Firstly, do you SEE this cover?! Lovin' it! This is exactly as I pictured Leif - all German-goth-tastic and delicious....more4.5 Stars from Between the Bind
Firstly, do you SEE this cover?! Lovin' it! This is exactly as I pictured Leif - all German-goth-tastic and delicious. This was my first M/M and I really enjoyed it - Hainted was the perfect mix of sexy restraint, honest relationship building, and unique paranormal situations - engaging even the most well-read paranormal reader.
Dan, a straight-laced southern farm worker tried to get away from home and his family's haint-working ways but is now paying penance for his selfishness by refusing to openly acknowledge his homosexuality. Although he claims it's because he could lose custody of his brother and sister, the reader soon realizes that along with his responsibility to his them, Dan doesn't believe he is deserving of true happiness.
In drives Leif, a rich, city boy who's avenging a fallen friend by tracking a necromancer, a haint-worker who raises spirit instead of putting them to rest, who is terrorizing the dead and murdering innocents in the process. Leif has made many terrible choices throughout his life and he knows that stepping over the line by involving himself with someone who has as much to lose as Dan does, would just be going to far, so he vows to keep his hands to himself.
I really enjoyed both of our characters and the depth that I was able to uncover page after page.
What surprised me the most about the book is that Ms. Hawk's descriptions of "haints" literally freaked me out. I was a *little* afraid I'd be getting some nightmares from her grotesque details, but it was necessary for the story building. I completely understood why Dan wasn't a haint-worker. This is no Long-Island-Medium kind of spirit fighting.
I really enjoyed Dan's brother and sister's role though the story. Virgil cracked me up with his typical teen angst and sarcastic commentary and Bea's responsible sister role added another layer to this family dynamic. Moreover, I really enjoyed badass girl haint-fighter Taryn and am hoping that Ms. Hawk writes a *second* book more focused on her.
Overall, Hainted was a wonderful read - fantastic storytelling, captivating characters, and a refreshing take on the typical paranormal romance.(less)
This book is not for the faint of heart, the romantic, or the lover of perfectly bow-wrapped endings. It is an honest and...moreReview from Between the Bind.
This book is not for the faint of heart, the romantic, or the lover of perfectly bow-wrapped endings. It is an honest and gripping tale from someone who is still living her life and doesn't quite know how it will end. When I picked up Diary of a Submissive, I was interested in learning more about the relationship between a real Dominant and submissive in the BDSM culture. As someone who isn't a part of the lifestyle, the only way I felt that I could be educated was to read more and Sophie certainly enlightened me.
Sophie opens up her earliest memories to readers and ends her story in present time. She's had no trauma-inducing fetish or terrible family upbringing causing her attractions to be misplaced and quickly dismisses that stereotype. We then begin learning about Sophie's first experience of arousal when watching Maid Marion chained up and awaiting rescue from Robin Hood (while secretly hoping that Guy Gisbourne came in to teach her a thing or two) and continue through her sexual awakening in college that included a hair brush not used for detangling - if you catch my drift.
But Sophie also teaches us about her life. She is honestly independent, hard-headed, professional, silly, fun...she just gets her kicks differently than the rest of us. This enabled me to connect with her. I believe every person is multi-faceted and that no one is able to see all facets of another individual, there is always something hidden privately in each of us (not that Sophie HIDES...this is just her private life).
I think that the most difficult experiences to read about were those that occurred in Sophie's D/s relationship with Thomas. This is when her true sexual potential is realized and on display for all. Although Thomas and Sophie are not interested in a "real relationship" with each other, they do enjoy playing together. The humiliation, degradation, and pain that Sophie experiences I cannot begin to think of as enjoyable, however, I do understand that this is what presses her buttons...and she is obviously enjoying the outcome of these scenarios. That being said, these scenes are not comfortable to read.
Soon Thomas meets a sub that he may be able to have a real relationship with and Sophie bows out graciously while looking for her own marriage-material Dom. This is when Sophie meets James. And James is everything she's ever wanted...but how kinky does he like to get? As Sophie and James experiment with each other, the reader begins to understand the loving and devoted side both Dominant and submissive must have for one another. The relationship they begin to build is as dedicated and honest as any and I found myself really enjoying both the dominating, sadistic and the romantic, blazer-wearing, wine-drinking side to James.
Without giving away the ending to Diary of a Submissive, I simply wish there was more. I found myself so intrigued by this person's life that when it ended I re-read the final chapter HOPING I missed something...but no such luck. I appreciated the honesty and straight-forward way Sophie told her story and how difficult it must've been to display her life to the world. I do feel more "educated" in the psyche of a submissive, and although not entirely understanding, at least appreciative of this lifestyle and less judgmental - which was my ultimate goal.
This is definitely a book that I would recommend to those interested in learning about the D/s culture that hasn't been fictionized. I am proud to have Diary of a Submissive on my bookshelf and am looking forward to reading more from Sophie Morgan.(less)
Iris Kohl, with her beautiful violet eyes, experienced a horror at age 14 that changed her forever. She now knows that...more3.5 Stars from Between the Bind.
Iris Kohl, with her beautiful violet eyes, experienced a horror at age 14 that changed her forever. She now knows that shadows exist...and leech off of all of us. They whisper, coerce and encourage our darkness, manipulating our choices and feeding off of our negativity.
Starting over at a new high school was difficult before Lexi and Nicole took Iris under their wing, ignoring her bizarre moods and lame excuses to stay away from crowds, they quickly became the closest of friends. Although Iris isn't a typical teen, she does her best to fit in. So when her friend Josh asks her on a group date, she readily agrees, bringing Lexi and Nicole along with her. This relationship seems safe enough but progresses quickly, with shadows occasionally showing themselves and manipulating Josh into making choices he typically wouldn't...
Iris then meets Patrick, a new student with no leeching shadows in sight...but the recent addition to her lunch table, Kyra, doesn't seem to like Patrick - and Iris can't figure out why. Especially because Kyra is the only other person that is leech free.
This is a story that is drawn from the well of Christian good versus evil and progresses quickly and organically. I enjoyed most of the characters and the storyline, even Kyra's need to forgive something unforgivable, but I took issue when there seemed to be no fun had without a shadow involved. I get it, evil is everywhere, but if a kiss is anything more than brotherly, it was obviously a leech's influence. This direction got old quickly.
I really enjoyed the intense scenes Iris experiences with the shadows and her own process of uncovering what is happening around her. And I loved that even thought I had the ending figured out, I still was surprised when all came to fruition.
*Thank you for sending me this book to read in exchange for an honest review.*(less)
Ohhh Rogan, I have a bit of a crush on you! How easily you manipulated and maneuvered Mia to let go of herself and sim...more3.5 Stars from Between the Bind.
Ohhh Rogan, I have a bit of a crush on you! How easily you manipulated and maneuvered Mia to let go of herself and simply enjoy.
Anywho, during out last story, Mia lets it slip that she's interested in a three-some. And boy does she get more than what she can handle! Rogan introduces Mia to his former partner and things quickly get underway.
Another fun short story, a little longer than the first, but giving you the ability to understand the characters a little bit better. Also, I think being the second book in the series, I wasn't do surprised by Mia's thought process and lightening quick bed jumping. Although this story was fun and sweet, it still wasn't fulfilling. I think there is more to develop between Mia and Rogan, and although I know Mia isn't finished with this series yet, I think that adding another longer book, even with all of the erotica, would be a great asset to these characters.(less)
Oh boy - what a read! I was thrilled with all three books but this one in particular was incredible. I didn't think that I would enjoy either the seco...moreOh boy - what a read! I was thrilled with all three books but this one in particular was incredible. I didn't think that I would enjoy either the second or final book more than the first but 50 Shades Freed exceeded my expectations immensely. This book ended in true James form - twists, turns, and my favorite, the last two chapters from Christian's point of view.
In the final 50 Shades novel, we get to learn so much more about the Christian. I love the gradual tidbits learned throughout the first two books, but this last one really explores Christian's psyche and the human ability to change through unconditional love. Ana also grows dramatically.
Throughout the first two books, Christian is showed to be the epitome of an Alpha male. He is wildly successful and dominating, but these are just ways for him to feel and create a safe environment. Ana has been seen as immature, timid, and "submissive" in their partnership, while still commanding a change from Christian that upends his security. She really does show her strength in their relationship, demanding love and understanding and giving even more in return.
I think anyone can relate to these characters. Every person has their own way to ensure safety in their lives - whether it be financially, spiritually, by separation or inclusion to a group or family - and although Christian may weave his web differently from the rest of us, he is so much like us all. The same with Ana. We all have encountered these situations for the first time - love, sex, intimacy, career, family. This is a love story that is relatable and intoxicating to partake in.
There are several plot lines in this novel. Christian and Ana's relationship is tested again, danger of losing lives are in the balance, and even more AMAZING twists that I dare not mention. I cannot WAIT to read this series through again and again. Young (well...not too young!), old, male, female, EVERYONE should read these books and behold true romance...and understand that it's not all "hearts and flowers" but more about give and take, romance and realism, and the balance of life and love.(less)
After obsessing over the War of the Fae series, the release of Clash of the Otherworlds was at the top of my to-read pile. As I've stated in my previo...moreAfter obsessing over the War of the Fae series, the release of Clash of the Otherworlds was at the top of my to-read pile. As I've stated in my previous reviews of Elle Casey's work, Jayne is one of my all-time FAVORITE heroines, and when you have cast-mates like Tim the Pixie, his son Willie, and sexy-moody Ben, it makes for a great time!
*Some SPOILERS from the War of the Fae series*
After the Fall continues directly after the union between Dark and Light Fae. After losing Chase, Jayne is having a tough time coming to terms with her new maybe-romance-maybe-friendship-maybe-nothing relationship with Ben and is constantly comparing her future to her past, which, lets face it, we all do.
The Light and Dark Fae begin moving into a single compound and sharing the same living quarters, classes, and lunch room doesn't seem to be a problem...combining leadership however? Not so much. Jayne isn't feeling the love from the new counsel members, so when problems arise, she attempts to solve them on her own...mostly.
Tim. Always Tim. Hilarious, awkward, and the best of the best of friends.
The Mother and Father room placement. I can just picture these two opposites coming together to form a whole...fire and ice, moon and sun, stillness and life. Love it.
Overall, this story is a MUST READ! And although I believe that you should continue reading the first in the War of the Fae series, it is possible to pick up After the Fall and not be completely lost. However, I think that this book shows the reflective side of Jayne. She is really just healing from the loss of her mother and man/angel that she loved, so be aware that there's a lot more spunk to come. :)
Thank you, Elle, for a another 5 Star read! And I can't wait to read Clash of the Otherworlds: Between the Realms out NOW!(less)