This was such an awesome bully romance. If you like this genre at all, then this is the book for you. The Hero is a huge jerk and a big bully and completely obsessed with the heroine Ella Quinn. First he bullies her by turning the whole school against her on her first day, then later he bullies her into almost everything she does. She sees emptiness in his eyes, she knows he has something dark inside him.
I had been waiting for this book. Not long ago I read Noble Savages that included the book Cruel King. I love Bully Romance and Cruel King was one of the best I had read and was a step in a new direction for Rina Kent. I think all her Mafia/assassin series books are incredible. Cruel King was the story of Levi King and it included Levi’s cousin Adrian and this book is Adrian’s story. The way Levi talked about Adrian sounded like Adrian could be a sociopath.
Ella likes to stay in the background but is not afraid to stand up for herself, and while she is afraid of Aiden, she stands up for hehrself anyway. Though he seems to always see through her. He says she likes being forced into doing things she thinks she should have issues with, and she isn’t sure if he is right or if she just hates him. Maybe she thinks she should because he made her miserable for a long time.
On her first day at Royal Elite School she meets Kim, a girl who is sneaking around the edge of the crowd of students and she figures that Kim is a girl like her, who just wants to keep her head down and get through high school so she can get into a good college. They become immediate friends. Then she sees Aiden on the field with his friends. She meets his eyes and can’t look away. He then comes up to her and tells her that he will destroy her.
Aiden is the king of the school and after that the majority of the student body treats her like trash. Ella and Aiden have daily glaring matches but other than that, they have no contact. He doesn’t outright bully her, but he also doesn’t do anything about it and since one word from him to the other students would stop it, she blames him for starting it and letting it go on.
However things change on the first day of their senior year when he starts bullying her face to face. He wants her and she is putty in his hands. There are also a lot of secrets at play. Ella is being raised by her aunt and uncle since her parent died when she was young. She doesn’t remember anything before she woke up in the hospital and doesn’t want to remember.
Also, there is something going on with her friend Kim and Kim won’t talk about what it is, but it is the reason Kim has been an outcast even though she has known 90% of the students since middle school. Kim even lives right near Aiden and across the street from Aidens best friend Xander.
The biggest mystery is Aiden himself. Why is he so dark? When Ella calls him sick he doesn’t deny it, he knows he is different than other people. Ella is curious to know what made him that way. She even wonders if he was abused as a child. I love how it is written, with all the mystery and we as readers don’t know the answers either.
But as I stare up at Aiden’s punishing eyes, my earlier thoughts shrink behind my trembling, defective heart. He scares me. Call it instinct or an intuition, but something terrifying lurks behind that easy-going smile and football star image.
“What did you just do?” His voice is calm and quiet with a slight huskiness.
I hate knowing what the secrets are and the people who have the secrets don’t tell them so everything is about huge misunderstandings or just the fact that the main character(s) don’t really know the motivation behind certain things. Another thing I like was that this was an erotic romance and boy was it spicy. I give it 5 peppers for hotness 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶! One thing I sometimes hate about high school romance is that they are too clean and a great number of high school students are not that clean. If they were we wouldn’t have TV shows like Teen Mom or Young and Pregnant.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.