Sigh, I wanted to post this review much sooner but it wasn’t ready and I really need to give this book and this series a proper review. So here I am, finally. This my friends is the first review in a series of a whole lot of reviews. The thing is though, this time you can follow along in real-time. Specifically, if you have an audible account as they are included when you have an account. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book. I have read this series multiple times, so many in fact that I know I have to buy the physical copies to support the author and for me to always have them. Some books you just have to own. However, they are not found on amazon at the moment and I am secretly hoping for different covers, in the past, I talked about people on covers and how I am not a fan. I would love a more laid-back cover or as others call it ‘discreet’. Not because they need to be discreet not at all, but because that would look so cute on display. Having said that if she does not want to do that, I am also fine with that. I am simply glad she writes her stories.
I am going, to be frank, this is my comfort series. I figured this out when I was writing these reviews. I genuinely love it very much, that is the lens through which I look when writing the review. All that aside, let’s get into the review.
Disclaimer This book contains erotic material. If you do not feel comfortable with reading erotic stories, I recommend not reading this book. In theory, you could skip over the parts but I do feel that it is very much integrated with the story. There are amazing books out there without explicit materials that I would recommend you check out instead.
The book in short After a car accident killed her parents when she was a child, Bronagh Murphy chose to box herself off from people in an effort to keep herself from future hurt. If she doesn’t befriend people, talk to them, or acknowledge them in any way they leave her alone just like she wants. When Dominic Slater enters her life, ignoring him is all she has to do to get his attention. Dominic is used to attention, and when he and his brothers move to Dublin, Ireland for the family business, he gets nothing but attention. Attention from everyone except the beautiful brunette with a sharp tongue. Dominic wants Bronagh and the only way he can get to her, is by dragging her from the boxed-off corner she has herself trapped in the only way he knows how … by force. Dominic wants her, and what Dominic wants, Dominic gets. I found this informationhere.
What did I think?
Our story starts with a general overview of what Bronagh looks like and that her sister Branna is her guardian because her parents died. I do not think I like character or world-building that takes 2 chapters. I like for a book to get into the story and for us to get to know the characters on a deeper personal level early on in the story. I think this book does this very well. It does not read as a list “she has brown hair, she is 17” it’s integrated into the story. It makes sense to mention the hair colour when someone plaids their hair or to mention that the character has chubby cheeks as they stare at themselves in the mirror. It gets me right in the story, it gives over the vibe of the book and I enjoy it.
Since getting TikTok I have heard so many things about ‘tropes’ which are also mentioned on Instagram and YouTube. I am not the biggest fan of tropes as I feel books shouldn’t be one-dimensional to fit into a single (or even two or three) trope (s). But I have come to understand that this is the wrong way to look at it. It’s sort of like a summary, of what the main thing about the book is. Now I am still not a big fan of tropes but that has mainly to do with the fact that are hardly ever correct. Thus, I have always believed that enemies to lovers aren’t a thing because every single book that claims to be enemies to lovers simply isn’t. If two people think ‘oh he/she isn’t that nice’ and then they get to know each other and fall in love. That is not enemies to lovers, that is strangers to lovers which is most love stories. This book though is a beautiful depiction of enemies to lovers as these two loath each other and the only reason for that is because they are afraid to get hurt. They are afraid to admit that they like each other. In addition, they have problems and cannot cope with their feelings very well. But the reason the enemies-to-lovers storyline works here is that they are so young. Their love is cute due to their age and how they know each other. If they were a little bit older it wouldn’t have been cute, in the end, the only reason they got together is that they had to interact as if they are classmates which does not happen in the adult world. In the adult world when you hate someone you can just make the decision to not see them. This doesn’t work for Dominic and Bronagh because they see each other all the time. It gives them a reason to interact, it gives them the chance to open up and fall in love. Also, I am thinking now that this enemies to lovers story is so good that the others never compare and that might by why I do not like it much in other books. But who knows, back to our story.
As someone that knows something about psychology, I did not find Bronagh nor Dominic’s fiery personalities surprising. Losing your parents at 9 or growing up in a somewhat loveless home (the twins got love from their older brothers) and having to fight to save your family since you were 15? It is surprising they did not do more damage to each other or the people around them. I didn’t view the fighting as something other than very poor coping and communication skills. And at 17 and 18 they are allowed to be that way. They are just kids, pretending to be grown. Having your sibling play your parent I mean is hard for that sibling but also for you. I like their love, you can tell they enjoy each other as people but they try not to. I think it’s such an easy way to view love when you are young. They need very serious therapy and it’s not alright to throw things at someone. But it’s a book for adults not for little kids and I think that most adults understand the nuance of the situation. Thus we do not have to be told explicitly how wrong it is, this isn’t a teen book. Most adults know and understand that it is not right and spelling it out would therefore not add anything. Their age does not excuse their behaviour nor does their past but it’s a book, not real life and I think we should see it that way. Two severely traumatized teens fall in love and do their best.
Towards a lighter subject; The whole phat and fat thing does not really work that well in an audiobook. It made me as confused as Bronagh, I do not blame her for feeling that she is made fun of. Apart from this Bronagh has this amazing insight into her own life especially at 17, knowing that she has no friends due to her own closed-off behaviour. That is step one to changing this part of your life. She acknowledges the trauma but she quite frankly does not know what to do about that and quite frankly if she wants to do anything about that. I enjoy how she and Allanah become friends and I absolutely love their blooming friendship. Throughout the book Bronagh becomes more into her own, she truly blooms and it feels so special to read this part of her story. You can tell Bronagh is a charming girl, she is generally positive about her body and her looks. She does have some insecurities as most teens do. The author really made sure that we know she is charming due to the interactions she has with others such as her teachers. Even if Bronagh does not see this herself, we do. Through interactions, we see that Dominic is very much layered. He puts up a front with others, but he can be himself with his family and Bronagh. Speaking of teachers Bronagh’s teacher is lovely, she has a close eye on Bronagh and she has this honest conversation about abuse with her. I think it’s so good that Bronagh has so many people around her who truly care so much, even if she is blind to it in the beginning.In addition, I love Gavin I want the world for him. All the characters feel as if they are there for a reason, they move the story along and in their interactions, we get to know them. I really appreciate the fact that Bronagh has such a fiery personality. This girl has a backbone and it’s very refreshing. She is honest, she can put up boundaries and I do love it so much that these are followed. For all their faults sex is never used in any type of bad way in this relationship and I am here for it. Dominic says no to Bronagh multiple times as he knows that she has to be certain and he knows she is not ready or not in the right state of mind to consent. Dominic is such a sweetie, I love their dynamic even though they have a lot of growing up to do.
You would then think that the story would follow the story like so many other love stories. They will fight, break up and get back together but they always fight anyway so that wouldn’t work. This story does not follow any ‘regular format’, we find out what the family business is, and oh my… I wasn’t ready. This is such an interesting storyline that continues over all the books and I for one am here for it. It feels very mafia romance and it is so fun. It doesn’t feel as far fetch as it should and that is all thanks to the writing style I think. I do feel so sorry for Damian, I have this whole idea why Damian’s relationship with his family is what it is but I will not explain my theories just yet. The story is very fast-paced in the end but it fits the narrative. I think it’s very good and I enjoy the change of storyline while it still fits within the theme of the overall story. The finale is brilliant, it has all the things. Fighting, weapons it’s like a mafia book within this cute high school romance. It’s so gripping. In the end, I think Bronagh gives Damian the tough love he deserves. And then at the very end when the Christmas dinner happens it’s all so lovely. It’s an open but very happy end. Which makes the book a great stand-alone as well as the start of a series. Overall, it was a great story, I love the character and I cannot wait to tell you my thoughts on the next book.
I read this book for free with my audible account. My thoughts about the audio side of these books will be discussed in the final review. Also, if I have made errors in the spelling of anyone’s name it is because I listen to the book. See you at the next one.