I wanted to read these books because I'm always attracted to characters who have to overcome really dark pasts to get to their happy ending. Hopefully, Harper will finally achieve that. Though I foresee pain as twisted as the past she's running from.
1 DARKNESS DESERVED
In a very unladylike inner voice, Harper tells her story, unsweetened and all sins bare. She's come a long way and now stands proud, free. In walks temptation to breach her carefully risen walls, but she fights to keep him away. Breccan is infatuated with the beautiful but aloof bar-owner, unaware that prostitution and torture mark her past.
What I like about Harper is that she's resilient to no end. No matter what life crushed her with, she managed to reinvent herself, become the woman she was supposed to be.
Through to her nightmares, we get to know about the horrible episodes that marked her youth. They're interspersed along Harper's present life. Let me warn you they're pretty graphic and disturbing.
Favourite sexy moment? After an explosive peak of pleasure, the man actually dresses Harper back, and it's so sweet and intimate!
Level of heat? Plenty and no quarter given. Though I missed a little bit of sensual anticipation.
Odd and off? Breccan pushes too hard at the connection with Harper. He wants to be serious from minute one. Didn't seem believable to me, but an excuse for making anonymity really hard for Harper. She keeps telling him to back off, trying to protect herself, but he just gives a damn. After all, they hardly know each other.
To me, Breccan seems a bit contrived as a character, like he's been created for the sole purpose of being the perfect guy for the heroine. Besides, what girl craves for rough sex after all the horrible things she's been through?
Anyway, I enjoyed the sweet dynamics with friends and family, all supportive and fun. In particular, it brought a smile to my face every time Harper's dog acts like the centre of her world. He's so cute.
The story is good: it has drama, lots of steamy scenes, and grit. I cringe at the dark things Harper has lived through that kept me on edge. On the other hand, the narrative wasn't engaging enough for me. The couple's relationship is too fast to become life-altering, but it still turns out to be passionate and intense so that it doesn't let go of one's attention.
It ends in painful heartbreak and danger to Harper. The world she's so carefully built around her darkest secrets is crumbling down. Let's see how much grief is in store for her in the next novel!
2 ASCENDING DARKNESS
Oh, the darkness it brings about! Once again, we are privy to some disturbing episodes from Harper's past, and let me tell you that the present is not going to be a piece of cake either.
What I don't understand is why she won't run away from the shocking danger she found herself in at the end of book one. At least, she should have changed her routines to help avoid what's coming for her, but she doesn't change a thing. Weird.
Instead, she spirals into a well of despair. Eventually, her friends come to the rescue even against her will. They show amazing support. That was so encouraging.
After a frustrating amount of heartbreak, Harper is confronted with the chance of a lifetime. She starts telling Breccan the truth about her past. I felt her hope mingled with sheer terror at being rejected. I think the author did a good job there expressing Harper's love, fear and vulnerability.
Among hotter-than-coals sex scenes, there are pretty dramatic declarations. About the ugly truth, and about feelings. That takes this couple to the next level, tightening bonds that are stronger and deeper than ever. However, their idyllic reconciliation is put in jeopardy by Harper's enemies making a bloody reappearance.
In this second novel, the romantic relationship suffers a big blow but also rises triumphant. They really delve deep into their feelings for each other. It's amazing how they open up their hearts and their lives to accept each other unreservedly. And even though Harper suffers a lot, it's also a means to get rid of her inner demons once and for all.
One thing I really appreciated was the fact that there was a positive consequence for all the horror Harper has endured. I liked it a lot how she gives back something good after her experience.
All in all, these novels are fun to read thanks to the sex-fest, and the all-powerful love against the darkest of pains theme.
Harper Reagan has been through everything a woman could possibly go through. Losing her parents and entering foster care, only to be abused by her foster father. Running away at fifteen, she enters the world’s oldest profession to survive. And survive she did.
If you call abuse, counted as property and tortured to no end surviving then that was what she did…survived. Her life was spared, but at what cost. Long ago Harper had died. Today, due to those decisions she made, she is left existing with no choice to do anything else. Staring the devil in the face daily for as long as she did, left its mark and pain behind for her to live with forever.
The pain of that survival scars her deeper than any physical wound she's ever received.
Harper is finally living a better life and has a great business, friends, and a home finally her own. She will do anything to keep her past hidden, including jeopardizing her only chance at love and a truly good man.
Breccan Caldwell is everything Harper doesn't deserve. He's gorgeous, successful, caring and a true gentleman.
Can Breccan show Harper who she truly is? Or will he be pushed out by the darkness she allows herself to be consumed with?
Friday night at the bar was busy. Every table was full all night and the bar was packed as well. I couldn’t have been happier. It was ten o’clock as I was making my rounds through the crowd checking tables and helping Emma, Beth and Mya, my waitresses, out.
I had just finished setting down a round of shots at a table full of sorority girls and turned around to go back to the bar, when I felt a tingle start at the top of my head and move toward my groin. When it settled and my clit began to throb I just knew. I knew it was my Adonis.
Here at last.
I was hoping I could just go through life without this temptation. It’s okay Harper. You wore your big girl panties tonight so quit being such a fucktwat and grow a pair. I make my way to the bar as if I notice nothing and set the tray down for Mark and Rory, my bartenders tonight.
I head towards the end of the bar to take care of some orders I need to make, when I feel his presence beating against me from behind. It’s like he already owns my body. My skin begins to tingle, my heartbeat speeds up, and my breathing becomes shallow as I try to control it. I can feel the vein in my neck throbbing relentlessly. On the outside I know I appear composed and nonchalant, but inside- inside- I feel ready to burst.
I just want Adonis to grab me, throw me on the bar and fill me as I know only he can at this moment. He brings both arms around me so that his hands are resting on the bar and he has me trapped between it and himself. He leans in and I can feel his breath wash over my exposed neck. I inhale his scent: soap, Armani and Adonis. God, I want him to bend me over. A million different scenarios run through my mind of how to close down the bar so I can please this man.
And that’s when I stop and ice runs through my veins. I spent four years pleasing men. I was not going down that path again.
The repercussions of Harper’s past meeting her present have left her breathless and lost. She continues to fight an internal war with herself. Can she let the love Breccan has offered into her life? Or was she right to push him away for his own good?
As Harper struggles with this internal battle, will her past find her and tear down everything she has built?
Will Harper ever find her happily ever after?
Read the conclusion of the Shattering the Darkness Series.
It’s been years since I lived and breathed this way. Years since I had to wonder what would happen next. I’ve been lucky; living the good life and having whatever I wanted. I suppose I couldn’t really have it all; too greedy. It was never about money, though….
It was about being out of this life, having something more.
I don’t know if Nikko and Breccan know yet what has happened, or if they can even do anything about it. I imagine they will try and I hope they succeed, but how in the hell are they even going to find me? I don’t even know where I am or how I got here. How can two people that weren’t there do anything about it?
I look around the mostly dark room. The walls are a grayish color which looks to be from stains to the once white walls. The carpet is dark, almost a greenish color. There is a small bed in the corner with a table and a lamp that hardly sheds any light in this room. It smells musty in here, like a cemented basement.
Maybe it is a basement.
I was unconscious when they took me and woke up in this room.
I sigh and sit up on the bed so that I am facing the door. My hands are still tied with nylon rope and my wrists are raw, so it hurts to move them too much.
The door starts to open and I watch.
He walks in with the same grimy smile he always had.
I hate you!
He walks closer to the bed, looks down at me and says, “Hey, babe. You’ve been busy. Looks like it’s time to pay your dues. Pants off. Now.”
Jessica grew up in a small town in Southern Iowa. She went to nursing school and became a nurse only to realize her passion was in writing and reading. She loves to spend her time with friends and is very close with her family. It took her a long time to realize she even had a joy of reading. Once having declared there was no point when the books always became movies. At twenty four she discovered how wrong she was and became obsessed with reading and made up for lost time by doing it nonstop. She began writing when dozens of ideas kept flowing through her mind that she knew she had to get out.