2019 Round Up: Top 10 Darkest Reads Pt. 1

So, we’re just days away from having another year under our belt. I’ve read another 800 books. I’ve written a few more blogs. Life has been in an uproar, it has been calm, it has been happy and sad. So, with a few more days left in the year, I thought that I would start my yearly round up. This blog is going to be part one of the top 10 darkest reads I read this year. They are going to be in no particular order, just however they happen to come to me.

Before I get started, I want to mention that I’m going to be giving away books and gift cards in my group, Slip in Between the Pages tomorrow and Christmas, so come check it out! And now, on to the books.

Addison Cain-Immaculate

Immaculate first showed up as a short story in Twisted Sacrament, and damn, was that twisted, and this won’t be the only story to show up on this list from that anthology. Anyway, when Addison got the rights back, she brought it out on its own. It takes place in the Vatican during the Renaissance. Our main character is a lovely young lady named Lady Agnese who has been kept pure and virginal so that she can serve God. It’s a very disturbing story because the story could absolutely have happened.

Jennifer Bene & Shane Starett-Jasmine

Jasmine was Shane’s second book and a co-write with Jennifer, who shows up on the blog all the time. I have a feeling Shane will too, as long as he likes me. 🙂 Jasmine is a woman who has been trapped by a man who says that she’s his wife, and she will obey him. The problem is that she really isn’t. The book was twisty turny, and packed full of places where if one small thing had happened differently, the entire book would’ve been different.

Jennifer Bene-Reign of Ruin

Reign of Ruin was another book that came out of Twisted Sacrament. RoR is what happens when Handmaid’s Tale meets the Apocalypse. I am going to flat out say that it scared the shit out of me. Handmaid’s Tale is hands down one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, because I can see how it can happen. I could see RoR happening too. I really did love the book though, even being scared by it. I would really love to see more of this world.

Eva Dresden-Broken

Broken really flat out broke me. Eva wrote a very dark MF Omegaverse, and Quinn really got the shit end of the stick. I mean, the stick was dipped into the shittiest, nastiest, most disgusting shit that you have ever seen, and then it was handed to her. And that was the good days. She ends up stuck in hell, and doesn’t see any chance of her hell getting better. And she’s right. I really felt for Quinn, a lot. The second book has come out, and I’m eagerly awaiting the 3rd.

Myra Danvers-Delirium

Delirium may not be as dark as some of the others on this, but it is pretty fucked up. There is a whole lot of action in here, and a whole lot more dark humor. I figured it was going to be a space opera, which it was, but it was a space opera plus. It was a twisty ride, and Iris just made it better. She’s in that category of crazy heroine who is fucking chaos embodied. She will take a disaster and make it even worse. And laugh while she’s doing it. I like that about her.

So, there’s the first 5 of my Top Ten dark books of 2019. Check back tomorrow to see what comes next.

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Jennifer Bene & Shane Starrett-Jasmine

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

No really, this fucking book. Jennifer and Shane did something special with Jasmine, and I don’t think I will recover. Shane can insist that this is a good, clean, Christian love story all he wants to, and I won’t call him a liar, but I will say that I think that those words don’t necessarily mean what he thinks they mean. This is dark, intense, even darker than that, definitely more intense than you might think, and oh holy fuck, what the fuck did I just read?

This is Shane’s second book, and I honestly wouldn’t know if I didn’t already know. He and Jennifer wrote a tight book that drowned me in its darkness and damn near killed me in its intensity.

So, here’s our story. Her was abducted by Him. Him calls Her his wife, named Jasmine. He has to teach her how to be a good and godly wife, which means when she tries to escape, he drags her into the barn, and punishes her. By shoving a stick where sticks don’t go and belting the living fuck out her. But then, he tells her that he loves her, and that all is now forgiven between them and between her and God. Her is always telling Him that she isn’t Jasmine, but no matter what he is positive that she is. She is sure that Jasmine is already dead and that she’s going to be next, and after all the time that she’s been trapped by Him, she’s just ready for it to happen. If she can’t escape one way, she’ll do it another.

There is so much darkness in here that I can’t even describe all of it. I can’t even put this in as a capture fantasy, because, well, it just ain’t. Like I said earlier, dark and intense, and I’m still trying to figure out what the fuck I read, because damn. I don’t want to describe it any more than that, because I don’t want to spoil any of it for anyone who reads this. In fact, I’ve already gone back and rewritten paragraphs to make sure that I’m not spoiling anything. And I may take out another one. I haven’t decided yet.

I like the female main character. I think that she is stronger than she really has any right to be. She has dealt with all kinds of things that would break most people. I love that the first time we see her, she’s trying really hard to escape. I love that we get the dual POVs, so we get a good look into the minds of both Her and Him. And I really love that’s how the chapters are headed, so that we know whose POV we’re looking at. It really helps to add to the whole tone of the book.

I really dislike Him. I mean, truly dislike him. But, that being said, I’m not sure how much he is in his right mind. Or even his left mind. Not that it excuses anything that he does, and I’m really not trying to do that, but his plane of reality and our plane of reality don’t touch at any significant point. They aren’t even in nearby dimensions of reality.

If you like dark, and I mean really dark, then this is definitely something that you should take a look at. I would love to see Shane and Jennifer team up again, because what they have written is excellent.

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I have to say, as much as I dislike Him, he’s not the one I hate the most in this book. There is another character who I really hate so very much more. Soooo, very much more.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out. Happy reading?

Shane Starrett-Submissive Lies

On Saturday, a new published author was born. Shane Starrett put out his first book, Submissive Lies. Everyone please give Shane a standing ovation, because anyone who pours their words on the page and then puts it out there for everyone to read deserves as standing O and for the fact that I think he did a pretty damn good job.

Jennifer is currently in a relationship with Thomas. The problem is that she isn’t exactly happy. Thomas is a good man, loving, caring, cherishes her, and all that good stuff. He just has one small problem. He’s as vanilla as vanilla gets. And you know, being vanilla isn’t a bad thing. Vanilla is a great flavor. The problem with Thomas being vanilla is that Jen really likes rocky road, and Thomas has as much chance of becoming rocky road as I do of becoming Lisa Bonet.

Thomas is the man that Jennifer found when her boyfriend and Dom, Ben, cheated on her. She came home from her job to find out that he had another sub tied up in their playroom. That moment is what started everything else that happens in this story. She lies to herself and tells herself that she isn’t submissive any longer. She’s going to just shut that part of herself off, she doesn’t need it. She can be just fine without it. So, she lived that way for a while and got lonely, and then she met Thomas. Things seemed like that they were going swimmingly, but deep inside Jen, things are changing. And that’s where the little lies she’s been telling turn into a huge avalanche that starts to destroy lives.

I really like the story and I really like the premise. I don’t always like Jennifer. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think that it’s because some of what she goes through in the book strikes a little close to home and it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, maybe, which makes me not always like her. It’s totally not Jen’s fault, and it’s totally to Shane’s credit that he can do that. Anytime that an author creates a character that real and one that I react to like that is a good time.

I feel like Jennifer is a very fallible character, which is nice. It makes her so real, and then it drags Thomas and Steve into real too. It works out quite well.

I am really looking forward to seeing what else Shane is going to write for us, because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be so good.

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I kept expecting Thomas to show up in places where he didn’t. Waiting for that other shoe to drop, you know.

That’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!