Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Crocuta Crocuta (Bound Gods Book 5) by Adrienne Wilder

crocutaTitle ~ Crocuta Crocuta (Bound Gods Book 5)

Author ~ Adrienne Wilder 

Published ~ 2nd June 2017

Genre ~ Dark M/M Romance, Paranormal/ Fantasy





For a god, what could be closer to heaven than living in a safe haven like Sanctuary, with an endless supply of ambrosia, delivered by the beautiful bodies of the Doxies in Alton’s harem?
But unlike the majority of the gods in Sanctuary who are less than human, Cerberus isn’t exotic or fantastical. His appearance, his…habits…have become the horror stories whispered on the lips of Doxies.
And while Cerberus might be immortal, his pride is not indestructible. Seeing the love of a Doxie for a monster like the Chimera, shatters it.
A chance encounter with an undocumented Doxie named Owen begins to transform Cerberus’s life. At least until Alton removes Owen from Cerberus’s care, banning the god from training the boy—to protect him from Cerberus’s animal nature.
In reality, Alton's motives are far more frightening. And the truth could kill Cerberus and Owen both.


Debra’s Review

In this installment we leave Leo, Kaleb and Aaron and follow Cerberus, who we’ve gotten glimpses of in the previous books. As we found out in the last book, Cerberus’ father was a hyena and his mother human. Cerberus is a combination of both. His outward appearance includes a hunched body with mottled skin, thick fur-like hair on his body, and sharp teeth. It is enough to strike fear or revulsion in anyone who gets a glimpse. The doxies who have served him spread word of his brutality. Inside, however, there is plenty of that human nature. Cerberus has taken to avoiding being with the doxies that don’t want him, paying for sex in dark rooms. The rejection and whispers he’s dealt with for over a century hurt and he doesn’t want to force himself on those who don’t want him. He can’t help his nature, the loss of control and the rough sex that leaves a doxie battered, his human and hyena sides are both inextricably a part of him.

Owen was sold at 13 and has been working as a prostitute since. He is 26 now, he thinks, a junkie, feeling used up, lost and about to be kicked out of the brothel he’s called home. He is unaware that he is a doxie. Cerberus is there and buys him, tries to get him clean and explains to Owen just what he is. Any disgust at his initial take on Cerberus is lost once Owen realizes Cerberus can take away that emptiness he has always felt. There is a strange attraction that Owen can’t deny. When Owen is awakened after ingesting ambrosia that Alton has provided, his need to be near Cerberus becomes urgent. Even being separated for the briefest time has Owen climbing the walls. The sex is beyond rough, it’s brutal. Owen is desired by the man, hunted by the hyena, and mated by a combination of both that leaves him bleeding, almost broken – nothing the ambrosia won’t heal, but the nature of the beast causes harm to a doxie and Alton won’t accept the harm when it comes from Cerberus. His care for Owen in the aftermath leaves no question that his humanity will always win out where Owen is concerned.

When there is no option but to return to Sanctuary, things begin to fall apart. Alton is keeping secrets, something even bigger than a war is coming and Cerberus’ desire to do what he thinks is right for Owen causes all sorts of problems. Breaking Owen’s heart is only the start of events that Cerberus and Owen might never recover from.

Even though this book focuses on another god, I wouldn’t recommend reading this story without the background of the prior books. It is very different from them, as Cerberus is very different from Leo. Cerberus is a big old softie inside. He would do anything for Owen, or so he thinks. It turns out the one thing Owen needed was for Cerberus to fight for him. The heartbreak when they are separated is palpable. Adrienne Wilder never lets the reader forget about Cerberus’ animal nature, but he also broadcasts Cerberus’ humanity loud and clear. There is no way you won’t fall for this guy. Owen was a little less well-drawn, but then again, his past is very cut and dried. A throwaway and a whore for thirteen years, no family, no prospects and a readiness to end it all. It took a bit of time to warm up to him, but his need for and acceptance of Cerberus won me over. I also adored the three new doxies who took Owen under their care to teach him about his true nature.

The larger arc of the series is also addressed here. There is a new god introduced whose appearance heralds a new cataclysmic event coming that could wreak all sorts of havoc on the world. There is discussion of the fate of Pandora, who was sent away in the last book, and I am so hoping that we get that story very soon. Alton also reveals more of what he is up to in re-engineering the ambrosia plant that is key to survival for both the gods and doxies. I like the intricacies of what is building and am eagerly, waiting to see what comes next.

While not everything that was left hanging in the fourth book is addressed here, it only has me anxiously awaiting the next. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to immerse themselves in a different world and who isn’t scared off by sex that otherwise might be bordering on non-con or abuse. It appears that Cerberus’ and Owen’s story completed its arc here, but I do hope to see more of them, especially after the abrupt ending. This is a series that builds on each book, with a complex story underlying the god/doxie love stories and I’m hooked.

Purchase Links



The Bound Gods Series


Bound Gods Book 1: The Chimera

Kaleb Holten’s father’s debt to an underground group The Association has just been called in, and the man can’t pay the loan. Instead of turning over his wealth, he releases his son and Kaleb finds himself thrown into a world where a class of men see themselves as untouchable. Going so far as to call themselves gods.
After the Great Economic Collapse there are no laws that cannot be broken. And Kaleb is forced into a ten-year sentence of servitude where he will have no say, no rights, no value and yet be coveted and protected as if he were a priceless treasure.
Leo Roan, has slipped the noose the Association bound him with by breaking his addiction to ambrosia and Kaleb Holten was supposed to be his last assignment as a doxie Master. But something about the boy begins weaving a new net that will not only ensnare him but the conscious darkness inside, that craves pain, agony, suffering, and death.



Bound Gods Book 2: Chained

Leo has been sent on a mission to find a missing doxie. And after weeks at Leo’s side, Kaleb is suddenly alone. Free of the cruelty the Chimera, he should be rejoicing. But instead, he becomes aware of a void in his heart, he never knew was there until Leo wasn’t there to fill it. When Leo returns Kaleb is faced with the choice of disobeying Leo—forcing him to take ambrosia—or risk losing him forever.
With a single flower, Leo is back under the control of the Association. And what kind of punishment is suitable for a doxie who disobeys his Master, even though it saves his life? Leo has a list of ideas, starting with Kaleb’s first visit to a Gathering.
At the Gathering of the gods, doxies, and mortal men, Kaleb first lays eyes on Aaron. The beautiful doxie is presented by the god Sol. There he will be fed the ambrosia, Awakened to his journey of immortality, and then serve his god, Sol, for all to see. Only the horror of Aaron’s treatment by Sol makes Kaleb realize monsters come in many forms.
And not all of them hunt doxies.



Bound Gods Book 3: Betrayed

The stakes are rising.
As the god-son closes in leaving more bodies in its wake, treason and betrayal against the Association is unveiled. An inquiry for the Goddesses has been called, threatening everything Leo holds dear.
And the Chimera is not about to let go without a fight.
Despite the dangers lurking in the shadows, Leo wants his doxie Kaleb to think of only one thing. Him. His training. His purpose. And embrace the reality of what he is and not be ashamed of his attraction to Aaron, the doxie tossed aside by Sol.
Attraction is one thing. Bringing the boy to their bed is something else entirely. Kaleb can’t possibly want anyone but Leo. A lie Kaleb will pay dearly for. Penance Leo will be more than happy to deliver.
But penance for a lie will pale in comparison to what Kaleb must do to keep Sol from taking Aaron away, and invoking the Chimera into a lifetime in chains.


rebornBound Gods Book 4: Reborn

Leo promised to keep Aaron and Kaleb forever. Yet he’s left them with nothing more than a note with instructions to obey the commands of another god? A god who has the key to Kaleb’s collar. A god who will tell them nothing about what’s happened to Leo or where he’s gone.
Kaleb and Aaron both fear the worst. That Leo has not abandoned them, but left them because he won’t be coming back. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t.
Too many have died and the god-son is growing stronger. With no way for any god to track it, Leo has only one choice left. Fight fire with fire.
Or in this case Chimera against Chimera.
The problem is Leo has always maintained control of the beast within him. Using its natural senses to do what no other can. In order to stand a chance at tracking and killing the god-son Leo must give the Chimera within complete control.
And the Chimera might not let him return if he does.



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