Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: Malevolent by Cassia Brightmore


My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale:  3 of 5 flames

Pub Date:  March 2, 2015

Darkness has a seductive power, a delicious energy that sinks its claws in deep. Once the devil has a hold of you, true malevolence is born. 

Sheriff Brady James has sworn to protect the small town of Durham Heights, his current priority to ruthlessly hunt a sadistic killer on the loose. With lives at stake, his focus is split between two beautiful women - one dark, one light. The clock is ticking, the threat palpable; crawling closer at every turn. Once death has you in its sights, there is no escape.

Pain. Suffering. Lives shattered and broken. In the fight of good against evil, who will survive? 

This is the first book in the Darkness series, a wishing evil upon others novel that can be read as a standalone.

Due to mature content and violent situations, this book is recommended for readers 18 years and up.

So, this book was not what I was expecting.  I was provided an advanced copy of this book for review.  It was well-written to be the author's first book, and I see great potential for her future writing career.  The villains were some of the most sadistic and creepy characters that I have ever read.  The (non-practicing) psychologist in me would really like to study Ms. Brightmore's brain to see how she came up with some of this material!     

The setting for this story is a small town in Lousiana, and its told in a third person alternating POV. We have Brady, the sexy alpha male sheriff, who uses all those southern endearments that sound so good in a drawl (like sugar, and darlin').  We don't meet the female lead and tortured heroine, Gwyn, until the fourth chapter.  I didn't connect with Gwyn for some reason - I'm not really sure why.  I really liked all the secondary characters in this book, particularly Hailey and Joan, who exuded that southern hospitality that I loved growing up with.  There is also a psycho ex-girlfriend who takes that stereotype above and beyond what I have seen in other books.  I don't want to say anything else about the plot because I'm afraid to give away spoilers.

Unfortunately, although well-written, the material was just not for me.  It was too graphic.  I like dark romances, but I didn't consider this a dark romance.  It was more like a suspense/thriller with a side line of romance. The first chapter involved a sexually sadistic serial killer that was so graphic, I didn't think I would continue the book. I didn't think these graphic scenes were necessary to the telling of the story, and I would have enjoyed it more if they were glossed over or at least less detailed.  If I had to make one recommendation to someone who hasn't read the book, I would say to skip or skim Chapter 1.

Will I continue reading the series?  Yes, I think so.  There was a big cliffhanger at the end of this book, and I would like to see where it goes.  I just hope future books are a little less graphic - a little less blood and gore.

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