by Alta Hensley
Published by Dangerous Press
Complete trilogy and prequel novella of the Wonderland series (set in the Midnight Dynasty)
I fall into an underground world of luxury and sin.
There are threats everywhere. The only man who can save me is the most dangerous of all. WONDERLAND contains the complete trilogy including King of Spades, Queen of Hearts, and Ace of Diamonds. Step through the looking glass to the other side.
Graphic Sex (impact play, Dom/Submissive, S&M, exhibitionism, violence, murder, kidnapping, dubious consent, past trauma from child neglect and suicide
I would like to thank Valentine PR and Alta Hensley for sending me an arc of Wonderland, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I won't lie - I frigging love Alice in Wonderland. So when I saw a dark romance retelling featuring a male lead Mad Hatter - you better believe I applied for it. The fact that its also a part of the Midnight Dynasty, which I have read a few of the other series' already, that was a bonus.
My intuition was right. Wonderland was great! The Wonderland trilogy is my favorite of the Midnight Dynasty to date.
Wonderland is actually a prequel novella, and three books in one, so you get the whole story in one go. The prequel - The White Rabbit - hooked me. It's a great introduction to the characters in our story - Lyriope & Nick - and their positions in this world. It's also hot. I've read a few Midnight Dynasty books, and I can easily say that Alta Hensley's Wonderland is the steamiest by far. It starts in the prequel and it doesn't let up throughout the trilogy. The sex isn't for the faint of heart. It's not that it's disturbing, or not consensual. It's rough and kinky. It's definitely fun to read. And the dirty talk ... oh boy.
As for the story, I found it entertaining. I was interested to see how Nick and Lyriope would get through the next crisis. Whereas some of the other Midnight Dynasty books felt like they were filled with a lot of filler, I didn't feel this way about the Wonderland trilogy. It had action, and I felt like we got more of a sense of what these families are involved in. Alta Hensley's unique way of bringing Alice in Wonderland to the real world was fun. I found myself looking forward to the next Wonderland party. Alta Hensley described the details of Wonderland perfectly, and I could easily visualize what it would be like to be there in person.
The characters were also well written, and layered. Lyriope felt relatable, and her deep want of being acknowledged my her father and his family felt genuine. Even her protecting her mom, despite her not deserving it, felt genuine, and not just a plot point to get her in the position she is in when she meets Nick. Nick is just a fascinating character to read. Alta Hensley wrote him to be incredibly charismatic. Even when he was doing or saying things that seem wrong, I loved him. Was it picturing a heavily tattooed hot man, in an expensive, elaborate suit, with his fancy, decked out cane? I don't know. He exuded the dark, slightly unhinged personality of the Mad Hatter perfectly.
While Wonderland is more like inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and not a true retelling, I feel like Alta Hensley wrote a great trilogy here. Lyriope felt like a modern day Alice - lost, and trying to make her way in a world of chaos - and Nick's representation of the Mad Hatter worked on so many levels. The romance is a bit dark and twisty, and the sex ... wow. Also dark and twisty, but so, so hot. Check the trigger warnings, but if that doesn't bother you, pick up this book!
Lyriope: "So why would you want to protect me?"
I state, approaching casually. I grab her empty glass and place it and my bottle down on the center table.
Nick: "I want to fuck you before you die."
Pride makes my prick hard.
A little bit of crazy - which she clearly has - makes it fucking throb.
Nick: "I'm playing by the rules. I claimed you for a night, and there isn't anyone who will argue with that. So, rest easy. You're safe."
Lyriope: "As long as I suck your dick, right?"
I ask, crossing my arms against my chest. I can feel the beating of my heartbeat, the knocking of fear against my chest.
Lyriope: "That's the price for my life tonight?"
Nick: "You'd suck my dick by the end of the night regardless,"
He says with a smirk.
Nick: "You and I both know that."
Lyriope: "You're an asshole."
Nick: "Yes. Very much so."
Nick: "You've done your research on Wonderland, yes?"
I answer, struggling not to push my body next to his for more connection than the tantalizing trail of his tongue and teeth.
Nick: "Then you know Wonderland doesn't allow innocence, it doesn't allow goodness, and it sure as hell doesn't allow virgins through the doors."
Lyriope: "I'm none of those,"
I say as he tightens his grip on my hair and pushes me back against the wall.
He laughs manically.
Nick: "Yes, my girl. You are. But we can change that. I don't mind soiling you up."
Before I can put my clothing back on, he takes hold of my hips and pulls me onto his lap. He moves my hair off my shoulder and begins kissing a trail along the top of my shoulder.
Nick: "I may want more later,"
he says, and I can feel his dick hardening again. He then stops kissing.
Nick: "Just know I may be returning for seconds."
I turn to look at him, surprised by his words.
Lyriope: "I thought this was just about tonight?"
Nick: "I find you entirely too .. .decadent ... to use and abuse in just one evening."
He places the fingers he had just finger fucked me with into his mouth and sucks.
Nick: "Oh, I can't wait to see what's hidden inside you. I can't fucking wait."
He gently moves me off his lap and reaches for his own clothes.
Nick: "You have a darkness, my girl. A fucked-up and delicious darkness that I plan to devour."
Lyriope: "How do you know you'll even be able to find me again once I leave this place?"
His lip quirks, and his eyes twinkle.
Nick: "I like to hunt. Especially if there is a debt owed."
Maxim: "They'll kill you for this. You know the Sidoravs. You know the rules. You touch me, you touch them."
Nick swings his came expertly like Fred Astaire would before a tap dancing number and gives a devilish smiles.
Nick: "My Wonderland. My rules."
Nick: "You've been a bad girl."
Lyriope: "If I say yes,"
I nearly whisper, licking my dry lips.
Lyriope: "Will you expect sex from me?"
Nick: "Most definitely,"
he states, without missing a beat.
Lyriope: "So I'll be your whore?"
Nick: "Being a whore is simple. Ordinary. Spread your legs, give your body -"
He squats down again and begins to untie my binds.
Nick: "I'll expect more than that. If I simple wanted a whore, I could buy my own harem. But that's not what I've ever wanted, and not what I want with you. And nothing about what I'll expect from you will be simple. Nothing about me or our situation is ordinary. I hate simple. I detest ordinary."
Nick: "I love making rules. But I love consequences more."
Nick: "Living here will be a mixture of fear, lust, and delight. You'll love every minute."
Lyriope: "Fine! I fucking get it. Follow your rules. I hear you loud and clear."
His chuckle has ever cell in my body on alert, but it's his,
Nick: "Yes, and a punishment with your name on it will make damn sure you remember to follow what you hear loud and clear."
that has my ass clenching so hard and my hands going back to try to cover what I know to be his target.
Nick: "It'll be easier if you relax."
Lyriope: "It's impossible to relax when someone is shoving a tree trunk up your ass."
Nick: "Are you one of those girls who likes a big cock buried deep in her ass?"
Lyriope: "Oh God,"
Nick: "Tell me, Lyriope, what type of girl wants to come as her ass is being fucks for the first time?"
Lyriope: "A dirty girl!"
she practically shouts.
Lyriope: "I'm a dirty girl. Please, Nick, please let me come."
Nick: "You are a dirty girl. Only a very dirty girl takes a man in her ass and pleads for more. Admit it, Lyriope, admit you want me to fuck you, that you like submitting your ass to me. You like it when I claim it, however I choose to do so."
She moans, her head tossing back and forth until I still it with a firm tug of her hair.
Nick: "Admit it."
Lyriope: "Yes! I like giving my ass to you."
Nick: "Yes, you do. Now, dirty girl, if you want to come, you better come and come hard. I want to feel you milking my cock while I'm deep in your ass."
Nick: "I don't want to let you go. Ever."
Lyriope: "Fuck you! Fuck each and every one of you!"
I glare at Gio Ralston first.
Lyriope: "I don't know who the Constantines are, but you can tell them to go fuck themselves."
I then look at the Sidoravs and says,
Lyriope: "Our debt is done. We are done."
I then look at my brothers.
Lyriope: "I'm not going anywhere with either one of you. You can tell Bryant to go fuck himself when you see him next."
I then turn to face Nick who has replaced his casual smile with a locked jaw and darkened eyes.
Lyriope: "And you can really go fuck yourself. I'm not yours to negotiate with. I don't belong to anyone!"
Nick: "Consequences ..."
Lyriope: "Fuck you. And fuck your consequences."
Nick: "May I come in?"
Lyriope: "That depends."
Nick: "On what?"
Lyriope: "If you're truly sorry."
Nick: "I am."
Lyriope: "And ..."
there's a pause.
Nick: "And what?"
Lyriope: "Will there be consequences for me going against your wishes?"
I can't help but chuckle as I open the door.
Nick: "Oh most definitely."
Lyriope: "Was that spank the best you got?"
he whispers as my heart thunders joyfully in my chest, but the sensation's countered by the agonizing pulse between my legs begging for release.
Nick: "Fucking hell, dirty girl. You're more like me than I ever could have hoped."
Nick: "Oh, I'm fucking mad. Beyond. But"
-he tilts his head and looks at me-
Nick: "don't apologize for doing what you had to do for you. It may not be the best for me, or for anyone else. But if you had to do it for you. Stand by your decision. Consequences or not, be confident in the choices you make. Right or wrong. Safe or not. They are yours to make."
Lyriope: "Where's Tweedledee and Tweedledum to keep me locked in this tower?"
Nick: "Don't push me."
Lyriope: "Is it just me? Am I insane?"
Nick: "I like insane."
Nick lowers his mouth to mine.
Nick: "Crazy makes my dick hard."
Nick: "You belong to me, Lyriope. Not on paper. Not because of an agreement. You belong to me the same way I belong to you."
Lyriope: "Hurt me, Nick. Fuck me so hard I cry out for you to stop. And then when I scream for mercy ... fuck me ever harder."
Nick: "I want you to taste the two of us combined,:
he orders, his breath heavy, his voice low.
I lick my lips in compliance. I taste him. I taste me. I taste us.
Nick: "That's how it's supposed to be. Always. You and me. Never apart."
He licks his fingers as well, closing his eyes as he does.
Nick: "Never fucking apart again."
I will sit with you in the dark. - Mad Hatter
Which goes with Nick's tattoo:
I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. - Alice
Lyriope: "I'm yours, Nick."
Nick: "Yes, you are."
Nick: "I'm buried six feet under, and I never want to be alive again. You killed me the minute you walked away from me in Italy. I'm dead because of you."
Lyriope: "You've gone mad,"
she mumbled more to herself than to me.
Nick: "Yes, my queen. That much has been decided."
Lyriope: "Let them talk. Let them watch.:
Lyriope has opened this door, and now my throbbing cock demands we charge through it.
Lyriope: "Let them know exactly who I belong to."
Nick: "I'm taking you right here, right now, and it won't be gentle. I can't fight this any longer. I need to make you mine over and over again for the rest of our lives. I want you to cry out. I want you to scream my name so every fucker in this room knows you belong to Nick Hudson."
I look into his blazing eyes and nod, knowing if he stops, I'll die.
Lyriope: "For God's sake, stop talking and fuck me."
Bryant: "It doesn't matter whether I claim her as my daughter. You think the Morelli name gives her protection? It doesn't. We're bound for hell, this family. She can come with us."
Nick: "No. She's coming with me."
Nick: "Tell me not to love you,"
he mumbles against my parted mouth.
Nick: "Tell me I'm mad. Tell me this kind of love is insane. Demand sanity from me."
Lyriope: "I can't because I love you too. I love you so much. A mad love, an insane love, and I never want to feel sanity again."