• BLURB •
His name thrums through me like a heartbeat.
I climbed out of the smoldering crater of my life only to find myself back in the middle of a slow-motion trainwreck. I’m hunted, torn between my past and present, ripped apart by two warring families. My husband is dead, and his killer is the only man who’s ever felt the deep well of emotion I keep hidden from the world.
Vicious and scarred—his rough touch is seared into my skin, but his soft caresses are what break down my walls bit by bit. Until there’s only me left. My soul in his bloody hands, and my broken heart beating just for him. Only him.
My shadowy protector, my phantom lover—kiss me or kill me, I don’t care. As long as you’re the one who does it.
• MY REVIEW •
Woah. One word comes to mind… ANGSTY!!!!
This book was one big, very dramatic, angsty continuance from where Stolen Hearts concluded! I felt like the pacing definitely slowed down since the first book, especially now that Ronan and Poppy are out of their normal environment and trying to figure out a way out of their problems.
Please note, similar to the first book this one also has sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers such as violence, physical abuse, and attempted kidnapping. It also contains detailed sexual content — readers 18+ only!
This part of the story will have you learning more about Ronan. He was such an enigma in the first book, and in this one you will get to see glimpses of his past, how he’s become to be the man he is now, and the reasons behind everything that has happened so far where Poppy is concerned.
Unfortunately, by the end you’ll still be left with tons of questions about Ronan. He’s a complex character who tends to blow hot and cold in a blink of an eye. Now that the level of drama has escalated, his intensity has also increased. You’ll either swoon for him, want to give him a comforting hug, or the complete opposite wanting to throw things at him for being such a frustratingly closed-off man. Gah! 🙈
Poppy and Ronan are in unchartered territory, and are forced to be in each other’s space. They struggle with their growing emotions for one another, and honestly reading through their push-and-pull relationship gave me mixed feels. On one hand I was happy to see some development in their relationship (no matter how complicated it is), yet on the other hand any sort of new development between them was fleeting and I was left reluctantly disappointed.
Although there are plenty of steamy scenes, it still comes off as a bit of a slow-burn romance. There’s a lot of pining involved and, in a way, a twisted unrequited love situation going on between them. To truly understand it all, you’ll have to read this story. 😉
But ugh… If you love angst in your romance reads, then you will absolutely get your fill from this one. I couldn’t help but sympathize Poppy for what she has been through and what she’s still going through in her life. From the very beginning, she’s been portrayed as this meek young woman; a pawn in the world of the Constantines and the Morellis. She’s forced into situations where she has very little to no choice of her own. I admit the overall atmosphere is gloomy and isolating, but I’m relieved to see O’Keefe has included unexpected comic relief here and there. Some of which could be as small as a funny one-liner but it certainly had me perking up and smiling… and most of these light-hearted moments were due to Poppy. So, I’m hoping despite with where things are heading that we get to see her become more resilient and head-strong.
There’s a couple of secondary characters introduced that played such pivotal roles in Ronan’s life. Not only do they add another layer to the already intriguing plotline, but they shine a whole new light to Ronan that makes you just as confused about your feelings towards him as Poppy is. I love a good morally grey character, and Ronan is the epitome of a grey character who keeps you on your toes.
It’s told from dual points of view with inner monologues included from both protagonists. O’Keefe has written their stories quite well that you instantly feel the change of atmosphere whenever it switches back and forth between Poppy’s and Ronan’s points of view, but throughout it all there’s always this shroud of edge and uneasiness hanging over them.
It’s a relatively quick read, but as I mentioned earlier it had a slower pacing, and wasn’t as action-packed as the first book. But it’s still as intriguing and suspenseful as ever, and there’s a monumental mic drop moment within the last few chapters that had me literally sitting up with my jaw dropping! 😲😱 This was one plot twist I hadn’t bargained on. It never even crossed my mind that it could head down this direction. I don’t know if you guys will be ready for it either, but I can guarantee it’s one you won’t want to miss out on!
There’s an array of shady characters all of whom had me side-eyeing. I love the conspiracy and scheming that surrounds Poppy and Ronan, and constantly wondering what will happen next. It’s a continuous storyline so make sure to read Stolen Hearts first. Also, this book ends on a cliffhanger (a cruel one at that), so keep that in mind when starting this series. But overall, the storyline was gripping, continually building-up, full of twists and turns, and will have you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend it to readers who love contemporary romances that have dark, gritty elements thrown in.
It’s also a must read for those who’ve read other books set in the Midnight Dynasty.
Thank you Molly O’Keefe, Dangerous Press, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡
🔔 Interested in reading the Hearts Trilogy? Grab your copy here:
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Read my reviews of books in the Midnight Dynasty!
👑 Cinderella Trilogy by K. Webster
Book One: Stroke Of Midnight by K. Webster
Book Two: Prince Charming by K. Webster
Book Three: The Glass Slipper by K. Webster
🔥 Hellfire Club by Becker Gray
Book One: Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray
🧡 Hearts Trilogy by M. O’Keefe
Book One: Stolen Hearts by M. O’Keefe
🌹 Beauty and the Beast Trilogy by Amelia Wilde
Book One: Secret Beast by Amelia Wilde
Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo