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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Merel Pierce-Sacred Omegas: December

Today, I get to one of my favorite things when it comes to my blog. I get to introduce a very brand new author. Merel Pierce has just published her very first book. It’s the first book in a new series, called The Sacred Omegas. This book is called December. With Omega in the title, you can probably guess that this is an Omegaverse book, and it very definitely is. This one happens to be MF O-verse, which means that there is some dubon/noncon in there, and it is dark. You don’t see that as much when it comes to MM Omegaverse, which I still find to be a really interesting thing. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just different, and different makes the world go ’round.

Anyway, let’s talk about December, shall we? So, the world that December lives in isn’t a very friendly world, especially if you are a woman. Even more especially if you are an Omega. December is a woman, but she doesn’t know yet that she’s an Omega. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that. Right now, what she does know is that she feels sick, in pain, and is currently in a transfer station owned by Nikolai, who is basically the prince of the city. He is high ranking Russian mob. In fact, he’s so high ranking, that he IS the Russian mob. December is just sitting there, trying to mind her own business, locked in a cage, waiting for whatever is going to happen, when she starts to feel sicker, and all of a sudden, a brutish Alpha sees her, and decides that he’s going to drag her out of the cage. And he does. By her neck.

Luckily, Nikolai happens to be around at just the right time and in just the right place, and he sees what’s happening. He gets one good whiff of December and realizes that he has an Omega on his hands, so he rescues her from the asshat who is trying to throttle her. When he gets her to the medical center, he finds out that she has a suppressant implant. It works like those birth control implants do, only suppressants instead of contraceptives. It’s failing, and it’s making her sick. So Nikolai has it removed and decides that he’s going to make her an offer she can’t refuse. He needs an heir, she’s an Omega, it’s a match made in heaven. She owes him money, and if she gives him a baby, he’ll call it even and let her go.

Of course, it’s never that easy. If it were that easy, it wouldn’t be a dark romance, and it wouldn’t have dubcon/noncon elements, would it? There are some really shitty things that happen, and some really good things, and Merel does really well at balancing things out and not burning us out.

I like December. I think that her name is so unique. She’s very canny and street smart. At one point, in the beginning of the book, Nikolai likens her to a feral animal, and I think that is a really good description of her. She’s just as likely to bite your hand as she is to let you pet her. Of course, she hasn’t ever had anyone in her life who has treated her all that well, so when she is in a place where she’s warm, has good food, and is relatively safe, but has an unknown character running around, she’s doing what she can to protect herself, which can include making herself agree to whatever the Alpha in the room wants.

December is also incredibly strong and resilient. I mean, her past would definitely grind anyone down, but I think she let it polish her and give her more strength. I think the only person who sees how incredibly strong she is is Nikolai, and I think he misses it on occasion.

Nikolai is a good man, in my opinion. He has his own code of honor and morals, and he keeps to them. They may not be mine, but they are his, and it works out for him. I think he’s also very, very focused on what needs to be done. He plays things close to the chest, and he’s a planner. I think that he’ll be good for December in the long run, just as she is good for him.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series. I think that Merel did a good job on this one, and she will only continue to get better as she keeps writing and publishing. I do have one tiny quibble, but that is just a me thing, not a quality thing. I think she slightly overused the word meat when it came to describing cocks, but like I said, that’s a me thing and doesn’t affect the book’s quality or even my enjoyment of it in any way. And, to be fair, meat is a good description of the cock. At least she didn’t call it a love rod or a fuck muscle or anything like that, lol.

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I hope that we see more about Dantè. What little we saw of him seemed truly intriguing. There seemed to be more there than what met the eye.

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

 

 

Sophie Kisker-Given

Given is the last book in Sophie’s Nectar of the Gods series. And I am mad and sad about that. I am not mad at Sophie for it, because I don’t think that any author owes me books or anything, but just mad in general about it, because I really like the series. And of course sad because I really like the series and there won’t be anything new in that world. But, I’m also happy and satisfied because the series ended up in a good place and in a satisfying way. So, with all my mixed up emotions, let’s talk about this book, shall we?

As you may or may not remember, human women have been pulled through portals to an alien world where they are turned into slaves. The Anterrin men are addicted to human women’s nectar, the fluids that are created when a woman orgasms. It makes the guys a little high. Because of that, human women are tied up and forced to orgasm over and over and over. The nectar slaves tend to have a very short, very painful life. It’s even worse if you end up at the palace as one of the King’s nectar slaves. Just ask Emmie. She was one of the nectar slaves, but then she ended up being hurt, leaving a burn mark high up on her thigh, ending near her pussy. That made her too ugly for anyone to want to sip directly from the source, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t still serve. They bottled her nectar.

That’s not the only way that she can serve though, the King is going to use her as currency for a bet with one of his commanders. He tells the dude that she’s one of his best nectar slaves, but doesn’t tell him about the scar. When the commander wins her, he isn’t sure what he’s going to do with a nectar slave, and a defective one at that. So he decides that he’ll take her back to his base, toss her in a hut, and let his men at her.

Garet and Dev are twin brothers, like all Anterrin males. They shared a mate, but she died a year ago. Now they are stuck with trying to raise their 2 boys and a daughter on their own. They are in the military and they are taking turns as to which one is working and which one is home with the kids. Their commander is starting to get antsy about it, so he has come up with a great idea. He’s going to send his defective nectar slave to take care of their children for them so that both brothers can come back to work. Well, you can only guess how thrilled the boys were about that.

I think Emmie is strong af. I mean, look at all the shit she gets handed and all the shit that she survives, and she still manages to hang in there and not only just hang in there, but eventually even thrive. She is able to help with things that no one thought that she would be able to do and to make things better for all kinds of people. I want to give her mad props for everything she managed to do. I think that without Emmie, the series wouldn’t have ended so satisfactorily.

I felt so sorry for Dev and Garet. They had so many terrible things happen all at once, and they are just floundering so badly. They are trying and trying and trying, but nothing is working right, not even the house. And if you ask me, I think Merila did that on purpose to them. I got a little laugh out of it. I liked how they changed after they met Emmie and spent time with her. I mean, I think some of their views were there already, but meeting Emmie and having that relationship with her changed them even more.

The High Priest is really awesome and I really liked the bit of Anterrin spirituality that we got. It was a nice contrast to all the evil stuff we usually get about the Anterrins in general.

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That punishment wall. I don’t know whether it was scary or exciting or excitingly scary. I did like the pad that she had to write lines on. That is just evil.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! It’s available at Zon and at Eden books. Happy reading!

 

Jennifer Bene-Breaking Beth

If you have read Jennifer’s Thalia series, then you’ve heard Beth mentioned. She was one of the women that the Evil Anthony and Marcus kidnapped before they got Thalia for her ordeal. There isn’t a whole lot of mention of her, outside of Marcus yelling at Anthony for ruining Beth. But until Jennifer’s story in When the Dark Wins, we didn’t know what happened to Beth. You can’t get WtDW anymore, but you can get Breaking Beth, which will let you get started with Beth’s journey. I personally can’t wait to get the full story, because I fell in love with Beth.

So, in the Thalia books, we saw a lot of Marcus, and only a little Anthony. Beth gets a lot more up close and personal with Anthony. I don’t like either Marcus or Anthony, which is fine, because they don’t like each other either. They are really different characters. Marcus, I think, really thinks that he’s a good guy. OK, not necessarily a good guy, but not the bad guy, even though he is kidnapping and selling women. Here’s why I think that. Marcu wants to train the women through pleasure to be the perfect slave. I mean, he’ll punish them as necessary, but he isn’t going to go out of his way to hurt the women. Frankly, in my opinion, he just wants to get his dick wet, and “training” the women is a good way to do that. He wants to beat Anthony, and he’s pretty sure that the whole pleasure thing will do it.

Anthony, on the other hand, is a stone-cold sadistic psychopath. Don’t get me wrong, sadists can be a lot of fun, in the right situation. But, this isn’t the right situation, nor is it the right mix. I’m pretty sure that there is nothing at all redeemable about Anthony. Even if you shredded him down into his component pieces parts and tried to make him into a new person you still couldn’t make a redeemable person. Just dump some bleach into that gene pool and be done with it.

Beth. Oh Beth. Poor Beth. She’s about to go through hell, I’m pretty sure. I mean, just being with Anthony is the foyer of Hell, and if that is just the start of Hell, you have to wonder what she’s really about to go through, right? I like Beth. She is fierce, spirited, and full of fire. I think that will help eventually. I can’t wait to read her journey, because if I know anything, I do know that it will be fabulous, and I do know that Jennifer will put her through hell, but in the end, Beth will be able to come through it. She might not be the same person, but she will be Beth, Victorious.

You’ve probably noticed that I don’t have a synopsis of the book on this. That’s because it’s a short enough read that it would be really hard to talk about the story without spoiling anything, and I try really hard not to ever do that.

So, if you like dark, noncon-y goodness, and you loved Thalia, you should definitely go read Beth’s story. Happy reading!

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Scarlett Snow and Loxley Savage-Saphyre

Oh my ducklings, this is DARK. This is disturbing. This is intense, and if you don’t like those things, then Saphyre is definitely not the book for you. Which is definitely not anything to be upset about, we all like what we like. And you’re in good company, Amazon doesn’t like it either. In fact, Amazon banned this book, not just once, but twice. Once under this name, and then after Scarlett and Loxley reworked and renamed it, it was banned under that name too. It had reached bestseller status too, both times. But, do not despair, oh my darlings, the buy link I posted is good, and you can get it there, at least as a mobi file. And once you have it, you definitely have it forever.

Scarlett and Loxley are both new authors to me. I saw the cover in passing in Sara Fields’ group and thought that it sounded like a good book, but then my brain sabotaged me, as it does. Then Katie Douglas and I were talking about other things, and she asked me if I knew anything about it, since she couldn’t find it anywhere. So, I went and looked and asked, and found out that yup, it had been banned. Loxley told me that they were trying to find other options, and then they came out with Ember, and by the time I had a second to read it, it was banned again. So, the very second I found the new buy link, I jumped on it. We all know that I buy banned books anyway, and a banned book that I want to read? Yupper.

So here’s the way that the story goes. It’s post-apocalyptic and dystopian AF. There are two very, very, very distinct castes. You have the Emperians and the Tenebrians. Emperia is made up of 4 floating islands, three of which have a separate kingdom on it. This book, we’re concerned with the kingdom of the manticore shifters. Manticores, by the way, are a beastie out of Persian mythology. It has the head of a man, the body of a lion, and can either have a scorpion tail or a long tail with spines all over it. The pix you see of manticores tend to have a humanish face with a mane. And oh yeah, lest I forget, they also have wings. The Emperian manticores have 3 tails, one which kills you when you are stung, one which gives you incredible pain, and one which is an aphrodisiac. Anyway, the Emperians are all that, a bag of chips, and the extra large soda too. They are the creme de la creme, the rulers, the tyrants, so on and so forth. Then you have the Tenebrians. Tenebris is the lands which lay far beneath the floating isles. They are the slums, filled with the peasants, the poor, the people who are trying to scratch out a living. There are better areas than others, but even the better areas of Tenebris aren’t all that great. The Emperians will come down to get themselves a little bit of trade, but generally, the only thing that Emperians value coming out of Tenebris are the breeders.

Saphyre and her sisters are part of the resistance that their mother set up. They have very good reasons to be, including the fact that they have what is called the Golden Curse. They are what is called Aurelian Breeders. They have a special birthmark on the crown of their heads, with a golden streak of hair coming from the mark. That golden streak of hair and the birthmark singles them out as something special, unique, desirable, and very, very valuable.

As one of the heads of the resistance, Saphyre takes her responsibilities very, very seriously. So, since they need some money to get food, she’s off to do what she can to get some. She’s going to dress all super sexy and visit one of the clubs that the Emperians hang out at, and she’s going to rob one of them. And hopefully kill them too. Each Emperian has a special emblem that they wear, and the more valuable the metal, the higher their rank is. So when Saphyre sees a guy with the most expensive emblem ever, she knows that she has to get him. But of course, nothing ever turns out that way. Instead, she gets caught and harvested by King Leonidas to be his Breeder to bear his royal heir. But first, he’s going to give her to his two friends and advisors to break her in and train her. His friends are Raphael and oh yeah, General Ryker, the man she stole from and tried to kill. Oh fuck.

I love Saphyre. She is fierce, loyal, and smart. She isn’t going to give in to the manticores who are trying to be her masters, at least not all the way. I think that there is always going to be that core of steel right down in the center of her that Leonidas, Raphael, and Ryker won’t be able to see, let alone touch. I think that they should definitely question themselves anytime she seems to give in easily, and maybe just not get all that complacent. I think that she’s always, always, always going to have more than one reason to do whatever she’s doing at any one time. She might not even acknowledge those reasons to herself, because acknowledging them means that someone else might figure them out. I think that she will be a force to be reckoned with, and I will definitely want to stay out of her way.

Oh, I hated Leonidas, Ryker, and Raphael in the beginning. And I’m not talking hate to love them or love to hate them kind of hate. I mean complete and utter loathing. They could’ve died by fire and spent the eternities boiling in a sea of lava and hellfire and I probably would’ve thought they were getting off lightly. But, they started to grow on me as the book went on. Of the three of them, I think Raphael is my favorite. Ryker is my least favorite most of the time, and Leonidas flows around there somewhere back and forth. They are occasionally brutal when it comes to how they treat  Saphyre. I mean, the nipple clamps? Or the first interactions between Leonidas and Saphyre? Holeeeeee fuck.

Scarlett and Loxley have promised that there are more books in this world coming, and seriously, I may have to go find them, drag them to my “spare room” and lock them in until they can write them, because I really don’t want to wait. (Just kidding on the dragging them to my spare room part. That’s reserved for Addison Cain.)

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OK, I’m not going to say anything much down here, other than karma is a bitch.

Go check it out, and happy reading?!?