I was almost afraid to pick this one up. I believe Avril Ashton said somewhere this would be her darkest one yet, and that's saying something coming from her, so I wasn't sure if maybe it would be more than I can handle.
In addition, the blurb sent my mind into crazy thoughts like "omg - are we going Stockholm Syndrome here?" which did not exactly increase my desire to read this book.
Last but not least, the MCs Daniel Nieto and Stavros Konstantinou are not unknown to readers of Ashton's books. Now, her MCs are usually not good guys in the common sense of the word. They are criminals. And we still love them. But these guys here were different. I admit to not remembering much about Daniel, but I do remember Stavros and I just could not imagine how the author would make him in anyway someone I could get to care about.
I should have known better, obviously. I have read so many of Ashton's books already and I loved them all.
The warning about this one being dark was justified. It was brutal - the violent, bloody kind. And it was the most insane enemies to lovers rollercoaster ride imaginable.
Stavros took everything Daniel threw at him in terms of physical torture and you might want to really read the warnings - we got that in great detail! He only became vulnerable once his heart got involved:
Ice gripped his chest, the cold shocking a gasp from him. This was loss, shaking his body and rattling his teeth. This was heartbreak, the searing pain that made his entire being curl in on itself.
This was pain.
Daniel Nieto had finally broken him.
Wracked with guilt towards his dead wife, badass cartel boss Daniel Nieto had to struggle even harder to accept that he wanted Stavros. But once he caved, he was all in:
Sometimes sacrifice meant sticking it out. Sometimes it meant letting yourself take what would make you happy even if it would make someone else sad. He'd had to say goodbye once.
There would be no second time.
Another amazing addition to the series. And now there is only one more left :-(.