REVIEW //\\ Something Twisted

Something Twisted by Ace Gray

“The world will eventually end in brimstone and fire, but I’ll still love you, Drea. You’re heaven and the religion I’ll worship to get there.”
“I love you, Niall,” she said from her spot at my feet. “Whether you’re my salvation or damnation, I don’t care as long as you’re mine.”

This was my first book by the author, and it’s now my firm intention to read more work by her!

I read this in order to lead a Book Of The Month discussion, in the Dark Erotica group. I have to say, well done to Dana for suggesting the book and to those who voted for it because this was a huge, huge hit for me. Trying a new author, especially in the dark realm of romance, always feels like a risk. I’m sure for every one book I’ve enjoyed there are a dozen that have missed the mark by a country mile. This one ticked every box for me and I found myself not wanting to put it down. It was also second-chance, which is hands down my favourite tropes ever.

The authors voice, the plot, pace and characterisation were all top notch. There was no effort involved in reading this book, well other than putting it down when it got VERY late into the night and my alarm was set for less than 6 hours later! Though I did have to forgive the use of ‘drug’ instead of ‘dragged’, but hey, no biggie. This really is an addictive read that wraps you up in it’s dark and depraved world, draws you into the lives of the damaged folk that exist there (because it could never be called living) and will keep you enthralled from the very first to the very last line.

Drea and Niall had so much history to overcome, had so much pain and sorrow weighing them down, needing to forgive and to receive forgiveness. There were moments in this story that made my heart melt, moments that shattered it into a thousand pieces, moments that made me gasp, or laugh, or cry, or swoon, sometimes more than one at the same time. This pair were never destined for a nice easy love story, and boy does the author drag us all through the depths of hell before we see any glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel.

This kiss was different than our others. Niall usually kissed me with fire enough to feel the burn but this was slow and smoldering, a little sad. The tears I’d been keeping at bay knotted in my throat. This kiss said goodbye.

The book starts off right in the deepest end of the dark pool. There are scenes of non-consensual sex and physical violence perpetrated on the heroine, some of which are witnessed, but not prevented, by the eventual hero. These were not easy to read, though Drea had been living this hell for so long that she was almost immune to it now. So it didn’t feel as emotionally harrowing as it could have. The author saved that for later when we learnt more of Drea’s reasons for leaving Niall. There were times when I disliked Niall, but he had his reasons, he suffered through his conflicted feelings and he earned his redemption at least twice. Why twice? Because this man was an insufferable idiot at times!

Whilst the second half of the book didn’t feel as dark, it was still gritty and, at times, violent. It’s difficult to go into details without giving away spoilers, but I felt that the consequences and events that followed Mac Ulster’s final manipulation of Niall were believable and hard won. There is no single handedly bringing down a whole mob family, no miraculous deal, just a whole world of misery and pain to endure. I could understand Niall’s struggle, his wanting to do right by his friends, even if it did mean he wasn’t thinking clearly on who to do right by Drea. That moment in the motel room was a huge wake up call for him and the future Drea could have faced.

This story didn’t follow the paths one would expect, right to the very end it defied expectations and gave something refreshingly different to a genre that is sometimes tired and cliched. I loved how this book didn’t pull any punches at the same time it gave us an epic story of endless love.

“I don’t thing you get to choose, Drea,” I softened.
“But I get to fight.” She smiled that same small, sorrowful smile. “And I want to fight for you.”

Goodreads –
Genre – Dark Romantic Suspense

I’d spent my life as a plaything. A toy to be used by powerful and deadly men in whatever way they pleased. So I was just as surprised as anyone else that I had feelings left. Feelings that lead me to fight for true love while damning myself.
And that’s just where this story begins.
Desperate and alone I turned back to my childhood home. The first wicked place I’d known with the darkest villain among them. My stepfather. But I could weather his storm in exchange for safety. I had to.
What I didn’t expect to find was Niall McDonough. The only man I’d ever really loved had reappeared only to become one of them. Someone ruthless and cruel. He wants to ruin me. As my stepfather’s savage soldier he might just do it.
But then again, twelve years ago a fortune teller predicted I’d need just such a soldier to save both my heart and soul.

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