Menace (Scarlet Scars #1)
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Rating: 5 stars
Blurb: Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.
Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So f*cking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.
Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.
You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.
AMAZON (free on KU)
It’s been a long time since a book sucked me in to the point where I devoured it within hours of starting it, but Menace did exactly that!!! Omg! Lorenzo stole a part of me that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get back. Oh, heck….I don’t think I even want it back. That’s how attached I am to this book; seriously ya’ll you need to go pick it up now!
The entire storyline was executed flawlessly, the plot had me on edge from page one. I loved how everything flowed and the intensity was something I haven’t felt in a book in a while. It had everything a truly good book should: drama, twists and turns, suspense, and you can’t forget the steamy, sexy goodness and believe me…this author did not disappoint in that area! She also threw in a bunch of guns, mafia-related themes, and, at times, even grenades. She made this book captivating in every sense of the word. Even with all the guns and blazing glory, J.M. Darhower gives us a story that has a lot of complex layers, and as the story progesses we see just how complex and in-depth this story really is.
“There’s a reason girls yell ‘fire’ instead of ‘rape’, why we lie and say we have boyfriends instead of just saying ‘no’ when we’re not interested. Because a lot of men respect another man’s property more than they respect a woman’s right to her own body.”
Lorenzo is batshit crazy, but he’s definitely my kind of crazy. I loved his inner monologue; his entire character was something I just couldn’t get enough of. He’s had a rough life and he doesn’t even pretend to be anything different than what he was created to be. You take him as is; that is one of the many reasons I fell so hard for him! He never once apologized for who or what he was. Even with all of his hardness and his “allergy” to any kind of emotion, we see the compassion he has for the ones he holds close. He doesn’t catch feelings too often, and he’s more likely to shoot you than to admit to you he has them, but he does all the same.
“I’m finding myself feeling some type of way about this woman at the moment, and I don’t appreciate it. There’s voodoo in her blood, and it makes me want to slit her fucking throat so it’ll all spill out, rain red down on the city beneath us before shoving her over the side. Fly, little wich. Don’t forget your fucking broom.”
Morgan has had a hard life; a life that makes you tense up and feel all queasy inside. Her life isn’t pretty, but she’s doing her best to find the happily ever after she’s been searching for….the life she knows is out there because for a short time she had it. No, it’s not the fairytale we think of, but it’s hers and she wants it back like something fierce. But in order to achieve that she has to figure out a way to beat the people responsible at their own game. She owns up to every bad thing she’s ever done and she doesn’t let it define her. She’s sassy, bold, and braver than a lot of people give her credit for. She’s defnitely a heroine that sticks to her guns and gives as good as she gets. Life isn’t pretty, but she fights for her little piece of “sunshine” anyway doing what is necessary to survive…lie, cheat, steal, strip….nothing is too dirty or dangerous when it comes to getting back what she desperately needs.
“I just think about how fucked up it is to realize that heroes are make-believe but monsters are real. That’s the world we live in. There’s no knight in shining out there. It’s just me, trapped in a world filled with fire-breathing dragons.”
Together Morgan and Lorenzo set the world on fire. His twitchy trigger fingers and her tenacity is something that no one can stop. He doesn’t want to want her as much as he does and she doesn’t fully understand her feelings for him, but it makes perfect sense when you add in their chemistry..and it’s not just the chemsitry in the bedroom either! The mesh well even when they’re fighting to the death.
“What do I smell like?”
“Like sex and shame….and something distinctly vanilla.”
“It’ll fade. It’s just my lotion…vanilla orchid. The sex, well, I’m afraid you’ll have to wash that off.”
And the shame?” I ask, strolling toward her. “How long until that fades.”
She laughs dryly. “I’ll let you know if it ever happens.”
This book is the first in a duology so the story doesn’t end here and J.M. Darhower will definitely leave you wanting more. Be warned…this story isn’t for the faint of heart and it isn’t necessarily a HEA. It’s gritty and at times, down right agonizingly intense, but I promise.. you won’t want to come up for air.