Erotica, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: Flock (The Ravenhood #1): by Kate Stewart

Publish Date: July 27th , 2020
Number of Pages: 364 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Erotica

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

The truth is, I do expect a lot out of my love story and the man I’ll share it with. I expect passion and butterflies, and one or two fairy tale moments. When we fight, I want it to hurt. When we fuck, I want to feel it with every fiber of my being. When a man confesses his love to me, I expect him to mean it. I don’t want to question the words’ authenticity. I want to be claimed and owned and ruled and possessed by love.

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Can you keep a secret?

I grew up sick.⁣

Let me clarify.⁣

I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy.⁣

Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness.⁣

When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow.⁣

Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets.⁣

Secrets that cost us everything to keep.⁣

That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to.⁣

Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness.⁣

And all were punished.


Okay, so I can definitely see what the hype about with this book was all about!

I don’t remember when exactly, but it felt like not too long ago this trilogy made a big sweep into bookish social media and it was EVERYWHERE…so many people were all of a sudden talking about these books, but also how they tore open their chest and made them cry their eyes out and stole a piece of their soul….you know, normal stuff booklovers say. I even had friends send me pics of them bawling their eyes out from these books and I’m more like “okay……….consider me more intrigued!”

It was a fast read despite being a character-driven storyline; the fact that the main drive of the story is told through the perspective of the main character, and she’s constantly guessing what’s happening and is obviously being kept out of the loop on A LOT of things going on….and so of course, we as readers are too.

The story revolves around Cecilia moving to a small town named Triple Falls to move in with her estranged father. Things had been tense growing up as he’s abandoned her and her mother but suddenly wants to change all that and have her in his life. He is defs not winning any father of the year awards and remains cold and distant and even has her refer to him as “sir” whenever they actually speak amongst one another. Her father is the richest man in town and owns the largest factory where she’ll have to work for one whole year in order to get an inheritance and own the business herself one day. The reason she even decides to go with this ridiculous sounding plan is because her mom’s health is deteriorating, and Cecilia figures her father can pay them back for all he’s robbed them of since her birth.

Cecilia also meets two particular boys: Sean and Dominic. Sean is like a golden Cali-surfer boy without a care in the world, and Dominic at first feels like a very stereotypical teen romance love interest: stoic, broody, tall, dark, handsome, and a total asshole that the girl somehow still gets the hots for. Despite being polar opposites, both are drawn to Cecilia–oh and she’s feelin it too–and the book follows the three of them on what is an eventual summer for the three of them…in more ways than one!

The book was both intriguing and frustrating at the same time with the guessing, but I will admit it definitely keeps you wanting to read to see how the answers are laid out before you.


That’s the truth,’ I add, ‘people don’t want the brutal truth in love stories anymore, but that, there,’ I gesture at the screen, ‘is the brutal, ugly truth.’

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”


What I Liked:

  1. It Really Keeps You Guessing! The main drive of this story is that the author really does a wonderful job of keeping you out of the loop with what is all going down for so much of the story.
  2. The Characters! Cecilia had some sass to her, which I can appreciate! She was very typical feisty teen heroine, but that’s honestly okay with me! She was still likable which is the most important part for a main character for me. The author made me care about her and root for her in the end!
  3. The Spice! Insert pun about things heating up in the summer with this book! There’s a float scene that was very eyebrow raising and I wish more scenes like that appeared throughout!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Not Much of an Outer Plot Until End of Book…Until you reach the near end of the book and an outer plot is finally revealed to you, most of this book is very character driven with it being told by Cecilia’s perspective with plenty of guessing games, but @chan on Goodreads says it perfectly in her review: imagine if in Twilight when Edward is being all sketchy and shady and eventually reveals he’s a vampire…imagine if that was the end of the book and that’s kind of the situation here a little bit. Once the big reveal of Flock makes itself known, a lot of things start to make sense and things tie together and you become invested, but again…some readers might not enjoy that this doesn’t happen until 95% into the book.
  2. The Guessing Got Tedious…Part of you definitely becomes frustrated alongside Cecilia when over and over again she asks questions and she gets no answers, or a lot of it is simply left up in the air. Most of it is even with Sean, who even says he’s more open and honest than most people so that felt really contradictory, and I feel like maybe even the author does this a little too much to drive the fact home about how well kept the secrets are and how tightly knit it all is. Or maybe not…I’m kind of torn on it. I think I’m not too annoyed about it, but I can see other readers really turned off by this. I’ll admit I got frustrated, but more in the sense that kept me wanting to read and get answers, so in a way it works! I guess this critique depends on the type of reader you are…


Overall, I easily got into this book and saw what the hype about it was! It kept me reading late into the night and can say I think this book is a great choice for anyone to read who is in a slump and just needs something to jolt themselves awake with their reading. It definitely did just that for me!

I was happy to say this book didn’t tear apart my insides and rip my heart from my chest and leave me a broken husk of a human…I’m still going strong!

Fair warning, there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the book so if you do start reading this, I do recommend having Exodus either close by or on the way in the mail because if you like this book, you’ll defs want to start the next one IMMEDIATELY!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

LGBT, Paranormal

My Review: Captive (Beautiful Monsters #1): by Jex Lane

**Kindle Edition**
Publish Date: August 5th, 2016
Number of Pages: 316 Pages
Publisher: Jex Lane
Genre(s): Paranormal, LGBT

Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

In all fairness, I knew going in that I wasn’t going to absolutely love this story because I’ve just been so done with the whole vampire cliché for quite some time. For me, it died with TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I haven’t looked back too much to be completely honest. What truly drew me in was the M/M romance mentioned by the genre listings and from many other reviewers on Goodreads.

I wouldn’t call this a romance title at all though; far from it in actuality. It plays on the mental and emotional manipulation that people have often speculated happening in another fictional vampire franchise: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. In this book, it’s way more obvious and it really makes you feel for the main character: Matthew Callahan. His “love interest,” the Incubus General Tarrick, tricks him into slavery and slowly and methodically breaks him down until he’s calling the Incubi his “master.” It certainly doesn’t help that the general also uses sex as a weapon to manipulate the MC into performing specific orders. You really sympathize for Matthew as despite the terrible situation he’s put in, which is right in the middle of a centuries long war between Vampires and Incubi, he falls in love with the general. It’s even implied that the general may be falling for him too, but it’s not necessarily certain.

Overall, I liked it but didn’t love it, but there’s for sure enough interest from me to want to keep going on later in the series. The storyline wasn’t too interesting, the action scenes didn’t really grab my attention, nor am I a big fan of Vampires in general, but there’s still some major potential in some aspects like the MC, the mysteries surrounding his past, and his relationship with his potential love interest.

Many trigger warnings go with this title for anyone who’s a more sensitive reader: slavery, emotional and sexual manipulation, torture, character death, and smut.

What It’s About:

I’m risking a lot for you. I could lose everything. Don’t betray me.” It was a plea. Not an order. The first he had ever heard from Tarrick.”

– Jex Lane, “Captive”

Matthew Callahan has spent seven years struggling against the insatiable hunger for blood consuming him. Unable to stop the vampire inside from preying on humans, he keeps himself confined to a lonely existence.

Everything changes the night he is lured into a trap and taken prisoner by High Lord General Tarrick—a seductive incubus who feeds off sexual energy. Forced into the middle of a war between vampires and incubi, Matthew is used as a weapon against his own kind. Although he’s desperate for freedom, he is unable to deny the burning desire drawing him to the incubus general he now calls Master.

*This book is intended for mature audiences!*

Collar or no, we all have our masters. One day, that would be different for Matthew. One day, others would kneel before him.”

– Jex Lane, “Captive”

What I Liked:

  1. The Uncertainty behind Tarrick and Matthew’s Relationship! Like I said earlier, it’s definitely not a romantic relationship by any means, and if someone really does think the opposite, they may want to reconsider. While a sexual relationship starts, what’s truly interesting about them is all the questioning that goes into both the characters motives. Since the story is focused on Matthew, you know he falls in love with Tarrick through everything, but it’s definitely unclear what Tarrick’s true feelings are. I want to hope he has some sort of humanity left and that maybe he returns the feelings that Matthew has, but it’s incredibly up in the air, which does make it more interesting!
  2. The Mystery Behind Matthew’s Past! Besides the unclarity of Tarrick and Matthew, there’s also a lot of mystery behind Matthew’s past that drives him further into the story. I don’t want to give too much away, but some of it has to pertain to who his parents were, and who was the person/monster that turned him in the first place. Obviously, there’s more questions, but I don’t want to spoil it as it’s a major part of the story, and you should experience it yourself in order to fully enjoy it.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. A Lot of Slower Moments…There were plenty of sex scenes (M/M and M/F as Matthew is bisexual) to entertain readers looking for that sort of story, but I can say the big battles and higher action scenes didn’t really pick up the story for me personally. They weren’t badly written, but they also didn’t make me glued to my Kindle screen either.
  2. Vampires… I just don’t like Vampire’s anymore. I know I know… I say this as I knowingly read this story that has them within and part of the main plot, but I can at least enjoy it somewhat if the author at least can add something new to the table in terms of all that people associate with the pale ones, but that doesn’t really happen here in this book anyways.


An interesting paranormal-genre title that’s filled with war, violence, slavery, Incubi and Vampires, along with lots of sex. Anyone who reads dark fantasy and can handle the more disturbing relationships that are filled with sexual manipulation will enjoy this title, especially if someone’s looking for a M/M erotic tale.

It was good but not great, but the first book is hardly ever the best in a trilogy/series, so I say these books can only go up from here! I’m not in love with the story, but I am interested enough to want to keep reading on and seeing what happens next in terms of exploring how Tarrick’s relationship develops with Matthew, whether there’s actual romance that will form once all the mind games are over and done, and all the questions raised with Matthew’s past, like why would a vampire refer to him as “my prince?”

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell