dark romance novel

Romance News

Local governess shocked to find herself attracted to surprisingly paternal albeit cryptic and creepy employer. Claims: “How was I to know he’d be even more attractive when laughing and playing with his child?” 

Her employer could not be reached for comment, as he was too busy pointing out a cloud that looked like a fox.

Byronic Softies and Busted Ovaries at 9.

Originally posted by wandering-in-hopeless-night

A guide to Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series

Immortals After Dark is a popular paranormal romance series full of sex and violence. It’s fantastic. There are ass-kicking Valkyries, hot-as-hell vampires, even hotter werewolves, and sexy-as-fuck demons. Plus a few other supernatural beings here and there. These immortal creatures, all part of the Lore, fight, fuck, and fall in love while hurtling toward the Ascension, a battle for dominance between immortal factions that occurs roughly every 500 years. 

Warning: This is a violent series. The bad guys and girls in one book often become the “good guys” in the next. Not for those who need clear black-and-white morality tales. Also contains a fair amount of dubious consent and non-consent, especially in the early books.

Want to get started with the series? Here’s a spoiler-free overview. 

Book 1: The Warlord Wants Forever
Nikolai Wroth (vampire) and Myst the Coveted (Valkyrie). Introduces the series. Originally a story within the Playing Easy to Get anthology, it has been recast as the first “book” in the series. After Myst leaves Nikokai suffering from potentially the world’s worst case of blue balls, he vows and takes his revenge against her.
Book 2: A Hunger Like No Other
Lachlain MacRieve (Lykae) and Emmaline Troy (Valkyrie-vampire). First full-length book. After a century of torture, crazed Lachlain takes delicate Emma captive.
Book 3: No Rest for the Wicked
Sebastian Wroth (vampire) and Kaderin the Cold Hearted (Valkyrie). Introduces the Talisman’s Hie, a dangerous contest to please a goddess that requires participants to travel the world completing life-threatening tasks. Kaderin intends to win in order to right an ancient wrong.
Book 4: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Bowen MacRieve (Lykae) and Mariketa the Awaited (witch). Also set during the Hie. Bowen abandons vulnerable Mari in a cave – if he doesn’t save her in days, it’s war.
Book 5: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
Conrad Wroth (vampire) and Naomi Laress (ghost). Blood-crazed Conrad is locked up in an abandoned mansion by his desperate brothers. A mansion haunted by the ghost of a murdered ballerina.
Book 6: Dark Desires After Dusk
Cadeon Woede (demon) and Holly Ashwin (human). Cade knows Holly is his mate. One problem: She’s human. Another problem: Everyone is trying to kill her.
Book 7: Kiss of a Demon King
Rydstrom Woede (demon) and Sabine (sorceress). Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, tricks and locks up powerful Rydstrom in another plane.
Book 8: “Untouchable” in Deep Kiss of Winter
Murdoch Wroth (vampire) and Daniela (Valkyrie). Story in a duology with Gena Showalter. Ice-queen Daniela experiences incredible pain when touched, which complicates things for her mate Murdoch.
Book 9: Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Garreth MacRieve (Lykae) and Lucia the Huntress (Valkyrie). Lucia takes off on a world-saving quest – which has the side benefit of helping her escape her new mate Garreth. Then he goes after her.
Book 10: Demon from the Dark
Malkom Slaine (demon-vampire) and Carrow Graie (witch). Carrow is captured by an anti-immortal human agency called the Order along with a beloved child. In order to save themselves, Carrow agrees to seduce Malkom, a target living on a demon hell plane wanted by the Order .
Book 11: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Declan Chase (human) and Regin the Radiant (Valkyrie). Regin is trapped in a cursed cycle with the reincarnations of an ancient berserker. His latest incarnation happens to be in the form of Declan, a leader in the Order who hates all immortals and has just captured Regin.
Book 12: Lothaire
Lothaire (vampire) and Elizabeth Peirce (human). When a being intent on murdering… everyone possesses her, poor and kind Ellie thinks her life is over. Then the morally complicated Lothaire saves her. Now she’ll need to save him back.
Book 13: Shadow’s Claim
Trehan Daciano (vampire) and Princess Bettina (demon-sorceress). First book in The Dacians off-shoot. Trehan, a master assassin, knows he’s meant to be with Bettina, even if she thinks she’s in love with her best friend. He intends to win her hand the old-fashioned way: in a tournament to the death.
Book 14: MacRieve
Uilleam MacRieve (Lykae) and Chloe Todd (human). Chloe is having a bad day. After learning some startling secrets from her father, who then disappears, she ends up kidnapped and on the auction block to be sold off to the highest bidder and tortured and killed for her father’s crimes. Until Uilleam, extremely depressed following horrific torture at the hands of the Order, learns Chloe is his mate…
Book 15: Dark Skye
Thronos (winged demon) and Melanthe (sorceress). As children, Thronos and Lanthe were friends. That changed when Melanthe cripples Thronos. As adults, Thronos saves Lanthe from the Order… in order to take his revenge.
Book 16: Sweet Ruin
Rune the Baneblood (fey-demon) and Josephine (vampire hybrid). Separated from her brother after a troubled childhood, Josephine is left alone and confused about herself. When she encounters Rune rutting on some nymphs in a field, she might have found someone who can give her answers.

Upcoming books:
Book 17: Shadow’s Seduction
Prince Mirceo Daciano (vampire) and Caspion the Tracker (demon). Projected release date: January 30th, 2017. Cole’s first m/m romance, also the second book in The Dacians spin-off. This is being published by Cole’s Valkyrie Press rather than her normal IAD publisher.
Book 18: Wicked Abyss
Abyssian Infernas (demon) and Liliana Barbot (fey). Expected release date: April 25th, 2017. Looks like this one will be a Beauty and the Beast-type story. Hello, catnip!

I could get deep into the mythology of the Lore but I promised a quick overview. So there’s just one last thing you need to know…

Nïx the Ever-Knowing
Nïx is with you from the start. She’s the proto-Valkyrie, the first of her kind. Gifted or cursed with foresight, Nïx weaves – sometimes lucidly – in and out of the lives of those in the Lore, perhaps helping them, perhaps not. Considered so powerful that she may be attaining goddess status, Nïx is thought by some to be actively steering the events of the Ascension. To know her is to love her. Yes, Cole has promised that she will be writing Nïx’s story. No, you’re not getting it anytime soon.

If you’ve read the series and are wondering why I categorized certain characters as I did or stated things the way I did, please assume it was because I’m avoiding spoilers, not because I screwed up.

That’s it (for this guide, at least). Happy reading!

HOLY SNAP BATMAN

(Or: Why The Red has completely slain me.)

The Red, Tiffany Reisz

8th Circle Press:: 2017
Erotic Romance, Dark Romance

The Red was insane. And over-the-top. And so. Damn. HOT.

(Abby gets it.)

Okay but here’s the thing. I recommend this book - but I can’t recommend this book. Not unless you are prepared to completely let go of reality and a LOT of boundaries. 

Much like the trippy fantasy of non-consent (though technically the heroine of The Red, Mona, does consent to everything that is done to her… sort of?) that is Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, The Red is fantasy stripped of the confines of reality. It is impossible and wonderful, scary and deeply erotic. It hit almost all of the things that make me tick - many of which cannot be discussed in polite society. It breaks numerous social constraints - it borders on the taboo. 

It’s also utterly romantic in a deep, unexpected way. 

Enter our heroine, Mona St. James, who is clinging to her deceased mother’s failing art gallery, The Red. But as Mona points out early in the book, The Red is deeply IN the red. It’s slowly collapsing beneath her as debt mounts and it seems bankruptcy is the only option.

Enter our hero, Malcolm. No last name, no origin, not even a chime from the bell on the door. Just Malcolm. Suddenly standing in Mona’s gallery in the middle of the night. Middle aged, foreign, black hair and black eyes and utterly gorgeous hands. 

(Mona, like me, has a deep appreciation for beautiful masculine hands…)

(*cough* That’s rather hypnotic, isn’t it?)

Malcolm appears (from seemingly nowhere) with a offer for Mona: One night a month, for a year, she will offer him her body, carte blanche, in return for Malcolm saving The Red from financial ruin. 

For the center portion of the book each chapter is a new, decadent night between Mona and Malcolm, each more debauched and wild than the last. Each more intense than the last as the connection between the two grows, and one cryptic hint at a time Malcolm guides Mona and the reader towards the reality of his identity.

But the more reality and fantasy blurs the harder it becomes for Mona to distinguish between the two. And the more she comes to feel for Malcolm the less she cares if she’s dreaming or awake. 

LET ME JUST SAY THAT I DID NOT FORESEE THAT FREAKING ENDING.

I really did not.

It was a little crazy and I loved it - without giving away the game I’ll say that in The Red Reisz returns to a few topics she’s visited before in other novellas and novels, and weaves them together in a completely delightful - much too freaking short Tiffany! AHJKHASHDGASJD - erotic fantasy.

TL:: DR

Easily the best I’ve read… since Reisz’s last erotic novel anyway. But a book I would recommend with all the caveats that I would normally attach to dark romantic fiction. (Though The Red has pockets of delightfully unexpected lightness!) Should you read it?

My instinct is to say: YES FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER DEITY YOU BELIEVE IN READ THIS BOOK. 

My commonsense says: Only if you are prepared (and able) to let go of all skepticism and inhibition and embrace the unreality. 

Because once you step in to The Red with Mona and Malcolm you can’t possibly be prepared for what might happen. 

The shit wynonna earp pulled

If you’re sick and tired of shit representation, seriously check out my novel.

It has positive Lgbt representation (my word as a lesbian is good), there is no cheating.

If you like vampires, werewolves, witches, and the supernatural, check it out.

It’s also POC inclusive

Darkness Is Rising https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073YDN85Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_XrNJzbDRQ1AYA

Please boost for me
A Scot in the Dark - Sarah MacLean

Ashley’s Fast & Dirty Review™: my thoughts and feelings condensed for your reading pleasure because I don’t have time for that in-depth nonsense.  Will probably contain spoilers. 

  • This is my second time reading this gem and it’s even better than I remembered.
  • MacLean is my QUEEN and this book is everything: sexy, sweet, hilarious, heartbreaking, tearjerker mastery.
  • Some people find Lily to be a ninny, falling for Derek so quickly, but honestly, for those us who grew up feeling unloved and overlooked, it is an entirely reasonable reaction to someone finally deeming you worthy of time and attention.  
  • This story is borderline painful for me to read because I relate all too well to Lily, but also to Alec’s sensation of being too big, too uncouth, too in the way.  Still, I’ve read it twice and I will read it again because it is BEAUTIFUL.
  • Lily + Alec = perfection, but also Georgiana insisting on being called Mrs. West makes my heart weep with joy.  Bonus points for the broad sword exchange!  (Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover is the story of the Wests and it is WONDERFUL!)
  • My favorite bit from the first read is still my favorite bit: “‘Please, Alec,’ she said, soft as silk.  “Please want me.” YES, YOUR GRACE, PLEASE!
  • Can we also please, please, PLEASE talk about how he just.keeps.ripping.her.damn.clothes.off???  Ugh, I love it.
  • Give me all the grumpy dukes being loved by pretty little rays of sunshine, ALL OF THEM!
  • There are many scenes in this book that I think about long after I’m done reading it, something about the story just stays with you.  This is a book about family, about finding a home, about finding your place with people who love you just the way you are.  I love it so, so much.

Five Stars

Jaylos Week - High School Musical AU

He had never been chased before and, if he had to be honest, Carlos was actually liking it.

Mal thought he was stupid and continuously reminded him that Pretty Boy (which she always meant as an insult, but Carlos never denied how true it was) saw him as a conquest. Carlos was a shiny toy that was new enough to still hold value in his eyes. And yeah, that might be true (it probably was), but why did that mean he couldn’t enjoy it while it lasts?

Soon enough, Jay would find someone else to chase. Carlos hadn’t been around long enough to genuinely know Jay, but he knew the stereotype. A flirty teenage boy, hopping from fling to fling, and never staying around. Whether or not Carlos said yes and gave into being the flavor of the week, Jay would give up eventually when Carlos was old news.

Carlos knew that, he headed Mal’s warnings and made sure to not get his hopes up. He would take the special attention and over the top flirting and run with it. No one had ever adored him like that before, desired him, and it made Carlos giddy and confident and light-headed.

It didn’t hurt either that Jay looked like something from a romance novel. Dark skin and darker hair, less of a voice and more of a purr when he spoke, muscles that made Carlos stare whenever they were exposed (which was most of the time with all the sleeveless shirts Jay owned. It seemed everyone liked Jay’s muscles and he was certainly a people pleaser).

Unfortunately, Jay’s muscles were covered on the field, but Carlos wouldn’t have been able to see them from his distance anyway, so he stopped pouting. Mal stood next to him, entirely uninterested in the game, chatting idly with Evie, whose attention was evenly split between the game and her friend.

He was still deciding how he felt about Evie. The princess was stunning and lively, enticing even. Especially to Mal. Carlos couldn’t think of another person who got the same look from Mal as the look she gave Evie. If Evie made Mal happy (who knew that was even possible?), she was okay to Carlos. In fact, any other case, Evie would have been perfect.

She was Jay’s best friend and one of the only people in Auradon immune to his charm – a trait she was very proud of. That’s why she started hanging around him and Mal, she would follow Jay over to them.

And there was nothing wrong with being Jay’s friend; in fact, that made Carlos like her more. The issue was that he didn’t know if Evie liked him. She was always giving him strange looks, particularly when Jay was around. It was like the princess was studying him, evaluating Carlos, judging him.

If Mal was interested in someone, Carlos would probably do the same thing for her. He would observe, consider and decide on anyone who wanted to date her. It was part of being a friend.

But Jay didn’t want to date him. Jay didn’t want to date anyone. Did Evie give that same thoughtful look to everyone Jay flirted with? She would have to get tired and confused since Jay moved so quickly and what would be the point? Did it have to do with him being Mal’s friend, was Evie trying to decide how to get on his good side (and, by extension, Mal’s?) or was she trying to replace him?

Carlos startled out of his musings by a shout from the crowd in front of him. They were hollering at a person barreling through, gesturing and looking around wildly.

“What on Earth is he doing?” Evie murmured and she was hardly heard over the noise.

The announcer’s voice boomed across the field. “One of the players, number 8, Jay, has left the tourney field and is climbing into the bleachers on the south side. There are less than five minutes in the game, what is he trying?

Sure enough, when the distraction in front of them got close, closer, right in front of them, Carlos could see a handsome face beneath the helmet.

“Jay!” Evie hissed. “What’s going on?”

But he ignored her. “Carlos,” he was breathless and sweating after nearly a whole game of tourney, a wild look in his eyes that was a combination of scary and sexy, “I am not leaving this spot until you let me take you to dinner.”

What?

“What?”

Is-is he really talking to another student right now? Jay, get on the field!

Evie pushed Jay softly. “Get back on the field, you’re going to cost the school the game!”

Jay shot her a fleeting look, smirk in place. “Not if I make it back on time.” He turned back to Carlos. “I’m not leaving until you say yes.” He raised his voice over the roar of the crowd, everyone shouting and begging for one of the star players to return.

“I-I-, bu-but, you have to-to…” Nothing was making sense.

“I’m not hearing a yes.”

“Jay, this is the semi-finals,” Evie nearly screamed. “You can’t blow this!”

“Just say yes.”

Evie leaned past Mal, who looked utterly bewildered (but much more interested in the game) and grabbed Carlos, panic in her eyes. “The school will freak if we lose. Just tell him yes!”

The coach is trying for a time out, but there are no breaks except for emergencies in the final quarter. Just a bit more than three minutes left and Jay is still off the field!

“One dinner. That’s it. If you say no to me after that, I’ll be done. Just one dinner, Carlos.”

“Carlos! Jay!”

“Yes, fine, yes! Just get back on the field, go!”

Under the helmet, Carlos caught a wide grin and excited eyes. Jay turned away and ran back down the bleachers (Carlos would forever be grateful that Evie insisted they sit closer to field, toward the bottom, instead of being isolated at the very top like Mal tried for).

Three minutes left and Jay has finally returned to the field. I’m sure he will be in huge trouble with his team, but for now, he is running toward the goal, receiving a pass from Prince Ben-.”

Carlos refused to turn even though he could feel both girls staring at him. He ignored people in the rows in front of them, glancing behind to stare and murmur at him.

“What the hell was that about?” It was the first time Mal had spoken about an event in the game and her voice had Carlos jumping.

“I’m…not sure. Jay’s never done anything like that. Never.”

If he turned to look at them (which he was still refusing to do), Evie would be giving him one of those intense, thoughtful looks. Carlos still didn’t know what they meant and he was more confused than ever.

He had been trying so hard to keep in mind that this thing with Jay was nothing special – at least not to Jay. He had resisted every picnic proposition, movie invitation and even one-on-one study sessions.

And now he was going to dinner with the guy who made a spectacle in front of the whole school just to get his attention.

What the hell has he gotten himself into?

He dared a glance at the girls. Mal was snarling at the people staring at them while Evie just watched him. Was she smiling? Evie had never been mean or even cold to him, but she had never smiled at Carlos either.

She raised a finger to her lips and tilted her head. “You must certainly be something special, Carlos.”

“Jay has good tastes.”

He ignored both girls’ compliments and stared into the field, not focused on the game one bit.

With less than a minute left, the Auradon Knights have won the semi-finals! Let’s hear it for our boys!

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SOMEBODY SMACK MY STUPID ASS FOR TAKING SO LONG TO READ KRESLEY COLE!

Originally posted by kasugano

In case you were wondering:

Yes.

Yes Anthony “Drama is my middle name”, Lord Craven, DID in fact stay every bit as extra throughout the novel as he was at the beginning. 

He is officially the King of Drama. 

Even after you find out the secret behind his creepy tower, and the mysterious bodies, et al (which is actually super COOL - coolest hero profession I’ve encountered in a while) he is STILL all: 

NO. I AM THE BROODIEST. THE MOST MYSTERIOUS. I AM SPOOKY. 

Originally posted by honestlydeepesttidalwave

(And I’m like: Calm down, fella. Chill.)

Like at one point he’s trying to tempt the heroine, Emma, into becoming his student (not just sexually, guys, come on now). Only EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS SO CREEPY because his business is, literally, death (it’s awesome, I’m telling you) and he’s trying to say everything all seductively but what’s coming out is:

“There is beauty in death. And lessons to be learned,” he whispered, warm breath brushing her cheek as he twined his fingers through her hair. “ I could show you, Emma. I could show you wonders that would make you understand. You have a quick mind. It would only take time to teach you, but you could have unlimited knowledge.”

*violent headdesk*

FIRST of all, that’s a freaking vampire temptation speech, and I know you’re not dead, so cool it.

Originally posted by giveusalol

(no one will ever be as extra as Lestat. Anthony may be the King, but Lestat is the God of all the is Extra.)

Second, you just hardcore failed to convince Emma of anything. Because she’s too rational for you. Right now she’s probably thinking: what is the furthest distance I can get from this man and how quickly can I get there.

Originally posted by touchmybooty-chan

So basically he’s ridiculous.

And I love him.

This book. This goddamned book. I can’t put it down and it’s a problem because I have two children and it’s Labor Day and my husband is unamused that I’m still in bed ignoring everything. But Alec is just too perfect and wonderful and heartbroken for me to ignore.

And then MacLean gives us the hottest carriage scene I remember reading –ever– before leaving us with a slammed carriage door and broken hearts that we are holding in our hands while looking bewildered as hell.

I JUST CANT EVEN.

So in summary, read this book, because it is so good I’m not sure whether I want to fan myself or sob uncontrollably.

Down And Dirty Quickie Review!

One Sentence Summary:

Mr. Demon Hero goes on a magic adventure road trip with Miss Human Mathematician Heroine so he can betray her.

What part made you fangirl squeal:

WHEN SHE RESCUED THE HERO’S ASS BY CHOPPING OFF A BAD GUY’S HEAD YASSSS GIRL!

Favorite Character:

Everybody. THE HERO THE HEROINE THE HEROINE’S BRO THE HEROINE’S AUNT HEEEEELP DON’T MAKE ME PICK!

How smexy was the smex?

A volcano in a tornado made of flames in melted wax HAWT!

Name That Trope:

Heroine Saves The Day, Opposites Attract, Human/Other Pairing

Whose Line Is It Anyway:

Holly: He stole credit for my research.

Cadeon: I’m going to give you his throat for this!

Holly: Aw, you say the sweetest things, demon.

Got any bitching to do?

WHO GAVE THIS BOOK PERMISSION TO END?

Visually Depict Yo Book Feels:

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Famous last words:

Read this book. Get this book in your brain. You will love any and every and all bits of it!

———————————————————————————————————–

(For a more in depth and LOL-fest discussion on romance novels, HERE BE MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

Dear God of the Drama Kings

The hero if Eve Silver’s HIs Dark Kiss is even MORE EXTRA than Lazarus from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Wicked Intentions.

Do you remember that elegant, dramatic mother-fucker with his Lucius Malfoy look-a-like hair? His walking stick? Mr. I-wear-black-and-am-so-TORMENTED-by-my-desire-to-tie-women-up. (Hi, paging Christian Grey…)

WELL GUESS WHAT.

I’ve only known Mr. I-sit-in-the-dark-corner-of-carriages-where-the-heroine-can’t-see-me-then-dramatically-strike-a-match for a few pages BUT he is DEFINITELY going to give Lazarus “Please Fuck Me” Huntington (That’s his real name, just ask anyone) a run for his money.

The Queen of Spades Part One

The stench of blood filled the cool air. Sensing a trace of fear race through him, as I watched the blood seep down from his chest onto the floorboards.  As we stand face to face, glancing in his glassed brown eyes. All there was to see within his eyes was nothing but pure utter shock, with a hint of rage. He may have been the king but it was time to watch the queen conquer the game of deadly thrones. Thrusting the dagger in his chest cavity once more however this time twisting the blade for max destruction. That was all it took to cause his body to become limp.  Pulling out the dagger before he collapsed onto his knees and flopped onto his side. Fighting the temptation to lick the blood off the dagger, as the dagger stayed pressed against my lips… Bringing my hands to my sides. Now pushing him onto his back to peer into his glazed eyes, one last time… I wanted to love him but love is something I have never felt or ever expect I ever will. He was a good teacher but it was time for the student to become the master and the master to become the student, I taught him a valuable lesson…

Never trust…  A lesson he should of already knew, a lesson he will never be able to profit from. Others have told me that every ending is a new beginning; it was time for the king of clubs including his legacy of terror to end. For a younger more ruthless and bloodthirsty killer who thrives for the hunt and the kill to take his place, not to mention make their mark on this world… I now glided my fingers over his eyes, to shut them for the final time.

He was like a father to me when I was a child. He took me on as his own, after he killed my parents on a camping trip, when I was eight years old. As I watched him savagely, slaughter my parents on Pine Lake in the year of 2008. I felt no fear nor sadness; I experienced shock and a hint of excitement at that time. That was when I realised I was different however, who said different was a horrible thing, different sets’ apart the winners from the losers in life.

When I took on three adult men, managing to kill one of them not mentioning injuring the other two. With nothing other than a paring knife, when I reached the age of sixteen years old… That was only when he really sought interest in me… Not to mention being one of the extremely intelligent students attending his classes… In addition, being at the top of the other classes being taught by the best hackers, serial killers, gang members, cult leaders and hit men the world has ever came into contact with and not to mentioned feared…

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