Top Ten Books of 2017 Part 2

Yesterday we had half of my Top Ten books of 2017. Today we are getting to the second half. Keep in mind, these aren’t in any particular order and they may or may not have been published in 2017, just that I read them this year, so no judging me that way. Also, I may have already mentioned them on my blog, but they are the books that affected me the most, in one way or another.

Pet

Isabella Sterling has become one of my favorite authors. She has a beautiful way with words. I would read a tech manual that she wrote. And since she has a beautiful accent, I would listen to her read said tech manual. Anyway, Pet was one of those books that I loved and I cried and I cursed Isabella’s name. I had to wait a couple of days before I could leave a review on it because I had to process all the feelz I got from it. Pet, Stranger, and King have a permanent part of my heart. It’s one of those books that I wanted to reread immediately after reading, but I was devastated by it. I was also elated by it. I haven’t reread it yet, but I will soon. Writing about it has made me want to read it again.

Alpha’s Claim & Alpha’s Control series

I refuse to see using series in a book list as cheating. Especially when they are as good as Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim and Alpha’s Control books. These books were pretty much my first real foray into dark romance, and I have never made it out. Addison is a gateway drug. LOL. So, Alpha’s Claim is Born to Be Bound, Born to Be Broken, and Reborn. OK, Alpha’s Claim is the story of Claire and Shepard while they live in Tholos and I can’t even tell you how much it killed me. I read books 2 and 3 back to back in one day. I don’t recommend doing this. I cried. Oh my fucking gods, I cried. Addison completely killed me. My husband still refers to this series as the one that devastated me. I’ve had long conversations about this series. The Alpha’s Control series is just one book so far, Stolen. We got to check in with old friends and met Brenya and Jacques from Bernard Dome. It was like OMG. As intense as the first series was, this one is as intense as all three of them combined. I hate Jacques. I’m going to say that right here and now. I hate him. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Dollars Series

Pepper Winters has written some great books. The Dollars series is one of them. You lucky reader you, if you haven’t read them yet, since Millions just came out, so you don’t have to wait. The series is Pennies, Dollars, Hundreds, Thousands, and Millions. The story is about Pimlico and Elder. Their story is amazing, and all about love, redemption, and getting away from your past and finding your future. I don’t know if I can even explain the whole series and do it any justice. Pim was kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. Elder rescues her after several years. The whole series is about how they manage to heal each other and fix themselves. Go check it out.

Destruction

Jennifer Bene writes epically dark stories. Destruction is the latest one of her dark stories. It’s dark and gritty and filthy and oh, so very good. This story just gets to you in all the dark places that you didn’t even really know that you had, but now that Jennifer has exposed them to you, you want to know more about them. Of course, I’ve been knowing all of those dark places for a while now, and I like playing in those places. Luckily, I can count on Jennifer Bene to write a story that will let me do that. This is the first book in a new series, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and how everything that happened in this one plays out in the next stories. It ought to be interesting. If you like dark and kinky sex, check this one out, for sure.

Comfort Food

Kitty Thomas writes dark too. All of her books are pretty dark, but Comfort Food is the first one of hers I read. Addison Cain posted the link for this book when it was offered for free on King Zon. It is a total mindfuck. I mean, it makes you look differently at what things are really comforting and which aren’t, and how they change. I don’t want to go too far into the story, because really, it’s one that you have to read to understand. But, it had me saying whoa at more than one place because it is just that trippy. I will never, ever look at crackers and chicken noodle soup the same way again.

OK, there we are. My Top Ten books of 2017. Check them out. Tell me what you think of them.

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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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Top Ten Part 2

Here we are again folks, back to my Top Ten darkest and fucked up reads. These are books 6-10. You’ll notice that one of my Top Ten has more than one book, but that’s because it’s a trilogy. There are also two instances where an author has two books on my list. I think that they all fit on my list quite well, so there’s that. So, without further adieu, let’s dig back in.

Comfort Food

Comfort Food is the first book I ever read by Kitty Thomas. She is an author that Addison Cain introduced me to. Comfort Food is an interesting book, very dark, and with a fucking great twist in the tail. Emily Vargas is an inspirational speaker who is kidnapped. She’s kept in a cell by a beautiful man who never speaks to her and won’t feed her anything but chicken and noodle soup and water. This book explores what happens when what is supposed to be comforting turns it into a punishment. So good, and so dark. I love the ending.

Big Sky

Big Sky is another Kitty Thomas book. She really does write some really dark and fabulous stuff. I love the way that her mind works. Tabula Rasa and her newest one Persephone are really good too. I love the Persephone and Hades myth, and Kitty’s retelling is amazing.

Anyway, back to Big Sky. Veronica is a big ad exec, making a lot of money. On the surface, she looks like she has a great life. In actuality, she is deep in debt, at risk of losing her job, and keeps spending. She loses her job and loses her apartment. She runs into a real life cowboy, Luke, who offers to help her and take her to his ranch in Vermont. Luke has plans for her since she looks remarkably like his dead wife. It is a good mind fuck. A really good mind fuck. There really isn’t an HEA here, more like a happily for now maybe. Or closer to Veronica coming to a place she can accept.

Fear and Desire

Dan is undercover, trying to bust a human trafficking ring. He and his partner are both Doms, trying to figure out how to help the women that get taken while staying in the good graces of their boss. Then the woman Dan loves, Laura, gets taken. They end up having to walk a very narrow line to make sure that they don’t blow us cover or end up dead.

Fear and Desire by Sophie Kisker is a brand new entry on my list. Mostly because I just finished it a couple of days ago. It’s a fabulous book, as is every Sophie Kisker offering I’ve ever read. It is hard for me to figure out whether it’s strictly non-con or whether it’s non-con with some consensual non-con tossed in. I’m leaning towards the latter. If you read it, you’ll see where I think there may be some consensual non-con in there. The line is really blurry though and open to personal interpretation, which I really like.

Pretty Little Dolls

Pretty Little Dolls is a series that’s written by Ker Dukey and K Webster. There are currently three books, with a fourth coming out in the near future. The series, as it currently stands, is made up of Pretty Stolen Dolls, Pretty Lost Dolls, and Pretty New Doll.

In PSD, we meet Benny, who is obsessed with dolls, Jade, and her little sister Macy. Benny steals them away and keeps them for years. After spending years in captivity, 18 year old Jade, Benny’s Dirty Little Doll, manages to escape, leaving her sister, Macy, in Benny’s hands. She gets hit by a car and can never find where she was being kept so that she can rescue her sister.

Fast forward a few years, and Jade is now a cop, and is obsessed with her sister’s case. When something pops up that is too similar to what happened to her, she has to investigate it, with her partner, Dillon. The first book ends on a cliffhanger, and the second picks up right after. All the twists in these books are fabulous. PND takes place 3 years later, and the focus is less on Jade, Dillon, and their family, and more on Elizabeth, who is a camgirl who dresses up like a doll and goes by the name Pretty New Doll. PND ends on a cliffhanger too. I had to ask K Webster and Ker Dukey if they were trying to kill me, because I’m pretty sure that they are.

Whispers and the Roars

Number 10 is another entry from K Webster. I cannot give you any description of this book, and I recommend that you do not read any of the reviews about it. I can’t emphasize this enough. This book is twisty, twister, and twistiest. It is a true mindfuck. I love how K Webster handles the story. There are some graphic parts, especially about abuse, that could trigger people, but the story is rich and well-written. Again, don’t read any reviews.

Well, there you are. My Top Ten darkest, twistiest, what the fuck did I just read books. I highly recommend each and every book on this list. There are plenty of others that I recommend as well, but these are the current ones on my list. I have read some that are darker, like the Beautiful Evil series by B. B. Blaque and the Dollar series by Pepper Winters, but they don’t quite make my current Top Ten. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like them, I did, they just didn’t hit my list. I will probably talk about those series sometime in the near future, because they are good.

Thursday is going to be all about urban fantasy/horror/whatever you want to call it. I expect next week to be about some of my favorite authors in that genre.

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.