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To Break A Devil: A Dark Bully Enemies To Lovers Romance

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She humiliated me eight years ago.
Now, she will pay for her sins.

Sage Phoenix was the bane of my existence. That tattooed tease with a short skirt and body made for sin drove me crazy from the moment I met her.

I loathed her, and yet she woke up my deepest, most shameful carnal desires.

I had a mind of logic and order until she turned the tables on me and left me behind, broken and in disgrace.

It's a hot summer night in the city when our paths cross again.
I'm no longer the boy she seduced in high school. I grew smarter, stronger... and I have all the tools to break her.

She pushed me way too far. Once we're all alone in her rundown tattoo parlor, Sage will have no choice but to submit to my revenge.

There is just one problem... I'm still crazy for her.

Can I resist her? Who will win the ultimate battle of wills?

This is a standalone novella with HFN, no cheating, and no cliffhanger. It's a dark tale and a twisted second chance love story of two former high school enemies.

The book contains steamy situations, scenes of violence and is intended for a mature audience. It is not a safe story.

All the characters are over 18 years old.

Author's Note: The story was was originally published in 2016 under the name The Brat With The Phoenix Tattoo. It's the same story, only with improved editing and a new title.

First published August 29, 2016

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About the author

Lilah E. Noir

16 books257 followers
Lilah E. Noir is an author of erotic novels and psychological stories with an edge and a dark vibe to them. Her work has elements of taboo, seduction, different aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, with a touch of romance and tenderness.

If you love flawed characters, submissive alpha females, unconventional dominant heroes, angst, emotional darkness, lots of kinky sex scenes her books might be your kind of pleasure.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews
Profile Image for Monique.
420 reviews155 followers
October 23, 2017
4.5 'revenge' stars

I get this book for free on BookFunnel. Thanks so much to Lilah for sharing her book!

The Brat With The Phoenix Tattoo is the first book by Lilah E. Noir I've read and I loved it. The book is not long, it's more like a novella, but characters are amazingly introduced. We are thrown in the middle of the 'action' when Paul and Sage meet again after 5 or 10 years. There are glimpses of their students' lives that help us understand their relationship. The story is told from Paul's POV. I liked his character's development, how he changed in these years. Well, most of the time he is still an asshole, but in a kind of adorable way. I would like to know more about Sage's feelings and what exactly she thinks about Paul. Their sexy times are scorching hot and very kinky, but there is also a little sweetness at the end.
It can be read as a standalone or the first in the series. The ending is satisfying, but I crave more. So, I want next book soon now, pretty please!
Profile Image for Valentina.
1,030 reviews279 followers
June 22, 2021
3.25 stars

A novella that is largely BDSM-themed and not really bully. An outwardly socially awkward Paul re-encounters a confident Sage with whom he has a turbulent history. They were both students, and he became her tutor, but she never failed to challenge him and put her brainiac tutor ill at ease. Years later, this hero re-encounters her, but now in a power exchange of revenge for which Paul is in full, experienced Dom mode.

I think this story is best read for the BDSM flavor of the present rather than the history. Quite a bit of frequent, and for me less desirable, return to the past coupled with a lot of inner monologue and I couldn't tie a connection to the overarching story, the couple's dynamic, or experience the progression of their relationship. I could not feel the chemistry despite the welcomed steaminess. I did like Paul -- a lot, this sort of grouchy, tortuous, dominant: intelligent and sexy. He definitely demonstrated the winning merits of quiet, skilled strength, and turning the tables.

Overall, if you're interested in a BDSM read with a distinctive (deliciously unbalanced) hero whose simmering thoughts and feelings are painted for the reader, this may be the book for you.
Profile Image for Kelly Gregory.
1,428 reviews21 followers
June 12, 2021
This had so much potential but for me it fell a Little flat....it just lacked a plot. Most of the book was an internal monologue of dark thoughts for the MMC Paul, and his feelings about revenge on a girl he used to know. I just failed to connect with him and ended up skipping sections, only for him and said girl to end up in a Dom/sub relationship after just one sexual encounter. There was no chemistry, angst or emotion.

The sex scene was kinky and heavy on bdsm which was probably the highlight of the book, which is why I would class this as more of a short erotic book, rather than a bully romance.

If you are after a short novella which focuses around one very heavy sex scene then I'm sure you will love this, it just wasn't for me!!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Grant Leishman.
Author 15 books145 followers
February 6, 2017
Well, I've previously dipped my toes into the erotica genre and found it fascinating, a little bit exciting but very interesting, up till now. With Lilah E. Noir's Summer (The Brat With the Phoenix Tattoo #1), I think we can say I've dived headlong into the world of kink and depravity. Forget your 50-Shades, if you want heart-pulsing BDSM, domination, toys, the works, then I wouldn't go past this book, the first of what we're promised is a series focused on the relationship between Paul and Sage.
Summer, takes place eight years after Paul and Sage had their first sexual encounter back in high-school. Paul was the archetypal geek and Sage, the stereotypical, white, trailer-trash, slut. Forced to tutor Sage in Maths, Paul makes a bet with her that will change his life forever.
I liked the author's technique of flashing back between what occurred between the pair at high-school and the current situation, with Paul, as a rising, successful, actuary and Sage, the owner of a struggling tattoo studio. We start to see where Paul's dominant nature began to develop and we get a great feel for the impact that event made on his life.
This book is truly not for the faint-hearted. The steamy, erotic scenes are absolutely that - hard, descriptive, and to the point. I felt myself cringing inwardly at times and almost wanting to shout out the "safe word", to get Paul to stop. That having, been said, I found the authors writing addictive.
Within its genre, Summer is a wonderful start to what promises to be an enthralling series. A good Job Ms Noir and five well-earned stars for Summer.
Profile Image for Stefani.
4 reviews2 followers
June 21, 2021
To Break A Devil by Lilah E. Noir starts off letting you know loud and proud what it's going to be presenting, and that is a dark BDSM romance in short novella form. The story centers around revenge. Paul suffered what he considers a humiliation at the hands of Sage their senior year of high school. Since that day, he has dreamt of nothing but inflicting pain, forcing Sage to suffer the same shame. She’d beg for release when he teased her; she’d submit, she’d be defiled, and she’d succumb. What Paul did not realize is that the old adage, “the best laid plans” often rings true. While Sage fits the submissive role perfectly, he quickly discovers that he might not want just one night, this might be forever.

Overally, this was a well written little erotic short story. I could have used a little more descriptions when it came to the actual sex. Some acts are very graphically described and others a little more vague. I give Noir absolute kudos for her research into the BDSM culture. Either she’s familiar with the community, is a practitioner, or just good at her research. I think she was spot on with some areas such as aftercare, dub-con, props, toys, etc.

While the book is a dark romance, and some of the aspects are borderline violence laced, the main character is aware of the boundaries and in a couple instances begs forgiveness for bending a few of the hardline rules. He displays guilt for not being as outwardly obvious about his intent, which is refreshing for this genre. Sage is described as a well versed submissive who while surprised at the new and improved Paul, has some secrets of her own when it comes to their past.

If you are looking for a quick tie me up..i mean pick me up this one’s a definite recommend.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Emma K.
58 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2021

This is my first read by Lilah E. Noir and I took a chance with this book but was pleasantly surprised. I knew it contained BDSM, which is not really my thing, but I decided to give it a try anyway and expand my horizons. Although the BDSM didn't really speak to me, I didn't have a problem with any of it, so I am rating the book as if I were more of a BDSM fan (it is fair this way as the reader is clearly warned about the content).

Besides the sexual scenes, I actually found the story very interesting. The characters were well developed, especially for a novella, and we got a lot of insight into their personalities, their pasts and their feelings. Both Paul and Sage are damaged people struggling with certain aspects of their daily lives. We see how they evolved from their teenage years to the present, as well as during the night itself. For a novella that takes place in such a short time frame - one night and morning in the present, and a couple of flashbacks to their final year of school - it keeps the reader surprisingly captivated.

Furthermore, I appreciated that not everything is explicitly spelled out and that the book leaves quite a bit to the readers' imagination, such as the extent of Sage's difficult home life growing up, or how Paul & Sage's relationship develops in time. We are left with a HFN but not a HEA, which means that we each get to decide how they end up in the long run.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this novella's character development and original plot, and would recommend it, particularly to anyone who is into BDSM.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Cynthia Mejia.
290 reviews54 followers
June 20, 2021
Ooh…so…this book. Hmm. Where do I begin? I went into the story a little blind because I didn’t read the blurb (my own fault) and let me tell you. I had so many OMG moments. To Break A Devil was definitely a surprise. It was a steamy, fast burn surprise that left me wanting for more of Paul and Sage’s story.

Paul and Sage knew each other when they were younger, as much as you can know another person at that age. They both left an impression on the other. For Paul, Sage broke his heart when she disappeared from his life leaving him yearning for more of the connection he thought they had shared. For Sage, Paul was the boy who, without even knowing, challenged her to succeed in more than just school. Years later, fate brings them back together. Paul’s desire for revenge creates a smoldering scene between the two of them. Sparks fly and their chemistry explodes. I guess that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano (yes…that song played in my head when I thought of these two characters).

I loved the push and pull between these characters. I loved that the story touched on the complex layers that make up a person. I loved that there was an element of danger in Paul, like a true predator. And that Sage was more than just prey. I would be remiss if I didn’t issue a warning because there was one moment (or two) in the story where consent was a bit dubious (the aforementioned OMG moments). This story offers an exploration of BDSM, with a touch of stalking, and a lot of steam! I enjoyed the story of Paul and Sage and I would truly like to get more of these two!
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.4k reviews151 followers
June 23, 2021
Paul is a man who has quite the inner monologue but he didn't impress me as a bully to be honest but I found myself feeling for him. I will say that he could hold a grudge like a champ so when he sees a woman named Sage, who he feels wronged him so he's on a journey to make her pay for it. As this story does highlight Paul's inner monologue so much, I didn't quite feel any emotional connection between he & Sage despite all the heat they generated but that's just me. The sexy times are hot, Paul grew on me, loved me some Sage, and it was an easy read for me with the short(ish) length, but I'm 100% dark & twisty plus it takes a lot for me to be horrified so please heed the warnings & if you want to brave it, you know what to do! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! 
Profile Image for Sarah Stein.
Author 52 books515 followers
March 31, 2017
This book was a bit longer than the last two I read. It had an amazing story line causing me to become instantly attached to Paul and Sage. He was an intelligent good boy, and she was the polar opposite. There were some major steamy moments where I couldn't put the book down. Those scenes, hot!! Hands down one of Lilah's best.
1,200 reviews10 followers
June 14, 2021
Dark revenge BDSM scene
Warning: There is dubious consent in the main scene, raw and gritty BDSM
It sometimes bothers me that people review based on the negative feelings aroused by the book rather than the product produced. For what this book purports to be, it has done its job. This is a very dark and sizzling story which is basically a revenge scene that had been building for years. Well-written, well-edited, page-turner steamy story.
For over 8 years Paul Skyler has been fantasizing about Phoenix, the girl he tutored in HS and on this particular day he had his plan for his revenge. While at work he is jokingly called “Paul the Cyborg” but what they don’t know is his Dom alter ego. Oh. My. Word. The author begins with one of Paul’s fantasies!!! We’re prepared when Sage Phoenix enters the picture after Paul accidentally finds her again. Get ready for a wild ride…
I loved it. If you like dubcon with lots of sizzle that ends with an HFN, minimum, read this book! I volunteered to review an ARC of this book through Booksprout.
Profile Image for The Smutbrarians.
2,235 reviews1,733 followers
June 17, 2021
Feels 0
Steam 5
Storyline 3
Overall Rating 3
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Robin

I would definitely heed the warning on this novella. I read a lot of dark or BDSM or bully romance. To me...there was nothing romantic about this story. I would more categorize this story as dub-consensual BDSM revenge erotica. Paul is a bit unstable and obsessed with payback against a bratty, artsy girl named Sage that he tutored in high school. If you like that type of erotica, this is a dark, titillating dubious-consent, punish the bratty girl by using BDSM elements tale. But for me...there was no romance...dark or otherwise. I found the short story entertaining for the category I mentioned.
Profile Image for Wendy Livingstone.
15.2k reviews150 followers
June 21, 2021
This is a new author to me, and I will certainly be looking out for her work in the future. Paul and Sage meet in high school when he was tutoring her and have not seen each other for the past 8-years. Sage is not the owner of a struggling tattoo shop, and Paul is a successful actuary, and he has been fantasizing for the past 8-years on dishing out revenge against her. This is a quick read and is a dark and twisted tale, with BDSM scenes which are with dubious consent, and with violence. Revenge, and is a steamy read. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Profile Image for Robin Powers.
1,422 reviews28 followers
June 16, 2021
I would definitely heed the warning on this novella. I read a lot of dark or BDSM or bully romance. To me...there was nothing romantic about this story. I would more categorize this story as dub-consensual BDSM revenge erotica. Paul is a bit unstable and obsessed with payback against a bratty, artsy girl named Sage that he tutored in high school. If you like that type of erotica, this is a dark, titillating dubious-consent, punish the bratty girl by using BDSM elements tale. But for me...there was no romance...dark or otherwise. I found the short story entertaining for the category I mentioned.
2,298 reviews14 followers
June 18, 2021

Exorcism or Eros?

Deliciously dubious, but oh so hot, this story is perfect when you need a quick hot read. I loved the juxtaposition between the past and the present, and how these two broken people might just be able to heal together. And between the two of them, which is the “devil”? wink, wink.
Profile Image for Nora Khattab.
25 reviews1 follower
September 8, 2017
the book was an amazing journey.
most of the erotic book I have read were  more focusing on sex scenes rather than making the plot or the characters better but not this book I really liked it,  not from all the erotic parts but also more the witting style and how well done from the start you  have any mysterious guy having a fantasy inside his head there was no introduction  of character, at first you can't understand what is going on there and you just have to keep reading until the pieces fall right together and the puzzle is solved, not all the authors can make it right like this one
it kept the book mysterious and you just have to keep reading non stoping (that's what happened to me )
I enjoy how the story time changes  form present to the past at the end of every chapter you keep hanging on and wanting to  know what next in the both timelines
it wasn't cliché for me  at all and the erotic parts were a little too much for me if you're considering reading this book, I encourage you to be opened minded if BDSM and erotic romance isn't your typical face.
Profile Image for Debra.
344 reviews4 followers
September 28, 2017
Wow I did not know what to expect from this book, I did not read the bio first, I loved the cover, I love tattoos.
This is book is complex with a roller coaster effect on your feelings.
Our main character Paul I found hard to relate to' but he did grow on me by the end of the story, and I must admit his dominance once established was a turn on.
Sage I loved, the more we get to know her sassy independence the more appealing she is.
Both have issues, both damaged in thier own way.
This is a book I would definitely recommend, be sure though it is sexually explicit, not for he faint hearted, the journey into the Phsyci of the individual characters keeps me you on edge.
The sexual content is intense, but leaves you panting right along with Paul and Sage. It has bdsm content plus.
It does have a happy ending. No cliffhanger.
This is my own thoughts and feelings, I have not been influence in any way to leave a positive review but I feel this deserves it. I was gifted this book ..
Profile Image for Lilah.
Author 16 books257 followers
June 7, 2021
Reviews from Amazon:
"What excites me about this story, is that we're seeing the author step out of her comfort zone and try new things. Her characters are new and fresh, complex and challenging. A lot of the action in the books focuses on activities she had declared off limits in other works. What I really enjoy about this story is her use of subtlety in developing the characters. There are some recurring themes, for example the heroine has a hang up that I've seen before in other works by this author. I wish we had gotten a chance to get to know the heroine better, but hopefully we'll get that in the sequels."

"This is the first book I have had the pleasure of reading by Ms. Noir, and it will definitely not be the last. Loved the characters and the storyline was a excellent!!! Can't wait to read the next book!!"
Profile Image for Rhonda Hicks.
3,933 reviews66 followers
April 27, 2019
Obviously, I'm late to the party with this one but have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lilah E. Noir takes us back to high school with Sage and Paul. She's the stereotype of an airheaded bimbo with her short skirts, tight tops and no bra - he's the math guru in charge of tutoring her. Neither secure enough within themselves to verbally communicate their feelings or what they're experiencing it escalates into harsh words and a bet for prom night. This was such an emotionally and mentally challenging interaction between the two. The BDSM scene was with a dubious consent but also HOT as blue blazes. By the end of the encounter, we do have the talk between our two characters about safe, sane and consensual along with the use of a safe word. What we have is a Happy For Now ending unless Ms. Noir points me in the direction of the remaining three stories.
Profile Image for A.M. Manay.
Author 11 books189 followers
May 23, 2017
This BDSM tale is more complex than most of what seems to be out there in the genre. By turns sweet, cruel, dark, and touching, it is never boring. Sage and Paul have a history of mutual torment as teens that comes back with a vengeance when Paul spots Sage after many years. The first person point of view from Paul’s perspective is quite effective, and the flashbacks were far more emotionally affecting than I anticipated. As for technical execution, there are a few errors, but not enough to detract from the enjoyment of the work. And if you’re looking for heat, the author brings it. Overall, well done. Looking forward to the sequel.
Profile Image for Pandora Spocks.
Author 25 books141 followers
September 24, 2016
Twisted Tale of Revenge

Paul is a man set on revenge. More specifically, he's obsessed with the idea of doling out payback to Sage Phoenix, the girl who took his V-card back in high school and left him humiliated. When he happens to spy her working in her own tattoo shop, he sets his plan in motion. But there are unforeseen complications; nothing is ever that simple.

The Brat with the Phoenix Tattoo is the first book in a new series by Lilah E. Noir. It's sexy as hell and completely intriguing--can't wait for the next one! Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Ron.
3,553 reviews11 followers
June 24, 2019
Sage and Paul had been a not quite an item in high school. Paul had tutored Sage in math while Sage tormented him with snark and smart remarks. And then there was the Prom incident. Years later, Paul discovered Sage running a tattoo parlor in the city where he lived. After obsessing over this for several weeks, Paul took along a few of his toys and visited Sage at closing time to finally resolve the issues raised on that long-ago Prom date. A dark romance that has a half-way happy ending.
Profile Image for Nola Arganbright.
1,590 reviews28 followers
February 7, 2017
So much more than I was expecting

There was so much more depth to this story than I anticipated. The complete book is about the interaction between two people which have the author so much room to expand their characters. There are some very dark places of intense and sadistic BDSM scenes.
The writing was excellent and the book was very mesmerizing.
Profile Image for crazyyummy.
518 reviews
June 10, 2021
3.25 ⭐⭐⭐

To Break A Devil is a novella that centers around Paul & Sage. In this book, it basically tells the story of the past and present relationship of these two. It all started when Paul was forced to tutor Sage even tho he hated girls like her. Even so, he couldn't shake the desire that he felt for Sage. When he finally got to have her, she humiliated him. Years later, they met again and Paul decided to give Sage the punishment she deserves.

Let me tell you, this book has a lot of potentials but it didn't give me the buzz that I want. I liked the ''enemies to lovers'' aspect in this book cause they really couldn't stand each other. Like seriously, Paul was extremely mean to Sage that I felt like wanting to punch him in the face (LOL). Even so, I don't really feel the romance between these two. It feels more as if they are in lust more than in love. Well, I can't really complain much since this book is short for any development. However, I did enjoy it one way or another. If you're into erotica/BDSM, then I recommend you to read this book.

ARC provided in exchange for honest review ~
Profile Image for Renata Gill.
1,359 reviews9 followers
August 25, 2021
If you love romances that are twisted and dark and aren't easily offended then this book is for you.
There are elements of BDSM in this book that cross the line and go way beyond being consentful.
The scenes are hardcore and intense and might seem violent....choking, electric play, nipple play just to name a few.
The story is about two high school enemies. Paul finally gets his chance for revenge qgainst Sage for humiliating him 8 years ago.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
148 reviews
June 11, 2018
Hot, intense and disturbing

Now that was definitely a dark thrill ride. Rather sadly I should have gone to sleep an hour ago but I couldn't put it down. Darkly erotic, funny, clever and totally engaging , I read with my heart in my mouth ... occasionally flinching. Great ending, enhanced by the emotional depth. Thank you for the experience. I very much look forward to reading the next instalment.
458 reviews2 followers
June 21, 2021
Short steamy story, well written and catchy. Since seeing Sage again, Paul can think of nothing but revenge. In flashbacks we can read why he thinks he deserves revenge. When the time comes, things don’t go as he and Sage expected. Although Sage and Paul have been cruel to each other at times, they are also touching together. Nice in between book

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for J. Ockenhouse.
1,739 reviews12 followers
June 22, 2021
Straight up exactly what I want when I want dark bully/erotica.

The best plan for revenge takes these two on a ride where revenge drives and steam-up-my-reader wild se* is right along side. If you're looking for a book to work you up with dark and to let your body enjoy the fruits of intense se* that makes you feel like you ran 50 miles than you are going to enjoy Paul and Sage. I received an ARC for an honest and voluntarily review.
5 reviews1 follower
June 22, 2021
I found this book to be more thoughts then action. The author spent too much time in Paul's mind rather then actions. The story needed depth and felt it was rushed. Everything happened in the course of 24 hours. Now to the good part. The dominance he showed with Sage was very good by making her beg like she did to him in the past

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
37 reviews
June 22, 2021
Wow, it was like having the volume on full blast from beginning to end! This book's dom/sub eroticism is as close as one can get, before jumping off the pages and becoming reality. If you are looking for Shades of Grey, this is, perhaps, not for you. The harder core moments can get under your skin, but if you are reading To Break a Devil, isn't that what you want?

I received a free copy of this book on BookSprout and am volunteering fairly leaving a review.
Profile Image for Yoneidis.
1,887 reviews7 followers
October 17, 2021
Paul and Sage’s story dates back to high school when he was forced to tutor Sage. Which is not good for him since Sage doesn’t take the class seriously, and she seems to be more concerned with provoking and seducing men.
But now some time later, and after what happened at prom night between them, Paul comes Bach to her life to make her pay.
It has always been said that revenge is a dish that is served cold, but in this case is very 🔥🔥🔥.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews

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