An good addition to the series, enjoyable and gritty. I’m fairly certain it’s also the longest story so far.
A Cruel Love was written in a way that made it feel quite dark, although it never really waded any further than the shallows. It’s a twisty and fairly action packed story of opposites attracting. And those opposites, Blossom and Percival, have enough chemistry to power a small city.
I really wanted to be able to say I loved this book – it had so many of my favourite things in there. A Cruel Love is a good book, however there were just a few things that held it back from being a great read for me.
First of all several scenes felt very repetitive, we had far too much of Percival blowing hot and cold with Blossom. I got that he was struggling with his feelings verses his job after the first two or three times. I didn’t need to be sledge-hammered about the head with it as much as I was.
Similarly we had more than a couple of scenes of the Irish mafia ambushing Blossom and Percival, which resulted in shoot-outs and him killing half a dozen blokes every time, single-handed and with virtually no injury. There’s a similar scene at the end that was just too far from the ‘shore of reality’ . There is a wonderful review by ‘Val Shameless’ on Goodreads over here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… – from which I have borrowed this quote…
However, when stretching the bounds of what is normal, you either have to go ALL the way outside of the realms of “normal” (think fantasy and paranormal, etc.)….or at least keep the ship close enough to the shore for the reader to think, “Well, it could happen. If I squint.”Val Shameless, Goodreads
But, alas, you can only squint so much before you just can’t see. And this one just went a little too far with the H for me.
The repetitive element of the book, at around the 30-40%, resulted in it feeling slow, the plot dragged and I was definitely looking for something to happen. For me personally some scenes could have been cut without really losing anything from the book. Blossom surprised me with how much I liked her. She was almost too good to be true, but thankfully she never veered into doormat territory. On the surface she might be judged to be naive, but heck who of us would be blase and comfortable in the presence of an assassin and caught up in the world of organised crime.
I really love dark romance and dark erotica, but I did find myself conflicted over Percival. I get that he had to be a bad man, but the fact that he, originally, was willing to kill an entirely innocent woman never sat well with me. I have to say I’m also not sure I believed why she needed to die – she wasn’t getting anywhere with her ‘campaign’ and surely her death would have brought more focus rather than less. Along with his constant hot-and-cold, his very physically cruel treatment of Blossom and his total lack of empathy for the situation he had dragged her into, I found it difficult to warm to him. I like my anti-hero to have some redeeming quality and it took a little too long for me personally to reach that point with Percival.
The sexual tension and chemistry between Percival and Blossom is undeniable, scorching hot and powerful. However, whilst I totally believed in their lust for each other, and it was very well portrayed in the book, I wasn’t so convinced of their falling in love. I’m not sure why because I did believe and buy into so many other emotions that were expressed in the book, but I felt more like I was being told they were falling in love rather than shown.
I hate how negative all that sounds, because over all I DID enjoy this book. I had no issues with the style of writing, in fact I found the story really easy to read. If you’ve been enjoying the series, or are a fan of S.M. Soto, then I’m sure you’ll like this one too.
As a hitman for hire, Percivale is no stranger to violence.
From the moment he saw Blossom Jaymes through the window of her bakery, he knew he was in too deep. Not only was she as sweet as her perfectly crafted treats, but she was a soft-spoken, golden-haired angel that shone like a bright beacon in his dark world. And Percivale didn’t deal in angels. He dealt in death and crime. The even bigger issue? Percivale’s next hit is on said sweet little baker who doesn’t seem to realize how much danger lurks around her with each passing day.
If he doesn’t get the job done, who will?
When Percivale has to decide what’s more important to him—the life of a woman who may very well be innocent or getting his revenge on the men who murdered his family—the lines become blurred. Morals are twisted and a deathly chase ensues that can only result in one thing—Blossom buried six feet under.
Or can it?
Can Percivale let his lust for revenge go in order to save Blossom from the bounty on her head, or will the power she unknowingly holds over him be what gets her killed?
S.M. Soto was born and raised in Northern, California where she currently resides with her son. Her love for reading began when she was a young girl, and has only continued to grow into adulthood. S.M. lives for reading books in the romance genre and writing novels with relatable characters. She refers to herself as a bit of a romance junkie. S.M. loves to connect with readers and eat copious of donuts that will surely lead to her demise. #CarbsAreLife
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