Review: Dom Wars Round Four by Lucian Bane

Dom Wars Round 4 Cover

4.5 fearless Stars

It’s one thing to write about the emotional vulnerability of your partner. To flay their innermost struggles for all to see, dissect and admire. And to detail your response to that journey. It’s one thing to be there for someone who is working through the deep dark, to document the handholding, the tears and the process of re-finding the light. It’s infinitely easier to plunge into that deep dark when it belongs to someone else, when all you have to really do is tread water next to them. But to submit yourself to that intense scrutiny? To so easily delve into the very core of your own universe and invite the world to watch? That is true courage. That is fearless.

And that is what Round 4 is. Fearless. Tara and Lucian are right on the cusp of pledging each other forever. Lucian is all in and Tara is so close, *this close, to pulling down the final wall and letting Lucian in for good. She made it through her own demon domination and it served to make her stronger, make her relationship with Lucian stronger because he was right there with her through it all. He acted as her foundation so she always had solid ground to which to return. And it worked. She is pretty solid when this book starts. Solid, focused and no longer so concerned with pushing Lucian away. She’s no longer afraid.

Until a twist gets thrown at them. As if battling demons wasn’t enough to keep our dynamic duo busy, the game gets changed up and now Lucian is getting secret texts he can’t share with Tara to be mean. Yeah, you heard me. He has to be mean to her. On purpose. You want to talk about torture? Ask a man who worships women, who regards his sole duty in life to protect women, to nurture them, to revere them and then ask him to intentionally be mean to one. Especially the one with which he is in love.

And on top of that, he has to face his demons as well. It’s an especially busy book for Lucian and we get some magnificent insights into his character, his past and some elements that got him where he is today and informed his point of view. If there was any doubt before, this book lays Lucian bare and displays him for the exceptionally kind human being he is. He is strong and smart and dedicated with a loyalty that runs so deeply he would rather stay away from his entire family than be forced to openly confront components of it.

This book has moments of sheer brilliance. It is written with keen insight and a shameless ability to strip characters bare and then celebrate everything exposed. Lucian Bane is able to continue to craft a heartfelt story riddled with suspense and gorgeous moments of intimacy that left me as smitten as I was turned on. The lens through which Bane tells his story is thoroughly romantic while at the same time striking a genuine balance with reality. If there is a better way to weave a story than using threads of full color imagery, honest emotions and the innate tension inherent in growing relationships, I’ve yet to find it. Lucian Bane just keeps getting better with every Round.

If you’re looking for an extremely well written series chock full of incredible and multi-faceted characters with an engaging and ever-changing storyline – then Dom Wars is it. Get to it, the rest of us won’t wait for much longer for you.

Cover Reveal: Five Days by Dannika Dark

Five Weeks
(Seven Series, Bk #3)
By Dannika Dark 

Blurb:

Izzy has always loved the freedom and adventure of life on the road, but she’s recently decided to settle down—as much as a rogue wolf can. When her boyfriend gets her a job working at a hot Shifter bar, she runs into the last person on earth she expected to see again.

Jericho isn’t the famous rock star he once was, though he still plays in a local band and loves to party. Beautiful women come and go, but music is his only passion—until a sassy redhead named Isabelle Monroe shows up unexpectedly.

Fate reunites two former friends living with one foot in the present and the other in the past. But will they have a future when one of them is forced to choose between life and death? Old habits die hard, and sometimes the toughest addictions to shake are the ones that control our hearts.

Release Date:
July 29th 2014
Excerpt

Review: Bang by E.K. Blair

Bang Cover

5 mind-bending Stars

Anticipation. It can easily be used for good or evil. It can sit you on the edge of your seat, filled with worry and wonder over what’s going to happen next. It can sit you on the edge of rage as you watch a story and characters you love go over a cliff. It can sit you on the edge of an orgasm, begging to be released. It’s an efficient weapon if your target is emotion or carnal desire. Its ability to manipulate is almost unmatched.

And I was its willing victim throughout this entire book.

Elizabeth Archer has been handed the kind of life that no one should ever have to live through. She had the fairytale – a father who adored her and took care of her and then it was all taken away and replaced with the worst of nightmares. Her only lifeline was Pike. He became her savior. Her brother. The only ally she had left. Unfortunately when you live in a nightmare, everything warps, especially the people.

Elizabeth is also Nina Vanderwal. And she is the center of the tornado that is this book. Caught up in the maelstrom are Bennett Vanderwal, her husband, and Declan McKinnon, who sets his sights on Nina almost immediately.

Nina is everything I love to hate in a character. She’s allowed pain to shape her soul to the point where she’s basically paralyzed in her head and heart. She’s a pathological liar. She’s ruthless. She uses her body as a weapon. She’s a pawn. But here’s the thing, here’s the reason why the anticipation kept coursing through my veins with this book: she is all of those things in every single page but she’s also the exact opposite of them in every single page. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a character that so completely inhabits both sides of the coin as she does. I want to rant and rave that she’s weak and mean, but then I would also have to admit she’s incredibly strong and devoted.

She is the beating heart to this book. She is what keeps the pages turning. She is what keeps you going back for more punishment. More pleasure. More anticipation.

E.K. Blair has master crafted an absolute mindfuck of a book with Bang. The rush of anticipation that goes with it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the paces this book put me through. But I thank Blair for each and every moment of it. For every time I wanted to scream, for every time I cried, for every time my teeth gritted, for every time my thighs clenched. For every visceral, feral emotion this book drug out of me, I sing Blair’s praises. It takes a brilliance I bow down to, to write a book this incredibly complicated of plot and emotion. It takes courage that makes me cheer for the art of writing to write characters like these. If there was a challenge to be issued for authors everywhere to step up their game? Bang is it.

You will probably not swoon when you read this book. You will probably want to scream and rant and rave about the choices the characters make. You will probably want to throttle me for suggesting you read it immediately. But you will eventually thank me. Once the adrenaline has worn off and you come back down to the reality of your every day. You will thank me for pushing you into this book. You will thank me for your latest dose of anticipation. I promise.

Release Day: This Time by Marie Hall

Banner-ThisTime

TITLE: This Time
SERIES: Moments, #3
AUTHOR: Marie Hall
PUBLICATION DATE: May 11, 2014
GENRE: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
ThisTime cover
BLURB:
A phone call that changed our lives… 

I’ve lived my life in a daze, trying to save someone hell bent on destruction. But when my phone rings and I’m told that Angel, my on again off again boyfriend has OD’d for the second time in two years, I’m so numb. So tired. So when Tor Boler, the sexy Norwegian and drummer of Fok asks me to stay with him, I stay. We were friends and I needed to be held. To be loved. It was just supposed to be one night of reckless passion. One night where I could forget how screwed up my life had become. 

…a night of passion with far reaching consequences 

I’ve wanted Jamie Sullivan since the day she walked through my tattoo shop eight years ago. There’s a soulfulness to her blue eyes that reminds me of the arctic fjords of home. She calls to me. There’s only one problem standing in our way- Angel Romero. I want her, and she wants me too, she just doesn’t realize it yet. 

This time… we’ll get it right.
 
 
BUY LINKS:
 
AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:
Marie Hall is a New York Times Bestselling author who has always held a dangerous fascination for creatures that go bump in the night. And mermaids. And of course fairies. Trolls. Unicorns. Shapeshifters. Vampires. Scottish brogues. Kilts. Beefy arms. Ummm… Bad boys! Especially the sexy ones.
Then the day came she realized apart from the sexy bad boy she married, there’d be no vampires/shapeshifters/mermaids/fairies/or even stinky trolls in her future unless she wrote about them. More often than not she can be found roaming the wild, lush tropical forest she calls her backyard (a.k.a. Hawaii) and day dreaming constantly about her latest project.
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Other Books in Series Marie Hall

Review: Songs of Submission, Sequence Two by CD Reiss

SOS Sequence 2

4.5 dramatic Stars

“I never made the decision to love you. But I decided to trust you. That was a choice.”

Sequence Two is all about this choice for Monica and Jonathan. The choice of which skin to live in. The choice of how to love each other. The choice of how to breathe and fuck and laugh. If Sequence One is watching Monica and Jonathan start their journey, Sequence Two is deciding their destination.

Watching them cycle through the stages of choice is equal parts furor and fascination. How do you merge song and granite? How do you intertwine grace and lightning? Through sheer will power, that’s how.

Monica and Jonathan manhandle their way through these books. They wrap their hands around each other’s most tender bits, squeeze ruthlessly and then refuse to let go.

At first I thought they would end up so close that they would share a skin by the time they were done. But the could never share a skin. They need the space between to stare each other down. They need to be able to invade each other’s space, to keep what they have tangible, otherwise they would each be lost. Lost to the tidal wave of lust, love and sheer electricity that exists between them.

CD Reiss simultaneously strips them both down while at the same time hurling complication after complication at them. She clutters their lives with drama and trauma to such a degree that I found myself short of breath several times just with the effort of trying to keep up. She manages to reduce them several times to nothing more than feral need calling to each other through a forest of aggravation and still they soldier on. Clawing their way back to each other.

Occasionally we get a glimpse from Jonathan’s point of view and it’s such a rush of endorphins that I never want those chapters to end. To be able to see Monica from his point of view, to see his response to her; to see that he calls her Goddess because that is exactly how he sees her. Larger than life, wild, vivid and all encompassing. To get those slivers of insight into Jonathan that he is her Master only because she was his Goddess first.

“’Was there anyone before you?’

‘You might have thought so at the time.’

‘I feel like no one’s ever loved me before.’

‘I’m sure they did their best, but you always belonged to me.’” 

These three installments push all of the boundaries until they break. And they do break. Repeatedly. And then they get rebuilt. Each time they take out new building permits there’s a little more at stake. Another layer of bullshit removed. Another line of defense demolished. Until by the end of Resist everyone is left bare and screaming – me included.

This sequence ends with an incredible cliffhanger akin to being pitched off a cliff mid-orgasm. Terrifying and freeing all at once. Freeing only because you know whatever comes can’t be nearly as bad as the fall, at the very least it’ll be quick.

 

 

Review: Solomon’s Sieve by Victoria Danann

Solomon's Sieve Cover

5 saturated with love Stars

Love. I wax poetic about it often. Especially in my reviews. It’s one of my favorite topics. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I’ve plumbed deep the thesaurus for all of the variety of ways to discuss love and everything that goes with it. It’s a concept with which I am thoroughly enthralled.   And one of my favorite contexts within which to talk about love in a perfectly told love story.

Solomon Nememiah is one of my all-time favorite characters. I’ve had a huge crush on this man for a long, long time. Since My Familiar Stranger in fact. His dry wit, absolute control and ability to see straight to a person’s soul has had me wrapped around his little finger for 6 books now. This book cemented him into my heart forever. This man gives definition to the idea of an alpha male. He is strong, he goes after what he wants, he’s kind, he’s tender, he’s absolutely unmoving in his devotion and integrity. And we get to see so much more of him throughout this book. We get to see him learning from his mistakes, realigning his priorities while still keeping his strongest character traits in tact at his core.

Raif Nightsong is an enigma. An enigma I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out as the story progressed. An enigma who met his match in Mercy Rennoux, who is a bit of an enigma in and of herself. A gorgeous, brilliant enigma fully equipped to go toe to toe with Raif. And that is a show no one wants to miss. These two come at each other with claws fully extended only to end up wrapped in a lover’s embrace. And their journey to get there is harrowing and just flat fun to watch.

Black Swan has always had a feeling of family about it. Especially within B Team. But this book expands that feeling to the entire organization. Through the failing of the vampire virus cure, the entire organization has to come together to survive and continue to keep the human race safe. Watching the stages of that happening was akin to watching someone grieve – shock, anger, disbelief, bargaining, acceptance. No one wants to recall the retired Knights. No one wants to put kids in the field before they’re ready. No one wants to fight a newly mutated virus that is bigger and badder than before. But they do. They figure it out and they get back to work. Because that is what Knights do. They band even tighter to protect those who are still learning and reconfigure to ensure only strength is issued forth into the streets of war.

Solomon’s Sieve is a perfectly told love story. This book is a big thumping heart wrapped in a song. With each contraction, intake of breath, you can feel the anticipation, the wonder, the whimsy start to catch fire. With each release, each exhalation, there is a flood of joy, sorrow and hope. And throughout it all is the lyrical mastery that Victoria Danann weaves throughout each of her books.

I both started and ended this book with sobbing. Joyful, sorrowful, uncontrolled sobbing. Because of tremendous loss, growth, family and love. All of which happens in overwhelming quantities in this extraordinary book.

Victoria Danann continues to display her mastery and in fact furthers it several more steps. Integrating everything she does so very well into one book is a display of such tremendous perfection that I’m quickly running out of new ways to tell you about it. Suffice it to say, she’s brilliant and I think she’s just getting started.

Review: Sex, Love, Repeat by Alessandra Torre

Sex Love Repeat

4.5 vulnerable Stars

Judgment. It will be the death of us as a human race, I think. We judge everything constantly, mostly using our whims and ingrained bias as the only rubric. Ultimately all it does is stop us from being happy. We end up hemming ourselves in so tightly that there’s no way out but to follow the tried and true. But the beaten path doesn’t work for everyone. So you end up being unhappy, too afraid to create your own path. And then even when you start trailblazing, you feel like you have to constantly explain and justify your decisions. It would all be so much easier if we could just put the judgment down and walk away.

Madison Decatur is halfway there. She’s constructed two relationships that make her very happy. They also make the men she’s involved with happy. And all three know exactly what is going on. And yet. She still apologizes for it repeatedly. She doesn’t have a lot of friends. She’s not close with her mother. She is surrounded with judgment except from the two men she loves and who love her in return.

And the author recognizes the level of judgment she is courting in writing this book as well as the level of judgment she’s subjecting her characters to:

“It’s all wrong, the evolution of our innocent youth into cock-gobbling sluts. Which seems hypocritical coming from me, but it’s not. I fuck because I love it, because I want to – it brings me pleasure. They fuck because they think they have to – for the guy, for the queen-bee girl, for the proverbial ‘fuck you’ to society that they think it creates.”

It’s extraordinarily interesting to watch Torre not only blatantly call out the judges but then also look to pacify them at the same time.

Madison’s loves – Stewart and Paul – could not be more different. Stewart is married to his job, putting everything else second to work – always. Paul is a professional surfer. Stewart is intense with laser-like quality that can cut you up as easily as light you up. Paul is easygoing and yet intensely passionate. They both are head over heels in love with Madison although only Paul actually shares his life with her. She and Stewart get moments stolen from his crazy schedule whereas Paul wakes up with Madison most days. While you never doubt the love between the three of them, there are definitely examples of what works and what doesn’t.

These three people get their lives turned upside down in the blink of an eye just because that is what life does when you get too comfortable. It switches everything up to keep you moving forward. Even through the pain of change and choice – there’s no room for stasis.

Alessandra Torre has created a singular book with this story. One that is immediately engaging in both characters and storyline. I was completely sucked into the dynamics of this triangle and it doesn’t hurt that the sex scenes are incredibly hot and inventive. Thigh clenchingly, teeth grittingly, day dreamingly hot.

Torre’s writing is distinctly approachable for how covert the subject. You know exactly what her characters are thinking and feeling – they are out there, unapologetic in their being. There is incredible vulnerability in this book and it is that vulnerability which allows each character to burrow straight into your heart and not just your libido.

You’ll get your happily ever after with this book. You’ll get your insanely hot sex scenes. You’ll get interesting and engaging characters. You’ll get a gorgeously written book that leaves you drifting off into la-la land as you try to process it on a deeper level. But you’ll also get an author telling a story that will challenge you to be brave enough to find and accept love wherever you find it. And in the midst of heaps and heaps of books looking only to get you hot and bothered or shock you senseless, that’s a refreshing change of pace.