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I was naïve to think my marriage to Luka Catano might work.
I was infatuated with him from afar…
Until I met him.
He loved the challenge of his next conquest, anyone would do...
Except me.
A wife was never something he wanted.

Torturous was not a strong enough word to describe how I felt when I was in a room with Luka. Besides hating nearly every word that came out of his mouth, I also drowned with lust every time I looked at him.

At times I thought he might feel the same.

But nothing prepared me for what his family would make me become.

*There will be four books in the Kingdoms of Sin series. Each book can be read as a standalone though there are interconnecting characters.*

Book 1: Downfall is LIVE! (Luka and Eden)
Book 2: Exposed January 9, 2020 (Mara and Elias)
Book 3: Ruin March 5, 2020 (Ava)
Book 4: May 7, 2020 (Jadon)

First published October 17, 2019

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About the author

Willow Aster

37 books3,044 followers
Willow Aster is a USA Today Bestselling Author of emotional, angsty love stories with a side of quirk. She is co-writer of The End of Men series with Tarryn Fisher and co-writer of the G.D. Taylors series with Laura Pavlov.

Website: http://www.willowaster.com/

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/willowastera...

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/willowaster/

Living in the Pages podcast with our favorite authors: https://apple.co/2FraLVV


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5 stars
381 (27%)
4 stars
412 (30%)
3 stars
357 (26%)
2 stars
124 (9%)
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89 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 305 reviews
Profile Image for Ellie.
535 reviews138 followers
December 26, 2019
I've heard it all now

J. F. C.

I've read some seriously ridiculous, lame and intelligence-insulting reasons for characters to justify all sorts of bad acts, but this one takes the biscuit. Not sure I've run across an excuse like this before and I'm kinda gobsmacked.

Stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled.

Seriously. Stop.
If you continue, don't blame me if you learn something you don't want to know.
I warned you.

The outstanding soul that is the "hero" in this bizarre little tale about a make-believe kingdom, CHEATS on the lame-duck heroine multiple times with the same woman. He first rubs her face in it, but she's sooo smitten by him she lets him shag her.
The H catches some hint of feelings and starts to feel guilt in the lump of coal he calls a heart. Does he stop with the side-piece?
He sneaks around behind the h's back.
Oh, did I mention that they are married? It's an arranged marriage but still.
Anyway, he comes clean and the princess of stupid takes him back because, ya know, she luuuvs him.
So there's some half-arsed suspense in the story about warring kingdoms and treaties and blah, blah, blah. And the h's family is targeted. The H leaves her to go tend to 'family business' and within days is in the tabloids again, carrying on with his ex.
He humiliates the h over and over with his behaviour, making her look 10 times the fool and she files for divorce.
He won't grant it. Then the ex falls pregnant - supposedly - and the divorce is basically a done deal.

But then, after a big reveal about the H's family, he comes back, hat in hand, professing his deep and undying love for the h. The whole thing was staged to overthrow a corrupt king. Except...
in order to protect the h and make it believable - and also because his manhood was being called into question - he shags the ex.
That's right. He f*cked his ex because he loved his wife so. bloody. much.

And the heroine? She barely blinks. She takes him back and spreads her legs almost immediately.
What a g*damned disgrace to women.

This is not romance in any form as far as I'm concerned. It's crap, and I began to fear for the safety of my brain cells. I only kept on because it was all so ridiculous I was SURE the h was going to grow a spine.
Didn't happen.

Happy reading, folks.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for  ⚔Irunía⚔ .
411 reviews3,170 followers
April 19, 2020
The beginning was so promising...
This book has 2 things I cannot stand: cheating hero and forgiving spineless heroine.
I am a bit upset the author decided to taint their story by cheating. I really liked the playful side of the hero and his pursue of the heroine (until he had to spoil it all) and
the writing style was good and engaging so...
Waste of time
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,360 reviews1,442 followers
October 19, 2019
4.5 “I’m Yours” Stars!
(ARC provided by Wildfire Marketing Solutions)

-“This mouth is my downfall. You are my downfall. I’m willing to dive headlong into oblivion as long as you’re on the other side.”

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Eden Safrin is the princess of Farrow. A strikingly beautiful, elegant, innocent royal who was raised and groomed to be the perfect wife, and one day a queen. She's headed to Kings Passage University in Pravia where students from around the world get their education. It's a place for higher learning for the wealthy, elite, and royal. She's excited to finally have some freedom, but mostly is looking forward to meeting her future husband she knows nothing about. She's always known Prince Luka Catano of Niaps would be her destiny. Their parents agreed to an arrangement that would benefit both their countries, and believed they would be a good match.

Eden is hoping they can spend some time together where they won't feel like complete strangers, but Luka has other ideas. The confident, arrogant, playboy seems to think the world revolves around him. He will do his duty, but he's resentful, and not happy about their upcoming union.

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Luka and Eden can't stand one another and clash at every turn. They're like oil and water and have a love/hate relationship from the start. Regardless, they must both accept their fate. Forced to spend time together, the games their playing become exhausting. Soon Luka realizes he's met his match in Eden, and tries to fight the pull between them. When he's near, Eden can't think straight. He's hot and cold. He's awful, moody, and cruel, and then he shows a side that's tender. He makes her feel breathless with one touch. As real feelings develop she can't let herself fall. Suddenly her future is in someone else's hands, and she's in a constant state of confusion and turmoil. Too much is at stake to walk away, but she's left wondering if she's made a huge mistake. Will she be chained to a life of heartbreak, or will Eden finally get her fairy tale?

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-“Your body is a revelation, Eden. I’ve never seen another so beautiful. I’m afraid it will haunt me-“

-“You’re wrecking me. I hope you know, you are annihilating me.”

-“I can’t get you out of my head, Eden.”

-“I think your getting in my blood whether I want you to or not.”

-You...you are an ache in my chest that never goes away.

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Downfall (Kingdoms of Sin, Book #1) by Willow Aster is an enemies to lovers, royal arranged marriage romance full of secrets, lies, action, and angst to the extreme! It's an emotional roller coaster ride that keeps you wanting more. I couldn't put this one down. At times I wanted to scream at Luka, and in the next moment was swooning again. I was completely consumed by this beautiful, unique world of different kingdoms, and can't wait to read more in this series. I hope we get a book for Jadon next!

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Profile Image for Ceara.
140 reviews6 followers
January 7, 2020
I have come to the conclusion that female authors who write cheating "heroes" and have the heroine forgive them (usually pretty easily with no grovel) are writing from their own experiences. That's the only possible way they can romanticize cheating and sex with other women.

So thanks Willow Aster for letting us know through your books that your husband has cheated on you.
Profile Image for Sunshine.
378 reviews25 followers
October 18, 2019

CHEATER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The H cheats on the h once they get married, that's not
the worse part, he cheats on her after he finds out he
loved her. He literally sleeps with the OW, even though
he knew he was in love with the h. And to top it off,
the stupid idiot took him back EVERY TIME without
so much as a grovel.

Profile Image for Jewel Ann.
Author 50 books8,688 followers
October 21, 2019
Willow writes the best characters—ones you love and ones that make you crazy. Downfall had so much push and pull, conflict, and angst. Royal madness!
I loved that she pushed the boundaries with this relationship and didn't play it safe with my heart. Five phenomenal stars for this unputdownable masterpiece!
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,985 reviews682 followers
February 28, 2020
I am such in dilemma giving a rating to this book. Like many other readers, i am appaled at the idea of cheating. Even after the hero and the heroine gets married. I was at 2 stars when I found out Luca cheating during the beginning of his marriage. Even it is marriage of convinience.

Oh and I can not stand the heroine, Amelia. She is such a doormat. Worse, spoil, needy doormat. She feels sorry for herself at the beginning of the story.

Then the plot and twist reveal. Since there is no POV from Luca, it takes a while to love Luca. At the end when he reveals his secret plan, he still can not win my heart over. I really wish the author can give Luca POV so I can understand him better.

The second characters are too much. Some of them do not have significant role on the story.
The narrative is addicting.

After finish listening,I decide to give ot 3 stars. I do enjoy it OK. I give credit to the plot and twist. I think it will be better if I can have Luca's POV.

3 stars
Profile Image for Jac K.
2,097 reviews254 followers
July 15, 2022
This review comes with a disclaimer… actually a couple of them. Caveat 1- I am a HUGE fan of OTT, trashy, soapy reads, and this is like a Dynasty reboot with royals… which I find delicious… but it’s not going to be for everyone.

Is it over dramatic… YES!!
Is it chock-full of assholes… YES!!
Is it set in a whacky world with facetime and sword fighting… YES!!
Is it realistic or safe… Not at all!!

Simply put, I gobbled this down and stayed up until 4am, but this is my jam… I will ALWAYS be down for a trip to Soapy-Town via the Hotmess Express, so keep that in mind.

Caveat 2- There appears to be two different versions of this book. Neither is completely safe, but the current KU ebook seems to have deleted/changed at least two of the cheating scenarios. I only noticed this because I listened to the audiobook (which conflicts with info provided in book 2) and when I went back to the ebook to highlight the section… I realized it was completely different. I’ll put the deets at the end.

So….before getting down to business, I do NOT recommend this to readers that have zero patience for soap-opera shenanigans, are looking for some real feels, or are strict about safety. Moving on…

Like I said above, this series takes place in a wonky modern world where kingdoms rule. We get very little world building (just an intro at the start of the book) and will require a fair amount of just going with it. Some things are very modern (cars, planes, computers, social media), but other parts felt old school. Like them having to light a torch to access the secret tunnel, taking a row boat across a channel, or sword fighting.

Eden is the princess of the north lands and has been betrothed to Luka, the future King of Niaps for a number of years. The book starts with her arriving to a royalty college of sorts where she is to meet Luca for the first time and start getting to know each other. Eden has fantasized about dreamy Luka for years and has high hopes for their future union. Unfortunately, her dreams quickly crash and burn because Luka is an asshole, and he has a girlfriend.

Eden wasn’t a total doormat, but she’s not strong either. I would describe her as a jellybean; she has a tiny bit of a shell on the outside, but it’s easily crushed exposing her gooey center. Basically, she pushes back, tells him she hates him, and doesn’t suffer in silence (I loved that she complained about him to anybody that’d listen), but she’s got a bad case of BBS and rolls over fairly easily. Luka has that I’m a jerk because everyone around me is toxic thing going on. He is VERY hot-and-cold, but spends a lot of the book being an ass. There’re sprinkles of him being caring, but Luka’s gonna require buckets of patience.

The rest is a bumpy road through drama-llama as these two navigate through trope-tastic obstacles. A jerky H, his terrible nasty sister, OW drama from his longtime GF, nasty in-laws, loads of hot-cold antics, espionage, betrayal, and deception.

I really only had two grumps. IMHO, 320 pages is too long for soapy-smut. I love the genre, but a little goes a long way, and after about 200 pages... the drama-llama starts to get old. AND… I felt the ending was too rushed. Even if you read the newer version, I still feel there should’ve been some fallout for them to work through… or at the very least, some time with them reconciling with the stress of his awful sister and the press. It just drops which really sucked.

Bottom Line- This book hooked me in a trainwrecky sort of way… I could not look away. It’s OTT, there’re plot holes galore, but if you’re in the mood for a trashy, soapy-royal read… I recommend it… It’s on KU.

Safety- Most of the interactive OW drama comes from his nasty sister- who is a TOTAL BITCH. (Mara) Princess Nadia (his gf/ex) is mostly a prop. She’s in the background causing stress for Eden, but I don’t believe the two really ever speak, and she isn’t sneering/manipulating like the typical soapy wannabe OW.
Profile Image for Lu Bielefeld .
4,104 reviews475 followers
December 30, 2019
2 ⭐⭐ - Meh!
“How does it feel to only be seen as the uterus of a future prince?” he asks.

“I’m guessing you’re used to being the most beautiful girl in the room. You are very pretty,” he whispers, “but take a look around… you’re just one of many here.”

It doesn’t take long to spot Luka. He’s the one surrounded by all the beautiful girls. A few princesses that I recognize— the paparazzi has hounded all of us since we were born— and a couple of other girls that I don’t.

I want him to come claim me right here, right now, in front of everyone, but he doesn’t.

he turns from me and kisses each girl surrounding him on the cheek. They throw their heads back and laugh at something he says.

“I’m sure it’s no secret by now that I’m not happy about this marriage,” he says,

“I want you to know that I’m looking forward to making every inch of you mine. One day. But we’re not married yet. And know that I will never be yours.”

A girl’s shriek catches my attention and I look across the way to the balcony to the left of mine. Any peace I’d found evaporates when I see Luka’s blond hair. He’s chasing Princess Nadia, one of the girls he was talking to last night— I only know for sure because I researched each girl after I came to my room.

They’re both in their underwear and she’s laughing hysterically.
He catches her and kisses her neck and she laughs harder, hugging him.

“Next time I’m visiting Nadia, why don’t you come over? I’ll let you get a closer look. See the goods you’re purchasing…”

“I should’ve known my dad would give me a pious bitch.”

“But I will not let Thaddeus or any other bastard touch one inch of you, even if that means escorting you to lunch when I could be fucking Nadia.”

I’m momentarily frozen but then straighten my shoulders and ignore Nadia’s table. She’s surrounded by the girls from the first night. They all turn and look at me first then search for Luka, Nadia’s shoulders relaxing when she sees him.

“This is not open to discussion. I will not have you get hurt on my time.” And then he adds under his breath, “Too much money is riding on this.” “You really are a bastard, aren’t you,” I whisper. “Yes. I really am a bastard.

I glance over at Luka and my eyes narrow when he scoots his chair closer to the girl next to him. I don’t recognize her. She’s beautiful. Of course she is.

Jadon sighs. “I think he’s had some sort of relationship with Nadia off and on, but it would never work. And I don’t think he’s interested in anything more than, you know… being a guy.” “You mean fucking around?”

“How about when he signed a contract to be engaged to me? How about then? I guess it’ll be okay then if I just go out and dry hump everyone in sight.” “Eden!”

“You sound like you’re making a business transaction.” I try for a joking tone, but it comes out plaintive. “It’s what we are, right?”

“I knew you were wet for me.” He leans back in his seat, leaving me cold and empty. Mission accomplished.
Humiliated, I turn away from him.

When I’ve sat there for nearly an hour with Luka chatting up the couple next to him and acting as if I don’t exist, I decide to walk to the dance floor. I make the mistake of looking back and see Nadia walk up to Luka. He smiles down at her and I see red.

“I’m not your whore,” I seethe. “Are you sure?” I pull back and slap him. “Get out.” “Eden—” “Go.”

The next day, Nadia is hanging on him again and he lets her. She juts her chest out and he traces his fingers along her neck and down to her cleavage as I walk past them in the corridor.

“Eden is just in shock and doesn’t want to get married in Niaps.” “I don’t want to marry him at all,” I spit out.

“We should come to an agreement now so there’s no confusion later. We’re too young to be married. I want to be honest with you and let you know that I will pursue other interests.”

I’ve dreamed of my wedding countless times in this bed. Now that it’s happening I feel nothing but dread. Naive for thinking anything close to a fairy tale could ever come true.

I’m married— I should be elated, floating on air. But I’m empty. It’s all a lie. A façade. I want to run and never look back. But I can’t. It’s hopeless.

“Your body is a revelation, Eden. I’ve never seen another so beautiful. I’m afraid it will haunt me—” He stops, as if he realizes he’s speaking too freely. “— When you’re with another?” I say it boldly, like it doesn’t shred my heart to say those words.

We both know the last thing you wanted to do was get married, so I didn’t think you’d mind being interrupted on your honeymoon.”

“Don’t get too comfortable here. This isn’t going to last. Nadia deserves him far more than you ever could.”

“Did you know my wife was a virgin when I married her?” he asks, nudging me with his elbow. My eyes widen. “Luka!”

“Can you pass the butter?” I ask him. “Can I?” he repeats. “I thought I told you to get out of my sight.” “What?” “It’s like you can’t take the hint: I. Don’t. Want. To. See. Your. Face.” He takes a long swig of coffee and slams the cup on the table.

I think what hurts the most is that he pretty much admitted he’d been pretending with me. That the times we’ve had sex or when he was affectionate were just him playing a part.

In all that time, I never see or hear from Luka. When he left, he really left.

“He can’t even be bothered to escort me to our reception?”

I hold up my hand. “No one is around right now. Save your lines for when someone else is around to hear them. That’s what tonight is about, correct?” I crinkle my nose. “And seriously, a wet dream? That’s the best you can do?” I shake my head. “Weak, crude imbecile.”

I nearly choke when I see Mara and Nadia laughing at something Luka is saying. He’s smiling— a smile brighter than I’ve seen on him in a while— and Nadia reaches out and grabs his arm as she laughs harder. Mara turns then and sees me looking and her smile gleams with malice.

“I don’t like the way he’s looking at you.” I shrug. “Someone has to look out for me while you fawn all over Nadia. It’s embarrassing.”

“You don’t need to worry about Nadia. It’s… not your concern.” “Not my concern…” I repeat. “Wow. Sometimes I forget how heartless you are.”

“I don’t want you to hear about this from anyone but me,” he finally says, his voice flat. “Pictures have come out of Nadia and me. Incriminating pictures,” he adds. I feel an ache in my chest, but when it hurts too much, I shut it down, shifting into a cold, calm nothing. “Oh. When did you—?” I don’t have to clarify. He knows what I’m asking. “That’s where I was when I left… with Nadia. I—” He stops when Basile quietly leaves the room. “And also the night of Elias’ party.”

“You knew what you were getting into— I told you—” he starts.

“Don’t touch me again. I won’t just be another conquest for you.” I hate so much that I cry when I’m angry, but I am furious right now and the tears threaten to spill over. “You couldn’t at least spare me the embarrassment of cheating on me in our first month of marriage by being discreet?” I

Or are you just missing Nadia so badly, your brain cells have disappeared, along with your integrity?

“I won’t stand in your way. If you want to be with her, go right ahead. Just don’t make the tabloids. I think that’s more than fair. Even your mother and father have figured that out.”

I start to shake as picture after picture shows him entering her apartment, multiple shots of them on her balcony hugging, two of them kissing, and him leaving in the early hours of the morning. And again a few days later… There are more pictures of them the night of Elias’s party.

I frown at him. “He’s humiliated me, whether there are feelings involved or not. No matter what kind of pretense we’re putting out to the world— what kind of start is that to a marriage? I don’t understand why we even came here if he was going to run off and do that.”

At night, images of him with Nadia invade my mind, along with memories of us in his bed, on the beach, in the shower. I wake up, sweating and turned on.

I’ve been such a fool. The hope was building inside me all along. One night with Nadia around crushes all of that.

I can’t fight the truth any longer. The first picture is of Luka and Nadia leaving the hotel we stayed in the night of the charity function. His fingers are threaded through hers and they’re huddled together.

The next article shows a series of her exiting the castle, so the shots are not the best, but it’s clearly her leaving after sleeping over. Luka hugging her goodbye, kissing her, and leaning over the car door when she gets in.

He’s got her on his shoulders in the ocean and Mara is nearby laughing like she doesn’t have a care in the world.

As news of our open marriage fills the airwaves and TV hosts discuss it over coffee on their morning shows, I fold more and more inside myself.

The pictures don’t lie though. His smile is just as bright, if not brighter, as it ever was with me. He has the charm turned up full-throttle in every picture with Nadia by his side. And there are dozens of pictures.

“Even sleep with your ex-girlfriend?” Jadon asks coldly. My face heats, but I can’t look away from Luka. He swallows hard. “I’m not proud of the things I did to get to the truth. I was being watched night and day, I had to make it look convincing. It felt like the whole world was my audience and one wrong move would wreck all the progress I’d made.”

I had sex with her. I’d do it again if it meant saving you.” “How noble of you.”

Profile Image for Jessica Hull.
935 reviews655 followers
October 18, 2019

I really loved the concept behind Downfall and I've also been a huge Willow Aster fan since the beginning. So there was no question of whether or not I'd be diving head first into this royal romance. It sounded exactly like my cup of tea. So I was devestated that I struggled to connect with these characters for the majority of the book. 

My issues are solely with the execution of the story. The plot itself is refreshing and angsty, it just wasn't fleshed out the way I needed it to be. It felt very rushed often, reading like a highlight reel rather than a fluid story rich with detail and depth. Things were kept very surface for my personal taste and I simply need more than that to feel invested. The characters only revealed glimpses of the deeper aspects of their personalities, and as much as I sooooo wanted to GET THEM,  I was held at arms length for the entirety. Because I never felt like I knew them very well, it was very hard for me to buy into any so-called chemistry. 

There's no question Willow Aster is a phenomenal writer, but Downfall unfortunately fell flat for me. I never felt like I was given an opportunity to connect with these characters the way I needed to and therefore remained a spectator of their drama rather than feeling emotionally connected to their love story. Because I never bought into their emotional connection, the sexual nature of their relationship often felt contrived and disingenuous which unfortunately took me out of the story even more. I think readers will probably enjoy this one, I just needed more.
Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
689 reviews13.5k followers
October 17, 2019

I loved it.
I hated it.
I wanted to throw my kindle against the wall.

And OMG! I LOVE feeling like this. This is the good kind of conflicted. This is the I FEEL SO MANY THINGS conflicted. And let me tell you…. The angst, the hero, will make you feel crazy. LMAO! I mean, I have NO WORDS for Luka. I’m still processing all of his drama.

But honestly, this story was like a drug. I started reading and I couldn’t put it down. I read it in less than a day. It was so intoxicating. So beyondddd addicting. The characters… GAH! I HATED the hero for most of the book. The heroine made me want to shake her. But Willow’s writing was so fantastic. I want MORE of this series. I want to keep reading about some of the other characters. I want MORE of this world. It reads like a soap opera royal drama. Tons of scandal and angst and sex and lies and mystery and characters that drive you to feel all the things. It’s an intense back and forth, a juicy read.

If you LOVE books that have flawed characters, that have a messy, chaotic, wild, intriguing storylines, that have dramatic moments, I think you’ll love this. Even with my dislike of the hero, I absolutely LOVED the drama of it all. It’s not deep, it’s not life changing, it’s just pure addicting, romantic drama and I’m absolutely IN for that! I’m also so HERE for more books in the Kingdoms of Sin series. So deliciously addicting
Profile Image for Amy Kulas.
1 review2 followers
October 18, 2019
Left me disturbed

I really liked this book, storyline characters, but I just can't get passed the fact that Luca (Watch out SPOILER!!!).....
Still slept with Nadia, even if it was "supposedly" for a greater good. I just felt that part could have been eliminated from the story. I just can't get past that if you 'truly" love someone you could intentionally sleep with someone else. It didn't matter that he apologized, at that point, the romance was gone for me, and quite frankly Eden even gave in too easily to him. That whole part did not sit well with me, it really was a disappointment. He could have led Nadia on without actually cheating. If that would have been eliminated, I would have given this book 5 stars. It truly left me in a bad mood after reading the book. I'm pretty bummed....😒
Profile Image for Monique.
383 reviews
March 8, 2021
Lol I don't even know how to unpack this and you know what, the cheating wasn't even the reason for this rating, I actually wanted an angsty cheating story and instead I got a really dumb h who truly needs to learn her worth and a H who was such a dumb beta that I just can't with him. He cheats on her so many times that I'm just like...wooooowwwww am I reading this correctly??? And she just keeps taking him back because he "clearly is so in love with you" so in love his dick keeps falling into his exes vagina 😂

The reasons for all the things happening had me seriously just scratching my head...Like, are you serious?? One simple conversation could have avoided all the shit between the H and h. I didn't feel any angst at all over the cheating and the characters were so clearly ripped off from GoT that it was absurd.
Profile Image for Amy.
95 reviews
October 17, 2019
The H is rude, dismissive and cheats on the h, but ends up saying he did it all for her. He wanted to catch her fathers killer. And SHE TAKES HIM BACK a day later. WTF!?!?!??

Quote from the H:
“I didn’t keep having sex with her—it happened once before she wanted to know what the fu@& was wrong with me. I took her to a hotel and told her I’d pay her to keep her mouth shut. She didn’t want the money,” he adds.

Why didn’t he just offer her money in the first place; why did he have to sleep with her!?!?!

This storyline was awful and once again the h is just another doormat.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for hugsandcookies.
952 reviews70 followers
April 27, 2020
Overall, I read this in one day cause that’s how good I couldn’t put it down.

4.5 stars for the angst the annoyance and the frustrations. I’ll have to say this, but I think this is my second book by this author and I’m actually pleased that this one really gave me the feels.

What to expect from this story is about two people that are brought together by an arranged marriage, but be prepared for Luka and Eden for what you would expect is not love and flowers but secrets, lies, I call it cheating, manipulations and not being able to trust. For me, I think, Luka was hands down an @$$ cause for what he did to unravel secrets really made me dislike him even if he redeemed himself is not the way to go about. As for Eden, she was someone that wore her heart on her sleeves and at times I loved her and at times felt annoyed but she had an amazing bodyguard and even her family was awesome and Luka’s uncle too but I can’t speak for his sister and mum.

Profile Image for Betül.
998 reviews242 followers
October 31, 2019
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

This is the third book I read by this author, the first one I couldn't finish so I DNF'ed it, and the second I rated 3 stars. However, I wanted to give this author another try because of the burb of the book. I love the arranged marriage trope, and especially in a contemporary setting. That was the main reason I decided to read this book. It started out really strong. I liked that Luka was a bit of an asshole, and who can really blame him, he is being forced into a marriage. Eden was looking forward to the marriage and had been prepared for this moment for years. However, she wasn't prepared for the hostility. The attraction between them was strong and they both can't deny it, but Luka's mood swings just drove me crazy. I just can't stand when a character acts one way and then the next day the opposite.

I know that it didn't started as a marriage of love but some actions I just can't get passed. I didn't feel connected to the characters, I also didn't feel a connection between them. Their 'love' didn't feel real. I just didn't feel like they spend enough time to get to really know each other. They are both young and it really showed. Some of their behavior was just childish. I liked that Eden grew a backbone eventually and didn't let Luka get away with certain things. I think the premise of the story was interesting, but I didn't think it was executed to its full potential. The characters weren't likable, and I think a dual POV would've at least helped me in understanding Luka better. I did like the sex scenes though.
Profile Image for talon smith.
709 reviews117 followers
September 30, 2019
“Love breaks you apart and puts you back together. It wouldn’t really be love if it didn’t.”

I will admit it to everyone right here and right now-- at first I was very skeptical about this book. I wasn't as excited as I typically am with a Willow Aster book. The cover is one that I am not normally drawn to nor do I ever read a lot of books that involve "ab" covers but I will also admit to every one after saying that, that this book and the inside of it is SO much more than what is on the cover. 

Traveling to this new world with Willow was quite exciting for myself. I'm not used to this type of direction from her, but I'm buckling up my seat-belt in her passenger seat and taking this wild ride with her! There were some parts that made me blush, made me angry, and made me curse out-loud. But that is what made this one great in my opinion. The feelings I felt throughout, the anger, angst, and want 

The story as a whole was very engaging, the characters were interesting, and the setting was so vivid the entire time I was reading I was picturing myself inside of it as I read it. I think Willow is the only author that can make me enjoy a book such as this one and I think she did a damn good job on the first book of this standalone series.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,513 reviews814 followers
October 9, 2019
My cherry popper form Willow, who I met in virginia this past summer. She's warm and gracious and writer of unique reads. This story is about promises and family honors.
Luka Catano of Niaps is an entitled Prince. His demeanor is arrogant and authoritative to say the least and he loves to play the field like a true spoiled prince.
His bride to be is Eden Safrin of Farrows.
Both are unwilling participants and looks to me as sacrificial lambs being led to the slaughter.
Eden is a girl and naturally submissive while Luka is a hell raiser and rude
He was a jackass from first scene to the last. Vicious and unforgiving with his words and treatment.
Eden has family at stake and her parents to obey so was more spineless than I would care to admit
The story was good, a but dry for me, the writing was good but didn't engage me much, but please go ahead and read it
4 stars
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Profile Image for Sbell.
921 reviews53 followers
October 22, 2019
I soo wanted to love this book, and in the
beginning I did. Ms. Aster creates a kingdom,
and I loved it. Both Eden and Luka intrigued
me and I just wanted more. Luka was so
bad and that is what drew me to him.
I wanted to read more, I wanted to
see what made him tick. I liked Eden too.
She was put in a position that most would
not be able to handle and I think she
did it well. Until.....we find out that Luka
has been cheating on Eden. So okay, I
get past that. I want to understand, so
I make myself believe the reasoning. I
was like okay, I get it. They did not have
control over their lives, so I will give him
this pass. He sees the error of his ways and
he is ALL IN WITH EDEN. So intrigue comes
into play, Aden pushes Eden away for her
own good, and happily ever after here we come!
Until....during his explanation to Eden about
why he had to distance himself from her,
he drops another bomb. He cheated on
her again, WITH NADIA, the same woman
he cheated on her with before, because he
had to earn her trust. I literally saw RED.
This book could have been amazing. But
that second time he cheated just did me in.
Also, Eden wasn't especially mad about it.
I mean it was like she accepted it. No WTF
moment or anything. This book went from
5 star to 1 or less very quickly. I will not be
reading the other books in this series.
Profile Image for Carol***BeautyandtheBeastlyBooks.
1,752 reviews153 followers
October 21, 2019
4.5 stars

***ARC received in exchange of an honest opinion***

Oh, the level of angst in this book is exactly what I needed and I can always count on Willow Aster to bring it.

Downfall has some of my favorite tropes: marriage of convenience, new adult kind of romance and royals. Also, did I mentin it has lots o angst??! I so appreciate that, because finding real angsty romances has been hard lately.

I am so glad I got to read this book, because it gave me all the chills I like when I read a great book and I LOVED every minute of my time spent reading it!

I feel like this story will stay with me for a while and I cannot let go of it. I might re-read it soon, because it was just my kind of book.

The hero was a jerk, my favorite kind. And there's some redemption for him. The heroine, while clueless at some points, was very relatable and I could put myself on her place during the whole story, even though the story is certainly fictional.

This book is so different from Willow’s previous work and I think she set a great tone for this new series of hers, with engaging characters, alluring plotlines, funny banters and the best kind of romance. I’m really impressed and I cannot wait for more (although I will miss Luka and Eden)!
Profile Image for Lindsey  Domokur.
1,367 reviews103 followers
August 6, 2021
I read this book in one sitting. It isn't your typical Willow Aster book, it is a new direction for her and I am loving it. Even with the new direction though, there are elements of the book that are so Willow. She has such a way with words and I absolutely love her writing. Now that I have calmed down from the excessive angst and heart palpitations, I am able to write this review. First of all, Luka was a jerk. I wanted to punch him so many times in the face that I lost count. While I understand all the things he did and why he did them, I still didn't like him at the end of the book. The real kicker is that Luka is what kept me reading. He is the reason I didn't put this book down. I wanted to see why he was doing all of the things he was doing. I never knew who to trust and that kept me reading for more and more. I can't wait to read more books in this series! I am so excited! ANGST LEVEL HIGH.
Profile Image for Nicole*bookaholic*.
494 reviews24 followers
October 5, 2019
This book was so unexpected. Plays out in our time. But has prince's and princesses and diff countries. It was hot and steamy. Strong female character. Sexy male character. 4.5/5 I was given this as an arc copy for an honest review. And it was a great book.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,120 reviews13.6k followers
June 2, 2021
What a delicious enemies to lovers story!

“Hell. I’m in hell. I gave my body to a monster. Not just once or twice, but countless times. He fed my cravings like I was starving, and I was—I wanted him beyond all reason. And in return I spoonfed my soul to him at the expense of all sanity. I knew who he was. Didn’t I?”

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a story with a good “Alphahole” in it. Luka definitely did not disappoint. The more he infuriated me, the more I HAD to keep reading. I love Willow’s writing. This story was so engaging full of twists and turns, that I couldn’t help but stay locked in. Did I mention the hotness and se*ual tension that oozed from its pages—Oh yeah!!

“Anything worth saving goes through a few battles first, it’s just the way of life.”

“Love breaks you apart and puts you back together. It wouldn’t really be love if it didn’t.”

Onto the second book!!
Profile Image for Chelsea .
631 reviews87 followers
December 2, 2019
2.5 Stars!

I must say that I was a bit disappointed with this book. Although it does promise to be an angsty read, it kind of felt choppy.. frustrating? Yes.

In the end, I cannot stomach what he did, even if his intentions were good. I don't know if I could live with it. I mean, come on, there are other ways!

In my opinion, this wasn't Ms Aster's best work... but still, I would read her work in the future.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jen.
797 reviews117 followers
September 30, 2019
Book crack!! Willow Aster is a writing goddess and Downfall had me sucked in from start to finish. I loved Luka and Eden’s story. Filled with angst, fantastic writing, and heat, you won’t want to put it down! Loved it!!
Profile Image for Lien.
286 reviews217 followers
Shelved as 'pass'
February 26, 2020
Please don't be a doormat heroine 🙏
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