Posts Tagged ‘lisa henry’

Reviewed by Katinka C.

TributeTITLE: Tribute
AUTHOR: Lisa Henry
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publishing
LENGTH: 205 pages
BLURB: When the fearsome warlord Brasius chooses Kynon as his tribute, Kynon tells himself it’s the price of peace, and that he can endure anything. If his slavery will save his father’s kingdom, then he will be a slave and submit to every indignity the warlord and the senate of Segasa require of him. He can live with the shame; it’s the mind-blowing pleasure that frightens him.

But the warlord wants more than a tribute who will respond eagerly to whips and bondage. The warlord might just want the man underneath: the prince, the soldier and the tribute, if Kynon can figure out who that is. On an enforced journey of self-discovery, Kynon learns that being the warlord’s tribute isn’t just about submission. And, to be the tribute that Brasius wants him to be, Kynon will have to defy all the traditions of Segasa and risk the wrath of the senate that really holds his chains.

REVIEW:

I was so thrilled to read Tribute! It fits perfectly into my master plan to..*cough*..‘professionalize’ my depravity. Since dating cruel bastards with little to none redeeming qualities would kind of interfere with this wholesome, little life I lead these days, I will just have to still my cravings through my reads. And what better book to choose then Tribute to do so? It has dub/non con, a bit of torture and a whole lot of humiliation, D/s and creepy, abusive fuckers in abundance. In short: all the sweet stuff.

You can read the blurb for yourself, so I’m going to skip summarizing the plot today. Although I recommend taking the warnings into account.If only because you won’t have to end up feeling obliged to 1 star this book for it not matching your expectations of beautiful submission and star-crossed lovers love. There’s nothing beautiful or swoon-worthy about Tribute. Not in the conventional sense anyway, ha! Harsh, porn-packed pain and humiliation and master/slave dynamics is what you get instead. It was cruel. And yet… not nearly as cruel as I had anticipated. Partly because the characters remained a little distant, I was never terrified. Narrator Prince Kynon didn’t crawl underneath my skin, thus ensuring that I was merely a spectator and didn’t have to join him on his sickening roller-coaster ride. I wasn’t sorry.

And this may sound weird, but Henry has such an entertaining writing style that I wanted to grab a bowl of popcorn and happily munch my way through another rape scene instead of gag and shudder. Imagine being able to write pulpy non con: that’s kind of special, right? Can’t say that I don’t love Henry’s blend of depraved and dirty, juicy fun in Tribute!

Not that I wasn’t disappointed on occasions. Warlord Brasius’ newly acquired virginal tributes (AKA war captives) were given a magical instant lust inducing potion that turned them into fuck toys. Ugh! I’ve always been one who likes the hunt better than the catch, so I was growling in disbelief when Brasius ‘introduced’ himself to Prince Kynon and Alysia (there’s some girly-bits, yes) in such a nonchalantly brutal and fast way. It was explicit. It was nasty. It was maybe a tiny winy bit hot? And it was over in the blink of an eye. Taking virgins who are writhing in lust without their consent …well… that’s quite a way to spin things! I think I would have appreciated a dash of forced seduction, perhaps a little unreleased sexual tension and overall more mind-fuckery.
Instalust potions: where’s the fun in that? 😀

Now Brasius. He should have done it for me. Instead, I ended up being vaguely dissatisfied with how he managed his business. His business being his tributes. Despite his power, good looks and other obvious..assets, he’s the kind of master I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. The man’s a contradictory mess. Due to his role, it was expected of him to display his dominance over his captured enemies. And thus he cruelly humiliated Kynon left and right (not complaining about that, mind you! I’d say he did so rather unimaginatively, but effectively). Then he tenderly told the confused kid that he ‘wants all of him’? You don’t have to be a 19 year old Prince to slip into a nervous breakdown because of these mixed signals. Also, I had hoped that Brasius would be more demanding in an intellectual way. At some point it appeared as if he made an attempt, when he invited Kynon to play chess with him. But that scene, too, spiraled into straight-forward humiliation. But hey, at least you’ll get all the promised stuff!

If you decide to give Tribute a go, I’m curious to hear what you think about the romance aspect. I personally didn’t buy for a second that this was anything more than Stockholm Syndrome and whatever other labels apply. I got the impression that a mentally stable Kynon wouldn’t have swayed into that/those directions if he were given a choice. By now, it’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of HEA’s that seem misplaced. So I’m just going to be nice and pretend that this crazy conclusion didn’t happen to this book. Maybe I need to skip Henry’s final chapters from now on? Because, in the end, her entertaining writing style in combination with that kinky mind of hers really work for me! I’ll definitely auto-buy her work from now on.

Katinka’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store :: All Romance eBooks :: Book Store

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Katinka C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: KATINKA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
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Reviewed by Katinka C.

TITLE: Dark Space
AUTHOR: Lisa Henry
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publishing
BLURB: Brady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He’s also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless — the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.

REVIEW:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of Brady Garrett. His ten-year mission: to serve on a deep space military station, to protect Earth from new life and new civilizations, to boldly go… Oh fuck that. Brady hates the vast, endless blackness with a passion. And he doesn’t give a shit about protecting Earth. He just wants to care for his little sister.

Alas! Ever since the Faceless, a terrifying race of aliens who have beat the human race in terms of technology and military strength, attacked Earth, boys are to serve in space for ten long years. Brady had to leave behind his ill father and young sister when he turned sixteen. The homesickness, anger and angst have been gnawing at him every day, for the past three years that he spent on space station Defender Three. Angst, because everyone has seen the video material of the handsome pilot Cameron Rushton, propaganda’s wet dream. His noble face graced posters on Earth. That is, until his space vessel was captured by the faceless and everyone on board was murdered except him.

But now Cameron is back. His pale, unconscious body was floating around in outer space, drenched in the milky fluid of a semi-organic pod. Has he been turned into a bioweapon, some terminator, is this just a cruel gift from the faceless to mock the laughably weak humans? The war hero has suddenly become the stuff of nightmares…

Oh man, Dark Space is a knock-you-down cocktail of reluctant and shy, yet passionate GFY love, against the backdrop of a vast darkness in which stars twinkle and a destructive alien race creeps closer.

This book kickstarts in such an exciting and entertaining way. Safely snuggled up in the head of the expressive Brady (a perfectly executed first-person narrative is not something I come across every day, But Henry pulls it off, and how! This is a smartass, adorable and insecure 19 years old kid!), we zoom in on the action… and on the pod. Those Faceless bastards didn’t include a manual, so Brady’s clueless superiors just cut the darn thing open. BAD IDEA. Suddenly everything is awash in a slimy liquid, people start to panic and Cameron is dying on the floor amidst it all. Brady’s desperately trying to keep Cameron alive when he discovers that his body functions as a battery. Before he has a chance to process what’s going on, a creepy telepathic connection between the two is a fact and they are, quite literally, stuck together.. Whewww..I know, right!

So I just sat back and let the sliminess and awesomeness wash over me.

Throughout the book there’s a delicious dark undercurrent of angsty anticipation. Will the Faceless come back to claim Cameron? And how will the telepathic bond between these two play out? Because Brady not only shares Cam’s dark and twisted dreams, he gets a taste of the red, hot erotic ones as well. Are the lusty ideas that start swirling around in Brady’s head merely echo’s of Cam’s own desires or are they — shocker — his own? And does it matter?

So maybe there’s a little too much repetition in how the romance between these two unfolds. And maybe the actual story is smothered in the aww-material moments these boys share. But then again, the telepathy trope made their romance both intriguing and believable. I devoured their slow burning love, couldn’t stop reading…and while doing so may have swooned once or twice.

I wish the same could be said about the ending. Oh dear, what a bummer! After a few zigging and zagging plot twists towards the end, there it was again, my enemy, my foe: a plastered on, contrived HEA. Oh nooo’s! What happened here? Why did it happen? This book pretty much started with a BANG. The part in the middle took its sweet, sweet time. And then everything was suddenly wrapped up so sloppily and rushed.

FML.

But! The biggest chunk of Dark Space was good. Really, very, recommendably good. And that cover.. Guys, you have to agree with me that there are so many terrible covers out there for the m/m genre, that praise should be given when praise is due. That IS Brady Garrett right there! And let me tell you, he’s quite something, inside and out.

Katinka’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store  ::  Book Store

==================================
Katinka C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: KATINKA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Review by Shelley

TITLE: The Good Boy
AUTHORS: J. A. Rock & Lisa Henry
PUBLISHER: Loose ID publication
BLURB: Introverted college student Lane Moredock is in a bad place. His mother has been arrested for securities fraud, his father is on the run, and everyone, including the SEC, suspects Lane knows where the missing millions are. Lane, with no money and nowhere to live, makes a desperate deal that lands him in trouble and leaves him unwilling to trust a so-called Dom again.

Photographer Derek Fields lost money to the Moredocks, and is as sure as anyone that Lane is guilty despite his claims. A chance meeting with Lane shows him there might be something more to the young man than arrogance and privilege, and Derek wonders if Lane might be just what he’s been looking for: a sub with the potential to be a life partner.

As Lane slowly begins to open up to Derek and explore his needs as a submissive, the investigation closes tighter around him. Lane might be everything that Derek wants, but first Derek needs to trust that Lane is innocent–and Lane needs to trust Derek with the truth.

REVIEW:

An admirable collaboration is the first thought that comes into my head. Yes, admirable.

It is obvious that the authors complement each other very well.  I am not familiar with J.A Rock’s individual work (yet) but I am familiar with Lisa Henry’s work, namely The Island: her writing is beautiful, raw and dark but always balanced with hope and love. She excels at capturing the essence of a tortured soul, and The Good Boy is no exception.

There is much to admire in the well-constructed plot and the distinctive characterisation, especially the more, er … colourful ones like Mr Zimmerman – a Macaw parrot with Tourette’s and Brin, a bratty Hanna Montana trapped in a gay man’s body.  Lane is a character you won’t easily forget; his sweet painfully shy nature is set up to endear him completely to the reader – I defy you not to shed a tear for him, even just a tiny one for the injustice aimed at his arse, uhm … I mean his character.

Derek is not your stereotypical Dom as featured in most BDSM novels, he’s older yes, but not rich and not without his own insecurities and problems. It’s acommendable take on a Dom persona for which the reader benefits from a refreshing perspective.

Mostly I found the mood of this book quite sad.  Lane is constantly beaten down and Derek’s poor me, I’m lonely and broke and I’ll end up alone voice rather tiresome.  There is some great comic reprieve whenever Mr Zimmerman’s squawking things like “I used to bend like a Vietnamese hooker, “and “ Fuck it, baby.”That bird cracked me up every time! Brin offers his own sort of entertainment;but let’s just say … he’s an acquired taste. {I’ll insert my best smirk here} You love him or hate him, either way I just want to bitch slap him and call him fat to see him react.

I felt rather ambivalent with regards to the BDSM element in this novel. BDSM as a healing process is all fine and dandy if that’s your kink, even the puppy play doesn’t raise my eyebrows (much) I may or may not have giggled at this point. There is a too obvious metaphorical link with doggie rescue which would have served to justify quite nicely.But when the authors go on and on about the reasoning and psychology of it all – it reads like a politically correct how to handbook, all too carefully scripted so as not to cause offense. This really distracted me from the romance and eroticism. The tenderness and heartfelt emotion is what dominates the sex here, not the smouldering physicality of BDSM.

Overall, this is a sad story, a healing journey where love and trust must conquer all. It wasn’t as raw and dark as I thought it would be. In fact it’s rather sweet and fluffy in spite of Lane’s graphic reflection of abuse.

Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. I can see why this is a favourite for many readers, just not this reader.

Shelley’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Loose ID Store  ||  Book Store

==================================
Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)