**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.

Veiled Innocence – Ella Frank [review]

Veiled Innocence – Ella Frank

Tick, tick, tock.

Time.

That’s all I have now.

A small room, a photograph, and time.

They want me to trust them and confess my sins.

They told me they wouldn’t judge me—they lied.

I thought we could convince the world that this wasn’t a crime.

We were wrong.

Time doesn’t stand still.

The clock keeps ticking, the world is unconvinced, and now…

Now he is gone.

Warning: adult themes/explicit sex scenes

Woah… what the fuck was that?
I haven’t decided if I liked this. I’m genuinely undecided. I’ve spent most of my day with my nose firmly glued to my kindle meandering though this wanting to know what was going to happen in the end. Now that it has ended, I wonder if kept going because I liked the story or if I just had to know what was going to happen to these two characters.

For all intense and purposes, this is not an easy subject matter. It’s topic is taboo; a student and teacher, having a relationship. A heated steamy no holds barred relationship.

The story jumps from the past to the present throughout and while initially I had my doubts, it does work. What also works is the perspectives that we receive from both the main characters in the story. Had this been a one-sided story, I wonder how well his would have played out over all. I don’t think that Addison would have been enough to carry the story. Even though, really the story is hers.

There is just something about Addison that was missing for me. She had just way too much going on for her as a character. Death, abuse, a little bit of self loathing. It’s all just so much, it really weighs her down. It weighs the entire book down and while I get that, that is key to the story, there were moments where my patience for her waned considerably. First she’s emotionally detached Addison, then she’s sultry seductress Addison, next needy broken Addison… and it just goes on in a vicious circle. I won’t say that it doesn’t work for the story, because it does, I’m just of the belief that sometimes, less is more. I would have felt enough compassion for her, if she was reeling from one bad situation in her life. Not the multiple that have been hurled at her.

As for Grayson, he’s not perfect. But neither does he try to be. In his own regard, he is just as broken as Addison is. Fighting his own personal demons and trying as hard as he can to overcome them. His methods of dealing with his emotions left me confused at times.  And during one particular scene, I wondered if the relationship that he was having with Addison was healthy at all.  But then, he would say things like this

“I’ll teach you how to come with a man inside you.”

and this

“I have no idea why I’m allowing myself to be with you, but I have no clue how to stop.”

then this

“Just remember this isn’t a game anymore. You wanted me, and you got me. But don’t fuck around with me.”

and it was like all that stuff other didn’t matter (well, not as much).

As I write this I realize that it sounds like I didn’t like this book. Simply, that’s not the case. While I am not typically interested in teacher/student relationships, I was intrigued by this one, because ultimately I wanted to know what happened in the end. How did they get there? What made them stay there? Can they be together? If they can be, how? Do you get the answers to these questions? I’m of the belief that you do.

Overall, this is a good book! It is, I gave it 5/5. Because even though I bitch about the characters, I still just enjoyed reading it. I didn’t want to put it down. I was consumed by it. I liked the writing style, I liked the dialogue, the pace. I just liked it. The characters got under my skin. I wanted them the whole time to have something that they can’t have. When a writer can make you feel like that. Feel for characters, even when you’re getting pissed off at them. That, for me, makes a good story. One I would recommend you read.

Amazon: Veiled Innocence $3.99 [Kindle Edition]