it’s time to get depraved!
Smoke and mirrors. A web of lies. He’s come for the devil’s ultimate prize.
J.D. Wilder strides into my hotel bringing the dark musky scent of sin with him. Arrogant and powerful, he’s the president’s eldest son. Even after all these years, I can still taste him on my lips. But when he speaks, there’s not a glimmer of the boy I once loved.
He struck a deal with my parents. That’s what he claims. Loaned my mother the money she desperately needs to stay alive.
Now he’s here to collect.
What does he want?
My soul, of course.
The one thing I will never give him.
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Reviewed by Emma-Louise on behalf of KFF
The devil’s spawn is how he sees himself. A simple blunt object ready to accomplish his task, digging deeper into the murky water that is the world he lives in. Within the first chapter, there is a revelation that puts JD in a cruel light. A role that the further I read, the more it seemed impossibly unthinkable. JD had spent his entire adult life playing a game that had the highest stakes. A long game better than any I have witnessed. Coming into a world so vastly under-explained, I felt like I was often listening to people talking an unknown language. And in certain aspects, I guess I was. JD knows more of the back story than Gabrielle and he’s so truly torn between right, wrong and her.
‘“Such a good girl. You remembered what I told you. I need you to remember everything I tell you. I need you to obey me–always. Will you do that?”
She lowers her eyes and nods. And more than anything, I want it to be the truth. It’s the only real hope I have for keeping her safe.’
The daughter of a staff member and the Gentlemen’s son, very much an age-old trope, only in this book it’s so very different. From the very beginning of their relationship years ago; JD had promised Gabrielle that he would always keep her safe and in my mind, this has never ever changed. Sure, he certainly does the wrong things; but most assuredly he does them for the rightest of reasons.
‘…this lacks human decency in a way that our dirtiest sex never did. And what scares me the most isn’t that I’ll hate every second of his touch, but that I’ll enjoy it. Begin to crave it, like I craved it before. The signs are all pointing to the fact that no matter how much I lash out at him, no matter how much I want to hate him, my body–and my heart–remember. They miss him.’
Gabrielle is a marionette pulled this way and that by not only JD but other characters and the strings they pull. A woman trying to build her business and live a peaceful life, well, that is until JD stomps back into her life making outlandish demands. Demands, I myself would probably flay him alive for making.
Because of the nature of their relationship, there are huge amounts of angst. Gabrielle fear is having her heart broken again and JD fears he will never be able to keep her truly safe. If only he told her everything I have a feeling she’d still not make her own safety a priority but for him, she’d do something. What I really love about a second chance romance is how emotions are rawer, edgier, even darker. There’s an unwritten subtext that enthralls me as the reader. Paragraphs of text deepen the emotion and tension of the story simply by walking down memory lane.
‘The woman in the mirror isn’t a fool. She’s strong and smart. She knows what she wants. And the man standing behind her? The one she’s loved all her life? She wants him. With all his broken pieces. The nicked and dented fragments, and the twisted shards, beyond repair. Every one of them.’
JD is not an only child. The eldest of four boys, and with Gabrielle growing up at their home it meant that she knew all of them. For all, she was special in one or another. From my point of view, it always reminded me of Wendy with the Lost Boys in Neverland.
“I miss you. Miss you so much it hurts. I live with the pain every day. It’s crushing.”
‘I’m willing to live out my life alone, or with someone else. While no relationship will ever compare to the unrestrained passion I have with him, or the depth of connection we share, I can still have a full and loving relationship with someone else. I’ll learn to be content without the flames. They always seem to singe me anyway.’
Depraved is chock full of questions. Questions that even I didn’t think of until the character brought them up. JD’s father is the route to all evil and without saying much; he does remind me of someone very powerful but also very egocentric. Author’s idea or just me?
Thank goodness the second book releases so soon because I have zero patience and the cliffhanger at the end of Depraved was horrendous. It has been quite a while since I read a dark romance like this. I so relish when the timeline of a story is embedded in the past as well as the present. Thank you Ms. Charles, and well done.
© 2019 Eva Charles
All rights reserved
A confirmed city-girl, Eva moved to rural Western Massachusetts in 2014. She found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkey, deer, and coyote roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she had been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into steamy love stories.
A romantic at heart, Eva looks forward to date night all week. The perfect evening includes well-crafted cocktails, a fabulous perfume, Cherry Garcia ice cream, and her husband, of course. If you add good friends, live jazz, and impossible shoes, she will follow you anywhere.
Eva holds a BA from Boston College, and a JD from the Washington College of Law. She spent a career working in domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and civil rights. Aspects of this work often find their way into her books.
When she’s not writing sexy stories, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.
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