Series: Sinners of Saint #1
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: 27th December, 2017
Cover Model: Andrea Denver
Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares.
He is a brilliant lawyer.
A skilled criminal.
A beautiful liar.
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.
She is a starving artist.
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom.
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down.
She paid the price.
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate.
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t.
So she hates me. Big fucking deal.
She better get used to me.
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5 Vicious Stars by Sharon Thérèse on behalf of KFF
Don’t you love that feeling of excitement you get when you read the first paragraph in the first chapter and know that book you’ve started is going to make you put your life on hold? Ms Shen’s story did just that to me and at a drop of a hat. Never was the male protagonist’s nick name taken in vain as he most certainly lived up to this adjective’s definition. Re: the title. Although I skipped no words, what I didn’t do was highlight any passages or jot down notes. By doing so would have essentially slowed my reading pace down which wasn’t an option. By being overly toyed with the plot, I was given no choice but to reread the whole book which I can assure you, was effortless! The author left me spent and guess what… I wanted more! So be warned; Shen’s story isn’t merely reading her written words. The depth of them is nothing less than absorbing. The force of the storyline is as such that delving deeply into the thoughts of two diversely different characters’ backgrounds and personalities results in a very challenging and an emotional read. The time-frame construed made my morbid curiosity yearn for the next move like a bee to a honeypot and was perfect. In this case, the word perfect is an understatement.
Baron Spencer has reasons for not wanting to use his given name. He also has reasons for being callous and downright ruthless. Figuratively speaking, he provoked my thoughts to such an extent that I could have given him a taste of his own medicine. I felt quite ashamed of myself for loving him regardless of his outrageous behaviour towards Emilia LeBlanc. She just so happened to be in the firing line, and I had no doubt that if it wasn’t her, it would have been someone else. But she was the perfect target in the wrong place at the right time.
“Ms LeBlanc, who am I?”
“A sadistic jerk?”
Vicious’ quest for vengeance is a complicated one and would normally be the recipe for disaster for someone as young as him. I was astounded that nothing ruffled his feathers, that he’s in no rush… at all. The timeline is very relevant though. He doesn’t even need to put manipulating skills to the test. He’s a born natural! He’d learnt at an early age the hard way and the situations he plays on are always to his advantage. Nevertheless, Vicious still got under my skin, and still annoyed and bewildered the pants off me!
“I smell a challenge. You know I’m always a little silly for a challenge…”
Now then, the author went to town on her characters’ development in such a way that for me, it was obvious from the start that she wanted to shock the reader. There’s no lovey-dovey relationships with any of Vicious’ tight-knit group of friends, either. They know what to expect and stick together… until one of them steps into his territory and upsets well-laid plans depending on how one looks at it. And that folks, is when the merde hits the fan! Yet bent truths have a way of showing their ugly heads sooner or later.
“What’s your problem with me, huh? What have I ever done to deserve this?”
Only Vicious has the audacity to give the noun ‘help’ in parenthesis to a gal who never deserved his ire. Maybe said noun will change into the verb. Wait and see future readers! Emilia is not only adorable, naïve and a talented, but also a fighter. Neither her dress sense nor social status worries her. I had her back throughout what was to become a game of deception she had no idea she was participating in. She’s a pawn in a catastrophic secret which was beyond her. If you’re like me and can’t wait for the outcome, get ready ‘cause it’s harsh and will help you to put Vicious’ story is into perspective!
“How about you keep your side of the deal, Ms LeBlanc?”
“I will. Eventually. Patience is a virtue.”
Her foremost concern is for her sister whose handicap is one of the bi-roots of this story. However, certain circumstances put me in panic mode because I had no idea how either of them were going to come out this nightmare unscathed. There wasn’t one moment I sat back and breathed deeply. I was on tenterhooks; on their team cheering them on.
“I don’t know what you’ve got planned for her, but if it’s vicious like you, I’m not going to let you get away with it.”
None of the most important characters swayed their ideals in a fast-flowing but complex story. Some of them grew up side by side, were successful in their joint professions and their joint goals in life. Others weren’t so fortunate. Their ups and downs are at all times, easy to relate to. Except of course, Vicious! But the simple fact that they don’t adhere to his convoluted ways of thinking or his actions was for me, chapeau. His persona is unbendable, he is invincible, he is outstanding!
“I’m going to regret this”
“Probably.” “But it’ll be worth it.”
Summing up this read is not as easy-peasy as I thought it would be. I hope I haven’t let on because the last thing I would do is inadvertently spoil this read for you. Please take note that I haven’t mentioned the bedroom scenes in this review. I’d like to say more. I won’t! What I can say is the magnetism between Emilia and Vicious is Off. The. Charts, their dialogue—incredible. There was not a single thing I disliked about this book and it’s fast become one of my fave reads this year. I couldn’t have wished to have had a better initiation into Ms Shen’s storytelling, too. The editing and proofreading which I give a lot of importance to was faultless. Bravo ma’am!
“Am I an idiot for sitting here with you?”
“You’re a lot of things. And idiot has never been one of them.”
“Then what am I?”
You’re … complicated…”
“You’re pissing me off,” she said quietly, her eyes still searching my face.
“And that’s turning me on,” I retorted, my voice flat. “So you might wanna tone down the hate glares if you don’t wanna find yourself being fucked on this desk with the blinds still open.”
I was still staring at my screen, working on the merger deal I was eager to get signed before Christmas, but I could see from my peripheral that she had paled. I liked how—once again—I’d gotten under her skin. Quickly.
“You’re disgusting,” she muttered, still staring at me—but not in a way that suggested she was appalled.
I cracked my neck, opening my browser and checking the stocks on the screen, skimming through the greens and the reds. “That may well be, but I’m balls deep in your fucking head, Help, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Her eyes glittered with rage, and fuck, I was so hard, and fuck, she was so beautiful. This was so on. I was going to fuck Dean’s ex-girlfriend, use her for my personal needs, and toss her away when I was done.
And after choosing the wrong guy, there was no doubt in my mind, she deserved it too.
“You just gave Floyd a lecture about the inter-office fraternization policy. No mixing business and pleasure.” She leaned forward. Her elbow touched my finger accidentally, and she jerked it away.
I met her halfway, erasing the space between us across the desk. “Correction—guys like Floyd won’t give you pleasure. Men like me would. Besides, the man likes Arrow,” I drawled, as if this alone was a reason to fire him.
To me, it was.
“You know what your problem is, Vicious? You still haven’t decided if you hate me or like me. That’s why you act like this every time I’m around other men.” There wasn’t a trace of embarrassment in her voice. She owned up to this.
What she didn’t know was that I knew exactly how I felt about her.
I hated her, but was attracted to her. It was really that simple.
“You know what I feel right now, Ms. LeBlanc? I feel like you need to pack a fucking bag and start making the necessary arrangements. You’re coming with me to California, whether you like it or not.”
About the Author
L.J. Shen resides in sunny California with her husband, son, chubby cat and wild, wild dreams.
Her passion is to write badass stories, sushi, UFC and her awesome family and friends (not in this order, though. Obviously, sushi comes before writing. Oh, and also the family part.)
She spent the first half of her twenties traveling the world and is now paying all the fun with extra shifts in front of her MacBook. Feel free to contact her on her Facebook page. She loves to hear from her readers.
L. J. Shen’s Social Media Links:
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