Book InfoDark Rings by Lainey Delaroque
Series: Dark Things #1
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Hana, Mathias and Connor meet in a BDSM club to do one thing – play. But when a twisted organization buries its claws into each of them, how far are they willing to go to protect their dynamic?
Sedated women. Disappearing clients.
My job as a social worker was never supposed to be about that.
Now I can’t sit still. I need to know what’s going on.
Luckily, I got gangster friends.
I only have to make sure to keep the trouble away from Mathias and Connor.
I’m finally back working in a hospital, but not as a doctor—as a spy.
And I’m a terrible spy.
But patients are going missing and my doctor’s senses are tingling—something’s horribly wrong here. Time to bring out the big brains.
Trickiest part of the plan? Keep Hana and Connor safe.
What’s the worst that can happen to the IT guy? Your boss gives you the shadiest client in the universe—a hospital that wants to erase patients’ records.
I ain’t doing that.
All I want is to play with Hana and Mathias and stay out of trouble.
But life never goes that way, does it?
Dark Rings is a dark romantic suspense novel featuring polyamory and steamy scenes. It has a HEA, no cliffhanger, no cheating. It has sizzling hot kinky threesome scenes and comes with a warning for strong language, descriptions of psychological trauma and medical malpractice themes.
Dark Rings is part of the Lavender world. It can be read as a standalone, but if you enjoy Easter eggs and crossover characters you may enjoy reading the Club Lavender Duet first.
Have you read the Club Lavender Duet yet? No? Go do that. Okay, so it’s not strictly necessary to read those two books before you start Dark Rings, but it makes for a much richer reading experience if you have. And they’re bloody good books too. Once you’ve read them you’ll recognise Hanako, Mathias and Connor and realise that you’ve been waiting to get to know them better, to learn their stories. You’ll also see old favourites from the Lavender Gang, and some intriguing clues for the next books in the Dark Things series.
Dark Rings – My Review
If it takes ovaries of steel to write the first four chapters of your book as a graphic CNC (consensual non-consent) scene, then that’s what Lainey Delaroque has. But she’s not just gone for the unusual kink, she’s used it as a tool to explore the emotions of her three main characters, both around the scene and in the wider context of non-consensual situations faced by others in the outside world. Not only that, but she’ takes the concept of CNC and, through Mathias, explains it in a way that a regular, non-kinky person can understand.
Delaroque could have easily taken this one concept and, running alongside the storyline, made it the cornerstone of her book. But she didn’t. The story is thematically rich, with each premise balanced carefully between both action and kink. It’s one of the things that distinguishes her writing from others in both genre and trope.
There is so much pain and hope built up in the story. It explores cultural and generational divides, grief, and issues of consent (both in sexual and non-sexual contexts). There’s debate over when taking non-conventional action can be appropriate, and where the dividing line between heroism and villainy lies. I saw the three main characters growing far beyond what I could have hoped for them at the start of the book. Amidst all the hurt that swirls around the characters, there are some incredibly beautiful moments of emotion and love.
The book can be tough reading at times and the best relief from those difficult moments comes in the form of Mrs Yagi, Hanako’s mother. She’s the family member who comes to stay unexpectedly and manages to cause all manner of embarrassment and humour without realising she’s doing so. I think she needs her own novella. Lainey? Please?
There’s so much more I could say about Dark Rings; I could easily write an essay. I’m trying hard not to though because I don’t want to inadvertently drop spoilers. Instead, I’ll leave you with this: it’s an epic, emotionally charged story where the action never stops. I suspect this will end up being one of the greatest books I read this year.