“I love you, Axel! Please, please, you have to believe I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.” – Darcy McAllister
Oh, wow, what did I just read?! I’m a fan of PNR and witches and stuff, but this went well beyond my expectations!
Darcy McAllister thought her childhood was tough. With everyone around her – her own adoptive father included – fearing her and calling her the spawn of evil, a freak, she believed this was as ugly as it could get. But she was dead wrong. Hunters are after her – witch hunters. Finding out she’s actually a witch is shocking enough – being taken as a hostage under the pretense of being protected by one of them is seriously terrifying. But Axel Locke claims to be different. That his team has not surrendered to the curse compelling witch hunters to spill witch blood – yet. Can she trust this man to keep her safe, even when she knows he’s only doing it so she can save his sister from a demon witch’s death mark? Worse, can she keep away from bonding with him, when everything on Axel’s being makes her want to do just that?
I simply loved this story! Not only was it something I haven’t read as a concept yet, it was hot and funny and witty – yet made me wanna curl in a corner and cry at the same time. It had tons of suspense, action, romance and tension. Dialogues that touch the reader emotionally and pull at one’s heartstrings – either in a good, or bad way.
But, most of all, it had a promising cast of characters that makes you want to come back and see them again. Even if you know that, for such a thing to happen, they’ll probably be in danger…
I think this is the first time that the male lead has to try extra hard to keep himself from trying to kill the female lead. Not because of personal reasons – though there were plenty of those – but because he was cursed to that state. And that was new. And original. Giving the main plot of the book so much more suspense and meaning!
On the other hand, the female lead started as a weakling – and rightfully so. The poor woman was scared out of her wits, and everyone was out to get her when she barely even understood what was going on. But Darcy was stronger inside than that. She hit rock bottom, and from there, she gave a push downwards, and started climbing back up, even higher than where she previously stood. She exhibited a brilliant case of personal growth, which is rare in today’s books. She became stronger, more determined, and sassier, and gave back as good as she got.
Now all this is good and wonderful, but there was one problem which cost this story the 5th cupcake: Axel! Yes, he was hot. And funny at times. Sweet – if the day was a really good one and you prayed to God passionately that no stray sunray would piss him off.
Fine, fine, I’ll stop. Jeez…
Seriously, though, Axel was everything I would not want in a man – attractive but an ass. He treated Darcy like an animal, kept making her feel inferior, and generally acted in a way that, had I been in Darcy’s shoes, I would have asked for intense psychotherapy and/or possible medication.
What’s worse? The woman ended up believing all that, and acted in the worst way I could imagine even when she had started gaining a voice of her own and some backbone: she revered to being that caged animal he had made her into every time he was in the same building with her. She acted like a victim! And it kept breaking my heart how ruthlessly that man went on breaking whatever was left – from her adoptive father’s abuse, her real father’s hatred, and a whole community after her head – intact in her. And all that, despite the strength she showed and how loyal and kind she was.
But I managed to hold my tears, and waited. Because the story was good. Because it was worth it to give it a shot until the very last page, despite how much my stomach churned and I wanted to sob and break down after puking my guts out from the misery. Yes, I felt Darcy’s misery as my own. And she didn’t deserve it. No one should ever feel the way she did, no one should actually believe that they’re a freak, an animal worthy only to be used and then locked up. An abomination.
You see, in her own way, Jennifer Lyon showed us something that has been taking place in a larger scale for as long as society remembers. The only difference is the lack of magic in real life. So yeah, that right there was the major example – apart from Darcy’s growth – that she knows how to write, and how to do it good!
Still, I’m not heartless. And I do admit, I am pretty sensitive to some matters. So the tears was a sure thing, I just didn’t know when they would come without me being able to stop them. Right after the ritual on the beach, they came – and boy was it hard. I had to take a break every other paragraph, trying to take deep breaths and calm the sobs down, and yet I couldn’t. I swear to God, Axel, I wanted to destroy you at that moment!!!
Coming to a conclusion, despite my intense… let’s call it dislike, yeah, of Axel, I think this was an all-around awesome book! Not only a hands-down, cry-but-want-more story, but also an addicting start to what looks like a seriously unique and breathtaking series. If you’re not afraid of emotional roller coasters, feels that will leave you hiccuping to recover from the sobbing tantrums, and plot twists up to there, I say you should get your hands on it. It’s definitely a read that will remain unforgettable!
“You are my gift, Darcy. I love you and I will continue to love you for eternity. Always remember that.” – Axel Locke
***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.***