Aug 13, 2014

ARC review: The Scientific Method by Joey W. Hill, Three Secrets by Opal Carew, His Secret by Portia Da Costa (parts of Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender)

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Joey W. Hill's pages:  WebsiteFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Fan Forum

Opal Carew's pages: WebsiteFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads 

 Portia Da Costa's pages:
WebsiteFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Book summary:

Three Secrets by New York Times and USA Today bestseller Opal Carew
Sharing secrets has never been so exhilarating...
Nicole and Abel met in Paris and fell in love, but Nicole believes her secret lifestyle will drive Abel away. After the vacation ends, she decides to take a chance and share her secret, but little does she know he has a secret of his own.

His Secret by International and UK Sunday Times bestseller Portia Da Costa
Quiet storm…
Ben Chambers is the perfect handsome boyfriend. Sarah adores him, yet despite their delicious lovemaking and the fun they share, she senses he has a secret. But then, during a luxury weekend away, one casual pat to her bottom transforms everything, revealing Ben’s thrilling hidden dominance, and a world of decadent pleasure and deeper love.

Remastered by Multi-Award-Winner Madelynne Ellis
A bad experience with a former girlfriend caused Spook Mortensen to repress his sexual urges, but when sound engineer Allegra Hutton is called upon to remaster Black Halo's first album, there's only so much attitude and stubborn refusal to listen to the bands' wishes he can take before he's forced to break his self-imposed vow and take her in hand.

Working Out by USA Today bestseller Marie Harte
When lust turns to love, who’s really on top?
An ex-Marine with a kink for dominance, Mac is Maggie’s boss. But Maggie doesn’t seem to realize he’s in charge…until he shows her that Sir is more than a title. It’s a lifestyle that could suit them both. That’s if Maggie sticks around long enough to wear his collar.

The Scientific Method by bestseller Joey Hill
Mastering her body was easy. Mastering her heart and soul will be an erotic science…
In the vampire-servant relationship, the vampire holds all the power. Being Lord Brian’s research assistant as well as his servant, Debra accepts that, but she craves her Master’s heart. When Brian notices his servant’s unhappiness, he uses methods they both understand to prove just what belonging to him fully means.

Juicy by bestseller T.J. Michaels
Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…
Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Solie has to do…is choose.

No Limits by USA Today bestseller Kate Pearce
All bets are off when there are no limits…
Dr. Julia Reed deals with life or death situations at a California ER. When British businessman Alex Logan offers her a sexual bargain, she gets to share her darkest fantasies; he gets the power to carry them out. But who is the real winner in this high stakes game, and is Alex even playing fair?

Ink Reunited by USA Today bestseller Carrie Ann Ryan
Only two men can give Sassy the happily ever after she craves.
Rafe, Ian and Sassy loved each other…until it all blew apart. Now both men are back for the woman they love. It will take more than apologies for these three to overcome their history. But once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.

Unfettered: An Overwatch Story by Sasha White
You never forget your first love
Mechanic Ronnie Lang is tired of being "one of the guys". Chasing the fantasy of finding a dominant male to help her explore her sexuality she applies to Overwatch, a private BDSM club where her eyes are opened to a world that’s more than she ever imagined, and the man she’s never forgotten.

Bondage on 34th Street by Emily Ryan-Davis & Jennifer Leeland
In knots over love
After years of searching, Tasha Sears finally finds the Master of her heart …on his knees in front of intimidatingly sexy bondage enthusiast Noah Dreyfuss. As sparks flare between the three, Noah’s ropes will either bind them together or pull them apart.

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My review:

This is a review for the first three stories, since those are the ones I've read so far.

This anthology is a lot of firsts for me: it's the first anthology I'm reading, with the exception of Joey W. Hill, the first time I'm reading anything by these authors, and Joey's novella is my first adult vampire story. 


I admit, it was this tale that made me click on this book in the first place. I'm a huge fan of all the author's books I've read so far, and even though I haven't read anything from her Vampire Queen series, I couldn't resist. Starting a series from the tenth book -- that's not at all weird. At the beginning it did say that I would probably enjoy the story more if I had read the previous books and was familiar with the VQ world, but quite frankly I'm not sure that's possible, because I loved it! It gave enough information about the vampire world, and about the vampire-servant dynamic that exists in that world, so I didn't feel lost in those parts at all, even about some characters from the previous books there was enough not to consider them strangers when they appeared in this one. I did skip a big part of the series to get here, but it didn't feel like that. It did make me eager to go back to book one and read the whole series, but that's a good thing.

The Scientific Method was an emotional read for me. Without any exaggeration: Debra & Brian's story made me sob. At the beginning, Debra was in such a fragile emotional state, I just wanted to hug her, and beat Brian up for causing it. I still do, actually. For a genius scientist, he was such a blind idiot. Anyway, as I was saying, Debra was in a bad place. She knew what her place as a servant was, but she knew her relationship with Brian could be so much more, the idea of which he shot down, leaving a void inside her.

As a human who entered the vampire world as a third mark servant, Debra had to leave her whole life and people from it behind, including her family. When she learned that a dear family member was dying, it made everything even worse. The worst of it was that Brian, her Master, who had the ability to enter her mind and see what she was thinking and feeling, almost never did that, so he was completely oblivious to all this. The bastard.

However, he started to open his eyes, and change his ways. He finally started to behave the way he should have from the very beginning.

As always, there were some scorching hot scenes, not heavy on SM, but the Master/slave relationship between Brian and Debra is pretty serious. This may not be the most enjoyable read for those who like to read about really light BDSM. I'm not one of them, so for me, this was another winner from Ms. Hill.

In the end, I was very happy for Debra, but I'd still like to give Brian a piece of my mind.

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Tales 2 & 3, Three Secrets and His Secret, weren't as good for me as the first one. The Scientific Method was quite long, and I love the author's books, so that's no surprise. Three Secrets and His Secret weren't nearly as long, so connecting with the characters was a harder task. Debra & Brian got a lot of pages, so I was able to completely immerse myself in their story. With Nicole & Abel, and Sarah & Ben, not so much. Maybe if their stories weren't about a crucial part in their romances, it wouldn't have bothered me, but as it is, when I'm reading stories this short I prefer the relationship between characters to be light, new. If not, I'd like many more pages about it. That said, I did like His Secret. I didn't find his secret to be that dark, but I am used to heavier forms of BDSM. His thing was cute, in my opinion. I did like how the characters connected on that field, how they clicked. I wish there was more of Ben and his suits, but what can you do.

While I didn't feel like I missed something important from Debra & Brian's history, I did feel like there was something missing in Three Secrets. This is book #3 in Three series, so maybe it would have been better if I had read the previous two. I don't know. It had a nice menage scene, but given who the participants were to each other, I honestly couldn't enjoy it.

What I didn't like from both of these stories was that the characters keeping secrets regarding their sexual preferences were offering to try and suppress them if their partners weren't into it. I'm sorry, but I find this unacceptable. It not like quitting a habit, it's denying a part of who they are, so, no, I do not want to read about that.

Current score:
- The Scientific Method: ★★★★½
- Three Secrets: ★★
- His Secret: ★★★

***A copy of this book was provided to me through NetGalley.***



  1. Hrm. When they're that short it's just SO hard to really get into them. I've found a couple over the years that totally rocked it but so often it just needs a bit more. Hope the rest of the stories in the antho turn out a bit stronger!

    1. I hope so, too, though I'm not keeping my hopes up. I've read some shorties I really enjoyed, but when after fifty or so pages there's a marriage proposal, I don't like it. For that I need many more pages about the relationship.
      But, really, the anthology is worth buying for Joey's story alone, which is, luckily, quite long. :)


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