Book Review: “The Bratva’s Heir” by Jane Henry and Sophie Lark


I can be easily influenced when it comes to books. Sometimes the cover can be enough but every once in a while, I find a book that is being shared by a favorite of mine: Brooklyn. I follow her on Goodreads and somehow I found her on Instagram and she is a lover of romance books like me, but she creates edits and shares cover reveals, deals and steals and the occasional recommendation, which is how I found out about this book: The Bratva’s Heir by Jane Henry and Sophie Lark.

I still consider myself a newbie while reading these dark romance stories, it can usually be a hit or miss, especially if any kind of mafia is involved which I know a lot of these books are–I mean this series is called Underworld Kings, which the concept is both odd and superficial in a lot of ways, that being said, I find it incredibly interesting how this series isn’t written by one author. There are over 17 books but they are all written by various women! I have the first book “”Razor’s Edge” by Mia Crawford on my e-reader to hopefully get me through these cold months a little easier! The entire series is available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited at the moment so if this book seems right up your alley, you should check them out soon. Every story is a standalone as they can discuss a different gang from each ethic background and it’s not just Italian and/or Irish. This is my second mafia dark romance where it is centered around the Bratva, which is the Russian branch and this was definitely my favorite of the two so far!

WARNING: There are spoilers below, along with some trigger that I discuss in more detail, such as bondage, rape, and regular BDSM terms!


Prison’s a dark, bleak place.
But Clare brings me light.
My sweet little bird will be my ticket to freedom.

The first time I saw her, I had to have her.
From her big, dark eyes, to the curves she can’t conceal…
The way she can only hold my gaze so long.
The way she shivers every time I move inside these chains.
And most of all, the way she’ll bend the rules when I order her to…

I know a natural submissive when I see one.

Her degrees and titles don’t change who she is: a woman who will bend to my will.
She doesn’t know it yet, but Clare is mine.

Mine to train.
Mine to protect.
And mine to control…

taken from Goodreads.

When I began, it had a similar backstory like when Harley Quinn meets and falls in love with The Joker, however, the main defense with this, Clare did not have any romantic feelings for Constantine when they first met. He scared her like he should have for any woman honestly! Despite the events that happen within that first day together, I do not believe she was interested in him as much as he was, and even after they make their escape and what happens at the club would technically be in a form of rape. I know she doesn’t give rise to either situation but this part was a bit difficult to pull away from the act itself.

I understand that this is one of the main factors of these darker romances, but this was my first time since reading Fifty Shades of Grey back in 2011 that I’ve been brought to a similar scene where both female characters are subjected to things they may not want to experience but yet do not voice the other person’s actions immediately. This was one of my reasons why I abandoned Christian Grey in the first place. What I want to explain is that, I immediately saw a different side to both of these characters than what I saw between Christian and Anastasia throughout reading Fifty Shades. Clare was understanding and become much more confident as we continued whereas Constantine was able to flourish as a person outside of his persona there within the Bratva.

My whole body fits inside his in our reflection. I’m fully outlined with raw, muscled, inked alpha male, and I. am. here. for. it.

When there were BDSM elements, and the book is full of them by the way!

They were almost sensual which I really enjoyed since that lifestyle seems so frightening to outsiders, myself included–even though I read these types of books, I don’t consider to know the ins and outs of this style! The one thing I do know is there it is mutual understanding between the couple, and the other’s limits so even though Constantine is definitely an alpha male in this story, he was amazingly gentle to Clare. One thing that I am also learning about these books is that the authors are trying to portray these violent people as real human beings. Who they allow into their inner circles, much less their bed, has to be understandable about their intentions as a whole and change can be accomplished in some form or another too.

Have you read “The Bratva’s Heir” by Jane Henry and Sophie Lark yet? If you have been reading the rest of the Underworld Kings series, do you have a favorite book?

REVIEW | Fifty Shades Of Grey

Before I go and start this post, this is about both the book and film. There are some spoilers inside… This is just a review, that’s all. Don’t kill the messager if you disagree. Also, there will not be a Seen & Heard post for this month or December. 

In 2012, I went looking on Amazon website in their Kindle book section and found the Fifty Shades Of Grey books. This was way before the movie announcement was even made, but when I read the description of it I wasn’t interested in it. A couple of months later, my friend Mandy suggested it and this time I kind of went and bought it after thinking about it for like a day or two. I remember reading it and I was NOT comfortable reading it in the daytime or much less anywhere near my parents. At this time, I was 21 years old. I’m allowed to read and watch whatever I want, but I only got that permission by one of my parents. My poor dad actually knows what the movie is about and I wish I knew that before I watched it!

Anyways after a month or two, I finally finished it. Of course I did a book review about it. My review is here if you would like to check it out, but  I finally watched the film when HBO finally aired it last weekend. I was a little bit more excited than I thought I would be considering how much I hated the book. Let’s be clear though, I hated Christian Grey entirely. This was my first dominant/submissive novel so I wasn’t feeling a lot of the stuff in the book. Anyways, watching the movie I hated Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. He only “became” him in certain scenes and I’m talking like maybe three scenes. Dakota Johnson as Ana Steele was probably one of the best choices ever!  She was funny, shy, and curious all at the same time! She was my Anastasia, the one I had imagined in my head while reading the book.

As for the scenes in the book, I remember the helicopter ride, visit to Ana’s mother place in Georgia and lunch with Christian’s family. The only one I didn’t hate was the helicopter ride. I think I liked it for a different reason though, I liked the placement of Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” there but was that scene that quiet as it is in the movie? That’s another thing that I sort of missed was the narrator/Ana’s inner thoughts throughout the whole thing. I felt the whole thing was pretty plain without it. I’ve been trying to rack my brain for other scenes that I felt that I needed to voice my opinion about and the only thing that’s left is the butt plugs. We only hear her ask about them when they go through the contract, but they don’t make it into the film – probably couldn’t show them.

You know what’s really bad though, I actually liked the movie a lot more than I did with the book. I think if I had read it after I read other books about dominant/submissive roles, I don’t know maybe I would have liked it more. I doubt it though. Now that I know the next two movies will be released back to back, I’m going have to read the other two books. No, I haven’t read the other two. My mom and Blondie have, but I haven’t. That’s how much I hated Christian Grey! I recorded it at like 2am, I didn’t start watching it until like 4am. The volume on my TV never got off 11 and I had to read the closed captions quickly. I also had my toe on the “recall” button just in case I had any surprises come bursting through my door!

What did you think of the film? 


Magic Mike XXL vs. Fifty Shades of Grey

Well, it’s here!

Apparently nobody could wait until Wednesday afternoon to see the first trailer of “Magic Mike XXL” on the Ellen DeGerenes show. From the time I got up on that morning, it was first thing I saw all over my Facebook timeline.  Which was a nice change as everybody has been discussing the pros and cons of wanting to see Fifty Shades over the holiday weekend. As one sexual based film comes (no pun intended!) and a new one taking its place. I’m still wondering about the acting on both films, but a lot of people are in agreement that the first Magic Mike film lacked good acting in the whole story line between the characters. It surprised me of how many of my book blogs pages had been sharing the trailer than any of my friends. It barely made a notch in daily discussion on my Twitter, and I think that surprised me the most because I have quite a few Channing Tatum fans on there.

If you don’t know the background of the films or why every woman will be taking full advantage of ordering their tickets early, it’s about the lives of male strippers onstage and off. There is some heated dance scenes and screaming women (and sometimes men too!). The first movie was about teaching Adam “The Kid” played by Alex Pettyfer the ropes and apparently the second film, they’re going to a convention.Oh dear god! I’ll be honest, watching the first movie made me so uncomfortable and I watched it alone. I don’t know why it made me feel that way, because you all should know by now how many erotica books I’ve read before. I think the reason I felt so weird about it was the fact that if I was ever to go to one of these places like in the films, I’d probably get a special lap dance because of my disability. I’ve always had problems with getting special treatments like that, but this one gets me in a knot. I’m pretty sure I’d be okay now that I’ve technically witnessed in a similar one at Plummer. So who knows, I might get be perfectly fine with it this time around, now that I know what is in store.

I know its one movie my sister won’t be seeing. I doubt she even watched the first one, she HATES Channing Tatum. Can’t deny that he’s a good dancer, but thinks he’s ugly. My mom and I are a totally different story of course! I’ve always been a fan of Channing’s dancing skills and charming good looks. The jaw line alone gets me! Blondie is seeing Fifty Shades Of Grey with her boyfriend and I feel so bad for the boy. I have nobody to take me to see it and that’s one film that my mom will NOT be in the movie theater with me. She’s choosing to see the good in that too! I do think we will be seeing the new Magic Mike film in theaters, at least I can hope for a miracle. It comes out in the summer, so I’m down to see it and then get some ice cream afterwards because I’m going to need something to cool myself down with. The only thing my mom is not happy about is that Matthew McConaughey isn’t in it. I’m happy that Joe Manganiello and Alex are in it again. I have a love/hate for that guy I swear.

Will you be going to see Magic Mike XXL instead of Fifty Shades Of Grey? Or will you be seeing both films this year? 

Am I Really Excited For The “Fifty Shades of Grey” Movie?

I actually wasn’t going to do this kind of post, but everytime I tried to ignore it, it always came up to me. Have you read the first book of the erotica novel by E.L. James, Fifty Shades Of Grey yet? Well, here is your chance to watch the debut trailer of the film coming out early next year, plus some thoughts I’d share about this whole thing, of both the book and everything about the film.

To some, today is just a normal Thursday, second to last day until the weekend. Well, for the rest of us, generally talking about the women here. Married, in a relationship and single women are all looking forward to the debut and official trailer of the infamous book that took over the world last year. Fifty Shades of Grey. If you live under a rock or have heard of it but still trying to figure out if it’s worth even reading it. Instead of giving you a summary of the story,  some of you may not know but I actually did a book review of the first book of the trilogy and I’ve got to say, it took me a while to get through it and I ended up not liking it after I finished. However, it didn’t really stop me from reading four or five other books just like it afterwards.

The book is about the BDSM lifestyle, the whole dominance and submissive roles of couples. How make you can take with mixing both pain and pleasure. This was not only my first erotica novel I’ve ever read, but it was also my first ever BDSM novel as well. When I read this book I was very weary of the whole adventure of this man’s secret life and everything he was into, plus how successful he was and how he kept those parts of him apart so well. Whereas, Ana was the very ordinary girl who had her own insecurities but yet she wasn’t afraid to say what she thought needed to be said. These two characters have chemistry but if I remember correctly not enough to keep me interested in the book. So when I heard that there was going to be a movie about the book, since I hated it, I thought I wouldn’t have any thoughts about how would perfect for the roles of each characters, how much of the book would they keep out especially the BSDM parts of the story, and if I’d be interested in watching the trailers. In other words, I thought I’d never be into the phenomenon again.

Well, I have to say that I am very into the whole process from going to the book and now to film. I don’t know if it’s because this will be my first movie I’d be seeing after reading the book, or if I’m just curious how much of the book is still the script and the details of the set. After they had announced who would be directing the movie, it was said that they had begun the casting parts. I had my choices and was definitely not happy that none of them were picked. Everybody had their top actors and actresses choices for Christian and Ana to be for Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledal and this was what I found on different comments from Facebook. So when everybody heard about Dakota Johnson, was to be cast as Ana Steele, people were of course mad about that. For the male role and when it was announced that Charlie Hunnam would be Christian Grey, if I didn’t know any better I thought I saw more people being more excited about that then the first casting announcement. After that, it was said that Charlie had to quit the production and Jamie Dornan was the replacement for Charlie, it was a shock but some understood Charlie’s reasons as he did it because of the scheduling for the show, Sons of Anarchy. I have to say at this point in time, I wanted Charlie to play Christian. That was basically the reason why I was so into the production of it, then I heard about Jamie and I thought I’d be done with it.

Today, they premiered the first trailer of the film that will be coming out on Valentine’s Day next year. I may or may not have watched the trailer… Yes, I got excited for it. Even though it was a two minute and seventeen second trailer, I could remember and see different details of the book inside this short glimpse. At the end of the trailer, it shows Christian unlocking the door of the infamous “Red Room” and it shows a small dose of what goes on inside this room. I’ve watched it three times and my friend actually sent me the link of a website that probably had the trailer first but sadly I couldn’t get that link to load so I resulted to going on YouTube and that’s where I found it. I was still on the mend of Dakota playing Ana but after seeing this trailer I could believe her as to be Ana Steele very well. I’m still on the fence about Jamie for Christian though, it’s going to take more than a two minute trailer to make me believe that he’s Christian Grey because even before I had picked out my favorites for the role, that wasn’t anywhere near who I wanted to play that powerful character of the series, but we’ll see when it comes out next year.

Changing The Subject of Books

So several days ago, I got a new book. Haven’t read anything since Steven Adler’s book, and I read that for probably three weeks. It was pretty lengthy but good too. I didn’t want to really read another biography. Since I had read about three biographies and two I guess you can say, “a day in the life of” category. After almost the same stories of tragedy, drugs and alcohol. I couldn’t read another one. I had plans to read both Motley Crue’s confession book, The Dirt. I had also wanted to read Tommy Lee’s boo, Tommy Land. After I read Steven’s I needed a good break before going back and continuing on that road. I also have to buy the books too, especially The Dirt since you can’t buy it on Kindle edition. I like reading old school so that’s ok. I just got to go to a bookstore and pray to God they have it.

The book I’m reading now is different. Different from what others would expect. Also, different from what my mom reads. She likes to read mystery books. I think the woman has read every book in every series. One time we went to the library in town and the lady at the desk as she was checking our books, said that mom was actually running out of books to read. I could never get myself to read about mysteries, but I loved reading about history and truth. So I’m really into fiction books. I’m also into teen books, I tried reading Stefan Diaries series by L.J. Smith. but that didn’t last long. I’m not good at finishing a series. Especially when there’s six book out and I’ve read only three and a half. I’ve said before I’m not very much into supernatural books, even though I love The Vampire Diaries and Harry Potter. Apparently I can read one or two books of the series and the rest I’m screwed with. Which sucks, but when there are movies or TV shows of these books, then I’ll be comparing the two together and then it all gets even more complicated.

I am reading this new book called, The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter. I had actually went to Wal-Mart with my mom and sister and I was bored and wanted to read something. Not knowing how long it would take them to get their nails done so I grabbed a book and ademptted to read it. Funny part is, it wasn’t this book. I saw this cover and was intrigued but not so much. I didn’t really want to read the one I grabbed. I just wanted to read something to keep me occupied for the time being. I think I got to page two before my mom and sister came into the book section and got me out of there. I never forgot the book cover or title. I found it on Amazon a few days later and was at crosswords between three other books. I also got interested with Tempting The Beast by Lora Leigh, Fifty Shades Of Grey by E.J. James (this was before the hype), and Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione. I wouldn’t be at a crosswords if all these books were free.

I actually don’t have a clue of which book I want to read after I get done with TDS but I’m thinking it’s going to be Fifty Shades of Grey, my friend said it was good and that’s all I’ve heard about is how good it is. So I really think it could be my second book. However I’m not even 50% of the way through the book I got now so I still have plenty of time to search around again and figure out what I really want to read and if or not I want to go into a new subject. Even though, I think it’s very unlikely, but I’m always up for something new. Maybe another biography or maybe by then I’ve went to a bookstore and found The Dirt. Maybe I’ll go back to reading the third installment into the Stefan’s Diaries and finally finish it. Who knows.