Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Deviant - Natasha Knight

Rating: 4 Stars
Published: July 2015
Genre: Adult, Dark, Fiction, Erotica, BDSM

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She's been watching him for three days. Three days of rough sex with his mark before he kills her and then she'll be next. Julien doesn't do witnesses and he'll take out some frustrations on the innocent girl watching through the window before getting rid of her too. At least that was the plan until two men show up prepared to take her out as well. Turns out Mia St. Rose has a price on her head thanks to her newly free step brother. Mia is willing to submit to Julien if it means keeping her life for a little while longer. Just long enough to convince Julien she can pay him more to keep her alive. While on the run she see's just how bad he really is, how devious, but she also sees him, the pain and vulnerability he's got inside. Sleeping with the devil may not be so bad, because there's no way she's letting her step brother touch her again.

I ended up with this book when I went on one of my one-click sprees on Amazon. I didn't read the synopsis, I just saw the cover and quantity of reviews and bought it. Sometimes I end up with great books, sometimes they obviously suck. In this case, I am feeling so guilty about how darn much I enjoyed this book. There were absolutely times I felt uncomfortable just reading the words, but other times I was sitting there fanning myself. It's dark, but not nearly as dark as it could've been. It absolutely is a forced seduction novel and you'll know if it's a book you will want to finish or leave behind within the first 15%.

“It was just so innocent, so… corruptible. Irresistible to a man like me. I always liked to play with them first, fuck with them a little. It was cruel, reprehensible, really. I knew it, but it didn’t make me enjoy it any less.”? 

Julien, our anti-hero, is exactly like the male on the cover and he most definitely is a deviant. You aren't going to like him, at least not at first. He crosses every moral line that exists and keeps Mia alive and safe from her brother, but requires her total submission while he's doing so. You will wonder what the heck Mia sees in him, but what makes this book a romance isn't the BDSM relationship between the characters, but the emotional developments between the H and h. The sex is hot and heavy, there are times it is definitely about pain and punishment, but there is a lot of history that goes into who each character is and why the kink works for them. The personal histories that leaves them both vulnerable really make them work together, because Mia wants to see him as good when he's all about the hunt, the kill, the sex, and the pain. I really enjoyed the two separate story lines, one of romance and redemption and the other of the assassin saving the innocent for his own gain. It was all about the lesser of two evils and which path kept Mia alive longer. I liked the interactions between the characters and the unique voices of the secondary characters. There is also a lot of action and suspense in this book, far more than I expected, and while some of it was really easy to guess, it still was interesting.

“This man was danger. This man —he brought death. And I wanted him, even now as he lashed me, God help me, I wanted him.” 

I struggled with Mia as a character, for a girl that's been on the run so long she sure is dumb. I get that past catches up to you, but someone who gets caught peeping on sex has got to have done other things that were noticeable. Plus, she never seemed brave or capable of making personal decisions, so I had a hard time believing she'd been capable of taking care of herself while hiding. Then there's Julien, who was excellent as a dark, emotionless assassin, for the first 50%. At one point I felt him sliding more into the emotional and brooding hero role instead of being the sexy, dark killer out for his own good. I get the emotions developed between Mia and Julien, but I started seeing the assassin part as just his job instead of as who he really was. I wanted him to be bad and still work for Mia, because hello his bad side is what I loved. The ending just didn't work for me and I ended up imagining it playing out in a different way.

He brought his mouth to my face and licked the tears that now slid down my cheeks. 
“I can smell it, taste it.” He looked at me. “Sick, isn’t it?” he whispered, just biting my ear softly. “That I’ll get off on your pain.” 

With plenty of chemistry and salacious scenes, Julien and Mia make for one intriguing couple. Deviant is a perfect mesh of erotica and suspense and Natasha Knight weaved just the right amount of sex scenes with true substance to make this a novel you won't be able to put down. The writing is excellent and full of engaging action.

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