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(Bliss #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  191 reviews
They're always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a
ebook, 230 pages
Published August 18th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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Cristina Monica
Aug 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Not worthy of your precious time.

DNFed at 37% because I believe a book that brings you to a state of boredom every time you’re picking it up does not deserve to be entirely read.

Have you read the blurb? Have you realized that this is a dystopian M/M romance, yet? Let me repeat that, a dystopian M/M romance story.

I knew it was too good to be true.

Over 150 reviews that I’ve written on Goodreads, there is only one DNFed book that I have reviewed in detail, this one aside. It’s called Poison. I usually don't review those, but I rea
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

Warning to all readers: This book is hard non-con, no two ways about it. If you have a problem with rape and sexual slavery, put the book down and back away slowly.

Now, going into this book I knew that this would push my boundaries. And it did. This was my first real non-con story and, even though I found it really hard to read at times, I was sort of fascinated by it in the way that some people are fascinated by horror movies. I also have to admit that I found this book to be smokin
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

“Protectionist. Elistist. Creepy perfect. A lot of people said a lot of sneering things about Beulah. But Beulah was also safe.”

First things first, I’m taking out Mr. Lowell. And I’m going to make it look like an accident. It’s a kindness really. What he deserves is for me to shove him off a cliff into a pit of naked, writhing, horny and sadistic women. Hmmm… on second thought.

I digress.

Let’s talk about this book. THIS BOOK. ARGH! Anything that elicits homicidal tendencies, an
Creepy - beautifully written - absolutely gripping!

“…You send a man to prison once and chances are he’ll go there again and again. Prisons and punishments create criminals; they don’t deter them. But you give him a chance to rehabilitate himself in a meaningful way and everyone wins. You do, he does, and so does society as a whole…”
Sounds good on the surface. Which is just like the town of Beulah - Perfection to the naked eye… But there’s a darkness lurking in Beulah, unseen to out
Irina Elena
Torn apart and impressed?
More like mildly annoyed, mildly horrified and mildly disappointed. Everything is very mild around here.

I rarely find myself dreading the next pages of a book, but during the first fourth of this novel I was in a state of barely controlled tension and profound disquiet. (Basically I was running from this via 1D fanfic, yes, fine.) So it started very well - I was freaked out as fuck, and I'm pretty sure that's the intended effect. But then I realised that Rory was such a
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt

 photo BLISS.jpg

Two of my favourite authors and a winning combination… their writing as always is stunning and they have this ability to make their stories so much more than the sum of the words actually written on the pages. They make me ask questions of the characters, think outside the box and make my imagination work overtime and believe me, it’s not pretty. I got so caught up in this world they created, my emotions became real. And this could be so very real… in the back of my mind, my thought
Lilia Ford

Well I won't call it perfect, since we now know where that leads, but this is a creepy, brilliant little fable that manages to be fucked up and humane and disturbing and lovely all at once. Its picture of what happens when you violate the human will is unsparing and frightening, but without the gratuitous sadism you sometimes find, which allows the hope that blooms towards the end to feel deep and earned.

I still cannot get over Tate, the way his fierce, unconquerable voice ex
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
2.5 stars

There were too many philosophical inconsistencies in this book. The scope of the "punishment" chip, which bends people to others' control and stunts their will, wasn't fully disclosed. The setting wasn't fleshed out enough to be believable, and when "judgement" came, it was too simplistic: the fall of a man and court trials don't bring justice to a society.

While I appreciate the deep ideas bandied about, they never fully gelled. I could have forgiven that, but the romance in this book
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm-glbt, arc
A utopia-dystopia story that is centered on the idea of bliss in exchange of freedom to think and feel. Plus, it's m/m. Really intriguing.

I was disappointed. From here onwards, everything you'll read is my opinion only. It's given but I just want to stress that point.

Let me start with the book's weakest point: Romance.
Gosh. Eye-roll worthy. (view spoiler)
Mar 27, 2014 marked it as to-read
Can't wait to read this one.

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and George pitch a show to NBC called Jerry and it's about a judge sentencing a man to become Jerry's butler and do whatever he wants?

Beulah is definitely -


Two guys, Rory and Tate, both want into clean, green, crime free Beulah for the same reasons, but in different ways. One to be an EA to Beulah's Justice Chief, Jericho Lowell, and the other to steal from a town that has no prisons. But it runs deeper than just that. Both are from Tophet, a poor, polluted, crime ridden town but have taken a different path in life. Both men want a better life and their lives are about to collide in a harsh and life-altering way in Beulah.

Overall WIN. Bliss is fantastic dystopian fiction with engaging noncon erotic elements and a lackluster romance I won’t focus on. Long Review.

Or in other words, this book is deep if you read it that way. All major spoilers are tagged.

This book tells the story of the utopian Beulah, where the air is clean and energy is cheap; education is free and everyone’s happy. I like to believe that Beulah started off with the best of intentions, and then people fucked it up because that is what we do. And t
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Clockwork Orange meets Stepford Wives with a m/m twist. Ms. Henry is a favourite author of mine. She writes out of the box. When she teams up with Ms. Belleau, magic happens. In Beulah, the population is blissfully ignorant of how their humanitarian rehabilitation works. The guiding principle of Beulah is to take ownership of one's mistakes and make a correction. Those who go through this program demonstrate their remorse for committing a crime and after they do their time to make it up to the p ...more
Heidi Belleau
Feb 27, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: publications
Mind control non-con in squeaky clean utopia-that's-secretly-a-dystopia.

Lisa Henry and I bring out the worst (best?) in each other probably.

3.5 stars

Beulah. The promised land… “Beulah land, my heaven, my home forever more.”

Such a great name choice for this setting… this modern-day Eden. This Beulah is an idyllic, ultra-gated community, a kind of ‘promised land’. With it’s own brand of justice. Beulah, where there is no crime. Because anyone daring to break the law pays by being ‘chipped’ into rehabilitation and service to the one you harmed.

Tate Patterson comes to Beulah with a plan to steal from the rich folks there to help his b
3.5 stars

This review may contain spoilers!

I've got a case of the disappoints. Not because Bliss was bad. It was quite a good book and I enjoyed it a lot. But it could have been so much better.

Bliss is about Rory and Tate, two newcomers to the most magical place in the world (i.e. the city-state of Beulah). Both of our MCs have different reasons for why they're there, but they come to Beulah to better their lives. In comparison to the rest of the world, Beulah has a functioning government, a peac
Apr 07, 2014 rated it did not like it

There was an idea, really interesting idea,but completely wasted at the end.

Rory and Tate met under unusual circumstances. Both are from Tophet and both came to Beulah, idyllic, utopian city-state in search for better life. Tate crossed the border illegally and running from police, he crashed into Rory and knocked him down. In crime-free Beulah those who break the law have choice to either admit the crime and go through the restitution program for several years or go to trial and risk life sente
*P*u*r*p*l*e* Masochist
Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

"They are always happy."

3.75 stars

This review is posted on Way Too Hot Books.

Psst, psst, where can I get me some of those chips, huh??? Kidding. This was again one of those reads I picked because of the pretty & "innocent" cover and because it is a mm read and I was in need of one of those after a couple of truly disappointing m/f reads in a row. So, imagine my surprise when I started reading and discovered that the story is faaar from
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
So first things first - I'm not sure how these authors read my oh-so-secret journals to find all my fantasy wants but I'm a gonna look the other way if they do it again. Doors open Ladies- Come on in.

I love non-con and I love dystopian and I love sexual slavery type books. I know. I'm twisted as hell. Deal with it. This is like the trifecta of Smut goodness but it's also a damn fine story. Tate and Rory mesmerized me - I felt truly like I was in their heads completely and it was creepy and scar
Creepy utopian society where everyone is oh-so-happy? Yes, please. Because you know that some strange shit is going on somewhere in there. In Bliss it's more or less obvious from page one, and finding out what is really going on and who actually knows about it make for an interesting read. In short, I pretty much loved this up until the 81% mark. The story had a high entertainment value up until that point, featuring creepiness, uncomfortable scenes, suspicion and mixed feelings. A great mix.

Wart Hill
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

DNF at 33%

I like fucked up things. I like mind control and fucked up societies that pretend to be idyllic. (well, I love reading about these things...not sure if I should clarify that or not, but I figure I should err on the safe side...). And, for the most part, I was liking this.

Except for one thing:

The sex.

From the get-go, when Tate's chip gets put in, people are talking about how he's going to have sex with his sponsor. How h
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it

For me Bliss was really good until around the 80% mark. It went downhill from this point on and the last chapters and the epilogue were big disappointment.

The story drew me in from the first pages, the idea of the utopian city of Beulah where people wronging the law, as rarely as this happens there, are persuaded to undergo a seven years ‘Restitution through Rehabilitation’ program was interesting to say the least. Add to this the fact that Beulah is not nearly as perfect as it seems on the surf
1.5* rounded up.

The premise was very interesting. Unfortunately the execution and where the plot went didn't truly live up to it. I'd have liked a more actualised reflection of current society with this dystopian one.

I also can't say that the erotic content or the inherent sadomasochism did anything for me, for that it wasn't non-con enough. Indeed, it courted a trope I dislike seeing in BDSM/SM-themed books: being made to want something someone doesn't want. I'd prefer control which extends onl
This is one disturbing book. I'm not sure there could be much that's more terrifying than being locked inside your own mind, not only unable to stop people from doing whatever they want with you, but unable to even show that you don't want it. I had trouble putting this down last night before bed, and I'm pretty sure I had a nightmare about it! There's just something so creepy about a squeaky clean, too perfect society masking such a dark and horrific secret.

I would rate this story 4 stars if it
Emma Sea
I cannot decide if I am more excited about this book, or Sweetwater, but I do know that this last month before release is torture. TORTURE. ...more
This was perhaps a bit too dark for me. It strongly reminded me of the horror film "Get Out". Being locked inside your head, silently screaming for help. *shudders*

I think this book works really well as a thriller, not as a romance. Tate and Rory's HEA with a kid and a picket fence was unrealistic, unnatural and unnecessary, considering the rape and abuse Tate had suffered.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the review copy of this book.

Welcome to Beulah, where everything is picket fences and puppies. Where there is no crime (except there is), where there are no prisons (except there are) and where everything and everyone is Stepford creepy. Sound good? Step right up!

​What makes this book really frightening is I can almost see this scenario happening.​

Crime is almost unheard of in Beulah and they prefer to rehabilitate their criminals rather than imprison t
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*** This title was kindly provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ***

It's so hard for me to rate and review these kind of books. I feel like a horrible person for liking them. But I did. I really like this book.

The fact that it was kind of a Dystopia made things different. I don't know exactly what to because things like this revolt me so much. How can people do things like that ?? This horrible! Completely twisted!

I was so mad during most of the book
Jaya Christopher
When you read a book like this, you think to yourself: it would be so simple for the world to be a completely, bone-chillingly horrifying place.

This book was something else. Well, first of all, you have to leap over the hurdles of dubious consent and non-consent to even get to the meat and bones of the story, but once you do that you’re in. There were parts of this tale that were simply horrifying to read. I kept thinking to myself, are the authors going to go there – oh, yep, okay, they are. An
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: scify
What could have been a 4star rating was brought down a point with that rushed, unbelivable happily ever after ending.

Either this story needed to be longer or it should have been a happy for now ending, leaving the HEA for the future -realistically speaking.
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I like to tell stories. Mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. They gotta work for it though. No free lunches on my watch.

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