I have no idea what I just read. I'm really struggling to even tell you what just happened. So the Locke brothers are some kind of super violent vigilantes and Aston Locke is the baby brother (he's 21). Everyone in town is terrified of the brothers but it seems the terror is based on reputation and not reality. In real life, the brothers are a threat only to "bad guys." And even then, they somehow get hired by people to take care of those bad guys.
Aston Locke is constantly referring to himself as a sick sadistic SOB in his head. Only that doesn't seem entirely accurate based on the actions he takes. Aston doesn't seem sick or sadistic, he seems...well, damaged. He had something really bad happen to him as a teenager and he has absolutely no coping abilities or no context for PTSD so he just thinks he's sick. Then one night, while on one of his missions with his brothers he sees Kadence.
I have no clue really what the deal is with Kadence. I know she's really young and falls instantly in crazy love with Aston. Aston barely even says anything to her and she isn't just declaring her attraction but her unending devotion to him. And then the author throws in this really confusing scene where Kadence goes running in the woods. After dark. By herself. Predictably, she is nearly assaulted but saved by Aston. I was reading this going what? what? nooo! Between Kadence never having seen any of the rape awareness videos in college and apparently none of the safe consensual sex videos either, I was just done with her as a character.
I don't read YA romance or NA romance because I find the characters can be frustratingly stupid. Even though I don't think this book is technically in one of those categories, these characters definitely were. I didn't really see a romance in this book or the development of any deep bond between these characters. I kind of just didn't get it. I see a lot of other really positive reviews for this book so I leave room for the possibility that the whole thing just went over my head. But from my perspective, this just wasn't my favorite book.
**ARC provided by Ardent PRose**
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