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Spice Box: Sixteen Steamy Stories
Spice Box: Sixteen Steamy Stories

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloodslave: Wonderful, escapist, paranormal romance, 3 July 2014
This is my review for Bloodslave by Travis Luedke which is included in the SPICE BOX set:

Hope caught me with her story from the moment her roommate rudely woke her up one evening to start her working day. Only I had no real idea if Hope was happy and well, or on her deathbed -- I was kept on tenterhooks to the very end. Travis Luedke draws his characters so brilliantly. Hope has experienced so much in her twenty-two years. She is streetwise, a survivor, and has learned from bitter experience to make her telepathy work for and not against her. Until the night she meets a vampire bitch, Lia.

Now she knows too much and Vampire Master Enrique decides the only way to control that knowledge is to turn Hope into a blood slave. A vampire's bite is addictive, and in Mr. Luedke's world, incredibly erotic. As an escort in the sex trade, Hope knows a lot of tricks. She turns Enrique on so much he can barely control his sexual urges and the result can be long and exhausting. Rough lust and passion puts Hope's life in danger more than once. But Hope's most endearing quality is her instinct for survival. She will fight, she will panic, she will run, she will distract, she will tempt, she will beg. She is a captive, a blood slave, addicted to vampire venom, and will do almost anything to survive, and she can never forget that Enrique's vampire servant, Lia, is forever present to turn her new world upside down.

But it is when Hope's past life catches up with her that the story becomes truly horrific and powerful reading.

Wow. When Hope runs for her life through New York City I ran with her. Her need was so powerful, so all-consuming, and this is when we find out exactly how much being a blood slave has changed her. I felt almost sorry for Enrique as the story reaches its wonderful conclusion -- retribution is extracted in full and three lives are changed forever.

This is a wonderful, escapist, paranormal romance. It is erotic, full of sex, both gentle and rough, but overriding all this is a beautiful story of love and personal growth that will touch your heart.

Don't miss out on a fantastic read.

Hers To Command (Verdantia Book 1)
Hers To Command (Verdantia Book 1)
Price: £2.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verdantia is an erotic delight. What a planet!, 3 Jun. 2013
Patricia Knight seamlessly weaves a whole new world, society, and culture through tantalizing, steamy scenes that make a woman yearn to experience a man (or two) with the endurance her heroes repeatedly demonstrate to the point of torture. She puts Fleur through ecstatic heaven, and a little bit of hell judging from Fleur's demand for some serious payback on at least one occasion.

The beauty of this novel is that the Verdantian's salvation depends on this trio spending a lot of intimate time together. This book has two strong-minded, well-endowed, and dangerous heroes, one relatively inexperienced but charming princess, and a well-crafted plot that lifts this book from the normal fare of erotica into a sci-fi fantastical feast for the senses.

Received gifted copy free in exchange for an honest review.

The Stolen: Two Short Stories (The Meaning Wars Book 2)
The Stolen: Two Short Stories (The Meaning Wars Book 2)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provokingly close for comfort, 7 May 2013
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The Fields and The Word-Thieves slightly freaked me out. Both stories have an underlying theme of society/`employers' controlling their citizens/workers. A small warning: the author drops you into both worlds with little set up. No handholding. Nor are there a whole load of answers - makes you think.

The Fields is frightening, relatively short, and sometimes hard to understand. I just grasped the societal make up of privileged owners and their families versus their slaves. What came over loud and clear is how petty rules can assume the importance of real crimes, such as murder and rape. The real crime in The Fields is the supposed rehabilitation, a theme echoed in The Word Thieves.

In The Word-Thieves the POV is not always clear, but the story is clearly Sarah's. She edits literary works, removing anything distasteful that the Io's ruling body has decreed corrupting. Io is supposed to be a world of peace and harmony as preached by its `guru bible'. Toby is an old friend. His arrival sufficiently disturbs Sarah's façade of coping for her to broadcast her true feelings, thus attracting unwanted attention.

What follows is a harrowing account of the rehabilitation that awaits those who challenge a state's utopian view. When a rebellious Sarah continues to scratch the surface she exposes the dark and violent hypocrisy supporting Io's preferred state of being, i.e. unthinking adherence to goodness. The real tragedy of this story is that the purity of the philosophy underlying Io's aspirational goal has been eradicated through its implementation by narrow-minded, self-righteous zealots. (I only glimpsed these zealots through their minion's actions, but I know they exist in the background. Probably reclining in some sun-soaked villa while exceeding the alcohol restrictions imposed for everyone else's own good.)

This is where this book earns its five stars from me. The Word-Thieves is scary because it explores societies that have lived, died, and flourish today. Such societies will no doubt continue to arise wherever there are people who think they know better than the common man. This book screams out why free speech, open justice, and a huge dose of common sense, are such precious commodities to be protected.

I encourage every jobsworth - with the guts to take a good, hard look at themselves - to read these two stories and then consider just how far they might be prepared to go. Everyone else read it and note why you need to keep these jobsworths in their place.

`In their place.' See, this is how it starts . . .

The Nightlife: Paris (The Nightlife Series Book 3)
The Nightlife: Paris (The Nightlife Series Book 3)
Price: £2.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Emotional, and Uncompromising - Brilliant, 1 May 2013
Whatever preconceptions you have about Nightlife Paris, throw them away. This third book in Travis Luedke's Nightlife series is an exemplar on character development and taking a series arc to a whole new level .

The graphic and brutal nature of some of the content does curtail the erotic nature of this novel, but there are still plenty of sex scenes to scintillate and tease, and these two vampires certainly know how to attack their loving with violent enthusiasm.

It is the story that proves most absorbing.

Michelle's life story is truly painful to read. It hooked me in and nailed me to my laptop as the author relentlessly explores the psychological roots of this woman's character and choices. Aaron's reaction to her story is shocking, and Michael Jamison (their stalker from Vegas) takes full advantage of their situation with unexpected and extraordinary consequences.

No reader can possibly predict what happens in the fallout. The twist in this tale is superb and opens up a myriad of possibilities. The teasing hints for the series ahead will keep you waiting eagerly for the next book set in London. I can't wait!

(Received gifted copy for review.)

THE STEWARD (Weald Fae Journals Book 1)
THE STEWARD (Weald Fae Journals Book 1)
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and enjoyable - loved it, 11 April 2013
I met the author via social media and managed to pick his book up through a free promotion. I'd heard great things, but hadn't read any reviews so only had the blurb to go by. I knew this book formed part of a series. I hadn't realised that the story really spans the series. The Steward ends with an exciting finale and one of the best cliff-hangers I have ever read. It is not a standalone novel. I reached the last page and wanted to howl my frustration. There is still too much to find out. Having said that, it is a great place to stop - there is a sense of resolution, a sense of where it needs to go, and such a huge, terrible new problem, I can't wait to read the next book.

So my first point is The Steward is the first book in a SERIES. If you buy it you will need to buy the rest. This is not a bad thing for this world will hook you in. There is a tragic start. The story skips forward a generation and slows down to introduce the main character. Maggie slowly discovers the Fae world in the Weald, and her role as Steward. She learns her gifts over a period of several months during which she and the reader are introduced to Fae characters and Fae politics. I emphasise the slowness, because despite the initially measured pace, it is such a beautiful read. Time is spent getting to know Maggie giving me time to experience her growth as she faces four different tests, turns sixteen, learns to drive, and falls in love with the forbidden.

There is an underlying love story with a difference, a love hidden and unacknowledged, as intense as it is innocent. I was so hooked as the story picks up and races to the end. Maggie makes some amazing decisions highlighting her worthiness for the responsibility bestowed on her young shoulders, and yet she retains the immaturity and vulnerability of youth. She is a great character, facing inordinate heartache and possessing extraordinary strength of purpose.

This is a great fantasy. Buy it, be prepared to buy the sequels, and invest time to enjoy this marvellous and original tale.

Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, Book One)
Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, Book One)
by John Dolan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex and highly entertaining thriller, 1 April 2013
David Braddock is a complex man with several problems, both personal and business. Mr. Dolan commences the intricate web of mysteries about to draw you in by introducing a couple of new clients to David's unusual business - he is a barely qualified personal counsellor and an unlicensed private investigator specializing in checking that tourists (farangs) in love with a Thai girl are not being taken for a ride. Enter the Police Chief of this Thai island needing David's help to solve a particularly gruesome murder. This is where it gets really interesting as we learn David has had an affair with the Chief's wife.

The story continues to reveal David's personal life in snippets. His wife, Claire, is rarely home at the same time he is. When she is home their conversations are difficult and unproductive. Yet I sense how deeply David loves Claire, which confuses me as his sexual liaisons are hard to reconcile with what I have learned about his character. The beauty of this story is how it gradually reveals exactly how complex David's character is. As clues from different parts of his life and business connect and disconnect, David also works to resolve his personal problems in a deep and thought-provoking way with a little help from a Buddhist monk. (I have to admit there are several high-brow pages that I only just about managed to keep up with.) For me, the highlight of the story was the jaw-dropping moment when my brain finally caught up with the numerous clues, but only thanks to David (read author) hitting me on the head with the terrible truth.

I won't say more for fear of spoiling the various little mysteries that David slowly unravels, but suffice to say this is an excellent, interesting (the story is set in a beautifully detailed Thailand setting with the occasional philosophical detour), and enjoyable read. There is one mystery still to be unravelled in the series, plus the resolution to this book starts a huge problem for the next David Braddock thriller, but fear not, this is a standalone novel, and one I highly recommend.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Series)
The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Series)
by Kirstin Pulioff
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A charming tale for all ages, 30 Mar. 2013
This is such a charming story with a simple message at its heart. A wilful princess clashes with her loving father over his hopes and expectations for her future. Frustrated and seeing no way out, she makes her escape. A knight of the realm and a prince compete to find her. One will win her heart, the other her hand in marriage, if they can find her. Madeline does not want to be found, but dangers abound, and she must discover the value of home and family. Kirsten Pulioff crafts wonderful descriptions of royal balls, exciting tournaments, and a young girl's emotional journey to maturity and love. A handsome, young man and exiled wizards add a touch of magical chivalry to this fairy-tale.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review and was surprised to discover a great story that is enjoyable at any age. I highly recommend this story for your children, but make sure you spend an entertaining couple of hours reading it, too.

Summerman (The Damaged Posse Series Book 4)
Summerman (The Damaged Posse Series Book 4)
Price: £2.14

5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting and enjoyable read, 29 Mar. 2013
After enjoying American Midnight, I have been looking forward to reading Summerman and it did not disappoint. The story charts three months of Summerman's life in human form and introduces a raft of characters - all totally different and ranging from bad, mad, interesting, sane, crazy, with one particular nasty would-be senator who gets his comeuppance in style. Numerous plotlines are weaved in and weaved out with a few twists along the way as relationship and mysteries are resolved. I am impressed by how much dialogue drives the story and the witty repartee is downright hilarious. Do not get in a slanging match with Summerman. You will lose.

I highly recommend this series.

Great story, B.R. Snow. Thank you for several happy hours of entertainment.

(I was gifted this story for an honest review.)

And The Stars Will Sing (The Meaning Wars Book 1)
And The Stars Will Sing (The Meaning Wars Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming Sci-Fi Novella, 9 Mar. 2013
A charming sci-fi novella. Crystal is young, quirky, and excited about her new job, which involves mapping and repairing wormholes in space. All starts well, but there are sinister happenings - pirates and sabotage, and I mustn't forget the tentative stirrings of romance. The author crafts a unique style to tell her story which works very well. The story is unveiled through snippets captured in Crystal's journal that update the reader on events in a chatty, personal style - after all, the narrator is writing to herself. I loved the detail casually thrown in describing a very different time and culture. Towards the end, I felt the depth of Crystal's pain and terror as she is forced to take action that tests her character and resolve to the full. An enjoyable read!

The Living Gods (The Living Gods Trilogies Book 1)
The Living Gods (The Living Gods Trilogies Book 1)

5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse yourself in this fantastic new world, 18 Feb. 2013
This is a wonderfully rich and detailed first book in a trilogy reminiscent of David Edding's Belgariad. This first story introduces a group of children whose lives are changed overnight when evil forces invade their lands. A renegade group of Aeons - living gods - some of whom have been stripped of their auras, some who have retained them, are forced together to ally against a new Council that is against them. These gods mistrust each other, bicker and argue, and one is on trial for betraying another. Yet, they must work together to fight the changes being wrought upon them. The children are key to the battles ahead, but unaware of the task that faces them as they seek reunion with the family still remaining to them.

The author has masterfully created a whole new world including new languages, cultures, history, species, politics, religions, as well as a dizzying array of bad and good characters. Tome, a twelve year old boy, and his friends stand out. It is a considerable and well written work and I look forward to the sequel. I particularly recommend this book to those who enjoy the fantasy genre in the ilk of Tolkien / Eddings.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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