I received this book for free from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: London Royal #1
Published by Sankofa Girl on October 22, 2019
Format: Digital, Paperback
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Social Butterfly PR
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy on IBooks, Buy on Kobo, Buy on Google Play, International Options
Possessive pain in my ass.
I know exactly what I don’t want.
I escaped to London under the cover of night, never thinking I'd run smack into a man who would turn me inside out.
I had a plan. Simple, really.
Step one: Follow my dream, away from from the demons of my past.
Step two: Land on my own two feet, preferably far, far, away from the man who hurt me and broke my heart.
Step three: Live a little and avoid all men with dark secrets.
So far, I'm not doing so hot.
He's a royal amongst peasants, and the last kind of trouble I need--a filthy rich alpha who can see straight into my soul. Our secrets hold us both captive.
Something tells me I’ll be powerless to stop his magnetic pull, especially when he tells me I'm going to be his, damn the consequences.
First Person, dual-POV
This is book #1 of the London Royal duet and it has a major cliffhanger at the end. This is sort of a spin-off of the royals of Winston Isle (if you follow the author’s work)
Look, when you met me, there were all kinds of things I didn’t want. There were things I didn’t even know I did want. One of them was you.
Addictiveness: 4.5/5 This was a one-sitting read for me. A fun, sexy read that kept me going until the end. As addictive as pizza!!!
Character: hero 4/5, heroine 5/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 4/5, real 5/5 Multidimensional characters with interesting layers to them, they were all very easy to connect.
Lex is a good hero, the tall, dark and dangerous type. Even after finishing the first book, I still find him kind of a mystery. He keeps his darkness hidden, but is always there in the surface. He is an amazing brother, a great friend and seems like is going to be a good boyfriend. He has too many secrets and I guess he is waiting too much for sharing them with Abbie and it probably will backfire.
Abbie is an amazing heroine. From almost the beginning of the book, she starts her journey into self-knowledge and is beautiful to follow. She is brave, strong and a really good person. She was stagnant in a situation, afraid of letting go, but she finds courage inside her self and get away from it. Now, she is restarting like a phoenix and she is being smartly cautious about it. She never planned for the chemistry she has with Lex, but she is learning to go with the flow.
Xander is a secondary character that feels very important. He is almost a third leg creating a sort of triad. He is Lex’s brother and Abbie’s professor. He is also mysterious, dangerous and sexy as hell.
The fact that I’ve been following the author’s royal series helps adds to my enjoyment of this story. Some characters I’ve read about before and I love the connecting the dots game.
Villains.. antagonists… This is another good mystery of this book, there is more than one force for them to fight here. We don’t have all the cards on the table yet, so we need to wait for the second book to name them all.
All characters were easy love, connect and understand. !!!
Cover: art 4/5, title 5/5, color-font 5/5, buy 5/5 I’m obsessed with book covers. I love to find snippets of the stories within the art. I like this cover but I don’t love it. Is just a bit too generic for me. I don’t see anything very distinctive that I could say is definitely part of this book only. I love the title, the colors and font used. I also like the embellishment creating a frame for the art. I would probably buy this book by its cover without needing to read the blurb, just because of the author’s name!
Plot: believable 5/5, conflict 4/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 3/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 5/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Exciting opening for a huge cliffhanger at the end. A very believable plot, specially with the heroine bringing awareness to some very important and real problems. Good subplots with unexpected twist. Wow! I was expecting something, and something totally different happened. Great dialogues in a fun, fast-paced plot. The conflict felt a bit convoluted and I guess I need the second book to make it cleaner. Good setting and highly enjoyable story that kept me curious until the end. High level of enjoyment!
Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 5/5, description 5/5, development 4/5, steam 4/5 This was a slow burn romance that grew in good pace. Their attraction to each other was undeniable from the moment they met. Even though the author threw a third member there to sometimes confuse the reader, it was obvious who was the heroine’s choice. I love how it started from the present and it went back to show us their love journey. It ended up being poignant and cute at the same time it was sexy and hot! Passionate love!
Writing Style: 4.5/5 The plot was fun, refreshing and interesting. The characters are all very easy to love and interesting enough to keep the reader guessing. The romance was sweet and sexy. The dialogues and descriptions of the scenes were fun and hot. The writing was good with a conflict still needing to become cleaner in the second book. Crafty writing!!!
Freshness: 3.5/5 It’s ok. To make contemporary romance creative is really difficult, specially a royal romance. I think the smartest move that Ms. Malone did here was starting from present and going back to the past to tell the story. If gave a unique vibe to the book! As fresh as mint tea!
I’ve loved how Ms. Malone started from the present and went back into the past to show us their past, how they met and what they felt for each other. If you follow the author’s royal books, you will be pleasantly gifted with the backstory of characters that we have seen before.
Even when I know it is coming, that is even needed, I will never enjoy a cliffhanger. This cliffhanger is a KILLER. Really, it ends out of nowhere. Now I can’t wait for the next book!!!
This is the journey of a great love story!!!
Good. Now go do your worst. And by worst, I mean better than your best.
29.5/35 STARS – 4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars)
Addictiveness: 4.5 Character: 4.5 Cover: 4 Freshness: 3.5 Plot: 4 Romance: 4.5 Writing Style: 4.5
Action 3/5 Angst 3/5 Darkness 1/5 Humor 2/5 Romance 5/5 Suspense/Mystery 4/5
Would I recommend? Definitely! For everybody that enjoys romance with a bit of suspense.
Would I re-read this book/series? Yes! I would reread the book and I will follow the series.
Would I read more from the author? I love her books and I always add them all to my TBR.
Because there was something about her that read damaged. Like me. Broken, like a bird.
“I figured I’d try something different and ask you to dance.”
I whirled around and let out a small squeak of alarm. The muscles in my lower belly quivered, and my breath caught. My savior from earlier stood in front of me, looking like a cross between an angel of mercy and the devil incarnate. “We have to stop meeting like this,” I mumbled.
A smile tugged at the corners of his lips. “Well, there’s no rain at the moment, so we should be safe. I trust we were able to save your camera?”
Heat flooded my cheeks. “Yes. Thank you. Honestly that could have been ugly today. I’m indebted.”
“How about a dance, and we’ll call it even?”
A dance? With him? Pressed up against… “I, uh…”
“Now, I’m not as good as you are, so you’ll need to take it easy on me.” He outstretched his hand and waited for me to take it. He didn’t press or push, just stood there… waiting.
Jasper didn’t help me when he switched the track to a dancehall reggae song with a grooving beat.
Butterflies fluttered low in my belly. When was the last time I’d had butterflies? Unfortunately, with those butterflies also came fear. The fact was I didn’t know this guy. But, if he’d wanted to hurt you, he could have already. It’s just a dance.
I glanced down at his hand and placed my palm in his. Determined not to be nervous, I smiled up at him. “Hardly seems fair. You saved my life, and all you get is this dance.”
He drew me close, but not too close, keeping his hands at my waist. He waited patiently until I looped my arms around his neck. “It’s well worth it to me.” The low rumble in his chest as he spoke sent shivers coursing through my body.
As it turned out, he didn’t need any help dancing. He moved us easily in time to the seductive beat. I didn’t dare look around because I knew what I’d find—couples pressed so close that we might as well be naked and in bed. Dirty dancing was a requisite of dancehall music, but my partner kept a marginally safe distance between us, figuratively if not literally, because with every down swing of the base, our hips rocked into each other.
I swallowed hard, but then forced my gaze up to meet his. As soon as our eyes met, my heart rate kicked. His slate gray eyes, framed by dark lashes, stayed on mine. Nervously, I licked my lips. He stilled for just a second, causing me to lose my footing and bringing me flush against his body.
I froze, muscles tight. Touching wasn’t something I was used to or allowed easily. But with him, I didn’t want to be anywhere else. He smelled of mint and something crisp and woodsy, like he’d spent the afternoon outside on the water. I released my strangled breath and let my body relax into his. I felt, rather than heard, the low rumble in his throat as his chest vibrated against mine. His warmth enveloped me, and I could tune out everything but him. As if it were only the two of us on the edge of the dance floor.
There, in the dark, in the arms of a relative stranger, I felt safe.
His hands shifted on my waist as his thumbs traced my hip bones, and I forgot to breathe. Wobbly knees forced me to tighten my hold on him. As if responding to my body’s automatic softening, my eyes dipped to his lips.
What the hell am I doing? My brain tried desperately to take control of the situation, but I didn’t feel like listening. For the first time in longer than I cared to think about, I liked having someone’s hands on me. I wasn’t afraid. Instead, I craved it, that connection. My body hummed with vibrant sexual energy. An energy I hadn’t felt in six long years. There were nerves, but not from fear or trepidation. It felt good. Better than good. It made me remember how much I needed to be touched. Or rather touched by someone who could make me feel safe.
But just as the last of the tension ebbed out of my body, his thumbs pressed gently against my hip bones, moving me back several inches. He raised his head, and we stood like that for several seconds before I realized Jasper had switched the music. Oh, God. I’d been standing there with a total stranger, practically melting into him.
Heat rushed to my face. “I—”
He smiled, and I was too blinded to finish. Gently, his thumbs traced across my hip bones once more, and he let me go. “Thank you for the dance.” Then he turned around and walked away.
I spent several seconds staring after him. What the hell had just happened?
“Hey, there you are.” Faith’s voice broke me out of the fog. “Who was that you were dancing with?”
I stared into the crowd feeling empty. “I have no idea.”