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Uncharted Territory, (The Compass 3) Tamsen Parker
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Erotica, Women’s Fiction
Well, Wow, I’d enjoyed the first two books but felt they were more sex than story, and I was always intrigued by What went Before. How India met Rey, how she met Hunter and what went wrong between them. This book answers all that ( and now I’d love one with Cris and his previous sub of five years….)
We meet India at 18, where she first comes across Rey at uni. He’s the man we love, the stalwart for her right from the start. they really do have a special friendship. we see more of her parents too and I feel I understand India better now. What a pair they ( her parents) were…
Then she meets Hunter and the BDSM world via Rey, and its instant attraction on both sides, and they’re together as D/s for the next six years. He’s always pushing for more, and seems to resent any little attempt she does to keep a bit of independence. I feel what he really wants is a 24/7 D/s thing and India just doesn’t. Slowly though he takes over more of her life. What I love about some BDSM reads such as this is the way the psychology is explained, the way we get to see that even though we ( I) feel that whipping, caning, leaving bruises etc is awful, some people need it, crave it and like India it gives them a mental release from their day to day stresses. I’d hate it, hate to give over control but this way I at least understand what some people get out of it. Its stressed too, throughout the book that safe words and consent are paramount at all times. There are times though when Hunter in his quest for control goes too far, and the hairdresser scene had me really upset for India and so angry with Hunter. It illustrates what sometimes concerns me, when a sub is so anxious to please her Dom she will agree to something she really doesn’t want to do….it’s a fine line that a good Dom watches for, and more than once I felt Hunter ignored it he was so keen to be in total control. Then it makes me wonder why he needs that control, what happened to him? One could go on for ever ; –)
Then it all goes wrong, and its shock after shock. Her parents – what an awful thing to try, and Hunter – he’s like a different man, callous, vindictive and knows exactly where to aim his words for maximum effect. Thank goodness for the solid always there Rey. ( He needs a happy ending too- I love that man)
Its not a romance, its not a HEA sweet read, but it’s perfect at what it is, a prequel explaining how India got where she was, and the story takes precedence her over the sex perfectly. There is sex, but it fits. Its part of the story and not just the story itself. I loved this book, and it’s made me understand India so much better.
Stars: Five, fabulous, gripping read.
ARC supplied by author/publishers
A Secret to Keep, Railyn Stone
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
I enjoy novels set around this kind of story, but sadly this one was just meh…OKish but nothing special for me. It started well, and when Sloane and Gates relationship began to deteriorate I really felt for her. A Dear John letter though? Cowardly way out.
Then she finds out she’s pregnant and doesn’t tell Gates. She has this idea that as his father was a bad dad, and Gates has recently become more and more like him ( hence the break up) that her child deserves more, and she doesn’t tell him about Brayden. Its the kind of storyline that I’ve seen done well before, but in this book it just wasn’t backed up with enough evidence.
Then Gates renters her life, and from then on it seemed to be one lie on top of another, and a constant backward and forward “shall I tell him, yes I will, no I won’t,” with her aunt and friends telling her he has a right to know. It became boring, all the angsting about the decision, and where I had first admired her I got really irritated at the way she dragged her friends in without thinking about their position. They were a fabulous support and if I was Chase’s girlfriend Hannah, I’d have been saying “ her or me mister – you choose” as Sloane’s faffing about was having a terrible effect on their relationship. She really abused their friendship IMO.
There really wasn’t enough story here to keep me interested, usually there’s more day to day issues and other things that keep the tale fresh, but this was just one long, long plot of Sloane, Gates and Brayden, and The Decision and for me it palled…I needed more variety, more interest, more evidence of her stance that Gates had changed. Allie the would-be girlfriend could have been made so much more, and plots like that expanded to add interest.
Stars: two. Just didn’t cut it for me. as ever this is just one opinion, and others will feel differently.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers