Dark, delicious and a romantic HEA. Give or take a few non-con tentacles. ;)

Where Willows Won't Grow - Lia Black
BR with Adam - tent virgin no longer!


(Once you see it, you can't unsee it.)

I appreciated that boot in the butt to read this story because I kept meaning to read Lia Black. Her stories always caught my eye, her story tags always got me excited: non-con, dub-con, interspecies sex, dark stuff, etc = fun times to me.

WHY THE HELL DID I WAIT SO LONG?! <~~~I have a feeling this will be my recurring theme for the year 2015.

And this was free? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'd have paid for this.

Alex is an undercover law enforcement type in this sci-fi prostitution ring, human trafficking novella. Heis morals are questionable at best, so he seemed perfect for the job. He's chosen by the obsidian skinned, silver eyed alien prostitute/ brothel owner, IIlythe, for the exclusive and highly dangerous, Willow House. IIlythe has been broken down so many times in his life, he seems to have no hope. But he's drawn to the human, Alex. Alex reciprocates those feels. And while there's non-con tentacle sex (this is the first time I've read deadly tentacles), political intrigue and a little suspense.

Alex and IIlythe's emotion & lust filled tug of war? That's the magic of this story. All while having to servicing others, they form a bond.

This is 4.5 stars because the world building, the different aliens, the sexual tension, the detail given to the growing relationship between the MC's and Illythe.

Oh man Illythe. Damn. I think he was spot the fuck on. The warring sides of him that made for one damaged soul but he has redemption. He was flawed and just awesome. That last scene and his internal dialogue? PERFECTION! The abused can't jump right into warrior without still having a thread of being a victim in them. And Illythe was broken and deconstructed from a young age, he wouldn't know anything else but his pain. His characterization...was just...excellent. Enjoyed the hell out of the ending. I liked the storytelling overall.

But.

There were a few minor niggles:

- Alex - I think he was just fleshed out enough (could've been more - I wouldn't have minded) however, the undercover plot kinda fell by the wayside towards the end. 
Yes, Illythe, knocks him out but what about the Federation follow up? I wished there was at least a paragraph about that.
(show spoiler)

- Mel - Alex was nervous around him. There seemed to be something off and then, poof! He's written off. Alex thought there was something off and I'm expecting some big 'aha moment' and nothing. 
- The 'I Love You' - I'm iffy on them saying it so soon. 

And this one is probably a me thing. I won't factor it into my rating but I couldn't help picturing the Scion like this:



And while I did think of him as the big baddie that he is...it kinda turned into a weird Davy Jones tentrape thing in my head. 

Story was dope. I really liked the style, there was an ease to the tone. Totally reading more Lia Black in the future.

My thanks to the author and the team behind this story! This prompt was one of my favorites, totally wasn't disappointed.  
Review is set to Public