Posts Tagged ‘BDSM’

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So Susan read a Maya Banks book a couple years ago. She was disappointed in it.

But I’m not Susan, so I’m going to try to track this one down, and her review isn’t going to bug me at all. Mostly because I didn’t bother to read it.

Here’s what Kept is about:

From the author of Mastered and Dominated comes the third Enforcers novel—the searing story of a woman who finds sanctuary in surrender…

He can’t change who he is…

A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful, and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.

She can’t change what she wants…

Haley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working two jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Haley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful thing he’s ever experienced, he knows he’ll have to do the hardest thing he’s ever had to face. Let her go. But he’s totally unprepared for the lengths Haley will go to fight for his love and a future brighter than the sun…

So how much of this has to do with music? That’s the number one question I have.

I’m a little leery of the “absolute control–in business and pleasure” part because that just seems cruel to me and not my thing, but Maya Banks has such a good reputation (and Susan met her once and said she’s awesome in person) and honestly, I’m curious. This guy knows he could destroy his love. He’s got hard choices, but what a chance to open up and grow into someone new.

I’m intrigued. Totally. Even though none of that plot seems like it’s Rock Fiction at all.

Hey, every now and then, one reaches out and grabs me. What can I say?

(btw, for those of you who care, this is the third in a series, and I have no idea if they are related, or if you have to read the first two, or what. If you know, let’s hear from you!)

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I gotta give Susan props. When she sent over word that Cecilia Tan was going to be releasing the second book in her Secrets of a Rock Star series, she also included the note that she had the NetGalley widget for it.

So maybe it’s not right that I’m coveting this book. Because, you know, I’ve got a review copy pending.

But on the other hand, YOU should be coveting this book. Go and preorder it now if you can, from your favorite retailer (and remember: shop independent when you can, and there are other stores besides the Big A to buy books from). And then, on August 2, it’ll be in your hot hands and you can read it, too.

What’s it about? Oh, who CARES? This is Cecilia Tan, it’s the second in a series after a book I adored, and it’s Cecilia Tan!

But if you need to know, here’s the description:

Gwen Hamilton is always looking for a thrill. Not even running a secret BDSM club can fulfill her true desires. It’s only when she’s backstage at a rock concert and attracts the eye—and experienced hands—of guitarist Mal Kennealy that she finds that perfect combination of danger and excitement she’s been craving. Calling herself “Excrucia,” she revels in his uncompromising dominance each night. And yet by day, he knows her only as Gwen, his new escort for public appearances.

Excrucia blows Mal’s mind with her enthusiastic submission to his harshest commands. Even though he has a reputation for never seeing the same woman twice, he can’t help being tempted by the woman willing to fulfill his every fantasy. And when Mal discovers that Gwen—the sweet arm candy designed to soften his surly public image—is really Excrucia, he never wants to let her go. Finally he can indulge his absolute power. But dancing too recklessly on the razor’s edge could cut deeper than he bargained for . . .

Seriously. Preorder it. And watch this space for my review. Whee! Can’t wait!

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Try this one on for size.

Lex has never felt more exposed. She has just allowed Jake Reed, the lead singer of rock band Inkjet, to undress her and tie her to a chair backstage after a show, only to have him leave to go sign autographs.

It is the start of a dark, obsessive relationship that will lead Lex, a 20-something public relations professional from L.A., to lose herself almost entirely as she struggles to break through her sexual boundaries without falling in love with Jake, an intimidatingly gorgeous Hollywood actor/rock star who closely guards his emotions.

What starts as a series of casual hookups ends up a powerful addiction that will push Lex past all her sexual boundaries as Jake moves repeatedly in and out of her life, making few promises along the way. Lex fights to keep a sense of herself while she succumbs to Jake’s glamorous world and his irresistible allure.

Wow. Dark. Scary. Probably gonna be a trigger book for people with issues. I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with it, myself; it sounds too much like Jake’s into this more for the ability to control and be mean to Lex than he is because he likes her. I mean, I’m reading this and thinking he’s a total douche for how he acts.

It might be too close to abuse. I don’t know.

Anyone?

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DESIGNED BY TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICES WWW.TOJPUBLISHING.COM

DESIGNED BY TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICES
WWW.TOJPUBLISHING.COM

There’s something about the way Cecilia Tan writes. I love it. Just love it. So much that twenty pages into her newest book, Taking the Lead, I had to stop and send e-mails to half my book friends, telling them they needed to read this, too. Tan gets the world of the rich, famous, and rock star royalty. She knows how the power players work. And it shows in these books she’s turning out. If that’s your thing, don’t miss Tan’s books. Period. That should be my whole review.

Except, did I mention she knows how to write a sex scene? Hoo boy, she can write it hot. Susan thinks Lorelei James is the gold standard. For me, it’s Tan.

So. Taking the Lead is about two of these power players and what happens when they find each other. Ricki Hamilton is a movie production chick. I’m not exactly sure of her pedigree, but it seems to be there, and I’m really not sure of her passion for movies as opposed to her passion for going to the office. But we hear all about this secret dungeon she’s inherited from her beloved grandfather and she’s got to run it. Except, of course, there’s all sorts of problems including a possessive loser with holier-than-thou issues. He’s a charmer. I hope he gets chained to the Daisy wheel in the dungeon and left upside down for days.

Ricki’s partner in lust here is Axel, a rocker who… he just doesn’t seem like much of a rocker to me. He doesn’t have that special charisma and half the time, I had trouble remembering if he was a singer or a guitar player. Axel could have been any other Hollywood player. He just didn’t stick out as a musician/rocker type. And I wanted him to.

So Axel and Ricki get together and suddenly, his kinda sorta there dom tendencies show up and Ricki’s all too glad to be his sub even though this woman who owns a dungeon doesn’t know exactly what that means. Axel’s glad to teach her, and in the heat of the moment, she’s glad to learn. It’s when she thinks and gets into her head that the problems begin.

Pretty damn normal, if you ask me. I know an awful lot of people who overthink and no, I’m not looking at my Rock of Pages boss here. Nope.

That’s their biggest obstacle: Ricki. Not sure she wants this lifestyle, she and Axel talk about it a lot. And that’s a good thing, especially because this isn’t one of those books where they start off with the spanking and end with the anal and it all goes according to script. Nope. This is a new-to-me sort of submission and domination and I bet this is a good representation of it being done right. I love that Axel has some really dead-on instincts about Ricki and they talk about things—well, he talks and she listens—and instead of Axel being a total domineering idiot, he cares about Ricki in a way that most doms don’t—at least in the fiction I’ve read, and I’ve read more than I probably should have. At times, their dialogue doesn’t feel real, especially when they start talking about BDSM using that exact acronym, but what’s important here is that Ricki is open to it, and not just because of the dungeon she never knew about.

If anything, she seems to keep what she and Axel do very separate from the activities in the dungeon. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad or how I feel about it because they should be intertwined but they’re not. I’m also not sure how I feel about the idea that being into the scene is genetic, which is pretty much what Ricki learns as she comes to terms with the death of her mother. And, too, the ending, which mirrors what she learns about her mother, bugs me. It seems like too much too soon, more of a neat ending to a book than truth.

So I’ve got these gripes, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t the best book I’ve read in a long time. I love that there’s issues of Hollywood gender power games and the dungeon and the legacy Ricki’s grandfather left that she has to fight against. I love that the situation with her father isn’t cut-and-dry, and I doubt we’re done coming to understand that poor screwup of a man. I love the depth of this world that Ricki inhabits, although that’s part of why Axel falls a bit short. It’s a hard act to follow!

Like I said, I love that Axel cares about her, that he’s not always the barking-orders type of dom who ignores her needs and tries to bury who she is so that she can serve him better. I love that Ricki gets to be herself, not who Axel thinks she ought to be. I love the sex and how it’s hot and it’s different and I love that scene in the limo, when she puts her hands behind her back and I swear, that is hotter than almost any sex scene I’ve ever read anywhere else. I love how Axel comes to own her, I love that he’s a rocker who thinks and who does rise above most of the usual stereotypes (I just wish he felt more musical). I love that they’re going to be a power couple and this is the first in a series and I really hope we get to see how they evolve as that power couple and how the dungeon changes because of them and how Hollywood changes because of them and maybe somewhere along the way, Axel will rediscover what it is that made him join a band in the first place because right now, I’m just not feeling it and I’m all about Rock Fiction so as much as I like the kinky fiction, I’m even more about the Rock and Roll, so bring it, please.

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Thanks to the folk at Rock Star PR for letting us take part in Cecilia Tan’s tour. They handed the free copy out, we read it and decided to leave the varnish off our thoughts ’cause we have too much integrity to be bought like that. All opinions are Jett’s own and shouldn’t be confused with Susan’s ’cause Susan’s still down and out with an eye injury and isn’t reading much of anything right now. But don’t point that out. She’s kinda grumpy about it.

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Cecilia Tan might need to take home the award for Most Rock Fiction Ever Written (sorry, Susan. But… she’s currently writing and you’re not). She’s got a new one!

Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with this business, and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run it . . . until she meets Axel―a sexy enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn’t know she had.

This is a true coveting post ’cause it won’t be out until January 2016, but …

Except it makes me wonder if, like too many Rock Fiction books we run into, the rocker dude is a rocker who could be any other career. Insert Rocker Here type of thing, and as we all know, that doesn’t make for Rock Fiction. It makes for a book with a rocker who could be anyone.

But this is Cecilia Tan we’re talking about, and the lady knows her stuff. That alone gives me confidence.

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When you start off with THIS cover, you know it’s gonna be a heck of a read. Here. Look. 21570074

Kinda makes you even wonder if it’s Rock Fiction at all. Oh, sure you’ve got a couple raised hands, but maybe they’re there for an S&M show or something.

But no, it’s Rock Fiction. See?

Abel Gunner, the lead singer of the band Lethal Abel, is what beautiful nightmares are made of. His gritty, melodic rasp threatens to rip your heart out of your chest and leave you gasping for the very breath he robbed you of. His kisses, detonating on impact, leave you ruined. Abel is also a Dom, and his appetite for seduction is legendary and intense. After a chance encounter with Gia, his need to dominate this woman increases tenfold. He wants to consume her, merge with her, and never leave her body.

Abel’s emerald eyes touch the deepest part of Gia’s soul in a way that terrifies her. She fears he can see her secret. Lies, guilt, and betrayal lay beneath her skin, and she’s terrified of being exposed. How will Gia ever begin to explain? She doesn’t believe she’s worthy of him, and her greatest fear is that her carefully guarded heart will be shattered. However, she finds herself unable to deny this rogue tattooed rocker whose kisses just might ruin her.

So the bio tells us ALL about Abel, but nothing about Gia. Or why Abel has to be saved.

Other than the fact that he’s a rocker, this may not be Rock Fiction at all. After all, Rock Fiction has to have a musical component. The book has to throb with music. It’s got to be present, be a factor. This reads more like a journey of self-discovery via an S&M relationship, and like nothing will happen onstage or with the band. Rock and roll may be founded on sex, but it takes more than sex to be Rock Fiction.

So what is it? Even the second book in the series, Forgiving Gia, doesn’t clear things up. Look:

Abel Gunner is a rock-star with legendary skills both in and out of the bedroom. He swore he wouldn’t fall for another woman after being schemed and manipulated by an ex-lover. He kept that vow until he met Gia Mastro. The Dom inside of him awoke the moment he set eyes upon the submissive beauty. His dark soul hungered for her submission and affection. The deep connection they share leaves him desperate for something he never expected – her love. Her pain brings him the pleasure he craves. Her smile calms the beast that rages within him. Gia loves Abel more than life itself, but Abel is disillusioned by love and wrecks Gia in the process. Her life hangs in the balance. His life depends on forgiving her. This couple must face many truths. Is love enough to overcome the damage that dwells within? Gia’s experiences with love have been nil until meeting the infamous bad-boy rocker, Abel Gunner. Swept up in a mind-bending, Dom/submissive love affair, she’s forced to make decisions that both help and hurt their relationship. They both have to face their demons before they can embrace a future together. In the end, they’re faced with two choices: Fight for their love, or die with their demons.

Gotta read it to see!

Jett-300x300Seems I’ve been seeing a lot of male-male romances being talked about lately. That’s fine, I suppose. It’s not generally my thing. I  mean, I like men and all. But I’d rather read a romance and dream that I’m the one being loved. For me, that’s part of the reason a girl reads romances.

Rock Fiction is a strong enough pull to make me, well, not forget that I don’t really like m/m romances. But I’m willing to put up with it for the sake of the Rock and Roll.

Sounds like there’s plenty in Guarded. Sounds like the story takes place on the road, and I love road tales (when they’re done right, but know what happens more often than it doesn’t? The details are messed up and the authors shoot themselves in the feet.) and there’s even the usual junkie cliche storyline, too. The main plot, itself, is the bodyguard story we’ve seen so often. Sounds like this one might give Kevin Costner a run for his money.

Another beef I have going in to this one: the heroes are Jordan and Jace. Know how often I had to go back and double-check to see which was the rock star and which was the bodyguard? What happened to treating the reader like gold and making sure they could tell one character from another?

Susan said she entered to win a copy of this at GoodReads, so if she wins, I guess we’ll both get a crack at it. Maybe it’ll surprise me … in good ways. I like those sorts of surprises.