4 stars. 5 stars. 2 stars. 1 star…. I guess that makes 3? It doesn’t feel right to give it 3, but that kind of is the middle ground of my feelings.
If you like controlling men, this is the book for you!! If not, you may wish to stay away…
This is the darker side of KA! In case you have not read any of her books before, you should know that most of them are NOT like this. Pleeease dont judge her books based on this one!!
I’d been putting this book off for a while because I knew there were a lot of controversial things in it that I was really worried I wouldn’t be okay with them. And in the end, as much as it hurts my heart to say it, I wasn’t okay with them…. but, and here’s the weird thing… I actually still really liked the story. Despite hating certain parts of it. I know that’s weird, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Beware. This book makes me a little ranty… consider yourselves warned 😛
“Um, I don’t know your name but -”
“Right, Mr. Knight – ”
“No, Knight,” …
“Thats what I said, Knight,” I told him. “Now, Mr. Knight -”
He…turned his eyes to me…
“No, not Mr. Knight. Knight. My name is Knight.” …
“With a K?”…
“Yeah, babe, with a ‘K’.”…
That’s an unusual name.”…
“Yeah,” he agreed…
“I kinda like it,” …
“I can die happy”
When Anya stumbles into Knight’s bedroom one night at a party she doesn’t want to be at and that he doesn’t even want in his house, he informs her that he’s going to take her home. No questions. He’s unlike anyone she’s ever met – pissed, scary, bossy, controlling, insanely sexy, yet utterly protective and caring. Days later she can’t get him out of her head. He’s in her dreams, her thoughts, her mind… In many ways, they are polar opposites, in many ways they are perfect for each other, but either way, they are both unquestionably drawn to each other and so begins their unconventional romance.
As terrifyingly scary controlling as Knight came off as first, I actually, oddly enough, kinda fell instantly love with him. He radiated protectiveness. I loved that about him. And when he told her she should feel safe with him, I totally believed him. I felt safe with him, which is weird, I know considering I’m the reader, but you get what I mean…
“What…the fuck… is the matter with you?” …
“I didn’t do anything!” …
“You put on that dress, didn’t you?”…
“You… do not… leave your house… dressed like that… without being on the arm of a man like me,” he ground out…
“A man like you?” I whispered back.
“A man who’d shoot another man in the face he even looked at you. Yeah, Anya, a man… like… me”
Everything about Knight screamed opulence, power, control. He was such an oxymoron of a character. Both a gentleman and a jerk. Rough and yet never cruel. He was no knight in shining armor. More like a dark, scary knight. But one that you knew without a doubt would go to the ends of the world and back to keep harm from those he loved. He was a bossy, seriously controlling, sophisticated Alpha caveman. He knew who he was and what he wanted and wasn’t going to play games to get them.
Throughout the whole book, even throughout all my issues (about which I will go into detail in a moment), I never, ever, not even once, doubted that his heart was in the right place. He was an anti-hero. Gorgeous. Protective. Flawed. Fuckhot. Dominant. Truly an “unfinished hero”.
“It’s all I know Anya. Protection. I was born then I was raised to be a shield.”
Just like with his dialogue (which I loved, by the way), everything about him was clipped, efficient, and yet strangely heart warming.
“Wars fought over a face like this,” he murmured… “A man would work himself into the ground for it, go down to his knees to beg to keep it, endure torture to protect it, take a bullet for it…”
“Knight,” I breathed.
“You are not walkin’ away from me.”
Anya, I loved. She was independent, took care of herself, was very down-to-earth and appreciated the little things in life. I loved that despite her tragic back-story, she didn’t let that consume her life and had found a way to move on positively…. I think that, in the end, Knight could have learned a bit from her.
Its weird but I was kind of bracing myself going into this book… I knew about the “Daddy” thing (I’ll go into more detail in a second) and I was honestly almost preparing myself not to like Knight and had all my defensive shields up ready to kind of hate him, but I honestly couldn’t stop myself from totally falling head over heels in love with him. Especially in the first half of the book, he made me tingle…
The hotness between them was explosive!! Their chemistry was strong, but very subtle. No in-your-face instant declarations of love, but it didn’t mean you couldn’t absolutely FEEL their connection and what they felt for each other.
I was in 5 star LOVE with the story until the 40% mark… then things started to get difficult for me and really pushed the limits of my comfort zone. I loved Knight’s character and I kept trying to breathe deeply and not be judgmental but by 42%, I was NOT okay with the things he was saying.
I’ll admit, up till that point, I was wondering what all the fuss about this book was about but at that point I was STRONGLY feeling the need to dash my Kindle against the wall and put the book down. He was just WAY too over-the-top controlling. I kept fighting to stay in love with him and just had to remove myself from the story a little.
I took a breather for a few hours and then dove back it. I had fallen in love with his character enough that I wanted to know why he was the way he was. And he promised that he’d tell so I stuck with the story… I was having this extreme love/hate relationship with him and was totally sympathizing how Anya was feeling:
“You scare me, confuse me, freak me out and you’re also sweet so I don’t know what to do with you.” ….
“You get in my bed, I’ll sort you out.”
I’ll lay it out. He’s into punishments. Not random cruelty, but if she does something he doesn’t like, he spanks her with his hand or strap. Personally, I’m reallllly not into that. Big turn off for me despite the fact that I can admit that scenes where they are written can be really hot but its the concept of them that rubs me way the fucking wrong way. Like WAAAAY wrong. But I had to realize that it wasn’t about whether or not I liked it. Clearly Anya did, so again… I just tried to open my mind and accept it. She was happy. He was happy… ok.
With him, it wasn’t about kink. It was purely about control. His back story does come out later to explain it but I was still thanking God for small favors when I read this: “I am not into kink, animals, candle wax… knives, blood, needles, clamps, strangulation, and definitely not any shit that goes beyond that.” *WHEW* Good to know! … (I’m sorry, animals???? That was even an option?? ok, I’m getting side tracked… back to the review)
The depth of their feeling for each other was beautiful but during those punishment scenes, I felt like there was a wall between me and the story because even though I was trying hard not to judge, some of the stuff just was just so not appealing to me that it kept me a little removed even though I really cared for the story. Gah! That sounds weird even to me!
So I kinda fought my feeling about him… I’d get into a point where I thought I could be okay with everything, but then he’d do or say something that would literally make me cringe away from my kindle in disgust…. “Who owns you?” really? REALLY??? OWNS?? ok… trying to remind myself that Anya likes it 😐 *deep breath*
And lets not forget the big elephant in the room regarding this book: The “Daddy” issue.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ll lay it out. In the bedroom, he calls her “my baby” (which on its own is sweet), but he also has her call him “Daddy”…. the combination of the two was NOT. OKAY. with me.
I never got over my issue with it. I cringed every time I read it. I’m sorry to say that it really creeped me way-the-freaking-hell out. It just felt so WRONG. I’m sorry, I try my best not be judgmental in life, but it just made me want to gag, vomit and put the book down.
It was just too much for me. Example “My baby wants her Daddy.” Ewwwww *shudders* WHY?? Ugh. “Ride your Daddy.” “Yes, Daddy.” Nononono!!! God. YUK!! …. Here’s another “hold onto Daddy’s cock“. I’m sorry, but that made me physically ill. I don’t even want to THINK about those two words in the same sentence. EVER. Fucking gross…. I just kept trying to remind myself of how sweet he was when he wasn’t calling himself her Daddy. I loved his character, I really did. He was so sweet and Alpha and adored her but still…just EWWWWW!!
And let it be clarified… it wasn’t the Daddy thing alone that bothered me. I could have probably gotten used to that. It was the fact that it was combined with “my baby”. Its kind of impossible for me to read that and not have my mind go to places it really did NOT want to go.
But the thing was that Knight was not an ass. God, his moments of sweet and loving warmed my heart every time right up to the point where I pretty much would forget all my issues with him. He cared for and loved Anya SO deeply. I just had to accept that his way of showing it and his world were different. Seriously, when he wasn’t grossing me out, I really, really loved him!!
“I love you, Anya, you’re the only woman who’s had that from me and you’re the only one who ever will.”
Interestingly, there is no 90% freakout moment in this, like with most KA books. Instead, there is a big revelation about Knight that comes out, and I know it was pretty controversial, but oddly enough I was totally fine with it. He explained the reason behind it and that was good enough of an explanation for me to totally accept it.
A lot of things about Knight made me want to gag, cringe, and shudder… but a lot of things about him made me melt, warmed my heart and had me fanning myself… And I really LOVED both Knight and Anya’s characters for a whole number of reasons and despite my occasional gagging, it was a really good book. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but its the truth. Knight and Anya were undeniably perfect for each other. They completed each other, found peace in each other, and loved each other with all their hearts. It was beautiful. And, at the end of the day, that’s what matters most, right?
I had a few issues with how the book ended and where Knight ended up as a character. I guess he really was an Unfinished Hero in the end. One who cared strongly, deeply and undeniably for what was his. But I wished he’s have changed just a bit more. You know, sometimes change is growth. And just because a person is the way they are, doesn’t mean a little improvement would be a bad thing and it doens’t mean they are giving up who they are. I think that’s a lesson he would have done well to take to heart.
**SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT IF YOU READ ON**
- It was written in the epilogue that their daughter was curled up on her “Daddy’s” chest. WHAT. THE. FUCK ?!? I spent the book trying to square myself with the idea that, to them, Daddy didn’t mean father and was a term of endearment… So I figured that for sure if they had kids, he would always be Dad, not Daddy, so WHY WAS IT USED IN THAT CONTEXT????? Arrrgh, that, I cannot square myself with. Ewwww. Gag. Barf.
- I didn’t like how he never accepted celebrating Christmas. I understand why he is the way he is as a person. It makes sense… But I wished he’d had changed more. He was just too rigidly set in his ways. No Christmas??? C’mon. WTF? I’m not Christian and even I celebrate Christmas – tree, presents, music, food and all. It’s a beautiful holiday, a time to be with family, share love, make memories. I think it would have made him grow a lot as a person if he could have learned to appreciate that. And what about his kids?? Was he planning on being the Grinch for eternity?? grrrrrrr
- **EDIT: okay, so someone told me that apparently, on a thread somewhere, KA said that Knight would actually celebrate Christmas with his kids. Ok. That’s amazing, and I’m very happy he would have gotten to that point. BUT, I’d have wished he’d gotten to that point in the epilogue somewhere so we could have seen his character growth. Cuz without knowing that, it didn’t make me look too favorably on him in that respect and not everyone would know about that little comments made on a thread somewhere.
Oh, Knight… I want to love you. I DO love you. You just make it so hard at times…
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Note: Each book can be read as a standalone and is about a different couple