Genre: Rock Zombie Romance/Goth Fiction/Action Romance
Release Date: February 18, 2020Cover Design: Murphy Rae Designs
A great read I totally recommend, especially if you enjoy dystopian, apocalypse kinda-romances.
This is one of those books that you devour, it’s definitely a “I’ll put it down at the end of this chapter, or maybe the next, or maybe in half-an-hour,” read that will keep you up way, way, way past your bedtime. I adored Shy, Boo (Noah) and Lawson to the moon and back. This trio made me laugh, had me terrified, caused me to swoon and broke my heart. That’s not quite true, it was the nasty, evil author who tore my heart to shreds😉 .
Despite the whole zombie-causing-virus thing that was going off, this felt such a real story, so believable. That is entirely due to a combination of excellent plot, great writing and amazing characters. The only reason this didn’t hit the full 5 stars was that we only got Shiloh’s point of view. Whilst I did believe in Shy’s feelings for him, and he truly is a hero in all senses of the word, not having anything from Lawson’s view point made it difficult for me to fully connect with him.
When the author claims this is a genre/trope crossing book she isn’t kidding. At times the romance almost takes a back seat, but in a good way. Too much smoochy-woochy, touchy-kissy-feely emotions would have weakened the story. Would have distracted from it, especially given the dire situation they were in. This really is quite a different read, with very different-to-the-norm characters. If you’re looking for something different to read then do try this.
Some people are life sucking, soul destroying, end of the world assholes…then there are zombies. Actually, they’re not really zombies, they’re infected, but you know, tomayto tomahto.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my faults, too. My attitude down-right sucks. I’m untrusting. I smoke and curse too much, and I’m somewhat of a kleptomaniac. In a normal world, those faults help keep my rock queen facade intact. But in this new world, one raging with illness and torn apart by the desperate and stupid, I’m what you would call a survivor.
My plan was simple, stay alive and protect my teenage sister. When a silent man with a steely gaze shot his way into my existence, I knew that more than my life was at stake. Lawson Bishop had the potential to crack his way inside the hard shell of my heart and bring it back to life.
Kirsty Dallas is an international bestselling and award winning author from the south east corner of Queensland, Australia. Her comedy romance, Decker’s Wood, was an Amazon, iBooks and Nook bestseller, and was also a Goodreads Top 10 Comedy for 2014. Novels to date also include the highly acclaimed Mercy’s Angels Series which tackles the subject of violence against women, and standalone novels Breeze of Life, Violet Addiction, Stupid Love, the award winning dark romance, When Nothing Is All You’ve Got, and Liberty.
Kirsty Dallas’ stories are renowned for their raw honesty and engaging characters. Plots that delve into the frightening subjects of abuse, rape, drugs and violence are twisted into the pages of her books, bringing heart stopping action and a roller coaster of emotion.
Working with Australian Director and screen writer, Chris Sun, Kirsty worked as script editor on the horror feature film, Boar. Boar was signed to Universal Pictures Australia, and was released in 2018.
For the last few years I’ve written a post on my top 12 books of the year, and my top 12 series’ of the year. This time I’m going to do thinks a little differently and talk about my top 3 reads in various categories/genres/tropes.
First category is Contemporary Romance.
This is a genre I’ve found myself reading less and less of, at least in terms of ‘straight’ contemporary. My first, and greatest, love in reading was the sci-fi/fantasy genre with authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton and David Eddings being amongst my favourites. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will forever hold a special place in my heart, and prominence on my book shelf. Of late I have found myself drawn back to the genre, but preferring those books which also combine it with a good love story.
However I have read some excellent contemporary romances this year, and actually struggled to narrow the group down to a top 3! Colour me surprised because I didn’t actually expect to find even that number to include.
This is one seriously under-recognised author. Her writing is superb and I just wished she was more well known, Eris thoroughly deserves it.
It’s the story of a seriously messed up pair, who are dysfunctional to the extreme yet who somehow come together to create something wonderful. It’s one of those “so wrong, it’s right” stories and I loved every minute of it.
This is part of an ongoing series, which really needs to be read in order to fully enjoy and understand the back story. Each book features one couple, Cutter, the hero in this one, is a complete alpha-hole but in the best way possible. He’s constantly brought down to size by the bad-ass heroine that is Valentina.
I did have a fourth book, Rebel’s Redemption by Lexi C Foss, that I also need to mention. It is A-MAZ-ING and it’s only because I’m going to be featuring this author in other categories that I didn’t feature the book more widely here.
Next are my favourite 3 books containing BDSM. This was a category that I DID struggle with deciding on, I could easily have included many more books. In fact I’m featuring a series as one of my choices.
There are 6 books in the series, the final one was released a few days ago and I am currently reading (and loving) it. The first book, Sparks, is free. It is more erotic, less dark than the subsequent books, which take us into a dark, underground world full of danger and kink.
These have been amongst my most favourite reads of the year in any genre/trope. The author writes with a subtle humour and her characters are always strong. In fact along with Cari Silverwood, she has written some of my favourite heroines.
Let’s face it, Kitty Thomas is the QUEEN of the dark romance. If you haven’t read Comfort Food I can only say – “Why?”. It’s not an easy read but it is amazing, as is Twisted Fates which is part of the interlinked Pleasure House series and may be read as a stand alone story.
Whilst it’s a morally dubious story, it doesn’t contain non-consent and the dubious consent isn’t all that dubious either. On paper we should hate the hero, and in real life I’d want to see him locked away from society for a very long time. However Kitty persuades us that not only is Lyndsay perfect for Shannon, but she made me love him too.
Technically the Black Light books can be read stand alone, though part of this story builds on a short story by the same author in the Celebrity Roulette anthology. The book features two separate couples, mainly focusing on two new characters, Shane and Nalani, but also concluding Piper and Nolan’s story that began in Switched.
This book should have a trigger warning – there is a very violent and detailed rape scene. It wasn’t added just for the shock factor and the aftermath was handled well, in my opinion.
The link will take you to all 5 books of the Russo Saga. It’s a series of interlinked books, all of which I can highly recommend, but the duet of Absolution and Redemption are definitely my favourites. T
he story takes you to hell and back, along with the anti-hero and heroine. There were times. whilst reading Absolution, where i had to take an “feelings break” in order to recharge my emotional batteries.
Book #1, White Rabbit: The Rise, was listed amongst my favourite reads of 2018. The series has gone from strength to strength this year, with the release of 3 further books and the imminent release of book #5, Dark Horse.
White Rabbit: The Fall, Black Swan and Red Herring continue the story of Belladonna and The Kingmaker, otherwise known as Karina and Uilleam. And oh what a twisty, cat-and-mouse, game-of-chess, power-play story it is. London Miller has an amazing talent for weaving a complex tale where a seemingly random array of threads pull together at the last minute to form an intricately detailed tapestry.
Part of the Blaire’s World collection, and based on Anita Gray’s books of the same name, this is a dark and delicious duet. It delves into the underbelly of society, a world of pain, cruelty and evil and it doesn’t pull it’s punches.
One could argue that this belongs in the “Dark” catagory, below, but it’s my post so it’s my rules.
Again, I need to mention a Lexi C Foss book, this time it is the amazing Scarlet Mark. Part of the Cavalieri Della Morte series, it was the book that brought the author to my attention. When I discovered this was her first foray into Romantic Suspense I was gobsmacked to say the least. I tell you, she hit this one out of the ball park, and then some.
I’m going to finish today’s post with my top 3 Dark Reads of the year, and will be back tomorrow with 4 other categories of goodness to share. I think this was the hardest group to pare down to just 3 books, but I did it eventually!
No list is complete without a Lily White book, she is an expert at knowing how to mess with your mind. She’s had some personal struggles this year, so has been very quite for the last few months, but we are expecting a new release soon and I, for one, can’t wait to read more by this wonderful author.
The Five is typical Lily White, and was a very popular Book of the Month over in the Dark Erotica group on Goodreads. It’s not your typical romance and is very psychological, testing your morals, pushing your boundaries and challenging your judgemental side. It was a book that seemed to have a marmite effect, dividing readers into loved it or hated it. I was most definitely in the former camp and highly recommend it.
This story started life as Cocoon in the ‘Just Breathe‘ anthology, but has since been extended and improved, even though I didn’t feel that was possible as I thought the original was already perfect.
This is not as dark a piece of work as we are used to from Ms Bene. It does contain strong elements of dub-con, hence including it in this group. Crazy Broken Love spoke to me deeply and left me questioning my own prejudices, however unintentional they are.
For some reason the link only takes you to the first two books of the trilogy. Book #3, Forbidden, can be found here. The trilogy of books are NOT stand alone and must be read in order, they feature Ethan and Lily, the parents of Conor, who is the anti-hero of the original Dark Necessities trilogy.
Despite not liking Ethan for most of the story, my love for Lily (and her love of Ethan) made this one gripping must-read series for me. It’s dark and Ethan is not a good man, not a good man at all. But he does love Lily and that was his saving grace for this reader.
When you’ve loved the first book in a series there is always that worry that subsequent books won’t live up to your expectations. Beau2y (Part 2) not only lived up to them but surpassed every hope, dream and imagining I’d had for this book.
This can not be read as a stand alone, you need to have read the first book otherwise this won’t make sense. Have I already mentioned how kick-ass amazing and out of this world Beauty (Part 1)was? It put the name Kirsty Dallas on the map for me. She took the darkness and OWNED it, dragging you into the depths of hell and depravity before releasing you to run with the monsters. If you enjoy dark romance then you MUSTread it, it’s beyond words to describe how much I loved that book.
Beau2y kicks off a few months after we last saw Beauty and Hart. She has been training her monster, he has been her guide and together they are looking for Ruby. The story starts with an explosion of violence and continues along that theme at a roller coaster rate until the poignant ending.
Once I started reading this I really struggled to put it down, even though it was the wee hours of the morning and I was running the risk of zero sleep! However I then finished devouring this deliciously dark morsel as soon as I could, desperate to embrace the power and passion that this book contained. I’m going to be vague on plot details in respect of avoiding spoilers, but I will say that the plot was RIVETING. It was well paced, every scene held purpose, the characters of Beauty and Hart continued to grow and we got more insight into the depth of their feelings for each other.
I want to climb to the rooftops and yell about this duet, it really is a must read for all lovers of dark romance. It will caress the shrouded corners of your soul that beg for all that is wrong, it will assuage the longings of your deviant heart, it will pleasure you with its vicious intent. This was a much anticipated release for me and my only disappointment is that there won’t be of this amazing couple.