This is a round up of the books I read on the 1st quarter of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.
Better The Devil You Know – Bey Deckard
This is not a romance.
Tags: graphic torture, murder, paranormal, forced incest, rape
Byron is tall, handsome, well spoken, wealthy, and has outstanding taste in wine and food. You’ll be impressed by his impeccable attire and eloquence in conversation, ranging from Baroque art to the newest advances in pharmacology. With his charming smile and elegant manners, Byron truly is the perfect date… and who doesn’t love a man who appreciates opera?
What’s the catch, you ask?
Just this: if Byron finds you suitable, he will subject you to utterly depraved forms of torture.
No, I’m not talking about S&M.
Byron will mutilate, rape, and then kill you. Don’t think that you will survive the encounter, because you won’t.
He has a perfect record.
Intrigued? Would you like me to arrange a rendezvous? It has to be in the next few days because he’s leaving on a trip south to much warmer climes, and his calendar will be completely full.
Yes? Very good. I will make a reservation for two under the name of Smith.
Who am I? I’m Gloria, his personal assistant.
This is where a very bad man goes to hell to give the Devil what he deserves.
Better The Devil You Know is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Please do heed the trigger warnings. As mentioned in the blurb, this is not a romance. This is paranormal horror. If you like it painful and gruesome, this one takes it to the extreme.
Byron was a former doctor who uses his money to cover up his many illicit activities. With the help of his uber-efficient assistant, Gloria, he seduces men then later turns them into his playthings. With his medical knowledge, he prolongs his victim’s life and inflicts the sickest, most depraved tortures you can ever imagine.
This sicko has no redeeming qualities what so ever. There’s no redemption, no turning over a new leaf at the end. But I have to say, boy is he charming!
This is a story that feels very much like its main character. Dark, monstrous, sickening, terrifying but somehow you are still drawn to it. The sheer force of Byron’s charisma compels one to stay, makes one curious, keeps one interested.
Each chapter is shown through the eyes of Byron’s many victims. All too often, it is a tale of hapless young men drawn to the handsome gentleman with impeccable taste and perfect manners, only to find out too late that this beauty is worst than a beast.
It’s very intense to go through these men’s thoughts as they writhe in agony and breathe their last breaths. The author gave them names, faces, voices and backstories. It makes their plight even more heart-breaking knowing that two brothers just wanting a new car or a gay immigrant just wanting to make a connection unknowingly threw themselves into the hands of a monster
There are a couple of mysteries presented in the book. One is Michael, Byron’s last date. Why does this young man seem vaguely familiar? Gloria became a mystery as the story progressed. Who exactly is this assistant who seem almost too good at her job?
Then there is Lucifer. Luce to his friends. Never ever Lucie. Wondering what would it take to break a man like Byron. The Lord Of Hell has always been a fascinating character. Here, he’s fabulous, if perpetually bored. Seeing him light up when he talks to Byron, well, I couldn’t help but ship the two. But again, this is not romance. Fantastic chemistry notwithstanding, Luce is too good for the likes of Byron. Yes, the man is that bad.
There are so many clever twists and turns. Everything came together in a thrilling climax. It was a something I half expected since it felt like the logical conclusion given the set-up. I just didn’t know how exactly it would be done. The other half was something like Luce and Byron plotting elaborate methods of soul rehabilitation together. Would have loved to see that.
Either way, I loved how things were resolved. It does have its own kind of happy ending for the two, Because really, when I think about it, take away all the blood and gore, Better The Devil You Know is a story about one hell of a job promotion.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away
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