Monday, 30 September 2013


Pages: 448
Date: 30/09/2013
Grade: 5
Details: Received from MIRA Harlequin
            Through NetGalley

The Blurb:

“Are you aching for more shade? 

The experts in erotic romance invite you to delve deeper into the tantalizing world of BDSM with a selection of delightfully wicked novellas that will ignite your senses. Explore your darkest fantasies with ten daring, intense stories by some of the biggest names in the genre. If you're looking for a lip-bitingly sexy escape, 10 Shades of Seduction will claim you.

You know you want it.

Sarah McCarty, Tiffany Reisz , Alison Tyler, Lisa Renee Jones, Portia Da Costa, Saskia Walker, Anne Calhoun, Alegra Verde”


This is a book consisting of ten different stories by eight different authors and as such impossible to review as one book. In fact, I’m not even going to try. Below are my thoughts on each individual story as well as a separate rating for each of them. In the past, when reading an anthology, there would be at least one story that didn't work for me at all; at least one that would let the rest of the collection down. How wonderful to find a collection in which every single novella worked for me. Granted, some worked better than others, but much to my delight none of them disappointed.

As the blurb suggests all of these novellas deal with Domination and submission in some form or another and all of them are explicit and sexy as my short descriptions and selected quotes will show.

Submit to Desire by Tiffany Reisz (5+)

Featuring the fabulous and oh so sexy Kingsley Edge from the “Original Sinners” books.

When Kingsley sees Charlie breathing fire in a club he makes her a proposition. He wants her to submit to him for one month during which he will train her for a client of his. New to BDSM, Charlie finds herself discovering a new world, filled with delights she never knew existed. The only problem is that by the time the month is over she has become so attached to Kingsley that submitting to another man, regardless of who he might be, seems impossible. What will Charlie do when she meets this mysterious client?

Filled with Tiffany Reisz’s trademark humour, sexiness and sparkling characters this story was exactly what I knew it would be; a pure delight and enticingly hot story.

Favourite quotes:

“What you must understand is that submissive women are not weak. They are often much stronger than the men who dominate them. They have to be strong and brave to submit without losing themselves.”

“You can be afraid all you want. Just don’t let your fear stop you.”

“Vanilla sex is all about trust. Rape is all about fear. In that place between fear and trust is where we live.”

“Charlie, in this house, the word slut is the highest compliment I can give. It means you are a person who owns her sexuality and is unafraid to experiment and open her mind and body to new experiences.”

Second Time Around by Portia Da Costa (5)

Willa meets her ex-husband James at a school reunion after they've been apart for three years. Things have changed though. The push-over Willa used to order around no longer exists. This new James is confident, and in total control. This new James makes Willa feel like an insecure teenager before they've even exchanged a word. The new James shows Willa that life and love will be better if she’ll just give up control and submit to him…at least some of the time.

A wonderful story about two people who were meant to be together but messed it up getting and taking their second chance.

“I decide I’m never going to hold back either. I’ll try anything, do anything…at his command.”

Tempting the New Guy by Alegra Verde (3.5)

Story set in an office environment. Glory is being pursued by new guy Clement Johns while she already is having an affair with her boss, Bruce and has also been seeing Alex, a client of the company she works for. While this makes for lots of heated and steamy encounters it also made this a story I wasn't quite sure what to make of. At some point Glory thinks:

“I was beginning to feel like an indentured whore who’d let out her vagina for the duration of her employment at Davies and Birch.”

I have to admit that’s exactly the impression she left with me. A well written story that didn't really work for me.

Giving in by Alison Tyler (4.5)

Ellis is only weeks away from homelessness when her friend Sasha treats her to a trip to Venice where they will stay with Stefan, a very rich uncle of Sasha’s.
While Ellis expects a two week holiday before she has to return to her desperate situation in New York, she finds something completely different. Ellis is on a journey to a place where all her fantasies - all the sexy stories she has ever written - are about to come true. Ellis can leave her troubles behind and enter a world filled with pleasure; a happily ever after story without an end.

“I will never run out of ways to make you come.”

What She Needs by Anne Calhoun (4.5)

“When Jack calls at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday and tells me to meet him in the bar at the Embassy Suites, I know two things: he wants to fuck me, and I will let him.”

I like that Jack is a hero who doesn't look like a stud.

“He doesn't look like a man who can make a woman lose her mind. But he is.”

When “I” meets Jack she does what he asks without question. Jack is in control and if the narrator follows his instructions he’ll bring her to the heights of passion. This is a wonderfully sweet yet very sexy story. The “revelation” at the end didn't come as a surprise, but I don’t think it was supposed to. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Vegas Heat by Lisa Renee Jones (4)

Dante Ricci, rich entrepreneur planning to expand his empire in Las Vegas wants Sonya Miller, a highly ambitious corporate lawyer to work with him on this project. Contract negotiations and dinner lead to a rather unexpected game during which Dante demands Sonya’s trust and submission and the independent and always in control young woman learns that submitting has its own benefits.

“Give me control. I’ll be gentle”

A charming and sexy story although I can’t help feeling it would have been better if it had been longer, maybe even a full-length novel.

A Very Personal Assistant by Portia Da Costa (5)

Miranda Austin, corporate highflyer feels drained and fed up after an especially difficult meeting. When her personal assistant Patrick Dove suggests taking a few hours out of their day to get away from it all, Miranda knows he doesn't mean having a cup of coffee together. An afternoon away from the office, submitting to Patrick’s demands is just what Miranda needs and what started as a one-off turns into a regular event. But can an office affair ever work? And what happens when lust turns into real feelings?

“In the midst of crazy sex, she found serenity in his quiet, solid presence, over and inside her.”

“There was strength in giving in, it was her choice, what she wanted in this moment.”

“Yes…with you, I don’t have to decide things or control things or take responsibility. I can just be.”

Rarely has a quote had the personal resonance that the following has:

“And if you get too uppity, we’ve always got the cottage.”

Tied up & Twisted by Allison Tyler (5)

An S&M love story

When Hadley McCarthy goes to the gym to interview Reed Frost she feels an instant connection; he is the man she wants to submit to. Guy does the PR at the gym and has arranged for Hadley to do the interview. He hasn't seen her for a year but wants her back; he can’t wait to submit to her again. But Hadley has no inclination to return to Guy or her past as a Domme. And Reed Frost has steered clear of relationships for seven years and has no real urge to get involved with anyone again. Will anybody end up with who they want and need?

“I want to live in a world where everyone gets what they need, and nobody is punished for their desires.”

“Welcome to the beginning…the beginning of your happy ending.”

Letting Go by Sarah McCarthy (5)

Mark and Becky have been planning their weekend away for a month, but now that it is here Becky is afraid; afraid that she might not live up to Mark’s expectations; afraid that she may not be able to give him the submission he wants, and herself the release of control she has been craving for such a long time.

A very sexy and sweet story about a married couple taking their relationship one step further.

Forbidden Ritual by Saskia Walker (4)

Imogen is an independent and powerful woman who doesn't think she needs a man but finds herself ever more frequently spending the time in between work and sleep with Giles, a younger Dominant man who knows how to give her the pain she craves with her pleasure. Now Giles wants to take Imogen beyond her comfort zone; he wants her to submit to him completely. Will Imogen be able to agree to rope bondage – shibari – or will her need to never lose control completely make her deny both herself and Giles the opportunity of being happy together?

“This, shibari, is about the next level for me. It’s a sign of ultimate commitment and trust.”

This is a wonderful collection of novellas. One that has given me hours of pure reading delight, reacquainted me with favourite authors and introduced me to what are sure to become new must read writers. A little slice of reading heaven!

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Pages: 304
Date: 19/09/2013
Grade: 5
Details: Received from Harlequin
            Through NetGalley

The Blurb:

“Their passion will consume everything—and everyone— in its path…. 

I'm on a train. 

I don't know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don't. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life—a good life with everything a woman could want—and suddenly, there is something more I didn't know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled. 

So this is where I am, on a train that's out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I'm the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster. 

If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn't help it, that I've been swept away, that it's not my fault, that it's fate…would that be easier? The truth is, I didn't know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must've been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.  

This is my choice.  And I don't know how to stop. 

Or even if I want to.”


I know. A lot of people are going to have issues with this book because it is the story of an affair. Don’t get me wrong; I do not approve of affairs. But this is fiction, and it is a beautiful and heartbreaking story. This story neither glorifies nor condemns the affair, it just tells the story of what it was like for Elizabeth, and it tells that story very well.

Elizabeth is 45 years old, married with two grown up daughters when she meets Will, a photographer at an exhibition. The attraction she feels for Will is instant.

“(…) the sound of his voice tiptoeing up my spine to tickle the back of my neck.”

Elizabeth tries to deny the attraction initially. After all she’s been married for a long time and while she wouldn’t call herself happily married anymore, she can’t honestly say she is deeply unhappy either, it is more that she is dissatisfied with her marriage and her husband.

“What happens is you get married, you raise your kids, they go off to school, and you look at your spouse and wonder what on earth you’re supposed to do with each other now, without all the distractions of having a family to obscure the fact that you have no idea not only who the other is, but who you are yourself.”

But, once Elizabeth does give in to the ever increasing attraction between her and Will she doesn’t hold back. They may be meeting in secret and irregularly, emotionally she is completely invested in her liaison.

“He wants to pretend this is all accidental, but for me it isn’t a game. I haven’t simply let it happen. I’m falling because I jumped, and not because I tripped. This is on purpose and I own it, even if he won’t.”

But an affair is never easy. There are more than two people involved and no matter how it plays out people are going to end up hurt. Staying apart turns out to be just as hard as being together is for Elizabeth and Will though. Sooner or later Elizabeth will have to make a choice about her future, and no matter what she decides to do, ensuring everybody’s happiness just isn’t possible.

“(…)because the kindest thing you can do for someone you love is to never tell them how much they have broken your heart.”

Like I said, while I may not be a huge fan of the premise of this story, I did end up loving this book a lot more than I thought I would. There is a raw honesty in this book that you don’t often encounter in this genre. There is no need to suspend disbelief while reading this story. The emotions described ring true as do the actions of the characters.

What I loved most about this book was the way the story ended. Of course I can’t give the ending away, and I won’t even hint at it. All I can say is that for me this was the only way the story could end. In fact, I think the ending gave the story an extra level of credibility. I’m going to have to read more books by Megan Hart because this author sure knows how to write a gripping, hot, original, honest and very readable story.

“He was my ocean, and I didn’t know if I would drown until I learned how well I could swim.”


Pages: 582
Date: 17/09/2013
Grade: 5+

The blurb on the back of the book:


Their exquisite voices soured above the glittering world of courtiers and nobility. Those who achieved fame were showered with riches and sexual favours. But their success also had a terrible sadness.

TONIO, of noble birth, is the victim of a vengeful brother. Disinherited and forced to join the ranks of the castrati, he plans his revenge while striving to become the greatest of all singers.

GUIDO, sacrificed to the knife at an early age, composes opera and dreams of the perfect voice to give it life. He discovers Toni and becomes his teacher.

Together they reach the very pinnacle of success. Tonio is pushed to the extremes of endurance as he tries to resolve his lust for glory and for vengeance.”


“Don’t weep in front of these strangers! Cry to heaven, cry to heaven, cry to heaven.”

Oh my, what a book. Beautifully written, it tells a story filled with beauty, music and love while portraying unimaginable pain, desperation and hate. The idea of the mutilation young boys went through so that they might avoid losing their beautiful soprano voices is so cruel, so very inhumane it is hard to imagine that it really happened. But it did. Young boys gifted with promising voices, often from very poor families, were subjected to this form of mutilation to alleviate their family’s hardship and give them a chance at a more prosperous future. Young boys such as Guido in this story, who would never know what it would be like to be a man. Young boys who would grow up to look different from other men, who would be instantly recognisable as castrati, who could achieve fame and fortune but would never have been seen as “normal” people. But if the boys were young enough when the operation took place and if they were good enough to make a name for themselves, they had every opportunity to make a satisfying life for themselves with often only a vague idea of exactly what it was they had lost.

How much worse to have the mutilation inflicted upon you when you’re fifteen, when you’ve had your first glimpses of what it might mean to be a man, when you’ve started to think and dream of everything you might do and achieve in just a few more years. How much worse when you’re Tonio and the thing you love most in the world – singing – is used against you to rob you of your heritage, your family, your home and everything you thought was waiting for you in the future.

And how very well does Anne Rice share the pain of this loss with her readers. Because this is, for the most part, a story about loss. There is Guido who has to come to terms with the loss of his voice.

“It was as if his own voice had been his lover, and his lover had forsaken him.”

And while he finds his salvation in teaching others to sing and writing his masterful songs and operas, it isn’t until he hears Tonio’s voice and is given the opportunity to mentor him that he finds a new and maybe his true purpose in his life.

Guido may have lost his voice, Tonio loses everything he has ever known when he’s just fifteen years old. Exiled from his home in Venice, robbed of his manhood and his inheritance it is no wonder he falls victim to anger and despair.

“No matter how he felt, he would behave as if he did not feel it, and everything would be better.”

And even when Tonio does allow his love of singing to ease his pain, the taboos he still has to overcome are as enormous as the mountain he can see from his bedroom in Naples.

But this is also a story about love; love found in the most unexpected places. The love between Guido and Tonio, enduring, volatile but indestructible. The love of music. The love for others, strong, beautiful and engrossing but never replacing or diminishing the love between the teacher and his star pupil. This is a story about facing the hand life has dealt you and playing it the best you can, only to discover that maybe you ended up with a winner after all.

This is a story that will break your heart in a multitude of ways only to put it back together. This is a book filled with characters that will captivate you and stay in your thoughts for a long time after you finish reading. For me this was a book about a phenomenon I was barely aware of; a phenomenon I found as fascinating as I found it abhorrent.  There is a quiet beauty in this book. The writing appears distant and yet gives such a wealth of emotion and beauty.

I don’t quite have the words to describe just how much this book affected me; how strongly this story touched me. I have the emotion though; I love this book and this story.

I owe Tiffany Reisz a debt of gratitude for recommending yet another jewel of a book. Once again she has brought me to a story that has made a lasting impression on me. I will forever be grateful for the day I found a description of “The Siren” on NetGalley and decided I needed to read it. Who knew that one click on a “request” button would bring me such a wealth of literary, as well as other, delights.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Pages: 399
Date: 15/09/2013
Details: no. 4 Sinners on Tour
            Received from Source Books
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle 

The Blurb:

From the moment he lays eyes on Sinners’ new front of house soundboard operator, drummer Eric Sticks knows he has to make Rebekah his. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to seduce guitarist Trey Mills to pay him much attention. Rebekah never planned to fall for the tall, goofy drummer with the weird sense of humor and a heart the size of the galaxy. But Eric makes her laugh and his constant attention makes her feel sexy and irresistible–exactly what she needs after the things her last lover said to her. A woman who gives as much as she takes, Rebekah makes Eric feel like a total stud–exactly what he needs after surviving a decade of watching the incredibly talented members of Sinners from the wings.


This book, while I liked it, didn’t really grab me. It somehow missed the oomph “HotTicket” and “Double Time” had. Eric and Rebekah had enough issues between them to fill multiple books, but because there were so many of them, and seemed to follow each other with unrelenting insistency, none of them felt important.  And when I say there are a multitude of issues in this book I do mean a multitude; Eric’s childhood, his eagerness in the bedroom and the resulting insecurities as well as Rebekah’s health issues, her attraction to Trey, her former boyfriend, her mother’s problems, the list goes on and on. With so many issues competing for attention I feel none of them got the amount of time they deserved and that in turn made the story feel rushed; almost as if the author was in a bigger hurry to get to the end of the story than I was.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can concentrate on what I did love about this book. With a musician, singer-songwriter daughter and a sound-technician husband these book always feel a little bit like coming home for me. Not that either of them is involved with a hot and famous rock band, but who knows what the future might bring. I love the interaction between the band members. The way they are constantly teasing each other but would do anything for the other members when necessary, is wonderful. The jokes the members of Sinners play on each other had me smiling on numerous occasions.

I loved the idea of Rebekah, a girl, getting the opportunity to work the sound for the band. Music is still a very male operated business and it was wonderful to see that stereotype well and truly destroyed in this book. 

I also loved the interactions between Rebecah and Eric. The playful interactions between these two were heartwarming and put grin on my face on numerous occasions. And talking about playful interactions; the role play these two get up to is highly imaginative, not to mention HOT! The way Rebecca and Eric tend to fall out of role play into straight lust was as enticing as it was realistic and wonderful to read. My favourite moments though came early in the story when Rebecah came up with her lessons for Eric. Those were as tender as they were hot and really made me fall for these two characters.

So, overall I have to say that this was a nice and exciting read that could probably have been a bit more if there had been less but more developed issues for the characters to deal with. On the other hand, if you ever find yourself in the mood for hot rockers, independent women, hot and imaginative sex and great fun you could do a lot worse than turn to Olivia Cunning for your next read. I know that I will be reading the remaining Sinners on Tour books in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Pages: 320
Date: 10/09/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 3 Inside Out
            ARC received from the author
Own / Kindle

The Blurb:

“No in-between…

He has become her life, her heart, her very soul. But he is dark and damaged, and his secrets are many. Sara will risk everything for him. He, in turn, will dare to expose his deepest needs, his most erotic desires. And in the fury of passion he will reveal all that torments him, all that he can never escape. To love him, Sara must embrace the darkest part of him, and become his shelter in a storm that will be his ultimate salvation.”


Before I start my review let me just say that this book is part of a series, and should not be read out of order if you want to fully enjoy it. See below for a graphic of the full series, including reading order, which I copied from Lisa Renee Jones’ Facebook page.

“There is no right way, remember? There’s only our way.”

 And so we reach the final part of Sara and Chris’ tempestuous journey. With the mystery that was Rebecca’s disappearance solved and all of Sara’s past and secrets out in the open the time has arrived to deal with the darkness that still hides deep inside the man she loves. And because the root of Chris’ issues lies in Paris, that is where Sara travels with him.

Sara has come through a lot over the past two books but is slowly starting to accept and trust that Chris is the man she loves and exactly what she needs in her life.

“He has always been the answer to the question of what was missing from my life, even before I met him.”

However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the journey is going to be smooth sailing for her. Almost everything and everybody she encounters after arriving in Paris seems to conspire to make her life hard and tear her away from Chris. It starts with her passport being stolen while she’s still in the airport and goes downhill from there when she meets people from Chris’ past. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that she doesn’t speak a word of French and Chris is still holding back on sharing his secrets with her. And there is the still unsolved mystery of Ella’s disappearance. But, whenever those worries slip into the background everything between her and Chris is just about perfect.

“And the answer to your question is, I’m perfect. You’re here.”

With everything that is going on around her, and all the unanswered questions she still faces, Sara’s insecurities are never far from the surface. But whenever they threaten to overpower her and make her doubt the future she’s seen glimpses of but still can’t bring herself to fully believe in, Chris is there to reassure her.

“It’s just you and me, baby, and I’m not like anyone else who’s ever been in your life. There’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of with me, ever. You can embrace who you really are, and we can be whoever we want to be together.”

And Sara truly believes that Chris is nothing like anybody else in her life, past or present. She won’t be able to fully believe in a future for the two of them though, until Chris decides that she is the one he can share his secrets with; until he too realises that together they can leave the past where it belongs and start facing the future. She needs Chris to believe his own words when he says:

“We attack the problems. They don’t attack us. And we do it together.”

Chris and Sara may have faced troubled times and still be up against deep rooted issues on Chris’ part and lingering insecurities on Sara’s, but they are slowly coming to the conclusion that together they may be able to face it all and come to their own happy ending.

“There is no right way, remember? There’s only our way.”

It is a nice added bonus that although we found out what happened to Rebecca at the end of “Being Me”, we do get some more of her journal in this book. This appears to bring Rebecca’s story full circle, although I guess we can never be completely sure that is actually the case.

And hot, oh my, are Sara and Chris hot together. I love the way the intimacy between these two characters is described on these pages. The need they feel for each other is palatable, the way their bodies react to each other is, well, stimulating is the only polite word I can think of. While Chris is trying to put his past need for pain behind him, Sara is carefully discovering the pleasures of submitting in the bedroom to this man who knows exactly how to give her what she needs and wants, even if it scares her almost as much as it excites her.

“That’s part of the high, Sara. The adrenaline rushing through your body. The unknown soon to be discovered.”

What we have here is an adrenaline filled love story; an exhilarating combination of thrills and passion, danger and love, dark and light. This is the sort of book you’ll want to finish as soon as you’ve started it because the constant need to know what is happening and why is as demanding as the need to find out if Chris and Sara will find a way to make a future together. This is an intoxicating emotional roller-coaster of a book that will keep you hooked.


By now it may be clear that I loved this book. Which begs the question why I rated it 4.5 rather than 5 stars. All I can say – without resorting to spoilers - is that the final book in a trilogy should not end on a massive cliff-hanger. I don’t mind a teaser, and I actually quite like it when some questions aren’t completely answered, leaving some of the resolution up to the reader’s imagination. I do however have an issue with the way this book ended. I am, by now, a big enough fan of Lisa Renee Jones to want to read whatever she may publish next. And I can’t imagine being the only one of her readers facing this addiction. I don’t like that she feels the need to try and tie me to a next book or series by throwing an unexpected and unwelcome cliff-hanger at me. Do not get me wrong, I will read that next book. That, however, does not mean that I like the way in which I will have been brought to it. This is, of course, a very personal dislike and does not reflect on the quality of the writing. In fact, I’m sure there are a lot of readers out there who had the opposite reaction when they saw the cliff-hanger, exactly because it does promise us more to 

Sunday, 8 September 2013


Pages: 140
Date: 07/09/2013
Grade: 5
Details: no. 4 Bondage & Breakfast
            Received from Carina Press
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Bondage & Breakfast was a safe place for couples to explore BDSM—until an arsonist almost destroyed it. While the inn is closed for repairs, owner Gabe McConnell allows injured firefighter Olivia Watterson to stay and recover as a favor to a mutual friend. His attraction to her is unexpected and intense—but there's no way she's strong enough for the type of play he demands from a sub.

When she arrives at the inn, Liv is shocked—and intrigued. Her unanticipated obsession with the sexy, skilled Dom makes her all the more impatient with her slow recuperation. Even more frustrating is the way Gabe handles her like fragile glass, and she's determined to prove she's anything but by pushing her body to the limit.
Holding back should be easy for Gabe, but the more Liv challenges his limits, the more he craves her, body, mind and heart…”


“That’s not a flagpole, princess. It’s a whipping post.”

In the last paragraph of my review for “Forbidden Fires I wrote that I hoped Jodie Griffin would give Gabriel McConnell his own story and his own happy ending.  And what do you know? Sometimes you do indeed get exactly what you’ve asked for. “Forbidden Desires” is Gabe’s story, and boy is it a good one!

In this book we’re introduced to two strong and independent characters both struggling with issues that have turned their image of themselves upside down. Olivia is recuperating after the work related accident that nearly left her paralysed. She’s weak, but she’s getting stronger. She’s not sure if she’ll ever be able to face a fire hose again but she’s working on it. She has her own life to fix and is not ready for anything complicating it for her. And yet, there is this attraction to Gabe and everything he represents. There’s the way he makes her feel every time he calls her princess; the way her body just wants to do what he tells her to do, even while her mind is questioning the wisdom of it.

Gabe on the other hand may appear in control of his life, but he has his own set of insecurities to struggle with. He isn’t entirely sure if he wants to continue with his Bondage and Breakfast after everything that has happened. His confidence has gotten a knock and he’s not convinced that he still has what it takes or is what he needs to be to deliver the BDSM training like he did in the past. Even more confusing though is his reaction to Olivia. He knows that he could never have a relationship with anybody who was incapable of submitting to him. He knows that Olivia isn’t physically strong enough to fully submit to everything he might want to subject her to right now, and he isn’t sure that she will ever be. And yet he is attracted to her in a way he hasn’t been to anyone else, ever. 

Jodie Griffin gives these two characters a much tougher ride than she has given the couples in the previous books, but boy are they up to the challenge.

It was so much fun to see the experienced Dom, well used to keeping his urges in check, struggling with his desire to introduce Olivia to his life-style. With every single day she stays with him his need to dominate her grows stronger and harder to ignore. Yet, fragile as she is, Gabe knows Olivia isn’t physically up to what he would like to introduce her to. Or is she?

Taken from the TLD's FB page
Olivia is completely new to the idea of Domination and submission. She’s heard about BDSM but knows little to nothing about it and has never really given it a second thought. From the moment she meets Gabe though, her submissive side rises to the surface. 

“Every fucking time he said anything that could be taken in a sexual way, either intentionally or accidentally, her reaction was classic submissive.”

Olivia is also getting ever more frustrated with Gabe’s protective – in her eyes overly protective – attitude towards her. She may be recuperating, she’s not weak. And Gabe’s refusal to take their play further confirms to her that not only does he see her as weak now, he sees her as not strong enough to submit to him full stop. 

Gabe will have to trust Olivia to use her safe-words when necessary and trust himself to be the experienced Dom that he is, while Olivia will have to learn to trust that Gabe knows what he is doing and does see her as a strong and beautiful woman if these two characters, who are so clearly made for each other, are going to build a future together.

This was a wonderful book. I adored Gabe and Olivia and their love story. There was nothing contrived about the issues they were dealing with. We may not read about it often but in real life there are of course lots of people with (health) issues which mean that they can’t just accommodate whatever form of intimacy they or their partner may desire. It was refreshing to have this book deal with this issue and come up with solutions that were both realistic and uplifting.

This book provides us with two characters struggling with issues that resonate with the reader and deals with them in a way that makes sense. The reader doesn’t have to pick sides in this story, there is no right versus wrong here. In fact I could understand and sympathise with both Gabe and Olivia. 

And, just in case you're worried that the fact that Olivia isn't able to engage in a a fully-fleshed BDSM scene means that this book is any less hot than its prequels, let me reassure you. If anything, the fact that Gabe and Olivia are forced to hold back while so obviously burning with need for each other adds an extra dimension of hotness to this story.

As always, Jodie Griffin’s writing is smooth and her conversations sparkle:

“I take it you’re used to getting your way.”

I loved the way the relationship between these two people slowly developed from being strangers to being two people who need to be together. It felt natural and unrushed and led to a wonderful climax in which only complete honesty could keep them together.

But most of all, Jodie Griffin writes a wonderful and very sexy love story. This is pure reading enjoyment! And I can only hope that the author won't abandon the B & B completely now that Gabe has gotten his story.

“All she knew was that every single thing he told her he’d do to her had made her hotter and wetter than she’d ever been with, and for, any man.”

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Chasing Matt

 Two weeks ago I read and reviewed Chasing Matt, a wonderful novella by two obviously very talented authors. Because I enjoyed it so much, because I want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to discover this novella for themselves and because I firmly believe that up and coming authors deserve all the exposure they can get their hands on, I am sharing the following promo. Have a look at the blurb, enjoy the excerpt and then order the book so that you can enjoy the full story for yourself.


Chase Williams is a gorgeous but painfully shy web designer whose long term boyfriend dumped him for being such a “nice” guy. Instead of meeting his buddies at the local bar for a drink he helps his elderly neighbor with a DIY project. When a wobbly step ladder leads to a banged up wrist and a trip to the ER Chase is convinced it’s the worst night ever. Then he meets his handsome nurse.

Matt Owens is the boy next door who loves working in the busy ER. He’s more than ready to clock out from his double shift until he meets his patient in Bed 4. Matt’s bedside manner is charming enough to make Chase consider throwing caution to the wind and going after what he wants for a change. But will Matt’s attraction to Chase be enough to make him to break his rule about never dating patients?


Nurse Matt Owens paused and held my eyes for a minute before leaning over to type some notes on the computer. My skin flushed when he looked away. I liked the feeling of his eyes on me. I only wished he did it with personal interest instead of the clinical way he evaluated my injury.

I shifted on the stretcher as he gently manipulated my wrist, his hands steady and warm through the gloves. The pain was mostly manageable, until he held onto my forearm with one hand, and flexed my hand backward with the other. I jumped and yelped, unable to hide how much even that small movement hurt.
 He looked back down at my wrist, and manipulated my fingers and wrist again. When he held my hand still and slowly moved his thumb in circles over the top of my wrist, my breath hitched. The pain of the injury mixed with a deeper pleasure that shot straight to my cock. I quickly shifted my good arm to cover my lap.

“Pain?” Matt’s concerned eyes met mine as he moved his thumb, gently rubbing the swollen skin between my thumb and pointer finger. 

“A little.”

“Pressure points can help alleviate pain sometimes, but right now you’re too swollen to receive any real benefit. This pressure point is called the Valley of Harmony, but I’m sensing this is less than harmonic for you.”

I thought I saw the smallest hint of a smirk on his lips, but I couldn’t be sure since his face was still tilted down toward my arm. I cursed at myself for getting turned on by a nurse’s clinical exam. 

“I’ve just called for a tech from Radiology to escort you down for your scans. Do you have any questions?”

I laughed under my breath. Did I have any questions? A whole litany of questions came to my mind ranging from where the hell was the exit so I can finally go home to what’s your phone number.

After I settled on the new stretcher, the tech wheeled me down the hallway towards Radiology. All I thought about was whether Matt would be there when I got back from the tests. If he was, and I hadn’t killed anyone from the pain taking over my whole body, maybe I’d actually work up the courage to strike up a conversation that had nothing to do with sludgy coffee, sucky fluorescent lighting, or beautiful ER lobbies, and get to know more about Nurse Owens. Maybe I’d embrace the new Chase Williams like Brett wanted me to and actually go after what I wanted for the first time in my life.


Author Bios/Links

Nikka Michaels lives in the often rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs.

Eileen Griffin loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack. She enjoys TexMex, good wine and losing herself in a great book.