Giving Horror a Chance

A reading goal I have for this year is to give horror a chance. I've previously read and loved Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in a Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. As well as Thomas Tryon's The Other. I've been really hyped to read horror but I have been very slow to read any. I don't like gore or anything like that. I like the idea of atmospheric and quiet horror. But, I've only read three books, four if you include The Shining which I read a few years back. It's the year of trying new things. So here's how it's going:


Falling in love or falling into darkness? For some, it's the same journey.

Coralena del Prado wishes to become a witch like her mama, but her ancestral magic still hasn’t activated. She fears she’ll be stuck forever as Mama’s assistant at Cornucopia, their Mediterranean cafe located in Greenwich, the home of Connecticut’s elite. But all that changes when a mysterious man from their past returns, sparking more than Cori’s late-blooming magic.

Hayden Colburn, Greenwich’s elusive bachelor prince, fled his life of privilege to become a restaurateur in nearby New York City. He’s everything Cori wants and, after one brilliant night, she’s ready to surrender. Until Mama shares a secret about the Colburns which shatters their peaceful home and Cori’s dreams of love.

Evil lurks beneath Greenwich, spawned by the Colburns and their powerful friends. Mama begs her to stay away, but Cori can’t ignore their crimes. She plans a sneak attack, armed with only her temperamental magic—a power made volatile by her conflicting emotions for Hayden, a man she's sworn to hate who stubbornly fights to win her heart.

Cori vows to destroy her mother’s enemies. She’ll weaponize her magic even if the act shatters every natural law, a sacrilege which might damn her soul. But none of that matters if it means saving her beloved mother from a pack of humans more wicked than any mythological monster.
I saw The Night She Fell over at Ladies of Horror Fiction. I was told this was a horror. And yes, I guess because of the sex cult. Yes, you read that right. Sex cult. If I knew there was a cult I wouldn't have read this. I do love romance so horror + romance sounded like fun. But, this is a romance in disguise with some weird cult mixed in. 

I loved the beginning of this because Cori is coming into her magic. Her magic is also related to food which of course I loved. Finally, her magic is working after all of the years she's been practicing. At the same time, this guy walks into her family's restaurant that she hasn't seen since she was young. Her mother doesn't want her to go near his family who they have a dark past with. An interesting start but I think I just expected this to go one way when it went a completely different way. I'm glad that there is a sequel because this one left a lot unanswered.

The thing is Cori kind of got on my nerves at the end. She was in a particular situation for a long time which I found to be tedious. I expected her love interest to be something more. I found him uninteresting by the end of the book. But I'm also very curious to see where their journey continues. And I hope that they get back to what I saw in them in the beginning. Which is a lot more fun, magical, and with a little darkness in them.

Results: Make sure a horror book isn't also considered a paranormal romance. Say no to cults!

What if a victimized woman decided to be a silent guardian angel for other women and turn the tables on predatory men? What if she stumbled into the hunting grounds of a cocky serial killer while looking for her own private murder den? What if a confident killer met his match in the form of a jean-clad, whiskey-swigging stranger in an hour glass-shaped package—and she made him want things—things he’s far too superior to want?

When predator meets predator, the only question is: Is the attraction they feel to bed one another . . . or kill one another?

Meg isn’t expecting to catch Jack red-handed with his most recent victim. Jack isn’t expecting Meg to come busting through his front door while chasing her current prey. Now that each recognizes a fellow killer, what urge will win—kiss or kill?
This is what I am talking about. This is what I think about when I think horror. This has two serial killers who kill their prey for different reasons. Meg has a traumatic past so she kills men before they hurt any more women. Jack, is another story. I loved how fast-paced this was. It's totally the opposite of the atmospheric horror that I am used to but it worked for me. Meg and Jack are also attracted to each other but there is this will they get together or will they kill each other vibe going on. 

Go Down Hard was lots of fun. A bit too sexual for my liking. Both of the horror books I read were surprisingly sexual. And they were both really dark. I would look up content warnings if you were worried. But otherwise, this was the better of the two. I kind of wish it went on a bit longer but then it wouldn't be so fast-paced and fun. I'm surprised I liked this one so much even with the topics discussed that I'm not to particular fond of but I did.

Result: You might just like serial killer stories and girls getting revenge. I can handle some sexual situations but I wish I could find something like this that didn't have that.

Conclusion

These two books were my first taste of horror this year. Both were indie. One self published and the other indie published. Both were also by women. I'm glad I read something different than I'm used to. I've been into reading shorter books so fast paced novellas will be perfect in the future. I plan to do a deeper dive into reviews before starting a book just to make sure it doesn't have too many graphic elements. I can handle some of it but if this is any indication of the newer horror out there then I want to make sure it's not too heavy. There are a couple of books I have my eye on next. Crossroads by Laurel Hightower (this one does seem hard hitting but nothing graphic) and Allison by Jeff Strand (the cover and contents scream old school Stephen King like horror).

I know horror isn't for everyone so thank you for taking a look at my reviews. I hope to venture into reading more horror in the future so I hope to see you on my journey. Let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations. 

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