If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Dreams Anthology by Keta Diablo / @ketadiablo



Title: Dreams Anthology (Cradle, Whisper, Scoundrel)
Author: Keta Diablo
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: January 7, 2015
Genre: Time Travel (Modern to Civil War America), Erotica, BDSM, Romance
ARC Received From: Keta Diablo



Cradle of Dreams, Book 1
With visions of battle still fresh in his mind, Roane Bradfield returns home to find the woman he loves betrothed to another. He corners Kendrick Moreland at Dowager Huggins’ Grand Ball and whisks her into the secluded library. One way or the other, he will know the reason the duplicitous beauty cut him from her life when she promised to wait forever.

Whisper of Dreams, Book 2
Erotica/BDSM Time Travel
Sarah must get her son out of New Bern, North Carolina before he succumbs to an epidemic of yellow fever. Yankees have taken over the town and there is only one man capable of smuggling them out—Captain Elijah Fortune. Even though she betrayed him once, she appeals to the champion of her childhood for help. He’s more than happy to accommodate her, but the price of risking his life is steep. And the cost has nothing to do with money.

Scoundrel of Dreams, Book 3
Bridger Cantrell breaks into Alcee Slayton’s study one night to steal some much-needed information. Imagine his surprise when he encounters Alcee’s youngest daughter, Lydia, rifling through her father’s desk drawers.

What is the little minx up to and will it spoil his plans for revenge? He intends to find out and challengers her to a game of Quid Pro Quo. He soon discovers Lydia is no longer the little bookworm he remembers from his past but an enchanting, beguiling woman who steals not only his heart but his soul.




Please note: This short story contains anal play. Please take this into consideration before reading this story. Thank you.

To begin, Kendra suffers a head injury at Mrs. Higgins' antique shop and winds up unconscious. In her dreams, it's 1865 and she is one Kendrick Moreland who's about to get an unexpected visit from the only man she's ever loved.

Roane's anger at discovering his sweetheart is engaged to another just rolls off the pages. It's thick, heavy, strong, and suffocating. It was also frightening as hell. I was surprised Kendrick didn't cower in fear because of it. She did have a moment of fear but it was forgotten in the intensity of their passion, which I'm on the fence about.

See, Roane's rage seemed to control most of what he was doing in this story. It wasn't until all was said and done that he showed complete remorse. His rough handling of Kendrick was a bit... I can't think of the right word. It wasn't off-putting or crazy or unrealistic. It was...more than I expected.

For such a small story, it packs a wallop and is a great intro to anyone who hasn't read erotic romance but has an interest. While the sex is hot and descriptive, it isn't so to the point of being obnoxious. Ms. Diablo mixed a healthy dose of love and lust in the sex scene, softening the hard edges that might push this book into "porn on paper".

Of the three novellas in this anthology, this is the most emotional for me. It prompted me to react, whether negatively or positively, which is often hard to accomplish with a short story yet Ms. Diablo did it with what seems like very little effort. The end result is a reader who enjoyed every word of this story and was eager to read the rest.


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Please note: This short story contains spankings by bare hand and by riding quirt, as well as other BDSM elements. Please take this into consideration before reading this story and my review. Thank you.

Sahara's not really interested in men after she discovered the man she was supposed to marry was a known womanizer and dumped him. While she'd rather hide her heart and keep other men at bay, one man catches her interest, Elias. After an unfortunate accident at Mrs. Higgins' shop, Sahara dreams of 1864 North Carolina, where she is Sarah Sparrow and Elias is Captain Elijah Fortune.

The bitterness between Sarah and Elijah stems from a prank in their younger days that ended disastrously for Elijah. He's waited all this time to exact revenge on Sarah and his chance was finally here.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or with a riding quirt and a steady hand. Elijah's idea of teaching Sarah a lesson involved turning her ass red and testing the boundaries of her understanding of what pleasure was. Sarah discovered bliss through the pain of Elijah's discipline, and she also discovered how much she trusted him to not only take care of her but take care of her son too.

Okay. The most amazing part of this story is the after care scene. Ms. Diablo won huge points from me by putting this scene in. Elijah's tenderness with Sarah after spanking her was breathtaking. He held her, soothed her, let her cry, then asked what she wanted. The choice to actually engage in sex was left up to her, which was a total "Ahhh!" moment for me.

I thought this was a second-chance romance, like Cradle, but it's more like a love discovered story. Their coming together was less than conventional considering the era, but it worked for them. And if love is right between two people, who's to say it's actually wrong?




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Lily can't understand Brigg's interest in her, mainly because he's the hottest guy she's ever met and she's, well, not interested in someone who could be a player. A bash on the head by a brick from a crumbling chimney sends Lily to 1842 as Lydia and Briggs as Bridger.

Bridger's on a mission. What, I had no idea at first, but it didn't take a genius to know he wasn't at Lydia's parent's home to make nice with Southern gentry. It seemed he was focused on Lydia but that proved only partially-true when he caught up to her in her father's study. It's there Bridger unveils through a game of Quid Pro Quo (it's kind of like twenty questions, I think) a side of Lydia he never thought she possessed: a woman unafraid to help free slaves, even at the cost of her own life.

What I liked was Bridger and Lydia had common ground beneath their feet before their game began. Their devotion to freeing slaves rivaled their bare tolerance for the men and women who enslaved them. I loved Bridger's story the most, how he stole from the rich to cripple their ability to buy slaves, and how his quest was to avenge a childhood friend, who happened to be a slave, who died at the hands of a cruel master.

Lydia is my ideal heroine: headstrong, passionate, certain. She knew what she wanted in life and refused to settle for less. Bridger was her compliment, her parallel. He understood her, supported her because she did the same for him. Ms. Diablo wove a lovely tale between two soul mates who believed in the same things, were unafraid of getting their hands dirty for the greater good, and were passionate enough about their goals to not settle for second best. They reached high and found the best in each other.


 

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Reviewer's Note:

This is a delightful collection of novellas that share common aspects but remain unique. The beginning of each story opens as a prologue in modern day America. The chapters that follow are dreams of past times as different people. The epilogues brought the stories back to the present and provided a happy ending that satisfied the prologues. Definitely an enjoyable anthology, one I'm sure I'll revisit in the future.


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Keta is a multi-published author of paranormal, historical and occasionally gay fiction (paranormal). In 2009, her erotic romance Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the RWA Molly contest. In 2010, Keta's entry Phoenix Rising finaled in the Scarlet Boa contest and in 2011 Keta's acclaimed paranormal shifter, Where The Rain is Made, was nominated by Authors After Dark for a BOOKIE AWARD AND by Deep In The Heart of Romance for BEST ROMANCE OF THE YEAR.In 2014 Sky Tinted Water was nominated for a Rone Award.

Many of her books, including her gay fiction series CROSSROADS have won numerous awards: Top Reviewer's Pick, Recommended Read and Best Book of the Month.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Miriam,
    Thank you for reading/reviewing and hosting the Dreams Anthology on your lovely blog. I will return often to read your thoughtful and insightful reviews. One thing an author looks for, and I'm sure readers do too, is the ability for a reviewer to capture the 'essence' of stories. You did that in all three novellas of DREAMS. Again, my sincere appreciation. I appreciate the time you put into not only reading but encapsulating the characters, the plots and your concise thoughts in these reviews. Well done, girl!

    Keta Diablo
    http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete