Series: Merciless #1
Author: Willow Winter
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Length: 275 pages
I should’ve known she would ruin me the moment I saw her.
Women like her are made to destroy men like me.
I couldn’t resist her though.
Given to me to start a war; I was too eager to accept.
But I didn’t know what she’d do to me. That she would change everything.
She sees through me in a way no one else ever has.
Her innocence and vulnerability make me weak for her and I hate it.
I know better than to give in to temptation.
A ruthless man doesn’t let a soul close to him.
A cold-hearted man doesn’t risk anything for anyone.
A powerful man with a beautiful woman at his mercy… he doesn’t fall for her.
**** My Review ****
Seldom can a book leave me literally and utterly speechless, but this one did. The raw emotions, the captivating story, the touch of darkness that leaves you repulsed , but still wanting for more, the two strong, yet weak characters… phenomenally intertwined in a story I couldn’t read fast enough!
Aria and Carter’s story is not one that will make you giggle and swoon, it will make you feel things you didn’t even know could, it will anger you like not many stories can. The story of the broken princess and her dark knight, that live lives they didn’t choose, is something that will grab your attention and transport you to the world where rules are set by the strongest, and fear and cruelty are a necessity in order to survive the harshness that surrounds them. Where the concepts of good and evil are altered according to the need, and the cruelty and punishment are signs of affection and love. But the ultimate question remains: Can you love the person who breaks you in unimaginable ways?
Willow Winters is a master storyteller, brave enough to think and write outside of the box, and create characters that are so memorable and unique. Yes, Willow has managed to create the perfect anti-hero character; He is handsome, powerful, and charismatic at times, but so brutal and wicked. It is so easy to hate him, while at the same time you struggle to understand the reasoning behind that cruel, even abysmal treatment of Aria, who tries to remain strong as long as she could. A victim, who tries to fight a futile battle. Even the strongest person will break under such brutish treatment. A woman in a male world, wordless, insignificant, stripped from even the power to lead her life as she wants. Humiliation, pain and the desire to survive another day have her questioning her sanity at every turn. And the reader can feel her pain, and empathize with her. And somehow, the thought of Stockholm/Helsinki syndrome penetrates my mind, while I try to understand and get to know her, so that I can understand the whole story.
The supporting characters in the book are only lightly present in the plot, not enough significance is given to any of them, as the focus of the book is mainly on the two main characters. We get glimpses of the other Cross brothers, who are in a way similar, a yet so different from Carter.
I will be honest, I have read a few dark romances, but this one had me flabbergasted in more than one way. I’m not sure whether I will want to read more. I hated Carter and his inhuman treatment of the girl he claims to be his. I loathed seeing her helpless as she tries to fight in vain. I felt nothing but abhorrence reading how he was trying to break her, to feed her, to make her kneel, and yet I couldn’t put the book down. Willow Winters has proved to be a master of in this field, writing this gripping storyline, dark and brutal, yet so captivating and intriguing at the same time. She leads the reader on a journey into this world of darkness and cruelty, using a perfect blend of emotions and details, clever and timely plot twists, and a dash of gentleness, accompanied by hot sexy scenes that simply add to the books appeal. The cliff hanger was simply intolerable, and yet so addictive at the same time. I reluctantly admit, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, where I hope I will find the answers to the many questions left after I read this one. Definitely, ‘Merciless’ is a deliciously dark romance that will leave every lover of this genre breathless.