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Digital Reads Reviews

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Lovely Violent Things - Complete Annihilation with Sliver of Hope

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and reviews. This is a review of a dark, suspenseful romance, Lovely Violent Things.
Shalini
LOVELY VIOLENT THINGS

Table of Contents

I liked it
4/5

Publication Date: April 2023

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Blurb

Lovely Violent Things 

Halen:

The Harbinger killer has descended on Hollow’s Row amid an active case, where I’ve been hired as a consultant to profile two killers. One offering gruesome sacrifices to obtain an ancient philosophy, and the other a dangerous omen from my past.

A dark truth hovers at the edge of my memories—but is it real, or a trick by the chaos magician himself, meant to trap me in his web of lies and corruption.

The moment I gave in to Kallum Locke, I sold my soul to the devil. Now that devil has returned for me, a daemon siphoning off what soul I have left.

I have to escape him.

Kallum:

I’ve tasted Halen St. James. My muse of heartbreak. I’ve sank my teeth into her tender flesh, lapped at her tears, marked her as mine…

So I’ll be damned if I let her go now. Not this time—not when I’m so close to revealing our truth. It’s easy to be tricked when you believe your own lies. And, oh, how my little Halen clings to her pretty lies.

Beneath her obsession with naming me the killer, she’s afraid of me—afraid of us—but I’m not the danger she should fear.

My Review

What was it all about

Lovely Violent Things by Trisha Wolfe was a dark, esoteric thriller that was as macabre as it could possibly be. However, the book had its own tender moments, wherein the two main characters could just be, bound to each other. A moment when, in truth, the world ceased to exist for both of them equally. 

They tried to fight their attraction, but soon down the pages, they were unable to do so. Kallum was beyond clear she was his muse. But, as it could be seen, she needed time to let go of her beliefs and to be with the man who made her feel so much. The daemon who not only had looked into her soul, but also had stayed latched to it. She wanted to escape him, nonetheless, found herself orbiting him. 

I can feel him, tangible, magnetic, drawing me in like moth to a frenzied flame.

The Summary

With a serial killer or two from Book 1, the ritualistic killings compelled the FBI agents to call back Halen. It became obvious furthermore wherever she was, the Professor of Darkness and a firm narrator of Nietzsche, Kallum Locke would be present. Obsessed that he was with her, almost to the point of madness, it was obvious he just couldn’t seem to stay away from her. 

He wanted her. Regardless of what the others thought about him, he would do just about anything in order to get her. He was, in any case, waiting for her to lay down her walls of control so that they could be together forever. For that reason, he kept provoking her to make her lose control. And even though, she wanted to resist, her body betrayed her. 

The book was so much better than the first one. I got the opportunity to borrow it from my friend, and I was better for it. Since the story would go on to conclude in Book 3. 

What should I call this book? Thriller. Romance. Suspense. Crime Investigation. It was essentially all that and more.

One must embody destruction to create-and I'm about to create a goddamn masterpiece.

The Hook

Trigger Warnings: graphic scenes of the serial killer. 

This book was in reality a direct continuation of Book 1 – Lovely Bad Things. Check out my review here. The killing fields of Hollow’s Row were laid bare with the body parts and antlers. The Killer was playing with all of them, especially with Halen who was desperately searching for clues. But by and large, she had her blinders on in the first one-third of the story.

All in all, if I removed the romance and those sections that had Kallum mooning over her-believe me there were pages of them-the thriller parts were intriguing. There were a lot of rituals and discoveries, along with the killer’s motivation to kill the people who had gone missing years ago. That was a compelling hook for me. 

I went into this with almost no expectations because all of mine had been dashed in Book 1. Shock colored my face when I started reading and found this book interesting. And quotable.

Light cannot exist without the dark. Good cannot exist without evil. The totality. Ergo, peace cannot exist without violence.

Halen

The earlier book had her making love with Kallum, and now this case marked her in more ways than one. His presence coupled with the killers’ rituals brought her to the brink of sanity. Although she kept her focus hooked on to the killers, her concentration kept teetering as Kallum’s energy continually clashed with hers. There was a dark shadow hovering over her, and it would take everything from her to not give in to the lies. Even if she no longer could decipher who was lying to her. 

Her fear along with her tangible attraction for Kallum were palpable for the most part of the book. She needed him even when she didn’t want him. 

All our lovely and beautiful things are derived from violence.

Kallum

His soul had already tasted the bowels of hell and bathed in the destruction of those gone past to now emerge with only one motive. To protect Halen at all costs. Even when she didn’t seem to need it.

He knew how to distract her in the entire book, and above all despairing about her past heartbreak. Letting her go was never an option when binding her to him was his fervent need. He was the moth to her flame, and he was proud of it. Now was his time to bask in her shine. She needed him, whether she knew it or not. 

There are no beautiful sacrifices without a terrible depth.

The Characters

Halen was focused on the case more than on him, though she was always aware of energy. His singular focus on her gave her its own rush, albeit often making her question her sanity. I liked her fervent desire to get to the truth, even though she did spend half of the book wanting Kallum to be the killer. But it was understandable.

Kallum was calculated in the book, the dark academic, who evoked a weird restlessness in me as I read about his obsession while testing and giving her the space to come to him. 

The attraction between the two pierced the stratosphere, where each moment was poignant, when they stopped to be with each other. But have to be honest here, I didn’t care much about Kallum swooning over her in each chapter. His intelligence was what I wanted to see more of. Instead, in him, I got more of a Shakespearean character, who found ways to praise every one of her physical attributes. 

I hoped book three would show more of their growth next year.

I cannot exist without her. And whether she admits the truth or not, she cannot exist without me.

The Intricacies

Oh my. Yes. Monsters were in plain sight in this story, just camouflaged in the shadows. The sacrifices to procure an ancient philosophy by one enmeshed with the plans of someone from Halen’s past. The book had its brilliant moments where the lines were lyrical with bits of suspense and oodles of romance thrown in. 

The investigation into the mind and ways of the killer/s had many delicious breadcrumbs for me to follow. But it was still not too gripping. I found my mind wanting to skip narrations, just to get to the lines of the murders that rocked Hollows Row.

Romance and lust were weaved in well, keeping the air around Kallum and Halen intense with desires. I loved being swayed by Halen’s ongoing indecisions. Would she trust him, or wouldn’t she? The storyline effectively captured my emotions while keeping me stuck to it with the murders. 

And the ending was open-ended, making its way for book 3. 

All our lovely and beautiful things are derived from violence.

The Setting

Claustrophobic and raw, the story had a primitive feel to it with its sigils and ritual. The author kept it creepy and dark when things closed in on Halen, but there was a system to this chaos. I was glad to see Kallum stick with her throughout the entire book, breaking the symmetry of the scene set by the killer.  

The Pace

Quite a slow burn was this story, where the emotions dipped through different shades of the love story with the gruesomeness of the killings. 

The style of writing - The Prose

The book was a gradual combustion that charged the energies between the two. Inky black atmosphere, filled with lyrical writing. Raw and primitive, almost animalistic, definitely ritualistic. The author had choreographed an intricate dance for them, covered in attraction but plunged into the hells of darkness. 

I liked the haunting moments that gained momentum in the book. There was a fevered depth to these characters, but the prose, with so many absolute lines of Nietzsche, became wordy. Kallum most times appeared to say essentially nothing while saying so many things. Being succinct was not something the book aimed for.

I had to admit many of the lines felt to have a profound depth to them, making my heart glow. But it could also be said some could have been much better. 

How it made me feel

The second book in the series, the story was far better than the first, and I enjoyed most of the scenes in the book. The lines written had better imagery, some of the words were poignant enough to touch my senses. 

The book had this almost hypnotic push and pull happening between their energies as if the strings of desire were crafted between them. That was pretty addictive, and I could see why Halen would find it overwhelming. 

Undoubtedly, the investigation that was happening in the backdrop of the story had its own suspense. 

But...

Oh how I wished Kallum would stop waxing lyrical about her, especially about her scent. It was practically in every chapter in the first half of the story. I got that she was the best thing happening to him after sliced bread. But come on… so many of them peppering throughout the book made them fillers. 

I was not a fan of philosophy in books in general, and here I got Kallum burning into such moments. Lines of philosophy revealed the thorough research done by the author and they added to the characterization. But they also diluted the emotions of the scene, so what should have stood out in my mind became a damp squib, bringing down the romance and suspense. 

Halen drank something given to her by the killer, knowing he was the killer. Euuu… Why would she behave so idiotically when she was supposed to come off the book as intelligent?

Do I recommend this book?

Fans of the dark romance genre would love this book if they didn’t peer deep into its story and analyze every line. There were some pretty weird rituals in the book 

I have to admit at this point I enjoyed the book in essence. But, in truth, I would have been overjoyed if the story stayed true without fillers. Maybe the the third book would make all the things powerful and dynamic.

All books by author Trisha Wolfe are available free on Kindle Unlimited. 

I borrowed the paperback version of the book from my friend, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.

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