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.
My first book by L. J. Shen; though I own every single of her books on my e-reader – there is something about the blurbs of her books that I just can’t resist. But I also know from her blurbs, that she has heroes I would really and definitely want to kill and kiss.
And I wasn’t wrong!
Vicious is one freaking mind-freak – it has everything that could blow your mind; a hero who is more of an asshole than a hero; a heroine who is naïve yet so freaking strong at the same time; angst that physically hurts your heart; sexual chemistry that almost saw my freaking e-reader on fire and a plot as well characterizations that make you an addict right from the first page.
“My Grandma once told me that love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances.
I didn’t believe her until I met Baron Spencer and he became my nightmare.”
Four HotHoles (pretty freaking awesome right?) rule All Saints High – they aren’t charming or even appealing, but what they are, are indifferent, rude to the point of being cruel. But does that distract from their attractiveness to the rest of the crowd? Na-uh; NOPE! All the guys want to be them, and all the girls want to be with them!
Vicious/Baron Spencer is the most brutal of those four – why? He is not rude, he is just cruel, his actions fuelled by hints of barely supressed rage – he was born entitled and he definitely acts entitled, is coldblooded; freezing cold and he gives plenty of reason for Emilia to obsess over! Emilia became the target of his rage, the daughter of the hired help at his mansion.
Now Emilia LeBlanc is THE HEROINE; there is this woman who has had her teenage years made into hell, her adult life isn’t exactly a bed of roses; barely on her last penny and taking care of her sick sister, there is hint of the steel backbone that isn’t hard to miss.
“Vicious was vicious. It was too bad that my hate for him was dipped in a thin shell of something that felt like love. But I promised myself I’d crack it, break it, and unleash pure hatred in its place before he got to me.”
Usually, I just can’t stand unreasonable cruelty by the Hero towards the Heroine; seriously I hate it and no matter what the reasoning maybe; I just can’t take the angst, the feeling of powerlessness that somehow creeps over me when I read about those bouts of cruelty – I just want to protect the heroine with everything I have and it kills something inside me that I honestly can’t!
But it is the skill of this author who ends up making sure that she hooked me, and that I would move beyond that feeling of uncomfortableness to what the actual reality could be!
She took me kicking and screaming and forced me to look beneath the vindictive, cold hearted anti-hero to the man he is – the man who didn’t know how to love but loved his ‘help’ anyway; to the man who shouldn’t have made me want to hug him but I wanted to anyways; to the man who redeemed himself in ways I didn’t even know I wanted him to redeemed; to the man who, in the end, has become one of my BBF for 2017!
This isn’t a book that I would have even liked, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!
“My obsession. My muse. My enemy.”
Emilia isn’t any slouch either; she gives it right back – even with all the cruelty thrown at her, there is this goodness all around her that could never be penetrated – and believe me, I saw Vicious trying to crack it all the time! It didn’t take me long to realize why Vicious was obsessed with this girl, and I freaking understood it, because I could become obsessed with her myself! She wasn’t only brilliant, she was strong, bright and so freaking vivid; it was easy to see why she was the ‘pink’ to Vicious’s ‘black.’
“He was toxic, poison, and he was going to kill everything beautiful in my life if i let him.”
And the chemistry between these two is off the charts – it’s sizzling, it’s hot nd it’s blistering – they say there is a thin line between love and hate; and you could totally see that here! The heat between these two could be seen, from the first page and waiting for them to go at each other mad me antsy but the wait made it all the more perfect! I might not have liked it, if that had happened right at the start, but since the author made us wait, it was all the more dazzling!
This is not your usual brooding, cold hearted hero with a heroine who makes him melt trope or even a simple enemies to lovers trope, because the hero is bad, absolutely bad, and he doesn’t really go over to the light side, but it is intense and definitely worth the read, if you take the risk and pick it up!
“We were so different it was borderline comical. Me with my custom suit, expensive coat, and rich asshole air about me and her with her burgundy-wine sweater, beanie, Christmas leggings, and army boots.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5