Book Review ~~~ In the Garden of Discontent

In the Garden of Discontent by Lily White

In the Garden of Discontent

by Lily White

Release: February 19, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

An at times difficult read, jam packed with abuse, helplessness, neglect and misery.

This is more “psychological Lily” than “dark Lily”, an into the pits of hell mix of both. Please don’t ignore the warnings on this one!

This is one of those books that frequently switches between past and present, though it’s always made clear both WHEN you are and who’s point of view you were getting. The story is built mainly from the flashbacks, and I must admit I did struggle a little bit around 35% or so. I came close to skimming this because I was just getting a little frustrated, wanting to get somewhere in the now. However I set it aside and when I picked it back up the next day I couldn’t put the book down, so it was either me in an off mood or the story started moving in a way I needed it to. It doesn’t matter to much which one it was because after that I just couldn’t put this down.

“I love you, Ensley Bennett.”
My teeth slammed together, and I screamed, a noise tearing from my throat that has been stuck there since I was a kid.

I really, really, REALLY didn’t care for Noah at first, but as I saw the pain and misery he had willingly endured as a child/teen my feelings did a total 180 flip. And then I had to avoid thinking too much about the years he had spent in prison because that just broke my heart and crushed my mind.

Our pain had raised the boy, but prison had shaped the man.

He was the firm anchor that held Ensley’s sanity in place whilst her body and soul were battered by the storms and terrors of her life. She lived in a miserable pit of hell, let down by the very people who should have protected her. To be honest I didn’t care either way if Noah had killed her parents, they didn’t deserve any kindness.

There were so many things that could potentially make you dislike Ensley, her decisions, her secrets, her refusal to ask for or accept help. But at the end of the day we have to remember that she was a child, a victim of neglect and abuse, a girl who survived the best way she could and who wanted more for Noah. He was the best thing, the only thing of joy in her life, and because she loved him she wanted to set him free.

Noah had owned me since the moment he watched me from his window and called out to me the first time. I may not have known it then, but I knew it now, and was a better woman for it, his name was chiseled over every bone and branded on every organ.
I was his.
In body. In mind. And in spirit.

God this isn’t an easy read, and you’ll find yourself both loving every word whilst hating them. Hating the evil, the pain, the suffering but loving Ensley and Noah, two survivors who just never gave up.

He never stopped loving me.
Not when we were kids.
Not while he was locked away.
Not tonight.
And I just cried, the sobs shaking every part of me.
His arms a cage that kept me safe.

This book made The Five seem quite sweet and light by comparison. Don’t say you haven’t been warned, but DO give this a chance if you love a dark, psychological romance.

Noah’s mouth was next to my ear, a gritty whisper dragging me back, his erection rubbing between my legs.
“I loved you every time you couldn’t love yourself. Every time you hurt me. Every time you ran away.”

Still, he whispered, the words a low growl from how hard he f**ked me. “I love you, Ensley.”
Another thrust, the slap of skin.
“Always have.”
Another. “Always will.”



This is a love story.
It’s brutal.
Terrifying, honest, and raw.

But a love story nonetheless…because it is so beautiful.

Noah Carter was the type of guy that every girl wanted.
Gorgeous. Talented. Smart and kind.
He was the world that revolved around me even though I didn’t deserve him.
But then something went wrong.
He snapped maybe, just lost his mind.
I found him the night my family died, their blood staining his hands.
I put him in prison. I got my revenge.
But then years later he broke free and stole me away from my life.

You couldn’t know Ensley without wanting to strangle her.
She was beautiful. She was wild. She was the girl next door.
I grew up with her by my side.
I watched her destroy herself while I held on.
I protected her when she had been blind to the danger that surrounded her.
I let her go once, only to find her again.
She would see me this time no matter what. 

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited

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A barbaric love story of mangled hearts, who despite standing in ravaged lives, find love in stolen hours in the darkness of night. It hurt my heart to go on, yet I couldn’t stop. ~ Shabby, Book Bistro Blog

A truly unique, unpredictable, raw, heartbreaking and utterly riveting read! ~ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

A love with no limits, no restrictions and no bounds. A pure unconditional love. This story is so devastatingly heartbreaking. It is raw, gritty and disturbing. ~ Literati Literature Lovers



Leaning down, Noah trapped my bottom lip between his teeth, the hold a punishment, the sting a balm. A part of that ugliness inside me fractured, that tiny amount of pain enough to knock something loose until its was rolling around and rattling.

Opening my lips with his, he swept his tongue into my mouth, filling me with his taste. 

I was held up only by his grip on my shirt, balanced only by the strength of his arm and shoulder. My head fell back as he kissed along my jaw and down my neck, teeth scraping the skin, his bite sinking into my shoulder.

Lifting his head, he pressed his mouth against mine and moved to shove me against the wall, trapping me in place.

“I won’t fight you anymore, Ens.” 

Noah spoke against my mouth, his knee coming up between my legs, spreading them until he could bring it up further. I rubbed against him, desperate to soothe the throbbing pulse that beat for only him, but he grabbed my hip with his other hand and held me still.

“Not anymore. You want to feel something? You need a release? I’ll give it to you, but not like this. I’m not a teenage boy whose hand can be forced. Not by you, and not by anyone.”

Our pain had raised the boy, but prison had shaped the man.

Tears welled in my eyes, the need so overpowering, that I slapped at him with my hands. He didn’t wince at my blows, he only pushed me tighter against the wall trapping my body with his own.

“Please…” The word tumbled from my lips, my body crumpling against him.

Author Bio:

Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.

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5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.

4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.

3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.

2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.

1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.