Showing posts with label Dark Romance Must-Read. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dark Romance Must-Read. Show all posts

Series Review // The Beast by Jaden Wilkes

January 15, 2024

The Beast series by Jaden Wilkes

Today's flashback is The Beast series by Jaden Wilkes. I read these books many years ago and each book made the series better and better. Per the author: This is not a fairy tale, this is what happens when the music ends and life goes on after the credits roll. This is about simply existing until you find yourself and write your own happily ever after, no matter what form it takes.

1. The Beast

Dimitri Sokolov is a man scarred, physically and emotionally. From the rough streets of Moscow to the highest ranks in the Solntsevskaya Bratva, he has seen it all.

An attack four years ago left him disfigured and in seclusion, hiding from reactions to his appearance and in safety from those who failed to kill him the first time.

Comfortable in his penthouse, managing his billion dollar businesses, he's resigned himself to be alone, simply called The Beast among those who've dealt with him in the past.

Columbia Grey is a pseudo-activist trying to save her neighbourhood from a developer intent on levelling it to build apartment towers. She goes along with a plan to confront the CEO of the company on his own turf, to force him to listen to her demands...all in a pathetic attempt to impress a man she barely likes.

Little does she know, she's taken herself into the mouth of the beast, a man familiar with death and destruction, sex and seduction, a man used to getting exactly what he wants and a man with nothing left to lose.

She's a beauty, but will that be enough to tame the beast and save her life?

Rating -

This is the first book I've read from Jaden Wilkes and I thoroughly enjoyed it's dark and twisted theme. She surely drew my mind into a nightmare. This book does touch on some BDSM but more on the S & M side.

Unfortunately I suffered a disconnect from the characters. I'm not sure what I was looking for but by the end I hadn't found it. It was hard to like Columbia. I couldn't really get into her head although half the story is told from her POV. And she truly pissed me off at one point. When Dimitri was trying to get her to submit she kept begging to go home. Internally she wanted to get back to her life. What life? Wasn't she molested by her dad/step-dad for over a decade? I get she wanted to protect her sister, but when Dimitri offered to kill him, she wasn't exactly screaming "YES PLEASE!!" So yeah, she didn't exactly float my boat. I'm hoping for better from her in the next book, especially because of that epilogue.

I actually really liked Dimitri. He's the sole reason this book gets 3 stars. He was dark, twisted, disfigured, vengeful, a killer, a wee bit insane, etc. Everything I want in a dark hero. He's not a good guy and he's not sorry about it. However, I do think he's the perfect match for Columbia. What he's gone through is excruciating, from childhood to now, and I like that he's finally able to grab a slice of happy with her.

I'm off to read book 2 and hopefully find what was missing in this one.

2. Perfectly Normal

Take a girl like Columbia, put her in a vastly different life with a man unlike anyone she's ever known. Throw in Dimitri's nightmares, the Concierge's disdain for Dimitri's new house guest and a few hundred people looking high and low for the both of them...and it makes for a very interesting read.

Picking up at the end of the last chapter, this novel covers the time until the two leave Hong Kong, before the epilogue of the first bestselling novel in this series, The Beast.

Two twisted and imperfect beings must adjust to their new lives together while avoiding detection from authorities and an international crime ring.

Rating -

I just love when the heroine of the story gets a backbone. In this installment, Columbia is determined to learn what it takes to be a part of Dimitri's life, including how to kill.

This book had all the excitement and action I was missing in the first one. I really liked it. I got a little bothered by how lovey dovey Dimi and Col were, but it was still sweet lol. Dimitri is still my favourite character, however, Columbia has definitely come into her own and has endeared herself to me. I'm not quite as annoyed by her as I was in the previous book. Nico's new role, or rather no longer hidden role, was intriguing, however, I'm not a fan of threesomes. I am a firm believer in one man for one woman and vice versa. It may be old fashioned but I am crazy possessive and have no intention of sharing or being shared. Maybe it's part of my older sibling syndrome. Who knows. But that was the only big issue I had with this book. It was hot as f*ck but not my cup of tea. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, so that's a plus. And I'm still interested in finding out more about the mysterious Nico.

I'm really curious about who this Ioana character is and how she ties in with Columbia and Dimitri. I'm sure it's going to be one fun adventure in book 3.

3. Little Dove

How can you ever hope to find normal when your life is anything but?

Determined to make amends for his past, and show Columbia he truly is a changed man, Dimitri sets out to right wrongs and decimate those who bring nothing but sorrow to the world.

Something goes wrong and Columbia is taken, spirited away into the underground world of sex trafficking and international crime syndicates.

Dimitri must fight his way across the Europe to find her and bring her home. He would rather see the world burn than live without her in it.

He will tear the world apart looking for his little dove.

This is a tragic story exploring the consequences of daring to love in the midst of chaos and terror.

Rating -

HOLY FREAKING SH*T!! This was the BEST book out of the entire series!!

This book had everything I was looking for from the previous books. EVERYTHING!!

Torture. Killing. Fighting. Dubious consent (although there was absolutely no doubt that most people would not be consenting to the madness!). Love. Devotion. Loyalty. More killing. More torture. Mercenaries. New alliances. Rocket launchers. New friendships. Just wonderful wonderful wonderful things.

I actually loved Columbia (finally!) in this book. She was freaking amazing. Girl could hold her own in a male dominated ?industry? Not sure what you would call it, but she did her thang. She still got a little too stuck in her head, but overall her character was stellar!

Dimitri. Dimi. Frig I loved this dude. All things Dimi were amazing as usual. His madness. His torture schemes. His freaking love, loyalty and devotion were off the freaking charts. This man could do absolutely no wrong in my eyes. I want a Dimitri in my life too dammit!

Honestly, I could list point for point why this book was incredible but I'm not going to ruin the plot for anyone. And I'm not going to take away from Jaden Wilkes' profits. She did an awesome job with writing this story and you need to do yourself a favour and freaking read it!

Review // Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver

December 19, 2023

Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver

Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver

Rating -
The Ruinous Love Trilogy #1
Genre/Trope - Dark Romance / friends to lovers / killers
Release - October 23, 2023
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - explicit scenes
Source - ebook from NetGalley
Length - 355 pages

When a chance encounter sparks an unlikely bond between rival murderers Sloane and Rowan, they find something elusive—the friendship of two like-minded, pitch-black souls who just happen to enjoy killing other serial killers.

From small-town West Virginia to upscale California, and from downtown Boston to rural Texas, the two hunters collide in an annual game of blood and suffering, one that pits them against the most dangerous monsters in the country.

But as their friendship develops into something more, the restless ghosts left in their wake are only a few steps behind, ready to claim more than just their newfound love.

Can Rowan and Sloane dig themselves out of a game of graves?
Or have they finally met their match?

Sloane is the only person in the world who can look at my monster and find a friend.

Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver
Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver
Butcher & Blackbird by Brynne Weaver

Sweet baby geezus! Who knew a killing game among serial killers could be so hilarious, endearing, sexy, and ewww?

When you're a serial killer who kills serial killers, it's hard to develop a good romance with someone. What happens when you meet someone who is just. like. you? Who sees you? Who truly understands you?

You get the fun adventures of Butcher and Blackbird. Rowan was an absolute sweetheart and Sloane was a total darling. Togther, they were magnificent!!

I'm not going to rehash the story. I am going to tell you that if you don't mind a bit of gore, accidental cannibalism, and a connection that grows throughout years of pushing and pulling, with Rowan walking a delicate balance not to scare Sloane away, you're going to LOVE this story as much as I did. Five stars doesn't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this read.

Brynne is a fan of velociraptors, the Alien movies (well, most of them), red wine, and wild adventures.

She can relate nearly anything you say to a line from the movie Hot Fuzz. She has been trying unsuccessfully for years to convince her husband that they should acquire a pet mink to add to their menagerie of animals (what could possibly go wrong with that plan?!).

Brynne has been everything from an archaeologist to a waitress, a deep-sea core analyst to an advertising account executive. For the last several years, she has been working in the field of neuroscience clinical research. Brynne has been writing since childhood and has published a non-fiction book under her real name, but she won’t tell you what it is unless you provide a live, fully trained velociraptor.

When not busy at her day job or writing, Brynne can be found working with her husband and their son on their family farm in Nova Scotia, Canada, or enjoying her other passions which include riding horses, reading, and spending time with family and friends around a raclette and a bottle of wine.

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Review // Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

December 08, 2023

Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

I don’t care if I need to set this world on fire until there’s no one left but you and me. The world will burn around us, and I’ll gladly live in chaos with you as long as the only person that is a danger to you is me.

Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

Hunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

Rating -
Book Two of the Cat and Mouse duet
Genre/Trope - Dark Romance / stalker / vigilante
Release - January 28, 2022
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - explicit scenes
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 531 pages

The Diamond

Death walks alongside me,
But the reaper is no match for me.
I'm trapped in a world full of monsters dressed as men, and those who aren't as they seem.
They won't keep me forever.
I no longer recognize the person I've become,
And I'm fighting to find my way back to the beast who hunts me in the night.
They call me a diamond,
But they've only created an angel of death.

The Hunter

I was born a predator,
With ruthlessness ingrained in my bones.
When what's mine is stolen from me in the night,
Like a diamond hidden within a fortress,
I find that I can no longer contain the beast.
Blood will paint the ground as I tear apart this world to find her.
And bring her back to where she belongs.
No one will escape my wrath,
Especially not those who have betrayed me.

Don't forget to check out the first book of the duet:

I really had to suspend my belief for this one. Some things just didn't make sense in a realistic sense, but I'll tell you this: I was entertained!!

Adeline was kidnapped and being trained to be sold. I really enjoyed this part of the story. She went through so much pain and torture and it all fundamentally changed her. I kept thinking "Will she see Zade in a different light?" She gave Zade such a hard time for everything he did to eradicate the world from abusive scum, but at the same time she celebrated the fact that he would be killing everyone who hurt her while they were apart. Girl was too funny, for sure.

I know there are people who find the topics discussed in this duet as terribly dark and horrific. If that's what you think, you should definitely not read Deliverance for Amelia by Bonny Capps or The Life of Anna series by Marissa Honeycutt—those are truly dark and horrific. This duet was pretty mild in comparison, but it did gut me in places. I cringed, gasped and my eyes did bug out for some scenes. However, I also enjoyed myself a ton.

My biggest issue with this story was Adeline. While I lived in delusional-ville for the majority of this story, I couldn't let the delusion take me too far. Was I supposed to believe that Adeline became fully capable after a couple of months of training? Seriously? And every time she mentioned "we" did this in order to fool or trap the bad guys, I laughed. I know she was using the "we" figuratively, but there was no "we". She wasn't hacking anything. She wasn't building bombs or placing them to detonate. She wasn't tracking or really doing a damn thing.

H. D. Carlton is an International and USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Ohio with her partner, two dogs, and cat. When she's not bathing in the tears of her readers, she's watching paranormal shows and wishing she was a mermaid. Her favorite characters are of the morally gray variety and believes that everyone should check their sanity at the door before diving into her stories.

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Review // Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

December 04, 2023

Oxygen, words, coherent thoughts—all that sh*t escapes me when I get my first look at Adeline Reilly in the flesh.

Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

Rating - ★★★★
Book One of the Cat and Mouse duet
Genre/Trope - Dark Romance / stalker / vigilante
Release - August 12, 2021
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - explicit scenes / non-dub consent
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 551 pages

The Manipulator

I can manipulate the emotions of anyone who lets me.
I will make you hurt, make you cry, make you laugh and sigh.
But my words don't affect him. Especially not when I plead for him to leave.
He's always there, watching and waiting.
And I can never look away.
Not when I want him to come closer.

The Shadow

I didn't mean to fall in love.
But now that I have, I can't stay away.
I'm mesmerized by her smile, by her eyes, and the way she moves.
The way she undresses...
I'll keep watching and waiting. Until I can make her mine.
And once she is, I'll never let her go.
Not even when she begs me to.

I'm going to hurry up and put some words down here because I've already got book two loaded up and I NEED to know what happens next!

Adeline drove me nuts and I couldn't get enough of Zade. I know that's messed up. Dude was seriously a creepy stalker, but the author captured just enough of his sexiness on page to make it alright. Would I condone his behaviour in real life? Would I be as welcoming as Adeline? Would I have the police on speed dial and a gun permanently attached to my hand?

The answer is obviously yes. *side eye* Obviously.

Zade was a hotbed of contradictions. He dedicated his life to protecting the innocent. Women and children who were being targeted had a guardian angel in him. But he found no problem terrifying his sweet Adeline.

"I love that I scare you. I love that you try to run from me. The push and pull. The cat and mouse game. I fucking love it. And I think a part of you does, too.” — Zade

Adeline's denials to Zade got old pretty quickly, but I did enjoy the cat and mouse game going on between them. Every scene they shared was explosive. Every time they spoke, I learned another one of their truths. And the feelings that were growing... Let's just say I'm excited to start reading the next book.

This man is going to ruin me after tonight. I can taste it on my tongue.

This story is a mixed bag and I can see those who really appreciate something filthy and taboo really loving it.

Quick Peek

"You want to know why I love the house of mirrors?" he murmurs in my ear, eliciting sparks throughout my nerve endings. His voice is full of dark promises and dangerous beginnings.
I swallow thickly. "Why?" I whisper.
"Look around you," he commands softly. Hesitantly, I pull my eyes away from his, dragging my gaze across the dozens of mirrors.
"What you're seeing now is what I see every day. No matter how far I run, how hard I try to escape you—you're everywhere I go. You're everything I see. Loving you is like being trapped in a house of mirrors, little mouse. And I've never felt so at home while being so lost inside of you."

H. D. Carlton is an International and USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Ohio with her partner, two dogs, and cat. When she's not bathing in the tears of her readers, she's watching paranormal shows and wishing she was a mermaid. Her favorite characters are of the morally gray variety and believes that everyone should check their sanity at the door before diving into her stories.

Visit for more information