you should not judge by the cover.  The evil looking guy on top is not the idea I got from the Hero at all, and I have no idea what the red bomb in the jail cell is supposed to symbolize.

        However, while the cover isn't working for me, the story (and the storytelling) worked for me in a myriad of ways.

        The blurb makes it look like it's more of a non-consent than it actually is. While he certainly doesn't play fair when getting her consent, she does have the final say in whether she loses her virginity or not. I appreciated that.

        Here's the blurb:

        Sheltered Persephone, Goddess of Spring, never gets to do anything— thanks to the suffocating love of her mother, Demeter. Sephie is being carefully groomed to follow in the footsteps of the two “virgin” goddesses, Athena and Artemis, and while they sure do have a lot of fun together, she longs for something deeper—and darker. When Aidon, the God of the Underworld—generally known as Hades—appears in his chariot to claim Persephone for his bride, the young goddess gets more than she wished for.

        Held captive in the Underworld, she suddenly longs to return to the safety and security of her mother’s protection, but the dark and commanding Aidon binds her to him, claiming her bit by glorious bit as his own. Her coming of age is one of sexual awakening as she learns the bondage her new master imposes fulfills her darkest desires. Persephone finds herself submitting to and obeying Aidon’s command and discovers being taken and consumed in the heat of passion by a man—a god—is what she was truly made for. Persephone can’t deny her own nature, or her growing feelings for Aidon, as she submits to his domination and surrenders as his wife and prepares to rule as his Queen.

        As she finally admits her own feelings, Persephone faces the looming specter of her history, which threatens to shatter the newly formed bonds between the couple. She must now face not only her past, but her present, and her future—no longer only the Goddess of Spring, but also as the wife of Aidon and Queen of the Underworld—and the choices she will be forced to make will change the world forever.

         I ended up skimming over the sex scene with Athena and Artemis, as it was mostly vanilla lesbian playing around, and vanilla doesn't do anything for me. It was still well written, just not my thing. Once Aiden comes into the picture I skimmed through nothing.

        BDSM elements:
        • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3
        • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
        • Sadism and Masochism: 2 of 3. 
        • Extra Point: Yes
        As for the writing elements:
        • The plot was wonderful.
        • Pacing was fine.
        • Prose and Dialogue were skillfully woven together.
        • Character development was exceptionally well done.
        • World-building was detailed and imaginative and I loved it.
        I enjoy many of Selena Kitt's BDSM books, and I think The Surrender of Persephone is one of the best she's written. It's got a big strong all-powerful Dom who is fair and kind as well as tyrannical and sadistic. And his bride ends up being pretty much perfect for him. They are a perfect match.
        • Book Rating: The Surrender of Persephone: 10 of 10
        • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
        • Heat Level: 5 of 5