ARC Review: The Monster (Boston Belles, #3). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Monster by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Maybe we were never meant for each other. But that night at the carnival, when you showed me who you were, I figured out who I wanted to be.”

The most important thing I’d ever read was scribbled on the door of a portable restroom, engraved into plastic at a carnival on the outskirts of Boston.

Lust lingers, love stays.

Lust is impatient, love waits.

Lust burns, love warms.

Lust destroys, but love? Love kills.

Maybe it was always my destiny to fall in love with a monster.

When other kids stayed awake at night fearing the pointy-toothed beast hiding in their closet, I longed to see mine.

I wanted to feed it, domesticate it, understand it.

Sam and I were only allowed to love each other in the dark.

Once our story unfolded, and the truth came to light, I was the one to cut the cord.

My name is Aisling Fitzpatrick, and I have a confession to make.

Sam Brennan is not the only monster in this story. 

The Monster

“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls.” – – Edger Allen Poe

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: 💋💋💋💋💋
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📙📕📗📘📙
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 👨🏻👱🏻‍♀‍🧔🏻👩🏻👱🏼‍♂‍

The heroine: Aisling Fitzpatrick (a.k.a. Nix) – she is the daughter of an oil magnate in Boston. Her father doesn’t think she is good for much since she isn’t a man and her mother keeps her close. Aisling finished med school and is an OB/Gyn Resident at a local hospital.

The Hero(es): Sam Brennen (a.k.a. Monster) – adopted by the Mob Fixer Troy Brennen and his wife Sparrow. Sam is now the biggest Mobster in Boston and owns several successful clubs. He also works as a fixer for Aisling’s Dad and brothers.

The Story: Aisling and Sam met at a carnival when she was 17 and he 25. He was her first kiss and then she saw him kill someone. She met him again a year later with her family. In the years she was in medical school she saw him often at gatherings but rarely spoke to him.

At first, the thing I didn’t like about this story was how Aisling got a crush on Sam from the get go and was way too desperate for him. She actually begged him. It is one thing for a heroine to have a crush or to be attracted to the anti-hero, quite another to show him how much she wants him when he seems not to want her.

Though the story is a good one and I really enjoyed how it all played out. L.J. Shen is certainly a master of the anti-hero and Sam is as dark and dangerous as any she has written about in the past. He is also a class “A” Alphahole to Ash through the majority of the book, and it is so nice to see him fall. I also like the fact that Aisling makes Sam work for it.

The romance between Sam and Aisling was super steamy and the back and forth between them was so great. One thing I like about L.J. Shen books is how they focus so much on the romance between the two main characters and though there are side storylines, there is plenty of interactions between the two main characters and you can see the relationship between them build throughout the story.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.


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