Publisher: Samhain Publishing

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Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins – Review

September 21, 2015 Review 0 ★★★★½

Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins – ReviewRelease Date: December 30, 2014
Title: Off Campus
Series: Bend or Break #1
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Pages: 317
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: Owned
From the Publisher: Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.
4.5 Stars

I’m going to be honest here, at the risk of sounding like a terrible person.

I’d never really read m/m romance before. I did read a novella by Amy Jo a while back, but that’s been my only experience with this particular genre. I always assumed that I’d never enjoy reading about two men falling in love and getting their rocks off.

But I was so, so wrong.

As is typical for me when I follow the author of a book I find myself falling into, my reaction to the book is best told through my tweets to the author:

I’m guessing a lot of that doesn’t make sense to those of you who haven’t read the book… but I couldn’t stop grinning like crazy and telling Amy Jo just how much I adored her characters.

Tom and Reese were both very broken characters – but not in a way that made me want to turn from them. It wasn’t over the top; it was really rather realistic. Humans are usually broken in some way. And sometimes relationships that try to navigate that wreckage are hard and wonderful.

And those sex scenes I thought I wouldn’t enjoy? Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot.

Time to go read the next one!

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Fleur de Nuit by Cat Montmorency – Review {Blog Tour}

September 3, 2015 Blog Tour, Review 0 ★★★★

Fleur de Nuit by Cat Montmorency – Review {Blog Tour}

Fleur de Nuit by Cat Montmorency – Review {Blog Tour}Release Date: September 1, 2015
Title: Fleur de Nuit
Series: Bourbon Street Bondage #1
Author: Cat Montmorency
Pages: 291
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: Inkslinger PR Blog Tours
From the Publisher: The difference between wanting and taking is the barest catch of a breath…

Decadent food, smoky music, dark delights—who could live in the French Quarter and not be tempted to partake? Moira D’Arcangelis, that’s who.

Ever since her college boyfriend tried to add her to his list of murder victims, she’s lived a quiet life, which is code for no life at all. When her best friend Kara convinces—okay, drags—her to meet Adrian LaCroix, master of the local underground kink scene, his commanding presence and sexy Cajun accent bring her latent desires back to life.

His offer to train her as a Domme is the key to regaining control of her life. Yet becoming Adrian’s protégé comes with complications. As he opens her body, mind, and soul, she begins to see Kara in a new light—right about the time a legendary Domme returns, intent on stealing Kara away.

Moira has a fight on her hands. For Kara, and against a past that comes roaring back with a vengeance. She’ll need every trick Adrian can teach her to win the right to both life—and love.

Warning: This book contains more seasoning than a New Orleans kitchen. It’s simmering over with sex. Boy/girl sex. Girl/girl sex. Girl/boy/girl sex. Sex toys, sex talk, sex clubs, dark and troubled sexual pasts…you get the picture. Could be too spicy for beginners, but hey, where there’s Cajun heat, there’s fire. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
4 Stars

OH MY GOSH GUYS.

So when I agreed to review this book, it was because it sounded sort of interesting and I hadn’t done a blog tour stop in a very very long time. I didn’t have high expectations for the book. I was prepared to come out of it firmly feeling “meh”. Since 50 Shades, there have been so many books about kink – and most of them aren’t done well at all.

But then I couldn’t put it down.

I stayed up until 1am when I was already exhausted because I simply couldn’t stop reading this book. This is the kind of book that gets under your skin and in your heart.

There are a few things that irritated me – which bumped it down to 4 stars instead of 5 (but oh my gosh guys – it’s so good). First, Moira went from a broken woman to Dominatrix extraordinaire way too quickly. That process should have likely taken months – or at the very least weeks. In the book, it happened in days. Second, I had a hard time believing that someone who went through what Moira did would so easily be able to step into this lifestyle. It was handled well in the narrative, but I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief at the beginning.

But truthfully, those things are easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things. This book. THIS BOOK. This book gave me everything I was hoping for (a decent romance) and then SO MUCH MORE.

Cat Montmorency understands kink. She understands the difference between being Dominant and being abusive. [pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The primary rule of a Dominant/submissive relationship is to hurt, not harm.[/pullquote] She understands that not everyone who has a kink or is in the BDSM community is a sadist or masochist. She understands that BDSM isn’t always physically sexual.

One of my favorite things about Fleur de Nuit was the inclusivity of it all. There were few labels (other than Dom(me)/sub). Sex could be enjoyed equally with your own gender as with the opposite gender. There were no rules (other than the aforementioned “No harm” rule). Straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, monogamous, non-monogamous… none of it was better than the other. None of it was treated as if it were unusual or wrong.

And the story. Romance novels are generally formulaic and predictable, yes? Not this one. When I started this book, I hadn’t read the blurb in awhile. I had no idea what it said. I couldn’t remember any of the characters it mentioned, and I only knew it involved kink because of the word “bondage” in the series name. If you read it now, you may not think the book was as unpredictable as I did. I was certain that Moira’s love interest was going to be someone other than it was. And then I thought maybe it was going to be someone else. Both of those characters fit the formula. But it wasn’t either of them.

I love it when a book surprises me.

And this book did. It reached up, grabbed me by my hair, and pulled me towards it until all I could do was submit and read it.

When does Book 2 come out?

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