— BLURB —
He was my foster brother.
He swore to protect me.
They all failed.
I’m an open box of passé photographs, snapped in chaste daylight, but filtered in sepia. I’m the past that he tried to forget, and he was the future I needed. When he left six years ago, I screamed for him every night. But then it all stopped. My screams were suddenly muffled by cruelty, and further coaxed by pain.
But he has come back. He’s not the cute big brother I had a furtive crush on, or the bad boy, rich brat that I hated to love.
He’s the ruthless vice president of Wolf Pack MC, and he doesn’t answer to Royce Kane anymore.
He answers to Sicko.
— MY REVIEW —
This was one hell of a ride! All kinds of trouble… and I’m still wrapping my head around what I’d just read. 🙉
After reading the blurb: Alright… I’m about to get into a hot MC romance.
After reading the first few chapters: Alright, okay… a little backstory to our hero/ heroine. Nothing sinister yet. Nice.
Reading the next few chapters after: What the hell?!! What just happened?? 😱
Double take galore! 😲😲😲
Since this sudden, unexpected, and shocking turn of events… the rest of the book felt like I was damn Alice down that rabbit hole.
I’ve read countless dark romances and MC romances, and tons with lots of twisted, gut-wrenching content, but I’ve never encountered one that has me completely disturbed, cringing with disgust and questioning nonstop at what exactly I was reading. But weirdly enough — I could not stop reading. These characters are masked in mystery, darkness, and answers that I so deeply needed in order to understand what the hell was happening.
‘Eyes Wide Shut’ meets ‘Taken’ meets Sons of Anarchy/ Mayans MC is what comes to mind when I was reading this book. It’s quite a combo.
There’s a lot of sensitive subject matters that may trigger some readers. Trafficking, rape, drug use, kidnapping and extreme violence, with continual mental and emotional abuse present. It also contains some BDSM. It’s definitely NOT for underage readers.
Props to Jones for writing something that exists all around the world but unfortunately is hardly spoken about in society unless it’s breaking news. Whilst Sicko is a fictional story, it does put awareness of situations similar to the ones broached in this book do happen in reality without a doubt.
These characters are psychologically damaged (and I think that’s putting it mildly). They use liquor and drugs as a crutch to get through what haunts them, and other times (especially with Jade) it’s just plain old snappy remarks to hide the truth. Despite knowing this is a work of fiction, my heart and sympathies go out to them for what they’ve been put through.
I initially thought I would be drawn to Royce (I do love me some bikers). But I ended up being more intrigued and invested in our heroine, Jade. She’s the focal point. I guess the cover should’ve clued me in! 🤦♀️
But with their lives drastically altered, the character growth is strong with this one!
Jones has created such an inky, perplexing world that’ll have you second-guessing anything and everything. I hadn’t expected mystery/ crime/ thriller and a whole bunch of game playing added into this dark MC romance. It added layer upon layer of world-building and gave different dimensions to these characters’ personas. You won’t know for sure which side of them is showing until it’s smack dab in front of you.
With darkness, there is also light. The steady playlist of songs throughout the book was 🙌 ahh… pure perfection! Not only did it set the mood for each scene, but it set this entire story’s atmosphere. It’s another added element to look forward to. (I grew up listening to a lot of the songs/ artists featured so it was a cool little throwback for me!)
Jade is unique as they come. She has a facade of coolness, nonchalance, and someone who you could never imagine to be corrupted. Yet she’s living in hell, daily — and what worried me on occasion whilst reading Sicko, was whether she liked all that darkness, or whether she’d been in that life for so long that she’d grown accustomed to it.
Royce, on the other hand was a tougher nut to crack. That is until he finally revealed some of his past… and from there things started to make some sense. But seeing how he was first introduced to how he is years later is surprising… yet not surprising. 🤔
I’m not going to sugarcoat this — So many things happen in this story. So many different sub-plots that somehow eventually work its way together, with a good handful of secondary characters that all have their own secrets and demons that I found overwhelming at times. Especially when trying to pinpoint how they all interconnect. There was one big plot point I figured out fairly early on into the story (unless you’ve already read the sample chapters of Sicko from the Love, Loyalty & Mayhem Anthology which pretty much spills the beans anyways). Luckily — a deluge of other unpredictable things that did pop up that completely blindsided me. So that certainly kept things interesting! 😜 Hehe.
This is a twisted, somewhat sick story. Jade and Royce’s love is beyond complicated and brutally hard. I mean — they are brother and sister (albeit foster siblings, but still). You won’t be swooning over their relationship. Yes, there’s moments where you’ll find yourself holding your breath. But for the most part, I think you’ll be looking at it with deep, almost probing eyes. Their relationship is an intense roller coaster.
And it won’t just be their relationship that you’ll scrutinize — it will also be the people they call family, and the consequences to all their actions. This story is a head trip (hence why I couldn’t put it down)! You forget that these protagonists are still relatively young, yet they’ve already lived such a demanding life.
If you’re looking for a stereotypical MC romance where there’s your bad ass alpha hero, and your gorgeous but tough-as-nails heroine with banter, hooking up, and comical relief from friends, then I don’t think this one is quite what you’re looking for. Whilst the MC and the brotherhood is present, it’s not the be all and end all of this story. Sicko comprises of so much more. It’s one of the more darker MC romances I’ve read. If you can handle the grit, then I say give this one a try!
Thank you to Amo Jones and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💚
Hope you enjoyed this review and helped in deciding whether this book is for you. Happy reading, catch you in my next one! Xo