2019 Round Up-Top 10 Darkest Reads, Pt. 2

Hopefully, you’ve read the first part of this particular list, if not, go check it out here. Like any of my Top 10 lists, the books are in no particular order, because I find it really hard to put things in order like that.

Kay Elle Parker-Monsters and Guardians

Monsters and Guardians actually got banned from Amazon because of how dark and noncon-y it is. This is probably one of the most noncon-y books I’ve ever read, and considering how much I enjoy reading noncon, dark, and disturbing, that’s saying something. M&G covers a whole lot of tropes/genres. It’s RH, shifter, and omegaverse-light. And Raine, the heroine, for all the fucking hell she goes through in this one, is pretty damn kickass. One of my favorite moments is when she hits one of the guys, then apologizes to him. And as a result of talking about it here, I’m currently rereading it. The next book is what I will be rereading when I’m done with M&G.

Scarlett Snow & Loxley Savage-Saphyre

Saphyre is literally the only book I’m aware of that was banned by Amazon under 2, count them 2, different names. When it got banned under Saphyre, Scarlett and Loxley put it out under Ember, with a little editing, which then got banned too. So the ladies went out and found a new place to sell it, and that’s when I was able to get a hold of it. This is dark, post-apocalyptic, disturbing, absolutely brutal in places, and dystopian. It was also fantastic. Saphyre, our heroine, is rather tricksy, and I lived for it.

Felicity Brandon-Daddy’s Little Captive

Daddy’s little Captive is the first book in Felicity’s newest trilogy. It involves Sophie, who has had a hard time with her husband, because he’s vanilla and she’s rocky road. So, she went online and was talking to people in a kink forum, which led her to meeting Jared. I had a hard time with this one, mostly because I hated Jared, a lot. It is dark and a lot of terrible things happen in the book. The second book came out a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m waiting for book 3, because Felicity is mean and left us hanging.

Brittany Cournoyer-Sinister Shadows

Sinister Shadows is the only MM book on this list. I think that I’m going to have a Top 10 MM books coming up. This one is dark, mostly because it’s a mindfuck. Duncan wakes him, doesn’t remember what’s going on, nor does he remember the man who says that he’s Duncan history. We spend the whole book trying to figure out what’s going on and who everyone actually is. I wouldn’t call it a romance so much as I would call it suspense or a mystery.

Ivy Chapman-Torn Apart

Torn Apart is a very, very dark Omegaverse story. It is seriously dystopian. It is one of those dystopian stories that make you worry about reading dystopian stories ever again. This story is about twins Seraphine (F) and Arden (M), who are both omegas in a time when there aren’t a whole lot of free omegas floating around. We get the stories of both twins, and they aren’t pretty, not at all. This one left me breathless.

OK, that’s my Top 10 darkest reads of 2019. Most of them appeared on my blog during the year, so if you want more of what I thought of them, you should be able to find the posts pretty easily.

I hope everyone had a good holiday!

 

Cari Silverwood-Rutger

Cari is back with the second book in her Beast Horde book. And you remember how I’ve talked about her obsession with giant cocks with extras? Yeah, Rutger is nice and dirty, with a giant cock with extras. This one picks up basically where Vargr left off, so there are likely to be some spoilers in there. You know that I try to keep them to a minimum, but it happens. So, if you don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now, go read the book, and then come back. I’ll still be here.

So, anyway, we’re back with Cyn, and she’s basically all alone right now. After the climactic events, most people are staying away from her and she’s about to stand trial. Vargr has walked away from her, even though they are supposed to be bonded. So, she’s feeling pretty not great right now. But, as she gets taken out to trial, Rutger is there, and he is obviously standing on her side.

Eventually, it’s decided that they are going to go out and find Big Daddy, and see what they can learn. Vargr is still avoiding her, but Rutger has taken over and is helping keep her sane from the Lure, and well, fucking her sideways. And doing it right smack dab in front of Vargr, rubbing it into him that he walked away from Cyn. So, OK, Vargr may have some justification for walking away from her, maybe, but I’m still going to be mad at him for doing it.

I like Rutger a lot more than I like Vargr. I’m not saying that I don’t like Vargr, because I do, but I think that he’s… I dunno, more idealistic maybe? I don’t think that’s the right word, but that may be close. He doesn’t just seem as practical as Rutger does. That’s part of why I like Rutger. He really is very practical. He sees and understands things that I don’t think that Vargr does, and I think that he understands Cyn and what she wants and needs a lot more than Vargr does.

Vargr does have some big changes happening in this one, and I am looking to see how those changes are going to affect things to come in the next book.

We also get to meet some lovely new characters, who I really like. We have Neo, Lennox, and Vincent. I think that they may be more closely related to Cyn than they are to other beasters like Willow, Vargr, and Rutger.

As always, with any Cari book, there is a great adventure story along with all the epic dirty fucking and cocks with bonuses. I ways know that I am going to get something hot to read as well as a fantastic story that I am going to enjoy when I pull out one of Cari’s books. There is also a nice dose of humor that shows up in these books.

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I really want to know what Vincent, Neo, and Lennox have to do with Maelstrom. I also can’t wait to see what the GL are doing.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Vargr

The Queen of Post-Apocalyptic Porn and Empress of Crazy Giant Cocks is back with a new book full of all the crazy giant cocks and post-apocalyptic porn you could possibly want. Cari’s new book Vargr is the first book in a new series, and I can’t wait until book 2.

The world has been taken over by aliens called the Ghoul Lords. They like humans. More specifically, they like to eat humans, and not, you know, in the fun way. They have taken over the top of the world, living on the tops of all the skyscrapers. They also have something called the Lure, which sucks humans in draws them up to the Top, where the GL can suck them in. The Lure works best in the light, but in the dark, humans are safer. Not safe, but safer.  What humans are left are kept chained up or are bond-mated to beasters.

Beasters are humans who were altered with nanites to be the human’s weapon against the GL. There are different kinds of beasters. There are some winged men, like Vargr, some who are techies, who can see what kind of nanites are in a person’s blood, some who are weaponsmiths, well, you get the idea. They all live in various tribes, named after the areas they live in. Vargr is a Mercantor. There is also a tribe called the Worshippers because they are based in a quarter that has a lot of churches and temples.

So, here’s our story. Cyn slowly woke up at the Top of a scraper, at the mercy of a Ghoul Lord. She manages to somehow escape, and oh yeah, take part of the GL with her. Then she ends up falling off the top of the skyscraper. She catches herself part of the way down, but ends up slipping off again. Luckily, there is a hot like burning man with wings who happens to see her and rescues her.

Vargr isn’t quite sure that is going on with her, because no one has ever escaped from the Top, and if Cyn managed to, then maybe she is an agent of the Ghoul Lords. Or maybe not. Maybe she’s just a plain vanilla human, but it doesn’t seem like she is. At first, she doesn’t seem to be affected by the Lure, but then it seems like she is affected by it. So, the only option he has is to chain her up, and fuck her. But Cyn isn’t going to make that easy at all, even if she does want it.

There is a whole buttload of struggle fucking in here. It is fucking hot too. I love the way that Cyn forces Vargr to prove that he’s dominant over her and how she provokes him so that she can get what she wants.

I love how Cyn’s personality seems to go from nice and calm to I like to lick guns and violence is good. I really like both sides of her personality. I think that she is pretty much chaos incarnate and that everyone should watch out when it comes to her. I can’t wait to find out more about her.

Vargr, now him, I have other feelings about. I’m not sure that I like him that much. I’m not sure that I dislike him that much either. I do know that I am disappointed in him right now. I think he’s going to be one of those characters where how I feel about him changes from sentence to sentence.

There is a lot of humor going on in this book, which is always nice. I enjoy being able to laugh when I’m reading post-apocalyptic porn. There are also oddly placed tattoos, which make me wonder how they felt going on. And of course, being a Cari book, there are giant cocks with additions, like knobs and spikes that extend when the guy orgasms.

I am dying for the next book, because there is going to be so much more to learn.

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I like Rutger. I think that he has Cyn’s back more than Vargr does right now, but I don’t know how much that currently is.

I understand why Vargr is upset right now, but I think that he is in the wrong about stuff right now. I dunno.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-The Truth About Cinder

Have you ever wanted a fairy tale that took place in a post-apocalyptic world where most everywhere in the world has dried up and water is more precious than gold? If you have, then Alta has the perfect story for you, The Truth About Cinder. As you might be able to guess from the name, this is the story of Sleeping Beauty. OK, it’s a dark, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, kinky version of Cinderella. And I gotta tell you, I much prefer Alta’s version over the Brothers Grimm’s version. More sex and spanking, for one thing.

So, pretty much all the water has dried up. There are a few places where water can still be found, and in those areas, communes have sprung up where people live. The communes aren’t very pleasant places. They are really just surviving, and you know how people are when they are in that kind of mindset, so just imagine how nasty the people were in some of those communes. Think something like Mad Max or Tank Girl. Outside of the communes, the rest of the world is a desert, with no plants, no animals, no nothing.

Into this desperate, desiccated world trudges Cinder. She left the commune she was born into, and has stayed here and there at various communes on her journey. She has an ultimate goal in her journey, and it has taken her quite a while to get to it. She is going to the Palace of Lazar. She wants to join the harem there. Everyone says that it is just a myth, but she knows deep in her soul that Lazar exists and she’s going to get there. It isn’t an easy journey, by any means, but it is worth it for Cinder. In fact, for Cinder, it’s so worth it that she nearly dies on her journey.

But when she wakes, she discovers that she has made it to Lazar, and a gorgeous man is there in front of her, telling her that she has made it and if she meets the requirements, she can join the harem. Donte is the man, and he tells her that if she doesn’t behave, he’ll be in charge of punishing her. He stands there while she’s examined to see if she’s a virgin then takes her to the baths and watches as she is groomed, and all her body hair is removed. Cinder is all about having him there, as she is drawn to him and he makes her feel safe.

Months go on, and Cinder is happy in the harem and being trained, but of course, nothing stays the same, and when you live in a dangerous world, even if you are living in a palace in the lap of luxury, no place is safe forever.

I really like Cinder. She knew what she wanted and she was willing to go out and get it. I mean, it had to have been scary to go out into the world from her birth commune, and then to leave one after another so that she could get to the palace. And she had to do that without knowing exactly where she’d be able to get more supplies or if what she carried would last her as long as she needed. I’m not sure that I would’ve been able to do it, especially trudging through the desert. I am not a trudging through the desert kind of woman. I am not a going to the desert kind of woman. It’s hot. I don’t like to be hot. We get to see a lot of that fire and strength in Cinder. I mean, yeah, she has her moments, but overall, she is a very strong character. That doesn’t mean she’s not submissive too. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be both strong and submissive. And Cinder definitely is.

Donte seems to be a really good man. He cares for the entire harem, and wants everyone to be safe. He is stern and disciplined, as well as being the disciplinarian. But it seems like everything he does to discipline the women of the harem is done in a caring way. In fact, there is one point when he’s been brought in to punish Cinder that he asks if she thinks that she deserves it and listens to her explain why she doesn’t. We really don’t get to know much about him, except through Cinder, since everything is from her POV.

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OMG, that last scene with Maysa? I’m pretty sure that’s going to be nightmare fodder for me. That was… Yeah.

OK, that’s all for me. Go check this out! Happy reading!

 

Anthology-Bite Me

So, several of the usual suspects, plus a couple new ones, have gotten together and given us 9 lovely vampire stories. Bite Me has stories from Addison Cain, Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley, Myra Danvers, Eris Adderly, Livia Bourne, Sara Fields, Anita Gray, and Cassandra Faye. Cassandra Faye may sound like a totally new person, but that is Jennifer Bene’s new pen name for her more paranormal stuff.

As with any anthology that includes these ladies, there is dark and then there is DARK. That’s one of the nice things about anthologies, if you ask me, you are going to get a wide variety of darkness plus different takes on the subject. All the stories are about vampires, but there are 9 different ideas. The stories also vary in length. Some of them are prologues to new series, which I am dying for. So, with all that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?

Addison Cain-Cathedral

If you remember When the Darkness Wins, you might remember Pearl and Catacombs. Addison also released it as a standalone. Well, Cathedral is about Jade, Darius and Pearl’s daughter. I feel sorry for Jade. Having Darius as a father can’t have been easy at all. She’s nothing but a pawn in the hands of her father.

I was really excited to see this one come out, because I’ve been dying for more of that story and that world since I read Catacombs a million years ago. Or at least a few months back, whatever. Of course, Addison being the tease she is, there’s more to the story that we don’t know yet. But I’m sure we will, sooooooon. 

Zoe Blake-Till the End of Time

Zoe went back to the 1400s, and the most well-known vampire, Vlad Tepes, Voivode of Wallachia, Son of Dracul, aka Dracula. Only this origin story doesn’t start with the Impaler. It starts with his wife, Mirella. It also spans a lot of years.

I love how much research that Zoe had to have put into this one to get the true flavor of 1400s Romania. You get a real feel for Mirella and the whole geopolitical situation of the day. A whole lot of historical fact was wound into this story as well as the fiction, and it makes for a really rich story.

Alta Hensley-Master of Ceremonies

You know, I’ve often thought that a traveling carnival is a good place for supernaturals to hide, and apparently Alta did too. Cirque Romani’s MC, Valian, is more than meets the eye, and the Cirque’s audience is perfect to feed all his various hungers. Ada is his mortal assistant who madly loves him.

I really, really, really want more of this story. I mean, like sell my son’s soul for more of this story. I’d offer to sell mine, but that’s assuming that I still have one. There’s so much that happens here, and I want to see how all the events play out.

Myra Danvers-Enthralled

Myra, who is now one of my favorite authors, has given us a prequel to this. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s set, but I’m guessing mid-1800s. Axton is a new vampire, who follows his Dark Queen, his Night Princess, his Dam, Selma.

One of the things that I like about this is Myra’s language. She uses all kinds of euphemisms for various genitalia and sexual acts. It could sound silly in other places, but it really works well in this story. On top of that, I think that Myra also did a really good job of drawing us in and getting us involved in Axton’s feelings.

Eris Adderly-V Is For Vampire

Eris’s story is a prequel too. And being Eris, she gives us a totally different take on vampires. Her vampires in a couple of hundred years in the future. It’s also a genetic thing with them. You either carry the gene or you don’t. If you have the gene, you live in the underground as a vampire. If you don’t, you’re a normal and you live on the surface. November is 22V positive and a gate guard, keeping her people underground and normals aboveground.

I really like the whole futuristic dystopic world that Eris has created. I’m not quite sure that I could call it post-apocalyptic, but maybe post-apocalyptic adjacent? I’m really looking forward to what is going to happen with this, because it looks like there are some major, major changes coming.

Livia Bourne-Blinding Salvation

This is another prequel, and I may have to start counting down the days to this one. Hopefully, Livia hasn’t been taking too many lessons from Addison and won’t be a sadist. Lily was abducted to become food to Armand, a trapped vampire. But, you know, it’s never quite that interesting.

I really like Lily and Armand. Lily is very smart and very canny. I think that she is going to be really good for Armand. I like him too. I want to see more of how his mind works, because I think that he’s good and sneaky, and really creative when it comes to revenge.

Sara Fields-The Devil’s Game

Sara likes to play with us, I think. She gives us the story of Cain and Ruby. They are both strong, in their own ways, doing their own things, but then, they meet up, and sparks fly. They are fantastic together.

I wonder if there is going to be more of this. I hope so, I would really like there to be more. I think that Ruby and Cain play off each other really well. I like the whole premise of the story, and it plays back to some of the old vampire origin myths, which was always fun.

Anita Gray-To My End

Oh, this is definitely an Anita story. There’s probably a mindfuck in there somewhere. We have a Hunter named Sonny who is chasing down the Potentials and has to kill them. Then we have Vi, who doesn’t know exactly how special she is. But she sure knows how sexy new guy in town Sonny is.

You know, when I first read this one, I wanted so much for there to be more. I mean, I still do, don’t get me wrong, but I also think that the way that it ended is actually pretty much perfect. I think more story might ruin that perfectness. Does that mean I won’t read more if Anita gives it to us? Hell no. I will definitely read it. I’m sure that Anita can fix it.

Cassandra Faye-Sweet Ruin

Grace had a sexy, sexy dream. Probably a dream. Maybe a dream. Then she has a hallucination. A sexy, sexy hallucination named Nic who keeps showing up wherever she is. Sometimes he’s even dressed.

Sweet Ruin is probably the lightest story in the book. When you realize it’s a Jennifer Bene story, you might be surprised by that fact, but only if you haven’t read some of her PNR. It fits in pretty well with her books in that genre. It’s a totally different flavor to some of her other books. I loved Grace and Nic, and I think that they are really cute together.

OK, that’s all the stories and how I felt about them all. I’ve always loved a good vampire story and 9 of them is even better. Go check out the book and tell me what you think! Happy reading!

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Kay Elle Parker-Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows is the second part of the Shadowcrown Duet by Kay Elle Parker. See my review for King of Shadows here.

There are likely to be spoilers from the first one in this review, since it was a duet, and it was left on a cliffhanger. We all know that’s just the nature of the beast, but we also know that I will do everything possible in order to keep that from happening. But, you have been warned, and if you get spoiled, I’m sorry, but you were warned.

So, we left pregnant Allianna after she has lost both Kian and Islador. The one to a demon, the other because he was trying to save her. Now, Lucifer is doing his damnedest to turn her into his queen. He wants her and her child, plus any other children she may bear, so that he’ll have heirs. Luci may be bound and determined to have her, but Allianna is even more bound and determined to not have him, and one of the reasons is that she’s pretty sure she can’t be touched again, let alone ever have sex again. However, Luci left her a surprise.

Isla wakes up in Alli’s bathtub. While only short time has happened in the Shadows, it was an endless time in Hell, and Isla was tortured. He’s not quite the same person he was before. That’s OK, Alli isn’t exactly the same person she was before either, and now she’s even more because she’s the queen. She is doing all she can to hold her world together and to rule while she’s falling apart inside. She has Dhur there to help her and to protect and care for her, and now she has Islador who will help her. The problem is she also has Lucifer who likes to pop in now and again and pretty much be a douchelord. All this is making Alli just fall apart inside, which she tries really hard to hide, but not so well.

Meanwhile, Kian is being tortured, until Isla makes a deal with Lucifer, and he is put into a “safe” place for a few months. I don’t know what the agreement was, but it was something. But Luci has his plans for Kian too.

I kinda like and hate Lucifer at the same time. The thing is you can’t trust him further than you can throw him, because hello, Prince of Lies, original Fallen Angel. But, you can trust in the fact that you can’t trust him. It’s hard to know if he is lying or telling the truth, because again, Prince of Lies. But not every word out of his mouth is a lie. It would be easier if it were. He will always tell the truth if it will hurt more, but he may not be telling all the truth, or the absolute truth. And he does it all in such a charming way. Right until his charm fails and his monstrousness shines through.

Kian and Isla try to do their best by Allianna, but it ain’t always possible. And she is strong-willed enough that she’s going to fight hard to find out any secrets that they are keeping from her and keep them from packing her in cotton wool. In fact, I think it would be utterly impossible to pack her away and keep her safe.

The last time I wrote about these characters, I said that Allianna was high up in the tough, kickass heroine list? Well, this book did absolutely nothing to dispell that. She is definitely a kickass heroine, and she is there to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she ran out of bubble gum a looooooong time ago. I think that anyone who wants to go against her or her kingdom or her family should think about least 15 times, and then reconsider. And then they should probably run far, far, far, far, far away, so she can’t even find out that they were thinking about anything.

Isla and Kian are both good men who dearly love her. And Dhur is more than just a guard or anything else, he is family, and is utterly devoted to the royal family.

I would still kill for a book about Dhur, and I would love to see the next generation.

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OMG, OMG, OMG!!! The baby drama!

And the ultimate solution?

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Ivy Chapman-Torn Apart

This is the first Ivy Chapman I’ve had on the blog, but I’m pretty sure that Torn Apart isn’t going to be the last one, because I kind of love this book a lot, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Seraphine and Arden.

This is a dark and fucked up book, and I think that Ivy could give some of the other dark authors I read a run for their money when it comes to dark and fucked up. Does that mean I didn’t like it? Fuck no. I really liked it.

So, here’s the story. In this particular world, Omegas are barely better than cattle. Maybe they are even worse, because cattle can give you meat and milk. Omegas are just there to be fucked and/or tortured. And every year, it gets worse. More and more rights are stripped from Omegas, and if you are an Omega, and get found out, you can expect hell to rain down on you. Seraphine and Arden are a set of twins, and they are both Omegas. As if being a twinned Omega isn’t enough, they are a set of boy/girl twins, with Arden being the boy. Their parents have kept them safe by hiding them. Not even the neighbors know that they exist, and they have a special safe room that takes a lot of work to get into to go when they are in heat. But then, it happens. Trackers find them.

I really liked the title of this book because it really fits what happens in the book in more than one way. It’s one of those titles that makes you wonder exactly which way the author meant it, and which way you should take it. Personally, I’m taking it as all the ways it could be meant in this story.

Another one of the things I liked about this is that Arden is a bit of a departure for male Omegas. I’ve never seen a male Omega in other MF Omegaverses, although, they have been talked about as existing in at least one world. So the male Omegas I’m used to seeing are in the MM books, and they usually are gay. There have been a few, a very few, that have had a male Omega and a female Alpha, but we only see them as something that happened in the past. But in this one, Arden is very interested in finding an Alpha female when he’s in heat, so that he can seed her. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he would turn down an Alpha male, if one were to present himself. I don’t know if mpreg is going to happen in this series, but I can see all kinds of interesting permutations going on if it does. I’m happy either way it goes. It will be interesting, no matter what.

Do pay attention to the warnings that Ivy puts on the book. And it’s not a spoiler to say it’s a cliffie, since she puts that in the warning, but it was a pretty satisfying place where she put the cliff, if you ask me.

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I found the differences between Arden and Sera and what they go through to be really interesting. I mean, it’s like night and day what they go through.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!