grumbler's favorite authors on Smashwords

Amy Kitt
Latest book: Elizabeth.
Published July 21, 2012. (4.67 from 3 reviews)
JJ Argus
Latest book: Her Roommate's Dad.
Published September 8, 2023.
Lia Anderssen
Latest book: Biker's Girl 3.
Published May 18, 2016.
Lia Anderssen
Latest book: Desires Unlmited.
Published April 16, 2023.

Smashwords book reviews by grumbler

  • Slave of the Aristocracy: Book One – On the Auction Block on Aug. 25, 2015

    A fascinating books series that would actually work quite well even without the adult content (but wouldn't be nearly as much fun or surreal). The world Zacharias has created for us is the "male dream" in almost every respect. Men of substance (the aristocrats) buy and sell sex slaves at their whim. The slaves are all young, beautiful, skilled, and uninhibited. Men have total control over their slaves, with no responsibilities at all; the main character belongs for a time to a man devoted to torturing his slaves in excruciating fashion, and no one thinks the less of him for it. When slaves become too old to be pleasing as sex slaves, they are discarded (worked to death in short order as "work slaves"). Zacharias makes this world believable, through use of detail and a very-well-thought-out plot that immerses the reader slowly in the various levels of this society over the course of the first four books, and then shows it subject to change in the fifth. As a man, it is rather uncomfortable to see the dark side of the male fantasy. I'm hoping that was a purpose in writing the books. Not just the story is good, though. The writing, and especially the dialogue, make these books an enjoyable read just for the language. Highly recommended.
  • The Farmer on Jan. 20, 2020

    The first book in a series that takes the un-named (or, rather, variously-named) protagonist through a series of erotic (and not-so-erotic) adventures as a voluntary slave. The story unfolds slowly until the last pages, and proves to be far more satisfying than I expected from the first book. As is her wont, Ashley Zacharious tries very hard to make the actual mechanics of the slavery and story events work in a logical an clear fashion. Our heroine isn't some broken thing that enjoys pain and degradation, as we first suspect, but rather is a dedicated woman on a mission. I'd love to see more of this character in sequels. The only downside to the series, in my mind, was the wanton cruelty exhibited in the book on the accountant. Zacharious puts her heroine through trying times indeed in that book, and I found it more grim than I would prefer. If not for that, this would be a five-star review.
  • The Most Awesome Retention Bonus Ever on Jan. 23, 2020

    This is my favorite Ashley Zacharias book so far, and I've read most of them. The protagonist is very relatable, the dilemma she finds herself in is very believable, and the resolution follows very naturally from the actions the reader sees her take. There is some kinky stuff here, but it is in service to the story rather than the reverse. If I were reading a draft of the book, I'd make two suggestions to the author: 1. Make the consequences of the heroine's realization that she gets sexually excited when she gets ordered around a bigger part of the plot (make it add to her dilemma; does she even want to escape from her situation?) and leave open as long as possible the possibility that she could choose to stay on this path, and 2. Make the story climax more elaborate; have some elements of it go awry, so the heroine has to adjust her plans (and demonstrate her genius once again) to make her solution work. As it is, the story climax is a bit anticlimactic (at least compared to our expectations at that point). But those weak points don't detract much from this book. The pleasure of the book comes from seeing the main character grow in character and inner strength under the pressures of a horrible situation. Her increasing awareness of the power of her own sexuality eventually morphs into a realization that, contrary to her views at the beginning, her situation is not hopeless and she is not powerless to affect her fate. This is a common Zacharias book element, but we generally only see it happening over the course of several books. I think seeing it happen over the course of a single book makes it better. Highly recommended.
  • Criminally Insane on Feb. 12, 2020

    This book is erotic only if you consider torture itself to be erotic. The book is technically well-written, and the main character is well-fleshed-out, but I found the whole scenario implausible and the unrelenting bleakness of the story was unattractive in the absence of any purpose to the bleakness other than to be bleak. I'd rate it lower than three stars in terms of my own enjoyment, but it doesn't fail to deliver anything it promised, so will take the hit of not knowing what I was buying, and rate it at a three.
  • The Flower Girl on June 14, 2020

    One of JJ Argus's best. The story is sexy but believable, the sex scenes build up nicely and are both hot and well-written, and the development of the character is handled very credibly, without requiring her to suddenly become a slut or do silly things. Highly recommended.
  • $old on June 14, 2020

    While reasonably well-written, these books are not believable nor especially sexy. The reader is likely to groan aloud at the absurd plot twist at the end of the first book. The second book mostly takes place before the first book, so I am unsure why they are presented in this order. There are a number of mistakes regarding Syria, Afghanistan, the CIA, and the like, but the reader probably wont be bothered by those. These books are recommended only for those looking to complete their Jaid Black reading list. Get one of her other books, instead.
  • Tara's Guilt Trip on June 15, 2020

    Not, unfortunately, one of JJ Argus's better efforts. My assumption is that it is supposed to be satire mocking the whole PC/White Guilt movement, but satire needs to be subtle. This is as subtle as a sledgehammer. We never really learn anything about the Main Caricature, who remains a cardboard cutout with only a very few lines of thought and no notable characteristics other than her "guilt" over her "privilege." The antagonists in the book, all black, are just as cardboard-cutout-ish, with no apparent motivations other than to harass the main caricature and her friends. The sexy bits are sexy, but they just form a string of images tied together by one of the most absurd plots I've seen. There can be no suspension of disbelief here, so this doesn't work as a sexy drama, and there isn't nearly enough humor to be a sexy comedy. It's just a bad, dull book with a few good moments in it.
  • The Cheat on June 15, 2020

    This book is what I look for in a JJ Argus book: a credible story with sexy scenes that advance the story. It's almost impossible not to see the main antagonist as Tony Soprano, though the actual mob elements are purely in the background. The main character's motivations, uncertainties, and responses all are very plausible, and the sexy scenes are very hot. If you like this author at all, read this book. If you don't like the author, read it anyway.
  • Woman Degraded on July 02, 2020

    My least favorite AZ book. While it has hot moments, the dramatic tension in the story is ruined by the decision of the author to follow the modern trend and tell the story from the standpoint of both the characters in the relationship. Where the story could wring some excitement and intrigue out of the issue of whether the female protagonist can trust the man she is giving power over her, it instead tells the reader that yes, he is trustworthy and there is no threat to her. There's an amusing side story about the male protagonist that revolves entirely around this issue of trust, so it's a pity AZ didn't incorporate that idea in the main story (as she did, for instance, in The Honest Masochist). The idea for this book is sound, but the execution disappoints.
  • Naked Deliverance on July 22, 2020

    i am impressed that this book has finally made it into general availability. it's been one of the "unicorn books" of the adult library. The final result is good, though not great. Well worth getting, but not equal to it's (perhaps unrealizable) reputation.
  • Shame: My Freshman Year on July 22, 2020

    The latest AZ novel is also unique, for three reasons: First, the protagonist is the youngest of any of the AZ books I have read. She is also, then, the most "innocent." She has less experience to draw on when describing how she feels or what happens to her. Second, the protagonist is not, for once, beautiful and in charge of her sex life (or, as in many of the novels, in charge of declining control of her sex life). She is average in looks, and thus less sexy but more relatable. Third, and most astonishingly, this book is told in the first person. I don't think I have read any first-person stories from AZ before. What makes this so astonishing is that it invites the reader to think that the heroine thinks as the author does. The end result is a book that the reader feels a whole lot less comfortable with than AZ's usual books, because the average-appearing protagonist is a lot more relatable than the sex slave of the Slave of the Aristocracy or A Gift of Herself. I am ambivalent about the whole pain-seeking element of this book. Our heroine doesn't enjoy pain so much as she enjoys the anticipation of pain and the post-pain self-congratulations that she could endure pain. That's all alien to me. It seems like the backgammon series x 100 Nevertheless, I am going to give this book five stars just because it dares to embrace the theme. There's nothing here that doesn't do exactly what it advertises it will do. If this is a series, though, I probably won't read the rest of it. I like the protagonist enough to not want to share more adventures in agony.
  • The Naughty Girl on Aug. 03, 2020

    This book was clearly originally a series of short stories, stitched together into a novel. The result isn't bad, though it lacks the level of detail AZ usually puts into her novels, and the growth of the character is well-done. Essential reading for those interested in the books about Raleigh Bern, but of less interest on its own.
  • The Tough Guy on Aug. 03, 2020

    This book has a plot as about as complex as AZ gets in a single-volume story, and the results are highly satisfactory. There's a variety of sex scenes, none of them routine, and there's a nice mystery. The best thing about the book, though, is that it shows Raleigh Bern's interior life in more detail than in the other books about her, and it's interesting to see how she reacts to the events of the novel. The only thing missing that I'd like to see would have been Raleigh being blackmailed into spending a night at the mercy of Annabelle. But we got plenty of that kind of thing in the second Raleigh Bern series, so no huge lack. I'd love to see this series finished. It leaves a lot open and Raleigh really shines when she is up against villains, not just her targets.
  • An Ambitious Girl on Aug. 03, 2020

    In some ways this book is a pretty typical D/S novel, written with JJ Argus's usual ability to create sexy scenes, but there's a twist to the story that I enjoyed: the "sub" in this case doesn't want to be a sub, she wants to be a dom. She puts up with the way she is treated because her ambitions to become just like the dom of the story require her to (though she does sort of like it). It makes for a nice change from the usual "resists but then completely surrenders" protagonists of these kind of stories. I didn't read the second book in the series because I feared that the author would burst that bubble. This book is well-worth reading on its own.
  • The Detective on Aug. 03, 2020

    This is one of the JJ Argus books that just didn't work for me. The plot is too contrived, the villain too deus ex machina, and the ending too cruel for me to really enjoy. There are a lot of good JJ Argus books on the site; read one of them, instead.
  • The Studfinder General (For the Manor Bred,1) on Aug. 05, 2020

    I am normally a fan of this author's works, because they are both hot and satisfyingly romantic. This book is an exception. I couldn't even finish it. The main problem with the book is that one of the two main characters (there is no protagonist or antagonist in the book, because it is told from two points of view) is a sociopath. He'd make a fine villain, because he believes in mutilating, torturing, raping, and kidnapping women, so is clearly evil as hell. However, what makes him such a poor POV character is that we as readers have to wade through the sewer of his mind, wherein he believes that his evil acts are perfectly justified, because the women he is abusing secretly like it. He even goes so far as to victimize an intelligent, independent woman because he knows that she will resist being turned into a mindless slave longer than less intelligent and independent women, thus extending the necessarily brutality he will get to engage in in order to break her. He doesn't see anyone but himself as a real person; everyone else, in his view, is merely there to serve his interests in whatever way he desires. That a classic sociopath. The female main character is mostly very likeable, but often extremely dumb. For instance, in one scene, he kidnaps her (when she is carrying a large sum of money) in the middle of a hotel lobby, with numerous people around, including a close friend of hers. She knows that she will be robbed, and likely raped, if he goes with hm, and yet she does nothing to alert the people around her that she is being kidnapped. Sure enough, he robs her. That was the point at which I stopped reading. It was impossible to suspend disbelief after that. I urge readers to find one of the author's other books, like Brute or The Captain's Plaything. They are as hot as this book and far less irritatingly unbelievable.
  • The General's Virgin Slave on Aug. 19, 2020

    A fairly short, light read with some sexy scenes, but not very convincing. Even if you ignore the historical discrepancies (centurions, even senior ones, are not generals), the author's decision to present the story from the point of view of both the centurion and the modern woman works against any real story tension and makes the ending rather absurd. This would be so much better if told strictly from the woman's point of view. The author uses language very well, though, so it's an enjoyable read even if not an excellent one.
  • Caine's World - Volume 1 on Aug. 19, 2020

    This is torture porn, so if you aren't into that, you should stay away. I was expecting more of a B/D novel than the sadism novel this turns out to be - the title character is just into pain, not sex. I'm giving it two stars because it isn't really anything but what it claims to be, but can't give it more because it is just so relentlessly depressing. I really just wanted the main character (Caine) to die horribly, preferably at the hands of the women he was brutalizing. He had no redeeming features whatsoever.
  • A Change of Career on Aug. 19, 2020

    This was a pretty lighthearted but interesting tale of a woman who decides to quit the rat race in favor of a career in sex. It's not about what happens to her as a courtesan so much as it is about why she decides to do it and what she does to prepare herself for her new career. The only real flaw to the book was that it was so dispassionate that you could never really identify with any of the characters. They were just characters in a story.
  • The Red Kick on Aug. 20, 2020

    A lighthearted romp with very cartoonish characters and plot, by design. The book never really gels as a compelling story, but it has some hot bits and some funny bits, so fulfills its promise.
  • The Stranger on Sep. 06, 2020

    Great little story with a vivid description of Zoe's inner life, and an exciting outer life that may, in fact, be far more dangerous than Zoe imagines. Lots of variety in the sex, and some of the sexiest parts of the story don't even need to include sex. Highly recommended.
  • Miranda's Desk Job on Sep. 06, 2020

    The book starts out really well but then becomes repetitive. This is really more of a short story padded out into a novel than is usual for JJ Argus. He's got much better books out there.
  • Gamer Girl on Sep. 06, 2020

    A short, fairly light story that hits all the right notes. The story progression and character development move at exactly the right pace, and we get a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended.
  • The Little French Brat on Sep. 06, 2020

    The description of this book is way off: Amie is Canadian, not French, and is anything but bratty. This is a simple little love story with a kinky twist. The characters are likable and the sex used to advance the story, not just fill pages. Recommended.
  • Passed Around Coed on Sep. 06, 2020

    The book has some excellent sex scenes, but the story itself is a bit too absurd to make this a five star book.
  • The Repairman on Sep. 11, 2020

    This fun little story showcases what JJ Argus does best: he makes it sexy to see the inner working of the mind of his protagonist. There's not a whole lot of actual action or sex in this little story, but that's for the best, as it means that most f the story is about what the female protagonist is feeling and thinking. She's a very different person at the end of the story, but it isn't because of what happens so much as it is because of how she decides to react to it. Highly recommended.
  • Emily's Debt on Sep. 11, 2020

    A grim story about a dystopian future that, luckily, isn't very plausible. The story delivers on what it promises, but that turns out to be not very sexy and ultimately just depressing.
  • A Guest of the County on Sep. 11, 2020

    Another pretty straightforward and fun little novelette by JJ Argus. The story pretty much 100% takes place in the mind of the protagonist, and that's JJ Argus's wheelhouse. The kink here is that the prisoner is blindfolded so can only respond to sound and touch. Lighthearted and with a happy ending. Highly recommended.
  • The Billionaire on Sep. 11, 2020

    The second book in the series is not quite as tense as the first, because we have learned more about what the protagonist is trying to do. Lots of sexy vignettes, and a nice character moment when the protagonist stands up for herself.
  • The Accountant on Sep. 11, 2020

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others in the series, because it was set up to be less enjoyable to readers with my tastes. Others might enjoy it more. I just found the relentless cruelty and hypocrisy hard to wade through. On the plus side, there is some character development towards the end as the protagonist toughens up and strikes back.
  • The Scientist on Sep. 11, 2020

    This is one of those AZ stories that feature a great twist at the end that makes the reader reconsider everything that's happened in the book. A great finish to the series.
  • Digital Slave on Sep. 15, 2020

    This book is very well-written, but I am not sure how much I could recommend it. It is, frankly, brutal at times, and the reader will encounter the most passive-aggressive character I have ever encountered, in fiction or out of it. This makes for some very uncomfortable reading at times. I even ended up having to skip about half of the last 20% of the book (the sensory-deprivation part) because it was so uncomfortable. Having said that, the author is very disciplined in keeping the story squarely from the viewpoint of the protagonist, who becomes a less and less reliable narrator as time goes on, and that's an admirable skill in an author. This certainly is not a book the reader will soon forget. The story is so very realistic in the near-future sense that it almost counts as horror. I can't say "if the author had only done X, it would have been a better book" because this is clearly the story the author wanted to tell, and nothing here is done in any way sloppily or out of line with what the story needed. I can't even complain that it has an unhappy ending, because I don't know how much of the protagonist's happiness at the end was feigned. All I can say is that the book delivers what it promises, whether I really wanted that or not. So, I just can't give it five stars, but you might.
  • Into The Past on Sep. 15, 2020

    Very fun, sexy little read, that does what JJ Argus does best - put us in the mid of someone in an extraordinary situation. The sexy bits happen where the story needs them, and they are very well-described. The fantasy element actually makes the story more credible than other books where things happen for more "realistic" but sillier-sounding reasons. Highly recommended.
  • Nigger's Girl on Sep. 15, 2020

    An unfortunate title for a sexy book that strays just a bit too far in the direction of absurdity to maintain suspension of disbelief. The sexy bits are sexy, and seldom contrived, but the main character's motivations just don't add up. Still recommended.
  • The Mirror Box on Sep. 21, 2020

    This first 60% of this book is interesting, with the attempts to mind-break the prisoners and that description of the exact moment when the prisoners' resistance was first cracked, the further exploitation of those cracks, etc. The last 40% of the book, when we found out why this is all being done, is laughably absurd. The facility here represents the work of thousands of people to design it, build it, operate it, and maintain it, and not one of these thousands of FBI people apparently have any qualms about the kidnapping, torture, and imprisonment of a fellow FBI agent! Plus, the mission is the type of mission for which you don't need to spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on a super-high-tech involuntary training facility. It would have been a 3/5 stars had it kept up the story it started with, but 1/5 for the complete destruction of the readers' suspension of disbelief in the last half of the book. Average is 2/5. Definitely not recommended, even if you liked this author's other books.
  • Prisoners of Lust on Nov. 08, 2020

    Some interesting scenes, without too much explicit torture. The conditioning happens too quickly to be credible, but the short timespan of the story requires that. Recommended.
  • Marius' Mules: The Invasion of Gaul on Dec. 27, 2020

    A pretty good job of mixing accuracy and story in the first book of the series. I'd quibble with some of his historical choices (he refers to centurions as "officers" though the Romans considered them to be more like NCOs, as they came from the lower orders in society) and some stylistic choices (he makes Caesar out to be more capricious and lucky than seems warranted), but those are nits. There's a compelling story here, but the main attraction of the book is interesting characters doing things that the reader enjoys learning about. Recommended.
  • The Dark Passage on Dec. 27, 2020

    This is a pleasant read with an interesting main character and a hot situation. The book would be better if the boyfriend wasn't just present to fulfill the standard porn book tropes. He has no character and seems indifferent to the main character other than what he can get in the way of sex. All the sexy stuff takes place in her mind.
  • Journey into Slavery on Dec. 27, 2020

    I really wanted to like this book, but it was just too banal to make me care. The main character is mysteriously (as in, why could someone just kidnap a woman from home in broad daylight?) taken as a slave, and she just goes along with it. There are some hot training bits, and then a series of owners who slip from the reader's memory as soon as they are off the pages. The descriptive elements are decent but can't save the book from mediocrity.
  • Carnival Girl on Dec. 27, 2020

    This is one of JJ Argus's more lighthearted books, well worth getting if you like those. The main character gets the freedom from her home life that she wanted but at the price of having to have more sex than she originally planned. It's all consensual, though, and she can walk any time she wants. As is usual in these stories, she doesn't want to walk away. Recommended.
  • In Darkest Africa on Jan. 03, 2021

    The book starts out great - the classical conditioning parts with the first tribe are sexy, unique, and somewhat believable. The parts after her sale are pretty bog-standard slave-girl-in-Africa stuff that I've seen dozens of times. A good book that could have been great. Still recommended, if only for the first half.
  • Training Sarah on Jan. 03, 2021

    This is a pretty dark book with a protagonist that is so shallow it's hard to root for her. Her lover is just an obvious scumbag that uses her ignorance and gullibility to exploit her. The ending is one of the sadder ones in a JJ Argus book. I don't recommend this one except to those wanting to read everything by the author.
  • Purging Her Privilege on Jan. 07, 2021

    This is mostly torture pron, with a bit of "sexy" mixed in. The main character just gets tortured (including some extreme torture, scat, etc) while the assistant just gets BDSM. It's well-written but definitely not for all tastes. The "bad guys" are not at all relatable. They are just insane sadists.
  • The Slave Game on Feb. 11, 2021

    This book is pretty much a potboiler; not bad, but not introducing anything we haven't seen from this author before. It's well-written, but the story path is well-trodden and nothing surprises the reader except maybe the incest elements. I'd recommend you find one of the author's better books.
  • Pirate Property on March 01, 2021

    This book is reasonably well-written and has some good scenes in it, but is marred by being a very incomplete first part of a book published in three volumes, and by the fact that it has so many POV characters that we don't get to know any of them very well, so it's hard to care what happens to them. The author just doesn't have the skill to draw us into the characters and story in such a short novel fragment. The author would have been better-served by publishing the whole novel at once. It is also priced at a real premium, given that this isn't a well-known writer and the whole book isn't very long. It would be cheaper to buy all five copies of the Slave of the Aristocracy series (with longer and better-written books) than the three parts of this book. So, the book is not at all bad, but doesn't quite make it to the grade of good. I'd recommend it only to the real aficionados of the genre. I won't be buying any more parts of this book.
  • The Virtual Submissive on March 22, 2021

    A fun little romp that highlights JJ Argus's strength: showing us what's happening in the mind of the protagonist. Highly recommended.
  • Fiona's Highland Fling on March 31, 2021

    The first half of this book is great. The MC endures a set of escalating embarrassing trials run by a Scottish family she tried t swindle and are now blackmailing her. The author does a great job of giving her an internal voice that reacts appropriately to her difficult position. Very sexy stuff. Halfway through the book, though, it takes a major turn to the dark side, and the sexy humiliations are replaced by outright torture, scat, watersports, and constant farting. The blackmailers turn into monsters, who simply enjoy inflicting pain on the MC. There's nothing sexy here. It's just deepening levels of torture and degradation. At the same time, the author starts to throw in "magic herbs" that can do anything, including changing the MC's appearance and even her accent. That's when my last shred of ability to suspend disbelief appeared, and I stopped reading. The first half of the book is terrific, though. I'd rate it at 5 stars and the last half at 1 star (or less, if that were possible). It's a long book, and half of it still amounts to about 39,000 words, and that's a pretty good bargain by itself for $3.99. So, I'd actually suggest that you get the book, and stop reading when the MC is forced to march around in the piles of pig shit. It only goes rapidly downhill from there and reading the second half will ruin the enjoyment you got from the first half.
  • Brextopia! on May 08, 2021

    A fun little romp that satirizes a certain British mindset. The sexy bits are sexy, the satirical bits are funny, and the book never takes itself too seriously. Highly recommended.
  • A Proper British Girl on May 08, 2021

    A bit of a potboiler from JJ Argus, this book is well-written and has a well-done inner voice for the protagonist, but offers little that is new and suffers from the MC being unrealistically stupid in getting caught up in the "villain's" machinations. There are better books by this author, but, if you've already read them, then this one is mildly recommended.
  • Love Slave on May 08, 2021

    This is a nice blend of adventure story and sexy story, with some care taken to make the text more than sex descriptions and some implausible plot linkages of them. there's character development here, as well as some great descriptive writing about the people and places which surround the story. It also has a very satisfactory ending, which is rare in these kinds of books. It's mainly available in PDF, which is a bit of a pain to deal with when using Kindle, but worth it.
  • Trained to Obey: Part Two on June 08, 2021

    This series is well-written, but suffers from two features that have made me decide that vol 2 is the last one I will buy: 1) These stories are short and not much takes place in either of the first two volumes (covering maybe a day and a half) and 2) The author introduces a second narrator in the second volume, also writing in first person. Multiple characters writing in the first person (especially when they are talking about the same events in the same time span) don't work, because the reader loses track of which character is speaking or spoke about an event. The womens' stories are sexy but short and sometimes grim.
  • Groomed, Trapped, Enslaved. The Complete Story on June 08, 2021

    This book takes advantage of Amelia Stark's excellent writing and ability to create sexy scenes by extending the story to a decent length and focusing on the inner voice of the protagonist. Beyond a tiny bit of "porn logic" the story flows smoothly and believably, with a few plot twists to keep the reader guessing about what is going to happen. Recommended.
  • Empire Slaves on June 08, 2021

    A very tame book for one that is supposed to be about slavery (which this book doesn't have; it has indentured service). The political and adventure elements are better than the sex elements. Well enough written, just rather bland.
  • The Checkpoint - Book Four on June 08, 2021

    A rather disappointing venture into torture porn by the author of the excellent Brextopia. Well-written, but I found it unsexy and predictable. Not recommended.
  • Flash Point on June 19, 2021

    This story is really just an extended erotic torture scene with a brief ending that pays lip service to the supposed plot. Only good if you are into extreme torture and don't mind the lack of plot.
  • In Restraints on June 19, 2021

    The story starts out sexy, but then devolves into some fairly repetitive rape scenes followed by some mutilation scenes. The plot is pure porn logic. If you are not into mutilation and depressing endings, steer clear. The author has better books out there.
  • Arrested Detained Enslaved (The Complete Story) on June 19, 2021

    The book starts out quite hot, marred only by a bit of a porn-logic style legal system, then descends into lots of body modification and then a truly horrific ending that will make you regret ever reading this. If you stop after the girl's sentence is handed down, this will be a decent if short book. After the sentence lies monsters.
  • The Bratty Blonde on July 12, 2021

    Pretty much a potboiler plot-wise here, but, as usual with JJ Argus, plenty of hot moments and, uniquely, a book with the protagonist living the inner (and outer) lives of both a sub and dom. The action is purely lesbian. Recommended.
  • Fog, Lace and Steel on Aug. 20, 2021

    This is my favorite book by this author so far. It is set up as a series of missions, so is essentially a bunch of short stories with a thin connecting strand. That plays to the author's strengths, as there is no place here for character development, just action and description. The main character is interesting enough even without learning from her experiences. The author is a bit more fond of genital torture and mutilation than I am, but the elements too strong for me were short and easily bypassed. The reader will have to accept a fair degree of "porn logic" without looking too closely at it, but that's necessary to tell the story this way. A fun book that I highly recommend.
  • Venalicius - Slaver of Rome on Aug. 22, 2021

    This book does not, unfortunately, highlight the best elements of V.W. Singer's writing, and as a result is a string of moderately hot (and occasionally over the top, for me) vignettes that don't fit together into very satisfying novel. Part of the problem is that Singer clearly looked up a few Latin words to add as flavor, like Praetorian, venalicius, etc, but then just uses them without understanding them. For instance, venalicius just means "slave dealer" so that the title of the book becomes the silly-sounding "Slave Dealer - Slaver of Rome." The author repeatedly states that the protagonist has a "cohort" and sometimes a "full cohort" without apparently understanding that a cohort is 600 men strong, meaning that wages alone for his expedition would be in excess of 144,000 denarii, or many times the value of the slaves he was to collect. These kinds of errors abound and, while someone knowing little of Roman times might not even notice, they are errors that could have been, and should have been, easily avoided. The book is well-written, and the se and action scenes make it worth the readers' while, but the characters are mostly flat or unbelievable, and character development is nil. Even the casual reader will notice some things that seem weird, like the main character seeming to invite bandit raids by hiding some of his men to look weaker than he was. So we are left with some decent action and porn (I had to skip a bit of the latter when it got to genital mutilation, but hose episodes were usually short) linked by a not-very-believable story with not-very-interesting characters. Recommended, but not highly recommended.
  • Slave of the Aristocracy, Book Two: A Gentlemen’s Agreement on Aug. 22, 2021

    I recently re-read these books and found that I'd reviewed the entire series in my review of the first book. I now find that this was unfair to the author, because it limited the number of positive reviews she got. This is a terrific book. Better, even than the 5-star-reviewed first book of the series. In this book, Irene has developed as a character. She has been brutally shown how little her will matters in the world into which she has thrust herself, and come to terms with it. Now, she begins to enjoy it, though it take scheming to overcome her current master's loyalty to her husband. She has come to accept both what she gave up by enslaving herself, and what she has gained. Sexy, thoughtful, and surprising are the three words i first think of when I think of this book. Highly recommended.
  • Slave of the Aristocracy, Book Three: The Fine Art of Torture on Aug. 22, 2021

    I recently re-read these books and found that I'd reviewed the entire series in my review of the first book. I now find that this was unfair to the author, because it limited the number of positive reviews she got. In this book, Slave Irene finds herself both fascinated and repulsed by her new master, who exposes her to a whole series of tortures designed to test both her ability to withstand torture and to comprehend that torture was in the mind more than the body. I am unsure how the reader is supposed to react to her new master. I found him a monster, no matter how cerebral his approach to torture, but I got the definite feeling that the author wanted the reader to sympathize with him. In any case, while I had to skip some pages of the book (I didn't find torture at all interesting or arousing), I was fascinated by the ability of the author to create a protagonist who could look on her own torture so dispassionately, and even contribute to her own misery. This was a window into a worldview that I found repulsive but which the author shows somewhat sympathetically. I won't deny that I found the plot resolution, in which the sadists prove that they are beastly, the best part of the book. i wanted them all to die in fire, but their punishment was losing a willing slave. Oh well. I can't say that this book is titillating, but it is interesting and the main character undergoes character development that is key later on, so i will recommend the book to those intending to read the whole series, and not otherwise.
  • Slave of the Aristocracy, Book Four: Owners by the Dozen on Aug. 22, 2021

    I recently re-read these books and found that I'd reviewed the entire series in my review of the first book. I now find that this was unfair to the author, because it limited the number of positive reviews she got. I'd rate this book as good as the second book and maybe better than the other three. We see Slave Irene as the slave of a group of commoners, and get to know, for the first time, people in this society who aren't elites. That by itself is a huge plus for me. Even better, though, is the variety of the people we encounter in the book, and their different motives, ways of interacting with Slave Irene, and problems. All of her dozen new masters have their own issues. She has to adapt her behavior to all of them. The story also introduces the main antagonists for the rest of the series, who force Slave Irene to finally take a stand and decide to intervene in this weird slave-oriented society. This will be crucial to the final book, and represents the final stage in Slave Irene's personal development. I give this book my highest recommendation. Even if you read none of the others in this series, read this one.
  • Slave of the Aristocracy, Book Five: A League of Ladies on Aug. 22, 2021

    I recently re-read these books and found that I'd reviewed the entire series in my review of the first book. I now find that this was unfair to the author, because it limited the number of positive reviews she got. Ah, the bittersweet knowledge that you are reading the last book in a series that has kept you enthralled through four previous outings. The expectations are high, and Ashley Zacharias meets them. The payoff book pays off. Our heroine, Slave Irene, finds herself in a unique position to accomplish all the things she wanted from her original enslavement, plus all the obligations she has feels she picked up in the previous books. I won't spoil the ending, but just note that that it totally satisfies and justifies all that she went through, What is especially impressive, though, is that AZ doesn't re-set the clock. Slave Irene's solutions are bittersweet because she will always be a slave, but satisfying because she overcomes those limitations through character and the help of all the friends she has made in the series. Recommended? Hells Yeah! Erotic fiction just doesn't get better than this series.
  • Training the Servant Girl on Aug. 24, 2021

    This book is a bit of a departure for J.J. Argus, because it does not involve any even dubious consent scenarios - the protagonist is okay with the whole experience, because the worst her new employers can do to her is better than living on an impoverished farm in Mississippi. So, essentially, the book is exactly what the title suggests - the processing of training the protagonist to be the kind of servant her new employers want (which is to say perfectly obedient, industrious, etc). I don't give this one five stars because the protagonist just isn't all that interesting. It's a requirement of the plot that she be poorly educated so that all that she sees is new to her, but she just doesn't have much that is interesting to say, and little character growth because she is so accepting of what is happening to her. As I said at the start, this is a change of pace kind of book for the author, and I hope he enjoyed writing it as a change of pace. It's definitely worth reading, but only when you've finished with his top-shelf books.
  • Cara Tries to Be a Good Example on Oct. 08, 2021

    I'm not into lesbian sex fantasies, but this series really transcends that genre. Nice inner-voice writing with the main character, but the "antagonist" Mindy doesn't seem to be anything but a foil for the weakness of the protagonist Cara. This is, in many ways, just "porn logic" done well. There's no reason why Cara is so weak-willed and foolish, but it makes for a good story. I'm not sure that a lesbian would even find this all that sexy, but I did.
  • Atonement Factor – The Ascension of Murder on Nov. 03, 2021

    I am lost as to what to think about this book. By the subtitle, one can tell that it isn't to be taken very seriously (The Ascension of Murder" means.. what?) The names of the characters are in line with this: Abel Cain, Rocky Pebbles, Astral Star, Raven Feathers, etc. The book is ludicrously over-written, with entire sentences that are just a series of random buzzwords. Conversations will take place over four or five pages, with only two dozen lines of dialogue and five dozen lines of interior philosophical dialogue. Plus, sentences are routinely. Divided by periods. For no reason. On the other hand, there's a lot of violence and sometimes gruesome violence, so it's not a parody of anything, I don't think. It's a murder mystery and like good murder mysteries, the reader can figure out the killer before the detective does. The only problem with this is that the book (roughly the equivalent of a 600-page novel), it turns out, is just the first part of an even bigger novel. There's zero plot resolution in this one. I kinda liked the mystery, and the setting. There were some well-done sex scenes. By skipping probably a quarter of the pages (the big blocks of text) I was able to keep to the story and complete the book in a reasonable time. In short, this is a book for the patient reader willing to re-read passages to figure out what they mean, and wiling to skip sections of the book that go off the reservation. They will find the plot, the action, and most of the characters an enjoyable read. For everyone else, this is probably a pass.
  • The Praetorians Own: Fara on Nov. 06, 2021

    As promised, this is a sexy SF adventure story, with a well-imagined alien world and enough plot to make for a good story. It's not a five-star story, IMO, because the story is too tame for me (the protagonist is never in danger) and the protagonists team-mates are just too good to be interesting characters. There are no real plot complications after the first one. I hope that this becomes a series, as I want to see more of the protagonist when she isn't a rookie and can take on more challenging missions (preferably without the wonder-team supporting her).
  • A Dark Desert Heat on Jan. 07, 2022

    This is NOT, contrary to the listing, the first book in the Desert Heat series - that book is The Heat of the Desert. This is a standalone novel that just uses the word Desert in the title. This is a mystery/SF thriller that takes the heroine from her small Nevada town to the big city, encountering heroes and villains along the way. As is usual in JJ Argus books, it is well-written. I didn't find it very plausible, though, and the MC's inner voice wasn't as interesting as the author can create in his better books. I'd rate this as a potboiler, with a slightly better plot than usual. Worth reading, but not worth going out of one's way for.
  • The Heat of the Desert on Jan. 07, 2022

    This is the actual first book in the Desert Heat series (two books so far). It is a novella rather than a novel, and so is more about descriptions than plot. The descriptions are very well-done, however, and the MC's inner voice interesting and appropriate. The ending is designed to set up a second book, so may not satisfy those looking for an actual conclusion.
  • The Reluctant Exhibitionist on March 01, 2022

    I was excited when I read that this story had both a protagonist and an antagonist. Most of Lia Anderssen's books feature female protagonists brought down by the own natures, so a woman brought down by Machiavellian scheming would be new. Alas, though the book introduces the idea of an antagonist, it abandons the idea of a protagonist. Instead, we have a series of female POV stories from different women's (and a few men's) perspectives, loosely tied together into a bigger story. The lack of an actual protagonist is the book's main fault. It is well-written with a number of hot scenes, but just never comes together and has an extremely limp ending.
  • The Pooka's Women on March 04, 2022

    Fun little sex romp with some well-written exciting scenes and a decent (for porn logic) story. The ending is a bit of a bummer, but it fits the story well enough. Highly recommended.
  • Chained Hearts on March 29, 2022

    This could have been a very good book. The author has an excellent writing style, and the plot is decent, but it is let down by two major structural flaws. First, the author decided to eliminate story tension and reader immersion by telling the story from the POV of both main characters, rather than having a protagonist for the reader to identify with. Second, the author decided, seemingly at the last minute, to switch from third person narrative to first person narrative, and then only actually change about 90 percent of the text, leaving the text switching between voices, at times, in the middle of a sentence. The switch to first person for multiple POV characters also has the disadvantage of sometimes confusing the author, as well. At one point the male POV character thinks that "I have never heard him use that tone of voice before" after he, himself, is the speaker! The net result is that the book constantly reminds the reader that these are just characters in a book and does not allow suspension of disbelief. This is historical erotica, and the erotic portions are by far the best asset the book possesses. There is bondage and discipline, but it is consensual dominance and submission play, not sadism and masochism. The inner voice of the female POV character is well-handled in these scenes; the male POV inner voice less so. The bottom line is that I really can only recommend this book to those interested in the consensual B&D portions. It could have been a terrific book if the female POV character was instead the protagonist, with everything told from her POV (including her uncertainty about the motives of the male main character) and the inner voice restricted to her. If the author does write another book, I hope she follows that pattern
  • Can You See Me Now? on May 12, 2022

    The writing in this book is really very good, with interesting characters, good descriptions, appeals to emotion, and well-done dialogue. However, the structural flaws in the book make it much less interesting and entertaining than it could have been. The major problem is that the author writes in that lazy, multiple-point-of-view style that completely removes any dramatic tension or reader immersion. The reader can't take the doubts of the POV characters seriously because the reader already knows what everyone in the scene is thinking. Worse the author stops telling the story entirely for a page or two at a time to address the reader directly, in the first person, about some philosophical point that the author thinks is important but is immaterial to the story. These breaks in the story almost seem designed to break any reader immersion that might have accidentally accumulated to that point. This book would have been a real winner if the author had selected a protagonist (either would do here, though the main female POV character is the most interesting) and told the story from that character's perspective. Uncertainty is a vital element in a developing love story, and the book as written had none, since the reader could literally read everyone's mind.
  • The Domesticated Dom on May 29, 2022

    This book marks two firsts (as far as I can tell) for the author: a first person male protagonist story, and an actually non-consensual sexual relationship. The main character is a dominant (who also believes that he is a sadist, but that doesn't ring true as you read the book) who is involuntarily forced to "service" three very different masochistic women. It's a mixed blessing for him. As is usual in AZ stories, the tale takes place in the head of the protagonist. He's not actually all that interesting, but the relationship he has with the women is. The hottest part of the story is where he makes them devise their own punishments. AZ doesn't use any of the punishments she has used in any of her other books; these are all new and all interesting and/or sexy. There's nothing here to make the squeamish uncomfortable. As noted above, the MC isn't really a sadist. He inflicts pain because they want him to, not because he enjoys he. He enjoys the dominance, not the fear and pain a sadist would enjoy. This isn't nearly as dark a story as I feared when I started reading it. I'm not giving this one five stars because I just didn't find the MC all that interesting. Unlike AZ's usual main characters (including men in such stories as Betting on God) there's no character development; he is the same person at the end of the tale as at the start. That's my only real complaint, though. Recommended
  • Sacrifical Virgins of World War 2 on June 04, 2022

    A very hit-or-miss collection of stories set in WW2. There are a couple of good stories here, but the bulk of them are either dumb or just infinitely depressing. Most feature snuff. The writing is mostly descriptive, with only a few ventures into the headspace of the characters. Where the author DOES develop characters, he does it well. I hesitated between giving this two stars or three; that's how unimpressed I was. I decided on three because, while I wasn't satisfied with the book, it delivered what it promised. If you are into rape+snuff, you might like it a lot more than I did.
  • Flesh & Blood on June 04, 2022

    This is one of the three books John Argus wrote for Chimerae Books almost ten years ago. What sets this series apart (besides the fact that he uses "John Argus" rather than "JJ Argus" as his pen name) is that they are much longer than his usual works; almost twice as long, in fact. I was curious to see what Argus would do with the extra length, and in this book he uses it very well. Argus has used technology (in, e.g. Virtual Submissive) and aliens (in, e.g. A Dark Desert Heat) to add fantasy elements to his stories, but here he just straight-up introduces fantasy. The result is not only hot, but also varied enough that the extra length isn't just more of the same. As is usual in his books, Argus tells us the story through a single protagonist's POV, with much of the action in her head. Language is very descriptive and the changes in the character are slow and (for fantasy) believable. In short, John Argus uses the extra length of the book very well, and it has become one of my two or three favorite books by this author. Highly recommended.
  • The Inquisitor's Apprentice on June 19, 2022

    This is a very predictable book (long short story, really), but well-written and with an interesting internal dialogue about a world that is sufficiently different from ours to be interesting in its own right. Recommended.
  • Karg on July 24, 2022

    A decent piece of swords-n-sandals-style writing, with a main character that has a strong inner voice and a setting that is a nice combination of the expected and the unexpected. It doesn't always make sense (one of her owners puts itching powder in her pussy to make her want sex, prostitutes her, and somehow finds men who don't mind getting itching powder on their own cocks when they screw her) but it's a fantasy, so doesn't always need to make sense. The main complaint I have about the book is the=at the protagonist has no agency. She escapes several times but is always immediately recaptured. A mix of successes and failures is more interesting than a string of failures. Even when she finally gets away, it is not by her own actions. Even with that caveat, I recommend the book for the strong writing and interesting world-building.
  • Raped, Degraded and Forced to Fuck - Trapped into Submission from Independent Lawyer to Obedient Sex Slave on July 24, 2022

    The premise of this book is good, and the writing is fine, but I had huge problems with the story. First, it contains snuff. Tortured-to-death snuff. Not at all what I call sexy. Second, the premise is that the antagonist captures and either enslaves or tortures to death every prosecutor or policewoman who investigates him, and no one in the police department or the prosecutors office even notices that their people are being kidnapped. Sorry, but that's not even remotely plausible and suspension is disbelief is impossible. Give this one a pass.
  • Biology Lessons on July 24, 2022

    Short and sweet, with strong writing and a proper protagonist with an inner voice that compels our attention and sympathy, even as she does evil things. Highly recommended.
  • Romantic Roulette on July 24, 2022

    A decent little story of a woman finding out that what she thinks she wants isn't what she really wants. Some dubious consent elements but leading to a happy ending.
  • Just One Drink on July 24, 2022

    BD uses the longer format of this story well. As usual, she is disciplined enough in her writing to use the protagonist format rather than the lazy POV character format, and the inner voice of her protagonist is interesting, as is the character growth she undergoes. The character growth pays off in the end, though the journey is long and dark and sexy as hell.
  • Her Lord and Master on July 29, 2022

    This is very much a potboiler novel by JJ Argus, mostly using well-traveled themes from his other books. The only unique feature to this one is that the MC is much less self-confident than the usual JJ Argus heroine and so gets into the D/S game for reasons different from his other characters. It's a good enough book with Argus's usual strong internal voice and descriptive action, and if you haven't read other college-girl-gets-enslaved books by the author, this one is as good as any of them. Experienced JJ Argus readers might want to give this one a pass, though.
  • Anita's Ordeal on Aug. 01, 2022

    I really tried to get through this book, but I kept slipping back into its Uncanny Valley. On the one hand, the book is a grim story about a woman who must undergo torture to avoid being murdered and about the man who delights in torturing her, and on the other it's a book full of ludicrous misspellings that make it impossible to take the book seriously. It's too horrific to be funny but too funny to be horrific. For example, the author (or maybe editor) believes that swearing constitutes "fowl language" (not a typo, the phrase is used repeatedly), that the whip is called the "cat and nine tails" (also not a typo) and the famous Spanish Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada was really "Thomas De Torkemada." If you are going to repeatedly use a famous person's name, try to at least spell it correctly. Most of the misused and misspelled words would be caught by an ordinary word processor, so I don;t know how they stayed in the book, but they absolutely ruined any immersion. I think that the book would also have been better if it had an actual protagonist (preferably the woman in trouble) rather than just having a whole bunch of POV chapters featuring everyone involved. Since the reader is "inside the mind" of every character, there's very little dramatic tension. I don't recommend this except to those with a high tolerance for wring errors.
  • Bound And Sold: Sex Slave Auction 1 on Aug. 02, 2022

    Okay story with extreme violence and snuff. It has its moments, but they were not numerous for me.
  • The Sultan's Harem ~ Erotic Historical Fiction on Aug. 02, 2022

    A semi-historical novelette featuring a historical Sultan and a fictional concubine. Some interesting historical bits and some sexy sex, but seems even shorter than it is. Well worth the small price.
  • The Honey Trapp Adventures: Sex Slave & Climate Change Fighter on Nov. 05, 2022

    A series of increasingly complex and increasingly well-written books featuring the unlikely planet-saving sex slave Honey Trapp. A lighthearted read that veers occasionally into the macabre, it is well worth your time and money,
  • She Was Too Low Level on April 18, 2023

    Had a few exciting moments, but the plots were extremely simple and the execution pretty bare-bones. Okay if you like dark tales of innocent people suffering utter ruin and short subsequent lives, but if that's not your gig, you probably want to stay away.
  • Doppelgänger on April 18, 2023

    A decent story with some good internal dialogue and character development, but many things are never explained very well (probably to maintain some plausible ignorance from people who maybe shouldn't know). That left me a bit unsatisfied as to how and why the story ended as it did. The writing is quite good and the story unique, so it has my recommendation.
  • Pam-Ann on July 31, 2023

    Steampunk erotica had hit a lull after the Adventurotica books went out of print, but this book brings it back in a big way. The specifics of the steampunk technology are absurd (steam-powered airships!) but that doesn't matter. The story is interesting (though would have been even more interesting had the heroine been a protagonist rather than just the main POV character) and well-told. The society depicted is remarkably cruel and the willingness of the airship's crew to inflict scarring punishment rather surprised me. All in all, a great story told well with enough erotica to be satisfying, and an exotic and unique background to help it stand out. Highly recommended.