Hmmmm, this fed my dark romance addiction, thank you!
Violet (the female MC) returned home after being told that her stepmother is dying from cancer. She really, really doesn’t want to, but she loves her stepmother too much.
Jesse (the male MC) is the reason why Violet wishes she could run away screaming and never look back. He’s in the Air Force, but got leave for the last weeks of his mother’s life.
The MCs used to be so close when they were children, and, in their own words, they were the best of friends. But that all changed when Jesse finds Violet in a compromising position with a boy, causing him to flip and retaliate in an awful manner.
Fast forward to the time where this book is set, and Violet is still devastated by the betrayal, hurt and massively confused.
And Jesse? He knows 100% what he wants, and it’s Violet. He had no reservations, and he took her whenever and wherever he pleased. That guy was over-the-top crazy.
Jesse is not afraid to tell her he loves her every second of the day. Would I call what they had ‘love’? Hmmm… Not really sure… It was most certainly strong lust. The whole book was quite strong in all kinds of emotions, full stop. I’ll have to read the next instalment to get a clearer picture and see how the story develops.
For some reason, this book rubbed me the wrong way, and it’s not even the rape part that did it… I can’t even put my finger on it.
Anyhow, reading the book’s blurb, I did laugh when COVID-19 was mentioned. I laughed because internally I was thinking, “Hell no! I’m reading to forget about the real world, not to get even more embroiled in Corona Virus themes.”
But alas, it said it was a dark romance, and I cannot possibly resist a dark romance.
The opening scene was interesting, and I was gleefully turning the pages to see how Raven (the female MC) will deal with being stuck in the same house as Milo (the male MC), which she hates for good reason.
BUT, the book goes down memory lane, and the rest of the story is a recollection of when they were 13, 14, 15, 16, etc etc – BORING. Yes, I wanted to know how they met and the extent of their relationship in the past, but that could have been succintly done in a couple of chapters, showing some pivotal moments.
But what we get is a storybook of their early teen actions, then mid teens, then later teens… You get the idea.
Milo was actually a great character – he was smart and so mature. After a bit, I was double-guessing myself: did I really read what he did on the first chapter? Yes, I really did. His ‘inner monster’ came out eventually towards the end. Up until then, I would have called this book a tame romance filled to the brim with lousy sex.
Raven was… I don’t know. Sometimes she came off as a robot. She had emotions, but she didn’t at the same time? I know it makes no sense, but her character was so confusing. Milo describes her as a very intelligent and strong person that is not afraid to say ‘no’, but I did not see that.
Like I said in the beginning, I just didn’t feel it with this one. It could have been the COVID-19 mention, it could have been the rape scene in the first chapter, it could have been the boring childhood details thereafter, it could have been the mentally draining arguments between the two MCs, it could have been Mia-the-bratty-selfish-moronic-younger-sister (I really, really didn’t like her), it could have been the successive rape scenes towards the end… It was probably all of them combined.
Suffice to say, I think I would still pick up the second book as I want to know what happens next. But it might take me some time.
Hey, let me just start by saying that I usually love Ms Slater’s books. But this one didn’t work out with me, unfortunately…
The story follows Raina (the female MC) as she’s valiantly trying to live her life and explore the world without her mafia family hindering her freedom. She’s been ‘running’ for the past two years, knowing that Mateo (the male MC) would find her if she stayed still in one place for too long. Little did she knew that he had been aware of every little step she took…
This book was portrayed as a dark romance. I was so, so excited to read it, since I’m a right sucker for the genre.
It all started great. The book opens smack dab in the middle of some action which kept me engrossed. The dark shit that I love showed from the very first chapter:
He bent over and pressed his lit cigar into Garza’s now empty eye socket, putting it out. God forbid he start a fire and be forced to leave before his job was completely done.
I read that, and I was cackling like a disney villain (which may or may have not disturbed family members in the vicinity…). I was so happy to find this book.
And then it all goes to shits.
Raina has the amazing idea (hope you read the sarcasm there) to go to Giovanni, an ENEMY mafia boss, for protection. Enemy – Protection. Those two words do not match, girl!
But what is even more surprising (and unrealistic) is that Giovanni likes her on sight (of course he does, God forbid characters in books don’t like the female MC). He takes her to his home – the actual home where his family grew up and that contains his office and other important, private matters.
We are told Giovanni is cold and ruthless. By being the boss of the Italian Mafia, you can easily guess this man is hella experienced in all kinds of matters, and he’s alive to prove it. So why in the heck, may I ask, he allowed Raina (the daughter of a rival Mafia boss) into his home without reservations? Didn’t Giovanni think for even one second that she could have been a trap? A spy to infiltrate his mansion? An assassin?
No, of course not. We are given some bullshit excuse that her personality and vitality reminds Giovanni of his late wife, so that automatically makes her an innocent angel. Of course. How stupid of me. Next time I should just follow Sensei Giovanni without questions, since he’s the experienced Mafia boss here.
So Raina and Giovanni strike a ‘friendship’ of sorts within 2.5 seconds. He even asks for her opinion for his (and his men’s) safety:
Giovanni thought about it for a couple of seconds, turning the problem over in his mind. He turned to Raina. “What do you think, my dear? Do you believe that Gutierrez and his people will shoot up my club?”
Raina blew out a breath and thought about it. This question, her answer, it was a big responsibility.
A big responsibility?? I was laughing so much at the idiocy of that sentence. She’s a stranger. He’s a stranger. They’re enemies, for God’s sake! They’ve talked with each other for barely a couple of hours, and now they’re all chummy and sharing opinions?? How is that scene even happening?
Then the action ends, Mateo manages to retrieve Raina, and it goes even more downhill from then. I swear the middle of the book was just filler. I must admit to skimming some chapters because nothing happens. I was expecting some hot and dirty romance, but Mateo acts like a monk, so the best we got was some lukewarm kisses every now and then. Very disappointing stuff.
Then, it goes from 0 to 100. Randomly, in a random chapter, in a random scene, after a random conversation, he rapes her. It took my mind some time to catch up because, again, it was just random.
Raina huffs and puffs and is angry for (maybe) one chapter. She promises to kill him. She screeches about how she will never stop trying to escape. She cries, but doesn’t cry (yeah, that was confusing for me too).
Then, a random fight happens where the antagonist tries to kill her.
Then, Raina suddenly becomes all huggy and smoochy, spouting ‘I-love-you’s and looking forward to the rest of her life with Mateo. The rape is not mentioned at all. Kinda forgotten.
I was scratching my head. I honestly flicked pages back, trying to see if I missed a chapter or two.
Nope. That really happened. Ok then.
I wish the situation had been resolved better and more realistically. What a shame.
P.S.: what was that scene with Raina barking about animal rights?? She was so adamantly spouting how humans shouldn’t use animals for their pleasure, how she’s not an hypocrite, blah blah blah… Then literally the next day she’s happily wearing leather cowboy boots and liking how they’re sparkling? Or were they fake leather? I don’t remember reading that, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt…
Very unique historical romance, but the characters were hard to connect with. I didn’t particularly like the female MC and her ‘friends’ – some times, it seemed like they were immature people playing games.
The action was meh. It’s not really something I actively choose to read.
Ok, so, I don’t know what to say. I guess I liked the book as a whole, but… Well, yeah… But no.
The storyline follows the fantastical adventures of the most extroverted introvert I’ve ever read in my life: Tru (short for some name I can’t be bothered to remember), the female MC of this book. She works in a diner, and has been eye-shagging a hot dude that comes to the place for the past year.
The apparently-hawt man is Liam, our male MC of course – the wolf, wolfie, dark wolf, or a variation thereof which is mentioned more times than in an actual Werewolf romance (although, wolves haven’t been present in the UK for hundreds of years unfortunately. A sheep would have been a more appropriate endemic animal to the Emerald Island to represent him…).
He’s dangerous. Or so everyone kept saying in between stuttering and nervous sweating.
Did I mention Tru is an introvert?
Anyways, he’s dark and brooding and his eyes flash in cold warnings. He’s so handsome he causes our Tru to brain vomit at their first conversation:
“I meant I’m used to wild places. I’m from one. Little tiny town in Texas in the middle of nowhere where the sky is so blue it’s blinding and the plains stretch out into forever and there’s a million things that can kill you, from tornadoes to scorpions to venomous snakes to your half-blind, half-drunk hillbilly cousin who likes to practice target shooting in his backyard on Sunday after church when the family comes over for lunch and you’re wearing the fake fur coat your granny got you for Christmas that has an unfortunate resemblance to a deer.”
[…] “My mom’s a huge Dolly fan. All her daughters are named after a character in one of Dolly’s movies.”
It sounds even worse out loud. My nerves get the best of me, and I start to babble.
“My oldest sister is Doralee, who was a sassy secretary in Nine to Five. Then there’s Mona, the second oldest, who was named after the madam who ran a brothel called The Chicken Ranch in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I would feel sorry for Mona about that, but honestly, she’s a bit of a pill, very judgmental and self-righteous, so it serves her right to be named after a prostitute. Or maybe she’s self-righteous and judgmental because she’s named after a prostitute? I never thought of that.
“Anyway, then there’s Louisa. She’s another Steel Magnolias character, because that’s my mother’s all-time favorite movie. The name fits because the character was grouchy and short-tempered, and so is my sister.
“Finally, there’s me. Truvy. The baby.” I clear my throat. “I have four brothers, too, but my dad got to name them. Fortunately, he’s not a Dolly fan.”
Did you read all that?
Yeah, me neither.
Liam has no self-control, because he keeps telling himself to stay away from Tru, but always ends up succumbing to his needs. Can’t judge too much about that. Just a little though. Tru has also no self-control, but she heroically tries to tell him ‘no’ to a 28-days-long relationship of some sort (his moronic idea, by the way), because… helloooo, he’s dangerous!
But she gets ‘kidnapped’ (by Liam, of course, since he can’t help himself). She’s very angry about it. Who wouldn’t be? Being kept prisoner in a stunning penthouse, great food, security at every door to keep you protected, and amazing sex with a hawt geezer?
Very anger-inducing, indeed.
I send a longing gaze to the nightstand, picturing his skull exploding when my bullet hits his forehead.
Did I mention she’s a painfully-shy introvert?
Liam & Co. seem to have never lived in the human world before, because novel experiences keep happening to them. This is what his driver / ‘brother’ / who-fucking-knows-what-he-actually-is says:
“I mean she gave me lip when I told her to be careful when I dropped you two off earlier. You know when the last time was that someone gave me lip? Never. But she did. Straight up. Told me to go fuck myself in so many words, and did it with a smile.”
gasp She gave you lip?! The horror!
And it happens to Liam too:
In a thoughtful voice, he says, “You hung up on me.” He lifts a spoonful of ice cream to his mouth and eats it, tonguing the spoon as if it’s a woman’s body. As if he’s got his face buried between a pair of spread thighs.
I’ve never seen anything so carnal.
“No one’s ever done that before,” he says, in that same thoughtful tone. He crooks his wrist and points at me with the spoon. “Except you.”
Ignoring the ridiculous comparison to how he’s eating the ice-cream, this whole situation is shocking. She hung up on him! Woooow. That has neeever happened before.
I had no patience for them. Every single conversation they had, there was screaming involved. Even years later, when you hope they have matured into some semblance of an intelligent adult, they still scream and shout like 5 years olds.
The story is dark, yes, but it was depressing simply because it was tiring my brain, going back and forth between the past and the present and cheesy admissions of how broken or bad they are. I feel bad for not feeling anything about the story… Maybe they should have sorted out their brains in the first place? They were awfully dramatic and over the top as children, who even acts that way at 13 years old?