Dark Pleasures by Aja James

Dark Pleasures by Aja James
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (347 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

Devlin Sinclair, the New England Dark Ones’ Hunter, is on a mission to track down the elusive and mysterious Medusa, perhaps the ultimate nemesis the Pure and Dark Ones have been battling in recent years.

But he can’t do it alone.

Grace Darling has isolated herself from the world since a very young age, after her parents’ death and because of her own social disability. Awkward and brilliant, a born sensualist, Grace agrees to a blind date that changes the course of Destiny.

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Their chemistry is off the charts, but will she, can she, give him the love he craves?

Like Paranormal romance? You should grab this series right now … but I strongly suggest you start in order.

Dark Pleasures is the first book I’ve read in this series. I’m a very picky paranormal romance reader, and I’m really exhausted by vampires so I went into this a bit reserved. Let’s start out with the good (and there is SO much good about this book, and likely the entire series):

The world-building was unbelievably fantastic. First off, the author does provide a glossary at the beginning, which I read carefully and with great thanks. It explains much of the mythology behind her world, a world that is complex and amazing. I can’t remember the last time I read a book like this that had such a deep, intricate myth. Honestly, my head hurts thinking about the author creating it. Ten stars (if I could!) for the world-building alone. Special thanks to the character who jokingly called the Pure Ones Elves and the Dark Ones Vampires…it helped get a solid picture in my head.

The characters are so real, unique and three-dimensional. Devlin, in particular (and Innana) seemed really fluid. It’s clear the author knows them inside and out and they just utterly live on the page. I struggled a little with Grace, the heroine. I know she’s been diagnosed with Aspergers, but I know a few folks with that diagnosis and they’re aren’t quite as wooden and stilted as she is. In fact, for the most part, you almost wouldn’t realize they’re on the autism spectrum except for a few quirks, unless you spend copious amounts of time with them. That said, two other things come into play with Grace. First, she’s a genius…like Einstein smart. And, there’s clearly some mystery about her background that will come into play that may figure into her personality as well. Those things aside, she’s just fun to read about. She really has no idea when she’s being inappropriate, and you sure as heck don’t need to wonder what she’s thinking when she’s around you. She’s an open book about everything, including her unusual sex drive.

The plot, too, is as complex as the world-building. And herein lies my only real “complaint”. Because this was my first introduction to the series I was really pretty lost. The author does some backstory loading via Sophia at the beginning, plus her glossary, and Devlin does some thinking about Medusa in the first chapter, but it only helps a little. Between the fact that the plot in very complicated, there’s also a plethora of characters here, some that clearly had their own books prior to this one (like Ryu who’s newly married). Trying to keep the cast of characters straight (and remembering who is a Pure One, who is a Dark One, who is made, who is born, etc) and also piecing together the plot was enough to make me want to stop reading. Honestly, had I not been doing this for a review, I might have. But I wouldn’t have quit the series–to the contrary, I would have grabbed book one and played catch-up! If not for this problem, the rating here would have been much higher.

All in all, I have to say that the author, Aja James, is amazingly good. I foresee great things for her down the road. She’s creative, innovative, well written. Her skill is undeniable. My only recommendation outside of “get the entire series” is that you read them in order in order to enjoy the gift she’s given us to the fullest.


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Lisa Brown says

    I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  3. Rita Wray says

    Sounds like a good book.

  4. I’ll definitely be reading this one, thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. James Robert says

    Congrats on the tour and thanks so much for the opportunity to win. I enjoy getting to hear about new books that my family would enjoy reading.

  6. Bernie Wallace says

    Congrats on the book tour. Thank you for hosting the giveaway and giving me an opportunity to win.

  7. Dale Wilken says

    Sounds great.

  8. Gwendolyn Jordan says

    Love the cover

  9. Thanks for the review! Hope you read the rest of the series 🙂

  10. Bernie Wallace says

    This sounds like a great read. I wish you success on your release.

  11. Great review

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