Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Misogyny
  • Adult-minor relationship discussed
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abandonment & child neglect
  • Child abuse
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Torture
  • Whipping
  • War themes
  • Graphic animal death, including multiple death of pet dogs
  • Animal cruelty & abuse
  • Hunting
  • Animal attack mentioned
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Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Rape, implied and recounted
  • Attempted rape
  • Forced sex work, off-page
  • Child abuse
  • Toxic relationship
  • Intimate partner violence, implied and recounted
  • Suicide, on-page
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Medicinal drug use
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth complications, on-page
  • Stillbirth, on-page
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Physical illness, specifically cholera, seizures and fever
  • Field surgery
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Syringes and needles
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a father
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Gun and knife violence
  • Torture
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping
  • Blackmail
  • Fire
  • Drought
  • Death from stavation
  • Death from dehydration
  • Death from exposure
  • Mild war themes
  • Ex-soldier, side-character
  • Animal death, on-page
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal cruelty
  • Hunting
  • Animal dead bodies
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From Here to You by Jamie McGuire

From Here to You by Jamie McGuire

From Here to You by Jamie McGuire book cover

As Darby Dixon sits in a tiny Texas church bathroom on her wedding day holding a positive pregnancy test, she realizes that of all the bad decisions she’s made in her life, marrying her abusive fiancé would be the worst. She’s never been able to stand up for herself, but she’ll sure as hell stand up for her baby. With just the cash she has on hand, she runs to get a bus ticket to the farthest place she can afford. Between her sheer grit and pageant-queen smile, she lands a job as a front desk clerk at the Colorado Springs Hotel. It’s not a glamorous life, but she and her baby are all that matters.

A former Marine, Scott “Trex” Trexler has worked in the most dangerous, corrupt, war-torn places on earth. Now he finally has a chance to return to the last place he’d felt at peace–Colorado Springs, Colorado, to take a new job with the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a top-secret military installation buried deep within the granite.

The moment Trex walks into the inn, Darby knows he’s dangerous. There’s no way she wants to get involved with another man who seems to be keeping way too many secrets. As charming and devastatingly gorgeous as Trex is, he clearly isn’t telling her everything. But as wildfires rage on the mountain and Darby’s ex-fiancé shows he isn’t so willing to let her go, both she and Trex are soon to find out that what you don’t know absolutely can hurt you.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Abusive relationship recounted
  • Pregnancy
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An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire book cover

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment.

Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children—and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm—home of the legendary Wild Hunt—and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye—the harbinger of Toby’s own death—has suddenly turned up on her doorstep… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Blood letting and ritual blood use
  • Child abduction
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In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire book cover

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Domestic abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Nonconsensual abortion
  • Child pregnancy implied
  • Death of a loved one
  • Battle scenes mentioned
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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Cultural appropriation, specifically Native American culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, verbal & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Rape, statutory rape & rape of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Pregnancy, result of rape & incest
  • Forced estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating (bingeing)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Female genital mutilation mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Lynching recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of an infant

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.

Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Racism
  • Victim blaming
  • Domestic abuse
  • Attempted suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Cults

Lover Awakened by JR Ward

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Slavery & sex slavery
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence recounted
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood depiction, including blood-drinking
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Torture
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Whipping
  • Bullying
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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews book cover

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical child abuse, central theme
  • Emotional and verbal child abuse, central theme
  • Neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Self-harm ideation
  • Blood depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Hospitalisation mentioned
  • Animal death mentioned
  • Bullying
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Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where mystery, science, and art intersect.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Racism
  • Homomisia
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abuse
  • Suicide
  • Terminal illness mentioned
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