Review: Marked Anthology by Lauren Dane, Kit Rocha and Vivian Arend

Marked Anthology by Lauren Dane, Kit Rocha and Vivian ArendI have to admit that when I saw this in my inbox I made a little squeally sound and kind of danced around the room for a bit. I’m not usually a big fan of anthologies because I always seem to be picking them up for just one of the stories and there are very few I’ve read where I enjoy myself from beginning to end. But Marked had another addition to the Beyond series, and I’m sure everyone knows by now that it’s one of my favorites, not to mention a first book in a new series by Lauren Dane AND a trip to Six Pack Ranch courtesy of Vivian Arend. Seriously, how could I not be excited?

Beyond Temptation by Kit Rocha (Beyond #3.5)

Beyond Temptation takes place between Beyond Pain and the upcoming Beyond Jealousy. This is the story of Noah, a hacker introduced in the last book, and Emma, the girl from his past who is now part of the Sector Four family. Dallas wants Noah to become an ally for his hacking skills and Noah is willing to enter Dallas’s territory in order to see his late best friend’s little sister again. The one he saved and thought was living out her life somewhere safe and away from his enemies. Turns out she found her way to Sector Four and is dancing at the Broken Circle.

One of the things I like best about this series is that the women are just as kick ass as their men. I LOVE when women are portrayed as being confident both in and out of the bedroom and these ladies are most certainly that. Doesn’t matter if it’s on stage at the Broken Circle, cheering their men on during the cage fights, or working to protect those they love, every one of these heroines are awesome. Emma is no different. Noah comes back into her life and soon realizes she’s not the same girl he left four years ago. She’s bold, sexy and not in any way afraid to fight for what she wants. Even if she has to crawl onto his lap and tempt him beyond reason to get it. There is a little thing called trust that they need to work on, especially when the truth of what happened with her brother finally comes out. But I loved their romance and was very pleased with my journey back to Sector Four.

I am now jonesing hard-core for the next book in this series, Beyond Jealously, which has a tentative release date of March 2014. Final Grade- B+

Favorite Quote:

She was his. Good or bad, twisted or wrong, she was his, and he closed that last few steps with a hungry groan, buried his bruised hands in her hair, and kissed her.

Rocky Ride by Vivian Arend (Thompson & Sons #1)

From the very first word of this romance I was drawn in and didn’t want to stop reading. Seriously, the opening scene was smoking hot. Mitch is the tatted up, biker, bad boy in town who runs a garage with his family and Anna is the buttoned up cop who is carrying on a quiet, private affair with him. But a quiet affair isn’t what Mitch wants, he wants it all. Anna’s job and position in the community are important to her and she doesn’t want anything to jeopardize them, that includes Mitch’s reputation as a troublemaker . Mitch finally gets her to agree to slowly taking their relationship public and that’s when Anna finally opens her eyes and realizes she’s been just as bad as everyone else in the way she looks at Mitch.

She’d never been so aware of social bias in her life. Never so ashamed for not fighting it harder. She ignored the questioning looks being cast her direction and deliberately caught his fingers in her own in  clear sight of anyone walking past their table.

This realization kicks in shortly after they decide to start seeing each other out in the open and I think Anna is a bit surprised that she was so caught up in hiding who she really is to satisfy everyone else’s expectations. Their relationship is crazy hot, and they are so not afraid to experiment sexually. Between the spanking, voyeurism and naughty dress up scenes I couldn’t stop reading. To me this was the most angsty relationship out of all three stories, but it was so worth seeing them meet in the middle by the end. I believe this series is to be about Mitch’s family, with the next release featuring his sister Katy. Baby, Be Mine is scheduled for release February 25th. Final Grade- B

Favorite Quote:

Mitch kissed his way to her throat, sucking lightly as he pushed a hand under her breast. “I ached for you,” he whispered. “Every night I was tempted to drive to your house and beg for you to let me come in. Beg on my hands and knees for you to forget everything I’d said about it being better for us to be apart.”

All That Remains by Lauren Dane (Metamorphosis #1)

This is the first book in a new post-plague, futuristic series. I tend to enjoy romances of this type so I was looking forward to this story. Then I found out it was also a ménage and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. For some reason in settings like this, where some major event has changed the landscape of the world and society as a whole, ménage romances work better for me. It might be because I’m more able to believe that circumstances and ideas have changed enough where triad relationships might work and be more accepted. This is a post plague world where almost 90% of the population was wiped out several generations ago and what remains is fertility problems and a skewed ratio of women to men. This has created the necessity for relationships with more than just two partners.

The main characters in this romance are Hatch, Charlie and Summer. Hatch and Charlie are lovers who are traveling through for seasonal work and find themselves in Paradise. It just so happens that Hatch’s first love makes her home there. Even though this is the start of a new series with three main characters it was a surprisingly non-angsty romance. There is a past between Hatch and Summer and an established relationship between Hatch and Charlie, but I thought the ménage felt balanced.  There was some push and pull and indecision, but I liked how Ms. Dane very effectively let each character define their places in the relationship and how they fit in with each other. The world they inhabit may be post plague, but it isn’t a gloomy, sad place to live. People are happy. They’ve adjusted. I like this world and am glad it’s not the usual depressing dystopian. This was a diiiirty, super sexy introduction to this series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will most definitely be picking up the next book in the series, All The Little Pieces. Final Grade- B

Favorite Quote:

This was perfection. The way each movement flowed into the next. The give and take they’d created together. No shame. No guilt. Just a reach for pleasure and the joy of giving it to someone you loved as well.

Rating: B+/B
Marked Anthology by Lauren Dane, Kit Rocha and Vivian Arend
February 10th 2014 – Self Published
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  1. Alesa says

    I am soooo looking forward to this. V jealous you got an ARC!!

    And as for Beyond Jealousy – I have goosebumps already 😉