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.

cats wine.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

Eris Adderly-The Eighth House

Anyone who reads on Literotica may be familiar with The Eighth House by DeathandTaxes. Well, D&T turns out to be Eris Adderly. The funny thing is that I found her stories on Lit and her books on Amazon separately and liked them both. It wasn’t until she said something on FB about another story that I realized that they were the same person. I read this story once or twice on Lit. So OK, maybe it was more like five or six times, but who’s counting? I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for a long time and pre-ordered it as soon as I could. I’m really enjoying the differences.

Persephone is my favorite myth. We all know the story. Persephone gets taken to the Underworld to be married to Hades. Demeter goes nuts and nothing grows, famines happen, all kinds of terrible things. Persephone eats 6 pomegranate seeds, which would usually relegate her to the Underworld forever, but a compromise is met, she’ll live with Hades for 6 months of the year, and the other 6 months, she’ll live on Olympus. The 6 months she lives in the Underworld are fall and winter, spring and summer are when she comes back. There’s just something so… I don’t know. The story just speaks to me so much. So, when I found Eris’s version, I had to read it. It was like something jumped out at me and said READ. So I did.

So, here we go, The Eighth House.

We open on a beach, where Persephone has just been having an interlude with a mortal man. She’s not all that satisfied, but her lover thinks that she’s all that and a bag of chips, which of course, she totally is. I mean, goddess, right? When she leaves that guy, she heads to see Polyxene, a mortal woman who she considers a friend. She’s been visiting Polyxene off and on for many years, sometimes giving her samples of plants that are very powerful and stronger. Anyway, while she is there, Persephone asks to wear Polyxene’s ring, does some magic to it, and tells Polyxene that if the ring hasn’t changed when Persephone sees her again, she can have what’s in it.

Flash to the Underworld. Hades is being confronted by Aphrodite. She wants a favor from Hades, and she reminds Hades that he owes her. She tells him that her favor is that he will take Persephone and make her his. When questioned, Aphrodite tells Hades that the reason for it is that Hermes, Aphrodite’s lover, is paying too much attention to Persephone.

Demeter, Persephone’s mother, has done everything she can to keep her away from the gods on Olympos. Demeter thinks that Persephone is still a maiden and hasn’t had anything to do with any man. She treats Persephone like she is a little girl, not as if she’s a grown goddess. So, Demeter sends her dear, darling, “maiden” daughter off to Nysa to gather baskets of flowers with Artemis and Athena.

While she is there, Hades arranges for the earth to open up and for Persephone to fall into the Underworld and into his arms. He had been planning on just playing with Persephone up until that point. When he saw, smelt, and felt her, he knew that he was doomed.

Alright, here is where we split. The Eighth House is a wonderful book. Not only is a good retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth, you get a book with a great plotline, wonderful descriptions, and hot sex scenes. So, really, it’s a win/win in my view. I have put it under dark romance because there is BDSM in there, but it isn’t as dark as other books I’ve put in there. There is an HEA, which yay! I don’t always need an HEA, but it’s nice to read. Right now this book is on KU, but as always, I recommend that you buy it. You’ll want to read it over and over.

Persephone_and_Hades

Before I go anywhere else with this post, I need to talk about the bridge scene. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have that whooooooole scene highlighted in my Kindle for… reasons. It is one of the most mind-blowing scenes that I’ve ever read. I mean, I’ve read some really hot sex scenes, but the reason that this one really got to me what the whole trust issue between Persephone and Hades. It’s not like it was easy for her to do what she did, but that’s what makes it so amazing.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way. Hades is now one of my newest book boyfriends. He is so devoted to Persephone, even when he is trying hard to control himself and not to be. Not only that, he actually gives a fuck about his job and about the souls under his care. I love his physical description, it’s a really stark image in my head but stark in a good way, like a statue carved of ivory with ebony accents.

Persephone. Poor Persephone. Polyxene was the only one who even came close knowing her before she met Hades. At one point, during a fight she’s having with her mother towards the end of the book, she tells her mom that she’s been boning mortal males all this time and what did it say about her mother that Hades knew more about her than her own mother did. I, personally, don’t think that Demeter really likes Persephone all that much. I mean, sure, she probably loved her, but just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you actually like them all the time.

I’m really glad that I bought this one. Like I said, I had it on pre-order as long as it was possible to. I may have squeed a little bit when I found out that Eris was turning it into a book. It looks like it’s going to be the first one in a series, and I can’t wait to see what else she has coming for us!