Monday, 1 September 2014

*EXCLUSIVE* review of Bad Things by Varian Krylov

 *****5 Huge Stars*****


Xavier makes a lot of people nervous. The rest, he flat-out scares. More than his hulking, tattooed body, it's his predator's gaze that makes people feel vulnerable, as if he had the power to read their thoughts and see their soul. For his lovers, it's Xavier's ravenous appetite for all things carnal—for the taste of flesh under his tongue and the feel of a trembling body under his control, for whispered pleas and muffled cries—that makes him dangerous. 

But recently, driven by a festering rage against the men who attacked his sister a decade ago, Xavier has developed a taste for a different kind of hunt and conquest: stalking men who do truly bad things and punishing the predators he sniffs out. The problem with vigilante justice, though, is sometimes the man in your trap is innocent. 

Carson suspects he's playing a risky game with dangerous men. But the lies are convincing, especially when they're slipped to him among hundred dollar bills. He never guessed how big and dark the secret hidden under all the lies and money could be. And he has no idea he's not the predator, but the prey, until it's too late. 

And you can't beg for mercy when there's a gag in your mouth. 

But when Carson escapes from Xavier's trap, he's forced to accept that Xavier is far from his most dangerous enemy. Xavier may even hold the key to overcoming the painful past that has kept Carson prisoner for almost two decades.

I’ll start by saying that I did not expect to like this book. Quite the opposite – based on my impression of Xavier from Dangerously Happy (you can read my review of Varian’s other fabulous book HERE), I was fully prepared to hate him. And how do you love a book when you dislike its main character so intensely? On top of that, I’m not a fan of BDSM...
It’s safe to say that I dived into the story quite nervously, but I was super excited at the same time. Varian wouldn’t let me down, would she? Her writing is perfection, surely she can make me feel something other than dislike for Xavier?
Dear Lord, did she! By the end of the book I loved Xavi so bad!

"The new guy looked like he belonged to another species, not just because he was unusually tall and incredibly broad, but because there was something strange, something animal about him."

I don’t want to give away too much of the story because I feel it will be better if everyone jumps into it without any expectations. I didn’t even read the blurb. I knew who Xavi was from Dangerously Happy, but nothing else. It was such a beautiful experience to unveil every layer of the story without knowing what to expect.
Bad Things is an intense book on every level imaginable. It was very hard to read at times, the brutality of the situations painted so vividly by Varian’s exquisite writing, that I had to stop and take a breather. I’m not even talking about Xavier’s behaviour, but about the backdrop of the story. Unfortunately, human trafficking is not something Varian imagined for her novel. It’s something very real and very close to each and every one of us, even if we don’t actually see it with our own eyes. It’s easy to ignore things we don't see, but it’s so painful to read about them, especially when the writing is so amazing you can practically see those women in your mind’s eye; feel their pain; hear their screams.
That aside, the intensity of Xavier and Carson’s relationship is indescribable. It’s not your usual romance, not at all. It’s brutal and passionate, sometimes violent, but always honest. I do not recommend this book for anyone who can’t handle anything darker than a fluffy, easy, sexy romance. The relationship between the MCs is quite unconventional in this book, and I was prepared to hate Xavier for putting Carson through everything he did, but ended up understanding his actions. I wasn’t looking at it through my own eyes – I was looking at it through Xavier and Carson’s eyes. It was what they both needed, even though it hurt them both so badly.

"Looking into his eyes, like holding someone's gaze as they fall from the edge of a cliff, as they plummet down into an abyss so deep you can't see the rocks that will break them."

I’d like to thank Varian for trusting me with her book more than 2 weeks before the official release date, and to recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone. It’s an emotional, intense story of two people trying to find themselves through each other. Two people not afraid to hurt and get hurt if the emptiness inside them will be filled again in the end.

"Can you be naked for me? Always?" Xavier asked. (...)
"Yes." (...)
"That means you have to be naked to yourself."
"I know." (...)
"But you have to be naked too, Xavi."

Oh, and there’s a pretty hot cameo by Aidan and Dario. Did I mention the sex in the book is off-the-charts hot?

Go preorder Bad Things HERE

 You can buy Dangerously Happy HERE

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