Black by Aria Cole
Published by Self-published on May 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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A beast, alone with the horrors of his past, the scar on his face a constant reminder of the man he’s become.
A beauty, on the run with her life in a tailspin, finds herself on his doorstep seeking protection.
Deeply misunderstood and dedicated to his life of brooding solitude, Maxwell Black is hesitant to let Elle McKellan into his home where his hideous secrets hide. But he’s unable to resist the allure of this desperate stranger.
Soon the magnetism between them is undeniable, the temptation unbearable. Elle, reluctant to risk losing her heart to this dark and broken man, struggles against the sexual tension, only to surrender to the combustable heat between them.
When Elle’s life catches up to her and threatens to tear them apart, Maxwell will protect the precious love he’s found by any brutal means necessary.
Black is a sexy, modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and is intended for mature audiences.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I’m not a writer. I don’t think I’d know where to even begin putting together a story, so my utmost respect to those brave authors who put their work out there. That said, if I had to sum up Black in a few words I’d use hot mess. And I mean that literally. It has some seriously hot scenes, but then there was a lot of the book that just felt messy to me.
A beauty and the beast romance, it goes like this: there’s a guy who’s been a recluse in his library for a couple of years after suffering from trauma in the past (hence the whole recluse thing). In comes a pretty young thing that makes everything change.
I liked the idea of this story but I felt it could have had a bit more work. For starters, the characters pasts were seriously underdeveloped and this came through mainly when their reactions (and sometimes spoken references) didn’t match up to what we learn of them. What I mean by this is they were practically drama queens. For example, when we finally learn Maxwell’s past I was like “That’s it? That was his horrible past???” I’m not saying what happened to him wasn’t bad, it’s just that I was expecting something one bazillion times worse.
It was pretty much the same in Elle’s case. When she talked about her family and how she grew up I was picturing some really gruesome things, but it all turned out to be more mildly worrisome than truly terrible. My point here is that we needed a bit more in-depth exploration of their past with a lot more detail (and a couple more examples) or they should have had blander reaction to things going on.
I was a bit confused by Maxwell at the beginning too. At one point I was wondering if he was a werewolf and I was unaware that I had picked up a paranormal, because of the way he talked when we were in his head.
Elle was too innocent, bordering on stupid if one went by this line (after they have sex for the first time):
“Should I go shower or something? To make sure I don’t… get pregnant?”
REALLY????!!!! That is not sweet innocence. Well, maybe it would be if you’re 3, but Elle is 21 and there’s no way anyone in this era would say something like that at 21.
I guess that my issue with Black was that everything felt a little wee bit blown out of proportion. I think this could have been a great guilty pleasure read with just a few adjustments. Still I read it in one sitting so Ms. Cole definitely has a lot of potential and I’ll be keeping my eyes out for her future work.
Sparkles Rating: 3 “Time will tell” Stars
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