The Duke and the Domina, Jenn LeBlanc
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Erotica
This was a fun read, something a bit different for me from my usual genres, and that keeps reading fresh for me. It’s an interesting premise, time travel whether intended or accidental, and throws up so many issues.
Poor Lulu found herself back in a time when women were definitely subjugated to men, and for a strong character like her it was a harsh awakening. Luckily she’s intelligent enough once she realises its not all a dream, to follow Gray’s lead. He’s got a friend, Gideon, who’s married to Francine who claims to have been thrown back in time the same way – he’s always felt maybe she’s a bit touched, lovely lady though she is, as it’s something very hard to believe in. Now though – well, he’s seeing it from a different perspective.
The history side isn’t very strong, really just (IMO) used as a back up as to why Lulu had to follow Gray’s decisions, and to give the need for secrecy and danger to the erotica side of the story. It revolves mostly around Gray and Lulu, with smaller parts from his loyal friend/manservant Rakshan and friends Gideon and Francine. There are occasional forays outside the house, but most of the story seems to take place within it, and it could have been today or a hundred years back….what does feature from the history though is that Lulu could get sent to Bedlam for her time travel claims, and Gray imprisoned for his masochistic needs. He’s learned to hide them, only Rakshan knows of them though there’s indication that another friend also has suspicions, but as he’s keeping secrets himself he says nothing.
As the time is so harsh on those who have needs outside the narrow conventional box, Gray has learned to hide his inclinations, but of course as a Domina Lulu can spot them, even though he’s hiding everything. When she indicated she can help him he’s shocked, scared and draws back. That upsets her, so far he’s been a perfect gentleman, given so much help for her even though her story is unbelievable, he’s married her ( though he also has reasons for that), hidden her til she’s ready, introduced Francine who’s been a huge help and in general given her all the protection he can. Now all the progress they seemed to make has taken a step back – a huge one, with him threatening to send her to one of his isolated country homes. He’s just scared and thankfully his friends and Rakshan persuade him she’s not a danger, she means well and to give her a little trust. He’s learned through painful experience from a very young age to keep secrets and opening up doesn’t come easily. They both need to help and trust each other if they are to be happy together , but its hard , given they’re both risking so much and could lose their liberty.
Its a fun read, learning who they really are, watching the trust develop and seeing how they finally realise how well they complement each other sexually.
Stars: Four, its a fun light read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
The Twelve Kingdoms: The Talon of the Hawk, Jeffe Kennedy
Genre: Romance, Fantasy/Sci-fi.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
So, home stretch now but some fierce battles to be fought first. I’ve been enjoying this trilogy, not as much magic as Rogue but enough to keep things interesting, and to take the story in the right directions. I adored Rogue – the books and the character – and its hard to follow up that with another trilogy.
This trio has a very different feel to it – its got the magic connection, but focuses on the princesses as individuals. How they’ve changed – or my perception of them has changed – from the first novel. There they seemed so innocent in many ways, Ami, sweet and pretty but kind of vacuous in personality and focussed on the fairy-tale ending for princesses, Andi, tomboy, very uninterested in political machinations, just wanting to go out in the countryside and be with her beloved animals, and Ursula the Heir, brought up to reign after her King, and to put everyone and everything above her own needs. Now Ami has gained strength and a new love, and become someone who knows she has a place and a duty to uphold, Andi has found love with King Rafe and is fiercely protective of her people and Ursula – she’s trying her best to do what her King commands as ever, but its become tougher with his weird actions.
I’ve enjoyed the growth in the girls, love the way they’ve changed and found love. The story now brings the three back together and they find they can finally recognise each others strengths and support each other as their mother hoped. Her messages to them have been very cryptic and mystical, and have led them very close to disaster at times. The trouble with trying to foretell the future and help her daughters is that its fluid, it changes so she could only give them tools to fight what she could see. Poor Ursula, she has a hard row to hoe here, struggling with her duty when it goes against her Kings commands. Fortunately the leader of the mercenaries her father has purchased proves to be a great source of support – being Ursula though can she learn to trust him, his help is essential but she’s un-used to support, she’s always been the support for others, needing none herself. this time though if they are to retrieve Ami’s baby daughter and save the Kingdoms they need to work closely and rely on each other for support.
There are some real shocks revealed finally, and I so felt for Ursula when certain things come out. The witch – its easy to see what she wants and yet their father seems entranced by her- something that proves all too true, and of course witchcraft and witches are hard enemies to have. This one is a particularly difficult enemy, having roots in Dark magic…they need all the help their mother has left them if peace is to reign.
Stars: Four, a fun, magical read
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers