Posted in Contemporary, psychological thriller, Reviews

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

Release Date-21st September 2017
Publisher-Headline
Genre-Psychological Thriller
Kindle Edition-400 Pages

The brilliant new novel from Jenny Blackhurst , the #1 eBook bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU , which Clare Mackintosh called ‘utterly gripping’ and BEFORE I LET YOU IN . If you love Louise Jensen’s THE GIFT or SK Tremayne’s THE ICE TWINS you will love this.

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…

The Foster ChildThe Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 STARS

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The Foster Child By Jenny Blackhurst was one hell of a spooky book, having never read anything by this author before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
I really didn’t need to worry from the first page this story captured the reader building the atmosphere gradually and hooking its audience so subtly that before you knew it you were so emotionally invested in what was playing out before our rapt eyes.
So The Foster Child tells the story of Ellie Atkinson a foster child placed in the system after the death of her family in a house fire.
Along comes child psychologist Imogen Reid who upon returning to her childhood town after a big blip in her illustrious career inherits Ellie’s case.
From day one on the job, it’s apparent to Imogen that things in her old town are not right.
Everybody seems afraid of the quiet eerie eleven-year-old and Ellies only supporters are Her fifteen-year-old foster sister Mary and Imogen herself.
So, my god, this was creepy.
I actually found myself questioning everything I thought I believed.
You could feel the mass hysteria building as it was fueled by what people thought was real.
Taking on a life all of its own, like a snowball building its momentum.
Then BAM!!!!
everything came to a head and you were left feeling a trifle dim questioning yourself, did I really think that ?.
You as the reader have been swept along in the mass hysteria along with everyone else in this small community.
I loved this story, the characters were so real and interesting, this could be set in any small town around where I live.
The Foster Child was a fascinating insight into small-town dynamics and also a creepy atmospheric chiller.
Do you know what I liked best, it was how one young girl can start a rumour that actually takes on a life all of its own.
fuelling its own journey along the way.
Or did it!!! that twist at the end Man, didn’t see that coming.
It left us the reader with a whole host of new questions to ask.
So I end this review in a bit of a quandary.
What do I actually take away from this as the truth, I think in this instance only Ellie is aware of the bigger picture she is the puppetmaster of this chilling tale.
That is the only reason I deducted 1/2 a star from this as I was left feeling slightly confused, wondering what to actually believe.
I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a free ARC of The Foster Child this is my own free and honest opinion.

Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm.
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Posted in Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

Bait by Jade West

Release Date-August 14th 2017
Publisher-Jade West
Genre-Erotic Romance
Kindle Edition-403 Pages

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 bait20728920_638988426294879_7319807723764178913_o.

BaitBait by Jade West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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(TRIGGER WARNING!!! Bait has a forced seduction fantasy as its main subject PLEASE AVOID!!! If this is a trigger for you.)
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS.
Jade West has done it again for me, made me fall head over heels for another one of her stories.
No one I have found can write it quite like Miss West, her books and the characters they contain are pure an utter filth.
The words they use, the situations they experience, well let’s just say I’m fanning myself quite robustly here phew!!!! super hot!!!
So where was I, Oh yeh, pure filth, So as I was saying, Jade, is the master of kinky fuckery and she so adores taking the reader out of there comfort zone and her latest offering “Bait” is no exception.
Here she takes the scenario of hunter and Bait, that taboo forbidden fantasy of a forced seduction.
A monster actually waiting alone in the dark to pounce.
Well obviously in real terms, this would be so terrifying but as a consensual fantasy, this is a whole different ballgame indeed.
And this is what our heroine Abigail longs for, yes she’s definitely a trifle stupid advertising for a hook up online, so not safe you silly girl.
That’s why it’s lucky when our gorgeous tattooed hero Leo is the one that volunteers to be her monster in the dark.
Now, this is where this author comes into her own. not only does she write such taboo but enticing material, but she also manages to grab you by your heartstrings and pull, drawing such emotional responses from her characters and also her readers.
So Bait itself while being super hot was also a deeply emotional experience.
Jade West has the ability to weave the diverse with the normal, Bringing it out into the mainstream.
She has created two very likeable multifaceted individuals, equipped them both with a major ton of baggage and then turned up the heat.
The result is this very unique offering which I loved immensely.
I would even go as far as to say Bait has become my new all-time favourite of Jade West’s Books,
That is probably until I read her next one.
I also adored both Abigail and Leo as characters and this is where I think Jade really succeeds, she creates a connection, making the reader actually care, and this I think is a rare talent so bravo a real
Well done Miss West.


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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
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Posted in Contemporary, psychological thriller, Reviews

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

Release Date-14 Nov 2017
Publisher-Harper Impulse
Genre-Psychological Thriller
Kindle Edition-364 pages

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.


When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…


A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.


Four friends.
A party to die for.
Who will survive?

The Birthday GirlThe Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS
Now never having read anything of Sue Fortin before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this.
Well, Wow, this certainly didn’t disappoint.
I read this in practically one sitting, it was such addictive reading that I struggled to put “The Birthday Girl” down I was so engrossed.
This story tells the tale of four best friends, Carys, Zoe, Andrea and Joanne, all in or approaching their forties.
All Bogged down with the usual life dramas, petty jealousies and rivalries that usually come with groups of girls of all ages.
So when one of the girls, Joanne to be exact, decides to throw a very different fortieth party.
The other Girls half-heartedly accept her invitation.
Straight from the get-go, I loved how the scene was staged, Johanna lulling her friends into a false sense of security, outwardly not portraying her anger, but showing her game face and going in for the long con.
So there you are, You think you know where This tale is going, who the baddies are, when suddenly and without warning “The birthday girl” changes directions on you leaving you floundering in the wake of the upheaval.
And you’re left there scratching your head in total confusion.
The Birthday girl will seriously confound your expectations and have you questioning everything that happens, nothing will be taken on face value and nobody is above suspicion.
On top of all this, there is also the mysterious voice that seems to hate Carys so much, I was so wrong on all fronts with this when attempting to use my sleuthing skills to unmask, brilliantly done indeed.
So the story that unfolds here drew me in straight from the beginning.
It manages to build layer upon layer until gradually a bigger overall picture is finally revealed.
This was so well done and it actually helped make the Birthday Girl such a page-turner.
this has all the ingredients of a five-star read and it wasn’t until the last chapter that for me this lost some of its star quality.
I just really didn’t like the ending, I’ve never really been into self-sacrificing or cutting off my nose to spite my face and that is what the last chapter to me stank of.
So Sorry to be so cryptic, but needs must as I really don’t want to spoil this experience for others.
So there you have it, in a nutshell, this was such a good solid read, it flowed brilliantly, kept the reader guessing till the final pages and overall just pulled you right in.
So yes I would most certainly recommend this if you like a good psychological thriller, this is hands down, definitely one of the best I have experienced for a while.
So All that’s left is to say thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with an ARC of The Birthday Girl this is my own honest and unbiased opinion.

Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
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Posted in Contemporary, Dark, Reviews, Romance

Grace Street (Chapter 8 #1) by Ella Dominguez

Release Date-April 1st 2016
Publisher-Bondage Bunny Publishing
Genre-Dark Romance
Kindle Edition-263 Pages

Revised Edition

Obsession, possession, resilience, insanity…

Seeking solitude and reprieve from her past failed relationships, Elsa begins her life anew in Richmond, hoping to find the change that she so desperately needs. Things are looking up for her—a new job, new friends, a fresh start.

But Victor has different plans for her. From the moment he heard Elsa’s voice, she became next on his to-do list—his Chapter 8. A well-known and respected criminal profiler, his mind is as dark as the criminals he hunts down. It takes one to know one, after all. Under the guise of making his subjects stronger, he intends to break Elsa down using everything in his arsenal—including pleasure, pain, humiliation, and things unspeakable.


Lonely, still on the mend from a bad break-up and longing for attention—Elsa consents to an odd proposition. Initially unaware of Victor’s plans, she quickly realizes that the casual encounter she agreed to is, in fact, a cruel psychological game with no ending in sight. She may be one in a long line of test subjects for Victor; however, she can’t be broken so easily. What he puts her through only fuels the fire burning within her—a flame that begins to blaze out of control as she becomes obsessed with everything about Victor and peeling back his cruel layers in search of the real man hiding beneath his heartless facade.

In Victor’s world, there is no such thing as happily ever after, and Chapter 8 proves to be an infuriating challenger when she flips the tables on his selfish and twisted game, a game they both may end up losing their hearts and minds over.

Warning: this is neither a conventional romance nor a traditional love story. There are no hearts and flowers on the pages of this book. The heroine doesn’t always make wise choices and though I’ve tried to make her strong, she’s often times weak in the face of the fierce hero. The hero is not a knight in shining armour. He’s broken and frequently cruel, and what every woman in the real world should avoid. What’s contained within this book is fiction—dark, depraved and decadent make-believe. Contains erotic elements, uncomfortable situations, and descriptions that may trigger past memories of abuse. Intended for readers 18+

Grace Street (Chapter 8, #1)Grace Street by Ella Dominguez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

🌟🌟🌟1/2 STARS


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Grace Street (Chapter 8, #1) by Ella Dominguez what did I think.
Well first things, I have not read anything by this author before so this was a virgin experience for me.
So mostly I liked this, but unfortunately, there was just something I struggled to put my finger on in regards to our two main characters.
I couldn’t quite get a handle on them which left it in turn quite difficult for me to connect with both Elsa and Victor themselves.
So Grace street tells the story of both Elsa and Victor.
Victor, a successful criminal profiler for the FBI doesn’t do relationships he does Chapters.
He breaks these chapters down piece by piece with pleasure, pain and twisted mind games under the guise of helping them become stronger individuals.
Victor after pulling the curtain on seven is now ready for new games to begin and he has a new target ready in his sights.
Enter Elsa chapter eight, new to the area after relocating following a painful break-up with a work colleague.
Lonely and still on the mend shes ripe for victors games and cruel psychological manipulations.
So firstly I found it pretty hard to connect when the characters involved here are just not that likeable.
But let’s start first with Elsa, So I found her a bit of a whiner, plenty immature, very inconsistent in her intentions and she really just got plain on my wick like a hell of a lot.
Her worst incident that stands out for me was when she was out with her mother for a meal, which Victor had actually booked and paid for and she acted like such an immature ungrateful child.
I wanted to give her a slap every time she opened her mouth. she acted like an infant and for once victor was actually being thoughtful and nice.
Elsa was just embarrassing using her mother as a shield and spokesperson (what are you girl, ten).
she also doesn’t seem to know her own mind one minute wanting Victor and then changing her mind back.
As for victor well I really wanted to like him he had all the qualities I usually love tortured hero check, hot check, misunderstood check, successful check, getting the picture yet, but there was just something missing here.
He talked the talk but there was just that spark missing for me.
I also didn’t find him that dark either, I could see a lot of light creeping in around the edges right from the very beginning.
Victor’s main fault for me was that I found him to be rather egotistical and self-centred and that really was a way big turn off overall.
So anyway despite the above issues I still did enjoy this and I did start to feel more of a connection towards the end of Grace Street which I was very glad to eventually experience.
This was also my reason for adding half a star as up till then it was a three star all the way.
So anyway this was for me a series of up and downs and now I have started “feeling it” I’m hoping to become more invested with this as I read further.
So its safe to say Grace Street (Chapter 8, #1) ends on a bloody cliffhanger, typical, but now I’m feeling the love I will defiantly be continuing with the next chapter in this series.
And on a final note just thought I’d mention you can get this series on Kindle Unlimited so enjoy.


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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
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Posted in Contemporary, Crime, Erotic, Reviews, Romance

Consent (The Loan Shark Duet, #2) by Charmaine Pauls

Release Date-November 14th 2017
Genre-Dark Romance
Kindle Edition-241 pages

When Gabriel broke down my door, he took over my body and life. Never with force, but always with clever manipulation. He stripped me of my independence, my defences, and my clothes and turned me into an addict for his touch.

Once, I had dreams and a future. Now, I have fears, scars, and insatiable needs. I’m damaged beyond repair, but if I’m to survive the most dangerous man in Johannesburg, I can’t allow him to break me because broken toys are destined for the garbage dump.

Book 1 & 2 in the LOAN SHARK DUET will be released back-to-back.
DUBIOUS: 10 October 2017
CONSENT: 14 November 2017

Consent (The Loan Shark Duet, #2)Consent by Charmaine Pauls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 STARS


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Wow!!!, What a read this was, I was engrossed until the bitter end.
“Consent” starts where “Dubious” left off and right from the get-go we are plunged right back into the raw and gritty world of Gabriel Louw AKA The Breaker.
So Gabriel is now on the hunt, his very delectable prey Valentina Haynes has bolted along with her brother Charlie to whereabouts unknown.
Valentina and Gabriel Both with very crossed wires over this now very real pregnancy and a new baby on the near horizon.
Gabriel himself is counting down the minutes until he has Valentina back in her cage. This time around things are going to be different and he has plans for Valentina once he catches up with her that is.
Right, so the last book “Dubious” I didn’t find at all angsty, not that I was complaining.
“Consent” more than makes up for this in buckets.
There is so much going on here in regards to angst and all characters involved take steps out of there very own cliches to evolve brilliantly throughout.
I’m also Loving the new roles for Gabriel’s bodyguards, they make fantastically funny baby-sitters and they had me chuckling along with them.
So where do I start with this, well I found this such an enjoyable read and I was glued to the pages throughout.
The story flowed easily and it was great to catch back up with everyone from “Consent”
so sorry for being vague here, but I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible as I don’t want to give away anything.
I only have three small nitpicks that in hindsight made me deduct half a star, but really these are just little things overall.
So number one, I like my dark heroes to stay mostly dark and in this instant, Gabriel becomes a whole lot whiter, I didn’t find him that dark initially so I really didn’t want him to get even lighter in nature.
And yes I do get it, why he wants to change so dramatically, it’s very understandable and also extremely commendable.
It doesn’t mean I have to like it though.
That brings me to number two “The Events” themselves, they were dragged out a bit too much for me and I wanted to move on from them, I cried, and then I tried to heal and I wanted poor Gabriel to heal also, then to pull himself back together.
I really don’t mean that to sound harsh, it’s just I thought poor Valentina was given a bit of a raw deal and could have done with a bit more TLC. instead, she was mainly ignored and pushed to the sidelines by Gabriel, dealing with a pregnancy that had been largely thrust upon her young shoulders.
On a further side note and without giving anything away I was also decidedly disappointed in The makeover, that is all I’m contributing on that matter, but so not a happy bunny here, just saying.
So despite these small grievances I loved all the rest of this and couldn’t put it down “Consent” was full of Angst and drama and unforgettable characters and I would highly recommend this as an unforgettable read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing an ARC of Consent this is my own unbiased honest opinion.

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Posted in BDSM, Contemporary, Crime, Reviews, Romance

Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet #1) by Charmaine Pauls

Release Date-October 10th 2017
Genre-Dark Crime Romance
Kindle Edition-305 pages

How far will a man go to get the woman he wants?

I’m a loan shark. Breaking people runs in my blood. The Haynes’ were supposed to be a straightforward job. Go in and pull the trigger twice. One bullet for Charlie, one for his sister. But when I saw Valentina, I wanted her. Only, in our world those who owe us don’t get second chances. No way in hell will my mother let her live. So I devised a plan to keep her.

It’s depraved.
It’s immoral.
It’s dubious.

It’s perfect.
Just like her.

Book 1 & 2 in the LOAN SHARK DUET will be released back-to-back.
DUBIOUS: 10 October 2017
CONSENT: 14 November 2017

Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet, #1)Dubious by Charmaine Pauls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS.
Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet, #1) was a delight to read and once I started there was no stopping me, I was on a mission to finish this.
So the low-down on Dubious was that Valentina Haynes a young veterinary student manages to get on the wrong side of the Louw family courtesy of her car thief neighbour, who while watching her disabled brother Charlie lets him run up gambling debt’s at a local club.
Sent in on a kill order Gabriel Louw wanting Valentina for himself offers her an out, come work for him for nine years to pay off her brother’s debt and he will let her brother go.
Now this book was fantastic and was such an easy read.
Despite the subject matter involved here, this was not in any way for me dark.
Gabriel rather than force Valentina (who is now working as a maid in his home).
Gradually seduces her senses with his brand of charisma and skills.
Alongside Gabriel, Valentina has to endure his mother Magda. who from day one is unhappy with her son’s decision to allow the Hayne’s to continue to exist and is just looking for an excuse to end Valentina.
I also loved the fact that Gabriel wasn’t your typical looker and was covered in scars, this to me was an actual plus rather than a minus because I do adore me a less than perfect anti-hero.
Gabriel also came packed with a spoilt teenage daughter and I get the impression from her behaviour that she was less than aware of her father’s profession.
I also thought it was a stroke of genies to set this in South Africa, Johannesburg to be precise.
This made it stand out for me from the norm, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve read this genre of story set in this background before.
This made this really original.
The tale told here was not very angsty but that didn’t matter.
As this story progressed, two things became very clear to me, Gabriel’s self-confidence in his own appeal was low, more than likely due to his scarring.
He felt that his money and power was all he had to offer besides the obvious things as well of course.
The second being Valentina has vastly underestimated how much Gabriel wants to protect and keep her, the former going to such extremes that it was bound to come crashing down around his ears just through miscommunication.
There were some very interesting side characters here Quinn and Rhett, Gabriel’s bodyguards being two that grew on me and I believe they both generally liked Valentina.
Also, her friend Kris was a diamond watching her brother Charlie, maybe for the next nine years, this was definitely above and beyond.
Bet we would all love a friend like that.
So the only reason I pulled this down a star was that I feel that Gabriel himself would with this sort of reputation and power be less than inclined to allow his mother to pull his strings.
Yes, I know in the beginning she was described as having all the power.
I just fail to see, how with Gabriel’s sort of nature he has allowed this status quo to go unchallenged all these years, I just can’t see it.
After all, he is the muscle and scary face of the Louw’s family loan shark franchise.
I actually just really wanted him to tell his mother to go screw herself.
So Would I recommend this? Hell yeah!!!
Dubious was well written with great developed characters and an interesting storyline.
It also really helped that the hero and heroine were both extremely likeable people.
Even considering the hero’s occupation.
And the way this was left. well just Phew, so need that next instalment.
Dubious ended on such a fantastic cliffhanger.
I would like to say thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a free ARC.
This is my own free and honest opinion of Dubious.


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Reviewed By Bookworm
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Posted in Contemporary, Crime, Dark, Erotic, Reviews, Romance

Saved by D.D. Prince

Release Date-August 23rd 2017
Genre-Dark Mafia Romance
Kindle Edition-439 pages

Holly has been kept ‘safe’, untouched, and segregated within a sex slave training center for 2 years. But when she has to jump from a burning building into the arms of the mysterious and handsome master of the house, it’s a catalyst for big change. Holly, no longer happy to be blissfully ignorant, starts to play with sexual fire. How badly is she about to get burnt?

Dedication:
This story is for the readers who like to spend time in the dark.
With the anti-heroes.
The damaged ones who don’t think they can be redeemed.
This book is for you.
And for them.

Him:
I saved her from a fate many would believe was worse than death. But, I’m no hero. Far from it.
I’m saving her for myself, which might be an even worse fate.

Her:
He’s dark. He’s dangerous. He’s the most attractive man I have ever laid eyes on. Everything about him says villain but I can’t help but think that maybe there’s a hero deep inside.

He’s kept me apart from the others for a long time. No one is allowed to touch me. Few are allowed to even set eyes on me.
I arrived here just before my sixteenth birthday. But soon, I won’t be a little girl any more.
How much longer will I be safe? And is safety all that matters?

***
A dark romance. Dominator series spin-off but can be read as a standalone.
(For the full optimal reading experience, consider reading the Dominator box set)

Potential triggers. Human Trafficking. Dub/Non-Consent.

SavedSaved by D.D. Prince

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS.
So I really enjoyed Saved by D.D. Prince, in fact, I stayed up all night finishing this as I was that invested in where this was going.
Now This is a tale I’ve been waiting for, for quite a while.
We have had teasing glimpses from previous books set in this world, just to whet our appetites, but this was the main course,so to speak.
A complete downslide into the dark and dangerous world of Alessandro Romero and the murky depths of his depraved lifestyle.
So briefly “saved” recaps the story of Holly’s arrival at Alessandro’s compound and her subsequent imprisonment at his hands.
It shows how she becomes the latest obsession to the very damaged dark man who resides here.
At first, maybe just being a beacon of light in the dark to him, and then later an actual visual reminder of just how stained his hands really are.
But so soon, she becomes so much more, a decedent temptation that he can just no longer resist.
Tick Tock Holly that clock is ticking down to that all-important birthday.

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To me, she is the one untainted thing that exists in my world. My world is filthy, black, evil and I’m a big part of the reason for that. But Holly? She’s clean, pure; she’s light. I’m night; she’s day. And it’s only a matter of time before I lose my loose hold on control and turn her to nothing but charred remnants of what she was.

While nosing around, I have noticed a few reviews that have some issues with Hollys personality and attitude and while I appreciate there take I’m going to approach this from the opposite camp and try to articulate why I felt that mindset was what was needed from Holly to achieve a fully functioning relationship with what was the really fucked up Alessandro Romero.
So First, we have Holly’s age, She’s still so young and then her background also works against her, so just where was she going to go if she escaped, Holly’s choices were extremely limited in nature, she has no idea where her sister is and her mothers a waste of breath total dead-beat.
So she has just accepted her situation in some ways like a cosseted child.
It’s not so bad and could be worse is her mindset.
From listening to her inner musings it’s quite apparent to me that Holly has never been the confrontational type letting others like her sister just arrange things around her.
And she complied here, just as she’s been doing all her life.
Holly is essentially at heart a follower and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Second Alessandro was so fucked up in his interactions with Holly that even the tiniest little thing acted as a trigger to him, Imagine if Holly was more an in your face screaming harpy and think where that could have gone.
I really don’t think it would have been pretty at all, and I certainly wouldnt want to put it to the test for real.
And yes initially I do believe Holly was probably suffering from a touch of Stockholm.
but She kind of burrowed under Alessandro’s skin catching him unaware with her brand of sweetness and acceptance which is ultimately what he needed someone so pure that they could attempt to wash clean the blackest of his sins.
I also think this softly softly was the sneaky backdoor stealth approach needed.
And Alessandro’s sins are very black indeed, not surprising considering his background.
I actually think out of all of DD Prince’s boys in this world, Alessandro’s soul holds the darkest stains of them all.
He was not a good man then, and he is not a good man now, treating poor Holly like dirt and then at other times giving her a glimpse into someone so different.
In my opinion, it’s because he doesn’t want to accept this weakness he feels for her so he self-projects, Blaming poor Holly for his own limitations.
So it’s safe to say Alessandro himself is a complete and utter bastard
his behaviour itself is in no way excusable at all, but considering what he has done in his past very understandable to me.
He has done some really evil shit that he now has to learn to live with, especially now with his distant past catching up with his present.
But bearing in mind the sadistic crime family he comes from I would be much more surprised if he was lily white and all super caring, totally unrealistic indeed.
I will say this, that I thought Holly was a complete and utter saint to deal with Alessandro’s brand of crazy and fucked up behaviour towards herself without screaming for her bad-ass brother in laws to come rescue her.
This shows that she is actually stronger than she appears.
Able to deal in the real world.
Maybe her actions could be seen slightly as those of a doormat, I suppose its really all in your interpretation.
Mine was that she was just an unloved vulnerable young girl who wanted to save the world and also believe the best in people, so Yes there probably was a big dash of Stockholm mixed in with her love, but do I really care?
Nah, I loved this fucked up story anyway.
I loved the angst of the unexpected this tale brought it came complete with a tortured anti-hero who just wants redemption in any form he can get and most especially I adored catching up with all the Ferraro’s too, that really was the cherry on the top.
This was a definite hit for me and I would highly recommend if you like your fiction dark.
So just Before I go a trigger warning this book does contain Dub-Con and Non-Con just a heads up so you are aware.

Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/

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Posted in Contemporary, Crime, Dark, Reviews, Romance

Doll Face by Sadie Grubor

Release Date-August 12th 2017
Publisher-Book Nerd Revelation
Genre-Dark Mafia Romance.
Kindle Edition-367 pages

Most kids don’t grow up wanting a dead beat dad. Those kids don’t understand how much worse it can truly be. How it feels to grow up wishing your father was a neglectful dead beat and not a living nightmare.

I did. I do. And my safest place is to hide among the monsters. So, that’s what I do. I blend into a sea of criminals and the depraved. Any of them are far better company than my father.

That’s how I ended up here, applying too much makeup and too little clothing. Tonight’s show has to be enough to entice, yet subdued enough not to draw too much attention. Getting noticed not only puts you in the position of private dance rooms, but also makes them curious. They want to see you, all of you, and for even a brief moment possess you.

Even if it’s all a part of the game, their night of fantasy, it’s still too risky. For two years, I’ve held the delicate balancing act. The occasional businessman, random bachelor, and even the rare everyday good guy, but never a regular client or patron as many of the other girls have. Sure, the money, gifts, and, hell, even the attention and pampering are more tempting than the drugs readily available in this place. Yet, the fear of being discovered, again, tampers the temptations and desires for more.

It’s been over two years I’ve stayed safe, over two years of keeping the balance, over two years of being someone else and living their life.

Then he walks through the dark red lacquered doors of my hiding place. His eyes searching, probing, and knowing. He sees through my fabrications, but his own secrets silence his curiosity. Buried beneath the corded muscle and smooth tan skin lies a darkness I know too well. It’s terrifying and seductive.

Now, this temptation swirls on the tip of my tongue, teasing my taste buds, making me want to confess all my sins to a man who could punish me and free me in the most wonderfully worst ways.

Doll FaceDoll Face by Sadie Grubor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS

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There really are not enough good things I can say about this Book.
“Doll Face” By Sadie Grubor is the first thing I have ever read by this author and boy was this one action-packed non-stop gruesome bloody read.
This was so deliciously wrong but felt so freakishly right.
And I would have to say this is hands down one of my favourite reads of this year.
But just be warned this is dark stuff and it doesn’t pull its punches.
So Doll face revolves around “Mei” a stripper/dancer whos rather cray cray and also “Saint” whos a mob enforcer and boss and even more cray cray.
These two have the type of Loony tunes sadistic natures that just recognise and bask in each other’s dark auras.

The evil lurking within recognizes and wants him. Even now, the urges swirl beneath my skin in a choreographed dance designed just for him. He grins, walking around the bed, and my eyes follow every languid movement of his large body. Stopping at the right of the bed, he leans down, fists burrowing into the mattress. “I’ve been in hell for years, dead girl,” he informs. “Now, I’m bringing you with me.”

 

This is it. She finally understands. She sees the creature at its worst. The very thing grown men cower from and my absolute jubilation in the acts I perform.

Each have their own reasons for the way they are and together they just fit, like two pieces of a puzzle.
Mei is in hiding, on the run, lying low when she catches saint’s eye, he decides he wants her for his own, so he just takes her and installs her in his penthouse.
together they slowly learn to welcome each others brand of nuts.

“That was all you, my pretty, dirty, little dead girl,” I say, bringing my face so close each of her heavy breaths warms my mouth. “I’ve glimpsed your darkness,” I whisper, feeling her body tense, “and it’s fucking beautiful.”

 

“The ground will be littered with the bodies of those who have and would hurt you,” he vows. “I will lay each one at your feet and carve your name into their flesh as a reminder to others.”

So this was fantastically written, I hung on to every gruesome bloody word written.
The world building was amazing and it also had great secondary characters that I would love to see centre stage in their own stories.
There were so many twists and turns I was getting dizzy.
And as we approached the end things really started to heat up fast barreling towards a giant cliffhanger, which I found so bloody annoying.
The way this was left I imagine and hope there will be a continuation of this story, there just has to be, It cant be left here.
I for one will be waiting for the next delicious instalment with baited breath.
I will leave you with this delicious declaration from Saint

“I don’t care about your sins,” he says, “I have my own.” His fingers flex against my scalp. “And quite honestly, I need your soul to be as dark and corrupted,” he confesses. “It’s the only way mine won’t destroy you. I can’t destroy you.” Tears fill my eyes, one blink setting them free. “You’re so fucking perfect, and I’m terrified of you,” he admits, bringing his left hand to the other side of my face. “It’s like my demons conjured you just to torment me and I’m scared they’ll take you away.” “You resurrected all my demons and ghosts,” I sniff. “He’ll come for me.” “I hope so,” he growls. “Because there isn’t a god or devil who will save him from The Saint.”

I so need more Saint and his deadly little Doll.

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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/

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Posted in Contemporary, Dark, Reviews, Romance

Monster (Animal #2) by Marni Mann

Release Date-October 12th 2017
Genre-Dark Romance
Kindle Edition-278 pages

“Because I came from you, does that mean I’m capable of killing? That I’ll be addicted to blood? That I’ll get off on torturing people?”

The kid had questions.
I didn’t blame him.
He’d only heard one side, and it wasn’t mine.

“Why did you hate my mother?”

Now, that was a story worth telling.
But, to do that, I had to bring the kid back to the very beginning.
When the killing and the blood and the torture had all started.
When I was truly happy.
When I was first called a Monster.

Monster is a follow-up to Animal. Animal must be read first.

*WARNING*
Monster is an extremely dark novel. There are strong sexual themes, drug usage, physical and sexual abuse, and torture that could trigger and/or cause emotional suffering.

Monster (Animal, #2)Monster by Marni Mann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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WARNING!!! Monster is an extremely dark & twisted novel.
Strong sexual themes, scenes of physical & sexual abuse, Drug use, & torture are abundant here.
Please do not take this author’s warning lightly.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS
I Picked up “Monster”(Animal, #2) practically as soon as I’d finished “Animal” and straight away I was plunged back into the world of confusion I’ve now come to expect from Marni Mann.
This lady has such a distinct way of telling a story misdirection should be her middle name.
The way she knits together the pieces of a tale keeping the reader guessing until the very end is just genius.
So I’d love to say this picked up exactly where the first instalment left off, but it really doesn’t.
That would be too simple sigh.
I had no clue where the bleeding hell this was going yet again.
The only character I recognised from this was Shank who is now residing in a Venezuelan prison cell.
So Through a series of letters between Shank and Kid and flashbacks of the past, we get to hear the backstory of events that have led to his incarceration.
His story and it’s hard to stomach in places.
But back to those letters,
They are very graphic dark and brutal, not really the sort of correspondence appropriate for a kid.
Through these we really get an insight into Shank’s Psychotic head, showing us just how sick and twisted he really is.
The one thing I will say is these letters are certainly honest.
unempathetic and evil in their content but straightforward and candid in there intent.
Though Shank we get to find some closure as to what went down with Beard, Tyler, Diego and Toy when the curtain finally closed after the events of “Animal”.
The other scenario we find ourselves visiting is Bangkok Thailand.
and here we get to meet Huck, brothel owner and reluctant rescuer.
After finding a beaten Arin on his backdoor step.
Huck her unenthusiastic white knight takes her in.
Whats starts initially as a grudging rescue Slowly escalates into more and although there is a lack of trust on Huck’s part, he slowly starts to lower his defences letting Arin in.
The sexual scenes in this between Huck and Arin for me somehow counterbalance the gruesomeness off Shanks confessions.
The light to the darkness, I felt the connection. and needed this glimmer of brightness in a sea of black.
A beacon in the dark.
So eventually we are expertly steered to a surprising climax that I really loved.
It was unexpected and so well constructed within these pages that it took me completely unawares.
All is revealed to us the reader, our eyes are opened this story is finally told and the curtain can fall.
Bravo Marni your story-weaving skills are epic and twisted girl, I’m so suitably impressed.


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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/

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Posted in Contemporary, Crime, Dark, Reviews, Romance

Animal (Animal #1) by Marni Mann

Release Date-March 23rd 2017
Genre-Dark Romance
Kindle Editions-306 pages

In this prison, we weren’t just guards. We were animals.

I captured the guilty.
Locked them inside our prison.
Tortured their bodies and abused their minds.
I had murdered hundreds.
Never recognized one.
Until her face.
Until that scream.
I was hired to take her life.
But first, I had to figure out how she ruined mine.

*WARNING*
Animal is an extremely dark novel. There are strong sexual themes, drug usage, physical abuse and torture that could trigger and/or cause emotional suffering. You have been warned.

Animal (Animal, #1)Animal by Marni Mann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS
So here is “Animal” in all its glory.
Where do I start with this so very different story. well here goes,
Beard is running an illegal prison in Venezuela with his two best friends.
It’s A place where they torture and kill, not just for the money involved, but also for the kicks too.
Beard himself has an obsession with the screams, he loves to listen to the cries of the tortured and the damned, it’s just his thing.
So as you have probably surmised from the above “Animal” is an extremely dark tale and you should probably be aware that the descriptions in this are very graphic and detailed.
So the majority of this tale we get to follow Beard around and experience his very graphic sex life.
I should also mention that there’s a lot of girl on girl action, some menage scenes and also some drug use as well, just in case this bothers you.
The sex itself is also very down and dirty in language as well as detail and while this itself didn’t bother me, the sheer amount of it did.
This is where Animal lost a star for me, I felt there was too much and I just didn’t enjoy some of the encounters here, they felt a trifle off to me.
I actually in hindsight realised why I felt this way, It was quite obvious to me once I’d made the connection.
Surprisingly the prison itself didn’t affect me that much, not because I don’t have a heart and lack the ability to empathise, Just more because I tried to not visualise what was occurring there, I buried my head in the sand, so to speak, out of sight, out of mind and all that jetsam.
You Know, LA LA LA LA LA Fingers in ears that kind of stuff.
I am actually pretty much unshockable anyway as it takes a lot to disturb me and mess with my head. Probably the side effect of reading so much depravity.
So moving on , the other person’s head we get to play inside is a young college girl by the name of Tyler.
Ignored and taken for granted by her family, makes Tyler extremely vulnerable in her need for acceptance and love.
she is Easily Recruited by the Achurdy and her choices in life lead her down a dark path with only one end seemingly in her sights.
we are given a little taster of Tyler’s utter despair in life and also in her death.
A snapshot into her head if you will.
So, What did I just read? And How darn Clever Was this folks? A Slow Stunned Clap from me, I’m so very impressed Marni, you rock girl.
Animal by Marni Mann was a complete an utter twisted-mind F@ck.
I know I had a slightly bemused expression on my face throughout.
And I was also, in a state of utter confusion for the majority of this story.
and Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, It was like BAM!!! here’s another curve-ball for you, we don’t want you getting too complacent girl.
With the final curtain closing on what was a massive Reveal, my first thought after the initial shock was, Ah, I get it now, everything kinda makes sense in a weird sort of freaky arse way.
Marni Mann after keeping me in a state of compete and utter perplexity throughout all of “Animal” has somehow managed to wrap this all up so prettily
Gathering together all the stray threads of this story and weaving them into a sort of gruesome testimony.
At least that’s what I thought until Animal threw another DUH!!! moment at me, (I’m rolling my eyes here people.)
I knew it was to good to be true,
Back to trying to find my way out of the dark, sigh.
Animal is like being lost in a maze with no exit anywhere at all.
So where were we, 0h yes, I guess this story hasn’t quite finished unfolding yet. I for one can’t wait till act two commences.

So just a footnote,
I originally after finishing “Animal” rated this a three and a half.
I decided to sleep on it before I put pen to paper
As I could not get this out of my head, and for that reason alone I’ve upped this to a four, as this is not a read I will forget in a hurry and it doesn’t really matter if that’s for the right or the wrong reasons it’s stuck in my head now so it’ a definite score.


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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/

View all my reviews