Hash-tags : #autisticheroine #betahero #consent #smexy #twattyex #funny #ownvoices Content warning – cancer, mental abuse within a domestic relationship.
Heroine – Ruth, a curvy black heroine with autism, a spiky twin and a fondness for wearing pajamas. I loved her.
Hero – Evan. Beta. A former military man who likes to feed people and is possibly one of the loveliest heroes I’ve read about.
I loved this book. I loved reading about Ruth and this is one of the best representation of a neurodivergent person I’ve ever read in romance. She isn’t ashamed of herself nor does she feel the need to try to conform. She announces her autism, openly talks about the situations she struggles to navigate and doesn’t allow anything to limit her. She owns her autism, it doesn’t own her. I would even go so far as to say she is the Alpha in this relationship and I loved her. There is some head-jumping, to ensure we get both sides of the romance, but it works well.
When we first meet Ruth, she has become the town pariah because the town darling has decided that that is the role she is to play. Tired of attempting to fit into a world that won’t accept her (due to the aforementioned town darling, who is actually a douche) she lives in her pajamas (they feel good), doesn’t really socialise unless she has to (as people are dicks) and generally accepts that people are awful. She doesn’t want to let Evan in but he uses her stomach to worm his way in and then she doesn’t want him to leave. Her character development over the course of this story is immense and I found myself grinning like a loon during the last few chapters.
Evan is a Beta hero and that works so well in this book. He accepts her autism without a blink. He factors it into their relationship, but he doesn’t allow it to colour his view of her; as far as he is concerned, she is just the hot, fascinating neighbour who loves to read comics. I loved him from the moment he turned up with a Shephard’s Pie, as a peace-offering to his new neighbour, right up to the point he doesn’t try to interfere when she deals with her dickhead ex, even though he was dying to try to play the white – knight. He is lovely.
This is a slow burn romance of the best kind. They are never really friends, their chemistry too pronounced, but there is a delicious anticipation about the whole thing and it takes an absolute age for them to start any sort of physical relationship. There are another two things I would like to give this book credit for, alongside the wonderful, positive representation of a character with Autism. It has a scene normalising menstruation, a rare thing for romance (seriously, heroines never had periods unless as a device to show how caring the heroes are when they don’t expect sex and give a cuddle???). It also contains multiple examples of explicit consent. There is no blurred lines, or mind-reading, as nothing is assumed and consent is asked for a touch, a kiss and sexual contact. I loved it.
This is a slow-burn romance featuring an autistic heroine and a wonderful beta hero. It’s fun, sexy and features all the things a good romance should have. I enjoyed....more
I requested the book because of the author. I have adored Shelly Laurenston for an eon and all her books are fabulously funny. She writes ridiculously out there heroines who are brimming with snark and, although they can be silly, the books have never failed to make me laugh.
This book focuses on three criminal, honey-badger sisters who are trying to survive whatever ridiculous situation their dead-beat father throws their way. Their family doesn’t accept them due to their hybrid natures, their community struggle with them as honey-badger hybrids had never been seen before so they had only each other to rely on.
This book centers around Charlie, the big sister with the responsibilities of protecting her genius sister from the world and protecting the world from her sociopath sister. Throughout the book, she has to navigate these duties whilst protecting them all from their awful Father (he really is awful). There is a whole heap of world-building to do setting up the back story of these sisters, which means, unfortunately, the romance content is limited however it does mean this book is absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed dipping into the bear/honey-badger world – and it’s always fun to see familiar favorites (Cella and Dee-Ann are in here – I love these two!).
The male protagonist in this book is Berg, the bear shifter. A triplet, he is used to being around siblings, so he is the perfect mate for Charlie who is heavily attached to her siblings (they are a package deal). Charlie drops in his lap (naked) and he can’t stop thinking about her after that. He is deceptively easygoing but that all stops when it comes to protecting Charlie! I loved how perceptive he was when he came to her and her needs. Berg is a fabulous beta hero and I adored him.
The only thing that was a little disappointing was the romance. There just wasn’t enough space for everything in the book and this was the thing that got cut. It did leave more space for the fantastic female friendships in there though so I can’t complain too much!
I really enjoyed this book! It was bonkers but I feel, as the series has continued, the characters have become fully fleshed and more relatable. I loved the new world but, secretly, I also loved seeing the old faces in a new setting (Kyle!). I can’t wait to read more!...more
FTC: I got this book to review from the author for a fair and honest review. I adore this series.
The Battered Heart series was amazing. It was gritty,FTC: I got this book to review from the author for a fair and honest review. I adore this series.
The Battered Heart series was amazing. It was gritty, sexy and I was devastated when it finished. I knew that the saga wasn’t over (I hadn’t had Nova’s book for God’s sake) but I wasn’t expecting The Viper. Two unknown characters and one of them is a gang member? Sounded different to say the least. Not only did I love it but I have a new respect for Ms Moon’s work; she is a very, very intelligent lady. I know now I am not ready for Nova’s love story. I am not ready to see him as the hero I want for any heroine but, as she builds up the darkness with the bad-boys of this series, I think just maybe I’ll get there.
Katie is a woman in a rut. Her ex-husband still seems to think that he is part of her life, her job isn’t particularly fulfilling and her social life is non-existent. Then a road accident with the lovely Marcos changes her way of thinking and her life. She spends weeks and months searching for him but to no avail. When, without warning, he comes back into her life to ask her to stop trying to connect with him, she grabs on to what little time he can give her with both hands. He is unlike anyone she has ever let into her life before; can she let him back out again as easily when the time comes for him to leave?
I liked Katie. She wanted to change her life and, when she gets the opportunity, she latches on to it without fear of the consequences. Some people may have thought she was crazy for her actions (I’ll admit to being one of them) but on reading her scenes with Marcus, I couldn’t have been happier with her tenacity. She didn’t care what people thought, she didn’t care that he was probably going to break her heart and she certainly didn’t care what was in his past. She only cared about he treated her and how he made her feel. I couldn’t fault her for that and, even though there were times when I thought that she was taking too many risks, I loved that she was finally trying to find something in her life that made her feel good.
Marcos is a like the mini bad-boy of the series. Now, don’t get me wrong, being a convicted criminal with gang affiliations and a tendency to punch first and ask questions later, he’s obviously not a nice hero, but hear me out. There is a “story” as to why he is in a gang and it made me sniffle. He also wants out but just can’t seem, for various reasons, to actually do it. However, the real way I know that he is a mild bad-boy is the way that he treats everyone in this book. He isn’t a complete arsehole to them, he doesn’t threaten them with violence unless they deserve it and he doesn’t want to scam them out of all their money. He is genuinely an OK, if not prickly, guy. It’s the way that he is with Katie that made me swoon. He treats her like something precious yet equal. He never disrespects her, or treats her as anything less than what she is, whilst going out of his way to be the most chivalrous, dirty talking man ever to grace her bed. The chemistry between them simmered constantly throughout the book but it exploded with the sex scenes, some of them being the hottest I’ve read from this author to date.
This is a Kele Moon book so there will be danger and chaos on the path to true love. Marcos’s gang-mates are a constant source of tension for them and it seems that he will never be free of the ties that bind him to his life of crime. Will there be any way out of this impossible situation for these two? Well, I recommend you read it and find out! But read it in order (with the Battered Hearts books first) because you need to fall in love with this town before you meet the bad-boys of this series.
This book was fantastic in its own right. It’s dirty, gritty and, in complete contrast, often charming. I can’t help but feel that I’m being tenderised with this story though, that I’m being softened up to accept the romance of much more tortured men who’ve done much more dastardly deeds. I can’t wait to see where Kele Moon goes with Chiuto’s book next!...more