ARC Review: Under Contract by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookundercontract
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Falling Under, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Ryan Black
Heroine: Celestina Sala
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 7, 2015
Started On: July 19, 2015
Finished On: July 24, 2015

Celestina Sala (Tina) is practically at her wits end when she runs into the rich and darkly enigmatic Ryan Black, for whom she had done some contract water landscaping work a couple of years back. Ryan believes that Tina crosses his path this time due to serendipity, that it was nature’s way of giving back to him Tina, a “free” Tina by the looks of her ringless status, something that had prevented him from acting out on his attraction to her the first time around.

Tina finds herself in dire financial circumstances owing to the twisted turns her life had taken recently. Divorced and saddled with two nieces, Tina finds herself at a loss when Ryan proposes to her something that entices her as much as it makes her feel like she’s bowing down to world’s oldest profession of prostituting her body for a living.

As Ryan sees it, the contract between them is pretty simple. Never having had the urge to settle down, Ryan knows that his darker desires are not meant to be imposed on just anybody. But in Tina he believes that he has found a woman who would suite him perfectly, in bed and out of it. But convincing Tina of the fact, well, that’s the interesting part.

Under Contract by Jeffe Kennedy is the 3rd book in her BDSM contemporary erotic romance series Falling Under. I first encountered this series on Netgalley when the 2nd book came out, which proved to be a hit with me. Though I didn’t love Under Contract as much as I did Under His Touch, this still managed to give a good read that kept the pages turning.

Jeffe Kennedy definitely has a way with writing BDSM romances. They might follow the usual tropes but she always has something special to give you, that definitely leaves you wanting more. Jeffe’s stories answer to that need in me for dark stories. Darkly emotional tales. And I hope she never stops writing them. Because very few authors actually do.

I liked Ryan and Celestina well enough. Both having suffered through their own tragedies. Only thing I missed and wanted to see was that impressive control of Ryan’s shatter into pieces where Celestina was concerned. Perhaps I’d have to satisfy myself with the way he laid himself bare to her emotionally, risked it all to let her see that she wasn’t in his life just for the kink they both equally enjoyed and got off on.

Though I enjoy a good emotionally well balanced BDSM romance, I admit that the the whole master/slave concept is definitely not for me. I thought I’d have to grit my teeth over how Ryan kept Celestina from achieving fulfillment, I even jotted down “Ugh. This denial thing.” And then within the next couple of pages, I was proved so brilliantly wrong that I swear had it not been for the AC running in the room, sweat would’ve popped out on my forehead from the combustive heat of it all. Fabulous delivery Ms. Kennedy. Just utterly fabulous!

Under Contract proved to be quite educative in other aspects too. I’ve been encountering news on the drought that has hit California in recent times & would never have thought on how badly actually it is affecting the lives and livelihoods of people in the area. This book actually managed to drive home the point that none of it is easy. I love books that prove insightful in little ways that most might perhaps consider unimportant. And this was one of those books for me.

One little aspect that touched the techie inside of me was how the contract between Ryan & Tina was managed, using a nifty little app that allowed Ryan to key in what he wanted and allowed Tina to select what she was willing to accept. I’ve always held the belief that it is a bit “embarrassing” & perhaps a bit tacky that in books like the Fifty Shade of Grey that lawyers were involved in drawing up a contract of the kind that would have definitely meant people outside the intimate circle of the couple knowing what they were up to. Perhaps that is just the prude in me, but this way? Totally worked!

And man. The cover though! Makes me want to take a bite out of it. That fab looking.

Recommended for fans of BDSM themed erotic contemporary romances.

Final Verdict: Emotional with sex torrid enough to leave a permanent blush all over you!

Favorite Quotes

He spoke quietly, the sound part caress, part scraping over her nerves. “I want you, Celestina. I want the feel of your skin under my hands, to see your spectacular body naked and feel you writhing under me. I want to hear you out of breath from ecstasy instead of nervousness, for you to gasp my name in my ear as you come. I want to push you past every boundary you ever thought you had and for you to go there because I made you. I want you to do things you think are wicked and discover how much you like them. Most of all, I want to be there with you, so I can savor your scent, the hot clasp of your body, lick up your sweat and tears, drink in every small sound you make as you lose yourself to the pleasure I can give you.”

A soft moan arose out of her depths and he made a sound in return, of agreement, and deepened the kiss so she had to tip her head back until it hit the high wooden edge of the chair. He pursued, the kiss going from gently sensual to fiercely sexual.
Rather than frightening her, the increasing demand released some of her nerves, much as he’d promised. As if the power of the kiss broke through her barriers, the careful shell of numbness she’d wrapped herself in.

He helped her wriggle into the sheath dress and zipped it up. “Wait,” she said, her mind clearing. “My bra?”
Loving the way her brow creased in consternation, he pocketed it. “I thought I’d keep it, a souvenir to get me through a dull afternoon.” Unable to keep his hands off her, he massaged her breasts through the light crepe, rolling her nipples so her head dropped back on a moan. “I’ll put my hand in my pocket and remember how this felt, how you shuddered and moaned for me. And you, when your naked nipples brush against your dress, you’ll remember this, too.”

He pushed the chains aside to flank the outsides of her labia, making her struggle anew as they scraped over her sensitized tissues. Managing to roll on a condom, he positioned himself at her hungry entrance, bracing himself on his elbows over her, to find her mouth waiting for his. She arched her back, body begging for the penetration even as her lips pulled at his, pleading moans coming from deep in her throat.
He thrust into her, going momentarily blind with the searing sensation, both at the tight clasp of her body, like liquid fire, and her shuddering response. She wrenched her mouth away, gasping his name. And he answered, reverentially, “Celestina.”

Then he pulled out of her, ditched the condom and came around to her head. He stood over her, his chest still pumping with his harsh breaths, then brushed her sweat-drenched hair back from her forehead. He pressed a finger against her mouth and she opened, drawing it in and sucking on it as he seemed to want. A smile of tenderness softened his face and he replaced the finger with his mouth, drawing on her with a greedy hunger.
Lifting his head, he caressed her throat, spanning it in one big hand.
“Mine,” he whispered.
In that moment, it was utterly, obviously true. Nothing else existed but this, belonging to him. His slave. She could deny him nothing. Not even her shredded heart.
“Yours,” she answered.”

Once he had the vibrator in place and securely strapped on, he entered her again, holding the control in one hand and one of the nipple clamps with the other. She shuddered, anticipating.
Simultaneously, he yanked off the clamp and flipped the switch to the highest setting. Celestina convulsed, screaming indeed, as her body shot into intense orgasm, bucking against his cock and milking him so hard that he nearly came with her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Carina | ARe


Requested Review: Petals and Thorns by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookpetalsandthorns.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Roland
Heroine: Amarantha
Sensuality: 5
Date of Publication: July 13, 2010
Started On: May 20, 2015
Finished On: May 20, 2015

Petals and Thorns is a novella based on the Beauty and Beast theme interwoven with strong elements of BDSM. Amarantha the heroine finds herself married off to someone known as the Beast, a man too hideous to be seen out in public, who shrouds himself under a cloak, whose voice from the get go has a hypnotic effect on the reluctant Amarantha. All that Amarantha has to do is “suffer” through seven days with the Beast, her husband, and leave with her virginity intact in order for their family to be saved. And while the Beast had agreed to not force her to give up her maidenhood, everything else remains fair game.

Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, the Disney version of course. There is a timeless love story if ever there was one and my interest was piqued enough to give this a go because I wanted to see how the author would interweave BDSM elements into the story.

While the flow of the story was pretty much okay, I found that the Amarantha didn’t pretty much have a choice when it came to the Beast and his command over her body. A virgin without any experience whatsoever to guide her, Amarantha was at a disadvantage from the beginning of their marriage and I found the Beast to be a bit cruel at times in his attempts to make her bow to his will.

While I have read novels whose main theme has been BDSM, I have never remained emotionally hollowed out by any of it and yet I guess Petals and Thorns is going to be the first of its kind for me. One thing I think that led to the fact was that the story while its quite short with just 80+ pages to it, didn’t contain any elements from the Beast’s point of view. I guess that in itself leads the reader to draw the conclusion that the Beast’s ministrations on his wife was a tad cruel. Towards the latter part of the story, that tension eased a bit as readers are able to see that the Beast isn’t as much in control of his emotions & reaction towards Amarantha as he’d like her to believe.

I felt that the Beast and Amarantha, though seemed to be well matched in their desire for one another towards the end, seemed mismatched in other ways. While the Beast appeared to be well read with varied interests in other aspects of life as well, Amarantha didn’t seem as in tune with him in this aspect. I guess it was the lack of her exposure to much in life that made her the innocent she was.

Recommended for those that love hardcore BDSM themed romances.

Final Verdict: Jeffe Kennedy brings to readers the beauty and the beast, BDSM style!

Favorite Quotes

She forced herself to look at him. “I must tell you, I don‘t see how I can ever be your wife in truth. I cannot imagine asking you to—“
“To take your maidenhead? To rend you with my cock so that you scream in agonized pleasure?”
The shock drained Amarantha‘s cheeks of color. Even as the image somehow stirred her.
“Sir Beast, you cannot say such things to me.”
“It seems, my bride, that we must stretch your imagination as well. The only thing I may not do is take you by force. Everything else is open to me.”

She heard the warning in his voice and inched up her skirts, just high enough to slip her hand under. He knew she wore no underthings, and she blushed at it. Amarantha dipped a hesitant finger into her private area, finding it slick and swollen. She nearly hummed at the sensation.
“Now show me.”
If possible, she flushed more deeply, that he might have thought she lingered. She held out a trembling hand for him. It gleamed slick in the sun. The Beast bent over. She felt his hot breath whuffing over her hand.
“You move me, Amarantha,” he finally murmured, his voice rough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords | iTunes


ARC Review: Under His Touch by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookunderhistouch
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Falling Under, #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Alexander Knight
Heroine: Amber Dolors
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 19, 2015
Started On: January 15, 2015
Finished On: January 22, 2015

Under His Touch by Jeffe Kennedy is an explosive read and the second book in the Falling Under series by the author. Being my very first Jeffe Kennedy novel, I didn’t find any difficulty in immersing myself in the story, thus pretty much safe to say that this can be read as a standalone and that Jeffe writes one helluva story!

Amber Dolors is young, smart and ambitious. The only thing that seems to be lacking in her life are prospective men with whom she can connect on a physical and mental level. What Amber craves physically is someone who would hold mastery over her, but Amber finds herself hardpressed to find someone who fits the persona that she has in mind. A persona that seems to tie in perfectly with her boss Alexander Knight (Alec).

Scarred from his marriage and preceding divorce, Alec is a broody hero if ever there was one. Hailing from Britain, Alec’s move to the U.S. had come in order for him to leave his past behind. Amber is a distraction that Alec can definitely do without. Though their workplace has no strict rules on inter-office dating, Alec feels that he is way older for someone like Amber even though his body smolders from the very idea of him and Amber together.

Under His Touch is a story that has a lot of angst of the good variety in it. Alec though he wants to possess Amber in every single way possible, resists her at every level until he realizes that him and Amber will happen, one way or the other. For Amber, Alec giving in means she gets to experience the sort of sex life that she has been craving for, for a very long time. But as these two embark on an affair that has no time limit set on it, both Alec and Amber realize that it is not just the physical aspect of their relationship and connection that draws them together. And Amber realizes that if ever they were to have a chance at making things work long term, Alec would definitely need to lay the demons that hound him to rest.

Under His Touch is an erotic romance with BDSM elements to it. Alec is a man who exudes so much control over himself and that of his encounters with Amber that lent an extra charge to the sensuality that was pretty much overloading my senses to begin with. The one encounter during which Alec’s legendary control broke is one that is worthy of a mention. I couldn’t help but want more of the same.

Amber was definitely a heroine that endeared to me. I liked her spunk, her independent nature and the fact that she wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than what she wanted. And I loved her for the fact that even though she is young and inexperienced when it comes to the likes of a BDSM lifetstyle, she is intuitive enough to know what Alec wants and needs. Though Alec might be the dominant in their relationship, Amber herself provides the much needed relief and salvation that Alec had been seeking, albeit unknowingly.

Alec is a hero that would drive most readers nuts, and all in a good way. His sexuality is one that is not all over the place, but yet the strength of it could be felt at the turn of every single page. Amber labeling his attire as suit porn was one I could definitely relate to. I couldn’t help but smile and fan myself a bit everytime Alec came into the picture. Yes ladies, he is that enchanting! And now imagine all that with a sexy British accent? Swoon!

The only thing that I felt lacking in the story was a well rounded ending. I wanted a little bit more of Alec and Amber before the story was through. I felt that the ending was a trifle bit rushed. Perhaps an epilogue that showed Alec and Amber somewhere down the line would’ve done a lot to appease readers like myself who wants to actually see the happily ever after before turning the last page of the story.

Recommended for fans of BDSM, fans of angsty romances & fans of sexy British heroes! I loved it!

Final Verdict: Alec exerts mastery of the kind that would drive you absolutely mad from the wanting!

Favorite Quotes

He tapped a pen on the desk, glanced out at the empty hall and back to her with a wry smile. “I find that hard to believe. I’d think they’d be lining up to buy you drinks and so forth.”
“Back at you. Aren’t the women of New York falling over themselves for a shot at you? I could name half-a-dozen on this floor alone.”
“Please don’t.” He leaned his forearms on the desk, laced his fingers, checked the hall again. Seemed to gather himself and met her gaze. “Surely you know if I wouldn’t cross the line for you, I wouldn’t for anyone.”

“A kiss,” he whispered, “to seal our agreement.”
Saturating herself in the experience, she relished Alec’s obvious desire as much as her own. It felt so perfect, to yield this way, to be half-naked on his lap, held in his grip as his mouth lowered to hers. To know he’d control the kiss and at the same time craved the taste of her. Trying to be gentle, he brushed her lips with his, but his hand tightened on her hip, fingers digging in, and he made a sound she would have called despair in another circumstance, from another person.
Heady with the moment, with him and the way his mouth sank into hers, she returned the kiss, leaning into him with a sense that she might die if he stopped. His hand on her chin shook and he transferred it to the back of her neck, winding it into the fall of her hair and twisting, pulling her head back so he kissed her more deeply. He tasted of wine and desire, kissing her so hard, the attraction they’d both banked until now meeting and opening like their mouths, feeding on each other and fusing in a nuclear reaction, slamming them into each other and into a blaze of need.

Then he replaced his finger with his tongue and she lost her mind entirely.
Oblivious to anything but the slow stimulation of his tongue on her tender breasts, feeling that at any moment she might begin bleeding through her pores, she dropped her head back, trying to absorb it. Sounds came out of her. Delirious moans and whimpers, but she gave up wondering when he’d stop this. Gave up thinking about needing an orgasm like water in the desert. She only rocketed with each tortuous lick, unable to resist in any way.
When his mouth closed on her nipple and bit, she came.
The orgasm took her like a lightning bolt. Unheralded except for the static cloud that had built so slowly and imperceptibly that she hadn’t been able to prepare. Instead it caught her in its convulsing current and she screamed, thrashing in Alec’s hands, wild and mindless. He switched to her other nipple, sucking and biting it as she bucked on his lap.

“Suck me off then,” he ordered, setting the brandy aside and making himself think about the damn McCloskey account. Which helped not at all because it reminded him immediately of how she’d smiled when she suggested they could discuss that over drinks, sly and full of that—
“Holy Christ,” he gasped as she freed his cock and closed her hot mouth over it.
She worked the shaft with her delicate fingers, taking him deep into the depths of her clever mouth. His balls clenched as she sucked the climax out of him almost instantly. Unthinking, he buried his hands in her hair, held her head and thrust himself into her mouth. Mindlessly emptying himself.

She stilled, cognizant enough now to anticipate, her breath hitching with tears and moans of encouragement. In one swift movement, he buried himself in her and slipped his fingers into her slick tissues, to press hard on her clit.
As he’d anticipated, she convulsed, wrenching as the orgasm took her. To his surprise, he nearly came, too, barely hanging on, digging his fingers into the sheets as her body milked him. He managed to make it until she crested, enough to ease himself into stroking in and out of her, finding her rhythm, bracketing her clit to ease her through the crash and prolong her arousal. She responded as a thoroughbred race horse, ramping into another rise and climax, her body shuddering and her cries going from despair to delight.

“Only when I say you can, yes?”
“Yes.” She sighed out the agreement, willing to promise anything, then sucked the air back in when he thrust hard into her, slamming his hips against hers, penetrating impossibly deep.
Though she’d just come, the near-brutal shock threw her close to climax, like a spark set to a rocket. She clenched her teeth against the keening sound coming deep out of her.
Alec pulled back, kissing her with all the gentleness lacking a moment ago, coaxing her through it. As she recovered, softly, sweetly he moved in and out of her channel, stroking in long glides, lulling her, so she rode up on steadily increasing levels of arousal. Each time he seemed to ease deeper into her and she had no ability to resist, only to yield more.
Without warning, he slammed hard into her again.
She screamed and she thought she heard him laugh, low and wicked.

“So what now?” Tell me to strip, Alec.
He glanced at her. Away again. Face and voice in that carefully neutral mode. “What
would you prefer to do? If you want to go, I understand. Maybe you should. That’s part of why I stayed away this evening. Part of me hoped you’d find me gone and leave again.”
“Why?” Her mouth had gone dry with dread. But he’d said he wanted her. In devastating, erotic detail.
His lips curved in that cruel ironic smile and he turned to face her, leaning an elbow on the rail. Not relaxed, though. Coiled. “Perhaps the monster always hopes, somewhere in its twisted heart, that its prey will escape.”

“I’m looking,” he grated out. He seized her wrists and stretched them over her head, pinning them there with one hand and using the other to flick open the front clasp of the bra. Cupping her naked breast, he squeezed, tight, and she writhed under the grip. “I’m touching.” He leaned in hard, his erection pressing against her belly, the brick wall grating against her back through the silk. “Now tell me to stop.”
Instead she moved her hips against his, wild for more. “Don’t you dare stop.”
“You know the penalties for giving me orders.” He pinched her nipple and she gasped but held his gaze, defiant.
“Do your worst.”

With a curse that sounded almost foreign, his accent had gone so thick, he released her wrists, dug in his pocket and ripped open his pants, just enough to release his cock and get the condom on. “Put your leg around my waist,” he ordered, pinning her wrists on either side of her head. “I can’t be gentle.”
“I don’t want gentle.” She barely finished the words before he’d pushed deep inside her. Fast, hard, nearly brutal. Clenching her teeth to keep from screaming as a new orgasm built on the last, she watched his face, the way his gaze stayed riveted on her as he fucked her with a wild intensity.
“I want you every second of every day.” His thrusts punctuated his words, thick and guttural. “That’s not the problem.”

“Please,” she gasped, unable to frame more than that. “Please.”
“When I say.” He thrust in and out, the sensation so intense, shattering. Unreal.
With his other hand, he gathered her breasts together, squeezing them, and she cried at it,
a long stream of pleas. The forestalled orgasm seemed as agonizing as any of it. He accelerated his pace, smacking into her hips so hard she had to brace against the glass.
“Now!” He shouted, simultaneously dragging off the clamps and pinching her clit, ramming to the hilt inside her.
She screamed. Flung far from the earth, fired into orbit by the incredible release. Rocket fuel. Nuclear fission.
She blasted into tiny fragments of who she’d been.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Carina