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March 30, 2016

Loved It: Black Listed by Shelly Bell

Series: Benediction 4
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Romantic Suspense | BDSM

She sacrificed everything to keep him safe…

Five years ago, con artist Lisa Smith broke the first rule of hustling when she fell in love with—and married—her mark, billionaire Sawyer Hayes. The erotic nights spent acting out her darkest fantasies with her husband and Master were the happiest of her life. But when her ruthless father demanded she kill him and take his money, she had no choice but to disappear without a trace…or lose him forever.

He’ll risk everything to have her again…

Now Sawyer has found her, and he has an indecent proposal: submit to him for seven nights and he’ll grant her the divorce she desires. Forced to pretend she no longer loves him, each night spent in his arms is exquisite torture as they reignite their intense passion through role play and ménage. But when a deranged killer out for revenge targets Lisa, she must finally trust Sawyer with the secrets of her past…or neither of them will live to see the future.


3.5 Stars

Going into BLACK LISTED had me half worried and half excited. I'm BDSM'd out and I'm really not looking forward to erotic whipping and kinky scenes this genre is notorious for. BUT, it's Shelly Bell! It's hard to say NO to a write that penned a series that had my blood rushing to my head on several occassions. And since I'm an adrenalin (book) junkie, I decided to dive in and get lost in the world of Benediction  for a few hours. 

I love the plot, the theme of reconciliation, criminal pasts, stalkers, terrorizing the MC's of BLACK LISTED. This combination is so potent and thrilling! Almost immediately we meet the villain and instantly I get the HJ. He's stalking Lisa Smith, having sexual thoughts about her, and encroaching in her space. Part of me immiediately looked at Sawyer Hayes, but as I suck at this types of puzzle, my suspicion is wrong. These two are apparently still married but Lisa fucked Sawyer over 4 years ago, disappeared, and only showed up now. What did Lisa do? Oooh, it's bad and the entangled type.

With that level of betrayal, I felt like the resolution to Lisa and Sawyer's marital issues which led to their reconciliation, is so easy. Not that I want Sawyer to hold grudges, but the catharsis was barely there. A few rounds of kinky sex and POOF!, all's well in paradise. It's not realistic especially as the conflict ruined their marriage in more ways than one.

As for the erotica side, I'm personally tired of BDSM and iI admit to skimming a lot of the sex scenes, but that's a personal and subjective choice on my part. I'm sure fans of the genre will enjoy this aspect of BLACK LISTED far better than I did. 

In closing, I wish SBell would write a good 'ol fashioned thriller. She's really good at writing suspense-thrillers and I'd love to see what she can offer for the genre. I'm thinking/hoping for something dark and twisted a la GFlynn. I believe she can pull it off spectacularly.



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40 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of erotica or BDSM so I dont know

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    1. The genre has a specific audience for sure

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  2. Haha - a round of BDSM cures all! I like this set up and want to know what she did. I have a suspicion, but still.

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  3. She could have like told him the truth and not disappeared...

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    1. Right, but naturally it's more complex than that. Smh

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  4. Hmmm well I do love erotic and BDSM so sounds pretty good to me :D

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    1. Don't forget this is suspenseful too ;)

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  5. I've never understood the I'm protecting you by leaving with no explanation thing especially when she's protecting a billionaire. He can hire ex-CIA agents and deal with the problem or whatever. And he can protect her from disappointed daddy's revenge by spreading the wealth.

    LOL so for me, the BDSM wouldn't be the issue, but her leaving and crushing his love for her in the first place.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! It sounds like a lame excuse. Wait, have you read this?

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  6. I completely agree with you in that Shelly Bell writes great suspense! :) I'm glad you liked Black Listed even if the resolution was too easy and you're tired of BDSM. I still haven't made it into this series but I have it waiting for me on my kindle. ;)

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    1. Wait, have you read other books by her? Did I make an ass of myself, does she have suspense a la GFlynn?

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  7. That bothers me in books when ALL THE SEX fixes everything LOL I love the sound of the plot though, so I might give this series a shot. Do they have to be read in order?

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    Replies
    1. That's why therapists get rich! Lol

      No, you can read as standalones. The first one is my favorite

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  8. Well this definitely is getting a closer look, thanks Braine for the fab review!!

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    1. You're welcome and I didn't know you read BDSM erotica...

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  9. Sounds like a lot of things are going on in this one. I like how this was a bit thrilling even if some parts were unrealistic.

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    1. I'm a stickler for relationship issues and resolutions. It's a romance so I expect the HEA to be tight and solid

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  10. Wow, that sounds interesting for sure.

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  11. I am glad you liked this one, but the sex scenes aren't for me.

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    1. I feel you, I skimmed the shit out of my recent read. Even the sex scenes here I skimmed.

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  12. I'm tired of BDSM as well. Fifty Shades of Grey was actually my first BDSM read, and that was 2 years ago. Now I'm more into the student/teacher situatiom ;) without BDSM.

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    1. I love taboo romances too but I draw the line on step family and the like. And yes, it can be sexy without the whipping

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  13. I've only read a few BDSM books, I can enjoy them when I am in the mood for them, but I can also understand why it made you worried as it doesn't always work. I am glad to hear you did enjoy the book. It does sound like a exciting plot. I also skim sex scenes in books, sometimes it just gets too much or the scenes are all the same or I am just not interested at the moment. I don't like the to dark reads, but I can enjoy a good suspense book. It sounds like that aspect was handled well at least.

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    1. With the sex scenes, I would read the first time and the one after the conflict as those are the most passionate and emotional ones. The rest I can skim or skip.

      I love dark reads but not rape or anything like that

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  14. I can see how you tire of the BDSM theme, because it can get a little tedious at times. Glad you were still able to enjoy this one!

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  15. Why do I have a nasty feeling that there's cheating involved? I can't stand BDSM Erotica, so this book is definitely a hard limit. Lol.

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  16. I haven't tried this author, but like the suspense :)

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    1. I will have to look at her booklist, see if she has suspense only novels. She writes it so well

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  17. I can't say I've read many BDSM books before. Guessing it's just not my cup of tea.

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    1. I can see how it can be a hard limit for some or many

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  18. I'm a huge fan of BDSM, but I agree that it can get old. I've been know to skim through scenes before too. I hope that the next one is better for you.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I think it's the entire sex scene for me. I just read a novella that got even more shorter because I skipped the sex scenes. Lol

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  19. You're right, it definitely sounds like that level of betrayal is too much to easily forgive like that. I tend to skip sex scenes too :p

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    1. If it drove your marriage to Hell and you have to disappear for four years, you better work hard for that forgiveness and not just by begging on your knees if you know what I mean...

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