Updated: Feb 21
Oh cliffhangers . . . How I both love and hate you. They murder you in the best way. And then you wait months with bated breath for the next instalment. The absolute worst cliffhangers usually involve plot twists or deaths of loved ones, and these two scenarios both appear in this list. And yes, Tate James enters this list more than once. Her cliffhangers can go fuck themselves. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I'll still continue reading her work and loving every torturous moment of it).
Warning: I'm going to cuss out a lot authors throughout this cathartic exercise. I love them all, but sometimes, a girl just needs to tell them where to stick their words. (Hint: it's not on the page).
Kit Davenport Book 5 by Tate James
Sigh. Can a cliffhanger be mid-book? Because if so, this cliffhanger broke me. I remember it like it were yesterday. It was within the first few months of the reverse harem world for me, it was two am, and he was my favourite character. He still is my favourite love interest of any romance I've ever read. I don't want to give too many spoilers, but Tate motherfucking James ripped my heart out, squeezed the blood free, burnt the fleshy husk, and laughed on my grave. And she continues to do this throughout every series she writes because she's a sadistic, beautiful, talented piece of shit. I cried hard enough that I woke my husband up, who was genuinely worried about me for a moment; before he realised I was experiencing emotional death at the hands of a paperback, then he rolled over and abandoned me. (I might be just a little salty about this still, despite it being a couple of years ago).
The Wicked King by Holly Black
I literally screamed curse words at this book's ending at the top of my lungs. Bear in mind, unlike with Kit Davenport, I read this before book three was released. I still had a year to wait. A year! It was one of the longest literary years of my existence. And I will never forgive Holly Black for putting me through this nightmare. No one dies, but the twists and turns in this series leave you mind boggled. By the end of this book, I didn't know whether I wanted to kiss the love interest or stab him. Yeah, it's one those. This is also one of the few series I've read that I've not guessed the ending or what's coming. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Book three has since released, so I did eventually get my answer.
To Tame a Shifter Book 4 by A.K. Koonce
I LOVE this series. It's one of the few erotic romances I've read and enjoyed. The emotion, the steam, the plot, the world building . . . It's all amazing. I read this series when four out of five had been released, so maybe this affected my reaction to this cliffhanger, but it gutted me. Enemies to lovers (or at least haters to lovers), where the love interest refuses to admit his feelings gets kidnapped before he can tell her he loves her? I nearly died, guys. Like, I legit nearly had a heart attack. I swear, if I ever get my hands on AK Koonce . . . I love enemies to lovers and the brooding asshole trope, so I fell hard for this cliffhanger.
Liar by Tate James (Madison Kate Book 2)
Most people would put book three of the MK series on this list, rather than book two, but I was more devastated by the twist at the end of book two. Warning: this entire series is a giant cliffhanger with twists, turns, and many WTF moments. I don't want to give too much away, because it's a mystery romance, but the information drop at the end of book two made me drop my phone and whisper-yell, "What the fuck?" (It was early in the morning). My mind was just blown. I laid there for a solid two hours staring at my ceiling with not a clue as to what I was supposed to do with my life now. Mind officially blown.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This cliffhanger was not as bad as the other four on this list, because you do get some closure and answers after the giant reveal. And it was also hinted at throughout, so I kinda knew what was coming. The emotion behind it, however, left me an empty shell for days. It was sooooo hard to read anything after this. The world building, the big twist, the building of the emotion to their romance . . . It was all so beautiful. And then it all came crashing down. Good and bad became grey areas of uncertainty, everything you came to know got questioned, and I just couldn't believe he'd do that to her. Okay, I could. I saw it a mile away. But still. Why?