Biopunk, Reviews, Science-Fiction

Review: Sovereign – Addison Cain

sovereignSovereign by Addison Cain
Series: Irdesi Empire #2
Genre: sci-fi erotica
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There is no Quinn without Que.

Her only family murdered, the males of her species governing the prison designed to contain her, she mourns. Que had been her world, but it is Sovereign who enters her body day and night.

No man has loved a woman more, and no woman has hated a man with such passion.

She cannot help it. Designed to be the perfect slave soldier, programmed to exterminate her own kind, Sigil wants nothing more than to butcher those who would save her.

Sovereign’s many Brothers lavish her with attention, taking turns practicing seduction to woo the only female who might propagate their species. No matter twisting limbs or thrusting bodies, no matter opulent gifts and distraction, Sigil sees what they seek to hide.

There is a dangerous secret Sovereign and his Brothers cannot conceal forever, though they are willing to risk the empire, their lives, and even her sanity trying. Is that not the definition of love?

Publisher’s Note: The second installment in Addison Cain’s provocative and raw Irdesi Empire series is a dark tale with explicit sexual themes and complete power exchange. Some scenes are written to be disturbing. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.

Purchase it

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Review

Heat: 2/5
Rating: 4/5

Love at first sight is a concept hailed by even the ancients before the humans destroyed the Earth. Why can the same not apply to us?

I am really enjoying this series, especially with Cain’s excellent world-building. It’s gory, it pushes the boundaries quite significantly and it never fails to completely hold my interest. I’m intrigued to know where the plot will end up, but due to what I’ve heard about Cain’s previous series (which I have yet to read), I have to admit I am finding it difficult to get attached to the characters due to the potential ending.

“You kill me every time you turn away, every time I have to force myself not to make a grab for you.

Although Cain is one of my favourite writers, I do feel that there are some areas which need improvement; one of these is just narrative flow. At times, it feels like the plot is jumping around everywhere, with new parts flung in out of nowhere and very little explanation. It’s difficult to go into this without spoilers, but parts would include Arden and Tiburion’s involvements. As well as the Soshiia themselves, which I wasn’t convinced by for part of the plot. It all seemed to be worked out very quickly.

I am waiting for the sequel with equal parts excitement and dread!

Dystopian, Political, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

Review: Dissident – Cecilia London

dissidentDissident by Cecilia London
Series: Bellator Saga #1
Genre: romantic suspense
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“I will always be with you…”

Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard hasn’t had an easy year. After losing her husband, she is raising two small children alone while trying to navigate the tricky and sometimes shallow halls on Capitol Hill. A string of nasty speeches has her scrambling to apologize to any number of candidates, including newly elected Republican Jack McIntyre. Falling in love again is the last thing on her mind.

Jack McIntyre might have a reputation as a playboy, but he has his sights set solely on his new colleague. Can he break through Caroline’s grief and capture her heart?

Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate contemporary romance, and undying love.

For readers 18+. Ends in a cliffhanger. The first part in a six book saga.

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Review

Subgenres: political, dystopia
Themes: friends to lovers, widowed
Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★★

This is a book series I was totally unaware of until this month’s Quirky Blind Date with a Book. And I’m unbelievably glad I was part of it, because this is a highly original premise, and a pleasure to read.

“We take our relationships, our spouses, our partners for granted until one day, poof, it’s all over. Maybe we’d all be a little better off if we lived each day as if it might be the last.”

I felt somewhat overwhelmed when I first delved in, because my knowledge of the American political system is not great; but once I got used to the jargon and past the infodump found in the first few pages, I really managed to get into this.

Told mainly in the romantic past but bracketed with moments of intrigue and suspense set in the present, this book was structurally very interesting – removing the importance of the outcome of the relationship simply from the prologue, instead we are encouraged to become deeply invested in the development of the relationship; despite its angst, it becomes in some respects much less superficial. We can sit back and enjoy the ride and the conversation.

“You make me want to be a better human being. And I hope you’re willing to give me the chance to be the man I know you need me to be.”

Pace-wise, this is a slow-burner. Highly character-driven, we learn an unbelievable amount about the complexities of the many characters (and there were a lot of them – London’s biggest strength is her complex character-building skill), with the vast majority of the plot unfolding through conversation, yet never venturing into boredom.

My main complaint? The sex scenes were of the ‘fade to black’ variety, despite the hints at kink and general dirtiness. This was a huge shame to me because I like living out the climax and culmination of the slower relationship development. There was a lot of scope for this delving into eroticism, and I was left disappointed.

“Don’t judge my reading preferences. My Kindle is full of highly enjoyable, unequivocally filthy smut.”

Deep, slow and original, this first instalment succeeds in building an intriguingly teasing plotline while allowing us to fully know and invest ourselves in the characters and relationships (despite a disappointing lack of eroticism).

Biopunk, Reviews, Science-Fiction

Review: Sigil – Addison Cain

sigilSigil by Addison Cain
Series: Irdesi Empire #1
Genre: dark biopunk, horror
Themes: bonded/fated
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He will possess her in every way.

After a century, The Irdesi Emperor has finally cornered their species’ only female. Sovereign and his fanatic brothers are closing in, driving Sigil to desperation.

They outnumber her, they are stronger, and they are relentless.

Sovereign knows her secrets better than Sigil knows herself. He knows she was conditioned to hate him. It changes nothing. The Emperor cannot help but crave her—just as his loyal brothers crave her.

The entire future of their species hinges on Sovereign’s ability to dominate the slippery renegade and make her feel the truth of what she is. She is his Consort. She is his obsession—a bride destined to be shared with and adored by his kin… to be satiated and ruled, to be overpowered and healed of her compulsions by any means necessary.

She has no choice in the matter. The empire will stop at nothing. Sigil will belong to them; she will be made to love them, even if they are forced to rip the galaxy apart to claim her.

Publisher’s Note: The first novella in Addison Cain’s provocative and raw Irdesi Empire series is a dark tale with explicit sexual themes and complete power exchange. Some scenes are written to be disturbing. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.

Purchase it

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Review

Heat: ★★★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: this is the first part of a serial, so, naturally, it ends on a cliffhanger.

Saturated in stimulus, panting, pleading for a thing partway between mercy and annihilation, she screamed, “Please”, choked on the word, and climaxed so hard the world went black.

The main strength of Cain’s writing is her ability to form original universes, and that is also the best feature of this series. I highly appreciate the lack of info-dump, instead enough detail being dripped throughout these pages to obtain a greater depth of understanding – although, as ever, it is initially confusing when adapting to new ideas and universes within the first few pages, this disappears very quickly and it’s easy to settle down and massively enjoy the ride.

“I suppose we’re both monsters.”
Black hair hung in his eyes as he turned her chin to taste her mouth. “At least I didn’t try to eat her, lost lamb.”

This isn’t just biopunk sci-fi – there are elements of erotica and horror present (though the former not quite enough for me to describe this as an erotic novel), including gore, cannibalism and rape/dub-con; yet all of this is done in a bizarrely tasteful way, contributing to the understanding of Quinn and her little ‘problem’, without the feeling of being bombarded with dark elements with the sole purpose to shock.

I felt Quinn was a vastly interesting heroine, strong (if not a little psychotic) and utterly powerful, despite her dark past. I have to say that I wasn’t quite as interested in Sovereign, but I have a feeling this will change as the series progresses. We had four potential heroes to contend with, and Cain did a fantastic job of giving them their own personalities – Arden’s my man, and I’m dying to see how this one goes.

“The thought of your hate has burned me for a century. I do not wish to earn more of it.”

What I will say is that, thematically, this is in some respects very similar to Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series. They share specific elements such as biting, bonding and the theme of being a slave to one’s own genetic makeup. But don’t let this put you off – there is enough difference between them to retain my interest, and I really cannot wait to see where this series goes.

Another strong first instalment from Cain’s dark, twisted mind, that leaves you no choice but to have to keep reading.

Mystery, Reviews, Romance, Science-Fiction, Space Opera

REVIEW: In the Black – Sheryl Nantus

In the Black

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When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies. When one of her girls turns up dead, it’s Sam’s job to find out who killed her, fast.

Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on the draw. But when his vacation gets replaced by an assignment to help find the killer, he can’t help angling for a little action with the saucy, hard-charging Sam. She’s got brains, attitude and a body he wouldn’t mind investigating.

Sam, six months lonely, might just indulge him. But the Guild that owns the Belle wants the case closed yesterday. With pressure coming from all quadrants, Sam and her marshal clash over false leads and who’s on top. But when the killer threatens the Belle again, romance will have to wait. It’s a captain’s job to save her crew, no matter the cost.

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In the Black (Tales from the Edge)

Review

Title: In the Black
Author: Sheryl Nantus
Series: Tales from the Edge #1
Genre: science-fiction, space opera, romance, mystery
Heat: 2/5
Plot: 3/5
Rating: 3/5

This wouldn’t normally have come up on my reading radar, but it was selected as book of the month for the Vaginal Fantasy book club. I’m glad I read it – I found it sufficiently fun and interesting, and really liked the strength of Sam as the protagonist. To be honest, there wasn’t much substance here, the murder mystery aspect was pretty straight forward, as was the romance (if not a little inappropriate at times). There wasn’t really anything special or unique; even the characters were fairly one-dimensional, including Sam and Daniel, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel and follow these characters and the voyages/adventures of the Bonnie Belle a little more.

Dark, Dystopian, Reviews, Science-Fiction

REVIEW: Born to be Bound – Addison Cain

born to be boundTitle: Born to be Bound
Author: Addison Cain
Series: Alpha’s Claim #1
Genre: dark dystopian sci-fi
Rating: *****

Well, I’m not sure what the hell I just read, but I do know that it’s on my Best of 2016 list and I fucking loved it. I can’t decide whether or not to classify it as a romance. It’s definitely dark and it certainly revolves around a relationship but I am finding it incredibly difficult, at this stage at least, to categorise it as ‘romance’.

Where do I begin? This was such a detailed, highly complex world. I’m pretty astonished at how much I enjoyed it, despite it being a little confusing to begin with. It was nice to not have all the irritating exposition; the mythology and history of this universe unfolded naturally with the story.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers in this book; I know a lot of people have given it one star due to cheating but it’s more complex and for me, it simply drove the plot forwards rather than made me feel sick like normal – I tend to have cheating as a hard limit but I could deal with this. So basically, DON’T discount this book just because of this.

Shepherd is one of those ‘heroes’ who doesn’t deserve the name and I’m not even sure at this point that he is intended to BE the hero of this series, but regardless, my dark, sordid brain chose him over the alternative. Claire is fantastic. She is immensely strong despite being a slave to her nature, and she continually fights despite the situation she is in.

I LOVED the animalistic nature of these ‘humans’. This was the most interesting part of this universe, the scenting, the rutting, the nesting. It give it this so much extra depth and intrigue. This is dark and brutal and I’m still reeling from it. Read it.