Tag Archives: darkromance

SICK FUX by TILLIE COLE

IT’S LIVE! – 5 dark stars!
Standalone dark, edgy, love story.

SYNOPSIS
When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Warning:: Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

SICK FUX is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘Heathan James was the genesis of my soul’s reawakening…a soul not meant for peace, but one handcrafted for death and murder and blood and bones…Soulmates forged in fire, under the watchful gaze of Satan’s mocking eyes. Heathen. Ellis. Just a couple of sick fux.’

We have no words….literally we’re lost for words. Gobsmacked. Speechless. We cannot believe what we just read. Tillie Cole is quite simply a masterclass in her own right. We never quite know what we’re going to get when we pick up a new book from this Author as she can write absolutely anything and everything, but what we do know is that it will be incredible. And it was. It was horrific in its inference, which was an initial gut-wrenching hurdle. It was graphically gruesome in its retribution over which we truthfully rejoiced. It was a harrowing psychological fantasy of wondrous peculiarity.

‘My heart was severed completely, the two parts of its flesh repelling the other, trying to escape the rage and pain and fucking consuming darkness.’

Heathan James and Ellis Earnshaw meet when they’re very young in the gated house of horrors, filled with monsters hiding in the shadows at day, exerting their depravities and turpitude at night. Not a single one without the traits of unrestrained force and viciousness for self-pleasures. It was gut-wrenching and stomach turning but it was phenomenal in its -almost Brothers Grimm like- sinister fantastical qualities whilst playing out in fictional real life.

“The devil lie…And he will trick…And he will kill, and travel miles to get to the one who holds his fucked-up black heart in her palm. He’d kill anyone who hurt her, just to make her his. He would punish anyone who got in his way.” His eyes flared with something so dark it seemed to blot out the dim light of the lamp. “He will awaken, through blood, what lies dormant in her soul. The darkness that had lurked hidden for years, sleepily waiting for the time to strike. To be born.”

The story of Rabbit and Dolly’s vengeance was mind-blowing as it took us down the rabbit hole into a journey through Tillie Cole’s version of Alice in Wonderland. For us, it played out like a Tarrantino movie and we would love nothing more than to see these characters come to life on the big screen. It’s the writings of your darkest most horrific nightmare, but what an absolutely brilliant and compelling read, one which we were unable to put down. Bravo Tillie Cole for writing a story that felt like no other, for always stepping beyond where she went before. The mind is truly a curious, twisted and wonderful thing which has the ability to wield such power and magic, be it darkness in light or the embers of lights flickering in the darkness.

“Only Earl Grey will ever do.”


TBB RECOMMENDED TILLIE COLE READS


STANDALONE RECOMMENDATIONS
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES / VEIL OF VINES / ETERNALLY NORTH

SERIES RECOMMENDATIONS:

SWEET HOME/CARILLO BOYS SERIES

THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES

SCARRED SOULS SERIES

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Filed under 5 Stars, Pick an Author, Tillie Cole

DAMNABLE GRACE (Hades Hangmen #5) by TILLIE COLE : REVIEW

Gritty, dark romance. The storyline continues through each book.
To be read in order. 

SYNOPSIS

EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE…

Secrets never stay hidden.

The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart.

Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined… with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope.

Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries.

As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace.

Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.


DAMNABLE GRACE is now available to purchase below

          


ALSO! Be sure to Pre Order I DO, BABE, the Hades Hangmen Novella
Releasing 23rd April – Pre Order links below

          


**Spoiler Free Review**  by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 compelling Stars

‘I tipped my head back and looked at the stars. I knew I’d never see them the same again either.’

The Hangmen are BACK and we know we say this often, but it really feels like we’re back with ‘old crazy arsed friends’ every time we get to hang out with them. This time it was AK’s story and we were so excited as we’ve loved the Psycho Trio since day one. Saying that; we love them all, but he’s always intrigued us. We knew there was a deep sorrow in his heart and we finally got to hear him voice it.

“Strangers to our kind of pain, people who have yet to be thrown onto the same rocky road, will not recognize you as a fellow traveller, desperately seeking what lies at the end of the path. Forgiveness. But those of us who have already been walking the road for miles will see you. We will see within you a kindred spirit.”

Once again we have to mention what a talented Author, Tillie Cole is. She can write about such harrowing themes yet there are always moments of pure beauty amidst the horrific. We become completely swept up in her stories; her words carrying us away on a journey that grips our hearts and our very being. It’s the sign of a magnificent Author when you can honestly say that after five books you’ve loved every single one and immediately start counting the days for the next one to drop on your kindle. Redemption, guilt, self-realisation, forgiveness, second chances, hope and persevering and overcoming personal brutality head on – it’s incredible the experiences and life recoveries we live through alongside the characters in this series.

“I’m tired. I’m just so tired of never sleeping. Never closing my eyes because of the shit I see when I do. Of being unable to think of anything in my past because I can’t fucking deal…”

We were gripped from the very first page and were shocked that despite being seasoned dark romance readers we actually found that certain scenes turned our stomachs. There’s fiction and then there’s the so disturbing it’s incomprehensible how someone could ever be okay physically afterwards. We knew Phebe’s story was going to break us, but we were not prepared for the ferocity of torture this poor soul had to live through. Her connection with AK was unquestionable; two souls damaged in life each repressing their true feelings as well as memories putting on a façade to survive. Quiet strength and compassion ran through them both.

‘She didn’t push me. She didn’t ask what I might be hiding. No, she just ripped open my fucking chest, bared my soul, then left it out on display for her ocean-blue eyes to see.’

For us this was a book of two halves. The second being what had us absolutely engrossed as the intensity of the emotion, family and friendships had our hearts overflowing with both sadness and happiness. By the time we turned the last page we had tears running down our cheeks. Oh how we love this group of bikers with all our hearts.

“I watched you, wondering why you portray yourself as two people. Then I believe I found the answer – because you wish to find happiness in the shoes you fill now…Not the shoes you once wore. The ones that caused you pain, blistering both your feet and heart…for good.”

Despite how traumatic this series is from one book to the next, the thread of hope flows from the start with added humour dispersed throughout. Tillie Cole highlights the essence of human traits and strengths though they be extremely magnified and amplified by her words. This is one series where we’ll never fail to anticipate the next book as we care so deeply. We highly recommend this MC series and recommend reading it in order as it’s got a continuous storyline.


THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
Contemporary Dark romance – Must be read in order

It Ain’t Me Babe Book One
                    

Heart Recaptured Book Two
                    

Souls Unfractured Book Three
                    

Deep Redemption Book Four
                    

Damnable Grace Book Five
                    

I Do, Babe Book #5.5 Novella
          


FOR MORE FABULOUS TBB TILLIE COLE RECOMMENDATIONS, CLICK BELOW

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Pick an Author, Tillie Cole

DIRTY GAMES by BARBARA ELSBORG :: REVIEW

Standalone dark MM romance

SYNOPSIS

The last thing Linton needs when he arrives home after three months in the States, is to find his beautiful flat is a squat, complete with his younger brother Dirk, who’s lying in Linton’s bed with a couple who’ve paid him for sex. Dirk isn’t even supposed to have a key. But after Linton throws Dirk out, life slams in hard and if his brother is to have any hope of a future, Linton has to play dirty. Or at least pretend to. What he hasn’t factored in is having to play the game to the bitter end.

Film star Thorne Morrisey has everything. Good looks, charm, seductive magnetism and a voice that could charm a snake from its basket. He can also be a real shit and yet people still love him – though he’d rather not have the love of his suicidal ex, dumped by Thorne in a very public and humiliating way. His ex’s wealthy brother has his own reasons for wanting revenge on Thorne, and his weapon of choice is Linton.

Linton and Thorne are on a collision course and in for the game of their lives. But who is playing whom?

This book has dark themes and violence.

DIRTY GAMES is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Stars

‘How was it possible to hate and love someone at the same time?’

We’ve been huge admirers of Barbara Elsborg’s work for some time. Whether it’s MM, MF, Contemporary romance or paranormal, we’ve been impressed and loved everything we’ve read and wish more readers looking for a ‘new to them’ author would experience this talented lady’s work!

With Dirty Games, we found ourselves completely captivated by this emotional, angsty and passionate story of love, revenge and manipulation. Though, at the core of Thorne and Linton’s s story is one of love, loyalty, healing, forgiveness and acceptance.

‘He wasn’t going to break Thorne’s heart, but he worried that in the process, he might break his own.’

Linton Williams is an up and coming architect who returns to England after a three month working stint in New York to find his life turned upside down. Linton’s brother Dirk is a drug addict, unemployed and has moved himself into Linton’s flat without permission during his absence. Trouble follows the damaged Dirk and soon Linton sees himself an unwitting victim in Dirks seedy world. Being forced to make a deal he’s dead set against in order to save Dirk and get him the help he so desperately requires. There is nothing Linton wouldn’t do for Dirk. He’s always protected and cared for Dirk, leaving him feeling incapable of love, this aspect of Dirty Games broke our hearts!

“All my life I’ve tried to let pain flow over me without letting it touch me. A bit like standing at the back of a waterfall and watching the torrent fall in front of me but I only get a bit wet, not drenched.“

Thirty year old Thorne Morrisey is seductive, charming and ridiculously good looking actor with his star on the rise. Whilst his career might be on the up, his personal life is anything but. Thorne has been unlucky in love, has made some poor choices and trusted the wrong people. The consequences of which have made it difficult for Thorne to open up and trust completely. Thorne would rather strike out and hurt someone before being deeply hurt himself. A coping mechanism that’s been forced upon him from his past issues.

‘He dragged his teeth over his bottom lip as he smiled, and with that one simple gesture, broke into Thorne’s damaged heart.’

It is through six degrees of separation and fate that Linton and Thorne’s paths cross, with players in the story being interconnected in more ways than one. Thorne and Linton strike up a friendship which becomes more. Both Thorne and Linton are devoted to, protective of, and fiercely loyal to their brothers, River (Thorne’s autistic brother) and Dirk (Linton’s troubled drug addict brother) a quality each respects in the other.

Thorne is drawn to Linton in ways he hasn’t felt before and Linton’s connection, patience and understanding of River has Thorne wanting to pursue something on a deeper level with Linton which is a big step for the cagey Thorne who believes everyone has a motive and Linton is harbouring a secret which could tear their relationship apart.

“I don’t want to have to choose between loneliness and a broken heart.”

We were completely immersed in Dirty Games, as the emotion of Thorne and Linton were stripped raw. The sex, though sensual and steamy, never overshadowed the emotion, instead enhancing the feelings, connection and passion between Thorne and Linton. Barbara’s wit is always spot on. We adore her droll, sarcastic humour which always endears her characters to us even further. The sarky humour ensured the story, whilst dramatic, never became melodramatic. We loved it!


Click below for more TBB Recs from Barbara

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

RIPPLE EFFECT (A DARK HITMAN EROTIC ROMANCE) by KERI LAKE :: REVIEW

Now Available as one book!

SYNOPSIS
Ripley

They call me RIP.
I’m a killer. A murderer. A psychopath.
In the eyes of the righteous, I’m a monster, born of sin and depravity.
I want to protect her, but I’m not a good man.
I want to love her, but I no longer feel.
She gets under my skin, though, and has awakened something inside of me.
Something I’d kill for.
I’m not her savior—not even close. In fact, I’m worse than the hell she’s already suffered.
I’m her vengeance. Tit for tat, as they say.
And if she’s not careful, I’ll be her ruin.

Dylan

For months, I’ve watched him.
I’ve fantasized him as my savior, my lover. My ticket out of the hell I’ve lived in for the last six years.
I never dreamed he’d be my nightmare.
Had I known what he really is, I’d have never gotten in the car that night, but life is full of cause and effect.
And sometimes the choice on offer isn’t a choice at all.
It’s the result of something already in motion, and we’re merely left to survive the ripple effect.

*This is an erotic suspense/erotic romance not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence and sex.

RIPPLE EFFECT SERIES is available to purchase below

          

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 gripping stars

 ‘For those of us in the flock, survival comes down to how well we manipulate, because a predator’s eyes are naturally drawn to the most innocent.’

We pretty much knew that by picking this four book serial up we’d be in for a violent twisted story that would have us gripped as we turned the pages. After all this is Keri Lake we’re talking about and once again, we were not disappointed! It was compelling, it was intense and it was utterly f**ked up. Just how we like it when we’re in the mood for something dark and gritty. We were hooked! Brilliantly written dark erotic suspense.

‘I’m ravenous and impatient. He makes me this way. He’s become my drug. The rush that excites me, and the high that keeps me addicted.’ ‘I want to absorb some of his pain, some of his punishment that surrounds him, and make it my own.’

We have to admit that we question if we would’ve enjoyed it as much as we did if it wasn’t for the fact that we read the four instalments in one sitting. The momentum would’ve been hampered, as would the uneasiness and utter intrigue we felt, if we’d had to wait. It became a race against time as we just had to know what was going to happen and how two completely messed up characters could find something akin to ‘normalcy’ in the shape of love and trust. So, we definitely recommend reading all four in one hit in order to truly feel the power behind the words; feel the impact of their crucial weight as ripples become a raging current.

‘She’s one of those rare finds that you stumble upon, covered in dirt and grime that, when you scrub away the tarnish, is actually a stunning piece of art.’

Dylan is a conundrum- her past and present all tied up haphazardly with a vicious blood-dripping bow. We get harrowing glimpses, ugly and extremely painful snippets from her past – there is no safety nor security in her life. Whilst there’s no question that she has her wits about her and a sharp intelligence with a penchant for striking back, she also has a caring and vulnerable side which she only reveals in part. This girl is overwhelmingly scarred and her consequent behaviour questionable at times. What she needs is someone who can match her in every way.

‘I’m a vengeance dealer. A mercenary. I feign loyalty to exact revenge.’ ‘There was a time I’d search for something about the bastards that would justify the kills. Something that would eliminate the guilt. Years later, I find myself searching for some reason not to kill. A glimmer of humanity inside of me. There’s nothing.’

Ripley is the ultimate anti-hero; a brutal killer with an urge for over the top violence.  He’s as dark as they come, conditioned to and for evil.  He’s enigmatic and a frightening force. With his own tragic and horrific past he’s a loner and reluctant to form any associations. Vulnerable? Blink and you’ll miss it … but is there a chance Dylan could expose it?

‘I hate that he has this power over me, but that’s the nature of Ripley and me. We’re fucked up- two wrongs that somehow make a right.’

Whilst being a thrilling and intricate storyline despite the excessively dark, raw and violent theme, there’s a thread of humanity pulsating through the pages which two desperate characters are clawing their way through life to grip in order to survive their respective darkness. Sometimes love comes in different guises and your saviour is who you’d least expect. When life is the actual nightmare what do you do? What can you do?

‘My little Bandit. My goddamn ruin.’


We also recommend
THE VIGILANTE’S SERIES by KERI LAKE

Vigilante's series

Ricochet Book One 

                    

Backfire Book Two 

                    

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Keri Lake, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

GARDEN OF GOODBYES by FAITH ANDREWS :: REVIEW

Standalone – gritty story of love, loss, betrayal and addiction

SYNOPSIS

Loss, betrayal, addiction . . . on their own, each of these heartaches can break you, but mix them all together and the concoction will ruin you.

When I closed the door on my past I didn’t expect it to come back and haunt me. But when you’re the sole person who can save the only man you’ve ever loved, you rush through that door, face your fears, and pray for the best.

Only, anything good has been long forgotten. In its place is destruction, devastation and enough regret to last a lifetime. I was appalled when she called for my help. I went willingly in hopes to make things right. But I never expected this. A broken man, a hopeless future, the beginning of the end.

She’s to blame for the mess of a man in front of me and I’m to blame for walking away.

Can things ever go back to the normal the three of us once knew? Or am I too late to fix the damage we’ve caused together?

GARDEN OF GOODBYES is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘When you survive the death of your heart, any other pain feels as insignificant as a pin prick.’

We love nothing more than to experience an author stepping out of their comfort zone, producing work you wouldn’t expect from them and in Garden of Goodbyes we witnessed quite departure from the Faith Andrews books we’ve previously read. This book was the gloom to the sweet, the raw to the passionate of her previous reads and we absolutely applaud her for telling the story that was in her heart. For telling it her way and for not romanticising addiction, but instead showing it in all its ugliness and destruction. She could have so easily taken this story down a certain path, yet she refrained and for that she has our admiration.

Those looking for a light read best be putting this one aside until you’re in the mood because Garden of Goodbyes is gloomy and depressing, yet it’s so honest, raw and at times emotionally brutal.

“Let this kind of love be enough because it’s all you can handle right now.”

There were moments during Garden of Goodbyes when our hearts were ripped open and raw, experiencing the emotions of these characters, yet there were times we struggled to connect to the ‘love and soulmate’ aspect of the story as emotional blow after emotional blow was delivered in this story of love versus hate, betrayal versus loyalty.

“I’d do anything for you, Edie. I’ve always loved you and I’ll never stop. Everything I do is for you. This, too. I’ll do it for you.”

This story starts out in the present where three lives are decimated through a series events we’re not initially privy to but are revealed through the POV’s of sisters Violet and Eden in past and present switches. Personally we would have loved a little more past explored and maybe a pov or two from Lennox to really feel the connection between Lennox and Eden before it all went so wrong. Had we been shown rather than told of their feelings, we would have experienced their connection on a more intense level.

‘I heard someone say once that you’re only as sick as your secrets. If that was the case, I was basically on my death bed.’

In saying that we were desperate to know how a love, so full of future dreams and aspirations between a star Rookie Quarterback, Lennox Dean and Eden Haywood, the ‘small town nobody who lucked out by occupying the heart of Lennox Dean for the last two years’ went so wrong?  And it was the cruellest of most humiliating of actions that would bring three people to the brink.

‘It was her name he whispered when he was so drunk he couldn’t stand. It was her face he saw in his drug-induced dreams. I knew this because it was her name that slipped from his lips when he cried out in agony for someone to save him. It was never me.’

Faith Andrews story carried a shadowy feel of foreboding throughout, there wasn’t a lot of light in this story and by the end we had a heaviness in our hearts and found our feelings moving all over the show, experiencing sympathy for characters one minute, hatred the next and swinging our emotions and feelings time and again.

“We’re written in the stars, Edie, destined to be together forever.”

Faith Andrews dug very deep to tell Eden, Violet and Lennox’s tragic story of addiction, family dynamics, love and betrayal. Knowing from the very beginning where this story was heading, resulted in us reading with a heaviness forever present in our hearts.

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Faith Andrews, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny