The Prisoner(Criminal & Captives #1)by Annika Martin and Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: October 22, 2014

Format: E-Book

He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.

Review –

This is definitely a dark, gritty romance. Grayson is in prison for killing a cop (he was framed) and Abigail is there working on a writing assignment for a college class. When Grayson figures out that she is intent on eventually publishing some of the inmates stories as part of an online journal it doesn’t take him long to bribe his way into her class. He needs to get word out to his crew in order to facilitate a break out. Abby is buttoned-up, all prim and proper, and also completely fascinated by the big, hardened prisoner. Grayson is dangerous and her attraction to him leaves her jumpy and confused. But she is determined to finish the assignment.

Predictably, during his prison break, Grayson takes Abby hostage.  She is terrified of what he is going to do to her, but their fascination for each other continues to build. If there isn’t a content warning, there should be because  there are several instances where Grayson’s sexual advances aren’t welcome and even one scene  where Abby has been drugged by Grayson so she can sleep and isn’t completely in control of all of her faculties. Regardless, Abby does slowly come to trust him as she learns of this history and the horror he lived through as  a child. And it is horrific. Her back story is also pretty terrible and in a way made me believe that these two scarred people might be made for each other.

There is a violent bloody beating where Grayson also loses himself and there are twists and turns and a huge change of heart from one of the supporting characters, Stone. It was dark, edgy and a true page turner.

I loved it. If you like DARK AND EDGY, this one is for you.

The sequel, Hostage, has just been released. It is Stone’s story and I can’t wait.

 

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Book Description:

Published: September 27, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Review –

I truly find it hard to relate everything I feel about this book. The conclusion to this epic duology delivered in EVERY way possible. Crooked Kingdom enthralled and delighted, even while some of the content reduced me to tears. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan will forever be marked as one of my most beloved fictional crew.

 Crooked Kingdom is filled with character bonding, as well as interaction and development within the numerous friendships within the main group.

Even while the crew work seamlessly together, they remain distinct and unique individuals, driven forward by their own goals and personal backstory. The amount of character development in this book is phenomenal. By halfway through the book, I was fully invested in every single story – even for characters we previously did not see much of like Wylan.

Besides the characters bonding more as a unit and also as romantics pairs there is an arresting storyline, filled with cunning tricks and plot twists. Leigh Bardugo absolutely shines during her fight scenes, with the action becoming almost cinematic. The constantly turning wheels of Kaz Brekker’s mind is also equally formidable. We all love a story about an underdog, and watching Kaz scheme his way numerous setbacks had me on the edge of my seat, but the payoff is always so immensely satisfying.

Not all couples end up together-there is a death of a major player- I won’t say who but it was worthy of several Kleenex and I still can’t believe he’s gone.

I wish the author had Kaz pronounce his real feelings for Inej, instead he just holds her hand, without gloves. This may not sound like much to those who have not read Six of Crows, but it’s a major deal for Kaz Brekker!

The catch phrase of this series is NO MOUNERS, NO FUNERALS and we learn more about it in this book. This is what the author has to say about the quote:

“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”

Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

Fantastic book, fantastic series!!!

 

 

 

The Call (The Call #1)by Peadar O’Guilin

Book Description:

Published: August 30, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book/OverDrive

Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.

Could you survive the Call?

Review –

I have long been a fan of Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series, which deals with MacKayla (Mac) Lane and her battle against the world of the Fae, so when I ran across this book I knew I had to read it.

I’ve seen it described on YouTube as a horror novel and the video went on and on about how graphic and gruesome it was, but in reality it’s no worse than what young adults see on video games or read in some graphic novels. I found the violence and description of the Grey Land and the monstrous Faeries and their dress (made of human skin) added to the trepidation and edginess of the book.

Vanessa (Nessa) Doherty is a 14-year-old girl who attends Boyle Survival College, one of many in Ireland that serve only to teach its youth how to survive the Call of the Sídhe.

This intense, riveting tale is set in an Ireland that the Sídhe, Irish faeries, have cut off from the rest of the world, plotting to retake their former home through a grim war of attrition that involves kidnapping human teenagers. During the “Call,” teens disappear “for a little over three minutes, but in [the faeries’] world, the Grey Land, an entire day has passed, panic and pain in every second of it.” When the stolen teens reappear, they are usually dead and/or horribly mutated by magic. All Irish children attend special centers where they’re taught martial arts, the Sídhe language, and total ruthlessness. Nessa, already relegated to crutches due to polio (Ireland’s isolation means no imported vaccines—or anything else), seems unlikely to survive her Call, but has dedicated everything to doing so. The author follows several teens, including Nessa, over into the Grey Land, delivering blisteringly fast-paced and graphic descriptions of the tortures the children endure. This is a bleak, gripping story, one where only the most muted of happy endings is possible. 

There is a semi cliffhanger and the sequel, The Invasion, comes out in March of 2108. I can’t wait.

Five stars!!!!!

 

The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day #1) by T.M. Frazier

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Homeless, sleeping in a junkyard, and on the run from a system that has failed her over and over again, Abby meets Jake, a tattooed blue-eyed biker with secrets that rival her own. Two broken souls that can’t be healed, they can’t be saved. Abby and Jake have to decide if they can accept the darkness not only within one another, but within themselves.

If they can accept each other for who they really are they might learn that love isn’t always found in the light…

WARNING: This is NOT your typical romance.
The story of Jake & Abby contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, sex, strong language, drug use, and all types of abuse.

Review –

I have read books with damaged, broken souls but they DO NOT compare to the utter desolation and suffering in the lives of Jake and Abby.

Abby’s parents were drug addicts and worse. When Abby was nine years old her mother didn’t have any money to pay for her drugs so she gave the man Abby in payment. When he tried to rape her she stabbed him in the eye with a piece of mirror that her mother used to snort cocaine. For punishment Abby’s mother tied her to a hot radiator and burned her with cigarettes and cut her all over her body with a knife. Abby did escape and run naked and bleeding to a fire station where she found help. Her mother was tried and sentenced to life in prison.

At seventeen Abby’s loses her grandmother and is homeless and hiding in a junkyard from Child Protective Services.

The last time twenty-two year old Jake Dunn saw his father he tried to kill him. He has always blamed Jake for the death of his wife and “good ” son. Now he’s a drunk and Jake has come back to look after the family business. He finds Abby in an old truck and almost shoots her, but falls in love with her at first sight instead. Jake know’s he’s no good for her and is too old for her and that he  kills people for a living, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Abby.

Abby and Jake find each other and are able to open up for the first time in their young lives.

Just as they are getting somewhere in their relationship, Jake has to leave town for a while for a job. If poor Abby hasn’t been through enough already, she goes through something even more traumatic while Jake is gone. It’s devastating. It’s disturbing. It will break your heart.

I won’t tell you what happens just know that it’s a dark storyline, with  broken characters, a damaged man, tough not annoying heroine, heartbreaking and sad, but heart warming at times… and most importantly, gave me a case of the feels.

This one will bring out some strong emotions in you. The Dark Light of Day is about so much more than finding love and healing. It’s about a girl, a girl who endured more than suffering and trauma than any person should ever go through, finding the strength to move on. That it’s okay to be touched, to fall in love, to find happiness and let people in. Jake and Abby were able to find beauty in all the ugly. 

A fantastic read and the cover, for the most part, matches the story.

Five stars.

 

 

 

Pitch Dark by A.M. Wilson and Alex Grayson

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2017

Format: E-Book

One girl disappeared. After fifteen years, her cold lifeless body was found on the damp forest floor. Not an inch of her was unmarked by the horrors she endured. Alone, malnourished, abused in horrific ways; this was how she died.

One girl was found walking the streets, covered in dirt and scars. She had no memory of who she was, where she came from, or what happened to her. Even though the marks on her body attested to years of heinous abuse, her strength shone through at every turn.

Revenge and justice were sworn.

Years of searching brought up nothing but dead ends. Detective Niko James was too late to save his childhood friend, but he vows not to let down another.

The clock is ticking and the trail is pitch dark.

Review –
PitchDark is a very dark and gritty thriller, one that was difficult to read at times.  It’s intense, heartbreaking, edgy, and raw.  So be aware, it’s very explicit with the details of  child abuse.
It’s been fifteen years since Niko’s childhood friend, Aislin, has disappeared and in his heart he knew she was abducted while his parents and the police just thought she ran off.
A body is found in the woods covered with scars, old and new, and open sores, cuts, scrapes, and old and new bruises. She is identified as Aislin. Niko is heart-broken and angry because he hadn’t rescued her from such torture.
Later a girl is found walking the streets, barefoot and with similar markings on her body as the dead girl and she has no memory of who she is or her previous life.
While Niko helps to find out who this girl is and who did this to her (because he’s positive the same individual killed Aislin)he begins to get close to her and develops feelings he knows he shouldn’t.
I’m not going much further with the story because it would be too easy to include spoilers. Just surface it to say that it’s well written with engaging characters. Sometimes it seems draw out and repetitive but even that didn’t take away from the storyline although because of that I only gave it four and a half stars.
Excellent who-dun-it but there are many triggers and it’s not a romance so if you are easily disgusted and traumatized; stay away from this book!

Bait by Jade West

Book Description:

Published: August 14, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

A stranger online. Dark hair and even darker eyes that knew my dirty desires before I did.
A fantasy that should never be spoken. But he pulled the confession from me.
And now he’s coming for me.
Rough. Dirty. Dangerous.
It’s supposed to be one night to get me off and make me forget.
He’ll make me his and I’ll pretend I don’t want him to.
I’ll run and he’ll chase.
Because I asked him for this.
I begged him for this.

Tonight, in the darkness, he’s the hunter.
And I’m the bait.

Review –

Abigail Summers moved to a new city to leave behind her old life. But no matter where she went, demons from her past caught up to her, making her crave a dangerous game.Abigail was one gutsy woman. She perfectly aware what she jumped into and took matter into her own hand to regain her spirit. I like how she could let herself loose while not losing control.

Phoenix may be a stranger, but he was no stranger to the dark needs. He let the monster lay dormant inside him until she breathed it back to life. On the surface, Phoenix had that wild and dangerous appeal. And I like how beyond that he was perfectly normal. He may be ruthless, but he also had heart.

What I like the most about these characters is that they’re unapologetic for what they need and they clicked together like a jigsaw puzzle. The sex scenes were dirty and the situation added to the hotness.

The book started dark and mysterious with a tinge of ominous tone. I enjoyed the overall storyline even though I wasn’t surprised by outcome.

Bait is a story of two broken souls finding comfort with each other. It would appeal to readers looking for dark, erotic read with element of suspense.

Dirty Filthy Rich Men (Dirty Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Book Description:

Published: March 27, 2017

Format: E-Book

When I met Donovan Kincaid, I knew he was rich. I didn’t know he was filthy. Truth be told, I was only trying to get his best friend to notice me.

I knew poor scholarship girls like me didn’t stand a chance against guys like Weston King and Donovan Kincaid, but I was in love with his world, their world, of parties and sex and power. I knew what I wanted—I knew who I wanted—until one night, their world tried to bite me back and Donovan saved me. He saved me, and then Weston finally noticed me, and I finally learned what it was to be in their world.

And then what it was like to lose it.

Ten years later, I’ve found my way back. Back to their world. Back to him.

This time, I’m ready. I’ve been down this road before, and I know all the dirty, filthy ways Donovan will try and wreck me.

But it’s hard to resist. Especially when I know how much I’ll like it.

Review –

Warning: This book could contain triggers for some readers.

Sabrina happens upon Weston, a boy who she had a crush on back in college and who is also Donovan’s best friend, in LA. They have dinner and hooked up a weekend before Weston decides he wants Sabrina to quit her job and join his and Donovan’s company in New York. She says no, and a few months goes by before Weston makes her an offer she couldn’t refuse and now she’s off to NYC, thinking that Donovan is still working overseas and that she won’t have to see him. Well, he’s back in the US and he spends every opportunity to make sexist, misogynistic comments and sexually harass her. Sabrina constantly tells herself that she’s a strong woman and she deserves respect. Then, she throws all common sense out the window to have sex with Donovan.

The plot is predictable, but who cares, IT’S JUST A BOOK!

 Sabrina continues to  forget her common sense and sleep with someone who doesn’t respect her and harasses her at every turn. Donovan is jealous Sabrina and Weston might have a thing going on, and Donovan is very manipulative.

He has an ex-fiance and became so consumed with her that he hired a PI to follow  her and let him know where she was every minute of the day, but she found out and wanted to call off the wedding if he didn’t stop. But he didn’t and she died in a car accident trying to get away from the PI.

When Sabrina finds this out she feels bad for Donovan and when she finds out he has a folder with over ten years of stuff on her she realizes just how obsessed he can get and that he loves her, in his own way. (Anyone else would say “stalker” and run the other direction, but not Sabrina.)

Donovan realizes that because he loves Sabrina she could get hurt or die so he decides to go to France for business and maybe not come back. He thinks distancing himself from her will keep her safe. END, can you say cliffhanger!!!!!!!

The next installment comes out in September and I can’t wait!!!!

HOT read.

 

 

 

 

The Good Daughter (Good Daughter #1) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August 8, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Review –

Five Stars !!!!!!

What a roller coaster ride! Just when I thought I knew where this book was headed Karin Slaughter (one of my favorites) throws in a giant twist.

I had the audio version and listening was very painful in some parts and I won’t say which because it would give too much away.

The Good Daughter is the kind of exceptional psychological thriller that only comes around once every so often—a story as in-your-face shocking as it is tender and heartbreaking. Chapter by chapter, the author unceremoniously  unfolds the history of two sisters, and reveals the horrific past that has both tied them together and driven them apart.

This is a brilliant, bold crime novel that examines the unbreakable bond of family and the lengths two women will go to uncover the truth about the brutal secrets of their past.

It is  tough and dark  and  Slaughter doesn’t shy away from describing violence in graphic detail, yet each moment of violence is purposeful and intentional, driving character development and giving readers firsthand investment in finding justice for the victims of these horrific acts. 

It is character driven and readers who want a straight police procedural or a true legal thriller will be better off looking elsewhere—THE GOOD DAUGHTER is first and foremost a story of a family struggling to overcome its dark and secret-laden past. While this isn’t the kind of read I went into the book expecting, the story’s rich character development and emotional, often horrific flashbacks left me all the more invested in it.

This book is dark, but it’s dark for a purpose. 

I highly recommend it!

 

 

The Devil’s Claim (Devil’s Kiss #2) by Gemma James

Book Description:

Published: July 1, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book

It’s been a year since Kayla Sutton walked away from Gage Channing. Now he’s back, and so is Ian Kaplan, Kayla’s one-time lover from her college days. Gage’s jealousy is his worst enemy, and when he thinks Kayla has chosen Ian, he sets in motion a drastic plan to claim what’s his. Only Kayla never expects him to infiltrate her heart so effortlessly, and she never dreamed there would come a day when he wouldn’t want her.

Gage believes she’s committed the ultimate sin, but will she use his mistake to finally escape the cage of his obsession? Or will she do whatever it takes to make him see he can entrust his heart to her…just as she’s already lost the core of her being to him?

NOTE TO READERS: THE DEVIL’S CLAIM is a dark romance with a BDSM edge that does NOT conform to safe, sane, and consensual practices. Includes explicit content and subject matter that may offend some readers. Intended for VERY  mature audiences.

Review –

This was offered as a free digital book, so I have not read the first one, but I think I could fill in the blanks enough to see the whole story.

There were some moments when I wanted to kick the shit out of Gage, but then he would “act normal” and I’d like him again. He was so frustrating. Evidently he’s made some changes since the first book, The Devil’s Kiss, according to Kayla. He made changes but HE did not change. He knows what he wants and will not take NO for an answer. He will just do it. Taking away Kayla’s choices once again. Kayla wants that though, I feel. She wants someone who will make the choices for her. Her mind says no, but her wetness tells a very different story. Gage is over controlling, overbearing, over-sexed,over-abusive,  over all everything, but Kayla wants him anyway.

There is a HEA but I don’t intend to read the next book, The Devil’s Wife, to see what happens to the couple because I’m afraid their future isn’t going to be all smooth sailing.

This book is very dark but I hear the first one is much darker so READER, BEWARE.


 

Liberated (Fractured #3) by Elle Charles

Book Description:

Published: August 14, 2015

Format: E-Book

After escaping the life that was determined to never let her go, and leaving behind the man that coaxed her from the darkness, Kara is back to living a solitary life. Hiding away, once again, she is living in isolation, forging an existence from the torn shreds left behind. Desperately wanting everything that has been stolen from her, but too frightened to take the risk, she has convinced herself that her choices are the right ones. Her absolution to stay hidden is robust, until familiar faces resurface, bringing with them heart breaking truths that she cannot ignore. Facing up to the consequence of her choices and the decisions she has made, running is no longer an option.

Facing up to reality will prove to be the hardest thing she ever does.

Ghosts from the past will return, undisclosed secrets will be revealed and lifelong dreams shall finally be fulfilled.

Warning:

Please note, this novel contains serious adult content and descriptive sexual scenes. 

Review –

I don’t know why, but I felt let down by this book, the final installment of the Fractured series. To me, it was too long, dragging out parts that could have been dealt with more succinctly.

The author did a very good job of tying up all the loose ends and getting rid of all of the demons that had plagued Kara and Sloan from the very beginning.

 

I felt like shaking Kara at times for the stupid things she did. Sloan had the patience of Job. 

I did like ending with the epilogue from Sloane’s point of view.  I like Sloan enormously and was very satisfied with tbe way the story ended. I will think of them enjoying their future together free from fear at long last.