Review: Darkening (The Dark Side Trilogy #1) by Ashe Barker

October 21, 2013 Review 1

Review: Darkening (The Dark Side Trilogy #1) by Ashe Barker

Book One in the The Dark Side series.


Who knows where pain ends and pleasure begins?


The chance of a new life out in the wilds of the Yorkshire moors sounds too good to be true to shy musician Eva Byrne. Stifled and smothered within the cocoon of her brilliant academic career, Eva yearns for something different. Something real and exciting. Something she can feel.


Excitement. Passion. Pleasure. She finds that sexy, enigmatic Nathan Darke can provide all these and more when she moves into his home as violin tutor to his young daughter. But Eva’s sensual encounters with her demanding, domineering new employer quickly evoke her deepest fears, as he introduces her to the trauma of submission and marks her with his particularly dark brand of love.


But will Eva’s natural curiosity and thirst for new experiences be enough to withstand the sting of Nathan Darke’s exquisite touch? Will simple surrender be enough as he challenges her every inhibition, taking her on an erotic journey of self-discovery and liberation?


Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of dominance and submission, including sex toys, pain play, anal play, nipple clamps, erotic waxing, paddling, restraints and caning. It also involves one scene where miscommunication leads to unintentional loss of consciousness. The book is best read in sequence as part of a serial story, and ends on a cliffhanger that some readers might find upsetting.

Title: Darkening
Author: Ashe Barker
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Darkening, Darker, Darkest, The Dark Art of Persuasion
Series: The Dark Side Trilogy
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Darker, Darkest, The Dark Art of Persuasion
Published by Total-e-Bound Publishing
Source: Author
Published: August 9th 2013
Genres: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Pages: 147
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars

Oh my gosh…I am hooked on the dark side! The Darkening was an incredible read for me. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like. All the elements I enjoy where here for me to enjoy. The characters were just WOW (I’ll get back to them in a moment). The dialog had me alternating between laughing and fanning myself. Let’s not forget the details. Frankly, the attention to detail that some authors use can sometimes be wording and boring. However, this was not the case for me today. The author description of the countryside astounded me. I could just see those English Moors and fields of heather.  I see other reviews where people will say this is just another FSoG. I do wish people would stop comparing every erotic novel to FSoG because frankly, I enjoyed this story so much more. Between the smarmy comments, the British humor and slang (which I do get) and the hot sex, I was riveted and could not put this book down. If I was to have one complaint about this book is I wish it was longer.


Nathan Darke, charming, good looking, British. I can’t resist a guy with an accent. *SIGHS* My initial impression of him is a certain well known Dom minus all the angry emotional baggage and phobias. However, let’s be honest, the real star of this story is Eva. She’s intelligent, talented violinist, frumpy and socially clumsy. I adore the fact that she’s not perfect. With her frizzy red hair and smallish breast, frankly, I find her a breath of fresh air in her less than perfect state. In addition, even though she seems social inept, she does not come out all mousy meek. Oh no…she’s got a saucy back-bone that does rear her head. It is when that backbone pops up and she starts sparring with Nathan that I love her best. Yes, their sexual attraction between them is hot, and the sex SIZZLES, but really it is when they are interacting on a vocal and emotional level that really draws me in.

OK…here’s the part where I warn about the sex content. There is both vanilla sex as well toys and  BDSM action. While the BDSM will automatically rate a book at 4-Flames it’s the author’s attention to detail (See above) that really does it for me. Hot, yummy and anytime Eva wants to tag out I’m sure that will be many a reader happy to take her place.


When author Ashe Barker say in the blurb that the story “ends on a cliffhanger that some readers might find upsetting” she is not kidding. I have yet to read a cliffhanger that had me screaming at my Kindle NOOO! Seriously, that is a cliffhanger guaranteed to have you panting for the next title. I personally cannot wait for the next book. Is Darkening a book worth reading? Oh yes! This is a series definitely worth my recommendation.


An added note – an over done cover can make or break a book. I like a cover that simple and this one rocked it for me. Its clean lines  and elegance is what initially drew me to wanting to read Darkening in the first place.  Shadows and a violin…simple perfection.


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