BIG SKY

BIG SKY by Kitty Thomas

This is a book that has been around for a little while, and when you read reviews you soon find out it’s a marmite book. It divides readers firmly into love it or hate it camps, which to me is a sign of great writing. A lot of the haters can’t accept the ending, many of them find the kink/darkness goes a step too far, others mentioned it was the ‘x‘ Kitty Thomas book they had read and hated. I do have to question why people continue to read an author they don’t ‘get’. Is it just so they can leave scathing reviews of a genre (dark capture fantasy) that they clearly disagree with?

I bought my copy a while ago, as part of a box set, The Capture Fantasy Collection. A Goodreads friend recommended it to me back in October last year. I had every intention of reading it then, but an over commitment to arc reading soon put paid to those plans! I’ve since stepped back from the majority of my arc teams, remaining on those where the authors only release a couple of books a year or where I love their work so much I need it asap.

One of those authors is Kitty Thomas, and it was reading The Escape Artist that triggered a need in me for more of her work. So I dug out the book that had languished untouched on my kindle for far too long, and jumped in.









Is this a romance? I’m not sure it is, and that ending…. my word I can’t remember the last time I felt that sad at how a story finished. Yet I loved the story, I devoured it in the same way Luke and the guys devour Ronnie’s milk. I gulped it down greedily and quite simply couldn’t get enough.

I’ll be honest, I read spoilers for this book and you know what? I’m glad I did. Forewarned is forearmed and all that jazz (and jizz). I knew this wasn’t going to be a ‘traditional’ happy ever after ending, and as I’ve already said it did feel sad. But it was that happy sad that only truly brilliant writing can elicit in you. Was Ronnie a victim of Stockholm Syndrome? Did it matter? At the end of the day, and the book, she might not have had everything her heart desired, but she was happier than she had ever been in her ‘before Luke’ life.


Was Luke crazy? I’m still on the fence with that one. Grief can make people do the strangest things. If Ronnie had hated the kink would he have pushed her the way he did? Who knows, that wasn’t the story that was written, and it’s fiction at the end of the day (even if it didn’t really feel that way when I was reading it.) There were times I wanted to hit the man, his actions were frequently indefensible, yet if Ronnie loved them were they truly wrong? And there we have just why I love this author’s writing. She takes such wrong storylines and weaves them into something that has you questioning your own morals and sanity.

I even questioned Ronnie’s sanity on several occasions, yet even as one half of my mind yelled at her to resist, to fight, to refuse, the other half pointed out that she was a girl with severely limited options.

To truly enjoy the story you do have to allow some flexibility on ‘reality’. Whilst I totally bought that looney Luke might take a vulnerable woman who reminded him of his dead wife, the complicity of the three ranch hands seemed to be pushing it slightly. But then they all had a ‘reward’ in keeping schtum, not forgetting that they had helped Luke keep other secrets that could get them all in trouble. So in the end I found that I could let it pass.

The book involves the sharing of Ronnie and hucow kink, if either of those is a hard limit for you then you will need to take a pass on this one. However Kitty Thomas knows how to write kink, even dark and depraved dub-con kink, in a smoking hot, can only read one-handed😉 manner, so if you’re on the fence get down and get kinky!

Oh and yes, I do recommend this one.







Veronica Cason lives in a small apartment with no clear view of the sky. It’s uncertain which might crush her first: her debt or the buildings squeezed in so tight that they surround her like ominous sentinels. She can’t breathe in the city. Her success is a lie, and her debt is coming to collect her — unless someone else gets there first.

When a stranger offers her a job at a ranch, it feels like salvation, but it could also mean her death if his motives aren’t pure. Which door has the tiger behind it? The claustrophobia of the city or ranch life under an open sky?







AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON CA – https://www.amazon.ca/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/dp/B009KT2NUC/
AMAZON AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/d/ebook/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas-ebook/B009KT2NUC/

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/big-sky-kitty-thomas/1112623129?ean=9781938639050

iBOOKS – https://books.apple.com/us/book/big-sky/id1227840416

GOOGLEPLAY – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_Big_Sky?id=0AmMBAAAQBAJ

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/big-sky

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241397

BOOK DEPOSITORY – https://www.bookdepository.com/Big-Sky-Kitty-Thomas/9781938639050


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.

The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas





The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas


Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Erotica, Romance


Synopsis:

Claire was held captive for 43 days by a man who did unspeakable things to her.

Three years after her escape, she gets her revenge. The only problem is, she’s got the wrong man.

God help her if he escapes.


Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49240279-the-escape-artist








I absolutely loved this book.


From the first line to the last, The Escape Artist held me captive, just as Claire and Ari were held captive by one another. Kitty Thomas has crafted yet another amazing masterpiece of a story, one where she takes all the elements of wrongness and twists them into something that is so very right. This story is by parts emotionally charged, depraved, incredibly hot, fantastically written and populated with great characters.

This was wrong in every way a thing could be wrong. But he hadn’t been able to leave her alone in a world she could no longer navigate, and he wasn’t nobel enough to pass up this opportunity or just keep her as his indefinite platonic house guest.


The relationship between Claire and Ari is consensual at the same time as it isn’t, with the author somehow skating a fine line between the two. Just as I decided it was one thing, the tables turned and it became the other. Even more amazingly, Ms Thomas manages to take a relationship based on everything wrong and turn it into something perfect.

Ari was a good man until life gave him an opportunity to be otherwise, and yet that wrongness was the perfect thing to save Claire. Despite how morally dubious his actions were I adored him, and it was always clear that Claire’s wellbeing was his top priority. Theirs may not have been the most conventional of relationships, erroneous in just about every way possible, but it was exactly the relationship both of them needed.

The author has taken the possibly overused “captive” trope and shaken it up, producing a story that feels fresh and new. This is one red hot NSFW read, pushing buttons and boundaries in the most delightful of manners. I totally loved every single thought, word and action in the book, I simply can’t sing its praises loudly enough. In fact it’s left me with a deep need to read more of her work.

He’d felt how badly she needed someone to take control of her, her shattered life, everything. Someone who wouldn’t truly hurt her. But she could never ask for such a thing. And she could never feel safe if it were offered. Because she didn’t know who to trust.



Purchase:
Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/bx8g6k?store=amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-escape-artist-kitty-thomas/1133948925
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-escape-artist/id1482334518?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo=4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-escape-artist-29
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=rpazDwAAQBAJ


AUTHOR BIO:

KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty’s New Release List:  KITTYTHOMAS.COM


Author links:
https://kittythomas.com/
https://twitter.com/kitty_thomas
https://bookandmainbites.com/KittyThomas
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas


a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


(c) Copyright 2020, Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved. Excerpt used with permission.

TEASER SCENE 1:

Claire pushed the memories away, gripping the leather arm rests, willing her heartbeat and breathing to calm. That was him. She had him in a cell. That was the guy. He had a scar where she’d cut him. How could he lie to her with such a straight face when they both knew he had that scar and how he’d gotten it?

Because he’s a sociopath, Claire. He isn’t like normal people.

She couldn’t let herself forget that—what he was. She couldn’t let herself be tricked by the beautiful monster into setting him free and losing her own life. She got up and went to the kitchen, taking another bottle of beer from the fridge. This one she drank all the way down until a light pleasant buzz of calm skated across her skin. She took a long, steadying breath and grabbed the broom and dustbin.

When she returned to the cell, at least the arrogance had left his face. Maybe he was starting to understand his situation, that the tables had turned and he was now at her mercy. Let him lie about things, as long as she could wipe the smug smile off his face.

She silently swept up the shards of the beer bottle. The last thing she needed was for him to have a weapon. That had been his mistake with her after all.

“You can still let me go,” he said. His voice was so gentle and soothing. Calm and reasonable. 

He’d never spoken to her like that in the basement. Of course not, he’d had the power then. He has to placate you now.

Claire just laughed. “Right. I’m going to let you go so you can hurt me again. Am I supposed to believe you’re reformed? After me, you stopped torturing and killing women? You realized the error of your ways?”

“What’s your name?” he asked, changing tactics. “My name…”

“Shut UP! If you speak your name I’ll kill you. I swear to fuck I will. I NEVER want to hear your fucking name. EVER. Don’t you try to humanize yourself. You’re a fucking monster, and you know it!”

“I’m sorry,” he said quickly, holding his hands up in surrender.

No he wasn’t, he was placating her.

“What’s your name, then?” he said, trying again.

“You know my fucking name. You used to hiss it in my ear while you were…” she trailed off, unable to say the words. She turned away from him and took a deep breath, quickly wiping the tears that threatened to spill over. She was not going to cry in front of him anymore. She’d cried all the tears for him she would cry.

She had the power now. Not him. NOT him. But she was shaking. She could feel the light tremors in her arms. He must be able to see them. He was the one chained up, and he was going to break her again.

Never.

“It’s okay if you don’t have it in you to hurt me. I don’t think you’re that kind of person,” he said gently.

“Just shut the fuck up!” she screamed. “I should starve you, just like you starved me for the tiniest act of defiance.” She turned back to finish sweeping the stray shards into the dustpan.

“Look at me,” he said.

It was a fucking command. He thought he could order her around when he was the prisoner? But she turned and looked at him.

“I would never starve you. Ever,” he said, holding her gaze in his.

He’d already starved her, and they both knew it. These head games… she had to regroup her strategy or he was going to get inside her head and mess with it. If she lost her nerve… if he got free again, he’d kill her this time. She was already in too deep. She had to get her shit together and finish this. It was the only choice.





TEASER SCENE 3:

“I thought you’d never wake up,” she said. “I worried I gave you too much. Wouldn’t that be a tragedy?”

But they both knew she wasn’t worried. Though it did cause Ari to worry because while there had been moments when he thought she might not have it in her to kill him—even though she had to know the price of not following through—now there was the new concern. She might accidentally kill him. She could give him too much of whatever drug she was dosing him with. One of these times when she was feeding him or injecting him with whatever, he could just… never wake up.

It sent a cold wave of anger running through him that she played with his life this way. He wasn’t her enemy, but she seemed dead set on turning him into one.

“I know you can’t control your smart mouth, and I don’t want to talk about last night,” she said, explaining the tape.

He nodded and remained silent. He knew the pointlessness of trying to speak behind the tape. Ari was beginning to feel more helpless than he’d yet felt while under her control. He couldn’t even talk to her. Or try to reach her. And he wanted to. He had no idea what he’d say after last night, but he needed to talk to this girl.

The previous night he could have forgiven her for what she’d done to him. Those helpless agonized screams would be seared into his own nightmares for a good long time. But now? With the way she was looking at him and whatever she might be about to do to punish him for hearing? He wasn’t so sure.

Ari flinched when her fingertips skimmed over the scar on his chest again. What he wouldn’t give to know what she thought that scar meant.

Her gaze panned over his naked body, and she flinched. Oh shit. Yeah, he still couldn’t control his body’s reaction to her. Damaged or not, she was exactly his type. She was everything he’d wished Holly had been. That sweet and fragile look just did it for him. Except that despite her fragile exterior and how she hung to the edge of sanity by a thread, this girl could fuck his shit up beyond recovery. He knew that now. It was probably better she’d used the tape. He needed to buy himself enough time to figure out the drugging pattern. And after last night she was far too volatile to risk any of the million wrong things he could say right now.

Both times she’d drugged him, it had been in the beef stew. Probably covering up the taste of the drugs. So then the other foods shouldn’t be drugged. Though she wasn’t a stupid woman. She’d no doubt send him some decoy stew so he could never be one hundred percent sure which meals were drugged and which meals weren’t.

His eyes widened as a hard slap connected with his face. His gaze flew to hers. He thought she’d smacked him because he’d zoned out, but the next words out of her mouth proved otherwise.

“You sick piece of shit. You can have a hard on until the end of time but you will NEVER touch me again, do you understand?”

He nodded quickly. It wasn’t as though he could help his physical reaction to her. She was so goddamned gorgeous. There was no part of Ari that liked being dominated. It wasn’t her act of being in control that affected him. It was the tragic vulnerability that threatened to escape out from under her mask of calm, cold retribution.

The mask had already slipped when she’d whipped him and fallen into sobbing fits on the floor. Some absolutely insane part of him had wanted to comfort her in that moment. Both of them were playing games they were ill-equipped to handle.

He didn’t do well without the control. His smartass remarks were a way to deflect from the very real distress over not being the one with the power. He didn’t even like the minor defiance of a brat sub, let alone being in a position like this. They were in the wrong roles here. She should be on her knees at his feet, and he should be the one holding the whip.

She paced back and forth across the cell, watching him carefully. Finally she snapped her fingers in front of his face to get his attention—as if there was anything else in this room he could give his attention to. She was in too deep. They both knew it. She was breaking apart at the seams even as she broke his skin with her whip. He needed control of her. And he needed it soon. Before this went too far. 

In one swift movement, she ripped the tape off his mouth.

“Owww, motherfuck!” he growled.

“I changed my mind. We should talk,” she said. “Does it give you a thrill to know you can get into my head in my dreams? I bet you just love that I’m still fucking running from you even when I’ve got you helpless and at my mercy. Do you like that? Is that why you’re so hard?”

Ari sighed. “I’m not him. I’m not the man from your nightmares.”

Those calm words earned him another hard slap across the face.

“Stop. Fucking. Lying to me! We both know the truth. You have the scar. You look the same. You’re HIM!”

She began to pace back and forth, her eyes wild.

“I don’t know what you want me to say. You’re not going to believe it anyway so what’s the point?” Ari said. She might become even more erratic if she knew how he’d gotten the scar. And if he made up any other lie he was sure she’d read it on his face. It was both risky and pointless.

She gripped his throat and held him against the wall. Even chained he could probably buck her off him, but if she got injured with him confined like this it wouldn’t help anything. And despite how crazy he knew it was, he didn’t want to hurt her. He wanted to take her out of here and fix this.

He just had to figure out a way to escape her inescapable fortress cell. 

She squeezed harder against his throat. He would no doubt have a bruise if she didn’t just kill him. He wished he knew her name. He needed something to call her. How could you reach and reason with a person if you didn’t even know their name? He was sure she wouldn’t respond favorably to any of his standard pet names. Calling her Doll might get him castrated.

Finally she released him and went back to pacing.

“I think this is hurting you more than me,” Ari said, knowing even as he said it, that it was probably the wrong thing to say.

She laughed. It was a bitter sound that bounced eerily off the walls of the cell. “Right. So… me letting you go… that’s for my benefit. You are an evil fucking piece of work.”

He captured and held her gaze in his. “Yes. I think letting me go is for your benefit. It will destroy you if you take a life. You and I both know it. You don’t have it in you. You don’t have to do this. I won’t go to the police. I’m not going to hurt you. I know it might seem that way, but I’m not him. Do I act the same way?”

“You’re the one in the chains! Of course you don’t act the same way. You have to act reasonable. You have to trick me! You think I’m dumb enough to let you trick me into my own grave?”

Ari took a slow calming breath and tried again. “If I was the type of man who would have done unspeakable things to you, do you really believe I’d still be calm right now? Wouldn’t I be yelling and threatening you?”

“You DID threaten me, the first day!”

Ari shook his head. “That was before…”

“When you thought you’d been taken by a man? Am I supposed to be charmed by the patronizing sexism?”

“Tell me your name,” Ari tried again.

“Fuck you!”

“Is that the way it’s printed on your birth certificate?”

She pulled another piece of duct tape off the roll and slapped the tape over his mouth. “We’re done talking. You’re not getting inside my head. It’s bad enough you can still do it while I’m sleeping. You will never be in control while I’m conscious.”

Ari raised a brow. Wanna bet? 


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/.

COVER REVEAL

The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas

 
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Synopsis:
Claire was held captive for 43 days by a man who did unspeakable things to her.

Three years after her escape, she gets her revenge. The only problem is, she’s got the wrong man.

God help her if he escapes.



Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48258165-the-escape-artist

Pre-order:
Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/3LpLDX?store=amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-escape-artist-kitty-thomas/1133948925
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-escape-artist/id1482334518?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-escape-artist-29
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=rpazDwAAQBAJ

GIVEAWAY – https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70f5e72b11/

AUTHOR BIO:(No author photo)KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty’s New Release List: KITTYTHOMAS.COM

Author links:
https://kittythomas.com/
https://twitter.com/kitty_thomas
https://bookandmainbites.com/KittyThomas
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas

RELEASE BLITZ & EXCERPT

TWISTED FATES by Kitty Thomas

Dark Romance NEW RELEASE

“A twisted darkly erotic story that only Kitty Thomas could tell.”

Willow Winters, USA TODAY Bestselling Author 

“With Twisted Fates, Kitty Thomas is at her best, creating an intensely emotional dark ride you won’t want to get off.” 

Anna Zaires, New York Times Bestselling Author of Twist Me

Synopsis

When Lindsay Smith brought her to the house, it was to train and sell her. They both knew it. She’d agreed to this arrangement. She wanted to belong to someone. But Lindsay wanted her to be his.

Three days into her stay at the pleasure house, Shannon Foster’s life is forever destroyed by a sociopathic monster. Lindsay saved her life that day, but the scars bind her to the house without a future.

Now, eight years later, Lindsay saves her once again, only this time he’s playing for keeps. 

NOTE: The books in the Pleasure House world are interlocking standalones. Each book has a full and complete ending with no cliffhangers and focuses on a different couple. These books can be read in any order the “series order” is the order of publication.

TWISTED FATES is only $3.99 through release week. It will return to the normal retail price of $4.99 after September 24th.

GIVEAWAY:

Be sure to check out the author’s Rafflecopter giveaway at her blog:
https://kittythomas.com/twisted-fates-release-week-rafflecopter-giveaway-over-200-value/


LINKS to TWISTED FATES:
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XLNK2CP/
Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07XLNK2CP/
Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XLNK2CP
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07XLNK2CP/
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/twisted-fates/id1476169648
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twisted-fates-kitty-thomas/1132910747
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/twisted-fates-4
GooglePlay:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kitty_Thomas_Twisted_Fates?id=hXqoDwAAQBAJ
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/953284

The rest of the Pleasure House series can be found here:     https://kittythomas.com/book-series/pleasure-house/


The first book, Guilty Pleasures is on sale for $2.99.

EXCERPT:
She realized suddenly that she was still crying. This agonizing sobbing sound was coming out of her, so foreign she kept forgetting it was her. How could she make those sounds? She was sure she’d cried every tear, felt every regret, ruminated and obsessed over every grudge.  She’d thought she was empty, done.

It was that emptiness that had finally brought her to the brink of her own demise. Yet here she was, the emotion spilling out, a never-ending fountain bubbling over with rage and pain. She flinched when he started to stroke her back. She flinched because she expected to feel him flinch when he touched her. She expected his fingertips to stutter and halt against the scars in revulsion. But they didn’t.

He touched her as if she were unbroken. 

“What do you need, Shannon?”

“Something you can’t give me.”

“You don’t know until you ask.”

She shook her head. “It can never be you.” Even though he was the only offer on the table. Even though he was the only one she’d wanted back when things were simple. 

The arousal cream continued on in its mission to drive her crazy, but her mind had become so far removed from sex that it acted as a dull background throb which she kept forgetting how to define because all she could think about was how this couldn’t happen with the doctor.

She couldn’t give herself to him like that—not in the way every last insane ounce of her wanted to. She couldn’t give in to the id. She’d made that mistake once. He’d already proven he wasn’t a man she could trust. 

He pressed warm soft kisses against her back, trailing up to her neck. He quietly untied her, then he sat beside her on the leather table and pulled her into his arms, his mouth finding hers, lingering there, softly at first, then hungrily as if he might devour her whole. She didn’t resist him. It felt too good. Even if she hated him. It was so late. She was so tired. 

He carried her up the stairs to his suite and laid her down on his giant bed in the plant room. Ralph was asleep in his cage though the parakeets still twittered quietly to each other. He covered the bird cages with a blanket, turned on a thunderstorm white noise machine, and then climbed into the bed with her.

Shannon barely breathed as he pulled her against him and wrapped an arm around her.

“What are we doing?” she whispered.

“We’re sleeping.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Sleep, kitten.”

She knew what he’d said in the dungeon about wanting her, and the kiss had felt real enough. And they’d shared a moment—she thought—but she couldn’t help thinking this was all some strange unconventional therapy that meant nothing beyond keeping her from killing herself. She couldn’t let herself believe it was anything more.

But if it was therapy, it might be working because suddenly dying was the last thought on her mind.

REVIEW – Tender Mercies

TENDER MERCIES by Kitty Thomas

Holy hell, this book made me uncomfortable in that way only an amazing dark read can.

Kitty Thomas’ writing is absolutely amazing in this book. She really takes you on a journey that is at times disturbing, shocking, dreadful, misguided, worrying and yet also filled with passion, tenderness and hope. In Asher and Grace she has created two individuals whose wants and needs mean they don’t fit within the bounds of what society considers ‘normal’. This is so different to the usual fayre offered by dark reads and is testament to the very twisted imagination of its creator. There’s very little actual BDSM/kink content, this is much more about the psychological aspects and power exchange, but that was fine – I really didn’t need anything more.

There are so many things ‘wrong’ with Asher and Grace’s relationship, one that in real life would probably horrify most of us. However it not only worked for them but fulfilled their deepest, darkest needs. Grace makes what is a really foolish choice, probably based more on the fact that so many others told her not to – and we all know how being told not to do something has you instantly itching to disobey. That girl really didn’t weigh up the pro’s and con’s properly, but she was so desperate to experience a total Master-slave relationship that she threw all caution, and sense, to the wind.

Months of abuse and misery have left Grace broken, possibly damaged beyond repair, but that makes her perfect for Asher, who is seeking redemption. Because Asher rescues her from deplorable and horrific circumstances he almostfeels like a hero, however the author cleverly weaves just enough grey into his character to ruin the effect. He isn’t a good man but rather a good bad man. One who is still happy to own a woman, but he also wants her, no needs her to be healthy and happy. His methods aren’t always honourable, and he sure gets turned on by things he shouldn’t, but he is perfect for Grace.

They are both quite damaged individuals, ensnared in a very unhealthy relationship but yet also perfect and so good for one another at the same time. I loved that twist towards the end, I should have guessed or at least expected it, but I was so caught up in the story it never even entered my head. I LOVED this book and it really should be a must read for all dark romance lovers.

AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

“Grace. That word that finally meant something again. Mercy. Favor. Good will.”

Fed up with play kink, Grace Warner moves to an island that embraces voluntary enslavement to be with a man she met online. Within hours of her arrival, everything is ripped from her, and she quickly learns play is preferable to reality.

Asher Collins has spent the past year mourning and blaming himself for the death of his slave, Darcy. When Grace catches his eye at a showing, obviously abused, he becomes obsessed with buying her and finding a way to atone for his own past sins.

REVIEWS (author blurbs):

“Kitty Thomas’s hottest book yet . . . emotionally gripping and painfully real . . . impossible to read and remain untouched.”

Annabel Joseph, author of Owning Wednesday

“Tender Mercies is a heart-rending tale that proves Prince Charming doesn’t always come charging in with a white steed . . . Sometimes it’s just a piece of paper and a platinum collar.”

Claudia D. Christian, author of Devil’s Descent II: Impure

“I have never been more invested in a piece of fiction in my life. Kitty Thomas writes with a passion and purpose so pure she makes her readers live and breathe every word.”

Emma Petersen, author of Reign of Pleasure

“An eerie and disturbing story tempered with compassion and love. I couldn’t put it down.”

Fallon Blake, author of Wrapped Around Your Finger

“Intense and dark. Tender and sweet.”

Nattie Jones, author of The Street Urchin