Pennies (Dollar #1) by Pepper Winters

Book Description:

Published: July 18, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

“I’m not the hero in this story, girl. You’d do best to remember that.”

Once upon a time, I was an eighteen year old psychology student.
Now, I’m a man’s property.
Stolen and sold, I’ve been decorated in bruises since the day my world changed two years ago.
I suffer in silence, I crave freedom, but I never break.
I can’t.
Until he arrives.
Elder Prest, the only man to look at me and see me. The only man more ruthless than my owner.
He wants me for reasons I don’t understand.
He claims me for one night then leaves and never looks back.
Until he returns.
And life becomes much more complicated.

Review –

This story is told in multiple POVs, but is centered on the experiences of Tasmin, aka Pimlico. At eighteen, Tasmin has led a privileged and sheltered life. When she is taken from one of her mother’s formal functions, her existence as she knows it comes to an end. Tasmin becomes Pimlico, a sex slave.

Purchased by Alrik, a sadistic and cruel man who refers to himself as “Master A”, Pimlico lives in constant terror. She suffers unspeakable acts at the hands of Master A and his friends. He takes pride in his visciousness.

When Elder Prest sets eyes on Pimlico, he is equally intrigued and enraged. He finds himself having to fight back his urges to take her for himself, while also wanting to kill Alrik for his abuse of the slave girl. He’s no stranger to deviant acts, a notorious criminal himself, but something about Pimlico calls to him.

Pimlico, despite the horrors she’s endured, does not break. She is defiant to the end, even as she submits in calculated measures to survive. She does what she has to do to survive, but she will never give Master A what he wants most…her voice.

The more she remains silent the more vicious Alrik is to her. 

Elder comes and goes between dealings with Alrik and each time he leaves “Pim”  is beaten and subjected to horrible things because Alrik thinks she likes Elder more, DUH!!!!!! Elder isn’t the one beating her, now is he? His jealousy gets to the point that he and two of his goons are going to take her voice by cutting out her tongue and at the last minute Elder comes in and kills two and helps Pim kill Alrik and then he steals her for himself.

Though this book is VERY VERY dark most of the beatings are left to the readers imaginations and the sexual acts are implied. BUT, what a ride. After reading, I had to decompress by reading/listening to something of a different genre.

I do intend to read the rest of the series, because I’m now totally addicted to Elder Prest!

 

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Review –

Last year I received this Post-It Note holder in a subscription box(I forget which one) but hadn’t read Caraval yet, so really didn’t appreciate it’s meaning until later.

 

The world of Caraval is one part amusement park, one part Venice, and one part game show, painted in all the colors of a gothic circus. Girls in gowns rustle their way down dark hallways, searching for clues that will win them a wish — but some girls have more need of wishes than others.

Scarlett has led a life made small by abuse. She and her sister Tella dwell in constant fear of their cruel and violent father. Tella beats against the bars of their golden cage, but Scarlett keeps the peace as best she can, desperate to protect them both. She has given up on her childhood dream of attending Caraval, a magical performance that blends theatre with an adventure game, resigning herself to an arranged marriage that will offer her — and Tella — a true escape from their father.

When an invitation arrives from Legend himself, the mastermind creator of Caraval, beckoning the sisters to a mysterious island and offering them a place in the game, Tella forces Scarlett to abandon her plans of calculated safety in favor of an adventure. But it soon becomes clear that Legend has other ideas. He steals Tella away and makes her the prize of Caraval, leaving Scarlett no choice but to win the game.

Scarlett knows that everything she experiences in Caraval is a part of the performance, but the line between fantasy and reality starts to blur, especially when it comes to Julian, a sailor boy who has joined the game. Like everyone she encounters in Caraval, he isn’t what he seems — and she can’t resist his help or his company. As the nights of the game progress, she sinks deeper and deeper into a story that grows ever darker, and gets further and further from the safe future that was almost within her grasp.

Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. For you see, Caraval is the world of the game, which feels like a journey into a dark branch of Disneyland, where the animatronics have feelings and don’t like you very much, and the expensive cupcakes may have poison in them.

Loved this book and am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series, Legendary, which comes out in May of this year, because what appears to be a happy ending isn’t at all what it seems.

 

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Book Description:

Published:July 25, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Review –

Alice and Jake are on top of the world on their wedding day and then receive a strange gift and an invitation to join The Pact, a very private and exclusive organization which supposedly will help them maintain a healthy marriage.

They accept, and realize very shortly The Pact is an abusive,dangerous and maybe murderous cult-like club with no way out. Alice is accused of infractions and taken to a Pact prison facility and sentenced by a Pact judge to wear a neck brace-like contraption for the purpose of focusing more on her marriage and less on her job. Jake tries to seek answers from a woman he knew while in college but she seems afraid to talk to him. Later he is taken to the prison facility, has his head shaved, suffered electric shocks for hours and stripped naked and anchored between two large piece of plexiglass and rolled into the prison cafeteria for all to see. After several days he is allowed to go home.

Alice and Jake discuss how they can get out of the group and things come to a head when Alice is kidnapped and Jake has to travel to Ireland to find and talk to the founder of The Pact. This is does and without giving anything away, he find Alice is okay and then there is the ending.

There was two ways the book could have ended and I would have been alright with either one but I must admit the decision made by the couple surprised me.

Below is a list of a few of the rules provided in the Manual (required reading, in fact members were told to memorize it)

“The Manual,” a huge tome in tiny print containing regulations like those of Unit 3.12, Health and Fitness, which specifies that neither partner may gain more than 10 percent of what they weigh on their wedding day. Other rules require that couples exchange thoughtful gifts monthly, take a trip together once a quarter, always answer a spouse’s telephone call, and never, ever mention The Pact to anyone. Also mandatory is timely attendance at the group’s parties, meetings, and one-on-one sessions. “

Five stars!

The cover does bother me-not sure about the significance of the red tentacle looking thing.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Book Description:

Published: November 4, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose written by Rupi Kaur, who is originally from India but lives in Ontario, Canada. It is about the experience of violence,abuse, love, heartbreak and loss, insight, and femininity. Although the ideas or maybe personal experiences she has written about are universal themes, they are important.  The author takes the reader on a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Review –

This book  was not my cup of tea and that’s probably not fair coming from me.you see  I wrote poetry long ago when a Senior in High School through my Freshman year in college. The poems I wrote never rhymed and  reflected feeling invisible and wanting someone to love me, then finding first love and losing it. It’s dark and sometimes “psychedelic” (It was the 60’s after all.)  Maybe next year I’ll add a page entitled In My Words and post some of them.

Anyway, I was not really impressed, it seems I’ve heard it all before, but that’s just me.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Sordid by Nikki Sloane

Book Description:

Published: May 29, 2016

It took me years to find the courage to speak to Luka. He seemed exactly like me. Intelligent. Focused. Serious.

But he’s not the man I imagined.

His reality is cruel and dark. He traps me in his web, his power twisting tighter the more I struggle, until it’s hopeless. I can’t break free.

As he drags me unwillingly into his filthy world, I can’t ignore the terrifying idea circling my mind. What if I belong here with him?

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I found out that Amazon was banning this book from their website for inappropriate subject matter and that just made me want to buy it all the more so I found my copy on iBooks and read it in one sitting. The the subject matter is dark and disturbing but I have read just as dark in several other books that I have purchased through Amazon. I really don’t understand, much less approve of banning books, for the simple fact that if a person is offended by the nature of the book or doesn’t think the subject matter is  for them, then DON’T read it, but let those who want to read it do so.

The disturbing act in this book was rape, pure and simple. The rape led to holding  a young woman against her will. I won’t go into a lot of detail because it will ruin the story if you decide to read it, Luka treated Addison horribly,humiliated her in front of people,  physically and sexually abused her and tried to kill her twice (for her own good) and believe it or not Addison grew to love him. 

It is a very dark but enchanting erotic romance but not for the faint of heart.

Five stars *****

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Wrong (Wrong #1) by L.P. Lovell and Stevie J. Cole

Book Description:

Published: June 2, 2016

Tor

My life was mapped out and planned to perfection. I knew exactly what I wanted and where I was going, until I was thrust into his world and ripped from mine. In the blink of an eye everything shattered, proving to be nothing more than a cheap illusion. Now I’m living in this twisted form of hell, where enemies and friends are one and the same. I thought I wanted perfection. Now I don’t know what I want – perhaps not even my own freedom.

Jude

I’m the definition of wrong. I’m violent, I’m greedy, and I stop at nothing to win. I’m a notorious bookie and in my game paying with your life is not just a figure of speech. You lose, I collect. I take whatever you have. She’s collateral for a debt, and if that debt’s not paid someone will die. This should be just business, so why can’t I kill her?
Everything is not always as it seems.

Lust. Blood. Lies.

Nothing this wrong should feel so right.

Review –

This is the darkest erotic romance that I have read since Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas in May of last year, but, that being said, I as a reader felt sorrow for Jude. If it hadn’t been for his father he life would have been totally different. He had a degree from a prestigious university and a yearning for a safe, sane, normal life. But that wasn’t to be. So, here he is, a bookie without a soul who  would sooner kill you than look at you, except when it came to Tor.

Tor was on her way to becoming a doctor and was in love with her boyfriend until one day he couldn’t pay his debt to a bookie and he offered her as collateral. She couldn’t believe it. Her boyfriend offered her up like it was nothing. How could he? (We find out later that his uncle, Joe Campbell, has a violent history with Jude’s father and now Jude. He hoping while Tor is there she can “get the goods” on Jude. But it doesn’t work that way. Not by a long shot!)

Although, Jude tries to break her in every way imaginable, he can’t bring himself to kill her, even though he knows he can never let her go. She knows too much about him and his operation BUT against all odds he has developed deep feelings for her and so decides to let her goto keep her safe.  He can’t stand the thought of her leaving, their sex is flaming hot, but if he lets her stay she would be in constant danger. He gives her papers for a new identity and a plane ticket for London. It is for the best.

Tor arrives at the airport on the first leg of her journey and is kidnapped by none other than the infamous Joe Campbell and he intends to f*ck her up good!

Talk about cliffhanger!!!!

Adult, hot and dark.

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Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

Book Description:

Published: July 7, 2015

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.

This time there’s nowhere left to run.

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by author, Chevy Stevens and I found it a dark journey into abuse, first at home, and then at the hands of the three boys in the small town of Cash Creek and all of this is brought about things get out of hand and the youngest of three sisters kills her abusive alcoholic father.  The girls clean up the mess and bury the body and leave, never to come back. On the way their truck breaks down in the dirty tiny town and two boys who work at a garage offer to fix it for them. The girls need to earn money to pay for the repairs so the boys tell them about a  ranch owned by their father where they could get jobs. The girls work hard and see that the boys are in no hurry to fix the truck so they become wary, but they are kidnapped, beaten, raped and held for five days in an old warehouse until they can escape.

Eighteen years later, the Campbells live under different names in Vancouver, but the past still haunts them. When Crystal, the middle sister, experiences a troubling flashback, she decides to return to Cash Creek to kill the Luxton brothers and is followed by her neice, Skylar, the baby conceived by the rape of the youngest sister. I won’t give away anything but what follows is a NAIL BITER! 
I had to stop listening for a few hours(I had the audio version) because it was dark and suspenseful and I couldn’t stand it.  My heart was almost beating out of my chest.
I highly recommend that you add this book to your TO BE READ list.
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Beg for Mercy: A Dark Conclusion by Lucian Bane

Book Description:

Published: August 18, 2015

***WARNING***
There are a couple of scenes in here that could be triggers for some abuse survivors. I did my best to be considerate of the sensitive readers while remaining true to the authenticity of the scenes.
****

The fight is on in this installment, Mercy is holding nothing back in her endeavor to prove to Sade he can experience love and pleasure. Sade,however has other plans and his darkness is front and center in them.

Meanwhile, Father Abraham is still on the loose with a score to settle with them all and no one is safe from his wrath.

Will love conquer all in this story? Can the heart really be used to recondition the brain? Find out what happens in this Dark Conclusion.

Review –

I think this installment of the Mercy series was rushed to a conclusion. Sade was a totally off the wall sadist and didn’t really seem to want to change and he  hurt and nearly killed Mercy in a very horrific and torturous way and in a very sexually explicit manner.

Father Abraham was dealt with much faster than I had expected but in a very gruesome way that I did not expect. A little bit of cruelty is okay but this was over the top.

Then all of a sudden Sade is a changed man and there is a HEA and a baby to boot.

Just a bit rushed for me.  Could have used another installment to tie loose ends up better. But that’s just me.

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No Mercy : A Darker Continuation by Lucian Bane

Book Description:

Published: May 26, 2015

Sade and Mercy’s journey takes a dark turn in No Mercy A Darker Continuation some nightmares last only minutes. Sometimes those minutes can last a lifetime.

Dark lusts and self-loathing become a merciless dance Sade can’t escape. Surviving one night of horror leads him to a ledge he’s never been, where terror mixes with his sadism and masochism for a whole new monster with No Mercy.

Review –

I only thought MERCY was Dark, this one has it beat to HELL. 

Sade, Mercy and Bo are confronted with the sadistic “Father Abraham”, (who we find out is clinically insane, as if his actions aren’t a death give away) and are subjected to unspeakable torture.  After having their feet nailed to the floor (yes, you read right)  somehow, and things get a bit blurry in my mind here because just thinking of nails through my feet caused me to skip some paragraphs, Mercy is tied to a chair, gets thrown against a wall, chair and all and then suffers from PTSD  amnesia and they are all rescued by Kane Kross and Abraham is “killed”.

The rest of the story is Sade trying to get Mercy to remember who she is and who he is and what their relationship was before all the torture, but he’s warned to take it slow and he does at first. But, Sade being Sade, he can’t resist to speed things along and Mercy can’t remember him and the things he tells her only makes her more afraid of him.  He does things to her that he shouldn’t do(and almost kills her in the process) but then they are informed that they have to move out quick to another safe house and only the old Mercy knows the voice activated code that will get them to their escape vehicle. Finally she remembers and they get away just in the nick of time and her father shows up and she realizes he really isn’t dead and that she will never fully remember her old self but Sade also realises that the NEW Mercy loves him too. 

At the very end they find out that Abraham isn’t dead after all and he is coming after them with a vengeance.

Can’t wait to read the next installment.  WOW!!!!!

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