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4.3 3
by Ashe Barker

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When his past destroys Eva’s trust in her Master, can he win her back?

As their turbulent, complex relationship deepens, Nathan Darke is increasingly aware that Eva Byrne has become much more to him than his submissive. She’s in his home, in his family. And in his heart.

Eva hasn’t found it easy to trust, to believe in herself and in a


When his past destroys Eva’s trust in her Master, can he win her back?

As their turbulent, complex relationship deepens, Nathan Darke is increasingly aware that Eva Byrne has become much more to him than his submissive. She’s in his home, in his family. And in his heart.

Eva hasn’t found it easy to trust, to believe in herself and in a relationship that can last. But happiness, once so elusive, is within her grasp. Nathan is her Master, her lover and her soulmate.

However, no sooner do they manage to find a fragile balance between them—a way of entwining both their worlds—and start to build a future, than their past comes crashing back to destroy their emerging love. Jealousy and hate brutally shatter Eva’s and Nathan’s delicate trust in each other, and their life together crumbles.

Can they overcome the crushing pain of betrayal and deceit to regain some sort of future together, or are some wounds just too deep to heal? Are some risks too great? Some rewards just not enough?

Product Details

Totally Bound Publishing
Publication date:
Dark Side , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
279 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Read an Excerpt

“What the fuck…?” I’m running for the stairs, then take them three at a time—I can definitely shift a bit when the situation calls for it. I charge down the landing towards Rosie who is standing at the open door to Nathan’s room. Her fingers are pressed into her ashen cheeks, her continuous screaming just getting louder and louder. Reaching her, I grab the tiny figure by the shoulders, spinning her away from the door. I can feel the small body shaking under my hands as, with Rosie’s face pressed into my stomach, I stroke the dark hair in an instinctive attempt to calm her. I look over her head, dreading what sight awaits me. Blood-curdling murder? Horrific gory accident?

None of that. Mrs Richardson is there all right, on the floor, her legs tangled in the rather fetching navy and black duvet that has slid off Nathan’s bed. She looks to be asleep. I hug Rosie tighter, tell her—somewhat more optimistically than is perhaps justified—that it’s okay, and to wait for me where she is. Her screams have subsided into gulping sobs so I step into the room, and approach the still figure on the floor.

“Mrs Richardson? Grace? Are you okay?” Stupid question.

Nervous, I kneel beside her and stretch out my hand. I half expect her to leap up with a shout of ‘Boo!’ I think it’s fair to say I would have made a disgusting mess on the inch-deep shag pile if she had. But she’s motionless, no response. My hands hovering, I’m not sure if, where to touch and desperately try to think what to do, how to find out if she’s alive.

“Is she breathing? Oh, Eva, is she dead? She can’t be dead. Please. Please don’t let her be dead…”

“Shhh, sweetheart, let me have a look.” Breathing, there’s a thought. Carefully watching her chest I see a faint quiver of movement there. Thank God! Encouraged, I at last take hold of her hand—it’s warm—and I feel for a pulse. It’s there. Faint, thready, but definitely there.

“Rosie, she’s alive but we need an ambulance. Run down to the kitchen for my phone. It’s in my bag, on the table. Hurry, please.”

As Rosie turns to scamper off, her wits now fully about her again, I lean down close, desperately scanning Mrs Richardson’s still face for any sign of consciousness.

“Grace? Grace, can you hear me?” I want to pick her up, shake her shoulders, but I’m scared of hurting her. I settle for leaning into her face, calling her name. Rosie comes skidding back seconds later, my phone in her hand. She thrusts it at me and I stand, pressing nine-nine-nine. The efficient disembodied voice responds, politely asking me which service I require.

“Hello, yes, ambulance please. Our housekeeper has had an accident.”

The next voice I hear is the ambulance service, asking me what the problem is.

“Our housekeeper’s had an accident. She’s unconscious.”

The calm female voice asks me if I know what happened.

God knows. “A fall, perhaps. She’s unconscious.”

“How long has she been unconscious?”

Christ, why can’t they just send a bloody ambulance? “I don’t know. We just arrived home and found her like this. No, she’s not talking. Yes, she’s breathing.”

At last the ambulance lady seems to get the message and starts asking for the location. I realise I don’t even know the postcode. I look helplessly at Rosie, who rattles it off. Bless her, and bless Nathan and Grace for drilling it into her. Gathering my own wits now, I realise we’re due a good wait as the nearest ambulance must be half an hour away. That’s assuming they can even find this place. I give directions as best I can while Rosie disappears back out onto the landing.

At last the ambulance control room assures me that help is on the way and I hang up. I stand in the middle of the room, looking helplessly down at Mrs Richardson who has shown no sign of stirring. For the first time I look around, trying to imagine what on earth could have happened. At a loss, I kneel beside her again, taking her hand, stroking it. “It’s okay, Grace, an ambulance will be here soon. You’ll be okay. Please, please be okay.”

I hear Rosie come back in, stand behind me. Her little hand is on my shoulder. “Uncle Tom’s coming. He’ll be here in five minutes.”

“What? Who—”

“I phoned Uncle Tom from the downstairs phone. He’s in the top meadow but he’s on his quad and he’ll be here in five minutes.” At my incredulous look she goes on to explain. “It’s a long way round by road, but only a few minutes across the fields. He’ll be here soon.”

I hug her for the clever, resourceful little wonder that she is. I never thought to call Tom, but of course he’s our nearest neighbour. He knows the area. He can direct the ambulance crew. I start to feel a sense of relief—this bloody catastrophe might just turn out all right after all.

A faint rustle and moan behind me has me swirling around and once more leaning over Mrs Richardson, looking for some sign that she might be coming round. Her eyelids flutter, a brief flash of slate grey as she opens them a crack then lies still, silent again. Rosie is kneeling on her other side, we each have one of her hands in ours and Rosie is talking softly to her, tears once more rolling down her cheeks although the earlier panic has now gone. “Nana, please wake up, Nana.”


I feel the hand pressed between my palms flex slightly. I squeeze back to show I’ve felt the touch. “Can you hear us, Grace. It’s Rosie and Eva. Can you hear us? Please, open your eyes…” I glance across at Rosie, her little face trembling, and I reach over to stroke her wet cheek.

“She’ll be okay, love. We’ll look after her.” I hope I’m not making promises I can’t keep.

“Who’ll look after us? Who’ll look after me? I’m scared…” The whisper is faint, fearful, conveying the agony of doubt faced by a child whose world is about to shatter. And not for the first time.

Meet the Author

Until 2010, Ashe was a director of a regeneration company before deciding there had to be more to life and leaving to pursue a lifetime goal of self-employment.

Ashe has been an avid reader of women's fiction for many years—erotic, historical, contemporary, fantasy, romance—you name it, as long as it's written by women, for women. Now, at last in control of her own time and working from her home in rural West Yorkshire, she has been able to realise her dream of writing erotic romance herself.

She draws on settings and anecdotes from her previous and current experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters, but her stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of her own imagination. She loves to craft strong, enigmatic men and bright, sassy women to give them a hard time—in every sense of the word.

When she's not writing, Ashe's time is divided between her role as resident taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, cats, rabbits, tortoises and a hamster.

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Darkest 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good thing FSOG was written or this author wouldn't have any plot at all! Too bad Barker had to brutalize the poor heroine just to "one up" EL James.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this trilogy! I can't wait to read more from this author!
Peachs44 More than 1 year ago
Nathan and Eva have finally found a fragile balance between them. Eva, who has trust issues, thinks she has found it with Nathan. Nathan, who has had many subs, feels Eva may be the not-so-perfect sub for him. Together they start to build their lives but when a moment of betrayal and jealous arise, they find they world is torn apart.  This third and final entry has the least amount of sex and the most heart wrenching moments. Eva has come so far and to have an act of jealous come between then was so upsetting. This is definitely the book that made me the most emotional. Even though I feel there is less sex in this book than the previous two, the creative aspect had me liking it the best. You are so naughty and wicked Nathan! I won’t spoil the ending but I will say the journey Eva and Nathan take in Darkest easily make this my favorite of the three books. I gasp, giggled and cried. As for the end, let’s just say I couldn’t ask for a better one.  And so the story ends. I’m so sad to say goodbye. Eva, Nathan and all the other characters have been some my favorites and I feel like I have moved away some great friends. If you get a chance, read the The Dark Side Trilogy. As for recommendations, read Darkest. You won’t be disappointed.  I received this book from JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensated. Stars – 5 Flames - 4