Ryane's Reading Room

I love to read books. I will read practically anything. I read so much it is just plain silly. I don't have on particular genre that is my favorite; however, I will hone in on an author and read every single thing they have written.

Promise 3

Promises Part 3 (Bounty Hunters) (Volume 3) - A.E. Via

Nothing like an action packed novel with tender love peppered throughout. This book is perfect for a hot steamy night. Much like what we are having here in St. Louis, MO. For this book, we are heading 8 hours south to Atlanta.

 

The writing is solid, the plot is full to the brim with car chases, fights, and with enough of the sexy bits to please. The characters are well developed and they maintain their depth. I have enjoyed this series and it makes for fine rereading. There are only a handful of contemporary books that I can say that about.  

 

We are back with the Bounty Hunters, and as always they are in full swing. Ready to kick some bad guy ass. What can I say? I am a sucker for action. Let’s get some of the easy questions out of the way. Yes, Day and God make an appearance. I always like seeing old friends, even if it is briefly.

 

Dana. My sweet, goofy, shy Dana. He has some of the worst taste in women (there will be more about this later). He is a doll though. For me, he is the kind of character that fades in and out. I like him when I see him, and when he is not around, he fades to the background. I don’t think he means it. It is just part of his personality. His background is interesting compared to the rest of the group. While he doesn’t have post-secondary or a military background, he holds his own. It isn’t forced. I like the way he is. The development is good.

Dana is bisexual. The girlfriend (Jess) was a complete disaster. In fact she reminds me of a cousin. Whiney, high maintenance, sneaky, self-centered, greedy, snobby, etc. I could spend 30 minutes listing this woman’s (and my cousin’s personality flaws). On top of all of that, she was a bad lay. (I’d use a different word, but after all, I am a lady. She was not.) Oh, I forgot manipulative, that is one trait that is completely appalling. She was an albatross around Dana. Goodness. I was not sad to see her get what she deserved.

 

 

Dana has the biggest crush on Bradford (Ford) King. While I adore Ford, he is such a hard ass. I have never met a SEAL who wasn’t. Even the really old ones. He is the quintessential “daddy bear”. He is gruff, rough, tough, and above all, loving. Loyal and daring are as well. Those are qualities that, on occasion can be in short supply. He has it bad for Dana. Who wouldn’t though?

 

While I enjoyed reading about Dana and Ford, Brian (Ford’s brother) and Sway (Dana’s best friend) were so damn interesting. Brian has been a favorite since he was first introduced. I want to talk about him.  Selective mutism is very fascinating. His playful manner is intriguing. The fact that he goes from playful to soldier in an instant is completely swoon worthy. Sway is just a complete doll. She always includes a character that has a touch etherealness. This, I feel is where Ms. Via works her magic.

 

Ah, the next bit of magic is the end. It was so damn good. It was just what I enjoy in her books. Comradery, love, loyalty, and of course, the set-up. She gets me every time. Honestly I would not mind seeing this live action. Oh how I wish I could draw. I would settle for manga. This book is that much fun.  

 

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are looking for action, love, tenderness, and big bear men. This is perfect. If you are looking for tall, dark, and mysterious; the side story is perfect. I am waiting with anticipation for the next installment.

Source: http://www.thornsandink.com/single-post/2017/07/22/Promises-3
My Perfect Fit: A M/m Age Play Romance (Pieces Book 2) - M.A. Innes

This is one of those stories I had to think about. I truly enjoyed this one as I have enjoyed other books by this author. I was immediately taken in by the fact that the story was told in a "window view" way. Slice of life if you will. It has some of the same qualities as some of the manga I enjoy. Non taxing conflict. What I mean to say is that the conflict was not emotionally exhausting. More on that later.

 

The writing style is solid and easy on the mind. I really appreciate that when it comes to slice of life stories like this. As with Curious Beginnings, the author shows what is happening. No just telling the reader. This is a book about puppy play. What is that? Well, in the world of kink you have all types of discipline, submission, and dominance. This is a story about one of them.

On to the good stuff.

 

Nathan is a fascinating character. He reminds me of an absent minded professor. He is sweet, caring, and easily sidetracked. I love that. I am not quite that bad. I think my family is used to my getting sidetracked. That, and my filter works 95% of the time. What I like about Nathan is his innocence and curiosity. I am with him on that. Research the hell out of something and have your questions ready. Nathan stands up for himself. Even in his self-conscious, he stands up for what he believes in. He doesn't judge others. He accepts his friends for who they are. Even if one of them is an overbearing asshole.

 

Nathan is lost as to who is sexually and what he wants. It isn't a bad thing. The author gives us a little peep into Nathan's upbringing and that answers questions. The author handles this with the utmost tact and humility. She avoids the trope of traumatic upbringing. I thank her for that.

 

Gabriel is our sweet dominant. He is Nathan's roommate. While we really don't get his background, I don't think that it is needed. I like Gabriel in the present. I think adding the past would have cluttered his character in the here and now. He sees what Nathan needs, a keeper at first. But the longing t

 

hat Gabriel has seems a little one-sided until one morning he is found sleeping on the couch by Nathan.

 

Let's talk about the asshole. Allie. We all know someone like this. We just do. Judgmental to a damn fault, but we love them and all of their flaws. They just can't, won't, or don't return it the same way. Allie is the stereotypical judgy friend. While her heart might be in the right place, she is without a doubt a stereotypical female character. I wouldn't classify her as a bad guy, I would just say that she is representative of what often happens to female characters in gay romance. Antagonistic and judgy. She doesn't try to understand Nathan. She inflicts her past hurts onto what she thinks sees. She doesn't take time out to listen. I mean really listen. While her behavior in and of itself is interesting. I was a little disappointed that she continued to come off like she would interfere at any given opportunity.

 

In this book we have themes of self-discovery, standing up for oneself, and friendship. These themes are woven beautifully together. This makes for an interesting book. I like that while the daily life is examined, the conflict is still there. It doesn't but the reader in an emotional tailspin. This is the kind of book you can curl up with after a stressful day and enjoy whether you like kink or not. The kink aspects of the story are sweet and well researched.

 

Everyone loves a sweet puppy. One who cuddles and adores their master with no strings attached. The love of another transcends barriers. This is a story that demonstrates that.

A Daddy for Me

— feeling shocked
A Daddy for Me - Jennie-Marie King

The premise of this book is promising. The execution could use some work.

童貞先生! [Doutei Sensei!]

童貞先生! [Doutei Sensei!] - Reno Amagi This is a suitably smutty and funny book. Not to be taken seriously. I was very entertained and even laughed out loud.

Nothing Special V

Nothing Special V - A.E. Via This book was provided by the author and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

I feel like a need a “big voice” while I write this review. You know, the movie theatre voice that announces the latest action flick? Some of my favorite Alpha boys are back with bigger guns and even bigger romance. Ms. Via takes about 18 months into the future with the Atlanta PD’s Narcotics Division. The group has settled in a routine of sorts and now we have one left, Tech.

As you know, I don’t do spoilers. So HA!, You have to read it to believe how the plot goes. She keeps the octane high. Just when you think there is a little break, BAM! Ms. Via throws another twist. Whew, the excitement.

It is always fascinating to me how readers interpret characters. I didn’t like Steele at first. He was humble enough, sure. But in my mind, there was something underlying about him, that I felt. I couldn’t put my finger on it. The more I read, the more I got over the initial feelings I had about him. I still have the lingering feeling that he is going to break someone’s neck about Tech though.

Ah, Tech. He floated in the background so much, I had almost forgotten about him. He is a computer genius. He rivals one of my other favorites. I don’t know who I imagined with him. I suppose someone kind of like God (Cashel Godfrey). A great big bear. It turns out Tech doesn’t need saving or protection. He just needed an opportunity to show his skills in all of their glory.

The romance between Tech and Steele may come of stilted, but I lend this to the characters’ personalities. At first I was a little miffed. Honestly I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I guess I was excepting some instant mattress burning, but Tech was stand-offish in the beginning. I would have been the same way. In fact, some of Tech’s behaviors were not unlike my own.

What I really like about this one is that it ties up some loose ends neatly and opens the next chapter. Ms. Via pulls a very nice slight of hand with the set up for the next series. I was really impressed. It takes a lot of guts to have a happy ending and a cliffhanger barely a page apart. Oh, and do keep reading pass the end, there is a sweet treat at the end.

Men, romance, guns, and action.

Whatever it Takes

Whatever it Takes - D.J. Heart This book was provided by the author and read in behalf of Thorns & Ink.

DJ Heart is one of my favorite “Calgon take me away” authors. He is always reliable when it comes to being a solid writer. This is what makes his new story so interesting. While he maintains the basic Alpha/Omega dynamic, he successfully branches out into a new realm. This is not a typical werewolf story at all. Needless to say, I am quite pleased with Mr. Heart’s increasing skill and talent.

Luke is just an ordinary wolf. Not the alpha, beta, or gamma. Just a wolf in a pack. He is not special in anyway. Which I greatly appreciated. Owen is a witch. He is a little special, but not overwhelmingly so. Their dynamic together is what you except from a DJ Heart book.

Here’s the twist, Luke wants Owen to be happy, to make his own choices. He really wants that. Owen truly rules Luke’s heart. He wants him to continue his business and his life that he had before him. The next twist, and I wanted to shout for joy when I read it: Agatha (Owen’s grandmother). She was a breath of fresh air. Though she was neutral evil, I adored her. She was everything I see in my mother. A lioness protecting her cub(s). She was willing to do the dirty work so that Owen survived and was happy.

I like where Mr. Heart is going with this. I would love to read more about Agatha. She is very interesting. I like that this book demonstrates growth as a writer. It is a bit subtle, but it is there. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I know that Mr. Heart is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a very nice spin on a trope that sometimes gets boring for even the most diehard fan.

Love Undiminished

Love Undiminished - Shaun Putaine This book was provided by the author and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

Where to start? I am relatively well versed when it comes to the world of D/s. Yet, I haven’t taken the time out to explore female led relationships. The best part about reading is exploring worlds that are new to you or worlds that you have heard of in passing.

This is a short and fast read. I don’t mean that negatively. This book should be read in one sitting. To not do so would break the scene. This story is that engrossing. This books pacing is delightful. The intensity of feelings that the author puts into the words are important. He shows us what each character is doing and how they are feeling. While the writing style is reminiscent of a submissive’s journal. I like the intimate quality of the writing.

Mr. Putaine introduces us to Tom and Lisa. Ah, young lovers. There is more here than meets the eye. Tom is a submissive. Not just any submissive though. He is down to his very soul wanting his forever Goddess/Mistress. In my mind’s eye, I see this big cuddly bear waiting to become a true beloved pet.

Lisa, though she was introduced to this lifestyle by Tom showed signs of strength as a dominant. I like Lisa, she is a well-developed character, I find tom more interesting. It is evident, that he needs to be cared for by taking care of his beloved, but he tempers those needs with communication. That is the most detrimental part of any relationship.

While the story covers a 6-month period, the intense emotions that develop in a D/s relationship are all present and accounted for. It can be overwhelming, but when the communication is open and clear, the end is beautiful.

This is a breath of fresh air in a genre that can, at the best of times become stale and monotonous.

Quarry (The Vampire Guard Book 2)

Quarry (The Vampire Guard Book 2) - Elizabeth Noble This book was provided by the author and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

OMG, the action doesn’t stop. Here we are six months later, the boys are on to a new assignment and the action takes a technological spin. This is where my sweetheart Blair shines. A genius that one. Declan, Jonas, and Lucas all spend time in the spotlight, Blair out does them all.

Ms. Noble, swings right into the fun, and again she has me page after page in this gripping story. I like the spin that this takes. Mysteries from the past, a little cold case action, and of course a sword fight.

Now that I have talked about the action, let’s talk about content. This is important. This book contains established couples. I love that. No mating/binding heat. No sex every other page. You can see the love, friendship, understanding, and intimacy clearly in the world Ms. Noble has created. This is what is so appealing about this book (and the series as a whole). She doesn’t use the physical act of sex to show intimacy. I know, how else would we know the bonded couples love each other? Through actions. That is how we know.

I don’t want to spoil the end. Safe to say it was beautifully simple. In all of the excitement, the characters, and mine, it was moving. I love what Ms. Noble shows the readers in the end. It made me so very happy.

A Techie, a Doctor, a Soldier, a Spy. I am excited to see what they get into next.

Honey Darling (Yaoi Manga)

Honey Darling (Yaoi Manga) - Norikazu Akira I enjoyed this. A quaint story about a vet and 2 cats. This may not be for everyone, but I enjoy the back and forth between the characters. Often the little things are overlooked, and this is another one that slides under the radar.

This is one that I happened across in my search. I am glad I gave it a go.

This Wish Tonight

This Wish Tonight - Jude Dunn, Wendy Rathbone, J. Scott Coatsworth, Gregory L. Norris This book was provided by Mischief Corner Books and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.


A good holiday anthology is often hard to come by. So many times they are filled with the standard holiday clichés. This anthology is different. Its grouping is based on the classic Christmas Wish. Here, we travel to a far off planet, survive a viral apocalypse, and live in the here and now. This is a wonderful introduction (for me) to each author; if you happen to be a fan, this is a great showcase of their talents. I will certainly be going to their back-lists.

I bet you want to know what story sang to me. I can’t tell you that, because they all did, Each story is so very different, and yet they stay together around the central theme. Each story spoke to be through a different voice. I was longing for space travel, a little show, and a world where we become more understanding.

Eve of the Great Frost was reminiscent of Alexander the Great, while Wonderland had me thinking about the fate we as humanity create for ourselves. Fear of Fire brought me the heroic angel who was just doing his job.

In all of this I want to talk about the characters that had me swooning. Zeke, the big lovely bear. My goodness. He was sweet, resourceful, and above all, understanding. His seemingly unasked wish was simple. Here Mr. Coatsworth demonstrates the difference of being alone, and being lonely.

Rin, the conquering spaceman. He reminded me of Alexander the Great. I don’t know if that was Ms. Rathbone’s intention, but I am swooning over him. Calculating, and kind of an asshole. Wise beyond youth and selfish. All the things that a conqueror should be.

Oscar, my swoon worthy heroic angel. He was just doing his job. He is humble and sweet. He thinks that it is just a job, but to his wish, he is more than that. He is the angel in the dark. He is everything we dream of in a firefighter being and more. Mr. Norris shows that hope and faith will go a long way to make the world a better place.

My wish tonight, and for the new year is that you find your happiness. There will be sadness along the way, but it is there. Waiting for when you least except it.

Braeton & Drew: Something About Him

Braeton & Drew: Something About Him - A.D. Ellis, Andrea Michelle This book was provided by A.D. Ellis and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

I love catching up. It gives me the warm happies. In this book, Ms. Ellis has not only delivered on her promise to catch us up; she has given Braeton his happily ever after and then some. I know with the holidays just around the corner, we are tending to read more holiday themed stories. This story, though not holiday themed brightened a dreary and cold Saturday for me. This is the perfect holiday read.

It is a celebration of living. It is a celebration of understanding. It is a celebration in forgiveness and moving on. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few moments I could have strangled both Braeton and Drew. Once again, Ms. Ellis portrays her characters in such a realistic manner. Their actions and emotions draw you in. Just when I thought, “Don’t do that”, the characters react in ways that are unequivocally believable. She had me on edge with what most would call a disaster of a date. The burdens of date planning. whether you are married, in a committed relationship, or just in the beginning stages of getting to know someone; it is a daunting task. Braeton makes a few mistakes. His intentions are honest and that can’t be overlooked.

Drew reminds me a bit of myself. Not the clothing, but the stuffy exterior. I like things neat, simple, and complete. I am not into a lot of decorating past what is needed to complete the look. With Drew something clicked in my mind. What is enough? You don’t act (fill in the blank). I dealt with that as a child, young adult, and even in now, that still happens. “You don’t act/sound black”. What in the hell does that even mean? “You don’t seem/act gay”. What the actual fuck is that? (Pardon my course language.) I understood him so quickly.

Braeton, my lovely fashion bug. He is the other side of the coin. “You should tone it down”. “You are a little too gay”. What the hell! How is that a thing? I surely don’t know, but I have heard that. (I could go on about this, but I have an article coming out after the holidays that addresses this in detail.) Braeton is who Drew needs, they balance each other out. Not in the stereotypical way some may think. Braeton is all man, don’t believe otherwise. He is just himself. He is comfortable being himself. He doesn’t ask Drew to change himself, he loves him because of who he is.

What really gave me the super warm and happy feeling was the epilogue. My goodness. To be honored as such. The family you make is important. Sometimes it takes a small miracle or a little interference from fate to make you realize it. I am not close with my extended family. The friendships I have cultivated are precious, no doubt about it.

Often misquoted and rarely understood, “The blood of battle is thicker than water of the womb”. No matter your battlefield, no matter if you have shed blood physically or metaphorically, the family you build is just as important and the one you are born into.

Raven's Diary

Raven's Diary - Anastasia Vitsky Book provided by Anastasia Vitsky and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

A petulant woman-child and a lovely wooden spoon.

I adore this story for a variety of different reasons. Alena is the quintessential bratty submissive. She has all the qualities that would drive a seasoned dominant batty. She holds on to her fear like a small child carrying a favored wubbie. I want to spank her myself and have her stand nose to corner. My goodness the brattiness! The thing is, I love her just the same.

While contemporary settings are not a favorite, I am becoming a fan of stories that have a “slice of life” quality. Ms. Vitsky does this well. She provides an emotional connection with her story telling. She captures Alena’s newness with a freshness I have not come across in a while. Domestic discipline is a fascinating take. It is hard to capture the finesse in these types of relationships. Often, authors overlook the fine qualities in this type of relationship. The simplicity of it. Though, I am a paddle and crop kind of mistress, I appreciate the wooden spoon.

While Alena entered into the arrangement with Raven of her own free will, she continues to fight her submission every step of the way. I keep falling back on the fear that she has. I believe that she trusts Raven with her life. Yet she continues to fear. What an interesting dichotomy.

Raven has infinitely more patience than I would have. I would have freed Alena from service. She loves this silly little girl, and love makes you patient. Love is kind, love is understanding. Raven reminded me of this. All the while, Alena is driving me crazy.

I bet you are wondering if Alena gives in? Me too. I want her to. Even though she loves Raven, her fear holds her back. Fear is an interesting thing.

How many times has fear prevented you (or me for that matter) from doing something? I am not talking fear born out of trauma or past negative experiences. I am speaking on fear of the unknown. I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Cuticle Detective Inaba

Cuticle Detective Inaba - Mochi I have been pretty entertained with this one. Lots of laughing. A great way to relax with little brain power. I like the disjointed storyline.

Heads up, this is available through crunchyroll.com.

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Erotica - M. Christian, Jim   Lyon This book was provided by Wordwooze Publishing and read on behalf of Thorn & Ink.

This is a collection of short stories. While I often find short story anthologies a bit harder to review this one is easier, as there is only one author.

The stories were all very good, it includes one of the books I loved this year Bionic Lover. Over all, these reminded of “slice of life” type stories. There is a surprisingly voyeuristic quality to all of the other stories. Some are futuristic, while others are very contemporary. There are some very intimate emotions (beyond the sexual acts) that are being witnessed, I actually felt as though I was peeping.

Audience is important to me. While I do not feel as though I am the target audience. These are well worth reading because of the emotions they evoke. Overwhelmingly heart breaking, with touches of happiness here and there. Once again, M. has left me in my head as I wander in and out the lives of various women.

This is feminine domination in one of its varied forms. I was left wondering what happens next. For some the story continues beyond the pages in daydreams and pleasant musings, while others end abruptly in apt sadness and despair.

There were two other stories that grabbed me.

The After Hours. The strength and power that Taja demonstrates on stage is astounding. Narrowly escaping a dark alley after work creates an inspiring turning point in this story. Her safe haven is Katana. Her dominant takes her fear, turning it into pain and releases it into a fount of tears of survival. I was genuinely fearful for Taja, and happy in her release.

Dress Pinks was a fascinating mind fuck. I can’t put it any plainer than that. I was very pleasantly surprised by it. It is a simple, dirty, slutty scene. This story comes in at a hard second (all puns intended). I straight up laughed aloud when I realized what was going on. In all honesty, this was down and dirty one of the best scenes I have come across this year. Of course, I have my books that have set the standards, but this one was fun in all the ways a scene should be.

This was a fun and quick read. I always look for reads that challenge me in new ways and this did. This isn’t for everyone. This is quite the walk on the wild side for those willing to set aside preconceived notions and are willing to explore.

The Descent (Fallen Angel #2)

The Descent (Fallen Angel #2) - Amelita Rae Holy shit! This is dark. Good lord.

Barrett & Ivan

Barrett & Ivan - A.D.  Ellis This book was provided by AD Ellis and read on behalf of Thorns & Ink.

This is the 3rd installment in this series. Does it get better, oh I hope so. All series do come to an end, and I hope Ms. Ellis gives us a few more before she does that. She hits on a few central themes in this book. Each tackled with grace and understanding.

When is a kiss just a kiss? When is a kiss promising the future? I like this take on the “big misunderstanding” theme. It really wasn’t a big misunderstanding so much as it was Ivan trying to talk himself and Barrett out of wanting the same thing. Happiness with each other. It only last a little while. The solution that Lexi (Ivan’s little sister) comes up with is very on point. I would have recommended the same.

Another theme that Ms. Ellis is mental disease/defect. I am sorry if you don’t feel that PTSD qualifies, but it does. What really hit home was Ivan coming home from prison. (My mother worked with women recently out of prison and on parole.) Ms. Ellis captured what I saw of the women’s behavior in Ivan perfectly. The fear and the triggers.

Ivan’s first few nights home where similar to the stories of the women I talked to. Portraying this in fictional writing takes a lot of skill and research. She gets it completely. The plan that Barrett and Lexi come up with for Ivan is exactly right. They keep him focused and busy. The bright light in the dark if you will.

This is where I talk about the characters. I want to talk about Barrett for a moment. I find him soul deep beautiful. He is what some would call the manic pixie, except he has the talent and discipline to back up the muse that is his personality. The more I read, the more I saw that Barrett caused Ivan to want to be a better man.

Ivan sacrificed a lot. He suffered for his loves. He came home stronger for it. The apple of his eye, Lexi is amazing and pragmatic. She is sweet and wise beyond her years. These days it is rare for me to relate to a character so young, but she is very relatable. She is not perfect. While none of them are, she comes with the frailty and the hope of youth. I love her for it. This is what keeps one young in the face of growing mentally beyond one’s years.

Ivan, my big squishy man. What can I say? He had me at the beginning. There are a lot of people who talk a big game and don’t deliver. In a split second, he sealed his fate. He didn’t talk a big game, he did what he had to for his sister and her best friend to survive. Ivan was aware as to why he was in prison, he did not blame others. He is a survivor. He suffered. No doubt about it. But he never once took it out on those he loved.

Normally, I don’t talk about dedications or acknowledgements. Ms. Ellis writes beautiful ones. I recommend reading the one for this book. She is moving. The love she pours into each of her books is so evident here. The story itself lends itself to a reread in the future. But the acknowledgements are endearing. In it she thanks all who have been on this journey with her. As a reader and a reviewer, I am very glad she contacted me.

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