Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Dom Wars 6, the Final Round by Lucian Bane and Aden Lowe

From Goodreads:
When Gladiator Inc, an adult toy company expands their market to familiarize the ‘vanilla’ world with the elements of BDSM, the result is a pay-per-view reality show with video feeds streamed live to subscribers. The show, Dom Wars, is a competition to determine the Top Dom that will become the spokesperson for the company. 
The contestants all wear cameras to film every moment and angle of the competition, while they complete various challenges to determine who has ultimately Dominated various elements of themselves.
The hero and heroine of the series, Lucian Bane and Tara Reese, have barely made it into the Sixth and Final Round of Dom Wars. This week-long Survival Round will determine the Top Dom, once and for all.
The contestants are taken to an uninhabited island, where they will have to cross formidable jungle terrain. First Dom to reach the boat anchored on the other side of the island wins the million dollars and the title. 
Seems simple. Except Lucian’s old adversary, the Sadist Jase Duff from Round One, has been tasked with making sure none of the five teams make it to the boat.
If he is successful, he wins the prize, only it's not money that Jase Duff cares about, its revenge on Lucian and Tara. And his sadistic need to inflict pain makes it game on.

R.E. Hargrave's Review
* * * *
In Dom Wars Rounds 1 through 5, we got to meet an eclectic ensemble of characters. Some of them, like Lucian, Tara, and Steve, have been central to the ongoing story. Others, like Betty, don’t make return appearances but can’t be omitted from the experience that is Dom Wars. Nothing in the first rounds can really prepare you for the Final Round, however.

Jase Duff, the sadist from Round 1 is back ~ and he’s lost his cotton picking mind. The best way to describe what goes down is to imagine Catching Fire with lots of sex. At times, in fact, the sex seemed almost gratuitous given the intensity of the situations Lucian, Tara, Preacher, and Becca find themselves in. At the same time, one has to wonder if you wouldn’t do the same in their shoes; i.e. trapped on an island with a mad man and the realization that you’re no longer in a game of fame and fortune, but in a fight for your life. In a case of not knowing when the love of your life might suddenly be gone, would you take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how awkward, to savor those last desperate acts of intimacy?

A fast-paced, breath-holding page turner to be sure. Bane and Lowe have teamed up to close this series with a tearful bang. If you’ve been waiting to start, go ahead and dive in. You will laugh, you will get turned on, you might even cry . . . one thing is certain, you won’t regret giving it a shot.

*Disclaimer: I was given an advance copy by the authors in exchange for an honest review. It is my own issues with editing, and lack of resolution with Danielle, that held me back from giving this installment five stars.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Caught in the Middle by Kira Barker

From Goodreads: 

For years now, resident surgeon Erin Slater has been focused on her career. Sexual frustration has her on edge, and it seems like a wet dream come true when her best friend Jack and his roommate Simon offer to help her scratch that itch. Their afternoon of debauchery leaves her yearning for more, particularly to explore her submissive side – a craving that Simon, an experienced Dom himself, is only too happy to satisfy. But there’s also Jack, who she’s closer to than anyone else in the world. When emotions factor into the equation, things get complicated, forcing Erin to make a decision which man she will choose – but why can’t she have both?

Dive into this vivid tale of friendship, lust, love, bondage, dominance, and submission. Intended for mature audiences.

R.E. Hargrave's Review:
* * * * *
Long time friends turned lovers: this is the heart of Caught in the Middle. While it sounds simple, Barker’s delivery is anything but. Instead, it's an erotic tale packed with emotional surprises and plenty of plot. Oh, and there’s the bonus twist of there being not two, but three parties involved in said transitioning relationship.

When Erin lets down her walls after a particularly trying week of residency, she finds herself caught between two very different, but lovable, men: Simon and Jack. It doesn’t take Erin long to realize that both can offer her something she wants, and needs

With Jack she has a past; years of friendship has resulted in them learning each other to the core and building a trust and respect that can only be gained with time. But Simon is her present as he begins introducing her to the finer points of BDSM, letting her into his secret world. She thrives on the therapeutic outlet it becomes in dealing with her struggles as a young, single woman, pulling long hours~and paying off enormous debts~in pursuit of her medical career. 

What starts as a frolic of physical release quickly escalates, blurring lines. Erin is unprepared when her need and respect of the two men shifts, and romantic feelings begin creeping in . . . for both Simon and Jack. 

With so many nuances and lifestyle adjustments, bumps in the road are expected, but I was floored with how smooth, how seamlessly the story shifted between scenes and moved forward. Well-written and well-edited, always a plus in my book, Caught in the Middle had me laughing, getting angry, longing for my own session, and even crying.

This story has it all. It portrays the BDSM lifestyle with class and grace, yet has no shortage of gratuitous sex for the erotica lover. The philosophical angle~exploring the mental, social, and emotional dynamics while this trio progresses~is insightful, letting the reader enjoy the story and, in my case, be left rooting for Simon, Jack, and Erin to make it.

Kira Barker’s debut novel is engaging and brilliant, and has left me anticipating the next installment in the We Kinky Three series.

*Content warning: story does include m/m scenes, m/f/m scenes, and assorted bondage and discipline scenes. If these aren't your thing, this story may not be for you. If you're curious or open-minded, please give it a shot!

**I was gifted a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Death Wish by Cherime MacFarlane

From Goodreads:

Growing up the only child of an alcoholic mother, Colin didn’t get much love. In the small community he grew up in everyone knew his situation and the boy turned increasingly inward. The only thing that kills the pain is going higher, further and faster. ‘So dare me why don’t you.’ 
One other child sees the hurt. One boy, Paul, a little older brings Colin into his home. They become friends for life. 
Paul finds a girl, just released from foster care. He brings her home to the business and his partner Colin. Colin finds himself in love with his only friend’s wife. For two years Colin hides all from Maria Elena. But Paul knows because Paul knows Colin. 
Colin and Maria lose Paul. Maria chooses alcohol to kill her pain. Colin is faced with losing everything if he can’t get her sober. But what to do about the ache he has been living with for two years? 
A long road trip from Alaska to Bellingham, Washington is necessary. It is a lot of miles. Anything can happen on the Cassiar Highway, the short cut from the Alcan to the Yellowhead Highway in Canada.

R.E. Hargrave's Review
* * * * 
This was my first time reading Ms. MacFarlane and I'm glad I got the chance. She writes with a detailed gusto that makes it so you can't help but get pulled into the story and the outcome of the characters. 

Death Wish opens with two people who are handling the loss of the same man in different ways. Colin was Paul's best friend; Maria Elena, Paul's wife. The twist is that Colin has been in love with Maria Elena since the day Paul brought her home, and now he must deal with his friend's dying wish for him to "take care of her," while all she wants to do is hide in a bottle.

MacFarlane will take you on an imagery-filled road trip through Alaska while she sits these two down to face their demons, old and new. Sweet moments, sexy times (which make this book for mature readers), and tears await ... 

I'm looking forward to getting a chance to check out some of MacFarlane's other works, as she has many to choose from!

*I was gifted a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.