Welcome to the dark side!
Nothing gets my heart pumping faster than turning the pages of a suspenseful, dark read. For me at least, these are the kind of books that lead me to staying up way past my bedtime. Keep in mind, with a dark read, it is a given the books will contain triggers and issues bound to cross some boundaries and might even follow you into your dreams.
So what draws me to a dark read? Let me share some of the elements that lure me into the sinister worlds these gems reside in.
Hope is essential, without it a dark read would be depressing. I go for stretches where watching the nightly news is too depressing but give me a book where I will get a mix of dark and light within a story and I’m fine. The dark setting illuminates the brightness of hope as it slowly intensifies throughout the story.
Only strong characters are capable of handling the drama that exists in a good dark read. A weak character can ruin a well-grounded story. There are instances where a character begins from a weak stance but grows as they face their adversities. It reminds me of the saying comparing a woman to a tea bag – only when a teabag is placed in hot water does its strength appear.
Suspense, Twists and Turns
I loved reading Nancy Drew books when I was a teenager. Being a detective was never a dream (I’m more Scooby Doo then Nancy Drew, but I can dream) but I do love the challenge a mystery presents. Collecting clues and figuring out the ending is just as exhilarating as not seeing a plot twist coming.
Boldly going where I wouldn’t dare to in real life!
And yes there’s that, isn’t there (insert cheeky smile). I may think about doing despicable deeds but they never manifest into actions. In a story, I can become the character, wield my power and have no bodies to clean up at the end of the day. I am a people pleaser in real life but when I open a book I let my inner wild side run free. I believe it’s a healthy balance, no one gets hurt and I remain on the right side of the law. As I like to remind others, nothing is worth losing access to your WiFi!
Processing dark themes
Reading about disturbing situations and how it impacts characters is a gentle way of processing the harsh realities of life. Visually, I find it confronting but reading I can handle. I am fascinated by the sociology challenges depicted in books. I look upon others around me and wonder why they make the choices in life they have but I would never impose my curiousity upon them. Loathing gossip, I get my fill with a good book where the sharing is open and there is no concern of invading someone’s privacy. In essence, being able to process dark situations through fiction is a luxury I believe helps me to understand the unimaginable in the world.
Yes, I have them and sometimes I don’t know what they are until I encounter them. No judgment on people who revel in the books I push aside, but by letting you know where I draw the line it will help you decide if the books I love will be to your liking. What blows me away is when an author can skirt close around my limits and take me down a path I had no intention of travelling!
-The deal breaker is violence for the sake of violence. Every dark element to the story has to be pivotal to either character or plot development. I quickly tire of filler scenes and I will only skim to a certain extent before I give up.
-When the main characters feed off others despair and/or misfortune. I’m not referring to revenge or missions, what gets under my skin is the kind who do what they do for no reason and are driving the story. If it’s a secondary character or a villain I can deal but I need to connect with at least one of the main characters to engage in the story.
-Unbelievable plots. Now this is quite a statement considering I enjoy a good dark paranormal romance. This is where I move my boundaries and accept whatever the general rules are within the realms the characters exist.
Want to join me on the Dark Side? All care but no responsibility is offered with the recommendations below!
Happy Reading, Lily x
Drawn into a sensory world where 20/20 vision won’t capture all you need to see. A musician and artist connect on another level in this delicious dark read. The version I read included a link to images and music referred to in the story.
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, then joining a support group to get me through the wait between new releases. Anthony Rawlings is a man you either love or loathe. I’m the latter but I adored the heroine in the story and hung in there in the hope she could outsmart the man who manipulated her world to suit him. She adapts well in a world where appearances and perception are essential to her survival. The first book in the series, Consequences was free on Amazon at the time of posting.
Caleb is a man on a mission, his target becomes more than he anticipated. She believes her captor is her saviour. That’s exactly what he wanted her to think. This is a tale I find difficult to articulate why I enjoyed it so much because frankly it was so wrong, but I remind myself this is fiction. The first book in the duet, Captive in The Dark was free on Amazon at the time of posting.
My goodness, the mercenaries are individually molded to suit the needs of the Den. If they make it through their basic training these guys become weapons. They answer to their handler and somehow maintain their humanity and find love. An overarching plot and mystery builds between this series and London Miller’s other series, the Wild Ones. Red. is the first book in the series.
Zeth and Sloane are the dynamic duo in their wild romance. You couldn’t meet two different people who compliment each other as well as they do. The more time they spend together, the closer they begin to mimic each other while still maintaining their defining traits. Deviant is the first book in the Blood & Roses series.
An MC/Biker series that was more about a wronged heroine rather than the club. Juliette systematically sets about to take each of the brothers who played a part in her brutal attack. The series is a collection of 9 quick reads that each takes you through Juliette’s revenge fueled dangerous journey. The first book in the series is Seven Sons.
I adore a triangle, temptation and mystery. This series takes readers down the road of misadventure where everything that is wrong feels so right. The manipulation going on in this story and the empathy I developed for all the characters kept me turning pages. The cover you see here for the first book in the series,, The Opportunist is a new one.
A story of brutal revenge and breaking down the structure that allowed a girl to be placed in the care of such a monster. Lizbeth Salamander and Mikael Blomkvist join forces and will stop at nothing to seek justice fighting without the shackles of the law.
Oh boy, this is a series that starts off dark and gets darker than I thought was possible. An arranged marriage that is far from amicable but the chemistry between the two is smoking hot. Once they move past the fact that neither wants to relinquish their control on the family reigns, they become an unstoppable force. They both embrace harsh and unforgiving methods of maintaining respect in and outside of the family.
A chase that has the heroine running and looking over her shoulder when she stops to rest. Ellie is far from innocent, a rather excellent anti-hero who lives life on the edge. Driven by revenge she finds herself in a complex world where trusting others is a rare and dangerous indulgence.
Got through my Top 10, here are some more for you!
- King Series by TM Frazier*
- Tears of Tess by by Pepper Winters
- Whispers and the Roars by K Webster*
- Surviving Raine by Shay Savage
- Cartel by Lily St Germain*
- The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz*
- Taking Turns by JA Huss*
- Scarlet Scars by JM Darhower*
- Irreparable by Sam Mariano*
- Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
- Forbidden by CD Reiss*
- Violent Things by Callie Hart*
- Accidental Witness by Sam Mariano*
- The Edge series by CD Reiss*
Explore Edgy’s Lists
- Top 10 Biker Series
- Top 10 Mafia Romances
- Edgy’s Top 10 for 2018
- Edgy’s Top 10 for 2017
- Edgy’s Top 10 for 2016
- Edgy’s Top 10 for 2015
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