Friday, February 24, 2012

Sins of the Father [Angel and the Assassin 3] by Fyn Alexander


Sins of the Father picks up after the first two books in this series. I would not recommend starting with this one, you should begin with Angel and the Assassin.

I've really enjoyed these characters even if we do get the stereotypical huge muscled bad-ass and small skinny twink with longer hair. They are unique enough in their own ways, and the author does a good enough job with character depth, to keep it from feeling quite so stereotypical.

As I warned in my review of the first book, if you've got a problem with the Daddy honorific then you may want to skip this one. While I may prefer Sir or Master, in the right context the Daddy option can work, too.

Fyn Alexander does a good job of showing the boring day-to-day aspects of a twenty-four-seven D/s relationship without it being boring. He also brings up the conflict that can happen when the Top lays down the law and the bottom isn't so happy with the edict. I love that Kael and Angel's relationship has reached this level, it's been nice watching them go from just-met to a long-term relationship. I also appreciate watching both men struggle through figuring things out. Kael has his own demons to face in this book, it isn't just about Angel learning and growing and changing.

Fyn Alexander writes hot sex and great D/s. It is both tender and rough, harsh and sweet. 

Here's the blurb

MI6 assassin, Kael Saunders, is a larger than life, dominant master who finds himself becoming a Daddy to nineteen-year-old Angel Button. Over the last year and a half Kael and Angel have settled into a loving Dom/sub relationship. But no matter how comfortable the highly intelligent and ruthless assassin and his sweet, eager, loving boy become with each other, Kael is still the boss and Angel wants him to remain so, whether in the dungeon, the bedroom, or the kitchen. Naturally submissive, Angel has learned how to be a good Daddy’s boy and a good slave, but his childlike willfulness still makes itself known now and again.

When Angel is kidnapped by an enemy of Kael's, he'll stop at nothing to save his boy, but his boy may have to take what he's learned and help him.

Ummm, that second paragraph is a bit misleading. I won't give spoilers, except to say the title tells you more about the main plot than the blurb.

We don't just get a relationship story from Fyn Alexander, we get a bit of a spy/adventure/assassin story, too. Good stuff.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3.
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3 .
  • Extra Point: Yes
As you can see, the BDSM isn't quite as intense as it was in the first two books. It's still there, but it's a bit mellower now -- with a few very nice exceptions. The extra point is there because the D/s theme is a constant throughout the book.
    As for the writing elements: there are several plots woven together and I liked them all. Pacing is fine, prose and dialogue are well written, and character development continues to be exceptionally well done.
    • Book Rating: Sins of the Father: 9 of 10
    • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
    • Heat Level: 4 of 5
    Books in this series:

    1. Angel and the Assassin
    2. Angel and the Assassin 2: Be Brave
    Angel and the Assassin 3: Sins of the Father

      Thursday, February 23, 2012

      The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas


      Kitty Thomas' writing style appears to be pretty straightforward and minimalistic when you first begin reading her stories, but she can really pack an emotional punch. Comfort Food haunted me for days, my thoughts going to the psychology of submission way more times in a day than can be considered normal by any stretch of the imagination. By looking at a relationship that begins as non-consent and turns into consent, it sheds a whole new light on a relationship that begins consensually and gradually gets edgier and edgier. What I'm going around the bush to try to say is that her writing makes you think.

      The Last Girl is another non-consent story, and with the addition of a vampire who has powers a mere mortal man does not, the story has some extra twists and turns.

      Here is the blurb:

      Six years ago strangers broke into Juliette’s house; she was home alone and only thirteen. She kept her eyes closed, praying that if she didn’t see anything, she wouldn’t be killed. No one harmed her. In fact, one of the thieves protected her. Now Juliette’s dreams are haunted by him.

      Christian has waited to take her, resisting the urge each night. It always ends badly with human pets. They’re too fragile. The longer he can wait, the better, because the moment he takes her, the clock on her life starts ticking down.

      Then she’ll be gone forever.

      I both liked and disliked Christian, which I'm pretty sure is how I was supposed to feel. He is a monster and he makes no apologies for it. He is honest though, even when it isn't convenient to be, and I always respect that in a person.

      BDSM elements:
      • Bondage and Discipline: 3 of 3
      • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
      • Sadism and Masochism: He is certainly sadistic, and she has some masochistic tendencies, but not on the level of his sadism. 2 of 3 
      • Extra Point: I've gone back and forth on this one. It is an extreme book, and the D/s play is a major factor throughout. However, it is not consensual, and in my mind BDSM by definition is consensual. But, if I don't give it then that puts the intensity level at an 8, and it's more intense than that. So, yes.
      As for the writing elements, the plot is exceptional and has an unexpected and satisfying ending, something I had no idea was possible throughout most of the book. Pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were well written, character development was exceptionally well done, and world-building was detailed and interesting.

      The Last Girl is a 10 of 10 for me, and the heat level a 4 of 5.
      • Book Rating: The Last Girl: 10 of 10
      • BDSM Intensity Level: 9 of 10
      • Heat Level: 4 of 5

      One final note, the author has her own warning about not condoning "behavior done to another human being without their consent". I'll add my two cents to that and say non-consent can be hot in a fiction book (or in role play with your husband), but it has no place in real life.


      Tuesday, February 21, 2012

      The Stroke of Twelve by Kim Dare


      The Stroke of Twelve worked for me. Devon is wondering rather aimlessly through life, and Mr. Templeton helps him find direction.

      I loved that we see a bit of both sides, so we know how Mr. Templeton is feeling a bit as well as seeing Devon's side of it.

      I had a few issues with the whole structured time thing at first, but as things progressed I understood more of the purpose.

      Under normal circumstances, I think a Dom and sub should negotiate, but for a fantasy? It worked for me to have the Dom dictate things and then ask if there was a problem with what was said. He got agreement before they went to the next step.

      Here is the blurb:

      On the stroke of twelve Devon belongs to him for one hour. One hour that will change the course of his life forever.

      Free of responsibility and provided with an independent income, Devon Ashford floats through life thinking only of where the next party might be. When a note orders Devon to present himself at Templeton, Crawford & Associates at noon on Wednesday, he’s curious enough and bored enough to follow the order.

      He doesn’t know what to expect when he arrives, but it’s not to be told that on the stroke of twelve, he’ll belong to the stern man on the other side of the desk for exactly one hour. He doesn’t expect anyone to command him to strip for an inspection. Nor does he expect to follow the orders of a stranger. He certainly doesn’t imagine he could like doing that enough to go back for more.

      Whatever he expects, Devon’s about to discover that what happens at the stroke of twelve could change the course of his life forever.

      BDSM elements:
      • Bondage and Discipline: There isn't much bondage, and only a little discipline. But, there is a suspension scene that more than makes up for it.  3 of 3
      • Dominance and Submission: Yes. Tons of it. 3 of 3
      • Sadism and Masochism: Some, not much. 1 of 3
      • Extra Point: Yes
      As for the writing elements, it was more of a narrative than a plot, but it was perfect. Pacing was mostly fine, prose and dialogue were well done, character development was perfect.
      • Book Rating: The Stroke of Twelve: 9 of 10
      • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
      • Heat Level: 5 of 5 . 

        Monday, February 20, 2012

        By His Rules by J. A. Rock


        I'm a bit conflicted by By His Rules. The beginning of the story is supposed to show us the difference between abuse and BDSM. The ending of the story is supposed to show us what a trusting BDSM relationship is supposed to look like.

        My conflict comes from the fact that neither relationship was actually a healthy relationship. Aiden is just too immature and too conflicted. He didn't give his submission, he wanted the Top to fight him for it.

        The writing was good, and the sex scenes were hot -- even the semi-abusive scenes. And, to be honest - while the first relationship clearly crosses lines that shouldn't be crossed, Aiden does have to take some of the responsibility. Scott has to take more of it, sure... but Aiden set up a pattern of Scott having to fight him and hurt him to ensure his submission.

        Here is the blurb:

        Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the BDSM scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.

        Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.

        I appreciated Scott's character, and I liked Keaton. I liked Aiden's friends. I just didn't like Aiden very much.

        BDSM elements:
        • Bondage and Discipline: I loved many of the bondage and edge play scenes in the first relationship. If they'd ended with afterplay they would have been fine. 2 of 3
        • Dominance and Submission: It was warped, all the way around. Scott needed more compassion, Keaton did a great job with a very damaged sub but his style didn't do much for me, and Scott needs to just grow the #*%& up.  1 of 3
        • Sadism and Masochism:Aiden is a masochist, Scott is a sadist -- if the two of them were more grown up and mature they would have been great for each other. Keaton has a touch of sadist in him, but he's all about the Dominance, trying to control a bratty masochist who wants to be made to submit. 2 of 3 
        • Extra Point: No

        As for the writing elements, the plot had a lot of promise, pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were very well written, character development was well done (I just didn't like one of the characters I was supposed to like, and maybe didn't dislike another as much as I was supposed to).

        • Book Rating:By His Rules: 7 of 10
        • BDSM Intensity Level:5 of 10
        • Heat Level: 3 of 5

        I will keep my eyes out for this author in the future. I had some issues with By His Rules, but I was impressed with the author's knowledge of BDSM, and her (?) ability to tell a story.


        Sunday, February 19, 2012

        The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt


        The Surrender of Persephone is one of those books you should not judge by the cover.  The evil looking guy on top is not the idea I got from the Hero at all, and I have no idea what the red bomb in the jail cell is supposed to symbolize.

        However, while the cover isn't working for me, the story (and the storytelling) worked for me in a myriad of ways.

        The blurb makes it look like it's more of a non-consent than it actually is. While he certainly doesn't play fair when getting her consent, she does have the final say in whether she loses her virginity or not. I appreciated that.

        Here's the blurb:

        Sheltered Persephone, Goddess of Spring, never gets to do anything— thanks to the suffocating love of her mother, Demeter. Sephie is being carefully groomed to follow in the footsteps of the two “virgin” goddesses, Athena and Artemis, and while they sure do have a lot of fun together, she longs for something deeper—and darker. When Aidon, the God of the Underworld—generally known as Hades—appears in his chariot to claim Persephone for his bride, the young goddess gets more than she wished for.

        Held captive in the Underworld, she suddenly longs to return to the safety and security of her mother’s protection, but the dark and commanding Aidon binds her to him, claiming her bit by glorious bit as his own. Her coming of age is one of sexual awakening as she learns the bondage her new master imposes fulfills her darkest desires. Persephone finds herself submitting to and obeying Aidon’s command and discovers being taken and consumed in the heat of passion by a man—a god—is what she was truly made for. Persephone can’t deny her own nature, or her growing feelings for Aidon, as she submits to his domination and surrenders as his wife and prepares to rule as his Queen.

        As she finally admits her own feelings, Persephone faces the looming specter of her history, which threatens to shatter the newly formed bonds between the couple. She must now face not only her past, but her present, and her future—no longer only the Goddess of Spring, but also as the wife of Aidon and Queen of the Underworld—and the choices she will be forced to make will change the world forever.

         I ended up skimming over the sex scene with Athena and Artemis, as it was mostly vanilla lesbian playing around, and vanilla doesn't do anything for me. It was still well written, just not my thing. Once Aiden comes into the picture I skimmed through nothing.

        BDSM elements:
        • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3
        • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3.
        • Sadism and Masochism: 2 of 3. 
        • Extra Point: Yes
        As for the writing elements:
        • The plot was wonderful.
        • Pacing was fine.
        • Prose and Dialogue were skillfully woven together.
        • Character development was exceptionally well done.
        • World-building was detailed and imaginative and I loved it.
        I enjoy many of Selena Kitt's BDSM books, and I think The Surrender of Persephone is one of the best she's written. It's got a big strong all-powerful Dom who is fair and kind as well as tyrannical and sadistic. And his bride ends up being pretty much perfect for him. They are a perfect match.
        • Book Rating: The Surrender of Persephone: 10 of 10
        • BDSM Intensity Level: 8 of 10
        • Heat Level: 5 of 5