Review – Lords of Wrath

This is the second book in the Royals of Forsyth University series. I reviewed the previous book here, which I absolutely loved. Big 5 stars.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I was extremely excited for it when I finished Lords of Pain. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the book and I think sensitive readers (if any of them made it through Lords of Pain) should heed it. This book gets extremely dark, including a punishment scene that I stopped reading twice and took a break from because I found it beyond my personal squick threshold.

Overall, I think the book is good, but not great. The pacing is slightly off, with the first half dragging and the second half feeling slightly rushed, particularly the ending. The editing isn’t quite as tight as the first book, where I noticed almost no typos. There are a number in this book. They didn’t detract from my reading experience as a whole, but there were enough that I noticed. That added to my impression that the book was rushed.

Maybe the theme for this book is the adage (attributed to Confucius), “seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one for your yourself.” There’s a ton of revenge going on in these 300 pages. (The book felt much longer than that, perhaps because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.) The heroine gets revenge on her bullies, but her whole “plan” struck a sour note with me. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the heroine’s revenge in the Rich Boys of Burberry Prep series or the heroine’s refusal to stoop in the Hannaford Prep series. There’s a point where one of the boys says the heroine has two M.O.s, run or make things worse. Unfortunately, that’s true from a plot perspective. When the heroine finally stops running and makes a stand against the boys, her revenge plan is just, frankly, stupid. There was no way the boys weren’t going to figure out it was her, and when they did, their retaliation went beyond sadistic into dehumanising. I can’t see any believable happy ending for these characters after that.

There are also some D/s undertones in this book, particularly between Tristian and the heroine, where he tries to “train” her by giving her aftercare and incentivising her submission. There’s a particularly ugly kink theory that involves “breaking” a submissive, reducing the submissive to the point where nothing but the dominant’s will matters. As this literally strips the submissive of the ability to consent, I’m very wary of this theory, and it felt like that underrode this book in a way that made me uncomfortable. Whether it was conscious or not on the part of the authors, the boys do break the heroine. It’s unclear to me if, by the end, she’s starting to take control and build herself back up. The final scene with between the heroine and the boys suggests she is, but it felt more like a submissive returning to an abusive relationship and trying to negotiate some limits on her abuse instead of the heroine reclaiming her agency. I guess the third book will tell, but I’m not nearly as excited about it as I was for this book.

Lords of Wrath is on Amazon and free to read in Kindle Unlimited here.

Review – Lords of Pain

I am a big fan of bully romance. It feeds my humiliation kink and I’m okay with non-con in this context where I’m not okay with it in pretty much anything else (I *need* that consent, particularly in kink books). However, I struggle with the trope when it comes to high school because of the age of the characters, and if they’re written more maturely, it breaks my willing suspension of disbelief.

Lords of Pain hit ALL the right notes for me. It’s set in college instead of high school. The characters are convincingly older/more mature/more advanced in their bullying. The three guys are just privileged/complicated/screwed up enough that I could understand why they bullied. The premise (girl seeks out her former bullies to protect her against an even bigger villain) is somewhat strained, but I was willing to go along with it. The heroine is annoyingly naive at the beginning, but her trusting nature becomes pivotal to the plot, so stick with it.

The book is really well written – super emotional. These are both new to me authors but they did not disappoint at all. Very cleanly edited, too. 

I did NOT expect the book to go so dark. And it does. Serious emotional warfare. And when the girl begins to strike back, the guys better look out. 

Can’t wait for the next book. Highly recommended.

Lords of Pain is on Amazon and free to read in Kindle Unlimited here.

Teddy’s Boys – Introducing Darwin

Teddy’s Boys is my new project for Kindle Vella, a serial reading platform coming to Amazon this summer.

I thought it might be fun to introduce some of the characters. Last week was Gabe. This week is Darwin:

Because I’m my class’s sole Earth-witch, I’m in two upper-level classes, out of step with the rest of the first years. I have them both on Fridays. I’m scrolling through the assigned reading for the first of these, Necromancy with Madame Serpa, walking between the theater and a dorm on my way back to Phoenix House, when my playlist switches over from DJ Wraethru’s remix of “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco and, in the moment of silence, I hear the very familiar smack of flesh against flesh. 

That’s a sound that belongs at the gym, or in the back alleys of Moss Side, not out here.

I tug my earbuds out and shove them in my pocket. Pulling out my keys, I slip the kitty cat, self-defense keyring over the first two knuckles of my left hand and run towards the noise.

Charlie wasn’t kidding about this place being more of a maze than Hogwarts. The noise leads me into a dead-end behind the theater that’s shadowed even on the sunny afternoon. I make out three guys with their backs to me, ringing in a fourth who is hunched over, blood dripping from his nose. He’s a water mage, I’m pretty sure, because they bleed if you breathe on them too hard. At least one of the guys with their backs to me is a fire mage. I can taste the sparkly shit in the air. And one of them’s fae. Pressure in my ears tells me he’s working a glamor. As the boy they’re circling straightens, wiping his nose, I see it’s the guy from the Dean’s Tea who hid in his hoodie and didn’t say a word. 

I sink into the Earth and step back out between the three attackers and their victim, dodging a fist that was meant for the bleeder behind me. I pop back a right cross into Mr. Fist’s eye and follow it with a straight knee to his gut that sends him stumbling back. All three attackers draw up at my unexpected appearance. I keep my guard high as I face them.

“Fuck, where did she come from!” Mr. Fist curses and cups his eye. I dismiss him as a threat. He’s a big, muscular guy and I bet he’s the one who made the water mage bleed, but he’s sloppy as fuck and doesn’t even keep his guard up now that he’s got someone who will fight back in front of him.

The guy in the middle steps forward half-a-step. He is a threat. I can see it in the intensity in his eyes. The tick of his jaw. He’s also the fae and the pressure in my ears increases until I’m pretty sure they’re bleeding. He’s beautiful, in the way all the fae are. Ashy-blond hair with dark roots, burning, silvery eyes, and features so finely sculpted they should have been carved by fucking Michelangelo. A beautiful nightmare, this one.

“Walk away,” he says in that sibilant hiss the fae make when they’re exerting a shit-ton of their will. “This doesn’t concern you.”

(c) 2021 E J Frost

Follow me on Amazon to hear more about Teddy’s Boys when it launches!

Teddy’s Boys – Introducing Gabe

Teddy’s Boys is my new project for Kindle Vella, a serial reading platform coming to Amazon this summer.

I thought it might be fun to introduce some of the characters, starting with Gabe:

“My name’s not Boggy,” the guy pressed to my side grumbles, but I notice he doesn’t try to move away from me or shift my arm off his shoulders. It’s comfortable there, I have to admit. He’s an inch or two shorter than Charlie, so it’s not a stretch. His body’s firm under a hoodie it’s too warm to be wearing today. He’s not as fit as Charlie, but I can feel the muscle in his shoulders and neck under my arm. He’s nice and warm for a water mage, and damn, but he smells good. Not dank and moldy like someone called Boggy should. He smells like cut grass and linen and cloves.

“It’s not?” Charlie asks.

“No. It’s Gabe. Gabriel Tate-Wilson. I’ve been in your classes for two fucking years, Charlie Miller.”

“Oh, sorry,” Charlie says, spots of color rising to stain his cheeks. I snigger at him before turning my head to look at the face so close to mine. It’s a nice face, all strong planes and angles around a pair of shifting, blue-green eyes. Not as open and friendly as Charlie’s. Not as cruelly beautiful as Darwin’s. It’s a face still stained with blood under his nose and in the scrubble on his chin, which fades as he meets my eyes. It’s a face I could like. 

Follow me on Amazon to hear more about Teddy’s Boys when it launches!

Max’s Bumble – Sneak Peek II

Struggling while you’re waiting for the next story in the Daddy P.I. series? I know the feeling! I honestly cannot write these books fast enough. I need to know what happens, too!

To feed everyone’s need, here’s an excerpt from Max’s Bumble. Warning, this scene contains spoilers for Daddy P.I. 2.0.

Want to know when Max’s Bumble releases? Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

The Daddy P.I. Box Set

For those who need ALL the daddy, I’ve collected the first three books of the Daddy P.I. series (0.5, previously unavailable on Amazon, 1.0, and 2.0) into a massive box set – over 1,500 pages of Daddy! Follow Emily and Logan from their meeting at the Salt City Kink Expo, through their first date at Logan’s exclusive BDSM club, to the wild waves of the Pink Pearl Mexican sunset cruise to track down a killer, and back to New York to save an adult film star from a vicious stalker. There’s death, pirates, a skateboarding ninja, and always a Daddy-Dom to the rescue!

The box set also contains a bonus, The Case of The Missing Collar. Logan and Emily head to Niagara Falls for a romantic weekend of kinky fun with friends from near and far. They’ve found the perfect spot for Emily’s collaring: a bed and dungeon rumored to be haunted by a revolutionary-era ghost. But when Emily’s collar goes missing from a locked drawer the night before the ceremony, who but the ghost could have taken it? Can Logan find the missing collar before the ceremony is ruined? Grab the box set here to find out! Free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Review – Fractured Minds

Fractured Minds by Nikki J Summers

This is the third book in the Rebels of Sandland series, a dark high school romance series set in the UK. Being set in the rather gritty world of urban/suburban London is just one of the many things that makes this series unique.

Finn, the hero of Fractured Minds, is introduced in the first book in the series and I’ve been waiting desperately for his book because a) I knew I’d love him, and b) I knew he’d destroy me. He did both!

For those readers who aren’t comfortable with the hero bullying the heroine, here isn’t a ton of bullying in this book. There’s some hot and cold/push and pull, but only because Finn is desperately trying to protect his girl from a very bad man. If anything Finn himself is bullied by a surprising new force in the Sandland underworld. I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns of this book, but they grabbed me by the throat. I was so very afraid for Finn from start to finish!

There’s a ton of angst, a shed-load of tears, and some incredibly beautiful moments waiting for you in this book. Trigger warning for child abuse (done in flashback and not graphic).

I’m so impressed with this series, which is going from strength to strength. Finn’s book could be read as a stand-alone, but you’ll get more out of it if you read the whole series. You won’t be sorry!

Fractured Minds is free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Max’s Bumble

A saboteur.

A little running scared.

An Alpha Daddy to the rescue.

A new, stand-alone story within the world of Daddy P.I.

Coming 2021.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR to be notified of when Max’s Bumble releases: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57693265-max-s-bumble

Review – Forbidden Flame

Forbidden Flame by Alison Aimes

Wow! This story, although short, is absolutely jam-packed with action and feeling!

The reader is thrown straight into the action at the start – my favourite kind of story – and the rollercoaster just keeps going from there. Magnus is the kind of alpha I love: wily, driven and oh so possessive when he accidentally “unwraps” his fated mate. But there’s a huge twist that keeps them apart. It’s so clever that I don’t want to give it away – you have to read and enjoy it for yourself!

Can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Highly recommended.

https://books2read.com/u/bPxQ5d

Review – The Cowboy and the Bombshell

The Cowboy and the Bombshell by Dove Cavanaugh King

This is a lovely workplace/enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

There’s immediate chemistry between the hero and heroine but SO MUCH goes wrong that there were points where I wondered if they’d ever get over the hurdles in their path. There’s also wonderful character growth along the way – Stone feels like a little bit of a man-baby at the beginning, with all his rage against the world – but he grows into a man who deserves the heroine by the end.

The highlight of this book for me was the author’s wonderful attention to detail, particularly with the settings. Each setting (New York, Texas, Las Vegas) is lovingly realised. I could smell the city streets, the sage brush, the high ozone off the fountains at the Bellagio, it was all so well written. This is a tour de force of a debut novel and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next.

Highly recommended.

https://books2read.com/u/bojaZ9

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