For a while I thought this would be a 3 star book (4 on Amazon), good but not great. However I’m now debating between 4 and 5 stars! The start was slower, less intense than previous books, we met several new characters and also learnt a lot more about some of the supporting characters. On reflection this world and character building was vital, building up to the most emotional of endings. Karina and Uilleam are not the people they once were, and I’ve gone from loving to hating and back to loving them at various times through both this and the DoM series. I can’t wait for this pair to get the HEA they so very much deserve.
As already mentioned there is a huge bombshell of a twist, you start getting hints half-way through the book. The signposts for the big reveal are intentionally very obvious and easy to spot because the beauty of London Miller’s writing is in the subtle, tiny, little details. She weaves seemingly irrelevant snippets of information into complex stories and she breathes such life into her characters that you feel, live and breathe their emotions.
Whilst much anticipated resolutions are attained, suddenly the rug is pulled out from under our feet and we discover that the bad guy was someone else all along. Now I’m left wondering just what will happen in the next book, Alpha Omega, and hoping that London finds time, amidst becoming a first-time mom, to continue writing this series.
PS will we ever find out what happened to Uilleam’s uncle?
First came love. Then came hate. And now? Now, there was only war.
When he crossed paths with Karina Ashworth all those years ago, Uilleam Runehart didn’t expect his world to get turned upside down—but he also hadn’t known what it meant to love someone as he loved her.
But greed can corrupt so easily, and what he possessed, he lost just as quickly.
Even knocked off his feet, however, Uilleam isn’t one to back down without a fight, no matter how impossible the odds.
There’s a reason they call him the Kingmaker, and now it’s time to show everyone what that title really means.
From Romantic Suspense Author, London Miller, comes the next thrilling installment in the Kingmaker Saga where emotions run high and love may be the thing that saves them all …
Ashes: A Dark Romance Love Triangle (A Special Agent Novel Book 6)
by C.P. Mandara
An amazing conclusion to a fantastic series – I’m going to miss these guys so much
I already know I’m going to struggle to write a review that does this book justice without also throwing spoilers around like confetti at a wedding. Suffice to say Alain continues to terrorize with how twisted, evil and psychotic he is. Which means James, Lois and Adie continue to suffer at his blood stained hands.
The story is fast-paced and action-packed, venturing repeatedly into some pretty dark territory. It didn’t want to put this down, and when my thoughtful teenage son had me awake at the crack-ass of dawn, instead of being sensible and attempting to grab a couple more hours of sleep, I picked this up and read it until it was finished.
Strike that, I didn’t read it, I devouredit like the most delicious of meals, savouring every morsel and extracting every last drop of flavour that I possibly could from it. I want to say I loved every single word of it but the author, and those who have already read the book, will know that isn’t possible. There is possibly a tiny little lose thread that was left. It didn’t play out the way I expected, but I’m hoping against hope that the author possibly has plans for it. Please. Otherwise I may seriously fall out with her.
Written first person from Adie, James and Lois’ points of view, all 6 books must be read in the correct order, this isn’t a stand alone. (I made the mistake of attempting to start with book #4 and quickly found myself totally lost.) This, along with Ariana Nash’s Silk & Steel series, is my joint favourite series of 2019 and is without a shadow of a doubt my top BDSM/romantic suspense/dark read of the year.
All hope is lost. James has slept with me twice. When we arrive back at Lavande, Alain takes a great deal of pleasure in telling me I have two weeks to live. Two miserable weeks where he will torture me with his hands and knives until I am screaming for mercy. The worst part is that James will be forced to watch every second of it.
Why didn’t we run when we had the chance? It’s a question I will ask myself again and again over the upcoming days because Alain is rather inventive with his torture methods. At first, I thought we might stand a chance, but then he brings out the drugs. There’s a reason his nickname is ‘The Chemist.’ The man is truly evil in every way that counts.
This is a war we cannot win, fought against an adversary who is one step ahead of everything we do.
We desperately need to turn his dark and twisted games against him. There is always a way – I hope.
Publisher’s Note: The Sixth Book in C.P. Mandara’s intense, suspense-filled thriller ‘Special Agent Series’ is a Dark Romance featuring BDSM erotic romance, complete power exchange, violence and drugs. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.
So yesterday I revealed the more ‘real life’ favourite books of 2019, even if that real life was firmly fictional. Today I’m showcasing my favourite books from those worlds that definitely could only exist inside a writers ingenious mind. The sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and omegaverse worlds where the ‘normal’ rules don’t apply and pretty much anything goes. They all still fall into the romance genre, because I love me some smut, but I still see them as different and distinct categories.
1. Delirium by Myra Danvers. Iris is hands down my favourite heroine of all times. I may want to marry her, I definitely want to have her children. Sadly Myra Danvers has also struggled with writing, and life, of late, so we are still awaiting the next book in the series. However I remember the days of only knowing my favourite author had released the next book in a series when I found it in the local book shop. I’m happy to wait, and should there never be any more Iris I would still recommend this book because it is simply that good.
2. Deliverance and Her Dark Legion by Pippa DaCosta. OK, so I’m cheating a lot little here, but I love both of these books for hugely different reasons and can’t even fit a cigarette paper between to separate the pair of them. Deliverance is a much awaited instalment of the 1000 Revolutions series. I totally love Caleb and One and was sooooo happy to catch up with them a little more. I wouldn’t like to say if you could read this stand alone, since I have read the rest of the books, but it was a complete segment of a story, so it’s a possibility. Her Dark Legion was the final book in the Messenger Chronicles and you definitely need to have read the previous 4 books. This is high on my list of All Time Favourite Series’ Ever, possibly only pipped by the series written under the authors other pen name, Ariana Nash. Her writing is phenomenal and both books are brim full of feels, have amazing characters and outstanding world building.
Set in a dystopian future this is a dark tale that contains dubious consent and non-consensual power exchanges. It left me speechless and hungering for more, much more, of this world. Especially since Drake had a barbed phallus…. oh the possibilities! This is another book that could have easily fitted into the Dark catagory, but since I was already having trouble slimming that one down the decision to place it here was an easy one to make.
“Wow. Dark, powerful, gut-wrenching, twisted, steamy and amazing. “ Lexi C Foss has the golden touch as far as I am concerned. I can’t believe I only discovered her work this year but am massively grateful that I did. Her writing holds my attention from the first line to the last, and fills me so full of feels like you wouldn’t believe. It is subtitled as book 1 of a series and I for one can’t wait to join in with more adventures.
Whilst Mesmer is a stand alone read, to fully understand and appreciate the story I would recommend having read the super dark, super amazing Dark Hearts series first. It contains a lot of world building that enhances the story in this book. Mesmers are a group of men who can mind control susceptible women, turning them into sex (or I guess any other kind of) slave. Sadly the mesmer gene, or the power it conveys, causes most of these men to travel down the wrong path. It’s a pretty dark read (co-written by Jennifer Bene what else can you expect?), with lots of boundary pushing kink to boot. Cari has a unique writing voice, it actually takes on its own character, Greta, in this book and is what makes her my favourite current author.
Actually I should be listing this under it’s series title of Demigod of San Francisco, since the books need to be read in chronological order. Written by the the amazingly talented KF Breene, this is only one of dozens of her must read books. The word awesome was invented to describe this lady and I recommend ALL her work to you.
Ariana Nash is the brand new MM, steamier version of the author Pippa DaCosta. In the Silk & Steel series she has created a world of dragon shifters, elves and humans. It’s a dark read, very dark and all trigger warnings should be seriously heeded. The romance between natural enemies Lysander (a dragon shifter prince) and Eroan (an elf charged with destroying dragons) develops slowly over the course of the trilogy. And with all great stories the course of true love never does run smooth. Some reviews talk about plot holes and inconsistent details, however if those reviewers had read books 1-3, they would have found that those questions were answered at some point.
An absolutely amazing new author sprang onto the scene this year, though she’s been on literotica for quite a while. I’ve already featured her sci-fi romance, Delirium, but such is my admiration for this author, and her work, that I’m also featuring her fantasy romance series. Ravenous Innocence, Insatiable Corruption and Lavish Destruction are the first three books of the series. I’m still not Asher’s biggest fan, but I’m slowly being persuaded by Ms Danvers that he deserves his chance with Mila, even if he has taken her power and bound her to him. The balance of power however was slowly shifting to her direction and I am eagerly awaiting more books in the series. Particularly since the writing is so amazing.
I do believe that I’ve already mentioned this author is my favourite. Her writing just speaks to me on a level that many others don’t. She’s like a super kinky version of Terry Pratchett, always pushing boundaries but usually making me giggle along the way. Condemned was one of two books written she published via Stormy Nights, which meant a toning down of the darker elements she usually includes. It’s a RH kink-fest and one of the few stand alone books where the males have distinct characteristics and there is also a well developed plot. Not only did she includes the prerequisite cute and quirky bot in this story (a mouse), but her heroine is half Mauleon, a genetically-engineered leonine type species. And that right there is a huge pointer to Ms Silverwoods off-beat humour right there – the cat relying on and caring for the mouse. Oh and did I mention there are winged horses that “hop-fly”?
I think this is one of the best debut novels I have ever read. It’s very dark and is part of the as yet unfinished Omega’s Destruction series. Ms Dresden really does put her heroine, Quinn, through the wringer. I’m surprised she can still function after all that she has endured! Eva’s writing has a somewhat poetic feel to it, things are often suggested or implied rather than always being blatantly and very obviously told/shown. It provides a breath of fresh air and makes this very much a must-read series. The book does end on a cliff-hanger and whilst book 2 is available (and a highly recommended read too), the final book of the series is currently still in production.
Blending Omegaverse with a slightly dystopian feeling organised crime/mafia romance gave this book a VERY unique feel. It took me by surprise with how dark it got, things were trotting along quite nicely and then BAM! it veered straight into darksville. This book is certainly not all sweetness and light, although the acts are not perpetrated by the hero. He is a more than a bit of an alpha-hole at first, but he does treat her with respect and I found myself caring deeply for both December and Nikolai.
This is the very last book I’m highlighting from 2019 but it is by no means in last place in any other respect. I started of hating the hero of this book, but by the end was totally besotted by him. The author wrote a very convincing story that definitely had it’s own feel and carved it’s own spot within the omegaverse world. It’s the first book in an interconnected series of stand alones and I’m looking forward to Ms Black releasing more of them.
For the last few years I’ve written a post on my top 12 books of the year, and my top 12 series’ of the year. This time I’m going to do thinks a little differently and talk about my top 3 reads in various categories/genres/tropes.
First category is Contemporary Romance.
This is a genre I’ve found myself reading less and less of, at least in terms of ‘straight’ contemporary. My first, and greatest, love in reading was the sci-fi/fantasy genre with authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton and David Eddings being amongst my favourites. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will forever hold a special place in my heart, and prominence on my book shelf. Of late I have found myself drawn back to the genre, but preferring those books which also combine it with a good love story.
However I have read some excellent contemporary romances this year, and actually struggled to narrow the group down to a top 3! Colour me surprised because I didn’t actually expect to find even that number to include.
This is one seriously under-recognised author. Her writing is superb and I just wished she was more well known, Eris thoroughly deserves it.
It’s the story of a seriously messed up pair, who are dysfunctional to the extreme yet who somehow come together to create something wonderful. It’s one of those “so wrong, it’s right” stories and I loved every minute of it.
This is part of an ongoing series, which really needs to be read in order to fully enjoy and understand the back story. Each book features one couple, Cutter, the hero in this one, is a complete alpha-hole but in the best way possible. He’s constantly brought down to size by the bad-ass heroine that is Valentina.
I did have a fourth book, Rebel’s Redemption by Lexi C Foss, that I also need to mention. It is A-MAZ-ING and it’s only because I’m going to be featuring this author in other categories that I didn’t feature the book more widely here.
Next are my favourite 3 books containing BDSM. This was a category that I DID struggle with deciding on, I could easily have included many more books. In fact I’m featuring a series as one of my choices.
There are 6 books in the series, the final one was released a few days ago and I am currently reading (and loving) it. The first book, Sparks, is free. It is more erotic, less dark than the subsequent books, which take us into a dark, underground world full of danger and kink.
These have been amongst my most favourite reads of the year in any genre/trope. The author writes with a subtle humour and her characters are always strong. In fact along with Cari Silverwood, she has written some of my favourite heroines.
Let’s face it, Kitty Thomas is the QUEEN of the dark romance. If you haven’t read Comfort Food I can only say – “Why?”. It’s not an easy read but it is amazing, as is Twisted Fates which is part of the interlinked Pleasure House series and may be read as a stand alone story.
Whilst it’s a morally dubious story, it doesn’t contain non-consent and the dubious consent isn’t all that dubious either. On paper we should hate the hero, and in real life I’d want to see him locked away from society for a very long time. However Kitty persuades us that not only is Lyndsay perfect for Shannon, but she made me love him too.
Technically the Black Light books can be read stand alone, though part of this story builds on a short story by the same author in the Celebrity Roulette anthology. The book features two separate couples, mainly focusing on two new characters, Shane and Nalani, but also concluding Piper and Nolan’s story that began in Switched.
This book should have a trigger warning – there is a very violent and detailed rape scene. It wasn’t added just for the shock factor and the aftermath was handled well, in my opinion.
The link will take you to all 5 books of the Russo Saga. It’s a series of interlinked books, all of which I can highly recommend, but the duet of Absolution and Redemption are definitely my favourites. T
he story takes you to hell and back, along with the anti-hero and heroine. There were times. whilst reading Absolution, where i had to take an “feelings break” in order to recharge my emotional batteries.
Book #1, White Rabbit: The Rise, was listed amongst my favourite reads of 2018. The series has gone from strength to strength this year, with the release of 3 further books and the imminent release of book #5, Dark Horse.
White Rabbit: The Fall, Black Swan and Red Herring continue the story of Belladonna and The Kingmaker, otherwise known as Karina and Uilleam. And oh what a twisty, cat-and-mouse, game-of-chess, power-play story it is. London Miller has an amazing talent for weaving a complex tale where a seemingly random array of threads pull together at the last minute to form an intricately detailed tapestry.
Part of the Blaire’s World collection, and based on Anita Gray’s books of the same name, this is a dark and delicious duet. It delves into the underbelly of society, a world of pain, cruelty and evil and it doesn’t pull it’s punches.
One could argue that this belongs in the “Dark” catagory, below, but it’s my post so it’s my rules.
Again, I need to mention a Lexi C Foss book, this time it is the amazing Scarlet Mark. Part of the Cavalieri Della Morte series, it was the book that brought the author to my attention. When I discovered this was her first foray into Romantic Suspense I was gobsmacked to say the least. I tell you, she hit this one out of the ball park, and then some.
I’m going to finish today’s post with my top 3 Dark Reads of the year, and will be back tomorrow with 4 other categories of goodness to share. I think this was the hardest group to pare down to just 3 books, but I did it eventually!
No list is complete without a Lily White book, she is an expert at knowing how to mess with your mind. She’s had some personal struggles this year, so has been very quite for the last few months, but we are expecting a new release soon and I, for one, can’t wait to read more by this wonderful author.
The Five is typical Lily White, and was a very popular Book of the Month over in the Dark Erotica group on Goodreads. It’s not your typical romance and is very psychological, testing your morals, pushing your boundaries and challenging your judgemental side. It was a book that seemed to have a marmite effect, dividing readers into loved it or hated it. I was most definitely in the former camp and highly recommend it.
This story started life as Cocoon in the ‘Just Breathe‘ anthology, but has since been extended and improved, even though I didn’t feel that was possible as I thought the original was already perfect.
This is not as dark a piece of work as we are used to from Ms Bene. It does contain strong elements of dub-con, hence including it in this group. Crazy Broken Love spoke to me deeply and left me questioning my own prejudices, however unintentional they are.
For some reason the link only takes you to the first two books of the trilogy. Book #3, Forbidden, can be found here. The trilogy of books are NOT stand alone and must be read in order, they feature Ethan and Lily, the parents of Conor, who is the anti-hero of the original Dark Necessities trilogy.
Despite not liking Ethan for most of the story, my love for Lily (and her love of Ethan) made this one gripping must-read series for me. It’s dark and Ethan is not a good man, not a good man at all. But he does love Lily and that was his saving grace for this reader.
“I sleep forever. Dream after dream. Tormented by them. I never get to awaken.”
Lucy has slept for a hundred years. Everyone she ever knew is dead. Her kingdom is in decay. She doesn’t have anything to wake up for, but it has to be better than the nightmares, doesn’t it? Every time she thinks she’s opened her eyes, another nightmare begins. Endless horror. Can anyone help her?
This is a dark fairytale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. The heroine is asleep. The hero can’t save her. The villain is long-gone, but her legacy lives on. If you don’t like your HEAs to come easily, this series is for you.
Aria is an author of dark erotic romance that dances on the boundary between horror and romance. Her heroes are not always immediately obvious, and neither are the villains. Her books often have elements of horror, and the characters at the end of a story are forever changed by the events that befell them. But she always makes sure there’s a happy ending, even if the characters have to work for it.
Aria also writes the warm fuzzy romance stuff as Katie Douglas, where she has had USA Today and multiple Number One bestselling books in the US and worldwide.