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Michael Dunellen on Books

Book Reviews and Other Things

Currently reading

Vampire Mistress
Joey W. Hill
Vampire Trinity
Joey W. Hill
The Submissive (The Submissive #1)
Tara Sue Me
Coming to Terms
Cara Bristol, Jade Cary, Alta Hensley, Celeste Jones, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Anastasia Vitsky
Holding Back
Mila Kerr
Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)
Jamie McGuire
Epilogue: The Dark Duet (The Dark Duet, #2.5)
C.J. Roberts
In Flight (Up In The Air, #1)
R.K. Lilley
Undeniable (Undeniable, #1)
Madeline Sheehan
Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3)
Sylvia Day

Chains Released (The Chains Trilogy, #2)

Chains Released - Sharon Green So one of the key events of the first book was that Jake pointed out that the Slave Drug worked on men instead of women. You just had to up the dosage to account for larger body mass, something that seems to have eluded the grasp of Oliven Intellectuals.Of course that came back to bite Jake and Tandro when they were captured by the guy who had been diligently trying to kill them earlier. It did give Tain and Ennie a chance to escape, though. They found refuge with a Rebel Alliance composed of escaped slaves who were seeking to add their sisters.Oddly enough, despite Jake showing Tain and Tandro showing Ennie how wonderful a life of slavery was, there actually were other women who agreed with them that maybe it wasn’t so hot. And even had discovered the loophole to render the drug relatively harmless.Anyway, it wasn’t exactly fun to see the guys humiliated but I think it did teach a bit of a lesson. And things almost had a happy ending. But not quite.

Confessions Collection Vol. 1 (London Brown)

Confessions Collection Vol. 1 (London Brown) - Leila DeSint You can find my review over at Behind the Chintz Curtain or you can read it below - but go over there either way.Confessions Collection Vol. 1 was one of those books that took me a bit longer to read than usual because I had a hard time figuring out what was going on at first.London Brown, Caden Jacob Carrington the Fifth, Rhys Christos Edward Stowell, and Desniah Williams. From an outsider perspective, these are four of the youngest and most powerful people in British society. But the insider perspective is very different.When Desniah is discovered as little girl, she can only say one word: London. Eventually, she’s adopted, but at the age of nine, something happens that turns her world upside down yet again.The main thing I didn’t understand was the relationship between Desniah and London. I didn’t think they actually had one. I thought London was just the name that Desniah used when she was working as a call girl. But that isn’t true at all. Desniah and London are two entirely separate people. London is aware of everything that happens to them both but Desniah is not. In many ways, London does look out for her ‘other’ personality – but not in all ways.London has a strong self-preservation instinct and she’ll act to defend herself when she feels threatened. And the person who most scares her is Rhys.Both Rhys and Caden are firmly attracted to Desniah.Caden is willing to accept London as a substitute. Rhys is not.Desniah is attracted to Rhys and repelled by Caden but thinks she has a future with neither.If there is a good way out of this, I don’t yet see what it is.Very cerebral. I liked it, but wasn’t particularly engaged by the play scenes.

Marked by the Alpha

Marked by the Alpha - Adaline Raine Dani is a lone wolf. She was pretty much abandoned by her parents and has built a life for herself without any other werewolves around.Mason is the leader of a pack. And has decided it is time to bring Dani in for her own safety.Normally I don't like to see our female protagonist forced into a relationship against her will but in this case I thought Mason should have stepped things up a bit. We knew, He knew, She knew they were going to end up together so just do it already.The biggest problem I had was the whole Human Hunter storyline. I didn't think they were established well enough for me to understand what their motivation and their game was.An extremely solid debut effort.

Deathless Love

Deathless Love - Renee Rose What I liked most was that I thought this pretty much struck the perfect balance between domestic discipline spankings and sensual spanking. Kate was the talented and shy leader of a rock band. You wouldn't think someone as shy as her would be able to pull it off but I think she hid behind her onstage persona.Dom is your classic Vampire - he doesn't sparkle - except, of course, he is a nice guy. And has created a mini-coven (Fox and Stella) who he hangs out with.Probably the weakest part was the evil vampire plot line. It added a bit of drama and excitement but wasn't particularly developed all that well and I definitely had questions in the end. Perhaps another book featuring Stella or Fox will be forthcoming eventually.If you like some spankings in your romance, I think you can't go wrong with this one.

Brie Pleases her New Master (After Graduation #1)

Brie Pleases her New Master (After Graduation #1) - Red Phoenix Brie pleases her new Master ... most of the time.Word of Warning: This takes place after the events of [b:Brie Bows to Her Master|16044560|Brie Bows to Her Master (Brie #9 - The Final Week)|Red Phoenix|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348497896s/16044560.jpg|21822490] and/or [b:Brie Learns the Art of Submission: Submissive Training Center|16164966|Brie Learns the Art of Submission Submissive Training Center|Red Phoenix|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353595598s/16164966.jpg|22008790] so if you haven't read those yet I would suggest you Skeedaddle.So when last last we saw Miss Bennett she had gone through an emotional time but ending up leaving the room with her New Master. Now we see what happens next.The great thing about the Submissive Training Center is that Brie got a chance to learn. Now she has to master her new skills... and that isn't always going to be easy.Pride is a good thing for a slave to have... but not when it prevents her from being properly obedient. Caring is also important... but not when it results in her keeping secrets from her Master.No major issues but this is very early on the road.

Surrender

Surrender - Sue Lyndon I decided my favorite character in this was Betsy Carson, even though we didn't actually see her. Rather than allowing herself to be forced into a non-consensual total power exchange relationship, she ran. I say good for her. I hope in the sequel we find out that she is a Resistance leader fighting against the alien invasion.So after making contact with an interstellar society, some earth miners allegedly illegally mine on some alien planet, a disaster ensues, and the aliens invade Earth on a murderous rampage. Instead of fighting back as commonly happens in this sort sort of fiction, Humanity capitulates. And the leaders are even offered a great deal: they get to stay in power while a few females are forcibly enslaved. Maybe that makes this more realistic but I found it sad.I don't blame Fiona for anything she did - she never had a choice. Merokk I never especially warmed up to, but I guess as a bloodthirty barbarian he wasn't all bad.If the plot sounds a lot like [b:Demon's Captive|6941225|Demon's Captive (War Tribe, #1)|Stephanie Snow|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1254691560s/6941225.jpg|7174088], there is a certain resemblance but there are lots of differences as well.

Under His Command (Six-Alarm Sexy)

Under His Command - Kristine Cayne Reading this was a little odd coming immediately on the heels of [b:Reclaimed Surrender|13510302|Reclaimed Surrender|Riley Murphy|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346978567s/13510302.jpg|19063630] Alexis and Rene have been married for 5 years. Alex was the perfect sub for Rene expect for two things - she wouldn't call him Master and she didn't want to wear his collar. But 6 months things took a bad turn in their relationship and they are trying to figure it out.Jamie and Erica have been married for 5 years. Their marriage has been a disaster the entire time and they are trying to figure it out. The one thing Jamie is sure of - He doesn't want to her to call him Master or wear his collar. He wants a partner in life and her to be submissive only during play times.Jamie was a Dom - you know the type, lots of women kneeling at his feet, etc. But nothing ever really clicked. So one night he meets Rickey in a bar and takes her home for a wild and wooly night of protected sex. She bails the next morning and he can't find her. A month later, she turns up on his doorstep pregnant.Jamie is sure that he has ruined her life but is determined to do the right thing. Erica is sure that she has ruined his life but has no one else to turn to for help. So there are both feeling more than a bit guilty which leads to...them spending 4 years together not communicating, split up for a year, and only get together after the Earthquake of 2014 when they come together to save their daughter's life.Now they are finally on their honeymoon in Hawaii. And finally communicating. These two are the poster children for angsty relationships.Fortunately, though, it turns out that Jamie was wrong about her feelings toward the night she met. She actually enjoyed being blindfolded while he got down to business. And she is ready for more.I would rate this a three if we had to live through the 5 miserable years but since we got to skip to the end I can be slightly generous. Plus the actual play scenes were well done - especially the Fire Play.

Slave of the Sky Captain

Slave of the Sky Captain - Tasia Winters I actually wasn't sure if this was a Science Fiction novel or a BDSM Romance when I started it. Let me assure you it definitely qualifies as the latter.Ysabel agrees to become a Debt Slave to save her Father. Her plan was simple: Get sold to erase his debt and then escape before she becomes damaged or diseased by her new owner. But things don't work quite as she expected.Instead she gets purchased by Captain Argent, who intends to teach her everything she needs to know to make her the perfect slave/courtesan/priestess of his very odd religion. To make sure she sticks around long enough to learn all her lessons he locks her in a kind of clockwork collar that begins to shrink if it isn't reset every 24 hours and he has the only key - so she isn't escaping anytime soon.Ysabel - so submissive that she practically passes out the first time she kneels in front of him. Argent - All I could think of was how much this Dude reminded me so much of one Daymon Tane (whether that is good or bad may depend on your point of view).I very much hope the sequel is coming soon.

Yvonne: A Courtesan's Compulsion

Yvonne: A Courtesan's Compulsion - Lindsey Brooks The first thing you need to remember is that Yvonne is a Courtesan. Not a Whore. Not a Prostitute. Not a Slave. A Courtesan. Got that? Good.Yvonne likes living in Paris and being something of a free spirit. She also likes calling Marcel her Master and following his instructions. But really only on her terms. She obeys but she hasn't really submitted.So she gets sent off on adventure. A train trip to Marseilles. A whole series of events that really change her outlook on things. And then her time at the house.In the end, I felt like this was a modernized version of The Days at Florville - it has a lot of the same elements but Lindsey added the biggest thing the original lacked - an actual plot. If you read here to the end, and you haven't read it yet be forewarned, though, that it doesn't have a happy ending. Or at least not what I would count as one.

Reclaimed Surrender

Reclaimed Surrender - Riley Murphy You read the first half of the story and you really aren't quite sure what is going on. You watch Alexis and Rene's marriage crumbling before your eyes and you don't quite understand why. You see his anger but you can't quite understand where it is coming from. You watch her throw herself into her job and you can't quite understand what is driving her behavior. Don't worry. Just be patient.7 years ago, Rene met Alexis and magic happened. He was her perfect Dominant and She was his perfect Submissive. Just so you understand, though, she was his submissive, not his slave. She didn't wear his collar - even while they were playing - and she didn't call him Master - even while they were playing. And she still had her negotiated hard limits. But they were happy and soon they were married and things continued to be good.Until one day he broke her trust. Or at least that was her impression of what happened... which really amounted to the same thing. That was six months ago. Since that day, nothing has been the same. And if they don't fix it now it will be beyond repair. Because what neither of them realizes is that there is a third person in their life and he is getting tired of waiting.I thought this book did something you very rarely see - take a long-term look at a BDSM relationship. It wasn't so much that things had become less intense because I don't think they had. But trying to balance career and whether to have a family became something they had to figure out.It was really amazing how much of the story took place in one afternoon and how well it worked. How Alex became focused on living in the moment. Really an amazing bit of writing.

A Summer Siege

A Summer Siege - Samantha Holt Madeline had an unhappy childhood and was headed for an adulthood if her father had his way with the marriage he wanted to arrange for her. But then Tristan, the son of her Father's Liege Lord, came to her rescue and offered her an escape as soon as he returned.But when he returned he learned she was dead. And now, 5 years later...There were some nice touches. I couldn't quite figure out how she had learned to fight but that got explained in a very creative way - maybe not totally realistic but the year was 1218 so you can allow a little leeway. I must admit to not knowing anything at all about the First Baron's War or the Siege of Dover Castle so it was nice to explore that.I do think there was a bit of anachronisms - both the language and the situation. I don't really think she would have had quite that much freedom to decide who to marry.In the end, I think this is a solid little erotic romance.

The Auction

The Auction - Claire Thompson Not exactly the most original concept: A man buys a woman to be his slave for a month. But it doesn't have to be if you do it well.The reason the Auction House wants to make sure that someone wants Carly to be experienced is because if she panics right from the beginning it reflects bad on them. Actually getting someone who was able to make it through the training and hasn't become jaded would make for a much better experience to me although I am sure that not everyone would think so.Adam was a little cookie-cutter - the guys who has dommed lots of women but never found the one he was looking for and partly because he didn't think she was out there. I gave him a lot of credit for being willing to listen to James and Amy (I love Amy because she was a great example of how someone can be a submissive but not a doormat) at some key moments.Finally, it was nice to have a nice little love story that wasn't light on the BDSM. Nothing I found excessive but definitely not stuff for beginners either.

Serenity (Mind Warriors, #7)

Serenity (Mind Warriors, #7) - Sharon Green A lot of times the final book in a series is the longest since the author has a lot of stories to wrap up. I was a little leery going into this because it was relatively short.So the first half is basically Jilin on her home world dealing with badly run Mental Institutions. Along with the author's fairly Draconian views on Law and Order that aren't that unexpected if you read some of her later books.So then back to Rimilia for the confrontation with the Big Bad. We never saw Rathmore Hellman in Book 1 - we just heard his name. When the Empaths staged the coup on Earth after New Dawn we were only informed later. So now we find out that Hellman isn't dead as we were told but teaming up with various minor characters from Books 1 and 3 in order to take over the Universe. It just wasn't very satisfying.I had high hopes for this series going in and even when Jilin was getting jerked around in Book 1 it was more interesting than Jilin and her Amazing Friends right every wrong in 30 seconds by the end. I kind of got the impression that this was written many years after the early stories and the story just got lost by the end. I felt like this became more agenda-driven and less about exploring the characters themselves.

Peace (Mind Warriors, #6)

Peace (Mind Warriors, #6) - Sharon Green The longer the series goes on, it feels like an epilogue to the original in some ways. This is kind of an epilogue to the epilogue.Jilin ends up in a new community - kind of half Truman Show, half the Village from the Prisoner. And after getting so depressed she nearly kills herself by cutting herself off from the world outside her house, Vennias comes to her rescue and they finally get their relationship started.And along the way all the l'lenda suddenly discover what they have been missing. Obviously the culture of Rimilia was going to have to change and desperately needed to, but going from book 1 where Ben was still trying to get everyone newly-arrived female empath to accept a subservient role to book 4 where Jilin converts whole group by drop-kicking a guy in the face to now happily living in the Vediaster suburbs it just seemed a trifle too easy.And then Tammad and Terrilian show up - You know, if you really think about it, Tammad was kind of the antagonist of half the original series because he was planning on double-dealing Central without knowing that Central was double-dealing him. Everyone kind of forgave him in Book 5 but that was left out there. And now we have kind of lot track of time - it is no longer 3 months since we have been following Jilian for at least a couple of months if not longer since we don't really know how long she spent in the Valley in Book 2. And Terry has gone native. I just didn't think think that made a whole lot of sense. I felt like 15 or 20 years had passed rather than just a few months.Hopefully, we can get done with the secret enemies that were never foreshadowed and get things back on track soon - since there is only one book left.

Board Resolution

Board Resolution - Joey W. Hill This review was sponsored by Behind the Chintz Curtain. You can read it below but the formatting over there is much nicer. :)What do you call a tale where a woman shows up for a business meeting only to be assaulted, manhandled, stripped naked, rendered immobile by being bound to a specially designed piece of furniture, blindfolded, gagged and forced to submit to her captor and, possibly, his stalwart management team?Aw, you guessed it – it’s a love story.Geoffrey Tennyson wasn’t one of those men who felt sorry for himself because he had a daughter and not a son. He just played the hand life dealt – and spent every moment from the day she was born until the day he died instilling in her his own version of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. There simply wouldn’t be a situation that would come up in any business negotiation that Savannah wouldn’t be prepared for.But then Matthew Kensington enters the equation.He’s determined to peel back the layers of business acumen and ice cold ruthlessness to find the woman underneath. To anyone else, it would probably seem like an impossible task. But with the right amount of strategic planning, a carefully crafted and briefed team of associates, and the element of surprise, he’s confident that he can pull it off.Extreme situations call for extreme measures. And what Matt puts Savannah through is definitely intense. But she actually never says ‘no’ to him (or his colleagues), even though he gives her not one but two methods of calling for help if things get to be too much. And he stays right there with her through every single moment.Nothing tender or sweet about this one but it’s definitely something of an emotional thrill ride.

War (Mind Warriors, #5)

War (Mind Warriors, #5) - Sharon Green Everything that has happened so far has been building up to the Big Announcement that there is a new Sheriff in Town.Not a whole lot happens this time around either. Basically a lot of interpersonal things as the Rimilians get acclimated to how the rest of the galaxy works, a nice chance for Jilin to spend some time back on her world helping out, and a big confrontation on Alderan with the Kabras - where our old friend Garth was conspicuous by his absence.And the Bond was Broken. Pretty extreme way to do it, but now Jilian and Vennias finally have a level playing field on which to start over.