Mini Reviews: Dark Romances & Getting Back to New Adult

OUT ON GOOD BEHAVIOR by DAHLIA ADLER

★★★★

25223500“It isn’t just the way she feels, or smells, or tastes; it’s the way she sighs into my mouth, like: finally. Like: you found me. Like: this is everything I dreamed it would be.”

After the second installment in the Radleigh University series was a totally bust, I decided to put my binge-read of this series on hold until I was finally over my disappointment with the second book. I knew the final book was going to be my favorite and I didn’t want to go into it with any type of negative feelings and in the end, my decision to wait paid off because I ended up loving this book as much as I hoped I would.

Francesca Bellisaro is a sweet talker who can charm the pants off of anyone and that includes Samara Kazarian. But Samara is not looking for just a good time, she wants the real thing. Willing to give the monogamy lifestyle a shot, Frankie decides to hang up her old way for 30 days to see where a relationship with Samara could possibly go. But when Samara switches things up, will Frankie let Samara go or will she fight for a relationship she didn’t know she wanted in the first place?

One thing I love about this book and this series in general is how inclusive it is when it comes to including characters of different ethnicities and sexualities. Adler even touches upon gender identity and breaking down stereotypes many people have when it comes to certain sexualities, particularly bisexuality and pansexuality as Frankie is pansexual. I also liked the fact that there is not a lot of drama going on in this book, which was the problem I had with the previous book and the reason why I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I would like.

I ABSOLUTELY ADORE FRANKIE! I knew from first book that she was going to be my favorite character and she didn’t let me down. Frankie is confident, creative, supportive and just down right lovable. We get to see a different side of her in this book as she opens herself up to someone and risk the chance of getting her heart broken for the sake of finding love. The romance was sweet and sexy and despite my frustrations with Samara and some of the choices she made, I couldn’t ask for a better ending to this series.

THRONE OF TRUTH by PEPPER WINTERS

★★★★

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“Good truth or bad. Penn and I were over before we even began.”

Fair warning, if you have not read Crown of Lies, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW as it will contain spoilers for the first book. Crown of Lies ended with major cliffhanger and I was so ready to dive into Throne of Truth and get the answers I’ve been waiting for and to see which one of theories ended up being right.

Throne of Truth picks up right where Crown of Lies ended, with Noelle Charlston going missing and Penn Everett on the search to bring her back home and finally telling her the truth. But once Penn does find her, getting Elle to hear him out may not be as easy as he had hoped.

Pepper Winters has taken us back to a world of truth and lies as Elle fights to save herself and the man she loves. I had already guessed the connection between Nameless and Penn, so I was not too surprised when that mystery was squared away. What I was most curious to learn more about was Penn himself. In Throne of Truth we not only do we have Elle’s POV, but we also get Penn’s POV and we get to learn more about his past, his childhood and his struggles. I honestly could not stop reading until all the pieces of the puzzle were put together and I sure as hell did not seeing things being playing out the way they did. Winter’s definitely did a great job at keeping readers on their toes.

I loved Elle in the first book and I love her just the same in this sequel. She’s so fierce and determined and stood by Penn’s side despite what others were saying. She doesn’t give up, even when Penn had lost hope and was willing what ever it takes to free the man she loves. Now that I understand Penn better, I realize he’s not such a bad guy. He’s actually a quite the opposite and underneath that brooding exterior, there’s a man with heart who just wants the world to see him for who he really is. My only complaint about this sequel is that I wish it was a little more darker and sexier, like it was in the first book. Overall, Throne of Truth was a great ending to a dark, suspenseful and sexy duet and I’m excited to check out more of Pepper Winter’s book in the future.

BLACKBIRD by MOLLY MCADAMS

N/A

31554530“Our forever started that first night you decided to stay.”

To be quite honest, I don’t really know how to go about reviewing this book. I haven’t read a book that left me this speechless in a while and the fact that it was romance book written by Molly McAdams has me even more shook.

Briar Chapman had a seemingly perfect life until one day it was all taken from her. She is kidnapped and sold to Lucas Holt, a man who could only be described as the Devil. Briar pleads with him to let her go back home and after weeks with no success, she starts to accept her new reality. But when Briar starts to fall for the man who won’t let her go, both Briar and Luke will find themselves playing a dangerous game. One that could cost both of them their lives.

Who knew Molly McAdams had it in her to write a dark romance because I sure as hell didn’t see this coming! I’ve read a few of McAdams previous works and I’m so used to her fluffy and sweet contemporaries romances that this book has completely shocked me. I still can’t believe the things that went down in this book. Blackbird is a dark, suspenseful, page-turning story that left me at the edge of my seat. I literally had chills and this book made my skin crawl and that’s because it deals with the topic of human/sex trafficking. It is not easy to read this book and there were a lot of things that didn’t sit right with me, especially when it came to the Briar and Luke and how their relationship and “romance” developed. Sorry not sorry, but under the circumstances I just can’t 100% get on board with the romance.

BUT HERE’S WHERE THE INTERNAL CONFLICT COMES INTO PLAY. I’m going to try to explain myself without giving away spoilers and hopefully this ends up making sense. The thing is Blackbird is a book I’ve been waiting about two years for. TWO YEARS! I honestly never thought McAdams was going to write this story and then she went and pulled it off and the fact that word hasn’t gotten out about the twist at the end is kind of surprising. McAdams kept a tight lid on this little secret and if you’ve read her books like I have (one series in particular, but I’m not going to say which one it is) then you will probably understand why I’m so shocked. All I have to say is I love Lucas Holt, and no I don’t condone the shit he did, but again if you’ve read McAdams other books you’ll understand why I appreciate the fact that she wrote this story in the first place. 

So this review is a bit all over the place and I’m just going to wrap things up by saying if you do choose to read this book, just know the topic is not easy to swallow and it’s a bit on the problematic side. I’m also so shook and so speechless that I can’t bring myself to rate this book. I’m excited for the next book in this series because I think I know who the sequel is going to be about and if my theories end up being right, then I’ve waited two years for that story as well. I honestly didn’t think she had it in her to write dark romance, but McAdams did it. SHE DID THE DAMN THING!

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7 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Dark Romances & Getting Back to New Adult

  1. Um, now I want to know what the hell that spoiler is on Blackbird. I feel so iffy on books like this, so conflicted and confused. I loved Captive in the Dark by CJ Redwine and that book was so fucked up. BUt I read Pepper Winters first book with a similar trope and omg, I despised that book so much. It’s just such a hard topic to get right.

    I do really like dark romances, not necessarily with this topic, but like I said, it’s so tricky to get it right. Another dark romance I liked was Ruthless people and Killing Sarai or whatever book one was in that series.

    Liked by 1 person

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