Review: Saved by His Submissive

Reviewed by Shelly

Where should I begin? This story is centered around a group of Doms who happen to be Special Forces, or is it a group of Special Forces who happen to be Doms? I’m not really sure, but I don’t think it matters much in the end. Garrett Wyatt is a tormented man. Since his fiancé’s kidnapping and subsequent death, Garrett has hidden beneath his devil may care attitude. Sage Weston is a tortured woman. She was kidnapped by human traffickers and has been held in captivity for the past year. During what he thinks is a routine rescue mission, Garrett is unexpectedly reunited with Sage. Can these two find each other in spite of the trials and tribulations of their time apart?

This was a slower paced story than I would have liked. I felt like I was learning more about the couple’s individual internal shenanigans and about Sage being held captive than I was about Garrett and Sage as a couple. A majority of the story happens while someone is under duress. That probably shouldn’t be an issue, but this story isn’t long – about 145 pages (pdf version).

Garrett was way too alpha for me – I can take a modicum of grunting, snarling and growling, but jiminy crickets – use your words, man. The relationship between he and Sage was strained to say the least, and I can’t say that I was invested in them as a couple. By the time it was for the sex scene to roll around, I was over it. There were a few things that didn’t add up for me. But if I go into them, I’ll give spoilers and I don’t want to do that.

Sage is a very strong woman. She’s a survivor. Her stubborn nature does what it takes, mentally and physically, to survive so she can fight another day. But surprisingly, that’s not what I most liked about her. The most important thing about Sage is her smarts. You can be many things, but if you know how to use your brain, you’re bigger and better than your opponent, be they friend or foe. And here’s where I had a problem. Sage is a very smart person, she’s an RN, she’s a Sergeant, and she went through basic and survived. Heck, she survived over a year as a captive and despite all of that, Garrett treats her with kid gloves when the bad guy comes knocking. She’s not weak, why treat her like she is?

One of the other unsettling things for me was that the majority of the story felt dragged out and blasé. There’s only so much internal shenanigans from both Sage and Garret that I can tolerate. Last but not least, I have a golden rule that’s not negotiable, I don’t like cheating. This is not a spoiler because it happens on page 36, Garrett gives his affection away to someone not Sage. Dressing it up as role playing is not cool with me because Sage didn’t know about it.

Even with all that, the story is good enough that I’m looking forward to the next story… only if it’s Zeke and Rayna, I really liked her.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Saved by His Submissive
by Angel Payne
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Review: Permanent Marker

Reviewed by Shelly

Although this is a series with recurring characters, I paid no heed and didn’t read them in order, I read #2 after reading #3. To the author’s credit, the stories were written with story lines that, even though connected, could be read independently. Not my usual genre of choice (a bit heavy for me,) I appreciate the writing style of Angel Payne. She is believable at giving the point of view from both the newbie and the experienced; at least that’s the way it seems to me. (I’m thinking the book’s dedication has something to do with this.)

Do-gooder Rosalind Fabian wants to create a better world. One way she wants to do that is by going on a feel-good-about-you company sponsored trip over to the Middle East. But before she goes, she must attend a corporate training meeting on the isle of Nassau. When I read that it was a destination based story, I was sure that I would hear all those flowery words to describe the scenery. Thank goodness, absolutely no flowery words were used – at least in reference to that.

Consultant and former military Mark Moore is the teacher for this training. He’s also an ex-Senator (by choice) and from some small inferences I gather he can be a bit of a tool. Mark is also a widower. He’s got a lot going on doesn’t he? He and his dead wife were both in the BDSM lifestyle; he misses both the relationship and the routine that established itself with the practices and routines of the lifestyle. Once he sees Rose, things start perking up in his world.

Can an experienced Dom ‘cure’ a newbie sub’s painful past while finding their own brand of happiness? I had my doubts.

Rose is a veritable hot mess – full of insecurities and constant self-degradation. She’s got a family that proves that money doesn’t buy happiness or love – actually they’re about as mean spirited as you can get, especially that brother of hers. But I digress. I’m still not sure that I like Rose. From her past experiences both in and outside of her family, I didn’t see the kind of sub that Mark wanted in her. I know I was told that she’s submissive, but I just didn’t feel her need to ‘serve’ her Dom. The other thing I had trouble with was Rose’s idea that she was ‘trouble’ and has no ability to control her actions. She’s 31 years old. When do you stop listening to other people and go life your own life?

What can I tell you about Mark other than he was a Dom? Not a lot, to be truthful. He was a complete alpha – but the kind I don’t really care for. The progression of the relationship between Rose and Mark happened quickly; he even recognized that it was speedy. This was another troubling part of me – you’re telling me that this is speedy, you’ve got a woman who’s never subbed before – i.e. doesn’t know the rules or the protocol – with just those two things Mark still treated her physically like she’s got experience? I had trouble with that.

The sex between them was hot, heavy and frequent of course, a lot of it from Mark’s angle. Unfortunately, the ending seemed a bit rushed to me and the I love you flowed pretty early in the relationship. It might seem like I didn’t like this story but that isn’t it – I think that Payne’s writing is actually quite brilliant. For me, this story would be so much more if it was flushed out and paced a bit more evenly.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C

*Book provided by publisher 

Click to purchase: Amazon
Permanent Marker
by Angel Payne
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Publisher: Loose ID


Review: Star of Wonder

Reviewed by Shelly

If you’ve not read the genre description (BDSM & Fetish), please do because it’s there for a reason, and let me tell you folks, Payne means it.

I didn’t read any of the other installments in the series, so I can’t say how this relates or compares to those. What I can tell you is that I didn’t feel as if I missed anything while reading this one.

During a party for military personnel, Chicago Bazillionaire Dante Tiere serendipitously meets Lieutenant Celina Kouris. For Dante, it’s lust at first sight. For Celina, it’s complete and total resentment for his playboy status and wealth. This might be surprising, but it goes downhill for these two from here. You could feel the sparks and that’s part of what works for me. Celina possesses utter dislike for people like Dante – she’s got some issues she has to work around to get where she needs to be. On the other hand, Dante sees this beautiful person that he can’t wait to get to know better.

I really enjoyed the writing of Payne, her dialogue is very smart and witty, and I particularly liked Celina’s. Having grown up in a house full of men, Celina does have a bit of a potty mouth, but not anything that we’ve not all said ourselves. And in her defense, she is Navy. She definitely had her faults, but who wants a perfect heroine? I know I certainly don’t. I have to mention my thoughts on her resentful attitude towards Dante outside of the bedroom – I can’t blame the woman, considering her background and let’s face it – she just met the dude.

Oh Dante, Dante, Dante… he’s such a man’s man, alpha male, hoorah kinda guy who really just liked the smart girl in the plain Navy uniform. He was a great match for Celina; she was his someone who he could share his thoughts without coming off like a wimp and even better, someone who would show her how to be a better her. Gotta like that.

Celina’s friends, Lieutenants Eve Pascal and Reiley Young were true wing-men/women when it came time for Dante to start handling his business with Celina. What a riot they were! Her brothers Nik, Dylan and Cam – holy cheese and crackers Batman! – are they getting their own stories? Say yes, please.

In the end, I really liked this story a lot. It was a quick read and kept me entertained all the way through. I’ll admit that a couple of the sex scenes are long and I did find myself getting a little uncomfortable with some of the paddling and flogging but other than that – all good. Nothing wrong about that. I didn’t judge, just handle ya business.

Last but not least, beyond the BDSM warning, I just saw this as a story about a couple who find that they like a little extra spice in the bedroom. Different strokes for different folks, now go get your kink on!

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Star of Wonder
by Angel Payne
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Publisher: Loose ID