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!

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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.