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.

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Alta Hensley & Zoe Blake-Queen and the Kingsmen

Alta and Zoe have given us their third filthy fairy tale. And oh, my kittens, when I say filthy, I mean fillllllttthhhhy. Forget having to be over 18 to read this, you may have to be over 25 to read this one. It was definitely the dirtiest of the group. I think it was also the most playful.  So, on to Queen and the Kingsmen.

Alright, so this is somewhat based around the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent. Not enough that you can point and say oh, that’s straight from X, but enough that it gives you the flavor. And that’s perfectly fine with me. I think it’s awesome, and it’s nice to see newer fairy tales being used.

So, our evil Queen Zelladine is taunting the piddling little mortal king and tells him that she’s never going to give him back the body of his dead daughter, Briar, and oh yeah, she curses the hell out of him. Well, King Dickbag isn’t about to let that stand, he’s going to do something about it. While Zelladine has gone home to make sure that all her people are safe, mostly done by sending them away to safety, he decides he’s going to put out his big guns, the Kingsmen. No one really knows who they are or much about them. Zelladine isn’t all that worried, she’s never met an impressive mortal man. Then again, she’d never met the Kingsmen.

The Kingsmen, Gripir, Sigmun, Troylus, and Regin, are tasked with finding Queen Zelladine and making her give Briar’s body back so her father can bury her. The thing is, that Zelladine is just as determined to not give them that information. She’s going to keep her mouth shut on that matter for as long as possible. The Kingsmen capture her and keep her in a tower where her magic was neutralized. They punish her in several different ways, but they still can’t break her. In fact, she likes what they are doing, and sees it as a game.

OK, the interactions between the Kingsmen and Zelladine are awesome. She is strong and stubborn and isn’t about to let the guys roll over her. She enjoys all the sex, she enjoys exasperating them, and she enjoys what they are doing to her. The guys get rather frustrated with her, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t enjoying themselves as well. This is an awesome story and it does have appearances of characters from the other stories. It’s a short, hot, filthy read, and fabulous.

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Oh, I love the game of hide and seek at the end of the book. I also like how many times Zella manages to trick the guys. She was really three or four steps ahead of him most of the time, wasn’t she? It was lovely.

OK, that’s all I have to say for this one, so go read it. You’ll love it.

Alta Hensley & Zoe Blake-Red & the Wolves

Alta and Zoe have released Red and the Wolves, the second book of their 3 RH dark romance fairy tales. These are not fairy tales to read to your children. In fact, you might not even want to read them around your children. The steam rising off your Kindle might cause them some concern.

So, are you can probably guess, Red is the reimaging of Little Red Riding Hood. Only when the Big Bad Wolf wants to eat Red, he’s not thinking about dinner. And it’s more like Big Bad Wolves, 5 of them, and they all have designs on Red.

The village where Red is born and grows up is surrounded by a tall wall and thick forest. In that forest, there are 5 magical wolves. Back in the day, 500 years ago, the village elders used magic to create the wolves from some of the villagers. They were needed so that they could fight the darkness that threatened everyone. Every so often, the Blood Moon rises, and when the Blood Moon rises, the village sacrifices a villager to the wolves.

Red’s grandmother is a village elder. Too bad it had never been any kind of bonus for her. Her grandmother, the evil old hag, hated Red’s father and since her mother died at birth, it fell on the hag to raise Red. She made sure that not only did Red know how worthless to everyone she is, she also made sure that the village made her an outcast. It doesn’t help that Red stands out because of her very red hair either.

When the Blood Moon rises, the elders say that it’s time for a sacrifice. All the other sacrifices have been chosen from the oldest unmarried males in each household. This time, the hag manages to push through a change, it’s the oldest unmarried person from each household. In this case, Red would be in the group and is the only woman there. And we can guess what’s going to happen, otherwise, this would’ve been a really short book.

Red gets turned out of the village and is left to the tender mercies of the wolves, named Canis, Beo, Grimm, Rood, and Helm. Or, are they men?

OK, it’s time. I love, love, love the names of the guys. I picked up some of the references with the names, but I don’t know if all of them have some kind of significance. I love the books that do that. I love the books that don’t. I love the books. I just think it adds in an extra layer of fun to have various names of characters referring back to other things. Red is a very strong character and is willing to stand up for what she believes in, in my opinion. She doesn’t always listen well, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? The guys are very strict and very intense. There is some heavy dubcon going on here, IMO, at least at first. The book is swelteringly hot, with all the good stuff going on. Each of the guys has a distinct personality, and it’s interesting to get to know them. We also get a peek at Snow White and her guys.

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I love that Red wants to let the people of her village know the truth. The guys deserve to have the truth known. After all, theirs was the true sacrifice.

I wonder if they were to have babies, would they be able to shift back and forth from human to wolf? That would be such an awesome start to a werewolf legend.

OK, go check this one out. Happy reading!

Alta Hensley & Zoe Blake-Snow and the Seven Huntsmen

Alta and Zoe both write books that I enjoy reading. I’ve reviewed several of them here, and reviewed others on my GR and Zon page. The stories that they write on their own are dark, sexy, and hot. This one? This one raises the bar. Putting Alta and Zoe together means that we ended up with something hot, filthy, obscene, dark, and so sizzling hot, my Kindle burnt my fingers while I was reading it. I loved every single dirty word of it.

As you can guess, Snow and the Seven Huntsmen is a new take on Snow White. Only, there are no dwarves here. Instead, our dear Snow has 7 large and dominant alpha huntsmen that she has to deal with. Seven very, very large huntsmen with appropriately large spears. I mean, they can’t fight off the bad guys if their spears aren’t large enough, right?

So, the evil queen has locked Snow away in the dungeon after the death of her father. Snow has had no human contact for years and years. Her food gets shoved in through the door so she sees no one and no one sees her. No one talks to her, nothing. So when she hears voices one day, she knows that they are coming to kill her. She decides that she will escape out her window because there is nowhere else that she can go. However, that doesn’t stop these huge men from grabbing her and taking her away with them.

Snow is convinced that they are going to kill her, especially when they talk about having to have the heart in a box to send to the queen. Turns out that they are going to take the heart of a boar and put it in the box and tell the queen that it’s Snow’s heart. They have other plans for Snow, and they involve her very much alive and very much naked. When she tries to run away, the huntsmen find her and tell her that there’s no way she can escape from them, after all, they are huntsmen.

The huntsmen, Dagr, Odin, Jerrik, Magni, Tore, Steen, and Freyr, want to keep Snow and do terrible, horrible, sexy, hot, and perverse things to her, including punishing her. That both terrifies and arouses her. And holy fuck, there are some really, really sexy punishments going on in here. Let me just say that antlers have taken on a whole new meaning for me, and I’m wondering if I can get an antler chandelier for my house.

OK, it’s that time. It may sound like the guys are only hard on Snow, and they do use her hard, but they also take good care of her. They are very caring, in their own ways. They are nice guys, and I really like them from the start. Sometimes I have to warn up to the Alpha types, since they are all oh, I know better than you, and yeah, these guys were like that, but it didn’t get on my last nerve the way it sometimes does. I think it was because of their personalities. They are very much barely civilized and that alpha ‘tude fits. If you don’t like dark and really sexy, and a large amount of dick being swung around, then avoid this one. Me? I’m wondering how soon I can go back and read it.

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These guys will do just about anything for Snow. I like that they take care of her, because yeah, it sounds like they are only rough, gruff men, but they truly value her and have her best interests at heart. They want to make sure that she is safe and sound. They even teach her how to use weapons.

I really like how Snow has a relationship with each of the guys and how each of them is so different, and they all meet some need in Snow, not necessarily sexual, but emotional. Just having someone who wants to be with her has to be a change from spending so many years locked away from all human contact.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Go over to the almighty Zon and check it out. Happy reading!

Zoe Blake-Defying Him

I am always down for Zoe Blake and her particular flavors of darkness. She always brings us a fun treat to read, one where we can enjoy the story and enjoy the sex. She’s done it again with Defying Him.

Unlike her last couple books, we aren’t getting a dark Daddy Dom. This time we get a hot man in a Marine uniform. Which, yes please. Have you ever seen those boys in the full get up? OMG, lick them like a lollipop. OK, where were we?

So, Phoebe is an investigative journalist. She specializes in going undercover and getting her story. She’s damn good at it. When she gets to work, her boss tells her that he has a new job for her. There are have been some strange murders at a military acadmy, and she is the perfect person to go in and find out what’s going on. Her boss thinks that the Navy may be hiding something, and he wants to know for sure. He sets her up an ID as an associate professor in English and sends her in.

Michael is the new commandant of the academy. It’s his job to find out what is going on at the school. No one else has been able to pin down the murderer and he’s going to improve the security. When his secretary, who doesn’t really approve of him, sends in the new English professor, Michael immediately tries to send her home. He’s trying to scare her off because she looks just like the other women who were murdered, sadly, Phoebe is not the type to be intimidated easily.

The first chapter of this book is awesomely creepy as fuck. How many of you remember the 1, 2, Freddy’s Coming For You chant that came out of Nightmare of Elm Street? Yeah, that scared the piss out of me when I was young, but it really set the atmosphere. That’s what this chapter does. It totally sets the scene of the entire book. This is a suspense/murder mystery/thriller/erotic romance kind of thing. And it’s really good. It isn’t a real instlove, so much as instalust that builds quick.

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The killer was creepy. The reasoning behind it was just creepier.

I got a little mad at Phoebe’s boss for sending her into a situation that was very dangerous, since she looked just like the other victims. However, she probably would’ve have done it even if she hadn’t waited until she got there to see the victims’ pix. She’s stubborn that way.

OK, that’s all for this one. Happy reading!

Zoe Blake-Dark Deception

As you can tell if you’ve read my blog a lot, Zoe Blake is one of my favorite authors. She writes dark and she writes kinky, which are two of my favorite things. I like following a good tour guide into the darkness of their brains and seeing what they have to show me. This time, Zoe has decided to show us Dark Deception.

Dark Deception is one of those books that when I picked it up to read it, I had to keep reading it. There wasn’t any way of putting it down and walking away from it for awhile. I stayed up way too late at night reading it. But, that’s not a bad thing, is it? Good books are better than sleep, at least that’s what I told myself when I woke up the next morning after too little sleep.

Mirage is an extraordinary thief. She goes in and steals jewels and information as if she were a ghost and can walk through walls. She lives up to her chosen name, and disappears right before your eyes. Mirage has spent her life working for The Syndicate and stealing what they want her to steal. However, the score she’s working on right now is a personal one. She’s spent months very carefully choreographing the downfall of one man. She’s made it look like he’s betrayed their bosses. Now that she’s destroyed his reputation, she’s ready the next and final step in her plan. She’s going to kill him, sneak right into his house like the mirage that he is and blow his brains out. He killed Mira’s lover, and she wants her vengeance.

Paine has earned his name well too. He is The Syndicate’s cleaner and extraction specialist. If there’s a problem, they send him out to either make it stop being a problem or get their operative out. He’s also a hacker and a thief. He’s like the 7-11 of crime, the one-stop shop, if you need it, he can do it for you. All he knows right now is that someone has set him up, but he doesn’t know who or what. He’s just waiting for someone to show up so he can take care of it. He didn’t expect it to be Mirage.

Mirage and Paine have a short, explosive history together. When she got stuck in Turkey on a job, he was sent in to get her out. He saw her and knew that she was his. They had that one night together, and when he went out to get breakfast, she left. See, mirage.

OK, you know what time it is. I’m going to just go plow on. Mira nd Paine turn it up to 11 when it comes to hot, dirty, and sexy. This is the kind of book which can melt your Kindle if you aren’t real careful with it. I suggest that you make sure that it has adequate air flow around it so that you won’t have to worry about it getting too hot to touch. I love how they each recognize, respect, and admire the other’s strengths. I mean, they are both at the top of their game, and when they team up they totally top that game. That connection and respect is part of what makes them such a compelling couple. I mean, I just connected with them so much, I was sad when the book ended because I wanted to read more of their adventures. They are very, very awesome. Definitely go check this one out. You won’t regret it.

 

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The first big scene after Mira breaks into Paine’s house was just so hot. I loved every filthy word of it. I mean, just fabulous. The one thing I want to know though, is how did she manage to leave? Maybe Mira can walk through walls. She is awfully tricksy though, and a very careful planner, so of course she would have figured out lots of ways in and out. Maybe she found one that even Paine didn’t know about?

I love how everything works in this story though. They become a real partnership, no matter whatever else goes on. They do work well together, which is good, considering who they are and what they can do. I would pretty much put them up against any other pair out there, in whatever capacity they need.

OK, that’s all for today. If I go any further, I will end up totally spoiling something, and none of us want that to happen. Lots of exciting books in my schedule, so keep your eyes peeled. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Zoe Blake-Daddy’s Home

Zoe Blake is spoiling us this year. Not too long ago, we got her dark age play book, Papa’s Prey. Now, we are getting her dark age play/Daddy dom book Daddy’s Home. This book is super-duper steamy and nice and dark. I mean, what more can you want in a story? Like I said, she’s totally spoiling us.

Chloe has spent the last two years in hiding from her dark and chaotic past. She lives in her uncle’s cabin off in the woods outside a small town. She stays in her cabin, minds her own business and creates beautiful jewelry. Chloe’s biggest goals in life right now are to keep her head down, stay hidden, and keep making jewelry. She may be bored, but it’s better than the alternative.

Logan has been sent to find Chloe. He’s spent a long time studying her so that he could find her. He’s searched her social media so that he can get an idea as to where she might be hiding. Logan is so obsessed with finding her, he even carries a picture of her in his wallet.

When Logan finds Chloe, he has to get something from her. He knows that she’s hiding this particular item, and he will do anything he can to find it. But more than that, he finds that Chloe herself is something that he needs. He wants to protect her, care for her, and discipline her as necessary. He wants to be her Daddy.

You know what time it is. I’m going to go my way and you can choose yours. Logan is intensely focused, but from the moment that he meets Chloe, his focus goes from the recovery of what he was sent for to keeping Chloe safe. We don’t get to know him much, other than he is seriously Alpha male, very taciturn, and very protective. I’m perfectly fine with that. He’s not the kind of hero where we need to find out every little bit of his backstory in order to like him. That mystery suits him well and makes for a better story. Chloe is a strong woman and has used that strength to try to get away from her past. Of course, being strong doesn’t mean that you don’t need a Daddy to come and take care of you. It’s totally possible to be both. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait for more from Zoe. If you like dark and kinky af stories, this is another good one for you.

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There are so many, many, many great things about this book. Too bad I’m not going to tell you most of them. Like the other two books I’ve blogged this week, there are some serious twists and turns and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

I can, however, tell you how much I love Logan and how well he takes care of Chloe. She really does well under his care and she’s able to grow from it.

One scene in this book gives me some of my favorite lines. Some bad guys are threatening Chloe, and they are talking about being scared of the big, fucking dude. Chloe says, “That big fucking dude is going to kill you for touching me.” See how much faith she has in her Daddy to take care of her? Knowing that he’s there to help her out lets her be feisty and feel safe. Later on, in the same scene, we get this from Chloe, “Before the bleached gangland Barbie over there slapped my face, that one kicked in the shin. What kind of schoolyard bullshit is that? You know how much it hurts to be kicked in the shin?” Those lines left me laughing out loud, and not just that LOL you tell your friends, actually laughing. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to explain to him why I was laughing. I love that entire scene and that Chloe was able to have some of her own power during that.

OK, that’s all I have to say about Daddy’s Home, other than that you should immediately visit Amazon and 1 click it. You definitely won’t be sorry that you did. We have more interesting books coming up this week, so don’t go too far. Meanwhile, happy reading!