[Listen to the trigger warnings on this book. They might save your mind from madness]
This book haunts me. I've read so many books this month and most of them pretty smutty. As I dove into the omegaverse head first in order to find a gem to complete my top 5 list, I was itching to move on. Not that I don't love omegaverse, but 12 books later (many of them DNFs) I was burnt out and itching for something else. And since Hallween is coming up, I decided, what the hell?! I typed "Halloween romance" into Goodreads and this popped up somewhere down the list.
First off, the cover is GORGEOUS and embodies the atmosphere of the book so damn well. Second, I will admit that I thought there would be a paranormal aspect to this, but there was not. That didn't stop me from reading of course. As I always say, no matter your preference in genre, if a book is good, it's good. That being said, the blurb did make it sound paranormal, so I was surprised there was no REAL Lucifer involved 😂 Is that a spoiler?
I was Lilith.
He was Lucifer.
Halloween night, one year ago, I sold my soul to the devil. Complete with a blood rite and everything. I had less than nothing. He promised me the world.
And then he disappeared, taking my heart with him.
But now, he’s the one with everything to lose. A family. A name. A reputation.
I’ve still got nothing, but I’m clawing my way to the top, one body at a time.
This Halloween, things are going to be different. This Halloween, ‘Lilith’ is coming to take what’s hers.
Third, the romance is minimal and what romance IS in the book as twisted as romance can get. Ok, I'm sure there are sicker books out there, but believe me, it's dark AF. Not only that, but to me, there is a line between being irredeemably dark where the sickness drowns the romance or story and being dark enough to FEED the story. I'd say this skirts right along that line and you're constantly just wondering if you'll ever tumble over the edge. It puts you in a perpetual state of wariness that leaves you NEEDING to read more.
Halloween comes into play when Sid (Lilith) decides to commit suicide on Halloween night (pretty much page 1) The story bounces from the present, where she's already involved in a BAD gang of men, whose leader is her older brother, and one year prior on Halloween night when she didn't actually get to kill herself.
Halloween night, one year ago, she heads to the park to do the deed and is more-or-less cut off by a man in skeleton makeup who rudely intervenes and invites her to a party at said park instead. It's pretty obvious he senses that she wants to kill herself, but instead of coddling her, he begins treating her rather roughly from the start. Almost punishingly.
(Side note! This man in makeup aka Lucifer was 100 million % Andy Black in my head)
From the way he was described to be thin with black hair and blue eyes. I couldn't stop...
Every time he was described, I saw this dangerously sexy/beautiful angel...
Sid attends this Halloween party in the park figuring, what the hell? I'm gonna die tonight anyways. That is not the case. The party turns dark when she realizes the people she's with are called the "Unsaints." They're a bunch of rich kids with rich parents who can do whatever they want because their parents (The Society of 6) OWNS that city. Think Masons.
So these Unsaints hold this party...err..."Lover's Death," every year and Lucifer chose Sid as his...woman? He calls her Lilith btw, never actually learning her real name, and the night proceeds to get creepier and creepier until people are exchanging blood, having sex, and saying some really weird shit about staying together forever and so on. Sid ends up passing out before the sex, seemingly from the alcohol, and we get to know her mostly in the present where she is with her brother's gang, the Order of Rain. (Pieces of the past get fed to you slowly throughout the book when it flashes back, but never enough to give you the full picture until the end)
Sid and her brother both grew up in foster care and were separated when they were tiny kids. After murdering his foster family and getting all their billion's of dollars in inheritance, her brother got wrapped up with the Unsaints. On that particular Halloween night, he found Sid among the chaos and decided to betray the Unsaints, taking her away and starting his own gang. They deal drugs. Kill competition. All of it. And they get away with it because $$$.
All this time, Sid believes Lucifer raped her and abandoned her that night after making all his promises. To her, he stole her death from her and lied and she is a character FILLED with rage. Against everyone, including her brother. Ooohh, he isn't the big brother we all want, either. No, he physically and mentally abuses her and while he's using extreme means to manipulate her, YOU feel like the one being manipulated throughout. He'll throw her to the wolves one moment only to save her the next so she's confused and angry CONSTANTLY. But Sid, the smart crazy soul that she is, doesn't fall for even one of his tricks, which you have to admire. I LOVE her inner monologue. But, trust me. It'll mess with you. Her brother is no good. His men are no good. NONE of them are. Even when she confronts the Unsaints again, you're met with a slight sense of security like she's been saved from her brother...and then you realize NOPE! THERE ARE NO HEROES HERE SO GET USED TO IT.
You'll find that when you read this book, you have a hard time loving anyone the way you're used to in other books. But you also can't hate them...which makes you a bad person. MY BRAIN!
Without giving away the sick/beautiful and soul-crushing twists, I have to say that this book kept me up at night. Sure, part of that is because I couldn't put it down, but also, I felt so disturbed. I almost felt like I would have nightmares (which is nothing new. The only dreams I have are nightmares 😂 *nervous laugh*) BUT STILL.
The book progresses to show you ALL the pain and anger and inner thoughts that Sid/Lilith has throughout. It's F*CKED up. Her relationship with her long lost brother. Her attraction and extremely violent need for revenge on Lucifer. The decisions she makes or almost makes could make a sensitive person nauseous. The way she looks at death with open arms and somehow that gives her so much power in a way. This book crawls under your skin, slides down your spine, forces you to look at the destruction left behind by the characters you hate to love, and then makes you question your sanity a little bit because something in you loves it all.
....I can't wait to read book 2....
These Monstrous Ties by K.V. Rose