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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Dani Rene-Indulge

I have some mad love for Dani Rene and her writing. I’ll read anything that she’ll put out. I have her newest books, and I’m slowly but surely working on getting her back catalog too. My poor Kindle. It’s a good thing that virtual shelves can’t get weighed down the way that physical shelves can. Anyway, all this leads to her newest release, Indulge.

Indulge is the 3rd book in the Sins of Seven series, which surrounds the BDSM club, the Seven Sins. And if you were wondering if the name has anything to do with the seven deadly sins, then the answer is yes. Each book is roughly themed around one of the sins, which are: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. I think it’s a very interesting way to write a series about sex, vice, and kink.

So, this is Carrick’s story. Carrick has been pretty involved in the other two books. Not only is he co-owner of the Seven Sins, but he is also good friends with Eva, and he trained her as a sub. Gia worked as a bartender at the Seven Sins. I’m quite excited to get Rick’s story, because I’ve always thought that he was a fascinating character, and each glimpse we got of him during each of the books just fascinated me even more. I’m trying to claim Carrick for my very own, but I’ve been told he’s already been claimed. I’m more than willing to fight for him, and I cheat.

Carrick is a bit of a promiscuous Dom. Unlike his friend and partner, Mason, he doesn’t have his own sub. Rick is more than happy to go and grab hold of everything that his club has to offer. When he wants a sub, he just hits the floor and grabs one, or two, or three. The more, the merrier, and the more fun Carrick has. The benefit of doing it this way is that he gets off but he doesn’t risk any kind of entanglement. Everyone knows that Carrick doesn’t do relationships and that anyone who goes to play with him is going to have a good time, so he’s in great demand.

Peyton feels the need to get away from her life. She’s just gone through a really shitty time in her life, between her parents dying and her fiance ending up in jail. She is just ready to not deal anymore. So when her best friend Savannah calls her up and invites her to come visit her in Chicago, Pey is all for it, even if it means that she will miss her twin brother, Chance. Savannah is Mason’s longtime sub, and has been telling Peyton all about her life. Peyton is reasonably sure that she’s a sub, and she would like to have the chance to find out, so going to Chicago will let her get away from her current life and start over as well as let her experiment and discover more about herself.

Savvie and Mason have said that they will help Peyton, but they have both warned her off of Carrick. Everyone knows that Carrick isn’t a trainer, and that’s what Peyton needs. So, of course, who’s the first person that Peyton runs into at the club? Yup, you guessed it.

Dani knows how to craft a good story. She has such a way with words. It really makes her characters feel real and makes you feel what they are feeling. I mean, I not only read her books for the hot sex and relationships, but I read them because of how the story itself makes me feel and how I can relate to the characters. I’m never going to turn down reading a book about hot sex, well, probably never, but add in a great story and fantastic characterization on top of it? Yeah. Also, I’d pay lots of money to listen to Dani read me her books. I’m pretty sure it would sound so awesome. There are all kinds of secrets going on in the book. It seems like everytime a character turns around, they are falling over another secret, which makes for exciting reading. As much as I like Carrick, and I really like Carrick, there are a few times that he acts like a giant dickbag, and I want to smack the shite out of him. There were a few times that I had tears running down my face. All in all, it’s another great Dani book, and I’m really looking forward to the next few books in the series because there are going to be all kinds of interesting things happening.

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OK, I’m just warning anyone who hasn’t read my blog before that if you have made it down here, this is where I talk about spoilers and potential spoilers. If you keep reading past here and you get spoiled, you have no one but yourself to blame.

I think that Carrick should’ve told Peyton about Aurora long before he did. That’s one of the things that I got so mad at him about. It would’ve saved everyone so much heartbreak and pain if he had, in my opinion.

I was surprised that Oliver was the voice of reason when he was talking to Peyton. I don’t know why I’m surprised about it, but I just was.

Mason had better marry Savvie soon. Having her collared is a good thing, but she wants a ring. He’d better be planning something good.

OK, those are my thoughts on Indulge. Go pick it up, as well as Kneel and Whisper. You won’t regret it. Happy reading!

Dani Rene-Madd Ink

This is going to be a quick little review because Madd Ink by Dani Rene is a quick little read. The publishers for it specialize in quick and dirty reads for when you just want something hot and sexy to read. And Madd Ink fits perfectly in that.

Ryn learned her lesson years ago. Don’t trust men. It’s better for her if she just stays on her own with her 5-year-old daughter Roxie. And that definitely means that she needs to stay away from Slade Maddox, cop and man whore.

Slade loves women. He knows he loves women. He doesn’t think that he will ever settle down to just one woman because there are just so many women and so little time. When he goes to his best friend’s tattoo parlor to get a tattoo touched up, he sees Ryn and is fascinated by her.

OK, this is where we’re going to part. There isn’t a whole lot of story here, but you know that going in. It’s a lovely piece of fluffy candy for your mind. I am perfectly fine with that, and the story met that need 100%.

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The story does move quick, but it has to. I really don’t have too much to say down here because anything I say about it is going to be a spoiler. So, I liked it. It was good. I’ll keep it in a reread list, especially for days when I need something quick and easy to read.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Happy reading!

Dani Rene-Fragile Innocence

This isn’t Dani’s first visit here, and heaven willing, it won’t be her last. Her works are really good. I get dragged into the stories and then get sucked into the emotions of her characters. There is a realism there that makes me happy. Her books can also be brutal to your emotions, making you go up and down and all around. That’s definitely what Fragile Innocence does. Dani put Ella, Ben, and Carter through hell, but she does it in a way that makes you want to go right through that hell with them.

So, Ella has been running away from her hidden past for years. She never stays in one place for very long because she doesn’t want to let the monster that she’s hiding from find her. When she gets to London, she finally thinks that she’s safe. She’s changed her look, her attitude, everything.

When she gets off the plane in London, she notices a beautiful man who happened to notice her too. Carter was so entranced by what he saw, he decided that he would get in a car and follow her. When he found out where she was living, he realized that it’s a building owned by his best friend and partner in sex, Bennett. He calls Bennett to get info on the new woman in the building.

It turns out that Ella is the new real estate agent for Bennett’s company. When he sees her, he realizes why Carter is so entranced by her. They make plans to get her in between them.

The sex in this story is super hot. This is an MMF menage. In other words, everyone’s getting it on with everyone else. I personally like a good MMF menage. There’s just something so sexy about reading about MMF and MM stories. I just think the whole idea of honest sex between two consenting adults, no matter what equipment happens to be in between their legs, is hot. I liked their dynamic and the fact that Ella had no problems with accepting Bennett and Carter’s dynamic and doesn’t feel any kind of jealousy about them being together. In fact, she loves the idea.

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OMG, the bad guy was a total surprise to me. Creepy, creepy fucker, and all the rest of what was going on with that situation just pissed me off. I mean, that was just disgusting that anyone would let that happen.

I kind of thought that Carter and Bennett were big jerks at the beginning, but they did manage to redeem themselves. They were very understanding in the end about what kind of things that Ella may be dealing with and they wanted to make sure to not push her beyond what she can take, which is awesome. It just shows how much they love her.

I did like that Dani did show that even while love helps deal with things, it doesn’t automatically heal everything and make everything all better immediately. It takes time and work and patience. That made everything perfect.

OK, that’s all for today. Keep your eyes peeled for more fantastic books, because you know I’ve got some coming for you. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Dani Rene-Whisper

So, a couple of weeks ago I reviewed Kneel, the first book in the Sins of Seven series by Dani Rene. Today, we’re getting into the next one with Whisper. Whisper is darker than Kneel, with some parts that made me cry. My poor husband doesn’t always know what to do when a book makes me cry. I won’t put it down, most of the time, otherwise how will I know if it comes out alright, so I just cry and he asks 14 times if I’m OK. So, let’s dive into the book, and then you can go read it and see if it makes you cry too. If it does, you totally have to tell me.

Once upon a time, Eli was a happily married man and a happy Dom with a lovely sub. Then he found out that his wife Raquel had been keeping secrets and that she is dying. His wife keeps trying to make him promise to find someone else to love so that he will be happy. She’s just being a good sub, always thinking of her Dom and his happiness. She even goes as far as pointing out a young woman who is also in the hospital and telling him that he should go talk to her.

Giana was that young girl. She was just 17 at the time and had already lived in the antechamber of Hell. Raquel talked to her and made her promise to watch out for Eli and to take care of him.

Eventually, Gia and Eli hook up. They spend a year being friends and making each other come. Eli walks away from an 18 year old Gia, thinking that he’s too old for her and wanting her to go and have a happy life.

Fast forward 7 years, Gia changed her name from the one Eli knew her as and looks different. She spent 2 years living in the deepest, darkest pits of Hell and has come through the other side. With Carrick’s help and a good psychiatrist, she’s managed to put her life together again. And she’s found Eli. She sees him every day serving as a barista at his regular coffee shop and most nights, working as a bartender at the local BDSM club, Seven Sins, owned and run by Carrick and Mason. She’s played with different Doms and occasionally shown up on stage in various shows. She’s also watched Eli play with various subs and then heard them come back and talk about him and try to get him to play with them again.

For his part, Eli has worked very hard to not have any real sub. He may bring the subs from the clubs home, but he’s never let them into any part of his home except for a room he’s set up to entertain subs in and his playroom. He’s bound and determined not to love anyone, not since Raquel died and he walked away from Riley.

One night, at the club, he hands Gia his card and tells her that he wants to play with her after her shift and to show up at his house. They scene, everyone is happy, and he sends her home. Mostly what Eli is looking for is a little girl he can love and cherish but also tie up, spank, and make cry. Gia is looking for someone who will love her.

Gia and Eli are two profoundly broken people who have serious shards and bits and pieces. Together they are less broken and they help to hold each others’ broken bits together. But when the past comes back to haunt them, can the hold they have on each other go on?

This is where I go one way and you may choose to go the other, there are definite possibilities that you may be spoiled if you keep going with me. Dani Rene creates wonderful characters that make you really cheer for them or hate them. This is a dark book, with BDSM scenes, capture and torture, and sadness. There is also happiness and lots of secrets. There are a lot of layers that go into this story and I loved being able to find them and dig into them. It was also nice to get a peek at older characters and see old friends.

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The layers and connections in this book are delicious. Everything is tied into everything else and into everyone else. I have to admit, that there was one thing that I kind of guessed, well, not really guessed, but more like thought wouldn’t be interesting if… And it was, and it was interesting.

Poor Gia. I mean, fuck. I mean, she worked as hard as she could to get away from her past and then it found her, and it nearly destroyed her. I spent that whole section of the book crying and cried while Gia and Eli were apart. I know why Gia chose to do what she did, and I even support the idea of her taking the time to heal after what happened. That doesn’t mean that my heart didn’t break for them both, especially since Gia was bound and determined to let Eli go. I love the way that it ended though. I felt very satisfied and my tears dried up.

I really loved this book. Not just for the kinky, kinky, sexy fun, but for all the layers of the story and the rich story-telling that goes into this book. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love books that are just sex for the sake of sex, I own several of them and enjoy reading them, but I also love reading stories that have real substance to them and that make you think and feel for the characters, and this one did that.

Anyway, that’s enough for today. We have a break tomorrow and then we’re back with more Parker Sinclair and a fun week ahead of us. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Dani Rene-Kneel

We’ve had some nice, sweet, light romances the past few days. Kneel is not one of those. In fact, about the only thing that Kneel has in common with those stories is that they are all romances. Well, kinky romances. Fair warning, you probably don’t want to show this to your maiden auntie, unless she is kinky AF. So, Dani Rene and Kneel are bringing us back to the Dark Side. Come join us, we have cherries.

So, our main characters are Nate and Eva. We also have Carrick, who is important to both Nate and Eva. Nate and Eva both have secrets in their past, painful secrets that could hurt them and each other were they to come out.

I love the prologue of this story. It really does start the whole thing off strongly. You learn important things about Nate from the very beginning. The prologue is all about him Dom’ing a sub using humiliation, something that they both get off on. Don’t get me wrong, he likes spankings and tying up a willing sub, but he’s deep into humiliation. That plays into the story strongly.

The start of the book has Nate walking into a BDSM club owned by Carrick, who is a friend. Nate sees the hostess introducing the live show and tells Carrick to send her back to a certain room and have her get ready. All Nate knows is that she is the last name on a list of women that he has had to humiliate and leave ruined. Obviously, Eva is that woman, otherwise, it would be a really short book.

He takes her into this room to play with her, the chosen room has a two-way mirror. He opens up the curtain so that whoever is on the other side can witness it, particularly his patron, the one who is blackmailing him to do these things to women.  However, he doesn’t go quite as far as he had expected to since she overwhelmed him. But, once he’s done, he walks away, knowing that he can never see her again. However, that doesn’t stop him from really wanting to see Eva again.

Eva enjoyed the scene. Nate played deeply into her desires and it was everything she ever wanted. She has never had a Dom, although she really wants to find the one for her. She thinks that Nate is the kind of Dom that she wants.

Even though Nate is usually a one and done kind of guy, he can’t get Eva out of his head. He calls Carrick to get her info and calls her out for a date. He tells her that he wants to watch her get dressed. Eva loves that. I do too. It’s pretty sexy, right? She loves his confidence and how he makes her feel. After a second bite at the apple, Nate knows that he needs to have Eva in his life, and Eva wants to be there. So, he offers her a 3 week D/s contract.

Wow, I think that I’ve made this sound so much less passionate than it was, but trust me, lots of passion in there and lots of chemistry. So, here’s where we are going to split. I have so, so, so many things to say about this after the picture. There are lots of things I like about this story. I really like the negotiation that takes place over the contract that Nate offers Eva. I know I mention that negotiation every time I see it in a book, but there is a really good reason for that. That’s because it’s important that everyone involved is aware of boundaries, hard limits, soft limits, safe words, so on and so forth. You should always make sure that you do all that discussing and negotiating, whether it’s for a night or for forever. Never just assume that you and your partner are going to be on the same page. I’ll step off my soapbox now. There is a lot of sexy sexy fucking in here, lots of cussing, and lots of spanking and other punishment kinds of things. Totally hot. This book left me feeling all kinds of ways, all good.

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I like cherries. I look forward to cherry season every year. There is a scene in this book that makes me look at cherries in a whole new light. I’m really, really looking forward to cherry season next year. Hot, hot, hotter, and even hottest.

Nate’s patron gets mad that he’s continuing with a relationship with Eva. She wanted Nate to ruin Eva and walk away. She really has a hate on about Eva. She threatens Nate with disclosure if he doesn’t walk away from Eva. So, he does. He takes her back to the club, scenes with her, and dumps her. It’s ugly. Seriously ugly. He tells Carrick to take care of Eva.

Eva’s secret is painful too. There are all kinds of layers to her secret. Carrick knows most of it, and has offered to take care of it for her. Spoiler within a spoiler, I wish he had.

I love the fact that the secrets actually intersect. I also love the fact that Nate realizes that he was a dick. Even better, I love the fact that he has the perfect way to fix the problem. It’s always nice to have a pure sadist around, isn’t it? Nate manages to get justice for Eva in all kinds of ways.

This book is intense in places. I cried at times. I got so drawn into the characters. They are magnetic and charismatic. I felt really connected to Eva. I don’t know what there was about it, but there was just something that drew me to her. Nate is super sexy.

OK, if I keep talking, I’m going to really spoil things. Go read this book. Go read it before Whisper comes out in a couple weeks. I have the ARC for that on my Kindle. I’ve heard from others that it’s even better than Kneel, which if it’s true, then I’m excited!

This weekend, I think there may be another Kit Rocha story. We have Exalted by Sansa Rayne coming up too. That was just really fucking amazing too. Really, go check out this book. I think I made it sound boring and dry, but there really isn’t any boring and dry to it. Happy reading!