Thursday, 15 August 2019

Book Review - Awakening by Zoe Asher

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Dude! Stop ignoring the half-naked lady behind you.

Awakening is the story of Liz Ashton, a New York art gallery owner, who embarks on a relationship with the extraordinarily wealthy Damon St Claire. He introduces her to a hitherto unfamiliar world of BDSM which Liz slowly opens herself up to. She discovers a way of life that gives her something that she has never experienced before.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that Awakening is extraordinarily similar to Fifty Shades of Grey. I read a lot of BDSM romances so I don’t say that lightly.

The parallels between the two books are constant: Rich businessman Dom, Innocent book smart BDSM newbie, a Housekeeper and a Driver as significant supporting characters, Non-Disclosure Agreements and Contracts (Anal Play is in. Canes are out. Much like Ana and Christian’s contract), rules about the going to the gym three times a week with a personal trainer, Damon insisting on Liz attending a private doctor to sort out contraception, a sub spare room that Liz can decorate any way she chooses, a Dom who tracks his sub’s every move and messages her to let her know that he’s keeping tabs on her … Honestly, this list could go on.

Liz and Damon. Honest.
In fact there are so many striking similarities that I’m inclined to believe that Zoe Asher’s hasn’t actually read Fifty Shades of Grey herself. If she had, surely she would have avoided writing a book that was almost identical.

Maybe if you start with the premise of a BDSM-themed love story set in the present day between a Billionaire and a BDSM virgin, you could find yourself accidentally rewriting Fifty Shades of Grey without realising it.

If you had done it by accident though, you probably wouldn’t have given your hero the name Damon (with its obvious Demon/Omen connotations) because that’s just begging to be contrasted with the name Christian, isn’t it?

That said, I think The Awakening is actually better written than its bestselling counterpart. There’s none of that tedious Inner Goddess gumph for a start. Liz is less annoying than Ana. You get both sides of the story from the get go.

Although, oddly, given that this is a story about a woman taking a leap of faith and diving into a new lifestyle, most of the time Liz’s new life seems rather boring.

The BDSM stuff is all well and good but for the most part the new lifestyle that Damon imposes on her is stifling. You’d think that wealth and privilege would open up the world but his world is so small that it rarely leaves his excellently appointed apartment. Liz is taken away from the vibrancy and fun of life on the New York streets and is immediately ferried around by her drivers, followed by a bodyguard and holed up in Damon’s home expected to account for her every move outside of it. Damon doesn’t even acknowledge her half the time.

The story finishes on a cliff-hanger with Liz arriving at Damon’s private island for what promises to be a BDSM-intensive getaway. The details of which will be presumably be covered in the subsequent book in what is already being billed as a trilogy.

It’s a well-crafted book with plenty of attention to detail. Zoe Asher is clearly a very good writer. I just found the relentless similarities to Fifty Shades of Grey and the stuffiness of the main characters’ arrangement a bit off-putting.

I would happily read more of Zoe Asher’s work but will probably steer clear of the rest of this series. Hopefully  next time it will be something a bit more fun which doesn’t read like a re-tread of somebody else’s book.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Super Daddies!

I'm all about promoting a new anthology series, "Super Daddies" today. A collection of novellas which includes a story from Rayanna Jamison and Allysa Hart whose new book series, "Daddy of the Month Club", I was excitedly reviewing a couple of days ago.

There are also stories by a whole bunch of other great authors including site favourite Maren Smith.

The anthology is subtitled "A Naughty Nerdy Romantic Comedy Anthology" which ticks all my boxes. Naughtiness, nerdiness, romance and comedy are literally my four favourite things. After cats. And tea.

I have just purchased my copy and it is sitting on my ever-increasing virtual e-book pile. I'll review it when I'm finished and let you know what I think. Of course, you will have all read it by then so we'll be able to compare notes on Super Daddies.

Super Daddies
Seven HOT new novellas by some of the best-known authors in the genre. Get ready for love, laughs, and all the comic action that any anthology filled with Daddy Doms who know where to draw the line and Littles who can’t wait to cross them can hold. Have you been super naughty? Don’t worry… have we got a Daddy for that!

Available on Amazon and FREE in KU

Included in this anthology are:

Weathering Lainey by Stella Moore
Lainey Goldberg has spent her entire life believing she's completely normal. Until an evil corporation tries to kidnap her, a man she only knows as "Daddy" rescues her, and she's forced to come to terms with the fact that she has powers she never dreamed of. Can she learn to live under Daddy's rules and come to terms with her new reality? Or will she risk both their lives by doing things her own way?

Little Villain by Golden Angel
Chaotica is the right hand lady of the city's biggest villain… until she's captured by the vigilante Pluto. Things haven't been going well with her Daddy for a long time, so when Pluto suddenly starts making all the right moves she can't help but wonder… is he just playing a part to get her to talk? Or would she be better off switching sides and taking a chance on a Daddy who seems too good to be true?

Super Daddy by Allysa Hart and Rayanna Jamison
I wasn’t the damsel in distress type. And yet here I was, wrapped up in a shit-show of epic proportions, with a gang of bad guys after me and a leak somewhere in the ranks of the police department charged with keeping me safe. The next thing I know, I’m holed up in a talking house with Brian, the butter-voiced superhero who ‘rescued’ me against my will. He has a hard-as-steel body and even harder hands, but there’s something about him I just can’t resist. I’ve never needed anyone, and I don’t want to start now, but when he tells me to call him Daddy, I almost believe it when he says he can keep me safe… Almost…

Daddy’s Sassy Little Superhero by Adaline Raine
I should have paid more attention to the night things changed, but I didn’t. No one ever paid me any attention, but now I’m super strong. I hurt the baddest man in the city and now he’s coming after me.

Daddy Shark by Maren Smith
Ommin Jones had always been alone. He had a job, his own place, and no friends (just the way he liked it). Sadly, all that changed the night he saved another man’s life. Now, despite all his best efforts, everyone wanted his autograph and the media wouldn’t leave him alone. He hated it… right up until he met Britney, a late-night radio personality and Little as lonely as he was. No, Ommin never meant to be a super hero. But for one very special Little, he wasn’t just Ommin the Sharkman. He was… Daddy Shark!

Daddy’s Justice by R.J. Gray
When Loki and his dark forces ascend on Midgard, my team is dispatched. The mission: Track down the valkyrie demi-god, Morrigan, and protect her, no matter the cost. The problem: Morrigan has no idea what she is, she doesn’t cooperate, and I, the God of Justice, am not accustomed to disobedience. Also, falling in love wasn’t part of the assignment. Loki is unstoppable; he’ll kill her if he can, but from the moment she calls me Daddy, everything changes. Now, to get to her, he’ll have to go through me… Fat chance.

Ultragirl Powers Up by Emily Tilton
Midwestern college girl Susan Corday has just discovered she's actually the last survivor of a race of alien warriors, whose almost unlimited powers come directly from her sexual arousal. Can the extremely dominant Nightprince teach the newly minted Ultragirl to keep her powers in check with his considerable skills as a loving daddy? Earth's newest superhero is about to find out that she's really a naughty little at heart, and badly in need of a sound spanking.