Dark, Erotica, Paranormal, Reviews

Review: Wolfe – Cari Silverwood

wolfeWolfe by Cari Silverwood
Series: Dark Hearts spin-off standalone
Genre: dark erotica, paranormal
Themes: abduction, amnesia
Dark Erotica book club pick, October 2016
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Beauty and the Beast as it’s never been told.

Riddled with bullets and left to die in Thailand, Wolfe is medivacked to the USA. He survives, recovering from wounds no man should be able to heal. Months later, his perplexed doctor lowers the dosages of his medications and Wolfe begins to change.

His powers awaken.

Kiara, his nurse at the rehabilitation village, thinks she only has to hand him over to Russian intelligence agents to save her parents from punishment. It won’t be that simple. Kiara isn’t safe.

The kidnapper becomes the victim.

When free of drugs, Wolfe becomes ferocious and animalistic in his desires and actions. What if a man who is almost an animal could command you to do anything he wanted? And you couldn’t resist…

Kiara may be taken past the point of survival.

Be careful who you dare to betray.

WARNING
This is a dark romance and written to be disturbing.

You’ll find some graphic scenes of violence and sex within these pages, plus a smidgen of horror. Though the ending may be sweet, this is a very kinky, twisted, and dark story.

Purchase it

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Review

Heat: ★★★★★
Rating: ★★★

Reviewer’s note: although this spin-off can be read as a standalone, I would strongly recommend reading the Dark Hearts series first.

Bouncing from caring about her to grim, dark, and macabre bemused me, amused me, made me curious about my own mind.

I really, really enjoyed the first 25% of this novel. It was intriguing, and like nothing I’d ever really read before. And I needed to keep reading. But then, it sort of went downhill a little. The subplot with Damian and his partner was just irritating and removed me from the rhythm of the story, and the unravelling of the mystery, as did some of the other reveals through distant characters. There were also perhaps one too many references to popular culture (Pokemon, The Princess Bride), making these seem a bit forced.

“I don’t remember everything I did to you last night. It wasn’t moral or legal, but I’m not sorry.”

Although the paranormal aspects took on quite a significant role within the plot, I actually didn’t mind this. It allowed for a much more original plot, but also much more inventive and boundary-pushing erotic scenes (and this was 100% a one-handed read). I mean, this was insanely hot, and perhaps one of the strongest aspects of the book overall.

My main issue was that I never really got to know the characters. Not only was the tone very cold and detached, but the Wolfe and Kiara we were introduced to at the beginning of the book were completely different to the ones at the end, so I struggled with the continuity here – as well as their rather rapidly developing relationship, which I couldn’t quite invest myself in, or believe in (aside from, of course, their awesomely steamy sex).

A few plot points seemed forced, and I’m not entirely convinced by Kiara’s reactions to Wolfe’s slowly revealed past. I also think that not enough was quite wrapped up here, mystery-wise. There were, instead, many hints but never quite enough detail to be completely satisfying, though I have to commend Silverwood for managing to maintain the big reveal as a genuine, unguessed surprise.

He could probably cut holes in me, fuck them, stitch them up, and still I’d crawl back in and beg.

This is dark, and the erotic scenes challenge consent (and comfort). But it’s also unbelievably hot. I believe I would have enjoyed it more had I read the Dark Hearts series first, but I can’t help but wish there was both more character and mystery depth, rather than a rushed ending.

Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult

Review: Descent – Sloane Murphy

descentDescent by Sloane Murphy
Series: The Immortal Chronicles #1
Genre: paranormal romance, young adult
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Six hundred years after The Outbreak, the human population stand side by side with the Fae & the Vampyrs to stop the Demon King from starting a second Dark War.
Seventeen year old Adelaide Tate is in her last year of the Academy, with her eyes set on becoming part of the Red Guard.
Who cares that no female has ever joined?
When a dark force develops an unhealthy liking for her, Adelaide needs to fight for her life and figure out what makes her so different from the others.
Betrayal. Fear. Anger.
She must overcome it all in order to turn her world the right way around again.
Adelaide has one choice. Accept the help offered to her by Xander Bane, or face the Demon Hoard alone.
One thing is for sure. The descent will be bloody.

Purchase it

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Review

Rating: ★

Reviewer’s note: this review is just my personal opinion. As you can see, others have really been raving about this book, so don’t discount it just from what I’m saying.

What?

So, I don’t usually read paranormal romance – this was a different thing for me. But it just didn’t work – and here’s why.

Addie was fickle and irritating, attempting to be a sassy bad-ass but only succeeding in having a narrative voice that seriously grated on me. At one moment she would despair of girls obsessing over men, and the next moment she herself would be obsessing over men. She never felt like a truly strong female character.

There were too many characters – every single one had their own name, and it became massively confusing to keep track of who each individual person was. And many of the supporting cast didn’t seem necessary to the plot in the slightest. Xander had very little involvement in the novel at all, and I didn’t find the relationship or chemistry believable. I actually preferred Tyler.

This was really a kitchen-sink novel. It read like a stream of consciousness, missing out large gaps of time and then adding in some vague details in a casual manner to explain what was happening in the present. It could have really used some thorough planning, rather than feeling like it was entirely made up as it went along. None of the characters had real motives, and there were particular moments when they just were not acting in character at all (particularly in the many betrayals).

The worldbuilding once again had potential but ended up feeling lazy. The ‘Old World’ was constantly referred back to for cultural items, fashion, music and films, rather than this world having its own culture and lifestyle. I wanted to know more of the backstory, more of the state of the world at large, and I wanted to know more about the limitations and powers of the species from the outset, rather than having random powers dropped in at opportune moments (and then not actually being of any use after all).

Really, it just felt like nothing of any consequence happened at all. There was no development, much of it dragged and then there would suddenly be a major plot twist that didn’t seem believable in the slightest. This is a shame; there was a lot of potential in the premise, and up until the 25% mark I had high hopes – after that point, it descended into confusion, lack of reason and plain pointlessness. This was in need of a thorough planning and a good editor, and I hope the author can come back and deliver something that lives up to the potential I know she has.

Blog Tours, Erotic Romance, Excerpts, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance

TOUR & REVIEW: His Dark Canvas – Alexandrea Weis

His Dark CanvasHis Dark Canvas by Alexandrea Weis
Series: Corde Noir #3 (can standalone)

Genre: erotic paranormal romance
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Ella Winston is a talented chef with a problem – the slightest touch can reveal anyone’s darkest secrets.

Hired to cook for the artist, Ren Plancharde, she struggles to keep her ability under wraps.

After accidently uncovering Ren’s underground activities, the eccentric painter offers Ella a glimpse into his world of pleasure and pain. Intrigued, he decides to make Ella a part of his sinister Corde Noire Society, but his chef isn’t quite ready to commit.

Absolute submission isn’t all Ren wants from the stubborn woman. He has big plans for her gift, too. The only question is … will Ella be willing to give in to his desires when the time comes?

The darkness within can hide a lifetime of secrets.

Purchase

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo | iBooks | B&N

Excerpt

Through the haze of her apple martinis, Ella spotted someone across the wide dining room. He was different from the other patrons there to celebrate the restaurant’s two-year anniversary. With an arrogant walk, he strutted across the stone floor. Lean, muscular, and blessed with one of those bodies women would always notice, he had dark blond hair and disquieting dark green eyes. He was the kind of guy who knew he was good-looking and let everyone else know it, too. She wasn’t usually attracted to that type, but this man—his confidence intrigued her.

“You’re Ella, Ella Winston,” he said in a voice like dark chocolate fondue: deep, and wickedly sexy.

“Yeah.” She almost dropped her drink. “I’m the sous chef.”

“I know. Marcus told me.”

As his smile sank to the depths of her belly, he extended his hand, but Ella ignored it.

Don’t touch him. You know what happens when you touch them.

“So, how do you know Marcus?” Ella quickly asked, hoping to make up for her rudeness.

He laughed, looking her over. Above the din in the room, she could sense something different about his laugh. Unlike the insincere chortle of others, this man’s laugh got to her. She was having an unusual physical reaction, something that never happened to her. When most men laughed, Ella usually ran away.

“Marcus and I share the same friends.”

“What friends are those?” she asked, craving another martini.

“The wealthy kind, who like to support the arts.” He raised a green bottle of sparkling water in his hand. “I’m a painter. Marcus and I know a lot of people who like to pretend they’re patrons and keep us gainfully employed.”

“Painter?” Ella shrugged, finding it hard to believe Marcus knew any painters. “What do you paint?”

“Portraits of women. Usually with very little clothing.”

Oh yeah, I need another drink. “Is that lucrative?”

“For me it is.”

Her eyes wandered around the dining room, desperate to find a rescue. Ella needed to get away from this man before she said or did something really stupid.

“Do you like art?” he pressed.

“Some art. I think it would depend on the passion I see in a painting.”

“The passion in a painting?” That laugh again. Her toes tingled. Not good. “You sound like a painter, Ms. Winston.”

The martini glass in her hand suddenly weighed a ton. “Isn’t painting a passion for an artist, like cooking is a passion for a chef? Having a passion is a healthy thing. It reminds us that we have a soul.”

He nodded, seemingly approving of her drunken ramblings. “That’s very profound and also very true. I think you have a lot of talents yet to be discovered, Ella. May I call you Ella?”

“Ah, sure. Ella is fine.” Her mouth went dry. “What makes you think I have any talents outside of cooking?”

“I have a sense for these things.”

She tensed. Can he tell? The same thought always haunted her when she met new people. Ella fought so hard to keep her secret under control. Time to make a run for it.

“Don’t let Marcus know I have other talents. He’ll probably fire me.”

She was about to depart when he stopped her. He leaned in, and she could just make out the small cleft in his pointy chin. “I promise, if you ever need a job, I’ll hire you.”

His mouth was so close she could have kissed his perfect, thin lips. Frightened by the notion, Ella backed away. “I’ll hold you to that.”

“I hope you do, Ella.”

She should have done a million different things: asked his name, gotten his phone number, or stayed to flirt with him some more. Instead, Ella walked away. She figured it was one of those moments in life she would live to regret. Fortunately, Ella found the bar and drowned her disappointment in another apple martini.

Ella reasoned that was the way of it. You meet people and move on, and one day, if you’re lucky, you meet the interesting ones again.

Review

Heat: 🔥🔥🔥
Rating: ★★

She was an outsider, a novice in the ways of pleasure, and therefore, an even mightier challenge. Training her would be his greatest work of art.

The first instalment I’ve read in this series, I felt that although it started strongly, leaving me intrigued about the relationship and where it would lead, it just fell a little flat for me. I understand that, although slated as a standalone, there were elements in these pages which have clearly been building up from the beginning, and are set to continue in the next instalment, which probably could have detracted from my reading experience. Although I’m not a huge fan of paranormal romance, the right one can really draw me in, but the abilities and sub-plot were so much into the background that they really held no interest to me at all – and unfortunately, neither did the romance aspect.

The characters seemed very one-dimensional, sticking to typical stereotypes (including the supporting cast), and I never once really believed in their relationship. I felt like the fact that the supporting cast had to continually hint at Ella and Ren’s feelings for one another, in a telling rather than showing manner (one of my pet hates), meant that I was directed how to specifically feel about certain situations, and unable to make up my own mind. They for some reason shared their entire backstories with one another very soon after meeting, leaving nothing for a later big reveal. I just found it pretty stilted.

The sex scenes had an unfortunate tendency to ‘fade to black’ just as they were getting interesting. I’m a fan of the dark and gritty, and the explicit and erotic, and this just didn’t quite do it for me. The scenes had a lot of potential but just weren’t exploited enough for my liking – and, once again, although I was told how turned on/in love these characters were, I really didn’t find it believable.

“Having a passion is a healthy thing. It reminds us that we have a soul.”

This is a shame; I was really wanting to enjoy it, the premise was very promising, and Weis’ writing is excellent and fluid. I just wasn’t sold on the characters or the predictable plot, or the attempt at darkness which didn’t quite pay off.

Mystery, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

REVIEW: Take You Apart – T.J. Spade

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Goodreads

A woman – so young and ripe – lies amid a detritus of pine needles and dirt. Her hair is matted to her face with a mixture of blood and tears and she screams again before subsiding into body wrenching sobs. Her voice is slightly slurred as she begs, “Please, stop. Please, I want to go home. Please don’t do it again.” A pair of black gloved hands comes into view. They hold pliers. The girl screams again. Lovely.

Successful artist Caleb Everett lives each day with a real-time film inside his head, playing … murder. Since he was a child, Caleb has been able to see into the minds of killers. Working alongside veteran Homicide Detective Jack Rafferty, Caleb now uses his unique ability to balance the scales of justice.

With a new case afoot, Caleb is himself being targeted by a killer, and with attractive journalist Makayla Dawson on the scene, it becomes a race against time to save them all. With the odds savagely stacked against them, will this case take apart everything Caleb holds dear?

Review

Title: Take You Apart
Author: T.J. Spade
Series: The Everett Files #1
Genre: mystery, suspense
Rating: ***

Although for me this was slightly predictable and had a few too many exclamation marks, I highly enjoyed it. It was well-planned and executed, deliciously dark and thrilling, and had a little romance on the side. I was desperate to read on and find out whether my suspicions were correct and how he story played out, and I was not disappointed. It held my interest enough to really want to read the sequel.

The paranormal aspect was a nice touch, giving this a little something extra than the typical suspense/murder mystery. I feel like the story was gripping and excellent, but it was the characters which let it down slightly, not quite being complex enough and the relationship between Mak and Cal not feeling totally real.

Despite its flaws, this is an excellent story and I would absolutely recommend it.

Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

REVIEW: Carnal Whispers, Mind Stalker – Reily Garrett

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To delve into another’s mind is to revel in the depths of truth, cringe in the face of past and imagined horrors, and suffer their dreams, all while searching for balance and serenity.
Daniele is a mysterious, gentle, and loyal young woman harboring knowledge capable of destroying millions. Thumbing her nose at fate, she hides in plain sight while concealing her extraordinary talent, enduring isolation despite her fantasies of a normal life.
Marc, owner of the BDSM club, Ambrosia, is determined to protect the elusive beauty stalked by a psychopathic killer. Hidden underneath her vulnerability, he senses a courage and determination forged from horrific circumstances. While adapting unique scenes to free her from fear and low self-esteem, he strives to stay one step ahead of a branch of the government answering to no one.
Each must rely on the other to survive a world where betrayal and deception, desire and trust, weave a fabric that threatens their sanity.

Review

Title: Carnal Whispers, Mind Stalker
Author: Reily Garrett
Series: Carnal #3
Genre: paranormal romance
Rating: ****

I suffered a little with this at the beginning as I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series, so make sure you read those first. Once I got into it, it was brilliant. Really good fun, and a fantastic exploration of BDSM and Dom/sub relationships and lessons in trust, mixed with a wonderfully mild paranormal element, and a lot of suspense.

Even if not a fan of paranormal, this is worth a read as it isn’t so in your face as a lot of others, focusing more on the relationship and the suspense aspect. I thought it was done really well, and managed to balance sex, humour and suspense perfectly. It was also nice to see the strong character development.

Paranormal, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Aldin’s Wish – F.G. Adams

aldin's wishTitle: Aldin’s Wish
Author: F.G. Adams
Series: Enchanted Immortals #1
Genre: paranormal romance
Rating: **

This was a bit of a weird one. I wanted to like it – there was a hell of a lot of potential for a fantastic universe, which was clearly well-crafted and complex, and the conflict within it was gripping, highly interesting stuff. The BDSM sex scenes were steamy and detailed.

However, where this went wrong is in its length. It could have easily been a 300-400 page novel detailing back stories, unfolding slowly developing romances and plot twists, but everything was squished into a third of that, meaning that the pace was too rapid and there was this sickening insta-love, all with minimal development and easy resolutions. It’s a shame because this was shaping up to be absolutely excellent, and a massively interesting world.

Paranormal, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Red on the Moon – Rhiannon Wellman

26215960Title: Red on the Moon
Author: Rhiannon Wellman
Series: The Mark of the Moon #1
Genre: paranormal romance
Rating: **

This is a short novella which doesn’t quite live up to its potential. There is a whole universe with mythology contained in these chapters, and had the book been extended (it could quite easily have been in the 300-400 page range), it would have been much stronger. It’s difficult to become engrossed in a book when the mythology has to almost all be given in the beginning, along with the tragic backstories that realistically would only be admitted to once a certain level of trust and time had been given in a relationship.

The subplot of the murders again started off pretty interesting but was just too easily solved; once again something that would have been improved by a huge extension.

Wellman has a lot of potential within these pages and I hope they can come to fruition; I did enjoy this world which had clearly been thought out in a lot of detail, but for this to really permeate to the reader, it needs to be better paced.