Top Dark Reads of 2020 pt 1

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s 7.5 hours until 2020 ends where I’m at, and I’m wondering what other things it can shove into those last few hours. Hopefully nothing, but you know what this year has been like. But, let’s forget about that for a while and focus on the 810 books I’ve read this year. Today’s post is the first part of the darkest reads I’ve read this year. Some of them I put on my blog, some were just pleasure reads, so let’s get started, shall we? Now, remember, these are in no particular order.

Felicity Brandon-Her Dark Protector

This is the first book in Felicity’s Gates of Fortorus series. (my post) The second book has just come out, and it will be on the blog in the next couple of days. This is a dark, dystopian, near future story. It is really gritty, dark, and dirty. It’s the story of Caroline, an author who was taken into Fortorus, along with thousands of other British women. They are mistreated and tortured, and it’s just not good. But the book was great. Definitely go check this one out.

Emma Jaye-Pied Piper

This is an MM book. It’s part of the Grim and Sinister Delights book, which is a multi-author PNR series. It isn’t a shared world so much as it’s a shared theme series, around fairy tales. In this book, we have a male siren and a wolf shifter. Domino is the siren, and as a male siren, his family wants to fuck him, get bred by him, and then kill him so that they can get the magic from his bits and pieces. As you might guess, Domino isn’t down with that, so he’s run. Jude is a bounty hunter who is on the search for Domino. When they meet, everything starts to get cloudy. There are some really intense scenes in this book, and I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen sometimes.

Raven Dark & Olivia Alexander-Devil’s Outlaw MC

So far, this is only a 2 book series, and the ends are cliffies. I know that book 3 is in the works, but apparently, Spider is an asshole with his authors too. I follow Raven so that I know when things drop. The first book is Evil’s Price, and the second is Evil’s Pawn. The premise of the series is that Emma, who is escaping from a religious cult, has ended up working as a waitress at a strip club owned by the Devil’s Outlaw MC. She ends up stealing from the club, and Spider, as the Sgt-at-arms, is tasked with dealing with her. Let’s just say that Spider’s way of dealing with her issn’t all that nice. When I say that he is an asshole, I’m being generous. I hate him. I also am oddly fascinated by him. When the 2nd book came out, I literally put the book I was reading on hold until I read Pawn. And I read it until late into the night.

Adara Wolf-False Feathers

False Feathers is part of the Grim and Sinister Delights books. This one is based on the Goose Girl. It starts with Aiden, whose mother has arranged a marriage for him. Not just a marriage, but one to a fae prince. She sends him off with a servant, and well, bad things happen. Adara Wolf writes a lot of dark, dub/non con MM, and her books are always intense and always stay with me. This one was no different.

OK, that’s all for this one. Check in tomorrow for part 2 of my Top Dark Reads of 2020!

2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Pt. 2

As a totally off-topic notification, I’m now an Amazon Affiliate, and any qualifying purchases can give me a commission. 

If you missed the first part of this list, go check it out here. And now, on to the second part of the list.

AJ Sherwood-Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case

Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case is a totally fun title, and it’s a great book. Before you read the book, you need to make sure that you read the trigger warnings, because they are hilarious. This is the TW and tags from this one.

“Trigger Warnings:
Your average cop show violence and criminals

Tags:
Companionable snark, Flirting, Kissing, Jon needs a hug, Donovan gives the best hugs, Getting together, Self-esteem issues, Explicit content, Anal Sex, Romantic Sex, Random shooting, Which Donovan isn’t happy about, Donovan is a gentleman, Sort of, Jon just makes it REALLY REALLY HARD Okay?, Bisexual character, Public displays of affection, Muscles, Communication, Healthy relationships, The fluff might kill you, Supernatural elements, Modern with Magic, Feels, All the Feels, Mostly accurate medical stuff, Multiple electronics died in the creation of this story, blame Jon”

Anyway, I would probably put this in the urban fantasy because it has a heavy paranormal side. Jon is a psychic who has some serious strong powers. He helps to solve crimes for the police and for anyone who hires the agency he works for. He is in need of an anchor, someone who can help him shield. He also needs a bodyguard, which is where Donovan comes in. This is a slow burn, but a good one. There are also 2 direct sequels, and a spinoff novella. So worth reading.

Adara Wolf-Blue Storm

Adara tends to write on the heavier end of kink and dub/noncon. Blue Storm does dabble into that side of the pool, but not as much as some of her other books. In this one, people have some basic magic, which lets them know their true names, which protects their souls. Then, there are the Nameless, who don’t have magic, and have to be bound as slaves, and named as their owners or they basically splinter into painful pieces. Blue Storm was named by his owners, and the book is about his struggle with his name and with what his owners want.

Barrie Farris-Ingenious

Ingenious is a dystopian story. The way that it works is that women have taken over the world and currently run it. Men rise and fall by the women that they marry and if they can breed children. Enter Quiggs who is a bloody genius, Einstein and DaVinci mushed up together. There is great world building in here, and the relationships between Quiggs, Max, and Beau are really interesting. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, but it is taking its own sweet time.

Susan Hawke-How Not to Tuck

How Not to Tuck is a novella in the Lovestrong series. This is the story of Larry, AKA Honey Combover, a drag queen we meet in the first book. Mama Honey is hilarious, especially when it comes to the descriptions of her tuck failing and her python. Yeah, it’s just that big and that funny. For an even better description, and one that goes on for several pages, check out How Not to Blend, the first book in the series. It’s a quick read, and one that’s just a lot of fun to read.

K Webster-The Glue

Yup, The Glue is K’s second appearance on this list. And this one isn’t technically an MM book, it’s an MMF, but I’ve decided that it counts. This is one of K’s taboo treats, starring Aidan and married couple Vale and Vaughn, one his boss, the other his professor. Like all of the other taboo treats, it’s a standalone, but it is all interconnected with other books. I loved watching Aidan figuring out who he was and what he wanted. It’s a very sexy story, and I am always looking forward to K’s new books.

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Adara Wolf-Under His Heel

I find book recommendations all over the place. Various authors, other readers, blogs, so on and so forth. I also get some from the groups I belong to on Goodreads. Two of the groups have book of the month reads. This is one of the books from one of those groups.

Under His Heel is dark. It’s noncon. It’s intense. It’s an M/m book, which not everyone likes, but I do. I will warn you that when I say dark and intense, I know of what I speak. The light in here is only lighter in comparison, and there are things which may trigger some people. Neither of our main characters are necessarily all that nice or likable, and they are very much written to be that.

So, here’s the story. Alex, who isn’t stupid but isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box and who has been manipulated by his twin brother for years, has been set up to sell his services as a bondservant. In the world in which they live, if you are in debt, you can sell your services and you end up doing whatever. For most people, for bondservant read sex slave. You write a contract that both parties sign stipulating what can and can’t be done, and then the owner pays off the servant’s wages. For Alex, his contract included that he gave up all bodily autonomy and no body mods were allowed, for a time period of 5 years.

The reason that Alex has to do this because his twin brother, Nick, has run up a gambling debt in his name, and they weren’t able to escape. Now Alex is the one who has to come up with the money, so the two of them hatched this plan. More like Nick hatched the plan and conned Alex into doing it.

Captain Tracht is a very authoritarian, strict, blunt, gives no fucks kind of guy. He’s also a pure sadist. He loves causing pain, both physical and mental. It gets him off big time, and for him, it’s even better if the person doesn’t get off on being hurt. I’m pretty sure he’s a total sociopath too. He’s also scrupulously polite and doesn’t like foul language. He runs a very tight ship, literally and figuratively. He is at the agency to get a new bondservant because the one he just returned was unsatisfactory. That guy was a masochist and he liked Tracht’s games just a little bit too much.

After a full body inspection that Tracht performs on Alex, he decides that Alex will be perfect. Alex isn’t all that excited, but he figures a 5 year contract with this guy is better than having a contract with the gangsters that own his debt. He saw one of their bondservants once, and she’s the reason that he has no body mods written into his contract.

Tracht isn’t nice. I’m relatively sure that we aren’t supposed to like him. I kinda do. The thing is that he is exactly who and what he says he is. He never says one thing and does another. He is consistent within himself. He’s a WYSIWYG system, even if he does like to play mind games with Alex. But that’s part of who he is, and he never told Alex that he would have loads of fun or that Alex wouldn’t be hurt.

Alex. Poor, poor Alex. He’s lost all over the place. He thinks that he can survive Tracht, but it’s pretty immediately obvious that he can’t. He has spent most of his life in way over his head and Tracht throws him right into the very deep end of the pool. Alex has such a hard time. Tracht is not an easy man.

Then there’s Parsons. He’s a member of the crew and he tries to be friends with Alex. I don’t like him. He’s a douche.

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I’m so glad that Alex saw through Nick, eventually. I hated Nick even before we ever saw him. He’s absolutely terrible. I mean, who does that shit to their twin brother? Alex is all about trying to protect his brother, but Nick is all about getting whatever he can out of everyone, including Alex.

Ugh. Parsons. Gods save me from people like him. He’s just such a shit. He’s judgmental, condescending, and turns into a user. The thing is, Alex could’ve really used a friend outside of Tracht, and Tracht was mostly OK with it. Luckily there was doctor’s bondservant he could talk to, but only when they were in coms range. She at least got it.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. I loved it. It left me gasping at the end. There’s a followup novella called Kidnapping. She’s also written another book called In Life, In Death. It’s totally different to Under His Heel. It was so lovely. They are all available in KU, so check them out.

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