This book was weird. It calls itself “dark,” but it’s not, really, it’s more just an angsty New Adult book that has an unusually obsessive / possessive hero. The plot:

IShimwe Emile

April 25, 2024

Rating: 10

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  • Romance
This book was weird. It calls itself “dark,” but it’s not, really, it’s more just an angsty New Adult book that has an unusually obsessive / possessive hero.

The plot: Lachlan and Lyla (both 22) meet during their last year of college and fall in love. She’s got a stalker who has murdered some of her other loved ones. Lachlan is a hockey star. He’s a typical jock / player who never sleeps with the same girl twice….until he suddenly becomes obsessed with Lyla. When her stalker attacks them, Lyla runs away and changes her name, in an attempt to give Lachlan a normal life where he doesn’t have to worry about her stalker trying to kill him.

Part 2 jumps a few years later, to when they're 25. After Lachlan has a short pro hockey career, he goes to stalk Lyla and make her marry him. (So, Lyla has 2 stalkers. 1 evil one who is the villain, and 1 good one who is the hero. If that sounds a bit silly, yes!!). He’s mad at her for running away (and it doesn’t seem like he’s been with other women during their 3 year separation), so there's a lot of Angst between them.

What I liked about this book was that it DID try to do something interesting with Lachlan. Often in dark romance, the guy is obsessive / possessive from the start. Instead, this book made Lachlan evolve from being a seemingly normal guy to being a dark romance hero. (Or at least, being unhinged and obsessive / possessive. He doesn't really do much "dark" stuff besides stalk her). It’s a good idea. I’m not sure that it quite worked. But he was the best part of this book.

He was still a little bland. But, his thought process was often funny – like, I took out my phone and Googled how long I’d go to jail if I kidnapped her.

But, I found myself struggling to stay interested. It was too long with too many mundane scenes that should have been cut. I managed to not DNF just because Lachlan was kind of fun, and I wanted to find out how this would become "dark." I was waiting for the other shoe to drop with Lachlan, but that didn't amount to much. At first I thought maybe this could have the vibe of Torment: Part One, in terms having a tense and slow-lead up to the hero becoming increasingly deranged. But no, not really! This was just....slow.

As for Lyla, she was a bit boring. And I don't need heroines to always make perfect choices, but she made too many stupid ones. She'd been through a lot of trauma, but she also kind of had a martyr / victim complex. So much of this book didn’t need to happen if only she had TOLD Lachlan who her stalker was! (It also doesn't make sense why she stuck around town for college and didn't leave sooner to get away from her stalker). The whole stalker plot line had too many gaps in logic. It was also very obvious who the villain was even though this book tried to make it a mystery.

Lyla also does things like go to a party KNOWING that she will be running from the villain. But later, when he’s chasing her, she’s like “I’m wearing heels, so it’s hard to run away.” Why did she wear heels if she knew this was going to happen?!! This girl makes aggravating choices.

Anyway, this author had an interesting idea to try to do a book that slowly progress from being a normal New Adult angsty college book, to being a dark romance. It just didn’t really work. A lot of New Adult books have things like stalkers and heroines with traumatic pasts, anyway. So, it really was just a standard New Adult book, with a hero who was mildly more unhinged than usual. But it gets more than 2 stars for Lachlan, since he was entertaining.