Menace by J M Darhower
I’ve heard some stupid questions in my life. Usually they come in clusters: Why do you have that gun? What are you doing? Are you going to kill me? Uh, duh. I’m sure as hell not going to shoot myself.”
Murder and mayhem are Lorenzo‘s bread and butter.
People avoid looking at the scar on his face because they know he’s a menace.
That ugly scar though, is nothing compared to his soul.
Those few that try to defy him end up paying with their lives.
And he’s bored.
So fucking bored by the monotony of it all.
Until a woman in a bar unexpectedly challenges him and, against all odds, he doesn’t feel like actually killing her.
Morgan is no delicate blooming flower and they have definitely something in common:
“Her voice was tinged with bitterness, sarcasm, clearly a defense mechanism, because those eyes that regard me silently scream tragedy, the kind that isn’t to be made light of. The kind of tragedy that breaks bodies and steals souls. The kind that twists decent people into sociopathic assholes.
The kind that turns beautiful women into ghosts.”
Lorenzo’s gut tells him there’s a complicated story behind the “scarlet letter” tattooed on her wrist and he has every intention to uncover her secrets.
Reading Menace by J M Darhower was…
This book sucked me in and I didn’t come up for air ONCE!
Reading a book in one sitting doesn’t happen often to me but I just couldn’t put it down.
My motto for the day?
FUCK being productive!
I need to read it all.
That’s exactly what I did and BOOM:
I have to warn you though…there are LOTS OF TRIGGERS in this story.
Violence, rape, sex scenes with OW/OM before the MCs get together…
I rarely enjoy books with so many triggers and loving this book was completely unexpected.
I fell in love with Lorenzo and his dark humor.
“Welcome to the madhouse. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like, but as long as you’re here, there are rules to be followed.”
“Like betray me and I kill you. Lie to me and I kill you. Ignore an order and I kill you. Otherwise, do whatever the hell you want. You think you can handle that?”
“As long as you don’t talk down to me because I’m a woman. You pull some misogynistic shit and I’ll kill you. We got a deal?”
Morgan keeps him on his toes and their banters are fenomenal.
You keep being so charming and I might start catching feelings.”
“I wouldn’t blame you,” I say. “Just, you know, keep them to yourself, in case they’re contagious.”
“Don’t worry,” she says. “I practice safe sentiment. I’ll be sure to wrap it before I yap it.”
I laugh at that. This goddamn woman. She’s got a mouth on her, without a doubt, the kind of mouth that’s destined to get her in a lot of trouble in life
I loved the writing and I was enthralled from the first to the last page.
⭐☆ 5 stars ☆⭐
* Menace by J M Darhower IS PART OF A “DUET” AND IT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER.
You can find my review of “Grievous” (Scarlet Scars Book 2) here.
~ My ratings ~
Writing: 4 /5
Plot: 5 /5
Hero: 4 /5
Heroine: 4 /5
Secondary Characters: 5 /5
MC’s chemistry: 5 /5
Triggers: Rape, Violence, Explicit Sexual Scenes Included, sex scenes with other people before MCs get together (though they’ve already met), coarse language.
Recommended to: Adult Romance Readers looking for a dark romance with a mafia-related plot.
Quotes may help you decide if this is the right book for you, check them out!
~ Quotes ~
There’s a reason girls yell ‘fire’ instead of ‘rape’, why we lie and say we have boyfriends instead of just saying ‘no’ when we’re not interested. Because a lot of men respect another man’s property more than they respect a woman’s right to her own body.
The world, it’s all in black and white, but you? You’re so many shades of red, woman, and color me curious, but I find myself not so bored with your bullshit around.”
“You know, Kassian’s not just cruel,” she says, approaching. “He’s callous… soulless… vicious.”
“Cold-blooded, hardhearted, and a dozen other synonyms that mean he’s a real piece of shit?”
“Yes,” she says. “He’s not someone you mess with.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not Mary Poppins, either.”
“He lets out a dramatic sigh. “We’ve been dating for over a year… you’d think my own brother would remember her name by now.”
“Please,” I say. “I barely remember your name, Pretty Boy. Names mean nothing to me. They’re irrelevant. They don’t define a person. They just label them. And well, if I’m going to label people, I’m going to label them in a way that defines them to me. Like… Firecracker.
You have to be careful who you give pieces of yourself to, because even a little bit here and there adds up to a hell of a lot eventually, and It’s not worth it, losing yourself to them, giving yourself to people who don’t give a fuck about you. You keep pouring yourself into other people and you’ll just wind up empty.
Swinging the spatula, he smacks Leo in the head, the loud thwack echoing though the kitchen.
“Shit!” Leo winces, “What the hell was that for?”
“The table isn’t set,” Lorenzo says. “What are we, animals?”
“Who says I’m broken?” she asks, opening up her eyes again, her expression calm, like the fire smothered whatever emotions she might’ve been contending with.
“I do,” I say. “I can tell just by looking at you.”
“And what, you think you can fix me?” she asks, turning in her stool to face me, shifting her body closer, so close I can smell the liquor on her warm breath as she whispers, “Think you can make me whole again? Save me from the world? Save me from myself? Fill me up, maybe fuck the feeling back into me, like the big, strong, man you are? Make me a real woman, instead of a broken little girl?”
There’s a sickening sweetness to her voice that sends a chill down my spine. If I never heard a thinly veiled ‘fuck you’ before, that was certainly one for the books. I move closer to her, uncomfortably so, cocking my head slightly as I lean in, watching as her body tenses. She thinks I’m about to kiss her, my mouth just inches from hers, before I stop, my voice gritty as I say, “On the contrary, Scarlet, I don’t think you need to be fixed at all.”
“No,” I say. “I think you’re perfect the way you are.”
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