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/

REVIEW //\\ Black Light: Charmed


Black Light: Charmed (Black Light #15) By Jennifer Bene


Published by Black Collar Press



Release Date:  April 20, 2020

Cover Design by: Eris Adderly

Go Live Price: 4.99

Genre: Contemporary BDSM 


He’d waited days to touch her again, and the little brat had taunted him all night with her sass, and then teased him in the car. All he wanted was to hear her whimper and moan, to feel her come again. 




Brilliant, no other words needed.


We are so used to JB writing dark stories, and this didn’t have an ounce of darkness to it but oh boy was it everything I wanted and more. The story of a lonely, broken guy who doesn’t even realise it until too late, and the smart, sassy, strong woman who lights his path to redemption. This pair captivated me with their story, it really is an “I can’t put it down” book, along with being an “it made me cry” one, too. The growth this pair go through, particularly Logan, and they way in which they support each other gave me all the feels, not to mention just how much it made me happy sigh.


And I loved, bloody loved, how the author turned things on their head in Charmed. So many tropes and cliches were upended, giving us a book that felt so very different to the norm. BDSM romances can get very ‘samey’, but she took the rule book, tore it up, scattered the pieces to the wind and created a story that will stay with me for a long time. One where the rich, older Dom didn’t really have a clue about life and it was the young, light-hearted submissive who taught him how to live and love.


Once we peeled away the layers and found the truth of Logan my heart broke for him. His upbringing had left him alone, friendless, unable to appreciate or indeed enjoy the life he had. The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem and boy did it take Logan a long time, and a huge mistake, to reach that point of acknowledgement. Yet despite him clearly being an absolute a-hole at times he was also incredibly charming and sweet. He was worth saving and Cassandra was the prefect girl to do that.


The world would definitely be a better place if we all channeled a little more Cassandra into our lives. Her whole ethos and outlook on life is amazing and I totally fell in love with her character. Even her bratty submissive side felt warm and caring! She stood her ground over things she believed in and I wish I had a fraction of her confidence and a chunk of her ability to find the joy in life.


This pair were explosive together and we are treated to some wonderful scenes of them (in all meanings of the word). I know without a shadow of a doubt that this will be hugely popular with fans of the Black Light series, it’s far to amazing too be anything else. I also happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a captivating, full of feels, BDSM romance.


OMG I almost forgot to mention the ending – oh boy the ending. It’s so NOT JB‘s usual style but it soooo fitted the book and the characters. It’s even a little cheesy in that wonderful romance way but it was also perfect. And heartwarming. And panty melting. And more happy sigh inducing. Loved it all.





Blurb:

Cassandra is everything I’m not. Kind, warm, optimistic… happy.

If I was less of a selfish prick, I’d walk away. But I can’t.

It was supposed to be one night of fun, but ten months after Valentine Roulette he can’t get the feisty model out of his head. She’s invaded his dreams, ruined every session at Black Light, and it’s been four months since she even returned a text.

This isn’t him.

Logan Chisholm doesn’t obsess over women. 

He doesn’t replay every sweet cry he drew from their lips, doesn’t remember the way their smile changes when they laugh, but Cassandra Moreira is different.

He has to figure out if their chemistry was real… or just part of the game.

Luckily, Christmas has come early this year, because she’s back in L.A. and he’s not letting her leave again without getting a second date.

And this time he won’t take no for an answer.



Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52944578

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2JORBN8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086V4KFYD

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086V4KFYD


***

AISN:    B086V4KFYD

Ebook ISBN :    978-1-947559-24-0

Print ISBN :   978-1-947559-25-7

*** 



Author Bio and Contact Info:

Jennifer Bene is a USA Today bestselling author of dangerously sexy and deviously dark romance. From BDSM, to Suspense, Dark Romance, and Thrillers—she writes it all. Always delivering a twisty, spine-tingling journey with the promise of a happily-ever-after.

Don’t miss a release! Sign up for the newsletter to get new book alerts (and a free welcome book) at: http://jenniferbene.com/newsletter 

You can find her online throughout social media with username @jbeneauthor and on her website: www.jenniferbene.com


Find Jennifer Bene: 
Website – http://jenniferbene.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jbeneauthor
Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeneauthor/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/jbeneauthor
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/jbeneauthor/
BookBub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-bene
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/jbeneauthor



“You ready for this?”
“For you to finally get started?” she purred, grinning. “Yeah, I’m ready.”
“Naughty girl,” he growled, pumping all three fingers inside her harder. Cassandra’s hands turned into fists, and he knew that was as unconscious as her toes curling. “You better start calling me ‘sir’ or I’m gonna make this hurt.”

“Promises, promises,” she said through a groan, and he pushed in all the way to the knuckle, feeling the way her body resisted, and although he knew he needed to grab a glove and the lube from his bag, he just wanted this for a minute longer. The DMs couldn’t fault him for enjoying being inside her the first time, and if Cassandra Moreira was as fantastic as she seemed to be, he promised himself it wouldn’t be the last. Not by a long shot.


Black Light Series Information:

Season One:
Infamous Love – A Black Light Prequel – https://amzn.to/2IQrasz
Black Light: Rocked – https://amzn.to/2Jd2Q3s
Black Light: Exposed – https://amzn.to/2xhyPe2
Black Light: Valentine Roulette – https://amzn.to/2Ja8pQ5
Black Light: Suspended – https://amzn.to/2KY6RpK
Black Light: Cuffed – https://amzn.to/2JeSUXj
Black Light: Rescued – https://amzn.to/2ITfLEn


Season Two:
Black Light: Roulette Redux – https://amzn.to/2ktoYZf
Complicated Love – https://amzn.to/2y8zPOK
Black Light: Suspicion – https://amzn.to/2xWYXca
Black Light: Obsessed –  https://amzn.to/2ynYaku
Black Light: Fearless – https://amzn.to/2ryTrIU
Black Light: Possession – https://amzn.to/2TnvLI2


Season Three:
Black Light: Celebrity Roulette – https://amzn.to/2Hi0kr4
Black Light: Purged – A Black Light Short –  https://amzn.to/2GDiaDe
Black Light: Defended – https://amzn.to/2kM8AqK
Black Light: Scandalized – https://amzn.to/2W4030f
Black Light: Charmed – https://amzn.to/2XEKHlY


Season Four:
Black Light: Roulette War – https://amzn.to/389aGEd
Black Light: Brave – https://amzn.to/2VMI4O0

IM!WAYR?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Date. It’s a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly of your recent reads, as well as looking forward to the reading week ahead.


Books I Read Last Week


I had a real binge reading week – including the incredible Reign Trilogy by Zoey Ellis. The other 4 books were all arc reads that release this week. If I had to pick one to recommend, it would be Black Light: Charmed by Jennifer Bene, though Nathan by Elin Peer is a very close second.


What Am I Currently Reading?





What I Also Hope To Read Soon


COVER REVEAL // Charmed (Black Light #15)




Charmed (Black Light #15) by by Jennifer Bene



Published by Black Collar Press
Release Date: April 20, 2020
Cover Reveal: April 10, 2020
Cover Design by: Eris Adderly
Go Live Price: 4.99
Genre: Contemporary BDSM


“Do you want these in your mouth, or do you want to be able to beg? Never mind. I
definitely want to hear you begging.”







Cassandra is everything I’m not. Kind, warm, optimistic… happy.
If I was less of a selfish prick, I’d walk away. But I can’t.

It was supposed to be one night of fun, but ten months after Valentine Roulette he can’t get the
feisty model out of his head. She’s invaded his dreams, ruined every session at Black Light, and
it’s been four months since she even returned a text.

This isn’t him.

Logan Chisholm doesn’t obsess over women.

He doesn’t replay every sweet cry he drew from their lips, doesn’t remember the way their smile
changes when they laugh, but Cassandra Moreira is different.

He has to figure out if their chemistry was real… or just part of the game.

Luckily, Christmas has come early this year, because she’s back in L.A. and he’s not letting her
leave again without getting a second date.

And this time he won’t take no for an answer.



Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52944578


Author Bio and Info:

Jennifer Bene is a USA Today bestselling author of dangerously sexy and deviously dark
romance. From BDSM, to Suspense, Dark Romance, and Thrillers—she writes it all. Always
delivering a twisty, spine-tingling journey with the promise of a happily-ever-after.

Don’t miss a release!
Sign up for the newsletter to get new book alerts (and a free welcome book) at: http://jenniferbene.com/newsletter

You can find her online throughout social media with username @jbeneauthor and on her
website: www.jenniferbene.com


Find Jennifer Bene:
▪ Website – http://jenniferbene.com/
▪ Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jbeneauthor
▪ Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeneauthor/
▪ Twitter – http://twitter.com/jbeneauthor
▪ Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/jbeneauthor/
▪ BookBub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-bene
▪ Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/jbeneauthor



Stunning smile from beautiful woman, portrait






“Let me lay out the ground rules for tonight, my little brat.”

“I am not—” she started to argue, and he cut her off with another hard smack of his palm, immediately adding a matching one to the other cheek.

“Every time you act like a brat, I’m going to make you suffer a little longer. Each time you forget to call me sir, you’re going to wish you hadn’t.” Smack. “And whenever you think about being disobedient, remember that it was your choice to come to Black Light tonight. You chose this over dinner.”

The next three spanks he added in quick succession, feeling the burn building in his hand as he focused each one on top of previous swats. Her hips wiggled over his lap, a sweet little sound slipping past her lips before she laughed. Propping herself up on her elbow, Cassandra twisted to look back at him. “Do you hear me complaining, sir?”

“I swear…” Logan landed the next one directly on her sit spot, concentrating there to punctuate each of his words with hard swats. “You. Are. Such. A. Brat.”

She squirmed against him, waking his cock up all the way as she let out a satisfied little groan that almost sounded like a purr. “If this is how you treat brats, sir, then call me whatever you want.”

Biting back his smile, he grabbed a handful of her ass and squeezed, reveling in the heat as he added up the spanks in his head. Fourteen. Three more. Cassandra felt way too good stretched over his thighs, and if he wanted to get to what he’d planned he needed to get her off his lap.

Naughty girl.

“Oh, you’re in so much trouble,” he growled, landing another stinging swat.




Black Light Series Information:


Season One:

Infamous Love – A Black Light Prequel – https://amzn.to/2IQrasz
Black Light: Rocked – https://amzn.to/2Jd2Q3s
Black Light: Exposed – https://amzn.to/2xhyPe2
Black Light: Valentine Roulette – https://amzn.to/2Ja8pQ5
Black Light: Suspended – https://amzn.to/2KY6RpK
Black Light: Cuffed – https://amzn.to/2JeSUXj
Black Light: Rescued – https://amzn.to/2ITfLEn




Season Two:


Black Light: Roulette Redux – https://amzn.to/2ktoYZf
Complicated Love – https://amzn.to/2y8zPOK
Black Light: Suspicion – https://amzn.to/2xWYXca
Black Light: Obsessed – https://amzn.to/2ynYaku
Black Light: Fearless – https://amzn.to/2ryTrIU
Black Light: Possession – https://amzn.to/2TnvLI2



Season Three:


Black Light: Celebrity Roulette – https://amzn.to/2Hi0kr4
Black Light: Purged – A Black Light Short – https://amzn.to/2GDiaDe
Black Light: Defended – https://amzn.to/2kM8AqK
Black Light: Scandalized – https://amzn.to/2W4030f
Black Light: Charmed – Coming



Season Four:


Black Light: Roulette War – https://amzn.to/389aGEd
Black Light: Brave – https://amzn.to/2VMI4O0

Release Blitz – Black Light: Roulette War

Release Blitz – Black Light: Roulette War


Authors: Jennifer Bene, Livia Grant, Renee Rose, Measha Stone, Sue Lyndon, Golden Angel, Eris Adderly, and Kay Elle Parker 

Genre: Contemporary BDSM

Release Date: February 7, 2020







Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50691557

One Click in Amazon: https://amzn.to/389aGEd



About the book:

One crazy bet. Two sexy clubs. Eight bestselling authors.

During this Roulette, only one can come out on top.

Black Light’s naughty game of Valentine Roulette returns with eight brand new scorching hot stories. For the first time, Black Light East and Black Light West will compete against each other to capture the title of hottest BDSM club of the year in Black Light: Roulette War.
More than bragging rights hang in the balance when couples risk their hearts in this wild game unlike any other. With stories from Jennifer Bene, Livia Grant, Renee Rose, Measha Stone, Sue Lyndon, Golden Angel, Eris Adderly, and Kay Elle Parker, everyone will be betting on this sizzling game of chance.






Excerpt 1:

Wicked by Jennifer Bene:

“Are you a dirty girl, Tori?” he asked, squeezing her hip in a firm grip. “Have you ever been treated like a filthy little slut, or have you only let people call you Baby?”

Her brows pulled together, a flicker of something on her face that he actually couldn’t figure out when she replied with, “I’ve only let people call me Baby, sir.”

Hmm…
Lifting the marker, he carefully wrote the words ‘DIRTY GIRL’ on her right thigh. “Do you know what dirty girls get, Tori?”

“No, sir,” she replied, her eyes glued to the stark contrast of the black marker on her pale skin.

“Exactly what they deserve.”

A picture containing text, photo, building

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Excerpt 2:

Unexpected by Measha Stone

“I didn’t mean to sound rude,” she said, and she meant it. People threw her into the bitch category before getting to know her. She wouldn’t blame any of them. First impressions weren’t her strong suit. His lips cracked into a smile, not a pleased and handsome one, but rather a grin that soaked her panties—a knowing grin filled with dark and sinister promises. 

“I know you didn’t.” His fingers tightened, sending another jolt of fire through her scalp. “And I know you weren’t trying to manipulate me into letting you top from the bottom.”

She opened her mouth to agree with him, but the arching of his brow stilled her tongue. That was exactly what she’d been doing.

“I don’t think we’re supposed to start yet,” she said instead.

His smile didn’t fade as his other hand caressed her jaw.

“I can tell our couples are ready to get started, so everyone have fun and play safe!” Madison’s voice boomed over the crowd.

“Now we are.” He released her hair. “Let’s go.”





Teaser 3:

Facade by Livia Grant:

Just as the marble fell into its slot, the stress of the day and heat of the room combined with the dizzy feeling from watching the wheel spinning caught up to her.

Stephanie wobbled on her feet enough that Master Wilde had to reach out and steady her with a tight grip on each of her hips. He crowded closer, molding his muscular chest against her back to help prop her up.

“Whoa, I’ve got you, baby.”

Baby? Stephanie Kranowski was no one’s baby, least of all some guy she’d met thirty seconds before. “I’m not your baby,” she whispered back, trying not to make a scene on the stage.

“Oh, baby. Tonight you’re gonna be whatever the hell I want you to be.”

His ominous words flowed over her. Most women might be afraid of the edgy promise he’d whispered against her ear, but to Stephanie they were like a long-lost song she’d been waiting to hear again.

As the wheel finally came to a halt, her Dom for the night chuckled. “Hey look at that. The perfect kink to marry up with the belting you’re going to receive. I’ll have to consider changing over to a nice crop instead of my belt.”

Fucking great. I rolled Pony Play.

A picture containing person, man, looking, outdoor

Description automatically generated




CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:

Jennifer Bene: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeneauthor/
Livia Grant: https://www.facebook.com/LiviaGrantAuthor/
Renee Rose: https://www.facebook.com/reneeroseromance
Sue Lyndon: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSueLyndon/
Golden Angel: https://www.facebook.com/GoldenAngelAuthor/
Measha Stone: https://www.facebook.com/authormeashastone/
Kay Elle Parker: https://www.facebook.com/kayelleparker/
Eris Adderly: https://www.facebook.com/ErisAdderly/


Available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Giveaway:
Win SIGNED paperbacks of the first 3 Roulette Box Sets

Enter Here: http://bit.ly/BLRouletteWar

Favourite Reads from – Part One

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.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


1. Bass-Akwards by Eris Adderly.

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.

My full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/04/09/bass-akwards-eris-adderly/ – for what, to me, is a must read book.


2. Crazy on You by Amelia Wilde.

This is part of a series of books on the Bliss brothers, and oh what bliss they do bring. I really enjoyed the whole series, but Charlie and Leta just had that something extra special about them.

It’s a second chance romance, which has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m just a sucker for folks getting their much needed HEA and this story just ticked all my boxes.

The full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/31/crazy-on-you-bliss-brothers-4-by-amelia-wilde/. This is a book that will give you plenty of feels.


3. Rogue Wave by Gwyn McNamee.

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.

The book is full of twists, turns and steam. Find the full review here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/22/rogue-wave/.



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.

BDSM romance

1. Special Agent BDSM series by C.P. Mandara.

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.

Sparks review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/03/special-agent-bdsm-1/
Smoke review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/04/special-agent-bdsm-2/
Flames review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/05/special-agent-bdsm-3/
Fire review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/06/special-agent-bdsm-4/
Embers review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/12/21/embers/
Ashes – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3104159478



2. Twisted Fates by Kitty Thomas.

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.

My review can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas – heaven only knows why I haven’t shared it on the blog yet. It must have been a busy arc period!


3. Black Light: Scandalized by Livia Grant.

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.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/10/30/a-journey-into-the-world-of-black-light/.




Romantic Suspense


1. The Savage Duet by Nicolina Martin.

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.

My reviews for this duet can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/08/redemption/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/24/book-review-absolution/


2. The Kingmaker Saga #2, 3 & 4 by London Miller.

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.

My links can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2722883777?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 , here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/27/black-swan-the-kingmaker-saga-3-by-london-miller/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/17/red-herring/.


3. Beauty (Part 1 & Part 2) by Kirsty Dallas.

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.

My reviews can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2705398076?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/19/beau2y-part-1-by-kirsty-dallas/.


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!

Dark Romance


1. The Five by Lily White.

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.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/03/20/the-five-by-lily-white/.


2. Crazy Broken Love by Jennifer Bene.

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.

My review of this amazing story can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/11/16/a-truly-crazy-story/.


3. Dark Necessities Prequel series by Felicity Brandon.

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.

My review of the books can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/07/flawed-by-felicity-brandon/ – here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/06/26/fallen-dark-necessities-prequel-by-felicity-brandon/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/10/forbidden/.

THALIA #3

Continuing both with my ‘blast from the past’ reviews AND the Thalia series, today I’m spotlighting the third book – Salvaged by Love. This book delves back into some of the darkness found in Security Binds Her, tying up some of those loose ends along the way.

I know that technically this isn’t the last book but what an amazing conclusion to Thalia and James’ story.

This is part of a series of books and you need to read both Security Binds Her (which is very dark) and Striking a Balance (which isn’t dark) before reading this. Salvaged by Love is a both a wonderful tying up of loose ends and also a fantastic blend of darkness, heat and a D/s relationship. The book held my attention from start to finish, even the parts that were difficult to read. I’m guessing that if you’re contemplating reading this you will have read SBH and therefore know how dark a tale this author can spin!

The six month deadline is looming for James and Thalia and tough decisions need to be made. Added to that is a threat from Thalia’s past, an evil that refuses to let her be free.

The first part of the story focuses on James and Thalia building strength into their relationship and really establishing themselves as the couple they want to be. This couple have intense chemistry that leads to some incredibly steamy situations and this book is very definitely NSFW in all the best possible ways.

However there is someone else who wants Thalia, regardless of what she herself wants. When that shoe drops the story takes a very dark turn. Be prepared for some very tough scenes and a battle for survival. My word Ms Bene does not pull her punches and Thalia shows just how strong she is when life seems determined to break her apart.

The writing is quite simply astounding. I was listening to the pounding music in those clubs, I felt the lash of the flogger in the playroom, I heard the cane whistling through the air and I felt Thalia’s despair and desolation in that concrete prison. The actions, thoughts and emotions, in the various scenes and situations, all felt so real and genuine.

I absolutely loved this book.

Are you ready to get through the darkness to find the light?

Love conquers all, or so they say, but is love enough to overcome James and Thalia’s history together? Is it enough to carry them through the heavy decision about whether they should stay with each other? And is it enough to take on the ‘normal’ relationship steps of meeting friends and family in James’ privileged world?

As Thalia and James work to build a life together, a real life, there are other challenges brewing on the horizon, and Thalia’s past isn’t done with her yet.

In this rollercoaster continuation of the Thalia series, she is taken to the loveliest of highs and the darkest of lows as she fights to decide who she is, and who she wants.



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.

THALIA BOOK #2

Striking a Balance (Thalia, #2)
by Jennifer Bene

Since I featured Security Binds Her yesterday, I thought I’d post my review of the second story in the series today. Striking a Balance, whilst not particularly dark, is still a full of emotion and a brilliant follow up to the first book.

A really good follow up to Security Binds Her

The first thing I will say is that Striking a Balance must be read after reading Security Binds Her. This book really won’t make any sense without an indepth knowledge of the events that occur in Book #1.

Whilst the first book is a very dark read, this was much more of a contemporary BDSM romance read, though I do believe the next book edgers into darker territory. Having read and loved SBH, I very much wanted to continue on this journey with Thalia. Although the story didn’t quite proceed in the way I imagined it would, it is still a very captivating and engaging read. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, loving how it was more about getting to know James, the hero, and to understand the dynamic between he and Thalia

This picks up from where SBH ends, with Thalia setting off to begin her new life with James. At one point (and this was a fair chunk into the book) I began to wonder why Thalia wasn’t receiving more help following her captivity, rape and torture. I got that letting the authorities know what had happened would put James in the firing line, but with his resources he should have been able to get her some type of support. It was almost enough to reduce my enjoyment of the book, until it wasn’t. Stick with it because, just as I reached that point, we get a very unexpected twist that leads to truths being revealed and a total change in direction of the book.

Most of the time it felt as though Thalia still remained a captive, captive in a different way but still not truly free. This gave a much needed edge to the book and kept me reading. She is so totally lost that at times it was difficult to ‘get’ her character, but that is the whole point. I felt that the author did an amazing job of portraying how very broken Thalia is.

Written in third person the book also allowed me to get a very good feel for James, both as a character and also as a Dom. There were times I wanted to shake the arrogance from him, thankfully Thalia did a damn good job of doing just that when her confession pulled the rug out from under his feet. He has a selfish streak, that was shown by the fact that he watched footage of Thalia, knowing the girl wasn’t a willing trainee slave. But I liked how it made him fallible and human, so much more believable as a ‘hero’.

Finally, and oh my word, that cliffhanger – the only reason I’m not cursing the author is because book #3 is already available, lol!




Thalia may be free, but can she learn to live after the darkness?

Thalia and James have just met under the most insane of circumstances. He purchased her at an underground auction from a man who kidnapped her, tormented her, and sold her to the highest bidder.

In their first few months together Thalia wants to view James as her savior, her knight in shining armor that she can stay with in safety, but she can’t escape the trauma she went through and the lingering effects it has caused. James isn’t sure, now that he has Thalia, if he can handle the depth of submission she displays.

Can James help her strike a balance between who she is as a person and her newfound craving for submission, or will her urge to submit swallow her whole until James has no choice but to set her free?

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.

THALIA SERIES

Security Binds Her (Thalia #1)
by Jennifer Bene

Since I’m currently busy with the festive season, beta reading and a book that is loooong, but thankfully also really good, I’ve dug through Goodreads for an older review to share here. This is one of the very few books that I’ve not only given a second chance to but have gone on to totally change my opinion of. It also lead to me attending a book signing, back in June, just because this author would be there.

The first time I tried to read this it proved too dark and non-consensual for me. It was a DNF and whilst I appreciated the quality of writing the content proved too much. However I became corrupted by the writings of Addison Cain and Cari Silverwood, authors who both write excellent dub-con/non-con stories but in the Sci-Fi/fantasy genre. For me this step away from reality makes it easier to accept the lack of sexual consent.

Since the entire Thali series was one I’d seen repeatedly mentioned, and recommended, I entered a competition and won an e-book copy of Security Binds Her. This time, because I was not only more aware of the type of content but also more mentally prepared to read it, I found it a much more enjoyable experience. In fact I LOVED the story. This is NOT and never will be an easy read, it has some very difficult and challenging scenes, but what makes the difference is Thalia’s strength through out.

You can’t help but admire this heroine, and hope she gets a HEA of some sort. Marcus/The Guard is a complex character, obviously twisted and evil (or mentally unbalanced) to think
it is ok to snatch women off the street and force them to be sex slaves. However he shows real moments of tenderness and care for Thalia too. Be careful when reading reviews for this book, as there is a huge twist at the end. Just in case you’ve missed it I won’t spoil things but I will say that I loved this unusual approach to resolving the story.

I read this in two sittings, and that was only because I had to get SOME sleep before going to work the next day. Whilst I feel that you could read this as a stand alone, the story does continue in other books. They are not as dark as this one but are still great reads and this is a must read series for all dark erotica fans.

The first book of the #1 bestselling Thalia Series from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Bene, acclaimed as “dark, intense, and emotionally harrowing…” ★★★★★

“I’ll break you down. It may take time, but I will.”
“And if I don’t break?”
“You will.”


Taken from work one night, Thalia is thrust into the violent, controlling world of a man she thought had been the security guard for her building, but she quickly learns that this was only a cover to get to her, to take her. As her old life is erased, the guard pushes Thalia to recognize the darker sides of herself, while Thalia endeavors to hold on to who she is.

Trapped alone with her abductor, can Thalia fight to retain her sense of self, or will his small glimpses of kindness cause her to finally submit to him?


‘Security Binds Her’ is a dark, brutal journey that leaves readers breathless and waiting to turn the page to find out if Thalia will break, or be lost forever to the darkness around her.

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.

A truly crazy story

Crazy Broken Love
by Jennifer Bene

REVIEW – 5 STARS 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Even more amazing than the original

The core of this story was originally released as Cocoon, in the Just Breathe anthology. It has been reworked, tidied up and given an extended epilogue to boot. I LOVED this story in it’s original format and this version is even better.

Deep, profound, thought provoking, intense and empowering, this is a book that doesn’t leave you when you’ve finished reading it. You think about it a little bit, and then some more, and then a LOT more after that. After contemplating and pondering on this WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC AND AMAZING story, it struck me just how unwittingly judgemental and bigoted we can be.

The heroine suffers from an OCD disorder that, at times, leaves her teetering on the edge of sanity. I found myself waiting for a white knight to rescue her from this and ‘cure’ her. Yep I judged her as needing to be changed in some way and my word has it made me hang my head in shame. Because what Amy needs, what all people in this situation need, is to be accepted for who they are and understood.

Amy doesn’t need ‘fixing’. Just because she doesn’t fit our societal preconceived notions of ‘normal’ does not mean that she isn’t perfect just exactly how she is. Thankfully she did find a knight in shining armour to save her, he saved her from the judgement and narrow-mindedness that stops us accepting others just as they are. Colton saw how imperfectly perfect Amy was, and matched it with his own wonderful imperfections.

This is a Jennifer Bene book, so of course there is a touch of darkness to be had. There is a frisson of fear and threat to be powered through, bad (misguided?) actions that are done with the best of intentions. Contained within the pages is a truly fantastic love story that touched both my heart and my mind, that spoke to me in a way few romance stories do. That left it’s gentle touch on my heart and soul. Bravo Ms Bene.

Without order, without the rules, she’ll go mad.

Amy has issues, but she’s organized her life in such a way that the Noise will never reach her again. No one understands it, understands her, except for the one who writes her messages with perfectly counted words.

Equilibre, whose name is French for balance, made up of nine letters. Three times three.

And he wants her.

Forever.


Note: This book discusses OCD and may trigger some readers. Please read with self-care in mind.

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.