Tucker’s Fall ~ Eliza Gayle

  • Title: Tucker’s Fall
  • Author: Eliza Gayle
  • Series: Purgatory Master #1
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 2 out of 5

Description:  Scandalized professor Maggie Cisco returns to her hometown to lick her wounds and reconsider her future. Her years of personal and professional research into the BDSM lifestyle has landed her in jail, in divorce court and now in the headlines of more newspapers than she cares to count. The worst of all? The entire debacle is being blamed on a bestselling book she hasn’t even read!

Just when she thinks her only solution is a tell all memoir, a snowstorm puts her in the path of stunningly handsome, insanely rich and equally intense, Tucker Lewis.

Tucker remembers Maggie well. They once shared a mind-numbing kiss at the annual St. Mary’s carnival when her boyfriend wasn’t looking. No stranger to scandal, he looks past public opinion to the submissive craving a master’s touch and decides then and there what he wants. He’s going after Maggie and her heart’s kinkiest desires.

Unfortunately, no amount of money can change the sins of the past and when they’re certain they know everything there is to know about each other, one discovers a secret they aren’t prepared for.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  Tucker knows what he wants. He wants Maggie. It’s been ten years since they’ve shared a stolen kiss in high school but time hasn’t erased the memory one bit. Best laid plans often go awry. He didn’t plan on having their first meeting in years to happen on the side of the road in the middle of a snow storm but they did. He rescued her from the snow, drove her home, accepted her invitation for a drink, took her lips in a stunning kiss and began his seduction of the woman he’s desired for as long as he could remember. 

At first, I gave the book a rating of 3 stars but I changed it to 2 stars after I wrote my review.

The story starts off a little rough and without enough details for me to get into the characters but I shrug that aside because there’s a glimmer of promise when Tucker and Maggie meet again in the snow storm.

First, let me get out what did not work for me.

– The story is weaker for being told in two perspectives of Maggie and Tucker. It would have been more interesting if the author had stuck with Tucker and told the story from his eyes. His storyline is stronger than Maggie’s and his feelings came across better.

– The book reads like three books that were chopped up and thrown into one. Except, what’s left aren’t necessarily the best pieces of a puzzle. What’s the story about? Is it a sex story with a few plot twists to keep it from being just about sex? Is it a love story about two damaged people coming together and finding solace in each other? Is it really a mystery that is tied up with Tucker’s father and the club Purgatory? I feel like it’s suppose to be all of those mixed into one but it doesn’t sit well the way it is currently written.

– I thought there wouldn’t be a case of insta-lusting love because Maggie and Tucker had known each other as kids but I was wrong. If the perspective had stayed with one character, there would have been room to really develop the relationship as they interacted and by showing how that interaction really affected them. Instead, there are sex scenes that come off as technical jargon thrown into the air with only a smidgen of sensuality. Tucker did seem to be a caring and knowledgeable Dom but I didn’t get the sense that he really won Maggie over by truly understanding her. He seduced her body. Sure, I get that. However, Maggie is a mental creature. When did he seduce and win her mind?

– I like Nina. However all of the bits that she appears in feel forced. Which is a shame because her character seems like a lot of fun.

– I lost a lot of respect for the story when information about Tucker’s father is revealed. I felt that was the tip of the ice berg that totally destroyed any attempt at suspension of belief. I tried really hard to stay in the story but that one busted all the other holes wide open like cannon balls hitting a sinking ship.

– Where is the ending? The ending should have happened when Tucker & Maggie make up with wild sex, when they profess their love or when Tucker asks Maggie to accept his collar. That would have been a nice end. The epilogue was a little interesting but mostly aggravating because it made it seem like the story is ending on intermission. Maybe that was meant to be an awkward cliffhanger. I just felt really annoyed. I felt a little happy glow because I’m a sucker for happy endings. My glow was stamped out like a punk by an unwanted and badly framed to be continue. Was it really necessary? It’s book one of a series. As a reader, I know the story will continue.

Enough of the negative! Here are some points that I really liked about the story. Please note that the reason why I felt strongly about the negative aspects is due to the jarring friction against what does work.

– Maggie seems like a real woman. There are some thoughts and behaviors that are very natural. She’s a character with promise and grit. I wish I could have seen more of her and gotten to know her better.

– Tucker and Maggie’s first kiss memory is sweet. It makes the romantic in me feel warm and cuddly. It’s also realistic that life rolls all over you and you forget to pursue a moment that leaves a strong imprint.

– I loved that Tucker is an artist! As an artist, that hits a spot for me. Let’s ignore the fact that I had a hard time picturing the studio. That part wasn’t realistic.

– Sexy scenes: I liked most of Maggie’s first time with Tucker. Rotating wheel! I also liked the dinner date at Purgatory. An interesting environment and scene.

– I’m glad Tucker said I’m sorry first and swept Maggie into his arms. It was sweet.

The story has a lot of potential but it fell flat as a whole. I felt like I was on a uneven roller coaster ride that should have been awesomely sexy, emotionally turbulent or sneakingly thrilling but I mostly feel let down because there isn’t enough substance to any of the elements to make it stand out. I may read the next book to find out more about what happened in Tucker’s past but I’m not sure if I will.

Lean on Me ~ Cherise Sinclair

  • Title: Lean on Me
  • Author: Cherise Sinclair
  • Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #4
  • Genre: Erotica, Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Andrea wants to submit, but not to just any so-called Dom. He has to be tougher than the slum-bred bullies she grew up with. She’d given up finding a true Dom when her friend finagles her a place as a trainee in an exclusive BDSM club with the powerful Shadowlands Masters. Andrea’s thrilled…and terrified.

Forced to accept an unknown submissive into his carefully run trainee program, Master Cullen is furious. Not only is the young woman new to BDSM, but she’s unsuited to her role–armoured in leather like a Domme, she’s more liable to punch a Dom than kneel. He decides to push her right back out the door. But as he ruthlessly intimidates her, punishes her, then comforts her, his glimpses of the woman inside the emotional armour intrigue him and her utter surrender captures his heart.

Although Master Cullen is famous for his unfettered lifestyle, Andrea believes he might be interested in her, until she discovers he’s not just a bartender–he’s a cop. Maybe he’d overlook her past brush with the law, but when another trainee accuses her of stealing money, Andrea’s sure she’s lost the Master she wanted with all her heart.

Review:  3.5 Stars

=D

It’s a good thing when the stories become more “Awww” responsive right?!?! I’m on a romantic kink kick and there are a bazillion stories out there to fit the bill. This particular book is about Cullen and Andrea. I love their story! Definitely my favorite one of the bunch thus far.

The reason why it’s getting 3.5 stars instead of 4 is due to the mini-plot twist. It didn’t really fit that well into the story for me. I felt like it was forced in and the way Dan responded to the situation seemed very careless and unlike the character. However, Cullen and Andrea fit each other really well and some of their scenes made my eyes go really big. Well, that happens quite often but mostly because while my mind is open, for my actions & choices, I’m a bit old fashioned. Heh.

Breaking Free ~ Cherise Sinclair

  • Title: Breaking Free
  • Author: Cherise Sinclair
  • Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #3
  • Genre: Erotica, Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Beth must yield to become aroused, but she’s too scared to give up control. The last thing she wants is a ruthless, powerful Dom. But that’s just what she gets, and exactly what she needs…

A sadistic husband left Beth scarred, inside and out. Only at the Shadowlands BDSM club does she feel like a woman. But her fears limit her to Doms who won’t overwhelm her— the very ones who cannot arouse her. The Master of the Shadowlands gives her an ultimatum: accept the Dom he assigns or lose her membership. The last thing Beth wants is a ruthless, powerful Dom, but that’s just what she gets.

Asked to take on a problem sub, Nolan sees the issue immediately— although truly submissive, the little redhead is too scared to relinquish control and her Doms have let her get away with it. That will change right now.

As Master Nolan takes Beth under command, compelling her submission, she’s terrified, but the experienced Dom brings her pleasure, not pain. His only demand is that she never lie to him. Under his capable hands, her body comes alive, and she begins to heal. As he pushes her limits, she learns to trust…and then to love. And she realizes he is beginning to care for her in return.

But now her cruel husband has found her, and Master Nolan discovers she’s been lying and lying and lying…

Review:  3.5 Stars

In many ways, out of the first three books in the series, this one has the strongest story. There were elements that I wasn’t comfortable reading about but it created emotional responses that made the book more striking. I fought within myself on how to rate the book. I feel it’s better than the first because of how many emotions I felt but it was also less cohesive because it was more complicated. In the first book, it was all about discoveries and acceptance. In Breaking Free, there’s also horrifying experiences, a vigilante & cutthroat decision and a bit more time for the characters to fall in love. See? A bit more complicated. A whole lot more wild! Definitely sweet and sexy.

😉

I don’t read this kind of series for unexpected twists or emotional highs. I admit it. I’m in it for the romance. No matter how many times I’ve read the plot, I’m still a sucker for a good romance. Thanks for another wild ride, Cherise! I’ll be gobbling down the next book soon!

The Angel ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: The Angel
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #2
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  No safe word can protect the heart. Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  If I had to describe the book with one word, it would be uncomfortable. The story isn’t about rosy love. The elements that make up this novel are similar to the one before: dark, edgy, painful, luxurious, decadent, devious, delightful, sad, terrifying and a different kind of happily ever after.

Michael is a young man whose father labeled as a monstrous fag when he found his son looking up information on bondage and erotic pictures of men. In despair, Michael tried to kill himself and Soren helped to pull him away from the edge with a promise. Several years later, Nora and Micheal are sent away for the summer as the church becomes a political hotbed. At Griff’s family home in the wealthiest boonies, the trio spend a riotous time together as Michael learns about BDSM and how to be a good submissive.

Soren lives in the shadows and pulls strings upon the complicated web that he weaves amongst those he loves and guides.

Nora must face her heart but she won’t until Soren gives her no choice but to see.

I wasn’t shocked by anything that came up in the story but man I felt really uncomfortable with certain aspects. Sexual abuse is terrible! Especially abuse with young children. To read that Soren & Elizabeth had an incestuous relationship when they were children was profoundly icky. Marcus raping a nanny, his wife and daughter. Terrifying.

Soren. Too brilliant for his own good. He’s intelligent, caring, twisted, and really horrifying. Definitely someone I would want to hug and kick at the same time. His need to cut and bleed Nora is not okay. It’s not normal and it’s not something even Nora is comfortable with. In the first book, I came away with the thought that while Nora may not be entirely into BDSM, she does love it and enjoys it quite a bit. Sex isn’t sex without the violence for her and I can get that. I can understand that’s how it is and that’s what she needs. That’s why the relationship with Soren is the only one she thinks she needs. After reading the entirety of this book, I’m not sure BDSM is what Nora wants or really needs. The cutting? Oh, she doesn’t like it at all. She justifies why she won’t hate it and why she will do it. All for the love of a man who has been the very foundation of her life and heart.

I didn’t care for Suzanne at all. She was in the story as a tool to move the plot along. She should have made the story more alive, interesting, complicated, etc. Instead, those scenes felt mostly forced, whiny and not really necessary.

Going by the first two books in this series, I’m not sure if the relationship between Soren and Nora will work. If he needs her to be his slave without question 24/7, she will die from not being able to grow into her potential. She’s a very strong character, and Soren does know how to push her to certain points but he is blind to how much she will sacrifice to be with him.

The pregnancy. Hm. That scare was talked about before and brought into entirety here. I don’t think it was enough to make her leave him. I don’t believe it. That memory, the scenario as Nora told Micheal… it’s harsh, painful and vivid but it doesn’t really resonate with how I see Soren or Nora in my mind.

I’m guessing the next book is going to describe how Nora is going to try to have both of the men she loves in her life but it won’t work. Their love, in their shaded ways, are too possessive and devouring in its need for the whole of Nora’s heart, mind & body. If the three of them could live together, that would be what Nora wants the most but there is no way in hell Wes will be able to stand seeing the damage on Nora’s skin that Soren needs to inflict.

There are beautiful moments! Watching Mick and Griff fall in love was tender, loving, raunchy and heartbreakingly awws. Wes remembering Nora and why he loves her. Soren meeting Suzanne at Adam’s grave. Nora playing with Owen.

This book was difficult for me to read because there’s a lot of dark elements. Love is complicated. However, I don’t think it’s a wound that never heals. I don’t like that imagery. I do like how this story shows that love is complicated, comes in all forms, some you understand and others you won’t but it’s all in varying shades of light and dark.

Beautiful.

Devastating.

I may have to hold off on reading the next book. I think I rather have the last one in my hands before I read the next. That way, I won’t have to wait to see what happens!

Seven Day Loan ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: Seven Day Loan
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #0.5
  • Genre: Erotica, Short Story
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands…even spend a week with a stranger. Daniel has been a recluse since his wife’s death, and Eleanor’s lover thinks spending time with her will be therapeutic–especially since Daniel is also a Dom.

Despite her defiant streak, Eleanor can’t resist giving in to Daniel’s erotic demands. But while she’ll let him have her body, she’s determined to keep a guard around her heart. Even if Daniel wants to make Eleanor his permanently…

Review:  The first small tale of Eleanor and how her exuberant, rebellious spirit charms a lonely man to run heedlessly past the gates he imprisoned himself within. I grinned, snorted, rolled my eyes, grimaced, felt warm & fuzzy, and wistful as I read this short story. I kind of wish the ending was different but if it was, that would change all that follows and that wouldn’t be right.

Little Red Riding Crop ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: Little Red Riding Crop
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #0.6
  • Genre: Erotica, Short Story
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  BDSM erotica writer Tiffany Reisz fractures the famous Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale in this sexy short story, a free prequel to THE SIREN (Mira Books, August 2012).

Mistress Nora needs a vacation. She might be the one flogging the clients, but Kingsley, her sexy French boss, is the real sadist who rarely gives her a day off. They strike a backseat deal: Nora gets one month off and a trip to Europe if she can sneak into a rival BDSM club and get the dirt on the owner. But she’ll need more than her little red riding crop when she comes face to face with Brad Wolfe, the one man who stands between her and freedom.

Only readers 18 and older please.

Review:  3.5 Stars

Two complaints:

1. Too short!
2. Ha! The sex was rather tame & a little vanilla–considering. 😉

Nora’s the best and King knows it. He lures her with a promise of a month long break if she’ll do one favor for him. With very little thought, Nora agrees to infiltrate a rival BDSM club and find out it’s secrets. Dressed to kill in red leather and protected from the drizzle-pouring rain with a red cloak, Nora charms her way into the club by agreeing to submit to Brad for one hour.

Nora may be the one willingly submitting herself to Brad, but he is the one who ends up being caught in Nora’s unbridled response.