Playing with Monsters by Amelia Hutchins
Series: Playing with Monsters #1
Published by Self-published on June 28th 2016
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My coven has remained hidden in the shadows for centuries.We’ve avoided the ‘real world’ altogether; hiding from monsters and other creatures we share this planet with.We found protection in the Colville National Forest, nestled in a town protected by magical barriers.Our powers are locked by an ancient curse, one meant to protect us from being found.Until now.The past has a way of repeating itself. A new game is beginning. No one is safe.He’s coming for me.He’s hunting.The monster we’ve run from for centuries has found us.How far will this deadly game go?How far will I be able to take it, or will he destroy me and everything I care about?Will the one thing I can’t live without, be the key to destroying and undoing the past?Or will the past destroy me before I can save the people I love from what I’ve done
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Reading Playing With Monsters was like being on the “WTF” rollercoaster ride from hell. Seriously, I spent this entire book confused, disoriented, and feeling like the bottom was constantly dropping out from under me.
The book starts out with a freaky deaky opening scene from the past. It was full of betrayal ending in death but not before both characters laid some seriously bad curses on one another setting up a cycle of reincarnated lifetimes of bad juju between the two. Unfortunately, even after the death and the curses, it wasn’t clear who betrayed whom, but it may just be the betrayal was on them both.
Fast forward to current day, and we meet Lena. She’s cut herself off from her family after a run of bad luck and betrayal that would have flattened a lesser person. Due to the way her family’s coven works, she must return home to have her power awakened since she’s finally come of age. When she gets there, it’s pretty apparent things have changed in her coven, and not for the good especially after meeting Lucian. She doesn’t know who he is, but she knows something isn’t quite right even if the normally reclusive coven has welcomed him with open arms. The pull between the two is mind blowing and hot from the get go but she fights him as hard as she possibly can, no matter how many times she loses herself to him.
I wasn’t sure about Lena at first, but she grew on me. I think she is stronger than anyone in that coven, but life had just thrown her one to many curve balls. Some of her actions left me shaking my head, but then later on things would come to light that made them more understandable. Every action of hers, every dream, and every feeling of hers had me guessing as to whether or not she is the reincarnated Katarina no matter what Lucian thought, and wondering what would happen if she is.
I’m still not sure what to think about Lucian. Is he a tortured victim forced to do unspeakable things due to a confusing curse? Is he more powerful than even the devil himself? I don’t know. He spent an inordinate amount of time in the beginning internally waxing poetic about how freaking evil and horrid he is and how he’s going to ruin Lena which was extremely off-putting. Lucian’s men also hinted at doing things I don’t know that I could ever get past. Because of this, I spent a good part of the book loathing them.
The end of the book had my heart breaking for Lucian because of what he had to do, even if I wasn’t sure he deserved my sympathy. As his story unfolded, and we learned more about why he does what he does, I understood his reasons even if I don’t know if I can forgive the actions (who am I kidding, I know I’ll love him by the end of this series). I’m also bummed that I still can’t figure out who or what the heck Lucian actually is. I know it’s not what everyone thinks.
Playing With Monsters was one surprise after another. Nothing was as it seemed and the surprises and twists were constantly coming. I was seriously not kidding when I said it was confusing, but I powered on, picked my way through and slowly started piecing some of the puzzle together. It was so very dark, but I expect that from an Amelia Hutchins book. The ending… wow. I was not expecting that and when Lena figures things out there will be hell to pay.
Even though I don’t like roller coasters, I’m glad I took this ride and am gearing up for round two. I don’t willingly read cliffhangers ever, except for ones set up by Amelia Hutchins. Now I find myself impatiently waiting for the next installment in the ride queue from hell
What I Struggled With:
- The confusion throughout. I think some of this could have been avoided by revealing why Lucian had to do what he did sooner without taking away from the story itself.
- Helen and Cassidy and the hold they had over the coven despite their nastiness. It just didn’t make sense to me.
- The rape. That was rough.
- The choice Lena’s mother had to make all those years ago, and the consequences to an innocent little boy.
- Kendra and how weak some of her choices seemed.
- The lack of loyalty shown in the coven.
- Lena’s father. What a waste of oxygen.
What I Loved:
- Hating yet wanting to like Lucian. It was a mindfuck of epic proportion.
- The chemistry between Lena and Lucian. Holy Wow.
- How many times I was surprised. It doesn’t happen often.
- Lena’s strength, even when she seemed at her weakest.
- The discussion about being a victim.
- Seeing old friends, especially Ryder. Yum.
Spice’s Rating: 4 That Was One Hell Of A Ride Stars
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