CC’s ARC Review ~ Illusions of Evil by Lily White

 

Title: Illusions of Evil
Author: Lily White
Genre:  Dark Erotica/Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 2
POV:  Multiple
Releases: October 18, 2017

 

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4 Stars!

 
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Jacob Hayle is a Catholic priest who runs a small-town church in a socio-economically depressed and fairly isolated locale. For 12 years, he abstained from his dark and sinful ways, but when a mysterious woman arrives on church grounds, Jacob begins to be truly tested with temptation in his sequestered sanctuary. Praying for strength to overcome, Jacob soon realizes someone else seems to be controlling his fate.

 

“How long do you think you’ll be able to hide from your past … to keep history from repeating itself?”


Eve represents all that is pure and offers her supplication with blind allegiance. Caught in the web of deceit and malevolence, she willingly chooses to obey as a means of absolving her masochistic guilt. 

 

“I’m going to transform you.”


As the level of manipulation escalates, Jacob’s resolve begins to descend into temptation and the beast within craves to be sated. Though he tries to fight, Jacob’s past is a constant reminder of how destructive and evil he can be. For Eve, she readily accepts the pain and ultimately surrenders to the pleasure.

 

“I’m awake now, beautiful. I’m paying attention and I’m so damn hungry, there might be nothing left of you by the time I’m done.”


Told in multiple POVs but with a focus on Jacob, the character development is measured with an ominous tone permeating the landscape. Knowing Jacob laments his past adds to the internal battle of staying true to his vows as a priest. His fight is deeply interesting as this dynamic depicts a timeless conflict with the addition of good versus evil. With Eve’s perspective she actually causes more of an imbalance and adds tension due to her role.

From the beginning, I was intrigued by Jacob’s struggle and how it was going evolve for him personally and professionally. At times, I wanted Jacob to remain resilient but the moments when he exposed his vulnerabilities truly showed his flaws. As for the creator of this madness, his character and purpose remains an enigma but I am curious to know how far it will go. With Eve, she was the toughest character for me to understand in her completely brainwashed state. Despite knowing her background and comprehending how such a situation can arise, part of me was waiting for her moment of revelation. 

This is a story that lures the reader from the first page and offers some twists while pushing the theme of virtuous against heretic. There are times when I wanted more action but I liked the tension and layers of mystery. I especially liked the sacrilegious actions that led to some hot moments. 

In Illusions of Evil flaws and sins are pushed to limits. I recommend and look forward to reading the conclusion in book two! 

Duet:
Illusions of Evil by Lily White Fear the Wicked

 

 

 

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Now Live~Drive~ by Stephanie Fournet

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BLURB:

Growing up as the daughter of a world famous blues legend, Rainey Memphis Reeves learned everything she needed to know about musicians. They are phony, unfaithful, and never home — even when it matters.

Six years ago, an accident left her shattered, and even now, Rainey can’t trust herself behind the wheel of a car.

But when she meets Jacques Gilchrist, the sweet, soulful, and heart-stoppingly handsome Uber driver, Rainey discovers she can forget her fear when she’s with him.

Until she learns he’s a musician. And worse than that, he’s good. Too good.

Jacques Gilchrist has tried for years to break out of the small-town music scene, but as soon as he meets Rainey, he can’t stop writing songs about her. He’s about to take the world by storm, but if he wants Rainey by his side, Jacques will have to prove he’s nothing like her father.

He’s determined, even if he has to drive her across the country to do it.

3

 

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Cover Reveal ~ Incubus by Celia Aaron

Title: Incubus
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Paranormal / Fantasy Romance
Cover Design: PhatPuppy Art & Font Diva 

Release Date: October 22, 2017

 
 
 

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Blurb

An incubus who feeds off the sexual desires of others, Roth
de Lis has never been denied the pleasure of a woman’s body…until now. Lilah,
once a warrior maiden in the service of a goddess, languishes on earth after
being cast out from the slopes of Mount Olympus.

Lilah will do anything to return home, including betraying Roth. As she spins
her web of lies, Roth begins a slow, wicked seduction that eventually threatens
to consume them both. But when Lilah’s deceit comes to light, will their torrid
love affair be able to overcome a pact with the darkest of gods?

 

Incubus Teaser 1

Author Bio

 

Celia Aaron is a recovering attorney who loves romance and erotic fiction. Dark to light, angsty to funny, real to fantasy—if it’s hot and strikes her fancy, she writes it. Thanks for reading.

 

Author Links

  

 

CC’s ARC Review ~ Monster by Marni Mann

 

Title: Monster
Author: Marni Mann
Genre:  Dark Romance/Suspense
Type: Book 2 of 2
POV:  Multiple
Publication: October 12, 2017

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4 Stars! 

description

Shank is a man with unique tastes. Operating underground for years, his life has taken a different turn leaving him with few options. During this time, Shank is asked about his story and shares his experiences without any edits. Getting into Shank’s mind is disturbingly honest and while there is madness, there is also a level of acumen steeped in darkness. 

“In his mind, nothing was off-limits”


Someone is seeking answers with the knowledge that it will be complicated and horrific, yet there is also an opportunity to learn on multiple levels. Though wanting to feel separate from the blood, violence and hatred, it cannot be avoided. Fighting what is already present can either make one stronger or ultimately weaker.

“You’re the reason I’m doing this.” I lifted him higher until his feet were off the ground, and I shifted my weight forward to put all my strength on his throat.”

description

Told in multiple POVs, the foundation is laid while intersecting and mysterious plot points begin to grow testing the integrity of the entire landscape. As the tension mounts, the inevitable is palpable yet there’s no way to know how it will all unravel. Staying true to her characters, Shank remains a depraved villain to his core and will go to any length to protect what he believes to be sacred. While his honed predatory skills do not deceive him, Shank cannot control every situation.

With secondary characters that play a pivotal role in this storyline and roles of good versus evil are delineated; however, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious as to which characters are redeemable or not. Adding to the uncertainty is the chapter arrangement which feels ominous due to foreshadowing and cleverly placed pauses adding pressure of the unknown. 

Crafted by a versed author, Monster is a complex plot steeped in guile and dark suspense that lures the reader from the first page. For those who enjoy lurking in the shadows, I highly recommend! 

*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda! 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

 

Title: Gun Shy
Author: Lili St. Germain
Genre:  Dark Suspense/Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV:  Multiple – first
Publication: October 6, 2017

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4.5 Stars! 

description

Cassie Carlino and Leo Bentley are high school sweethearts looking to escape their bleak hometown of Gun Creek. All seems to be on track for the aspiring football player and smart cheerleader until the consequences of a missing girl begins to seep into their lives causing a chain of horrific events. 

“He looks at me with eyes that have seen violence since I last gazed into them. I know because I recognize the hardness inside his soul; it matches mine.”


Eight years later and on parole, Leo returns home to find his family even more of a mess and Cassie is a shell of woman. With guilt and sorrow for the pain Leo caused Cassie’s family, he tries to maintain a distance but his love for her hasn’t waned. Watching her from afar, he slowly begins to realize his worst fears. 

“She will not be my vice. She will not be my forgiver. She will not be my redemption.”


While Leo was away, Cassie learned to cope with her family’s predicament. Knowing what her life has become, Cassie wants to protect Leo from the town’s Sheriff, who also happens to be her ever protective step-father. But when another teen goes missing and other clues begin to mount, further complications arise.

“You can never run away from your past. It will chase you through the night, and all into the next morning.”


description

As Leo and Cassie slowly find their way back to each other it isn’t for long as secrets and lies begin to unravel causing swift action to protect what is known to be true. What ensues is a disturbed descent into the long-term effects of manipulation, abuse and obsession. 

From the beginning, this story is addictive with an adrenaline induced pace and a multi-layered plot that pivots into many twists until it all unravels into a methodical chaos. Adding to the calculative plot points, is the heavy sense of desolation and desperation these characters endure creating a grim landscape. Told in multiple POVs, it is easy to empathize with Cassie and Leo, while the unique use of a third perspective answers many questions. 

Within this storyline, it becomes clear that the characters are evolving and no matter how much you want them to sway one way, the author is prepared to convincingly take her characters to the end. Leo is such a nurturing character and doesn’t shine his responsibility in any way despite being wronged. Cassie proved to be strong in a unique way that allowed her to persevere. And the ending? Loved it! 

Gun Shy is a deviously twisted and suspenseful read that enters the psyche of its characters without any apology. I highly recommend!

*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Liz and Loyda! 

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Hideaway by Penelope Douglas

Title: Hideaway
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Suspense

Type: Book #2 of 4 in a series

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3.5 Stars! 

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In this timeline about one year has passed since Corrupt ended. Since then, Kai Mori has continued on a path of redefining his life and moving on from past mistakes. However, there is one major element from his past that he must confront in order to fully be free and content. 

“I think you’re far too concerned with the secrets you know exist rather than the ones you don’t.”


Banks grew up in a troubled and not ideal situation but thanks to one person she felt a strong familial connection. When certain events occurred, Banks was left alone but remained loyal to her family despite her own wishes. As Banks begins to realize what her current situation is lacking and the possibility of a different path, she starts to veer toward the one person that may be worthy. 

“I’m scared of you even with your mask off. Because of everything you make me feel.”


Now that Kai has the chance to protect his secret and make a deal with the only person that also knows the truth, he is determined to make it all happen. What he doesn’t expect is the obstacle caused by Banks. Shifting from past and present, the significance of the unique connection Kai and Banks share is evident but it also adds tension to their dilemma. 

“You don’t know which way to turn, and you won’t see that you’ve gone the wrong way until you’ve gone too far.”


Told in dual POV, the motivations, regrets and hope Kai and Banks individually experience are clearly communicated. As a couple, there are factors that keep them apart more than they are together but it seems to add to the sexual tension. Though Kai claims to have a darker side, it really doesn’t show. For Banks, her background is a big issue and while understanding her predicament, Banks needs to reach a certain point before realizing what is holding her back.

In addition to Kai and Banks, one other particular character has a key role in this plot. For me, his presence was very strong, and while I liked the added dimension, it also made Kai’s story feel secondary at times. Leading up to Devil’s night, the tension mounts for the big dark finale but when it was all revealed it felt underwhelming considering the buildup. However, I did like the promise of more for my favorite Horseman.

Hideaway is a book that offers mystery, secrets and romance. For those looking to reunite with the Horsemen, their story continues in a way that will keep you wondering what’s next.

Devil’s Night series:
Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1) by Penelope Douglas Hideaway (Devil's Night, #2) by Penelope Douglas Kill Switch (Devil's Night, #3) by Penelope Douglas Nightfall (Devil's Night, #4) by Penelope Douglas

CC’s Review ~ Pretty Broken Dolls by Ker Dukey & K Webster

 

Title: Pretty Broken Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls #4)
Author: Ker Dukey & K Webster
Genre:  Dark Erotica/Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!

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As Pretty Broken Dolls opens, the timeline continues without interruption leaving all the main characters in a precarious situation. Benny will do whatever it takes to find his stolen doll, and to make his life right again. Knowing certain factors are out of his control, Benny must rely on the one person who reveals himself as his ally, as everything Benny ever wanted is at stake.

“You think I’m going to let you be my puppet master? My sugar daddy now?”


What ensues is a uniquely dark path that has been carved out for Benny and his deep needs. The concept of unconventional is at its apex as Benny’s monster is ready to protect his doll and chosen family at any cost. With the events set in motion, operating under the radar of the law is impossible which further causes complications.

“He’s coming apart at the seams, and I want to be the one to sew him back together. That’s what I do for my dolls. I stitch them back exactly the way I like them.”


Told in multiple POVs, the level of depravity is ever present. Knowing these characters are able to find a connection amidst their disturbed minds is deliciously complex and intriguing while also causing contradictory feelings of comfort and distress. Getting inside Benny’s head is like experiencing life without boundaries or simply feeding a sinister Id. Additionally, learning more about pivotal characters adds layers of dimensionality that doesn’t necessarily serve to excuse behavior but rather simply explains how it all started.

“Why do people keep taking my doll from me? Why can’t I just be happy, left alone with what’s mine?”


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With engaging writing, swift pacing and the added unknown factor of what lurks on the next page, the storyline remained addictive until the very last page. The sexual elements by far exceeded my expectations and the final outcome soothed my unconventional soul. 

In Pretty Broken Dolls, Ker Dukey and K. Webster successfully create characters that are clearly broken but somehow their crazy pieces perfectly fit together. This is a journey meant for those who thrive in the unconventional. I highly recommend the entire series!

Pretty Little Dolls series:
Pretty Stolen Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #1) by Ker Dukey Pretty Lost Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #2) by Ker Dukey Pretty New Doll (Pretty Little Dolls, #3) by Ker Dukey Pretty Broken Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls #4) by Ker Dukey

*(F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda!*

 

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