Dark, Horror, - novel
TBR reviewer: Brutally Honest
First, this is not a romance. Despite the cover and the excerpt there is no romance anywhere in this novel. It's futuristic horror with a dose of strange. The novel starts with a bang, literally. Lyle is intimate with another man. From here we learn he’s the owner of a sex club. He plans to get even with Abby, his lover’s former girlfriend after his lover Markus commits sucide because of her.
I had to unravel the mystery in the story which was a good thing. There are some twists and an initial interest that only grew as the story progressed. There is no set ‘good’ or ‘bad’ guy, it’s sort of like the lesser of two evils. The flashback was way too dragged out and I really lost interest as this played out. Toward the end it gets better but trimming the passage would have really made the story smoother. This is a dark story in more ways than one but I usually enjoy darker, crazier books as long as the plots clean and the editing decent. This definitely needed more editing and the flashbacks needed to be severely trimmed. Other than that, the story was solid and the characters unique. The ending was absolutely insane in a good way, the torture, the crazy twist.
I found this rather hard to rate. On one hand I sympathized with Lyle but at the same time I was worried for Abby. Either way you go, this story was hard to put down as it played out.
Overall, Breaking The man was a dark, twisted tale that I enjoyed reading.
Warning: Contains torture (piercing) and rape.
Abby and Paul walked hand in hand along the lower level of Corsica City's Red Light District. Busy streets full of rank, smoke-filled air, with the noise and hum of drudgery and decay illuminated the place like a heroin addict's high. They were nervous and felt wholly out of place, having not ventured into this part of town before. Occasion had never demanded it until now. 'Doing the job' held new meaning. Accepting the gig at Micheal's behest had taken some convincing, but the lucrative pay and the promise of 'one time only' swayed their acceptance. Illegal activities, they usually never ventured into. Work, up until this point, had been legit. Still, there was a living to be made, even this way, and both Abby and Paul liked their work in working together. They wouldn't have it any other way. With this knowledge, they passed beyond the velvet rope into Club Erosia to meet with the man who could hook them up with five hundred thousand in Republic credits.
Inside the club, darkness enveloped them, alongside the musky smell of burning incense. Candles burned on various tables inside faux, medieval archways. An attendant, dressed in all black, stoked the embers of a dying fire centered in the entrance of the place. Despite the display of 'warm and inviting', Abby shivered against the chill that seemed to thread its way through the room. A premonition? Perhaps. Paul, sensing her unease, placed his hand to
the middle of her back, providing warmth through the gauzy fabric of her dress.
"Yeah." She nodded. "I'm fine. Just fine. Just want to get this over with, you know."
Paul looked around. The attendant had walked over to them and now stood, his gaze on Paul, curiously appraising.
"May I help you?" the man asked.
"Yeah. We have a meeting with Lyle DuFant."
"Wait right here…" The man smiled. He set the poker in its holster and walked around the fireplace and out the entrance-way. Abby drew Paul along, following the man, until they reached another open doorway. Beyond it, she heard the sounds of music, voices, conversation. Although the front area was empty, save for the barkeep stocking bottles, there were people inside, just unseen. She glanced around and spied a seating area to the right of them, partially hidden by black beaded curtains. A few sofas and couches littered the space; fabrics of velvet and silk lined the cushions. Paul tugged at her sleeve, but she
continued, stepping through the wall of beads. Those couches had stains on them. No wonder they keep it so dark.
"What is it?" Paul asked.
"Just wondering who is it we're about to get involved with. I mean this place, I've heard of these type clubs, but—"
"We don't have to do this. Just say the word and we're out."
"Nah," she said after a beat. "Don't want Michael pissed at us for reneging on a done-deal. Besides, when would we stand to make this much money again? And who would set it up?"
"Okay." He sighed. "I'm with you. Whatever you want to do." He smiled reassuringly then leaned in for a quick kiss to the side of her face. She giggled at the contact, pleased. She was a tough broad, had to be, but Paul made her feel giddy, like a little girl in his arms, protected. She liked that and suspected he liked it, too.
CONTEST: Madame Z is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner. Comment below to enter!
Romance - novel
TBR reviewer: Tana
Wanderland is a mild erotic romance novel about a woman named Tam Wilde. She is an Associate Gallerist at Kelso Gallery. Her boss Tyler has just asked Tam to do a presentation to a group of clients in which she meets a man named Xavier. He is a bit forward and she can tell he is interested in getting to know her better even though she has clearly told him she is seeing someone. Michael and Tam have been on 3 dates and he seems like a good man
at this point we see that Michael does have some bad habits but he is really trying to change for Tam. When Xavier decides to hire the art gallery to decorate his new office building he basically get’s Tyler to agree that it will be Tam doing the work. Xavier who is very intense and sexy seems to get what he wants and he wants Tam. Tam ends up making some bad decisions where these two men are concerned and struggles along the way to come clean to what she has done. There is so much manipulation going on that one minute you want Tam with Xavier and then you change your mind and you want her with Michael. It was quite the exciting story.
Madame Z's writing is excellent. Her character development is done very well and you get to know all the characters fully. As I was reading I knew I wasn’t going to be able put this book down till I found out who Tam would end up with. Madame Z's writing captures and kept me interested right up till the end. I am not sure what happened to this story that I was enjoying so much because the ending just about made me throw the book. I was very disappointed that she ended Wanderland. This is what made me rate the book 3 stars instead of 4. The ending was either rushed or not thought out. This wreaked a great story.
I might recommend Wanderland but with this ending I'm not positive.