Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen
Series: All Saints High #1
Also in this series: Broken Knight (All Saints High, #2)
Published by L.J. Shen on April 21, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon
Available on KU at posting: Yes
From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced. I took her first kiss. She took the only thing I loved. I was poor. She was rich. The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast. Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project. Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much. Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother. There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears. Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.
Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk. But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way. The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you. In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day. Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him. Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything. His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free. Now? Now he is making me pay.
Pretty Reckless has a YA setting but it has an NA feel to it. The title, Pretty Reckless, is an understatement. Daria’s behaviour is intolerable but her motivation is heartbreaking. Her defensive actions added to her vulnerability at the same time as making her appear untouchable.
I have slipped behind on both the Saints and All Saints High series, but even reading out of order (which I always try to avoid) I never have a problem getting into either series. Daria and Penn’s story has me eager to catch up on the other books in both series!
Penn is a broody, young man with self-imposed responsibilities way beyond his years. Sport was his golden ticket to a scholarship and an escape from the poverty-stricken life he was born into. He’s a born survivor who stands out because of his consideration for others in need.
In the eyes of others, Daria has it all, a privileged lifestyle and a supportive family. She is aware of her failings but rather than change her ways, learns to cope with her long list of vindictive deeds. I wondered how the hell she believed her antics would benefit her in the end. It began to be one eff up after another.
The drama is dark in nature but the elements of light within the story gave me hope. Penn was her rock but he had a lot going on with his mess of a life. His confident arrogance kept me entertained throughout the story and I loved his chivalry.
Daria and Penn go from instant attraction to sworn enemies. When circumstances bring them under the same roof their battle begins. Her father makes it clear that Penn is welcome as long as he stays away from his daughters. Not a problem for Penn and Daria to begin with but slowly their attraction to each other is stronger than the hatred both of them harbour.
There is a lot going on in Pretty Reckless, extending beyond Penn and Daria to family and the school community. Rather than crowding the plot, it added layers which kept me intrigued and turning pages. Their forbidden romance became heated through stolen moments and the chemistry they shared. Both strong characters whose vulnerability came from their willingness to risk it all in trusting in others. A big step for both of them having being let down by people in positions of trust.
The excerpt at the end of the book is from the novella telling the story of how Daria’s parents, James and Melody met. I rarely read teasers at the end of a book for no other reason than wanting to not cloud the story I have just read, but this time curiosity demanded I read on. Needless to say, I will be reading their book, Deny next!
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