Published October 6, 2014
Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy the Book on Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The taboo turns me on.
The dirty. The filthy. The nasty.The man your mother f*cking warned you about – is me.
Hold onto your panties, ladies.Lucas Carter is here to show you the dark side of the sheets.
***WARNING: This is a dark romance erotica – meaning lots of violence, sex, and emotionally disturbing inner dialogue. The main character does not, however, kidnap or force himself on women. The entire book is told in his point of view. This story does contain murder, tough choices, and strange sex.
***This book is entirely fictional, and the sexual techniques described within can be extremely dangerous. Read Lucas' story to spice up your sex life, have a little fun, and watch a man consumed by darkness grow into a different person. Please don't take any of the acts described within as instructional and always remember, safety first.What I Think....*long review*
Goodness....where do I start? I have SO much I want to talk about, but it would probably come out in a whirlwind of broken words, so I'll start slowly. One minute I was connecting with the characters and moving right along in the story, then the next minute I wasn't. I played a game of back and forth during the whole novel! After taking a night to really mull over my feelings, I think I pinpointed my problem. I'm just not used to a novel being written in a male point of view! It threw me off my game for a bit, but once I got that kink worked out *hehe* I felt better about everything. It still blew my mind, that's for sure.
First, let me say, I really did enjoy this novel. Lucas Carter simply made my mouth water! With his sexy tousled hair, cold calculating eyes, and to die for body, I was totally consumed. He was SO right up my alley.....until he unleashed his inner demons. There were times I questioned his sanity, because some of the situations he put himself in truly baffled me. At the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to a very calloused, closed off individual, who's only focus was keeping his "darkness" at bay. He has a list of "clients" that he releases this darkness with; and gets paid for it. Make no mistake, his is NOT a prostitute, as he clearly states, because not all darkness is sexual. Sex does play a huge part in this novel though, just not entirely with his "client list".
A couple chapters in we are introduced to Audra Holiday, Luke's equal in all forms. She's got the "darkness" inside her as well, that intrigues Lucas, something that's extremely hard to do. Because of this, they become a sort of duo. Not so much a client-master duo, but more of a "friends with benefits/ friends who drive you crazy" type duo. Together, they drive each other to their sexual breaking points, all for simple pleasure. Audra definitely isn't that woman who is supposed to "save" Luke, as other romance novels usually have. No, she definitely expels it out of him and leeches her own onto him. When an unparalleled event takes place, the two become allies in a sadistic formation. She struggles with her own identity and place in the world. It comes to a point where you have to ask who will commit murder first, that's how chaotic their "friendship" is.
To add some sunshine to this very dreary story, is Robbie Carrell; Luke's sweet eighteen year old next door neighbor. She is by far the most unlikely candidate for Luke, but something about him draws her to him. Like a moth drawn to a flame, she is consumed by his power. She's everything he isn't: innocent, emotional, caring, vibrant...the list goes on. So when she confesses her ever-persistent love for him, Luke's cold demeanor cracks. A decade older then Robbie, Luke knows he cannot taint her with his darkness. However, she doesn't give up on him. Because of her efforts, she is able to do what no woman has done before: get under Lucas Carter's skin. That to me, was a huge success. I just loved Robbie. Even though she was young, much younger then Luke, I felt like she was strong in her skin and in her personality. She knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to put in the work to get it. That't not something you find in the younger generation today. Hard work and relationships usually do not go hand in hand, so I really liked that attribute of hers.
I just wouldn't be doing this review its due justice if I didn't touch on the mental health of our main characters. The moment I realized what exactly Mr. Carter did for a living, I started Googling sexual mental disorders. Don't get me wrong, dabbling in BDSM fantasies is hardly a mental disorder, however, sexual masochism and sadism certainly is. I mean, he was aroused by the thought of murder and dripping blood...not exactly sane thoughts. Audra, too, was infatuated with the high only found in blood exchange, so I had to do my research. However, as grotesque as the situation was, I was still obsessed with reading more. I found it fascinating how Luke and Audra functioned, with their controversial desires always threatening to be exposed. Again, total eye opener for me.
As always, Stunich goes above and beyond with her writing skills. Like some of her other literary works, this was dark, but it was by far darker then anything of hers that I've read thus far. To me though, that was half of the appeal. From page 1 I knew this novel would rock my world in only a Stunich fashion. The novel was extremely well written, has great specific details, and was an overall great read. However, make sure you read the warning label on this before you begin. I got SO annoyed with some of the review's I read because someone didn't take the time to read what the novel was about and then decided to get offended. Stunich boldly says that this is a dark erotic fictional novel, so maybe Google what those words mean before picking it up. If you already know what it is about and like that sort of thing, BUY IT! :)