**SPOILERS** Bang – e.k. Blair [Book Review – 2.5*]

Bang (Black Lotus #1) (The Black Lotus Series) – Amazon Kindle – $2.99

They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.

Gone.
Vanished.

I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only.*

What the fuck!? This shit was dark. Actually that’s an understatement, it’s not just dark, it’s like a black hole of despair.

*SPOILERS*

I don’t think that I could write about this story without divulging major storyline elements. I feel like it would be simply impossible of me.  So I’m giving you a warning.  There are spoilers in my review.

Where shall I start? How about with the fact that I have never read an E.K Blair book before. I now don’t know if I will be able to again. Let me clarify though, this author, can write. Really well in fact. She certainly has a way of piecing a story together and while I still don’t know if I liked this or not, I can’t deny that it’s overall a really a devastatingly engaging story.

A little girl is ripped from her home, placed into the foster care system and has one of the most horrifying acts thrown against creating a severely broken and vengeful woman. She grows up with Pike, a brother (of sorts). Ends up marrying a man, Bennett, she doesn’t even love and begins an illicit affair with another Declan, all for the purposes of revenge.

So let’s see, I feel like I have to tell you that there is some serious and I mean really horrible acts of child abuse in this story. It was hard to read and honestly I was ready to put the book down because it was too much for me, but decided to just gloss over it quickly. I did that to understand the relationship more so between Pike and Elizabeth. In the grand scheme of things, I probably should have just put this story down and let it go. Looking back other than to implant some shock value, I don’t think it was necessary at all to go into that much detail. It was disgusting, it was sad, it was painful.

…and it didn’t get any better as the story continued into her present.  She actively brings a unknowing victim into her web of deceit and lies with the intent of her having her kill her husband.  The reason, well I won’t spoil that, was a little weak in my opinion.  The man though Declan McKinnon in a different type of story would have been the perfect type of Dom character.  He exudes control and power in his sexuality.  He had such presence each time he interacted with Nina and while I wasn’t completely invested in their relationship, I was invested in him and it was mainly because of things like this

“Now go back to your husband, but don’t you forget whose cum is inside of you right now,”

That’s were it all ended for me though.  With Declan.  I didn’t care enough about Nina, I was trying to.  I wanted to hate her husband as much as she did.  I wanted to cheerlead her cause, but she ultimately comes off as crazy.  Not the good, she shall over come, crazy either.  Just a bat shit lunatic, with a “brother” goading her whenever he’s allowed to.  It’s just depressing.  All of it.  Imagine if you will those made for TV, based on true events Hallmark movies.  It’s all just tragedy.  There are no winners here.  There’s no riding off into the sunset.

If you are interested in reading.  It does have quite a few good sex scenes.  There are elements of BDSM, but I don’t think that it’s really put to good use in this story at all.  I’m not sure it was being used as tool to help Nina/Elizabeth understand herself better or what.  If that was the intent, it was clearly lost on me.  There are so many elements to the life style that can help people feel a sense of liberation.  This story doesn’t do the lifestyle any justice.  Instead, it’s used as a poor mans therapy.   I think it would have been such a better story, if the focus was on Declan using BDSM to help free her from her past.  That would have been a far more engaging story.

There’s more to come from this series and I don’t know if I could do it.   I don’t understand after reading that ending, what there is left to tell.   There’s not even a little synopsis available to tell me what could possibly be coming next.

Pre-Order: Silk [Kindle Edition] 99¢ – Multiple Authors

Apparently anthologies are the latest trend to be hitting the Amazon virtual shelves. Thank goodness, because it saves me money and I get to read books that I would have ended up paying more for in the long run. So thank you authors!! I imagine this is a great way to get folks introduced to multiple authors in one go, so to speak.  As well as a potential new series. **Please be warned that some of these books are part of a series and may be the final installment, so be wary! **  You don’t want to start reading something, come to find out that it’s the end.   

This particular set comes out Monday, June 9th.  I’ve included snap shots of book covers and if you click on each cover it will take you to the amazon page where there is a better summary of the story.  Where I could, I’ve also indicated where something is part of a series or the end of a series etc…

Also you may notice that some of the anthologies that I’ve posted may have duplicate books.  So until June 9th!

Eleven of your favorite authors – New York Times, USA Today, bestselling and more.

Eleven men who will be put to the test when it comes to love.

One epic anthology.

Meet the men:

Ryland Dare (The Edge of Darkness – series): A privileged boy living a life of lies.

Reid Connely (Let Love In – series): A gorgeous and darkly mysterious college senior who understands pain all too well.

Deacon Chastain (A Blue Tale – standalone): A guitar player saved from a path of destruction by his rock idol and the music he creates.

Connor Simpson (Next to Forever** Last in series!!): A fiancé who seems to have it all until he’s faced with one of the toughest decisions of his life.

Brett Walker (Trusting You – standalone): A one-night stand who wants more finds himself put to the test when his past threatens his future.

Adam Hill (Remembering Joy – series): A brooding and strangely charming film student set on revenge finds love where he least expects it.

Ryan Campbell (Falling** Final in series!!): An abuse survivor living in a world of his own creation so he doesn’t have to feel.

Harrison James (My Unexpected Forever – series): A single dad with few expectations other than raising his son and making some music along the way until the unexpected happens.

Adam Burke (Better – standalone): An adventurer who works just enough to fund his next circle around the globe gets an opportunity he can’t refuse. The only catch? He won’t be traveling alone this time.

Luke Matthews (Love In Between (Love Series): A guitar player grieving the loss of his fiancée after a tragic car accident no longer believes in love.

Jonathan Statham (Mid Life Love  – series): A self-made billionaire and CEO of Statham Industries used to getting whatever he wants—whenever he wants.

Find out their stories in these eleven, previously released, full-length novels about regret, revenge, forgiveness, and ultimately, love:

The Edge of Darkness by Melissa Andrea
Let Love In by Melissa Collins
A Blue Tale by Sarah Dosher
Next to Forever by S. Moose
Trusting You by L.P. Dover
Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen
Falling by E.K. Blair
My Unexpected Forever by Heidi McLaughlin
Better by Carey Heywood
Love In Between (Love Series) by Sandi Lynn
Mid Life Love by Whitney G.
.

*Mature subject matter and not intended for those under the age of 17.

 

Devour it now before it’s too late! 99¢ ONLY LIMITED TIME 05/11 – 05/25

Another box set available on Kindle for only 99¢, but only available between 05/11 – 05/25.   Be warned many of these books are part of a series, so you may get hooked.

An anthology featuring 8 full length published novels from Amazon, NY
Times and LA Times bestselling authors:

Fading by E.K. Blair

Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.

At what point do secrets become lies?

(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17.

Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect. Or is she?
Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she changes the course of her life, becoming a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then through a chance encounter, she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about…until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.

 *Very Bad Things is a complete standalone novel without a cliffhanger.
 *Very Wicked Things (also standalone) will release early May 2014! Pre-order will be available soon!
 New Adult/Contemporary Romance recommended for 18 and older. Contains adult themes and content.

Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson

With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.

Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.

When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.

Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.

Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?

Sizzle by Lexi Buchanan

Warning – Sexual Explicit 18+ HEA Ending.

Thalia is twenty-one and has just finished her sophomore year of college. Her new boyfriend, Liam, invites her to spend the summer with him and his family, so as she’s been unable to find a local job to keep her at college, Thalia jumps at the chance. Liam tells her that she can be his guest at his brother, Jack’s, wedding at the end of the summer.

Jack is twenty-five and feels as though he’s drowning. He’s engaged to Mia, against his will, because it’s always been drilled into him, family comes first. Jack’s studying for a law degree, and wants to go out on his own once he graduates, specialising in criminal law. His father wants him to accept a junior partnership in the law firm owned jointly by him and Lewis, his fiancées father, to practice family law.

Then he meets his brother’s girlfriend, Thalia, and he can’t get her out of his head. He needs her to keep her distance, because every time she smiles in his direction, he wants to carry her to his room and do really naughty things to her.

Then Saturday night arrives and Liam takes Thalia to a new bar that has opened on the outskirts of town, where she discovers Jack’s big secret. By day he’s the good looking, slightly older brother with a chip on his shoulder, who gives her hot looks, and by night he’s Phoenix, singer/guitar player for bad boy group ‘Deception’, who makes her sizzle to the core!

He has muscle. He has tattoos. He has piercings. He has a mouth that makes her panties wet every time he opens it. He is supposed to be getting married. He is also her boyfriend’s brother…

Always You by Missy Johnson

I was thrilled when I was offered a graduate teaching position at the prestigious Tennerson Girls Academy. At twenty-three, this would be my first ‘real’ teaching assignment. Working at the elite boarding school, home to the daughters of some of the wealthiest people in the world, was a great opportunity that I would’ve been stupid to pass up.

One week into my new job, and I suddenly had no idea why I chose high school…I was a seventeen year old boy once, I knew how teenage girls behaved.

You can’t even imagine the hell of trying to teach thirty, hormonal driven seventeen year olds who have been cooped up, away from any male contact.

I could handle the whispers every time I entered the room. I could even handle the obvious attempts at gaining my attention. What I couldn’t handle was her…

Love in Between by Sandi Lynn

My name is Lily Gilmore, and I was supposed to be getting married today. That was until I found my fiancé having sex with my sister in the church moments before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. I grew up with a father who was a womanizer and cheated on my mother every moment he had the chance. He would even stoop as low as to take me and my sister with him on his trysts when we were younger. Cheating was all I grew up with, and I vowed never to live the life my mother did. After finding my fiancé and my sister together, I moved from Seattle to Santa Monica to start a new life of independence and to focus on my passion for photography, man-free.

My name is Luke Matthews. About a year ago, I lost the love of my life, my fiancé, in a tragic car accident. There are no words that can describe how I’ve felt the past year. My life and all my dreams had died with her in the accident. I exist, and I play my guitar to try and ease the pain. My love was taken away, and I will never get that back.

What happens when the lives of two people who no longer believe in love are suddenly changed by fate?

Mature subject matter and not intended for those under the age of 17.

Emerge by S.E. Hall

“You never have to be without me, Laney, never.”

He lied…my everything I ever knew, trusted, wanted…I am, in fact, without him.

On my own and out of my shell, I learn new things about life, friendship and…myself.

Like what you’ve always known may not be what you’ve always wanted.

Dane Kendrick awakened things within me that I never knew existed, unraveling and uncovering the real Laney Jo Walker.

I’m a NEW adult…so is my story.

Fallen Crest High by Tijan

Mason and Logan Kade are two brothers who did their own thing. They were rich and expected to attend her school, Fallen Crest Academy. They chose public school and now Samantha has to live with them. The problem is that she doesn’t care at all: about them, about her friends, about her cheating boyfriend, or even about her parent’s divorce. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe change is a good thing.

This book contains adult/mature young adult situations.

ALL proceeds to go to First Candle:  http://www.firstcandle.org.  This anthology will be available for only 99c and will run for two weeks only May 11 – 25, 2014