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The Bastard (The Baddest Boys in History, #1)

I’m thinking of starting a revolution. My goal? To go against the system’s 5-cupcake rating, when stories like this one deserve so much more than that!

Vike knows that men like him rarely deserve something good in their life. He died once because of his love for a woman, and he’s about to fall in the same trap again. All for a woman he’s supposed to protect, not lay with. Lacy Cooper does not have an extravagant life. But she loves her job and being by her sister’s side is everything for her, so she considers it to be good enough. Until the moment a couple of thugs with forked tongues attack her in an alley. Now, Lacy is being pursued by some very dangerous and powerful people, and everything around her seems to collapse. The only upside in this is the man who keeps coming to her rescue, her own personal hero. Little does she know, Vike is far from being that, in fact, he and his team are some of the worst people human history ever recorded. When things keep going downhill, and there’s no one she can trust, can she put her life in this secretive man’s hands? And can Vike protect her till she gains her immunity against her pursuers, or will his emotions cause him to make fatal mistakes?

Now, let’s ignore my obvious inability to give a proper plot summary, and let’s focus on the fangirling! Because there will be loads of that!

The Bastard is a book that I read. And re-read. And then, after obsessing with the plot, and the characters, and the awesome dialogues and twists, I spammed as many as my cousins and friends I could get a hold of and got them obsessed, too! Because stories like this one need to be read and spread across the world!

Screw what you’ve read so far that has to do with angels, demons, hunky badass anti-heroes, and paranormal romance in general! Inez Kelley took what we all knew and gave us a new meaning to it! She gave us a full-fledged story, full of twists, of agony, of action, of dirty sex, of romantic lovemaking, of jokes and sarcasm, of legends! A tale where romance isn’t the sappy goo that makes us sigh from the sweetness, but a bitter thing that hurts and yet is addicting to both the main characters and us! A book where love between two people of the opposite gender doesn’t overshadow the power of friendship and camaraderie between men who only have each other in the world – instead they exist side by side, each not being able to survive without the other.

She gave us all that in what most of us might have forgotten – a full book, one that is over 300 pages, because that’s what we once considered a true book to be – and then made the deal even better. Because the story we are told in The Bastard, though full of everything that could make it complete, is not over. Instead we get a sequel, we get a series, we get more of those delicious Forsaken men that have stolen our hearts and refuse to give them back, teasing bastards that they all are! And she did it without using that cheap trick that is so famous to authors nowadays – giving a short book that leaves many gaps, thus forcing us to buy the next ones. With Inez Kelley, you don’t want to buy the next books because she gave you a slight taste and left you there hanging. You want to do so because she gave you so much, you got addicted and need to read the next story more than you need air and food or water.

The story was a true miracle. Even if she had annoying, useless, incomplete characters, I think she would have been able to pull it off. It was not your typical angels VS demons plot. It was a twisted version of it, one which had the angels being sinful and humane in their reactions, with their outbursts and grudges and desires – but so ignorant of the world around them, despite being wise and ancient. At the very least, it served to help us feel closer to them, even if we didn’t like some of them. *cough* Michael *cough*

And yet the characters didn’t disappoint. They were unique, full of flaws (and proud of them), comfortable in their own dark souls and wants. The Forsaken, Sela’s “cruel” chosen warriors, were murderers, tyrants, and what history would call humanity’s villains. But you can’t hate them, it’s really impossible. The very moment those guys start talking, acting like a bunch of violent and horny teenagers and throwing jibes and sexual innuendos like nobody’s business, you realize you’re in for a ride full of guys that you will come to love, whether you like it or not. And it’s really hard to choose one personal favorite, believe me! Of course, I always tend to find what I like rather quickly and stick to that, so trust me when I say that potty-mouthed, grumpy-pants Nomad was and shall forever be my favorite of the group! Rex and his pervertedness, Dray and his gluttony, Myth and his quiet sophistication, I sincerely found them all wonderful! Even Zale managed to worm his way into my heart! When Sela – who was a badass leader and a chick designed to make even female readers drool! – revealed who they really were, I was stunned. I did not expect any of that, but it made perfect sense. Even so, I still couldn’t dislike them, or freak out, even a tiny bit!

And now that I have fangirled about the freaking awesome guys that will keep me on my toes, waiting for their books, let’s take a look at the main characters.

Vike, oh, Vike. Though I prefer his given name, I got used to his nickname, I dare say, so it wasn’t that bad after a while. At first, he was just a hot dude who had libido control problems (that I absolutely loved reading about) and a hidden romantic side. A real softie on the inside, whose existence screamed for cuddles after a hot lovemaking session. But he was so much more than that. Through his actions – many of which found me disagreeable, though I still respected him for them – and his words, the guy came to be a true sweetheart, one of those heroes you see in historical romances who is so romantic, and so sweet, and so noble. It was true that he wasn’t any of those things. This wasn’t his nature. What, then, made me adore him? Why, the fact it wasn’t expected of him to behave that way, and yet he did thanks to Lacy. Always pretending to be nice because he was supposedly “fooling her”, but when he wasn’t near her, he still kept up the act – makes you sceptical as to how much of that was acting, and how much was true. In the end, both Vike and the reader come to realize that yes, while he may not be genuinely nice in general, Lacy brings out the best of him. It’s not pretense – it’s character growth. One little thingy that yours truly loves to death!

Lacy, on the other hand, was the typical sweet, feminine heroine, who needs help almost constantly, and falls for the “hero” act way too easily – not to mention she was a bit sappy in her lovey-dovey state. I shouldn’t like her, honestly women like this get on my nerves. But she was so motherly, so kind, so gentle, it was hard to dislike her. I know her naive persona might be a turn off, but I fully understand the fact she didn’t know any better, and was trying to find some kind of light in her dark situation – thinking you have a strong man who loves you to protect you would help tremendously, so she goes with that and lets things be. However, once we reached the second half of the book, the docile, quiet woman was gone. Slowly and steadily, a new one replaced her – one that fought for what she wanted, who opposed those who threatened her loved ones, who stood her ground and refused to be pushed around anymore. And as Vike became softer, she became harder, until, finally, they reached a perfect balance, one that made this couple practically glow from within the pages!

If you want something new, something wonderful, something carefully written to get your hands on, you NEED to check this book out. It’s long, it’s full and never leaves you with a dull moment. It’s hot and funny and thrilling. And it’s a book that every PNR reader who respects themselves must read.


***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***