Review: Darkest

Ever been both sad and euphoric at finishing a book? That’s me on the last page of Darkest. I’ll never again read it for the first time. But the trilogy is now on my TBR-Again list.

Ashe Barker’s three-book saga (Darkening, Darker, and Darkest) made me sigh. A lot. And this one most of all.

I sighed in frustration. Sadness. Arousal. Excitement. A few gasping sighs. Some longing sighs. A few, ahem, satisfied sighs.

A tiny, itsy bitsy warning. Don’t try reading Darkest in public.

Erm. A. Gerd.

I had to while away an hour while the mechanic worked on my car. Seemed like a perfect chance to get started on the book. Yeah. Um. It starts innocuously enough.

(Spoiler alert from the cliffhanger at the end of Darker: the housekeeper is okay). Eva does a good job taking charge and getting help, and then she calls Nathan to let him know what happened. During the phone call, she accidentally gets bossy. And he switches into Dom mode. Tells her to call him that night with a selection of toys from his bedroom, and he’ll teach her a lesson about who is in charge.

Holy mother of heteronormative climax.

Just the way he said it gave me that my-tummy-is-fluttering-I-can’t-sit-still feeling. I have a crap poker face. The mechanic asked if I was okay.

Um, well, yeah, except I needed some privacy.  With none to be had, I kept on reading. It got progressively hotter.

The phone sex scene, people. THE PHONE SEX SCENE. If you had asked me before I read Darkest if I thought reading about phone sex could be hot, I’d have been unenthused.

Yeah, like that.

Since Ashe Barker has a filthy (oh my, so, so, naughty) imagination, the ever-eager Eva tests her body to the limits, under her Dom’s tender mercy.

Have your lover handy (whether mechanical or human). We don’t see Nathan in the flesh for a goodly chunk of the first half of the book, yet he still manages to take care of Eva’s needs.  And when he comes home, such a lovely homecoming. Emphasis on the second syllable.

I don’t want to say too much more – you should read it for yourself (after you read Darkening and Darker, of course). Let’s just say that their relationship progresses, the path to love is not smooth, and Eva’s impressive intellect doesn’t save her from epic stupidity. Also, Nathan must have a really large apartment, because a St. Andrew’s cross takes up a good bit of room. What in the world must his cleaner think?

Thank you, Ms. Barker, for writing such an enjoyable, exciting trilogy with memorable, stubborn, flawed, human characters who constantly surprised me. Loved the books, the characters, and the plot.

I strongly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who enjoys quirky, smart female characters, Doms who spank hard and deliver tender after-care with lots of Os, gorgeous settings, great dialogue, and incredibly hot non-vanilla sex. The publisher kindly provided complimentary copies of book 2 and 3 in return for honest reviews.

Darkest by Ashe Barker is available through Amazon US, Amazon UK, directly from the publisher (Totally Bound), and possibly through other e-tailers.

You may also want to check out my reviews of Darkening and Darker, the first two books in Ashe Barker’s trilogy.

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