Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Insidious (Tales from the Dark Side #1) by Aleatha Romig

When a powerful man is willing to risk everything for his own satisfaction, only one woman can beat him at his own game: his wife. Or so she thinks…

“Let’s start with you calling me Stewart. Formalities seem unnecessary.”

Stewart Harrington is rich, gorgeous, and one of the most powerful men in Miami. He always gets what he wants. Anything is available to him for the right price.

Being the wife of a mogul comes with all the perks, but being Mrs. Stewart Harrington comes with a few special requirements. I’ve learned to keep a part of myself locked away as my husband watches me submit to his needs. But the more he demands of me, the more beguiled he becomes and that’s to my advantage. So I keep fulfilling his fantasies and following his rules because he doesn't know that what he’s playing is really my game. And winning is everything, right?

Insidious is a stand-alone novel and the first Tales from the Dark Side title. Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only.
~My Review~

This book has been on my calendar as a to-be-released book for a while.  I read all of the Consequences books, and knowing that I liked Aleatha Romig's writing style, I figured I would add this to my list.  This book is different from many of the other books that I have read, as it's a Thriller, but I still was ready to read it.  However, once it was released, I honestly didn't know if I wanted to read it or not.  Maybe because it was something totally different from what I've been reading lately - I tend to get stuck in ruts where I want to read only Biker books or only Cowboy books, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to start something new.  I initially just downloaded a sample from Amazon so I could start reading the first couple chapters and see if I liked it or not.  By about 50% of the sample, I was still unsure, but once the sample was over, I decided that I needed to read the rest and figure out what the heck was going on!

18 year old Victoria Conway gets married to a much older Stewart Harrington.  With their marriage comes a contract, and that contract completely changes her life.  Married life seems starts off well; life is adventurous and exciting, until all of a sudden, everything changes.  The fairy tale doesn't exist, and soon Victoria's life is full of lies, revenge, and deception.

Consistent with all of Romig's other writing, this book is extremely well written.  I loved her style in the Consequences series, and while this was I was actually surprised that the book was written in 1st person.  I was so used to reading Consequences in 3rd person, that I just automatically expected that this would be the same.  However, the 1st person POV in this book really only gave us Victoria's perspective, which helped to hold the suspense.  Since we only saw what Victoria saw, we could make assumptions as to what was going on as she gave us information, but we really didn't know the whole of what was going on, which definitely made things more interesting.

The story itself was really interesting.  I can't really say much without giving stuff away, but it was definitely dark, with tons of plot twists, turns, and tons of conflict.  I did feel like it moved a bit slow.  Even the sample that I initially read put me off because it just seemed to be slow.  Once I got to the end of the sample, I knew I wanted to continue reading, so I bought the full version, but it still seemed to drag quite a bit at times.  Maybe it's the nature of a suspense-thriller novel like this?  I'm not sure.

The characters were all very interesting.  There were tons of plot twists and turns, so I was seriously suspicious of everyone and often changed my mind on who was a good guy and who was a bad guy.  Even Victoria.  I couldn't figure her out.  She was very strong, but at times I couldn't figure out if it was strong in a good way or a bad way.  At the same time, I couldn't figure out if I liked her husband, or hated him.  With each new bit of information that I learned about what their contract meant, my opinion of him changed.  The same with other characters.  I found myself hating one person, and then changing my opinion a million times before making a final conclusion.

I mentioned that the story dragged at times.  Once I finally started getting answers, I felt like the book was over.  There was a ton of conflict throughout the book, and there was a lot that needed to be resolved.  However, I felt like the resolution came and went very quickly, and when the book ended, I still had questions.  Some of the questions are touched at, so I have an idea of maybe what happened, but I wished there was a concrete "this is what happened" type of description.  The ending itself leaves off on a question.  Not so much a cliff hanger, but potentially a cliff hanger.  It leaves you wondering, OK, what's going on?  Definitely a fun way to end the story!

So at the end of the day, you have a suspense-thriller romance book, that includes a Billionaire husband, a huge age difference, a manipulative wedding, a crazy contract, family secrets drama, questionable deaths, betrayal, and revenge.  While it was all very interesting, I rated the book 4 stars because of the unanswered questions and somewhat slow pace.  Other than that, it was an excellent read and I would recommend it!.

Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

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