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Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Pieces For You by Genna Rulon

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excerpt

He smelled so damn good, clean with a hint of masculine sweat, a temptation I couldn’t resist.  Beyond my control, my tongue darted out of my mouth and covertly tasted the section of chest exposed above his tank.  Oh God, he tasted even better than he smelled, like a chocolate-covered pretzel—sweet, salty, and addictive.

“Did you just…lick me?” he asked, sounding both shocked and amused.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You licked me.  I felt it,” he accused, but I noticed he wasn’t complaining.

“Your imagination is running wild because of all the workout endorphins.”

“It wasn’t a complaint.  In fact, you’re welcome to have another taste.”

“Fine…I licked you.  But it was an involuntary reflex—hot guy, exposed chest…you know how it is.”

“Mmm,” he replied, his eyes darkening with lust.  “I am familiar with the temptation, but it’s not a hot guy who’s testing my self-control…it’s a petite, auburn-haired vixen.”

lorraine

5 out of 5

Pieces For You floored me.  I was really looking forward to reading this after Only For You because Sam’s character was so full of lie and I was very invested in her after the attack, and I knew I wanted her to get her HEA (click here for mine and Mandy’s reviews).  Griffin was also introduced and he made my heart speed up a little.

I got so much more than I was expecting.  I’ve read other stories with rape victims, and more often than not, the “incident” is brushed over and the girl is magically cured and moves on as if nothing happened.  Genna Rulon wrapped her arms around the subject and put me inside Sam’s head and dragged me along through the roller coaster of her healing process.  I cried…I never cry.  Never.  I desperately wanted to take Sam’s pain away.  I was fully invested through every step forward and back she took.

Griffin, sigh, he’s so wonderful.  I want a man like Griffin.  He knew exactly what Sam needed every step of the way to help her through.  He pushed her forward when needed, and stood back ready to catch her if she faltered.

Aside from all of the above, the story was overall well done.  It would have been easy to rely only on the rape and recovery as the only basis for the story, but there was much more involved, but I won’t spoil anything.  This is definitely a must read for anyone!

One last thing:  Rape is a very serious and delicate subject and I applaud Genna Rulon for her skill in the telling of Sam’s story.  To add one more reason to go out and buy this immediately, Genna notates in her acknowledgements that part of the proceeds will go to RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network).  If you would like to learn more or show your support: www.rainn.org.

 

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mandy

5 out of 5

The prologue of this book actually made mean old me tear up. I identified with Sam on so many levels in this book. Her pain and her strength were awe inspiring. Genna Rulon did a phenomenal job at capturing  the emotions and the healing process. She surreptitiously gave a lot of fantastic and absolutely true information about rape survivors, their feelings, and how it effects not only the survivor, but their loved ones as well.

But don’t think this book is morose and sad. It’s not. It’s about healing and falling in love. It’s about the bonds of friendship. And it’s just as witty and fun as Only For You. With a heaping pile of deep emotions and a beautiful and overdue love story.

Sam’s coolness was solidified in Only For You and once she gets her healing on in Pieces For You, she is back and just as fun and awesome as before. But better because she has Griffin. And Griffin is definitely her other half. Griffin is perfect. I honestly can’t think of a negative thing to say about him. I was already swooning for him by 19% in, but then at 20% Genna gives us the first bit from Griffin’s point of view and if he wasn’t the perfect partner for Sam, I would fight and cut a bitch for him. He’s that yummy.

Pieces For You is stellar. A must read. Not a single complaint. Well written, great characters, well paced, interesting plot. Hot sexy times. It truly has it all. Go read it!!!! NOW!!

 

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excerpt

 

I was waiting for Griff to exit the men’s locker room when a gym rat approached me from behind, nearly causing me to wet my pants when I discovered his body within inches of mine.  He leaned against the wall next to me with his arm resting above my head.  I felt caged and uneasy.

“Hey sexy, haven’t seen you here before.  Need me to show you how it’s done?  I know the manager—I can hook you up with a free month…in exchange for dinner?”

I was about to—I didn’t know what—run, scream, panic, tell him I wasn’t interested in his ‘free month’ if he was the last man on earth.  Then I heard it—a growl.  A deep menacing growl was coming from behind me, about a foot and a half above my head.  I slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle my snicker.

I couldn’t see Griffin and he didn’t say a word, but whatever his body language communicated, the dumbass in front of me clearly got the message because he turned tail and left, practically running.

I spun, hoping to catch a glimpse of ‘scary Griffin,’ but his face was devoid of all emotions, his eyes tracking my visitor’s departure.

“Excuse me,” I said to capture his attention.  “Did I just hear you growl at that moron, or am I hallucinating now, too?”

“I didn’t growl, it was a deep exhale.”

“Oh, an audible exhale that reverberated in your chest…like a growl,” I said before dissolving into giggles.

“I love that sound—you laughing.”

“Should I start calling you ‘Tony the Tiger’ now?  Wait…how about ‘Harry the Hippo’?”

“Hippos do not growl.”

“They absolutely do!  I took a zoology class for my science requirement sophomore year, and hippopotamuses, my growly friend, most definitely growl.”

“If I growled—and I admit nothing—but if I did, it was not a damn hippopotamus growl.  It was a tiger growl…no, a bear…I want to be a bear.”

“Alright, Yogi it is.  Come on, my furry friend, you promised me dinner.”

“Despite your torment, I do keep my promises.  Let’s go.”

“Do you have the picnic baskets in the car?” I teased, enjoying watching him squirm.

“No picnic baskets, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, is Boo-Boo bringing them?”

 

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“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies,
and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.”  -Miguel de Cervantes

Samantha Whitney survived unimaginable tragedy only to discover she had been betrayed by a man who claimed to love her.  Shattered, Sam spends months at a safe haven trying to piece herself back together.  Ready or not, the time has come for her to return home.

As Sam struggles to resume a life that no longer feels familiar, she finds unwavering support in an unexpected, familiar face.  Confronting Sam’s raw emotions and open wounds head-on, Griffin manages to take two steps forward for every step she retreats.

But when Sam is once again threatened, Griffin must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the woman he wants…knowing the cost of her safety is the risk of losing her.

Pieces For You is a captivating journey of survival, healing, and sacrifice—teeming with honesty, humor, unexpected twists, and love’s unsurpassed endurance.begin to plague Sam, it is Griffin she is forced to turn to.

• This story is appropriate for readers 18+
• Though Pieces For You is a part of the For You Series, the book can be read as a stand alone.

 

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excerpt

 

In a classic male move, he grabbed the bottom of his tank and lifted it to wipe the dampness from his face.  My ravenous eyes snapped to his stomach.  I was greeted by one, two, three…eight, eight perfectly chiseled abdominal muscles.  The elusive eight-pack—I had heard rumors of its existence, seen pictures even, but I’d never encountered the phenomenon in person.  I reached up and pinched my arm to ensure I was not dreaming.  Ouch!  Nope, not dreaming.  My fingertips itched to touch him, to trace each and every line and crevice—suddenly a black wall of cotton obstructed my view.  Son of a bitch, it was criminal.  The man should not be allowed to wear a shirt…ever.

 

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Genna Rulon is an up-and-coming contemporary romance author who loves nothing more than a good love story.

 

During her 15 years in the corporate world, Genna, inspired by her love of reading, fantasized about penning her own stories.  Encouraged by her favorite authors, many of whom are indie writers and self-published, she committed to pursue her aspirations of writing her own novels.

 

Genna was raised on Long Island in New York, where she still resides, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends.  Married to a wonderful man who patiently tolerates her ramblings about whichever book she is currently working on, even feigning interest relatively convincingly!  Genna is blessed with two little boys who do their best to thwart mommy’s writing time with their hilarious antics and charming extrapolations.

 

All of Genna’s reviews are brought to you courtesy of copious amounts of coffee and Disney Junior (something has to entertain the boys when mommy is writing).

You can find Genna online at:   www.gennarulon.com

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates about future books, as well as giveaways, and other fun facts.

Genna would love to hear from you, and will personally respond to all messages!

You can contact her as follows:

Email:                  genna@gennarulon.com

You can also follow Genna online at:

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Filed under 5 Stars, Blog Tour, Friendship, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Make You Cry, Mandy, New Adult, Recommendations, Release Day, Review

Review: The Shrinemaiden by Annie Eppa

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4.5 out of 5

This was smoking HOT!!!  Seriously, one of the hottest books I’ve ever read.  I don’t often read the fantasy genre, but the synopsis for The Shrinemaiden had me intrigued so I decided to give it a whirl when Ms. Eppa kindly offered a copy to read and review.  I don’t care who you are, or what genre of smut you like to read, if you like smut that is more than just soft porn on paper, this is a must-have in anyone’s collection.  I was so hot and bothered throughout, I almost missed the story itself, but that would have been a shame because it was equally incredible.

The plot was a clever take on Queen Elizabeth’s Court lies and intrigue, and I also got a feel of a Roman Empire style thrown in.  Every single time I thought I had it all figured out, another curveball was thrown, and I found myself sitting up and thinking, ooh, tell me more!  I had a great admiration for Adelai’s character, not only a highly sensual woman, but also one sharp cookie able to hold her own in a world filled with treachery and danger.  Thornton was the definition of a sex on a stick alpha male, but was so much more than just brawn.  Nothing better than an old school military man, mmmm.

I’m dying for the next in the series, The Slavemaiden.  Kinlee and General Falen are introduced here, I loved them, and I think that one is going to be just as hot as this was, but we have to wait until Feb/Mar 2014 (whimper).  It’s already in my TBR, and I will be begging Annie Eppa to let me review.

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Adelai has known only one home – that of the Temple of Inne-annah, Goddess of Lust and Love. As a shrinemaiden, she was raised to be a graceful, high-society courtesan catering only to the rich and powerful, for a price.

On the eve of her auction, however, Adelai discovers treachery at play between two of the most powerful kingdoms in the land, and that she had become a pawn in a political game where the stakes are high, and one wrong move will mean war. The choices Adelai will make shall take her from gilded manors and fancy balls to a cruel king’s royal court, where secrets lurk and loyalty is an illusion. In the end, Adelai must use all the skills she’s learned both inside the bedroom and out of it to triumph against the men who want her, the men who would seek to possess her – and to win the man who loves her, against all odds.

The Shrinemaiden is the first of the Maidens trilogy, which takes place in the dark kingdom of Sarcopia, but remains a standalone.

Warning: explicit scenes, dubcon situations, sexy alpha males and some bdsm.

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Annie has two great loves in her life – traveling the world, and writing. She panders to both by working as a freelance photojournalist, where she is sent all over the world to write and photograph awesome people and cute animals (and sometimes even the not-so-cute ones). She’s been on four continents, and hopes to add more countries to her ever-growing list. Due to her job, she has made many countries her home – Sweden, China, Brazil, the Philippines, Canada – and shuffles among these whenever she needs to.

Her debut novel, The Shrinemaiden, is an erotic fantasy set in a strange world of intrigue and bedroom politics. It is a standalone book that also manages to be the first in a series, and is due out in late 2013.

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Coming Soon!

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When her beloved kingdom of Highrolfe falls, spirited Kinlee finds herself a captured slave, sold at auction to General Connor ‘The Wolf’ Falen, the man responsible for her country’s defeat.

Beaten but unbowed, Kinlee has one last card to play: a secret she must keep hidden from her new master, lest it dooms everyone that she holds dear. Though bound and helpless, she has sworn never to surrender to her frightening, intriguingly sensuous owner. But the Wolf has other plans….

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Filed under 4.5 stars, Alpha Men, Debut Novels, Erotica, Fantasy, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Military, Review

Reviews: If Only & Release (Captured Series) by Louise J

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If Only

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Release

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lorraine

3 out of 5

I really liked both Joe and Callie, and I was rooting for them to get together from the first chapter.  Then I continued to root for them through chapters 2 through like 30, which spanned over a ten year period.  I was super excited when they finally got together, so I wanted to scream when circumstances got in the way so they were only together for about three days.  This begins another 10 chapters or so spanning over another two or three years.  Don’t worry, they eventually get their HEA, it was probably just the longest road to get there that I have ever read.  I liked the story but the star-crossed lovers thing grates on me after awhile, especially when the obstacles in their way were much of their own making, so I was past ready for Joe and Callie to be together by the time they did.  Personally, this is going into my take or leave it pile, but I truly feel that there are probably a lot of people out there who are going to enjoy this as it is extremely well written.  I would recommend this to someone in the mood for a lighter read.  Bonus:  It can be read as a stand-alone.

 

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Callie
What’s a girl to do when she meets a man who claims the heart that she’s already given to someone else? My boyfriend is everything I’ve ever wanted, he’s perfect, but when I met Joe … I can’t even describe the intensity of my attraction to him. I’d never experienced anything like it before. Since then, it’s become something so much deeper and I’m finding it impossible to ignore what I feel for him. I know I’m already with the man I should be with, yet I want Joe. I can’t seem to get my head and my heart to agree on this. I’m not about to cheat and I won’t just drop the man I love. But what do I do about Joe?

Joe
Tattoos, bikes and women – that’s been my life for the last two years and it suited me just fine. Until the day I swerved to avoid a raggedy old VW Bug heading my way, hit the sidewalk, and ended up sprawled on my back. I came around to a pounding headache and the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen. Don’t know if it was the effect she had on me, or the accident, but I somehow managed to let her go without exchanging information, more importantly numbers. Maybe it would’ve been better if things had stayed that way. Maybe then I wouldn’t be caught up in this dilemma. I should do what most guys would do and pursue her, regardless of her being in a relationship. Trust me, it’s tempting. The problem is, I’ve been on the receiving end of a situation similar to this, so I know the hurt I could cause and I don’t think I can do that. But I want Callie. I want her bad.

When Callie and Joe met, neither were prepared for the sequence of events that would follow, or the impact of the choices they would go on to make.

If only is book one in the Captured series. Adult Contemporary Romance. This series is not intended for those below 18 years old due to graphic sexual content and use of language.

 

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lorraine

3.5 out of 5

I was half expecting for this to go into my take or leave it pile since I wasn’t totally in love with the first in this series, but I was pleasantly surprised how much more I liked Release.  This one can also be read as a stand-alone as it takes place in the same time frame, but it doesn’t give anything away.  Dane and Brooklyn were both likeable characters and their relationship actually had realistic ups and downs.  Dane is a bad boy player type, so Brooklyn is understandably very insecure because she has trouble believing when he tells her she is different for him.  Dane has trouble dealing with her insecurities, especially since he has his own hang ups to deal with on the relationship front.  Louise J’s writing style shined through a little better here.  I will give the third in this series a try.  My hesitancy comes from the fact that I dislike Gerard’s character and I’m not sure if he can redeem himself from the Kayla thing, but I’ll try to go in with an open mind and not completely hate him, hopefully there is something redeemable in his story.

 

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Brooklyn
I knew from the start that I should stay away from Dane, and I would have – if he’d stayed away from me. Astoundingly sexy with a consuming presence of unspoken command, he enthralls me to the point of almost being incapable of rational thoughts, almost being incapable of resisting him. My hands want to explore him. My tongue wants to taste him. My body begs to experience him. I crave him. Now he’s starting to intrude on a level that’s harder to fight. I know what he wants from me. I also know that Dane is not the type of man you expect to keep.

Dane
Things are never straightforward with women like Brooklyn. She’s not the kind whose bed you can slip out of and walk away from without ‘special connections’ or ‘emotions’ expected or offered. She’s the type of woman I prefer to keep my distance from, but like an undersexed, hormonal idiot, I still pursued her. I swear getting turned on by her is like getting turned on for the first time in my life. Now I have her in my grasp, but I know where this will lead. And I’m never the one that gets hurt in situations like this.

A woman who has barely put her broken-self back together and a man who turned his back on love a long time ago. When Dane and Brooklyn first met it appeared to be a simple case of lust between two opposites, but it was the beginning of an intense, emotional journey that would bring forth the pain they both attempted to leave in their pasts, and an encapsulation of feelings neither welcomed but were powerless to stop. Sometimes in life there is no choice but to take a risk.

*Release takes place in the months leading up to the end of If Only (book one in the Captured series), and includes major spoilers from Joe and Callie’s story.

*This book contains graphic sexual content.

 

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Louise J has always been a daydreamer, but never considered writing a novel until days before typing the first words to If Only. Joe and Callie (and Gerard) appeared in a dream and her mind has never been her own since then, and she’s never alone. When she’s not writing she spends a lot of time missing out on huge chunks of conversation, movies, and TV shows thanks to many wonderful, but highly invasive characters bouncing around in her head, showing her their stories. In the name of research, those fabulous characters have led her to parts of the world she never would have dreamed of, and, as a result, has gained some of the most amazing memories. The rest of the time Louise J is trying to be a good wife to the greatest husband she could ever have asked for.

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Review: Only For You by Genna Rulon

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lorraine

4 out of 5

When I started reading Only For You, I really didn’t think I was going to like it.  I don’t typically go for the college romance genre, but the synopsis sounded really good for this as well as the next in the series, so I wanted to give it a whirl.  Very glad I did.

Only For You started out on the lighter side, and Everleigh really did remind me of a typical snobby college girl.  My impression quickly changed though.  I imagine if Everleigh was a real person, that many on the outside looking in would have the same initial impression as I did.  As the layers peel away, you get to know a sensitive, strong, and caring individual that is mature beyond her age.  As the story progresses, she needs all of those qualities to help her and her friends through the rough situation going on around them.

I liked Hunter from the start.  What’s not to like?  A sexy alpha male who has brains on top of brawn.  And then I started to not like him so much.  It pissed me off how he was stringing Everleigh along, but I had a few ideas about what was going on, so I reserved judgment.  In the end I was right, so I allowed myself to forgive him for his jerk moments and like him again.

I got my warm fuzzy HEA and some really awesome build up to the next book, Pieces For You, which I’m thinking is going to be even better than this was since I’m already half in love with Sam and Griffin.  And yet another bonus, I just found out Genna Rulon has a short story companion piece available for FREE from Hunter’s POV, it’s really good, and you can link to it from here!

mandy

4 out of 5

I was bossed by JJ at The Book Bosses to read Only For You and I am so glad that I was a good girl and listened. Genna Rulon is an immensely talented storyteller. I wouldn’t have picked this book on my own since it’s a college romance, but after reading it I can honestly say that it is not a teeny bopper new adult novel. This book is full of intelligent and quick wit. The characters are not only likeable but relatable. There is plenty of angst and drama, but not too over the top. The story pacing was well done and I never felt like there were lags or holes in the story. The banter between Hunter and Everleigh was fun and laced with sexual chemistry right from the start.  I had the mystery aspect figured out pretty early on, but this did not take away from my enjoyment in watching it play out.  After what plays out in Only For You, I am salivating for Pieces For You. Pieces For You will be Sam and Griffin’s story. The books can be read as standalone, but why miss out on the goodness that is Genna Rulon’s writing?

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“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent.  It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!”

All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.

When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded by her best friend to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, an explosive relationship is born.

Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that fickle shrew—continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant.  The only complication…Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.

Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption—brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance.

• This story is appropriate for readers 18+

• Though Only For You is a part of the For You Series, the book can be read as a stand-alone.

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Genna Rulon is an up-and-coming contemporary romance author who loves nothing more than a good love story.

During her 15 years in the corporate world, Genna, inspired by her love of reading, fantasized about penning her own stories.  Encouraged by her favorite authors, many of whom are indie writers and self-published, she committed to pursue her aspirations of writing her own novels.

Genna was raised on Long Island in New York, where she still resides, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends.  Married to a wonderful man who patiently tolerates her ramblings about whichever book she is currently working on, even feigning interest relatively convincingly!  Genna is blessed with two little boys who do their best to thwart mommy’s writing time with their hilarious antics and charming extrapolations.

All of Genna’s reviews are brought to you courtesy of copious amounts of coffee and Disney Junior (something has to entertain the boys when mommy is writing).

You can find Genna online at:   www.gennarulon.com

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates about future books, as well as giveaways, and other fun facts.

Genna would love to hear from you, and will personally respond to all messages!

You can contact her as follows:

Email:                  genna@gennarulon.com

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We fangirled on Genna Rulon a little bit and she was awesome enough to send us an excerpt from Pieces For You, Book 2 in the For You Series, out on December 17th.  Make sure to check out our reviews scheduled for the 17th as well!

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Excerpt:

breathing as I gathered the courage to face a history I would prefer to forget.  Confident I had done all I could to prepare myself, I entered the office suite.  I was comforted by the refined elegance of the space.   There was minimal clutter and several flowering plants, adding both color and life.  I settled myself in a comfortably stuffed chair and waited.

A few minutes later, the door in front of me opened and an attractive woman in her early fifties emerged.  Dressed in a colorful sundress and ballet flats, she conveyed warmth and acceptance.  I wondered if she had done this deliberately or if she just thought the floral pattern was pretty on the hanger.

“Sam?” she asked in a strong, clear voice.

I nodded.

“Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you.  I’m Dr.  Cynthia Veritus, but please call me Thia.”

“Hi Thia, it’s nice to meet you, too.  I have heard great things about you; I’m hoping they’re all true.”

She laughed at my joke, which set me at ease.

“Come in, Sam—let’s get this over with.”

I followed her into the adjoining office, confused by her choice of words.  It wasn’t the most encouraging opening statement, but perhaps I had misheard.  I sat down on the comfortable, tan love seat and noted that her office matched the style of the waiting room. Thia sat across from me in a navy wingback armchair and offered me a kind smile.  I returned her smile and waited for her to begin.  She continued to smile at me but said nothing, which was becoming exceedingly uncomfortable.  My own smile began to fall and she smirked knowingly.  I rededicated myself to what was apparently a staring/smiling contest, determined to emerge victorious.  She smiled even wider and I caught a glimmer of laughter in her eyes, but she was rock solid and unwavering.

Son of a bitch!  I was going to lose this contest…I’m not even sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be a good sign.

“Fine, I give,” I acquiesced with a sigh.

Thia smiled before raising her hand to muffle what I can only imagine would have been a chuckle if permitted to escape.

What the heck?  She was laughing at me…how unprofessional!

“What gives?  Aren’t you supposed to be asking me what brings me here?  The details of what I experienced?  What dysfunctional ways I have coped with everything thus far?”

“Is that what you want to talk about?”

“Hell no!  That is the last thing I want to relive for the umpteenth time,” I virtually shouted.

“You don’t want to talk about what is past and I’m not asking.  So what is the problem?”

Well that took the wind right out of my sails.  I had no idea how to respond, so I resumed our staring contest.  It was juvenile, I know, but it felt really good being defiant.

This time she did laugh aloud and I glared back at her.  Was I actually paying her to laugh in my face?

“Okay, so what is your biggest concern right now?”

She finally asked a question…thank God!

“I’m not sure.  I’ve been back almost two months and I think I have kept it together—for the most part.  I’ve been having night terrors occasionally.  I’m still a little uncomfortable out in public when alone and I find myself looking over my shoulder.  The deep breathing exercises help to center me, but I wish I could get rid of the paranoia completely.”

“It definitely is normal after what you have experienced, but I think you are ready to conquer this particular fear.”

“Okay, what do I do?”

“We will get to that in a little bit, it’s a part of your homework assignment.”

“Homework?”

She nodded in reply.  Dammit, I thought I was done with homework.  Oh well, I would try anything once.

“What else?” she prompted.

“My parents have requested I come to dinner next week.”

“And?”

“I don’t want to?” I asked, as if it may be the wrong answer.

“Why not?”

“Because they never make time to see me.  They only came to visit me in the hospital once after the attack—and I wasn’t even conscious!  They never bothered to visit me when I was at The Phoenix Centre and I haven’t actually spoken to either of them in over six months, since before the attack.  The only communication I received was an email from my father’s secretary reminding me to use the Platinum Amex for any medical expenses.  Trust me, whatever they want, it’s not going to make me happy.”

“Are you certain?  Maybe they had an epiphany after almost losing you and want to work on improving your relationship.”

“Spoken like a rational person who has an empathetic bone in their body.  There’s a reason I am an only child, Thia.  My parents thought having a kid would be a great addition to the illusion of their Rockwell portrait life.  Once I arrived, they handed me to the nearest nanny and resumed business as usual.  My mother was horrified by the effects pregnancy had on her previously impeccable body, and spent well over a hundred grand to repair the damage I caused.  Ultimately my cost exceeded my value, so they determined children were a bad investment and a hindrance to their quality of life.  These are not the type of people who have sudden moments of introspection—nothing good will come of this dinner,” I finished with conviction.

“Well, I’m convinced.  Next?”

“Are you mocking me?” I asked, confused by her quick dismissal of my mommy and daddy issues.

“Not at all.  You seem to comprehend that their issues are theirs, not yours.  While you’re understandably apprehensive about the dinner, you aren’t harboring any unrealistic expectations and have already developed healthy coping strategies to process your feelings concerning your parents.  Unless you begin to exhibit inappropriate emotional responses to their behaviors or indulge in self-destructive coping mechanisms, I see no reason for us to explore this any further.  Do you want to analyze the minute details of every disappointment you have ever suffered at their hands?  We can do that, but I’ll need to grab my calendar to schedule all the additional weekly visits.”

“Sarcasm much?”

“I am happy to waste your time and money by exploring every little facet of your past and psychoanalyzing the myriad ways each has shaped your psyche…if that would make you feel better,” she deadpanned.

“You should grab coffee with Everleigh some time—you two would have a blast out-snarking one another.”

“Since Everleigh is your best friend, I will take that as a compliment,” she countered, successfully turning my poke around.

“Two peas in a freakin’ pod,” I muttered.

“Next?”

“Geeze, I might as well be waiting my turn at the supermarket deli counter holding a little ticket with a number on it.”

“Sarcasm much?” she parroted my earlier barb.

“I’m not sure if you are the best therapist ever or the worst.”

“I get that a lot,” she offered without concern, causing me to laugh.  “Don’t worry, I’ll grow on you.”

“If you have a magic solution to cure my night terrors, I will commit to providing you an organ of your choice should a transplant ever become necessary.”

“Now that is a tantalizing offer.  Unfortunately, there is no magic pill you can swallow…just kidding.  Of course I could prescribe a sleep aid if you don’t currently have one, but that would not be my suggested course.”

“What do you suggest?”

“Homework.”

“Such a dirty word to be throwing around so casually.  Okay, lay it on me.”

“I want you to find a part-time job in an environment you feel safe to help increase your comfort level in public—consider it exposure therapy.  Plus, you need something to do besides shopping,” she said as she eyed my outfit, correctly pegging my current method of passing time.  “You should attend the dinner at your parents’ next week.  At the very least it will clear them off your list of worries.  I also want you to establish a regular exercise routine.  Sign up at a gym and use it.  It will aid your sleep and possibly help reduce the number of night terrors you have been experiencing.  Not to mention, it’s another public venue for you to build comfort and confidence.”

“I can handle those assignments.”

“Oh, one more—eat!  The Italian in me is dying to shove heaping piles of carbohydrates into that scrawny little body of yours.”

I laughed at her exclamation; it was clear she wasn’t exaggerating for effect.

“Will do, Chef Boyardee,” I teased, glad to be ending on a positive note and with several manageable tasks to focus on.  “It’s been…strange, but good…I think.”

“Excellent.  You handled me better than most do on their first visit.”

I didn’t think she was kidding, which gave me an odd sort of pride at the unexpected accomplishment.  As I departed, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had just found a guide through the minefield of recovery or if I was being “Punk’d” by Ashton Kutcher—if it was the latter, this would have made for some great TV programming.  I glanced around to make sure there were no cameramen hiding in the bushes.  Nope.  Thia was a therapist unlike any I had encountered thus far.  I resolved to follow her directives and get a jump on my homework assignments.

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Filed under 4 Stars, Contemporary, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Mandy, Recommendations, Review, Standalone

Review: The Dom With A Safeword by Sorcha Black, Leia Shaw, & Cari Silverwood

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mandy

4 out of 5

Bought this on a whim because it sounded like a good read and it totally was! I love when that happens and then a whole new avenue of books to read opens up. The Dom with a Safeword has 3 authors! I now have 3 new authors to stalk and read their works! WIN!

The Dom with a Safeword was really a fun read. The characters had good chemistry and the sexy times were both sexy and endearing. This book only scratched the surface of our leads’ backgrounds. We learn just enough to understand where they’re coming from and why they are the way that they are and that’s as deep as it gets. But I didn’t need any more than that. Q, Sabrina and Jude’s story was about the now and where things could go. It was about realizing that people don’t fit in a box and cannot be labeled or condemned for how they choose to love and have relationships with others.

lorraine

1.5 out of 5

The Dom With a Safeword was so…juvenile.  If you have ever seen the movie Young Adult with Charlize Theron, this book reminds me of something that her character in that movie would write.  If you haven’t seen that movie, don’t bother, it was pretty bad.

Back to the subject at hand.  The three lead characters were supposed to be in their late twenties.  They read like high school or early college age.  I also didn’t feel any kind of connection with any of the characters.  The backgrounds of each were poorly developed at best, and there was a lot of potential for a deeper understanding of the psyche.  Especially with the unique connection between these three.  All of that goes for the story itself as well.  Everything in general just felt underdeveloped and it moved really slowly.  It took me over a week to read this, and I read three other books at the same time.  I won’t read any others in this series, but I will keep an open mind and check out the individual authors.

 

 

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Late at night, on an amateur ghost hunt, Sabrina and her best friend Q are caught trespassing by the gorgeous, blonde Jude. The embers of attraction between them sizzle when they discover Jude’s kinks match their own.

Jude is a Dom on his last summer of freedom before starting the prison sentence that is med school. Q is a bad-ass bi switch who knows what she wants, and for years it’s been her cute, doe-eyed straight friend Sabrina. But the only way into Sabrina’s heart and panties may be with Jude’s fist wrapped in her hair.

Domming the bratty Q and mischievous Sabrina isn’t going to be easy but Jude relishes the challenge. At the end of the summer, will they find a way to stay together when everything is tearing them apart?

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Sorcha Black

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Leia Shaw

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Cari Silverwood

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Filed under 1.5 stars, 4 Stars, BDSM Romance, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Mandy, Review