Erotica

My Review: Priest (Priest #1): by Sierra Simone

Publish Date: June 18th, 2015
Number of Pages: 354 Pages
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Genre(s): Erotica

Total Star Rating: 2.75 Stars

I’ll admit that I was just in such a mood to read a smutty, erotic book when this book popped up into the bookstore one day. I’ve been reminiscing about books/series like the Crossfire series, the Beautiful Bastard series, and even the New Camelot Trilogy (that’s written by this very same author), and I just wanted to read something along the lines of those kinds of books again; it feels like it’s been awhile since I really have! I’ve been enjoying some new adult romance books by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, and while those are incredibly fun, they’re not entirely in the same ballpark as the other series I’ve just mentioned. I just need some mindless smut, you know? Literally, sometimes a reader like me just needs pornography in the written word format, there’s nothing else to it!

The premise of this book immediately drew me in because I absolutely adored Sierra Simone’s New Camelot Trilogy, and I thought I’d hit another goldmine with this story, which is about a Catholic Priest breaking his sacred, religious vows with a woman. several times. As someone who loves to explore the darker and forbidden side like these sort of things, at least in literature, how can you not be immediately curious? Sure, figures in the church like the main character haven’t been cast in the best light over the years, but luckily this wasn’t as horrific of a tale like say, The Keepers (A Netflix true-crime documentary).

This book wasn’t terrible, but I can also say I was not as satisfied with the story overall as I was with her other trilogy I loved. I go more into detail about that further down in my review, but I can say I still thought it was pretty good book; the story wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped, but the sex scenes were still hot as hell and entertaining enough to that degree. It was more one of those kinds of reads that are mindless fun; you enjoy it more if you don’t really think about all the things wrong with it too much. I felt the exact same way with stories like 50 Shades of Grey and 365 Days; super hot stuff, but the forbidden factors don’t appeal to everyone, like if you sign a contract to be someone’s submissive, you get kidnapped by the mob, or in this case with a Catholic Priest falling for a woman and having a secret, torrid affair with her.

What It’s About:

This story revolves around 29-years old Tyler Anselm Bell, who’s also a priest in his small town. He has an incredibly personal reason for turning to the church since his past is questionable, but one day he has a run in with a sensuous voice in the confessional booth. He’s a man who’s sworn to walk the straight and narrow, to guide those who seek forgiveness and retribution, but meeting Poppy Danforth makes him question everything.

Poppy has moved into the small town, and meets Tyler during a private confession session, and despite them both trying to keep it professional, they can’t deny the sparks that fly between them, and of course, begin to have a torrid and secret affair.

What begins as a relationship that’s doomed from the start, their secret is constantly threatened to be exposed along with both seeking their true purpose in life as well as whether their relationship is strong enough to withstand all that it’s up against…but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be having electric sex all while trying to figure it out!

What I Liked:

  1. It’s Certainly Taboo! I’m not someone who’s all that religious, and I would have to be an idiot to actually recommend this title to someone who’s heavily involved with the catholic church, and this book really brings up a controversial idea of what if a catholic priest falls in love? With the story involving someone involved in the Catholic church, where tradition and strict guidelines is the reputation, this story certainly falls on the forbidden and taboo subject matter that will definitely appeal to those who are looking for a spicy book that will make them ashamed to be caught reading in public! Sierra Simone really seems to be an author that loves to explore the forbidden and darker themed erotic fiction!
  2. The Sex Scenes Absolutely Sizzle! Just like when I read The New Camelot Trilogy by this author, I can say this book also has some seriously hot love scenes that fans of erotica, and even further justifies me recommending this author to anyone who’s looking for something to read within the erotic fiction genre. It’s even hotter when some of the scenes within this story take place right inside the church, even up on the dais

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Few Perspectives Told from Poppy’s POV…You don’t really get inside the head of the female main character except for a few quick instances with the author giving you a brief glimpse, but they’re horribly written and horribly edited because they’re, like, all run on sentences and also just feel very randomly put in. They could’ve been more consistently placed within the story in order to maybe feel more effective too.
  2. The Build Up…I get that it’s erotica and sex is the main focus of the story, but I swear that even some porno’s had a much better bridge into the lust and all that than this story. It’s like the first time the main character even hears her voice is when he’s having trouble controlling himself and his raging hard ons, and in reality, if you’re a pastor/priest/anyone heavily involved with the church, shouldn’t you have a little better self control than that? I think the story would’ve been a little stronger if there was a little more restraint at first, and hell, it would’ve been a well drawn out slow burn that readers would appreciate more!
  3. Poppy Danforth in General…I just was SO not sold on her in general…the author brings up her privileged upbringing and her college degrees, and constantly reminds us of how smart she is, but honestly I wasn’t buying it based off the choices the character made and just how she presented herself in general. Also, a classic case of show don’t tell would’ve made this aspect of the whole book a lot better too. Don’t tell us she’s smart, show us through her dialogue, her characterization, or even just the decisions she makes!

Conclusion:

Another sensuous, wicked, provocative piece of erotic fiction from Sierra Simone, but I have to say I wasn’t as sold on this title when compared to her New Camelot Trilogy that I really enjoyed! I think this story was actually one of her earlier works, so I can definitely see that being why I felt like this book wasn’t as strong of a story. The characters weren’t as memorable, but I can say how once again the author really explores the dark and forbidden side of human sexual attraction; this time with a Catholic Church Priest falling in love with a woman.

I recommend this book to those that enjoy these beachy, easy to read erotic tales that have absolutely scorching sex scenes with maybe not the greatest plot…I think fans of such things like 50 Shades of Grey and 365 Days on Netflix will enjoy this book the most!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, Romance

My Review: American King (New Camelot Trilogy #3): by Sierra Simone

Publish Date: November 13th, 2017
Number of Pages: 485 Pages
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Erotica

***Warning!! This post may contain spoilers for the previous titles in this trilogy yet! Continue reading at your own risk, you’ve officially been warned!***

To read my review for Book #1 – American Queen – Click HERE

To read my review for Book #2 – American Prince – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

So, this is it…the final chapter of this surprisingly addictive trilogy that I discovered this year and finally got to reading, and so far it has been one of my favorites to mark down by far! It is for sure one of the most well written stories that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and that even goes for any sort of fiction, not just romance/erotica. Sierra Simone has definitely gained a fan in me with how she’s made such a tantalizing story affect me so.

I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long to get into this third title because the ending of the last one was rough…I mean, I was almost in shock. I was pacing my room, it was about 3 am, and my heartbeat couldn’t slow down for the life of me. It seriously hit me right in the feels, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Any story that can get to you like that has to be amazing, it just affects you so strongly. All the twists and turns, the shocking revelations, the heartache, the sacrifices, the love, and the characters that will stick with me for quite some time.

I loved this trilogy for multiple reasons: the weaving of the story going back into the past and staying in current times, the chemistry between the characters, it’s look on the darker side of attraction, the scandals, the secrets, the moral integrity of the characters, how we slowly unravel more and more behind the characters as the story develops, the beautifully written words, the smoldering sex scenes, and how its a modern retelling of the classic Arthurian tale in Camelot. Of course, some things got switched around and there are a few things added and taken out, but more or less the same. I also wanted to mention how the author wasn’t afraid to go there, as in she went to a forbidden place that people would look at as a perversion of the story; a kinkier, weirder side towards it with absolutely no shame, but honestly I appreciated that she was willing to go to a place not too many authors can go within the genre. It makes it stand out more and makes it feel like I’d found a buried treasure that hardly anyone else knew about.

The first two books within the trilogy absolutely knocked me on my ass (the second one with all that we learned about Embry most of all), and this one didn’t disappoint either, but I had some cautions simply because the character I liked the least out of the trio, Ash Colchester, was going to be the main focus. It’s not that I hated Ash or anything like that, I just wasn’t all into the fact that I found him to be so manipulative towards Greer and Embry, and I’m not too informed into the dom/sub lifestyle, but anyone who enjoys the physical actions of whipping and striking that much for sexual pleasure just doesn’t sit right with me. Sure, he’s a big war hero, and he’s done amazingly brave things, is extremely honorable, and was then president because of it all, but somehow the idea about how he hides his true self until behind closed doors kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

What It’s About:

Continuing off the events of the previous title, Ash and Embry are now turned from President and Vice into running competitors, as Embry has separated himself in order to be able to make sure the people he loves most are safe, even if that means going to war. Ash thinks differently, and wants to do everything that he can in order to avoid war at all costs. Still, that doesn’t stop the two from meeting up at each other’s hotel rooms once the debates and/or interviews are done for the day…

While running against the man he loves and further pushing himself away from him and his wife, Embry is still being blackmailed by Abilene, who roped him into marriage and having his unborn child. Greer and Ash tackle the issues of trying to move forward without Embry at their side, all the while urging him to return. There’s more pain and more suffering that occurs which leads the three of them to continue to turn towards each other for comfort and pleasure, even as everything slowly continues to unravel.

Ash finally gets his moment in the spotlight, and between events in the past and present, new light is shed on him and his character as we discover how he came to be, and what exactly his thoughts and opinions were during other key moments from the other two books in this tantalizing story!

What I Liked:

  1. It Made Me Like Ash More As A Character! While he’s still not my favorite person in these books, having some more information about him and his inner struggles throughout the story made me be able to relate to him a little bit more. From a confused young man fresh out of college just on the cusp of knowing who he was (along with his sexual identity), to becoming the most powerful man in the country; he had some depths that made me see where he was coming from a little better. One thing I could truly admire about him was the lengths he’d go to show his love for Greer and Embry, no matter how much it hurt him. If he had to, he’d always choose pain if nothing else.
  2. The Romance is Still Alive! So despite Greer and Ash having to deal with the fact that Embry is no longer with them in the public’s eye, that doesn’t stop the three of them from staying together behind the scenes. It felt like not much had changed in that sense, which was a relief, because at the end of it I just want them to be happy.
  3. The Relationships! The book felt like it explored more on each of the three’s personal relationship between each other, what was needed to be done in order for each of them to grow, and how the separate relationships intertwined into their whole relationship as the trio. It explored Embry’s relationship with Ash, along with his relationship with Greer, and of course, Ash’s relationship with Greer. Each have their private, one on one moments with each other in order for their bond to become stronger and fight against all that threaten to tear them apart. The author perfectly balanced all sides of the MMF relationship, not just emphasizing one or the other.
  4. The Author’s Personal take on the Arthurian Tale! So I was able to enjoy the story without much outside knowledge of King Arthur, but the story is a close resemblance to the classic tale, just a more modern take on it with plenty of things switched around to freshen it up. The author made her own corrections towards the story this one is based on answered some questions that popped up: Why should Arthur be betrayed by the two he loves most? Why should all of them end up broken and alone? She also explains all this in an afterword at the end of the story to talk to us about all of it!
  5. An Actual Plot Along with Sex Scenes! Like an romance/erotica story, theres sex scenes…a lot of sex scenes. What’s good about the ones in here are they aren’t just randomly placed throughout and they do add to the story. It helps that there is a well written story to go off of as base to give these scenes more meaning too! Some stories hardly have a plot with sex scenes throughout to hide the fact, but luckily these titles had both.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The “Magical Twist”…By the name of the trilogy, along with having a wise mentor-like character named Merlin…It wasn’t so surprising to see the story take on a little reveal like in this story. That doesn’t mean I liked it though, it just makes for a cheesier plot twist that the story didn’t exactly need, but maybe it has to do with the fact that this entire trilogy was an ode to the classic tale with King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Guinevere.
  2. At First, the Ending…When I first read the ending, I was a little disappointed because it felt like the author resorted to playing it safe and trying to make everyone happy and to have a happy ending. BUT, upon reading the afterword Sierra wrote to the readers, my initial opinion changed, and felt like she fairly justified her decision on it.

Conclusion:

Another great addition to quite possibly my favorite book(s) read in 2019! It had everything a good story needs, and while I’m sad the story is over, it doesn’t take away from the amazing journey it took me on! A perfect recommendation for anyone who loves to read well written erotic fiction with compelling and complex characters, angsty situations with lots of scorching tension, and plenty of surprises to keep you guessing!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, LGBT, Romance

My Review: American Prince (New Camelot Trilogy #2): by Sierra Simone

Publish Date: March 17th 2017
Number of Pages: 316 Pages
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre(s): Erotica, Romance

***Warning!! This review reveals spoilers from the previous book in the trilogy, so read at your own caution! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my full review for book #1 – American Queen – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

Wow…just wow, you guys!

My mind was officially blown as I closed this book in the wee hours near sunrise because I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t get any sleep even if I’d tried. This second book in a surprisingly well written romance/erotica trilogy absolutely wrecked me because just when I thought more couldn’t possibly be uncovered, more shocking secrets exposed for the good of the written story, the floor freakin’ exploded from underneath my feet and I’m plummeting down 100 stories and my mind is officially fucked…

So for those that have read the first book, we know by now about the interesting relationship that formed between the President of the United States, his newly wed wife, along with the Vice President. It’s a continuation of the unconventional relationship formed between Maxen “Ash” Colchester, Greer Galloway-Colchester, and Embry Moore, and with that cliffhanger ending the author gave us going in, I had to know immediately after finishing the previous title. Luckily, I thought ahead and got this title for that specific need, ready near my bedside table for the answers I knew I’d need.

This kind of book is rare, and it’s unfortunate that people will write it off because it’s in the romance/erotica genres. It’s so incredibly beautifully written, intense; a smart romance and not just various sex scenes filling up a barely there, poorly thought out plot. Yes, the sex scenes are very descriptive, and get pretty intense at certain points, but they aren’t what drive the story. The secrets, the deceit, the plans made behind closed doors, the motives of the characters and scandals that threaten to tear everything apart is what sets this book apart from all the other romance titles out there on the market.

I can’t reveal too much about what happens within this book; part of the experience is reading it yourself, and because if people thought that the first title shocked your system, it has nothing on this one, and it will absolutely steal your breath away!

What It’s About:

Ash, Greer, and Embry had consummated their relationship the night of Ash and Greer’s wedding, but then the unexpected happened, and Greer was taken by some mystery (but not really) force. With not that much of a mystery to solve, it was Melwas (the leader of an enemy country) that kidnapped her and took her away. Embry and Ash both have to come up with a plan quick in order to rescue her and bring her back safely without causing an international incident and possible war.

As they deal with political intrigue, scandal and tragedies, and global crisis, we learn more about Embry and who he is in all this. You’ll see his side of certain events of the past and what’s happening currently in the story, and learn all the unknown depths of him and get so many answers that will leave you shocked, uprooted and desperate for more!

What I Liked:

  1. More of Embry Moore! Probably my favorite character in these books, this book takes a closer exploration of Embry Moore and his backstory of the events that take place within this story. He’s a complex character: he’s charming but aloof, he’s got his secrets like everyone, but has done some questionable things as well. It’s always been on the reader’s mind what his reasoning behind a lot of things was exactly, and this book reveals all of it, making it some truly shocking stuff! I also found his inner turmoil to be so interesting; he acted like this indifferent, cocky, privileged playboy, but inside was a man with many demons, so much self-loathing to where he doesn’t believe he deserves happiness for himself, despite the sacrifices he’s made for those he loves, even when they don’t know it. He’s fine with people writing him off but actually does so much behind the scenes, and it’s all so incredibly heartbreaking, so emotional, and it all makes him easily one of the best characters in the series, possibly in any book I’ve ever read.
  2. Greer Still has a Voice in the Story! Upon starting this second book, part of me wondered if the story would change immensely because we’d be looking through someone else’s perspective, someone who wasn’t there for everything we’d experienced previously up to that point. Luckily, we kept that base of having Greer continue to tell it from her perspective as the heroine of this story. So much happens to her, so it only makes sense to continue seeing inside her head as things progress and/or escalate.
  3. The LGBT Exploration! By going more in-depth with Embry Moore, it of course covers his complex relationship with Ash over the years; the secrecy, the fear, the tension and of course the unrequited love. It’s more of an LGBT Male/Male romance story, while still having their relationship with Greer also continue to take importance. Having a M/M romance/erotica read was refreshing, as there’s not too much of it in literature. It was a sweeping tale of ambition, bravery, sacrifice, lust, and loss. It goes into the many different sides of love: You can’t choose who you love, you can’t control the circumstances, and sometimes you could meet “the one,” but the timing is off. How you react to all of this, what you do about is a core theme of this book.
  4. The Overall Character Development! For all the characters, it’s truly something to see how different they are by the end of every book. I’m serious, things change so dramatically; plans change, people change and sometimes it causes relationships to change. They are all flawed, but so real and so raw. The ending is great proof of this, and while it’s sad to see how things developed, It also causes me to commend the author on the wonderful job they did with their craft.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. It felt So Short!…I know, this isn’t much to go on, but seriously…I wanted more! I wanted to have about 100 more pages of this story; of what, I have no idea…

Conclusion:

Another jaw-dropping, heartbreaking, shocking addition to an incredibly smart, beautifully written romance/erotica series written by someone who sets the bar on how to write for the specific genre. It explores the mind of Embry Moore, Vice-President, and the darkness that all but fully consumes him, but makes him think he’s a bad guy, someone who doesn’t deserve happiness, someone to write off…but none of that is true. He’s a tortured, complex soul and while he’s confident, charming, noble and charismatic, he’s got a dark side that draws him back, makes him aloof, cold, secretive and reckless. This title will take your breath away, send a jolt down your spine, and make you question everything/everyone around you!

Thanks For Reading!

— Nick Goodsell