That’s the only memory he carries from a childhood he does not remember. And now it is all he knows. Blood is his life.
Knox Bishop has done a lot of horrible things, all at the command of the man who holds his leash. It’s a matter of loyalty for him. Allegiance to the man who saved his life when he was a child. So he goes where he is needed and does what he is told. He tortures. He kills. He kills. He tortures. It is an unrelenting cycle that he constantly craves and can never quite satisfy.
Eighteen year old Lacey Barnes distributes her assets to fund her dreams. Medical school is the end game and she is determined to get there by any means necessary. But a family member’s careless mistake derails her plans and now she must pay a price in order to save him.
She goes to Knox willingly offering him the only valuable thing she has. Herself. In doing so he allows her into his world, a world filled with darkness but rather than being scared it intrigues her. It lures her, calls to something in her that she hadn’t known existed until he awakened it.
Every bit of his flaws is reflected in her and Knox will do anything to keep her in the darkness with him.
Wow, I am completely blown away. This book was incredible! Absolutely brilliant! I was completely captivated by this story from beginning to end. There were so many times where I felt like I was getting kicked right in the gut by this dark, gritty and intense story. This story is told in three different POV’s, Lacey, Knox and Katia. To be clear all the characters have a story to tell. This is not a story for the faint at heart. A little warning: There are topics and situations that come up that some people might find disturbing and hard to read. I am a sucker for a dark read, so this book was right up my alley. You will question your sanity, your thoughts and even your heart while reading this book but the payout is so worth it.
Lacey is a high school senior. Her life is far from easy, her mother and brother do nothing to help her at all. If anything she is the one that takes care of them. The only thing Lacey wants is to save enough money to go away to medical school. The only way Lacey can make enough money to take care of her family, keep a roof over their heads, pay the light bill and save for college is by being a prostitute. She only has one friend in high school, Tyler and every now and then he helps her out, without judging. While she is tortured by everyone else. Lacey’s character is strong, selfless and caring. She knows her family does not treat her well but it is the only family she has, and she will do anything to keep them safe. Such is the case with her brother, Dante. Dante is constantly thinking of get rich schemes that always fall through the cracks. Lacey stumbles upon her brother getting brutally beaten and because he owes more money to the Russian, mob than Lacey can pay she offers her body over for payment. She will do anything to save her brother’s life. However, little does she know that the man she is dealing with is the devil.
“You’re leaving again?”
“I don’t really have much of a choice, trust me.”
“Do you have any idea who the fu*k that guy who brought mom back is?”
“Yeah, I was there the day you got your ass kicked so I know who he is. He’s the guy who bailed your ass out and in exchange demanded to screw me for it. Where the fu*k was all this concern the night I went to meet him? Where the fu*k were you when he snuck in here and took me away?? You want to call me a bitch when I have bigger balls than you do, Dante? Fu*king spare me!”
Knox is a hit man for the head of the mob. He was taken in at very early age and was raised as one of their own. Knox has very particular, dark and disturbing tastes. He loves the kill and shows no remorse for it. He also has very particular taste in women. He loves the pain, the blood and marks he leaves on his women. When he sees how easy Lacey is willing to give herself up to save her brother he develops an interest in her, an obsession of sorts. Knox sees Lacey as a challenge, a toy he can play with and break. He watches and studies her just like he does with his victims learning everything about her, until one night he decides to take her.
Lacey is terrified, but she knows she has a choice. She can leave Knox or let him go after her brother for his repayment. Knox terrifies her, he is upfront on what he wants to do to her, but there is something alluring and captivating about him and she finds herself desiring him sexually. Knox immediately starts to treat her differently than the other women he has brought to his vault but her tries to pushed it back, thinking it is because she is new. You can see and feel the difference in Knox’s presence when he’s with Lacey because he is more demanding and possessive.
“I’m going to carve my name into your skin so that when other men see it, they’ll know they’re trespassing on someone else’s property. If you ever let him touch you again, I swear I will kill him. I swear it, Lacey, I will fu*king kill him.”
Katia is the Russian Mafia King’s daughter. Let me just say this. She is one sick bitch! She is just as dark and crazy as Knox. She thinks that because they are adopted siblings that they are meant for each other. She believes her father brought Knox home as a gift for her. She is his and he is hers so when she hears that Knox has a new toy that he is keeping around, she starts to make a plan. Katia is a very cold and calculated person. She wants to take over her father’s empire and is willing to do anything she can to get it, even kill her brother, Dmitry. Katia is so wrapped up in all her side adventures that she does not know just how deep Knox is with Lacey.
Knox, Lacey and Katia are all given some major WTF moments that left me on edge. I loved every single bit of this book and there is not one moment that I can think of where I’d change anything that went on. I loved getting to know each and every one of the characters. They are all tortured souls and have suffered because of other peoples mistakes. I cried so many times reading this book, my heart broke of Lacey but I also was so in aww of her fierceness and her loyalty to the only family she knows. I am still not sure about Knox. I really want to hate him but there is something about his character as we get to know him that touched me. Katia, forget it I have NOTHING NICE TO SAY ABOUT HER except –SLURRY TROLL BITCH!!! The author did such an amazing job with this book I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.
I’m not what you would call normal. The word has no meaning to me. But I’ve been pretending to act normal. It’s something I’ve been practicing since I’ve been aware of the thrum and its significance in my life. I was seven when I first heard the lullaby. Second grade, just before recess. It happened in a squall. Nothing and then all at once. I remember everything about that day. The bell rang and the other children went to play. Not me. Never me. I always stayed behind, mostly by choice, but never contested because the other children thought I was weird. I think maybe they unconsciously knew that I was lacking something fundamental. Something they all had and I didn’t, and maybe even never had at all. Whatever it was, I was alienated, excluded from their games. But I couldn’t say it bothered me. I was indifferent to it. Katia would sometimes play with me. Yuri’s youngest daughter, my adoptive sister, kept me company when she wasn’t with her own friends. But she’d been home sick that day.
In the small classroom with its oversized, rainbow-colored letters hanging over the chalkboard and tiled number blocks littering the carpeted floor, I sat in the beanbag chair staring fixatedly at the class pet. Sweet Ms. Devon always stayed with me but she’d left for a moment. A moment to heat her lunch. A moment to speak to a fellow staff member in the teachers’ lounge. But it’d been a moment too long for me. The noise in my head had been too loud. The urge too strong. The pink-eyed little rabbit, Mr. Apples, and the yellow pair of scissors sitting blades down in Ms. Devon’s “Best Teacher” mug had been too much of a temptation for me to resist.
The pounding of my heart. The lullaby and the thrum. The latch had given way beneath my shaking fingers, soaked with apprehension and anticipation. The struggle. The frantic movement of something living, something warm, with the same accelerated heartbeat as mine grappling for life. Desperate for freedom even while knowing the inevitable hand of death loomed was intoxicating. The thrill, the excitement, the sweet seductive power. I swam in it. Like too much candy on Halloween. Too much ice cream in the summer. It had been a quick death for Mr. Apples. It had been crude. Amateurish. But ever so effective in quieting the discord of my mind.
Poor, sweet Ms. Devon came to find me on the floor of the overly-bright classroom. Huddled on the floor, covered in Mr. Apples. She’d been one to smile a lot. But I stole her smile that day and replaced it with horror instead. Her pretty features contorted like a Kabuki mask.
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Francette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.