Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where Willows Won't Grow” as Want to Read:
Where Willows Won't Grow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where Willows Won't Grow

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Librarian's Note: This is an alternate/new cover for ASIN B00LR78V6U

Undercover agent Alex Kley is a long way from home. Six months of investigation have brought him to Willow House, a high class brothel on Omanai Station, as beautiful on the outside as it is corrupt on the inside. Sold into sexual slavery to infiltrate an illegal prostitution ring, Alex must find the evide
Kindle Edition, 157 pages
Published July 12th 2014 by M/M Romance Group/ Vinedark (first published July 9th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  520 ratings  ·  110 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alien sex auction and placement. Now, that's just the opening.

This is a darker one, folks. There is malevolence and torture, but like a snowdrop pushing through in Spring, there is also hope. Tenuous at times, but there. The impersonal, voyeuristic, objectified beginning gives way quickly to something deeper with a lot more emotion and sinister. Nice intrigue, backstabbing, and political shifting.
BR with Adam - tent virgin no longer!

(Once you see it, you can't unsee it.)

I appreciated that boot in the butt to read this story because I kept meaning to read Lia Black. Her stories always caught my eye, her story tags always got me excited: non-con, dub-con, interspecies sex, dark stuff, etc = fun times to me.

WHY THE HELL DID I WAIT SO LONG?! <~~~I have a feeling this will be my recurring theme for the year 2015.

And this was free? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'd have paid for this.

Alex is an under

Oh my god; this story is awesome. Dark, twisted, pervy and at the same time deeply emotional and romantic. The sci-fi setting was perfectly crafted and the epilogue highly satisfying.

My favorite part: the auction. So scary and arousing!

My favorite quote:

What a fucked up time to realize a new kink

Almost every imaginable kink was contemplated, even a few I didn't know existed.
I don't know if the Author read my mind or has somehow gained free access to my browser history but she really fulfilled
Pleasure and pain, how the two mix. It's a theme in the story, but it also describes my experience reading it. It's beautifully written, but the darker parts were painful to read.

I think Lia must have a very dark imagination. This was not an easy read, but everything that happened fit the story. Nothing felt gratuitous or over the top. For me to tolerate torture in a story is kind of amazing. And then to read about the hate for a tormenter all mixed up with a messed up love for a protector and h
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Now, That's how you write dub-con!

3 Things:

1. Kinky wrestling.
2. Sounding.
3. Pierced peen.

Alex has been working undercover to discover who's been abducting male prostitutes and wends up on the auction block himself where he's crudely inspected by a three fingered alien and mortified to discovered he's got a touch of the exhibitionist in him. He's chosen and has to go through the initiation process. Alex, the stuttering Mel and the giant Bryant (Hey, that rhymes!) and some other human captives mu
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A dark, painful story about a man cut adrift, living a nightmare, totally forgotten because there is no one to remember him


Another man also cut adrift, alone, no real ties but not forgotten, so with him comes hope, connection and love.

Black got the tormented mix of feelings Illythe had for Scion down pat. That mix of hate, anger, love, need, despair, loneliness. All those basic human emotions concentrated on that one ‘person’ because all there is, is that one person, because that person mad
Kim Alan
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Content Warnings: graphic violence, rape, dubious consent, references to child sexual abuse, character death (secondary), extreme taboo: gruesome alien sex, sounding, sadism

Holy Hell. This was so far beyond my comfort zone... and I couldn't have stopped reading if I'd wanted to. The writing is so compelling (and evil and sadistic and horrifying) that despite my discomfort I was in a constant state of NEEDING to know what happened next. The bad guy is by far the baddest, most twisted bad guy I'
Emma Sea
Gosh, what a great response to the prompt. Ambitious in scale, with characters that stick in the mind. The writing is evocative: I spent part of the story with gritted teeth, peeking from behind my fingers. Great descriptions of Scion; I can totally see the bastard.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alona by: Mark
I will start with what I loved in the book.
The times when Illythe and Alex showed their emotions toward one another. it was sweet, beautiful and heart warming.
I loved the end (thank god my husband is a dentist ;))
The writing was nice and the author's imagination was great, but that is also where I had a bit of a problem.
Now, I am not a "serious" ci fi reader, but I read some that I really liked, but they where also somewhat "tame" on the alien side of the story.
I mean, I need the characters in m
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story contains many things I would not consider reading normally, in fact I wasn't going to, I had no plans to read it at all. Then I saw all the great reviews for it and decided to give it a go. I'm so glad I did.

A great story, well written and thoroughly enjoyable, despite the hard and horrible themes involved. Thank you Lia Black.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-read
So if you want a light, fluffy read about puppies and flowers... well, keep looking. In fact, you should go to like the other side of the globe from this book, because you won't find any puppies or flowers here (unless you count oddly adorable Admiral, 'cus yeah, he's kind of like a dopey puppy.)

Lia in these past two years has seemed to develop a way to take a prompt and just run with it. She did it last year, and she did it again this year. If I could just play in her dark imagination for a day
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
★★★★☆ A Love's Landscape Story from the GR M/M Romance Group

Dark story of undercover Federation officer Alex trying to break up a prostitution ring and finding almost more than he can chew off. Horrifying at times but ultimately a beautiful love story.


Enter with caution, this has a badass bad guy to end all bad guys. He almost steals the show.

The Scion is a tentacled monster who owns a brothel for aliens. And human rentboys are at a premium with his customers. The beautiful alien, Illythe, runs the brothel for the Scion but is also his personal pet slave. This takes a darker turn in that Illythe has been a slave since he was a child. While there is only off-page reference to the child abuse, there is certainly on-page sexual abuse/torture fo
Jaye McKenna
This story is a like one of those rich, sinful desserts... dark, delicious, and I couldn't stop reading it. Not for the faint of heart, this one, but it pushed all my twisted little buttons just right!
Lilia Ford
I'm a big Lia Black fan dating from last year's M/M event with her contribution, Worthy, and was thrilled to see another dark, sexy tale on offer this year.

This year's is quite dark indeed, so much that it managed to raise a genuine fear about what would happen to the characters. By far the most interesting aspect for me was Illythe's relationship with Scion. I have a fascination with Stockholm stories, and Where Willows Won't Grow was sharp and effective in its exploration of Illythe's conflict
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG Lia Black looked into my mind and wrote a book about what's in there!

It is dark, twisted and BRILLIANT!!! (also hot but don't hold that against me).
Truthfully it is all the things I like in a book. The only downside really is that because I couldn't put it down I did not eat and therefor starved to death.
So here is my grave
Dear Lia,
I heart you 4 eva.
Thank U for this book.
It made me smile/grimace at all my openings.
Love Al

4.5 stars

I had to force myself to push through this book. This was dark; I'm not one for dub-con and rape, and I don't often venture into sci-fi, but I'm happy I did. I'm shocked (in a really good way) over how much I ended up liking this story.

The world building was very well done and I especially appreciate that there where no large pieces of info dump. The attention to detail was excellent and the setting, as a result, was a rich, and unique alien environment that felt authentic.

I loved the t
Nick Pageant
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Giulio's prompt!

I really need to process this for a while before I review it.
Dee Aditya
*curls into a ball and whimpers*
It hurt so bad... but it was so good...
Amy Spector
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not familiar with Lia Black until just recently. In fact, this is the first of her stories I have ever read. So, perhaps everyone has the same reaction...

Holy hell! That was fabulous!

Despite the fact that she wielded her story content warnings like a sword, trying to keep everyone away, I started reading and couldn't stop. (I was actually late for work!)

I tend to shy away from stories (and movies) with rape content as I tend not to handle it well but I am glad I didn't let the warning dete
Dee Wy
Really good M/M science fiction/romance makes me very happy, so this story had me smiling from ear to ear. I really don't mind dark stuff when there is hope and characters haven't given up on finding a better life. The balance of dark, brutal scenes and sweet attraction in a cruel environment was perfectly balanced so that I could enjoy every word. And seeing the Scion get his due reward was hugely satisfying. Long live Alex and Illythe! More stories in this world of aliens would make me even ha ...more
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
WOW. I really enjoyed this story and how it evolved. It was harsh and bloody and brilliant. It's just my type of story - no sugar coating of what's going on. I want to see it all - all the pain, all the emotions, all the drama. Great descriptions and setting mean I really felt like I knew this place and could "see" it in my head. Smooth flowing prose, great plot that had a point the entire time. I have liked this author's work before in the DRitC events so no surprise here!
What I have to say about this book? Believe me, all the tags I added must not be taken lightly. Everything from rape to abuse is in this story... And well. I don't have more to say. I just want to stand up... To applause

I guess it's not a bad book... just not what I expected. Alex had it easy as a slave, while his alien "angel" handler was the one who had it rough.
The ending was way too sweet, though I have never complained about a HEA before.

Something was off in this book for me. 3 stars.

Bree Cheese
4.5 stars! Really enjoyed this dark little dub-con, alien prostitute auction, undercover operation!
Ofelia Gränd
Lovely, in a painful, bloody, gory way :D
God! Ms. Black's stories are always so dark, but yet so beautiful. I always end up falling in love with her worlds and her characters. My heart was breaking for Illythe! His life has been pure hell and yet he's still such a gorgeous soul. This is dark and twisty in all the ways things are best when they're dark and twisty.

Alex is a about to dive into one of the toughest undercover assignments anyone could undertake. Working in the sex crimes division means no assignment is ever easy, but this r
Damn. I read this last night, read it again and re-read it this morning and I KNOW I will read it again later. Fabulous.

A wonderful story. I know exactly when a book is 'right' for me - it's that difficult moment when I want to skip straight to the end as I am so depserate to see what happens to the MCs.! ( I managed to restrain myself this time - Kindles are not co-operative as paperbacks!) That was the moment when I knew that I had fallen in love with this book.

(view spoiler)
OK, I won't lie...this book deals with very difficult themes and won't be for everyone.

But if you enjoy dark, M/M dub/non-con this book is for you.

It's so well written and the sci-fi aspect is not over the top...except for the multiple super freaky aliens. But no techno-babble or anything like that.

Alex is an undercover agent trying to dismantle a brutal sex-slave ring. He gets auctioned off but thankfully it's Illythe that buys him to work at Willow House. Illythe may be the manager of the best
Don Bradshaw
Nude oil wrestling, human sex slaves, non-con, fantastically drawn aliens, some torture and one survivor of an annihilated race. Step right up, buy a ticket, enter this dark whore house and set your kinks free.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stranded by Lies
  • The Arroyo
  • Salvaging Toby's Heart
  • The Case of the Insufferable Slave
  • Schadenfreude
  • Shattered Heart
  • All Wrapped Up
  • Laser Visions
  • Matters of State (Space Portal Vector, #2)
  • The Only Way Out Is In
  • In Heaven and Earth
  • Bright Water, Dark Sky
  • The Sentinel
  • No Boundaries
  • Human Frailties, Human Strengths (Guardians of the Leythe, #1)
  • Going Home (Home, #1)
  • Broken Phoenix
  • See You Smile
See similar books…
Lia Black tends to do everything the hard way; beginning with being born backwards into the world and now raising a teenage daughter by herself in conservative Upstate NY. Her career choices are no less extreme, including occupations of fine artist, computer geek, firefighter, and mortician’s assistant— just to name a few.

A fellow Author describes Black's mind as "a glorious kaleidoscope of f*cke