Review: On His Knees

Review: On His KneesOn His Knees (Blasphemy #4) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #4
on February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary

FINAL DECISION: For a short novella, this one was surprisingly good. I enjoyed how the relationship between Jamie and Alex develops. The ending where a crisis requires a dramatic gesture, this one was emotional and dramatic. My only negative was that I didn’t get to know Alex enough as a character.

THE STORY: Attorney Jamie Fielding is at a crossroads in his life. A series of failed and unfulfilling relationships send him on a personal journey to challenge his own notions of his sexuality and sexual needs. He makes his way to the sex club Blasphemy where he meets Alex McGarrey who is one of the dominant masters of the club who also is a sadist. Alex feels a pull towards Jamie when they meet, but Alex doesn’t intend to take on someone who is just investigating being an masochist and bisexual. But there is something about Jamie and Alex just can’t resist.

OPINION: This was a book that I enjoyed more and more as it progressed. I worried that I would not be able to see how Jamie who is totally new to both masochism and bisexuality would work with the more experienced and jaded Alex. But something just clicked between these two. Their encounters are definitely on the more extreme side but there is a undercurrent of consent and respect that works better here than perhaps in any of the other books in this series.

I felt an understanding and connection with Jamie whose personal journey is central to the story. Alex’s character remains more elusive. When there is a dramatic problem towards the end of the book, I didn’t feel enough understanding of Alex’s character to feel connected to his reaction. Intellectually I understood, but there were deeper issues that I didn’t feel were fully explored.

While this book is beautifully crafted as a novella, I think that a longer book would have explored Alex’s backstory more and give better insight to his character. But that is a quibble in what is a very enjoyable read.

For fans of Kaye’s Hard Ink series there is even a cameo by a character that jump starts Jamie’s personal journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a m/m romance.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ON HIS KNEES is the fourth book in the Blasphemy series. These books are connected by the club and small appearances by others, but each book is independent and can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.


Review: Theirs to Take

Review: Theirs to TakeTheirs to Take (Blasphemy, #3) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #3
on September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 170

FINAL DECISION: I generally liked the book, but the instant love/lust with Hartley wasn’t as good as the relationship between Jonathan and Cruz which I wish we had more exploration of. The story is hot, but I missed the centrality of Blasphemy.

THE STORY: Hartley Farren is in desperate need of some help when a hurricane damages her boat. She happens to meet Jonathan Allen who with his partner Cruz Ramos offer to do the repairs. Jonathan and Cruz are two of the co-owner of the sex club Blasphemy and they enjoy engaging in menage relationships. The two try to figure out if Hartley might be a good third, but are also struggling with changes in their relationship as the attraction between them grows.

OPINION: The story was enjoyable but not particularly deep as the length of the book, the complication of the menage and the introduction of a character in a crossover story all took up space.

The story is really hot and I enjoyed how the erotic relationship between these three develops. My complaint is that I wish there were more pages to delve into the complications of Cruz and Jonathan’s relationship and some differentiation between Hartley’s relationship with Cruz and Jonathan. What does each offer to her?

That being said, I thought the highlight of this book was the relationship between Cruz and Jonathan. (So many menage books ignore the m/m part of the relationship). I also liked how these three navigate their new relationship. The sex was hot and emotional as the three figure out what works for them.

This is a good addition to the Blasphemy series (even though the club itself is only a side location in this book).

WORTH MENTIONING: This book has a crossover with REVEAL ME by Jennifer Probst.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THEIRS TO TAKE is the third book in the Blasphemy series. This book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.


Review: Eyes on You

Review: Eyes on YouEyes on You (Blasphemy, #2.5) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #2.5
Published by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated on July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable novella which is not deep, but fun and the personalities of the main characters made this a novella that I really enjoyed as Liv discovers herself.

THE STORY:  Olivia Foster is on the blind date from hell when she meets Wolf Henrikson who “rescues” her from her boorish date.  Fireworks explode when Liv and Wolf meet as they seem to recognize one another. Liv is a woman who has fantasies of being an exhibitionist and Wolf is interested in voyeurism and public sex as well.  These two strangers quickly find that their complementary sexual interests might lead to something more.

OPINION:  This is a short novella.  Despite this, I really liked the development of the relationship between Wolf and Liv.  The story progresses quickly but I really felt that these characters had a connection.  The story was very, very sexy and was different than the other books in the series because of the particular kink the two share.

Liv is a woman coming into her own.  Having been told by her ex-fiance that what she desires sexually is not “normal”, she finds freedom in her relationship with Wolf.  I liked the fun interaction between these two as they work through the particular details of their relationship.

The story is quick and thus doesn’t go deep into the psyches of these characters, but I thought it was a fun read.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has public sex (but only two participants).

CONNECTED BOOKS:  EYES ON YOU is book 2.5 of the Blasphemy series about the owners of a BDSM sex club.  While there are overlapping characters, this book can be read on its own.

STAR RATING:  I give this novella 4 stars.


Review: Mastering Her Senses

Review: Mastering Her SensesMastering Her Senses (Blasphemy, #2) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #2
Published by Laura Kaye on February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica

FINAL DECISION:  I liked these characters and they had a real hot read. My only complaint was the short length of the story combined with the emphasis on the sexual encounters between them left the emotional part of the story more superficial.  I enjoyed the book.

THE STORY:  Cassia Locke has developed a phobia of the dark after an accident.  She comes to Blasphemy to try and work through her fear. She ends up reconnecting with Blasphemy co-owner Quinton Ross.  Quinton is a dominant who specializes in sensory deprivation.  Several years ago, Cassia stood Quinton up.  Their attraction, however, hasn’t lessened in the interim. Now Quinton is willing to help Cassia overcome her phobia.

OPINION:  This was an enjoyable story, but the lack of emotional journey for the characters means that it isn’t one that I will think to pick up again.  There are some books that I enjoy without becoming connected to the story or the characters.  This was a book that engaged me while I read it, but I thought the relationship between Cassia and Quinton was too superficial for me to want to take their journey again.

Cassia and Quinton have a hot relationship. I really liked that the book focuses on Cassia and her phobia and her journey to finding peace again.  (One thing I would have liked would have been some resolution on the results as to her job).  There is a lot of focus on the hot scenes between Quinton and Cassia.

Cassia is a woman seeking to regain control of her life after a cave-in which left her afraid of the dark.  I really liked that Cassia is a woman who embraces her sexuality and is not shamed by her sexual experience or her desires. She might be the submissive in the relationship, but it is clear that she is an equal in the relationship.  I liked her active and adventurous spirit.

One scene is particular made me love Quinton.  He cares for Cassia when she is sick. I think every woman could love a man who cares for her when she is sick. While I thought Cassia was very active in the story, in many ways Quinton is more reactive and responsive even as he is the Dom. I never felt that I connected with Quinton as a characters as much as I did Cassia.

I enjoyed this book but wish that there was more of a conclusion regarding Cassia’s phobia.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book has a lot of graphic sex scenes.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MASTERING HER SENSES is the second book in the Blasphemy series about a BDSM sex club.  It is not necessary to read the others in the series to understand this one although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.


Review: Bound to Submit

Review: Bound to SubmitBound to Submit (Blasphemy, #1) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #1
on October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 154

“The music faded away along with all the people, until it was just the two of them, divided by a room, five years, and her once-broken heart.”

FINAL DECISION:  A book that has a strong, independent heroine that has experienced much pain and yet takes control of her own pleasure by confronting the pain in her past.  I loved Kenna and Griffin.

THE STORY:  Kenna Sloane is an ex-Marine, amputee and motivational speaker.  She is having problems adjusting to her new life.  As a way of solving that problem, she decides to confront her past.  Five years ago, Griffin Hudson was her lover and Dominant.  When Kenna fell in love with him and wanted more, he rejected her.  Now Kenna wants to see if the Dom/Sub lifestyle she liked so much can help her recover.  She returns to Blasphemy, the sex club that Griffin owns and where he is one of the 12 Masters.  What Kenna doesn’t know is that Griffin has never forgotten her.  He quickly regretted his rejection of the perfect woman for him and now that she has returned, he plans to keep her.

OPINION:  I loved how strong and independent Kenna was in this book.  She is a tough woman who has experienced the trauma and death of war but has begun to pull herself together.  When she sees that her life is not what she wants it to be, she takes action.  She returns to the dom/sub life that brought her happiness even though she experienced pain as well when Griffin rejected her.

“Unlike the rest of her life right now, at least here — right here in this room — she knew what the rules were, what was expected of her, and what she could do to succeed.  She knew who and what she was.  And God, she hadn’t realized how much she needed that.  All of that.  Because she’s lost it when she’s lost the Marines. She’d just lost so much.”

The story of Kenna is powerful; she is a warrior.  I loved how her being an amputee is part of the story but it doesn’t diminish her sexuality or sexual attraction.  Her qualities amplify the attraction Griffin has for her.  She can be strong, be physically imperfect and have lingering emotional scars, but she is allowed to be sexual and attractive.

Griffin is a sweetheart.  I don’t know how Kaye does it, but she manages to make him incredibly alpha and yet kind and compassionate.  His reaction to her service as a Marine and her amputation is so supportive that I could see how Kenna fell in love with him.

In this book, Griffin has already gone through his conversion to recognizing how wrong he was in the past.  He knows what he lost and is determined to not lose her again.

While this book is centered around the Blasphemy Club, the sex play in this book is only about the relationship between Kenna and Griffin.  They have already dealt with their sexual compatibility and their attraction to one another.  This book is really about Kenna coming to terms with herself.  She manages to do this through her sex play and her relationship with Griffin which opens her up to happiness again and her ability to deal with her grief and guilt.

I thought this book was thoughtful and sexy.

The only criticism I had was that I thought Kenna forgave Griffin way too easily after his prior rejection of her.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  BOUND TO SUBMIT is the first book in the Blasphemy series.  There is a connected book that operates as a prequel entitled HARD TO SERVE.  It is not necessary to read HARD TO SERVE before BOUND TO SUBMIT.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE:  I received an electronic copy of this book in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.