Addison Cain-A Taste of Shine

I have a secret to tell you. Do you want to hear my secret? Here it is. Addison Cain has a book that isn’t dark. I know, it’s shocking, especially if you have followed my blog and seen me review all her new books. But it’s really, really true. And more than that, she’s just renamed and re-released her book. It used to be called A Trick of Light, and now it’s been split up into the Trick of Light Duet, and the first book is called A Taste of Shine.

Addison pulled the story to do some polishing and added in some things here and there, but, as of yet, the story isn’t significantly changed. There are a few little details here and there, but nothing big, and there are places where the writing is tighter. And, of course, breaking it up into a duet. Having read the original book several times, I think that where Addison broke the story up is the perfect place for it. That point really does trigger a change in the story, so, like I said, perfect.

The story takes place in the hills and hollers of West Virginia toward the end of Prohibition. And like the name suggests, moonshine has a lot to do with this book. Moonshine has always been really important to the culture in that area, but it got even bigger during the Prohibition because everyone still wanted their booze. As a little bit of trivia, stock car racing and later NASCAR came out of the prohibition too, because the ‘shiners would want to get their booze to their customers as quick as possible and stay away from the cops and revenuers, so they would get their best drivers and tweak their cars as much as possible. Once Prohibition ended, those drivers had to do something, so stock car racing was born. Now you know a new thing.

So, we open to Charlie, a bounty hunter, pushing a dead car up and down the hills and hollers. Charlie can’t just abandon the car, because that would mean dumping the bounty in the trunk as well, and that just can’t be done, for so many reasons, including an intensely personal one. Luckily, some men drive by and one of them tells his cousin, Eli, to get out and help push the car, and they all end up at the Devil’s Hollow Roadhouse, owned by Matthew Emerson, local ‘shiner, and run with his brother Nathaniel and cousin Eli. Charlie offers to make a deal with Matthew, for use of a car and driver so that the bounty can be delivered, but no go. At least, no go until Charlie shot and killed men who were attacking the roadhouse and then fixed up Nathaniel’s arm when he had been shot. Matthew then offers Eli’s service to Charlie so that the bounty can be delivered to Sing Sing.

Fast forward a few months and it’s time for a barn dance, and of course, the Emersons are going to be there because it’s a great place to sell and Matthew has plans. While he’s standing in his shadowy corner, selling off his shine, he sees the golden girl walk in. She’s all bright and shiny and definitely doesn’t fit into their little hamlet. But, she’s all smiles and cheerfulness and joy as she gets all kinds of men lining up to ask her to dance, except for the town drunk who eventually shows up with a black eye. Matthew stares and glares at her the entire time.

The next day, the golden girl shows up at the roadhouse and tells Matthew that she would like his permission to stay. Of course, he has no clue on god’s green earth as to who she is. Nathaniel knows who she is, he caught on to her secret way back when she helped him dig a bullet out of his shoulder. Matthew seems shocked when he finds out that golden girl Charlotte Elliot is the same person as Charlie the bounty hunter.

And thus, all kinds of actions are put into motion.

I love this story for so many reasons, but you get to see Addison’s skill in building characters really well. I mean, her secondary characters are as distinct as her main characters. Sure, you don’t get as much backstory, but you know what Eli and Nathaniel are like, and you get their voices very strongly. The story is also set in a very real era and place, and you get the strong flavor of 1920s rural West Virginia. I know I’ve talked about Addison’s world building before, and this is all just part of it.

Talking about the characters, I have to tell you how much I love Nathaniel. Yeah, he’s a perpetual drunk, and is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, but he accepted Charlie from the very first. Mostly, he doesn’t do things that embarrass her, and he tries to make her feel comfortable. Nathaniel smacks Matthew and Eli around a couple of times, to get their heads out of their asses. He’s also very loyal and can keep a secret like no one’s business. He’s great comic relief and just fun. Eli, he’s like an adolescent puppy, not quite full grown, but not a baby anymore, just all elbows and knees and eagerness. Because he’s an idiot sometimes, he makes some stupid mistakes, and he does hurt people, because he’s an idiot.

Matthew. I love Matthew, but he’s really hard to get a read on. He’s very taciturn and doesn’t talk about emotions, let alone actually talk a lot. His love language is definitely action. You can see how feels about Charlotte by what he does for her, you know, other than kissing her a whole lot. He is very solid and sturdy. He’s a rock and a shelter. That’s just who he is. He’s also a planner. He has big plans for what comes after Prohibition ends.

Charlie/Charlotte is fascinating. She’s tough and fragile, crude and innocent, and pretty much a BAMF. She’s a sharpshooter, and goes out hunting on her own. She can tell the crudest, rudest, dirtiest jokes, but can actually be very polite in the right company. Her history really sets her up to be a very unique person. I would love to think that Charlie and I would totally have been friends.

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I love the scene where some guys walk into the roadhouse wanting to start trouble and Charlie just casually knocks a couple of the guys on the head and then goes back to sitting in her rocking chair and lets the Emerson boys get back to their fight.

I love her relationship with Ruth, and how they are good for each other and help each other learn things they always wanted. And good for Ruth smacking Eli around as needed.

I can’t wait for the next part of this book. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Anthology-Twisted Sacrament

These stories are dark, dark, dark, dark, and even darker than that. There are no happy anythings here, there’s no light. There’s nothing that will bring you any kind of hope. I’d say abandon all hope, but even just abandoning it isn’t enough. You have to completely scour any kind of hope from your soul. You have to erase the word hope from your memory. Then you might, just possibly might, be ready to read Twisted Sacrament. Consider yourself warned.

The anthology consists of 7 authors who write dark anyway, but then they got let off the leash. Not only that, they were given the brief of writing the most sacrilegious and blasphemous story possible. And let me tell you, SJ Cole, Zoe Blake, Addison Cain, Jennifer Bene, Celia Aaron, Ashleigh Giannoccaro, and Alta Hensley fucking delivered. These 7 stories are depraved, twisted, desolate, full of mindfucks, horrifying, and darker than fuck. They are disturbing. And yet. And yet, I couldn’t stop reading them. I couldn’t get enough of them. I loved everyone one of them, even the ones that left me shaking at the end. (I’m looking right at you, Jennifer.)

They are all short stories, none of them much longer than 30 minutes to read. I wouldn’t recommend reading them at night before bed though. You might not sleep well. But because they are short, you’re only going to get my reactions, as is my usual practice in this situation. I got ARCs for 4 of them, but like I said, they are short, so I had no problems reading the rest of them.

Addison Cain-She Came Before God

There is a period of Catholic and Italian history where the high ranking clergy weren’t as… celibate as they should’ve been. During that time, Rodrigo Borgia became Pope. There are all kinds of rumors about orgies in the Papal palace while he was there, and it is historical fact that he had children, born when he was a cardinal. You know, when he wasn’t supposed to be dicking around. Lucrezia Borgia, who you may have heard about as a poisoner, was one of his children. So, what does this have to do with Addison’s story? Well, her story involves a pope and some fucking.

Addison’s story really just was straight up horrifying. Our poor little heroine learns that she’s part of a horrible family tradition, and everything that she thought was true isn’t. This story stuck with me. I mean, I dreamt about it. Even days later, I’m still trying to get a total handle on certain things. I really wanted to scream at the end of it, and maybe sit and cry in despair.

Zoe Blake-Lilith’s Revenge

Lilith comes out of Jewish mythology. She’s generally considered to be Adam’s first wife, but when she wouldn’t behave the way that they wanted, she was kicked out of Eden and Eve came in in her place. Lilith then went on to become the mother of demons. In her demon partying and fucking days, she fucked everyone she wanted to, including some angels.

In Zoe’s story, she is back in her demon party girl aspect, tempting a priest. Now, here’s the thing. She and her priest get it on in all kinds of ways and do all kinds of depraved things, but… The question is, is what they are doing real, or is the priestly part real, or is anything real? Zoe has written an incredibly mindfuck and my mind is still fucked from it. I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t and what was going on in the story. I have theories as to what’s going on, but they vary from minute to minute.

I recommend following Zoe’s instructions when it comes to her story.

Alta Hensley-Last Rites

I personally think that the end of the world is going to be some kind of plague. In this jet-setting world, it’s going to be too easy for something to be across the world before anyone gets diagnosed with it in the first place. Why do I mention this? Because Alta destroys the world with The Itch, an illness that makes people want to scratch their skin off, makes their blood foam, and makes them pretty fucking crazy. There are rumors of a safe place for women to go (and only women), where they won’t be exposed to The Itch.

This is so disturbing. It’s short, it’s brutal, and it’s dark as fuck. I kind of wanted to take a very, very hot shower after reading this one. And maybe scrub for about 30 hours.

Jennifer Bene-Baptism in Eden

If you look at my GR/Zon review, it says “Oh my fucking god. That is all.” Yeah, that’s about all I could say about this one on there. Jennifer writes dark at the best of times, but let her off the leash, she’s simply dazzling. And dazzle she does.

You may think of Eden as paradise, but Jennifer’s Eden is as far away from paradise as you can possibly get. It’s so dark and so twisted. I know I’m saying that a lot, but there aren’t words in the English language to describe it. But the fact remains that this story is Stygian. It’s also a very Jennifer Bene story. If I were given all the stories in this book and asked to pick out which one Jennifer had written, this would be the one that I choose. When I was done reading it, I was literally sitting on the couch and shaking. I had to go read something else to calm down. I may be traumatized.

Celia Aaron-Communion

I know that I’ve raved about Celia on here before. She totally deserves every good thing I have ever said about her.

I loved this story. It wasn’t quite as dark as some of the others, but it’s by no means light. I love the byplay between Cate and Ted. It is very interesting to see how Ted talks to her and what goes on. I feel like this is very topical too. I have to wonder how much Celia was influenced by what’s going on in the world right now, because it really feels like there was some serious influencing going on. Frankly, I think it makes it better.

Ashleigh Giannoccaro-Say Yes

I’ve only read one other Ashleigh Giannoccaro book, but I own a couple of more. My TBR is totes ridic and one day I’ll get to them.

Ashleigh takes us for a tour through a cult. A very, very creepy cult. A very creepy cult that says men have to have 2 wives or they can’t get into Heaven. OK, I grew up Mormon, and there has always been the whole polygamy thing surrounding the church, and then the FLDS church around, which are a polygamous cult, so this one felt really close to home, if you know what I mean. I don’t know how much Ashleigh took from there, how much came from other cults, and how much came straight out of her head, but it was a fascinating read. It also looks like it’s setting up for a new series, so I’ll be all over that one.

SJ Cole-I’m Better Than You

SJ Cole is Stevie J. Cole writing under a new name. And OMG, her heroine is totally cuckoo for coco puffs. I mean, the cheese not only done slipped her cracker, it left the room, the house, the zip code, the state, and the country. Then it changed its name, cut its hair, and got plastic surgery. The cheese wants to have absolutely nothing to do with Violet anymore, and I don’t blame it. I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her either. I can totally get why she’s upset, but damn, girl takes it to another level. She’s creepy as fuck. She’s crazy as fuck. SJ says there’s more to the story, and I’m going to have to read it. Can’t fucking wait. I like creepy and crazy.

OK, there are my reactions to each of these 7 stories. I loved this book. But, trust me, don’t look for light. Don’t look for happy. Don’t look for hope. Don’t look for this book to last long. I recommend you go buy it soon if anything I talked about sounded good, because anthologies don’t tend to last very long and then the rights revert back to the authors.

No spoilers, but a picture I thought was great for this.

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Addison Cain-Silent Captive

Well fuck me sideways, our Soul-Devouring Dark Empress has done it again. I mean, oh holy fuck. Not that there is one damn thing holy about Silent Captive, holey maybe, but not holy. And sideways may actually be the only way that Wren doesn’t get fucked, but I make no guarantees.

Silent Captive is not a standalone. If you haven’t read Branded Captive, stop right now, go read it and Silent Captive and then come back. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here. There will probably be spoilers for Branded in here, just because that’s the nature of the beast. I work really hard at keeping them out of the blogs, you know I do, at least until after the picture, but with serials like this, it’s really hard to avoid.

Take a deep breath, we’re going in, and watch your step, it’s muddy as fuck out there.

So, we open to Wren being paraded from her sparse but spotless little apartment to the pipeworks. Caspian doesn’t want to have to wade through the mud to fuck her, so he’s taking her back to his base. All she’s allowed to take back is the stuff that Caspian, Kieran, and Toby brought to her house for her to nest in. She’s not allowed any of her own belongings. And, since none of the Alphas sign, she’s also mostly unable to communicate. If they give her pen and paper, she can write them notes, but other than that…

Caspian, Kieran, and Toby aren’t nice guys. Not nice guys at all. They think they are ddoing her a favor by putting her in “the big room”, which is where they keep the Omega of the moment until she falls from favor. Then, the Omega ends up in the pens where they are meat for anyone.

Not only are these guys not nice, they are fucking brutal. I mean, Caspian wears a coat made out of people, FFS. But Wren is going to do what she agreed to do, for her boys. She will do anything to keep them safe, even sell herself to the 3 worst Alphas around. She’s under no illusions that any of what’s going to happen is going to be good or nice. I feel so sorry for Wren. She’s doing what a mother is supposed to do, but even so, it’s pretty horrible to have to do it. They’ve already done terrible things to her, they will probably do even more now that they have her under their noses all the time.

I’m not joking about being soul destroying. A lot of what Addison writes will rip into your soul, but this one, OMFG, whatever little soul I had left is now totally destroyed. I think she eats the souls for breakfast and chases them with the tears of her readers. It was also so good. I couldn’t put the book down, and I may need to reread it, right now. How soon is too soon to reread? I dunno. But, it may be the only way I can survive until the next one.

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OK, now we know why Caspian doesn’t want Troy to go at Wren immediately. That’s just… I want to say fucking horrifying, but I’m not sure that horrifying is the right word for it. Is there something beyond horrifying? Who would want to do that to themselves? I don’t even have the right equipment, and what Toby did to himself hurt me. As for Wren, I can’t imagine it from her side. I don’t want to imagine it from her side.

I can’t wait to see how the two biggest bits of action are going to affect the rest of the series. There’s going to be a lot to unpack there, and I’m pretty sure that Addison isn’t going to be able to fucking redeem these guys. None of them are a Shepherd.

That’s all I have to say about this one. Really, if you like noncon, Omegaverse, dark af, twisted, and soul destroying, and lots of fucking you need to go get this one. Happy reading?

Addison Cain-The Golden Line

So, a while back, Addison Cain wrote a short story called Consumed. It was in an anthology (don’t go look for it, it’s not for sale on Amazon anymore). When Addison got the rights to the story back, she turned it into The Golden Line. It’s a dark Omegaverse story. It is not related to the Alpha’s Claim books or the Wren’s Song books. It’s a brand new Omegaverse ‘verse. I believe it’s called the Knotted series. Addison promised it to us in August, and she dropped it as a surprise and barely made it in August. But, it was worth every second of the wait and every single tease that Addison put out. And damn me, if she didn’t tease the fuck out of everyone. She bragged about how Simin flirted with Morgaine, but didn’t tell us how. She just gloated about how good it was. A lot. She’s a sadist. But that’s OK, I’m pretty damn sure that I’m a masochist, at least when it comes to Addison Cain and her books.

Morgaine is a simple young woman who lives in a village with her mother. Her mother is a seamstress and Morgaine helps with dyeing the cloth and doing things like beautiful needlework, as well as the gardening and suchlike. But every now and again, the Alphas come to raid the village. They take the best of everything, and occasionally take people too. Morgaine always has a warning that they are coming. She starts to hurt and ends up nearly paralyzed. On the day that the Alphas come to her village, she barely makes it into hiding in time. When she comes back out, after heating the Alphas leave, it turns out that not all of them have left. Esin is there, and he’s threatening her mother. In order to keep her mother safe, Morgaine goes with him. That’s when she finds out she’s an Omega, and exactly what Esin and his comrades think that an Omega is. Even the ones that have an Omega mate treat the Omegas poorly. When the Commander doesn’t like the way that Morgaine is behaving he orders her caned. The next day, Simin comes.

Simin is a barbarian, at least that’s what those “civilized” Alphas would like to believe, but the first time he sees Morgaine, he knows that she is his. His Omega, his love, and his soulmate. Of course, it takes him some time to calm down after he sees what’s been done to her. Esin and all those Alphas tell her how Simin is going to rape her and kill her and all sorts of terrible things. So when Morgaine is handed off to him, she’s terrified. It doesn’t help that she and Simin don’t share a common language. All she knows is what Esin and the others have trained and forced her into. But Simin isn’t like them.

For a very, very long time, since back when I first read the Alpha’s Claim books which were my very first Omegaverse books, Shepherd has been my favorite Alpha. He’s one of my top 3 book boyfriends. Shepherd has now got some serious competition. Simin is pretty fucking awesome. He’s different to Shepherd, but the ‘verse is different too, and their ranking and background is different. Addison puts it as a dark read, and it is that, but it’s not completely dark all the way through. I’m going to guess that it won’t stay that way though. I’ve read too many Addison Cain books *cough*all of them*cough* to know that she’s going to move into something light and squishy. She writes dark and sticky instead. Dark and very, very sticky, with lots and lots of fluids. I like Morgaine. She’s got guts. Simin is a very interesting character and I like him a lot. And he really does flirt with Morgaine in an interesting way.

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I love how the title turned from Consumed to The Golden Line and even more, why it turned from Consumed to The Golden Line, or at least why I think it did. The short was a lot more about what Esin et al did to Morgaine, which really was consuming her, while Simin was much more about that golden line and what it represented, not necessarily to him, but to Morgaine. It showed his priority and how Omegas are valued in his culture.

I love this book, just as I love everything that Addison writes, but this one gets to me in a different way than the other Omegaverse books do. In a totally good way. Go check it out and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

Addison Cain-Branded Captive

Addison Cain was my first experience with Omegaverse stories, whether they were Mf or Mm. Now I read a lot of them. So, when I heard about Branded Captive, you know that I was first in line to get it. I might have had to cut a bitch to get it. Or maybe I just begged. I don’t remember. I’ve slept since then. What I haven’t forgotten is just how filthy and obscene this one is. It is sooooo wrong. So, very, very, very wrong, and yet so very, very, very right. And did I mention filthy and hot? I just want to make sure that you know that. And since it’s an Addison book, you know that it’s dark.

Wren is a Deaf Omega. Her parents have kept her pure and innocent. Her mother didn’t tell her anything about what she needed to know. So when her father sells her virginity to a big Alpha and she doesn’t meet his needs, because she doesn’t know what to do, she ends up being branded as defective and thrown away and ends up in the Warren, but not before the Alpha caused her even more pain by ripping his knot out of her.

Five years later, she’s managed to build some kind of life for herself. She has rooms that she keeps scrupulously clean and two boys who were also abandoned that she has adopted as her own. As an Omega, she’s driven by her instincts to nest and have a family, so that’s what she’s done. But when her boys disappear, she worries that she has lost them to Caspian and his syndicate. So she decides to go get them, even though she wants to stay away from Caspian. Alphas are bad and hurt people and the ones in the Warrens are even worse.

Caspian is not a nice dude. His second is Kieran and his third is Toby. They are all very not nice men. Even when they do nice things. Caspian controls everything in the Warrens and a good chunk of what’s going on above too. He wears a coat that is reputed to be made out of human skin, and I’m more than willing to believe it. When he sees what he thinks is a skinny man dragging one kid out of his area by his ear while carrying another one, he has to know what’s going on. That’s when he finds out that it’s not a skinny man, it’s a beautiful Omega.

I’m not sure if I hate Caspian or love him. He’s cruel and brutal, pragmatic and straight forward. If he wants, he takes. He wants Wren. He’s going to take her. He’s also going to share her when he wants, with Kieran and Toby. It doesn’t matter what Wren wants at this point. She’s going to have to just deal with whatever Caspian wants to do and suck it up. This is dark, it’s gritty, it’s filthy, and it’s Wren’s new life. There isn’t a whole lot of good and happy going on right now in her life, and frankly, I don’t know that there will be. However, I’m going to reread this book a lot and when the next ones in the series come out, I’ll read those too. I need more of this story and I need it soon. And I really hope that Caspian kicks that other Alpha’s ass up one side and down the other.

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Toby gives me the creeps. I’m not too proud to admit it. Caspian is pretty straight forward I think. Kieran may be a little softer than the other two, for all that he’s the second strongest Alpha, but I think that Toby is as bent as a pretzel. I don’t trust him around Wren.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I cannot recommend it enough, so go check it out! Happy reading!

And hey, if you really like me and think that I’m a pretty awesome blog/blogger, can you pretty please go over to this FB event and vote for me? I’ve been nominated for fave blogger, and if I’m in the top 5, I get to move to the next round. I promise, I’ll love you forever.

Addison Cain-The White Queen

There used to be an adult fairy tale anthology called The Dark Forest. Eight great authors got together to write some great stories. When I read that book, I read one of the darkest things I’ve ever read. Addison Cain’s take on Alice in Wonderland was horrifying and dark. Well, what people didn’t realize when they read that story is that Addison had to pull stuff out of the story so that it could go into the set.

Eventually, The Dark Forest was pulled from Amazon and the rights reverted back to Addison. When that happened, she was free to do whatever she wanted with her story. And thus, we got The White Queen.

Anyone who is a regular reader of Addison already knows that she can go dark. I mean, I knew it when I read DF for the first time, but I didn’t know how dark. Then I got to her story. I immediately made my horror loving husband read it and he looked at me like whoa. He loved it too.

So, let’s get into the story now that I’ve rambled enough. It’s not a long story, and it’s not substantially different from its predecessor. There are things that have been added in and changed around a bit. Those things definitely make the story darker and more horrifying.

Alice is a beautiful little girl who is mostly trotted out when her parents want to have a living prop and is only valued for her beauty. Otherwise, she lives in her nursery with her dollies that she’s not allowed to touch and the white rabbit. Only this white rabbit isn’t a cute little guy in a weskit who leads you to the Mad Hatter and March Hare for a topsy-turvy tea party. Instead, every night, when the clock stops, the rabbit looks at her and brings forth her nightmares. There are the evil twins who attack her, the bloody woman who just stares at her, the laughing man who sits and laughs at her hysterically, and the Hatter. All of the others torment her. She can’t sleep at night. She gets in trouble because her room has been trashed. Her parents swear that she’s hurting herself and hate her. But the Hatter, he protects her.

OMG. This story is a true mindfuck and pretty strictly horror. There really isn’t any romance in this book. There definitely isn’t any light. It’s now firmly in my top 3 darkest. The only reason that the story from DF isn’t still in my top 3 is because WQ replaced it. FYI: the other two are Life of Anna by Marissa Honeycutt and Catacombs by Addison Cain. If you don’t like dark or you like a lighter shade of dark, don’t read this. There are some things that will trigger the shit out of you. OK, there are no spoilers here because it is such a short read. Go read it yourself and see what you think of it. Just maybe make sure you have a nightlight and no stuffed bunnies in your room, huh?

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When the Dark Wins

I’ve been writing this blog and bringing you books for close to a year now. Some of you have been following me for that long, some of you are new. But, if you look at my posts, you will see that there is one pretty overwhelming theme. I love the dark. I play in it, I revel in it, I go out and search it out. The darker the better. Things that might disturb other people? I was thrilled to read them. So, I figured that I was going to be fine with this one. After all, I’ve read all of these authors before. They’ve written some dark stuff that I love. Addison Cain’s Alice in Wonderland story, anatomy by Yolanda Olson, Imperfect Monster and Destruction by Jennifer Bene. Well, you get the idea, right? Well, those stories are actually pretty light compared to what we’ve been given here. Except for maybe anatomy. That one’s pretty fucked up.

I walked into When the Dark Wins thinking I was ready. I was wrong. The whole point behind this book is that 8 authors are giving us stories where there is no happy ending, no light, just evil and darkness and more evil and more darkness. There are mindfucks galore. Hell, even the mindfucks get mindfucked. It’s awesome.

So, I’m giving absolutely no spoilers at all. I’m just going to give you my impressions of the stories.

Addison Cain-Catacombs

This story is the single most disturbing thing I have ever read in my entire life. Straight out, no lie, the most disturbing thing ever. The last story I said that about was Addison’s Alice story, so well done Addison, topping yourself. I can’t wait to see what you do next. When I finished Catacombs, I looked over at my husband and said holy fuck. When he asked what I was holy fucking about, I told him there was no way to explain it. I could’ve tried, but he wouldn’t’ve gotten it. Totally fucked up Totally awesome. I had to pet my cat and play a game for a while after reading this.

Zoe Blake-My Name Is Jane

I literally put the whole book down and walked away from it for a night after I finished this. This story plays into a personal nightmare of mine. OK, I don’t mean this exact scenario, but how Jane feels plays into that nightmare. I’ve literally woken up in cold sweats because of it. So, yeah. It wasn’t the most disturbing story in the book, but it was the one that chilled me the most.

Eris Adderly-A Sinner in Virtue

Having read the story, I love the title. I think it’s completely awesome. It’s the start of a new series, and I’m so eager to get to the series. It’s not as dark as some of the other stories are, but it’s still dark. Hypocrisy at its absolute finest. Can’t wait.

Dani Rene-Severed

I may have mentioned that I have the mad Dani Rene love before. This story did nothing to change it. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. It was a very, very wrong scenario. I can’t even say that it was in a very, very right way, because there is no right way here. I mean, yeah.

Jennifer Bene-Breaking Beth

Can I just say fucking finally? Thank you, Jennifer! I’ve been waiting to find out what happened to Beth ever since I read the first Thalia story. She keeps getting brought up in the book, so I needed to know Beth’s story. It isn’t pretty, not at all. And I’m even gladder that those guys got what was coming to them. I think Beth is awesome, strong and stubborn. Maybe a little too much so for her own good. I mean, the title is Breaking Beth.

Cari Silverwood-Used

I think that Cari’s Mesmer books were the first of hers I read. They definitely made me fall in love with her and her words. Used takes place in that world. The characters aren’t main characters in the books, but I’m fine with that because it doesn’t mess with continuity or anything. I think that Isak is creepier than the other mesmers though, and that’s saying something. I need to spend this weekend rereading the books I think. I did wonder how far ahead he planned when it came to certain things. And the ending was…

Michelle Brown-The Hunted

When it comes to authors in this book, Michelle is a baby. However, that doesn’t mean that baby can’t write. Her story is… Yeah. It’s the shortest story in the book, but it’s definitely one that stayed with me for awhile, especially the end. The end was a mindfuck moment. It just fucked me up.

Yolanda Olson-What Lies Beneath

Mind.fuck. Yeah, I know I’ve said that about most of these stories, but really, this one was the biggest mindfuck of them all, from start to finish. Really. Just WTF from the first word to the last word. I love Yolanda Olson and her work. I do think that her process goes along the lines of asking herself what would fuck her readers up the most. Good job, Yolanda. You succeeded.

OK, that’s my review of When the Dark Wins. No spoilers. If you think you are ready to let the darkness embrace you, then go check it out. Eight stories which will make you glad that you don’t live in these authors’ minds? I’m so down for that.

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