Disclaimer:

Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author/publisher to The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Apr 20, 2011

Cursed Mates by Cara Marsi


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Cursed Mates
Author: Cara Marsi
Buy Link
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Paranormal romance/Shapeshifter
Length: 23 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 5
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating
                                                 

About The Book:
Nick Radford fears he's losing the battle to control his inner Beast, a demon werwolf he's been fighting for more than 500 years. Kyla Yaeger has come to Maine, where Nick lives, to kill a werewolf who's been terrorizing the small town called Heavensent.

Kyla is distracted by the hunky Nick, and falls in love with him before realizing he's the werewolf she has to destroy. Nick fights the feelings he has for Kyla, knowing she has to kill him. But they have to work together to destroy evil and end an ancient curse.

The Review:
Cara Marsi sets the mood immediately in the first meeting of Nick and Kyla. There is instant recognition of someone they don't know, and Kyla has a disturbing vision of something she can't explain. The strange town gets stranger as the attraction grows between Kyla and Nick, and the evidence continues to point to Nick as the cause.
The pacing of the action is perfect, keeping you from putting the book down. The characters are well-rounded with dark pasts motivating their actions, and they are immediately likeable, although I have to admit to a huge crush on Nick before I was too far into the story.
I couldn't find anything needing improvement. The conflict keeping Kyla and Nick apart is valid, the resolution believable, but Ms. Marsi give you plenty to worry about before getting to the end. If you enjoy werewolves, you must read this. If you don't enjoy werewolves read Cursed Mates and you might just start.
Pagan Elements: One of the secondary characters is a witch, and there is an ancient curse affecting the storyline. Other elements are not truly pagan, but the spirituality and mysticism in them will appeal to pagan readers.

___________________________________________________________________

Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & The Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

All The Time by Cherie Denis



The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: All the Time
Author: Cherie Denis
Publisher: Secret Cravings
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: 147 pgs.
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 4
Story: 2
Writing Ability: 2

Overall Card Rating: 
                                          

About the Book:
Mike Sneider is one lucky guy. He has a gorgeous wife who is always in the mood for sex. Anytime, anywhere.

There is only one problem in their lives. Mike can’t give Lanie the one thing she desires most. Her own penis.

A local woman might be able to help. Lawanda has potions that could make their lives perfect and give Lanie the one thing she wants more than anything.

After one whirlwind weekend in each other’s bodies, the possibility of making it permanent looms on the horizon. What happens if they do?

The Review:
Mike Sneider is a man who has it all – great job, nice home, and a smokin’ wife with an inescapable sex drive. The only problem that he can find in his existence is that his wife will end up killing him from too much sex, but “what a way to go.”

Lanie Sneider has the perfect life - amazingly gorgeous husband who adores her, and all the trappings of the upper middle class, but she is missing something: a penis. She wants to have a penis of her own that she can play with and share all the time.

Artfully woven, this book allows the reader to ride the waves of hedonistic pleasure as Lanie tries to satisfy her longing for a male appendage of her own. It is obvious throughout the story that her husband will do anything to make her happy and that includes meeting with a priestess.

While the love scenes were beyond naughty and leave the reader needing a smoke afterward, there wasn’t much more to the plot. I would have liked to have seen the plot expanded and not simply relied on the sex to keep the reader’s attention. Lanie’s character also needs to be expanded; she was portrayed as little more than an amateurish tease, that was nowhere near believable.

There is no doubt that this book needs to be accompanied with a fire extinguisher. Naughty and delightful, this will be sure to intrigue the adventurous and the lusty.

Pagan Elements: N/A

A Soldier’s Story by Iona Blair


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: A Soldier’s Story
Author: Iona Blair
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: m-m/GLBT/romance/erotic
Length: 66 pages
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 3
              Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating: 
                                                          

About the Book: 
Amidst the dangers of war torn Afghanistan, an army officer finds himself irresistibly drawn to another soldier. The forbidden attraction shakes him to the core and plunges him into a bitter inner conflict.

But the battle against these new and disturbing desires is not the only war he must fight. A patrol goes missing, under suspicious circumstances, while on routine surveillance. The subsequent media interest and the shocking truth as it unfolds, challenges his belief system and rocks the comfortable world he grew up in.

The Review:
While serving in Afghanistan, Canadian Lieutenant Jay Sutherland discovers more than the usual secrets of surviving in the sun scorched war zone. Along with his more serious duties of keeping his men safe, he finds himself lusting after one of his subordinates, Corporal Darren Morrison. Battling himself over the realization that he is in lust and eventually love with another man, he sinks into a dangerous downhill spiral.

Darren Morrison has wanted a piece of his Lieutenant ever since he laid eyes on him lighting from an armored vehicle in the Afghan desert. When Jay saves his life after he and his squad is buried in a cave-in, he is excited and longing for his lover. Once home he reunites with Jay to find the man he loves spiraling out of control.

This story allows the reader to have a shocking and seemingly realistic glimpse into the life of a soldier who not only has to cope with war and adjust to coming home, but also the fact that he is secretly bisexual. The emotional turmoil of the lead character is almost more than a reader can take with a dry eye. Adding to that the very emotional and erotic love scenes between Jay and Darren are in stark contrast to the harsh encounters with his female partners.

There is nothing more rewarding than reading a story that allows the reader to feel the full spectrum of emotions. This is one of my top picks for its thought-provoking emotional rawness that make me pull for the hero.

Pagan Elements: None

A Way Back by Linda LaRoque



The Pagan & The Pen book Reviews

Title: A Way Back
Author: Linda LaRoque 
Buy Link
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Romance/Time Travel
Length: 111 pgs.
Reviewed by: Rob's Wife

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 3.5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating
                                                      
                                                     
About The Book:  Amber Mathis, a Wall Street investment banker, returns to her office after burying her Grandmother. Distraught, tired of the rat race, she's determined to make a career change. In the elevator she falls and rises to find herself in a vintage lift. The date is February 25, 1930, and a man stands on the window ledge ready to jump.


Wellman Hathaway, owner and CEO of Hathaway Bank in New York struggles to pay his depositors half their losses. A woman claiming to be from 2011 appears in his office and involves him in a scheme that forces them into marriage. With Amber's knowledge of the financial history of the 1930s, they travel to the oil fields of Texas to recoup Wellman's funds.


Two people from different centuries are thrown together to survive a difficult time. Will they find more than A Way Back to prosperity?

The Review:  This story had me hooked from the first page. It was so well written and eloquent in the use of the English language, I was crying along with the Amber Mathis as she grieved for her deceased Grandmother and her turmoil over finding herself in another time period.
The turmoil between Amber and her new husband Wellman, kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page. The tension between the two main characters, was well written and very believable. I could not put this book down until I had read every last word. I can't wait to read more stories from the very talented author, Linda LaRoque.
Pagan Elements: N/A

Compromising Prudence by Marguerite Butler


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Compromising Prudence
Author: Marguerite Butler
Buy Link
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Traditional Regency/Historical
Length:111 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 4
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating: 
                                                           

About The Book:
Prudence Wemberly has been compromised and fearing her father's she flees to the house of the most notorious courtesan in London. She feels that, since she is ruined, she might as well enjoy being so.

Charles Hatterly is a scientist who needs a wife but doesn't really want one, but he is enchanted by the inebriated Miss Wemberly when he stumbles upon her at the courtesan's place of business. He instantly recognizes her as gently-born, and when she passes out, he takes her home. His sudden decision to marry surprises both of them, and they have many obstacles to overcome before becoming man and wife.

The Review:
Marguerite Butler has penned a charming, sweet traditional Regency romance. I enjoyed the story, and characters. The situation was borderline on my believability scale, but I trusted her to handle it well and she did. How the characters acted and reacted was mostly within the strict boundaries of  the traditionals, so I recommend this book to anyone who prefers the trades to the steamy Regency historicals.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Her Indiscretion by Susan Palmquist



The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Her Indiscretion
Author: Susan Palmquist
Buy Link
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 79 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 5
Editing: 5
Story: 3
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating
                                             

About The Book:
Lydia's past indiscretion has put her in a predicament, and now it appears she must marry the loathsome Lord Likely who is blackmailing her. Then she runs into Andrew, who's in a predicament of his own, and as they work together, their attraction grows.

The Review:
Her Indiscretion has the setting to be a very sexy historical romance with an adventurous plot. The characters are likeable, and their chemistry is strong. The villain is creepy enough to make your skin crawl.

I think what kept it from being a must-read for me was that it wasn't historically accurate enough.  There wasn't enough believability for an unmarried young woman, in what seems to be the Regency era, to be in her spot.

For a reader who is less attached to the correctness of the time than I, this will probably be a great read, sexy and romantic enough to satisfy.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Fresh To Your Door by Tammy Valentine


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title:  Fresh to Your Door
Author: Tammy Valentine
Buy Link
Publisher:  Breathless Press
Genre: Erotic contemporary
Length: 18 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gray Dixon

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating
                                                         
About The Book:
There was no way to predict the hidden delights of online shopping, but when the hot hunk of a delivery boy turned up, there was no denying them either. The second time she ordered, she was ready for the knock at the door. Her entire eager body tingled with raw, animal anticipation. She was about to bring a whole new meaning to the store’s slogan, "Fresh to your door…"

The Review:
The build-up of this little story was titillating. Tammy Valentine took me on a whirlwind adventure in a short period of time and kept me guessing what would happen next. Then, bam! An ending with a twist. Very clever.

If you’re looking for a short read to pique your senses and get you in the mood to take a bath, this one will do it. Ms. Valentine made taking a long, luxurious dunk in the tub a place to experience sensual delights. Pick this one up for the hot sex and try not to overthink what happens between the characters.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Follow His Heart by D.C. Juris



The Pagan & the Pen Book Reviews

Title: Follow His Heart
Author: D.C. Juris
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Erotic Romance/m-m
Length: 46 pages
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 5
Editing: 4
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating:
                                          

About the Book:
Tristan awakens on Torottu, but the portal wasn’t meant for humans, and he’s been near death since his arrival almost ten months ago. That’s okay, though, because now that he’s awake, he and Jinsu can start their life together. The problem? Jinsu has no idea who Tristan is—the return trip through the portal erased his memory of Earth, of their relationship, even Tristan himself. Winning Jinsu’s heart again won’t be easy, especially if Kelan, Jinsu’s twin, has anything to say about it.

Kelan loves Jinsu, too, and he won’t be put aside for Tristan. Not again.
Tristan knows his only chance for happiness—and the only chance for Jinsu and Kelan—is to follow his heart.

The Review:
Tristan wakes up in a strange world to find that he has not only lost ten months of his life, but that the man he loves doesn’t even remember him.

Jinsu has returned to his world and has suffered a side effect of reentry… memory loss. Once Tristan awakes from his illness the memories of their life together tickle Jinsu’s brain; will he every truly remember?

This book is the perfect combination of hedonistic pleasure and a heart-pounding love story. The honest play of emotions from all of the characters allows the reader to have emotional stock in what happens next. There is no shortage of opportunities to hope for Jinsu’s memories to come flooding back and reunite with Tristan. Even though some of the scenes are a little taboo, this is one book that will leave the heart racing.

Pagan Elements: N/A

The Lancaster Rule by T.K. Toppin


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: The Lancaster Rule
Author: T. K. Toppin 
Buy Link  
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Romance/Time Travel/Science Fiction/Military Sci Fi/Political Sci Fi
Length: 380 pgs.
Reviewed by: C. LaForce

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 5
Editing: 2
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 2

Overall Card Rating: 
                                                
About The Book:
The world loathes Josie Bettencourt's kind – pod-survivors from the past. When death is certain, an ex-military and friend to the pod-hunters, saves her life. Unfortunately, she is soon arrested and taken straight to the Citadel, the heart of the Lancaster regime where they have ruled tyrannically for over fifty years.

Now, young John is in power, hoping to make a change, to erase the wars, famines and unimaginable terror. When Josie meets the frighteningly powerful John Lancaster, she has to ask, is he really the so-called tyrants' spawn?

She soon discovers who the true tyrants are by unraveling a deadly plot to take over the world.

The Review:
When I read the excerpt I thought this story might be right up my alley of interest, and I was correct in that assumption! The Lancaster Rule is a tale of romance, friendship, and family loyalty told in the setting of a very believable future Earth. To make it even more exciting there is political intrigue and a revolutionary militia spilt by factions with differing ideals, all bent on overthrowing the regime. There are tales from the government’s point of view with insider perspectives of counter-terrorist operations. There’s love, family, religious fanatics, more love, chaos, confusion, changing loyalties, and uncertainty as characters struggle to figure out just who to trust, and who to demonize. There’s a whole pile of exciting hand-to-hand combat and bombs going off every which way too. It’s a wonderful plot, and the settings in which the story takes place are vividly portrayed.

From the author’s notes, I see that T.K. Toppin is a relatively new author. I want to congratulate her here and wish her luck on her endeavors! To be honest with this review though, I must say that this book was often difficult for me to read. It was almost as if I were reading an old silent film in which characters stop and pose dramatically every few steps, for a few seconds too long each time, and wildly exaggerate their facial expressions in order to ensure the audience gets the message intended. It bothered me, but the story pulled me along anyway, and I kept reading.

At times I felt as if three or four people were writing this book. Sections jumped suddenly from 1st person to 3rd person voice. The main character’s personality flickered as well… in one scene Josie would be the helpless, fragile heroine, swooning in abject fear and uselessness, her written voice coming across as that of a flustered and lost teenager. The tone of the next chapter would morph inexplicably and I’d be reading her thoughts as if from a memoir written by a much older, more mature version of the character, years after the fact and emotionally disconnected. Then it might jump to a secondary character’s point of view, which might also be as emotionless as a narrator of a dry text on ancient economic comparisons, or overly emotional, with teeth gnashing and white knuckles. I don’t mind this sort of jumping about, but not when it makes me stop reading, flip back pages, and wonder what the heck I’d missed.

Speaking of teeth gnashing, the guys in this book did a lot of that. There was much brooding, pacing, smacking tables, kicking chairs and scads of glaring about darkly. The main character, Josie, was a weak and helpless twit for most of the book, which is not my favorite flavor of heroine, but I suppose there might be something wrong with me as many readers apparently like that sort.  Look at the popularity of Bella in the Twilight series. Bella never managed to grow a backbone or the slightest speck of self-worth, while Josie eventually managed to find herself, albeit rather abruptly. She mutated from a useless waste of oxygen, whimpering on the floor and sucking her thumb, to a super powered ninja bitch, almost instantaneously, which, by the way, was rather awkward. I truly wish her character development had a chance to follow a more gradual and realistic arc. I was glad, and relieved, to see ninja bitch appear though, because if Josie had had yet one more hissy fit and hysterical meltdown, I would have put my e-book reader through the shredder in pure disgust. (I apologize, but I was unable to develop a sincere liking for Josie! Maybe in the second book of the series...?)

Ms. Toppin has the ability to paint brilliant detail with words, unfortunately, in this book, it got to be too much of a good thing for me. I’d find myself thinking that five descriptive phrases might suffice in places where the author had squished in twenty. Ms Toppin shows off her artistic expertise in describing the characters, and excepting Josie, I liked them all very much; the good, the bad, and those somewhere in between.  She also enabled me to clearly visualize the world in which the story took place. She has a skilled hand when it comes to throwing weaponry around, and in making all of the story technology as real as future tech from OUR reality might very well be, not pure fantasy plucked from make-believe alien lands.

I wish more ‘edges’ had been smoothed here. It’s an excellent story. It’s imaginative and engaging and I believe that this first novel is a wondrous precursor of what Ms. Toppin has to offer. As written I was not so happy with this book (the story, yes, the book, no) but I see potential in it. I’d read it again if it were polished up, and I’d even go out and watch a movie version of it as there were a number of parts that would make exciting scenes in an action flick! I see the potential for the series too. I’m keeping in mind the example of JK Rowling’s seventh book, which glowingly overshadowed her first, and I will be looking for Ms. Toppin’s name on the cover of future novels.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Indestructible by Kimber Chin



The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Indestructible
Author: Kimber Chin
Buy Link
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Romance
Length: 34 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gray Dixon

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 3.5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating:
                                                                
About The Book:
She was created to kill. He was trained to protect. They were born to love each other.

When Jack, Tavos Santos’ head of security, sees Renata, he knows she’s a threat. The blue-eyed Spanish beauty makes every nerve-ending tingle.
Now he has to figure out if the threat is to his Boss or to his heart.

The Review:
What an intriguing story. I found myself instantly drawn into this world created by Kimber Chin. Renata is an assassin but you’re not sure if she is on the good side, or bad, until halfway through. Then there's Jack. He's head of security for a wealthy man and his wife, and he has an eye on the newcomer to the house he guards. He doesn’t trust her, but he’s also attracted to her. In a few pages, the sexual tension between these two characters is ignited but can they get over the obstacles between them to find love?

I really liked this story but at times the head-hopping pulled me out of it to remember who was saying what. There were a few minor editing concerns, but overall I found this a very good read and well worth the small amount to pay for reading enjoyment. I’m looking forward to reading more from Ms. Chin.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Kissing Cowboys by Eve Cassidy


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Kissing Cowboys
Author:  Eve Cassidy
Buy Link
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Erotic/Romance/Contemporary/Western-M/M
Length: 10 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gray Dixon

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 4.5
Story: 4.5
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating: 
                                          

About The Book: Giving up a night out on the town with the guys is an easy sacrifice, but JT is determined to find out one way or another if the sexual tension he senses in Jacob Cordero is all in his mind. Keeping secrets in a bunkhouse is almost impossible, especially when an accident on an unbroken horse lands him right where he wants to be…in Jacob’s bed.

The Review:
Whoa boy! Or should I say cowboy? For a quick ten pages, this erotic short story was hot, hot, hot! Immediately Eve Cassidy yanked my chain and pulled me into this little trist between two cowboys left alone in a bunkhouse had them sheets scorching and definitely made for a nice bedtime story.

The scene was set up perfectly, with one man injured and the other comforting him. The description Ms. Cassidy gives of J.T. as a stubborn, ‘I can tough out the pain’ attitude, contrasted against the almost nurturing response of Jacob had me cheering on these two boys. They maybe cowboys who love a good rodeo, but I think they also found a new event of their own. The sex, in a word, HOT!

I highly recommend this one and I hope Ms. Cassidy has plans for J.T. and Jacob. They make for a great couple and I would love to see more of these two on the rodeo circuit.


Pagan Elements: N/A

Apr 5, 2011

Bloodlines by Jessica Lee



The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Jessica Lee
Publisher: Breathless Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: 115 pages
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating: 
                                               

About the Book: 
Evin KinKaid, the only son of the KinKaid pack’s alpha, has a secret. One that will tear his family apart. In two years, Evin is to succeed his father as alpha leader and continue the dominate bloodline of his family. There’s only one problem: Evin is gay. When Evin is pushed into the bed of his intended female mate, he’s forced to reveal the truth. And for an alpha male wolf shifter promised to a female whose goal is to one day be queen…come out has never been more explosive.

Mason Thorne II, heir to Thorn Global Inc., life is a lie. To sustain his father’s love, Mason has agreed to stay in the family business and to one day assume his place as CEO. Instead of reaching for his heart’s desire, he’s settled for a life that’s not his own. But an unexpected auto accident will send both Evin and Mason into each other’s arms and down a path toward a destiny neither man can escape: an eternity sealed in blood.

The Review: 
Evin KinKaid is a man with a mountain of problems; an arranged marriage, being heir to his father’s pack, and being gay is making for an explosive mix. When he attempts to explain to his childhood friend and betrothed about his sexual orientation she immediately betrays him, which earns him banishment from the pack.

Mason Thorne II is the quintessential trust fund baby, complete with overpowering father. While bending to his father’s will when it comes to his education and his profession with the family business, he also mildly rebels by taking a vacation with his guitar. While on the way home from this holiday he crashes his car and finds his saving grace in the form of Evin KinKaid, mechanic/sex-on-a-stick.

This book is an absolute paranormal masterpiece that grabs you at the first word and refuses to let you go until the very end. The struggles that each of the men experience is both realistic and can be universal when it comes to the need to please. The multi-dimensional characters force the reader to fall in love with them and their struggle as they fall in love.

Along with being a moving love story, the sex scenes are deliciously naughty. The author builds each encounter to perfection making sure to include the pure love, lust, and emotions into every caress, culminating in an exquisite explosion. This is definitely a must read and a must re-read.


Pagan Elements: N/A

Reconstructing Meredith by Lauren Gallagher


The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews

Title: Reconstructing Meredith
Author: Lauren Gallagher 
Buy Link
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance/ BDSM
Length: 231 pgs.
Reviewed by: Violet

RATINGS FOR:

Cover: 5
Presentation: 5
Editing: 5
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Score:
                             

The Book:
“Scott, I need your help.”
Five words from a woman he hasn’t seen in five years, and Scott Moore’s world is thrown off its axis. Ex-girlfriend Meredith has resurfaced with a past full of horrific abuse at the hands of a man who called himself a Dom, and she has the scars to prove it. Now she needs Scott’s help to reclaim her sexuality and put the past behind her.

Scott is more than willing to help, but he has no idea the toll it will take on him, not to mention his other polyamourous relationships. What’s more, while Scott and Meredith face down her demons, their own past won’t be forgotten. Neither will Scott’s feelings for Meredith…

The Review:
Having read Light Switch last time around, I had to dive right into Reconstructing Meredith if only to see what happened with Scott, Kristin, and Matt.  When reading the second book in a series, I think most people expect to read something with the same tone and a similar plot.  With Reconstructing Meredith, Gallagher blows that completely out of the water.

The incredible writing with the fast pace and layered plot was definitely there.  The riveting characters, who become real to the reader from the first page are there.  However, the tone of the novel is completely different.  Where Light Switch was a deep, emotionally-entangling read, it’s completely light-hearted when compared to the heavy issues Gallagher takes on. Now that she’s addressed many of the popular misconceptions about some BDSM relationships, she’s taking on what happens when an abusive person hides behind the “Dom” label.

This wasn’t an easy read.  Parts were hard to take, in large part because Scott is so affected by the abuse his ex-girlfriend, Meredith, suffered at the hands of her ex-husband.  His big heart—how many guys can carry on loving relationships with two or three women in a way that none of them are jealous of the other—leads him down the long road of helping Meredith recover sexually from the years of imprisonment and abuse she endured. That’s the hard part.  He has to help her heal, and of course he still loves her. The processes are long and messy, heart breaking and hope building. It’s always been difficult for me to read about abuse of any kind, and this was no different. Scott helped me get through it as much as he helped Meredith. That really says something about the talent and skill of an author when they can do that.

In a lot of ways, this is more the second part of Light Switch and less a sequel.  Threads left dangling are all neatly wrapped up at the end of Reconstructing Meredith. Scott and Meredith really worked for their happily-ever-after, and I was happy to see that Kristin and Matt got one, too. I’m not sure which two books I’m going to have to kick out of my top ten list in order to fit these in, but they’re up near the top.

Pagan Elements: N/A