Horror, Reviews, Suspense

Review: Mad Girl – A.A. Dark

mad-girlMad Girl by A.A. Dark
Series: The Chronicles of Anna Monroe #1
Genre: horror/suspense
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My mother was the Madison Ridge Killer … and I helped her.

At nine, I was given a new start—a new life. My adoptive parents did everything they could to help me forget my past, and for a while, they succeeded.

But I was never normal. I never truly forgot all I saw or did.

Now, twenty years later, I work in the billing department for a small city newspaper. And like decades before, not that far away, another serial killer is on the loose. I can still see her. I can still hear my mother coaxing me to slide the bright red lipstick over her beautiful victims’ lips.

But this isn’t her and I’m determined to figure out who it is. I may work behind the scenes at the Rockford Times, but I’m about to get thrown right in the middle of the biggest story our city has ever seen.

My name is Anna Monroe and I’m full of secrets.

They say you’re not your past. I’m not so sure they’re right.

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Review

Heat: 2/5
Rating: 4/5

Murder was who I was. It was what I had been raised on and the temptation was one I was going to fail without choice.

Although written by A.A. Dark, this isn’t as horror-oriented as 24690. It follows a much more thoughtful, suspenseful and psychological pathway, whilst still containing the detailed blood, gore and rape which keeps it firmly within the horror genre.

Her beauty and brutality was right out of a wet dream.

A.A. Dark is on my must-read author list. Her imagination is twisted, her stories full of intrigue and no-holds-barred descriptions. Having said that, the only reason I could not rate this a five star book was simply due to there being too much telling, not enough showing – the same problem I have had with the author’s other work. It leaves these thrilling events pretty confusing, and sometimes skips out entire passages of time.

Similarly, I could have done with a little more development, a slower pace so I could really bring myself to care about Anna.

I was the man who loved a killer. I was good and bad.

Despite these flaws, this book maintained my interest from the first page to the last page, to the extent where I ended up pulling an all-nighter just to finish it off. Highly recommended if you’re into the psychological/horror genre, and don’t mind some graphic and disturbing situations.

A strong start to a series with a hell of a lot of potential. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the sequel.

Horror

Review: Deadly Demons – Adam Reese & Alexia Vice

deadly-demonsDeadly Demons by Adam Reese & Alexia Vice
Series: Triple D #2
Genre: horror
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After a weekend of sex and murder, Nathan has discovered he is not the only one with sinister secrets and addictions. He is faced with accepting another woman in his life that could possibly be the key to breaking him from his own selfish ways. It has been a fun weekend for him, but now he must escape the law and find a new place to hide. Will he be able to continue living the life of deadly dominance, or will he fall in the hands of the police?

Adrianna is Nathan’s number one fan and ultimate love interest. She may appear to have a conservative shell over all of her clothes, but underneath it all, she is just as sex driven as Nathan. After she murders her friend Mandy and discovers her own deadly demons, she realizes a life with her favorite author is all she wants even if it means facing his past with… Mrs. Red.

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Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★

As the previous instalment, I found this a very difficult review to write, simply because there is a discrepancy between my enjoyment of reading it and my urge to continue reading it. I.e. I didn’t enjoy it but I couldn’t put the fucker down. As with the last one, I’m going to continue to do my review a little differently to normal.

She is a quiet book worm who can devour a cock just as well as a novel.

What I liked
– Reese & Vice really go out there. There is no fear of portraying some absolutely vile events, including cannibalism, paedophilia, rape and gruesome, brutal murder. Something to commend them for.
– I honestly felt the urge to continue reading despite feeling a bit sick at times.
– I liked the third POV added to this one.

My desires have finally been unlocked from the depths of black that resonate in this already diminished shell

What I didn’t like
– I’m still not actually sure what the fuck was going on.
– It was gore for the sake of gore and shock, rather than for any plot.
– I honestly, for the life of me, couldn’t keep up with these characters. One moment they felt one thing, then they did something completely different, then they went back to the first thing…WTF?! Be consistent. Stop backtracking. These characters need to be fully-fledged.

I can taste the sweet revenge on my wet lips. Nathan is revealing my true self with each lustful whisper from his novels. I feel a connection so enthralling, its dark mystic wanders in the shadows of my dreams.

Overall, although a slight step up from the previous, and despite having some positives, this series needs a fully-fledged plot and fully-developed characters for me to give it higher than two stars. A commendable effort, which, once again, doesn’t quite meet its potential.

Dark, Erotica, Horror, Reviews

Review: Deadly Dominance – Adam Reese & Alexia Vice

deadly-dominanceDeadly Dominance by Adam Reese & Alexia Vice
Series: Triple D #1
Genre: erotic horror
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Nathan Andrews lives the luxurious life of a successful author. His charms and humor capture the ladies, and his gruesome tales grip his male audience. When he finds himself in trouble, he runs away to his lake house where his darkest secrets come to life. All monsters have to look respectable for their unfortunate victims…

Warning ADULT 18+
Graphic violence, Sexual Content, drug use, and language.

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Review

Themes: BDSM, serial killer
Heat: ★★★

Rating: ★★

What the fuck did I just read?

It’s funny how it gets easier each time to kill. I try to keep this beast tamed, but self-control is no longer on my side.

Okay. Here goes. This is an extraordinarily difficult review to write, and I debated long and hard about the rating – because I genuinely found myself engrossed in this story. But there were a few things that just remained in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading it. I’ll write this review a little differently from normal.

The good bits
– Gore. Lots of gore.
– Shock factor. And it takes a lot to shock me nowadays.
– Successfully combining erotica with horror and making me incredibly confused about my reactions. Like, the awkward moment you realise you have a lady boner when someone’s being fucked so hard they pretty much die.
– Originality.

Staring at both bodies, one still breathing and the other slowly falling to death, I feel consumed by the darkness. There is nothing that can bring me back from Lucifer’s playground.

The bad bits
– This was too short; I wanted a slower build, and more suspense before the climax.
– I never really got to know the characters other than their utter psychopathy.
– I hate flashbacks. With a burning passion. They never fit seamlessly with the text.
– It was a little bit messy (and I’m not talking about the gore). The descriptions were sometimes pretty complex and it was difficult to grasp what was going on. There was no pacing; it was all gore and horror and bizarrely erotic creppy-ass sex (and creepy ass sex).

The worst bit
-It really could have done with a decent proofread. I can forgive ARCs, trusting that errors will be picked up, but I do expect a little more when I purchase a book.

“Let me be clear that you are about to step into my dark fantasy. I don’t know if you’ll make it to the other side with me because I don’t do any safe words. I only do what my body forces me to do. You have no control anymore, Slave. You are now just a piece of meat for me to play with,”

Overall, a crazily enjoyable, original, WTF storyline that will please fans of the pitch black genre, despite being hampered somewhat by its fast pacing, errors and underdeveloped characters.

Biopunk, Reviews, Science-Fiction

Review: Sigil – Addison Cain

sigilSigil by Addison Cain
Series: Irdesi Empire #1
Genre: dark biopunk, horror
Themes: bonded/fated
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He will possess her in every way.

After a century, The Irdesi Emperor has finally cornered their species’ only female. Sovereign and his fanatic brothers are closing in, driving Sigil to desperation.

They outnumber her, they are stronger, and they are relentless.

Sovereign knows her secrets better than Sigil knows herself. He knows she was conditioned to hate him. It changes nothing. The Emperor cannot help but crave her—just as his loyal brothers crave her.

The entire future of their species hinges on Sovereign’s ability to dominate the slippery renegade and make her feel the truth of what she is. She is his Consort. She is his obsession—a bride destined to be shared with and adored by his kin… to be satiated and ruled, to be overpowered and healed of her compulsions by any means necessary.

She has no choice in the matter. The empire will stop at nothing. Sigil will belong to them; she will be made to love them, even if they are forced to rip the galaxy apart to claim her.

Publisher’s Note: The first novella in Addison Cain’s provocative and raw Irdesi Empire series is a dark tale with explicit sexual themes and complete power exchange. Some scenes are written to be disturbing. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.

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Review

Heat: ★★★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: this is the first part of a serial, so, naturally, it ends on a cliffhanger.

Saturated in stimulus, panting, pleading for a thing partway between mercy and annihilation, she screamed, “Please”, choked on the word, and climaxed so hard the world went black.

The main strength of Cain’s writing is her ability to form original universes, and that is also the best feature of this series. I highly appreciate the lack of info-dump, instead enough detail being dripped throughout these pages to obtain a greater depth of understanding – although, as ever, it is initially confusing when adapting to new ideas and universes within the first few pages, this disappears very quickly and it’s easy to settle down and massively enjoy the ride.

“I suppose we’re both monsters.”
Black hair hung in his eyes as he turned her chin to taste her mouth. “At least I didn’t try to eat her, lost lamb.”

This isn’t just biopunk sci-fi – there are elements of erotica and horror present (though the former not quite enough for me to describe this as an erotic novel), including gore, cannibalism and rape/dub-con; yet all of this is done in a bizarrely tasteful way, contributing to the understanding of Quinn and her little ‘problem’, without the feeling of being bombarded with dark elements with the sole purpose to shock.

I felt Quinn was a vastly interesting heroine, strong (if not a little psychotic) and utterly powerful, despite her dark past. I have to say that I wasn’t quite as interested in Sovereign, but I have a feeling this will change as the series progresses. We had four potential heroes to contend with, and Cain did a fantastic job of giving them their own personalities – Arden’s my man, and I’m dying to see how this one goes.

“The thought of your hate has burned me for a century. I do not wish to earn more of it.”

What I will say is that, thematically, this is in some respects very similar to Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series. They share specific elements such as biting, bonding and the theme of being a slave to one’s own genetic makeup. But don’t let this put you off – there is enough difference between them to retain my interest, and I really cannot wait to see where this series goes.

Another strong first instalment from Cain’s dark, twisted mind, that leaves you no choice but to have to keep reading.

Horror, Reviews

Review: White Out – A.A. Dark

white-outWhite Out by A.A. Dark
Series: 24690 #2
Genre: splatter horror
Themes: revenge, (psychotic) love triangle
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For the briefest moment, revenge was sweet. My husband was suffering before my very eyes, and Bram … he was alive.

But happiness didn’t last.

The man who claimed he wasn’t my savior held true to his word. Bram didn’t rush in and save me from the cruel fate of the White Room. No one did. Now I’m tortured with red light massacres and a hell I could have never imagined. Surviving will take everything I have, but I’m determined to get answers from the man who turned his back on me.

When I think it can’t get worse … it does. Slave 24690 is all but gone. The evil woman reborn is what nightmares are made of. Insanity beckons, but even my madness won’t derail the plans I’ve set in motion.

Masters will fall. Conspiracies will reign. But will I be strong enough to let go of the one thing that could ultimately destroy me?

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Review

Heat: ★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: this book follows on directly from the climax of 24690. You must read that first.

I was the forgotten. The discarded. The pawn in a game bigger than myself.

Christ, that was a ride and a half. The climax of the 24690 duet, White Out takes more of a delve into the psychological breakdown of Everleigh and West from the horrific ending of the first instalment. If it is even possible, this became more complex, in some cases quite difficult to follow, but absolutely engrossing nonetheless. Whitlock is a nightmare setting, and the entire premise of this duet is nothing but original. If you’d asked me where I thought this would go when I first picked up this sequel, I would have been totally and utterly wrong.

In truth, we were living our own violent, little fairytale. Two monsters, loving each other the only way they knew how in such an environment.

Not only do we deal with the psychological defects and cruelty of the characters, but we also go further into physical depravity through the absolute bloodlust of the same characters. If you’re after some erotic content like the previous instalment, you’re going to be disappointed; this is unadulterated bloody, brutal chaos (but fortunately it prevents me from worrying about my own mental health when I enjoy them!). We deal with more of the same – skinning, cannibalism, blood and guts, and death. Lots and lots of death.

I have to say that, although I found Everleigh’s descent into madness, and her relationships with West, Bram and herself grimly fascinating, I struggled to like any of the characters within these pages in any way, shape or form. They were all vile, with no redeeming features to be found at all. This made it a little difficult to get emotionally invested in the story, and I would perhaps have liked a little more transparency as to their plans and motives; in places, I found myself lost and confused as to who was playing whom, and it felt as if some aspects were plucked out of thin air at the right time to allow the story to continue, when there could have been some more buildup (a particular dinner scene comes to mind).

“There is no hope when you’ve been cast this far into hell.”

I wonder also how many people live in Whitlock, and how many were in the white rooms. The red lights, blood and death seemed constant, as were some gory plot devices, feeling as if some decisions from Everleigh and West were purely for shock value, with very little reason behind them.

Regardless, this is a highly intense, satisfying (and, frankly, terrifying) conclusion – that couldn’t have ended a better way.

Dark, Erotica, Horror, Reviews

Review: 24690 – A.A. Dark

2469024690 by A.A. Dark
Series: 24690 #1
Genre: pitch black erotic horror
Themes: forced slavery, kidnapping
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Buried deep below the everyday life of our society lives an underground world of nightmares—of violence and murder no one dares speak about. Contracts and laws weave the web of our culture together. Our Masters walk amongst us. They can be our friends, or the ones to make us disappear forever.

Where I once had found peace within my existence, it all ended with the death of my cruel, yet caring owner. My world shattered and I was taken back to the one place I had hoped to never see again—the cells of Whitlock—a subterranean fortress for slaves who await their new placement.

Now I have no rights. I have no say. My feelings and wellbeing are meaningless. Escape is impossible, but I have nothing left to lose.

To stand any chance of survival, I must give my life as collateral to the highest bidder: Soul for Sale.

slave 24690

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Review

Heat: ★★★★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: I’m a huge fan of dark erotica but even I felt a little ill at some stages here. Do not read this if you’re not drawn in by the dark.

Crikey. Where do I start? This is basically torture porn, a vast blood bath that just gets more and more extreme as the story progresses. And it’s pretty brilliant. It took me longer than usual to read as the plot was somewhat complex, with quite a few characters and potentialities to keep track of. In fact, it was, by and large, absolutely chaotic.

“You’d use me as your whore when you know it’s your love and my freedom that I want.”

I didn’t like any of the characters. But I also secretly adored them all. 24690 was strong, if not absolutely psychotic, as were West and Bram. The sex scenes pushed my limits to the extreme, involving brutal rape, impact play, blood and strangulation – and yet I somehow still found it strangely (and ashamedly) erotic, something A.A. Dark has been very, very clever with.

Bram once said I’d been hidden from the horrors of Whitlock for too long. I knew he had been telling the truth, but never once did I see myself turning into one of them. And wasn’t I? I craved to spill their blood. To massacre their bodies and end their lives for what they’d done to me.

I do, however, have a few criticisms. The editing was not up to scratch. This could do with a thorough proof read to get rid of the many spelling and grammatical errors. It really, really frustrated me because I would keep getting drawn into the plot and then there would be a flurry of mistakes and it would break the spell.

Otherwise, some of this felt like brutality with the sole purpose to shock. It succeeded. But there were some occasions where I just felt it went a little too far. I wouldn’t have minded had it been relevant to the plot, but some of it just wasn’t.

I wanted my slave’s love, but the true me wanted to hurt her for knowing she’d never give it.

An interesting journey into morality and depravity, this is not a book for the faint hearted. And yet, the world was so well-constructed and detailed that I loved it as well as being disgusted by it. My own reactions made me uncomfortable reading this, and believe me when I say it is rare that that happens. I’m looking forward to the sequel. And that ending…brutally satisfying.

Erotica, Horror, Reviews, Romance, Zombie

REVIEW: Flesh – Kylie Scott

fleshTitle: Flesh
Author: Kylie Scott
Series: Flesh #1
Genre: erotic zombie-horror menage romance
Rating: ****

This book wasn’t perfect – it was confusing at times, particularly in the action scenes, and in some parts felt a tad rushed and underdeveloped, such as the subplot with Rachel.

Despite this, however, I fucking LOVED it. It was a smutty version of The Walking Dead, with steamy sex scenes, wonderful alpha men and a main female character who grew into her own. I was gripped from the very beginning, and thought that Scott’s world of women being commodities was massively interesting, and made a lot of sense. I loved how protective Dan and Finn were of Ali, how Dan immediately referred to her as his girl, how they all bickered and had some fabulous make up sex. The last few scenes even had my heart racing. I will absolutely be continuing to read this series, as some sort of horrific guilty pleasure. Because erotic zombie-horror menage romances apparently work pretty damn well.