Bodice Rippers & Erotica Book Reviews: Indigo Bloome
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Destined to Fly (Avalon Trilogy #3)
Destined to Feel (Avalong Trilogy #3)
Destined to Play (Avalong Trilogy #1)
Destined to Fly by Indigo Bloome (Avalon Trilogy #3)
Read by Tracy March 2013
Tracy only recommends if you want to close the loop on the trilogy
The Blurb: The final instalment in the intensely erotic Avalon series that started with Destined to Play. Perfect for fans of 50 Shades of Grey. The compelling and thrilling climax to Alexandra Blake’s sensual journey, from the author of Destined to Play and Destined to Feel. Alexandra has returned to the world after her captivity and is left with a heady mix of emotions. Strangely empowered, her feelings of pleasure and exhilaration are tinged with fear, but now she must reconcile the decisions of her past and how they may determine her future. Alexandra knows it is she alone who holds the key to the answers so desperately sought by both her lover, Jeremy Quinn, and her captors. In order to unlock the secrets within her, she must embark upon a quest to explore long-forgotten sexual rituals and despite believing that she has experienced everything possible in her erotic adventures, she discovers that there is still so much more to learn. At last she will learn what freedom truly means and understand the real purpose of the role she was always destined to play
The Reality: The final instalment now becomes even more unbelievable. After being reunited after her abduction, Alexa and Jeremy take the children off to Disneyland to bond. In the meantime her husband has headed off to a rendezvous with the "supposed" love of his life, who very luckily turns out to be the brother of the secretive Leo. Towards the end of their trip, Alexa yet against finds herself being blackmailed by the evil Xsade pharmaceutical corporation whereby they will announce the world that she is an unsuitable mother and her own research is tainted by her sexual conduct. All they want is some of her very unusual blood and they have some very damning photographs to back it up. Jeremy steps it up and does his own version of an abduction and whisks her away to yet another luxury apartment (thanks again to Leo) where she finds her husband and his lover already in residence. Oh what a happy family. Of course we find out that Jeremy has tracked down blood work for the children and found they don't carry the unusual blood as Alexa. The decision is made to ignore the demands and let the security team take care of the secret lab and put everything back to how it should be. So the family all head off to the Amazonian jungle to find a village that can lead them to a shaman that will uncover the real truth behind Alexa's sexual fantasies. I wonder if the children have absolutely any idea of what is going on. Leo plays a much larger part in this book but I still feel that underneath it all he is playing everyone like puppets.
Destined to Feel by Indigo Bloome (Avalon Trilogy #2)
Read by Tracy March 2013
Tracy recommends to answer some of the questions in the first book
Yet again the blurb on this book references Fifty Shades of Grey, which seems to have become the benchmark in the female erotica writing of today. I am starting to become very jaded about these books, women have a brain, but not in this genre it would seem.
The Blurb: Another thrilling erotic adventure from the author of Destined to Play. Life was going well for psychologist Alexandra Blake. Her career has taken off and she has been exploring her darkest sexual fantasies with her lover Jeremy Quinn. But her bliss is rudely interrupted when she is abducted in London, caught up in a dangerous struggle between unscrupulous corporations. Her captors want her to help them with their sexual experiments – pushing the boundaries of convention in the search for a drug to stimulate the female libido. But at what cost? How far will Alexandra be willing to go to satisfy her curiosity, both professional and personal? What will she have to do to escape, and – more importantly – does she want to?
The Reality: The first book in the trilogy (Destined to Play) did have me slightly intrigued, but I thought the story didn't quite gel and the relationship between the two main characters seemed to be built on lust, not a deeper emotional connection. In Destined to Feel we see Dr Alexa Blake yet again leave her family in Tasmania for a tryst and now a working relationship with Dr Jeremy Quinn. Alexa and her husband Robert, have had "that" discussion whereby Robert has admitted his homosexuality and even though their relationship has changed, they have decided to stay together for the sake of the children who are happy with the situation. I am not sure things would have been so idyllic in real life. This has opened the door for Alexa and Jeremy to now be more open about their previously illicit and secretive relationship. So on a pretext of work, Alexa heads off to London whereby Jeremy will lead additional research into the development of a drug that will do for women what Viagra did for me. Struggling on her first class flight (I am so envious) Alexa finally reaches London and is whisked into a limousine. It is here that things suddenly take a dark twist and as she turns to see Jeremy hurrying towards her, she is bundled into the car and sped away. Alexa has been abducted by a competing research company and is soon take from London to an underground research facility in Slovenia. Once there the head of the lab explains why things have happened and blames Jeremy for being so secretive with the outcome of the previous tests. Alexa jumps to the wrong conclusion instantly and agrees to undergo additional experiments on female sexuality and arousal to keep her curiosity at bay. If she doesn't she is told her children will be in danger. The experiments are of the strangest nature and I don't have a medical research background, but find them totally unbelievable. Although I would expect that pharmaceutical companies will do anything to stay ahead of the market, I can't believe kidnapping and forcing adults and children to undergo sexual experiments would be top of their list. In this book Jeremy is certainly a pain in the proverbial. He is unable to focus on anything other than his private parts and when he will get Alexa back to satisfy that. He seems to not care who he puts in danger and for someone usually very organised, he falls apart - not in an endearing way.
Destined to Play by Indigo Bloome (Avalon Trilogy #1)
Read by Tracy July 2012
Tracy recommends as similar but different
Dr Alexandra Drake is a psychologist about to host a lecture tour to deliver her latest research findings to postgraduate students, academics and other professionals in her field of expertise related to visual stimulation and its impact on the development of perception. However, instead of focusing on this opportunity she begins to fantasise about her upcoming meeting with old beau, Dr Jeremy Quinn. Jeremy and Alexandra had a relationship during their university years, but when she realised she wanted to settle down and have a family, they went their separate way and Alexandra soon married Robert, moved to the Tasmanian wilderness and had two children. Since separating, Jeremy has become a world renowned medical research doctor and is the one she credits for opening her eyes and body to the world. After arriving in Sydney to prepare for her lecture, Alexandra has lunch with her old PhD examiner (Sam Webster) and his current team of PhD students. The conversation quickly turns to current research methods on the female orgasm and the difficulties in generating orgasmic fluid in a clinical environment - interesting lunch time topic.
After her lecture, Alexandra meets Jeremy in a penthouse apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour and it is immediately aware that sparks absolutely fly and sizzle. And here I start to have problems - Destined to Play is touted as the Australian Fifty Shades of Grey the big difference is that in Fifty Shades of Grey neither Ana or Grey are married, unlike Destined to Play where Alexandra is not only married but has children who she has packed off on a wilderness camp. I fundamentally have a problem with this scenario, but that is my personal view, but I found myself starting to become judgemental about her almost instantaneous decision to embark on an affair. Jeremy soon persuades Alexandra to overcome her sexual inhibitions and spend a weekend (48 hours) totally under his control and bizarrely having one of her senses removed, in this case her sight. Here is my second issue, Jeremy is a medical doctor, so who in their right mind would do this, surely there is an ethical problem? Alexandra's marriage has cooled over the years, so she is easily seduced into Jeremy's proposition. Her original thesis had been on her own fantasy of being completely restrained and blind and flogged and pleasured and her desire to understand the root cause of her embarrassment about that. So before you know it, she is having her eyes sealed shut with some eye drops and also blindfolded, leaving Alexandra to rely on Jeremy for everything. Finding herself taken to the edge of her comfort zone and beyond, there was some imaginative ideas with him taking her out and reliving some highlights of their passionate previous affair. As the weekend continues, Alexandra forgets about her family, focusing totally on her own thoughts and desires.
Similarly to Fifty Shades of Grey, Jeremy is as rich as Grey, there seems to be no financial limit to what he wants to do - maybe I am just jealous as I live under a budget, that certainly takes out most of the spontaneity. However, given all his money and success, the only thing he really desires is Alexandra who he had let go previously so she could have a family, but now he wants her back. I would be very concerned as what place children would have in their relationship, but I presume she will leave them behind. Jeremy now controls Alexandra's whole life from food, drinks, and clothing even when she can shower or use the toilet. She is unable to ask any questions as there will be consequences, which we don't find out about until much later. Also unlike Fifty there are no safe words, even when she voiced her concern and broke down, he continued on regardless. As it turns out Jeremy is collaborating in research about the connections between physiology and cognitive neuropsychology in regards to sexual activity and how it may impact depression which follows on from the lunch meeting she had regarding female orgasm. The penny finally drops and she realises he wants her to be the guinea pig to see how she responds to dopamine reward circuits. Which in layman’s speak is how far she can be pushed sexually. She soon finds herself not only blind, but deaf, gagged, drugged and strapped in various positions where her body is driven to her limits whilst being monitored. We do not meet he others in the experiment, other than they are outsiders or people peripherally involved in the research group. At the end of the experiment the results are ground breaking and provide some real research possibilities, however, it does take a physical toll on her and once she regains her senses, it takes a week of total relaxation to recover not just emotionally but physically. It is nice that during this time, she finally decides she misses her children.
As the week draws to an end and both Jeremy and Alexandra must return to their lives, Jeremy imparts the knowledge that this research has a high priority and is being aggressively fought for by pharmaceutical companies and the night before Sam's computer had been hacked. This gives competitors access to the research, outcomes and some proposed research initiatives. This may put Alexandra into danger if their competitors want to duplicate or rerun the trials. On returning to Tasmania, Alexandra is offered a position on the research board and is soon jetting off to London where imminent danger is soon faced and as this is the first book in a trilogy known as Avalon. It finishes nicely for the sequels. Destined to Feel and Destined to Fly will be released later in the year and focuses on the intricate relationship between trust and betrayal, desire and love, risk and reward.
With all the fuss around women's erotica and the horribly named mummy porn, I do feel that it is jumping on the bandwagon slightly. There are also similarities between James and Bloome, they are both married with children and have written books as a sideline. They both also sold the rights to their books for staggering amounts of money, which is fantastic for all those people that think books are on their way out. There is also unprecedented hype surrounding any kind of women's erotica at the moment and The Age argues that the Avalon trilogy (of which Destined to Play is the first) blows open the hunger for erotic fiction and will further please those that enjoyed the escapism afforded by the raunchy BDSM of Fifty Shades.