The Cowboy’s Revenge (Ride Hard #1)

cowboy

When Mason caught sight of the beautiful woman with honey-brown hair and violet eyes, he could think of only one thing…revenge.

For three longs years during the War Between the States, he was forced to wait to learn who had murdered his brother. The wait was over. He would take everything from the man; his wealth, his power…his daughter.

Annabelle was getting as far away from Vulture City, Arizona and her step-father as she could, even if she had to marry the boring banker’s son to do it. On the morning she planned to elope, a handsome stranger shows up claiming her step-father lost her in a poker game and she was now his.
 She will fight him tooth and nail every step of the trail even as his punishments get harsher and more creative.

Contains anal play, domestic discipline, and creative cowboy-style punishments.

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I am definitely on a kinky cowboy kick right now.

The Cowboy’s Revenge is a historical erotica set in the frontier, shortly after the American Civil War. This series consists of three short stories, each about 120 or so pages in length.

Zoe Blake is the queen of short, sexy stories that will leave your ladies bits tingling. There isn’t too much I can comment on the plot, without giving everything away. The perils of a short novel, I suppose. Mason is definitely an alpha male, intent on taking his revenge out on the stepdaughter of his enemy. Little did he know that she would be a beautiful young woman, full of spirit and receptive to his particular brand of kink.

There is an element of capture fantasy to this story that may turn off some readers. For me, it is more the lack of internal struggle in the heroine that dropped my review down from 5 stars to 4. I wanted to see her struggle with the idea of blending pain and pleasure, of essentially being kidnapped by the hero in the beginning … and this just didn’t happen.

If you are looking for some historical erotica that can you read in an evening, this could me the story for you.

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Bad Boy Alphas

Bad Boys Alphas is a fantasy/romance series written by Renee Rose and Lee Savino. They feature a set of alpha male werewolves who are destined to mate one specific woman, whether she is wolf, human or another breed of shifter.

I discovered these books a week ago and have already devoured all seven.

Yup, allllllll seven!

I’m surprised I’m not dreaming about werewolves yet.

I have officially finished everything published (to date) in this series, but the good news is that it looks like the authors publish a new one every three months or so, which means, they will hopefully release more very soon!

I love these books because they are quick reads, have dominant alpha heroes and steamy sex, and can be read non-sequentially.

I do find that they tend to be carbon copies of one another; if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all type of thing. For the most part, the relationship is the same. I would love to see a book where the female struggles a lot more with finding out her insta-love is a werewolf, and with adopting the werewolf lifestyle, which involves domestic discipline. For another matter, I also think the authors are using a little too much artistic licence with their assertions that anal sex doesn’t hurt, doesn’t require much prep, and that every woman is going to love it.

Overall, I highly recommend these books. They are dirty, sexy, easy-to-read romance novels with a healthy side of fantasy!

Here is the cover and blurb for book one. These books are all available on Kindle Unlimited, at least at the time of this posting.

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alpha

MINE TO PROTECT. MINE TO PUNISH. MINE.
I’m a lone wolf, and I like it that way. Banished from my birth pack after a bloodbath, I never wanted a mate.

Then I meet Kylie. My temptation. We’re trapped in an elevator together, and her panic almost makes her pass out in my arms. She’s strong, but broken. And she’s hiding something.
My wolf wants to claim her. But she’s human, and her delicate flesh won’t survive a wolf’s mark.

I’m too dangerous. I should stay away. But when I discover she’s the hacker who nearly took down my company, I demand she submit to my punishment. And she will.

Kylie belongs to me.

Hold Me by Anna Zaires – book review

This is a series of three books, the third of which is Hold Me, and I’m reviewing it in this post. I have already posted reviews of the first two books (Twist Me; Hold Me) and this review WILL contain SPOILERS for them.

Anna Zaire writes a couple of series. The one that I am going to review is a modern, new adult, (very) dark romance. The male protagonist (Julian) is an anti-hero, a very successful international weapons dealer. In the first novel, he kidnapped 18yo Nora and took her to his extremely remote private island in the South Pacific where he held her captive, a victim for his violent erotic urges, bending her mind to his will. In the second, they marry, somewhat against her will, and start to build a new life together before their old enemies kidnap Julian and torture him for information. Nora has realized that she loves him and convinces his security to allow her to risk her life to save them both, something she ultimately succeeds at, but not without some consequences.

book 3

Book Blurb:

Captor and captive. Lovers. Soulmates.

We’re all that and more.

We thought we were past the worst of it. We thought we finally had a chance.

We thought wrong.

We’re Nora and Julian, and this is our story.

***Hold Me is the conclusion of the Twist Me trilogy, told from Nora & Julian’s point of view.***

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Hold Me continues to follow the evolution of Julian and Nora’s relationship, which began in Twist Me. Now a (mostly) united front, Nora has admitted her true feelings for Julian, acknowledging her love for him and accepting the nature of their relationship. She decides it doesn’t matter how their relationship started and gives up on wondering if it can all be boiled down to psychological programming and stockholm syndrome. She wants to be with him, even though their relationship is unequal, and now accepts the dominance and submission aspects of their relationship and the power exchanges that occur. Her only remaining desire is to see Julian also admit his love for her, loving her as the person she has become rather than an object under this thumb.

Hold me is still an excellent read, but I didn’t like it as much as either of the preceding books, for a couple of reasons which will be the focus of my review.

Firstly, Nora’s parents were introduced in a limited capacity in the second installment during the webcam wedding scene, but their presence in this book is greatly expanded. I liked how the Mum and Dad had different attitudes and abilities to manage Julian and what they regard as their daughter’s brainwashed ramblings about her husband. But I would have liked to have seen Zaires expand upon the interactions between Julian and Nora’s parents, particularly without Nora present. He kidnapped their daughter, twice!, married her hastily and moved her to another continent permanently, where she now resides with him, despondent and abused (or so her parents believe). They understandably bit their tongues around Nora to keep from alienating her, but I felt that the book built to an explosive confrontation between the parents and Julian, one that never occurred.

The second thing that took away from the book in my opinion, was the high octane, overly dramatic car chase between Julian’s troops and the Irish-Chicago Mafia. Between the three books, Julian has lost well over 100 men, all of whom are supposedly highly trained and many are former Spec-Ops. So far, they only seem to be good at their chauffeuring services, and beating up unarmed teenagers. Seriously, is he not scraping the bottom of the barrel yet for men to put on assignment? He really shouldn’t have lost Peter’s services so easily. He needs the tough Russian bruiser on his side at this point.

At the end of the day, the three books have built up Julian as this unstoppable force – even with the torture by the Middle East group in book 2, he didn’t break – but the local mob and cops just about had them with one car chase. It would have been better to not have the cops and mob team up (an unbelievable plot-point in my opinion) and have Julian take care of them without losing half the men he did. The scene just made him seem like less of a badass, which is exactly how you don’t want this series to end.

Despite three paragraphs of complaints, I did love Hold Me and gave it a very good rating. It starts out differently than the others, with Julian using a much gentler approach with Nora. He will never change, but he does learn to embrace different aspects of his personality to manage her that, thus far, he only expressed while she was in hospital.

After the horrors of the second book, both characters are in need of healing, and Nora requires a gentle touch. She is badly traumatized, suffering from panic attacks and night terrors. She has always had Julian’s protection, but this development lends her the emotional protection and support that was missing from their relationship, bringing them closer together. Julian even brings a psychologist to their compound to work with Nora.

It takes some brass balls for her kidnapper to move a professional mental health expert in with them to work with the abductee and be secure in the knowledge that his own programming of Nora will not be affected!! While he may not be able to admit it yet, he has fallen in love with her.

I loved the pregnancy that Zaires wrote in. She did it differently than authors usually do, and it helped to re-establish the relationship parametres between Nora and Julian. She wonders if he impregnated her on purpose, deceiving her with the implantation of a fake birth control device in her arm, and is able to take him for his word when he assures her otherwise, because if he had wanted her pregnant, he would have made it happen regardless of her wishes and wouldn’t have hidden it, something she knows. After seeing a softer side of Julian for much of the book, this scene helps to ground them in the roles that were established in Twist Me, and that Nora has just accepted will never change.

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