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Currently Browsing: erotic romance
Jun
28

Review: Addicted by Elle Kennedy

Review: Addicted by Elle Kennedy Addicted Author: Elle Kennedy Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: If you love dystopian stories, but want the romance element a little more *ahem* adult—and smokin’ hot—, Elle Kennedy’s Outlaws series should be on your reader radar. In Addicted, we get a phenomenal friends-to-lovers story that runs us through a multitude of emotions and is a gripping story I couldn’t put down. Okay. I had to pace myself, because I actually had stuff to accomplish. While it isn’t totally necessary to read the first title in the series, Claimed, I’d recommend it. It’s a good story, and after reading for a few minutes, all the great characterization and world building came back to me—along with all the feels. I also remembered what I really liked about this universe: the ‘free love’ feel. I was a child in the ‘70s, and a teen in the ‘80s. I was probably born in the wrong decade. I was drawn to the Outlaws’ way of life from the first time I cracked open the first book of the series. Addicted continues my fascination. They’re highly sexual characters, and—for me—there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re not into multiple pairings (m/f/m, f/f/m, etc… Oh! And there’s a little m/m stuff, too), this might not be a title for you. The secondary plot line in Addicted was…complex. The over-arching storyline for the series hit a few bumps in this title. It made me think, and by the time we reached the reveal, I hadn’t figured out what the big deal was, and why it had to be a secret. As for the secondary characters, we saw a lot of Rylan and Reese. And Beckett. Yeah. I am intrigued by Beckett. Xander, too. I have this intense need to know more about them. Sloane, Reese’s ‘shadow’? What’s up with him? I think most of these characters built the intrigue surrounding the safety—and sanctity—of Foxworth, Reese’s little settlement. There’s also a couple deaths that take place in Addicted that ripped my heart out. There’s not just sex in Addicted, though. We get to see relationships building between different groups of people, different types of people. These Outlaws seem to have a code of their own, and they follow it. There’s action/adventure-y stuff going on, too. Fighting. Killing. Really, this title is actually several sub genres, and was difficult for me to categorize. On Amazon, it’s in post-apocalyptic, romantic suspense, and contemporary(?!). Oh, and did I...
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Jun
20

Review: Beg For It by Megan Hart

Review: Beg For It by Megan Hart Beg For It Author: Megan Hart Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I haven’t read a lot of Megan Hart’s work, but each time I do, I get caught up in her powerful characters and storylines, and Beg For It is no different. I was immediately drawn in to Corinne and Reese’s worlds and needed to know what happened in their past that pulled them apart. Corinna’s sadness at recalling her lost love pulled at my heart and won me over right from the start. I needed her to find love as if my own life depended on it. The characters were so compelling that I practically raced through the book to see what would happen to them. Beg For It is shared in alternating POVs between Corinne and Reese, but also between present day and before. At first I found the before jarring because rather than being told via flashbacks, the story switches from past tense in present day to present tense in the past. The first few times, the change in verb tense broke the flow of the storytelling and yanked me out of the story. However, as I became more invested in the characters, the shift between now and then and back became more seamless. Watching the past play out along side the present as more than a flashback became vital to the unfolding of Corinne and Reese’s story. While I was captivated by the romantic elements of their journey, I also enjoyed the passionate eroticism and exploration of sexual roles shared between Corinne and Reese. Their story is filled with an extremely intense sexual awakening and a healthy look at exploring one’s own desire and kink. It’s a beautiful thing when two people’s kinks match up so perfectly, but I also love that the pair communicates about needs and wants. Beg For It isn’t just a “finding lost love again” romance; it is also a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. The parallels between the before and current day are a guide in hopes that history can change. Seeing what was once, how both had changed over time, and then hoping for what could be, created a compelling story that I found difficult to put down. I became complete invested and involved with Corinne and Reese. Beg For It is a wonderful erotic romance journey. My Rating:  A- Enjoyed It A Lot About the Book: He’s gonna have to beg for it… Corinne...
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May
11

Review: Dominated by Maya Banks + #Giveaway

Review: Dominated by Maya Banks + #Giveaway Dominated Author: Maya Banks Reviewer: VampBard Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: I’m not sure what it is, but Dominated felt really slow to me until about the 70% mark. I was a bit meh about the characters, and annoyed by the characterization. I think I’m going to chalk it up, however, to the fact that I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book. Evangeline started of as a pretty whiny character. She irritated my soul when she was with or around Drake, to be honest. The glimpses of her with Maddox and Silas balanced it out for me, a little though. I’ve never been a fan of the sweet and innocent turning submissive when they’re super inexperienced, either. I think D/s relationships are something to be explored after there’s trust in a relationship. Which brings me to another issue I had with the book. Evangeline went back to Drake after an incident from the previous title in the Enforcers series. To be honest, I cannot identify with Evangeline at all. As a person, I am larger-than-life and in-your-face about things—once I get to know and trust you. I’m about empowerment, not oppression. That’s exactly how I felt the relationship between Drake and Evangeline was. I’m willing, however, to note that it’s probably due to my own past. Maybe I saw too much of my former self in Evangeline, and too much of my ex in Drake. Again, it’s a really personal thing. I’m not going to recommend this title to someone with a history of emotional abuse. It’s triggering. Drake is a typical self-made billionaire with a dash of The Godfather tossed in. I don’t mean the Marlon Brando character specifically—just the whole mafia vibe. Until he was whiny for a while. Alpha males that get whiny when they’re broken annoy me. This could TOTALLY be my perception, though. Seriously. And the sex. OMG. I think from the 20% to the 70% mark, this title was All. The. Sex. In LOTS of ways. Menage involved, folks—if that’s not your reading kink, pass on this one. Actually, it got to be too much and I caught myself skimming until the ménage scene for a bit. Seriously, I think my favorite parts of Dominated involved Silas. I’d be all-in if he were to get a book and get a HEA. Maddox too. And all the rest of Drake’s brothers. And, at about the 70% mark, it got...
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Mar
24

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Professor’s Student by Bronwyn Green

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Professor’s Student by Bronwyn Green Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Bound Series Title: The Professor’s Student Author: Bronwyn Green Narrator: Tatiana Sokolov Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Bound #3 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, BDSM Audiobook Source: Author Once again, I’m excited to have the opportunity to listen to a book from one of my favorite series: Bound by Bronwyn Green and Jessica Jarman. This time around, I’m listening to the third book, The Professor’s Student by Ms. Green. The story centers around Professor Josie Green, an American archeology professor, who is on a six week summer dig in Ireland, at Professor Declan O’Shaughnessy’s site. The pair have instant chemistry and engaging in a monogamous D/s relationship for the duration of her stay. When I initially read and reviewed the book I wrote: The Professor’s Student falls well within the erotic romance genre, with a focus more in the bedroom and less out of it. I really like Declan and Josie, and their play is sexy, fun, and just plain hot. Ms. Green is a master at crafting sexy, sensual scenes. While I missed some of the more emotional moments that I enjoyed in [the previous Bound stories], I still found The Professor’s Student a wonderful read and a perfect low-conflict, “getaway” story. As for the storyline, my feelings haven’t changed. I really enjoyed the story, and I continued to feel like the book is more passion and eroticism than love. Josie and Declan spend much of their time apart or only in the bedroom, and I wanted to be shown not told that they bonded on a deeper level. With that said, Tatiana Sokolov’s performance added a lot of value to my overall enjoyment of the story. Ms. Sokolov’s narrative voice, which is close to, if not the same as, Josie’s voice, is easy and fitting. Her Irish accented male voice for Declan is superb. I was extremely impressed with constancy and tone of narration throughout the book. Ms. Sokolov brings a lot of emotion – Josie’s embarrassment and shy desire, as well as Declan’s dominating nature – into her performance. In the end, I enjoyed my “reread” of The Professor’s Student and found that I liked it a bit more the second time around. Ms. Sokolov adds much to the story with her performance. Story B+ Narration...
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Feb
25

Review: The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden

Review: The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden The Unicorn Author: Delphine Dryden Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Mara Tyndall is unhappy, but she tries to fill the void in her life with scenes at Club Onyx and her beautiful ex. Knowing Mara is unhappy, Mistress Amie pushes Mara into trying out a new club, where she may be able to figure out what she wants from life. Daniel and Delia are happily married, but lately, they feel something is missing in their relationship. While they are exploring their mutual desire to add kink into their sex lives, they are struggling to make it all come together. When it is suggested they try a new club in town, they decide to take a chance, and after spending one evening with Mara, they both know they want more. The Unicorn shares the story of an unconventional romance, pushing the definition of love beyond society’s norms. Daniel and Delia are in love, but recognize that they want more, and each is secure in their love to explore possibilities. With the story shared from all three character’s POVs, it allows the reader to grasp a better understanding of each person’s fears and desires. While communication break downs lead to a deeper anxiety, it is completely normal and relatable. While a reader may not be able to relate to the situation, I feel that most people will be able to relate to one of the characters. First there is Mara who is comfortable with her sexuality, but missing love. She can’t marry her dark needs for pain and submission to finding a partner whom she can also just snuggle with and love. Then there is Delia, the wife who is always in charge of the day-to-day and can’t let go when she most needs it. She has trouble seeing her husband as her Dom because her mind can’t shut down, always worrying about things like the HOA or if she put the wet clothes into the dryer. Finally there is Daniel, who is afraid of showing his true inner self and needs because he’s been conditioned it’s wrong. He lacks the self-confidence to explore those desires, therefore his inner-Dom suffers. Each character is missing something and it isn’t until the three are together that the pieces begin to click and fall into place. And once that happens, not only do they find complete sexual satisfaction, but their lives become richer and fuller. The Unicorn is an erotic...
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Feb
12

Review: The Most Wanted by Annika Martin

Review: The Most Wanted by Annika Martin The Most Wanted Author: Annika Martin Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Picking up shortly after the conclusion of the previous story, the God Pack is still living at their lair in Los Angeles and have decided to start a private investigator service, giving their lives a little bit of normalcy. However, this isn’t a regular PI firm as they cater to their fellow criminals. Their first client, Diego, wants the gang to prove that he didn’t steal his future father-in-law’s prized Corvette, taking it on a joy ride and crashing it. The more involved the gang becomes in the case, the more danger they face from an old enemy. The Most Wanted is an excellent addition to one of my recently discovered favorite series, the Kinky Bank Robbers, which follows the same group of lovers from book to book as they live an outrageous lifestyle. While the off-center humor and sexy scenes are what originally drew me to the books, Ms. Martin continues to develop the individual characters and group as a whole, putting them into emotionally difficult situations that allow them to grow. The Most Wanted finds the foursome at odds with each other, which bothers Isis a lot. As the newest member (and only female) of the God Pack, she worries that this undercurrent of aggression and discontent will break apart her newly-found family. Following the gang on their journey to the other side of their troubles gave this book a bit of a distinctive feel from the first three. But despite the darker emotional edge, Ms. Martin continues to bring the humor, causing me to laugh out loud more than a few times. I could easily site a couple dozen scenes and lines, but here is one of my favorites: “Poor Odin always tried so hard to tone down his beautiful male model looks and go for a gruff badass appearance, and it never worked. He could glue a dead tarantula to his nose, and even then, people would be like, why does that super-hot guy have a dead tarantula glued to his nose?” The Most Wanted brings more to the table that just a silly bank-robbing romp. This one had the same humor as the previous titles, yet there was a darker emotional component. These bandits have been together as a foursome for a while now, so a deeper connection is warranted, yet I didn’t expect this level of emotional strife...
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Feb
7

Sunday Snippet: Extreme Control by Tilly Greene

Sunday Snippet: Extreme Control by Tilly Greene  About the Book Extreme Control Authors: Tilly Greene Publisher: Self-published Series: Control Duet Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Released:  January 10, 2016 Snippet Finishing her shower, she donned a robe and went into the kitchen. She scrounged through the multitude of leftovers in the fridge and decided to reheat fried rice with a glass of white wine to drink. Tomorrow she was taking for herself and only going to the festival for the evening crowd. There was only so much polite talk about art one could do and she deserved time to recoup. Watching the council meeting on the local cable station had always been a secret thrill for her. Small town politics was the best entertainment and free, but reading the police blotter in the Coastline newspaper, also free, offered more fun. Lia had curled up on her elegant beige chenille covered couch. Eating and her enjoyment with local politics were suddenly interrupted by a loud thump on her door. The artist enclave she lived in was a hive of activity twenty-four hours a day, but no one purposely disturbed a neighbor unless it was an emergency. They might disrupt the muse and the group knew doing it was a cardinal sin. The knocking on her door sent her dashing to see who it was, only to leave her stunned speechless. Staring at her was a strong, gorgeous man leaning heavily on crutches and a tired smile. It was Kirk, the guy who’d callously broken her heart over the phone. Lia stared at him, her mind whirling a dozen different ways. She wasn’t sure she wanted to see him, only his sexy Scottish lilt was her weakness. Hurt was all she knew. “Can we talk?” After a few long moments, she nodded and opened the door wider for him to come inside. She looked her fill as he moved to settle himself on the large winged chair. Before shutting the door, she noticed a posh car with a driver leaning against the hood waiting outside the main wall. Giving the man a small wave of acknowledgement, she shut the door and turned to face her unexpected guest. “Would you like a glass of wine?” she asked, twisting a loosened lock of hair around her finger. Apparently falling back on old habits and the polite hostess took over. “Got anything harder?” “Whisky?” “Perfect.” Moving over to the space designated as the kitchen, she reached into the cupboard above the sink and removed a...
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Feb
4

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Claimed Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: C S E Cooney Audio Speed: 1x and 1.25x Series: Outlaws #1 Genre: Futuristic Fantasy, Erotic Romance Source: Tantor media Forty years ago, the world went to war with itself, releasing bombs and destroying much of the planet. After the chaos, The Global Council took charge, creating mandatory communes, making everyone equal. Those who live outside the cities are outlaws, and are either assimilated or killed. Connor and his men are an outlaws, living day-to-day, enjoying what they can when they can. But Connor wants to find and destroy the head Global Council enforcer, Dominick, the man responsible for killing his family. Hudson escaped the city and Dominick to become an outlaw. When a group of bandits attack, she convinces Connor to give her protection. Although he says it will only be for one night, Hudson will do anything to convince him to let her stay longer. And using her sexuality to get into his bed is just one way she’ll convince Connor. I have very mixed feelings about Claimed. The futuristic world and concepts were interesting and engaging. I found that by the end, I wanted to know how the world will deal with the obvious problems within the World Council. But… I didn’t care much at all for the characters and their stories until the last quarter of the book. After listening through the end of Chapter 8 (49%), I had to stop the book, and I almost DNF’d it. The combination of the narrator’s soft-spoken, laid back voice for Connor and his asinine dialogue got to me. Connor is a strong, dominant man, and the voice selected just didn’t fit. Also, the entire plot for the first half revolved around constantly thinking about, having, or complaining that they aren’t having sex, and it was beyond annoying. I mean… they were on an important and dangerous mission, and Connor starts messing around with Hudson. It was ridiculous. Yet about Chapter 15 or so, the sex wasn’t as frequent, allowing the story to pick up and finally move forward. At this point, I actually began to care what was going on. The narration is a huge part of the problem I had with the story. I started listening to the book at 1x speed, but after the halfway point, I picked up the pace and listened at 1.25x speed. It didn’t help much. C S E Cooney’s...
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Feb
1

Review: The Master by Tara Sue Me

Review: The Master by Tara Sue Me The Master Author: Tara Sue Me Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: I’m a big fan of Tara Sue Me’s Submissive series. While I may not have raved about every single title, they all have a special place in my heart because each book has some poignant lesson I can apply to my own life. The Master is no exception. While many people read for specific purposes (predominantly, to escape reality), a single title can fill several roles. It’s always fun to immerse myself in some well-crafted characters and a substantial plot. But the books that make me think and reflect on my own life are those I’ll keep on the back-burner for a good ol’ fashioned comfort read when life just gets too overwhelming. The Master is going on that list. Readers of the Submissive series have already met Sasha and Cole, our main characters for this title. As Sasha’s plot line wove through previous books, I was really curious as to how she would get her HEA. Stop. Rewind. If you *haven’t* read the previous books, The Master could be read as a stand-alone. However, I think there’s deeper meaning and understanding as a reader with the more in-depth background information supplied in previous titles of the series. The author does a great job of ‘reminders’ throughout the book, but it’s surely no substitute for actually reading the prior six novels. For readers of the series, and actually, the blurb, Sasha is re-entering the BDSM world after a play session with her Dom went horrifically of-the-rails. She is re-joining the Partners-in-Play BDSM group, and she requires retraining in order to overcome the abuse she sustained. She needs to learn to trust herself again, while playing, after such a traumatic experience. Here, the parallels with life overwhelmed me, to be honest. So many people are involved in either physically or emotionally abusive relationships—it made my heart hurt just thinking about it. How do those people manage to find the yin to their yang? Someone that simply *gets* them, even if they’re really broken? That’s today’s society, unfortunately. Everyone has baggage, and seeing Sasha’s baggage laid before us, the readers, drove home exactly how fortunate I am to have Mr. VampBard. As we watch Sasha go through her ‘process’, it gave me hope. Hope that someday, I’ll be able to put behind me the rest of the baggage I brought into my marriage. Hope that other people—still...
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Jan
31

Sunday Snippet: Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Sunday Snippet: Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde  About the Book Dirty Sexy Saint Authors: Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Publisher:   Self-published Series: Dirty Sexy #1 Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Released:  January 19, 2016 Snippet Samantha’s head felt as though it was going to explode. The pressure, the pounding, the slightest movement increased the throbbing against her skull. With a soft groan, she pried her eyelids open and squinted in the too-bright room. She didn’t recognize her surroundings, and panic rushed through her, kicking up her heart rate. As she glanced around, hazy memories of last night finally filtered through her brain, giving her a semblance of relief, which didn’t last long as mortification swept through her aching body. Not only had she had way too many drinks, she’d flirted outrageously with a gorgeous stranger, and had to admit that it’d felt damn good to be a little bad. She groaned out loud, only to be caught up by a harsher recollection. Her father had completely and totally cut her off, just as he’d said he would. The pounding in her skull increased to epic proportions. Unfortunately, her humiliation wasn’t finished yet. Not only hadn’t she been able to pay her bar bill, she’d burst into tears in front of The Gorgeous One, blabbered about her personal woes, then vomited in spectacular fashion, missing the toilet completely. Then there was the shower, where her savior had stepped in along with her, helping her clean herself up and dress again after. Her utter mortification was complete. Careful not to jostle her head too much, she gently rolled to her back and slung her arm over her eyes to shield them from the shaft of daylight coming in through the window. She definitely needed a few more minutes to gain her bearings before she attempted to get out of bed. Which gave her too much time to think about her behavior the evening before. Getting drunk, on any occasion, so wasn’t her. She’d never been a party girl, and she knew her limits when it came to alcohol—one cocktail and no more. Last night, she’d consumed more shots of liquor than she could remember, but they’d all tasted so good, and she’d secretly loved the fact that each drink had a dirty name. At the time, indulging in a few Royal F**ks, Screaming Orgasms, and Blow Jobs had been a fun and harmless way to thumb her nose at all the rules and social norms her parents had placed on her for so long. But her...
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