Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Darling Dark (Infernal Regions #1) - Natalie Bennett

Darling Dark (Infernal Regions #1)
Natalie Bennett
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Erotic

Trapped in a dark world inhabited by savages and ruled by the corrupted --Duvessa finds herself bound to a tyrant. Day in and day out she bears witness to just how cold and vicious her husband-to-be truly is. His iron fist rule strikes fear in the masses.

Reyes is ruthless and volatile --he incites both fear and inexplicable passion among those in his wake. Just as her feelings for the seductively cruel Reyes begin to grow, she learns nothing is as it appears to be. With already so much to fear, could there be something darker, more sinister lying in wait?

Please Pass The Books Review:

Darling Dark, the first book in Natalie Bennett's Infernal Regions series, is an erotic urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic realm. Duvessa, Jacinda, and Amethyst, having been hunted for months before, surrender themselves in Purgatory to their demon king, Reyes Straykov. The three young demi women are separated and paired between Reyes and his two brothers, Casimir and Hades.

Duvessa is the main POV character, and is quickly branded as the beast Reyes'. In a story where a woman is only able to tolerate coition with one man, Duvessa is forcefully and unnaturally fused to Reyes, soon discovering she is to become his bride.

Darling Dark has a lot going for it, but also some issues that work against it. The narrative is let down by poor editing and sluggish prose (e.g.: "Then she was screaming, one of those loud horror movie screams of anguish.").

That said, there are moments where Bennett's writing is prime. For example:

"She learned in that moment––Death is an unfair opponent. It had zero tact and little consideration for timing. In short, death was a fucking asshole."

Overall, the story is creative and the character development is exceptionally well layered for a novella this short. Bennett is adept at the art of world-building and in her execution of the character's sex scenes, and the twist she injects toward the end elevates the story beyond anything I saw coming. I think in the hands of a skilled editor, Darling Dark could shine in the erotic fantasy/paranormal genres and surpass other less-ambitious counterparts. I do look forward to reading the second book in the series, which says more about how enjoyable I found the story than anything else.

Five stars for plot.
Three stars for execution.
FOUR STARS overall.

Natalie Bennett writes dark, gritty, paranormal, and sci-fi erotica. Her books decimate the lines between right and wrong, contain flawed unapologetic alpha males, and over the top sex scenes.

Darling Dark (Infernal Regions One) is her debut novel. Along with the Infernal Regions series, she is also the author of Sordid Seduction, under the pseudonym B. Bennett. Her all time favorite book is The Silver Devil by Teresa Deny's.

Natalie grew up in Ohio, but now lives in Florida, with her husband, their three boys, and a pit-bull named Lulu. When she isn't working on one of her multiple WIP's, she spends her time with her family.

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