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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

Not a bad read but there were a few bumps along the way.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: April 3, 2018

Adair Thorne has just watched his gaming-hell dream disappear into a blaze of fire and ash, and he’s certain that his competitors, the Killorans, are behind it. His fury and passion burn even hotter when he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a tart-mouthed vixen who mocks him at every turn. If she were anyone else but the enemy, she’d ignite a desire in him that would be impossible to control.

No one can make Cleopatra do anything. That said, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her siblings―even if that means being sponsored by their rivals for a season in order to land a noble husband. But she will not allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.

There’s only one thing that threatens the rules of the game: Cleopatra’s secret. It could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.

What’s it About? After his gaming hell is burned to the ground, Adair Thorne is determined to have someone answer for it. He’s certain his competitors, the Killorans are behind the destruction and he’s not about to honor a truce he made with them to sponsor one of their own for a season. Then he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a stubborn, mouthy woman who will do anything to protect her siblings, even allow Adair to help her find a noble husband. Except there are two problems, first is her attraction to Adair and his to her but it’s the second one, a secret that could destroy the fragile truce between the two families that might ruin her chance with Adair.

Overall reaction to the story? The Hellion was an enjoyable if not very memorable read for me. I had a few bumps along the way but the characters were for the most part likable and the plot was fun.

Adair and Cleo were a good couple and I did enjoy the whole enemies to lovers trope because these two didn’t just jump into bed together they developed a tentative friendship of sorts that allowed them to really see each other without the whole “enemies” bit getting in the way. Of course, it wasn’t easy since both of their families had secrets that threatened to come between them. The chemistry was there but there was a tad too much drama surrounding them before their HEA. There isn’t one but TWO moments where secrets come between them and threaten to tear them apart and that was one too many for me. It slowed the book down and dragged out the conflict only to lead to a very abrupt ending that had me feeling a little unsatisfied. And there’s no epilogue which would have helped the story feel more finished.

Another issue I had with The Hellion is how it began. It wasn’t the plot in particular but rather the amount of characters in the beginning. There is a major character and info dump that made me feel like there was a book before this one that I missed, but no The Hellion is the first book in a new series, it just didn’t feel that way. I could have done without all those characters. After my head stopped spinning from all that unnecessary information, I realized that the pace was super slow and filled with scenes that didn’t really have a purpose. Had I given up there I wouldn’t have gotten to the better half of the book, but not every reader is going to stick through a third of a slow book with too many characters. I think that more time should have been spent building a connection between the reader and the two main characters. I liked Adair and Cleo as individuals but I never felt that I truly connected with them.

Click It or Skip It? Apparently The Hellion is easier to understand and get into if you’ve read the previous series, Sinful Brides. I haven’t so that could have been the problem. I would leave this book as a Click It but with a word of warning about the beginning. It’s a good read but it could have been better.

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