Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the Advanced Reader copy.
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.
Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.
Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.
But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.
I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with a coherent review for this book since I finished it last week. It had taken me this long to get my thoughts together, and even then all I can say is Wow!
This is not your typical love story. Or a typical novel in any sense of the word. It’s full of murder, intrigue, lust and love...and that’s not even the best part.
No, the best part, Ladies and Gentleman, are the characters.
I’m a fan of broken characters. I just adore them, there is so much to delve through, and even when they’re at their lowest ebb, you still root for them, even if you don’t condone their actions.
Archer is a serial killer. As simple as that.
Except that it’s not.
You can sympathise with Archer, you feel his pain and as you learn more about his childhood and his motivations, you begin to realise how he can justify such drastic actions, and understand his cause.
This book is extremely clever. Kelley York is a phenomenal writer, as even when you’re engrossed in the story, hurriedly flipping page after page to find out what will happen next, you also start to think.
What struck me is how far people are willing to go to protect the one they love, and what they are capable of doing, without hesitation.
But Archer is not like Dexter (although comparisons can be made. A vigilante who punishes the evil? C'mon you know that's going to be interesting. He’s like a teen Dexter, but relatable). Archer feels. He does not enjoy what he does, but sees it as a necessity.
Which brings me on to Vivian.
Like I’ve already said, each character in this book is broken. Even Evan, who we see a notable change in as the book moves on, doing things he does not believe in for the man he loves.
They’re so adorable, by the way. Just thought I’d throw that in there as a nice little side note.
But Vivian is a great character. Vivian is chaotic, and wild, like a lightning storm. She destroys things, she is capable of irrevocable damage, but she is beautiful. On the outside.
Another lesson: Never trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret.
But you can still understand her....These characters are so intricate, it’s amazing
But Vivian is chaos to Archer, who is himself filled with chaos. He needs stability, which Evan provides. Evan is the calm to Archer’s chaos, and they just...fit.
I got so caught up in her tale, as well as that of our two broken boys, that I was finished the book before I knew it and was yearning for more.
If you think this book isn’t for you because two boys fall in love...all I can say is Love is love. And Archer and Evan are so sweet to one another that you can’t help but fall in love with them. I would hold off any and all reservations you have about this book, from plot to characterisation, because it’s fantastic in every way shape and form.
Kelley York is a phenomenal writer, and although the subject matter is quite dark, I urge everyone who loves a good romance and intrigue novel, and loves broken and well-developed characters to give this book a read.
The ending still has me in shock.
And, if you know me, that’s not easily done.
What a twist!
I’m looking forward to Kelley York’s next book. It’s sure to have as many beautiful similes and characters as this wonderful debut.
I highly recommend it.