⚠ This review contain minor teasers!
• BLURB •
Before the world knew me as a rock god, I was just the angry boy who stole her heart.
She was a good girl.
The forbidden fruit I wasn’t meant to taste.
Our stars were crossed, and fate had doomed us from the start.
She was promised to someone else.
I had her secret smiles.
Moments stolen in dark corners.
But I couldn’t have her future.
Destiny tore us apart, and all that remained was the ghost of her memory.
When she died, I did too.
But when I catch a glimpse of her five years later, alive and well, that love turns to hate as the bitter truth emerges.
She left me.
And now, I’m going to make her pay.
• MY REVIEW •
“All I ever had to offer her was me.”
Phew. This was one behemoth of a romance story that’ll tear you apart only to put you back together again. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. It’s a contemporary romance but with strong dark themes included.
This book contains several romance sub-genres and tropes, as well as sensitive content that some readers may find triggering. Madden and Bianca’s story consists of the following:
- Rockstar Romance
- First Love
- Star-Crossed Lovers
- Forbidden Romance
- Secret Romance
- Love Triangle
- MC Romance
Please note the dark themes are graphic. It deals with death, strong violence, blackmail, physical and mental abuse, and sexual assault. As well as horrific events resulting in psychological and emotional trauma, substance abuse, depression, and overall PTSD. It’s intended for readers 18+ only.
It’s a journey full of unbreakable bonds and honest friendships, but also brings about what seems like an endless amount of hopelessness. Be prepared for a lot of heaviness. Right from the very beginning you’re pulled into a sombre backdrop that sets the precedents of the entire book’s atmosphere.
Without giving away the storyline, Madden and Bianca’s lives are wrapped in half-truths, mystery, and constant roadblocks. Somebody upstairs certainly didn’t want them together. Although they do get their HEA, it was undoubtedly an uphill battle to get to their happiness. It was an emotional rollercoaster that evoked a mixture of heartbreak, frustration, and eventually contentment.
Zavarelli created two very complex MCs in a twisted character-driven narrative. It takes place in both the past and present day and interchanges chapter to chapter. To be honest, it felt like I was reading two books simultaneously— one the prequel, the other the main story. In my opinion, both timelines had their own pacing which disrupted the overall flow. The backstory was slower-paced and I felt it dragged somewhat in the middle of the story before it picked back up towards the end. The chapters with the present day were definitely my favourite parts of the book to read. They were faster-paced and had a lot of the interactions and developments that had me completely hooked.
Madden and Bianca are stuck in an infinite loop of push-and-pull and unresolved issues. On one hand it was frustrating to see the repetitiveness, but on the other, it was relatable seeing the difficulties they went through individually and with each other. On some level, I resonated with certain issues and easily sympathised with their situation.
I especially gravitated towards Madden and his painful journey of finding his place in the world and the love he deserved. With his raw character, vulnerability, fundamental strength, and most importantly his unwavering belief, he’s without a doubt my favourite MMC from this series.
“I don’t know how to love someone I can’t have.”
I like the initial premise. It’s one of my favourite elements but can be a bit of rare find, so discovering Zavarelli’s newest novel revolved around it had me excited to say the least. The mystery surrounding Bianca and needing to uncover the truth was ultimately what made this a page-turner. With the addition of lovable secondary characters that stole my attention from time to time added a level of dimension and injected genuine positivity to a mostly grim storytelling.
It’s a standalone within the Sin City Salvation series with character crossovers from the previous books. I recommend reading them first before starting this one to understand the relationships amongst the characters.
All in all, this third and final book was a beautiful conclusion to the series. It had a little bit of everything from the romantic elements, to the comradery and diverse familial dynamics, to the action and suspense. It’s a story of growth, loyalty, and loss.
I always find Zavarelli’s writing whilst intricate still effortless to follow, and this book was no different. It’s a real survival, “love conquers all” love story that’s so hearty and gut-wrenching, it’ll leave you feeling like you’ve been put through the wringer right alongside Madden and Bianca. And after having read their story, their HEA was well and truly deserving.
It has vivid world-building, complex characters, and multiple developing storylines. If you’re an avid fan of Zavarelli, you won’t want to miss out on reading this. Any dark and contemporary romance readers who enjoy any of the following sub-genres and tropes I mentioned should give this one a try. Just have tissues on hand.
Thank you Ashleigh Zavarelli for the opportunity to read an advance copy! 💜
🔔 Interested in reading Contempt? Grab your copy here: Amazon US | Amazon INTL
The Sin City Salvation Series!
(EDIT: Pictured are the older/ discontinued cover editions).
Book One: Confess by A. Zavarelli
Book Two: Convict by A. Zavarelli
Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo
You must be logged in to post a comment.