33 Free Books

Everyone loves free books! Thirty-three authors have gotten together to offer up 33 free books!  The offer is good through the 12th, so check it out, especially if you like smexi romances.

The books include Born to Be Bound, the first book in Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series, The Invitation by Jennifer Bene, who I love and it’s a book I enjoy, and Wicked Ways by Cari Silverwood. Cari is a new author to me, but I really enjoy her. She just put out a steampunk, dark erotica, science fiction story called Acquired Possession. (Check out my review!)

There are also other authors I enjoy, Skye Warren, Maren Smith, Maggie Ryan, Alta Hensley, Lee Savino, and Meredith O’Reilly. Honestly, I can personally recommend about 1/2 of the authors and their books, either because I have read them or have read other books by the various authors.

If you like your romance with a dash of spice (or maybe a little more than a dash), check out the giveaway.

 

My Top Ten Part 1

Everyone should have a top ten list. I actually have several. This one is my Top Ten darkest and most fucked up things I’ve read. The list changes around some and the order changes around. Number one is currently number one, but the order of other four in my top five can change around, depending on which one I’ve read recently. This post is going to be the five top stories. Next Tuesday will be part two with stories 6-10.

The Life of Anna

Seriously, when I say that LoA by Marissa Honeycutt is dark and fucked up, I might be understating it. The trigger warnings may need to have trigger warnings. I’ve talked to other people who read dark books and they rank this as their darkest read ever and considering some of the books we talk about, that’s saying a whole lot.

LoA takes place in an alternate universe. It’s still Earth but there are magical Immortals. Anna is part Immortal. The world is basically run by the BDSM version of the Masons. Two very, very, very bad men take advantage of Anna from a very young age. That’s because they know what she is and what she will be able to do at some point. They want to be able to control her and use her powers. There is one pretty good man who does what he can to save her. There is a lot of sex. There is some BDSM. There is also a lot of brutality towards Anna. It is a very intense read. I cried through huge swaths of it, and I had to take a break to read something else in the middle. The complete story is on KU, or you can buy the serialized version. But trust me when I say that it is dark, intense, sometimes brutal, and can be triggering. Marissa Honeycutt published a companion novella called Abandoned Grace, about Devin, the main bad guy in LoA, and I just found out today that she has a new one coming out on August 24! It’s in the same world, but not about Anna. It’s called Master of My Body: Finding Sabrina. I’ve already 1 clicked.

Monster

Remember how in my last post I said that I would be talking about Monster in this one? Well, here it is. Monster is a short from Hero Undercover. HU is an anthology by 25 authors, including Jennifer Bene and Addison Caine, who has a story in another anthology that is about to show up on this list. Now, the premise of this anthology is that there is a good guy, usually a cop, but not always, is undercover and rescues the heroine. There is often a lot of spanking involved, yum.

Anyway, telling the good guys from the bad guys isn’t always easy, especially when the good guy has been undercover for a long time. That’s what happens with Monster. Nikki walks into a situation that is way above what she can handle because she wants to save her brother. Andre wants her. Terrible things happen to Nikki.

This story just trips all my triggers in an oh, so good way. Jennifer manages to pack a whole lot of twisted shit into a little package. Everything that happens would be intense in a longer work, but in a short, you just don’t get a break from it, which is totally wow. Great story in a great anthology.

Nightmares in Wonderland

Nightmares in Wonderland is Addison Cain’s entry in The Dark Forest. DF is another anthology. In this one, several great authors get together to put their own spin on various fairy tales. Obviously, Addison took on Alice in Wonderland. OMFG, did she ever. Addison swims in the deep, dark, disturbing end of the pool right next to Jennifer Bene. In fact, it was through Addison that I found Jennifer, as well as some other dark authors like Kitty Thomas, who doesn’t show up on this list, but will show up on my blog sometime in the next few weeks.

Addison’s version of this particular story is disturbing. Deeply disturbing. Her Alice spends years unable to sleep and being basically tortured by nightly visitors. The only time she gets any peace is then the Hatter comes to visit. He guards her sleep. After years and years, her parents try to have her cured. This whole story is delightfully disturbing and dark.

Beast

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is written by A Zavarelli. If there was going to be a movie version of this book, I’m pretty sure that Emma Watson would turn down the role of Bella. Beast is really dark. It has capture and non-con themes.

Bella won a singing contest, and her manager is trying to get into her pants. Javier was trained by her father, who is now missing. Bella rushes home to deal with what’s going on with her father, but mysterious things start happening. She gets drawings and other things start showing up. She feels like she is being watched. And of course, you can probably guess what’s happening, she is, of course, being watched, by Javi.

Poor Javier, bad things happened to him as a child and then Bella’s dad takes advantage of the poor kid that is Javier. Javi hates her father for what he did. Frankly, I don’t blame Javi one bit for that. Her dad is a massive prick.

Anyway, Javi takes Bella, locks her up, and subjects her to a lot of things. However, this book isn’t necessarily about what happens here, but it’s about the light that can come from the darkness. For a book that starts as a non-con, it ends up with an HEA. Now I need to go read it again. Can’t recommend it enough.

Dare

Dare was a book that I read because one of the FB groups I’m in had a takeover by the author, James Crow. Of all the books on my list, most of which have some mind-fuck going on, this is the most mind-fuckingest. I will never, ever play truth or dare again. I’m pretty sure that my response was along the lines of what the fuck did I just read?

I don’t even know where to start describing this book. Pretty much anything I saw about it is a spoiler. Let’s just say it’s truth or dare to the Nth degree. The end was so not what I expected at all. I spent quite some time afterwards trying to figure it out. If you read it, you’ll understand why.  There is a lot of sex, and some (well, a lot of) drug use.

Anyway, these are the top five of my Top Ten. The second half will come out next Tuesday, or maybe earlier, I don’t know yet. Also coming next week, a blog post about urban fantasy, another very favorite genre.

Reminder, Jennifer Bene is offering her book, Security Binds Her, for free on Amazon right now, until 7/15. This is a great time to grab this book and get started reading her Thalia series. The last book just came out and it is a wonderful end to the series.

Jennifer Bene and Thalia

Jennifer Bene likes to play in the deep, dark end of the pool, and I love to go swimming with her. Many of her stories have heavy themes like non-consent, D/s, and BDSM. Some of them are incredibly intense. They don’t all have happy endings. I’m looking right at you, Monster. Spoiler, there’s going to be more about that story in Thursday’s post. It makes my Top Ten, in fact, it’s in the top three.

I love her stories and have read almost everything she’s written. I’m working my way through the last three or four. I’m lucky enough to be on her ARC team, which means that I get to read her books early. On top of that, Jennifer is an all-around nifty person.

Today we’re talking about her Thalia series, Security Binds Her, Striking a Balance, Salvaged By Love, and Tying the Knot. There is also a companion novella, Christmas at Purgatory. They are all available on Kindle Unlimited so you can read them all for free. SBH is currently free to purchase, until 7/15.

Security Binds Her can be triggering to people because it is heavily non-consensual. Terrible, terrible things happen to Thalia. She is stolen by a security guard named Marcus so that he can train her to be submissive and sold as a sex slave. The man who stole her said that he recognized that she was a natural submissive, so he had to take her. The things that he does to her are terrible. What his partner does is even worse. Let’s just say that I will never think of electricity in quite the same way. Sadistic psychopaths are always fun. That’s only partly sarcasm.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Thalia. She is able to get away from her “Master”, Marcus. She is purchased and rescued by James, who is truly a good man, and helps her to heal and realize who she is. One thing that I really like about James is that he admits that he makes mistakes and he does what he can to fix them. He’s also willing to be held accountable by outside forces for some of the mistakes he made.

James gets help from his friend Kalen, his wife Maggie, and his sister Ailsa, when they visit Purgatory. Purgatory isn’t a bad place, it’s a BDSM training school. Thalia makes friends with other submissives, which really helps her to find a healthy place and her own voice.

Marcus turns obsessive and thinks that he and Thalia should be together forever, which leads to some nice conflict in Salvaged when he manages to grab her again. Thalia uses the feistiness that got her through SBH and uses it again here.

The stories are really good. There are good examples of bad Dominants, worse Dominants, and really good Dominants. There are also examples of good submissives and bad submissives. There is also a lot of discussion about submission. These books show a lot of examples of healthy D/s relationships, which seem to be missing in a lot of pop culture.

I really like Jennifer’s descriptions of women who are realizing that they like submission and punishment or that they are masochists. They don’t just magically realize oh, hey, this is what I am, awesome! There is some internal struggle to accept who they are and that they aren’t “wrong” for liking what they like or being who they are. Thalia really struggles here, mostly because she has to figure out how to go from a horrific 24/7 non-consensual experience to a healthy relationship with a balance of submissive and non-submissive behavior, especially since her first submissive experience was with Marcus, who was a sadist, and not in a fun way.

Anyway, this is a really good series to read, especially if you like dark erotica, a large helping of romance, and kink since there is a lot of it.The last book just came out on Monday, so this is a good time to read them.