TL Smith-Sinister Love

Well, here we are, another day, another book. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my reading life and getting to read all kinds of fantastic books? I get to find a bunch of new authors and find books that I might not otherwise have seen. Today’s book is the sequel to Distorted Love, Sinister Love by TL Smith. And this one is as good as the first one, and kept my mind going crazy trying to figure out what was going on. So yay, that is great.

Warning, there will be spoilers for Distorted Love, so if you have read it first, go read it before reading this review. I can’t not spoil parts of DL, just because of the way it left off. You guys know that I try really hard not do that, but sometimes it’s pretty unavoidable. So, you’ve been warned.

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Kitty Thomas-Pretty Lies

I have Addison Cain to thank for getting me hooked on Kitty Thomas, so thank you, Addison! Comfort Food was the first book of her’s I’ve read, and I know that I’ve mentioned it here before, at least once. It’s one I recommend to anyone who is looking for a new dark read or new dark author to read. It didn’t take me long to move from that one onto more of her books, including the Pleasure House series. In fact, I think that the first book I read of Kitty’s after reading Comfort Food was Broken Dolls, one of the books in that world. That’s where I first fell in love with Brian and Anton and decided that I really hate Lindsay. Nothing has changed from that time to now. Except, Pretty Lies, the newest one in the Pleasure House world, has only made me love Anton even more. In fact, he may actually be tied with Brian, if not, he’s really, really close.

Anyway, even though this one was written last doesn’t mean that it takes place last. In fact, Anton and Annette’s story is the first story in this world. It’s also the origin story, more or less, of the house. I’ve wanted Anton and Annette’s story ever since I read Broken Dolls and first met them. Anton and Annette had a beautiful, settled relationship and it was obvious how devoted to each other they were. I was so excited when Kitty said that she was writing their story. I was looking forward to finding out how they got together. When I got Pretty Lies, I stopped reading the book I was reading so that I could immediately read it, that’s how excited I was.

Annette is a phone sex operator. She stays home, answers the phone, and tells men all the pretty lies that they want to hear. She’s good at lying and telling them all those pretty little lies doesn’t cost her anything and doesn’t hurt them. On this particular morning, she barely woke up in time to take her regular call because she had been at a bar the night before and gotten rip-roaring drunk. All she remembers is a beautiful Russian man and whispering filthy little lies in his ears.

Annette has a twin sister named Janette. Janette calls Annette and tells her that she’s going to go to a spa to get a massage. When Janette never comes home, Annette worries because that isn’t like her. That’s when she finds out that Janette has been abducted by a beautiful Russian man.

Anton met a beautiful woman at the bar, after listening to all the filthy things she told him, he was planning on taking her home and playing with her, except she drunkenly slammed the cab door in his face. When the beautiful woman wearing her face walks into his spa, he figures that she tracked him down and wanted to play, so he took her.

Anton and his friends, Lindsay (boo hiss), Brian, and Gabe have decided that they are going to start a house where they can train submissive women and sell them to men who want them. Theoretically all the women are supposed to be volunteers and screened carefully before they come to the house. They’ve just purchased the house and are just getting it set up. They don’t really have anything set up yet, including a training protocol, but that’s where Anton took the woman he kidnapped. She keeps telling him that she isn’t who he thinks she is, but he doesn’t want to believe her, until he’s confronted with the truth, with Annette walking in to trade herself for her sister.

OK, you know the way it goes. You get to choose whether you are going to stop here or keep going. I’m sad to say that my beloved Brian doesn’t come off really well in this book. Then again, he’s a complete and utter psychopath, so… Anton doesn’t come off all that well throughout this book either. There are a few times when he’s almost dislikable. I did really enjoy seeing the start of the house and what it took to get it moving smoothly. The other books all take place well after the house has already been established and is running the way that it should. I also liked seeing Anton not quite combobulated. He makes mistakes, all kinds of mistakes, and it takes some time for him to figure things out. He may or may not have to get smacked upside the head once or twice too. I was glad to see as little of Lindsay as we did. Don’t ask me why I don’t like him, I just don’t. There’s something about him that just annoys the fuck out of me. I don’t want him to ever have a HEA. In fact, can we have an unhappily ever after just for him?

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I was really disappointed in Anton after the big Brian episode. The fact that he threatened Annette with Brian right after what he had done was just bad. I’m not surprised that Annette did what she did after that. This was definitely one of the places that Anton screwed up, big time. He should have realized after that episode that Annette wasn’t OK.

I hated Phyllis. I mean, what a judgemental bitch. I really wanted to someone to just smack the crap out of her. She shouldn’t have been so nasty to Annette. She didn’t know the situation at all, which means that she should’ve just kept her big mouth shut.

Anyway, I totally recommend this book. I’ll read it over and over, just like the rest of her books. So, go grab it, and happy reading!

Charity B-Sweetened Suffering

As a warning, this review will spoil Candy Coated Chaos. If you haven’t read CCC yet, put this down and immediately go read it. I can tell you that I highly recommend it. It’s not often that first-time authors blow me the fuck away, but Charity did with that one. Sweetened Suffering is a worthy successor to CCC. I highly recommend that anyone who loves darkness should go out and read the books. If you have read the books, then jump off the cliff with me.

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Sara Fields-Conquered

If Sara Fields writes it, I will read it. It’s like the whole Field of Dreams thing, but better because I don’t have to walk out into any corn fields or sit on an uncomfortable bleacher bench. I can sit in my nice comfy couch, with a nice cold beverage, and just read the books. So, totally better.

Today, she decided to write a dark scifi reverse harem book. Is it the darkest thing I’ve ever read? Nope. I have a feeling title will be coming soon. Is it darker than other things that she’s written? Yeah, I think so. Did I love it? Fuck yeah, you better believe I did.

So, on to Conquered. This is an alien invasion/abduction story on the top of it. The Vakarrans are a ruthless species. They can’t really afford to be if they want their species to survive. There are no Vakarran women, so if they want to continue, they need to find species with which they can breed. Humans just happen to be one of those species. The Vakarrans pretty much figure if the humans didn’t want Earth to be invaded, they should’ve just been better at protecting themselves. Oh well, they weren’t, and now all the men are slave labor and the women are all sex slaves and breeders. Women were supposed to all go to training camps so that they can be trained and such.

Kira was just a teenager when the Vakarrans invaded the Earth. Her two younger sisters weren’t even teenagers. On invasion day, their parents shoved the girls out the door and into the forest behind their house. The girls ran and hid in a cave. They expected their parents would be there at some point, but they never showed up. The girls had to figure out how to live in the wilds. Luckily, they had always played out in the woods and were familiar with stuff, so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Now, Kira and her sisters lead a rogue band of humans. Mostly they are women who are hiding from the Vakarrans, either they’ve escaped or they just never went to the camps at all. There are a few men there too, but not as many. Kira would like for her group to be a resistance, but right now she just wants to make sure that they are all safe. She may be rebellious, but she’s also a very responsible leader and has done everything she can to make sure that they stay hidden, including laying traps for the Vakarrans.

The Vakarrans have sent another patrol out to find her, and she’s used her traps to kill them, in a very nasty way. That made the leader very angry, since they were his buds. He wants Kira caught and punished. So he sends out a very good team to get her, Zaavyr, Jax, Coltan and Aedan. They are veterans, smart, wily, careful, and tricksy. They manage to come up with a way to catch Kira and bring her to their training camp.

I love Kira. She’s very strong and very smart. Sometimes, I think that she may be a little too smart for her own good. She is always thinking, and that can get a person in trouble. But, I think that our guys value her intelligence, strength, and spirit. Not everyone did, but if they didn’t, they deserve what they may get. This is a true fact. I do like the guys, even though some people may think that they were a little hard on Kira. I think that they were as hard as they had to be at times. Things that people may think were terrible could’ve been a lot worse than they were, and the boys had to do what they did in order to keep from having to do things that would’ve been worse or letting other people do those things to Kira. The important thing is that while they may hurt her while they are punishing her, they would never harm her, and that’s better than others would’ve done. And, I think they may have had to be hard on Kira, at least at first, because she was so used to being independent, and it can be really hard to go from being the one in control to being the one who has no control.

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I love that the guys kept Kira’s secrets and let her keep an eye out for things. They are really trusting her, but they love her, and theoretically, you trust the person you love, right?

I do also like the way they managed to get rid of the nasty captain. It let Kira get some of her own back, and I’m all for that. He’s the one who hurt her, he deserved what he got.

OK, that’s it for Sara’s new book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. It can’t come soon enough for me. I want to know if it’s going to be a RH book too. Go check it out. I’m going to settle in for the night and read some Tanya Huff while eating brownies. Happy reading!

Natalie Bennett-Queen of Diamonds

I love reading Natalie Bennett. Deliciously dark, twisted, and mindfucky. Wooohoooo! I mean, can you get anything better? Well, maybe if Jason Mamoa was reading it to me while I was sitting in his lap, but until he comes to his senses and leaves Lisa, I’m going to read them to myself. And I’m perfectly happy with that. That means I can stay up to the middle of the night reading, if I so desire, and I often do.

Anyhow, Queen of Diamonds is her latest one. It’s the first book in a new series, Old Money Roulette. It looks like it’s going to be dark with no redeeming lightness, features, or anything going on. I am loving it. We have a baddie bad guy, a complicated heroine, and a twisted situation that makes me wonder exactly what’s happening and who’s going to survive the road to hell. Or, more precisely, the hell in which they already find themselves.

Elena has to come home because her aunt has been brutally killed and her twin sister, Eva, is missing. Her grandmother and uncle have convinced Elena that the best thing she could do is make sure that everyone knows that her sister is dead, so they buried an empty coffin along with her aunt. At the reception after the funeral, a beautiful man comes up to Elena and starts talking to her. It turns out he’s Mateo Remmington, scion of the biggest crime family in Vice City. This is perfect for Elena, she’s going to worm her way into his affections and trust so that she can find out what happened to Eva.

Mateo, oh man, Mateo. He’s ruthless, twisted, and pretty much evil. He wants Elena. He wants to take her, break her, and turn her into something else. He has plans on plans on plans. He’s at the reception because he owes someone a favor. We don’t know who that someone is or what the favor is. What we do know is that he’s fixated on Elena, and he’s told his brother and cousin that she’s going to be his wife. Now, he has to tell Elena.

OK, that’s the easy plot, the one that we can see. But, being a Natalie Bennett book, we all know that it’s not that easy. She likes to put layers and layers and layers and machinations (I love that word), plots, and secrets in her books. I mean, her books are the ones that you go back to read to find the hints after you know what’s going to happen, and you still can’t find them. QOD is going to be one of those books, for sure. Even a few days after reading it, I’m wondering what is going on. I don’t even have guesses as to what’s going on, really. All I know is that I can’t wait to find out because it’s going to be so good to find out. I can’t wait to find out Mateo’s plans and how Elena is going to fit into them.

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I am wondering about Elena’s friends and how involved they are in what’s going on. It seems like it would be a huge thing if she were trusting them in and they were up to no good. I’m also wondering what her grandmother and uncle are up to. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them.

I would like to find out more about Elena’s dad. We know that he was part of this world, but he sent the girls away to live with auntie, but we don’t know why. I wonder if he’s the person Mateo owes a favor too? Wouldn’t that be an interesting thing?

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I will say that if you don’t like to wait for the whole story of things to come out, you may want to wait for the rest of the books. You may end up with more answers than questions while you are reading this, and some people find that frustrating. I’m obviously not one of them, probably I’m a masochist or something. Anyhow, go check it out.

Fawn Bailey-Last Broken Rose

We have the last installment of Rose and Thorn’s story today in Last Broken Rose. You may or may not remember that Fawn Bailey is a nom de plume for Isabella Starling. That’s what she writes her darker stuff under.

So, quick recap of the story. Once upon a time, there was a lovely ballerina named Harlow. When Harlow was a girl, Thorn saw her and decided that he wanted her. On the night of her biggest triumph dancing in The Nutcracker, Thorn came to take her away.

Thorn took her to his mansion so that she could be trained to be his submissive. There, she undergoes all kinds of terrible things, including having to deal with Pia. Then, her friend Carina ends up at the mansion there. The problem is that Carina thinks that Thorn should be hers and she now hates Rose, who used to be Harlow.

So, that roughly brings us up to now. Thorn has put a difficult choice in front of Rose and she makes her choice. When Rose tells him that she wants to dance Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, he sets her up with the best teacher he knows, who just happens to be his sister, and Rose’s former teacher.

Meanwhile, nutbag Carina is being nutters. She has been through some harsh training, but she swears it’s just going to make it so that she can take Thorn, no matter what. You know, I kind of almost feel bad for Carina. Her life went all kinds of crazy and out of control and Thorn was there are a very difficult time in her life, and she was just like a little duckling and imprinted on him. Almost, but not quite.

OK, it’s that time. Does it sound like this is a short review? Well, it kind of is. That’s because there are a lot of things that happen in this book, and I don’t really want to give anything away. Here’s the thing with this book and this series. It took me a couple of days to write up my review of it. I’m not entirely sure why that is. It’s not darker than other books I’ve read, nor is it more intense, but there was just something about it. I had to let it settle in my mind and fit itself inside of me. There’s something so beautiful about the series, which is weird to say, considering it starts with an abduction and lots and lots of punishment and noncon sex. But, it’s true. When I finished the book, there was just a feeling of lightness in my black, little soul. I mean, Thorn was wrong, wrong, wrong for doing what he did to Rose, but it worked out well, and maybe that’s how they were meant to meet after all? I dunno. It’s an interesting point to think about, isn’t it?  I love it when the books I’m reading give me interesting things to think about. Anyway, read the books and tell me what you think.

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I’m glad that Pia got some closure. I’m glad that we found out more about her past with Thorn. It’s terribly sad what happened. But, it explains why Pia was so mad at Rose. I would’ve been too, in her place. I would probably have been nastier, but then again, I’m not a nice person at all.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this today. Seriously, go check out the series. You can read them all, no waiting.

 

VF Mason-Psychopath’s Prey

VF Mason wrote a complete and utter mindfuck in Psychopath’s Prey. I mean, it’s such a mindfuck, I’m not sure how many times I can put mindfuck down as a description. It was an awesome book. I loved it, every single word of it. I’m going to have to read it again.

So, I’m not going to talk too much about this story, because I don’t want to spoil anything, and really, there are so many things that could possibly be spoiled.

Ella, at 17, walks back into her house after being out with her friends, gets in the shower, goes down to get a snack, and walks into her parents’ dead bodies, but there’s no sign of her little sister. She calls the cops and they eventually find her sister. Sadly, Ella is the only member of her family left alive. She goes to stay with one of her good friends to finish out high school. Eventually, she finds out her family was killed by a serial killer.

Ella has a plan. She’s going to go into criminal psychology and work for the FBI’s BAU. She wants to work with them and catch serial killers and keep them from destroying families the way that hers was. Everyone tells her that she shouldn’t do it, including the dean at her college. She goes to the police academy and she constantly gets turned down by the FBI. Finally, it turns out that she manages to catch a killer, and is contacted by the BAU to join them.

On her very first day of work, they get a call out to a body dump of a serial killer. Turns out there were two dead bodies there.

OK, that’s as far as I’m going in this one now. I will tell you that we have two POVs in this book, we have Ella and we have Psychopath’s. We have no clue who Psychopath is. VF gives us all kinds of suggestions, and each and every one of them is contradictory. I would think I had the identity of who Psychopath was, VF would throw in something else and I had to start all over again. It was totally awesome. There are some triggery things that happen in this book, and if you aren’t a dark fan, this is probably one you should definitely avoid.

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This really was a helluva book. It took me for a ride and I had to go read something else altogether after this because it just fucked with my mind so much. It was just that good, really.

So, go check this out, if you like dark and mindfuck-y. Happy reading!