Friday, 19 December 2014

Review: Where Darkness Lies (Criminals of the Ocean, Book 2) by Bella Jewel

RATING: 3 napkins

Anger and pain brought them together, but their passion might just set them free.
Dimitri wants only one thing: revenge. His stepfather, Hendrix, has caused him nothing but pain and heartache. At last Dimitri can take something—someone—important to Hendrix and make him pay: Jess.
Jess is feisty and strong headed. Her past haunts her and connects her to the dangerously dark Dimitri in an unexpected way. Dimitri keeps his secrets locked deep inside, and Jess is drawn to this broken man like no one before.
With little to cling to besides their haunting pasts, both could have been doomed to lives spent raging against the darkness that holds them prisoner. Instead, it seems that as their pain draws them closer together, it is their desire that will set them free.

(Originally posted on Goodreads)

*Complimentary ARC received from publisher via Netgalley*

This is the 2nd book in the series and yes, it is a standalone, but just like any standalone within a series, it always enhance the reading if one reads in sequence.

Glad I got the opportunity to read Jess and Dimitri's story. 

For starter, it was nice to see a new side to Jess. As a secondary character in Enslaved by the Ocean, I thought she was a bit of a mouse, granted with a bit of bite. Here, she's become a worthy h. Her core strength is a highlight and it was clear, like the blurb said, that she was feisty and strong headed.

Dimitri is quite the broken swoon-worthy H. I quite enjoyed how thrown-off he was by Jess. 

It's quite touching seeing how the relationship evolved b/w these 2 broken MCs, as they try to be mindful of each other's dark past, how that affects their dynamics and how they start to draw strength from each other.

The story itself went sideways for me after Jess was <SPOILER>
abducted by her apparently not dead foster father and she was then forced to fight.<END OF SPOILER> And I didn't quite understand that small scene at the end when <SPOILER>Jess got angry at the end when she found out about Dimitri's initial reaction, how he thought she took off and not abducted. I felt there could have been a better moment to allow them to declare their I-love-yous.<END OF SPOILER>

Now, this doesn't necessarily have to do with this book alone, but I'm realizing that Bella's writing and I are going to have an interesting relationship. So far, I'm really liking all her MCs (main characters) but I'm not completely enamored with how her story flows. The pace feels off at times. And sometimes, it feels like new events or angles are introduced as a last-minute decision, just thrown in haphazardly. If I compare it to movie-making, it's like giving A-list actors a mediocre script. Hope that makes sense.

It'll be interesting to see how I'll feel about Bella's other books on my TBR (to-be-read) pile...


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