Hell or Highwater
Love Is in the Air
Gluttony and other Hungers
Wicked Dreams
Wrath and other Troubles
The Sinner and the Scholar
The Sheikh's Fake Fiancée
Bought at Auction
Be My Baby
Wraith's Revenge
Outback Hope: The Farmer
One Wolf Next Door
Sloth an other Delights
Outback Dust: The Drifter
Nero: A Scifi Alien Romance
Wolf Mate
Fae's Wolf
A Crown of Cruel Lies
A Clever Christmas
Holiday Kisses

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Darklight On... DarkSider Reading for 2021!

First of all, it's Christmas Day and we wish everyone a fantastic day and holiday season!

Here at the DarkSide, we are not only authors but readers as well. We love reading like you do. Here's is what some of our DarkSiders read in 2021. 

Melody Beckett

I am a prolific reader across many romance sub-genres, but some particular stand outs this year were:

  • Little Fire by Hollee Mands
  • The Jock by Tal Bauer
  • Strange Love by Ann Aguirre
  • Taken to Kor by Elizabeth Stephens 
  • The Alpha Awakens by Anna Fury

I thoroughly enjoyed these books! They range from fantasy romance (Little Fire) to MM sports romance (The Jock), and even delve into inter-species love with beautifully heart-felt, and yet hilarious, writing (Strange Love). Then there’s an omegaverse first in series (The Alpha Awakens) and my absolute favourite for the year (Taken to Kor).

I am consciously diversifying my own reading to support authors of colour, authors from the LGBTQI+ community, and independently published authors. I post what I’m reading  regularly on my Instagram, and love hearing what other are reading so please get in touch! @mel.beckett.author


Marie Dry

I read so many good books this year, too many to mention them all. But here are a few highlights.

With the release of the new Foundation series I went back and read the Robot, Empire and Foundation books again. Asimov is just amazing. After all these decades he still had me reading when I should've been writing. I read the books in the order he recommended.

  • I, Robot.
  • The Caves of Steel.
  • The Naked Sun.
  • The Robots of Dawn.
  • Robots and Empire.
  • The Stars, Like Dust.
  • The Currents of Space.
  • Pebble in the Sky.

I am not a big fan of mafia books, but I saw a few suggestions on Facebook that looked good and I discovered Serena Akeroyd (check out her Amazon page). The characters in her mafia and mc series totally drew me in.

I also read Operation Nemesis by Eric Bogosian. I've had the book for a while but only read it this year. It was really good but heart wrenching to read about the plight of the Armenians.

I also read the Babylon 5 scripts. It is excellent reading. I'm very excited about the new series reboot, but I will always go back to the original series and give it another watch through each year.

One of my favourite reads this year was Becoming A Writer, Staying a Writer by J Michael Straczynski.

I have to mention the latest dust bunny book by Jayne Castle, Guild Boss. It was excellent and I loved going back to that world. I hope she writes more books set behind the curtain.

I read the latest books by Christine Feehan, Jayne Castle, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Rebecca Zanetti, Nalini Singh, Shelly Laurentson, Jeaniene Frost, Ruby Dixon, Laurann Dohner, Sherrilyn Kenyon.

As always I re-read The last hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith.


Helen Walton

My book year kicked off with a dip back into Jeaniene Frost’s world of vampires with Wicked  All Night. This series will forever be one of my favourites because vampires, do I need to say more? 

Sprinkled throughout the year were more favourites by Lana Pecherczyk her Fae Guardians series The Dreams of Broken Kings, The Secrets in Shadow and Blood, and A Labyrinth of Fangs and Thorns. Then there was Pride from her Deadly Seven series, which I can’t wait for the last book while dreading the fact it will end. 


Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland really tugged at my heartstrings and Sierra Simone’s New Camelot Trilogy was smoking hot. I love reading a variety of romance from contemporary to paranormal and plenty in between, so long as I get a happily ever after. 

If you want to see the rest of my 2021 reads, follow me on Goodreads at Helen Walton.


Shelley Russell Nolan

My favourite reads for 2021:

Asylum by Lindsay Buroker - This stand-alone sci fi book is set in her Star Kingdom universe and I got to catch up with favourite characters after all their adventures in the series. I want more as I really loved these characters and all their quirks.

Entropy (Atrophy #4) and Final Dawn (Atrophy #5) by Jess Anastasi - The last two books in this sci fi series were a wild ride that I did not want to end. Loved getting to dive deep into Rian and Ella’s story in the last book. Did not want it to end.

Queen of the Shining Sea
(Blade and Rose #4) by Miranda Honfleur - A fantasy romance that is epic in scale with magic and dragons and elves and so many twists and turns it kept me engrossed. Looking forward to reading the next book.

Eleni Konstantine

This year I've been mainly concentrating on series I've started and making more of an effort to read more than one book of the series in the year, especially by authors I know (I like to take a little break between books to saviour them). I tend to read series as they were released but have started to mix it up so I can read newer and older series. 

The series I read most of was Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy/paranormal romance) I got hooked on this series a few years ago. However, I remember finding the first book confusing as we were thrust into the world with little explanation. 
Subsequent books didn't have this and I fell in love with the Kate and the way she went into the post-Shift world head first with lots of wit and lots of action. Her and Curran's relationship was also a big draw as the books went on. 

I finally finished off the Kate Daniels series with Magic Triumphs but I'll still get my fix of that world with two spin off series featuring Julie (Aurelia Ryder) and Hugh (Iron Covenant). Speaking of Hugh, who would have thought I'd like him but he makes a change and we understand him more in Iron and Magic

I also read the first in The Innkeeper Chronicles, Clean Sweep. Completely different world building with aliens secretly on Earth. Another 5 star read.

I have enjoyed is Night Huntress series in recent years and the spin-offs, the Night Rebel series being the one I read this year. These books feature Ian getting his just deserts by falling in love with Veritas. There's lots of action as any good urban fantasy/paranormal romance should have but there's also lots of fun and wit in them. Another big draw card is the developing relationship between the couple. I listened to these in audio format and the narrator Tavia Gilbert does a fantastic job. 

Now onto my favourites from people I know. 

Hell Squad series by Anna Hackett (Sci-Fi Romance)
I started reading this series last year and continued to read more from Reed (Book 4) to Holmes (Book 8). I've got plenty to go and looking forward to seeing how this series turns out. It has action, adventure, sex and love, and Anna writes it in a natural way that draws you into the characters and their plight to fight off alien invaders. 


A change of genre now and we're onto historical romance. My favourite author in this genre is Australia's Anne Gracie. I have loved every book I've ever read of hers. She creates beautiful series with enticing characters you can't help but fall in love with. I'm currently reading her Marriage of Convenience series and read Marry in Scandal (Book 2) and Marry in Secret (Book 3) this year. I would have read Book 4 but I realised it wasn't on my TBR shelf. It's just been delivered and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. 


Another favourite author is Keri Arthur. I'm currently reading two of her urban fantasy series - Dark Angels (Books 4 & 5 in  2021) and Lizzie Grace (Books 3 to 5 in 2021). I've enjoyed both these series more as they go on and I'm looking forward to reading the rest in each series. Both lead characters are strong women who go out of their way to help others. The world building in both series is alluring - I love finding something new in each book - and the heroes are yummy. I'm cheering that these two get their HEA at the end of the series but for the moment, there's a whole lot of trouble and heartache ahead. 


There are more books I have enjoyed by fellow DarkSiders this year. All but one were in a series, and those with an asterisk being books that finished off the series. Yay!

  • Circus Games by Lilliana Rose *
  • Be Mine Forever (Detectives Kane and Alton #11) by D.K. Hood
  • Dark Child (Bloodsworn): Episode 1 by Adina West
  • Every Breath You Take by Christina Phillips
  • For the Love of a Goblin Warrior (Shadowlands #3) by Shona Husk *
  • My Highland Lover: Forbidden Fantasy (Highlander Romance #4) by Cathleen Ross 
  • Night of the Dark Horse (Allegra Fairweather Mystery #5) by Janni Nell *
  • Tainted (The Druid Chronicles #4) by Christina Phillips *
  • Unforgotten (The Fallen Guardians #2) by Cassie Laelyn 
  • The Virgin Hunt Games (The Virgin Hunt Games #1) by Mel Teshco






If you want to check out my reading, you can find me on Goodreads and my reading blog.


We hope you have a fabulous 2022 with lots of great reading to pass your time!

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Magic Thursday: The Goddess Bride in 9th Century Pictland + a Free Book!


Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved reading stories that had a magical or fantasy twist, and I’ve also always loved history. Growing up in England I was lucky enough to be surrounded by the rich heritage left by the Romans, and I also loved visiting the ruins of breathtaking castles and mystical standing stones.

Now, you’d think it would be obvious that I should combine those two things when I started writing – but if you know me, you’ll know it always takes me forever before the obvious smacks me in the face! So, after many years writing in several different genres (all of which I’ve loved doing) I’ve finally gone back to my first love.

History and fantasy.

The Highland Warrior Chronicles
is set in the 9th century, when MacAlpin, king of Dal Riada, set his sights on claiming all of Pictland for his own. The historical record tells us that by the end of the century the Picts, as a separate people, had all but vanished.

What happened to these proud people, who had managed to keep the invading Romans at bay hundreds of years previously?

Not a lot is known about the Picts, besides the amazing standing stones they left behind. And so I could let my imagination run free. And in my world of tough Highland warriors, I have Pictish princesses who are chosen ones of the goddess, Bride.

During a time when a new religion was spreading across the land, the old gods do not rest easy. And in the seven kingdoms of Pictland, are seven royal princesses who are destined to not only unite Pict and Scot through powerful alliances—but also ensure the ancient ways of their foremothers are not forgotten.

With three books in the series now out, and book 4 scheduled to release next year, I’ve recently completed a prequel – Her Rebel Scot – in which I’ve imagined what might have happened when MacAlpin’s father fell for his Pictish princess and set in motion events that would ultimately change the political landscape of Pictland forever.

However, since I don’t write tragedies, Her Rebel Scot is the forbidden romance between Tavish, bastard son of the King of Dal Riada, and Catriona, the half-sister of the Princess of Pictland. I had so much fun writing this book and I hope readers love Tavish and Catriona as much as I do!

Even the threat of the Vikings won't keep him from her side...

Tavish O'Eochaid, favored son of the King of Dal Riada, has no plans to settle down until forced to by duty. But when he enters Pictland on a diplomatic mission, he's captivated by an enigmatic noblewoman, who hides secrets in her eyes.

Bound by blood to the shadow of the royal court, Catriona cannot afford to fall for the charms of a visiting Scots warrior. As a chosen one of her goddess, she knows where her duty lies. Yet as her visions of a splintered future grow ever darker, she risks everything for a few stolen hours in his arms.

 But when betrayal rocks the foundations of Pictland herself, Tavish must choose between sacrificing his honor - or surrendering to his enemy, for the woman he has grown to love.

If you’d like to read Her Rebel Scot for free, and discover my passionate, mystical, world of 9th century Pictland, the eBook is exclusive for my newsletter subscribers, and you can sign up here, on my website!

About Christina

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing historical romance with a touch of fantasy where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

Christina is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate, and bad boy heroes. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats, including one who reigns from the rainbow bridge, who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Christina's website

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