Review of ‘The taste of her. Volume two’ by Jess Lea.

This is a collection of five erotic short stories by Australian author Jess Lea. Some stories are shorter than others but they can be read in one sitting. The themes vary from self gratification to light BDSM but while all the stories have explicit scenes, this book isn’t just plain erotica.

‘A good show’ is a story of age gap, scars and voyeurism. ‘Candy topping’ describes the sensuality of food, power play and BDSM. ‘A different view’ deals with body image and social expectations. ‘Ephemera’ gives us a different perspective on art, and ‘Last stand’ – my favourite – is a tale of duty, loyalty and love. Every single story is well written, steamy and effective.

Overall, a very good collection of short stories recommended for anyone interested in lesbian erotica with a bit of substance. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Cuffs and Protests’ by Layla Holiday .

This is the first of Ms. Holiday’s ‘Cops Gone Wild’ series. I appreciate every author’s efforts, specially those who publish independently. Unfortunately, in this case, it shows. There are some editing issues such as typos and subplots that are not properly developed. I assume these are going to be expanded in the next books of the series, so expect cliffhangers in this one.

My other issue is that the book blurb and the cover suggest BDSM content but it’s very mild and might disappoint the fans of this genre, at least in this book of the series.

Overall, 2 stars.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Her hometown girl’ by Lorelie Brown.

This is book number 3 in the series Belladonna Ink. It’s surprising how all the books in the series are so different from each other. Ms. Brown manages to create romances with flawed, conflicted characters with unusual but realistic plots. This is the story of Tansy, a 26 year-old bride who cancels her wedding at the very last minute when she walks into her fiancée cheating. That same day she meets Cai, a 39 year-old tattoo artist, and eventually gets involved with her. Tansy realises that she was in an abusive relationship with her ex that left her broken and fearful. On the other hand, Cai doesn’t do relationships, too traumatised by events of her past. Somehow, both of them find momentarily solace in each other but, will their relationship last?

Written in first person and in present tense from the point of view of both main characters, this book describes their search for redemption, understanding and love. Somehow it is coherent with the plot that their relationship would thrive in a BDSM context but the scenes are sometimes awkward and repetitive. Maybe in this case less would have been much more effective. Fortunately, the emotional aspects of their relationship are explored much better but, in my opinion, part of the reader empathy is lost.

Overall, an ok read if you can put up with long and repetitive BDSM scenes. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Scissor link’ by Georgette Kaplan

Entertaining erotic romance story with some light BDSM scenes. The relationship is between Wendy, a 26 year old low-level employee in an aeronautical company, and Janet, her 44 year old recently divorced boss.
The dialogues are witty and funny, though sometimes the punch lines seem too polished for a real conversation. However, the main characters are well rounded and have their own distinctive voice that reflect the generational gap and their personalities. There is a good amount of pop culture references that I found hard to follow but I imagine it depends on the age of the reader and nationality.
Overall, a light entertaining read. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘A palette for love’ by Charlotte Greene

This is the first book I’ve read by this author so I had no preconceptions about it. It is well written (after all, the author has a PhD in English) but I couldn’t engage with the lead characters and their issues. The book is based on a romance between a research assistant and her boss, exploiting the power play and the tension in the differences in their relationship not only in terms of boss vs. assistant but also rich vs. middle class girl. This tension is shown in many aspects of their relationship including sex which can be characterised as mild BDSM.
As this is the first of a book series there are a number of issues (quite) unresolved so beware as you need to patiently wait until the next installment if you want to see how some parts of the plot develop. It is written in first person (the assistant, Chloe, point of view) with the exception of some paragraphs nearly the end written in third person. This change interrupted my reading flow a bit and kept me wondering if there could have been a way to avoid this because all that part of the plot comes too late in the book and too sudden.
Overall 3 stars, an ok read but if you are interested in boss / assistant romances and power play in the workplace there are better examples like ‘Too close to touch’ by Georgia Beers or ‘Under a falling star’ by Jae.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley.

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