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

Advertisements

Celia Aaron-The Prophet

I’m pretty sure that Celia Aaron has redefined Southern Gothic and made it something all her own. I’m also pretty sure that she’s evil. When she writes a book, she not only wants to find out how she can do terrible things to her characters, she also wants to figure out ways in which to torture us, her readers. And she does such a damn good job at it. The Prophet is proof of this. Prophet is the 2nd of the 3 books that make up The Cloister books. They are a continuous story, broken into three parts. Talking about Prophet will spoil the first book in the series, The Maiden, there just isn’t any other way to do it. If you haven’t read Maiden, then don’t read this yet. If you don’t like cliffies, then wait. The Church comes out in June. These books are dark af and mindfucking like you wouldn’t believe. If you have a trigger, the book will seek it out and pull it.

If you have read both books, or you aren’t worried, then come jump off the cliff with me.

cliff-fir-trees-nature-70219

Continue reading “Celia Aaron-The Prophet”

Natalie Bennett-Queen of Diamonds

I love reading Natalie Bennett. Deliciously dark, twisted, and mindfucky. Wooohoooo! I mean, can you get anything better? Well, maybe if Jason Mamoa was reading it to me while I was sitting in his lap, but until he comes to his senses and leaves Lisa, I’m going to read them to myself. And I’m perfectly happy with that. That means I can stay up to the middle of the night reading, if I so desire, and I often do.

Anyhow, Queen of Diamonds is her latest one. It’s the first book in a new series, Old Money Roulette. It looks like it’s going to be dark with no redeeming lightness, features, or anything going on. I am loving it. We have a baddie bad guy, a complicated heroine, and a twisted situation that makes me wonder exactly what’s happening and who’s going to survive the road to hell. Or, more precisely, the hell in which they already find themselves.

Elena has to come home because her aunt has been brutally killed and her twin sister, Eva, is missing. Her grandmother and uncle have convinced Elena that the best thing she could do is make sure that everyone knows that her sister is dead, so they buried an empty coffin along with her aunt. At the reception after the funeral, a beautiful man comes up to Elena and starts talking to her. It turns out he’s Mateo Remmington, scion of the biggest crime family in Vice City. This is perfect for Elena, she’s going to worm her way into his affections and trust so that she can find out what happened to Eva.

Mateo, oh man, Mateo. He’s ruthless, twisted, and pretty much evil. He wants Elena. He wants to take her, break her, and turn her into something else. He has plans on plans on plans. He’s at the reception because he owes someone a favor. We don’t know who that someone is or what the favor is. What we do know is that he’s fixated on Elena, and he’s told his brother and cousin that she’s going to be his wife. Now, he has to tell Elena.

OK, that’s the easy plot, the one that we can see. But, being a Natalie Bennett book, we all know that it’s not that easy. She likes to put layers and layers and layers and machinations (I love that word), plots, and secrets in her books. I mean, her books are the ones that you go back to read to find the hints after you know what’s going to happen, and you still can’t find them. QOD is going to be one of those books, for sure. Even a few days after reading it, I’m wondering what is going on. I don’t even have guesses as to what’s going on, really. All I know is that I can’t wait to find out because it’s going to be so good to find out. I can’t wait to find out Mateo’s plans and how Elena is going to fit into them.

adult-beautiful-beauty-922706

I am wondering about Elena’s friends and how involved they are in what’s going on. It seems like it would be a huge thing if she were trusting them in and they were up to no good. I’m also wondering what her grandmother and uncle are up to. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them.

I would like to find out more about Elena’s dad. We know that he was part of this world, but he sent the girls away to live with auntie, but we don’t know why. I wonder if he’s the person Mateo owes a favor too? Wouldn’t that be an interesting thing?

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I will say that if you don’t like to wait for the whole story of things to come out, you may want to wait for the rest of the books. You may end up with more answers than questions while you are reading this, and some people find that frustrating. I’m obviously not one of them, probably I’m a masochist or something. Anyhow, go check it out.

VF Mason-Psychopath’s Prey

VF Mason wrote a complete and utter mindfuck in Psychopath’s Prey. I mean, it’s such a mindfuck, I’m not sure how many times I can put mindfuck down as a description. It was an awesome book. I loved it, every single word of it. I’m going to have to read it again.

So, I’m not going to talk too much about this story, because I don’t want to spoil anything, and really, there are so many things that could possibly be spoiled.

Ella, at 17, walks back into her house after being out with her friends, gets in the shower, goes down to get a snack, and walks into her parents’ dead bodies, but there’s no sign of her little sister. She calls the cops and they eventually find her sister. Sadly, Ella is the only member of her family left alive. She goes to stay with one of her good friends to finish out high school. Eventually, she finds out her family was killed by a serial killer.

Ella has a plan. She’s going to go into criminal psychology and work for the FBI’s BAU. She wants to work with them and catch serial killers and keep them from destroying families the way that hers was. Everyone tells her that she shouldn’t do it, including the dean at her college. She goes to the police academy and she constantly gets turned down by the FBI. Finally, it turns out that she manages to catch a killer, and is contacted by the BAU to join them.

On her very first day of work, they get a call out to a body dump of a serial killer. Turns out there were two dead bodies there.

OK, that’s as far as I’m going in this one now. I will tell you that we have two POVs in this book, we have Ella and we have Psychopath’s. We have no clue who Psychopath is. VF gives us all kinds of suggestions, and each and every one of them is contradictory. I would think I had the identity of who Psychopath was, VF would throw in something else and I had to start all over again. It was totally awesome. There are some triggery things that happen in this book, and if you aren’t a dark fan, this is probably one you should definitely avoid.

tamaskan

This really was a helluva book. It took me for a ride and I had to go read something else altogether after this because it just fucked with my mind so much. It was just that good, really.

So, go check this out, if you like dark and mindfuck-y. Happy reading!

T.L. Smith-Distorted Love

Oh my,  there are so many things I have to say about this. This is my first TL Smith book, but it sure as hell isn’t going to be my last. There’s a second book to this duet, but anything else she’s written, I’m going to go check out.

Before I get into it, Distorted Love is part of a duet, and you know how authors love to do us. If you are one of the people who hates hanging on until the next book, wait. Also, this book takes place in Australia, but it’s mostly written in American English, so USicans should have no problem with slang and such.

Saskia is in her next to last year of school. She goes to an exclusive private school, even though she lives on the wrong side of the tracks. She gets a scholarship and wears her cousin Livia’s hand-me-downs. Saskia has been crushing on Ryken Lord as long as he’s been in the same school. He’s a year older than she is and very popular. Her friend Robert urges her to go talk to him, but Saskia would rather be the wallflower, the person no one sees. When Livia asks her if she likes Ryken, Saskia tells her no.

Ryken Lord is in his last year of school, and waiting until he turns 18. When he turns 18 he’s going to take over his father’s nightclubs, while his father continues to run the seedier part of the business. He always sees Saskia, his Barbie, no matter what. Sometimes that’s all he sees. He doesn’t talk to her though.

On the first day of school, Ryken and his best friend through a huge party. Livia drags Saskia around to the party with her. Livia wants to hit on Ryken, Saskia wants to go home. When they get there, some older guy named Quinn starts talking to her. Ryken comes out and tells him to get lost. Turns out Quinn works for his dad and collects young women to be sold. Saskia, pretty young Saskia with very few familial connections, is a perfect target. Quinn tells Ryken he won’t take Saskia on one condition, Ryken has to leave her alone. If he can stay away from Saskia, Quinn will leave her alone. Ryken tells Quinn that won’t be a problem. Quinn thinks otherwise.

That’s as far as my synopsis is going to go. This is a strangers to enemies to friends to lovers to enemies to something else altogether story. It would my brain around like you would wind spaghetti with a fork. It was hard to keep track of everything as a reader but in a good way. I can’t imagine how Saskia and Ryken were able to keep track of everything. The two of them are combustible and explosive. When the two of them get together, it’s like putting det cord and plastique together. You get a huge fucking boom and a lot of heat, and everything around it gets destroyed. That’s Saskia and Ryken. The problem is, they can’t stay away from each other. They are drawn to each other like two powerful rare earth magnets. They will knock everything out of the way to get to each other. Even when they hate each other, they love each other and vice versa. The story is a total mindfuck and trying to figure out what is going on will keep you guessing and wondering. I reached the end in a huge burst of adrenaline like I had been running a race. I can’t wait for the next one.

rope swing and lake

OMG. The end. The end of this thing. I can’t even.

I have to say, I don’t trust anything that Livia has said, so I’m thinking that the announcement is a lie. At least, that’s my opinion of the matter. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. I never really liked Livia anyway, I thought that she was bad news for Saskia and that she treated her like crap anyway. So, there’s that.

That’s all I have to say on this today. If you want to talk more about it, then you’re going to have to come find me somewhere. I’ll telll you alllllll my opinions, I swear. Happy reading!

Charity B.-Candy Coated Chaos

Oh my ducklings. My poor sweet ducklings. I read two books that completely turned me around and twisted me up this week. One was Blai2e, the other was Candy Coated Chaos by Charity B.

Before I get into my review, I want to say that this one is dark. It has some issues that may trigger people and may bother others. Make sure that you read the blurb on this as well as the trigger warnings that Charity put there. Heed them. Read responsibly.

I also want to say that a part of the proceeds of the sales of this book will be donated to To Write Love on Her Arms, which is an organization that helps with self-harm, addiction, and suicide. The story of how they got their name is awesome, and they do fantastic work. I’ve followed their work for years and donated when I could.

When you read this, you might wonder why I didn’t put this in my BDSM category since there are some activities in here that people who practice BDSM might use. I debated it, I really did. But, finally, I decided that it just wasn’t the right place for it, in my POV. Your mileage may vary.

Now that we’ve gotten through all that, it’s time to actually dig into the book. I bet you thought that I was never going to get there.  But I have, and here we are.

Alexander, owner of Vulture Theaters, is a real cocksman. He’s a one and done kind of guy. He likes women, he just likes them once. One day, as he’s fucking around in his office, a knock comes on the door. He goes to answer the door and there is a petite young woman sucking on a lollie at the door. She looks at the nameplate and realizes that Alex isn’t the right person, and she quickly moves along to the next door until she finds one with the right nameplate.

Alex is somewhat fascinated with the fey-like young woman that he saw. When he gets the chance, he asks her out for a date. He asks Tavin to meet at a bar. When she gets there, she seems slightly less vivacious than she had before, but then suddenly she changes and gives him a huge kiss and then they go dancing. On the way to his house, they see a carnival. Tavin tells Alexander that she’s never been to a carnival, so of course, they have to go.

Alexander is fascinated with watching Tavin at the carnival. She acts like everything she sees, touches, and experiences is brand new and is magical. That makes Alex look at everything different and lets them have an amazing time. When they are done, they head to Alex’s house for fun and games of a more adult nature. Alex, who prides himself on never coming before a woman does, manages to miss getting Tavin to come. When he wakes up, Tavin’s gone. He figured that he would’ve fucked her out of his system, but it didn’t work that way. Because of course not.

Alex is finally able to track Tavin down and gets to her house just after she’s started to OD. He calls his doctor and takes her to his house to help her get better.

OK, this is that time. This story really was intense. I mean, I don’t have the words to describe how intense. It left me wrung out and emotional. We talk about books taking us on an emotional roller coaster, but this one passes up the roller coaster and goes for the tilt-a-whirl. You go up and down and spin around. I got spun around out of control, with no way to slow it down, and it just kept spinning faster and faster. When I finally got off, I was dizzy as hell, but I loved the ride. There are so many secrets on everyone’s part, but most especially Tavin’s. Alexander doesn’t always know how to handle everything he finds out, but to be fair to him, I don’t know that anyone would be able to handle the things he finds out in a completely calm manner, even if they weren’t fascinated with the person.

pexels-photo-225238

If you aren’t a fan of cliffhangers, then you aren’t going to be a super fan of this one. I do know that the next one is coming out in about 6 weeks, but I don’t know when 3 is coming out. I do have assurances that one of my biggest worries over the ending works out well. I’m not going to tell you what it is though, so there. I can be mean.

I’m dying to know more about the bitch Carrie in Alex’s life. I’m betting that she aborted their child, or something similar. And that the tiara that Sasha stole has something to do with that.

I’m glad that Alex was able to swallow his pride enough to contact his sister to help with Tavin. I know that couldn’t have been easy for him to do, but really, I think that was the best thing he could’ve done in the situation.

I wonder what all Tavin told Sasha. I wonder why Sasha and not Alexander. I wonder how much Sasha will tell Alexander. I wonder what kind of blowback is coming Alex’s way. I neeeeeeeed all these questions answered. I hear that I can get the ARC next month, so I only have to make it through next month. Hopefully, it can help tide me over to Blair3. (OMG guys, Blai2e next week!)

OK, that’s all I have to say today. And since I couldn’t decide which picture I wanted to use, have another picture. Meanwhile, happy reading!

pexels-photo-90919

Yolanda Olson-anatomy

Yolanda Olson writes some serious mindfuck books. They may be horror, they may be dark, they may be something. The only thing I can guarantee is that you are going to walk away wondering what the ever-loving fuck Yolanda has just done to you. anatomy is one of those books.  I had several WTF moments as I was reading because I wasn’t sure that I had read what I just thought I read. It seriously spun me around and wrung me out like I was in a washing machine’s spin cycle. It was just OMG. Really. It’s an amazing book, but if you can’t handle dark, darker, darkest and total mindfucks, do yourself a favor and pass this one up.

I’m not posting any spoilers, because anything I could post about the plot of the story will give things away, so I’m going to just post the blurb, and we’ll all be happy.

There’s a monster before me that’s killing everything I believe in.

A villain that sees me for what I’m worth and wants the pound of flesh I’ve offered up as repayment for my sins. The burden I carry is heavy on my shoulders, but as pieces of me are stripped away to bare the horrors within, I can feel myself becoming worthy of the pain.

I’m not a monster.

No matter how much it hurts to admit it, and no matter how terrible the truth will be when brought to light, I know that I’ll end this cleansed and whole again.

It’s what I truly want and that’s why I’m here.

The nights are long and full of torturous deviance and yet I still manage to keep a smile on my face, because while the ultimate prize at the end of this game is to claim my life, there’s a secret my tormentor doesn’t know.

If I go down, it will mean the end of both of us.

Sounds totally awesome, right?

vitruvianman

 

Did you come down here just to check to see if I put anything down here? Nope, nothing. Go buy the book.