*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
*This review may contain mild spoilers for the previous books in the series, however it doesn’t reveal any more info than the blurb does.*
Wow. Ok. So, the beginning of this book actually pushed my limits, not because it was particularly gruesome or graphic but because I was putting myself in Matthew’s shoes, and what he was going through was so terrible. Disturbingly terrible. I mean, imagine what it would be like to not only be tortured but to also have every ounce of your control and dignity and consent taken away from you… Matthew went through some terrible stuff in Books 1 and 2, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse for a character than I have for Matthew, but the beginning of this book takes the cake. I even had to take a break from reading around 15% before I could immerse myself back into Matthew’s life (which is not an insult to the book, just how I felt about the things happening). Not to mention any time a character’s skin literally just starts rotting (believe it or not, this isn’t the first book I’ve read in which that was a thing), that just disturbs me on a whole new level.
Buuuuut eventually the book started getting a little less intense (although I still felt completely awful for Matthew just because of his whole situation), there were quite a few surprising twists that I didn’t see coming, and Tarrick was brought back into the picture. I didn’t think it would be possible for anything to change my opinion of Tarrick—I thought I would hate him forever—but I was wrong. And he definitely made things a lot more interesting when he became part of the story again.
Also, speaking of the book getting less intense, I loved that Matthew actually did get to have a little bit of fun at one point. As much as I love dark books and love when characters have a lot to deal with, I also love when they get a temporary reprieve from all the horribleness to enjoy themselves, if only for a night. And there still managed to be some humor in the book, despite all the darkness.
Something I didn’t so much love was the BDSM sex scene (but I will note that it was at least safe and consensual), and I admittedly got a little tired of all the talk of when Matthew was and wasn’t allowed to come and all the sex scenes with characters he didn’t have feelings for (although I kind of wouldn’t mind a sex scene with Hiroto because the poor guy is trying so damn hard to get in Matthew’s pants lol), but those are personal preference kinda things.
A couple more things to note that other readers might want to know… Again, I will reiterate, that the book had lots of sex and violence, much like the previous ones, including *TRIGGER/POSSIBLE SPOILER* torture and one scene of somewhat explicit rape. *END TRIGGER/SPOILER* There were also various different types of sex scenes, including M/F, M/M, M/M/F, and M/M/M.
Anyway, to wrap this up, this felt darker and more intense at times than the previous books, but it was yet another book in the series that I enjoyed! It also made me feel completely conflicted about how I want certain things to turn out in future books. Overall though, these books are just so compulsively readable, and I didn’t want to put this one down!
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in Jex Lane's Beautiful Monsters series. Anyone who likes vampires, incubi, sex, and violence, plus some emotional conflict and touching moments.