Top positive review
Hard to know how I feel on this one… I need to read part two
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 July 2022
Ok… my mind is… errmm I really don’t know where. And it’s not a bad thing or a negative review of this book… but I honestly don’t know where my heart and conscience lie after finishing part one.
On the one hand… this book certainly keeps you guessing, surmising, re-guessing. Just when you think you have Adrik and Emery’s turbulent and tempestuous relationship figured out, something else comes along. I figured a few bits out from the subtle clues Naomi West throws in to pull you in to the rapidly thickening plot… but then she throws another curveball and it’s like… “wait a minute, what the heck is going on now?”
My main issue is likability of the characters… don’t get me wrong, when Adrik isn’t in scary Bratva Don mode he is dream worthy, but it’s a side we don’t see too often and it’s usually a brief glimpse and then flicked off again like a switch. What I do love about him is his obvious love for Emery’s daughter, Isabella. As much as he won’t admit that it’s love… that’s exactly what it is. He adores her and her six year old innocent love for him is melting away that harsh gangster ice cage around his heart.
Do I like him? I actually don’t know yet. And that’s why I think I need to read part two to actually make my mind up on that.
It’s kind of hard to look beyond his treatment of Emery and everything he’s subjected her to. Even though we know it’s because of his own fears of being hurt by love again that he’s doing it… he’s brutal in his ways and that can be hard to overlook, even when he’s being sweet and caring.
As for Emery… there are many times I’ve just wanted to yell at her because she knows just how to push Adrik’s buttons and keep the monster at her door instead of just playing along. She claims she’d do anything for her daughter but often I’m like “well just shut up and stop poking the damn bear then!” She brings an awful lot of Adrik’s admonishment on herself and whilst some might look at it as her being strong, brave and resilient - I struggle to see it as less than stupidity at times. Just talk… be honest… don’t play games… and you won’t lose. But no… she doesn’t just poke the hornets nest, she drop kicks it!
I do however love the plot. It’s got intrigue and interest by the bucket load and I love the twists and turns it makes. Their difficult relationship obviously blends and supports this very well, because you never know how either one of them are going to react. I’m interested to see how Adrik reacts to finding out who Isabella’s father is… that’s going to just about break him.
There’s also that cliffhanger ending. Does Adrik now see that Emery was just an innocent pawn in a dangerous game? Or will he let her go, still believing that she played him every step of the way? I hope everything works out for them… because I guess deep down, I do like them… even though they are frustrating and annoying… I can’t help but like them.