Book Review – Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by L.J. Shen

Posted February 5, 2017 by Geybie in Book Review / 4 Comments

Vicious by L.J. ShenGenres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Standalone (part of a series)
Published on: December 27, 2016
Pages: 328
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 STARS
Buy on Amazon

Honestly, I hesitated a little bit when I decided to read this book in the beginning because of two facts. First, this is a new author to me; I was not familiar with her writing yet. Second, I kind of had already predicted where the story would go; I was afraid of being bored or even worse deciding to not finishing it. But since I was in the mood for this kind of theme, I gave it a try, and I’m glad I did. I enjoyed this story a lot.

What is it about? It follows the journey of a teenager named Emilia when her parents got a job (as housekeepers) in a mansion of a really wealthy family. Because of her sister’s poor health, she was forced by her parents to ask the son of her parents’ employers for a help. After their first meeting, she found out that he was a jerk, but never had crossed her mind that he would be a big asshole that would change her life forever.

Although the story starts when the main characters were in high school, the majority takes place ten years later when they are adults.

The writing is good but could have been developed better. I enjoyed some scenes; they were hilarious and emotional. Unfortunately, they were lacking details and emotional explanations, and some parts felt too rushed that would have made me more connected to the characters. While the drama was interesting—there were moments that made me giddy, laugh, and emotionally connected–, I hoped the writing could have been deeper. It was a bit hit and miss.

The main characters were interesting but could have been developed better. Emilia was the kind of heroine that you would love. She is kind, loving, and can stand up for herself. The author successfully maintains her characteristics from high school throughout her adult life and showed a little bit maturity that was appropriate for her age. I understood her choices, reactions, and feelings especially toward him in the situation she was in. However, I felt like Vicious never grew up. While I understand that the author wants to show his inner struggles because of his past as one of the main conflicts in this story, I would have hoped that ten years at least matured him a little bit, showing a little character development that separated his high-school self with his 28 self.

Vicious is the character that you would love or hate or probably both. He is a complicated character. I have a fair share of interest for complicated characters. Believe me, I love them.. hehe (my guilty pleasure). However, even I (an alpha males junkie) have a hard limit. He pushed me to a limit where I wanted to quit this story for good. He was the king of assholes. I hated him but did not have the courage to abandon him. You know that kind of feeling. 😉

“I was going to a bullshit college in Los Angeles a couple of hours away, and she was staying here. I would come back every other weekend, and she’d still be here. Catering to me. Serving me. Envying me. She was going to stay small and insignificant. Uneducated and opportunity-less. And above all—mine.”

“…if I couldn’t have her, no one else could.”

He is a rich, smart boy (guy) who knows he can have whatever he wants, and he takes advantage of it. I could not stand him for the most parts, but the author managed to make me love hi mat the end. Yes, he is not perfect, never have been and crazy at times (honestly, for almost the most parts), but once you know his past, what he’s been through when he was growing up, you will connect with him. To reach that point, it takes time. I hope you don’t give up within the first half of this book. I know it would be hard to connect with him in the beginning and maybe for a while, but please give this book a chance.

“I was missing a few pieces. A few chips I needed in order to be able to love like a normal person does. That’s why I liked breaking things, and why I especially enjoyed breaking Emilia. She was the purest thing I’d ever met.”

I consistently asked myself, “will he be able to redeem himself?” or “will the writer be able to connect him with me?” and “will I forgive him?” Arrgghh It was tough. He seemed to be impossible to love. His actions were unforgivable. Yep, I was torn. But It happened. Yep, he redeemed himself. Not exactly what I would have expected. I expected more, but I liked it.

“I dragged everyone into a lot of dark shit because I couldn’t admit to myself this one, simple fact. All I wanted was for her to be mine, but I kept thinking—believing—that I wasn’t enough. That something so broken couldn’t possibly deserve someone so whole.”

Another thing that bothered me is their 10 years apart. I don’t mind how many years the main characters were apart as long as it was supported by a logical explanation as to why it happened. It is hard for me to believe when a character says that he or she is obsessed with him or her but not doing a thing for 10 years especially when he or she has the power to do it. 🙁

Next thing I want to talk would probably contain a spoiler for you guys, but I think it is important. I enjoyed the love triangle drama in this story. It was well developed; not too much unnecessary angst that usually annoyed me. In fact, it was hilarious. The ending was exactly what I was hoping for. It underlined a bigger message about love and friendship and how those two are the things that cannot be separated.

“Accepting the fact that you loved someone was much harder than falling for that person. It took time. And courage. But when I finally took that time, found that courage, when I finally let my guard down, I’d discovered something spectacular.

While I think this book is not perfect, I enjoyed it and I think you will if you give it a chance. It has a lot of things that could’ve been great had it been explored deeper but overall it is a good read. Will I read the next books in this series? Absolutely yes and I hope they will be better.

Series Reading Order:

Vicious by L.J. Shen Defy by L.J. Shen Ruckus by L.J. Shen Scandalous by L.J. Shen

I’m a fulltime reader who can’t live without books especially romance novels. In addition to books, I love animals, music, and dance shows. I hope you find your next read through my reviews and lists of recommendations. You can recommend me your favorites as well by leaving a comment on my ‘Recommend Me Books’ posts or check them out for awesome recommendations.

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