Marissa Honeycutt-Master of My Heart

Of all the dark books I’ve read, Marissa Honeycutt’s Life of Anna is still one of the darkest and bleakest I’ve ever read, even including BB Blaque’s books and When the Dark Wins. Those are on my list of darkest books, but I think LoA is still going to be #1.  The books are a serial, so I recommend reading the complete set. It’s in KU, but I also recommend buying it, especially since some of the books in the series have been banned. LoA is the only book that I have had to literally put down in the middle of it and read something else altogether. I got it on KU and even sent it back. I spent a couple of days dreaming about the book so I had to go back to KU and finish reading it. I spent a lot of time horrified about what was happening to Anna, angry for her, angry at Devin, and I cried. A lot. I mean, a lot a lot. Spoiler for LoA: The spot where I had to put it down was right before Alex and Anna got married. I don’t know why that particular spot hit my limit, but I just reached that point. That particular thing was what I dreamt about.

Marissa has brought out another series that takes place in the same world. It takes place some years after LoA. Anna is not the focus of this one, but there are some carry over characters. This series is called Finding Sabrina. The first book is Master of My Body, and the second is Master of My Heart. That’s the one we’re talking about today. Now, as a warning, Marissa is writing Sabrina as a serial, just like she did with LoA. I know that there are least 2 more books to come, but I don’t know how long in between each one. If you totally despise cliffies, then you may want to wait until Marissa puts out a complete set. I, on the other hand, may curse cliffies, but they don’t deter me. Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t read about 60% of what I do read.

So, here’s the story as it stands right now. There are going to be some spoilers for MoMB, there’s really no other way to it. If you haven’t read it yet and you want to, this is your very last chance. If you read past this point and you get spoiled, you only have yourself to blame.

OK, here goes. Sabrina has woken up and realized that none of her captors are there. They are all dead, and she killed them all. Her Immortalness took over and she kind of went feral and just went on a killing spree. Frankly, I don’t blame her. After being treated like she was for 5 years, I would’ve killed everyone too. She sees Chase’s West Point ring and it helps her come back to herself. That ring and thoughts of Chase are all that have kept her as sane as she is. That and being able to dance. Sabrina ransacks the house, takes a lot of money, and finds the diamond that will drain her Immortality and let her live as a normal human. She manages to make it to her ballet company and the head guy helps her escape to Boston, which is where she’s decided that she wants to go. She wants Chase.

Meanwhile, Chase is facing the fact that he has to get married by the end of the year. He’s the heir to one of the Brotherhood’s Elders, and that means that he has to get married and start producing his own young. Richard, the Elder, tells him that he knows that Chase wants Sabrina, but they have searched in every way possible for her and there has been no trace of her at all. Now he’s off on a mission with his team to take care of a problem for the Brotherhood. He’s incommunicado except to Richard, his mother, and his best friend, Jayson. Jayson just happens to dance at the dance company in Boston where Sabrina is going to go audition. He lives with his sister Liz, and they have a spare room in their apartment.  And guess where Sabrina goes to stay? Of course, she doesn’t know that Jayson and Chase are buds when she goes to stay with him.

You remember how I said that LoA was probably the darkest thing I’ve read? Sabrina might beat it. Sabrina has already gone through a lot. And I’m pretty sure that the darkest, most terrible stuff is yet to come. I’m going to be interested to watch and see. When the last book comes out, I’ll read all of them back to back so I can get the best idea as to which one is worse. I don’t think that we’ve seen the true villain a whole lot as of yet, so I’m going to be interested to see what’s going to happen with that.

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The fact that Sabrina is way more than even 3/4 Immortal is interesting. 15/16 maybe? 31/32? I can’t wait to see what will happen as she comes more into herself and her powers as a demi-Immortal. She’s going to make some people very, very, very strong, I think.

I think that Richard, Tom, Chase, and all his friends are going to be very good for Sabrina, especially as she sees that pretty much anything goes when it comes to sex. I liked seeing her meet the slaves at the Manor. They were very obviously happy and well cared for, which was completely opposite to what happened to her. I’d love to see her interact more with them in a casual setting. That may be a good way to bridge a gap for her, maybe.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this. If you like dark, gritty, and pitch black, then go read all Marissa’s books, especially LoA and the Finding Sabrina books.

My Top Ten Books of 2017 Part 1

Today and tomorrow you’re going to get my Top Ten books of 2017. Some I have reviewed here before, some I haven’t. But these are the ones that affected me the most, I liked the most, or there was just something about them. They are mostly in no particular order, generally, because it was hard for me to decide what order they go in. They also may have been published before 2017, but I read them in 2017. And it’s hard to limit my list to just 10.

I’m Sawree

B. B. Blaque has written some truly strange, fucked up, mind fuck books. I’m Sawree is pretty much the mind fuck of the century. I had to message B. B. Blaque when I was done reading it because really, I wanted to know what the fuck she had just done to me. I’m not saying anything about the plot of Sawree, and my blog post doesn’t either. Basically, my blog post was a picture of fluffy kitties, which is what you need when you read this book.

The Day She Cried

I have mad K Webster love.  Mad love like I buy everything I can and then read it immediately. Of course, I’m always sad when I’m done reading her books because I’m done. TDSC gave me all the feelz while I was reading it. I’m reasonably sure that I died at some point, but I was able to come back. The basic story is that Courtney and Raven were texting back and forth, with Raven thinking that Courtney was a boy. Courtney’s nasty-ass friend sent information to Raven that mocked her and she committed suicide. Courtney was tried and sued for her part in it. Rowe is Raven’s twin and he’s bound and determined to get back at Courtney. The entire thing is just beautiful and tragic and so, so, so real. K said that this was a really personal story, and you can tell with every word. Make sure that you have a box of tissues sitting next to you when you read this one.

Whispers and the Roars

This is another K Webster book. It is, hands down, the very best love story that I have ever read. I won’t give any details on it, because this is another one that if you read the reviews, you are going to have more information about the story than you want to have. You have to go into this with an open mind and another box of tissues. Told you that I have the mad K Webster love, right?

Sick Fux

This is a book by Tillie Cole. It’s making its rounds through the various dark reading groups I belong to. The days after it came out there were a lot of us talking about it. There are very good reasons for that. This is a really, truly fucked up story. But, there is also a beauty to it and a lightness. The love between Ellis and Heathen is just… Yeah, I don’t know. If you like Alice in Wonderland, you may have some issues with this one, but it’s one that stayed with me for days afterward. Just as a warning, there are some disturbing subject matters and some serious trigger warnings for abuse of children. If that is an issue for you, please read responsibly.

Life of Anna

Marissa Honeycutt’s serialized book LoA is one that you are just about required to read if you read in the dark thriller/erotica/romance genre, especially if you read Indie authors. Most of the people I know who read that genre have read it, and many of us use it as the ruler to measure all other darkness against. It spans several years and some of the absolute worst things that can ever happen to a person. It gets pitch-black in places. It gets darker than pitch-black in places, if you can actually do that. But, it also stays with you. I dreamt about this book. I had to take a break for a couple of days from it. I read the complete series compendium, so I got it all at once. During that couple day break, I read some much lighter stories, and I dreamt of Alex, Anna, and Devin. There aren’t enough trigger warnings for this one, but there also aren’t enough ways for me to tell you about how good it is.

Alright, here are 5 of my Top Ten books of 2017. Remember, they may not have been published in 2017, that’s just when I read them. Although, I think most of these were published this year. Tune in tomorrow for the other 5.

Here’s a pretty picture I found yesterday while looking for something for Rapunzel.

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Marissa Honeycutt-Finding Sabrina

If you’ve read my blog at any point, you’ve probably seen that I like to read dark books. There are several authors who I know will write great dark romances. Marissa Honeycutt is one of them. She wrote The Life of Anna, which currently holds #1 on my Top Ten darkest most fucked up things I’ve read. And if it gets replaced, it will probably be with the Finding Sabrina books.

Marissa writes her books as serializations, and the first Finding Sabrina book just came out, Master of My Body. She will probably release it all into a boxset at the end, since that’s what she did with LoA. As a sidenote, LoA is extremely popular in the dark romance readership community. Most of the people I’m either friends with or in groups with have read it, and we, in general, tend to use LoA as a measuring stick for how dark something in particular, as we tend to rate it the darkest thing we’ve read. I could’ve waited for the boxset of Sabrina to come out, but there was just no way.

Sabrina takes place in the same world as LoA, but there hasn’t really been any cross-over, as of yet. Marissa did say that we “heard” someone from LoA in Master, but I didn’t find them. Darn, maybe I’ll have to reread it. It’s a difficult job, but I’ll force myself to do it.

Master is a little bit of back story and intro to the main characters we’re going to see in the rest of the series. We have Vamar Thilduri, who is going to be our main bad guy. He has been trapped in the Dark Place for 2000 years. He has it out for the Immortals. He has taken over the body of a young man named Damian.

Then, we have Chase Ralston, who is a West Point graduate and soldier. He is the heir of Richard, who I’m going to assume is an Elder, although it’s not quite stated outright. He is 21 when we first see him.

And finally, we have Sabrina Mansfield. She’s 16 when we first meet her, as a young ballet student who has come to a summer program in Boston. She catches Chase’s eye, and they connect. He asks her to wait for him since he’s off to training. She says that she will. Then she goes home, and seemingly falls off the face of the earth.

Ok, you know what time it is. I love this book. I can tell that I’m going to like the series. Marissa creates great worlds, and you just get sucked right into them. It’s going to be dark, my personal guess is that it will be darker than LoA. If dark bothers you, then avoid this one altogether.

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I thought that I hated Devin and Jack from LoA, and I do, I really do, but man, I despise Vamar with the passion of 1000 white-hot suns. That may actually be putting it mildly. He’s already worse than Devin was. Good sign that this is going to be dark.

Poor Sabrina. She had to spend 5 years with him, so we’re definitely going to see some trauma in her from that. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I really hope she and Chase can reconnect and get rid of Vamar altogether, but I’m expecting for her to have to go through all kinds of horrible things before that happens.

I read LoA straight through, well except for right in the middle when I needed a break and went to read Jennifer Bene’s Security Binds Her. It can be hard to read straight through like that, because it starts dark, gets darker, hits darkest, and then gets even darker than that. I’m going to like reading Sabrina a book at a time, but I can guarantee that I will read everything all at once when it comes out.

If dark, thrilling, suspenseful romance and stories strike your fancy, check out Marissa Honeycutt and Finding Sabrina. Happy reading!

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.