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Review of “Vices/Virtues” – Beatrice DeSoprontu

A sexy, erotic novel with heart, Vices/Virtues is a testament to the beauty of life, love and family.

Cristela was bred to be the perfect liar. By day, Cristela is a good-girl poster child. By night, Mistress Clara masters the hidden erotic realm of an S&M dungeon. With her knack for duplicity things should work smoothly except for one complication – friendship. The quirky array of fellow dominatrices at the dungeon are nothing like the stereotypes she expected. Divided between her affection for the girls at the dungeon and her desire to keep her fetish activities secret, Cristela fears her two worlds are colliding. Can Cristela break her history of deceit? In a world of vices and virtues, salvation isn’t something you find, it’s a path you make.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

In Vices/Virtues, Beatrice De Soprontu didn’t just write elaborate BDSM or S &M scenes. Each chapter did feature at least one client and their kink, but Beatrice also dived into the lives of each dominatrix. We stepped into their pasts and learned who or what brought them to the dungeon.

Some backstories were more interesting than others. I didn’t particularly care for Clara’s past, but I did find her present storyline appealing. No matter which dominatrix Beatrice featured, the result was the same, each lady had a troubled past and needed this outlet/job for personal reasons.

 

Let’s get kinky…

There were some clients I won’t soon forget. Funny, gross, sad, sweet, and just plain weird… Beatrice sure did enlighten this reader on a few kinks I had no clue existed.

 

Check out three of the many clients featured in Vices/Virtues.

 

Gluttony: I know there’s a kink for everything, BUT Mr. Chen’s took the cake. (This line will be funny once you read the chapter.) I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.

Temperance: Who is the right mind wants someone to step on their penis intentionally?! I mean, come on. I accidentally tap my husband’s and he’s down for the count for a minute or two. Yeah, Randall’s kink was rather weird.

Wrath: Mr. Norman + colon cleanse = I just threw up in my mouth.

 

I wish I could share all the various clients and their requests. Clara did see a variety of men, and not all were creepy or weird. You’ll discover some were sweet and a little sad.

One thing that did surprise me was the lack of female clients. Women are sexual beings who also need an outlet for their desires. Unfortunately, this wasn’t reflected in Vices/Virtues. It was pointed out on page 225 that Clara “hadn’t seen or even heard of a female client.” This declaration bothered me. I wondered why no women have walked into the dungeon. Seemed odd. Unrealistic.

 

There were a few HAPPY surprises I’d like to share as well.

1.) The ladies sitting around discussing religion was unexpected.

2.) Their pay scale was broken down, and I was shocked at how little they brought home. It didn’t seem like nearly enough for some jobs.

3.) There was definitely no Hallmark ending, but this was no Hallmark story either.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

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Beatrice De Soprontu began writing at the age of four, when she scribbled on the walls with a crayon. Now an adult, she mostly scribbles on her home computer surrounded by her noisy children and their less noisy father. Born and raised in New York City, (which includes: Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, maybe even Staten Island – a.k.a. the real New York and not the tourist trap that is Manhattan), she enthusiastically travels the world on a budget whenever she gets the chance.

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Review of “Escape” – L. A. Davenport

To escape first you have to set yourself free

John, a doctor grieving for the loss of his wife, is recuperating at a glamorous resort in the Eastern Mediterranean, where he falls for Jasna, a brilliant and beautiful young hostess. When she is brutally murdered, John is the only suspect.

To clear his name and find her killers, he teams up with Charles, the elderly hotel manager seeking justice for the death of his granddaughter. They are pitched into a ruthless world of people-trafficking, prostitution, drugs, mafia and murder, where life is cheap and no-one and nothing is what it seems.

Will they gather the evidence in time to stop the killers, or be the next victims in the seemingly endless cycle of violence? And can they trust the police, or are they part of the web of corruption that reaches into every part of life, trapping everything in its threads?

Escape is the debut novel by L. A. Davenport that plunges you into a darkly glamorous world in which John has to overcome his grief and obtain justice for Jasna and the women made victims of modern slavery.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

John, a recent widow, goes to a resort in the Eastern Mediterranean to get away from his sorrow. However, his escape from reality comes with dire consequences. The resort is serving more than fine food and drinks. The gang running the area has its hand in everything, and almost everyone is under their control. John isn’t though, and he proves to be tougher than anyone ever suspected. Petrov, the gang leader, sure did underestimate the middle-aged doctor (John).

Suspense, violence, mystery, love, friendship, and sadness… Escape sure had a lot going on.

 

As for the mystery aspect of this story, it wasn’t so much as who killed the ladies, but how would the gang be taken down.

L. A. Davenport broke up Escape into nine parts, with each section having three to eight chapters under them. I’ve read stories with 1-3 sections but never nine. Each part also began with Chapter One. That means, there are NINE of them. That seemed odd to me. Why start each part with Chapter One?! While the story was pretty good, this unusual setup seemed unnecessary and made no sense at all.

 

Now, let me talk about John’s love for his deceased wife. It was apparent her passing tore him up. He spoke to her portrait often. Yes, there’s no doubt in my mind he loved her, loves her still, but this is where things turn south for me. He fell in love with another woman, Jasna, quite soon after his wife died. He didn’t  know Jasna. Yes, she was a nice woman, but he didn’t really know the real her. I think he was confusing infatuation with love. 

John also spoke of this ‘demon’ inside him, which wanted John to do bad things. I assumed the demon would come into play later on, maybe a surprise twist, but it did not. That was a bit of a letdown.

 

Even though I had issues with some details of Escape, I do love when the underdog gets the upper hand. If you do as well, then buy this book.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤1/2

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L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author.

He sometimes lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.

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