Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This readathon always makes me laugh because of the hilariously sexy prompt titles. The prompts are also loads of fun and I might actually use the rest of the bingo prompts to get through my TBR! Here are the books I read for this round of NSFWathon:
Buttplug: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy, #1)
Published July 21, 2018 by Crown Publishing
Series: The Founders
Data from Goodreads
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
As I was reading this book, I was cursing myself for waiting so long to pick up this book. It was just that fantastic of a read! I loved all of the characters and was glad to have the chance to read from multiple perspectives. The worldbuilding is fantastic but does require the reader to focus and pay attention to all of the details. The pacing was great, with tons of action taking place and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. Suffice to say, this book was a clear favourite for me and I would recommend this to anyone who likes heist-style stories!
Fire Play: Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
Our Violent Ends
Published November 16th 2021by Hodder and Stoughton
Series: These Violent Delights
Data from Goodreads
The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.
After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.
Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.
Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.
Rep: LGBTQIA+, Asian rep, Russian rep
After enjoying These Violent Delights, I was super happy to get an ARC of this book from Netgalley! This sequel had even more political tension in it than the first, and I really liked learning about the struggles of the Communist and Nationalist parties. In my review on These Violent Delights, I mentioned that the “monster” took a plot backseat … well, the author directly addresses that in this novel and I loved that level of self-awareness! The rivalry is so much stronger in this book, with misunderstanding galore (which I secretly love) so it made the tension between the different characters come alive. The ending completely took me aback and I’m still reeling from it! The plot and pacing were slower than I expected but it allowed for good character development. For these reasons, I’m giving it 4/5 stars.
Blindfold: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
The Final Girl Support Group
Published July 13th 2021by Berkley Books
Data from Goodreads
In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
Rep: disability, LGBTQIA+
I’m a huge fan of Grady Hendrix so I jumped for joy when I heard about this newest book. It is such a cool concept: what happens to those survivors, those final girls? How do they go about their lives after such a horrific event? This novel really explores the aftermath of being a final girl, including the portrayal of these girls by the media. I loved the use of media clippings and articles about slasher movies that were scattered throughout. However, the plot was overly complicated and scattered, with too many parts that didn’t make sense to me. I also wasn’t a fan of the ending. Whilst this might not be my favourite book by Grady Hendrix, it was still a very cool thriller/horror story and I’m giving it 3/5 stars.
Breathplay: Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
Published August 3rd 2021by Harry N Abrams
Data from Goodreads
Nanao, nicknamed Lady Bird—the self-proclaimed “unluckiest assassin in the world”—boards a bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with one simple task: grab a suitcase and get off at the next stop. Unbeknownst to him, the deadly duo Tangerine and Lemon are also after the very same suitcase—and they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Satoshi, “the Prince,” with the looks of an innocent schoolboy and the mind of a viciously cunning psychopath, is also in the mix and has history with some of the others. Risk fuels him as does a good philosophical debate . . . like, is killing really wrong? Chasing the Prince is another assassin with a score to settle for the time the Prince casually pushed a young boy off of a roof, leaving him comatose.
When the five assassins discover they are all on the same train, they realize their missions are not as unrelated as they first appear.
As someone who reads many thrillers, it is hard for me to find something unique. But Bullet Train is hands down one of the best thrillers I’ve read and I’m so glad I got to buddy read it with Shruti @ This Is Lit blog! I can rave about this book for ages because it is actually near-perfection! The characters are all so quirky, each with their own well-crafted personality and voice. The story was fast-paced and hilarious, keeping readers on their toes with the multitude of twists and turns. I enjoyed every minute of this intelligent and funny read. My one criticism that affected my enjoyment was that the presence of some characters was simply to fill in plot holes; after creating such vivid characters, it was a shame to see this, especially as it affected the way the story ended. Regardless, I loved reading this novel and I cannot wait to read more by this author!
Domme: The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris
The Russian Cage
Published February 23rd 2021by Gallery/Saga Press
Series: Gunnie Rose
Data from Goodreads
Picking up right where A Longer Fall left off, this thrilling third installment follows Lizbeth Rose as she takes on one of her most dangerous missions yet: rescuing her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from the Holy Russian Empire. Once in San Diego, Lizbeth is going to have to rely upon her sister Felicia, and her growing Grigori powers to navigate her way through this strange new world of royalty and deception in order to get Eli freed from jail where he’s being held for murder.
Russian Cage continues to ramp up the momentum with more of everything Harris’ readers adore her for with romance, intrigue, and a deep dive into the mysterious Holy Russian Empire.
When I received this ARC, i knew it was part of a series so I have been taking my time getting through the previous books before reading this one – and I’m glad I did because the story takes place right after its predecessor. This was an interesting novel, but I preferred the previous books in the series. I don’t know exactly what was lacking in this installment for me: maybe it was the decreased banter or the slow-going plot. Either way, whilst this was an interesting read with a good amount of violence, it wasn’t my absolute favourite. If you are a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series like me, I think you might really like the Gunnie Rose series, so definitely check it out!
Looking back, I’m really proud of having finished all of my reads for this readathon. I’m so glad that I liked all of my reads and I can’t wait to participate in the next round of NSFWathon!