So, hi. I’m Delphia. And I love smut. Don’t get me wrong, story is very important. Character development is very important. Varied vocabulary, sentence structure, and detailed prose, ALL VERY IMPORTANT. But your pal loves a spicy read just as much as the next person. Probably more, though. From the days of sneaking romances into my library books as a teen (sorry mom), I’ve been absolutely entranced by sexy romance novels – the hotter, the better. I’ve read so many, both f/m and m/m, that I could probably point you in the direction of good ones from either sub-genre to this day.
But that’s not why we’re here…
We’re here because I am FINALLY ready to review another favorite m/m series in full (well, somewhat…more on that below). You may recall my Captive Prince, Adrien English, and Flesh Cartel series reviews. I’m finally ready to add another favorite series to that list, the Up-Ending Tad series by Kora Knight. I plan on reading and reviewing the companion duology, The Dungeon Black Duology, by the same author later on. Due to time constraints with ARCs and my own book launch, I just couldn’t get to those right now, as they are longer reads. Consider this part one of a two-part review of the entire series (and potentially three-part with the upcoming companion about another couple within the same universe rumored).
Without further ado…
Up-Ending Tad, A Journey of Erotic Discovery #1: Loser Takes All – Honestly if Scott had been any less accommodating and reassuring with Tad, I would’ve been very uncomfortable with this premise. Having a guy – who doesn’t really think he has a choice – reluctantly submit to a flogging (and then much more) feels wrong. But Scott, despite that premise, does everything in his power to make Tad comfortable and even enjoy himself in the end. And enjoy, he does…and so did I.
UT, #2: Test of Endurance – This book is where we right some of the wrongs from the first book. Scott discovers that Tad was essentially coerced into coming to see him the first time and acknowledges how bad that was. I really appreciated this and felt it was completely authentic. Scott’s definite heart-eyes get the better of him during this installment and though it’s as hot – if not hotter than the first book – the ending is laced with a heady tension that made my heart ache for both characters. But especially Scott.
UT, #3: Sideline Submission – It’s during this book that we finally feel the romance between Scott and Tad begin to bloom. Don’t get me wrong, as hot and sex-driven as the first two books are, there are tender moments too. But this one ramps up the tenderness tremendously between our heroes…just in time to be frustratingly – and I’m going to fucking say it – COCK-BLOCKED by a side character. Nevertheless, by the end of this one, we no longer wonder IF our heroes will end up together, but WHEN.
UT, #4: Prized Possession – Finally, Tad really begins to make strides in letting Scott in and letting their relationship begin to take shape. I couldn’t help but feel for Scott at every turn, though. By this point, he’s very clearly falling for Tad but because Tad is so new to being with another man, he hesitates and is unsure so much. I understand why but I still ached when he hurt Scott, who by this point is my favorite character.
UT, #5: Bringing It Home – At about 26% into the ebook, I was one unhappy camper. I mean, I know these are erotic romances and I’m gonna get my HEA. But still, that doubt when Scott and Tad have their great falling out was intense. We do reach a happy conclusion with this book, but I have to tell ya…if Scott was my favorite character by book 4, he was my book husband by the end of this installment. His back story and the things he said about recovering from abuse/trauma made me feel things I haven’t felt in a long time. High props to this book and this beautiful character.
UT, #6: Afterglow – I almost feel like this final book was the author giving us the proverbial cherry on top of a fantastic series. Everything pretty much wraps up in book 5, but she gives us just one more piece of Scott and Tad and man, THANK YOU. I know there are parts of this that set us up for the companion duology, but it was so damn nice to get one last romp with our heroes before they ride off into their sunset.
Okay okay okay, I know I was supposed to round up all of my Credence previews and snippets, but then I fell down the rabbit hole with this series. I apologize and will return to business-as-usual next week!
Honestly, I haven’t been this swept up in a story since Flesh Cartel last summer and this was (obviously) a completely different kind of swept up. Like I said above, each of these novellas were at least 50% completely erotic. But the author weaves in story and character development masterfully in a way I can only hope to achieve one day. I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that though they were very heavy on the sexual content, I never felt it became boring or repetitive. I thought that though we started on shaky territory as far as consent goes, ultimately, we ended up in a wonderful place with Scott and Tad. That said, I also applaud this series as one of the healthiest, most well-balanced examples of fictional BDSM that I’ve ever read.
And I’ve read quite a few, lol.
In the end, I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a highly erotic love story between two complex, extremely likable and relatable characters. Five stars all the way through.
Though entirely different (and sadly, no BDSM involved), if you’d like to preorder my own first book, Credence, which releases on March 1, 2019, it is currently available for digital preorder via Amazon, HERE.