Call Me Cat by Alex Lux

I swear, more often than not it seems like the quick romance reads that I assume will be mainly sexy but lacking in substance that end up surprising me the most. Just goes to show, you can’t always judge a book by its synopsis!

What’s it About?

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“Make me forget about everything except you.” Catelyn Travis is a good girl who gets good grades in law school, doesn’t date and never gets into trouble. But when a run of bad luck threatens to destroy everything she’s worked for, she’s forced to become Cat, phone sex goddess who fulfills the fantasies of her clients night after night. When she meets Ashton Davenport the Third, bad boy biker billionaire, she knows to stay away. But when he calls her alter ego, Cat, she has no choice but to fall for the sexy stranger. Now her life is spiraling out of control as she struggles to keep her two identities separate, but there’s one person who knows her secret. And he’ll stop at nothing to destroy her, just like he destroyed her parents. Threatened at every turn, her life crumbling around her, Catelyn must decide who she can trust, because the wrong choice could end her life. Contains mature content, recommended for adult readers. Trigger warnings: Sexual assault and animal abuse.

First Impressions

So, we have a young college girl down on her luck financially who needs to make some cash, and fast. Sounds like the set-up to an average porno, doesn’t it? After reading the synopsis and downloading this book for free off BookBub, I figured it would be a nice, mindless read to enjoy in between my romance author review requests. However, before you know it you’re quickly enthralled by a cold case murder mystery, a sadistic stalker, and a blossoming romance shrouded in secrets. Well smack my ass and call me Judy! Actually, please don’t do that.

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What to Do?

Something that I really enjoyed about this novel, other than the unexpected suspenseful plot, was our main character Catelyn, or Cat, as she is known to her naughty callers. This isn’t the first novel I’ve come across where a female character has turned to phone sex in order to pay the bills. However, I think I can honestly say this is the first one where I felt like she legitimately had no other options. Hear me out!

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Catelyn has already maxed out on her student loans during her undergrad at Harvard, and she is unable to take out any more for Harvard Law School due to the fact that she has no living relative who could possibly co-sign a private loan for her. She’s sought in vain for additional fellowship opportunities (which are already being reduced), her professor is already paying her out-of-pocket for her TA duties, and campus jobs are few and far between. Short of dropping out of school, this seemed like a viable option.

Time to Study

The other thing I loved about Catelyn was that she was a student, through and through. She’s never had sex before, or a long-term boyfriend, so she doesn’t exactly have the necessary dirty talking skills to be a phone sex operator. Does that stop her? Hell no! Catelyn hits the library and checks out as many romance novels and sex guides that she can get her hands on. After taking avid notes, she has multiple script options ready to go. She stumbles a bit at first, and it was actually kind of funny to see her try and find her rhythm, but by God ya gotta love the girl’s tenacity.

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Can’t Put it Down

Best piece of advice I can give you when it comes to this book? Be sure to read it on a lazy day at the beach when you have about three uninterrupted hours to spare. That’s about how long you’ll need to finish it. I made the mistake of starting it pretty late in the evening, thinking I’d just read a few chapters before bed. Next thing I know it’s 1:00am and I have work the next day. I had to stop reading 82% of the way through, or else risk showing up to work looking like a zombie. Not only does the book itself end on a cliffhanger, but so does every…single…chapter! I kept telling myself, “Just one more!” Yeah, that didn’t happen.

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Keeping Secrets

Catelyn finds herself in a difficult situation with our main male lead character, Ash, as she starts to fall for him in real life, yet he also happens to be one of her late night callers. She’s hesitant to reveal her true identity to Ash as his local phone sex operator, fearing that he might prefer her sexy alter ego, Cat, to her true self. She wants to think she’s nothing like Cat, but in reality Cat is just the hidden, sexy, carefree side to Catelyn’s own personality. Cat may seem the confident phone sex operator while Catelyn is the serious academic, but they are truly one and the same. Pretty deep for a short romance read!

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Series: Call Me Cat Trilogy, book 1. I got this first book for free, but I immediately went and bought the rest of the trilogy.

Should you read it? I always say the sign of a good mystery novel is when you suspect just about every character in the novel of being the killer. That definitely happens here! I think we still have a lot to learn about Ash, especially when he discovers that Catelyn is actually Cat. Can’t wait to find out more in the next book!

Smut Level: Some of Cat’s clients are raunchier than others. Dirty talk guaranteed. The calls with Ash were surprisingly romantic as he creates sex scenes for them all over the world.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE. Daring Books Publishing. 200 Pages.

 

Worth the Fight by Vi Keeland

The button-up lawyer falls for the ripped MMA fighter. A girl has to fall for a bad boy at least once in her life. It’s sort of an unwritten rule after all.

What’s it About?

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It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same. Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control. Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.

First Impressions

When this novel starts, you think you’ve got it all figured out. Goody two shoes chica falling for the tough fighter. The beauty of this novel though is that she’s not exactly America’s sweetheart with a warm and fuzzy upbringing, and he’s not the hard-ass you would expect him to be. They both have troubled pasts which help them connect with each other on a deeper level. His sordid past is well-known, as he tragically killed another fighter in the ring in a terrible accident. Elle’s misfortune is something she wishes to keep well under wraps, assuming Nico will think less of her if it ever becomes comes to light. Little do they know that it’s only when they both  open up that they can become strong and move towards a future together.

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Falling for the Fighter

This novel is all kinds of sexy. When Elle and Nico first meet, she is actually dating another man. But upon first meeting Elle quickly discovers what has been missing in her currently stagnant and boring relationship. Passion. Lust. Raw sexual magnetism. Oh my! It doesn’t take long for these two to put some burn marks on the sheets, but don’t you worry, she breaks things off with her former boyfriend before pursuing anything physical with Nico.

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Series: MMA fighter, book 1.

Should you read it? This book is unlike your typical fighter romance. Not only does the male lead have a sweet side in addition to the usual alpha male possessiveness, but he’s not involved with anything or anyone illegal. It seems like we always have some kind of underground circuit of shady dealings and characters in these types of novels, but in this instance we just have a troubled man and woman trying to move on from their pasts. Rather touching at times.

Smut Level: Testosterone overload needs to be worked off somehow!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services, LLC. 376 Pages.

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Owned by the Dom: Parts 1 & 2 by Sam Crescent

The only way I would ever refer to my man as “Master” would be if he called me “Empress”. I might let him get away with “Czarina”, but he better be one pretty good cook on top of everything else.

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James Castleden has had enough of the press surrounding him and his club. Ravage is his place to let loose. He is possessive and dominant. When the younger sister of the woman he used to date walks into his club, James is not ready for the instant attraction he feels toward her.

Prudence Star fell in love with James seven years ago. She is no shy virgin and knows what he is. James does not scare her. She’s read the reports about his association with club Possession and she craves what only he can give. When their flirting deepens, James cannot stop the craving inside him to own, to claim, and to take Prudence as his woman.

But Possession and Ravage are under serious threat. Dominic and Eugene were just the beginning. There is nowhere to hide and no way to keep his woman safe. The Owners have no idea who they’re really dealing with.

First Impressions

I’m sorry to say that I have officially decided to stop reading this series. I initially went in with the impression that part 2 was the last book of The Owners story line, but shockingly enough there is definitely a set up for a continuation of the series. Unfortunately, I’ve lost interest. If I had to describe these two novels in just one word it would have to be…meh. Nothing special, just like the rest of the series as a whole. But what can I say? They’re short, quick reads, and I thought I had finally reached the culmination of everything!

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Owned by the Dom: Part 1

Most of the drama in this novel felt pretty unnecessary to me. I mean, for two people who admit they’re totally into each other, they take forever to have sex. James claims Prudence is too young for him considering the age difference between them, but he won’t let others have her. Therefore, he ensures she is fired from her current job working in his club so that nobody else can lay eyes on her. His BDSM lifestyle is something he seems hesitant to introduce Prue to, yet she openly admits to him that she’s into the idea, and also has an intense desire to be possessed. So…what exactly is the hold-up here people?

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As for the rest of the drama in this novel, some of the characters from the previous novels are aware of a human trafficking scheme going on which is linked to all their BDSM clubs. However, they choose to hide the true identity of who is behind this scheme to the rest of the characters because…I honestly don’t know. At this point, you just know that sh*t is about to go down, and it’s pretty frustrating that those who know the truth didn’t think to warn everyone else about this threat.

Owned by the Dom: Part 2

This book was sort of the nail in the coffin for me, as it had both expected results, yet an unexpected path. Part 1 ended with Prue being kidnapped by the same forces which were threatening the clubs in town. SPOILER ALERT: they get her back! Surprisingly, James and his posse rescue her fairly early on in the book, and the rest of the story primarily deals with Prue pulling away from him in the aftermath.

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It’s rather understandable that after surviving a kidnapping, and the possibility of being sold into human trafficking that Prue would experience difficulties adjusting to normal life again, not to mention being intimate with James. The most ridiculous part of the novel for me though was when Prue saw a therapist to help her with her PTSD. This therapist totally does a breach of confidentiality by telling James EVERYthing she talked about in her session with Prue. Her excuse was that Prue didn’t really need therapy, so it was ok to share all the details of their sessions with James. Like…what?!

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Series: The Owners, books 3 & 4

Should you read it? Meh. By no means terrible, but not worth rushing out to read either in my humble opinion.

Smut Level: This guy is possessive and into BDSM, what do you think? At the end of Part 2 James whisks Prue away to Italy and goes all caveman with her. They proceed to have so much sex I don’t know how they have any bodily fluids left.

Get it on Amazon: Part 1, click here. Part 2, click here. $4.99 each. Evernight Publishing. 180 Pages. 235 Pages.

 

Sizzle by Gina Watson

Hot tamales and Tabasco sauce, this book is steamy and totally awesome!

What’s it About?

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A Louisiana fireman, Clay St. Martin liked his hoses bound tight and his women bound tighter. He’d not had a traditional relationship in years and was positive he’d found the answer to all his needs and desires: The Hoodoo Pot-Baton Rouge’s elite members only sex and bondage club. Eve Ivey had escaped the clutches of her evil ex, but still she constantly looked over her shoulder. That is, until she met Clay. At six feet five, he was a king among men. She’d certainly like to be his queen. He’d rescued her from a hurricane’s lashing winds and rising water, but his first mistake was in bringing her home. Yet she’d had nowhere to go. A bigger mistake would have been not going back for her. And now neither of them wanted her to leave. The only thing to do was let the storm rage outside while they focused on the personal storm raging between their bodies. A storm that was advancing on their hearts.

First Impressions

Clay is a member of the local sex club, and likes to tie people up. I’ll admit, this immediately put me on edge, as I’m not a huge fan of the whole dom-sub romance story line. However! I’m happy to report that this is in no way your typical d/s book. Sure, he’s a dirty talker and slaps her behind a couple times, but he definitely tones down his sexual urges when it comes to his relationship with Eve. Hell, at the end of the book he even gives up his club membership. Such a gentleman! For those of you like me who aren’t huge fans of BDSM, rest assured when I tell you that you can definitely handle this one.

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I’m Burning Up Over Here!

In case I didn’t mention it earlier, in addition to being a member of a sex club, Clay just also happens to be a fireman. Hell yeah! He also rescues Eve in the midst of a hurricane. Double hell yeah! After rescuing her, Eve has no place to go, so she has to wait out the rest of the storm in Clay’s house. Mkay, I’m seriously considering moving to a high flood area for crying out loud!! Let’s face it, worse things could happen than being trapped in a house with a sexy fireman who also happens to be good at tying knots. How will they ever pass the time I wonder? Tee hee, giggle giggle.

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Running From the Past

In addition to all the fabulousness of the setting, as well as Clay’s general fireman presence, we also have a really interesting back story happening here. Eve has wound up in this Louisiana town because she’s running from an abusive ex. There are some moments in the book where she cowers from Clay as she mistakenly expects him to mistreat her just like her ex. I must say these scenes were fascinating to read, as we see the dominant Clay treat her with nothing but care. Ahhhhh, I think I just swooned.

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Series: St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders, book 1. I’ll be reading book 2 right about…now.

Should you read it? Um, did I stutter? Fireman here people. Fireman! The dynamic between Clay and Eve was mesmerizing, as we see the two learn to trust and open up to each other. I also loved that Clay was willing to adjust his sexual lifestyle to Eve’s needs. Such an unselfish hunk of man love. My only complaint was the ending was rather anti-climactic in regards to Eve’s past, but I think this will play out more in the second book.

Smut Level: Clay’s BDSM tool of choice is rope, as he ties knots all over Eve’s body at some…conveniently placed pressure points.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $10.99 Paperback. Self-Published. 220 Pages.

Victorious by Marie Force

Well, well, well, it looks like our sexual dominant was finally let out to play.

What’s it About?

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After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.

He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher…Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her?

First Impressions

So at the end of the last book, Nat chose to leave Flynn after realizing he lied to her face about his kinky sexual preferences. She tells him that she needs space to think over their relationship. Yeah…that lasts for about one day, and only 8% of the book. What follows is Flynn slowly introducing Nat to the BDSM lifestyle, and his sexually dominant side finally comes to the forefront.

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Playtime

Although I was a tad disappointed that Nat fell back into Flynn’s arms, or bed for that matter, so quickly, I must say it was kind of nice that he didn’t push her in regards to her hard limits. For example, touching. She wants to touch him during sex, and he actually lets her. How many times do you read a book with BDSM aspects where as soon as the female lead says she wants to touch the man he ties her hands to the headboard?

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They really do take baby steps in exploring BDSM together, and they don’t do anything too over the top. Believe me, I’ve read much worse. If anything, I felt like things were almost too repetitive. He loves providing her with things that vibrate, and he seems rather obsessed with her butt. Come on man, worship other parts of her anatomy already.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Quantum series, book 3. The last book featuring Nat and Flynn as main characters.

Should you read it? Overall, this series was very sexy, but also had it’s sweet moments as well. All three books are very quick reads, and kind of addictive, but they could also be overtly sappy with too many endearments and declarations of true love.

Smut Level: Our dominant no longer has to reserve his BDSM fantasies to his dreams.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. HTJB, Inc. 270 Pages.

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Valorous by Marie Force

I’m shocked that for a romance novel featuring a movie star falling for a nobody, there’s actually some sense of realism to it! Not to mention a pretty big F-You to the media!

What’s it About?

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After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.

He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher…Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her?

First Impressions

At the end of book one, the entire world found out about Natalie’s past, and we sort of hold our breath speculating how everyone will react. Turns out, pretty much everyone in the entire USA is supportive of her, and they bash the media for prying into her private life. Gotta love the joys of Twitter! I also enjoyed how in this novel there was sort of a sense of realism in that Natalie’s past was front page news for a hot second, before some other celebrity gossip took everyone’s attention away. It seems like in most celebrity romance novels our female lead is constantly being chased by the dreaded paparazzi, and splashed all over the gossip mags, even though she’s not in showbiz. In this book however, Natalie and Flynn are able to move on with their lives rather quickly after the dust settles.

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Fallout

Most of this novel deals with the fallout of Natalie’s rape story being released to the public. You can’t help but appreciate all of the support which the community gives her for surviving such a tragic incident. I must say though, when it came to Natalie and Flynn dealing with the aftermath of the news release, they are so supportive and sickeningly sweet to each other it almost gave me a toothache.

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Throughout the entire novel, we basically hear on continual repeat how she doesn’t want him to blame himself for the story coming out, and he still sees her as a beautiful woman whom he will love no matter what. Over and over and over again. While reading you can almost picture birds chirping and squirrels dancing from all their terms of endearment. Absolutely adore the love and support in the air, but it could’ve been taken down a notch or two.

The Truth Comes Out

My favorite part of this novel was the ending. Nat is an unbelievably strong character, and she’s not afraid to call out Flynn for keeping secrets from her while she’s been completely open and honest with him. She gave him a chance to tell the truth, and acknowledges how she understands he’s trying to protect her from his BDSM tendencies considering her past. What I loved though is that Natalie makes it clear she won’t stand for his lies. By keeping the truth from her, he is in a way implying she’s not strong enough to deal with the consequences. And she won’t stand for that. Boom baby!

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Quantum series, book 2. I enjoyed this one five thousand times more than book 1.

Should you read it? The beginning and end of this novel was fantastic. From the public’s support of Natalie, to her standing up to Flynn for keeping secrets. The in between dragged a bit for me, as there wasn’t as much story going on. Just a bunch of lovey dovey-ness between Flynn and Natalie.

Smut Level: Definitely getting more comfortable with each other, which translates into more dirty talk.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. HTJB, Inc. 258 Pages.

 

Virtuous by Marie Force

You know, if I didn’t dislike New York City so much, I’d actually consider moving there. It seems there are billionaires and movie stars walking all over the place just looking for a normal girl-next-door like me! Yeah…not gonna happen.

What’s it about? 

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After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.

He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher…Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her?

First Impressions

The premise of this novel is, for lack of a better word, pretty…ridiculous. Natalie literally runs into Flynn while he is shooting a movie. Like, she runs around a corner and bumps into him. Such an adorable meet cute, you’d think you were watching a Hallmark movie. He’s immediately entranced by her presence, they go on a few dates, and manage to fall in love in the span of one week. See what I mean? It’s not every day you bump into a movie star, and fall madly in love. Kind of out there.

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Secretive Secret Keepers

Although these two characters feel a deep connection with each other, they are both hiding some pretty big secrets. For Natalie, it relates to her past. She was brutally raped at the age of 15. For Flynn, he’s hiding his BDSM lifestyle from her. What really, really bothered me though was that he continually pushed Natalie to trust him, and she took a huge step by revealing to him that she was raped as a teenager. However, he doesn’t even hint at the fact that his own sexual desires might be what some consider to be out of the ordinary.

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I couldn’t help but feel that he was a bit hypocritical to insist that she reveal such an important part of her past without reciprocating by opening up himself. I mean, this woman has vowed for the last three years that she won’t have sex until she’s married, and with his talents of persuasion, and a bit of alcohol, he manages to wear down her defenses in a matter of days. She is literally all in. He doesn’t necessarily have to act out his BDSM tendencies with her, but he could at least admit that he has them.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Quantum, book 1. Consider yourself warned that this book does end on a cliffhanger.

Should you read it? The premise was pretty far-fetched, but I did admire Natalie for her bravery of sharing the details of her rape with Flynn. I just found it kind of hard to like him by not sharing anything with her in return. He basically demanded she talk about what happened to her, but he kept his own secrets to himself.

Smut Level: There are some elements of BDSM, but what I found to be a rather unique aspect of the story is that all of these elements are reserved to Flynn’s dreams. It’s more about what he wants to do with her rather than what they actually did.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. HTJB, Inc. 278 Pages.