Title: Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1)
Author: L.J. Shen
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 339 pages
“I loved her when I hated her. And I loved her when I didn’t want anything to do with her. I was so crazy about her, the lines had blurred together. Feelings were mixed, emotions twisted together”
This follows Emilia who’s family works for the ultra wealthy Spencer family and Baron Spenser, or Vicious. Vicious is obsessed with making Emilia miserable and eventually drivers her out of their small California town.
10 years later, the two meet again, and Emilia is forced to work for the man she hates but is also attracted to. Vicious needs Emilia’s help to exact revenge. And they’re both surprised how far they are willing to go for each other.
This is an enemies to lovers story told in dual timelines from the 2 points of view – Emilia and Vicious. Flashing between their high school years and the present day, you slowly learn what drove Emilia away from her home and family as well as Vicious’s dark past.
This was such a binge-able read! I never wanted to put this down and would have finished it in one sitting if possible.
Content warnings: Chronic illness, child abuse, neglect, loss of a family member, possessiveness, bullying
What I Liked
“I used to think of you as a villain, but you’re not my villain. You’re your own villain.”
- This is the epitome of redeemable, bad boy romance. L.J. Shen blew me away with her ability to write a character you simultaneously love, hate, and sympathize for. Vicious is so flawed, rude, crass, and so damaged. But I’ll be damned if I wasn’t swooning for him by the end. Now do I want to be with someone like Vicious in real life – of course the f not! But it made for some amazing romantic tension.
- The slow burn tension of this book was palpable. You will for sure need a cold shower after this one.
- Romance gets a bad rep for being low brow, but this book was really layered. Yes it was sexy but it also hit on some really tough things – chronic illness, poverty, child abuse, neglect, loss, etc. The author did such a great job balancing it all.
What I Didn’t Like
- I felt like this wrapped up really quickly. I felt like we went from hate to love in a few quick pages – I just wish Vicious’s growth had been a little more gradual.
If you like dark, intense bad-boy romance, definitely check this series out! However if possessive, dominant partners is not your thing, this is not your story.
I cannot wait to read the rest of this series!!