There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness #1), by Claire Contreras ✰✰✰✰✰

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A past hidden in darkness. Her present cloaked in secrets. The future holds the only truth that cannot be escaped.

After the mysterious and violent death of her parents, Blake Brennan finds comfort with an unconventional family. As the dramatic loss of her parents continues to haunt her—and hinders her from reciprocating love that others give freely—Blake embarks on a harrowing journey in search for the truth.

Living in a constant state of fear and need for control, vivid nightmares reveal details that lead to perilous situations. The past begins to collide with the present, and Blake must decide if the truth is worth losing the ones she loves. 

Can love conquer all as her past comes to light? Or will Blake realize that there is no light in darkness?

Book contains: Explicit language & sexual content.

My Casting

I really genuinely don’t know where to begin with this book.

4.5 stars for Blake and Cole.

 

I love you to the moon and back.

This was almost a 5 star read… but just not quite.
I’m a romance reader. Hard-core. Die hard. Through and through. What draws me into a book is the connection between two characters. Some people might say that I’m boring, to only be attracted to one genre, some may say it is closed minded… but it’s just the way I am. I’ve tried other genres and I just don’t click with them. We all read for our own enjoyment, and it is romance that resonates with me.
You know what they say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I love romance, so I read romance.

Now, There is No Light in Darkness is a romance. It definitely is. I loved the relationship between Cole and Blake, and don’t worry, you do get an extremely swoon-worthy hero to fall in love with. We’ll talk more about that later. However, the second half of this book is more about the mystery plot than the romance.

“Sometimes you need to do things that hurt in order to protect the ones you love.”

The plot is so intricate and involved, it made my brain ache a little bit. (It doesn’t take much, to be totally honest.) Claire Contreras is a genius at drip feeding information to the reader. So much so, that sometimes I wasn’t sure whether I’d missed something or whether, as the reader, I was still supposed to be in the dark (excuse the pun) about that particular piece of information. The storyline gradually, gradually unfolds and this adds huge impact to the suspense element of the book. I spent the entire book like “Whhuuuuut?!!” and “No waaaay?!”

So, I did really, really enjoy all of that. It’s gripping, confusing, suspenseful, mind blowing, original… all of that. But, I do just wish the romance thread of the story hadn’t all been wrapped up quite so quickly in the first half of the book. It would have been great if some of that sexual tension that the author so deliciously creates in the first half, had carried through to run parallel with the mystery part of the story in the second half.

He made sure that no man would ever life up to him. In the end, he hurt me more than I hurt him. I broke his heart, but he tore mine into a million pieces. Even if I wanted to piece it back together, I would never find them all because he would always be holding some.

So anyway, that was a long winded way of telling you why I knocked off a measly half a star. But despite all that, I did still award this book 4.5 stars, out of five. And that’s pretty damn good, right?!

Like I said, the plot is wonderfully original. Usually, in my reviews, I include a short summary, but I simply can’t for this book. Firstly, it is too intricate to summarise in just a couple of paragraphs and secondly, I wouldn’t want to give anything away. The blurb gives very little away and I think it’s important that you keep it that way before beginning this book.

I was so thrown by the nature of Cole and Blake’s relationship at first. I couldn’t imagine why they acted like they did with one another, why they weren’t together, why they were denying themselves, but through Blake’s narrative and flashbacks between the past and the present, it all begins to make sense and your heart will just break for them both.

“I’m in love with you, Blake. I’ve been in love with you from the moment I saw you. I’ve been in love with you from the day I was born and possibly even before then. I belong to you. My body belongs to you. My heart belongs to you. Please let me make love to you.”

I love Blake and Cole’s relationship. More specifically, I love Cole’s devotion to Blake. He’s a little bit naughty, very cheeky and persistent and he is utterly in love with her. It’s beyond heart warming, especially when you find out everything they have been through in their pasts. My heart ached for him on various occasions.

“You’re the only one that fucking matters…only you…always.”

The opening scene really gives you the measure of Cole and I defy anybody to not love him instantly, and be immediately intrigued by him. I also loved the scenes just before they finally got it together. Talk about sexy! Cole is just gorgeous and the man knows what he wants and is determined to get it!

“Fine. I’ll go back to my room,” he says gruffly, his blazing eyes boring into mine. “Just know that I’ll be thinking very naughty thoughts and doing very naughty things to myself while I picture you naked and wet.”

Blake is a fantastic heroine. She is ballsy, down to earth, a little bit screwed up (but you would be two if you had her history) and incredibly fearful, of love, of life, of death, of loneliness…

“I love you too, baby,” he said in a low voice that makes me shiver. Cole has been saying those words to me for the past nine years. I’ve never said them back.

I can’t wrap this review up without mentioning the surrounding characters that Blake adopts as her family. Obviously Cole, Aubry, Becky, Greg, Maggie and, later on, Aimee. Blake can’t help but love them, but she’s terrified by this notion and it’s both painful and sweet to watch her grapple with her emotions and also with the determination of the others to be there for her, regardless. And things don’t always end well.

 

“You mustn’t be afraid of love, Blake. No matter what you go through in life, don’t be afraid to love. Loving is the only thing that keeps us sane. If it weren’t for love, the suffering we experience wouldn’t be worth it. If it weren’t for the suffering, we wouldn’t cherish the good things life gives us.”

A big selling point with books, for me, is if there are no stupid misunderstandings between characters, no lack of communication, no dramas that could easily be sorted out if the characters just asked one another questions and no epic over reactions to petty incidences! This book has none of that. It contains crime, murder, hard-core stalkers, kidnapping… you know, real shit. No petty ‘you slept with her’, ‘no I didn’t she just fell on top of me whilst we were naked’ bullshit. This plot has depth, drama, mystery by the bucket load and twists and turns that will make your head spin and your pulse race.

I try to search for the light, but I know I’ll never find it, because there is no light in darkness.

This book ends with the mother of all cliffhangers. My heart was hammering in my chest as I read it. As usual, I’m so glad that I didn’t read this book before the second book was released. Firstly, there is so much to the story that it would definitely lessen the impact if I were to forget some of the details (which tends to happen for me) and secondly, I need to know what happens next, right now!

So, I definitely would recommend this book. I’m being quite picky, but I really would have preferred a little more of the romance/sexual tension/will-they-won’t-they (even though we all know they definitely will), to run throughout the book, but I’m also thinking that I will most likely get more of the romantic theme in the second book as things are resolved. Here’s hoping. I’ll let you know.

 

There is No Light in Darkness Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥
• Ending: Cliffhanger
• Length: 252 pages
• Narrative: Female protagonist. First person.
Alternates between past and present.
• Series: ✓ 
• Reading Order: 
Book #1 – There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1)
Book #2 – Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness, #2) 
Book #3 – Darkness Series Epilogue (Darkness, #2.5) 
• Can this be read as a standalone? No
• Themes:
Death
Crime
Mystery
Second chance love
• WARNING. This book includes… 
Sexual content. Violence. Death. Crime.
• Writing: Great

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This entry was posted in Action/Drama Reads, Angst Overload, Claire Contreras, Cliffhanger, Death, Emotional Reads, Four & a Half Stars, Kidnap, Series, There is No Light in Darkness, Virginal Heroine. Bookmark the permalink.

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