My Review 🌹 Bait

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Title: Bait
Author: Jade West
Genre: Dark-ish Erotic Romance
Rating: 5 ‘s

Blurb

A stranger online. Dark hair and even darker eyes that knew my dirty desires before I did.
A fantasy that should never be spoken. But he pulled the confession from me.
And now he’s coming for me.
Rough. Dirty. Dangerous.
It’s supposed to be one night to get me off and make me forget.
He’ll make me his and I’ll pretend I don’t want him to.
I’ll run and he’ll chase.
Because I asked him for this.
I begged him for this.

Tonight, in the darkness, he’s the hunter.
And I’m the bait.

🌹 My Review 🌹

I’m a new reader of Jade West, admittedly because I’m often disappointed by all the hype – that was so not the case this time! New reader, and definitely a new fan. I will commence with the cyber-stalking momentarily, first my review…

Abigail Summers is crazy effed up – seriously. She doesn’t even deny it. She’s fully aware that her needs, desires, fantasies, are borderline psychotic in their insanity. After suffering a horrendous, emotionally and physically gutting experience, she’s run to a new town, new job, to start a new life. Yet, she’s not living. She’s merely going through the motions, skimming the surface without any desire to sink below the surface, because nothing makes her feel alive anymore. Nothing, except for the monster who haunts her dreams. The one she’s been running from most of her life. The one she stopped hoping to escape, and yearns to finally feel the terror of being caught, of being ripped to shreds…anything to feel alive again. Her dreams never let her get that far, so she takes the chance of finding her monster for real by confessing her fantasy with a new online profile. It was crazy stupid, she knows that, and the first 20 or so responses she gets only confirms it. Then, Phoenix Burning replies.

Leo Scott is still burning, scars itching, trapped in that inferno in every possible way. He’s stuck in the aftermath of a real life nightmare that cost him the woman he loved, the brother he used to know, and nearly the business they’d all built together. For over a year, he’d done nothing but focus on the latter, putting all of his blood, sweat and time into rebuilding Scott Brothers from the ashes. His son won’t talk, his sister won’t listen, and his brother won’t stop seeking vengeance. Every day, seven days a week, it’s the same routine. He runs…and never gets anywhere. Because, the guilt won’t let him. Because, the one night he chose not to chase Mariana, was the night he couldn’t run fast enough to save her…to save any of them. When he reads the girl’s online profile, reads her fantasy, he swears it could’ve been Mariana’s ghost who’d penned it and the monster he’d long since buried wakes up with a vengeance. Bait wants the chase, wants what comes after, and Leo’s monster is more than willing to make her nightmares come true.

Maybe then, they can both start feeling alive again.

We all get preconceived notions about a book by its blurb or cover, and let me tell you – they won’t do you any good with Bait. This book was INTENSE. It will lure you in, captivate you and then it will make you squirm, sweat, your heart will race, you will be sublimely uncomfortable, start questioning your own mind and you’ll love every freaking minute of it. The pacing was perfect, allowing the reader to really get in, get deep into each character before their world’s actually collide – and that was such a thrill for me.

This book is not a quickie. I wasn’t able to read it all in one sitting, but had to walk away, give myself a moment to breathe and absorb, before rushing back to find out what happened next. The emotions of each character are full, heady, dripping off the pages – Leo’s are more vibrant and in your face than Abigail’s, but only because he’s dealing with other people who were just as affected by his tragic past as he is.

I won’t add spoilers, just know that this book has everything you could ever want. Drama, suspense, dark, heart-pounding and enticing erotica, the PIERCINGS, OMG – gripping emotions, family turmoil, realistic character development, tragedy, friendships, heart – it will make you feel insane and happy to be there – and then, when you think it couldn’t get any better, it will still manage to surprise you.

Read it!

This is an Honest Review of a book that I purchased. I was not given any kind of compensation from the author in exchange for it, to include an ARC.

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Show Me Your Worst

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Getting comfortable with discomfort is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a writer, and it’s a work in progress. When I first started writing, I never left my comfort zone for any reason. Which meant, no matter how hard I tried to make my characters as epic as the ones I was reading, it wasn’t happening. I was able to get uncomfortable for my antagonists, because I didn’t have to spend any more time with them than that and I certainly didn’t need them to be likable. A completely different issue for main characters, and it took me awhile to realize that my cozy corner was their biggest enemy. Sometimes, I’m a slow learner. But eventually, I had to face the fact that I was the one robbing my protagonists of the greatness they deserved.

As most writers can attest, the ease in which we’re able to explore the emotional and psychological range of a protagonist, really depends on the character. There are the vibrant personality types that can be completely fleshed out within minutes – and, then there are the characters who aren’t nearly as forthcoming. When we decide to draw our character’s flaws to the surface and pick at them, it starts getting a little uncomfortable, because we love them and we want our readers to love them, too. But a hero or heroine who is flawless is both unrealistic and flat. Not epic. Imagine how forgettable Frodo Baggins would’ve been, if he’d never struggled with and overcame the temptation of the ring’s power.

Show me your worst. I want to see how deep the pit in your soul goes. Or do I?

It’s one thing to tell a writer: “You have to leave your comfort zone to write well.” Quite another for that writer to decide just how far to plunge into the dark unknown. Again, I think this depends a lot on the character. By my guesstimation, there are 3 basic degrees of Bad Guy/Girl protagonists.

1) The circumstantial bad: They’re bad due to horrible circumstances, tragedy, childhood trauma, etc. but really good at heart and easily redeemable.

2) The lost soul bad: They’ve spiraled so far into the darkness of revenge, tragedy, addiction, bad luck, etc. they’re barely hanging onto the edge of no return and it’s going to take more than just a quick genuflection and three Hail Mary’s to pull them out of it.

3) The unapologetic bad: They have fully embraced their dark side and have no qualms using it to their every advantage, yet there’s still a spark of good in them that allows them to love and be loved. They’re not on a quest for redemption, but to find that last missing piece that would make them feel whole.

The thing I try to consider when I’m working with option 1 or 2, is just how much work I can feasibly put into it. The deeper your character’s flaws, the steeper the climb to redemption, and to show one side in great detail without the other getting equal attention is the fastest way to disappoint readers. Sometimes, it’s a natural trajectory and I’m just following the character’s lead and then realize – Oh, snap! Now I have to dig them out of this mess. Ugh! Not just out of the mess, but within the confines of a word-count limit.

This is why I write a lot of series, that’s the naked truth of it. Word count caps and I, we’re not friends. You can laugh, but 100,000 words is rarely enough for this writer. With a series, I can let my characters get into all the messes they want and then dig them out little by little over a few books.

When it comes to option 3, there’s both an easier flow to it and more of a challenge. First, you have to convince (and frequently remind) yourself that your character has no boundaries except the ones you’re placing on them via yourself. The other side of that is figuring out where to draw the lines for your audience’s sake. Knowing your character is 100% okay with being bad frees up moral restrictions and can be extremely fun to take beyond your comfort zone – If you don’t get carried away! It’s not a good idea to make them so outrageously bad that they lack any and all qualities your readers would want to root for – especially, in a typical romance genre.

Last year, I started exploring the realm of Dark Erotica where the rules are completely different and pushing boundaries is not only expected, the lack of it will stir up the wrath of the villagers. I went beyond some of my comfort zones with the Avarice trilogy, but not to the point where I was squirming and sweating in my seat…much. A lot of Dark Erotica fans probably wouldn’t even label those books as such, but since it has triggers in religion, demonology and R.A.C.K. (Risk Awareness Consensual Kink) – which is the sadistic side of BDSM – I wanted to make sure my readers were more targeted and expectant (accepting?) of those kind of situations.

Compared to some of the Dark Erotica novels I’ve read, it’s quite tame. Definitely in the mild end of the spectrum. That just means I should push myself farther away from my comfort zones for the rest of the series. More truthfully, I want to. I want the challenge of it, to see just how far I can go while still writing read-worthy material with characters my readers want to see win in the end. Though, Dark Erotica doesn’t demand a HEA, it is my personal preference.

Writing about things you would never do in real life is not the same as writing outside of your comfort zone. I would never go skydiving, because I’m terrified of open heights. But it wouldn’t stress me in the least to have one of my main characters do it. Actually, that would be kind of fun. One of the joys of both reading and writing is to have adventures, right? But, having your main character do something that makes you feel physically or emotionally drained when your through- that’s writing outside of your comfort zone!

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far, is having an ‘unapologetic bad’ protagonist show up for an established series that’s NOT labeled dark – and by his own admission, he is one sadistic f**k. When he first appeared, I was faced with the choice of either staying true to his character or true to the genre, because I can’t really do both without sacrificing something. This is still a WIP, but I’ve decided to stay true to my character, mainly because I know it can be done. I’ve seen Nora Roberts push this particular envelope more than once and while fame may be on her side, I’m still a big advocate for characters who are purely themselves and not diluted for genre’s sake. What’s your thoughts on that, as both a reader and a writer?

 I’d love to hear more of your take on this subject: How comfortable are you with discomfort? Do you try to challenge yourself with every new novel, or do you have to wait for the right character to come along? Show me your worst, writers! 🙂

#FREE Read 💋 Avarice Unforgiving !

All this week you can get Avarice Unforgiving (Hell on Earth, Book 2) absolutely FREE on Amazon! Ends Friday April 28th!

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amazon-buy-linkRun.

That’s Kami’s first instinct when shit gets a little too real for her peace of mind.
Kink was supposed to be an escape, a release, but her mysterious Dom robbed her of that and there’s no going back. Her job was supposed to be an accomplishment, a step forward, but Mr. Kress took that from her and twisted it to his own design.

They want her to submit.

If Kami had her way, they’d both be kissing her ass on her way out the door.
Now, there’s a new threat hanging over her head. An unknown enemy wants to expose all of Kami’s sordid, depraved secrets to the media. Little do they know, that even she has no clue who in the hell she really is…but someone does.

Someone who’s about to reveal an incomprehensible tale. A truth that will unravel Kami’s entire life at the seams. Everything she’s ever believed will be altered as she’s thrust into a world she’d never feared existed, and only one undeniable fact will ring through the loudest:
Running had never been an option.

🔥💋🔥

This is in celebration of the New Release of Avarice Unleashed (#3) coming this Sunday, April 30th, so if you haven’t started the Hell on Earth series yet, now’s your chance to get the first 2 books for the price of one – Only $1.99!

Happy Monday All!

#Amazon Pre-Orders Are Live! ♥ Avarice Unleashed

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💋 Pre-Order Your Copy Today! 💋

The 3rd and final installment of the Avarice trilogy is now available for Pre-Order on Amazon! If you’re still waiting to read the second book, Avarice Unforgiving, it will be FREE April 24-28th!

Saints & Sinners Book Promotions will be hosting the Release Day Blitz for Avarice Unleashed on April 30th – for those who aren’t familiar with the series, that day is May Day Eve (aka Beltane) which plays a significant role in my main character, Kami’s journey.

If you haven’t started the Hell on Earth series yet, but love Dark Erotica, BDSM and the Paranormal then don’t be shy, because these characters are absolutely shameless – and each novella is available for only $1.99 regular price, or Free through Kindle Unlimited!

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🔥 Avarice Unleashed Cover Reveal! 🔥

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AVARICE UNLEASHED COVER REVEAL
(Hell on Earth #3)

Somewhere between retribution and redemption, all Sin lay bare

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Avarice Blurb

Hell hath no fury…

Saphiel’s gone and it’s all Kami’s fault.
Panicked and riddled with guilt, she turns to the only one who can help, only to fall into the wrong hands time and again. It seems opportunity has knocked, and not a single enemy is willing to miss out. Everyone wants their dues and Kami’s the perfect bait.

All she wants is to reunite with Saph and she’ll face off with the Devil, himself, to do it. Facing herself and the reluctant truths of her heart are a whole other matter, especially when it could be too late. Will the unforgiving Avarice ever pardon her for endangering them both?

As the calendar races toward Beltane, sickening plots of greed and single-minded obsessions continue to unravel all around them, but their greatest challenge awaits in the aftermath of retribution. Can they find some semblance of redemption in one another at last, or will the demon within change everything?

…like a Devil unleashed.

🔥 Coming to Amazon & Kindle Unlimited April 30, 2017! 🔥

Avarice Series

Now Available on Kindle Unlimited

BOOK #1

AC MEDOLY, Avarice 2016-322

Devils Only.
It was a permanent note-to-self tattooed right above Kameo Kross’s panties, because anything less was a disappointment. Had anyone cared to issue the warning: Be careful what you wish for, she might have thought twice before wording it like an actual invitation.

Kami doesn’t fear pain, death or eternal damnation. She fears only submitting completely. A matter she usually has well in hand… until an unexpected detour into kink and a relentless bastard of a new boss decide to put all of her resistance–and chosen ink–to the trickiest of tests.

Avarice
Amazon: http://a.co/5IcCQpd
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31422788-avarice

🔥

BOOK #2

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Run.

That’s Kami’s first instinct when shit gets a little too real for her peace of mind. Kink was supposed to be an escape, a release, but her mysterious Dom robbed her of that and there’s no going back. Her job was supposed to be an accomplishment, a step forward, but Mr. Kress took that from her and twisted it to his own design.

They want her to submit.

If Kami had her way, they’d both be kissing her ass on her way out the door. Now, there’s a new threat hanging over her head. An unknown enemy wants to expose all of Kami’s sordid, depraved secrets to the media. Little do they know, that even she has no clue who in the hell she really is…but someone does.

Someone who’s about to reveal an incomprehensible tale. A truth that will unravel Kami’s entire life at the seams. Everything she’s ever believed will be altered as she’s thrust into a world she’d never feared existed, and only one undeniable fact will ring through the loudest:

Running had never been an option.

Amazon: http://a.co/2RaMsMI
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32862924-avarice-unforgiving

Trigger/Content Warning: This series contains unorthodox religious views, graphic anal sex, explicit language, dark eroticism, BDSM, violence and references to demonology, paganism and the occult. Intended for mature 18+ audiences only!

Cliffhanger Warning: Books 1 & 2 end in abrupt cliffhangers and pick up exactly where they left off in the following installment.

Avarice Author Bio

A.C. Melody is a quirky, unconventional and often contrary (mostly to her muse) hybrid author, both traditionally and self-published. She has a soft spot for hard ass alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts. Her favorite part of writing, is having the ability to explore her favorite subjects from unique angles. Also, she loves putting her characters through the ringer one way or another, to expose all of the various facets that make them tick. She’s guilty of putting all her money on the underdogs, the anti-heroes and the shameless whores.

Outside of writing, A.C. is a confessed javaholic who loves reading, music, gaming, American Football, ancient civilizations, foreign cultures and everything supernatural. She has an insatiable curiosity that tends to earn her more hobbies than time. You can find her in the beautifully green Pacific Northwest with her two teenage sons and two blue-eyed, Himalayan-Siamese mixes who think they own the joint.

Blog: https://acmelodyblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @AuthorACMelody
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AC.Melody.77
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.c.melody/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/acmelody77/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9835277.A_C_Melody
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B011PTY1PO

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Sin With Me

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Do you want to Sin with me? Then make sure you sign up for the Avarice Unleashed Cover Reveal being hosted by Saints and Sinners books by clicking on this link here:

https://goo.gl/forms/bDMYPHgfFnr9uPnL2

March 15th is the date, but you don’t have to wait… If you’d like to be among the first to see the new cover in all its naughty glory, PLUS have the chance to win a free eBook or $10 Amazon Gift Card, then make sure to subscribe to my author newsletter today. Just click on the link in my sidebar over there —->

It won’t be the last exclusive sneak peek or giveaway, but newsletters will be going out on Monday, March 6th. Winners will be drawn the evening of the 15th and announced in the 16th newsletter. That gives everyone 10 whole days to have the chance to join in and win!

Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Tour Host link for the Release Day Blitz – it’s coming soon, I promise!

A Big THANK YOU & virtual hugs for all those who help share this event!

Avarice Unforgiving ♥ Release Day Blitz!

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Synopsis

Run.

That’s Kami’s first instinct when shit gets a little too real for her peace of mind.

Kink was supposed to be an escape, a release, but her mysterious Dom robbed her of that and there’s no going back. Her job was supposed to be an accomplishment, a step forward, but Mr. Kress took that from her and twisted it to his own design.

They want her to submit.

If Kami had her way, they’d both be kissing her ass on her way out the door.

Now, there’s a new threat hanging over her head. An unknown enemy wants to expose all of Kami’s sordid, depraved secrets to the media. Little do they know, that even she has no clue who in the hell she really is…but someone does.

Someone who’s about to reveal an incomprehensible tale. A truth that will unravel Kami’s entire life at the seams. Everything she’s ever believed will be altered as she’s thrust into a world she’d never feared existed, and only one undeniable fact will ring through the loudest:

Running had never been an option.

Trigger/Content Warning: This book contains unorthodox religious views, graphic anal sex, explicit language, dark eroticism, BDSM, violence and references to demonology, paganism and the occult.

Intended for mature 18+ audiences only!

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Teaser

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Excerpt

With her sight disabled, she became more aware that the group behind her were quite chatty and flirty. She also grew increasingly aware of the man whose legs were caging her in, whose lap her bound arms were resting upon. She felt the approach of his heat, and then his hand touched her face. His fingers outlined her lips, played at the seam, before crawling their way inside. They conducted a shallow inspection at first, but gradually sank deeper. The first time she gagged, she thought he would retreat, but she was sadly mistaken. The more she choked, the deeper and more aggressively he stroked his fingers in and out. Kami could feel her eyes watering under the blindfold as she did everything in her power to keep from retching all over him.

Grabbing her bound wrists, he yanked her into his hard chest as he continued to finger-fuck her throat.

“If you can’t even take my fingers, demon, how the hell do you plan on taking my cock?”

Once again his tone was mocking, but there was amusement behind it, rather than the cool displeasure he’d offered the anti-blindfold committee. Kami understood the question was rhetorical. Regardless if she could take it or not, his cock would be down her throat if and when he wanted—and he undoubtedly hoped she choked on it. A strange, rubbery noise sounded right before her. He’d adjusted his mask, she realized. His wet fingers abandoned the inside of her throat, cupping the curve of her jaw, and his mouth crushed down on hers.

It was a whole new kind of oral sex. That was the only way to describe the aggressive, needy assault. His tongue thrust as his lips dominated hers harder and greedier, like there was some kind of climax waiting for him at the end. A preview of his skills, or a promise that it would be the only way he would invade her body, no matter which part of himself he was using? Regardless, it was ferocious, filthy, and the best damn kiss Kami had ever experienced.

She could feel his mask bumping alongside her temple, as if he’d turned the bull snout to the side, but that meant his face was still mostly covered. He must not trust the blindfolds. Did that mean he wasn’t planning on removing the mask at all? Kami hoped not. She wanted him to keep it on. That way her imagination could continue filling in the blanks the way she wanted them, rather than chance being disappointed by reality. She didn’t care how damn shallow that made her. This was her night, and it was already panning out better than any Halloween before it, so no. She didn’t want anything to ruin it.

“Mmm, you taste foolishly brave,” he groaned quietly as he licked and nibbled at her lips, diving back in for one last devastating kiss.

Settling back in the seat, he returned the mask to its rightful place and forced her down onto her knees again. His thumb picked up its previous stroking over her lips, but when her bound wrists slid down the hard plane of his stomach and into his lap, there was no mistaking the bulging line of his erection. The feel of it had her lust spreading hotter, dampening her panties with desperate anticipation.

She earned a soft mocking laugh when she started rubbing her arms over the steely line.

“You like knowing what you do to my cock, demon? How hard you make it just by choking on my fingers?” he asked. “Is that what you were hoping to accomplish while you were dancing for me?”

If he was trying to embarrass her with that insight, he was going to be disappointed. Knowing he knew, that he’d been aware, only turned her on more.

“No, but it’s a start,” she replied.

He laughed appreciatively at that, and it was far more sinister than his mocking laugh. “Ambition and Greed go hand-in-hand, little one. As you said, it’s a start.”

He wanted her to be greedy? He probably shouldn’t have told her that. Before she could reply, the limo slowed to a stop, reigniting the thrill of uncertainty. When the driver opened the door, her bull man climbed out first, then reached inside and hauled her out by the waist.

Once she was on her feet, he grabbed her bound wrists and started leading her across old asphalt. Her heels clicked and wobbled in the rough patches. She thought she heard water lapping and a nearby buoy. It definitely smelled like the docks. The way the noise and voices echoed indicated they were surrounded by warehouses or giant shipping containers.

Again, it should have been a red flag, but Kami wasn’t afraid, only morbidly curious. It took her a moment to realize they were drawing closer to the pulsing bass of music. Her escort paused for a moment before a door opened and it washed over them loud and clear. They stopped directly inside to wait for everyone. When the metal door finally closed, her bull man untied the blindfold.

Blinking in the dimly lit entrance, Kami saw that it was a makeshift foyer with draping velveteen crimson, black-and-white jack-o-lanterns, Gothic candelabras, antiqued mirrors, and other décor that would indicate they were getting ready to enter a vampire’s secret lair. Even the music thumping and crawling over her flesh was more along the lines of Screamo-Goth-Rave, than the Dubstep bass would suggest.

“You know, there are at least a hundred different horror movies that begin this way,” she referred to the space around them by drawing a small square in the air with her index fingers.

A more difficult task than one would think with bound wrists.

“That’s what makes decorating so easy,” he said, pulling her against his body to slip a hand under her skirt and take his fill of her ass cheek. “The question is, was that just an observation or cold feet?”

“My feet never get cold,” she replied.

She barely heard the low rumble of his laugh when he bowed his head right beside her ear. “Careful, demon. Some might take that answer as a deliberate challenge.”

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AboutTheAuthor

A.C. Melody is a quirky, unconventional and often contrary (mostly to herself) hybrid author, both traditionally and self-published. She has a soft spot for hard ass alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts. Her favorite part of writing, is having the ability to explore her favorite subjects from angles she’s never read before. Also, she loves putting her characters through the ringer one way or another, to expose all of the various facets that make them tick.

Outside of writing, A.C. is a confessed javaholic who loves reading, music, gaming, American Football, ancient civilizations, foreign cultures and everything supernatural. She has an insatiable curiosity that tends to earn her more hobbies than time. You can find her in the beautifully green Pacific Northwest with her two teenage sons and two blue-eyed, Himalayan-Siamese mixes who think they own the joint.

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