Six For Sunday… Heartwrenching endings to series

Heartwrenching endings to series

Six for Sunday is a meme hosted by the incredible A Little But A Lot, this month’s focus is book series. Today is meant to focus on six series with a heartwrenching ending. I’m at heart a romance reader so I don’t do sad endings! However I think I can spin this a little and blend in some books that left me in a similar state to the image above (attributed to Destiny Blue), with mixed feelings.

1. The Ribbon Duet by Pepper Winters

I HAVE to start with the Ribbon Duet by Pepper Winters. I know I’m stretching the series idea with a duet, but both books are really long, as in looooooong, but are amazing, wonderful, outstanding etc etc. The second book, The Girl & Her Ren, is the Ultimate of Ugly Cry Books. I had to commit the supreme sin of skipping ahead and reading the last chapter. I knew, I just knew that this wasn’t going to end with the miracle I was so desperate for and the only way I survived reading this was to break it up between other books. Cheerful, happy, smiley type reads that allowed my fractured soul to knit back together, before resuming it and splintered apart again.

“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret?
I’ll tell you what you do.
You lie.”
Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth.
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror.
But then…he ran.
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed.
I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything.
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it.
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end…he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.

2. The Illusions Series (#1-5) by D Kelly

Books 1-3 give us this story from Mel’s point of view, book 4 and 5 retell the same story from Sawyer’s perspective, it includes scenes and events that we don’t learn of in 1-3 and extends beyond the events of book 3. You can read just 1 – 3 if you want, but despite knowing what was coming, book 4 and 5 still tore my heart out and I loved every minute of them. Book 1 and 2 are angsty but give no warning of what is to come. Technically this does have a HEA but the journey there is littered with pain and misery.

One night changed her life…
Bestselling author Amelia Greyson has grown up in the music industry and isn’t the slightest bit fazed by fame or celebrities. However, when she attends a Bastards and Dangerous concert with her best friend Belle, her world shifts on its axis.

Double trouble…
Sawyer and Noah Weston are the front men of BAD. They’re fraternal twins and sexy as sin. When they hear the author of The O Factor is in their green room, they’re intrigued. She’s just the person they need to write their farewell story. The brothers offer Amelia the opportunity of a lifetime, which she reluctantly accepts.
Three hearts…
Noah is sweet and considerate, working hard to make Amelia feel at home on the road. Unfortunately, the closer they get, the more obnoxious Sawyer becomes. Sawyer is arrogant and distant and he wants Amelia, even though she’s not his for the taking. Only during stolen moments does Sawyer show her who he really is.
Can Amelia maintain a safe distance from Sawyer and keep her heart intact? Or will she shatter Noah’s heart by giving hers to his brother instead?

The Messenger Chronicles by Pippa DaCosta

Again this technically has a HEA but the final book definitely puts you through the wringer and the author does THAT thing, yes the one where they kill of someone you love. I’m not quite sure how I survived the fifth book – I do remember shedding copious tears though.

Lies aren’t her only weapons against the fae…
In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.
Proving her innocence should be straightforward. Until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.
As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows being invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the warfae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.
Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain: Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

4. A Dark Necessities Prequels Trilogy by Felicity Brandon

We know from the off how this is going to end, we know because this was written AFTER the Dark Necessities Trilogy where we learn about the fate of Connor’s parents. Right until the very end I was hoping for some miracle to occur, for the author to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and alter destiny. Nope, #passthetissues.

He’s Deadly–A Monster.
So why can’t
she Stay Away?
Men like Ethan Reilly should never fall in love. Dark, enigmatic and dangerous, Ethan is the perfect predator until he meets Lily Simpson, a woman passionate enough to placate him and strong enough to surrender to him.
For a while Lily’s love is enough.
But the darkness inside Ethan is too powerful to contain, and soon it spills into their burgeoning love affair. As he wrestles with his demons, Ethan must come to terms with who he really is, but if he does, what happens to Lily? Can any love be strong enough to survive a past as terrible as Ethan’s? And what kind of future can they forge from the ashes of his awful admission?

5 Special Agent BDSM series by C.P. Mandara

So this is where my first “cheat” comes in, because I refuse to believe that this is the end for a certain character, I’ve also been looking for ANY excuse to include this in a post for a while. So whilst I was sad at the possibility AND the effect on other protagonists, I refuse to have my heart broken at the moment. Now for some reason the final book, Ashes, isn’t included on the Goodreads page linked above, so you can find it here.

“I am going to break you.
That’s the whole purpose of this exercise. From the moment the door inside that room closes, I am not going to be Mr. Nice Guy. I am going to do everything in my power to hear you scream, and I won’t stop until I hear you beg for mercy. Do you wish to proceed on that basis?”
Today my name is Lois Reeves. I have an appointment with my new boss, James Leverett, this morning because my next assignment requires that I assassinate one of the biggest gangsters in the world. This is a suicide mission that is almost guaranteed to get me killed, but I have to accept it. To refuse would mean death – and not just mine. This guy who I’m about to kill is lining up everyone I hold dear, and preparing to take them out one by one. This is every assassin’s worst nightmare, and this is the hell within which I now live.

6 True Series by Willow Madison

This series has two endings to chose from. One (and my particular favourite) is very dark, non-consensual and full of triggers. The other is the more classically emotionally heartwrenching but both endings fit the theme, even if both eventually end in a HEA too. The whole series balances on a knife edge of abuse/consensual power exchange and is a very compelling read.

A warning comes with this book. It’s not a typical hearts and flowers romance. There are thorns and it’s not for the faint-of-heart.
Max, true to his nature, takes control right from the start. Lucy has no choice but to give in. As she fights to understand her willingness to give him everything, he pushes her for more.
Theirs is a journey with many a twist and turn, but isn’t love always? It’s the slow build that happens when sweet and shy meets determined and dominant.

In the end, the choice is clear. Stay or go. Love or leave. Be what is needed or turn away from True Nature.
This is the start of something darker. True Nature is the first book in a series that includes two alternative endings. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.