Unbroken (Undisputed Book Two) by Aaron L. Speer

Book Blurb:

When Ava Beckinsale’s parents discover their daughter’s attraction to women, they decide a radical medical treatment is the only way to fix her.

When Ava finds out what’s really happening during her sessions with the doctor, she runs to the only friend she has left, a retired MMA fighter. 

With his help, Ava will reach for the only thing that hasn’t been stripped away: her dream of forging her own career in MMA.

Where the only things that matter are the strength of your character, the size of your heart and whether you have the courage to get back up when you’ve been knocked down. 

Despite everything she’s endured, her true test will begin in the Cage. To conquer it, and everything life will throw at her, she’ll have to learn: sometimes your biggest opponent is yourself.

My Review:

This is book two in the undisputed series and after reading about gorgeous, tough MMA fighter Owen, I did not think it would be possible for the series to get better but this book manages easily. Unbroken features everything including fighting, forbidden love, hatred, friendship, violence, abuse, angst and the journey of self-discovery. But this book is not your traditional love story. In fact it is the best type of love story, it is the one where you learn to love yourself. This book features quite a lot of trigger points including domestic violence, sexual abuse, prejudicial hatred and lesbian romance and sex. If any of these are not your cup of tea or may offend you then you may not want to read this, but honestly whilst some of these things are never easy to read about they very much did enhance the story.

Ava Beckinsale was raised in a good Christian background, where her parents had exceptionally strict standards and expectations for her. They did not support her dream of becoming a fighter. Instead they just wanted her to find a good man to marry, who would look after her and provider for her while she takes care of the house and has children. At the young age of 17, Ava knew what the future was for her and that wasn’t it. She knew that she was gay and has always had feelings for women instead of men. Then she starts up a secret relationship with her childhood best friend Jasmine. At the same time she is training at her local gym with ex-MMA fighter Ruben who becomes a great friend to Ava. When Ava and Jasmine’s sexual relationship is discovered at their school, both of their parents are informed and this sets off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.

Ava’s parents believe that she is doing the devil’s work and will go to hell if her attitude does not change. A gay conversion doctor is recommended to them and they take Ava to receive treatment. She goes weekly to see him, takes tablets and then is injected with an unknown substance that makes her feel woozy and relaxed. The doctor then uses hypnosis to try to change Ava’s sexuality. Until one session Ava forgets to take her medication and finds out the true extent of the ‘care’ she is receiving. Feeling betrayed by the doctor she rushes to tell her mum who says she already knows that the doctor is using less than scientific ways to see if Ava reacts sexually to a man. So after arguing with her mum Ava runs away to Ruben and his boyfriend Chris and they agree to take Ava in. They support her and when Ava says she wants to train as a fighter they agree to be her trainers. She progresses quickly and eventually finds herself in her first professional match. But instead of being against a low ranking opponent, because of several scandals and declining interest in the women’s division, she ends up facing her personal hero and undisputed female champion for several year, Veronica Nash. Nash is expected to trample newbie Ava and so the world is shocked when scrappy Ava puts up a good fight and although Nash wins, they both end up in the hospital.

Jasmine has not has an easy life. Since her relationship with Ava was discovered, her family moved away believing that Ava was the one corrupting Jasmine. They sent her to church classes and forced her into dating boys. Adam is picked for Jasmine and they are thrown together at church camp. They grow close and Jasmine tells him about her past. He say that he is understanding and cares for her still but Jasmine continues to struggle to cope and turns to self-harm as an outlook for the pain. Her parents force her relationship with Adam to progress and they begin seriously dating. He makes it clear that he wants sex from Jasmine. She holds out saying that she doesn’t want sex before marriage. With her parents’ consent Adam then tells her that they are getting married without even asking her. What results is a very unhappy marriage filled with abuse and violence. Jasmine’s only relief is when she thinks of a happier time with Ava. So when she sees Ava has been admitted to hospital after the fight she is determined to find her and make sure she is alright.

This book is presented as a love story between Ava and Jasmine but it is not. We do get glances into their first love and how they deal with it, and their feelings are beautiful to witness. Also seeing how they find their way back to each other was great. But when they do find each other again their relationship doesn’t flourish like they hope. They both realise that they have grown a lot over the years and their needs and dreams are no longer aligned. But they need to come back together for closure. Jasmine needed to see that it is alright for her to feel the way that she does and that she does not have to conform just to meet the expectations of her parents. Whereas Ava learns that she is a fighter and always will be. She needs to stand up for what she believes in, fight through the pain and humiliation, and learn to accept and love the person she is. Watching Ava learn to be brave and love herself was something extraordinary. It inspired me and made me want to be a fighter in life, which is a powerful thing for words to do.

This book is full of fantastic characters that I love. Ava was so inspiring, tough and passionate but she was also afraid and lost, which made her a very relatable person. The pain she has faced in her past was heart-breaking but she uses that to give her strength which is inspiring. Jasmine was so unhappy with her life but she did not have the fight that Ava had. She chose to conform to her parents’ wishes and this resulted in her becoming meek, depressed and generally very lost. But with Ava’s helps she fights back, learns to accept who she is and get her sparkle and strength back which is great to see. I loved both Ruben and Chris and the way that they took Ava in almost as their adopted daughter. They supported her, showed her love and stood by her to help her achieve her dream. But they also had their own backstories and flawed personalities. They too go on a journey in this book and having Ava in their life is something special.

We also get a small catch up with Owen Gasnier and Tegan’s best friend Fiona, from the first book, as there is a little crossover between the two books that just reminded me of how kind and awesome Owen is. Then there is Veronica Nash. She is painted throughout the book as a cold heartless villain because that is the role that the fight promoters need her to play, but we got to see a different side of her. She is someone who is focused on fighting as it is all she has in her life, no friends, family or a life outside of fighting. But really she is lonely, she feels guilt and admiration towards Ava after the fight. She is an awful lot more than what we see in the fight promotion and personally I would love to see Nash get her own book and happiness. I also loved Ava’s dad who was willing to admit his mistakes and put to love he has for his daughter before his beliefs.

While there was a lot of characters that I loved this book also featured a lot of characters that you cannot help but hate. Ava’s parents hid behind their Christian belief and allowed her to be subjected to hatred rather than supporting their children for who they really are. Ava’s mother who knew about the pain Ava has been subjected to, but was too worried about her social standing within the church, that she allowed it to happen. I cannot possibly understand her positioning and Speer did a fantastic job of making me hate her along with the evil perverted doctor. He claimed his methods were in the name of science but he abused the position of trust and this I cannot possibly understand. You go to a doctor for help and you put your trust in them, so for them to break that trust it is awful. But no character did I hate more than Jasmine’s partner Adam. He was a sexist pig that not only had an archaic view of what the role of a wife entailed, but I hated the fact that he saw Jasmine as his property and that he felt he had the right to have rough sex with her whenever he wanted, was completely disgusting. His behaviour as an abuser could not have made me hate him more and I think that this book very much makes sure he gets what he deserves.

Overall, I could not love this book any more. I did not think that it would be possible to enjoy this book as much as I did the first, but actually it was so much better. What is so fantastic about this book is that it is full of beautifully written words that will empower and give the reader inspiration whilst making them feel so much. Aaron L Speer is a fantastic author who has the power to drag emotions out of you that you never even saw coming. This book is a rollercoaster ride that you will love. I do hope there is more in this series.

Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

This book is available for Free on Kindle Unlimited or can be purchased here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2YCK516

Learning Curve by Andi Jaxon

Book Blurb:

My subconscious wanted him even when logic said I shouldn’t.

Alister Bennet

Loyal, reliable… predictable even, I’ve always done what’s expected of me. Stay out of trouble, get my teaching degree and build a respectable career as a college professor. The job comes with a long list of rules and at the top of that list is no fraternizing with students. Following the rules seemed easy enough, until a dark, tortured boy sat outside my office waiting for me. His voice told me it was his grade he was worried about, but the deep onyx pools of his eyes told me more as they shook the solid ground I’d always stood on. 

Am I willing to risk my career, my carefully built reputation, to help one so filled with pain I can taste it?

Benjamin Wallace

Rejected, abused, and abandoned my entire life, all I’ve ever wanted was to be accepted, loved even. I thought going to college on a scholarship would be my ticket out of hell, but nothing good ever comes without a price. As graduation nears I find myself drawn to the mysterious professor like a moth to a flame. Just one meeting with the man that has been starring in my dreams has my soul screaming for him to hold me, comfort me. A relationship isn’t just frowned upon, it’s forbidden, but the heart doesn’t always know the difference. 

Can I trust my mangled heart in his perfect life when my past repeats itself or will he destroy what is left of me? 

*Author’s note: This is an MM teacher-student romance with themes including abuse and kidnapping. This story ends with a HEA.*

My Review:

Who knew that a book about a teacher who falls in love with his student could make you feel so many strong emotions. It is a trope that a lot of people would associate with being a bit sleazy or taboo and so they avoid it. That can also be said for gay male relationships or age gap romances. This book contains all three genres and I can honestly say that despite having reservations before I started it is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. I started reading with low expectations and it managed to blow my mind and had me addicted right from the start.

Alistair appears to have the perfect life. He has a mum and dad that love and support him unconditionally. He has a twin brother who is also his best friend and they share a unique bond, a fantastic amount of banter and a lot of love. His family have weekly dinners so that they can return back to the home the twins grew up in and catch up, so that they can all remain close. He also has his dream job teaching maths at the local Christian college. His students love him and he is well known on campus for being the hottest teacher as well as being a bit of an enigma as nobody has ever seen him in a relationship. This is the only area in Alistair’s life where he knows that he is missing out as he really wants to find love but it is not easy given that he is gay. Alistair doesn’t have an issue with his sexuality and he has been out to his family for years but the college that he works for would not approve of his sexual orientation. But they would hate it even more when Alistair becomes deeply attracted to someone for the first time and it just so happens to be one of his students.

Ben has had a horrible existence so far. He was placed in foster care as a child and his foster father severely abused him for years before Ben finally ran away into hiding. He is 23, living in a run-down flat in a dangerous neighbourhood. Ben is determined to graduate and make it on his own, but to graduate he needs to pass one more class that he is currently failing. He needs to ask his gorgeous maths teacher to tutor him but every time he tries to ask him Ben gets distracted by how attracted to Alistair he is. Feeling worthless and undeserving of love has always made Ben shy and withdrawn until his feelings for Alistair come out and he makes his feeling clear. This leads Alistair to take the leap and kiss Ben, which is the start of one hell of a relationship.

The relationship that Ben and Alistair share is so beautiful to witness for lots of reasons and it is something new for both of them. Alistair has never had a serious relationship but he has been with men before and he has fantastic role models to base his relationships on. Whereas Ben has never been with a man, after he was shamed growing up for his feelings. So Alistair has to tread carefully to ensure that Ben is well cared for and does not freak out. Watching Ben heal and grow in confidence when he is surrounded by love was breathtakingly beautiful to see. But watching him have everything torn from him and seeing him being forced to relive his trauma was truly heart-breaking. Never have I been more pleased that a character has found someone in the way that Ben found Alistair. He cares for him, treats him with respect and shows him that his feelings are normal, which all helps him grow as a person. Every time Alistair tells Ben to take what he wants, it made me smile because Alistair had to give up a little control for Ben to be able to grow but because of his love he did not hesitate to do it for him. You cannot help but love this couple and the chemistry between them is off the charts. The sex scenes are steamy but they are also beautiful at times as they are used to show how love helps Ben to heal.

I loved the secondary characters that we are introduced to in this book. Sexy, dirty, bad boy cop Alex ticks so many boxes for me and I sincerely hope that he gets his own book. But if he does I am sure it will feature Ben’s feisty best friend Kristen. Their banter ad chemistry just as additional characters was extremely hot, so I can’t wait to see what would happen if they do get their own book.

Overall, I loved this book. I went into the book with low expectations and I am ashamed to say that because this book definitely does not deserve that. It is beautiful, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time. There is a great level of banter and sarcasm between the characters to keep things light in between dealing with the very heavy subject matter. For some people abuse, gay relationships and discrimination may be triggers, so please bear that in mind before you start reading. But I loved this book so much and I am happy to shout it from the rooftops and recommend it to everyone!

Note: I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available for Free on Kindle Unlimited or can be purchased here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2YHTAs2

Bane (Carnal Pleasures Book 1) by Claire Marta and Summer Stanton

Book Blurb:

Carnal Pleasures is the most exclusive BDSM club in the supernatural world. Renowned for their specialized Dominant and submissive training, people come from all over to explore what the club has to offer.

Cold and commanding, Adam Archer is the club manager. Though he hasn’t taken on a submissive in years, he agrees to see to the newest member of the club.

After surviving a horrific attack, Bane is left broken. The lost wolf is sent to Carnal Pleasures at the bidding of his Pack Alpha. Wrapped in pain and self-doubt he doesn’t want to be there. After all, who would help a damaged beast?

Their attraction is instant, but Bane is distrustful of the demanding vampire. Not used to following the orders of anyone but his Alpha, he fights against his temporary Master at every turn.

Determined to make him let go, Adam submerges Bane in a world he never thought to dream of. A place where trust and submission go hand in hand.

Both men are stubborn and fight tooth and nail to make their arrangement work. When they do figure it out, they find they have more in common than mutual attraction. Together, they might heal more than just Bane’s broken confidence.

*The Carnal Pleasures series will be a mixture of various M/M and M/F pairings following the lives of the employees and patrons of the club. Due to language and explicit sexual interaction it is recommended for readers 18 and up*

My Review:

This book is nothing like anything that I have ever read before but it feels like Claire and Summer have thrown together parts of all of my favourite books to make one sexy hybrid. Claire Marta is fast becoming my go to girl for all things paranormal and kinky so this book most definitely does not disappoint. Bane features paranormal creatures, BDSM and a gay male relationship, so the theme may not be to everyone’s taste. But if this is your jam or if you want to expand your horizons, like I did, then this book is very much for you.

Bane is a grumpy, argumentative but broken werewolf who is haunted by his past. He is feeling disconnected from his wolf side and his pack, as well as being lost and lonely with no hope for the future. His pack Alpha Liam signs Bane up to join the exclusive Mystic Cardinal Pleasure Club, in the hope that it will help him relax and get back to his old self. Cardinal Pleasure is an elusive and exclusive BDSM club that caters to all different kinds of supernatural’s. It aims at giving customers whatever they need and setting them up with either a Dom or a Sub depending upon their needs. Mistress Mystic, the owner of the club, gets a reluctant Bane to agree to submit for four weeks in the hope that giving away his control will get Bane out of his own head and will help him to heal. But naturally Bane is an Alpha, second in command within his pack and he is only meant to submit to his pack Alpha. Despite his reluctance all of that changes when he is introduced to his sexy, stern Master Adam. 

Adam is an old vampire who has worked for Mistress Mystic as manager of Cardinal Pleasures for many years. Whilst he enjoys doing scenes, giving demonstrations and dishing out punishments as he is a Dom, he never takes on a Sub for longer than one night. So when Mystic asks him to introduce Bane to the world of BDSM, particularly puppy play and to help him learn how to submit, Adam realises it must be an important request. It is also clear from his sign-up sheet that Bane knows nothing about the lifestyle and it is unclear if he actually wants to be helped.

From the moment Adam and Bane meet there is obvious chemistry but the path to true love and true submission does not come easily. Both characters are severely hindered by their pasts and the heartbreaks that they have each encountered, whilst different it has had a profound effect on them. Bane has no self-esteem and is stuck in his own head with a relentless cycle of self-hatred taking over him. But the love, care and support that Adam gives Bane shows that he is capable of being loved, even if it takes him time to actually believe it. However, sometimes actions speak louder than words and it is clear from the way Adam cares for Bane, that he is screaming his love.

The BDSM element in this book is extremely hot and taught me quite a bit about a world I am not very familiar with. But I want to be clear and say I am a BDSM novice and so people who are in the community may disagree, but for me I enjoyed the sex scenes. I will be honest and say that I am not sure I enjoyed the puppy play element. Whilst it did seem to have its place in the book it did not do much for me but this may be just personal preference.

This book introduced us to a host of secondary characters who have all become good friends to Bane and Adam and I loved learning more about them and their different lifestyles. I am keen to learn more about Elias and Samuel to discover more about their strange yet intriguing back story. But my draw was to the mysterious Dom and Alpha of the rebel pack, Lucian. We get a mini hint at his story but I wanted so much more. I am hoping there are more books in this series and that Lucian finds a Sub who will keep him happy. But I would love to read the backstory of any of the secondary characters and that for me is a sign of good writing. If I care about every character, not just the main ones, then the authors must be doing something right.

Overall, I loved this book. Bane’s feistiness and his smart mouth were at times very funny to witness knowing that Adam would challenge him and then punish him. Adam may have a very cold, heartless exterior but he is far from that and his sweet, kind, caring personality gave him a very sexy appeal. But it is his strong, dominating force that will really draw you to the enigmatic vampire. Even though their relationship is fast paced and develops under extraordinary circumstances it is actually very beautiful to witness. Their relationship is not normal, but for them they have found a normal that works and it gives them both what they need, which is the key to any successful relationship. On a slight negative note, when I started I did find the writing style, particularly the speaking elements were quite difficult to get my head around, as they were formatted slightly different to normal. But after a couple of chapters this was no longer too much of an issue. I would definitely recommend you give this book a go, even if it sounds like it might not be for you because I am sure once you see the love, trust and care between Adam and Bane which builds over time it will leave you hooked.

Note: I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available for Free on Kindle Unlimited or can be purchase here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Lb0nbJ

Just a bit twisted (Straight Guys Book 1) by Alessandra Hazard

As most of you know from my other blogs I have recently discovered the world of ménage and reverse harem and this new book series focusing on gay male relationships, with a straight guy unsure of his sexuality, was recommended to me. I am always a little unsure if I am going to enjoy branching out to a new genre but if this book is anything to go by then it is absolutely a type of book I will enjoy in the future particularly if written by Alessandra Hazard.

This book will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions and you will not know if you want the characters to reach a happily ever after or not. The taboo professor and student plot line is something that can be done in a very sleazy way or in a way that is not very believable but that’s not the case here. When they begin their relationship there is an agreement to hide it from the outside world and they fall in love in their own little bubble. Some people may have an issue with the age gap or the idea of a ‘person in a position of power’ entering into a relationship even though they are of legal age. If these themes are an issue for you then this book may not be for you but I feel that the idea was handled well and that this book should not be dismissed just based on the theme alone. As the great saying goes don’t judge a book by its cover!

Shawn is a 20 year old college student on a scholarship, but is struggling to maintain his grades. Since the death of his parents he was left not only with their debts but also his two young twin sisters who he became guardian to. Struggling to find the balance between going to his classes, studying, caring for his sisters and then working to pay for their childcare for when he is at work or college, Shawn reaches a point where he faces losing his scholarship if he does not pass one of his hardest classes. That class is taught by the meanest professor in the college Derek Rutledge but there is a rumour that he is quite partial to a nice young boy and a bit of flirting might just persuade him to award a better grade.

Professor Derek Rutledge is hated and feared by his students and this is for a very good reason. He is strict, ruthless and doesn’t have any patience for teaching people who are not clever enough or who are not willing to work hard and this is makes his class the hardest to pass. He has heard the rumour that all it takes for him to change a grade is a bit of flirting from a good looking boy but this is not the case, despite the amount of people that try. Which is why it is so surprising that when Shawn walks in and flirts to get a better grade Rutledge unexpectedly agrees and this leads to a deal that will change both of their worlds.

Initially I found Rutledge very difficult to like but as his character developed you realise that he is wonderfully flawed and as his relationship with Shawn grew he softened allowing the more caring and better aspects of his personality shined through. It was also very refreshing to see that Rutledge knew what he wanted and was not afraid to go after it despite knowing how difficult the situation was. Nevertheless it was not just Derek who grew as a person in this book, Shawn had the biggest personal journey to go on. His entire life he has identified as straight and this has never even been questioned until he started entering into a sexual relationship with Derek and he realised how much he enjoyed it. After getting over their initial feelings of hating each other because of their situation, it became obvious that there really is a fine line between love and hate, which is when Derek begins helping Shawn to discover who he really is and allows for his sexuality and confidence to grow. This was beautiful to read and initially I thought that the plot line would be a little sleazy but it very much was not. Despite the age gap and professor/student status there was not a power imbalance and at some point during the story they both held power over each other. While Derek taught Shawn about his sexuality and discovering himself, Shawn returned the favour and taught Derek what it means to be in a relationship and how to fall in love.

As I mentioned before the book will take you on a rollercoaster of emotion as it is full of drama and angst. The background stories to both protagonists and their family life could not be more different whilst both being equally heart breaking and they are both missing something in their life until they discover each other. I really enjoyed watching the relationship develop and despite the scenario it seemed so natural. The sex scenes were very hot and a clever mix between sweet and sizzling which seemed just right for the character development and the relationship progress.

I started reading this book with a low expectation with it not being the usual genre that I enjoy but this book had me hooked and I could not stop reading. This is book one of a series and I cannot wait to start book two and am downloading it as I type this. If book two is as good as this book then I will be downloading the whole series and throwing myself into the world of hot bi/gay men who lust after and then end up sexually corrupting straight men in a deliciously sexy way. Alessandra Hazard definitely pushes the boundaries with taboo subjects which some people may not enjoy and I think you have to start reading this with and open mind but if you do then I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.