REVIEW //\\ Something Twisted


Something Twisted by Ace Gray




“The world will eventually end in brimstone and fire, but I’ll still love you, Drea. You’re heaven and the religion I’ll worship to get there.”
“I love you, Niall,” she said from her spot at my feet. “Whether you’re my salvation or damnation, I don’t care as long as you’re mine.”


This was my first book by the author, and it’s now my firm intention to read more work by her!


I read this in order to lead a Book Of The Month discussion, in the Dark Erotica group. I have to say, well done to Dana for suggesting the book and to those who voted for it because this was a huge, huge hit for me. Trying a new author, especially in the dark realm of romance, always feels like a risk. I’m sure for every one book I’ve enjoyed there are a dozen that have missed the mark by a country mile. This one ticked every box for me and I found myself not wanting to put it down. It was also second-chance, which is hands down my favourite tropes ever.


The authors voice, the plot, pace and characterisation were all top notch. There was no effort involved in reading this book, well other than putting it down when it got VERY late into the night and my alarm was set for less than 6 hours later! Though I did have to forgive the use of ‘drug’ instead of ‘dragged’, but hey, no biggie. This really is an addictive read that wraps you up in it’s dark and depraved world, draws you into the lives of the damaged folk that exist there (because it could never be called living) and will keep you enthralled from the very first to the very last line.


Drea and Niall had so much history to overcome, had so much pain and sorrow weighing them down, needing to forgive and to receive forgiveness. There were moments in this story that made my heart melt, moments that shattered it into a thousand pieces, moments that made me gasp, or laugh, or cry, or swoon, sometimes more than one at the same time. This pair were never destined for a nice easy love story, and boy does the author drag us all through the depths of hell before we see any glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel.


This kiss was different than our others. Niall usually kissed me with fire enough to feel the burn but this was slow and smoldering, a little sad. The tears I’d been keeping at bay knotted in my throat. This kiss said goodbye.


The book starts off right in the deepest end of the dark pool. There are scenes of non-consensual sex and physical violence perpetrated on the heroine, some of which are witnessed, but not prevented, by the eventual hero. These were not easy to read, though Drea had been living this hell for so long that she was almost immune to it now. So it didn’t feel as emotionally harrowing as it could have. The author saved that for later when we learnt more of Drea’s reasons for leaving Niall. There were times when I disliked Niall, but he had his reasons, he suffered through his conflicted feelings and he earned his redemption at least twice. Why twice? Because this man was an insufferable idiot at times!


Whilst the second half of the book didn’t feel as dark, it was still gritty and, at times, violent. It’s difficult to go into details without giving away spoilers, but I felt that the consequences and events that followed Mac Ulster’s final manipulation of Niall were believable and hard won. There is no single handedly bringing down a whole mob family, no miraculous deal, just a whole world of misery and pain to endure. I could understand Niall’s struggle, his wanting to do right by his friends, even if it did mean he wasn’t thinking clearly on who to do right by Drea. That moment in the motel room was a huge wake up call for him and the future Drea could have faced.


This story didn’t follow the paths one would expect, right to the very end it defied expectations and gave something refreshingly different to a genre that is sometimes tired and cliched. I loved how this book didn’t pull any punches at the same time it gave us an epic story of endless love.


“I don’t thing you get to choose, Drea,” I softened.
“But I get to fight.” She smiled that same small, sorrowful smile. “And I want to fight for you.”






Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53109226-something-twisted
Genre – Dark Romantic Suspense

I’d spent my life as a plaything. A toy to be used by powerful and deadly men in whatever way they pleased. So I was just as surprised as anyone else that I had feelings left. Feelings that lead me to fight for true love while damning myself.
And that’s just where this story begins.
Desperate and alone I turned back to my childhood home. The first wicked place I’d known with the darkest villain among them. My stepfather. But I could weather his storm in exchange for safety. I had to.
What I didn’t expect to find was Niall McDonough. The only man I’d ever really loved had reappeared only to become one of them. Someone ruthless and cruel. He wants to ruin me. As my stepfather’s savage soldier he might just do it.
But then again, twelve years ago a fortune teller predicted I’d need just such a soldier to save both my heart and soul.


Review //\\ Clockwork Stalker


Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood



Step aside Benedict Cumberbatch, there is a new sexiest Sherlock Holmes on the block.


With Clockwork Stalker, Cari Silverwood has brought us a delightfully immoral, deliciously depraved, titillatingly kinky and scorchingly hot deviant tale. A Sherlock Holmes with a gloriously malevolent and sinfully corrupt side to his personality. Also a Moriarty with a succulent body, a sardonic wit and a burning desire for all the bad things that cross Sherlock’s mind.


“How very nicely you behaved. You deserve a reward. Miss Moriarty, have you ever pleasured yourself as I pleasured you with my knee?”
Tersely, she shook her head, and he noted how she fought to minimise her inhalations.
“Good.” Sherlock reached out and tilted her face upward with the nudge of his knuckles under her chin. “Because you’re going to do it for me, next. I’ve seen how whores do it and am happy to instruct you.”
Her hushed 
no was delightfully horrified.

Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood


The writing, the world building, the description, the language and feel of this story held me spellbound. I was inspired to highlight phrases and passages that called to me, ending up with over 50 of them! I wanted to grab this story, squeeze it between my clutching fingers, wring every drop of filth, depravity and kink into my mouth and devour its glory in side my lecherous soul.


I wanted to be the blissfully tormented, pleasurably teased and satisfyingly sated Wilhelmina. I lusted after being the plaything of my own malignantly affected Sherlock. Oh the degradation, the humiliation, the torment, the dominance, the red-hot down and dirty sex. Yeah, I’m probably oversharing but I could totally be down for most of that. The retractor? Hmm. No!  Maybe? *shudder*.


He rose from the chair, and she had to tilt back her head to keep a proper watch on him.
Funny, but she’d forgotten how tall the man was. Lord. Make that dominating, ruthless, evil and a whole lot of other adjectives that were managing to drive her insane with lust as well as slide a modicum of fear beneath her ribs.
“Very nice. Your legs and bust are duly recorded as being magnificent.”
Well.
“Sir, I am still a lady. Whatever you make me do is not to be counted against me.”
“You lodge a protest?” He smiled. “Noted. Discarded. I plan to see more of you, every part, naked, any time I ask you, even while we work on this machine of yours. Don’t ever think otherwise.”

Wilhelmina and Sherlock, Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood


I’ve not even mentioned the actual story, with all its little Easter Eggs to unwrap along the way. From monkey paws to strange symbols.
Fantastic.
As always.
Brilliant, inspired and unpredictable.
But the sex… sigh. I have a hankering for some kitty ears.


Wilhelmina is unapologetically independent, snarky and revels in the acts forced upon her. Even when she protests. Even if she doesn’t mean those protests. Sherlock is dark, demanding and so, so dominant, he is grumpy, surly, closed off and icily aloof. Oh how the mighty fall! Right on top of a set of soft, pillowy bosoms in his case.


You are my Satan, my evil lust demon, and I’m sure you have invisible horns and a tail tucked away somewhere.”

Wilhelmina, Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood.


Strictly speaking this is a gaslamp novel, rather than steampunk. Who knew that was a thing? It means it has more of a paranormal element, rather than the sci-fi background that steampunk arises from. The paranormal part is very minimal, based around a malignant energy force and a small event during the end battle, so even those who don’t normally read the genre should still enjoy this.


He had his excuse to punish, to defile, to violate…..
The power in this.
The sexual power.
He wanted to engrave it on his soul.
And yet, he knew she wanted this.  Her willingness made it less interesting, if anything.  Perhaps he could exceed her expectations?
Make her worry.  Fear him?

Sherlock, Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood










Genre – Gaslamp / Steampunk Dark Romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52259695-clockwork-stalker

What if the storybook hero becomes the villain?
She is my arch enemy’s niece.
I am an arrogant, controlling bastard, an excellent detective, and women are turning up dead and bound, with strange marks on their bodies.
This is the least appropriate time for me to fall in lust with the enemy.
Obsession is the sign of a man who is losing control.
Be punctual for this appointment, Miss Moriarty.
I have things I need to do. Filthy, perverted things.




He rose from the chair, and she had to tilt back her head to keep a proper watch on him.
Funny, but she’d forgotten how tall the man was.  Lord.  Make that dominating, ruthless, evil and a whole lot of other adjectives that were managing to drive her insane with lust as well as slide a modicum of fear beneath her ribs.
“Very nice.  Your legs and bust are duly recorded as being magnificent.”
Well.
“Sir, I am still a lady.  Whatever you make me do is not to be counted against me.”
“You lodge a protest?”  He smiled.  “Noted.  Discarded.  I plan to see more of you, every part, naked, any time I ask you, even while we work on this machine of yours.  Don’t ever think otherwise.”

Wilhelmina and Sherlock, Clockwork Stalker by Cari Silverwood

Release & Review //\\ Zhànshì


Zhànshì by Anna Edwards


Collection: Sinister Fairytales Collection

Release: May 26, 2020

Genre: Dark Fairy Tale Retelling





Whilst I’m not quite convinced that this was quite a 4 star read but it was much closer to that than 3 stars, so 4 it is.


Zhànshì is a well paced, entertaining, has a great heroine, a sexy hero and held my interest throughout. The story is set in modern times, though this is only obvious when modern technology is mentioned. Most of the time it had either an historical or a fantasy feel to it, but that made it more interesting not less.


Whilst this didn’t totally absorb me it did retain my attention and, unlike a couple of other recent reads, I never considered DNF’ing it. I appreciated how skillfully the author wove a tale that really did feel like a darker retelling of the Disney fairytale (as opposed to the original Chinese legend). Lia has always felt like an outsider, uninterested in becoming a warriors wife but rather wanting to be the warrior herself. I liked both her and Jaxon, they both held honour, faith and family in high regard and were prepared to die for their principles.


We all have our own interpretation of dark, so for me it was more that this had dark themes. However it does need a trigger warning as it contains one more detailed scene, and another implied, of sexual assault on the heroine. There are also incidences of physical assault too. However I find my darkness in the psychological effects and emotional impact on main characters but Lia was too strong, too much of a warrior to allow the enemy to break her, so for me it made the dark aspects easier to read. It fitted well with Lia’s strength of character so I had no qualms about her response to Wang’s treatment.


I would have liked just a bit more drama, a touch more angst and not quite such a quick resolution (I won’t say easy because it wasn’t). Not so much plot holes as glossing over the difficult parts. However I still enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting, it’s a decent story.





Blurb:

Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is? 


Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him? 


Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.


Buy Links:
Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/bzv6NG
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZtoY1d
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3ed9OkQ
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Zu2b5q
ITunes: https://apple.co/2WYhGkt



Author Bio:

All I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzi.

I’m an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of travelling and like to bring this to my stories to give them the air of reality.

I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.



Social Media:
Website: www.AuthorAnnaEdwards.com
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Email: anna1000edwards@gmail.com



Also Available

Venom (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Dee Garcia
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/32bmFOF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/31fSncd
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iTunes: https://apple.co/32cLzh1

Cold Queen (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by K Webster
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/31XvTxm
Eden Books: http://bit.ly/2Wl4qUN
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2pHdlnt
Apple: https://apple.co/2pSa84x
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2niT07e

Sacrifice (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Isabelle N. Blanco
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2CutWhg
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/36LrPUt
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/34M619f
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Insolent (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Cynthia A. Rodriguez
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RuYCaT
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Madness (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kailee Reese Samuels
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Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2RUPHjf
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/35qCaDZ

Siren (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Hazel Grace
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bM9gqV
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Os99RT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2v6rBss
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Legend (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by M.R. Leahy
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2UwCZbI
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vTauLr
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Mirage (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by C.M. Radcliff
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Imprisoned (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by KL Donn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2mTCt96 
Apple: https://apple.co/2llcIOv  
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2mQTbpD  
Nook: http://bit.ly/2mV7ytb 
Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/imprisoned/

Lock (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kimberly Knight
Universal (Books2Read): http://bit.ly/2moQVpD
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QklSqK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/3cZCVYZ
iBooks: https://apple.co/2Wf9qfP
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Stealing Cinderella (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by A. Zavarelli
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34bD6fW
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Abducted (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by K.I. Lynn
Universal: https://books2read.com/AbductedKILynn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dgX645
iBooks:  https://apple.co/2KSsKIS
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3aTBnO0
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3aXEKDG

Release & Review //\\ The Institute


The Institute

by Dani René, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R. Adams, Cassandra Faye, Sian Claven


Release: April 30, 2020

Genre: Dark Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49350158-the-institute




Having read all the stories in the anthology, there is definitely something in here for every one who enjoys an erotic twisted story.


1. Echo by Dani Rene
I really enjoyed the idea of two completely different personalities in one body and whilst this is they type of anthology where I’m not expecting any sort of traditional HEA, the ending seemed a little bit pointless. It’s hard to explain without spoiling the story but I couldn’t understand what had led Dr Ansel to suddenly change his mind/behaviour. Where did that sudden volt face come from? I liked the story but it was just a little too disjointed/underdeveloped for me to totally love it.


2. Marbh by Anna Edwards
I really liked this, particularly in it having an antiheroine as the main focus. Again this is vague because it’s a fairly short story and – spoilers! – but I loved the reveal and thought the ending was not only brave but actually perfect. The story totally drew me in, had me fascinated and Marbh is an amazing character.


3. Hostile Illusion by India R Adams

description

A wonderfully tragic, dark, depraved, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking story. Words, words have left me. This story alone makes the book worth buying. I really can’t say too much but it’s got such a wonderfully dark but happy ending. Beautiful, tragic, amazing.


4. Mr Cat Is Not Real by Cassandra Faye (Jennifer Bene)
Oh my word, Nina made me cry! Her desperation to be good, to go outside, to have a friend, for Tom to like her, maybe to get well enough to go home. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Dr Nickelsen and Tom. Are they truly trying to help or just taking advantage. This is such a dark, very dub-con story. In fact given Nina’s mental state it’s non-con, even if she does agree and enjoy it.
JB dragged me through a whole range of emotions with this short story, and left me sort of heart hurt and sort of hopeful. I need to give Nina a hug.


5. Release Me by Murphy Wallace
As I was reading this I wondered how the author was going to wrap things up, because it read and progressed like a full length book. Then I got to the part that said ‘end of part one’ and realised that this probably will eventually become a full length story.
However don’t be put off because the story of Dr Richard and B contained in this book is a twisted, difficult, thought provoking, well paced and very erotic read. It totally captivated me and I definitely will read the rest of the story when it’s released. I would describe it as ending at a natural break point rather than a cliff-hanger ending.


6. Sanitorim by Sian B. Claven
This is a totally new-to-me author and I have to say I was very impressed with the story of Mollie, Lizzie and James. I sort of guessed a few of the twists because of the foreshadowing but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment in anyway. Especially since there were plenty of other twists and surprises along the way.
I’m still wondering about Riley and Jana, that’s possibly the only plot hole but nothing too big and irrelevant anyway given the ending. Which I LOVED!



Blurb:
The Institute
Serenity is an illusion

Dear Reader, 
I trust this letter finds you well.  
It is with the utmost concern that we invite you to join us at the infamous Serenity Institute. You’ll be able to observe the goings on of the asylum, meet the patients and the doctors. We do however ask that you please be quiet. Do not interact with the patients, and respect the special treatments our doctors administer. 
This is where nightmares come alive.
A home for the shattered psyche of its patients. 
Hope is lost when they cross the threshold.  
The deranged. The demented. The unstable. 
Six stories, six authors, non-stop madness. 

Kind regards,
The Authors
Dani René, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R. Adams, Cassandra Faye, Sian Claven





Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
US: https://amzn.to/397CSYz 
UK: https://amzn.to/38ZXTUX 
CA: https://amzn.to/2vExLR2 
AU: https://amzn.to/3aYX68v 



Authors/Facebook Pages:
Dani René: http://bit.ly/2pN100b
Murphy Wallace: https://www.facebook.com/authormurphywallace/
Anna Edwards: AnnaEdwardsWriter 
Indie R. Adams: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaRAdams/
Cassandra Faye: https://www.facebook.com/fayebooksromance/
Sian Claven: https://www.facebook.com/sianbclaven/

BOOK REVIEW //\\ Myth of Omega Books 1-3



Crave to Conquer (Myth of Omega #1) by Zoey Ellis





4 Stars


I read this, and the second book, when they first came out, and despite buying book 3 a hectic arc schedule meant I never got around to reading it. This is my year for reading books I already own so I’m going to read that third book, but leaving it two years and more than a few hundred books later meant I needed to do a re-read of this and Crave to Capture. My original plan was to skim read, just flip through and remind myself of some key points that I’d forgotten. Ha! That idea soon dissipated into the ether because within minutes I found myself totally engrossed. So much so that I didn’t put it back down until I’d read the whole thing.


Cailyn is a my sort of heroine, feisty, strong, determined and clever. Drocco – well the jury is still out for him. He was arrogant, conceited, assuming and overbearing. His initial treatment of Cailyn, when he discovered her true dynamic, was horrific. He used some extremes of torture to try and break her down and, as with most M/f omegaverse stories, there was a considerable element of dubious consent. Many would argue that it veered into non-consent, and whilst that becomes an argument of semantics, the book definitely contains a few scenes that might trigger some.


Whilst Drocco did earn back some of my respect and affection when he made an effort to learn more about Cailyn, to try and understand what he had done wrong (duh, big stupid alpha male that he was) and to rectify some of his actions/decisions, his motives for that were still questionable. How much was because he wanted Cailyn to be happy and how much was his obsessive desire to ‘own’ an omega mate? The fact that they could be soul mates only added another layer of complication to the whole situation.


I really enjoyed how this omegaverse incorporated an element of magic, though I’ve loved the fantasy genre since my teens, when I’d read Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings and Katherine Kerr. The world building was good, the author created an interesting setting for her story and managed to develop our understanding of it without a huge information dump, but also in a way that never left us adrift in this new world.


I’m jumping into book 2 today, and find myself still only too happy to recommend this to those who enjoy darker Mf omegaverse.






Crave to Capture (Myth of Omega #2)





4.5 Stars

A fantastic read

My second read of this book, in preparation for finally reading book #3 and completing it. And I’m wondering how I ever left this incomplete. I’d forgotten just how amazing this series is, the writing has me gripped from start to finish, I’ve read the two books in less than 24 hours and will be starting the third book as soon as I’ve finished writing this review.


Drocco, Drocco, Drocco. What am I going to do with you? You travel half way around the world to recover your fated mate and then treat her like crap. Oh you foolish, foolish alpha. So many times I wanted to throat punch him. But then we get those scenes in the cottage where he goes all out to win Cailyn’s heart. Oh and his anguish and heartache when he thinks he has failed – that certainly had me tearing up.


It could have been easy to dislike Cailyn, after all she stubbornly held onto her dislike for an alpha that was clearly bending over backwards to show her his feelings. But this woman has been fed misinformation and half-truths since she was an infant. Discovering those lies opens her eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!


I am totally in love with this couple, they are such star-crossed lovers. Although Drocco manipulates the Talent to induce a Haze, and technically what results could be judged as dubious in consent, I still enjoyed every single moment. The writing is fantastic and the pace and complexity of the plot held me spellbound. I’m off to read book 3 now.


I know King Malloron is the hero of books 4 – 6. I’m wondering how Ms Ellis will convince me of that because I really, really dislike him at the moment.





Crave to Claim (Myth of Omega #3)




5 Stars

An outstanding conclusion to this epic and wonderful story.


I only have one regret, and that is how quickly I powered through this third book. I’m sort of wishing I’d forced myself to take me time, savour every word and stretch out the experience as long as possible. But I just needed to find out what happened next far too much to do that. Zoey Ellis has created a wonderful cast of characters and an amazing world for them to live in. The Myth of Omega series is a must read for anyone who enjoys omegaverse stories.


The lies, secrets and manipulations of the Mothers was astounding. What had started off with the best of intentions, a way to protect some of the most very vulnerable of females, had been warped by the bitter memories of an old woman. The last two books have very much been about Drocco’s growth, this time it was Cailyn’s turn, and boy did she have some making up to do to.


Great writing held me spellbound, had me on the edge of my seat with my emotions ricocheting all over the place! Oh my word do Cailyn and Drocco have to fight for their HEA, though thankfully it wasn’t against each other this time. I could feel every emotion, every hope and desire, every triumph and tragedy that beset the pair.


This books in this series have just gotten better and better. Looks like I’m going to be finding out more about King Malloron – even if he does seem like a complete arse.


REVIEW //\\ Perfection


PERFECTION by Kitty Thomas







Perfection is a very twisty, unusual and full of surprises read, so good I read it in virtually one sitting.


Overall I really enjoyed this story of Cassia and the mysterious man who knows her secret. I did find I had to suspend my disbelief at times, in order for the story to work, but even despite that I was totally drawn in. The blurb is deliberately vague, and to avoid spoilers I’m going to do the same thing.


I can tell you that I really liked Cassia, she was a really normal, down to earth character – murder of her husband aside. Given the situation, and I’m being deliberately vague here, I did struggle with how quickly she was attracted to her blackmailer. I wasn’t quite convinced by the speed with which she became infatuated, hence the 4 stars. That said, the chemistry was incredibly well written and it didn’t take long for me to buy into the connection. The story itself makes it harder to connect fully with the hero, as he remains very mysterious throughout most of the book Though the situation did make things more interesting and exciting too.


The middle part was less dark, but this was where we really start to build a picture of the characters, and where the story really began to unfold. I have to give credit to the author for some unexpected twists, for seeming to be heading in one direction but actually be leading us along a totally different path and for pulling out some real shocking surprises. I also found it very refreshing that the principal ballerina wasn’t portrayed as a raving bitch, instead was actually a kind and caring human being.


The ending of the book was the real highlight for me, it is incredibly strong and those last few chapters had me gripped. It actually felt really sinister and dark at times, and definitely pushed both mine and Cassia’s buttons. Her confusion, hurt and angst were so visceral, so real that it felt like a punch to the gut.


There are elements of dubious consent, some fairly mild discipline scenes and the relationship contains elements of power exchange and mild humiliation. There is, however, a very definite HEA to soothe the soul.








Everyone thought I was married to the perfect man. But if Conall Walsh were perfect, I wouldn’t have killed him.

I thought I got away with it until I received an anonymous note at the ballet company I dance for:

You were a very bad girl. If you don’t want me to report what I know about last night, meet me at the old opera house after rehearsal. I will tell you the price of my silence when you arrive. If you speak of this or bring anyone with you… no deal.

But his price isn’t money. It’s me.

THIS BOOK IS A STANDALONE contemporary dark romance.






AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086R4Y35X/
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086R4Y35X/
B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/perfection-kitty-thomas/1136707702?ean=2940162687276
KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/perfection-42
GOOGLE PLAY – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_Perfection?id=V1HYDwAAQBAJ
iBOOKS – https://books.apple.com/us/book/perfection/id1504151283?ls=1

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52654462-perfection



REVIEW //\\ Bind and Keep Me



Bind and Keep Me
(Pierced Hearts #2)
by Cari Silverwood




I read this without reading the blurb, so colour me surprised by where the story went. So, 4.5 Stars for this great, twisty, boundary pushing, somehow dark but not dark, dubious, yet non-consensual yet utterly consensual, rollercoaster of a read.


…shunting up and down, dipping a half-inch into me, while he kept talking in that deep and deliberate way that was as nasty as swallowing pure scotch. So good. So bad.


I was reading reviews for a book that popped up on my bookbub feed. It’s an older story so there were lots of comparisons to 50 shades. What has that got to do with this book, you ask yourself. It’s that Klaus and Jodie are every day people. Not only do they have normal jobs, heck Klaus is an accountant for Pete’s sake – no billionaires here -, they are down to earth, honest to god believable. And that includes the very drastic and unusual steps they take to solve a problem not entirely of their making.


I’ve read darker, more nasty, more horrific stories, but those books feel like stories, whereas Bind and Keep Me, well it held undertones of truth. Enough honesty that I’m wondering what might be found in Ms Silverwood’s basement. It didn’t take wild flights of fancy to picture yourself in a similar situation. Just where would you draw (or not draw) the line to protect your future with those you love?


You can’t read this book without questioning morals, whether that be of the characters, the author or yourself. I do love a book that makes you think and question, whilst simultaneously providing great entertainment. Oh and indulging in lots of dirty, kinky smut.


Klaus is a bad good man, sometimes more one than the other.



He waited. Patient as a fucking demon with a soul to harvest.


He was by parts scary, concerned, sadistic, gentle, demanding and loving. I’ve heard lots of fellow fans pick Klaus as their favourite Cari Silverwood hero and I can see why. The inner workings of his mind are fascinating, and deep down everything he does is edged with care and concern. It might also be nasty and pushing the dub-con boundaries, but it’s also understandable why others fall for his very particular brand of charm.


I’d thought I was a pillar of society. But now, I knew I was a thousand miles from that. And I wasn’t sure I cared anymore. My empathy waxed and waned with the tides of my sadistic desires.


I’d turned to the dark side. Apparently, they didn’t have cookies like someone had once told me, but they did have hot women.


There are incredible contrasts of hard and soft, dark and light, severe and gentle in the relationship. There may even be mentions of the ‘L’ word. Despite the questionable ethics and morality of it’s inception, the relationship that emerges in this book is both heartwarming and genuine. It’s also probably not totally healthy, but it’s ultimately one of choice, maybe not free choice, but choice nevertheless.


The sex scenes are mind blowingly hot. It is a kink that balances between pleasure and pain, a confusion of being unwillingly willing, all trussed up in the most carefully constructed bondage and satiated with soul crushing orgasms. And doesn’t she enjoy it all so very much.


The tiny drops welled up like water from a slow spring. Fresh and red on her paleness. Truthfully I’d exaggerated. This was a bit of a mindfuck. I’d scratched her repeatedly rather than truly cut her.

(Yeah and didn’t the author mindfuck me with that little scenario too!)



I’m going to finish with a quote that delighted the Biologist in me. If you know, you know.


Negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement. I was a self-aware Pavlov’s dog.





This book is part of a dark kinky fiction series and may disturb some readers.

How far would you go to protect your love and your life?

When two deaths turn his world upside down, Klaus must wrestle with a problem that goes soul deep. With Jodie it was capture fantasy but now he’s made the fantasy real, dragging her along as his accomplice. No one should feel so good about something so wrong.

Maybe his soul is darker than he feared. Maybe the rules shouldn’t apply to him.





AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EUFPNIA

AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EUFPNIA

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18298854-bind-and-keep-me

REVIEW //\\ Mafia Captive










I’m really disappointed with how low the average rating is for this book, because to my mind it takes the “captive romance” genre and twists it into something uniquely and refreshingly different.



Kitty Thomas writes complex characters in difficult situations and refuses to follow the expected conventions and ‘rules’. Perhaps that is why so many give the books low ratings, their enjoyment comes from a certain set of expectations being fulfilled, plot rules and routines being stuck to, no criticism if that is your preference. However I loved this book because it really DIDN’T stick to those preconceived notions of what happens in a captive romance book.



They do say to be careful what you ask for because you just might get it, and that’s what happened for me with this story. So often when I’m reading a dark romance I want the heroine NOT to be dripping like a leaky tap (faucet to you USA folks) in the hero’s presence. Faith was attracted to Leo, but the situation she was in, and his sadistic desires left her cold. I feel it only fair to warn you now that this does contain a lot of dubious-consent and one scene that is non-consent. It wasn’t the darkest non-con scene but it is pivotal to the story.



Leo is a good man prepared to do bad things for, at least to his mind, good reasons. So despite now owning Faith, when she reacts with the inevitable (and oh so realistic but usually missing from these books) fear and terror he, as the blurb says, keeps her almost as one would keep a pet or a piece of art. Leo is a complex man, born and raised in a mafia family but with too many morals and too good a heart to live that life. However it has left him with a darkness in his soul and a liking for the more sadistic aspects of BDSM.



I did think the abuse Faith had suffered as a child, her utter fear of ‘the belt’, would feature as an aspect later in the book. It almost felt like a loose end but, at the end of the day/book, this was a M/s relationship and really it was never going to make a difference. The ending, for some, may feel abrupt. Kitty Thomas doesn’t really go for the nice, sweet, tied-up-in-a-bow ending. She leaves us with a raw, realistic ending, one where I would argue quite ferociously that both characters are happy.



Neither has exactly what they want from a relationship, Leo felt like he compromised a lot less than Faith did, but isn’t that what life is like? And that ultimately is what I most enjoy about Kitty’s work. Whilst the original plot basis might be a slight stretch, how the characters feel and react does feel very genuine and real. I adore dark romances but so very often I can predict how the story will proceed almost blow-by-blow, or beat for beat I believe the literary version is. How much I enjoy the book is then entirely down to the quality of writing. Mafia Captive is just a breath of fresh air and the type of read that I just didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend it. 

























Without any family, Faith Jacobson faces the grim reality of Christmas alone. Walking home one night after drinks with friends, she stumbles upon a mob hit. Faith expects to be killed for what she’s seen; instead she is given to a wealthy and dangerous man tied to the Raspallo crime family. As a gift.

Leo Raspallo is beautiful, yet terrifying. But inside his home Faith is no longer alone, especially when his family arrives for the holidays, forcing her into the ruse of a fake wedding engagement. But she isn’t his beloved fiancé; she’s his captive. And he can’t be her savior while harboring dark desires of his own.









Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CF4U874/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CF4U874/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17737134-mafia-captive





Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.


4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.


3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.


2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.


1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.





Review //\\ True Control 4.1 & 4.2








The True series, by Willow Madison, is one that very much polarises readers. I’m obviously in the ‘loved them’ camp since I don’t usually post reviews on here of books I didn’t like or books I DNF’d.


The series has been out quite a while now, I know the author and reviews mention editing issues but I can’t say this was a problem for me, which means I was either so caught up in the story I missed them, there weren’t actually that many for it to cause an issue or the books have been polished up at some point. I have no idea which of the three it is, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter. I just wanted to to let people know that the editing wasn’t atrocious.


Following reader reaction as she released the first three books, Willow decided to write two alternate endings to Max and Lucy’s story, thus allowing readers to choose their own conclusion to it. Personally I’m glad I chose True Control 4.1, Willow’s original ending, to read first. It’s a very dark story that finally opened my eyes to the true consensuality of the relationship that Max and Lucy are in. It is full of triggers, so I strongly advise readers to proceed with caution. However it is also the most perfectly imperfect ending and fits so well with what BOTH Max and Lucy want and need.


I read True Control 4.2 a couple of weeks after reading 4.1 and whilst the writing was top notch, with a story so full of incredible feels it left my emotions reeling, I was still left with a slight feeling of unease. It felt like the ending was a bit of a cop out, as though somehow Max and Lucy’s relationship was wrong, was unacceptable, that Max needed to change. It’s definitely the “morally easier” story to read, and if Willow Madison ever decides to write an angsty contemporary romance I’ll be buying shares in Kleenex tissues because boy did it pack an emotional punch to the feels. But without having read 4.1, which will forever by MY ending to the story, I think I would have felt robbed. The whole point of the True series was to push buttons and boundaries, have you questioning your beliefs and judgement and 4.2, whilst a brilliant book, felt like a sop to the unease of readers. It felt like an easy out, a get-out-of-jail-free card, it felt like a travesty of the truth.









TRUE CONTROL 4.1 by Willow Madison





So addictive I read all 4 books over 2 days – and nights *ahem*. Good job it was the weekend!



The beating I gave her once would be nothing in comparison to this amount of rage. It wouldn’t just be once. I’d have her black and blue for weeks for what she’s done.
I stop pacing though.


It’s no use to imagine. She’s not here. God help me, she may never be here again.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Having taken the chance on the original, darker ending to Max and Lucy’s story, I’m not sure if I want to read the alternative. Though I am super curious as to what happens in that book, having bought 4 books one after the other I’m not sure my pocket can take the financial hit. If I had any sense I would have saved myself a few quid and signed up to KU for the month – ain’t hindsight a bitch?


Anyway, back to the important thing – my review of this dark beauty. So it’s difficult to truly do this book justice in a review without scattering it with too many spoilers. And you need to go into this book as blind as I did, because that allows you to truly understand the TPE dynamic that Lucy and Max share.




I know my girl. Lucy didn’t know her submissive side when I met her. I saw it in her. I recognized the signs, saw what she could be for me.
I broke her and made her mine quickly. I forced her to submit to me completely. I gave her only one choice, one chance to back away from her destiny with me. I smile thinking about that night.
She was so scared. And so yielding.


Max, True Control 4.1, True Series




So all those debates we’ve had over whether this pairs relationship was healthy, was consensual, was a TPE or abuse, were blown wide apart in this book. Because the author took us down a pitch black path of genuine abuse. There are some very traumatic and possibly triggering events in this book and it really is a proceed with caution read. However if you appreciated the first three books (I’m not sure enjoyed properly describes the experience 😉) then hopefully you are someone who is used to the difficult and troubling journey a truly dark read can take us on.


Lucy suffers in new ways, ways that make clear her true feelings, needs and desires. Suddenly we see that she isn’t the weak, doormat we all assumed her to be. We discover that her quietness is just her truth, her willingness to bend in order to please Max was her choice and her subservience was her pleasure. I owe the girl a massive apology, she is the strong one of the pair, the cement that secures their foundations.


I haven’t mentioned it before, which is very remiss of me “Sorry, Sir.” but Max had a very traumatic and difficult start to life. He suffered physical, emotional and mental abuse. It powers his need for control, and may well be the source of his anger. And I think it’s the author’s portrayal of that anger, constantly bubbling below the surface, that has concerned me most throughout this series. It wasn’t until this book that I truly believed in Max. Truly understood the depth of his feelings for Lucy and accepted his ability to control his anger.




I’ve never felt helpless before, powerless. I always had choices. And I know that it’s choices that give a person control.
That’s why I don’t give Lucy any. I am in control. Of her. Of me.
But … not now.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Within the first few chapters it became glaringly obvious that, however much Max’s behaviour pushed our buttons, however much it made us uncomfortable, made us frown and judge (and oh boy does this book make that judgement so very apparent) Lucy fully agreed, participated and welcomed it. And yes, he does love her. Not in a way many of us could understand, not in a way many of us would probably want, but he loved her with every fibre of his being. It’s a crazy way of caring, but it’s what they both want and need.




She tries to stall, talk back. Bad move, little girl. I slap her. Not her left side, this is still too hurt.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series



Whilst this isn’t a conventional love story, whilst it isn’t a typical romance, IMO it does deserve both labels. Each couple are entitled to live and love in the way that best suits them, and that’s what Max and Lucy do.


Even that final chapter, where it could be assumed that Max took away every last scrap of Lucy’s ability to choose and decide. I was just getting angry at Max for not respecting Lucy’s wishes when I realised that he was doing exactly what Lucy wanted. If she truly hadn’t wanted that reaction from him she could have made some very different decisions earlier in the day.




I am a monster. And she just loves me. Always.

Max, True Control 4.1, True Series
















WAIT! YOU HAVE A DECISION TO MAKE BEFORE BUYING THIS BOOK!


Note from the author:

I’ve written two completely different, alternative endings to this series. See for yourself why fans are saying this makes all the other dark romances look like greyed out shades of fairytales.


This is the end one way or another.
~Willow


ONE OR TWO
There was only ever one ending for Max and Lucy, but I aim to please—or torture—however you wish to look at it. I believe in true choices, so I give you control of their fate to pick which ending you prefer.


LOST OR FOUND
This is the darker ending for Max and Lucy. The monster gets the girl. When love is lost, it may be impossible to find a way back to True Control.



NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperback too!


Excerpts:
I know my girl. She didn’t know her submissive side when I met her. I saw it in her. I recognized the signs, saw what she could be for me. I didn’t go slow. I didn’t have patience. I didn’t ease her into anything.

I broke her and made her mine quickly. I forced her to submit to me completely. I gave her only one choice. One chance to back away from her destiny with me.

She can’t be lost. I need her. Here with me. I’m lost without her.

…..


He’ll kill me eventually. In a rage, he’ll do it without thinking. I start to cry again, but shout at myself to stop.

I look in the mirror again…I’m only getting more broken by the day…mentally and physically. I try to stand up, to take a deep breath. But I wince at my reflection.

I hear him shouting at me and I turn away from the girl in the mirror…I can’t be her today. I can’t be strong when I’m this weak.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~







True Control 4.2 by Willow Madison




I really enjoyed this, with all it’s emotional intensity, but I would still recommend 4.1 for the true dark romance lover.


I wasn’t sure if I would read this alternative ending because for me True Control 4.1 was the perfect ending to Lucy and Max’s story. This one I both loved and hated. I definitely loved the amazing story telling of the author, my word did she make me feel . So many emotions, so much pain, such sweet love. These more subtle emotions had been masked by the anger, fear and total domination in previous books. This book is worth reading just to recognise how incredibly skilled this author is at crafting complex characters and situations. Because I wasn’t distracted by my Lucy’s struggles with submitting to Max, my focus was less on being shocked, irritated, angry, surprised, horrified, awed and bemused and more on the beautiful nuances of the story.


On the other hand I hated it too. I won’t say what caused that feeling, because that would be a spoiler, though if you read the other reviews many of them allude to just why this made me feel both hurt and let down. I didn’t like the suggestion, or impression, that Max was somehow wrong. Max was never wrong, he quite happily told us that on many an occasion. Whilst his brand of domination wouldn’t be for many, he wasn’t wrong or bad, he was just a different sort of hero.


On the surface we see a much stronger Lucy in this story, however I still firmly believe that her true strength lay in her decision, her choice, to submit to everything Max demanded of her. Her ability to let go and acquiesce with every fibre of her being. There is a very judgemental part of me that believes if you needed this book as the ending of the story you should hand your “dark romance reader” card in right now. For chunks of this I felt as though I was reading an angsty contemporary romance. An amazing and well written one but one that wasn’t true to the rest of the series. A bit like putting a sticking plaster on deep gash, this was fantastic but not suited to the job of being the conclusion of a dark romance.


Thank you to the author for kindly gifting me a copy of this book, because my curiosity had me desperate to know what the alternative ending was. I don’t regret reading it but I’m really, really glad I read the other one first. If this is the ending you prefer that’s fine because we all enjoy and need different things from our reads.
















ONE OR TWO
There was only ever one ending for Max and Lucy, but I aim to please—or torture—however you wish to look at it. I believe in true choices, so I give you control of their fate to pick which ending you prefer.


LOST OR FOUND
This is the lighter ending for Max and Lucy. When destiny gets in the way, love may have trouble finding a way back to True Control.



NOTE: All the books in this series are available for purchase/download now, so you won’t be left wanting or waiting. This series involves a combination of Domestic Discipline, D/s, and Sm
Now available in paperback too!



Excerpts:
I try to be still in Max’s arms. I’m too chilled by his words. So calm. So clear. “What if…what if that’s not what I want…what I need…?” I say this as almost a whisper, too afraid to say it…to afraid to keep it in.

He doesn’t say anything for a long time. I almost think he didn’t hear me until his voice answers in a whisper too, “You gave up having a choice when you became my wife, Lucy. What you want…what you need…I decide. You’ll take whatever I do to you.”

Even in a whisper, I know his final tone when I hear it. There’s no point in talking more. I swallow and still only speak in a cracked whisper, “What…what are you going to do to me, Max?”

And he waits to answer me again. His voice slides across the words, like he’s enjoying hearing the fear in my voice, feeling the shiver in my body. “Do you really want to know, little girl?”


…..


I don’t really want to be cruel to her. I like hurting her, sometimes just for my pleasure…but I want to be loving and kind to her too. And most of the time, I am.

I give her all of my love. I deny her nothing. Within reason anyway. I’m not a fool though. I know what I demand isn’t for everyone. I’ve had enough girlfriends throw modern feminism and equal rights crap in my face to know that Lucy isn’t like any other girl.

She understands that she needs my guidance. She gets that all of my rules, demands, punishments are meant to help her, to help us. To be happy.

I know I’m a monster. I’ve come to terms with this. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I only care about Lucy. About her obeying and submitting to me.











True Control 4.1
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S9YNP7O/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00S9YNP7O/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24517063-true-control



True Control 4.2
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S9YNMBS/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00S9YNMBS/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24516154-true-control




Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.


4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.


3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.


2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.


1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

Review//\\ Dolly by Measha Stone





Dolly by Measha Stone






Oh my word, Measha Stone does Dark incredibly well.


Dolly throws you into the dark end deep end right from the start. It’s fairly harrowing at times, particularly because we experience the suffering, rather than just impassively observing. What I really enjoyed was how the story moved forward and how we got to really know Dolly and Ken.


It’s really difficult to discuss the book without revealing spoilers, so I’m just going to say that the plot totally and utterly held my attention throughout. I’ve read vaguely similar plotlines previously, but this was not a weak or carbon copy of them. Instead it far surpassed those previous reads, due in no small part to the quality of writing and the amazing characterisation of its protagonists.


The symbiotic relationship between Dolly and Ken, the self-reflection, self-understanding demonstrated by the both of them, the incredibly believable love and connection they shared just took this book to another level. With all the difficulties and stress of the current world situation, a dark book felt like the last thing I wanted to read. However the darkness here was filled with such strength, it transformed to such power that, instead of dragging me down, instead it lifted me up in a way I hadn’t expected.


I massively recommend Dolly and am hoping Ms Stone dips her toes into dark waters again.


















He’s promised me sunlight.
Hope for a better future.
Freedom from this horror.
A life that doesn’t end in a dark cellar.


But, we’re trapped together.
Forced to live for the worst kind of people.
Desperate to survive for each other.


I crave his touch with every breath I take.
My heart aches for him.
He’s my hope for survival.
The man I want a future with.
I can have it all again, if only I trust him.
Even if that’s the only thing I can’t do.













Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0854GM87D/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51076103-dolly



Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.


4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.


3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.


2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.


1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.