An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

The conspiracy theorists of the world might have gotten something right. Maybe not the details, but they got something right. Secret experiments exist!

The details they didn’t get right were probably down to not having the imagination for what an ass can be used for.

A Ph.D. in one hand and a dream in the other, Alex strikes out multiple times getting the job of his dreams. One job interview left him feeling so down that he needed a stiff drink. Depressed, slightly drunk, yet still obsessive enough to believe in a brighter future, Alex makes the mistake of trusting the wrong person.

Enslaved, marked as a lab rat, and stuffed into a windowless room to await testing to be conducted on him. That’s the future for Alex. Until one of his captures overhears half a conversation. Maybe his ass isn’t the only useful thing on Alex. And maybe even the worst roads ventured can lead to fulfilling a dream.

THIS BOOK CONTAINS: non-con, dub-con, fisting, tentacles, sex between animal Hybrids and humans, master/slave, voyeurism, power struggle, sensory deprivation, abduction, exhibitionism, slavery, psychological mindfucks, dystopia settings, mpreg in the form of eggs going…places, gestation, and a surprise ending with a HEA feel to it.

This was quite an interesting story.  Alex basically set himself up for something to happen to him but ends up finding happiness and love in the end too.

There were parts that were hot and some that bugged me to, but I expected that to an extent.  When Alex is with Cooper and even those showing kindness I absolutely loved those scenes but when it came to the punishing scene that Alex went through it made me sick to my stomach and no matter what they was flat out violent rape.

I liked how Alex was able to accept his fate but also grabbed on with both hands to help save the world too.  How the scientists were going about everything wasn’t quite right but I like that it seems Alex will be the big change for that, even if we don’t get to see the details.

I don’t usually bring this up, but considering I was provided a “final proof” it’s going to be out there to everyone, this book needed an editing overhaul.  There were quite a few incorrect work choices (i.e. tracks instead of tracts, they aren’t even the same thing) and at times the language or phrases the characters used just didn’t sit right with how they were portrayed.

I love the cover art and think it is perfect for this story.

Sales Links: Smashwords

Book Details:

ebook, 258 pages

Published: May 24, 2019 by Taboo BooxXx

ISBN-13: 9788797090442

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Between Bloody Lips (The Valentino Family #2) by Sai Fox

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

 

Who is Nicolai Valentino?

Some think him a devoted son, a ruthless killer, a vicious monster. The heir of the infamous Valentino family, Nico is a man with blood-stained hands and a heart of ice.

To Gabriel Delatto, Nico is more than that: a childhood friend, a passionate lover, a misunderstood soul, a man whose cold, calculated outward exterior protects the broken man inside. Nico is his best friend, his lover, his other half—his better half.

But how much of that is true? And how much is just lies whispered between bloody lips?

New York to Tokyo—Gabriel is willing to follow his lover to the ends of the earth to find out what Nico is running from.

Or, maybe, what is Nico running to?

Author Note: Please be advised that there are sexual scenes of explicit graphic nature, including BDSM themes, within the following story. These are done between two parties over the age of 18.

There are scenes involving non-consensual BDSM themes and mentions of past physical and mental child abuse and graphic material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

To be honest, after reading the first story in this series I wasn’t at all sure I was going to continue with the series.  I thought that book,On Hands and Knees, was lacking in world building and a foundation for the characters and the characters relationship necessary to the story and  overall arc.  But there was just enough intrigue and interest for me to continue and I’m so glad I did because this?  This novel?  It’s a completely different animal.

Between Bloody Lips (The Valentino Family #2) by Sai Fox to be sure builds on the somewhat nebulous storyline of the prior book, picking up right after the events there.  But here everything is so much more fleshed out.  What was a disadvantage in the first story becomes a strength here, and that would be the tortured narrative of Gabriel Delatto, whose mind and memory never seem little more than a shaky thing ready to fly apart, and it’s threatening to do so without it’s anchor, Nico.

Gabe is running after an elusive Nico, ending up in Japan,  with an elusive criminal underworld filled with layers he can’t comprehend, and the reader is there floundering  with him.  This is a dark, angst filled story.  Both Gabe, Nico and some of the others here have come from a tormented, background of systematic child abuse and it has left both men deeply scars and in many ways twisted and wounded beyond repair.  They seek through BDSM, cutting, and more, relief through pain, humiliation, and submission.  While some of these scenes read as BDSM others read as self harm, and others still more are non con, violent dub con, and more.  As I said this is a violent world of criminals and the dark nature of others, the author has realistically shown that.  So be warned.

As the story progresses and we sift through Gabe’s tortured mind along with his efforts to understand Nico’s predicament and his own, we start to form our own ideas of what is behind Nico’s running and the some of the layers start to come together but it does not prepare us for the startling revelations towards the end.

I cannot go into details here except to say this is an exceptional book, from the characters to the convoluted, labyrinthine story.  Everything finally comes together in one smashing, stunning climax that is worth both books.

Plus for once, I enjoyed the fact that the author did not take these tortured men and miraculously “cure” them.   Or promise a HEA, no matter what that blurb says.  No.  They can’t be promised that given who and what they are.  A HFN is realistic and yes, there are still questions we might not know the answers to, but that feels real too given the circumstances here as well.

For me I wish Sai Fox had run both books together for one brilliant story because that’s what this second novel becomes.  Just brilliant.    And one, if your stomach can handle the abuse, cutting, and everything, is worth it all.  I highly recommend it.

 

Cover art by Samantha Garrett is dark and stunning, just like the storyline.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Published May 11th 2019
ASIN B07NK6JJ5G
Edition Language English

A BJ Review: Staged (Belonging #3) by Kim Fielding

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Rating:    5 stars out of 5

Staged_600x900Once the second-prize winner on My Slave’s Got Talent, Sky Blue has spent the past few years singing at a failing New York nightclub. While Sky has never had control over his fate, his life seems to take a turn for the worse when he’s torn from the familiar comfort of performing and sold to a rich and enigmatic man.

Morgan Wallace takes his newly purchased slave to San Francisco, his intentions unclear. On the one hand, he treats Sky with more kindness than Sky has ever known—treats him like a real person. On the other hand, he shares Sky at parties hosted by his sadistic new friends.

A confused slave is an endangered slave, and Sky isn’t even sure of his master’s real name. Is he Morgan Wallace, wealthy and cruel, or Mackenzie Webster, caring and compassionate? Caught between hope, fear, and an undeniably growing attachment, Sky struggles to untangle which parts are real and which are merely a performance. His future, his heart, and even his life may depend on it.

First off, I’ve not read any of the previous books in this series, but I was told it was merely in the same universe and cold be read as a standalone. After reading it, I can assure anyone considering doing the same that I never felt like I didn’t understand anything during reading this story.

I’ve been interested in the series and had already purchased but not yet read the first book, but when I was offered the ARC of this one, I couldn’t turn it down since I’ve enjoyed every single book I’ve read by this author. And a few of them I’ve even loved. Might as well say right off the bat that Staged falls firmly into the loved category. This story sucked me in from page one and was one of those rare books that I hated to put down and was almost sorry to see end.

This isn’t the first book in which this author has ventured to the dark side, but readers should be aware that there is non-con, violence, and some pretty horrific  torture scenes. Which for me, made the sweet and tender scenes amidst it stand out all the more. Sky and Morgan/Mac are two of the most enthralling main characters I’ve read in a while. Sky is a slave in a world where folks say that slaves aren’t like others, don’t feel emotions the same, aren’t fit to care for themselves. And yet Sky is, as Morgan/Mac says, just the most amazing person. He enthralled me from the beginning. The entire story is written from Sky’s POV. Very often in single POV stories, at some point I find myself wanting to get into the head of the other character for more depth and insight, but that was never at all the case here. It was perfect the way it was written.

There were so many feels wound into this. It touched my heart and made me say “Awww”, then turned around and horrified me. It also at parts alternately had me tears-eyed, irate, on the edge of my seat, and stupidly proud. Sky’s personality really starts to unfold and bloom as he’s allowed for the first time to experience all of the many bits and parts of life that were withheld from him which exhilarates and confuses him. He experiences TLC for the first time, but is understandably too confused and fearful to be able to trust in it. Watching him find pleasure and joy in small things and living in the moment even when he knows that more bad is coming because he has been warned to expect it. So poignant to see him learn in tiny sips what it feels like to be in control for short periods of time, to make decisions on his own, to read and search the net and learn things about the world. But it wasn’t all feeling, as there are also many bits that made me think.

Morgan/Mac, a man who’d never owned a slave but had an awful childhood of his own driving him, also grows a lot in this book as he discovers that all he’s accepted about slavery is wrong. And as he begins to lose his heart to a slave. Right from the start, he seems in awe of him. Throughout a lot of story, Morgan is left a bit of an enigma, and yet through Sky’s narrations, we see his heart come out, see what kind of man he seems to be.

I’m going to stop as I don’t want to go into the story much beyond the blurb. This his story has motivated me to make time in my busy line up of TBRs to fit in book one which I already own sooner rather than later. I definitely want to revisit this world again soon. I just wish I could also revisit these characters—I didn’t want to let them go.

The cover by Tami Santarossa was not a favorite because it wouldn’t have drawn me to look at the story if I’d seen just that, but the layout and style does fits with the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon – more links to come

Book Details:

ebook, 255 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626494664
Edition LanguageEnglish


J. Johanis Brings Sex, Dragons, and Darkness with Slash OP Series: Toy Soldier #2 (Character Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Slash Op by J Johanis 800x1250

Slash Op (Toy Soldier #2) by J. Johanis
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Publisher:  Self-Published

Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  welcome a different perspective on J Johanis’ new novel, a video conference with author J. Johanis and character character, dragon insurgent leader, Zeki Shaytan.    Welcome to our blog, JJ and Zeki, this is a first for us…

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Video Conference Character Interview with dragon insurgent leader, Zeki Shaytan

JJ: Thank you so much for meeting with me Mr. Shaytan. Though I was hoping we could meet face to face, I understand your concerns with security. I want to start off asking you about your rank and responsibilities in the dragon insurgency.

Zeki: I’d be glad to tell you, but first I need to make one thing clear. There’s no insurgency in the dragon territory! When the imperialists Earth Forces colonized our home planet, they slaughtered millions of dragons. Then they brought some of us here to Earth and put us in reservations. Since our population has grown, we’ve moved out in the surrounding areas. It’s called the dragon district because we’re the only ones living there. So, the fact that we govern ourselves and defend against Earth Forces aggression does not make us insurgents.

JJ: Okay, well can you tell me more about the conflict?

Zeki: Earth Forces continues to harass us. They come into our district and conduct assassinations and kidnappings, so when we fight, it’s to defend ourselves. It is our right and duty to kill any Earth Forces soldier that dares enter our territory.

JJ: This is my first time hearing the dragon perspective, so there is something that I find difficult to understand. If every dragon in the district can shift into a full sized dragon, don’t you have an advantage over humans? Why would you even need guns or explosives? Plus, how would it even be possible for Earth Forces to kidnap a dragon?

Zeki: There’s a variety of reasons. First of all, Earth Forces have developed armor penetrating bullets. So in our dragon form, we’re a larger target. As for capturing dragons, the imperialists have a long history of drugging and raping dragon captives, which they do because their sperm keeps our kind from shifting. Additionally, the Earth Union is responsible for developing the Persuasion drug in order to use it against the dragon population. Since Persuasion makes someone crave sex so bad that they can’t go without it, dragon’s injected with the drug become easy targets.

JJ: If that’s true, it’s unfortunate. Well, I wish I had all the answers, but I hope that you all can find a way to live together peacefully.

Zeki: That’s not going to happen. We will exterminate the human race just like they exterminated us. They took our planet, so we are going to take theirs!

JJ: Right, well, thank you so much for the interview.

Purchase it at All Romance | Barnes & Noble

Blurb

The White House has ordered the execution of a highly sensitive covert operation in dragon-occupied territory. Though a Slash Op has a zero percent survival rate, the commanding general is forced to enlist his most prized officer for the task.

Major Gideon is embarking on his first mission in the dragon district. Yet Gideon has hardly recovered from all that Drago made him endure. For the past three months, Gideon has been plagued with dreams of dragons terrorizing him, but his dreams have gradually turned into sexual fantasies. Despite coming to terms with his longing to have Drago in bed, Gideon cannot suppress his desire to beat Drago’s face in. When Gideon is called for a mission in the most dangerous district on Earth, what freaks him out the most is the prospect of seeing Drago again.

Content Advisory: Graphic violence, dragon sex, & non-con.

Excerpt

Gideon squeezed his dick through his jeans and groaned. How the hell was he going to handle seeing Drago the next day? Gideon had been dying just thinking about him.

When he opened his eyes, he spotted a familiar face moving through the crowd. Sergeant Talon, in skintight jeans, a black tank top, and sporting a military haircut was walking straight for him. He was hotter than Gideon had ever seen him before. Gideon rose to his feet as he approached.

“Hey, Major,” Talon said, taking Gideon’s hand and pulling him into a hug. Talon smacked Gideon’s ass and stepped back to check him out. “You’re so fucking hot!”

Gideon’s face warmed. Talon was out of line, but it was what he’d grown to expect from him.

“Uh, okay…” Gideon said, stepping to the side in an attempt to put more distance between them, but Talon put his hand on the wall, preventing his retreat. Gideon furrowed his brow, wondering what kind of game he was playing. During their captivity, Talon had always taken liberties. When Stella said the first man to make Gideon come would get to fuck him, Talon had gone down on him like he’d meant it.

“You know, I heard you were returning to Fort Hood, and I was hoping I’d find you here,” Talon said, pushing Gideon’s back to the wall. Gideon opened his mouth to protest, but before he could say a word, Talon slid a hand down the front of Gideon’s jeans and grasped his erection.

“What the…?” Gideon’s protest was cut short when Talon’s hot lips pressed into his own. Gideon groaned into Talon’s mouth, but inside he was screaming. This was wrong! Talon was his soldier—he couldn’t let him do this. He tried to pull back, but Talon held him in place, jerking him harder and faster while deepening his kiss. Gideon felt his climax coming, and before he could collect his thoughts, his body flushed with heat and he came in Talon’s hand.

Gideon broke their embrace, struggling for breath while his body quaked. What the fuck was he doing? Everything had happened so quickly, yet he had no desire to push Talon away. He needed this. Talon’s rough hands on him, forcing him to his will.

Title: Slash OP
Series: Toy Soldier #2Slash Op 3D both large
Author: J. Johanis
Length: 95 pages
Genre:  M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Sci-fi

About the Author

J. Johanis writes m/m dark erotica and enjoys creating worlds that are myth-based or futuristic.

Author Links

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | FACEBOOK PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST
GOODREADS | BLOG | NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Slash Op TOUR BANNER

Giveaway

One winner will receive a $30.00 Amazon gift card and five more winners will receive an ebook copy of Drago Star, book one in the series. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.Drago Star - Book #1

Rafflecopter Code:
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Slash OP Blog Tour

29 February – The Novel Approach, Attention is Arbitrary, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

1 March – Jena Wade, TTC Books & More

2 March – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Scott Coatsworth

3 March – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

4 March – Love Bytes

7 March – Book Lovers 4 Ever

8 March – Divine Magazine, Hearts On Fire Reviews

9 March – Diverse Reader

10 March – MM Book Escape, Emotion in Motion

11 March – The Dark Arts

A BJ Review: Kraken by M. Caspian

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Looking for a spooky, creepy Halloween month read?! Check this one out!

Kraken: A gothic erotic horror with tentacle non-con.

Kraken coverWill MacKenzie’s boyfriend Parker gave him an ultimatum: move to a remote off-shote island with him or call it quits. Will initially chooses the latter but it rips his heart out. It doesn’t take him long to decide that he’d picked wrong, and he finds himself heading off into the unknown to fix his mistake. After a terrifying incident on the docks sets the mood for the excursion, Will is further chilled to find that most of the locals think they recognize him? And why can’t he seem to leave the island once he’s arrived?

Please do heed the reader advisory. This story contains scenes that may offend some people, including rape, extreme violence, tentacles, and reference to past sexual abuse of children.

If you can get on board with all that, then step right into a tale that is deliciously eerie right from the beginning with a bit of a gothic feel to it. Ominous and foreboding are good words to describe how this made me feel right off the bat. It made me shiver even as it gripped me and drew me inexorably in.

Next came enticing layer upon layer of mystery that kept me guessing as to exactly what the heck was going on. I encountered quite a few WTF moments before things began to become clear. And them, YIKES! It’s horrifying, and the author pulls no punches in describing that in detail for us folks. Strong visceral visual images abound.

Do not doubt it, this book is a m/m horror, genuine monster erotica—and it’s high on the gore and slime factor. Not recommended for the squeamish. Take a sociopath, cross him with tentacles, give him time to mature into a truly evil villain and you have the inkling of the idea of what a read is in for here.

One of the more unusual takes on shape shifters that I’ve encountered. Nice world-building. Well-rounded characters that grow and change throughout the story.

I’m not going to go into attempting to describe the plot, as it’s better that reader’s experience it for themselves. I’ll just say, it creeped me out, it made me shiver and shudder, it made me very glad I was nowhere near an island or a boat or an ocean or any body of water… but it held me spellbound as all was revealed.

If you’re looking for something unusual and dark with a satisfying ending, this author delivers up tentacle-sex with plot that fits that requirement in spades.

The cover is perfect for this story.

Sales Links:   Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 193 pages
Published December 22nd 2013 by M. Caspian
ISBN1311997350 (ISBN13: 9781311997357)
edition language English

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Tame a Wild Human by Kari Gregg

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Tame a Wild Human coverAs the story opens, Wyatt Redding is thrown to the wolves—literally. In this world, humans avoid the wolves during the three days of every full moon. The wolves are superior to the humans in both strength and cunning, and humans who venture too close to the woods during the full moon have been known to disappear forever. It’s worse for those who don’t disappear—once it’s known they have been used by the wolves for sex, they’re shunned and abused by other humans—physically as well as verbally.

When Wyatt’s greedy brother, Andrew, leaves him bound and gagged at the edge of the woods, Wyatt decides that he’ll try to make the best of the three days by surviving and winning a mark that symbolizes protection by the pack. He wants to get back alive—especially because his brother is trying to get his hands on Wyatt’s money, money he earned by working hard and rising to the top of his field.

Knowing his choices are very limited, he decides he’ll do whatever he needs to do to live, even if that means submitting to the wolves sexually. But from the moment the first wolf comes upon him, he realizes that there really was no choice at all.

Wyatt is subjected to physical and sexual abuse throughout the story, and there’s both dubious and non-consent and outright rape. This is definitely not a story for those who may be triggered by violence.

I appreciate the author’s attempt to create a new world, and a different twist on wolf shifter stories, but I don’t think enough time was spent on creating the world and establishing a relationship between two MCs. Cole, the Alpha of the pack, eventually becomes the wolf that Wyatt is bound to, but although there is some primitive sense of attachment, it never approaches a romance. If anything, their “bond” with each other is due to the fact that Wyatt’s system absorbed some of the wolf’s blood, strengthening him and making his attraction to the wolf stronger. The major problem for me was that I didn’t understand any of dynamics of this world until the very end of the story when Cole discusses their relationship to humans with one of the pack elders. I would have liked this information and more about their world earlier in the book. Since the book was not long, there wasn’t much time to establish the setting, but there was certainly enough time to devote to an extraordinary amount of sex—all of it violent. The author should have given more time to the world-building within the pages written, or else expanded the story to establish the framework of the wolf-human dynamic first.

Overall, the story was okay—but nothing out of the ordinary. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone other than those who like very dark stories with a lot of sex and those that really don’t fit the usual definition of a romance.

Cover Art by Lou Harper depicts two men and a wolf. To be honest, having read the book, I think the cover is too light and colorful. I would have expected this cover to have been dark, with blood, blindfolds, a bound man, dark woods, etc. in the background. That would have been more representative of the nature of the book.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing      All Romance (ARe)      Amazon       Buy It here

Book Details:

book, 80 pages
Published January 19th 2015 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 17th 2015)
ISBN139781626492325
edition languageEnglish
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Review: Clipped by Devon McCormack

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

Clipped cover

What are mortals to do when everything they thought they knew about Heaven and Hell are reversed?  God is planning their annihilation and Satan is their only hope.

Once God and Satan were lovers and the Earth was created as a gift for Satan.  But when Satan left God, his fury was apocalyptic. God intends to destroy the Earth and all humans.  It is left to Satan’s fallen angels to thwart God’s plans and save all humanity.

The demon Kinzer and his fallen angel lover, Janka, are agents of Satan, sent to spy on The Raze, a group of angels who are working with God to bring about Armageddon. When someone exposes their true allegiances, the Raze rips off Kinzer’s wings while torturing and killing his lover, Janka. Now wingless and powerless, Kinzer escapes. His mission? To track down all Satan’s allies to warn them about a traitor in their circle.  The hunt is on for the Antichrist—a powerful weapon that could prevent the apocalypse and both sides are getting nearer. It’s up to Kinzer to protect the unborn child and his mother.  And if he can avenge his lover’s death while doing so, then even better.  But first he has to stay alive….

Clipped is a story sure to instill strong emotions and reactions in all who read it.  It is a book that readers will either love or hate. Or even hate to love. Its plot contains religious content that some readers might find offensive. And  its rough, and brutal sex scenes are sure to turn off those looking for romance and/or sexual relationships that are consensual and with not a lot of bloodshed. To those readers, I say this is probably not the book for you.  But some of you are going to love it and with good reason.

What drew me to this story? That amazing cover for one.  Its dramatic and powerful.That kneeling winged man just cries out for his story to be told.  And, truth be told,  the story found within does contain both of those elements.McCormack’s plot is also unusual enough that its reversed theology is both interesting and fascinating in concept and details.  McCormack’s idea of flip flopping the roles of Heaven and Hell is intriqing.  By upending the idea of good and evil and the roles that Satan and God play, not only with each other as lovers but as the guardians of Earth, McCormack has designed a world where he can throw out all previously conceived notions of angels and demons and create his own pantheon of celestial creatures and infernal agents at play.

Within McCormack’s wonderfully twisted world, God rules over a unequal hierarchy of preternaturally exquisite beings called higherlings.  We know them as angels.  Not all angels are created equal in God’s eyes.  Some are created just to be ethereally beautiful, so much so that they are privileged,  Janka was one such being.

In McCormack’s words “… Janka was privileged, granted all that he desired from the Almighty. He’d been one of Heaven’s most desirable creatures. He was doted on, loved, adored. It left him, like so many of the Almighty’s elite, filled with a natural conceit. When Janka gave orders, Kinzer resisted. He fussed and barked. He wasn’t going to listen to a higherling, especially not one that had been afforded such luxuries…”.

These were luxuries that other less well crafted heavenly beings would never attain.  I loved this.  An entire line of what is basically heavenly himbos who were created by God to be sublimely gorgeous.  And that ‘s it. Big on beauty, and also big in their sexual appendages (think elephantine in length).  Not, however, big on the brains department.  That was saved for those lesser beings, also pretty and well endowed (inhumanly huge in every way although not prodigiously so), just not gloriously unimaginably over the top like the higher ups. That latter one is Kinzer.  Who abandons his current lover to be with this exquisite creature so high above Kinzer’s station as to be unobtainable. But obtain Kinzer does to his eternal regret. I’m not sure McCormack ever made a good argument for  this change up in lovers.  You just have to take it on faith that Janka’s beauty was too much to resist. Yes,beautiful, irresistible twits are everywhere, even in Heaven.

And with such inequality comes revolution, an ex lover  who rules in Hell and the fallen.  And now its God versus Satan and a rush is on to save the world from a spurned lover.  Yes, not from Satan, but from a revengeful and petty Almighty bent on smiting to oblivion his gift to Satan, now his ex.  So now we have two teams and the object of their mission is to find the mother of the Antichrist, who along with her unborn child, will determine the fate of Earth and all humanity. The teams consist of spies for both the Leader (Satan) and God.  On God’s side is the Raze, a group of sadist higherlings that report directly to the Almighty.  The mother of the Antichrist?  A drug addled whore who, realistically enough, thinks she is going crazy.   During one such battle to find the mother, the two groups came together.  Kinzer, a fallen, knew that someone within his team had betrayed them to the Raze.  He was brutally dewinged and his lover killed before his eyes.  All great stuff when creating a compelling story.

Its what happens within that narrative framework that didn’t exactly work for me. The major sticking point here would be the type and quantityt of brutal, painful sex that overtakes the actual storytelling.  One particular human is involved….a young boy called Kid who was kidnapped off the streets and is forced to work in a depraved brothel where anything, and I do mean anything goes.  It is here where a captured Kinzer finds himself deposited by his nemesis.  The action found within this brothel includes rape with not only multiple partners but cutlery as well.  Its crude, bloody, and its descriptions are as graphic and raw as the events taking place.  I predict that some readers are going to stop reading here.

McCormack can definitely write a scene because he will be able to pull emotions from his readers with characters that you will care about in a situation that is as intense as it is dramatic.  It is how you feel about rape, non consensual sex and torture that help form your feelings toward Clipped.  If those things fall  outside your reading comfort zone, then you most likely will want to skip this story because things only increase in intensity not lessen.

Why?  Because the Kid, who has huge emotional (and why wouldn’t he) issues as well as an abusive past history, continues on the run with Kinzer and not in a romantic way.  But there will be sex between the mortal Kid (who has a mortal’s body) and an immortal with the aforesaid ginormous sexual member.  So more forcing, more bloodshed and yes, quite a bit of angst and horror.  This is not a romance by any means.   Even the fallen on fallen sexual encounters  include brutality and blood.  Definitely not for the fainthearted.  I can see that such painful sex might be indicative of the Fallens status.  Not worthy of love and kindness, only brutality and pain.  I kind of get that.  And it does work in small doses.  But I am talking almost continual sex scenes of all combinations, and somewhere the plot gets lost for a while as the demons get their daily dosage of pain and sex in.

I also found it amazing or amusing or both that the devilish and heavenly creatures are as poor with their communication skills as the humans they deride. Because had several of the main characters actually talked to one another, this would be a much shorter novel.  That didn’t bother me, I just found it funny. What did make me flinch? Well, all the sexual degradation and humiliation not withstanding, it is the ending that peeved me the most.  It just ends on an astonishing event.  Boom, over and done.  I was flabbergasted because the fight scene was wonderful and I wanted to see how McCormack was going to resolve it, twists and all included.   But he didn’t . It ended on a cliffhanger.  It wasn’t until I went searching through various interviews that I found out that the author intends to turn this into series that I was mollified somewhat. Only somewhat.  Just my opinion but if you are going to end your story in that manner, let the reader know that this is a series or that a sequel will be coming.  Don’t let them think that a standalone story is missing an ending.

Anyhow.  Yes, there’s more to come.  And for some of you that will be a wonderful thing. There are enough elements here that I can understand that.  Others of you have already left the room by now having found out that this is not the story for you.  I get that too.  Like I said you will either love this or hate it.  I will leave it up to you.

But this amazing cover?  That will be on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best Covers of 2014.  That is genuinely a heavenly (or devilishly) gorgeous cover.

Cover art by Wilde City art director.

Buy Links:       Wilde City Press            Amazon                 ARe

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, English
229 pages
Published April 9th 2014 by Wilde City Press (first published January 1st 2014)
ASINB00JQUYN6C
edition languageEnglish

Publishers Warning: This title is erotic and contains homosexual content, graphic sex, violence, and strong language. Readers uncomfortable with rough sexual situations should not purchase this book.

Review: Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions #1) by Aleksandr Voinov

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Scorpian 2nd edition coverKendras is quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. Gravely injured and left for dead during the conflict between the city states of Dalman and Fetin. Kendras has no choice but to accept the coin and offer of service to the mercenary who finds him severely wounded outside the city.  All the mercenary called Steel demands is nothing less than Kendras’ total submission and acceptance of a secret task to carry out.  With no where else to turn and no money to buy medicine, Kendras resignedly accepts.

But Kendras has his own hidden agenda, that of finding if any of his Scorpion brothers survived and bringing the elite team back together again.  It also includes finding the man who holds Kendras’ heart and soul, that of the officer who leads the Scorpions.  But first, Kendras must heal.  His shattered foot and other wounds need time.  Complications arise when Steel becomes possessive of Kendras, wanting more than just his body.  But Steel’s too late, Kendras’ love and loyalty lie elsewhere.  When that becomes apparent, what will Steel do when he realizes Kendras will never be his?

Kendras faces layers of political intrigue, and tests that will strain his loyalties and test his physical prowess as a warrior.But nothing will stand in the way of Kendras achieving his goals, not even the Empire itself.

Scorpion is such a powerful book.  Brutal, grimly realistic in its portrait of a warrior’s life, depicting the violence to body and soul that is the by product of such a life.  It is also equally honest in its scenes of casual everyday brutality that is a way of life for those less fortunate and lacking in status or wealth.  Rape, humiliation, slavery and death lie in wait for all but the most noble or well connected. And even then assassination and mutilation are possibilities for those who would rule.  Aleksandr Voinov has created a universe of exceptional cruelty, where casual viciousness and political maneuvering are daily occurances. Yet it is also a world where love and loyalty cannot be bought and the possibility of  redemption and love is a treasure to be fought for.

In Voinov’s world, a devastating war in the empire of Shara has left the former dynasty broken into three city kingdoms.  In the three hundred years since the sundering of the empire of Shara, the three cities have maintained a delicate balance of autonomy between them.  The author reveals the political tactics within each city and the wars that the failed policies and negotiations have brought to the kingdoms themselves. Kendras and his fellow Scorpions are the latest casualties of a war between Dalman and Fetin, two of the city kingdoms.  From the start, the author brings us into the conflict at the bottom level.  The consequences of the war is everywhere, from the dead to the dying and mutilated.  The mercenaries, needed to fight are just as quickly discarded by those who hired them.  It is a rough, cruel life and Voinov depicts it honestly with gritty descriptions that are almost to vivid to bear.

Equal to Voinov’s world building is his characterizations.  Every character found within this novel is meticulously created from Kendras to Steel to Widowmaker, the assassin whose loyalties are hidden beneath layers of guile.  These are  also not men for the fainthearted.  They take what they want regardless of the frailties and consent of others. In fact, kindness and passivity is looked down on, it will get a person killed or enslaved on this world. Loyalty and brotherhood are to be treasured and love is so rare that it is not easily identifiable.

At the heart of this story is Kendras, an orphan discarded on the streets of Fetin to fend for himself at an early age.  An oddity because of his black skin and blue eyes that mark him as a pureblooded Jaishani (a noble race), Kendras has no idea as to his lineage or history.  A petty thief and sometime killer, Kendras’ life was changed on the day he was set to die, saved by the officer who would train him to be a  Scorpion.  I loved Kendras.  He is such a remarkable character, he perseveres, he is loyal, and amidst his pragmatism, there is an unquenchable desire to love and be loved in return.  Equal in complexity is the officer (his name is revealed later on in the story).  Who and what he is slowly comes to the surface over the course of the story.  While the novel unfolds through the eyes of Kendras, the officer becomes a man who both Kendras and the reader commit to emotionally and intellectually.  But every character Voinov has created has multiple layers, from Selvin a Scorpion who chooses to remain a sexual slave to Steel and Widowmaker, mercenaries with pasts as complex as their characters.   Every one of these damaged people enrich the story with their realism and singular personalities.

I found no quibbles with this incredible story but I must make an admission.  The opening pages are as brutal as any you will find throughout Scorpion.  Initially, I had a hard time with them, especially the non con elements involved.   But they also ring with a terrible authenticity and you will understand why the author not only included them but started off in such a manner as you delve further into the book and Kendras’ life.  It is cruel and sets the tone for the reality of the life Kendras lives and the events that will occur down the line.  Kendras does what he has to in order to stay alive.  It’s a pragmatic outlook and it certainly is one that belongs to a war hardened mercenary.

The narrative of Scorpion was smooth and thrilling.  I couldn’t put it down. The ending of the story was satisfying while leaving the way open for the next book in the series.  Its with anticipation and a little fear that I await the next installment.  Don’t pass this  story up..

Cover art by Reese Dante is gorgeous in the 2nd edition.  The model is perfect for Kendras and the design works in tone and graphics.  Great job.

Book Details:

2nd edition from Riptide Publishing
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-013-0

eBook release: May 27, 2013

eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN: 978-1-62649-014-7
Print release: May 27, 2013
Word count: 71,000
Page count: 274
Type: Part of a Series
Cover by: Reese Dante
This title is #1 of the Memory of Scorpions series.
– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/scorpion-memory-scorpions-1#sthash.UsSFLbL9.dpuf
Rewritten, enlarged and redited
First edition 242 pages from Dreamspinner Press 2011