Book Review: “Bound By The Summer Prince” (Spellbound Hearts Book 2) by Mistral Dawn.@MistralKDawn #RRBC

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Say Hi to author Mistral Dawn, as I review her book, ”Bound By The Summer Prince (Spellbound Hearts Book 2.)

Meet the author.

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US, but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)). She has written three full-length novels in the Spellbound Hearts series, Taken By The Huntsman, Bound By The Summer Prince, and Captivated By The Winter King, as well as Intrigue In The Summer Court, a novella in the Spellbound Hearts series.

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The Summer Court is in an uproar. The king has just been executed for unpardonable crimes, and the queen is prostrate with grief over his loss. This leaves the Summer kingdom bereft of true leadership; a problem which is compounded by the fact that the laws of Fairie require balance to be maintained by having a male and a female ruler for both Season Courts at all times. Uaine, the Summer prince, is the only one who can put things right, but he is without a mate. Knowing that he must take a bride quickly, for the sake of his people, even though he is struggling with his own feelings of pain and anger over his father’s treachery, he goes for a walk in a forest near the palace to try to clear his head and determine how best to choose a female to rule beside him.

 

While walking Uaine discovers a human female running loose in Fairie, which is against the most basic tenets of Fae law. Furious at one more problem he must deal with, he takes her prisoner and locks her in the dungeon; only to discover later that she is his soul-mate. The magical bond between them means they are meant to be together forever, but humans can’t feel the magic of Fairie. Will Uaine be able to win her heart and convince her that she can trust him to keep her safe from all the dangers of Fairie…including himself?

Roni is a human con woman and petty thief. Having run afoul of the local crime syndicate in the city where she is staying, she finds herself running for her life. Trouble is no stranger to her, but when she falls through a hole in a wall and finds herself in a world with carnivorous trees and rocks that eat people she realizes she may have found more of it than she can deal with. Rescued/arrested by the prince of the Summer Court, it doesn’t take long for her to formulate a plan to use him to get herself home. Unfortunately for her, she soon finds that her heart, which she had thought long ago turned to stone, has begun to feel the love she has been playing at. Will she be able to overcome a lifetime of caution and allow herself to follow her heart? Can a criminal love a cop?

Please be aware that this book contains explicit sexual scenes, depictions of BDSM, and anal play. If these things disturb you, then this may not be the book for you

 

MY REVIEW:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Bound by The Summer Prince was recommended to me by members of a book club I belong to. Erotic Fantasy is not normally a genre I seek out to read, but this book has opened that door and made certain I will explore it further.

The characters have layers of complexity that peel away like a Spanish onion leaving their underbelly exposed and vulnerable.

There is nothing two dimensional in this work, and Author Mistral Dawn has crafted beautifully drawn characterizations.

Let’s explore Roni. Roni is street-smart, savvy, and prides herself on her ability to always remain one step ahead of anyone else in her dark life. She is uncompromisingly human, and therefore fallible. Her underestimation of the people she has conned has resulted in her running for her life, and tasting the fear that being pursued carries with it.

Author Mistral Dawn cleverly draws us into this character, and because of the hidden depths of pain, and Roni’s refusal to acknowledge her ability to really feel the love she normally uses as a weapon, I find myself liking her, and ultimately cheering for her to not only survive the Fae world she stumbles into, but to find the magic that will turn her cold heart into a warm and beating thing.

The Summer Prince, Uaine, is Fae. A man struggling to come to terms with the betrayal of his father the King who paid the ultimate price of execution for his acts. Uaine worries for his mother as her grief overwhelms her, and although he knows he must marry in order to take his place as king, his heart is heavy, he wants and needs much more than the females offering themselves to him. He craves a woman who will see beyond the trappings of Royalty and share the depth of love he is capable of feeling.

The story develops well, and we are given deeper insights into the characters, and the land they are in.

I don’t want to introduce spoilers, the book deserves to be read.

The author has introduced the erotic sequences with a deft touch. Allowing the reader to see, feel and hear her characters as they further explore their feelings and each other. The sexual content is not used simply for shock value, but it is interwoven with tenderness in a way that will leave most readers nodding in understanding as they read.

I will recommend Bound by The Summer Prince to everyone that enjoys a well-crafted, fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. I will now be seeking out other works from Author Mistral Dawn.

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Purchase Bound By The Summer Prince here on Amazon

Mistral Dawn’s AUTHOR Page on Amazon

Follow @MistralKDawn on TWITTER

Find Mistral Dawns Blog here

 

Book Review: Silke Ming

Book Review: Silke Ming “Three Degrees East of Bliss.”

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Jason Porter and Gabrielle Parker are modern day lovers. Author Silke Ming wastes no time introducing the insecurity felt by Jason Porter when night after night, for weeks at a time, his partners’ dreams cause him to call out the name of ‘Nicholas’. This causes intense jealousy and insecurity on Jason’s part and an unwillingness to believe Gabriel’s cries of innocence as he denies any knowledge of anyone with that name.

Jason is so distraught he enlists the aid of his business partner, a fellow psychologist, to hypnotize Gabriel and discover the truth. The sessions themselves are not divulged, we see only the outcome.

Whilst under hypnosis Gabriel returns to a different place in time. The author introduces two pivotal characters almost immediately, they meet on the ‘Merciless’ a ship bound for Barbados from Ireland in 1914.

Young priest Damian Fassnidge, is under punishment for breaking his vow of celibacy with another man. He has been sent to the place considered by the church in Ireland to be the worst and most punishing post of all … in Barbados. Damian is afforded courtesy because of his position as a priest, and his journey on board is not a severe as others.

His first night on board ship, he meets up with a likeable rogue by the name of Nicholas Duffy.

Afraid because of his immediate and overwhelming attraction towards the young man, Damien does everything he can to ensure his personal barriers stay in place. The chapters that follow show how over a period of months on the island that barrier is broken down and the two men become lovers whilst Damien still attempts to maintain his post as priest.

 Suffice it to say the sexual content is explicit; and not unexpected, as the book is  clearly categorized as erotica.

The sexual content  is well written and not employed purely for shock value. The love between these two men will be tested and tested again in the three years that follow.

They use sex both as a reward and as punishment. With BDSM used by mutual consent.

The ending came a little unexpectedly and for me it was too abrupt. I would like to have seen much more of the reaction to the remarkable journey revealed by the hypnotherapy on the present day lovers.

However; the ending does open the book up for a sequel. I do hope there is one.

The title of this book is drawn from the name of an alcoholic cocktail that is very popular on the island. This book is due for release shortly.

Author Page.

Goodreads Page.

 

 

Discussion: “The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016”

Please join in the discussion with today’s guest, Maxwell Cynn.

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It is hard to believe it’s been five years, Soooz. Thanks for asking me back. Most of what I wrote in the post below still holds true today, though in the wake of fifty shades of everything the lines between “mainstream fiction” and hard core adult erotica have been smashed. The books and stories my wife once called porn are tame in comparison to YA romance today, and some of the current erotic literature is so graphic even an old smut writer like myself is appalled.

But I still believe it is the place of writers and publishers, not would be censors, to categorize and market their work. In todays market self-publishing is more and more common, which gives artists more creative freedom than ever—but also more responsibility. As content producer and publisher we choose how we market our work and to whom. It is our call if we promote a Triple-X narrative as YA romance or mark it as 18+.

Today there are no taboo subjects or editorial censors applied to literature. Anything goes and sex sells. It has been a long time since I’ve heard anyone even suggest parental labels or censorship. Sellers, like Amazon or B&N, have placed some restrictions on marketing by removing clearly adult content that is not marked as such. But slap on an 18+ tag and you can write anything. To me that is reasonable.

Some may say that the 18+ label is in itself a form of Parental Warning Label which I wrote against. To me, it is more akin to the old brick and mortar sellers who had a section in the back for adult lit. I think most writers of adult lit and erotica will agree the 18+ tag is often more of a marketing tool than censorship. If I’m looking for erotica I’m not searching YA on Amazon, I’m going straight to the adult section and searching 18+.

I do, however, continue to believe we have saturated mainstream literature with adult themes to the point nothing shocks anymore. The sweet little erotic romances I once wrote are tame even in the teen market these days, and I considered them to be purely Adult Only when I published them. By the same token I could not compete in today’s adult market trying to sell my works as erotica, they are too prudish, but I refuse to market erotica to teens. In a way I have censored myself by removing all my adult titles from the market.

As I warned in my earlier post, we have pushed the limits to the point that our words become impotent. The teen sex scene in a YA novel is just another scene the reader has read time and again, and watched more vividly in movies or on cable, and perhaps even experienced first hand. There is no power in our words to draw emotions from our reader or provoke thought. I mourn the lost days of innocence when a heroine’s sideline fantasy of her hero’s kiss could make a reader blush with anticipation.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but when we live in a world where anything goes, and often does, there is little left in the writer’s arsenal to shock and awe the reader. Today sex in literature is as mundane as characters sitting at the table talking. Eros has lost his magic and we have lost the power and beauty of erotic prose.

The original post in 2011.

Maxwell Cynn

Should Books Have Parental Warning Labels?

Thank you, Soooz for letting me come on your blog and rant a bit.

Censorship is ever a contentious issue in art. We bring it on ourselves: pushing the limits, trying to be hip, begging attention by being controversial. “It’s art!” is the general cry–when someone pisses in a glass or takes a picture of something in their arse. When Hemingway, and those of his generation, fought with publishers it was about the odd curse word. Hemingway wanted his dialog and prose to be real–the way people actually speak. When romance writers battled against the censors they wanted to show the sensual side of romance. But those battles were over long ago.

Today I can drop the f-bomb in a book or on my blog without anyone batting an eye. I can describe scenes that would make a nun wet or a hooker blush without fear of being arrested. But still some people push the limits. When I first started writing romance my wife accused me of writing porn. But current YA romance makes what I write seem quaint and almost prudish, and teenagers are reading it without blushing. So writers and artists go to unbelievable extremes to be controversial, and then people scream for censorship.

There will always be those who wish to draw a line and keep everyone behind it. The line itself is arbitrary and changes with generations. And there will always be those who seem compelled to step over that line if only because it is there. But there is a difference between being true to our art and being controversial simply for the sake of controversy. Hemingway wanted characters to speak as men speak (he actually had a battle over the word “swell” because it was slang–not proper English) and romantics wanted to portray love as couples truly loved, without resorting to euphemism and purple prose.

The only good censorship is that which we impose on ourselves, for the truth of our art, not that which we impose on others. I often write fairly provocative erotic romance. In the context of those stories I feel it is beautiful and expressive. I enjoy fine erotic art for the same reasons. But I also write hard science fiction, fantasy, and romance, among other things. There is a different standard, a different feel in mainstream fiction.

In a recent manuscript set in the 1920s the dialog I wrote contained virtually no cursing. That fit the sensibilities of the period, the characters, and the setting. I threw the f-bomb into a scene that was very intense and violent. It fit, and added powerful emotion to the scene. The hero and heroine never kiss, until the scene where he proposes to her, and not even the professional girls venture beyond a ‘PG’ rating in their flirtatious behavior. Yet the story is at times highly romantic, the heroine is extremely sensual, and the villains are harsh and violent. It is an adult novel.

When we use sex, language, or violence simply to shock and stir controversy it lessens our art. It also lessens the impact of our words. When a villain in the above novel says, “I’m gonna stomp your ass and fuck your girlfriend,” it’s a shock to the reader. When the hero drops the f-bomb in the midst of an intense and violent scene the reader feels that intensity along with the hero’s fear and frustration. The words have power because they are rare and unexpected.

In the same way, less is more when it comes to sex in literature. If the romantic lead goes down on the heroine in the first few pages what is left for the remainder? Sexual tension is best achieved by no sex at all–the desire, the need, the longing, restricted and contained at every turn. Anticipation builds to a long awaited and often denied climax, yet if that climax becomes common place, mundane, there is no anticipation, but only rote predictable outcomes. His tongue slips over her clit yet again, yada, yada, yawn–let’s move on with the story.

And so we are left with only the most graphic, deviant, kinky scenes with which to titillate our readers, and the would-be censors scream foul. Sex has lost its power and our words are left limp and impotent. Sex in literature is like anything else we write–too much lessens the value of all. The same happens with violence, blood, and gore. Readers become desensitized, writers ramp it up to new levels, and censors try to establish new lines of defense.

I never want to see Parental Advisory labels slapped on the cover of books, nor publishers attempt to censor Free Speech, but writers do bear responsibility for their words whether they wish to admit it or not. With YA, and even Middle Grade fiction taking on ever more mature tone, Adult and Erotic fiction push the extremes to compensate. Writers are why the sensibilities of censors are inflamed. When teen heroes are slinging f-bombs and teen heroines are playing the slut it’s hard to blame parents for being upset with contemporary fiction.

Writers need to understand that by flooding literature with more sex, more graphic language, more violence, and more controversy we dilute the power of our own words. We must censor ourselves or be censored by others. Throwing our characters in bed is cheap and easy, while not letting them quite get that far may be more difficult it is far more powerful and often more erotic. Mama used to say that people curse because they have a weak vocabulary. I implore my fellow writers to use your words. Set limits on your characters and make them strain against the bonds.

Disclaimer: Of course none of this has anything to do with Literary Erotica, which is all about the sex. The above diatribe concerns mainstream fiction. Erotica is by definition pure eroticism–the triple X of the literary world. I write that too, and enjoy reading it as well. But as purely adult entertainment, different standards apply. Erotica is already branded as Adult Only and often resigned to a child proof section in book stores. Should all books with sexual content be likewise branded?

Please join in the discussion. Comment below.

 

Discussion! “The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.”

Discussion sex

Relevance is simply the noun form of the adjective “relevant,” which means “important to the matter at hand.”

You are invited to join in this July long discussion of “The Relevance of Sex in Literature … 2016.”

Five years ago I created this particular discussion on my other blog. It proved to be a very lively, and quite fascinating discussion.

Five years in the publishing business is a long time. I’m curious to see if the advent of books such as “50 Shades of…you know what’ has altered perceptions of the ‘relevance of sex in literature’ The following is a brief quote from the original discussion by author Dan Holloway.

Remember that next time you see the tabloids calling for censorship. What do they really object to? Some words on a page? Or having something there, in their line of sight, making them think things they would rather not. What’s really worse? The things we write about? Or it being OK for a whole society to hold moral opinions they’ve never questioned?

Several of the Authors who participated will join us again…I asked them this question..”Would you alter any part of your response from five years earlier?”

The remainder of the discussion is wide open to all who wish to join in. … No word count, and I do NOT censor either the posts or comments. This is a ‘real’ discussion.

I will be scheduling the posts, so please, send me your content via email at

 

suzieb4burke@hotmail.com

 

Please note in the subject line…Discussion …’The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2016.”

C’mon…join in.

Submissions needed by June 30th at Midnight.