Skye Warren (one of our QUEENS of “Dark Love Stories”) has JUST released a book yesterday! To the Ends of the Earth: A Stripped Standalone has that dark edge to it (it sounds awesome!!). I’ve been a HUGE fan of hers for years now, because she takes me there. Her stories both hooking me, and taking me out of my comfort zone all at the same time, and they stay with me long after I’ve reached “the end”.
I’ve always wondered what HER favorite books were. Those that she absolutely loved (dark and otherwise). After all, she’s a reader, too, and she’s commented many times right here, recommending, or just joining in on our enthusiasm and love for a specific book. AND GUESS WHAT??!! She’s here right now!!!
And she’s going to share a few of her favorites with us today!
Welcome Skye!!! :D!!!
“Thank you so much to Maryse for having me!
I love seeing her new book reviews, so it’s a special honor to get to share my favorite books with everyone here. In particular I love and adore books that are subversive, lyrical, and occasionally dark, so if you do too you might find something amazing in this list…”
1. SUGAR DADDY by Lisa Kleypas
I know that BLUE EYED DEVIL is the fan favorite of the contemporary Travis family books, and really I’m usually a sucker for a rough-around-the-edges hero and a heroine healing from a traumatic past. But even with all that, I’m hung up on Gage Travis and Liberty Jones.
Sugar Daddy is a brilliant book, one that almost grows more layered every time I read it.
Which is… a lot. Many times. I can’t get enough of this deep character study of flawed people, good people, struggling people. It’s a study in love, both familial and unrequited.
Also, this one isn’t really dark, just incredibly compelling, but they get darker…
2. WAKING KISS by Annabel Joseph
Speaking of heroines healing from a traumatic past, I absolutely adore Ashleigh Keaton in this book. She’s both incredibly vulnerable and made of steel, an ordinary girl with extraordinary fortitude. The characters spring to life, including the enigmatic hero Liam and his temperamental friend Rubio.
This is a story of sexy BDSM, of orientation and introduction—but it’s also a life or death story, because both the hero and heroine are living a half-life. The fight they face is whether to trust, whether that’s even possible with the horrors of the past.
Honorable mention goes to Comfort Object and Loaned, both also by Annabel Joseph, for sexy stories that have stuck with me. I’m basically an Annabel Joseph fangirl 😉
3. ONE LAST SONG by S.K. Falls
Okay, here’s where I make my confession. I’m a sucker for a complicated heroine. I really fall in love with them first, and then require the hero to be worthy of them. I like them deep and even dark and sometimes dangerous. So that’s why Saylor from One Last Song stopped me in my tracks.
When the first line of a book is “I ate my first needle when I was seven,” you know you have something different. Saylor has Munchausen syndrome, a real psychiatric illness where she’s compelled to fake illness. Her psychiatrist suggests that she volunteer at the hospital, which leads to her secretly joining a support group for youth with terminal illness.
From there it’s heartbreaking, gritty, emotional, a nuanced look at both psychological and physical illness and the disaster they wreak. It’s the kind of book you can’t forget.
If you love books that are heartbreaking but also hopeful, that aren’t necessarily a romance, be sure to check out this one, and also We are Called to Rise by Laura McBride.
4. DARK NOTES by Pam Godwin
I’ve been a fan and friend of author Pam Godwin for a while now, but Dark Notes completely shook my world. So dark and so sexy and so utterly romantic – it’s the student teacher book of my dreams!
5. ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by Bryn Greenwood
This is one of my more recent *favorite* reads, and I’m pretty sure I first heard about it from Maryse’s Facebook post. As soon as I read the words “Midwestern meth lab” I was in, but it turned out completely different than I expected in the best way.
I told my friend Shari that this wasn’t a book I read but one that I experienced.
By the way, if you’re looking for other more literary works with a romance bent, check out The Night Circus.
5. TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Patricia Gaffney
The absolute best dark romance. Ever. Written.
Yes, I just said that!! And it’s a historical romance that was traditionally published, but damn. Completely cutting edge with brilliant writing and a breathtaking interplay. It captivated me from the first moment the heroine stepped onto the page—I simultaneously hated the hero and knew he was the only one worthy of her.
By the way, if you’re interested in historical romance with a dark bent, I also recommend Seduction by Madeline Hunter, The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh, The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston, and Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran.
Thank you so much for having me!!
Okay, I’m really done now!! As you can see I really super love books!! It’s a sickness, and I don’t ever want a cure. Have you read any of these? Did I mention any on your favorites shelf? Are you one-clicking any of them? Do you have a book recommendation for me based on the types of books I adore?
And I hope you’ll join me for THE PAWN, which comes out on December 6th!
“Smart, dark, deeply sensual read with characters I fell in love with from the minute they walked onto the page!” – New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips
The price of survival…
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.
There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.
A forbidden auction…
Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.
Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.
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