Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Pages: 108
Date: 27/02/2013
Grade: 4.5
Own / Kindle

The official blurb:

“When Grace discovers her gorgeous ex-boyfriend Ian broke her heart three years ago so he could pursue a career as a Dom on a BDSM internet porn site, she never expected to be intrigued...and aroused. Ian looks damn good holding that whip. But can a girl who’s always considered herself “vanilla” fire up her kinky side for love?

To find out, she’s going to audition for a chance to play Ian’s sexual submissive—and maybe find her way back into his heart.”

It has been three years since Ian broke up with Grace and crushed her heart when she discovers what the straight-laced lawyer she used to know and hasn’t been able to forget is up to now. Ian is a lawyer no more; now he is the man who holds the whip in BDSM videos. Grace’s initial reaction is one of disbelief and revulsion, but after watching a video of Ian in action she can’t deny that she is also fascinated.

Her curiosity - and other parts of her anatomy - aroused, Grace decides to check out this operation where Ian works, and if getting inside means that she has to sign up for an audition as a submissive, so be it.

Ian can’t believe it when Grace walks into his workplace. The Grace he used to know and hasn’t been able to forget was pure vanilla. In fact, that’s the reason he broke up with her in the first place. And now she is here, claiming that she wants to submit?!

It soon becomes clear that Grace is not a natural submissive, but it is equally clear that she does like the kinky games Ian introduces her too. The big question is whether Grace likes those games enough to consider rekindling her relationship with Ian? And is Ian willing to settle for a “typical life with a kinky nightlife”?

The road to finding the answer to these questions is going to be hot, funny and kinky; for the characters as well as for the reader.

I only discovered Shoshanna Evers earlier this month when I read “Dominatrix Fantasy” but I find that I’m quickly turning into a fan of her writing. This story is a lot sweeter and less hard-core than Dominatrix Fantasy but it is equally well written and easy to get lost in.

I love that the author uses her books to show that there are many sides to kink. It is not always about total submission; BDSM doesn’t have to be a 24/7 commitment. While there is nothing wrong with such an arrangement it is no better or worse than a relationship in which the powerplay is restricted to the bedroom.

Sorce: Korner Kafe Exposed
I loved that there were no forced conflicts between the characters in this book. Any misunderstandings between Grace and Ian are a result of Grace’s ignorance when it comes to BDSM and Ian having to figure out what it is exactly that he wants. It all makes perfect sense in the story.

This story made me smile and even laugh on several occasions. It also had me captivated and getting quite excited during some scenes. If I had to come up with a complaint it would be that the story wasn’t any longer. I wouldn’t have said no to more scenes staring these two hot and adorable characters. But I guess that is not really a complaint; it’s more like wishful thinking and I guess that my fantasies may be able to deal with that issue.

One thing is sure though; I will have to get myself another book by Shoshanna Evers in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Rebecca's Lost Journals: THE SEDUCTION

Pages: 40
Date: 25/02/2013
Grade: 4+
Details: no. 1 Rebecca’s Lost Journals
            An Inside Out Novella            
Own / Kindle

Let me start with a warning. This novella, and its sequels are closely related to the Inside Out trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones and in this particular case to the first book: If I Were You. And while this diary makes for an intriguing and enticing little read in and off itself, you really should read If I Were You first to get the most out of it.

In If I Were You the main character Sara is worried when her friend Rebecca disappears and she finds and reads her friend’s journals. Reading them both worries and excites Sara and sets her off on a very exciting journey of investigation and discovery. These novellas give the reader the opportunity to read those journals for themselves and thus find out a bit more about what exactly has Sara so worried and excited. And, the reader will also have access to information that is not available to Sara.

In this first instalment we meet Rebecca, find out how she comes to work in the art gallery owned by the charismatic and domineering Mark Compton and see how she meets Ricco Alvarez, Chris Merit and other characters from If I Were You. And then Rebecca starts referring to “Him” and “Master” without ever identifying who He is. Master has a proposition for Rebecca; he wants her to submit to him. After an enticing evening together he sends her a contract. If Rebecca wants to be with him she has to sign this contract and bring it back to him, in person. But will she?

This was an interesting little read, especially after reading If I Were You. The reader gets a much better idea of why Sara is so worried about her missing friend while at the same time getting caught up in the exciting new turn Rebecca’s life is taking.
Lisa Renee Jones writes a good story. She picks her words well and constructs beautiful sentences with them. 

“His eyes met mine and I froze, spellbound by his stare. I was aware of him in every cell of my being, in a way that I’ve never been aware of another man in my life.”

The journal entries are realistic. Their length varies and they are not written every single day. This is the way a diary would be written in real life and that makes the story all the more vivid. 
Although there is a strong erotic undertone in this novella, there are little or no explicit sex scenes. It seems that while Rebecca is very good at describing her feelings in her journal she is not comfortable spelling out what exactly what she is being introduced to by "Master". We get hints but no descriptions. And although I hope that will change in the subsequent novellas I have to admit that these suggestions work very well and are very enticing. Sometimes it is nice to just use your imagination, I think.

Although this is a short novella we get a good introduction to Rebecca and what makes her tick. The balance between background information and the exciting new developments in her life is exactly right. And although a lot of information is only hinted at and not revealed at all – who is the Master, and what are all the secrets in Rebecca’s past? – I did not feel cheated when this book ended, only intrigued. This book left me looking forward to reading the subsequent novellas and has me captivated in the same way and to the same extent as “If I Were You”.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


Pages: 310
Date: 20/02/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 5 Eighty Days
            Received from Orion Books
            Through Nudge

This fifth book in the “Eighty Days” series is about Lily, the girl with the teardrop tattoo, who has been present in all of the four previous books, be it in very small roles most of the time.

When Lily moves to London after finishing university in Brighton she is ready to embrace the world. She doesn’t know what she wants from life or how exactly she fits into her surroundings though. Observing her friend submitting to a man leaves Lily with mixed emotions. She is intrigued by the dynamic between them, the abandon she witnesses in her friend as well as the control the man displays, but she is not quite sure how this relates to her. Lily is on a quest to discover exactly what it is she wants and needs and her search starts with a passionate but somewhat detached affair with Leonard, a man about twice her age. Although she only meets him in impersonal hotel rooms she feels close to and safe with him. When he ends their affair, all to aware of the problems the difference in their ages will at some point cause, he leaves Lily bereft. She longs for Leonard with a desperate passion and while she continues her search for what ever it may be she is looking for, it is always with the image of Leonard in the back of her mind.

After Leonard, Lily starts an affair with Dagur, the drummer in the Holy Criminals rock band. Although she can lose herself in wonderful and imaginative sexual exploits with him, she knows from the start that this isn’t and never will be a relationship. Through Dagur she meets Grayson, a celebrity photographer and his Mistress, She, who runs a fetish club. It is through She and her part-time job in the club that Lily discovers her dominating tendencies, but even those don’t bring her quite the satisfaction she is looking for. And her confusion about what it is what she wants means that she regularly finds herself angry for no clear reason; with herself and with the people around her.

It is only when she takes herself away from London and all the people she knows that her eyes are opened to what it is she really wants and needs; to what was always available to her if only she had been able to see it.

As in the previous Eighty Days books no effort has been made to make the main character either charming or endearing; these books portray real human beings with real doubts, fears and dark sides. Lily is only 21 years old when the story starts and has only started on her journey to who she is and what her role in life will be. And she is layered; on the outside she may look like a bad girl but on the inside the good girl she has been for most of her life is still alive and kicking. It is through her various relationships and all the different experiences she has that she slowly starts to recognise that maybe there isn’t an either – or answer to her questions. Maybe she doesn’t have to make a choice between being in charge and submitting; maybe she can just be herself with the one person who never wanted her to be anything else in the first place. This makes for an interesting character study. And while there were times when I wanted to smack Lily and tell her to stop being self-obsessed, her journey felt real and the outcome at the end was very satisfying.

I loved the way in which the characters from the previous books all play minor roles in this one. It was nice to once again get glimpses of Summer and Dominik, Luba and Chey, Lauralynn and Viggo just as it was interesting to see a character like Grayson developed a little bit further. According to the “Acknowledgments” this is the last “Eighty Days” title featuring these characters, and I have to admit that I’m sorry to say goodbye to them. On the upside though we are promised a return of Eighty Days with a whole host of new characters and I’m both delighted and very curious about that.

This book, like the four prequels, is very well written. The authors manage to make both the characters and their surroundings vivid and real. In fact, there were times that the characters were maybe a bit too realistic for me; their emotions and faults a bit too recognisable for comfort. This is not the sort of book where you find yourself wishing you were the main character, at least not until the very end of the book. The journeys the characters in these books have to undertake in order to get to their personal happy endings are too much like real life for that. But then these are books about personal journeys of discovery as much as they are works of erotica.

As for that erotica it is explicit and doesn’t always make for comfortable reading. And again that is due to the realism. We do not have beautifully sculpted, idolised versions of what a dream Dom would be in these books. We get a look at everything that can be wrong about the BDSM life-style as well as everything that can be right about it. The characters in these books are searching for that which really works for them and it is a quest filled with ups and downs, happiness and sadness, fulfilment as well as disappointment. Nobody wakes up one morning knowing exactly what it is they want and how to get it, and neither do the characters in these books. And while that doesn’t always paint a pretty picture it does make for a realistic and intriguing story. In fact, there were times that things were a bit too realistic and explicit for me, although that is a result of my personal likes and dislikes and not to the way in which this book is written. For example, while I'm all for spanking and flogging I can't get excited about a sub being slapped in the face, even if the sub in question thoroughly enjoys the experience. And there were one or two other descriptions that made me shudder, and not with excitement, but these incidents did not make me enjoy the book any less. I did really like the way in which the authors reflect the difference between being in love with someone and feeling a bond because of a similar sexual taste. While the first is needed for a successful relationship, the second is required for sexual play that leaves both partners satisfied and safe. What I liked most though was Lily's insecurity about what it is she actually wants and watching her experiment to find out. It made for an interesting journey with one or two eye-opening moments for me. That some of them were not quite to my taste is neither here nor there, they may be just what somebody else enjoys reading about.

This book, like the whole series, is a fascinating look at one person’s road toward (sexual) fulfilment told in a fun, hot and satisfying way. This is a story for grown-ups who want more than a fairy-tale.

Related reviews:
Eighty Days Yellow
Eighty Days Blue
Eighty Days Red
Eighty Days Amber

Monday, 18 February 2013


Pages: 288
Date: 17/02/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: First in series
            Received from Crown Publishing
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

“No judgments, No Limits, No Shame.”

Thirty-five year old Cassie Robichaud is very good at anticipating and meeting everybody’s needs except her own. Four years after her alcoholic husband died she is waiting for life to start while working as a waitress. By the time the story starts it has been five year since Cassie had sex, five years of which she feels every minute. And while a part of her still hopes that maybe it is not too late for her, most of Cassie has given up on love and happiness. In fact, Cassie is so convinced that she has nothing to offer that she has rejected the advances of her very attractive and interested boss, Will.

Cassie’s favourite customers are a couple who come in regularly and seem very happy and intimate together. Cassie can’t keep her eyes of them, taking in how easy they are together and how connected. When the woman accidentally leaves behind a beautiful notebook Cassie can’t quite help herself. Although she only reads a page or two she sees enough to realise that this is some sort of diary, detailing erotic encounters.

And so Cassie is introduced to the world of S.E.C.R.E.T.; a group of women dedicated to liberating women who find themselves in an emotional and sexual vacuum.

“What we do here, Cassie, is we help women get back in touch with their sexual side. And in so doing, they get back in touch with the most powerful part of themselves. One step at a time.”

Soon Cassie starts her voyage of discovery; a quest of nine steps that will empower her, introduce her to unsuspected pleasures and ultimately liberate her.

This was a fascinating book. I absolutely adore the idea behind it. Whenever I read or hear objections to erotic fiction the reason given will be that these stories are supposed to be degrading to women. And while I don’t agree with that sentiment in general, nobody will ever be able to make such an accusation against S.E.C.R.E.T. In this book the women are in charge and those who are empowered use their insight to bring the same sort of liberation to other women. It is a very attractive idea. And if anybody is objectified or used in this book it is the various men Cassie encounters on her way to (sexual) liberation. Their only purpose is to serve the women in such a way that they can develop their best qualities. A purpose they appear to serve with pleasure, but under strict rules set by the women who run S.E.C.R.E.T.

I also liked that there were no quick, overnight, transformations in this book. Cassie (as any other woman accepting the assistance of the group) has to go through nine steps which will bring her to surrender, courage, fearlessness and trust, to name just a few qualities. And it isn’t until Cassie has gone through all the steps that she is ready let go of her fear and to fully embrace who she is, and that she is enough.

“Fear is the only thing that stands between you and your real life.”

Now this is a work of erotic fiction which means that the liberation of Cassie is achieved through nine different sexual encounters.

“Our whole reason for being is liberation through complete submission to your sexual fantasies.”

Cassie’s nine encounters are all based on fantasies she has admitted to at the start of the process and we follow her as she is introduced to oral pleasures both as the receiver and - much to her surprise - the provider, a mild form of submission, anal intercourse and other new experiences. And in the process Cassie overcomes fear, learns to trust and gains confidence.

I loved that this book points out that there is a difference between physical attraction and love. In so many works of erotic fiction it seems that the attraction between two people is based on little more than their compatibility between the sheets. And while Cassie does appear tempted to fall into that trap, the support the programme gives her makes it possible for her to distinguish between lust and love and to make her decisions accordingly.

Having said all that, this book is about so much more than just sex. This is a book about self-discovery; a story about finding the courage to create your own life, according to your own needs, desires and dreams. In fact, while sex was an important part of the story line, it is not the story. I often feel that the story itself is an after-thought in erotic novels; a means to include as much sexy scenes as possible. Not so in this book, here the sexy scenarios are an important and integral part of a much larger, and very strong story-line. And while the scenes are quite descriptive they are not, in my opinion intended to shock or embarrass.

This is a book about empowering women. This is a story that shows us that being a strong and independent woman doesn’t mean giving up on pleasure. It is good to surrender as long as it happens from a place of strength and confidence.

“Above all else sex requires surrender, the ability to simply melt with each arriving moment.”

This is a well written, well thought out and fascinating story about one woman finding her strength with the help of other women. It is sexy and inspiring and a thought-provoking read. I’m looking forward to finding out how the story continues.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Pages: 74
Date: 13/02/2013
Grade: 3
Details: no. 1 Fetish Box
            Received from Gallery Threshold Pocket
  Books through NetGalley

Twenty-two year old Mary Deupree has inherited a sex-shop from the mother she never knew. Having been raised by her strict and religious father and grandmother she has no experience when it comes to sex or sex shops, but enough curiosity to make the journey from California to Florida. Shortly after arriving in Hollywood, Florida, Mary meets the two men who played important parts in her mother’s life. John, a scarred veteran from Afghanistan lives in the apartment over the Fetish Box and Max the Irish bartender with whom Mary now co-owns a bar. Much to her surprise Mary discovers that she reacts strongly and sexually to both men. But while Max seems to promise a night of wild abandon, John offers Mary the opportunity to experience everything she’s been fantasising about as well as learn all she needs to know to successfully run the business she has just inherited.

Before I go off on what will sound like a bit of a rant let me say that I did enjoy reading this story. It is written in a nice and easy, at times chatty, way. I enjoyed that the reader gets to see the story from Mary, Mike and John’s perspective. And I liked what I saw of the main characters so far, even if the two men seem to be stereotypes; exactly what an Irish man and a wounded veteran are supposed to be in romance novels.

I have a few issues with this book though. The biggest one being that this isn’t actually a book. It is the start of a story and it stops before it really begins. All we have here is an introduction of the main characters and hints of potentially interesting and sexy things to come. I don’t know or understand why it is suddenly okay to publish instalments and call them books, but it seems to be wide-spread these days. This is, of course, a review copy so I didn’t pay for it. But I don’t think I would want to pay for it either. I don’t mind paying for short books provided they give me a completed story. And that is not what I found here.

The rest of my issues are much smaller. First of all, Irish men don’t really sound the way Nicole Camden writes it. They do not use “yer” instead of “you” all the time. And I should know; after living in Ireland for 15 years and having been married to an Irish man for even longer, I’ve got a pretty good idea what they sound like. In fact, this particular Irishman sounded more like a Scot a lot of the time. Secondly, how likely is it that a girl who has stayed a virgin for 22 years would suddenly decide that she wants to sleep with not one, but two men she’s only met for the first time that day? And if that seems unlikely, don’t even get me started about the fact that she willingly agrees to have one of them introduce her to the ins and outs of BDSM. I mean; really? Finally there was one wardrobe malfunction that bothered me; Mary went from wearing a skirt to wearing jeans and back to wearing a skirt without ever changing her clothes.

This book didn’t contain a lot of explicit sex. There is some breast play, some masturbation including a toy and a quick and casual encounter in a bar. Other than that the reader only gets hints at what may be to come. I really don’t think there is a lot, if anything, in this book to offend anybody although the story seems to suggest that that may change in future instalments.

And that leads me to the big question; will I be reading the next book in this series. As I stated above, I don’t like paying money for what I feel are unfinished books. On the other hand I did like this story and the characters enough to want to know what might be happening next. There were enough hints about future events in this story to make me curious about how it will all play out. So I guess the jury is still out on this one. I will have to wait and see if my curiosity is stronger than my opposition to books published in this way. Only time will tell.

Monday, 11 February 2013


Pages: 117
Date: 10/02/2013
Grade: 4
Details: Includes Bonus Story: TAPE

This is a story made up of three novellas:

Blake is working in a diner and is nervous from the first moment he sees the beautiful woman sit down in his section. For some reason he finds it hard to do his usual and expected spiel for her. He finds himself clumsy and obliged to apologize several times while addressing her respectfully as Ma’am. When she doesn’t leave a tip he isn’t surprised. The words on the business card she leaves behind do take him by surprise though:

“You don’t deserve a tip, little Blake. You deserve a spanking. Call me if you agree.”

It isn’t a decision Blake has to think about for very long. He has dreamt about being punished by a woman for a long time and only a few hours after serving her lunch Blake finds himself knocking on Mistress Victoria’s door. Will his spanking be everything he’s imagined it to be? Will Blake be able to submit to Victoria’s sadistic plans for him? And will he be able to do it with losing his heart?

Blake and Victoria have been playing together for a while and Blake is having so much fun that he starts neglecting his college work. When he fails a mid-term exam Victoria has a very special punishment in mind for him. He won’t be allowed to have an orgasm until his grades improve. And Blake’s mistress has just the contraption to make sure that he won’t break any rules.

After six months together Blake and his Mistress Victoria are ready to take it one step further. Victoria collars Blake and makes him her full-time slave. At long last Victoria has found what she has been looking for:

“A man who was willing to submit to her fully. All the time.”

And although Blake, in accepting his collar, has agreed to fully submit to his Mistress, Victoria needs to know for sure he’ll do anything for her. His Mistresses next test will push Blake to his furthest limit, provoke uncomfortable feelings, lead to a difficult conversation and result in a happy ending.

I enjoyed this shortish foray into the world of Victoria and Blake, Domination and submission, sadism and masochism. The dynamic between Blake and the woman who will become his Mistress is established from the very first moment the two set eyes on each other. There is never any doubt who is in charge. Blake was lost as soon as he set eyes on Victoria and only too happy to stay lost. At the same time, he is completely new to the idea of a BDSM relationship and constantly second guessing both himself and the situation he has placed himself in. His body may be thoroughly enjoying everything  Victoria wishes to inflict on it, in his mind he can’t help wondering if this is really what he wants and needs; if he can really give up the idea of a traditional relationship in order to be what his Mistress needs him to be, what he wants and needs to be.
And while Victoria’s worries may be different and much better hidden, they are as deeply felt as Blake’s. Victoria knows she has found someone special in Blake but can’t be sure about him; does he really know what he is letting himself in for or is he going to walk when she pushes him ever further?

This book beautifully portrays both the similarities and the differences between a BDSM and a vanilla relationship. It shows that just because somebody is willing to submit to someone else doesn’t mean that they stop having the same feelings everybody else has, just as it proves that being the dominant partner in a relationship doesn’t mean insecurity can’t hit you hard. To see Blake struggling with jealousy and finding the courage to bring it up with his Mistress was both sweet and a very powerful point in this story.

After reading quite a few book with powerful male Doms finding, training and keeping their innocent female subs it was wonderful to have the roles reversed in this book. In fact I think it’s a shame that books with a Domme seem to be in the minority. I would enjoy seeing more female dominance in my reading life and will be actively looking for it.

This is one sex-filled book. As the title of the first novella suggests there is a lot of spanking. But we are treated to a lot more: oral delights, anal explorations, Consensual Non Consent and third parties. I can’t say I would like to try or experience everything described. I can confess that all of it was hot and a pure pleasure to read.

As for the bonus story, TAPED:

It is Carrie’s birthday and she is about to meet her boyfriend Mike for lunch. On her way out she notices something suspicious about the supply cupboard. When she goes to investigate she is roughly pulled inside and restrained. This is Carrie’s fantasy and the only person who knows about it is Mike. But this rough and brutal man couldn’t possibly be her sweet and tender boyfriend, could it?

This is one very hot and very clever story. Definitely a bonus!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Pages: 484
Date: 06/02/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: Submissive Training Centre

The blurb, copied from

“Join Brianna Bennett as she is introduced to the erotic world of submission...

Brie's life changes the day Sir comes to her tiny tobacco shop. His invitation to the Submissive Training Center is about to rock this young woman's world. The renowned school is famous for its elite submissive instruction. She has no idea what will be asked of her or the boundaries that will be pushed. One thing is certain: Brie is about to learn more about herself in six weeks than she has over the previous twenty-two years.

From formal classes, hands-on practicums and weekly auctions, Brie will confront her deepest fears and desires. In the process, she will also forge lifelong friendships with fellow submissives and fall for several of the Center's skilled Doms.

As graduation day approaches things begin to unravel, forcing Brie to make an unexpected choice of Master. Which Dom will ultimately earn her devotion and capture Brie's courageous heart?”

Months ago, when I first got my Kindle app I found an interesting looking freebie on Amazon and so I got myself “Brie’s First Day of Submissive Training”. This shortish instalment turned out to be as intriguing and hot as it had sounded and I was eager to find out what would happen next. However, I don’t like having to buy my books in bits and pieces so I curbed my curiosity and decided to concentrate on other, complete stories. A few months later I was delighted to see that the nine Brie stories had been combined into one book. I bought it and read it immediately and haven’t regretted the decision for one second.

This is a fascinating story for anyone who is interested in BDSM and everything it entails. Through Brie the reader gets an insight into what it takes to become a good submissive. In six short weeks Brie and her fellow students are taken through their paces and transformed from innocent wannabees into accomplished submissives. Not a single aspect of submission (as far as I could tell) is ignored. Along with Brie the reader is introduced to obedience, bondage, floggings, anal sex, objectification, oral sex, humiliation and a variety of other experiences of which Kinbaku (Japanese bondage) was my personal favourite. What I really liked about the way this story was told was that it was a learning process for Brie. She didn’t embrace everything she was introduced to with immediate enthusiasm. A lot of the things she is introduced to are acts she had previously thought hateful or scary. She is training to become a submissive, and as with all training, this means pushing boundaries and going beyond what you think you are capable of and comfortable with.

As the subject of this book suggests most of this book revolves around sexual acts. I mean, how else are you going to train submissives? But thankfully there was also room for a bit of background story. So the reader gets a chance to get to know Brie and appreciate how she grows. I liked the way Brie was torn between several of the men she interacts with. In most romances I can’t stand characters who can’t make up their mind about who they love and want to be with but in this book it made real sense. When you experience such deep and emotionally charged exchanges it would be hard not to develop feelings for those you are so very intimate with. Of course the fact that it kept me guessing as to who Brie would end up with in the end was a nice added bonus.

I also liked that in these books all the Doms and submissives are individuals; they are young or old, well built or flabby, black or white, nasty or nice; they are just like everybody else: unique. A lot of popular books with a BDSM theme seem to portray certain stereotypes as their main characters (the words billionaire, troubled past, and young and innocent spring to mind). It made a very nice change to read a book with this theme in which the characters came across as people I might actually meet in my day to day life.

I also appreciated the way in which this book allowed the author to inform the reader about BDSM and submission without ever getting preachy. With the story set in a learning environment it made perfect sense that some of the lessons Brie was taught were shared with the reader. This means that the information that was given never interfered with the flow of the story but rather enhanced it.

The only thing that bothered me a little bit was that it was obvious that this story had previously been published in shorter sections; whenever a new week of Brie’s training starts you are treated to a bit of a recap from the previous one. And while I’m sure this is useful if you’re reading the story in instalments, it is not necessary and at times a bit annoying when you are reading the whole story in one, continuous book.

So now I’m faced with a dilemma. The author has recently published the first instalment of the second book in Brie’s series. And while I’m very curious to see what is going to happen to her next I’m no more enthusiastic about reading books in instalments then I was all those months ago. The big question is: will I be able to curb my curiosity once again or will I submit to the urge to find out what happens next? Only time will tell.

Monday, 4 February 2013


Pages: 400
Date: 03/02/2013
Grade: 4
Details: Original Sinners no. 3
            Received from Source Books
            Through NetGalley

From the author’s website:

“He needs her to mask his pain…
When Jace walked through the doors of Aggie's dungeon, the last thing he expected was to find self-forgiveness and the love of a remarkable woman. But when a terrible accident sidelines Jace during the band's tour, the burdensome chains of his past wrap ferociously around his heart.

She needs him to forgive himself…
Determined to crack through Jace's armored shell, Aggie must go beyond her usual methods to mend his heart to love again.”

When Jace (never, ever call him Jason) first meets Mistress V all he wants is someone to hurt him so hard that it pushes the pain he always feels inside into the background, just for a little while.
Mistress V is good at what she does. Men may pay for twenty minutes on the other side of her floggers, she usually has them begging for mercy within a few minutes. Jace is something different though; it doesn’t matter what implement she uses or how hard she strikes him, Jace doesn’t beg for mercy, he begs for more instead. And Jace is special in a different way too. For the first time ever Mistress V wants to disappear into the background and allow Aggie, her day to day persona, to interact with what should be nothing more than a paying client.

Jace has a past filled with pain and despair. A past he refuses to talk about. A past that leaves him unable to believe that anybody could see him as good, never mind loveable. As the bassist in the Original Sinners hard-rock band he should be on top of the world. Instead he is insecure of his position in the band he joined late when their first bassist was kicked out, and always afraid that the other band members will get rid of him too. Aggie has had a turbulent past as well, and her mother still causes upheaval in her life on a regular basis. But while Aggie’s attitude is to let the past be the past and live in the present, Jace can’t distance himself from his hurtful memories and doesn’t trust the present, especially not when the here and now is actually good.

When Jace finds himself injured and unable to perform with the band he is temporarily replaced by the original Sinners’ bassist and all his insecurities come crashing down on him with a vengeance. It will take all of Aggie’s talents and love to show Jace that she wants to be with him regardless of his past and that she is not the only one who loves and needs him.

Before I start on my thoughts about this book I have to get something off my chest. Who, I’d like to know, is in charge of the order in which the books in this series are published? Why is it that I read and reviewed “Double Time”, which is quite obviously the last book in the series, last November and “Hot Ticket”, with a story that clearly takes place much earlier, is only being released now? And how did this book end up being number four in the series but number three in the reading order? Since I haven’t read any of the other books in this series it doesn’t bother me too much, although I do find it strange. I am sure though that for readers who want to read their series in order and not have stories “spoiled” for them, the way in which these books are released must be frustrating to say the least.

As for my thoughts on this book, leaving all of the above aside; I enjoyed it. Olivia Cunning tells a good story. She manages to draw her readers in with a smooth writing style, conversation that sparkles, interesting and life-like characters, humor and a gripping story-line. It is easy to fall a little bit in love with her flawed characters and it isn’t long before you find yourself rooting for them. There is a lot of rather dramatic action in this book but all of it served a purpose in the story. I loved the group dynamic as described in this story. The author portrait the interaction and banter between the band-members in a realistic and life-like way. The only thing I wasn’t entirely sure about was the role Aggie’s mother plays in the book. While she brings some comic relief, I do think that her role in the story could have been smaller without the book losing anything. As it was I found that her interruptions in Aggie’s life took the pace out of the story on one or two occasions.

And I haven’t even mentioned the sex yet. Well, let me tell you, this is one hot book. The reader is treated to a lot of corporal punishment, and I mean a lot, inflicted with every implement known to man. But we also witness a lot of tenderness; two characters determined to please each other in any way possible. The descriptions of both Jace and Aggie discovering pleasures they didn't know they were needing were wonderful. I loved watching Aggie discover that she doesn't always has to be in charge; that she enjoys submitting to the sensations Jace wants to bring her. The pleasure and frustration Aggie experiences when Jace continues to withhold her orgasm from her was very enticing. And it was equally beautiful to see Jace discover the pleasures love-making brought him even when pain wasn't involved. As far as the scenes in which Eric joins Jace and Aggie are concerned, they were steamy too even if I wasn’t entirely sure what purpose they served in the story except to push up the heat levels.

Overall I would classify this as a very steamy and at times heart-breaking love story that will keep the reader captivated from the very first page.