The Discipline (Lessons in Control #2) by Jade A. Waters

disciplineHow far would you go to fulfill a fantasy?
Maya Clery has taken risks before. Her relationship with Dean Sova started out as a risk—a series of sexual assignments, each hotter, wilder, more intense than the last. Exploring her submissive side with a powerful, trustworthy Dominant has been everything she hoped for, everything she needed.
Dean pushes Maya to her limits—it’s one of the things she loves most about him. But as they push the boundaries outside their sex life, meeting friends and family members, Maya realizes there’s still much she doesn’t know about the man with whom she’s sharing her bed.
And when a fantasy simmering between them becomes their latest challenge, past secrets begin to reveal weaknesses in their relationship that neither is ready to face.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I liked the first book in the Lessons in Control series, The Assignment, but as you can tell from my review, even though I liked it, I had some minor issues with it. In The Discipline, I’m sorry to say, I had even more. *sigh*

Okay, so I didn’t hate The Discipline. Maya and Dean had come a long way since they first met. They’d gotten close and learned a lot about each other, but not everything. Their relationship was as hot as ever and Dean found new ways to push Maya, which she loved. What she didn’t love was the fact that she knew he was hiding something from her. And there lies my issue…

Dean was broken by events from his past, but he didn’t share that with Maya. Instead he stalled her whenever she brought things up. The secrecy was frustrating, for both Maya and me as a reader. So much pain, frustration and craziness could have been avoided if Dean or someone… anyone would have filled Maya in on just a little bit of Dean’s past. What he hid from her was a big deal and, once again, he put her in a situation that got out of hand because of his irresponsibility.

Other than my frustration with the characters, The Discipline was still a pretty good read. On a side note, I’m not sure if it was because of that frustration or not, but I found myself skimming over some of the sex in The Discipline. I’m not a prudish reader (have you seen my book list?) but by the end, I’d had enough and there didn’t seem to be much new. Regardless of how Dean and Maya frustrated me, Jade A. Waters isn’t done with this couple yet and neither am I. I’m hoping that they’ve learned from there mistakes and they’re working their way toward a deserved HEA, so I’ll stick with them.

DragonFlyGreen3-5

 

Kinky Sprinkles by L.A. Witt

kinkysprinklesJoel has finally walked away from his abusive ex and is ready to meet new people. But that isn’t easy for a guy who’s shy, self-conscious, and struggling with his body image.
Andre has wanted Joel since the first time he laid eyes on him, and finally Joel is single. But Andre is a Dom and a sadist, and Joel is unapologetically vanilla. There’s no happy medium—either Andre reins in the kinky side that took him years to accept, or Joel grits his teeth and subjects himself to kinks that aren’t his thing. No matter who bends, someone’s going to be unhappy.
They agree to walk away, but they keep circling back to each other. Though their kinks might not line up, the chemistry between them sizzles and the emotional connection keeps getting deeper. But none of that will get them anywhere if they can’t find some kind of middle ground in the bedroom.
 

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I know I say this every time I review a BDSM book, but this genre is definitely not my ‘go-to’ in either F/M or M/M romance. However, every once in a while a description, title or author catches my attention. All three happened with Kinky Sprinkles. I mean, come on, how can you possibly NOT want to find out what a title like that has to do with this genre?

When it comes to L.A. Witt, you never really know what to expect. That is not a complaint. I like the unexpected. She has a knack (especially in the last two books I’ve read by her) of making the impossible, possible. After reading the description, it’s kind of hard to figure out how in the world these two guys could ever get over their differences enough to make any kind of relationship work.

Joel and Andre eventually find a way that works for them. It’s unconventional and definitely not anything a lot of people would even consider, but it works for them. Regardless of how they worked it out, I liked these two enough that I was happy for them in the end. Oh, and the title? Yeah, it made perfect sense… just wait for it 😉

DragonFlyRating4

Roped In by Marie Sexton & L.A. Witt

RopedIn_600x900Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.
Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.
All they need is a bit of rope.
(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1It’s always an added bonus when two authors that you follow collaborate. Even though this is a re-make of a previous title, I missed it the first time around. It’s not the first Sexton/Witt collaboration I’ve read and you’ll be happy to know that it won’t be the last. 😉

I’ve said before that BDSM isn’t my go-to genre, but every once in a while, especially if it’s written by an author (or in this case authors) that I really like, I take a chance. Roped In is one of those books. If you’re like me and not really into anything hard core when it comes to the genre, or if you’re not sure, Roped In is fairly tame. That doesn’t mean that it’s not full of smexiness… far from it.

There’s no reason why a relationship between a rodeo cowboy and an animal rights activist could even be close to compatible. Somehow this writing duo made it work. I loved Kaz’s energy and his compassion. I also loved his ability to keep an open mind when Graham offered to show him that he may be wrong about his opinion on some things. There was a lot to love about Graham too. I loved his willingness to take the time to show Kaz that there were some things he should know before condemning every cowboy. I was also really happy that he gave Kaz a chance to show him a thing or two. 😉 Basically, Roped In was a sweet, unexpected love story that ended a lot sooner than I was ready for. ❤

DragonFlyRating4

 

Risk Aware (Saugatuck) by Amelia C. Gormley

RiskAware_600x900Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill? 
Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.
Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1My mini pre-review on Goodreads went something like this… “Finally! An author who writes a series in the crazy mixed up way I usually read them!” If you look through my previous reviews, you probably won’t have to go back very far to see that I’m notorious for reading books out of order in a series. I don’t do it on purpose… most of the time. Sometimes a book catches my eye and I request it for review or pick it up without actually knowing that it’s a book that falls later in an existing series. I actually did this with the Saugatauk series. I read Saugatuck Summer before the prequel to the series, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams. Even though Risk Aware isn’t listed as a part of this series, it definitely is, at least in my mind. Not only that, the timeline of this book falls before Saugatuck Summer because in that book both Geoff and Robin are already a couple. Now, of course I’m going to have to go back and re-read Saugatuck Summer… sneaky author. (But one I can totally relate to 😉 )

Risk Aware took the BDSM lifestyle to a totally unique level. Because of Geoff’s condition, he knew he could never have what he craved. Robin knew he could give him what he wanted, but not without Geoff’s trust that he wouldn’t go too far as well as Robin’s trust that Geoff would be totally honest with him about his condition. They were walking both a physical and emotional tight rope.

I’m not sure which one of this pair I felt for most. Geoff had his reasons for keeping things to himself. His mom kept him in a bubble – or tried to. He longed for normal. Robin had been burned by his former sub and couldn’t put himself in that position again, but he knew he could help Geoff. They had more than a few obstacles and almost lost it all… Throw in people jumping to the wrong conclusions – regardless of how well meaning they were –  and things became even more complicated.

I have to admit that I almost passed this one up because BDSM books aren’t my normal go-to. I’m really glad that I took a chance Risk Aware though. The life-style is a major part of the book, but the way the characters learn to trust and work through the obstacles that they’re faced with made it so much more than that. It also made me realize that I need to search out more books by Amelia C. Gormley.

DragonFlyRating4

 

Scandalous (Finn Factor #2) by R.G. Alexander

ScandalousWill it be Scandalous?
If Natasha Rivera is involved, the answer is usually yes. The owner of The Twisted Tart bakery has never been shy about expressing her opinions or her desires. The only secret she ever kept had to do with her feelings for a certain Finn and the details of their unusual relationship.
When reformed bad boy Senator Stephen Finn asks her to join him for a week of political intrigue and kink, there’s no way she can say no. Nothing has changed. His star is still on the rise and she is still too wild to be tamed. Once they get their hands on each other they’re bound to cause a scandal…but it might just be worth it.
Recipe of Warning: Take one outspoken, sexually confident woman and a repressed former bad boy. Combine until sparks fly. Add voyeurism, exhibitionism, spanking, excessive quantities of explicit sex, a kinky house party and whatever pervertible you have on hand…thoroughly shake the mixture until your wrists hurt or your batteries run low. Mmmm. Yummy warning.

I’ve gotta be honest here. I picked up the first book in this series, Curious, because the M/M genre caught my eye and another blogger who I follow had read it and loved it. That’s basically all it took for me to fall in love with the entire Finn clan. So, even though BDSM isn’t one of my ‘go-to’ reads, because it was part of this series I knew that it was a must read. I wasn’t disappointed. 😉

Readers were introduced to Tasha and Stephen in Curious. Actually, their affair tied into Jeremy and Owen’s story and I was more than excited when I found out their story was next. It seems that the only two people that didn’t know that Tasha and Stephen were meant for each other were Tasha and Stephen… at least within the Finn clan.

Natasha took whatever interaction from Stephen she could get, so when he asked her to help him she didn’t hesitate to tell him yes. She had loved him forever and even though she knew her lifestyle wasn’t good for his squeaky clean reputation, he needed her. What she didn’t realize was that Stephen felt the same way.

So… yeah, the story was kind of predictable… and yeah, I spent a lot of time ‘yelling’ at both Stephen and Tasha, Scandalous was still a really great story. There was humor, heartbreak, some really bad guys, plenty of heat and in the middle of it all a really sweet love story.

Next comes Dangerous and it’s another M/M romance. I’m pretty sure I can guess who the next Finn will be. I can’t wait to see if I’m right 😉

DragonFlyRating4

For Real (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall

ForRealLaurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.
It can’t be real.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is a book that I passed up several times before requesting it for review. The person who recommended it to me had the same reservations before they picked it up that I did. I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to books labeled BDSM, but it was the age issue that really stalled me on For Real. Once I started reading it though, it didn’t take me long to realize that it wasn’t as much of an issue as I originally thought.

There was something that drew Laurie to Toby. It was instant and it was scary and the fact that Laurie had the same trepidation that readers did about the age gap made me respect him as a character. He was guarding his heart and trying his best not to feel. Yeah, he was one of those broken characters that I can’t help but love.

Toby knew what he wanted, but didn’t know how to get it. He was searching for the right person to help him feel mentally good about what he desperately wanted to feel emotionally and physically. Laurie would be the perfect mentor, if he wasn’t such a jerk in the beginning.

For Real was an emotional roller coaster. It definitely wouldn’t have worked if readers were only given one of the characters POV. Getting in Toby’s head let you know how much he cared for Laurie and how he wished Laurie would return those feelings. Laurie’s POV let readers know how much he was fighting those feelings that Toby wished for. They both spent a lot of time preparing themselves for the inevitable. The moment when one of them would realize that this was just a fling and would walk away. The simple truth of this book is that love is love and you never know where it’s going to come from.

Toby’s past as well as Laurie’s friends played an important role in For Real. I loved the interactions between the characters and the way Laurie’s friends simply stated the obvious. I haven’t read any other books in Alexis Hall’s Spires Universe, but I have my eye on a couple of the previous books and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for any that may be coming in the future.

DragonFlyRating4

Beyond Shame (Beyond #1) by Kit Rocha

BeyondShameAll Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission. 

Wow… okay, so this was my first Kit Rocha read and I was totally unprepared. I’m not complaining, honest. I loved the world building. This was one dystopian that I had no problem wrapping my head around. The world was pretty simple to grasp (not simple by definition or by set-up.) Those within the walls of Eden were privileged. Those outside the walls lived in slums and were the lowest of the low… on the surface. It didn’t take long to realize that I’d rather take my chances on the outside of those walls, for a lot of reasons.

Noelle stumbled right out of the walls of Eden after being exiled and into the arms of Jasper. From that point on, neither one of them stood a chance. It was obvious that they were destined. It just took them a while to realize it.

The people in Sector 4 lived hard, fought hard and loved with the same fierceness and intensity. They were loyal to the O’Kanes and wore the ink to prove it. This is definitely not a series to go into lightly, but I can promise you that you’ll walk away from it feeling something. It would be impossible not to.

The characters, the world building, the intensity… all make the Beyond series one that I’m going to enjoy devouring. There’s no other word for it. The next book, Beyond Control features Dallas and Lex. I’m glad that no time was wasted getting to these two characters. They were ready to combust and take everyone in Sector 4 right along with them by the end of Beyond Shame. I’ll be doing some skipping around before I get to them though. Just a little diversion, but trust me, Beyond Control has been moved way up on my TBR list.

DragonFlyRating4

Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands #1) by Cherise Sinclair

ClubShadowlandsHer car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she’s sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she’s a professional woman–an accountant–and surely isn’t a submissive…is she?

Master Z hasn’t been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She’s intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can’t resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.

Well, that was totally not what I expected. Even though my taste in books is eclectic, there are some books that I read that have scenarios that I’m not exactly comfortable with. BDSM is one of them. Whether I end up liking them or not totally depends on the way things are handled, which makes sense. I can honestly say that out of all the BDSM books that I’ve read, Club Shadowlands is probably my favorite.

I liked Jessica. She was shy, unsure of herself, confused by her curiosity and not totally comfortable in her own skin. She was a character that I could relate to in a lot of ways. Yet, as shy as she was she didn’t cower…. much. I think one of the things I liked most about her was her determination to stand up for others. Granted, her timing was off more than once, but it was still an admirable trait.

Master Z noticed it too and even though he couldn’t condone it, he still admired it. (Confusing I know, but in the context of the story it makes perfect sense… you’ll have to trust me on that one.) As Doms go, Master Z was perfect. He was fair, protective and kept things safe for everyone. He was also loving and caring, but his feelings and attraction for Jessica caught him totally off guard.

I didn’t expect it, but Masters of the Shadowlands has now landed on my TBR list. There were a couple of characters introduced that I really want to get to know better. Cherise Sinclair has definitely gained a new fan. 😉

DragonFlyRating4