Category Archives: Cara McKenna

WILLING VICTIM and BRUTAL GAME (Flynn and Laurel Duet) by CARA McKENNA :: DUAL REVIEW

Willing Victim – Currently ON SALE for Only 99c/99p!
Erotic, passionate and gripping romance. 


WILLING VICTIM – LAUREL & FLYNN BOOK ONE

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SYNOPSIS
For the past couple years Laurel’s been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.
Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.
Reader Advisory: This book contains consensual but intense rape role-playing scenes that some may find upsetting.

Willing Victim is available to purchase below for ONLY 99c/99p

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BRUTAL GAME – LAUREL & FLYNN BOOK TWO

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SYNOPSIS
Nine months ago Laurel walked into an underground boxing gym and found herself mesmerized by a stranger named Flynn—a man who fights hard and loves harder. Since then he’s taken her places where fear and curiosity clash in exquisite pleasure, where trust is the price of ecstasy, and in time their brutal games have become her kink as much as his.
But when real life intrudes and hard decisions demand action, will these two whose bond is rooted in fantasy take shelter in each other’s arms, or discover that lust is no substitute for a lasting commitment?

Brutal Game is available to Purchase

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brutal-game

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘A man capable of things few women would welcome.
A man capable of exactly what Laurel wanted, tonight.’

It’s been nearly 5 years since we became engrossed in the erotic story between Michael Flynn (Flynn) and Laurel White. Five years since we first sampled this authors work and became immediate fans. Although we remember everything about Willing Victim, we decided to do a re-read before diving into Brutal Games, the highly hoped for, and much anticipated follow up, and we’re so glad we did.

“I’m happy to be your fuckbuddy, Laurel, but I’m not afraid of getting attached to you either. I’m a pretty simple creature.”

Willing Victim has been digitally remastered with an extended ending however we read off our old copies so our review is based on this. We wanted to familiarise ourselves with the story build, allowing the emotion from Willing Victim to spill over into Brutal Games.

“Sex is…I don’t know, it’s like the realest sort of human experience I got, aside from fighting. It’s hard, going without.”

It is imperative that you read these books in order as Brutal Games picks up 8 months after WV. Besides being a must read, it’s an incredibly erotic and scorching hot read. Whilst not a particularly long read, what it lacks in pages it more than makes up for in character development, story and blistering sex!

Flynn oozes potent virility from every pore. A construction worker by day, an underground MMA fighter, which he does as a form of stress release, on the odd weekend. Flynn is commanding and demanding in the bedroom; and his dirty mouth… pass the fan!  However, beneath the tough exterior of this Boston bloke who possesses ‘textbook working class Boston Irishness” lies a soft and yielding side.

She watched him wind tape around his palms and wrists. “You have no clue how manly you are, do you.” He cocked an eyebrow but didn’t reply.

Laurel White suffers with confidence issues and has her own kind of needs in the bedroom. She’s broached the issue with former boyfriends much to their horror. With Flynn she finds the release she so craves. In Laurel, Flynn finds a woman who is in tune emotionally and physically to his needs.

“I’m just a willing body.”

We desperately craved an epilogue in WV, however, once we found out BG’s was a possibility we looked forward to one being in there, sadly we’re sort of bummed there wasn’t one. Brutal Games was a terrific journey into the progression of this couples relationship and how it is tested. Although the ending wasn’t ambiguous, we felt we needed a little more closure as it were.

‘She could turn him inside-out with a few whispered pleas.’

We loved the passion, the eroticism, the emotion and the strength of the characters in these books. Cara McKenna has delivered some truly gripping and sincere characters who wear their heart on their sleeve which was so refreshing. Her character building is exquisite. We lived and breathed Boston as though we were in the moment and again we were in awe of this author’s talent.

There is an author warning regarding rape scenes however as everything that happens in the bedroom between Laurel and Flynn is completely consensual, we didn’t feel uncomfortable or shocked. Quite the contrary. We found their exploration of their own brand of kink to be bloody hot!

‘Tonight was hers. Tomorrow could go fuck itself.’

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Cara McKenna, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BADGER by C.M. McKENNA

Standalone dark emotional love story
This is not a romance

*Purchase Badgeramazon us || amazon uk

badger

SYNOPSIS

C.M. McKenna’s compelling voice has earned a devoted audience and multiple awards for her erotic fiction (as Cara McKenna.) Her page-turning literary debut, Badger, disturbs and titillates with the story of a recovering pill addict whose compulsive fascination with a Boston antihero spirals out of control.

Nearly twelve months sober, Adrian Birch feels like a nobody. But when her wrist is broken in a hit-and-run accident, she’s avenged by the Badger, a secretive street vigilante. Instantly obsessed, Adrian takes to staging suicide and constructing chance meetings to get his attention. Their resulting affair is harsh and needy, wrought with McKenna’s signature dark eroticism—until the connection gets out of hand and ignites the violent passions of the city.

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Badger

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

✯✯✯✯✯ 5 are not enough stars for this book! 

 ‘People said he was dirty and feral, an urban transient. People loved or hated him.’

There are certain books that deserve to be read in one sitting to fully appreciate and maximise that intense and incredible emotional connection you ultimately feel when you are swept away in the story and characters. To be so fully immersed in a journey so vivid – ugly yet flawless – so gritty and powerful that you travel with it as if your whole body and mind is swept up in its rapid watery current.

“Why on earth would you love me? What have I ever done that would make you feel whatever that feels like?”

“I don’t know.” Why is rain wet or snow cold? It just is. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be what it was.’

We have always been avid lovers of Cara McKenna’s writing but we have to say Badger left us in stunned awe of this Author. There is no question that what she gave us in Badger surpassed anything we have ever read by her, it was quite simply awe inspiring perfection.

‘He was so deeply screwed up, no one person, no well-intentioned woman, stood a chance of being enough to make up everything that had happened to him. Especially not one as unremarkable and flawed as me.’

Badger went beyond every expectation and thoughts we had upon starting this story. Yes the synopsis gripped us and we knew we HAD to read it, but we were not prepared in the slightest. You have to suspend much of what you may be used to and what you feel is right. Leave it at the door as you enter a story that will have every single one of your senses on high alert. You will cry. Not a few measly tears of compassion, no….you will CRY. You will laugh as situations so dark and disturbing have an injection of sarcasm and irony. You will be tested morally and perhaps even further. You may even judge. You will be provoked and think how incredibly ugly this story is, you may even think it’s a lost cause so why continue?

“Give up on me, Adrian, for fuck’s sake.”

“You make it sound awfully easy.”

Why? Because it’s one of the most powerful stories we’ve read in a long time. Because it is written in such a way it commands you to not be a quitter. To show such strength, compassion and understanding. To see beyond mere words and actions, till you feel and see the human heart trying it’s best to be what it needs to be – all it can be – under the circumstances. To overcome and live with the past, the now and the future.

‘His damage was all so much more tangible than mine, so tactile. Like the darkest scenes from his life were stamped in Braille across his skin.’

Badger is not your usual romance, in fact to call this a romance would not be entirely fitting. Badger is a story of love; the love that when stripped down to its unique components consists of loyalty, respect, compassion, empathy and a deep rooted sense of empowerment and self-realisation. That love when you feel and know you need to be with the other person whether it be right or wrong because the pull and the feeling of being without is incomprehensible.

“I’m riding around and everyone and everything is either black and white or bright, angry red, everyone blurry and 2-D, there to be ignored or attacked. Except you. I’m riding around in fuzzy, flat monochrome, then there’s you, all in color, in focus, in like, five dimensions.”

This Author managed to write a story that is unlike any we’ve read before. She takes subjects that yes have been written about countless of times in our romance fiction, but what she tells us in her story is like none of its predecessors. She says yeah I’ll see your completely broken man and raise you a ‘Badger’ and I’ll see your struggling woman trying to rebuild her life as well as herself and I’ll raise you an Adrian Birch.

‘He was very human behind all the animal mannerisms. Very human and very, very screwed up.’

“Did I traumatize you?”

Whilst yes – we get one side of a story – we are given so much more. Biased? Perhaps but the journey we saw through Adrian’s eyes gave us everything…..absolutely everything. Cara McKenna gave us a story that felt true, honest and uncompromised. Bravo, such a breath of fresh air through a raw, morose, dark and almost hopeless journey.

“The only bearable thing about being human is that you can change, the second you feel like.”

Badger and Adrian Birch are not your stereotypical characters; you may have never even come across such or even ever again. However, we urge you to read this very unique story of a man and a woman trying to do their best in life with the hand they’ve been dealt. We implore you to pick up Badger, we have to be honest here, we don’t even know how we are supposed to move on from this story……..

‘When I watched him leave for the last time, I knew it would feel like he’d eaten my heart straight out of my chest. He might as well know the taste of my blood.’

 **Reviewed from an ARC Copy provided by Brain Mill Press, with thanks **

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MORE Standalone’s from CARA

HARD TIMEAmazon us || Amazon uk|| Our Review
AFTER HOURSAmazon us || Amazon uk||Our Review

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Filed under 5 Stars, Cara McKenna, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

HARD TIME by CARA McKENNA

hard time

SYNOPSIS

In this all-new novel from the author of Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect…

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

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cara

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G:  5 superb and beautiful stars

Gitte:  Now, we love this Author don’t we Jenny, so to say we were excited to read Hard Time is an understatement. We knew we were in for sublime writing and a stellar story with brilliant characters and hot nookie. Yeah well, wow, we were not disappointed were we? Hard Time is magnificent. Why? Because it’s basically just a romance; a romance set within an unconventional setting, that builds from page one with such depth and unique characterization which lets us, the readers, learn about our hero and heroine in detail as they embark upon a romance beginning in the most unlikely place you can imagine.

‘I want to escape and go someplace dark and soft and quiet. I want to escape inside you. I want to feel your hands on me, and your eyes, and feel like there’s nobody else for a hundred miles.’ – Eric

The way in which Annie and Eric’s journey begins may just be some of the hottest scenes I’ve ever read and there were no two bodies touching nor was there more than one person in the room at a time. Cryptic much? Well wait till you read it yourself. I may have nearly combusted at one stage from the sheer eroticism and sensuality leaping off the pages as a beautiful and sweet romance begins.

‘Sometimes I watch your hands. I watch your hands and imagine them on me.’ – Eric

Jenny:  That’s for sure GitteAs soon as we read heard Cara McKenna had a new book coming out and spied the synopsis, we HAD to read this book.  Cara McKenna’s writing is something else. Her beautifully descriptive prose, her strong characters and way she developed this story had me completely captivated and like you G, I most definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was everything I’d hoped for and more.

“I want to see every side of you there is to see. Even the greedy ones, the dirty ones. I want us to be everything for each other that two people can be….Everything short of hurtful.” – Annie

This was a beautiful, sensual, erotic and yet at times, sweet romance that began and prospered under the bleakest and most unforgiving of surroundings and Gitte, you are absolutely right! There were indeed some of the most erotic scenes I’ve read contained in this story, despite there not being any physical connection at times. Wow! Cold shower alright!

‘That stare. That unreadable expression, an impossible mix of apathy, fascination, coldness and searing seduction.’ – Annie

It was delivered in a highly passionate and erotic way on an emotional level and so consummately and beautifully executed by this author.  Hard Time was a perfect blend of sweet and sensual where a word, a slight touch or a glance was deliciously delivered and every nuance and moment was felt and it was certainly steamy! Perfection!

Gitte: Annie and Eric are quite similar in some respects yet so very different where it matters which is why that attraction and connection is so strong. Annie was quite fierce yet vulnerable; practical and unwavering. At no stage did she annoy me. Rather, I commended her bravery, her resoluteness, her apt reluctance and her sensibility. It stood in good stead when it came to Eric and the possibility of a future romance. The passion she embodied was intense and combined with that of an affection starved Eric, well…..it was indescribable.

‘He just wanted to be close to me – to a woman. Close enough to smell me, or scare me, or seduce me. Couldn’t tell you which. Didn’t care to know.’ – Annie

Now, Eric, what can I say except he went straight to the top of my favourite male heroes. He was without doubt one of the most intense and fascinating characters; he was a lush gentle giant. So fiercely alpha yet oh so romantic. So protective, so sexual and oh so very passionate. He had me in tears, he had me melting into a puddle on the floor and he had me so hot and bothered I needed a cold shower….several times!

‘A man, touching a woman for the first time since his freedom had been taken away. A woman, touching a man for the first time since she’d been robbed of her desire.’

Cara Mckenna writes with such beauty it’s flawless and draws you in till you feel, taste and hear every emotion and every word. It’s quite simply stunning. We are truly in awe aren’t we Jenny?

Jenny:  We truly are Gitte. Annie and Eric appeared to be opposites, but they did have common threads, which crated a magnetic pull towards one another. Whilst there was certainly instant desire, this was no insta love as the author built up a mouth wateringly slow relationship where, despite misgivings on both parts, their attraction couldn’t be denied or dismissed.

‘He was a bad man, no doubt. One who deserved reform, but not my desire.’ – Anne

Annie was such a strong and warm character who had no pretences.  This woman, who had been scarred physically and emotionally by a past relationship years prior with a ‘wholesome, good man’ takes on a job in the Prison Library where meets Inmate 802267 who has an immediate effect on her, and who ignites a want in her that had lain dormant for so long.  The conflict and doubt she experiences falls away as her feelings for this man intensify. Annie was believable. Despite her intense feelings she was methodical in her thinking I understood her and rallied behind her every step of the way.

‘The roughest man I’d ever gotten close to, yet here he was, so utterly at my mercy.’ – Annie

Eric, what is there to say about this fiercely loyal, protective, honest and forthright man?  Incarcerated for protecting those he loved, loyal to a fault, and whilst I didn’t condone the actions that resulted in his incarceration, I understood why he did what he did and I felt sorrow for him and his circumstances.

“They may stick us in cages, but no need to act like animals.” – Eric

This man, who had spent 5 years in bleak and cold surroundings found his salvation and light in Annie. He loved with passion and heart. This man could be as brutally passionate as he could be sweetly romantic and he completely won me over.

‘I want to be in a room with you, so quiet I can hear your breathing and your heart. A place so clean I could smell your skin.’ – Eric

Loved it. What more can I say!

Gitte & Jenny: This author uses words to perfection. There is nothing superfluous in her prose and every word she writes evokes emotion and creates a vivid picture that unfolds in your mind.  Whether it is describing the complete despair felt between Annie and Eric, Annie’s conflicted emotions, their struggles as they learn about one another, Eric’s sense of loyalty, or his utter feelings of despondency. It’s all felt in the author’s words and its what made Hard Time such an engrossing and intoxicating read for us both.

 “I’m not from a nice place, little nothing-town called Kernsville……and there’s a plague out there, the way plagues spread through dirty places hundreds of years ago. Only this one gets brewed up out of cough syrup and it’s a pipe or a needle that bites you, not a rat. You follow?” – Eric

Our only gripe was the lack of epilogue, leaving us feeling as if the story ended a little too abruptly and wishing it could have continued a for a few pages more.  However, this in no way impacted what was a tantalising and superbly told story of love against the odds, of opposites finding a common thread, of finding that person and opening your heart, of trusting and honesty and it was one that showed that love can prosper even in the harshest and most unforgiving of circumstances. We LOVED this book and absolutely recommend it to our fellow readers!

 “You made me see beautiful things again.” – Eric

**ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

 

HARD TIME by CARA McKENNA
Amazon us || Amazon uk

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Filed under 5 Stars, Cara McKenna, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Curio – by Cara McKenna

SYNOPSIS

Caroly Evardt never expected to find herself patronizing a male prostitute. Then again, she never expected to be weeks from her thirtieth birthday and still a virgin.

When a friend mentions that a gorgeous male model in Paris sells his body as well as his image, Caroly’s intrigued. Finally, a chance to sample the gifts of a beautiful man—no strings, no stakes, no fear of rejection.

But she soon discovers that Didier Pedra amounts to more than a striking face and talented body. He’s a kind, charming, damaged man, and after a few evenings of pleasurable education, Caroly’s interest blossoms into something far deeper than mere lust. Her simple arrangement is suddenly feeling downright dangerous . . .

CURIO is available to purchase below
Amazon US :: Amazon UK


Review

4 Stars

I find it really hard to review this book. I felt so sad and emotional reading it and it wasn’t until almost the end that I felt hope for these characters!! It is a very emotional, tender, sensual and intriguing read!

This story is about Caroly and Didier. Caroly seeks out Didier who she has been admiring from photos and art he has modeled for. She knows Didier is a male prostitute and seeing as she is 30 and has never had a sexual experience she seeks him out to help her. She views him as a man of perfection. Didier is (besides gorgeous!!) gentle, listens and only gives as much as he is asked for. He doesn’t push her, and slowly and with much care he eases her into her first sexual encounter.

Didier and Caroly each begin a journey of an individual self-discovery, through each other, a meeting of two broken souls, each seeking and needing each other for their own reasons.

This story is very well written and very different!

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Filed under 4 Stars, Cara McKenna, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny