Review: Optical Illusion (Paint #1) by Emma Jaye #MM #DarkThemes

REIVEWED BY JJ

TITLE: Optical IllusionOptical Illusion (Paint #1)

SERIES:  Paint #1

AUTHOR:  Emma Jaye

PUBLISHER: Self-Published

LENGTH: 333 Pages

BLURB:

Smile, wiggle, lie, apologise, and run for the hills.

That’s the formula Chris has used all his life, but this time, he has something he’s never had to lose before, a family that cares. The problem is, his new brother’s very edible friend isn’t fooled by his act. If his secrets are revealed, they won’t want him and he has nowhere else to go.

Thanks to a suicide bomber, ex-military police sergeant Jase Rosewood is back in the English countryside. His plans for quiet recuperation are ruined by the effervescent, go-go dancing twink who has everyone wrapped around his little finger. Luckily for the gullible Matt, Jase can smell a liar a mile away, and Chris Bacon, if that’s even his name, stinks to high heaven. Assigned ‘Chris-sitting’ duty while Matt’s on honeymoon, Jase has a week to discover what is hidden beneath the bright camouflage. It’s a job, just like any other, so why does it feel so different?
Unfortunately, Jase isn’t the only one drawn to the boy who can’t stay still, but instead of wanting to reveal his true colours; they want to dull them forever.

Contains issues of physical abuse, but not between the central couple.

REVIEW:

This was an awesome book! In addition to being hot, it had me in tears on many occasions. The story begins with a glimpse of Jace’s background. After being wounded while serving in Afghanistan Jace returns home to attend his best friend’s wedding and finds a pleasant surprise. His best friend has a brother he never known about. The long lost brother, Chris is really the star of this book and I loved him so much. In addition to being homeless and a go go dancer at a gay bar, he has a case of ADHD that keeps him buzzing constantly to the point where sleep is impossible for him. Jace and Chris seem like they’ll be perfect for each other, but before they get together tragedy strikes.

I’ve read a few of Emma Jaye’s books and though her main genre is not usually M/M, the one mostly M/M book I read from her (Before the Succubus) was extremely hot and one of my all-time favorites . So, I wasn’t surprised to find spectacular erotica in this book, but what did surprise me were the dark themes to include human trafficking and mafia-like activity. I guess I was expecting something lighter, but there was definitely enough seedy and dark things happening in this book to keep me on the edge. In addition to the plot twists and turns, Chris drew me in from the beginning. He’s so broken inside by the cards life has dealt him, but at the same time he’s unbreakable. He’s bubbly and full of life which is in no way an act for him. I loved that he refuses to take medication and it pissed me off whenever other characters try to force or trick him into taking them. Though this book ends in a cliffhanger, I was in no way disappointed. The first three chapters of book two are included at the end which was the perfect tie over. I’m already half way through the second book, which explains a lot of the mystery surrounding Chris and his origins. Overall, this book was a win for me. I recommend Optical Illusion to anyone who loves dark m/m themes, and m/m erotic romance.

RATING: I really liked it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES: 

Abuse, Barely Legal, Captive, Drug Addiction, Drugging, Dub-con, Kidnapping, M/M Dark Erotica, Non-con, Rape, Sex Worker, Underage

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon KU

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Review: Untouchable Beauty (The Cubi #1) by Meraki P. Lyhne #DarkErotica #MM

TITLE: Untouchable Beauty Untouchable Beauty (The Cubi, #1)

SERIES: The Cubi #1

AUTHOR:  Meraki P. Lyhne

PUBLISHER: Independent

LENGTH: 299 Pages

BLURB:

Business school is not for Daniel. Not after making the cover of Teen Model. The only problem is that his parents don’t agree, and Daniel skips school to set his plans for fortune and fame in motion. Meeting the award-winning photographer Heimli will change his life, but not in the ways the nineteen-year-old young man expects.

At the age of four hundred thirty-six, Seldon has fed on more beautiful men than he can remember. Living in seclusion from the human world, humans are brought to the Incubi and Succubi as slaves to feed on. Amongst these slaves are the rare Untouchables. When Seldon is entrusted with the safekeeping of one, he has his work cut out for him—especially since this Untouchable gets on his nerves. And under his skin.

REVIEW:

First of all, I just have to say that I am quite fond of incubus story-lines, so this book started out on the right track for me. The story begins when the young model, Daniel, decides he’s going to go get discovered. He’s fed up with his parents talking about him going to college since he’s sure his looks can get him everything including fame. However, instead of landing a modeling job, Daniel is captured by a group of incubi. He quickly discovers that he is considered an untouchable, which means he doesn’t get worked over like some of the other less fortunate young captives. Even so, the fear of what could happen to him almost puts him over the edge.

Though this is the first book I’ve read from Meraki P. Lyhne, I had the pleasure of meeting the author this summer in Berlin, so I had a good idea about what to expect. All of the wonderful dark themes that I love so much were present in this book as well as a good healthy dose m/m/m erotica. I think the thing I loved the most was the sexual denial. Daniel, is deliberately excluded from all the incubus feeding going on in front of him. He considers himself straight, but after a while, he can’t deny being turned on by everything his captor does with other men. I wasn’t sure how things would play out for Daniel, so I was a bit shocked by the twist in the end. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

RATING: I loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES: 

Bondage, Captive, Chastity, Drugging, Dub-con, Enemies to Lovers, Humiliation, Kidnapping, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M/M Erotica, Non-con, Psychological Trauma, Rough Sex, Sex Trafficking, Sexual Exhibitionism, Torture

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon KU

 

Review: Puppy by R. Phoenix #MM #DarkErotica #Dystopia

TITLE: Puppy Puppy

AUTHOR:  R. Phoenix

PUBLISHER: Self-Published

LENGTH: 61 Pages

BLURB:

While other vampires glut themselves on the rewards of a world where humans are little more than food or entertainment, Liam has found himself bored with the new status quo. An attempt to alleviate his boredom brings him to Caleb, a man who’s willing to do what it takes to get out of the slums–even if it means becoming something less than human.

REVIEW:

This was a short but delicious story. Since I’ve read a few of the author’s books set in the same world, it was very easy for me to fall into this book. Puppy begins with the four hundred-year-old vampire, Liam, out on the prowl for something to fit his tastes. In his world, human’s have pretty much lost their appeal, but when he finds Caleb, he sees the potential in him. Though Caleb is bisexual and a top when it comes to men, he’s quite turned on by all the demeaning things Liam wants to do to him.

Though I’m not that into puppy play, the way R. Phoenix presents it in this book makes it very appealing. I like that how Caleb is taken without given a choice about it, but he’s not so reluctant because everything Liam does to him is so arousing. Overall, this story was great. I was a little bit surprised when it ended, so my only complaint is that I wanted to see more of them together. I recommend this book to anyone who loves M/M Dark Erotica and fantasy.

RATING: I liked it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES: 

Abuse, BDSM, Biting, Body Modifications, Captive, Dark M/M Fantasy, Dub-con, Enemies to Lovers, Fetish, Humiliation, Kidnapping, M/M Dark Erotica, Pet Play, POV of Aggressor, POV of Victim

BUY LINKS:

 Amazon KU

Release Day Review-5Stars! Bare by Lynn Kelling #MM #DarkErotica @LynnKelling

TITLE: Barebare

AUTHOR:  Lynn Kelling

PUBLISHER: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

LENGTH: 97K words

BLURB:

Ev Myers is a former high school football star and Republican State Senator’s son, raised in a strict Southern Baptist household where his only option was to be silent, behave and, no matter how he might be feeling, to put on a happy smile. Desperate to escape the pressure to be the man his family insists he become, Ev has fled Kansas to attend college and is working to find out who he really is beneath the lies and carefully composed public image. But when he applies for a job as a nude model for a life drawing class out of a desire to be seen in a way that shatters all of his family’s taboos, it’s just the first step on a path that leads him away from everything he’s ever known. Handsome and headstrong adjunct arts professor, Adam Buchanan, is the first person to recognize Ev’s potential, and his determination to have Ev realize the importance of truth and stark honesty, as well as the beauty of flawed vulnerability provides the hope Ev needs to escape a world rife with kidnapping, brainwashing and deadly determination cure homosexuality, using whatever means necessary.

[M/M – See publisher’s website for content labels.]
Word count: 97,000

REVIEW:

I devoured this book from beginning to end, and loved every moment. Bare was definitely on the lighter side compared to what I’ve read from Lynn Kelling , but it still had a lot of the dark eroticism I love. The book begins when Ev, the son of a conservative senator, decides to take a job as a nude model at his college. On his first day on the job he meets an instructor, Adam, who offers him a job working as a nude model in his own private studio. Though Ev considers himself straight, he can’t completely deny his attraction to the alluring man who little by little breaks him down and allows him to see and accept who he really is. Ev wants to accept himself and his desire for men, but the idea of his family finding out makes him fear for his safety.

This really was a fantastic read. There were dark parts in this book, but what drew me in the most was Ev’s vulnerability as Adam pushes him to see and accept his desires for men. Though the way Adam does this felt slightly sadistic in nature, Adam never does anything against Ev’s will, and their relationship ends up being amazing and beautiful. Lynn Kelling did an excellent job with this one, and like always with her books, I was left wanting more. I highly recommend Bare to anyone who loves MM Dark Erotica, D&S Relationships, and MM Romance.

RATING:

I loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES: 

Angst, Bondage, Captive, CBT, Dark M/M Romance, Drugging, Dub-con, Hate Crime, Humiliation, Kidnapping, M/M Dark Erotica, Non-consensual BDSM, POV of Victim, Psychological Trauma, Torture

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon

ForbiddenFiction

Review: Coach’s Boy (Settling the Score #4) by Josh Hunter #MM #BDSM

REVIEWED BY LARK


TITLE: Coach’s BoyThe Coach's Boy (Settling the Score #4)

SERIES: Settling the Score #4

AUTHOR: Josh Hunter

PUBLISHER: Pyramid Press

LENGTH: 60 pages

BLURB: Things are getting complicated for high school quarterback Wade Johnson.

Up until last week, everything in life had come easily for the golden boy athlete– football, girls, friends. So what if he was a little rough on Kevin, the gay guy in his class? Isn’t every jock supposed to pick on “queers”?

Now Wade is learning his lesson the hard way. Ever since Kevin got his hands on that video, Wade has been at Kevin’s mercy… and at his service. Wade has had to do things that he swore he never would. But the worst part is that he’s starting to like it. Wade’s gotten a taste for something that he can’t get from this cheerleader girlfriend.

But that may be the least of the straight stud’s problems. Because Kevin’s not the only one who’s found leverage on Wade.

And if Wade thought his coach was hard on him before, he has no idea what’s coming.

(First time BDSM gay erotic romance. All characters 18+)

REVIEW: I ran out of pages before I was ready for this installment of Settling the Score to end. If ever I thought this was just a take on the familiar revenge story, I was proven wrong in Coach’s Boy. Hunter keeps up with the relentless sexual exploitation of Wade, the star quarterback, but as the title and blurb indicate, he’s not only Kev’s toy anymore. Wade and Kev’s story takes a surprising but enjoyable turn as revenge turns into something a little more, but that’s not the only problem Wade has.

One of the many things I like about this series is the way the characters are written. They’re not the wooden characters you might expect from an erotic revenge series centered around blackmail — and if you go in expecting that, be prepared for a shock. There’s a definite story that’s progressing, and it’s very well-written.

Despite the way things are changing, Kev doesn’t let up on Wade — and now we have the coach, who insists on owning Wade’s ass. There’s a distinct dynamic between how Kev and the coach handle Wade, and I’m really enjoying seeing it progress.

And have I mentioned it’s hot? On to the next, because I can’t seem to put these series down.

RATING: I loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:

BDSM, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Humiliation, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Erotica, POV of Aggressor, POV of Victim

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Review: The Cage (Settling the Score #3) by Josh Hunter #MM #DarkErotica

REVIEWED BY LARK

 

TITLE: The CageThe Cage (Settling the Score #3)

SERIES: Settling the Score #3

AUTHOR: Josh Hunter

PUBLISHER: Josh Hunter

LENGTH: 25 pages

BLURB: A “straight” stud is starting to slip…

Wade still struts around school in his varsity jacket like he’s the king of the world. Laughing it up with his jock buddies. Making out with his cheerleader girlfriend. Making fun of the “queers”. But behind the eyes he’s starting to get desperate.

Wade hasn’t had sex in a week. Any kind of sex. Not since I put his manhood under lock and key. I wonder how much longer he can take it Another day? Two? Pretty soon, the frustration will be too much, and he’ll do anything just to get some release.

There’s only one problem:

It turns out that I’m not the only one who has Wade in training. And somebody wants to break him first.

(First time gay BDSM erotic romance. All characters are 18 and over.)

Goodreads

REVIEW: Okay, so I couldn’t wait between reading Part 2 and Part 3. I admit I took enough time to write my review of the second installment and then dove right into the third to find out what happened to poor Wade. (Good luck not doing the same.) Kev is proving to be more of a hardass than might be expected, but then, after getting the chance to own the star quarterback who’s tormented him for so long… Well, let’s just say the fact that he doesn’t waste his chance to get back at one of his tormentors isn’t a surprise.

What was surprising was the addition of a third party into Wade’s predicament — but it was a very enjoyable surprise. I’d almost feel bad for the guy, but there’s enough of a twist there to where I can’t help but enjoy his plight even more. Again, I don’t want to give spoilers, but Kev has Wade right where he wants him, and he doesn’t let up. (Go Kev!) Tiny spoiler: the slightest mention of collars and calling someone submissive ‘boy’ with references to muttlike treatment might have me a little too interested. I admit I have a weakness for the training Kev starts to put Wade through, and I’m hoping for more of the same.

As I’ve said before, the books might be short, but they are well-written, complete stories with interesting characters. This isn’t just a typical revenge story; this is one where the characters clearly take on a life of their own and leave me wanting more. Hot and compelling as these are, I don’t think I could put down the series if I tried.

RATING: I loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:  

BDSM, blackmail, Bondage, Chastity, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Humiliation, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Erotica, POV of Aggressor,

BUYING LINKS:

Amazon

Review: Blackmailed! (Settling the Score #2) by Josh Hunter #MM #Erotica

REVIEWED BY LARK

 

TITLE: Blackmailed!Blackmailed! (Settling the Score #2)

SERIES:  Settling the Score #2

AUTHOR:  Josh Hunter

PUBLISHER: Pyramid Press

LENGTH: 22 pages

BLURB: Obedience training for a bully…

Wade Johnson is the golden boy jock at our school, the star quarterback– and a total jerk. He started calling me a “queer” back in ninth grade, and he and his football goons have been hassling me every day since.

But now I’ve got something to keep Wade in line– a video that could destroy his social life and end his football playing days for good.

You’d think Wade would keep that in mind, and try to stay on my good side. Play nice. Keep the other jocks from messing with me. But Wade’s not that smart.

At school, he’s still the same homophobic bully he’s always been. So after school, he has to make it up to me.

It’s almost like that guy wants to be punished.

(First time gay BDSM erotic romance. All characters are 18 and over.)

Goodreads Link

REVIEW: The football players in this story are arrogant and entitled — and according to the school, they have every reason to be. That means that no matter who they choose to pick on, it’s up in the air as to whether or not anyone will actually stop them. Kev has what could be the perfect solution, if only his blackmailed football player would stand up for him. Unfortunately for him, it seems like Wade needs a few reminders as to just who’s in charge.

I really liked the first installment in this series, but I think Part 2: Blackmailed! was even better. Kev starts to get creative with just how he’s going to teach Wade a lesson, which makes it hotter and hotter, and I found myself rereading a few sections. For… research, of course. It was nice to see Wade’s reaction when he finally found something that reached his limits, though his reaction to just how Kev handles it when he balks was fantastic.

I don’t want to give away spoilers, because I enjoyed being surprised by just what happened. Suffice it to say that it gave a nice dose of kink and an idea of just where Kev might go next to keep his football player in line. Well-written and another enjoyable dose of Kev and Wade. I’m already ready to go straight into the next one. (Well. Straight. You know. ;-)) This might be short, but it packs a hell of a punch.

RATING: I loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:  

Bondage, Chastity, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Erotica, M/M Fantasy, POV of Aggressor, POV of Victim, Uncategorized

BUYING LINKS:

Amazon

New Release Review: Wes’ Denial by Joseph Lance Tonlet #MM #DarkErotica @JosephLTonlet

TITLE: Wes’ DenialWes' Denial (Tease and Denial, #2)

SERIES:  Tease and Denial #2

AUTHOR:  Joseph Lance Tonlet

PUBLISHER: Self Published

LENGTH: 398 Pages

BLURB:

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

Goodreads Link

REVIEW:

Hot, haunting, and heartbreaking. Wes’ Denial starts out with Grif and Wes on the rocks, but Wes refuses to give in because he knows Grif is worth fighting for. Then, through a series of flash backs we get a glimpse into Wes’ troubled introduction into the world of BDSM. He first comes to understand some of his dark desires as a teen and then while in Marine Corp boot camp. Though he doesn’t judge himself for it at first, he fears what is inside him and what he’s capable of doing.

Some of these scenes were a bit difficult to read. Though I loved Wes in Grif’s Toy, I did sense a glimpse of something dark and scary in him. There was one point that I almost wondered if Grif was in the hands of a monster. As it turns out, Wes is not so scary, but he definitely has some dark and painful experiences. Seeing this side of Wes made me wonder how the heck he could be truly intimate with Grif while hiding such secrets. At the same time, I was drawn to the erotic scenes in this book. Aside from the steaming hot scenes with Wes and Grif in chocolate, I was fascinated by some of Wes’ past hook ups. For example: Wes’ straight friend in high school who fantasized about a woman making him submit to men was just awesome. Plus, there was also a scene with Wes’ dom trainer, Thomas, that was so hot that it kept playing over and over in my mind. Then, by the end of the book, I was in tears. It was quit unexpected, but I couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending. Overall; amazing, spectacular, and I want more! I recommend this book to anyone who loves M/M dark erotica and M/M romance.

RATING: Loved it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES: 

Abuse, asphyxiation, BDSM, Chastity, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Edging, Genital Modifications, Graphic Violence, Hate Crime, Humiliation, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Erotica, POV of Aggressor, Psychological Trauma, Rough Sex, Sadism, Sexual Exhibitionism, Underage

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Author’s Website

ARe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Favor (Settling the Score #1) by Josh Hunter #MM #BDSM

REVIEWED BY LARK

 

TITLE: The FavorThe Favor (Settling the Score #1)

SERIES:  Settling the Score #1

AUTHOR:  Josh Hunter

PUBLISHER: Pyaramid Press

LENGTH: 26 pages

BLURB:

What’s worse than a bully? –A bully who’s the hottest jock in school.

Wade Johnson thinks that he can get away with anything, just because he’s the quarterback of our football team. He caught me staring at him during gym class Freshman year, and branded me a “queer”. He and his teammates have been making my life hell ever since.

But golden boy Wade just slipped up, and now he’s about to lose it all: his spot on the team, his hot cheerleader girlfriend, his college scholarship. And he’s begging for my help.

So what am I going to do with an arrogant jock who needs to be taught a lesson?

First time gay BDSM erotica.

Goodreads Link

REVIEW:

Most of us can think about someone who’s made our lives a living hell at some point or another — a bully in school, a particularly unforgiving manager at work, or just someone who lords over you in some way that you can’t get them back for. Hunter plays with the idea of just what happens when a boy who gets bullied at school takes things into his own hands and decides to fight back, and the result is a short — but extremely sexy — story. Though the storyline is a case of ‘what you see is what you get,’ I found myself surprised a few times by a few small twists and the author’s sense of humor.

Let’s just say that if you’re into the idea of a somewhat light revenge story along with a bit of a mindfuck and blackmail (if you can call any story with blackmail somewhat light, at least), this is a great story for you.

RATING: I really liked it!

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:
BDSM, Dub-con, Humiliation, M/M Erotica, POV of Aggressor,

BUYING LINKS:

Amazon

Review ~ Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson Anthology #Taboo #MM @AndersonKol

REVIEWED BY LARK

 

TITLE: Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson AnthologyUntil I Fade

AUTHOR: Kol Anderson

PUBLISHER: Self-Published

LENGTH: 330 pages

BLURB:

A collection of taboo, dark shorts.

(New Edited Version)

(A collection of brand new and previously published Kol Anderson taboo shorts. Newly edited and never before seen stories.)

Release Date: July 04, 2016

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark 

Destiny is a strange thing. It can be fickle at times, and it can make you miss out on incredible connections that would set you on the journey of your lifetime. But the thing is, you’ll never know what you missed out on.

Sometimes Destiny takes pity on you and lets you meet the person you are supposed to, at just the right time. When Jensen first saw Liam, he lost his heart. Even if it took him a while to realize that. It’s okay, though. He had to grow and learn some more before he was the man Liam needed to save him from a life he was trapped in.

Supernatural forces collide to give Jensen the strength he needs to evolve into the man Liam waited his whole life for, and when their souls finally slam into each other, neither will be the same again.

WARNINGS: VIOLENCE, DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE

Slave 

It’s the worst feeling in the world, seeing him with someone else. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do, no limits I won’t go to get him back. But he won’t give me a chance. He won’t so much as look at me because he thinks I don’t belong to him anymore.
But that’s the whole thing.
I don’t belong anywhere.
Doesn’t matter where I go or who I am with I am always alone. There is something wrong with me, there has to be because no one else seems quite as miserable at being without a master.
But don’t we all owe our freedom to something?
People are slaves, aren’t they? To their jobs, to their partners, to their children, even to their lifestyles?
We all have those little kinks that we don’t tell anyone about, because we think we’re going to be judged for them, and because we’re slaves to society’s rules.
In a world where slavery is the norm I’m a slave to my needs.
To him.
And I need to get him back.

WARNINGS: HARDCORE BDSM, DUB-CON, NON-CON

Sin 

Samuel “Sin” Taylor doesn’t know the difference between sex and intimacy, but maybe that’s not his fault. He grew up in a world where it was easier to get physical pleasure than to find love. But as a prostitute working the streets, Sin thinks he’s finally found his true calling. After all sex is the one thing he’s good at, right? But when Isaac enters his life through mere coincidence, Sin finds it a relief to be someone other than Sin.

How long can he keep up the charade?

WARNINGS: DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE, DRUG USE

Fugue 

Ever felt like the world thinks you’re crazy? Welcome to my world. I tried normal, but eventually the truth catches up to you. Thank God for Evan, he believes me. But no man is a saint, and eventually the stories of aliens and tentacles and kidnappings just become too much for anyone to believe anymore.

But I know what happened. I know what they did to me. The voices are calling me back now. They’re calling me to be with her, my daughter. And I can’t resist it anymore.

WARNINGS: ABUSE, SELF HARM, OFF PAGE NON-CON AND KIDNAPPING, VIOLENCE

Goodreads Link

REVIEW:

Kol starts out gently, his voice like a lover’s tempting whisper in the dark. His poetry sets the stage for what will be four very different stories within an extremely well-written anthology, and the tone carries on throughout. There’s desperation and hope, desolation and solace; there’s pain and relief, peace and terror. It all goes on through these pages. There are similarities in the four stories, but overall, they couldn’t be more different.

There’s an almost dreamlike quality to these stories, something that lures you in and refuses to let you go until the end. I found myself highlighting line after line of beautiful words that appealed to me and I wanted to remember.

In Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, we get a taste of the paranormal set against the backdrop of a world that seems grim for the characters involved. I want to know more about the characters and the world; my only complaint is that I’m not a huge fan of insta-love angles. But this line: “I don’t need you to feel sorry for me, that’s not what I want. I want you to love me” more than made up for it.

Slave follows the path of a broken-hearted sub whose master turned his back on him, and he tries to find solace anywhere and everywhere he can. There’s a surreal feeling to the entire peace, as though I’m in a dream that I can’t fully awake from. I’m not sure what I like better — the opening poem or the story itself. I loved Jesse, and everything he did felt real throughout the entire piece.

And then there was Sin. Sin isn’t for the faint of heart — and while I don’t consider myself particularly faint of heart, I think mine broke all the same. Those with issues involving incest and rape should steer clear of this one completely. There’s just enough hope to keep my heart from being completely crushed, but I noted at this point that the anthology is steadily darkening.

Finally, there’s Fugue. Fugue isn’t my type of story, but it’s an interesting one all the same. It follows a young man who believes he’s been tortured by aliens and his doctor, who’s desperate to help someone he feels has been failed by others. There are points where you can’t be sure if it’s a sci-fi short or a short on the effects of mental illness, but either way, the effect is profound.

Overall, the taboos mentioned in the tags and above are very much a present part of the stories, but they aren’t dwelled upon for too long. There’s just enough detail to let you know what’s going on, and then Anderson continues with the story: because this is all about the story, not the taboos.

Beautiful writing.

RATING: I loved it! (Even if it is going to haunt me for a while)

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:  

Abuse, Angst, BDSM, Captive, Drug Addiction, Drugging, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Forced Incest, Incest, Kidnapping, M/M Horror, Non-con, Non-consensual BDSM, POV of Victim, Psychological Trauma, Rape, Rough Sex, Sex Trafficking, Sex Worker, Slave, Taboo, Underage

BUY LINK:

Amazon KU