Welcome to my dungeon ~ book reviews, musings, education and book challenges relating to erotica, graphic sex and more. I love gentle pain mixed with rough pleasure.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: The Bear Who Loved Me

The Bear Who Loved Me The Bear Who Loved Me by Kathy Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantastic new to me author, Ms. Lyons, thrills me with this bear shifter series. If you have not read this series yet, now is a good time to pick up all three books and read them one after another. This one starts with Becca Weitz, a single "mom" raising her nephew. When her nephew is missing, she is frantic and does what she can to find him. The police are no help. Unexpected aid comes from Carl Carman. Carl is a man her nephew looks up to from his time spent in a summer camp in Carl's small town. Becca doesn't care what Carl does as long as he helps her find her nephew.

This book is sweet, funny and suspenseful. The characters are sweet and as expected, Carl is a bit gruff. He is a bear and bears can be a bit rough. The interplay between Carl and Becca is funny. What is especially funny is Becca's reaction when she learns her nephew is more than just a hairy hormonal teenage boy. Instead, he is a bear shifter and part of a larger clan, if he so choses. Becca pretty much loses her shit and goes around the bend. I liked this because so many times, authors write it as if it were perfectly understandable that shifters exist. Becca's responses are realistic and understandable. Carl trying to sooth and calm Becca down is classic.

Amidst this budding relationship, there is a more sinister thread to this tale. It sets up for the next two books in the series. There is someone hunting shifters and doing terrible things to them. This part to the plot does capture my attention and I'm vested to find out what happens. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy humour, mystery and happily ever afters.

*provided by NetGalley

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review: A Touch of Lavender

A Touch of LavenderA Touch of Lavender by Allie Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet and romantic fantasy, this BDSM tale is for those who enjoy glitterkink. Jax and Lavender both belong to an exclusive BDSM club. It is the kind of club where the rich and elite go to unwind to get their kink on. In this fantasy world, they can let their inhibitions go and feel the sensations they suppress during the day.

This story is the romantic version of how real life BDSM is like. The BDSM scenes are smooth and plausible. The club is a fantasy version that I sometimes wish existed. Jax as a dominant is an alpha male who is sexy and a protoype for a perfect romantic dom. This story reads nice and easy as Ms. Quinn takes the reader into a sexual journey where once the masks comes off, reality is a bit harsh.

I'm mixed about the masks and playing with strangers. For this story, it works. Especially because Jax and Lavender know each other outside of the BDSM scene and their relationship dynamic is quite a bit different. The masks allows their inner desires to surface. Because in the work world, Lavender is the one in control. But is she really? Since Jax knows who she is both in their work and hidden private world, it would seem he holds the upper hand. Whilst she is falling in love with two seemingly different men.

The plot of this story is easy to follow and gives the story that little kick of suspense. The characters are easy to like and the BDSM club is attractive. Overall, this story is great for romance readers who want a taste of kink to their erotica. The conflicts in this story keep the pace moving and the resolution whilst expected, brings a nice closure. This charming erotica is recommended as a Gateway to BDSM story.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Honey Trap

Honey Trap Honey Trap by Fyn Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

Transgender is a hot topic in today's society. Personally I believe gender is a societal construct and people should chill out. It seems author Fyn Alexander may feel the same. I say this because I really enjoyed this book's transgender main character. Scarlet and Ronin are the same person. Ronin is truly gender fluid which I find admirable and attractive. Sometimes he dresses in pants and looks like a traditional sense of a male. Sometimes he wears dresses or pants and looks like a traditional sense of a female. I loved this about Scarlet/Ronin. This allows him to revel in the full spectrum of his personality. This fluidity is also an asset in his job. As a covert agent in the UK, Ronin can be either male or female for an assignment. Lately, it seems his boss only invites Scarlet out to play as a Honey Pot. Talk about pigeon holed at work!

I really Scarlet/Ronin in this story. His love interest, Julian, I didn't like. Or more, I didn't respect him and found Julian to be a milquetoast who makes poor decisions and even worse choices in friends. Julian drove me crazy. He may have a "good" heart as the author keeps trying to convince the reader. I am not buying it. He is a complete idiot as far as understanding the consequences of his actions. He needs someone else to pull his dumb ass out of the proverbial fire. Everything about Julian makes me want to bash him over the head and move on. Julian is not good enough for Scarlet/Ronin. And this is why the story didn't rate as high for me.

The plot of the story is great. The stunts Scarlet/Ronin need to pull in order to help Julian are quasi-believable. It is Julian's response and his naïve beliefs that burn me. The lengths Scarlet/Ronin goes to when he helps Julian are mind blowing. Ronin's help is neither appreciated nor acknowledged. Then adding in Julian's disapproval for taking a needed action to help Julian's friend, this was the last straw for me. Off with Julian's head! Even the cameo appearance of Kael from the Angel and Assassin series didn't offset Julian's foolishness. Kael's injection into this book did make me hope the author would bring Scarlet/Ronin in for a little play time between him and Angel. Alas, it is not to be.

For those who found the Daddy kink and SM in the Angel and Assassin series to be too much, then this book is for you. The sex in this story is hot only because of the transgender aspect. In addition, there are a couple of scenes where there is possible public exposure which makes the sex more illicit. If however, you are looking for the erotically hawt BDSM, this is not the book for you. This m/m erotica is recommended for suspense readers who treasure a person's insides and appreciates how unique people can be.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Half Blog Tour




About Half

Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.

I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.

But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.

Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/half


About Eli Lang

Eli Lang is a writer and drummer. She has played in rock bands, worked on horse farms, and has had jobs in libraries, where she spent most of her time reading every book she could get her hands on. She can fold a nearly perfect paper crane and knows how to tune a snare drum. She still buys stuffed animals because she feels bad if they’re left alone in the store, believes cinnamon buns should always be eaten warm, can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tardigrade, and has a book collection that’s reaching frightening proportions. She lives in Arizona with far too many pets.

Connect with Eli:


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Half, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: Divergence

Divergence Divergence by Lyn Gala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fast paced third book to the Aberrant Magic series brings forth a horrifying secret. Kavon and Darren's relationship has been a rollercoaster. They finally seem to be settling into an understanding. Their magic dynamic is still way off. Darren still does things he shouldn't be able to do. He is also still in danger as O'Brien is still at large, specifically eluding law enforcement in Canada. Kavon is furious and insists to be part of the capture team only to be sidelined. Politics at play only make for a cranky Kavon.

Expecting this to be the final book in the series, there seems to be several threads left hanging. Hopefully this means another book will be forthcoming. I digress. The world as Kavon and Darren know it is evolving. Specifically, the spirit guides are more than just spirit guides. The reader learns how Darren has been picked. It has a lot to do with Kavon. It is a bit mind blowing as to how the spirit guides originally interacted with humans and more specifically, why they left the world. This decision is absolute in some ways and may be a bit too extreme for those who need a Disney happily ever ending. For those who enjoy foreign movies, the angsty French and Chinese movies, this decision made by the spirit guides make sense.

Whilst this is going on, there is a criminal to capture, political waters to maneuver and a dysfunctional "coven" to disband. There are several subplots going on which is what makes this story enjoyable. There is no boring lag time. Kavon and Darren are hopping from one situation to the next. They do tie together quite nicely and gives the story more depth. It also keeps a reader's interest engaged as we wonder what will happen next.

Where there is no question is the sexy time between Kavon and Darren. Darren can sometimes be a little whiny, playing into a stereotype for gay men. Ms. Gala does it well so that it doesn't become annoying. It is amusing and when Kavon takes Darren to task, it is delicious. The sexual chemistry between Kavon and Darren is smoking hawt. They light the sheets on fire. Ms. Gala certainly knows how to turn on the heat. Then she ends this story with a shocking cold shower.

The ending leaves a reader hanging. There are several questions that remain open. It feels as if this world is unfinished and there is still more story to tell. I can only hope there is another follow up book to this series. Kavon and Darren plus the rest of their Scooby gang are quirky and fun. This paranormal romance is recommended to m/m readers who enjoy magic, mystery and mayhem.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Zero to Sixty

Zero to Sixty Zero to Sixty by Marie Harte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love the bad boys? This series is for you. This third book features Sam. Sam is kind of a jerk and quite insecure with his relationships. Why? Because he knows what it is like to be tossed aside and unwanted no matter what you do. This story broke my heart a little. We learn about Sam in a previous book as he sabotage's his best friend's relationship. To learn more about the backstory, reading this series in order would help. It is still fine to read this book as a standalone. There is enough information to bring a reader up to speed.

From a character perspective, Sam is an anti-hero. Or maybe he is a boy who was beat down too early and often that he is now like the puppies he rescues. He is afraid of building relationships and has severe trust issues. There are many parallels between Sam and the rescue dogs he saves. It is a bit of a tear jerker, especially when Sam is just like a puppy being adopted by Ivy Stephens.

Ivy is a great character. She is affection yet tentative. She too has been burned and knows what it feels like not measuring up. She is the perfect love interest for Sam. Their interactions are awkward and hilarious. It is sweet how they try hard and sometimes embarrass themselves. Still, the chemistry between them is hawt. It is a Ms. Harte story so it is a given for sweaty bed bouncing goodness. This story could just be a hook up, but it is much more. It is a self-actualization journey for Sam. He finally realizes who he is and how he is worthy. In addition, he learns to finally trust the bonds he's build over the years. And that it is okay to make new ones and let destructive ones go. This erotic romance will send a reader into orbit with pleasure and also break their hearts with Sam's neglected past. This book is recommended for hopeless romantics who love their happily ever afters.

*provided by NetGalley

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: For Maggie's Sake

For Maggie's Sake For Maggie's Sake by Lora Leigh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I was offered the opportunity to read this book, I thought it was a totally new story. When it is Ms. Leigh and there are military men involved, I want to read it. To my chagrin, this is story from an anthology I've read previously. I did not enjoy this story the first time around and the second time was still lackluster.

I am a huge fan of Ms. Leigh. This one felt contrived and forced. Usually her characters are flawed yet admirable. Usually they are not too stupid to live. Maggie specifically is a TSTL character. She is taken for a ride by her husband. Now, dead husband. How she never connects that her husband's best friend was her former lover she never really got over, I will never understand. The set up of this story is off and not one of the best from Ms. Leigh. The pace is slow at times yet the plot feels rushed. It all felt a little off kilter for me which is unexpected from Ms. Leigh.

Whilst Joe still comes across as a tortured lover who let the "one" slip through his fingers, Maggie is still clueless. It is surprising Maggie isn't dead with how oblivious she is to her life. Since I tend to enjoy stories if I like a character, this one ended up as okay for me. I could not get into the story because I could not get over Maggie. This short erotica is recommended to romance reader who like lovers reunited themes.

*provided by NetGalley