Review: Dirtiest Secrets by J. Kenner

Review: Dirtiest Secrets by J. KennerDirtiest Secrets by J. Kenner
Series: S.I.N. #1
Published by Bantam April 19, 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Erotica
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Hottest Mess
Also by this author: Say My Name
Amazon US
Goodreads

It was wrong for us to be together, but it was even harder to be apart.

The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.

Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.

Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.

We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes.

Dirtiest Secret is intended for mature audiences.

Dirtiest Secrets surprised the hell out of me. In the best of ways. Based off the synopsis, I was expecting a forbidden romance and I absolutely got that.  But in no way did I see it being forbidden for the reasons it is.

Vague much? Well, yeah…only because I don’t want to spoil anything about this book.  I want you to be able to experience the same thrills I did. Go in blind people, you won’t regret it!

I can say this much, though.

Kenner wrote Dallas in such a way that you are enthralled with his character from the first page he graces. He’s sexy and extremely controlling but not quite what you think he is. While the story begins with a very steamy scene, don’t take that as the overall theme of this one. It is sexy, it is not erotica.

When Jane enters, the story immediately becomes so much more.  It’s complex, it’s heartbreaking, it’s exciting, it’s multi-faceted.  Kenner gives well placed flash backs into Jane and Dallas’ past, giving insight into their strangled relationship, yet it never overpowers the current day tale.

If you’re a fan of romantic suspense but like it steamy as well, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with Dirtiest Secrets.  There is a great balance between the characters, the intrigue and the romance. I’m very excited for more!

About J. Kenner

J. Kenner spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge her passion for writing. California born, she now lives—and writes—in Texas, with her husband and daughters.


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Review: Tryst by S.L. JenningsTryst by S.L. Jennings
Series: Sexual Education #2
Published by Avon November 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author:
Amazon US | B&N
Goodreads

From the author of Taint, comes this steamy novel of a happily married couple who decides to take a walk on the wild side in order to add spice to their sex life—but end up in a situation that neither could have ever bargained for.

Heidi DuCane is a tough-as-nails publicist with a passion for success and her husband Tucker. While they’re polar opposites, what they do have in common is a fierce love and commitment to each other. But their relationship—in and out of the bedroom—will be put to the ultimate test.

Rock superstar Ransom Reed is every woman’s fantasy, including Heidi’s. When she meets Ransom, she shares a wild night with him where Heidi gets to play—and Tucker watches, and enjoys, the pleasure Ransom gives Heidi. Though Tucker was a willing participant, Heidi still can’t help reeling with guilt. There’s no doubt that she loves her husband. While Tucker is the perfect lover—generous, attentive and gentle—she needs much more. She needs the mind-blowing ecstasy Ransom offers.

Tucker isn’t blind to the fact that Heidi has unconventional needs which he can’t satisfy. He loves his wife and will do anything to please her The night he watched her and Ransom was so scorching hot that Tucker can’t stop thinking about it. He decides he wants to join Ransom in pleasing Heidi. But as Tucker and Heidi soon realize, it’s not just the sex that is enticing. Heidi felt something within her awaken, and she felt so deliciously sated and loved by both men. Tucker felt it too, and he finds it impossible not to want that feeling again.

Ransom and Tucker satisfy a need within Heidi. And now that she’s had them, she can never go back to the way things were before.

I had the same feelings about Tryst as I did about Taint. Which, boiled down, amount to this:

  • Strong Cover
  • Strong Concept
  • Strong Start
  • Lackluster Finish

But I digress.

Heidi is a powerful player in the fancier entertainment and celebrity circle.  She’s a powerhouse public relations guru and when your career is floundering or just about to take off, she’s the girl you want on your side.  She also happens to be married to a powerhouse in his own right. Tucker is a successful shrink.  Together, they’ve built a comfortable life over a decade of marriage.  Tucker provides for Heidi in all the ways a perfect husband should. He’s caring, trusting, loyal, tender.

Too tender.

Tucker came into Heidi’s life when she was in a vulnerable time.  He’s always treated her a bit like a fragile teacup in the bedroom because of that time.  But Heidi craves more.  She wants a little kink, some dirtiness, some taboo.

When the opportunity to work with Heidi’s “Hall Pass” arrives, Tucker gives her that taboo…in the form of Ransom.  A hot, talented, very sexual rocker that is all too willing to help Tucker and Heidi fulfill what their marriage lacks.

 

Tryst Teaser S.L. Jennings

 

All of that worked for me.  I’ve been married a long ass time, I get how it takes work to keep things new and lively and would never judge a couple bringing someone else into their relationship in the hopes of it adding to the relationship.  I think that’s what Heidi and Tuck were trying for, though Heidi was pretty caught up in her attraction for Ransom.

Even the sex worked for me.  There isn’t an awful lot of it, I even hesitate to mark this as erotica, but the sex that is there…pretty steamy.

 

Tryst Teaser S.L. Jennings

What didn’t work for me is this.  There was a huge lack of conversation for me.  I needed Heidi and Tucker to discuss what was happening and that just didn’t happen. Well, until it was too late and things were well out of hand.  Now, there is a reason for this, something that comes up fairly late in the book.  But I still had major issue with it. Tuck talks shit out for a living but could never do that with his own wife?

Also, I didn’t love how it all ended.  I needed so much more closure.  It was too rushed for my liking.

So, I’m somewhere in the middle with Tryst. I really enjoyed Heidi’s internal struggle and I completely fell for Ransom’s dark tenderness.  It’s such a great concept and not a topic often written about in mainstream contemporary, it was just missing some things for me.

About S.L. Jennings

S.L. Jennings is a military wife, mom of three, coffee addict, Willy Wonka enthusiast, and real-life unicorn. She’s also the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of Ink and Lies, Taint, Fear of Falling, The Dark Light Series, along with a few other titles that she’s too lazy to type. She’s been with her high school sweetheart for almost 18 years, and he still can’t get her Subway sandwich order right. But he’s cute and brings her vodka, so she keeps him around. They currently reside in Spokane, WA with their three stinky boys and their equally stinky, asshole cat.

The Jennings fam has lived overseas in Germany most of their lives, which is where S.L. penned her very first book, Dark Light. She was having a quarter life crisis, and since she has a background in music and even had a recording contract in her teenage years, writing seemed like a natural progression. Five years later, she’s still at it and still in crisis. Her family doesn’t have the heart to tell her that she’s actually just crazy.


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The DNF Journals: Addicted to Sin by Monica James

The DNF Journals: Addicted to Sin by Monica JamesAddicted to Sin by Monica James
Series: Sinful Pleasures #1
October 8, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 311
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Goodreads

Tell me your deepest, darkest secrets. I dare you.

Addiction comes down to one simple, primitive concept. Desire.

My name is Dr. Dixon Mathews, and I’m New York’s finest shrink. For $500 an hour, people tell me their darkest, most sinful secrets.

My own addiction? Sex.

I might be certified in solving other people’s problems, but not mine –
I know I’m a lost cause. I don’t do relationships. I don’t even do the same woman twice.

But that’s all about to change, thanks to two entirely different women who awaken my deepest desires.

Who will I choose?

I know who I should choose, but I never said I was the hero of this story, or even the good guy. And besides, who wants to be good, when it feels so good being bad?

My tale isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you’re game, strap yourself in and expect the unexpected. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Achingly sexy and highly addictive, the first in the Sinful Pleasures Series will have you hooked. Driven to Sin coming very soon…

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Well, I think I made it about as far as I could with this one.  Warning – this will be a bit spoilerish.

Dixon Matthews is supposed to be one of the best head shrinks in New York. Yet, he was utterly stupid.

The book basically starts off with him banging a client in his office. After he thinks of her as Shamu. Ummm, asshole much? I like a good asshole, but not that kind. Strike one.

He didn’t even really blink an eye at fucking a client.  Like this is completely acceptable behavior. Strike two.

That is until a hot little sex addict walks into his office. Suddenly, he gets a conscience.  Not for long, mind you. He eventually realizes his little purple head will win over the mush up top and decides he can’t be her doctor because he needs to fuck her brains out instead. Nice moral code, asshole. Strike three.

That should be it. Three strikes, you’re out.

It’s not it. There’s more.

While he’s fucking clients and dumping others so he can fuck them. He’s lamenting over this sweet little waitress that he randomly met. Can’t get her out of his mind. Feels an undeniable connection to her. Wants her, wants to learn more about her. So much so that he stands her up so he can go fuck his little whorish nymph instead. Strike four.

All this is happening while he’s still reeling over his ex-finance fucking his best friend. Oh, the drama of it all.

It was just too much. Way too much. And I never gave a shit about any of the characters. I just couldn’t connect with them and I think it was because I was wading in too much drama.

Bummer, because I really liked the sound of it.

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

 


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Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Review: Claimed by Elle KennedyClaimed by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1
Published by Signet October 6, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Erotica
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Addicted
Also by this author: The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Goodreads

The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels “knows how to write scorching sexual tension” (USA Today). Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

Some things I love: Dystopian stories, erotic stories, Elle Kennedy‘s writing.

Imagine my delight at having all three of those show up in my mailbox, packaged in one very nice looking paperback?

Claimed is set in a post war torn America.  The geography is much different than what we now have, parts of the country are now under water and what is left is either controlled by an unforgiving government or you are an outlaw surviving on whatever you can manage to scavenge.

Hudson grew up in a city controlled by the government.  It wasn’t always as controlling as it is now,  there used to be something similar to fairness.  That’s all gone now and left in the wake is nothing but violence and murder.  Escaping the city may be easy for her but she won’t go unnoticed and she’ll have the two most powerful men in the area searching for her. Her overlord brother and her fiance, the most ruthless Lieutenant alive.

Hudson knows that surviving in outlaw land will require some help. Some shelter.  She finds that shelter in an unlikely source.  A group of five very capable, very powerful and yet, fairly unwelcoming men.  Convincing them to take her on requires her to reveal just enough about herself to make them want her around, but not quite enough to make them want her dead.  It’s a dangerous line and if not walked carefully, could cost her everything.

Connor can’t deny that Hudson stirs some parts of him better left settled. He also can’t deny that the woman is more trouble than she lets on.  But it’s the first feelings that have him ready to give in to her.  She’s smart, she’s capable, she’s gorgeous and she has this heady desire to learn what it’s like to live free.  Connor wants to be the one to teach her that.

And teach her, he does.  But when the truth comes to light, everything Connor struggles to hold together starts to crumble.

Claimed is a smut filled dangerous ride and I loved every bit of it.  Kennedy writes with a cautious balance between sexual tension, explosive eroticism and suspenseful excitement.  Nothing felt like too much, nothing felt like too little.  There is a wonderfully interesting cast of characters introduced in this first Outlaw installment and I’m eager to hear everyone’s stories.  I loved what she gave us in Claimed, strong characters, secrets, deceit, danger, lust, love…so much packed into this book!

Miss Ali - Transparent

 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!


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Review: Begging for It by Lilah Pace

Review: Begging for It by Lilah PaceBegging For It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking For It #2
Published by Penguin September 1, 2015
Genres: Erotica
Pages: 342
Format: eBook
Also in this series: Asking For It
Also by this author: Asking For It
Amazon US
Goodreads

The provocative author of Asking for It once again explores the dark side of erotic obsession, and the secrets that make it as dangerous as it is irresistible.

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they're taking are far more dangerous than they'd imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is...

 

I think what I will take away most from Begging for It, is the thought that not all relationships are the same. And what may be a happy coupling for some, is vastly different to what others have or need.  Society has a historic mold but that simply doesn’t work for all, maybe it doesn’t even work for most anymore.
 
I’m not saying that Vivienne’s need to imagine being taken by force is healthy. But I think Pace did a great job of showing that maybe it’s not entirely unhealthy either. It gave Vivienne a sense of control, something that she didn’t have her first time.  And…I guess, I just can’t see that as a bad thing. Who am I, or who is society for that matter, to judge someone on HOW they heal from a trauma? She’s not harming anyone else, so why look down on her for needing a rape fantasy to get off?
 
This is turning into something more like a psychoanalysis and less like a book review, isn’t it?
 
I think maybe that’s okay though. The Asking for It series should provoke thought on such a taboo subject.  Mission accomplished, in my case.
 
As for the story:
 
I loved how Pace reconciled Vivienne and Jonah’s relationship. I loved that she let Vivienne stand up for herself, how she didn’t just let Jonah walk away.  She stood by him, she weathered his emotions and his confusions.
 
Also, I loved that Jonah became such a rock in helping Vivienne move on from her past.
 
This is truly a tender story about what you do for someone you really love. Sometimes you struggle with what that is, maybe it’s leaving them for good, maybe it’s sticking it out. Pace lets you see it a few different ways.  As thought provoking as it is, it’s also just a very good written, intriguing story and I look forward to more works from this author.

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

 

 

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.


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Creature Feature #2: The Alien’s Slave by Kat Richards

by Kat Richards
Genres: Erotica
Source: Purchased

**Creature Feature is a special here at Black Heart, dedicated to the stranger side of romance.**
Series: Standalone
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Kat Richards
Genre: Erotica
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★
~ Amazon Kindle ~
Taken by Three Aliens!
Desire turns me wanton. I want them to fill me with their seed.
 
One mistake in service is all it takes for my alien masters to decide to punish me. My flesh is bare. Hands, mouths and tongues touch me all over. The experience is far beyond my control and they fill me in every way they can imagine.
 
The Alien’s Slave is ravaged by three sexy conquerors of planet earth. There’s no pulling out for these victorious, dominant beings. 

 

Two stars.
 
One for the alien’s third arm.  Still not entirely clear on the mechanics of it, but it sounds fucking awesome.
 
One for some of the lines Alice delivers while ‘in the throws’ of passion.
 
Lines like this:
 
“I feel him pressing up against my puckered starfish and I tense.”
 
“Desire turns me into a wanton whore.”
 
“Please sir, fill me in all my holes.”
 
I didn’t touch on the plot becuase…well, one – nobody reads monster erotica for the plot. And two, it’s 25 pages. That doesn’t leave much room for plot.  So here’s the gist – three, three armed aliens with human like cocks and one human, wanton whore, female. They fuck. The end. Pretty much.
Miss Ali - Transparent

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Review: Kestrel (Hart Brothers #3) by A.M. Hargrove

Review: Kestrel (Hart Brothers #3) by A.M. HargroveKestrel by A.M. Hargrove
Series: Hart Brothers #3
March 29, 2015
Genres: Erotica
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

Two lives with broken pasts no one can imagine. One encounter that changed them both forever.

“One look at her and I want to run. Frizzy hair, thick glasses, mom jeans, and ruffles up to her neck. Who the hell wears shit like that? What decade is she living in? My mother doesn’t even dress like that!”

Kestrel is a survivor. The monster who raised him is dead and he’s now building a new life for himself, shedding his dark and twisted past. He moves away from his family, but a surprise awaits him. Her name is Carter.

Carter is also a survivor. Her past is every bit as horrid as Kestrel’s. But she has a secret. In order to protect it, she proposes something so foreign, so outrageous, even she is shocked.
Carter needs love. Kestrel craves human contact. Neither of them recognizes what’s right before their eyes. Will they see it before it’s too late?

The good thing about Kestrel by A.M. Hargrove, is that even though it is the third in the series, it definitely can be read as a stand alone.
 
However, that may be the only thing I found good about this book.
 
I’m giving it one star because I actually made it to the end. I think only to see how the train wreck ended. This feels so harsh, but it was just such a mess.
 
It starts fine enough, young woman has lost her entire family. She’s broken and broke. You learn that she’s in cancer research but the taxes on the house she inherited are breaking her.
 
 But then all of this happens –
 
The money situation never really mapped out for me. She was left $100K, I assume she makes decent money, but the taxes nearly bankrupt her within 4 years. But, I don’t live in Charleston. This could be totally legit, it definitely made me pause and do some math. Not something I want to do while reading.
 
Anyway…then she throws herself at the potential buyer of the house. I’m talking, indecent proposal shit here. It was all kinds of strange. She’s a nerd, not a sex pot so it really felt out of character. I get it, you’re desperate to have access to the house but offering up your mom jean clad ass to a complete stranger is crazy town territory.
 
Kestrel (awesome name – that’s why it got an extra half star) kept telling her he was so bad and evil but his actions never supported that. Ever. He was actually a very sweet guy. All his talk about his dark past, was just that, talk.
 
I could make a huge list of inconsistencies, but I won’t. I’ll just say it was full of them and I struggled. A lot.
 
Not the book for me.
 
 Miss Ali - Transparent

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