Natalie Bennett-Depravity

You don’t have to get very far into Depravity in order to realize that this is a very Natalie Bennett book. It has her mix of total innocence and total chaos all wrapped up together in a pleasing package. This is dark and it does have MM, MFM, MMF sex in it. And I’d give it 5 scorching flames just for that part, let alone for the rest of the story.

Helena is sick. At least, that’s what her mother has told her all her life. That she’s sick and that nothing can fix her, no matter what. Her daddy has left her mother, and her mother says it’s all Helena’s fault. Helena likes to fix things that are broken. When Buddy breaks her mother, she breaks Buddy, and then she fixes them. She makes them smile at her and if she had a dog, they would be the perfect family. But it doesn’t work that way, so she calls her daddy to help deal with it. So he takes her home with him.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Declan and Ethan are getting their rocks off the way that they do. Mostly, that’s by killing someone while fucking them, and Declan fucking Ethan at the same time. They are partners in so many ways, including being lovers. And they like to kill together, in their playroom in the Dahlia. They have been looking for their perfect center, to help make their little family complete. Declan’s the lemon tier of cake, Ethan is the strawberry, and they need their vanilla tier. Then they meet Helena, and discover how perfect she is for them. Their biggest problem is going to be convincing her of that fact.

I like Helena as a character. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around her in real life, though. At the beginning of the book, she really has all the emotional knowledge and maturity of an infant. In fact, an infant may be more in touch with their emotions than Helena is. Of course, she’s been extremely isolated, to the point where for the majority of her life, she’s only been around her mother, father, and Buddy. And when one of those people spends all of their time telling you how sick you are and how broken you are and how no one will ever want you, you kinda end up not all that emotionally mature and you probably don’t think all that much of yourself, either.

Declan and Ethan are, of course, sick and depraved, but they know that and they willingly embrace it. And since Declan is an Andreou, ain’t no one gonna say nothin’ to them ’bout it, either. In fact, since the Andreous own the town, they could probably murder someone walking down the street and not have a problem. You know, that could be really interesting to see. I’ll have to go read all the other Andreou books to see if something like that happened. I have read the Mercy books, which are Morganna and Julian’s story, but I haven’t read the Obscene Duet, which is Mason and Katie, as of yet. I actually own them, I just need to find some spare time to read them. I used to joke that I would be 3 days dead before I finished my TBR, but these days, it’s going to be more like 3 years.

Anyway, this is darrrrk. There are glimmers of light, but it’s black light. Does that turn me off reading anything else that comes out of this world or about this trio? Oh fuck no. In fact, I’ll probably be right up on the front line in order to get it, because, well, I’m me.

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One of the things that really struck me about this book, and it’s down here in the spoiler section instead of up there because it could be a spoiler, is the whole nature vs. nurture argument. Is Helena sick because her mother treated her as sick and abused her? Or Is Helena sick because she’s a sociopath or psychopath? Or is it a combination thereof? Unfortunately, I don’t think that we’re ever going to be able to know the answer to that, and I didn’t really see anything that showed one way or the other what Natalie thought. I mean, yeah, one of the guys at one point says that she isn’t a socio/psychopath, but really, can we trust them? And it’s kind of seriously unethical and immoral to run any kind of experiment in the real world to test out nature vs. nurture. (Not that I would or would even advocate it.) I think, at this point, it’s going to be up to us, as the readers to decide, unless Natalie comes right out and says.

I hated Molly from the very beginning, so I wasn’t all that surprised that she tried to do what she tried to do. I have to wonder how much she knew about anything that Heath might’ve done to Helena. She seemed way too interested in getting Helena in that basement, if you know what I mean.

OK, that’s all I’m going to say on this one. I could go on and on, but you have to go check out this story and tell me what you think. Happy reading!

Dani Rene-Stolen

So, Dani is starting a new series. A dark and intense series. One that is going to keep us on our toes, and if you want to know what’s going on, you need to read the prequel, Stolen. It’s like baseball, if you don’t have the scorecard, you won’t know any of the players, and who wants that?

If you read When the Dark Wins, you may be familiar with this story. This was Dani’s entry in it, and it was called Severed in that set. You can’t get WtDW anymore, so if you want to read it, you have to read it here. I can’t tell you if it’s expanded or not, because I didn’t go back and read it in WtDW. I have a feeling that it’s pretty much the same as in there, but there were a couple of things I don’t remember.

Drake is a Savage. Literally, his last name is Savage. He has a twin brother named Dante and his best friend is named River. The Savage family is just that. They take young women and sometimes young men and do terrible and savage things to them. The goal is to break the people they have taken and then sell them or otherwise dispose of them.

Caia is the latest Savage acquisition. They are going to keep her for 4 weeks and then handle her. The goal is to break her. And they are seriously going to try. I mean, fuck, they are really going to try. The thing is, though, Caia is strong. She’s a fighter. And Drake is drawn to her. There’s just something about her that he can’t stay away from. There’s also something about him that draws her to him.

It’s a short story, so that’s about all you are going to get here. I really like Caia, Drake, Dante, and River, and I can’t wait to see more of everyone interacting togther and the wait for the next book is going to be very frustrating to me. This is a definitely dark story, and really, when I say dark, you know that I know what I’m talking about. Because it’s short, there aren’t any spoilers under there for you to read, but I found a picture anyway, because we all know I like pictures.

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Stylo Fantome-Preach

Well fuck. This is an epic mindfuck. And not only did Stylo fuck my mind once with this, she fucked it over and over and over. Preach made me feel all kinds of ways, and honestly? It may take me a while to get over this one.

Before I start in on the review, I have some other things to say. One is that I absolutely love Stylo Fantome’s pen name. It’s all kinds of fun wordplay. It translates out from French as ghost pen. Taking it liberally, I’m going to say that it probably would be something like Ghostwriter. Funny af, right? Totally awesome.

Secondly, this is the second book of the series. I did not review Church, the first book, on here, I did review it on Amazon. The series is a serial, so talking about this book may very well spoil parts of Church, so I’m going to be very careful as to how I talk about this one. I don’t want to spoil it for any of my dark lovers, and trust me, this is one you want to read, if you like to play in the deep dark.

So, here’s the way that the books work. Emma is the 23 year old daughter of Margo. Margo is a gold-digger. She’s always on the move and on the make for her next meal ticket. She’s not very nice. Various husbands and boyfriends have abused Emma, and Margo knew all about it. In fact, Margo may have even dangled her beautiful little girl in front of men.

Margo’s latest husband is Jerry. Emma sees Jerry as a milquetoast, a blah and bland little man who is inoffensive and doesn’t hurt anyone or even do anything. His company is paying for Emma to go to college, and she’s having a hard time fitting in. Then Paul shows up.

Paul is Jerry’s son, who has been at school in NY. But now he’s back, and he goes by Church. Church and Emma meet and a match made in hell is born. And they start on the long road to a metaphorical car crash into a huge cliff.

The second book starts a few weeks after the first one, and the cleanup of the disaster of that was Church and Emma has started. Emma has actually spent the last few weeks in a mental institution and Margo has been granted a conservatorship. Part of Emma’s treatment is that she has to have no contact with Church. In the last 15 minutes that he got to see her, he told her to act normal and he would always be near her and they would be back together as soon, just do her best to act normal.

I love the way that Stylo has chosen to tell the story. Most of the story is in 2nd person, from Emma’s POV, although over the books, we get a couple of glimpses of 2nd person POV from Church. But, interspersed through the books, we get chapters of 1st person POV from both Emma and Church. It’s a really interesting way to tell the story, and we learn more things than we would otherwise be able to. There are a fuckton of things that I didn’t expect in this book. It was just fucking wow. Like I said, my brain was fucked every which way but up.

These books were my first Stylo Fantome books, but they sure as hell aren’t going to be my last. There isn’t going to be anything down past the pic, so don’t go looking. I’ve been really careful to try to avoid any spoilers, so I want to keep it that way. So, go check it out, and happy reading!

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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?

Natalie Bennett-Heathens

Oh, holy fuck, y’all. Natalie Bennett is a sick and twisted individual and I so totally don’t want to get stuck in her head. That being said, I like sick and twisted individuals and I totally love what she wrote. The Badland books have been dark, intense, and definitely twisted. Heathens is definitely a worthy addition to the series and a great way to cap off this part of Natalie’s world.

Cobra is the final member of the Holy Trinity of the Savages. His friends, partners, and brothers, Romero and Grimm, have found their Queens and loves. Romero and Cali are definitely the Dark King and Queen of the Savages and have their Princess. She’s too young to be dark, light, or other, but I’m pretty sure that Adelaide isn’t going to be light and fluffy, not with her parents. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Rome and Cali, but… Grimm and Arlen aren’t quite as intense as Rome and Cali, but they sure as hell ain’t a comedic pair either. That leaves Cobra, who is obsessed with one particular woman. One who isn’t there. One who has blue hair.

Blue was traded to Vitus and the Venom as part of a way to solidify a partnership between the Savages and the Venom. Rome is going to need Vitus’ help to take down The Kingdom, Centriole, and I’d say that Rome has made a deal with the devil when it comes to Vitus, but since Romero is a Satanist and Vitus isn’t, I’m pretty sure that it’s sort of the other way around. Blue has spent her time trying to make sure that Vitus is happy. She’s not happy there, but she’s smart enough to know that she shouldn’t let that show. But that doesn’t mean that a particular Savage, one with a snake tattoo, isn’t always on her mind. There is a connection between her and Cobra, but she’s here and he’s there, and she has to deal with Vitus.

Then a mysterious woman shows up, and she seems to have a connection to Vitus too. Blue works really hard to not show any curiosity, but in her situation, curiosity can get her killed, but when the chance comes to talk to this wraith of a woman, it turns out that she’s a woman who is supposed to be safe in Centriole, not huddling in a literal prison run by Vitus, looking like hell, and shaking with withdrawals.

Then Blue is able to get back to Cobra, but not without collateral damage. And she has a lot to say to the leaders of the Savages.

OK, yeah, I really do mean holy fuck, y’all. This is dark and twisted. Cobra isn’t nice. Cobra isn’t anywhere near nice. He’s a very not nice who does even not nicer things and enjoys them. I mean, we aren’t talking about a guy who is a good guy who is doing bad things for a reason. We’re talking about a bad guy who gets off, pretty much literally, on torturing people and who tortures people for fun. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have a soul, I know that he has no conscience, and he has no morals. I’m relatively positive he couldn’t define moral if you asked him to. But, all that being said, within his personal boundaries and beliefs, he is pretty much doing what he thinks is right and there are no problems with him doing it. I mean, the only person who is going to take him to task is Romero, and I’m about 150% sure that Romero isn’t going to stop Cobra at all. Well, unless he wants to get in on the fun. I have loved this series, and it has gotten stuck in my head. Now that Heathens is out, I’m going to have to do a full reread.

Spitting_Cobra

The description of Rome, Cali, Grimm, Cobra, and Blue’s attack on Centriole is pretty fanfuckingtastic. The way that they work together is almost like magic. I can totally see them doing it in my head. It’s not pretty, in that there is all kinds of blood and gore, but the way that they are working together is pretty, if that makes sense.

I’m looking forward to the next evolution of the series. It’s going to be all kinds of wrong. ALL KINDS. It’s going to be so awesome too. I can’t wait to read it. And Natalie, being Natalie, is going to torture us until we can get that into our hands.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go read the series. Trust me. I’d be willing to say happy reading, but, yeah…

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?

whit queen