Best Kept Secret by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

The secrets haunting Beau Rochester come alive.

He doesn’t deserve happiness, but he holds it in his hands. A woman he loves. A child. The past threatens to rip them away. He risks losing them forever.

Jane Mendoza is determined to protect the people she loves from every threat–the mysterious arsonist, the corrupt police force. The darkest danger comes from a place she never expects.

She risks more than her newfound family. She risks her life.

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• MY REVIEW •


“A responsible boss doesn’t get involved with the nanny.”


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Whilst the first two books in the trilogy had an air of suspense and secrecy, I was a little taken aback to find this third and final book was surrounded in such a depressing tone. It’s hard not to be affected by it because Jane, Beau, and the secondary characters all seemed to be in such gloomy moods for the majority of the book.

I found the pace of the storytelling a little slower in comparison to the first two from this trilogy. Although this part of the story is told from multiple POVs, so there’s lots of input and perspectives from different characters regarding the situation they found themselves in.

The first half of the overall story was very much inspired by the classic tale, Jane Eyre, but Warren has given the final leg of Jane’s and Beau’s story her own.

The angst between Jane and Beau is still very much present— if anything it’s amped up further now that their relationship has evolved from their initial guardian/nanny fling. I found their relationship to be drama-filled, tentative, and complex. If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy romance with tons off heat leaping off the pages, you won’t find it with Jane and Beau. There was initial sexual chemistry and zing in the first two books, but I found as the drama intensified, the sizzling romance became minimal. The push-and-pull between them is almost painstakingly angsty, but it can’t be denied that they do have a desperate need for one another.

Other than the relationship between the protagonists, there’s some interesting secondary plotlines occurring in the background that adds an extra element to the story.

As I mentioned earlier there’s a somberness to this book that ultimately became a big decisive factor in how I felt about it as a whole. You definitely have to be in a particular mindset to read a romance story that’s heavy on tragedy and heartbreak, and be prepared for it to seep into your own emotions. I easily got affected by Jane’s insecurities, Beau’s indecisiveness, and especially Noah’s battered heart. He surprisingly became the character in this book that I became the most emotionally invested in, just because his frustration and opinions when it came to Jane and her actions I felt were just. I most certainly felt bad for the guy.

There’s some character growth since Private Property, but I would’ve liked to have seen more in-depth development. The world-building was created and set from the first book but didn’t really expand any further from the small cast of characters and the town they reside in.

Overall, I thought it was decent conclusion. I admit it’s my least favourite book from the trilogy, but after having read and gotten sucked into Jane’s and Beau’s world, I was curious to see how it will all end. If you like Jane Eyre and retellings, I recommend you add this story to your TBR. It’s a contemporary take on a classic with an age-gap romance trope. With the differences in social standings, lifestyles, and familial backgrounds, Jane and Beau are the epitome of “opposite sides of the tracks” that unexpectedly collided together and sparked life-altering moments. It’s a dark billionaire romance; a Cinderella story of sorts, with a smidge of suspense and foreboding. These characters will have you second-guessing everything and keep you on your toes.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

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Thank you Skye Warren and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Best Kept Secret? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

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🗝 Reviews for The Rochester Trilogy!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One | Private Property by Skye Warren

Book Two | Strict Confidence by Skye Warren


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Net Worth by Amelia Wilde

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Mason Hill wants one thing: revenge. When Charlotte Van Kempt walks into his office, all innocence and desperation, he knows the perfect way to get it. He makes a dark bargain. She’ll give him her body to save her family. Little does she know he plans to ruin both.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

After having recently read the prologue, I could not get started on Net Worth fast enough… and it soooo did not disappoint in regards to storyline, character chemistry, and overall flow.

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This book gave me twisted Cinderella meets Party of Five meets Fifty Shades vibes. Unusual mix, I know. But once you read it, you’ll hopefully know what I mean. 😅

When Mason’s family was first introduced in the prologue, I didn’t have a strong connection to any of them, but Net Worth gave me a better understanding to their situation and seeing their family dynamic, my impression of them have now somewhat altered. Mason’s siblings all have distinct personalities and all seem to have their own coping mechanisms for dealing with the tragedy that’s surrounded their family— so I’m eager to see how each of their character develops as this story continues.

The introduction of Charlotte in The Proposition, she was instantly the type of heroine I could back due to her sweet disposition, yet determined attitude despite her current standing. Whilst I thought she did lose some of her spunkiness since the prologue, she’s still a likable character. I admit I didn’t agree with all of her decisions and actions throughout this book, but when it comes to Charlotte it’s not hard to look past it and carry-on reading. She’s the light-hearted element within (other than her awesome-sauce of a bestie Elise), that balanced out the sombre atmosphere that usually followed Mason around.   

You’ll either love or loathe Mason Hill, or in my case, interchange from loving to loathing and back again all throughout. Seeing the different sides of him whether he’s with his family or with Charlotte was one of the big reasons I ended up emotionally invested.

What immediately struck me in this story was the genuine intrigue and attraction between Mason and Charlotte. There interactions were weirdly addictive to see play out. I honestly didn’t know what to expect each time they were together. I especially wasn’t expecting the slow burn romance despite the fact that almost every interaction had some sort of sexual encounter. I don’t know how Amelia has managed to put some very raunchy exchange, yet still leaves you hanging for more. But she’s done it! 🙈

It’s told from first person, dual points of view, well-paced storytelling, and can be read in one sitting. As the POVs interchange back and forth chapter by chapter, reading from each of their own perspectives, you can see the differences between them and their lives, especially when it came down to the dynamics of their households.

There are quite a few tropes in this story, so if you enjoy any or all of the following in your romance reads, I really recommend you read this one.

  • Billionaire Romance
  • Age-Gap Romance
  • Virgin Heroine
  • Tortured Hero
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Opposites Attract
  • BDSM

As a romance reader who usually passes up books that include BDSM (just my preference), I was second-guessing whether or not that this particular feature would dampen my reading experience as I hadn’t expected it. But I can honestly say that the minor (and some might say tame) BDSM included didn’t deter me from finishing, and most importantly, from enjoying the book overall.

Amelia Wilde has a unique way of writing her characters and their monologues. If you’ve read enough of her books, you can easily identify her work. If you enjoyed her writing style in the past, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy reading this one just as much. 😊 I’ve always found her writing easy to follow. The setting and world-building are already so vivid and very much present by the first chapter, along with the intrigue of getting to know more about the protagonists.

Net Worth is one seductive start to the Wealth Trilogy. The deal that ultimately started the steamy yet swoon-worthy relationship between Mason and Charlotte had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and desperately needing more of their story. With an air of danger, secrecy, and provocation, there’s tons of build-up and suspense to this billionaire romance. It won’t be for everyone but if you enjoy edgy contemporary romance reads with a side of smut, then give this one a try. It has good bones, with tons of potential. The characters are all promising and definitely add an extra oomph to this meaty, multi-faceted storyline.     

Please note, as it is part of a trilogy and a continuous storyline, this book does end on a cliffhanger.          

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Amelia Wilde and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

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👠 Read my review for the Wealth Trilogy Prologue!

booksofthemuggleborn_theproposition
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Prologue Novella: The Proposition by Amelia Wilde


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Proposition by Amelia Wilde

booksofthemuggleborn_theproposition
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Retribution (verb): inflict hurt on someone for an injury or wrong

Vengeance. It runs through Mason Hill’s veins. Except the person who walks through his office door isn’t his enemy. It’s the man’s daughter.

Charlotte Van Kempt tempts the worst part of him. He wants to use her.

He forms a new plan for revenge…He’ll take out every past hurt and dark memory on her sweet body. And to save her family, she’ll let him.

From USA Today bestselling author Amelia Wilde comes a sensual new series. THE PROPOSITION is a 17,000-word prologue to the new Wealth trilogy.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

The Proposition is the perfect flirty teaser to get you pumped for Amelia Wilde’s upcoming book; Net Worth (the first in the Wealth Trilogy)! 😍

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You would’ve been familiar with Mason Hill if you’ve read the Devil Trilogy. This billionaire, anti-hero has been gunning for Charlotte’s father ever since he ruined Mason’s family. But when he ends up taking a meeting with Charlotte instead of his enemy, he revises his plans to mete out his revenge through her instead.

This introduction gave me enough of an impression of Charlotte to see she’s a likable heroine, as well as a little more perspective on Mason, and the situation that prompts Charlotte to ultimately make a deal with him and kick-off the main storyline for the first book. It’s short but packs a lot of punch and intrigue to this billionaire, enemies-to-lovers romance. It’s contemporary but has a layer of dark romance surrounding the entirety of their story — like you know Mason will ensure it’ll be just a little but twisted. 😉

I was curious about Mason when he was first introduced in the Devil Trilogy, but for some reason I can’t quite pinpoint at the moment, seeing more of his character in this novella altered my impression of him. It’s neither good nor bad, just different. So, I’m eager to see more character growth in Net Worth.

I want to say that the introduction of his family in this novella amped up my overall interest of Mason’s world but I couldn’t connect with his family or their unusual dynamic. Other than Mason, there wasn’t anyone in particular from his family that stood out to me that I was easily willing to get invested in. But I guess time will tell if that changes.

I can however say, the dynamics within Charlotte’s own family and seeing her household gradually crumble around her left me plenty curious to see further developments. Charlotte herself had me hooked from the very beginning with her down-to-earth, relatable personality and inner monologue that had me smiling throughout. She definitely contrasts Mason’s ruthless business mindset that I’m hoping her optimism, determination, and genuine persona carries throughout the rest of the main story. I’m looking forward to seeing how her character and personal story develops.

The little appearances from characters from Amelia’s other books was a bonus treat to discover in this novella, and their roles, although minor, still left a lasting impression. Amelia has incorporated them so well into the story that it felt seamless and believable to see the interconnection with these new characters.

It’s well-paced, told from dual POVs, and already has a relatively detailed world-building in place. The atmosphere is set, with mass amount of build-up, and intense heat leaping off the pages whenever Mason and Charlotte interacted— I can only imagine how it’ll escalate from here on out! 😬🙈

For romance readers, give it a try if you like any the following romance tropes:

  • Billionaire Romance
  • Age-Gap Romance
  • Enemies-to-Lovers
  • Contemporary
  • Opposites Attract

A must read prologue before you start Net Worth.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔔 Interested in reading The Proposition? It’s currently FREE! Grab your copy here: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUAmazon CA

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🔱 Read my reviews for The Devil Trilogy!

Book One | The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by Amelia Wilde

Book Two | A Deal With The Devil by Amelia Wilde

Book Three | Devil May Care by Amelia Wilde


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Happy Reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Bulletproof by Xavier Neal

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

The assignment is simple.

Don’t let the client die.

Don’t let her get kidnapped.

Don’t sleep with her.

It’s the last part that unexpectedly complicates things for me after I’m introduced to the most beautiful and brilliant woman I could’ve ever envisioned.

And it only gets worse when we have to stash ourselves away in a small town where our calculated cover is to be a recently engaged couple.

My new mission is now significantly harder.

Don’t let her hate what’s for dinner.

Don’t let anyone else make her laugh more than I do.

And, most importantly, don’t let myself actually fall for someone again.

After all, my job isn’t to love my boss’s sister.

It’s to stop an unidentified threat from taking her – or die trying.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Ok… this was an interesting read. One, I honestly had a bit of trouble rating as I had mixed feelings all throughout.

But I’m going to try my damnedest to put thoughts into words! So here we go…

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I was hooked on the initial premise of the book. I’ve read countless romantic suspense books and was looking forward to be gripped and kept on my toes. So… how did the suspense aspect fare in this story? I’ll say it was alright. It had just enough to keep things interestingly flowing.

In regards to the romance part… there was some definite chemistry and zing between Blake and Bronx. Little bits of banter and cute moments here and there between the two. Unfortunately I found there was very little to balance out Blake’s wordy dialogue — which honestly made it difficult for any kind of relationship between Blake and Bronx to organically develop.

If Sheldon Cooper and Hermione Granger had a love-child, it would be Blake! 😜

As much as I am a fan of both those characters in their own rights, they each have particular traits that can be exhausting to be around especially if it’s always present (and in Blake’s case it was always present). The constant random fact sharing, with the I’m-right-you’re-wrong mentality, and an aura of intellectual superiority — take those traits and add endless amounts of pop culture references used in every other sentence and it’s Blake in a nutshell. She’s a constant know-how machine. Whilst I like the idea of a brainy heroine, I wasn’t as fond of her personality and I found it difficult to connect or be invested in getting to know her story fully.

Blake’s lengthy dialogue made the entire book overly wordy that at times I considered skimming through some of her parts just to get the story moving along. Ironically, the book length itself isn’t long but with plenty of dialogue, it certainly seemed longer. Also, in relation, this story was slow-paced for the majority of the time, although there are moments were the pace picks up a little here and there.

I do however found Blake’s quirky relationship with her brother Brandon intriguing. They’re complete opposites and can certainly debate about a range of topics until their both blue in the face yet I found their interactions both endearing and entertaining. They may have differences but it’s clear they have a strong, loving bond.

Bronx is a likable enough character. He certainly seems more relatable than Blake. But I couldn’t help but feel a little apprehension towards the guy. He was very adamant at the beginning that he’s strictly professional and nothing sways his work ethics, yet the minute he literally sees Blake all of that went out the window. Are you or are you not one of the best of the best bodyguards out there?! You’re employed by some secret government agency. You’re one of the elite. Yet, out of nowhere, you can’t think straight (and go from 0 to 100 on the horny scale) because you’re most recent client is a looker?! Hmm. 🤔 Not exactly ideal, but yeah okay this is fictional… *shrugs*

Bronx did give this story more relatability due to his humble beginnings and occasionally mentioning his family and upbringing throughout the book. I do like that he made Blake somewhat down-to-earth and personable. He definitely balances out her strong personality with his own. The scenes where they’re not in any immediate danger and just relaxing in each other’s company was probably the main highlight for me. As I mentioned earlier the banter between the two kept their exchange lighthearted and entertaining to read through.

Overall, I thought this story had great potential and the plot had some interesting aspects. I liked the idea of a client/ bodyguard romance that’s somewhat forbidden/secretive. The action sequences were detailed, fast-paced scenes, and at times unpredictable. Blake and Bronx’s romance was insta-love, steamy, and adorable to see develop as they navigate through the dangers surrounding them whilst at the same time getting to know each other in more depth.

In my opinion, romance readers who love an opposites attract, romantic suspense, and stories similar to the movie; Bodyguard with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner will enjoy this one!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Xavier Neal and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Bulletproof? Grab your copy here:  Amazon

•••


Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Strict Confidence by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Forbidden. Commanding. Mysterious. Beau Rochester has an entire house full of secrets. And those secrets are putting Jane Mendoza in danger.

She fell in love with the one man she can’t have. She should leave Maine to protect her heart, but the thread refuses to be severed. The brooding Mr. Rochester and his grieving niece are more than her job. They’re her new family.

She races against time to find answers and protect the people she loves. The cliffside grows dark with the misdeeds of the past. Her heart and her sanity fight a battle, but they are both at risk.

Will Mr. Rochester learn to trust Jane? And will that trust destroy her?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

The suspense, the mystery, and the thrill have amped up in book two of The Rochester Trilogy! This is a continuous storyline — Private Property must be read first and with how that book concluded, I was keen to read the next installment in Beau’s and Jane’s highly-charged relationship.

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 As I mentioned in my review for the first book, this story is a modern retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. I had also mentioned that I hadn’t read that tale so I was going into Skye’s version relatively blind of the plot or how the characters relate to one another. I went into reading this story with an open mind, no issues with comparison to the original tale, and I think most importantly with no spoilers.

I love dark romances and this one had the element of suspense and thrill included. It’s more a romantic thriller than anything. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. The gloomy, depressing air that surrounded the first book effortlessly flowed through to this second one. The backdrop might have altered from the mansion they stayed in for the entirety of the first book to a new location but the sense of dread and danger lingered with Jane and the Rochesters nevertheless.

Just like the first book, it’s well-paced storytelling and still told from dual points of view. I felt the fear and anxiety coming off of these characters. It leapt off the pages and I couldn’t help but feel a little on edge right alongside them.

Little by little you get more and more out of these characters, and the more you can’t help but get invested in seeing where their story will head next. Especially with Jane, having to uproot her life for this job, only to somehow end up trapped in the same uncertainty she was hoping to get out of by taking this job in the first place. Everything is up in the air with so many segments of this story —

✔ Beau’s and Jane’s relationship.

✔ Jane’s employment.

✔ The Rochester mansion.

✔ Paige’s wellbeing.

✔ The town they reside in and the people who seem to know everything and nothing.

✔ Their past, present, and future.

✔ Their sanity. Their sanity. Their sanity.

Nothing is for certain which is one of the main reasons why I found myself so absorbed by Jane, Beau and the mystery surrounding their lives. I’m hooked and totally in it for the long haul! I can’t wait to read Best Kept Secret. Although I found some of the plot twists unsurprising, I am still itching to see how everything will go down…. especially with how this book concluded in quite a tingly cliffhanger just as the first book had.

Besides Beau Rochester’s hard, hot-and-cold demeanor and indecisiveness, especially where Janes is concerned, I still found him to be a likable character. Despite all his wealth and success, he still comes off human with relatable insecurities.

I tend to forget a lot of the time that Jane is only nineteen years old with her maturity level in handling a fragile little girl and all the drama surrounding Beau. She’s lived a tough mudda of a life and it shows in her character.

Easy flowing storytelling with an effortless transition from the ending of book one to the beginning of book two. Strict Confidence also introduces new secondary characters that are just as shady as the ones that were in Private Property that’ll leave your mind reeling with what ifs.

For a reader who has very little clue of how close of a retelling this is to the original tale, or if it’s only inspired by it, I can’t comment on whether or not Skye’s version is a refreshing take. But either way, I did find it engaging from start to finish. If you enjoy reading dark, twisted romance books, I recommend you give this story a go. An age gap, workplace romance story with a side of suspense.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Skye Warren and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Strict Confidence? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

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🗝 Read my review for The Rochester Trilogy!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One: Private Property by Skye Warren


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Private Property by Skye Warren

booksofthemuggleborn_privateproperty
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

When I signed up for the nanny agency, I didn’t expect a remote mansion on a windswept isle. Or a brooding billionaire who resents his new role.

His brother’s death means he’s now in charge of a moody seven year old girl. She’s lashing out at the world, but I can handle her. I have to. I need the money to finish my college degree.

As long as I can avoid the boss who alternately mocks me and coaxes me to reveal my darkest secrets.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Hmm. 🤔🤔🤔 This is a tough review to put down into words that makes relative sense. But here it goes…

First things first— did I like it? Yes. Yes I did. At the time of reading Private Property, I hadn’t realized that it was a modern retelling of the Brontë classic; Jane Eyre. As I hadn’t read that story either, looking back I’m glad I went into reading this one with no expectations and with an open mind. I can’t help thinking if I somewhat knew the storyline (based off of the classic) I probably wouldn’t have been in suspense and kept on my toes as much whilst reading it.

Another thing I should point out is I haven’t read much workplace romance stories that specifically revolve around a nanny and her boss. Add in the age-gap between Jane and Mr. Rochester here (and yes, for those who’ve read Jane Eyre, after googling, I realized that Warren has kept the initial character names for her story), and it felt like a story I wouldn’t normally go for. But there was something so intriguing about the blurb that had me wanting to. And after reading it, I’m glad I did!

When it comes to the world of romance books, Warren has been around for some time. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the indie, dark romance world who hasn’t heard of Warren or read any one of her books. Whilst I haven’t read all of hers, the ones I have read have always left me feeling sucked into the world she has created and really invested in the characters. Private Property is no different…. especially with how the book concluded. This is only the first book in the trilogy but it has already dropped a jaw-dropping bomb that I am anticipating the next book.

It’s well-paced storytelling that had an air of mystery and doom from start to finish that leaves you never really feeling at ease because you know something is bound to happen to rock Jane’s world and put another twist to this dark romance. The first half of the book is told solely from Jane’s POV so I felt like you really get a sense of her hardships and why she’s come to be at the mansion working as a full-time nanny.

Trigger Warning: This story contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers such as abuse, sexual assault, and drug use. Please keep in mind before starting this book.

Once you reach the halfway mark of the story, you finally get some insight from Mr. Rochester — although frustratingly limited insight. I wish I could say that by the end of the book you have full understanding of him and his family, but sadly no can-do. 😅 Whilst I was totally mesmerized by the unusual yet erotic interactions between him and Jane, if someone were to ask me to tell them more about Mr. Rochester, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. By the end he was still as enigmatic and surrounded by uncertainty as when Jane first encountered him at the beginning.

Warren toes the romance boundaries within this story by stirring up a little bit of adventure and erotic excitement in the young and innocent Jane. The world-building is well created and the continuous cold and gloomy atmosphere almost transports you to the stormy cliffside backdrop the story takes place in. The beginnings of character developments is evident as the plot thickens and you get glimpses into both their pasts.

Overall, this book has good bones— a dark romance with a chunks of thrill and suspense. There’s a lot of secrecy surrounding these leading characters and the circumstances that brought Jane to the Rochester family in the first place. It honestly leaves you wanting more.

It’s an interesting story that peaks at your curiosity. If you’re an avid fan of Skye Warren, then you won’t want to miss this. If you’re a fan of dark romance reads and/or modern retellings of historical romances, add this to your TBR and give it a go.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Skye Warren and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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