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Dark Notes

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They call me a slut. Maybe I am.
Sometimes I do things I despise.
Sometimes men take without asking.

But I have a musical gift, only a year left of high school, and a plan.
With one obstacle.

Emeric Marceaux doesn’t just take.
He seizes my will power and bangs it like a dark note.
When he commands me to play, I want to give him everything.
I kneel for his punishments, tremble for his touch, and risk it all for our stolen moments.

He’s my obsession, my master, my music.
And my teacher.

493 pages, Paperback

First published April 3, 2016

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About the author

Pam Godwin

43 books8,934 followers
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their retired greyhounds, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.

Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

SIGNED BOOKS and MERCH: pamgodwin.com/shop
INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/pamgodwinauthor
TIKTOK: tiktok.com/@pamgodwinauthor
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/pamgodwinbooks
AMAZON: www.amazon.com/author/pamgodwin

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 2,681 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14k followers
April 3, 2017

★★★★★! Dark Notes (Stand-alone). Acclaimed pianist & teacher Emeric Marceaux’s unapologetic pursuit & seduction of his student!

“We need each other, not because our bodies fit so well together. But because our hearts beat the same tune, for the same reason.”

Dark Notes (stand-alone) is a forbidden teacher-student romance, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s an erotic tale of sexual awakening, the simmering slow build-up of Emeric’s seduction and sexual corruption of Ivory, if you will. But it’s also about coping with secrets and painful past, such as rape and abuse and the healing and the self-reflection that comes with.

Emeric Marceaux, prodigal son, heir to an empire, acclaimed pianist… and an off-limit high school music teacher.

Eleven words to describe Emeric: Entitled, unabashed, commanding, devious, secretive, elusive, careless, ruthless, in-control, nurturing and refined.

Though Emeric is playing student Ivory Westbrook like a violin, it’s her who controls the story or rather Emeric’s obsession with her.

I felt her, I bled her tragic past. Yet I wanted to be her partly for her sexual charisma that unbeknownst to her oozed off the pages. But mostly because she had his attention, his fascination and his love…

Seven words to describe Ivory: resilient, strong, reflective, naïve, humble, meek and enchanting.

I was captivated by the amazingly wonderful Ivory who wrapped herself around my heart and the enigmatic Emeric in his unapologetic pursuit of Ivory despite the destruction their affair could cause.

Plus their story has that X factor, the secret ingredients of Pam Godwin’s spellbinding storytelling; just the right amount of sexual tension, sizzling (BDSM) erotica, angst, darkness, suspense and danger with a pinch of secrets and betrayal simmering to perfection.

Dark Notes, told from dual POVs is butterflies-in-your-belly good. It’s un-put-downable addictive. I’m highly recommending.

“This brutal man is my home. His hell is my heaven. I'm his Ivory, and he's my darkest note.”

Hero rating: 5 stars
Heroine rating: 5 stars
Sexual tension rating: 5++ stars
Sex scenes rating: 4.5 stars
Sex scenes frequency: 4.5 stars
Plot rating: 5 stars
Dialogue rating: 5 stars
Storytelling rating: 5 stars
Story ending rating: 4 stars
Overall rating: 5 stars

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Would I re-read this book: Yes!
Would I read future books by this author: Yes.

Thanks to everyone who participated in DARK book ShhLYT(F)BR on Shh…. https://goo.gl/N6K5xH

ARC provided to me by author Pam Godwin in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,212 followers
May 25, 2016
At seventeen years old, Ivory Westbrook has experienced enough tragedy for a thousand lifetimes. Since her father died years ago, she has lived a life of despair and pain. With a mother and brother that have lost themselves to their drug addictions, she's had to bear the brunt of the household responsibilities, selling the only thing she has to keep the bills paid.v

When Emeric Marceaux is hired as a teacher at Ivory's prestigious high school, she knows that her future is up in the air. She had worked with the previous instructor for years and was promised her endorsement for a spot at the most coveted performing arts college in the nation. Without the wealth of the other students, it is essential that Ivory secure the scholarship in order to achieve her dreams of a performing career. She knows that everything she has worked so tirelessly for is in peril.

At first glance, Emeric Marceaux knows that his attraction to his busty young student is asking for trouble. She isn't like the other rich kids at the school and his dominating and protective instincts are calling to him. With every moment that he spends with her, he finds himself venturing further into forbidden territory.

Despite the fact that they both know that any type of sexual relationship between them could be disastrous, they repeatedly succumb to temptation. Tentative at first, they soon embark on a sordid journey of sexual exploration and self discovery. Emeric wants to protect Ivory from everyone but himself it seems.

From start to finish, this book held my rapt attention. Ms. Godwin weaves a taboo, erotic tale that is utterly breathtaking. This book elicits such powerful, raw emotions that at times I hated it as much as I loved it.

It is an extremely well-written, dark story. Brace yourself for some tough topics, like child abuse (emotional, physical and sexual), rape, dubious consent and a forbidden student/teacher relationship. Ms. Godwin is not afraid to address these topics and does not skirt around these issues, which I appreciated, but others may find difficult to deal with.

This is a standalone book that will not leave you hanging. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I was left feeling quite contented. If you love a book that makes you question your morality and face tough topics, this is for you. If you are looking for a love story that will move you, this is it. I absolutely loved this story and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

April 20, 2017
5 “I’m fucking my teacher.” Stars

It’s universally known that the more forbidden something is, the more desirable it becomes.-Emeric

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Wow this book was amazing. Dark Notes by Pam Godwin has been on my radar for a while now, but I have been putting it off until I got in a dark read kind of mood. See I love me some Dark reads but I have to be in the right mood for them. But now that I read this book I wish I wouldn't have waited so damn long. It wasn't nearly as dark as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong it's dark. About a 6 or 7 on a dark scale of 1-10, 10 being the darkest, but I have read darker. I really enjoyed Pam Godwin's writing style. She captivated me from the start and made me fall in love with the main couple. Besides being a darker read it was a taboo read. You have a forbidden teacher/student love. The hero is 27 the heroine is 17. Very naughty and right up my alley!

“I can’t stay away.” Another drugging kiss. “I want you.” He nibbles my lower lip, licks just inside the seam, then rests his forehead against mine. “You make me want things I can’t have.”-Emeric

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“It’s against the law. You’re my teacher!” “You’re my girl.” He lazily swipes the screen on his phone. “That’s the only law you need to worry about.” What? My head hammers. “You’re insane.” “You’re mine.” “What if someone finds out?” He scrolls through his email, not a care in the world. “My problem.”-Ivory and Emeric

Emeric was extremely sexy. I loved his over the top protectiveness. The way he loved and took care of Ivory. He was all dominant, but was still supportive, comforting and sweet. He was also a bad bad boy! A kinky, naughty teacher tasting the forbidden fruit. I loved that he knew she was worth everything. He didn't fight his feelings long. She was his and he would have her period! I love that shit!!!! Emeric was like her Dark knight he comes and he saves her and then spanks her. Ivory has had a shitty life ever since her dad died. Abused by her mother, brother and raped repeatedly. Ivory does what she has to, in order to survive. She has a plan and she is going to overcome. She may have been beaten down many times but she was so strong and it shined through the pages.

“You’re sort of charming when you get all serious and bossy.” She lowers her chin and deepens her voice. “Like I’m the man, laying down the law, and this is how it’s going to be.”Cute. I shake my head, fighting back a grin. She tightens her fingers against my scalp and moves her mouth a hair’s width away. “But I have my own mind and voice, and you’re going to hear it whenever and however I want.”-Ivory

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“You need to stop giving me those eyes.” “What eyes?” A smile teases his lips. “The ones that say…” I deepen my voice. “Come here, Miss Westbrook. Look at me, Miss Westbrook. On your knees—” He surges up with a roguish grin on his face. I roll out of reach, my mocking tone tumbling into laughter. “Suck my cock, Miss Westbrook.”-Ivory and Emeric

There was some major sexual tension in this book. I'm a sucker for the whole student/teacher love stories. Emeric and Ivory had major chemistry. The heat was rising from my kindle because not only is there the whole taboo age/teacher/student thing going on in this book, but Emeric is all Dom and there is a generous sprinkling of bdsm kinkery too. Their relationship wasn't all kink though. This book didn't just have sex scene after sex scene filler there was a nice relationship build up. They don't even have full on sex until like the 80% mark. They also have a supportive, sweet, loving, and playful relationship. They don't judge each other. For a dark book I found myself laughing a lot. Like the part where she throws the marker at Emeric and it bounces off his forehead and leaves a mark, I could actually picture it in my head.

“Ah, fuck.” The headboard groans in his grip. “Look at you.” I open my eyes and collide with his, a smile pulling at my cheeks. “I’m fucking my teacher.” “Jesus Christ, Ivory.” His biceps flex above his head, his thighs hardening beneath me. “Give me your mouth.”-Emeric and Ivory

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Yes, I’m her teacher. Yes, I shove my cock in her, rigorously and with unadulterated depravity, morning and night. But the depth of my feelings for her goes so far beyond bullshit laws I really don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks.-Emeric

I know some will have a problem with their ages, but I didn't. I also found that I really enjoyed the fact that Emeric's mom and dad were so supportive of him. They didn't look down on Ivory, didn't treat her bad. I loved that he could be 100% honest with them. I hated Ivory's mother, brother, and her brother's best friend Lorenzo. I read a few reviews where readers didn't like what happens with Lorenzo. Not me I was glad, I would have liked more pain, I know I can be a bit bloodthirsty, but I own that shit! I also felt her mom and brother didn't get their comeuppances and it really disappointed me. Just sayin' how they gonna get off after all the hell they put Ivory through. Emeric and Ivory's HEA was super sweet and well deserved. Overall I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on more Pam Godwin books. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dark, taboo, love. I would tell anyone who has issues with rape not to read this book, because this book get real rapey!

“We’re a timeless concerto.” I kiss his lips. “A musical masterpiece.” He drags his mouth across my jaw, his cock jerking inside me. “Like Scriabin’s ‘Black Mass?’” Too dissonant. I arch my neck for his lips. “I was thinking along the lines of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy.’” “Lame.” He bites the skin beneath my ear. “We’re more like Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher.’”-Ivory and Emeric

Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
April 5, 2016
5 stars!

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When I heard Pam Godwin was writing a student/teacher book, I jumped for joy. I love forbidden love stories and I love this author so I was fairly certain this would be a win for me. Every Pam Godwin book I read, I’m shocked by the beauty in her words and the stunning stories she writes. I’ve come to the conclusion that by now I should just be used to it. This is the fifth book I’ve read by this author and all of them have been fantastic 5-star reads. Friends- if you haven’t read this author you really need to! Don’t put it off! All her books are great. You can’t go wrong no matter what you chose.

Ivory is a seventeen-year-old girl going into her senior year at a prestigious music school. She may not belong there in a lot of ways- she lives in poverty while everyone else drives new cars, but she has one thing most of them don’t. Sheer talent. She is a protege piano player. She’s worked under the same teacher for the last three years. Now that teacher has retired, a new one took her place. His name is Emerick Marceaux. Emerick is there for one reason and one reason alone. His past has made it difficult for him to find teaching jobs, but this opportunity opened up to him so he’s going to take it.

Emerick and Ivory have this connection when they first meet. You can feel that zap between them. Ivory has been with a lot of men- but I never judged her. If anything, my heart completely broke for her situation. But not one of them has made her feel the way Mr. Marceaux makes her feel with just a look. Just a touch. And he isn’t immune to Ivory, either. Emerick can’t mess up the opportunity this job has allowed, but as time goes on, Ivory becomes more important to him than anything. Even his job.

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“When we’re together, Ivory, when it’s just you and me like this, happiness can only be limed by us. We make the rules.”

You may think you’ve read one student/teacher romance, you’ve read them all. It’s not the case here. This was a unique situation. I know the H/h ages may be a little more taboo than some like (17 and 27) but once you read it and understand their situation, I’m fairly certain most won’t be bothered one bit by it. I know I wasn’t. Ivory was very mature for her age. She had so much strength and determination. Times in her life it would be so easy to just give up but she never did. And Emerick… there was something about this man! I couldn’t get enough of him. I loved how strongly and fiercely he felt about Ivory. He would do anything for her and she hasn’t had that type of love, loyalty or devotion in a long time. These two were perfect for one another.

If you enjoy a good forbidden love story or a student/teacher book- pick this one up! If you’re looking for a well written, sexy, dark (at times) all-consuming romance, this is the book for you! Pam Godwin’s writing is out of this world good and I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone! 5 stars!
“We’ll compose our own masterpiece. A song that will never end.”

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March 12, 2022

5 "Kodaline" stars!!!

“We need each other, not because our bodies fit so well together. But because our hearts beat the same tune, for the same reason.”

Ivory Westbrook, a girl who whores around so she can save money to feed her family and pay her classes. Father shot dead, mom a drug addict, brother an abuser. She lost her virginity when she was 13 behind the stairs, to her brother's best friend. It was not romantic at all. There were no small kisses, rose petals or chocolate. All she could remember when she recall her first time, was the searing pain that ripped through her body, the blood, the scrapes and bruises that marked her body.

She has been selling her body ever since. To make her dreams come true.

She has no fancy things that her classmates wear on their wrists or clothes for every hour of the day. All she has is her plain beauty and pure talent.

🎶Music. The only place she let herself lose. The only place she can be herself. Until him.
Emeric Marceux! Her teacher.

Everytime those cold arctic blue eyes follow her moves, with every little swat she receive when she miss a note her body tingles. When his blues lock with her brown, she feel safe, cherished.

Emeric, a man who had been betrayed by the woman whom he thought he loved. He was bad before but now he is cruel. No emotions. Just stone cold. Until he meets her.

Ivory has come into his world in such a whirlwind, and now she has consumed his blood and his soul. Student or not, school slut or not, poor or not, she is going to be his.

“Nothing is inconceivable, and everything is possible. The proof is in the magic of music.”

Holy freaking hell!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!

“We’ll compose our own masterpiece. A song that will never end.”

My first book from Pam Godwin's and my favourite teacher-student-age-gap taboo novella. Dark, twisted, kinky......everything I love in a book.

I don't love whores normally but Ivory invaded my heart and she'll always have a special place there. So brave, strong, forgiving and caring. I admire her talent and her strength. To a 17 year old she's amazing. No false attitudes, no makeup or any other bullshit, no show off. Just plain beauty, talented fingers, kind heart sacrificing soul and a loving mind.

And Emeric....Holy momma. He is my fav book boyfriend.

So dark yet loving, understanding and caring. There was one moment where I was confused when he got mad at her for using the safe word, but then I realized it was because he was mad that the men before her traumatized her and left her vulnerable and himself for not being careful (sweet!). I love his possessive ways. And also the caring part of his. The ex-drama annoyed me but I understood Emeric's vulnerability and anger for hurting Ivory. He was scared to lose her because he loved her so much!

I loved he never cared the fact she was a slut and loved her for her. Most teacher-student romances most the time the two try to put distance. But this was a good change. With their past events the trust they put on their love enough to risk their jobs and dreams were so beautiful. Some might says it worthless but when I read the end I knew it was worth it all.

Sometimes dreams are best when they are small.

Loved how Emeric didn't deny his attraction but made her feel loved every second.

Their connection, love is so intense. I love the fact that nothing ever fazes them. There's no disgust just love. Freckles, piss, snores, drools and all, they still love each other. I LOVE these too!

A beautiful story of a student and her teacher. A story on pain, love, burden, sacrifice, care, understanding and trust!
Note: This book contains violence, BDSM and kink plays. No cheating, HEA guaranteed


"I never wanted anyone the way I wanted her. Not just her body. I want everything. She is the strongest emotions I've ever felt.

Profile Image for ellie.
660 reviews1,463 followers
August 16, 2021
i really wanted to like this book and seeing the countless, raving reviews, i expected to love it like everyone else. but it just didn’t sit right with me at all. the whole relationship made me feel super icky.

i really loved our heroine, Ivory. it was the hero, Emeric who just made me super uncomfortable. the moment he sets eyes on Ivory, his inner-monologue detailed his depraved thoughts towards her which was the first red flag i ignored, trying not to think much of it. but, as we learn more about Ivory’s past in regards to her continuous sexual assaults, by various men in her life, his constant explicit, wanton obsessional thoughts started to veer into inappropriate and distressing. most teachers in a student/teacher romance are fully aware the attraction is ‘wrong’ and will distance themselves, try to put a stop to a relationship developing. they tend to feel guilt, feel like a predator. Emeric doesn’t. he has no qualms at all about pursuing Ivory the moment he finds out she’s his student. again, it was another red flag i tried to ignore.

his sexual preferences were already dark and degrading for the average woman, but towards a victim of rape and sexual assault just felt tactless. the handling of her rape and the aftermath felt unrealistic when throwing her to the wolves, or the wolf, Emeric, who just wanted to fuck her and didn’t handle her hesitancy and fear very well. their sexual relationship was unbelievable and just didn’t make sense considering Ivory’s past.

i know for some rape victims, BDSM can actually be very freeing and help them with trauma. and i have read other books with similar themes. but, the use of BDSM in this book in relation to Ivory’s trauma wasn’t handled well— it wasn’t about HER needs, her control, her way to take back power. it was all about his weird perverted need to have power over her and have her constantly at his mercy. (i mean, he gets pissed off at her for using her safe word during one sexual scene— and it pissed me off. isn’t that the whole point in having a safe word? to stop when the other person is uncomfortable? and u then reassure them that they’re in a safe environment and stop? not get pissed that it interferes with YOUR desires?).

and sometimes, he’d say things that were really tactless and didn’t even apologise to her. like when a past lover of Emeric’s rocks up at his house with Ivory there, making several inappropriate comments in front of Ivory, who then gets mad (rightfully so), and says she doesn’t like the reminder of him being with other women, to which Emeric then makes a snide comment saying something like ‘well i have to see you and the other boys you’ve been with everyday at school’ to which Ivory apologises for. and i was like, hang on a minute? you mean the classmates who raped her? they don’t equate to your consensual sexual relationships. the way he phrased it made it sound like she willingly slept with these classmates when he knows full well she was raped by them.

and her rape seems to piss him off because other people have touched whats ‘his’ and he isn’t the first man to touch her, rather than because she was actually raped. he was just selfish and tactless, driven by his desire and had no impulse control around Ivory who deserved more than some deranged, sex-obsessed teacher.

but i do think student-teacher romances can be really good when they’re done right, like Sweet Dandelion and Burnout. but this was tactless and wasn’t executed in a way that made me comfortable. the previous two detailed a slow blossoming romance between the student and teacher, a push and pull, with their morals regarding the situation hanging over their heads constantly. with this, neither one cared about the consequences. Emeric was just selfish and thought he was invincible because he was rich and desirable.

i was gonna give this two stars until the very end when Ivory decides not to go to Leopold music school so she can always be with Emeric. this was probably what pissed me off the most. after all her hard work, years of abuse and torment, loneliness and exploitation, music and her dedication to get into Leopold was the only thing that got her through everything. and when she finally gets a chance to go, she abandons her dream for Emeric, who frankly did not fucking deserve her in the slightest. i wanted Ivory to have ONE thing for herself— everything in her life belonged to Emeric or was controlled by him. her designer clothes. her expensive home. her PORSCHE. and now her dream of going to Leopold. which she gives up to satisfy him. it made no sense whatsoever and just ruined the whole book for me. i can’t imagine just abandoning your dream like that after years of hard work.

so that was the final straw for me. i wanted to love this. i thought with all the raving reviews, id adore it like everyone else but i didn’t. Emeric’s behaviour just didn’t sit right with me— he felt like a sex-obsessed predator who should not be working in a school and around children.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,268 followers
August 7, 2017
Dear sweet lawd. That Emeric Marceaux has me like: description

And each word outta his mouth has me like: description

I have nothing more to add to the thousands of 5-star reviews bc my brain is scrambled. Snowy dusty static. Dear sweet lawd.
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,110 followers
April 22, 2021
4 stars

Tate McRae x Ali Gatie - lie to me

Dark Notes is a forbidden, student-teacher, age-gap romance. It was well written and I love how Pam Godwin combined all the musical elements in her writing. There were so many beautiful quotes to chose from!
Everything is perfect.
Too perfect. Like life has handed me a song filled with soul-deep joy and told me to savor every note.
Because eventually, the song will end.


This book follows 17 year old pianist Ivory Westbrooke (h) in her senior year at Le Moyne, one of the most recognised and elite performing arts high schools in the country. Emeric Marceaux (H) is taking over a teacher job after one of the other teacher retired. Ivory is trying to get into Leopold, one of the most selective performing arts college with the help of her new teacher while navigating her abusive home life.

Dark Notes starts out very promising, but ngl after Emeric and Ivory get together the plot kind of falls very flat and not much happened.
“Sometimes you love people you shouldn’t, and in the endless space of that love, nothing else matters.”

Christ, this girl… She’s my music, my place in this life, my part in it all.

What I loved most about Ivory is her ✨ spirit ✨. Being the only poor student at Le Moyne is hard. Everyone is looking down at her, all the students think she's a slut, because she has to do what she has to do to pay all the bills, since neither her mother nor her brother are any help. The head of the school has something against her and is just looking for a reason to expel her. All odds are against her and still, Ivory is trying to survive. Sometimes you find steel in someone when they stand up to their bully, but steel in Ivory is when so many are trying to drag her down, and she keeps getting up and working hard again, because she knows she is the best. I was cheering so hard for Ivory, hoping at the end of the book, she would get into Leopold since that was her lifelong dream.
I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. Not just her body. I want her everything. She is the strongest emotion I’ve ever felt.

Ivory my poor baby 😭 Reading about her domestic life was so sad, I just wanted to hug her, wrap her into a warm blanket, buy the fanciest piano that I can buy with my 5€ I have and protect Ivory from the outside world, because EVERYONE was extremely shitty. Can someone kick them all in the face. The students at Loyne – thinking they are so much better than her, because they have money and better clothes. Her mother and brother – blaming her that her father loved her more, bc he put all his money to pay Ivory's tuition before he died. The only creature who is not against Ivory, is her cat Schubert. Therefore, I was rooting hardcore for Ivory to show everyone what she's made of!

In the depraved innards of my soul, I thrill at being the thing she fears. I want to claim her apprehension, dread, and uncertainty. I want to take ownership of all of her emotions and be the sole reason she trembles and cries.

Another alpha asshole to love!! Emeric at the beginning was so cold and acting so assholish towards Ivory. He has some very questionable teaching methods lol. At the same time he was very protective of Ivory right from the start. I loved how Emeric taught Ivory to play music beyond the classical frame, expanded her horizon and opened her eyes for greater potential. He was the best teacher she could have had.

I don't even know if Emeric intended to be funny or not, he was a comedian anyway.
“Which song is this one?”
She gives me a watery smile over her shoulder. “His favorite Herbie Hancock, ‘Someday My Prince Will Come.’”
I’m no prince, but when I’m buried inside Ivory, I will always come.

I looove his relationship with his parents!!! It was so refreshing and weird at the same time.. which 27 year old guy is telling his parents all about the underage student he is dating like what. Emeric can talk with his parents about anything even the BDSM stuff and I'm like hmm that's either family goals or a little bit too much information i don't know lmao. Sending your girlfriend to your father who is a physisian to get checked and birth control.. that's not awkward at all. 🏃🏻‍♀️

࿐ྂ。 ICONIC MOMENTS (spoilery-part) ࿐ྂ。

➵ Emeric eating Ivory out on a piano with the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana playing in the background. That's some queen and king shit and the humor in it lmao.

➵ When Emeric brings Ivory to Leopold for an auditon and she plays a pop song when it's in the requirement to play a classic. At the beginning I was shocked that she bombed her audition since it was such a long dream Ivory had to go there. She worked so hard for it and then she does that?? But then when the judge tell her that Leopold is not a school of pop and that they teach classical pieces, Ivory turns around and plays the hardest section of Balakirev’s Islamey. One of the most technical songs and hardest piano pieces to play. And Ivory does it flawlessly!!! At least that's what Emeric said and who am I to say otherwise. Girl, that FLEX!!! I was so proud of Ivory. 😭

All the judges were impressed as they should be. Ivory Westbrooke doesn't need Leopold, it is Leopold that need Ivory Westbrooke.

Jesus, I’m going to need a screaming-hard fuck tonight. Leather, rope, and chafing strokes. No safe words. No clingy aftercare. Chloe or Deb will do. Maybe both.

When I read that quote, I was like jeez okay I didn't know this book is going to have BDSM.. but what concerned me the most was the NO SAFE WORDS part, because really???? That's such a red flag for me. I was scared what would happen, especially knowing Ivory's sexual history. It was making me anxious. Thank God the whole BDSM dom/sub wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be, since Emeric used safe words with Ivory and there wasn't a moment where I thought he wasn't taking care of her enough.

Even though 17 is the legal age of consent, Ivory and Emeric sex scenes, still made me a tiny bit uncomfortable since they have 10 year age gap. I would have felt so much better about it if Ivory would have been 18. It just one year and for a lot of people it wouldn't make a different, but it makes such a difference to me. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Forbidden, age gap and underage sex is one thing but adding Emeric being into BDSM with Ivory's past of being raped and sexually exploited for years was just too much for me. Here is why: even though Pam wrote the transitions of Ivory learning to feel pain and starting to crave it with the pleasure well. It didn't make much sense to me from the start why add the BDSM element in it. Emeric could still be dominant without all the ropes and stuff. I don't expect vanilla sex just bc what happened to Ivory, but it just doesn't sit right with me that Ivory went from not being able to escape all the abuse bc the men are stronger, so she had to lie there and let it happen to Ivory being tied with rope. I know it's not the same, since Ivory holds all the power in the ladder, since she can stop it anytime saying the safe word while she was helpless with the other men, but idk something about that makes me itchy. The sex scenes between Emeric and Ivory were still HOT and enjoyable to read since it was always safe and because Emeric is 🔥🔥🔥 getting it on on a Steinway piano is seriously a new goal (in my next life)...
I only wished that Pam Godwin would have changed some things a little, but that's my preference.
That tiny glimmer in her eyes is trust.
That’s when I hear it. The tempo of our breaths. The drum of our heartbeats. The crackle in the air. The exquisite cadence pulses through me, awakening sensations I’ve never felt, composing a melody I’ve never heard.
Our hypnotic, dark notes.

P.S. Schubert deserves better.
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
March 26, 2016
4.5 Stars

This brutal man is my home. His hell is my heaven.
I'm his Ivory, and he's my darkest note.

If there's one thing that Pam Godwin knows, it's how to write one seriously intense alpha. The mere name alone, Emeric Marceaux, is enough to get my motor revving. This man will give you shivers and you'll actually feel his intensity crackling through the pages. It's utterly delicious. He's a dose of dangerous, with a splash of depraved, and all of it is tied around a sexual magnetism that's so captivating, your fingers will tingle turning the pages.
She's exactly the kind of woman I'm drawn to. A woman who flees when hunted and comes alive when she's caught.

Dark Notes is a standalone dark romance with a deliciously kinky element of the forbidden teacher/student. Add in the fact that Ivory is only 17 years old, and you got yourself one crazy ride of a book. But that description doesn't even begin to do this book justice.

Ivory Westbrook is a survivor with big dreams. Being the only empowered student in one of the most elite and expensive performing arts high schools in the nation, she has a lot to prove, but her talent as a pianist is unparalleled. Unfortunately she lives in a world where money is power and she has none. She's lived a hard life in her young years; her father is dead and her mother may as well be with her addiction to drugs. She's survived unimaginable horrors from a tender young age, but she's a survivor at her core. With only a year left of high school, she's that much closer to her dream of making it into Leopold, the highest ranking college in the country. Now all she has to do to get even closer to that dream is impress her new music teacher, who just happens to be the most intense and captivating man she's ever laid eyes on.
He's enchanting, distracting, and positively terrifying.

Things begin to simmer between the two of them at first sight, and the author does an incredible job in making the sexual tension practically palpable enough to taste. Emeric is one of the most captivating characters I've read in a long while. He oozes sexuality and yet there's this edge to him that adds an element of fear that just works so well.

I didn't expect to like Ivory as much as I did. I'm not a fan of sexual abuse issues being the go-to for heroines in dark romances, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Pam. She's written an incredibly broken yet persevering heroine with Ivory. She has deep rooted issues, but never once are they glossed over. It's incredibly raw, painful and believable. You can understand her captivation with Emeric. You can completely understand why she does the things she does and craves the things she does. The author lets the rich character development paint the whole picture for the reader. Never once do you feel like you're being told anything; you feel it right along with the characters.
Sometimes you love people you shouldn't, and in the endless space of that love, nothing else matters."

While the sexual tension between Ivory and Emeric is instantaneous, that is the only instant thing in this book. The rest is the most delicious sort of slow burn. It's almost like watching the most sexual game of cat and mouse unfold, and even though you know what the end result will ultimately be, you still can't stop reading.
It's no longer a matter of if or when.
Tonight, she'll bend for my punishment, tremble for my touch, and I'll risk it all to show her exactly what she means to me.

So you may be asking yourself if I loved it so much, why not a 5? The reason for that is because I did find parts of the story to be too predictable for my tastes. As soon as a few particular elements were introduced, I knew straight off the bat where it would be leading and how it would end. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the entire book was that way, not at all, in fact. There are certainly enough twists and turns packed in to keep you guessing. Pam Godwin is a master of her craft and she seems to get better and better with each new book. If you're looking for a dark romance with a bit of kink and taboo thrown in, you really can't go wrong with this one.

The tempo of our breaths. The drum of our heartbeats. The crackle in the air. The exquisite cadence pulses through me, awakening sensations I've never felt, composing a melody I've never heard. Our hypnotic, dark notes.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
766 reviews566 followers
August 10, 2017
* * * Dark Notes is LIVE on Amazon * * *


5★★★★★ Darkest Note ~ Stars

Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Dual
Publication date: April 5th, 2016

“All you need is a moment...This brutal man is my home. His hell is my heaven. I’m his Ivory, and he’s my darkest note.”


Ivory Westbrook; at only seventeen years old had a dream and a purpose. The life she was given was crapy and horrible. In the midst of her horrible reality she had only one thing that kept her going her addiction and talent to play the piano and make it to the best college there is. At only thirteen years of age her life came crashing down after the death of her father. Her mother and brother resented her for the sacrificed her father had done for her; he had made sure that she had a full four year paid tuition to the best music school in New Orleans. Now with no money and no help from her family she finds herself doing anything she can for four years to make mends means and just survive even if that meant selling services.

“Men are takers. They take my courage, my strength, my confidence.” Ivory


Emeric Marceaux; with a broken heart and a bad past moved to start a new life closer to his parents. Money was never anything he needed being an only son he will have a fortune to inherit and after being one of the most talented pianist he didn’t need it. What he was looking for was a way to escape his past; the betrayal of his lover and to teach. He wanted to be in control again loved and craved it. The music was his passion; the ability to teach it but most of all being able to be in full control. What he didn’t know was he will find a sweet temptation that will test him in all the limits possible; one temptation he tried to stay away but found himself drowning deeper and deeper for her.

“I wasn’t prepared for this. Not for a tall, voluptuous, sexy-beyond-all-season woman to walk into my classroom.” Emeric

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“His presence, his projection of self-assurance and command that makes me feel disoriented, breathless, and really fucking weird deep in my core.” Ivory

This book was filled with so much emotions, suspense, secrets and kinky hotness. The chemistry between Ivory and Emeric was amazing and will have you so hot and bothered in all places. Ivory’s life situation will have you hurting so much it will pain you deep so deep i am still hurting to know how strong she was even thought she was given a horrible reality of life. She had no friends, no family to care for her only her cat and her dream to make her father proud to be the best pianist there is. The lights, the music, to be in stage was her dream.

Emeric became obsessed and possessive of Ivory from the first day he saw her. He knew he had to stay away but she was different like anything he had ever seen. Emeric felt the need to be his protector and damn can I say how much I love that man. I mean he went above and beyond to take care of her to help her heal and set her free from her nightmares. I freaking have no word of how much I love this man.

“She’s made for me, to be instructed and punished and enjoyed...Fuck, I need this girl. And I can’t have her.” Emeric

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If you are looking for a fast paced story; with so much hotness; intense sex; dark situations and forbidden love you have found it. This book right here will have you asking yourself who on earth is fifty shades again?! I mean this book has everything I look for in a book. So much deep emotions, so much suspense, so many sad situations but you will find a HOT man that will do anything bound the consequences to care for the woman he loves and a strong heroine that will do anything it takes to survive and make her lover happy. I have so much feels and love for this story. Please do yourself a favor and get this book as soon as it comes out and you are welcome!!



(F)BR with my girl LIZ
Read as part of ShhLYT(F)BR week: Dark Books

Book Order:
Dark Notes by Pam Godwin


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Profile Image for Yeasmin Alo .
190 reviews292 followers
January 26, 2021

TW: Not your regular forbidden romance
It covers sensitive topics like - Rape, sexual assault and there is numerous non-con situations

I am Being very honest here next time I
re-read this I will be more than happy to skip some of the parts.


"It’s universally known that the more forbidden something is, the more desirable it becomes"

No one will ever see me turn down a "forbidden" teacher student fantasying
romance given the amount of crush I had on Teachers throughout my life

But adding the contradictory element of BDSM in this trope 🤔!! Hmmm.... I have read Pretty Reckless 😑 there is a little unfortunate charade happened in that book (if you know, you know) and that's what came across my mind when I saw the bookshelf tags 🙄

Fast forwarding now after reading it

First, let me clear the air there is NO explicit BDSM in this book.
It has few elements that's it, nothing graphical. So anyone who is not picking up this book because of that please Don't hesitate.
It’s erotic? Yes!
But the way BDSM was used in this book?
Man! I haven’t read anything like this!!

After reading the first two chapters I was like No!!! I am not in the correct mindset to read it....
It tackles lot more deeper topic than I initially pegged it would be.
So I took a pause, relaxed myself and my mind a bit after that when I started reading it again I WAS IN A WHOLE DIFFERENT UNIVERSE.

"Just looking at him feels like I’m inhaling a lungful of fire."

I think when it comes to heroes I've one type Alpha Male THROUGH and THROUGH

But when it comes to female protagonist I have two types-

Type 1:The kind soul, soft yet strong girls

Type 2:The Fighter The Kickass Baddie, but without Being bitchy

Ivory is Type 2 The Fighter
Ivory a 17-year-old high school girl struggling with poverty. No one is there to support her financially or mentally.
Yet she had a dream to study in the best musical academy, Leopold, and become a world class Pianist just like her late father dreamed she would be.

"Is she thinking about yesterday, when I memorized all the skin she’s hiding? The mole on the rib just under her right breast, the delicate patch of freckles on her toned thigh, the decorative ink scrolling across her back—all of it belongs to me now. I crave another peek, more skin, more Ivory."

Her path to freedom is not easy.
No support from family
No support from her teachers
Lots of politics, the influence of money.
Hungry unfaithful group of men around her.
Her only leverage is her talent her passion for Music.

"The hands on my head guide me closer, demanding I stay with him. How crazy is it that I don’t want to be anywhere else? I can’t even close my eyes for fear he’ll disappear."

To earn her ticket from hell to heaven she has to impress her new Professor
Emeric Michael Marceaux

Leopold, the state's best musical Academy, is her dream, her strength to wake up the next morning to fight more.
Will she be able to reach her own personal ultimate pinnacle of success?

"The power is mine. I bask in it. His hands tremble, and I grab them, hold them, our fingers intertwined. I have him."

Mr.Marceaux was introduced as a c**k sure b**tard who happens to hold the future of Ivory in his hands.
But he had no intention to "save" her but on the other hand, it was his full intention to crush Ivory's dream under his Oxfords.

"His mouth is so gentle and safe it’s like he’s kissing my soul."

What I love about this book is I got to see a lot of build-ups, denial from both of their sides though it was insta attraction.
The chemistry was sizzling, sensual and at the same time so sweet.

“No sharing. Ever. You’re mine. I’m yours. That is my hardest limit.”

Mr.Emeric Michael Marceaux is a perfect example of the prime Alpha male.
My new Man of my dreams.
Let me tell y'all my weakness is "Claim"
When H sees you, does everything in his power to claim you with love, protection, affection, and respect, I can't resist that man. This kind of man is my weakness.

And I just want my hero to imprint the word "mine" on his girl.
Mr. Marceaux exactly delivered me that.

"My body sings for him with each pulsing beat between my legs, pulling him in, clamping down, and holding him there. He belongs in me, with me."

Mr.Marceaux not only gave Ivory wings.
He also made sure not to judge her.
He not only saw her body, he saw her soul, recognized her needs, and stood by her side.

I will highly recommend this book.

Anyone who is looking for
iv)Slow burn erotica
v)Age gap (Difference-10 years H is 27, h is 17)
This is THE BOOK for you

Before reading this just be prepare to be shooked from the core.

“We’re a timeless concerto.” I kiss his lips. “A musical masterpiece.”
"We’ll compose our own masterpiece. A song that will never end.”

Happy Reading 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,961 followers
April 5, 2016
*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

That’s when I hear it. The tempo of our breaths. The drum of our heartbeats. The crackle in the air. The exquisite cadence pulses through me, awakening sensations I’ve never felt, composing a melody I’ve never heard. Our hypnotic, dark notes. This is so much more than punishment or forbidden pleasure. She could never be a mistake.

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This was my first Pam Godwin book and I really loved her writing style and this story. I am not a huge fan of dark reads but I can tolerate them from time to time. While this was a dark read, I have to say that I’ve read stories that were far worse. This was a forbidden love story between a teacher and his beautiful and extremely gifted student. Student/teacher romances are one of my guilty pleasures and the steamier the better!! There was a tremendous amount of schmexy in this story and I am not ashamed to admit that I loved every dirty second of it.

Ivory Westbrook is a seventeen-year-old piano virtuoso, attending a prestigious High School for gifted students. She’s looking to get out of Treme and her horrible family home by getting a scholarship to the Leopold Conservatory of New York. The teacher that was going to write a letter of recommendation for her has been fired and the new teacher is the extremely gorgeous and notorious Emeric Marceaux. Rumors about him being into some kinky BDSM fuckery and his looks make him the living breathing fantasy of quite a few women in town. As soon as Ivory walks into his classroom, Emeric is bewitched. He tries to keep things platonic at first, but it doesn’t take long for him to give in to his desires.

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Ivory has been living a nightmare for several years since the death of her father. She gets physically abused on a daily basis by her drug-addicted older brother and his low life best friend sodomizes her every chance he gets. This was hard for me to endure because I really detest rape in stories and it’s not only at home that Ivory is victimized, there are also some disgusting classmates who lust after her and force themselves upon her. I had a hard time with the fact that she was constantly placed in that victim role and I thought it was a bit too much.

What I did love was the intense and smoldering relationship between Emeric and Ivory. The sex was white hot but beyond that, the love that developed between them was what kept me so captivated by this story. I prayed that these two would be able to find their way to an HEA by the end of the story.

I wish I could have rated this a full five stars but I just had a few issues that I couldn’t overlook. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I highly recommend it!

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Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,466 reviews769 followers
March 18, 2016
A Talented Dominant Maestro .
A willing submissive Pupil.
Their bodies and souls entwined in a perfect Etude .
Ivory Westbrook is a destitute, abused, fallen angel trapped like a doe in company of wolves. They beat her, grab her,feast on her, eat her alive and she hides in the Black Mass of Scribian . The music her safe place to hide from pain, torture and rape.

"When she was thirteen, she sold her body to a tattoo artist for a permanent keepsake of her dead father."

Emeric Marceaux is a a disillusioned and Disgraced Music teacher , running from scandals of his past. He finds a perfect disciple in Ivory. In flesh and in music.

"The cadence of our breaths plays a soft song of want and hunger and desire in the background, and while those sexual undertones aren’t necessary in our silent communication , they add rhythm and flavor to the heart of our music."

Pam creates Magical notes to which their love plays symphonies .
Ivory 's heart starts to beat in sync with Emeric's Breath and heartbeat - Dark and Hypnotic.
Music brings them together, binds them forever, providing a refuge for both of them and as their Lust turns into Love, the crescendo keeps climbing higher and higher, till she realises that her dreams of Leopold are just out of her grasp .
Here comes the epiphany ! Stepping back , looking at the bigger picture , she finds a bigger dream, a bigger purpose in life than just going to the Best Music Conservatory in the country. She finds the perfect Master to tutor her. Protect her, keep her safe and tethered while letting her talent fly !!

"The tick of your watch. The harmony of your breaths. The tempo of your heart. The notes I feel whenever you’re near."

It's spellbinding, mesmerising , hypnotic story, with two characters created so synchronised with each other, it's difficult to say where Ivory finishes and where Emeric starts.
Their ultimate tabboo relationship is attacked fom all sides. The heinous acts of violence that Ivory had to endure, the utter neglect and squalor from where this beautiful angel had to be rescued from isn't letting her go easy. Combined with the black spot on Emeric forehead and the blackmail he has to endure.
This story is undoubtedly a bestseller.
Pam has written in her indomitable style.
Laden with Lust , angst, torture , abuse, tender soul searching love, and above all uplifting music.
The music is omnipresent , in the background, in the foreground, in their lovemaking, in the rough sex, in their heartbreak, in their tender moments, in her torture, in her salvation, in his guilt, in his rescue.
In both their souls.
In their story.
In our hearts.
Filling us with love
it's a heady combination of music, sex, love, dominance and submission.
I wish I was Ivory , Tied up on the piano, waiting to be played expertly by Emeric's contrasting doubles, both gentle and rough
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
March 30, 2016
It’s universally known that the more forbidden something is, the more desirable it becomes.

Ivory is a prodigy and attending the most elite music school in the state, Le Moyne Academy. She may be the most talented pianist there, but she doesn’t fit in with it with her super wealthy classmates. It isn’t just Ivory's socioeconomic class that separates her from the other students. It’s the circumstances surrounding her life and what she does to survive. See Ivory is a fighter and she has given up everything and pieces of herself to continue her education.

Ivory’s story and POV is delivered so well I didn’t judge her actions, but truly felt for her. My heart broke for her when seeing the things she had to endure, but I love perseverance in a character.

Emeric is new to Le Moyne Academy and Ivory’s new teacher. Emeric is such an intense character and from the very beginning I was intimidated by him. I had no idea how things would go between he and Ivory, because she is a fighter and he refuses to lose.

As it turns out I actually ended up completely loving Emeric. I loved how protective he was of Ivory. I love how before I knew anything about him I knew he was still just a good guy doing the right thing. As the story progressed and their connection deepened I loved his selflessness and desire to truly give Ivory her dreams and desires.

What I truly loved the most about this story was the character growth and how it fit perfectly with the sexy, forbidden plot. I love student/teacher romances, but I usually find myself let down that they are not as forbidden as I wish they were. This was not the case here. I swear there were moments in this story that were so freaking hot. I am not referring to the sex scenes alone, just the build up and slow burn was so freaking hot.

This story is not what I expected, it’s honestly more. I was thinking we would have a hot, sexy read and forbidden love story, but it is also so emotional. I loved the feels and love between Emeric and Ivory. I loved the twists and turns, and how the plot moved so quickly and I couldn’t wait to turn the page.

If you are a fan of Pam Godwin, student/teacher romances or just looking for a sexy, entertaining read I absolutely recommend!

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

Teasers created by me with stock images purchased from depositphotos.

Profile Image for Isabella. R.
787 reviews1,466 followers
July 8, 2021
4 Never Stood a Chance Stars ⭐

The introduction of Dark Notes was a very real reminder of the ugliness in humanity. Abuse, suffering and poverty that no person should endure, especially a young girl without affection or protection. It was almost unbearable. And then we meet Emeric Marceaux and I couldn't undergo his cruelty on top of it. I stopped reading this and yet a couple of days later, the depth of writing was never far from my mind, and here I am with a changed opinion.

“I feel your notes. Here.” I touch my breastbone, my voice shaking. “They’re dark and hypnotic, like your breaths and your heartbeats.”

Ivory Westbrook was just a girl trying to survive the hopelessness of her home life. One more year to obtain her dream of obtaining a scholarship to the prestigious Leopold. As a pianist following in the steps of her father, it's a long haul to the top especially without support.

New to Le Moyne, Mr. Marceaux is surrounded by self-entitled future musicians. He immediately senses the difference when he first meets Ivory and the feeling leaves him unsettled. Even if he can’t deny her exceptional talent, it’s easier to use cruelty to keep her at arm’s length.

She’s in my head, like a whisper of promises. She’s in my heart, softening it, mending it, and making it pump again.
“You taste dirty, Ivory. In the most agreeable, delicious, addictive sense of the word.”

Emeric may pretend his fascination with Ivory is all part of the mentoring process, but he’s quickly crossing lines. Looking out for Ivory's welfare in his own twisted way and before too long he’s permanently inserting himself into her life. But to be fair, Ivory finally needs someone in her corner.

I’ve never been decent. I’m dirty—Emeric’s kind of dirty that leaves a claiming painful pleasure in my throat.

Wow this was a teacher/student romance with a lot of heart. Disturbing in parts but also cathartic. We're talking about a girl with sexual trauma, and a man willing to break her just to put her back together. This is how Cinderella would feel if she ended up with a gorgeous avenging deviant who enjoyed gagging her on his cock and then rewarding her with unconditional love. Crazy shit. However, they were the right fit and consensual is the golden rule here. 🖤
Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews863 followers
May 8, 2017


After Fifty Shades of Grey and the influx of dark brooding alpha- males that followed, I really thought I had my fill of those kinds of heroes.

But reading Dark Notes just reminded me how much I have missed reading about a controlling, sexy, dark man. One, I might add, that didn't make me feel the need to roll my eyes or gag (because I've had my fair share of those as well).

I can't even begin to describe how incredibly poetic, beautiful, and romantic this whole story was. ESPECIALLY Emeric's POV. In the words of Ivory: Sweet merciful fuck . That man. I went back and re-read his passages over and over because I just could not get enough. I highlighted almost every single thought and thing this man said.

Dark Notes tells the story of Ivory - an aspiring musician who is extremely gifted in playing piano. But while she excels at school, her home life is in disarray. She has to resort to some seedy arrangements with her classmates to help support her drug addicted mother and brother. Ivory has a really awful and heart breaking past. One that was really hard to read about. But she holds such a positive attitude in spite of it all and just focuses on reaching her goals.

In her last year at school, she is assigned to a new music teacher, Emeric Marceaux. Emeric FREAKING Marceaux. A unconventional teacher who curses, plots revenge on anyone who crosses him, and has no problem using his own special form of punishment (aka spanking...YES SPANKING) when Ivory messes up and doesn’t shy away from the wicked thoughts he has of her.

“I’m here to teach her, and that doesn’t include instructions on how to properly suck my cock.”

But as he realizes his attraction for her is going nowhere and begins to teach Ivory, he feels an all-encompassing need to protect her, help her, and love her. And what follows is a crazy romantic ride, filled with twists and turns, insanely sexy encounters, and some really dark moments they both need to overcome.

Ok, now that the basic plot is out of the way, let’s get back to talking about Emeric. This aggressive, dominant, romantic, filthy man was pure freaking perfection. There really is no way my words can do him justice. So instead, I’ll just show you his:

“Ivory’s an intoxicating dream, the kind that visits a man at night, veiled by the darkness of dusk and safely pursued in the secret corners of the mind. But in daylight, she’s a dangerous fantasy, tempting a man to do things with his eyes wide open.”

“She’s in my veins, fiery and weightless. She’s in my head, like a whisper of promises. She’s in my heart, softening it, mending it, and making it pump again.”

“It’s as if every fiber of my being is tied to hers, and every movement she makes moves me, pulling me closer, deeper. I never stood a chance.”

“I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. Not just her body. I want everything. SHE is the strongest emotion I’ve ever felt.”

Ok, ok. Just one more…….

I grip the tiny straps around her hips and yank. The sound of ripping lace brings her head around.

“I liked those.”

“I’ll buy you a hundred more and rip every fucking one of them off your gorgeous ass.”


The love, affection, and overwhelming need he had to take care of Ivory are what made me fall head over heels in love with this story. Add in the poetic writing, the CRAZY SEXY moments they had (*ahem* that PIANO SCENE?..sweet lord), and Ivory's amazing strong willed character, and this was a definite winner. There are some rather dark moments in here, but they were lightened by the sarcastic and humorous dialogue and some crazy romantic scenes.


I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed this and how beautiful Pam's writing is. Anyone who is a fan of forbidden romance, well actually just ROMANCE in general, needs to add this to their TBR.

Dark Notes is out NOW!

*Arc was provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for warhawke.
1,298 reviews1,955 followers
April 5, 2016
It's LIVE!!!
Amazon  | B&N | iBooks | Kobo  |  Smashwords

Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Dual

Ivory Westbrook was a senior and an aspiring pianist at the prestigious Le Moyne Academy. She set her goal to attend the country’s best music school, but her plan hit a snag when a new teacher took over the classes.

Emeric Marceaux was a highly accomplished virtuoso. He not only saw raw talent in Ivory and was determine to hone it. But he also saw a side of her that he craved. As they embarked on a forbidden relationship, baggage from the past found its way to their doorstep and threatened to discord their perfect harmony.

Forbidden relationship is one of my favorite kinds of book. Even though I am not big on the student-teacher trope, but when it is written by one of my favorite authors and a promise of darkness, of course I’d be all over it.

She could destroy me, not just my livelihood, but the very fiber of who I am, and she doesn’t even know it.

Emeric is without a doubt, my favorite teacher ever. He was perfection. He had the right amount of alphaness without being annoying and the right amount of kinkiness without being freaky.

Men don’t touch me unless they want something, and his touch is freaking me out. It’s too nice. Too intimate. Way too intimate for a student and teacher.

Ivory was a strong character. Even though she's young, she was more mature and responsible than her peers. She had to fend for herself since a young age and past experiences created trust issue. What I love about her is she never used that as an excuse to be emotionally closed off.

Emeric and Ivory could carry the story by their chemistry alone. They were very sexy together and the highly sensual sex scenes left me panting for more. The tension surrounding their covert relationships added excitement and intrigue.

Dark Notes is a story of a secret liaison between two talented people from two different worlds navigating their relationship through secrets and threats. The mesmerizingly sexy and engaging story will keep you satisfied from beginning to end.

Watch my fan made trailer here: https://youtu.be/hRE_IMd0K2Y

Note: I can’t play piano, but I want one in my house so I can do some kinky things on it hahah!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for TJ ☾.
690 reviews1,153 followers
May 19, 2021
Oh my goodness 😮 this was uncomfortably hot and exactly how you write a student-teacher romance.

for completely innocent and non-simp reasons, i created a list of mr. marceaux's best traits. i'm just gonna dive right in

① 🎹 his self-awareness

I could stare at her twenty-four hours a day and feel like the most productive pervert in the world.


② 🎹 the way his priorities are always in order

I scan the bio page and confirm her Treme address. Skipping over the summary of her exceptional GPA and SAT scores, I latch onto the facts I care most about.
Date of birth?
She’ll be eighteen in the spring.

he said:


③ 🎹 his commitment to an open and honest relationship

“They said you were fired.” My palm feels too clammy against his cheek, so I drop my hands to the crisp collar of his shirt. “Because someone walked into a classroom and found you with a woman.”
He arches a brow. “Is that all?”
“No.” I clear my throat. “Supposedly, her mouth was gagged with your tie.”
“Her wrists were bound by your belt.” I rush forward with the rest. “Her body was bent over the desk while you had sex with her from behind. That’s the extent of what I’ve heard.”
His hands close around the backs of my knees. “Wow.”
Wow is right. The crazy things people say…
A smirk slithers across his lips. “That is surprisingly accurate.”

④ 🎹 how he's a feminist and her biggest hype man always

“I might’ve…” Her chin quivers. “I’m sorry.”
Sorry for what? Releasing her bladder while fighting off a rapist?
I capture her arm and pull her to me. “I hope you fucking pissed all over him.”

⑤ 🎹 how close he is with his parents 💕

like when he tells them all about how he spanked his 17 year old student in his classroom...

and all they say is:

“Well.” Mom stands and walks to the counter to refill her glass. “You certainly know how to test the limits of social acceptance, but I know where you get it from.” She returns to the table, her eyes glimmering at Dad. “Your father loves to spank—”

hopping off the emeric simp train for a moment, it's time to move onto everyone else

🎹 abt ivory:


When I bounce, my breasts sway and the bed frame creaks. I could come like this. A bona-fide orgasm. With a cock inside me. Mr. Marceaux’s cock. I open my eyes and collide with his, a smile pulling at my cheeks. “I’m fucking my teacher.”


🎹 abt ivory's brother:

honestly idk. i just loved this guy 🤷🏽‍♀️

“If you flash your tits at my friends again, I’ll cut them the fuck off."

you'll.... you're gonna....

there was something about that line that for some reason had me on the floor. it was just so ridiculous like *clears throat* sir you're gonna do what now?


🎹🎹 ------

all in all i had a great time. this was worldsssss better than Misbehaved (though ill admit i missed ryan's character.) but no one does it quite like pam godwin
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,515 reviews3,767 followers
October 25, 2021
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This was an enjoyable darker forbidden romance. I haven't read a bdsm type book in a while, and I thought this author did it well. The teacher/student aspect was sexy, and I know that lots of readers will have issues with the age difference (h is 17 and H is 27) but I didn't. The h had some majorly unfortunate circumstances, and was more mature than the usual 17 year old IMO. I never felt that he was a predator on a young girl, because of the age difference -- but I did feel bad for the h when he started ogling her and treating her like other men do right away. I also had some issues with some of the drama in the book. It just felt like too many issues at times! These are the main reasons for my lower rating.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Ivory and Emeric's story. Ivory is 17 and starting her senior year at a prestigious school of the arts. She is severely poor, and sticks out among the rich kids. She has learned ways to support her drug using mom and brother, as well as herself while going to school. She has also dealt with the unfortunate side of being an attractive girl. Emeric's is her new mentor, and he is instantly drawn to her. They start to toe the line of impropriety right away, and of course eventually cross it. There is some drama with family, some issues with the school and other students, some OW drama, some sexy bdsm times, and they fall in love...and they get a HEA ending.

POV: This alternated between Ivory and Emeric's POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed, and I thought it flowed well.

Instalove: No. Instalust? Yes.

H rating: 4 stars. Emeric. He was a sexy, mysterious man. I sometimes didn't like how he failed to communicate with the h, and would just take control of the situation (but I guess that was supposed to be part of his dominant persona)

h rating: 3.5 stars. Ivory. I felt really bad for her circumstances. She had so much against her! I just wish that she sometimes made the H work a little harder for her, and wasn't under the golden peen trance ;)

Sadness level: Low/moderate. I never needed any tissues, but it does cover some heavy themes.

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Moderate/high. This had a lot of sexual tension, and once they actually become intimate there are a lot of scenes. They have hot chemistry and scenes.

Descriptive sex: Yes

Safe sex: Yes and no. They are tested and use birth control after results get back. The H never mentions past practices, but I think it's implied that it's similar to what he did with the h. The h says that the men that raped her didn't always use protection.

OW/OM drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: Yes

Cheating: No

Separation: Yes

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This actually had a decent jump ahead epilogue with a HEA ending!

How I got it: I paid the $3.99 for it on amazon.

Safety: Probably Not Safe for most
Profile Image for Brandi.
633 reviews1,279 followers
March 31, 2016

Dark Notes is a forbidden student/teacher romance, that made for a deliciously steamy read. Ivory Westbrook hasn't lived an easy life, poor and taken advantage of. Ivory is doing whatever is necessary to survive and hold on to her dreams. With one year left of high school, she is focused on landing a spot at a elite musical college. Ivory is a resilient, yet naive heroine.


Emeric Marceaux is new to Le Moyne Academy, fleeing the scandal surrounding his last teaching position. He is an accomplished pianist, calculating, arrogant, and a bit kinky. He is immediately attracted to Ivory, and he submissive nature, but tries to maintain is distance. The build up between these two was done beautifully.


This was a sexy read, with a great mixture of suspense and romance. I enjoyed it.

*ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,262 followers
April 25, 2016
4.5 Melodic Stars

Dark Notes made our TOP PICK VIDEO FOR MARCH!
Check out the link here:

"It is universally known that the more forbidden something is, the more desireable it becomes."

Dark Notes is a unique read full of passion, forbidden romance, and unforgettable characters. Pam Godwin has created a masterpiece once again!

"She's a little lost lamb among a pack of cutthroat wolves."
Ivory is a young musician living in Treme, Lousiana. After surviving the brutal death of her father, she has been left alone to exist in a dark world. With a drug-addicted mother and an abusive brother, Ivory must do whatever it takes to pay the bills and survive. Her only saving grace is her passion for the piano. Before his death, her father assured that she would get the best fine arts education possible for her. Amidst the affluence of her peers and fellow artists, Ivory faces ridicule and bullying due to her circumstances. When she reports to school for her senior year, she is devastated to discover that her mentor and teacher have been replaced.

"How is it possible that I feel both possessive and terrified of him?"
Emeric is a professional pianist who has found success performing and teaching. After leaving his previous school, due to alleged misconduct, he finds himself the piano instructor at a new prestigious school. His only obligation is to teach and promote the headmaster's son. However, when Emeric meets Ivory he realizes the dilemma to follow through on his arrangement is going to prove harder than he ever expected!
"She may not know it but she needs clearly-defined boundaries, discipline, and a man she can trust to push her beyond her comfort zone. She may not recognize me as that man, but she will."
"I intend to cultivate, polish, and discipline her, while deriving every twisted ounce of pleasure I can from it."
Ivory and Emeric don't waste any time connecting. As the intensity of their piano lessons increases the forbidden attraction between the two becomes unbearable to ignore. Although Ivory views herself as damaged goods, Emeric establishes himself as a protector for her. He is driven to help her achieve success as his student in both the music room and the bedroom!
"Sometimes you love people you shouldn't, and in the endless space of that love, nothing else matters."
"Tonight, she'll bend for my punishment, tremble for my touch, and I'll risk it all to show her exactly what she means to me."
Told in dual POV, Dark Notes offers a perfect blend of complex characters, a well-developed story arc, and unbridled passion that will leave the "BDSM (light)" fans salivating for more. Not only were both of the characters extremely likable but the circumstances were quite realistic and truly enhanced the reading experience. It was almost as if I could hear the music playing and feel the emotions of each scene. I was quite impressed with the loyalty and admiration of Emeric towards Ivory. Additionally, the supporting characters contributed to the depth of this story. I felt every ounce of terror and love they provided to the plot. Although Ivory was quite experienced, her innocence continued to remain in the background as a reminder that even broken people can be healed. Her dedication to her art and her love for her teacher made this journey unforgettable. The emotions evoked through each moment kept me engaged the entire read.
"My smile is so deep, I feel it in my lungs like a nourishing breath."

When it comes to anything written by Pam Godwin, I know I am in for a rare treat. A fan of passion, dark plots, and complex characters, Dark Notes truly delivers! And the delivery is full of crescendos, decrescendos, fortissimo and pianissimo dynamics. In other words, the music and passion in this read continues to play long after the last page is turned!

This was a BR with Loyda as part of ShhLYT(F)BR week: DARK BOOKS!



*ARC graciously provided via the author in exchange for an honest review!*

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for D.L. Howe.
Author 13 books376 followers
July 9, 2021
I can’t imagine why I put off reading this for two years. Not only is it not one but two of my favorite tropes; teacher/student and bdsm. But I’m pretty sure this is the best teacher/student romance I have ever read. It’s salacious, it’s beautiful, it’s emotional, it’s frustrating and oh so satisfying.

Her dad was everything and that’s heartbreaking. Because without him she has nothing. Nothing but contempt, cruelty and the blame for anything and everything. She’s an easy target with absolutely no protection.

I don’t give a damn in what form she gets it, this girl needs someone to protect her. To give her affection and to love her. It doesn’t matter what role Emeric plays in Ivory’s life, she needs and deserves all of him.

Ms Godwin has an extraordinary gift for making simplistic gestures, such as helping her put on shoes or wiping a smudge of marker off his forehead more sensual and provocative than most writers expound about the down and dirty. I can’t wait to see what happens when they actually take their clothes off.

She thinks she’s ruined, dirty, a worthless whore and he’s not letting her get away with that for a second. It’s fascinating and breathtaking that he’s so protective of her but unable to protect himself through the rage he feels towards the many people who have wronged her.

“I always thought the safest place to go was in my head, that no one could hurt me there. But standing between a busted wall and the fuming man who destroyed it, I’ve never felt safer.”-Poignant!

He’s so quick to ease the pain he causes. I can’t imagine he’s like this with his subs. I think he’s protecting her, just as his punishments are protective too. He’s trying to save her from the other men but also herself. It’s beautiful.

“Emeric applies counterpoint in everything he does. With one hand, he taps with tenderness and self-control while his other bangs with intensity and dominance. His methods may be contradictory, but he executes them in perfect harmony.”-This pretty much encompasses not only him but their burgeoning relationship.

“With his lips hovering above my clit, the song changes to one I immediately recognize. I burst into groaning laughter. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He flashes me a grin before he buries his face between my legs. As he curves his tongue through my folds, the piano vibrates to the tune of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.”-Best moment ever! 🤣🙈

I Will Follow You into the Dark-Death Cab for Cutie
Imagine that pivotal scene from Ghost, with Demi and Patrick on the pottery wheel. Now instead of the wheel imagine a piano ...
“I close my eyes and focus on the beats, the glide of his fingers, and the sway and flex of his tensile muscles around me. His breaths on my neck and the twitches in his legs make it easier to predict his movements and rhythms. I don’t just feel the music. I feel him as the vocals lead us through each measure, painting passionate imagery about fear being the heart of love.” ... Beautiful.
Profile Image for Flo.
286 reviews593 followers
April 14, 2016
5 **masterpiece** STARS

“We're a timeless concerto. A musical masterpiece.”

That was beautiful, heart breaking and scorching hot. Dark Notes was not my first Pam Godwin book, but still I was surprised by the quality of her writing and her ability to really captivate me with a slightly dark forbidden love story. Really pleasantly surprised.

Dark Notes is a standalone student-teacher book, with some darker elements, such as abuse and BDSM. It’s not too severe, but the heroine has a history of sexual abuse and the relationship between Ivory and Emric is definitely D/s.

Let’s talk story...

“He seems untouchable. Maybe his fists are as brutal as his beauty. Just looking at him feels like I’m inhaling a lungful of fire.”

Ivory has a gift. She is one of the best piano players of her age. She goes to a rather fancy high school for the arts, but her education comes with a lot of sacrifices. Her tuition was paid for by her father years ago, but since his death her family lives in complete poverty and to make ends meet Ivory has found other ways to pay the bills for her absentee mother and her abusive brother. To say the last years have been a struggle is an understatement. I was hurting for her just reading about it.

But things start to look up. A new school year brings her a new mentor and musical studies teacher. Mr. Emeric Marceaux, a man who has fallen from grace at his last school. His sexual proclivities came to light and he was half thrown out of his job. Le Moyne is his last chance and he intends to keep a clean slate.

That is until he sees Ivory. From the first moment she steps foot into his classroom there is an undeniable attraction between the two. Both have a very hard time ignoring the chemistry, but a lot is at stake for both their futures. What could possibly go wrong?

“She’s exactly the kind of woman I’m drawn to. A woman who flees when hunted and comes alive when she’s caught. A woman who bends beneath punishments and seeks acceptance in her humiliation. A woman who bites at a heavy hand, only to melt around the unforgiving grip when it cuts her air.”

Dark Notes is written in dual POV. And I have to say the first chapter in Emeric's voice really sold me on the story and Ms. Godwin's writing. Both viewpoints have very distinct voices, but the scene when Emeric first talks with the school dean gave me goosebumps. He is a very enigmatic and decisive character. For all intents and purposes the evil bad boy, but once he really sees Ivory's struggle he becomes this knight in shining armour and it is glorious. If you are looking for a really well written alpha male you might want to check this one out. Ivory is equally amazing as a character. Resilient, in charge of her own life and determined to make her dreams come true.

I can't mention enough how much I love the poetic writing in this book. I was reading very slowly so I could savour every word, really immerse myself in this beautiful story and on top of that I loved the way she used music to describe the journey.

Really a well rounded book all around. Sexy, poignant, scorching hot and so very moving. I'm a new fan.

**ARC very kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,572 followers
April 4, 2016

This book took me by surprise. I didn't expect this one to be so hot, dark and intoxicating. Even though the love story is forbidden I'm not ashamed to say that for me it was perfect, I devoured it in one day, once I start it I couldn't put it down! I have to say that I was waiting patiently to finally read this book! I love Pam's writing and especially in this one it's so beautiful and I could say poetic in some parts which make me love the story even more!


The best part in this story for me is the connection Emeric and Ivory have! It's passionate, intense, emotional and super hot. They fit so perfectly together, I can't imagine Emeric without Ivory. Emeric is so alpha male! He is dominant, protective, cocky and hot! I love how kinky he was! Really it's been a long time before I find a character to excite me like he did!


If you are a fan of teacher student romance like me, and you need something hot and dark to wake you up then you shouldn't miss out on this great read!

*An advance reading copy was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.*

Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews579 followers
April 1, 2016
***3.5 Ivory Stars*****

(ARC Kindly provided by author, in exchange for an honest review)

I've been struggling with my feelings for days about this book. While I've always loved Pam Godwin's pen and creativity this book simply wasn't for me. If you scroll down and read all the reviews you'll notice that I'm the only one who wasn't in love with Dark Notes, which tells you that this might be a case of, it's not the book, it's me. So please don't let my feelings deter you from reading this book or any other novels by Pam Godwin.

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Ivory is a seventeen-year-old piano virtuoso. Her father had been a very talented musician who died when Ivory was young, and the only thing he left her was the talent she carries in her DNA and a paid tuition to New Orleans' most prestigious music academy.

Being in this very important school means Ivory has to attend class with the offspring of the elite members of society. This fact is a real hardship for her coming from a trailer park herself. She can't afford the uniforms or school supplies and her brother and mother, Ivory's only relatives, are hooked on drugs and are unable to help. Not that they would if they could because her family hates her and the only thing they have to give her is pain and bitterness.

So, from a young age Ivory has experienced abuse and brutality, and with time she's had to learn to simply embrace the dark in her life and sometimes even use it to her advantage.

Emeric Marceaux is the new teacher in school. Not only is he a very important pianist, but he has looks and riches to spare. The reasons why he is the replacement for the last teacher seem obscure and when he walks through the halls of the academy, whispers and rumors follow him.

When he sees Ivory for the first time walking into his classroom, Emeric is blown away by her beauty but after learning about her life situation he understands how her beauty is both a blessing and a curse for the young woman.

He wants to be the dark savior that makes her life better, and Ivory wants to taste and experience the intensity in which he does everything. Secrets desires will be the daily bread for these two very complex characters, and together they will learn to play a beautiful and forbidden tune that could ultimately bring them to freedom or to their demise.

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Like I said before, I really enjoy the work of this author but in this particular case I just couldn't get passed the fact that the heroine was seventeen years old, and while her hard life had made her mature quicker than most, I just felt too bad for her and ultimately couldn't connect with the love story between Emeric and Ivory. It could also be that dark romance is not a genre I should read often, which is why I'll be taking a break from it.

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