Category Archives: Dark Romance

The Sainthood : A Dark High School Romance (The Complete Series) – Siobhan Davis

Dark, reverse harem, high school, organized crime, romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a ton of sex in these books! It’s very long, and it has a lot of story too. But the sex to story ratio is much higher than I usually see. Harlow could be a nymphomaniac, so it’s good she has four guys to keep up with her. I mean there is sexually confident, and then there is, “I draw the line at full-on prostitution, but most everything else is fair game.” It’s downright raunchy. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is hot, but some of it was a bit much for me, mostly the hate sex. And I regularly read and enjoy novels with graphic sexual content.

The beginning of this is a bully story but make that a gang, as in large criminal organization, bullying the girl. The whole backstory for this novel is disgusting. I hate that all the teens treat sex so casually, completely separating it from emotions. It’s difficult to get past all this. If this were me, I would have gotten the hell out of there, moved to a different country or something.

The gang stuff and what the guys do to Harlow in the beginning was crazy. I was having trouble suspending disbelief. Harlow’s superhero level skill set, strength, and attitude in the face of all this was stretching credibility. It’s like all the main characters are a trained army. Death means nothing to them. Natural born killers.

By Chapter 18 of the first book, I was feeling like this was going to be too long. I was waiting for something to actually happen. By Chapter 26, 22% into the box set, I’d had enough of the hate sex and was still waiting for something to happen. I had to take a break and read something else. I am glad I went back to this because it got much better, but I can see a lot of readers dropping out at or before this point. When I got back into it, things really started to happen in the story, and the sex scenes got very hot. By the end, I was happy I had read this. But I can only give it 3 stars. I liked Surviving Amber Springs so much better!

It’s got an HEA with a cute bonus novella at the end.

1st person present tense, mostly from Harlow, but with a smattering of chapters from each of the guys.

This is well edited. I only found 9 errors.



Favorite Quotes:

Harlow: I have zero desire to live in my own twisted romance novel.

“They built the facility in the middle of Mantiss Forest and—”

“The Sainthood sure is obsessed with forests,” I interject.

“It’s ideal burial ground,” Saint replies, glancing at me as he steers the Land Rover out onto the highway. “Perfect for disposing of enemies and annoying girls who interrupt people midsentence.”

“I think I got pregnant just watching that,” Caz jokes.

“I was so tempted to slice off his dick,” I admit. “Like, I seriously had to talk myself off that ledge.”

Caz chuckles. “You couldn’t deprive us of that sight. When you chop his cock off, I want a front-row seat.”

I lean back for a knuckle touch. “Deal, dude. Wouldn’t want to deprive you of such quality entertainment.” “


Kings of Linwood Academy – The Complete Box Set: A Dark High School Romance Series – Callie Rose

Hot reverse harem high school murder mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Harlow and her mom move from Arizona to a wealthy east coast town. Her mom is hired to be the live-in Executive Housekeeper for the Black family. Their teenage son Lincoln and his best friends, River, Dax, and Chase hate Harlow immediately. They rule the school and lead her torture there. Then the five of them witness a murder by a man in a mask.

I liked this a lot, but I wouldn’t want to read it again. Murder mysteries have much lower re-readability for me, since I’m not going to forget who done it. I’m not a big fan of mystery novels in general, so it’s harder to make me love them. And this is very long. I can see why it was broken into three books, but it felt overly long. The pacing was good for most of this, but I got bored for a while in the third book.

This is definitely teen erotica. If you’re against that, walk away now. Personally, I’m a fan. I don’t want to do things with teenagers in real life, but I like to imagine myself back as a teenager. And reading about teens having sex doesn’t bother me. When I was 16, everyone I knew was having sex. I haven’t forgotten that just because I’m older now. It’s actually quite realistic in that regard. There are many sex scenes in this, some with just one guy and others with two or all of them, but there is a lot more story than sex here. Recreational marijuana use appears a few times here, which also matches my teenage experience.

I liked all the characters. Harlow isn’t timid. She’s got a mouth on her and takes the initial abuse well, doesn’t cry and moan about how unfair it all is. She just says how these rich fucks must be bored. I liked that Harlow had a very realistic reaction to seeing someone die. She goes into shock for a bit and then can’t sleep or eat for days. Too many times I see characters handling things like this like it was no big deal, the story on to something else. I’m glad to see a realistic reaction for once.

I loved that all four of the guys had distinct personalities and weren’t just clones of each other, even the twins. Chase and Dax are almost identical twins but have enough physical differences to be told apart. Their personalities are widely different. All four guys are somewhat possessive and protective, but they don’t smother Harlow. I also loved Harlow’s mom and that someone in this novel has a good parent.

1st person present tense, all from Harlow’s perspective.

This novel is well edited until the end of the third book. I found 3 errors between the first two books. I found 11 errors in the third book alone, mostly subject-verb agreements.


Favorite Quotes:

“Don’t fall in love with any rich boys. They’re trouble.”

When Harlow’s mom is going on a date: I make her promise to be home by midnight and use protection, because I’ve gotta give her a little shit while I’m at it, right?

Having four boyfriends, as amazing as it is, isn’t great for staying clean.

I grit my teeth. “Because I’m collecting boyfriends, and I want to raise the average age of my harem.”



Slateview High – The Complete Series: A Dark High School Romance – Eva Ashwood

High School Reverse Harem / Menage Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cora is the sheltered daughter of Baltimore social elite. Her world comes crashing down when her father is arrested and put in jail, all his assets frozen. Cora and her mother have to move across to a town to dilapidated rental house. Cora has to go to the public school there, where she is hated by everyone. Three boys, called the Lost Boys, Bishop, Kace, and Misael, offer her protection, if she will be theirs.

It’s called a dark romance, but I didn’t find it that dark. I wouldn’t even really say it is hate to love because the hate doesn’t go on that long. There is no dubious or non consent. The character’s ages aren’t given until the last book. We just know they are seniors in high school. There are some very hot sex scenes, not many in the first book, but they pick up in the second and third. It’s definitely an erotic novel. This contains recreational use of marijuana and underage alcohol use but no other drugs.

Cora is strong. She discovers her inner strength because of what she goes through and grows across the story. She’s a fighter and holds her own with the boys. I liked all three boys and very much appreciated that they all have distinct personalities and differences. It always bothers me that many menage romances have lead men that are basically clones of each other.

This is fast paced read with a lot of drama. I’m glad all the books are packed into one because they really are one. The last paragraph of the first connects to the first paragraph of the next without any introduction. I wouldn’t really call the “endings” cliffhangers because the current action has wrapped up. We just don’t have all the story yet. There is a satisfying full ending at the end of the third book. There isn’t an epilogue with future scenes, but I didn’t think it was needed. The characters go through enough that you know what will happen in their future.

I loved this. It was a perfect blend of story and erotica. 5 stars because I would read it again.

1st person past tense, all from Cora’s perspective.

The dialogue is often in the next paragraph after the action sequence. It’s weird but consistent. Might be done for style effect. It didn’t bother me.

This is very well edited. I only found 2 errors, which is amazing.

All Saints High Series – L. J. Shen

The All Saints High books are about the kids of the people in Shen’s Sinners of Saint series. I found them when I was looking for dark high school romances. I haven’t read the parent’s series but went ahead with these. It’s a mood thing. These all had crazy amounts of reviews, mostly 5 star, and are tip top ranked on Amazon. All of these books are written in 1st person present tense with chapters from the two main characters. They each have a couple of chapters from the parents of one of the main characters, which I loved.

Pretty Reckless (Book 1)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m so glad the first book was as good as all the reviews and rankings said it would be. It’s actually SAFE, which I was surprised by, but it’s true. And the editing was amazing. I found so few errors in this! 4 since I always say. What a pleasure to read. In all these books, the bitchy banter is very amusing, there is a lot of great humor, and the sex scenes are hot.

When I was about 12 and started keeping a diary, my mom told me I shouldn’t write anything down that I didn’t want my grandmother reading in a newspaper. This is what code that can only make sense to you is for if you can’t stop yourself. I think everyone should pass on this wisdom to their children!


Favorite Quotes:

Daria: The only way I could protect myself from the fire was by creating a bigger blaze. If they thought I was untouchable, they’d fear me instead of taunt me. If they thought the hard-nosed principal had my back—or had me on my back, for that matter—I would not be messed with. So I nurtured the rumors, made them grow, gave them wings, and let them fly, like butterflies from a Mason jar.

Penn: I need to make sure that Daria is a hobby, not an addiction. Adolescent hearts are trash and as loyal as a starving stray cat. They’ll take anything. Even scraps. I don’t want to feed my rusty tin heart junk. And Daria, she stomped on it hard enough for me to know she’s not even a greasy burger. She’s a Pop-Tarts covered in cyanide.

Daria: High school is an aquarium full of sharks. People are always broiling with the need to burst free. Only the strong survive.

Penn: A perceptive little thing, she is. I don’t think people give Daria the credit she deserves. She could’ve found Bin Laden in a week had she been given enough Red Bull and good internet service.


Broken Knight (Book 2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was hating this for a long time. I mean it’s beautifully written, but it is one hell of a tearjerker! It reminded me of Present Perfect by Alison Bailey, which kept knocking me over the head with tragic events. I read that in December 2013 (I keep a spreadsheet) and still remember it for screaming, “Enough already!” Broken Knight wasn’t that level of angsty and got better, happier, as it went on.

I have to give it only 4 stars because I don’t want to go through that (read it) again. Thankfully, there are very necessary moments of laugh out loud humor in this book. It needs the comic relief. The humor got me through it. This one is definitely not SAFE. We have to suffer through sex scenes with Other People. At least they are short snippets and not detailed.

This is the first book I have read in a very long time that I didn’t find any errors in!


Favorite Quotes:

Knight:

Footsteps thudded in the hall, and I stretched in the large bed, nudging the woman sleeping on my chest to wake up. “Your husband’s back. Pretty sure he won’t be so happy to see a stud like me in his bed.”

Mom looked up, blinking the sleep from her eyes. She swatted my chest, then coughed. “Hide. I wouldn’t mess with him.”

“We always thought we were going to have girls, Rosie and me.”

I couldn’t help but smirk, mainly because all they had were boys. And we were about the most testosterone-filled creatures in the history of mankind. Sometimes I wondered if I had blood or jizz in my veins.

Mom looked down, flattening her palm over my linen and brushing it absentmindedly. Bad idea. This shit is ninety-nine percent spunk, one percent fabric.


Angry God (Book 3)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After Broken Knight, I had to take break and read some other books, afraid of another tearjerker. But Angry God was back to what I loved in the first book. I’m glad I came back because this was fantastic.

This one isn’t SAFE because we have to endure Vaughn getting blowjobs from Other Women. But I knew this going in from the previous books. He wasn’t in a relationship with Lenora at the time. What really bothered me was the casual way all the teens thought about this. I wanted to scream that you can catch STDs from oral sex too.


Favorite Quotes:

Vaughn:

Empedolces emerged from the rosebushes, strutting his ass like a Kardashian in my direction. I’d named my blind black cat after the Greek philosopher who discovered the world was a sphere. This cat, like the philosopher, thought himself to be God. He had a fierce sense of entitlement and demanded to be stroked at least an hour a day—a wish that, for a reason beyond my grasp, my sorry ass granted him.

It was by far the most human thing I ever did, being pussy-whipped by a literal pussy. Emp brushed past my dirty boot. I picked him up, rubbing the spot behind his ear. He purred like a tractor.

I came buckets. I hadn’t come often before my arrangement with Good Girl, and never this much. I’m talking enough to fill a milk carton. I had to Google that shit to see that it was normal.

I pushed the door open, hoping to find her working or reading or converting to a religion where she could only have sex with people named Vaughn Spencer.



Nightfall (Devil’s Night Book 5) – Penelope Douglas


Hot adult romance, with flashbacks to teenage years, continuation of Devil’s Night series

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Book 4” is Conclave: A Devil’s Night Novella. It takes place between Kill Switch and Nightfall. It’s a nice setup for Nightfall, “Book 5”.

Will and Emory.

Again, I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t read the previous books in the series. It was very good, just like the others. 5 stars. I loved the snippets we get where Emory witnesses a piece of a story we know so well. We don’t see much of her in the earlier books, but she was actually everywhere.

We finally get a solid resolution to the overarching plot lines of the series. Everything was tied up nicely. There is an epilogue that introduces some intrigues with the next generation that will lead to another book or series, which hasn’t come out yet. “Fire Night: A Devil’s Night Holiday Novella” takes place between the end of Nightfall and it’s epilogue. It’s a good, fast read and gives us some more clues about the next generation to look forward to.

This is darker than books 2 or 3 but not as dark as 1. There is unwanted touching of a sexual nature, lots of violence, and physical abuse.

There are graphic sex scenes, including some same sex ones.

Now for the grammar:

1st person past tense with chapters from both Kai and Banks.

16 errors: missing words, wrong words, missing periods, and quotation mark issues.


Favorite Quotes:

Frankly, I’d been surprised he even spoke English. Figured him for someone who communicated solely in emojis.

That was the hardest fucking thing I’d ever had to do. Like harder than prison, detox, and the Doris Day double-feature at the drive-in my mother asked me to take her to when I was seventeen. Combined.

Kill Switch (Devil’s Night Book 3) – Penelope Douglas


Hot adult romance, with flashbacks to teenage years, continuation of Devil’s Night series

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Damon and Winter.

I don’t want to give anything away.

Winter is another strong woman.

I liked that I got a good grovel, explanation, and an apology (gasp!).

Someone has a “disability” but doesn’t let it keep them back. They are still going after their dreams. I loved how this was handled. It’s a different experience of the world, not a lacking one.

Now for the grammar:

1st person past tense with chapters from both Damon and Winter.

12 errors: missing words, wrong words, quotation marks, and italics problems.


Favorite quotes:

“You may not be the happiest wife, Arion, but I’m told this is why God invented Saks and Xanax.”

Damon: When women think, shit didn’t go the way I wanted it to.

Damon: I’d rather chug a gallon of piss warm milk than stay in bed, doing nothing. I’d rather get a third degree burn on my dick. Or develop a peanut allergy.


Hideaway (Devil’s Night Book 2) – Penelope Douglas


Hot adult romance, with flashbacks to teenage years, continuation of Devil’s Night series

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Devil’s Night continues with Kai and Banks. We didn’t meet Banks in Corrupt, Devil’s Night Book 1. You must read Corrupt for this one to make sense. I can’t say much about the plot without giving away things about Corrupt. So I’ll just say Hideaway is very good, and you should keep reading if you enjoyed Corrupt.

Hideway isn’t anywhere near as dark as Corrupt was. There are far fewer triggers here. I was again kept up way too late reading this.

I loved Banks. She is another strong woman and saves herself when needed. Kai is great. I liked him in Corrupt and enjoyed getting to know him better. We also got the same great secondary characters here.

There were less sex scenes in this one, but they were still hot. If you would be so offended by some things happening inside a church that you couldn’t go on, you should stay away.

I give this five stars because I would read it again.


Now for the grammar:

1st person past tense with chapters from both Kai and Banks.

11 errors: spelling, quotation marks, and italics problems.

Corrupt (Devil’s Night Book 1) – Penelope Douglas


Hot dark romance, new adult (college and a little older) with flashbacks to teenage years

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Three years ago, Erika “Rika”, did something bad and sent Michael’s three best friends to jail. Now they are out, and the four men want payback. Rika has left the safety of her relationship with Michael’s younger brother and their small town and transferred to a new college in the city where Michael lives. This puts her exactly where the four men want her, in their grasp.

We don’t find out what happened until well into the book. I enjoyed the way it was given to us in flashback chapters along the way. In the beginning, I was chaffing at not knowing. What can I say? I’m a wait and binge watch girl. But at the end, I can say the book was much better for not front-loading this information at the start.

Penelope Douglas is an excellent writer, keeping me up way too late because I can’t stop reading and must find out what happened. The story and pacing kept me gripped the entire way through. There was much drama and some welcome humor to relieve the tension.

The characters are complex, believable, and I liked them even when they didn’t like themselves. They are all flawed, but this is what makes them great. I loved how strong Rika is. I was thrilled that she saved herself several times, not needing a man to do it for her, or at least she did a lot of damage before help arrived.

The sex scenes were hot and very well written. Their little kinks made things more interesting. There was nothing repetitive or boring here.

I do have a couple of complaints. 1. The guys are all promiscuous. They don’t make women pay or feel shameful, so at least they aren’t manwhores. Thankfully, we don’t have to read any sex scenes with other women. 2. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say a major apology is missing. Someone should have had to grovel and didn’t do so at all.

I must caution some readers. This is a dark romance. It does not contain actual rape, but rape is threatened several times by different characters. There is sexual molestation and harassment, including unwanted touching and kissing, again by different characters. Anyone with these types of triggers should stay away.

This is a sexually graphic novel. It contains many sex scenes. There is one menage scene. It felt right for the story, not gratuitous, dirty, or shameful. I actually thought it was the hottest sex scene in the book.

I give this five stars because I would read it again. I’m definitely reading the rest of the series.


Now for the grammar:

1st person past tense with chapters from both Ericka and Michael.

“Grinded” and “thrusted” are not a words. The past tense of grind is ground. It’s thrust in the present and past.

12 other errors: spelling, quotation marks, and italics problems. Two minor problems with continuity.


Favorite Quotes:

Rika speaking to her mom:

“We could re-watch Thor again. I know you like his hammer.”

“I’ll see what Noah’s up to tonight, but if I need bail money or I come home pregnant, you only have yourself to blame.”


Michael:

Rika was a lot like I was a few years ago. Confused, caged, and corruptible. The most valuable lesson anyone learns in life should be learned as early as possible. That you don’t have to live in the reality someone else had invented. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Ever.

Redefine normal. None of us know the full measure of our power until we start pushing our boundaries and pressing our luck, and the more we do, the less we care what others think. The freedom feels too good.


Rika:

There was no one to help me. There was no one to help me but me. You’re not a victim, his words came back, and I’m not your savior. I turned around, looking back at the house and seeing the lights inside slowly come on. They were in there. And once… I was one of them. Once, I ran with them, kept up with them, and stood next to them. I wasn’t their victim, and I had their attention. I’d learned how to fight. This was on me, and while I wouldn’t make it easy for them, I wouldn’t run. I would never run. I was built for this.


Michael:

“…I respectfully request that, when you come home, you do me before your homework…”