Happy review Sunday!
I’ve just been spending the long weekend with my family – going on walks, baking, watching movies with them etc and it’s been so nice. I hope your weekend has been as good as mine has been.
As always this is a Spoiler Free review.
This book was the elected book for my Smutty Book Club this month. It’s not the one I would have picked up but I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this book.
I am going to make it extremely clear now that this is a VERY DARK BOOK. This is not for the faint of heart. It is 18+. It is not safe or sweet. It is very toxic and triggering. I read a lot of books with trigger warnings but this is definitely the book I think needed a trigger warning the most. I don’t know how to make it any clearer but this is not a sweet romance – I mean…the name is Lords of Pain so you can probably guess that it isn’t a happy book but I felt like I had to make this super clear – and I will probably do so again in a bit just to be fully clear on what this book is like. (Whilst keeping it spoiler free as always)
Let’s jump into the review.
Title: Lords of Pain (The Royals of Forsyth University #1)
Author: Angel Lawson and Samantha Rue
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Dark, Reverse Harem, College, Erotica
Publication Date: February 12th 2021
Pages: 411 pages
When I Read It: May 4th 2021
Goodreads Rating: 4.31 Stars
Goodreads Description: ~
I never claimed to be a good girl, but I definitely never asked for this.
Killian, Tristian, and Rath.
These three men are a part of my past–one that I’d rather never look in the eye again. In high school, they knew my secrets and I knew theirs. They had power and I had nothing. The night everything fell apart, my stepbrother allowed his two best friends to take their rage out on me while he watched. While they laughed.
But what happened that night wasn’t my biggest secret. So I ran, planning on never coming back.
Three years later I’m standing on their doorstep like a stray. They’re more powerful than ever now, having risen to the rank of Lords at Forsyth University. But I’m still on the run and there’s another monster chasing me down.
What could bring me back into their lives, their homes, and ultimately, their beds?
Killian, Rath, and Tristian aren’t the only ones who want me. There’s someone far more dangerous out there who’s been stalking me since I left town the first time. Someone who makes the evil I know feel less dangerous than the evil I don’t.
But being their Lady is more than just fancy clothes and reputation.
I might be under their protection, but I’m also at their mercy.
And there’s nothing a Lord loves more than taking control.
My Favourite Quote:
“She didn’t seem inclined to attend dinner with the sentient manifestation of Satan’s genitalia. Can’t say I blame her. You’ve got the personalities of an anal itch. Don’t know how I stand it.”Mrs. Crane, p.106. Lord of Pain.
This book has a great trigger warning at the start of the book so I am going to put the highlights here because DAMN does this book need it:
Trigger warning – Graphic Abuse, dub/non-con, intense bullying, and other uncomfortable situations.
This is a 3.5/5 star read for me.
I really enjoyed this. I read as part of a smutty book club with my amazing bookstagram besties, and I knew going into it that this was going to be intense. And it definitely was. If you are of the faint of heart then avoid this like the plague. If you like some questionable stuff then welcome to the depraved club, we have cookies!
*On that note only one part in it made me feel a little uncomfortable and it actually isn’t the bit most people would expect so that’s interesting.
What I didn’t like…
THE NAMES – I know this is a petty thing but I am picky about this stuff.
Let’s start with the main character. You have to read her name a hell of a lot… and hers is Story…yes you read that right. Story. I am sorry but come on, how creatively lazy do you have to be to name the main character of your story, Story? Every time I read it, it filled me with rage and pulled me out of the plot so much. I am usually fussy with characters’ names when they are cliche or bizarre…but Story is just one step too far.
Then we have the guys names: Killian Payne (aka Kill/Killer), Dimitri Rathbourn (aka Rath) and then Tristian Mercer. On the surface this didn’t annoy me. Not until I really thought about it once I was writing my review and finished the book. This book is called Lords of Pain and spends a lot of it’s time focusing on Killian…PAYNE. The second book is called Lords of Wrath…and you guessed it focuses mostly on Rath and then the third book in the series is called Lords of Mercy…for Tristian Mercer. I know this is meant to seem witty and clever but to me it just feels trashy and irritating. And also I realised they call Killian Killer for a lot of the book…making it basically Killer Payne – like come on – Killer Pain? How cliché can you get with the “bad guy” love interest’s name.
Like I said, this is a little thing and probably doesn’t matter to most people but it annoyed me so I had to mention it.
THE PACING – I think this suffered from book 1 syndrome where it’s tackling so much in setting everything up that the pacing of the story gets a little odd. It was great at the start and the end but there were definitely more dull bits in the middle where I felt like I was just going through the motions reading it rather than being excited to keep going.
INTRIGUE – Maybe it’s just because it’s a romance but I guessed everything about this, maybe this added to the lulls because I saw everything coming. And not even just the big plot things, but even when certain things were going to happen. There was an inevitability about this book that I couldn’t seem to shake which just brought it down a little. I would go into more detail but I am keeping this spoiler-free as always.
HUMOUR – there was humour in this, mainly from Tristen. But I wish there was just a little more to balance out some of the depraved things. This is a very small gripe though.
What I liked…
THE WRITING STYLE – I loved the writing. I hadn’t read from either author before but I definitely will again (namely in the sequel to this that releases in June) but also I’d happily pick up their individual stuff too because this was stunningly written. It’s easy to fall into cliches in Romance but this book didn’t seem to have that and the rare occasion they did it was acknowledged in the writing so it felt real and just added to the greatness of the writing overall.
THE PLOT – This had such a fun concept for an RH. I loved how the multiple plots all intertwined. It gave the book a nice balance and a break away from THE GAME and the main romance. I wish more time was spent on “Ted” but I understand it was to build things up for the sequel.
THE RH – Reverse Harem is not typically my kind of read, I’m usually a multiple-guys-vying-but-one-wins-her-heart situation kinda girl, but this was actually great. It helped that they all had very distinct personalities and approaches to her. I also think the challenge aspect of it helped with that too. Although I still don’t think the relationships were completely even. Killian was definitely the favourite (not of the MC but of the authors I think) since he seemed to get a lot of focus and attention on him more so than the others. Rath gets the next most attention and Tristen definitely felt a little tacked onto things for comedic relief at points which was a little disappointing. But overall it worked really well.
THE CHARACTERS – like I briefly mentioned, I loved the distinct personalities of them all. And not just the MCs but also the secondary characters. Ms. Crane was my favourite character in this book by far. Swiftly followed by Rath. I think he had the most depth and interest of the guys. I did like Story, she had some great qualities and I loved how she thought and her priorities, but sometimes she confused me a little. As I said, Tristian sometimes felt a little like a tacked-on extra but sometimes he was great and his few humourous moments really helped. Killian was brilliant. So deliciously deplorable. He was just awesome. I loved reading his POV. Overall, I loved the characters. I loved that the authors stuck to their guns and kept them as assholes. They definitely have some redeemable features appear as the story progresses because that’s character development and without it, the story would stagnate but they remained true to their horrible horrible selves despite the light redeemableness at points and I loved how it was done and tackled and just amazing props to the writers for this.
I know from this it looks like there was more I enjoyed than didn’t which is true…but then why the 3.5-star rating? I honestly don’t know if I can say for sure why. I just feel a gut sense that this is the rating that is right for this book. Overall, a good read and I am excited for the next one because I think it will just be better, all the great things of this one but potentially without the odd pacing and intrigue issues.
Overall Score = 7/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
That’s all for today’s review folks. I hope you enjoyed even if it was a darker read than my usual thing. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and that the start of the week treats you well ❤
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