Tag: m/m/f

Review: Ariana by Ash Dylan

Posted March 1, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Ariana by Ash DylanReviewer: Holly
Ariana by Ash Dylan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 26, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 132
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars

Princess Ariana, stuck in a tower for fifteen years, can only inherit her kingdom if she cuts her hair and marries. She spends her days killing every suitor she meets and refusing to cut her hair for anyone.

Devin, a warrior king from a neighboring country, thinks he has what it takes to woo the princess. Though he has enjoyed a no-strings-attached relationship with his bodyguard, Devin wants to move on, worried that his deeper affection is not reciprocated.

But Tan, the king’s loyal bodyguard, has kept his true feelings a secret and will do anything to protect his love from a deadly princess. He lost another loved one fifteen years earlier, and he refuses to let the same fate befall his king.

When Devin and Tan spend a night in Ariana’s tower, they realize an unlikely arrangement could lead to them living happily ever after. But first, Ariana needs to learn to trust them. And Devin and Tan need to make it through the night alive.

This polyamorous MMF novella, set in a post-apocalyptic America, has 30,000 words, an unapologetic heroine, two bisexual heroes, three HEA’s, and several happy endings.

I saw a friend talking about this on Twitter and knew it was the book for me when I read “She spends her days killing every suitor she meets and refusing to cut her hair for anyone.” in the blurb. Yassss.

I loved the concept of a tough, kickass Princess heroine who refused to humiliate herself for anyone. For 15 years she’s lived in a tower for the good of her people, and though that chafed, she didn’t resent them for it. I don’t know that I bought into Devin as a warrior, but that’s probably because we were told he was more than shown.

The MMF relationship worked for me and I enjoyed the main characters. There were some flaws with the world-building (namely that there wasn’t enough of it to truly give this a post-apocalyptic feel), but I really liked the way the story developed and the romance between the three. The BIG CONFLICT was predictable and didn’t do a lot for me, nor did the final resolution, but overall I rather enjoyed the way the story came together.

I’m looking forward to the next novella, which looks to be a FFM.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

I believe this is the start of a series, but I can’t find any additional information about it on the author’s website, Amazon or Goodreads.

three-stars


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Guest Review: Bonds of Desire by Lynda Aicher

Posted November 24, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 2 Comments

17878630Judith’s review of Bonds of Desire (Wicked Play #3) by Lynda Aicher

Lawyer Allison English never planned to return to The Den—despite her naughty fantasies about being bound by owner Seth Matthews. But when club guest Tyler Wysong is injured in a scene, Seth turns to Allie for help. Aroused by both men, Allie should turn the case down. But she can’t….

After his bad experience, Tyler has no interest in being with another Dom. Yet he can’t deny his attraction to Master Seth. When Seth offers him a place to stay, Tyler agrees—if Allie will stay too. But what good is a chaperone who adds to his temptation?

Living with two subs brings out Seth’s protective instincts, though Allie insists she’s not into the lifestyle, and Tyler swears he’s done with it. But the chemistry between the trio prompts them to agree to submit to him for one week, and he’ll show them both the true pleasure that a Dom can provide.

There is no doubt that this series of short novels are erotic to the core, yet this third addition to the series is one that I think is even more deeply emotional than the first two.  I read and enjoyed them as well, but I was captured by the deep hurts that resided in each of these three people.  Yes the were drawn together by a series of happenings that resulted in serious injury to Tyler.  Yet those physical injuries were nothing compared to the open wounds of his soul that no one had ever addressed.  Allison was as needy as the other two–a woman of great proficiency in her professional life but who struggled to find that particular niche of satisfaction in her personal sphere.  Seth, too, is a many of means and great talent, whose life had become pedantic and predictable, who finds in Allison and Tyler an energy and verve that seems to call to him on a level he has seldom experienced.

This story is really about how three needy people find opportunities to trust, yet are so damaged each in their own way they hesitate to act on the gift that is being given them.  Lots of sex, sure.  And certainly there is a BDSM component.  But this tale is really about people and their deepest need, the striving to find someone who is worthy of absolute trust, and the courage to act when that person enters one’s life.

This entire series has been an emotional roller coaster ride, but I think this third story is more specific in that regard.  My heart was captured by Tyler–a many who truly believes he is a piece of human trash and whose need to feel valued is screaming bloody murder throughout the story.  But don’t be fooled:  Seth and Allison are cause for weeping as well, and how these three manage to get it all worked out is very much at the heart of this tale.

It’s a story that will be appreciated by those who are fans of erotic romance fiction.  The BDSM is not ‘hardcore’ but it is there.  Nevertheless, I think there is true worth to be discovered in the reading.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Carina Press.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Safeword Davenport by Candace Blevins

Posted September 29, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Safeword Davenport  (Safewords #4) by Candace Blevins

Dana has never submitted to anyone but her husband — he trained her, taught her to submit. He’s been dead a year and a half though, and she’s beginning to consider the possibility of dating again. She sticks to vanilla at first, but quickly realizes she’s going to need more. As she’s considering the idea of finding someone who would enjoy hurting her without requiring her submission, her life is complicated by a Dom who pushes all of her buttons.

Safeword: Davenport is the first half of Dana’s story, it’s the personal part of her journey, and has a Happy for Now ending.

I have read quite a number of BDSM books in the recent months and found this one to be quite different in its tone and emphasis.  The fact that the heroine is the widow of her one and only Dom, a very successful interior decorator who is working very hard to move on with her life.  Yet she has come to recognize that there are aspects of her personality, her sexuality that are not going to be satisfied with a “vanilla” relationship.  So her first few forays into the dating scene are very unexceptional and highly dissatisfying.  Now she has met a man whose wife has died just about the same time as her husband.  Both spouses’ deaths were accidental and therefore have been even harder to accept.  Yet she knows that her much loved but dead husband would not want her to be “stuck” without finding happiness and a person who can meet her needs.  She only has one problem:  she doesn’t want to be in a usual D/s relationship.  She needs the stress of the kink but she is fearful of submitting to someone new.  It is a unique and difficult problem.

This story does indeed contain some very overt BDSM action and is filled with discussions of what that lifestyle means to its participants and how it meets their needs.  It is first and foremost the story of a woman’s effort to find a new path in a world that has gone awry and dealing with the aftermath of her loss.  She is dealing honestly with her needs but her fears are very much a part of the process.  Only one man has ever been a part of her BDSM adventure and she is not sure that she can ever have that kind of relationship with another.

Those who are troubled by the BDSM lifestyle and way of looking at life and love might find this book helpful.  It is definitely open and doesn’t back away from what that lifestyle means to those who find themselves involved and who need what it offers.  This story, however, is one where two people are really working to find their way toward each other, are needing to come to honest understanding and compromise, whose discussions may be good in helping readers understand that those needing this kind of kink aren’t perverts.  They do indulge in a very hidden way because general society has put the “taboo” label on anyone who seeks to live “outside” the box with their lifestyle and especially their sexuality.

I found this book to be a compelling and introspective read.  It was looking at the BDSM way of life through Dana’s eyes, walking her life journey with her, and becoming emotionally involved in her struggles to understand herself and how she and her new lover can structure their lives and relationship.  I think it is really worth reading and many will find it helpful, even entertaining.  It is a very good love story.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

 You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Excessica Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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Guest Review: One Wicked Night by Kelly Jamieson

Posted January 26, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of One Wicked Night by Kelly Jamieson

Ten years ago, Kaelin Daume spent a steamy summer home from college secretly hanging out with town bad boy Tyler Wirth and his best friend Nick Kernsted. The connection was warm, complicated, and came to a crashing end when she walked in on her two forbidden friends with another woman. The shocking scene of sex and bondage has haunted her boring, oh-so-vanilla life ever since.

The fallout from that night tore Tyler’s life apart. He left Mapleglen, disowned and disgraced, to build a successful advertising career and a unique relationship with Nick. Nothing could bring him back except his sister’s wedding, and he plans to hightail it back to Chicago as soon as it’s over. At least one good thing hasn’t changed: Kaelin is as sweet as ever. Except she doesn’t seem too thrilled to hear it.

As tensions run high, Kaelin can’t resist the temptation to commit one crazy act of rebellion. Once the web of secrets, sins and lies starts to unravel, though, their lives will never be the same…

Tyler Wirth and his friend Nick have returned to Mapleglen for Tyler’s sisters wedding. He hasn’t been back to his hometown in 10 years and he’s not sure he wants to be there now. He loves his sister but the town and his parents make things extremely stressful for him. Kaelin Daume, who Tyler has had a thing for for years doesn’t make it any easier. Sure, she’s nice and sweet but he knows that he’s no good for her so he tries to keep his distance.

Kaelin is trying to help her best friend with her wedding but she keeps thinking about Tyler and Nick. She takes the opportunity that she’s given the night before the wedding and decides to make the move with the two men. She initiates a threesome and the boys are more than happy to play along. The emotions run high and the sex is hotter than hot but shit hits the fan when they’re found out. Kaelin is considered a good girl and doesn’t want her reputation to head into the toilet but she also doesn’t want Tyler blamed for doing something that was consensual. Eventually Kaelin has to take matters into her own hands and break out of the good girl mode.

This book had a few things happening all within its pages. First we had the relationship between Nick and Tyler. It was something that had started in high school and had continued for the past 10 or 12 years between the two men. What started out as the desire to have more sex (in between girls) and to piss off Tyler’s parents, had grown into something else – at least on Nick’s side of it. Tyler was of the mind that he wasn’t good enough for anyone so he wouldn’t let himself actually see the relationship that they had together for what it truly was. Despite their close ties they both dated women as well and even had a few threesomes.

Tyler’s relationship with his parents was on the skids. Because of the event that had happened 10 years prior they had had basically no contact with their son. Tyler’s mom wanted everything to be wonderful for the wedding weekend. She had visions of the family coming together and everything being perfect.  She was actually quite proud of her sons accomplishments but because they couldn’t manage to have a civil conversation those word of pride were never spoken. With the parents it was always about how things looked and since Tyler was one to never be good when he could be bad they just didn’t mesh.

Then there was the tension in Tyler’s parents relationship. I have to admit that this part of the story seemed a bit odd to me. They had been married for years but the wife was unhappy. I understand that it showed even more tension between the parents and that translated to tension with Tyler but I just didn’t think it really added to much to the story and kind of took away from the relationship with Tyler, Nick and Kaelin.

I did end up thinking that Nick kind of got the short end of the stick by the end of the book even though he was more than included in the relationship between the 3 main characters. Kaelin just felt like she wanted him but didn’t love him – maybe that would be something that would grow. IDK, the dynamics of the relationship seemed uneven to me and it made me pause to wonder if it was a true HEA. Despite that though I liked the story and would definitely read more from this author.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Samhain Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: The Gift of Shayla by N.J. Walters

Posted December 5, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)

Judith’s review of The Gift of Shayla by N.J. Walters

Adam Lancaster has been in love with Rob McKeith—and attracted to Rob’s wife, Shayla—for years, but he fears their friendship would be over if they knew the truth. So he’s thrilled when his secret fantasy becomes reality and the couple offers him a very special gift: a sensual Christmas Eve in their bedroom…
Loneliness is, in my opinion, one of the most devastating emotions humans can experience.  Whether it is because of the loss of family or a significant other, whether it is because of economic disaster or physical disability, being alone–really alone–can eat away at the human spirit as effectively as the most insidious cancer.  Add in the factor of being bi-sexual, a reality that often keeps the individual living in relational shadows, and you have a really bleak outlook for a person like Adam Lancaster.  His friendship with Rob has sustained him for most of his life.  But now Rob has Shayla and their relationship, while not interfering with a strong and supportive friendship, leaves no room for hope that Rob could ever be more than just a friend in Adam’s life.
This is a novella that doesn’t take a lot of time and space to flesh out the characters.  It is typical of Walters’ characters:  lean and spare, just enough information to make the story believable, to give the reader a sense of the person, and then on to the action.  Rob and Shayla share a truly grand passion that has translated into a warm and loving marriage, a relationship that both find fulfilling and grace-filled.  But Shayla is also in possession of a giving and loving heart, a woman who keenly feels Adam’s loneliness and a person who truly understands the root cause of his sense of abandonment.  Both Rob and Shayla really do care deeply for Adam–both probably have loved him for a very long time.  It is their mutual decision to offer Adam a gift of their sexual togetherness.
The response to this novella seems to be that the reader either loves it or hates it.  There doesn’t seem to be much in between.   I am very up front about the fact that I am not a big fan of novellas.  I think any author who writes one could do just a bit more and end up with a whole lot more in character development, story development, and a novel that is substantive in length and content.  That being said, this is a work from the mind and heart of a writer who has told a truly warm and kindly tale that touches the heart and emotions.  Erotic, certainly, but behind all the sex and stuff is a genuine sense that Adam is being invited into more than he ever dreamed possible.   While there isn’t much mystery in this story, not many surprises, there is still that sense that opening their hearts to him in the most primal and basic way is the greatest gift that Adam has ever received and far greater than he had ever dared to expect.
So enjoy this little literary read–it is small in size and easy to read in one sitting.  But it is a heart-pleaser and one that true erotic romance fans will find enjoyable.  Don’t look for heavy stuff here.  It’s all just sexy fun.  
I give it a 3.75 out of 5
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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