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!

 

Felicity Brandon-Captured

Oh, Felicity is back with one of her delightful capture, noncon fantasies. Captured is all gothicky and suspenseful, and dayum, soooo good.

So, here’s the story. Fuller and Lawes are dentists. They, along with their assistants, have come up with a letter to send to women who have some serious dental anxiety. They’ve done all kinds of research and background searches to find the perfect women to send these letters out to. Sounds all nice and shit, doesn’t it? Yeah, don’t you believe it.

Hannah is one of the women who got the letter. She’s had some issues with dental fear for years. One bad appointment when she was a kid, and that was all she wrote. So, she gets this letter that says hey, we can give you the dental treatment you need while helping you to deal with your dental anxiety. Hannah thought that sounded good, so off she went.

She gets to the doctor’s appointment, and is taken to the office of one of the dentists and starts talking to him. The next thing she knows, she wakes up naked, secured in a dentist chair, ready for her examination.

There is a lot of dirty deliciousness going on in here. I mean, Felicity dug deep for the obscenity here. I’m not going to complain one little bit, because I’m not joking, it really was delicious. Pretty much everything that happened hit a good place for me.

I really empathize with Hannah, because I had a really traumatic appointment with a dentist when I was a kid, and I have some serious dental anxiety too. I will, however, never ask for sedation dentistry again, because heaven only knows what I’d wake up to. And, as I was reading this, I had to run my son into town because we needed to go to the store superquick. He told me he’d run into store for me, yay kid, so I was sitting in the car reading while I was waiting for him. As I was doing that, a commercial came over the radio for a dentist office that specialized in patients with dental anxiety. Yup, I laughed my ass off.

So, I like Hannah. I think that she shows a lot of spunk. Not necessarily a lot of planning, but spunk. She fights against what’s happening, and I can respect that. I don’t know if her lack of planning ahead is just from the whole unexpectedness of what happens and opportunities that show up, or from fear, adrenaline, or whatever. Whatever it is, I think that if she had waited and played along for a little while that she would’ve been in a much better place.

I find the guys there to be very interesting. I don’t like Fuller at all. I think that he’s scary af. But I find Lawes and Matthew to have something that I like. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something that draws me to them. I think that there is something that Lawes likes about Hannah too.

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I think that Lawes should get his ass beat, just because. I mean, stick him in the pillory and have 40 whacks at him. Seems to be poetic justice to me.

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

Felicity Brandon-Mastered by Daddy

Felicity is back with the 2nd book in her dark Daddy trilogy, Mastered by Daddy. This one picks up right where the first one left off, so there will probably be spoilers. You have been warned.

So, Jared has taken Sophie away from her home and family, and now he has his little girl tied up in her little pink bedroom. He has plans for all kinds of depraved things that he’s going to do to her. He ties her up, fucks her, shaves her, punishes her, and puts a bib on her. He forces her to eat breakfast even though she doesn’t want it.

Then there is Sophie. She both hates and loves what he’s doing to her. I mean, it hits all her happy buttons, even though she really doesn’t want it to, but she’s still trapped by a terrible man, who took her without her permission, keeps her tied up, is forcing her to call him Daddy, and won’t let her go to her kids.

Yeah, that’s kind of a quick synopsis of the story, but I don’t want to get too much into it, really. There are several reasons for that, but one of them is the fact that there is a lot of sex in this, and I can’t synopsize the sex scenes and do any justice to what Felicity wrote. That’s why she’s the author and I’m the blogger.

Like the first book, I had a hard time with this one. I think that part of the reason that I had problems with it is carried over from the first book, which totally makes sense because they are the same characters, so my feelings are going to carry over. The book should hit a lot of my happy buttons, because it’s dark, it’s a capture story, and it’s a strong bad guy, but I’m still having some problems with it. I like a good bad guy, but I really hate Jared, and not in a love to hate, hate to love kinda way, I really just don’t like him. I haven’t been able to find anything that I can latch on to, and the fact that he has taken Sophie away from her children and doesn’t give a flying fuck, as long as he gets his dick wet, is probably the biggest reason that I don’t like him. But even with me hating Jared, Felicity has still written a book that I felt was really intense. In fact, I had to put it down a couple of times and take a break because of that intensity.

I am still wavering back and forth on Sophie. I like her, and I think that she’s fighting against Jared as hard as she can, and fighting to get back to her kids, but she also finds herself in a place where she almost accepts what’s happening. Which is totally a sensical thing, considering, and that doesn’t make me waver on her. I honestly am not sure why I waver on her. Here’s the thing though, me wavering on her is a compliment to Felicity, I think. That’s because I’m thinking about the characters even after I’m done reading the book.

So, you might be asking yourself if I will read the 3rd one even though I’ve had issues with the first two. My answer is yes, and I’ll tell you why. Because I am invested in what happens to Sophie and if Jared can be redeemed.

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I found Daniel’s comments on consent to be really interesting. I’m wondering if they are foreshadowing anything.

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

Jennifer Bene & Shane Starrett-Jasmine

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

No really, this fucking book. Jennifer and Shane did something special with Jasmine, and I don’t think I will recover. Shane can insist that this is a good, clean, Christian love story all he wants to, and I won’t call him a liar, but I will say that I think that those words don’t necessarily mean what he thinks they mean. This is dark, intense, even darker than that, definitely more intense than you might think, and oh holy fuck, what the fuck did I just read?

This is Shane’s second book, and I honestly wouldn’t know if I didn’t already know. He and Jennifer wrote a tight book that drowned me in its darkness and damn near killed me in its intensity.

So, here’s our story. Her was abducted by Him. Him calls Her his wife, named Jasmine. He has to teach her how to be a good and godly wife, which means when she tries to escape, he drags her into the barn, and punishes her. By shoving a stick where sticks don’t go and belting the living fuck out her. But then, he tells her that he loves her, and that all is now forgiven between them and between her and God. Her is always telling Him that she isn’t Jasmine, but no matter what he is positive that she is. She is sure that Jasmine is already dead and that she’s going to be next, and after all the time that she’s been trapped by Him, she’s just ready for it to happen. If she can’t escape one way, she’ll do it another.

There is so much darkness in here that I can’t even describe all of it. I can’t even put this in as a capture fantasy, because, well, it just ain’t. Like I said earlier, dark and intense, and I’m still trying to figure out what the fuck I read, because damn. I don’t want to describe it any more than that, because I don’t want to spoil any of it for anyone who reads this. In fact, I’ve already gone back and rewritten paragraphs to make sure that I’m not spoiling anything. And I may take out another one. I haven’t decided yet.

I like the female main character. I think that she is stronger than she really has any right to be. She has dealt with all kinds of things that would break most people. I love that the first time we see her, she’s trying really hard to escape. I love that we get the dual POVs, so we get a good look into the minds of both Her and Him. And I really love that’s how the chapters are headed, so that we know whose POV we’re looking at. It really helps to add to the whole tone of the book.

I really dislike Him. I mean, truly dislike him. But, that being said, I’m not sure how much he is in his right mind. Or even his left mind. Not that it excuses anything that he does, and I’m really not trying to do that, but his plane of reality and our plane of reality don’t touch at any significant point. They aren’t even in nearby dimensions of reality.

If you like dark, and I mean really dark, then this is definitely something that you should take a look at. I would love to see Shane and Jennifer team up again, because what they have written is excellent.

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I have to say, as much as I dislike Him, he’s not the one I hate the most in this book. There is another character who I really hate so very much more. Soooo, very much more.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out. Happy reading?

Cari Silverwood & Jennifer Bene-Mesmer

Cari and Jennifer are two of my favorite writers ever, and they have teamed up to write a very dark, downright dirty, and devilishly disturbing book called Mesmer. This book takes place in Cari’s mesmer-verse, but it can totally be read as a standalone, if you aren’t familiar with the universe.

So, here’s the story. Mesmers are men who have an extra power. They can collect women. In other words, with certain women, they can completely take control of the woman. They can make her feel lust and pleasure, or they can, you know, not. But, if that was all the mesmers wanted, it wouldn’t be so bad. What they really like to do is depraved shit, and shit that will hurt women. They like pain. They like to cause it. It’s like it feeds them.

Tomik is a mesmer. He has a life he likes. He collects women, he does terrible things to them, he disposes of them. He has a brotherhood that he hangs out with, and they all do all kinds of fucked up things.

Then, there’s Hannah. Hannah and Tomik were friends and very close as teenagers. But then, Tomik just left, and Hannah doesn’t know why. But she does know that she missed him, and when she had trouble, she did the only thing she could think of. She called Tomik for help. The problem is, she doesn’t know what Tomik is.

Tomik is really layered. I can’t tell you if I like him, hate him, hate to like him, like to hate him, want him to die by fire, or want to fuck him. Or, you know, all of the above. He starts out really kind of flat, but with Cari and Jennifer, you can bet he doesn’t stay that way. It really is fascinating to watch him and watch the changes in him and how he reacts to the world and to Hannah.

Hannah is harder for me to get a grip on. I think, though, that’s because of Tomik. I think I see bits of her popping through, but I’m never sure. It’s really interesting to watch and to find out. I know that I will be thinking about her for a while and trying to figure out who is the real Hannah and who isn’t.

I think that Cari and Jennifer egged each other on, and I’m not going to complain if they did, because that means that we ended up as the winners, because I’m telling you, this book is just totally awesome. It’s one of those that I’m mad that I’ve already read it because I’ll never be able to read it for the first time again, and I really want to.

And I don’t know who came up with the rocking horse, I just know that I will never look at them the same again.

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Greta is really interesting. I really want to know more about her. Hopefully we can find out more about her at some point.

OK, that’s all for this one. 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!

Natalie Bennett-The Dahlia Saga 1 & 2: Malice & Obscene

Malice and Obscene are both rereleases of previous books. The original books were both duets, and are now consolidated. It’s been a while since I read the original books, so there may be some additional material, but I’m not sure. Malice (which was almost released as Macabre) was the Mercy books, and Obscene was the Obscene duet. Anyway, Natalie finally got Amazon to agree to release the books out of review and now we can read them.

Malice is the story of Julian and Morganna. Julian’s family is really rich, and basically owns the town. They also own the Chateau Dahlia. That’s not really talked about in town, and those who do know what happens at the Dahlia don’t talk about it. They enjoy what happens, and more importantly, they value their lives. Julian’s family would do terrible, terrible things to anyone who had loose lips. And they would probably take them to the Dahlia to do it. Anyway, Julian is about to take over the Dahlia, but he needs an heir. He’s become fixated on Morganna.

Morganna is a broken young woman who happens to live in town. She used to be better before her sister disappeared, but since then, she’s been very, very broken. And then Julian walks into her life, and starts to court her. Well, courting is just such an interesting word. Then she wakes up in Julian’s bed and finds out they are about to get married.

Neither Julian or Morganna are in the realm of sane. They aren’t even next door neighbors to sanity. I don’t think they are even in the same zip code. But even as they are removed from sanity, their respective crazinesses are far removed from each other too. I almost want to say that they have a folie a deux going on, but I don’t think that’s quite right.

Julian has a missing piece inside. I don’t know if it’s a soul, a heart, or what, but there’s definitely something not there. I think Morganna had that piece at some point, but it got pounded out of her. Like with other Dahlia books I’ve reviewed here, I have to wonder, at least when it comes to Julian, is how much comes down to nature vs. nurture. I find that whole argument to be really interesting, and it’s a hard one to come up with truly objective evidence on, because, well, it’s extremely unethical and seriously illegal to do that kind of research. But I have to wonder if Julian would be the kind of person he is if he was raised in any other way.

Malice is one of those books that as I’m reading and enjoying it, I’m slightly worried about what it says about me. There are places where it’s pretty uncomfortable, definitely disturbing, and dark AF. But, I still enjoyed the story.

Obscene

Obscene is the story of Mason and Katie.

Mason is another member of the family that owns and runs the Dahlia. He’s now of age to find a wife, and he’s set on Katie. He’s been set on Katie for many years, and has been watching her. I mean, seriously, like cameras in her bedroom kind of watching her. Katie has been totally oblivious to his observation, and goes about her life, working as a waitress at a diner, trying to stay away from her overbearing mother, and trying to just get through her life. Then she wakes up in Julian’s bed. Seems like a pattern, doesn’t it?

Mason is closer to sane than Julian is. And honestly, I can’t tell you the reason why. He too grew up around the Chateau Dahlia. And he also does terrible things. And I do mean terrible. But he just seems much more in touch with that part of his psyche that could be considered sane, at least in my opinion.

Katie is fractured, but I don’t think she’s a broken as Morganna started out. Or maybe she’s more and she manages to handle what’s happening better and is able to be put back together in a new way better. Plus, Mason does things a lot differently than Julian does, which would explain why there are differences between Morganna and Katie.

I would put Obscene in the dark romance category because there is love in there. I wouldn’t put Malice in there, because I think of it more as a psychological kind of thing more than a romance kind of thing. This is just how I would classify it in my head, and isn’t binding on anyone else or how they might classify or think about the books. I think it’s up to you to decide how you feel about them after you read them.

Do be aware that these books are dark and fucked up. There are some serious mindfucks going on in here, because, well, Natalie Bennett. There are mentions of suicide attempts and cutting, so if that is something that would trigger you, be aware of it. Please read responsibly.

There is no spoiler section on this one, and I have tried really, really hard to not spoil anything here. That’s all I have to say about these books. If you like the dark, check them out. I don’t know whether to wish you happy reading or not. Here, have a picture of a pretty flower.

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