Sinister Kisses by Adriana Noir
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
After a chance encounter in the woods leaves her shaken and reeling, the last thing Taylor McAvay wanted to do was accept an invitation to dinner. Then again, after seeing what Sebastian Baas was capable of, she felt she had little choice. The guy did just save her life, and the feel of his partner’s assault rifle pressed against her cheek still lingered in her mind.
What she discovers surprises her. Beneath the armor and fatigues, is a smart, attentive, and sophisticated man. Unable to resist, Taylor finds herself drawn in by the Special Agent’s charm. Everything about Sebastian, from his imposing presence to his hypnotic eyes, pulls her under his spell. When a drive by shooting leaves her apartment riddled with bullets, she falls under his command as well—not to mention the shadow of a lethal, underground organization known as SKALS.
Her lover has a dark and dangerous side he tries to keep hidden, but when a series of events sends their lives spiraling out of control, she realizes there is much more to him than meets the eye. Whether she wants to leave or not doesn't matter. Taylor soon learns, when it comes to Sebastian and SKALS, there is no escape.
**DISCLAIMER** This is NOT your average romance. It's not a feel good story. It's a dark, gritty, sometimes erotic psychological thriller with a heavy emphasis on plot. It also contains elements of dominance and discipline with dubious consent, psychological conditioning, and mental manipulation. There’s also gunfire and violence. If any of this offends you, this may not be the book for you.
*DISCLAIMER* Yes, I read the disclaimer in the blurb. No, I didn't think I'd have an issue. I underestimated the book. My bad.
I love books with hot alphas that are protective and willing go dish out some revenge on behalf of the heroine. But with that said, I don’t like it when they turn that temper on the heroine and scare the living daylights out of her in emotional and psychological abuse. And that was exactly what I kept feeling with this one.
This book isn’t my typical cup of tea. But, I was feeling a book funk coming on and needed something different. Plus, one of my friends has been begging me for almost a year to read this. So, since it was totally different, I thought I’d give it a try.
I didn’t hate the book…but I definitely didn’t love it. It was a so-so read that unfortunately I didn’t get sucked into and consequently, I was left wondering what I’m going to read next before I’d hit the 50% mark. My biggest issue really was the way Sebastian treated Taylor. I was promised by my friend that I would come to understand why he was the way he was but for me, there really was no excuse. With every action, I saw him as more of a bully who had anger issues and was abusive.
Over the course of the book, there were a couple times Sebastian had gotten physical with his sister, leaving red marks on her so I figured it was just a matter of time before he did something to Taylor. Sure enough, he puts her “under protection” and effectively tells her she’ll be a prisoner in the house, unable to leave unless he’s with her. As any level headed person would react, Taylor wasn’t happy about that. No matter how nice his house is (and it’s a freaking mansion with everything you could want in a house) it would still be a prison. This leads Sebastian to tell her if she wants a real jail, he can accommodate her and that leads to an argument, some hair pulling, dragging across the room and a gun to her head with an accompanying threat to her life being the only way she can leave him. SO I was left scratching my head as to why she loves this guy. And Taylor finally started to realize what she’d gotten herself into with him after that. Unfortunately, a little explaining by Sebastian, his partner Josh and Sebastian’s sister leads Taylor to believe that Sebastian’s actions are ok and excusable and justified and it’s all hunky-dory again…leaving me pissed off and beyond happy when the book came to an end.
Overall…this book was so not the book for me. I love romance novels. I don’t mind suspension of disbelief and how things are too perfect or happen in cheesy ways at times the way they wouldn’t happen in real life…it’s fun and it’s entertainment. But crap like this, abusive guys like this, happen every day. This book was not fun for me. I didn’t even cover some of the worst parts, just hitting on a big one, but this book left me pissed off and there was one event in particular that left me leaking a few tears because it was awful. I think it was mentioned in a review somewhere that this was a cliffhanger…and that’s not exactly the case. Yes, it’s left open for another book but for me, this had an ending that left me glad I didn’t have to go on to the next book. Taylor picked the abusive a—hole, they were together and “happy” and they got the bad guy. Game, set, match. I’m done.
Initially, when I started the book, before it went bad, I was talking about the characters and dream cast pics to help picture them as I read and I found a hot guy for Sebastian but after the way I was left feeling, I’m not going to embellish this with that photo. The book doesn’t deserve it.
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