Teaser: Bound to Submit by Laura Kaye

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

 

Releasing September 13, 2016, BOUND TO SUBMIT is the first full-length novel in Laura Kaye’s erotic new Blasphemy Series, and today we have a teaser excerpt just for you! Check it out below!

 

Bound To Submit - cover

About Bound to Submit:

From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He thinks he caused her pain, but she knows he’s the only one who can heal her…

Kenna Sloane lost her career and her arm in the Marines, and now she feels like she’s losing herself. Submission is the only thing that ever freed her from pain and made her feel secure, and Kenna needs to serve again. Bad. The only problem is the Dom she wants once refused her submission and broke her heart, but, scarred on the inside and out, she’s not looking for love this time. She’s not even sure she’s capable.

Griffin Hudson is haunted by the mistakes that cost him the only woman he ever loved. Now she’s back at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, and more beautiful than ever, and she’s asking for his help with the pain he knows he caused. Even though he’s scared to hurt her again, he can’t refuse her, because he’d give anything to earn a second chance. And this time, he’ll hold on forever.

Pre-Order Bound to Submit, releasing 9/13/16

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BOUND TO SUBMIT - Teaser

 

EXCERPT:

Up on the raised stage was a naked woman bound in dark orange ropes that matched her braided hair so beautifully that it stole Kenna’s breath. She knew that rope work immediately. Intimately. Remembered its feel around her body. Remembered the hands responsible for the rigging moving against her skin.

And then Kenna let her eyes move to the tall, beautifully built, black-haired Dom wearing a pair of black jeans and nothing else. Griffin Hudson. He stood behind the bent-over woman and held a vibrating wand between her spread thighs. A small moan escaped Kenna’s throat unbidden at seeing him again after all this time. Her heart tripped into a sprint. Heat ripped over her body, even as he teased and tormented another woman, another submissive. God, he was just as gorgeous as he’d ever been, muscular and strong, his rugged face now serious but capable of tenderness and playfulness, too. Every part of Kenna remembered that man—his face, his hands, his mouth, his cock.

And probably would until the day she died.

Just as fast, she locked all those feelings and memories down. She needed to remember why she was here—and why she wasn’t.

 

 

“A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I’m eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!

~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

“Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can’t wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one.”

~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

 

 

HARD TO SERVE - cover

Meet the Masters of Blasphemy in Hard to Serve, now available

Amazon exclusive until September 2016 in paperback and ebook

 

 

Laura Kaye - author picAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| HARD TO SERVE on Goodreads |BOUND TO SUBMIT on Goodreads

 

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Review: If I Only Had a Duke

Review: If I Only Had a DukeIf I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #2
Published by Avon on August 30, 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“Thea had made an error of epic proportions.

A tall, broad-shouldered, duke-sized error.”

FINAL DECISION:  Rollicking road trip with a man haunted by his brother’s death and the woman whose plans he ruins by making her a social success.  Filled with humor and great emotion, I greatly enjoyed this book.

THE STORY:  After three disastrous seasons and an infamous jilting at the altar by the duke who ended up marrying her illegitimate half-sister, Lady Dorothea Beaumont intends to get through one last season and then retire to her aunt’s estate in Ireland and freedom.  Then, the Duke of Osborne decides to single her out and make her popular by waltzing with her.  Dalton believed that he was avoiding Thea’s desire to trap him into marriage, but his actions incense Thea who insists that he help her escape.  But Dalton has secrets including his search for the man who destroyed his family.

OPINION:  For me, the highlight of this book was the witty relationship between Dalton and Thea that deepens as they two travel together and learn one another’s secrets.  The two begin by exchanging letters (one of my favorite devices).  Amusing and revealing, the letters jump start their relationship.  By the time they encounter one another in London, they each already have plans on how to deal with the other.  Both Thea and Dalton have hidden scars that are not obvious in their society roles.

Thea has been raised her whole life to make the perfect match.  When her debut was a failure, Thea knew that her lack of perfection reduced her importance to her family.  Feeling as if her only value is her marriage prospects, unable to form real relationships with others and lonely beyond belief, Thea has allowed life to happen to her.  When her plans for her future are upset by the duke’s actions, she begins to find out who she really is.  I loved the amusing personas that Thea tries on during her journey with Dalton which are truly all facets of her becoming the woman she wants to be.

Dalton is a man who appears to be an aimless rake about town but is actually a man with a secret identity hunting for the man who murdered his younger brother.  He, too, has been emotionally abandoned by his family.  He has a hard protective shell around himself, but inside he cares deeply about people.

The story of who murdered Dalton’s brother had a surprising ending, which I enjoyed.  I thought the story was in good proportion with the romance.  Enough to keep the book interesting, but not so much as to overwhelm the romance.

I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series.  I thought that the characters had a more interesting emotional journey and their romance was more complex.  While humor is key component to both books, this one felt more complete and emotional (a quality I especially like in my romances).

Bell is a new author and I’m glad I took a chance on reading her books.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This hero has a bit of the Robin Hood/Batman flavor without being a duplicate of those stories.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  IF I ONLY HAD A DUKE is the second book in the Disgraceful Dukes series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: A Scot in the Dark

Review: A Scot in the DarkA Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2) by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2
Published by Avon on August 30, 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

Raw, Powerful Story of the Scot Who Rides to Rescue of the Scandalous Woman Who Can Save Herself

“Of course, she was the instrument of her own saving.

She was magnificent enough to save herself and the world in the balance.

If only she could save him, as well.”

FINAL DECISION:  Simply awesome.  A book I will read again and again, I loved this story of a man who comes to save a damsel in distress and finds a woman who ends up saving him.  A story about embracing the human mistakes that we make and being worthy of love.

THE STORY:  Lillian Hargrove was reputed to be the most beautiful, perfect woman in England.  Perhaps for that reason, society is thrilled when it is revealed that Lillian has scandalously ruined herself by posing for a nude painting that will be exhibited in public.  At this moment, Alec Stuart, who had inherited the dukedom of Warnick, unexpectedly and unwanted.  Alec learned that he also had inherited a ward, Miss Hargrove.  Alec comes to London to save Lillian from her own foolishness.

OPINION:  I can’t speak highly enough of the beauty and power of these characters Lillian and Alec.  They both are highly damaged people as the book begins. Unwanted, ignored, rejected, they both make bad decisions in their lives that cause them shame even as both Lillian and Alec assert their independence.

“Flaws saw flaws.”

Like sees like and Alec and Lillian recognize in one another in their pain and flaws.  Alec recognizes Lillian first and his response to her “transgression” is more understanding than she expects.  I fell in love with Alec because he doesn’t judge Lillian in the way the world does.  Despite what one might expect from the storyline of this book the conflict between the characters is not about Lillian’s mistake in posing for the portrait or her sexuality.

As the story begins, Lillian seems like the stereotypical damsel in distress who is waiting for a man to come rescue her.  Appearances are not truth, however.  Although Alec comes to rescue Lillian in the ways of men, she neither wants nor needs to be redeemed by him.

“I am in the market for neither guardian nor savior.  Indeed, if the last few years have taught me anything, it is that I would do well to save myself.  Play my own guardian.”

Lillian is the heroine of her own story.  But she is not immune to needing Alec.  Lillian doesn’t need Alec to rescue her, but she does need him to believe in her, support her, show her an example of a decent and caring man.

Both Alec and Lillian desperately want love.  It leads them into their “scandalous” activities.  Alec and Lillian’s relationship allows them to accept their own failings and recognize that mistakes allow them the ability to recognize true love and the unfailing decency in one another.

What I loved about this book is that there is no magic wand, no pretending that the scandal did not happen.  These characters look beyond scandal, accept the mistakes themselves and each other have made, and find decency and love.

This book is deeply emotional and completely engaged in the relationship between these characters.  MacLean has a way of writing angst and pain that breaks my heart, engages my mind and makes my spirit soar when the happy ending arrives.

This book will end up on my favorite books of the year list.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of Sarah MacLean’s other books get some glimpses of some familiar (and perhaps unfamiliar) characters.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A SCOT IN THE DARK is the second book in the Scandal & Scoundrel series.  Although there are some appearances by characters from other books, this book operates as a standalone.  No prior information is necessary.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: Dirty Little Lies

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dirty Little LiesDirty Little Lies by Lora Leigh
Series: Men of Summer #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 320
Goodreads

“Once she put two and two together, the realizations of the scope of the betrayals from those she loved would destroy her.  And it would destroy any bonds she had with those who’d lied to her.  Zach included.”

FINAL DECISION:  Lacking emotional intensity between the characters, this book is more about secrets and deceptions. There are many twists and turns but I didn’t like the romance as much as the prior book in the series.

THE STORY: Zach Richards has been avoiding getting involved with Grace Maddox because he knows that the sweet innocent Grace would not be able to deal with his secret life.  When Grace is hurt because people believe she has information from her traitor mom, Zach has to come and protect her.  Thus, Grace and Zach learn that neither is the innocent that they thought the other was.  In order to protect Grace, Zach insists that the two act as lovers. Then the long simmering fire burst into a hot conflagration.

OPINION:  There are a lot of lies in DIRTY LITTLE LIES.  For me, the book was slow going for the first third and then got much better.  The first third had way too much exposition and explanation. The pace picked up when the serious action started.

This book had a lot of twists and turns, I only wish that I cared more about the characters here.  There was so much action, intrigue and drama that I often lost track of what should have been the emotional center of the book.

I liked the story, but I missed the drama and emotional of the second book of the series which I liked much better.

On thing I really enjoyed about this book is that Grace is a strong willed woman of her own.  While she pretends to be innocent, she is perfectly able to take care of herself.  After all the lies and deception she has been forced to endure, I am surprised that Grace is able to trust anyone again.  I liked how she gives Zach grief and doesn’t allow him to run over her with his alpha ways.

WORTH MENTIONING:  For readers of the series much of the continuing story is revealed and resolved here.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DIRTY LITTLE LIES is the third book in the Men of Summer series.  I think without reading the other books in the series, a reader might be lost in places because there are a lot of characters and situations continuing from the prior books.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

Review: Her Darkest Nightmare

Review: Her Darkest NightmareHer Darkest Nightmare (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #1) by Brenda Novak
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 432
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I loved this book primarily because of Evelyn and her hottie state trooper Amarok, but I also enjoyed the mystery which was twisty and creepy and kept me guessing.

THE STORY:  Dr. Evelyn Talbot was only a teenager when her world was torn apart by her psychopath boyfriend killed her best friends then imprisoned and tortured Evelyn for three days before leaving her for dead.  Twenty years later, Evelyn studies psychopaths. She is in charge of a maximum security facility which is studying serial killers. Located in a small town in Alaska, Evelyn is not the most popular person for bringing these killers to town.  It has placed her on opposite sides of State Trooper Sergeant Amarok who also tempts Evelyn as no man ever has.  Now a mutilated body of a woman seems to confirm Amarok’s deepest fears about the facility while Evelyn fears that the monster who almost killed her before may have returned.

OPINION: I am a longtime mystery and suspense reader but I prefer my books with a strong dose of romance.  I enjoyed this book because I like Evelyn with all her hangups due to her encounter as a teenager with her psychopath boyfriend.  Evelyn is damaged and while she is accomplished professionally, she is stunted in her relationships.

I love the sweetness of her reaction to Amarok and, for me, their relationship centers and makes the rest of the book worth reading.  While I enjoy a good, creepy suspense, I like to have sweeter and lighter moments as well as a reason to care about the characters.  I like these two and look forward to reading more about them.

I always find it difficult to review suspense and mystery books because I don’t want to give too much away.  That being said, I think this one kept me guessing until the end.  I thought I had it figured out and then the story would twist and go in a new direction.  Plus, there is some really creepy and messed up stuff going on.  I always admire a story that I don’t solve immediately.  There are plenty of suspects here and I didn’t guess the right one, but was satisfied that the ultimate solution was supported in the story.

The mystery/suspense story intertwines so well with Evelyn’s own personal journey that I was fully engaged during the entire book.  This book can satisfy both romantic suspense readers and those who just like a good mystery.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There are still threads of the overarching story for the series that are left at the end of this book, but the main mystery of the book is completely resolved.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE is the first book in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles series.  There is a prequel but this book can be read without having read that.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: The Double Wager

Review: The Double WagerThe Double Wager by Mary Balogh
Published by Class eBook Editions Ltd. on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 224
Goodreads

FINAL DECISION:  I went back and forth on this one. At times I loved the story, especially the hero and the secondary characters. The heroine seriously annoyed me at times, but then I liked how her and hero came together. Mixed bag that ended well.

THE STORY: Miss Henrietta “Henry” Tallant is a tomboy who has spent most of her life with her brothers and his friends disdaining the “feminine arts”.  Now to be brought out into society, her brother and his friends believe that Henry will be a failure.  Indeed, they bet her that she cannot get a marriage proposal in six weeks from the unattainable Duke of Eversleigh.  At the same time, the duke who was determined never to marry has been thinking about obtaining an heir.  Disbelieving, his friends wager that he won’t make a marriage offer in a month.  Then Henry and the duke run into one another.

OPINION:  I loved almost everything about this book.  The hero is adorable.  He is quiet and supportive and caring.  The supporting cast of the heroine’s family are funny and irreverent.

The heroine, on the other hand, drove me crazy.  Her immature behavior causes all the problems in this book.  Her inability to be reasonable, to see reality as other see it and her jumping to conclusions made me annoyed for significant portions of the book.  But then, I would see her youth and how much she cares for others and I would like the story again.

It’s hard for me to give a good rating for a book where I had a problem with the heroine, but on the whole, this book was worth reading.

The premise was cute and executed in an interesting and unexpected way.  I loved, loved, loved the hero who persevered despite Henry’s nutty behavior.  He was kind and generous and worked to help her despite herself. He cared for her because of who she was even when she rejected him based on no evidence at all. Henry’s younger siblings were cute and how they operated to be the spies who helped their older sister lightened the mood of the story.

Mary Balogh has such and intriguing quiet way of writing.  I love how the characters flaws and all find love while accepting and even celebrating their flaws.  No magic solutions here.

WORTH MENTIONING:  THE DOUBLE WAGER was originally published in the mid-1980s.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE DOUBLE WAGER is a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

Review: With Every Breath

Review: With Every BreathWith Every Breath (Slow Burn, #4) by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #4
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION:  More personal journey than romance, I liked the suspense aspect of this book and for that give it 3 stars.  I wish there was more romance but it reads more like a suspense book with some romance than a straight romance.

THE STORY:  Eliza Cummings thought that she had left her past behind her when she discovers that the serial killer she knew when she was a teenager is getting out of prison.  Determined to make sure that he never hurts anyone again, she is willing to leave all her loved ones behind to protect them. Wade Sterling knows that there is something wrong with Eliza and intends to find out all her secrets.  Wade and Eliza are engaged in a dangerous game with a man who has psychic abilities and who can make people do, think and feel what he wants.

OPINION:  This story is really about Eliza’s dealing with her past and her plan for taking out a serial killer.  While there is a romance, there is no buildup or real conflict other than Wade finding out about Eliza’s past.  I happen to like my stories flipped with more romance than suspense.

The story was good, but not as creepy or engaging as others in the series and so I was a bit disappointed.  After the buildup, the confrontation with the “bad guy” was too quick.  Also, unlike other books in the series where the psychic element was a big part of the story, here it felt more like an afterthought that had little impact on the story.

Despite that, I liked Eliza and Wade together.  I just wish that more time had been spent on developing their relationship.

WORTH MENTIONING:  No idea where the series goes from here as far.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  WITH EVERY BREATH is the fourth book in the Slow Burn series.  This book can be read as a standalone although there are references to events in the other books of the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: First Star I See Tonight

Review: First Star I See TonightFirst Star I See Tonight (Chicago Stars, #8) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Series: Chicago Stars #8
Published by William Morrow on August 23, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-stars

“All in all, it was still a good day to be Cooper Graham.  Except for one pesky woman.”

FINAL DECISION:  The emotional part of this book really snuck up on me.  I believed it was funny with bickering protagonists until the end which just ripped my heart open.  Phillips is a master at the quirky, funny, sarcastic characters that make me love them despite my intentions.

THE STORY: Cooper Graham has just retired as the star quarterback of the Chicago Stars.  Big man in the city of Chicago, Cooper is unhappy to find out his has a stalker, Piper Dove.  But Piper is not actually a stalker but rather a detective trying to make a name for herself. Her first job is to trail Cooper.  When she is spotted, she soon finds herself working as Cooper’s bodyguard — although he refuses to allow Piper to officially do that job.  Whatever her job title, Piper is determined to protect Cooper whether he wants it or not.

OPINION:  I am often surprised by my reaction to a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book.  She somehow manages to make me like heroines that I either hate or am iffy about when the book starts.  I wasn’t a fan of Piper when the book began.  Her pugnacious personality somewhat annoyed me as the book began.  So determined to do what she wanted, I didn’t see the compassion in her that I want from characters. Oh how wrong I was.  Under her shell, Piper is a woman who deeply cares.  And Phillips does an amazing job of showing that as her personality is slowly revealed to Cooper.  While Piper changes and grows, she remains true to her personality — and Cooper loves her for who she actually is.  By the end of the book, he understands and accepts her and puts himself on the line because he knows she needs it.

Piper and Cooper are the perfect pair.  Both are competitive and want to succeed.  They are somewhat single minded and don’t necessarily give up on bad ideas easily.  Stubborn to to the core — both of them.  I loved how their romance was not sweet and sentimental but rather combative and argumentative.  Just perfect for them.  In the end, their romance becomes deeply emotional and even sweet (for them).

This book is filled with so many engaging secondary characters.  The princess obsessed with shoes.  The widow convinced her Cheesehead wearing husband is still alive. The nerf gun toting teenager.   I love how so many intriguing characters inhabit his book and yet never overwhelm the main storyline.

I recommend this book if you like original, funny romances with unexpected heart.

WORTH MENTIONING:  I absolutely adore Heath Champion’s role in this book (MATCH ME IF YOU CAN).

CONNECTED BOOKS: FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT is the eighth book in the Chicago Stars series. While some characters from previous books make appearances, this book does not depend upon any knowledge of those books.  This book stands alone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Wild Embrace

Review: Wild EmbraceWild Embrace (Psy-Changeling, #15.5) by Nalini Singh
Series: , , ,
Published by Berkley on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 400
Goodreads
four-half-stars

WILD EMBRACE consists of four novellas in the Psy-Changling series.  They vary in length and complexity and while none reach the quality of the awesome novels in the series, these novellas are a great introduction to the series or a wonderful chance for fans to revel in some secondary characters.  The events take place at various times in the Psy-Changling universe (although there is no reason to worry about the order unless you are hyper concerned about spoilers).

One of my favorite parts of reading a Nalini Singh series is that every portion, every moment, every characters feels exceedingly alive.  Singh proves it by regularly giving readers the additional content (much free to newsletter subscribers) that tells the stories of minor characters, gentle moments and funny slices of life.

In the novella ECHO OF SILENCE (which takes place after book 2 VISIONS OF HEAT), readers finally get the story of Stephen Berg, a Tk Psy and Tazia Nerif, the human woman with whom he falls in love.  Readers of the series might recall that subsequent to the events in this book, Stephen has been known to give romantic advice to Arrows.  This story takes place just as Silence is beginning to be challenged.  The romance is incredibly sweet and painful as the two are in danger if it is known that Stephen breaks Silence but he cannot love unless he does.  I thought this story was the best of the four (I love those Tks) as the story was complex and multilayered.

The short novella DORIAN (which takes place over a period of time ending after book 5 HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE) consists of vignettes in the life of Dorian.  Dorian is a leopard changeling who was latent and could not shift into his leopard form.  The vignettes start when Dorian is a child and take place at various times in Dorian’s life.  The final vignette happens after his mate is able to help him to successfully shift.  (We finally get to see other characters reactions to Dorian’s shift.  This novella adds some additional and welcome scenes to HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE.

In the novella PARTNERS IN PERSUASION (which takes place after book 11 TANGLE OF NEED), we get an unexpected pairing of a dominate female leopard changeling and a submissive male wolf changeling.  Felix is at his heart a gardener (aka the horticultural expert of the Snow Dancers) who has been hurt by his attraction to a dominate woman before.   Despite this, Felix is really, really attracted to Desiree.  I loved Felix who might be a submissive but is certainly no pushover and definitely proves that submissives can be dangerous when those they care about are threatened.  The careful navigation of Felix and Desiree’s relationship mirrors those which arose in DECLARATION OF COURTSHIP (which had a dominate male and submissive female changeling). Questions of consent and trust are artfully navigated here without the hero being a wimp.

The final novella, FLIRTATION OF FATE is the sometimes heartbreaking second chance at love story between Garnet (aka Jem) and Kenji, both Snow Dancer lieutenants.  The two grew up together and it seemed like they were fated to be together until Kenji broke Garnet’s heart on her twenty-first birthday by standing her up.  In the years since, the two have ignored one another and engaged in a combative flirtation.  The big question throughout this novella is why did Kenji break Garnet’s heart when he clearly loves her so much?  I had figured out the reason before the reveal but I loved how these two were unable to let one another go despite their best attempts.  I hope that we hear more about these two in the future because I would like to see that they have been able to work through their challenges. FLIRTATION OF FATE takes place at the end of HEART OF OBSIDIAN (book 12).

Overall Rating for book 4.5 stars.

 

four-half-stars

Review: Virgins

Review: VirginsVirgins (Outlander, #0.5) by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #0.5
on April 8th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 86
Goodreads

FINAL DECISION:  An enjoyable little vignette, this story gives some background for events of the series readers know but haven’t seen before.  It is an interesting view of Jamie before he appears in OUTLANDER.

THE STORY:  In this prequel to OUTLANDER, a young Jamie Fraiser is in France recovering from injuries from the English and mourning the death of his father.  In France, Jamie runs into a friend, Ian Murray.  Both virgins, their status becomes complicated when they are hired to escort a doctor’s grand-daughter to her arranged marriage in Paris.

OPINION:  Like so many of the Outlander books, this novella has something to say about culture clashes, sexuality and politics along with human relationships.  I enjoyed this look into Jamie’s life in France after his whipping by Randall and the death of is father. Gabaldon has managed to depict two young men who are working out their views about sex in an especially interesting way.  I thought the story was funny and intriguing.

For fans of the series, it is worth reading just to get another story about Jamie.

WORTH MENTIONING: This novella was previously published in the DANGEROUS WOMEN anthology.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  VIRGINS is a prequel to OUTLANDER.  While it takes place prior to OUTLANDER, I think it is better to read that book first.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.