Saturday, April 2, 2016

Wicked Ways by Cari Silverwood

What if a man could command you to do anything and you couldn't make yourself say no?

Some people go through life without encountering evil. Zorie is not one of the lucky ones. As a teenager, she escaped a kidnapper. Now she's stronger, smarter, and she avoids the wolves.

Until she meets Reuben and her avoidance strategy is chaff in the wind. He's a collector and a mesmer, with the ability to control certain women at will. Zorie is to be his remote-controlled plaything.
She's been collected.

Power corrupts.

Absolute power? Absolutely terrifying.

Two men are the key to Zorie freeing herself from Reuben.
Grimm Heller's reasons are hidden in his past and his soul.
Mister Black's reasons are simpler. He wants her for his own to make her into a weapon.

No matter which way she turns, is she simply choosing a different evil?

This book is part of a dark erotic fiction series and may disturb some readers.

Please note: This is a dark story with graphic violence, graphic sex, and kink.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Wicked Ways was a rather interesting read for me. I don’t typically enjoy books that rely more on introspection than dialogue to tell the story. In fact, the last book I read that use inner monologues more than dialogue between characters left me feeling quite bored. However, considering that the villains in the Dark Hearts series are mesmers – men who are able to control certain women’s actions with their thoughts – the heavy use of inner monologues is almost necessary because Zorie had no control over what she did or said when Reuben or Mister Black exercised their influence over her. When she was able to resist, it was only for brief moments. So in order for the reader to know what Zorie was facing, much of the story was told from within her mind as she struggled against the commands given to her, the feelings of helplessness and shame once she realized what she had done and that she had enjoyed it, and the fear and devastation as Reuben upped the stakes on his “game” with her.

While I would consider Wicked Ways to primarily be a paranormal romance with dark erotica elements, it’s not nearly that straightforward. Why? I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to categorize a book as a paranormal romance when the paranormal character(s) are incapable of love and not part of the actual romance – at least not in the first installment they weren’t. Actually, the paranormal characters’ actions pretty much annihilated the budding romance by destroying Zorie’s already tentative trust in men. [And I have to say, I figured out who Heller was before it was revealed. Booyah!] There is no question that the book is erotica because there is a significant amount of sex within the pages and much of what Zorie endures certainly qualifies as dark – the author does warn of this. However, how dark and how erotic the book is will depend entirely up on the reader.

Because Silverwood tells the story from both Zorie and Mister Black’s points of view, the reader learns far more about mesmers than we otherwise would have. It is from Mister Black that we discover that most mesmers let their ability to control women go to their head. The manner in which Reuben seems to take great pleasure in humiliating and degrading Zorie when he has her under his control certainly supports this; and when he reveals his ultimate plan to Zorie, well, it’s clear that Reuben has let his power corrupt him. This is where the levels of erotica and darkness come in. There are scenes that I found hot and there were scenes I couldn’t read past fast enough. Humiliation does not do it for me, it’s akin to dunking me in a bath of ice cold water. But I did read them because Silverwood provides enough detail to let the reader know what is being done to Zorie, but she does not tend to get overly graphic in the scenes. I actually appreciated this distinction because had the author decided to go hardcore dark and describe the most disturbing scenes in full detail, it would have left me feeling as though it was done simply to shock & awe the reader. I don’t appreciate shock & awe authors, and it quickly lands them on my do not read list. However, with the way the story was written, I was pointed in the direction the author wanted me to go, but she left my mind to fill in the blanks with what would scare me most were I the one in Zorie’s position. So I connected with Zorie’s feelings of hopelessness and fear rather well, too well for my liking, in fact. Yet this is what made Wicked Ways a fascinating read for me. Now I just have to find room in my packed review schedule for Wicked Weapon to find out what the future holds for Zorie.

Cari Silverwood is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer of kinky darkness or sometimes of dark kinkiness, depending on her moods and the amount of time she's spent staring into the night.

When others are writing bad men doing bad things, you may find her writing good men who accidentally on purpose fall into the abyss and come out with their morals twisted in knots.

Connect with Cari

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wicked Ways (Dark Hearts #1) by Cari Silverwood to read and review.

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