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

May 12, 2016 Review 0

Review: Darkening  (The Dark Side #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, Darkening, Darker, Darkest
Series: The Dark Side #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: The Darkening, Darker, Darkest
Published by Totally Bound
Source: Publisher
Published: August 9th 2013
Genres: BDSM, Erotic Romance, Romance
Pages: 147 pages
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: four-stars
Flames: four-flames

I have to say this was a bit challenging to write. Yes people have compared this to a certain other book in the erotica genre, but I felt this was a bit different from that one. I really liked this story of Nathan and Eva. I loved how the author developed their relationship which kind of just flowed naturally. Nathan wasn’t really looking for a submissive and Eva had no idea what Nathan was into.

Eva Byrne is the sparkler! She’s a shy, socially inept, but a brilliant musician who just wants something else. She’s not happy. You would think she would be meek, but she’s got a rebellious, snarky side that rears its head from time to time. Yes, she is naïve, but smart, and able to reason through her feelings when faced with something new, or different. She embarks on a sexual awakening that she clearly wants, and somehow she knows she needs.

I also liked Nathan Darke! British, suave, charming, successful, sexy, and a dominant! Definitely swoon-worthy! He doesn’t appear to by damaged in any way. No emotional childhood drama muddling around in his head! He likes what he likes and makes no excuses for it. Vanilla sex is too boring for him period. He wants his sex “amped” up. He does have a softer side that we are treated to now and again, which is sweet.

What about the sex you ask? Well, it is yummy! And creative! And scorch the sheets hot! Spicy toys, BDSM elements, and even a some vanilla sex give Eva a whirlwind education. While she is experiencing a very new aspect of her sexuality, she struggles with what she likes vs. what she thinks she shouldn’t like. They have a chemistry that is undeniable though, and you can feel their electricity jump from the pages!

There were just a couple of things I felt a little hard to accept. Eva is new to BDSM and I felt Nathan was acting like she was a seasoned sub. Everything was new to her and slightly overwhelming. Scene after scene involved spanking her derriere. Being new, she would not have the stamina to withstand these scenes literally one after the other. I felt Nathan, being the experienced one, should have given her more time between these sexual discoveries. Maybe mix it up some.

Overall, Ashe Barker did a wonderful job with this first book of the Dark Side Trilogy. It was well written, vividly depicted, and super erotic! The Yorkshire Moors sound fantastic to see! We are left with a devastating cliffhanger, so if you are not a fan, have book two cued up and ready to roll!



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