“Don’t ever doubt that I think you were worth the wait.”
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!! I was in the mood to read something SEXY and EDGY but with a heart-stopping ROMANCE and a story that would be UNIQUE and DIFFERENT… and this book delivered EXACTLY what I was looking for!!! The hero was POWERFUL, controlling, with a truly tragic backstory that had turned him into what some people might call a villain, but he had a heart of gold in many ways and was completely DEVOTED to the one and only girl he’d ever loved. He was deeply flawed and complex, but that was what made me adore his character. And the heroine was BADASS. Seriously, this chick was just so STRONG. She went toe-to-toe with him on every level and I just LOVED the way they were EQUALS in their own right. This book was AWESOME!! A new top favorite!
This was completely ‘my kind’ of story — not because I necessarily like reading books exactly like this but because of its uniqueness and intensity. Those are two qualities I search for endlessly in books. I want a book that tells a story that isn’t quite like any other one I’ve read and I want to FEEL the journey the characters go through in my heart. I want to be invested in their story. Now that I’ve read this, I wouldn’t want to read another book ‘like’ this because I’ve already read this one. But this book and everything in it was exactly what I wanted to read, if that makes sense.
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t make excuses for me.
I am not a good man.
I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.
The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.
I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She’s disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.
Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise…
I’m the one standing front and center.
When I first read the blurb, I immediately knew I wanted to read this book. But it was the author introduction and prologue that really made me drop everything to read it immediately. Something about the whole idea behind this story and its characters just completely captivated me. I do want to preface the rest of this review though by saying that while this book is at times gritty and edgy, I do not consider it to be a dark read. If you’re a more sensitive reader, I think you’ll be just fine. But if you’re a reader who likes that edge, I think you’ll be quite satisfied as well. Just don’t go expecting ‘dark’, because you’re not going to find it here. But what I did find was a completely absorbing and deeply addictive story that grabbed my attention strongly from the very first page.
“I was born and bred to fight and never give up. The fight was in my bones. It was in every breath I exhaled. It was in every drop of blood that poured out of me and painted the soil.”
From the start of the book you’re thrown into the chilling, gripping, and incredibly painful backstory of Nassir Gates. His character was a man moulded by the brutality and violence he was born into, with an all-too-realistic background that is very scarily current within our world. It’s both heart-breaking and horrifying, while making you believe without a shadow of a doubt why he became the way he is.
His character was enigmatic and complex. Part villain, part anti-hero… a bad guy with a heart of gold and his own code of ethics. An intense man with a commanding presense that people instinctively either respected or feared. He was his own law, operating under rules of his own making in a world he dominated. But I had a lot of respect for his fairness. His brutality was a reflection of the world he existed in, but at his heart, he was in fact a good man. So much of our world is black and white — good or bad — he just happened to exist in the grey zone.
“He’s been hungry for a taste since the first day I met him, and while I had always been tempted to feed the beast, fear of losing more than my fingers to those vicious jaws always kept my from offering up myself on a platter. The only thing I ever wanted was to be my own person, to thrive and be independent, making my own rules and answering to no one. The only thing he wanted was for me to be his.”
Nasser Gates, half man and half monster. He was lethal and toxic, keeping all that sinister beauty covered up in a ridiculously expensive suit that made him look elegant and falsely civilized. To the untrained eye, he was an outrageously handsome man that looked like he was on his way to a business meeting, but if you had spent any time on the streets, if you were familiar with life in the gutter, there was no missing who he really was, what he was. The top of the food chain. If you knew about what it took to make it from where I came from, you could look at him and see that he not only thrived in chaos, but was conformable there. He even managed to make it look good.
Keelyn pleasantly surprised me with how strong and badass she was! I loved her fiery independence, her pride, and her strength. I loved that no matter how big, bad, powerful, or intimidating a man Nassir was, she truly matched him. I loved that she didn’t just give into what he wanted, she stood for what she wanted and made him respect her boundaries. I don’t know why but I actually thought she’d be more of the ‘damsel in distress’ needing to be saved type of character. I was half right. She was a damsel and she did start out in distress, but unlike the fairy tales, she was fully committed to saving herself. And I loved that Nassir saw that and literally just waited for her to be ready to be with him. He didn’t push her, didn’t bully or try to control her, he just waited, trusting in the connection he knew they both felt and knowing that sooner or later, she’d be drawn back to him.
“Why me, Nassir?” You don’t have patience for anything that isn’t perfect and I am far from that. Why would you wait for me all this time, especially when you have beautiful woman dying to take my place?”
“If not you, then who, Keelyn? Who else has the fight and strength to stand with me in this city. You own a part of it just like I do. You earned your place here while I took mine, and you might not want to be Honor but you have it in spades. You care about this place and the people in it. You care about me even though you know you shouldn’t. You’re the only one in my life who has ever been worth waiting for.”
I can’t say this enough — I LOVED the way he let HER come to HIM. This man who was able to control any scenario and anyone willingly relinquishing control was the most romantic and sexy thing ever. Restraint, if written well, can be a million times hotter than any sex scene and seriously just the brimming sexual tension between them was **whew** HOTTTTTT!!!! Even just their first kiss had me fanning myself like crazy!
She was my endgame. She was what had given my life meaning, and now she was breathing that very essence back into me and it felt perfect. She was everything.
My hands ached to touch her. My fingers twitched so hard they hurt as I latched them on to the edge of the marble counter behind her… She wanted to control me. She wanted to call the shots… I wanted her forever, on my terms, and I knew the only way to make that happen was to make her want to surrender. She had to give herself up to me and to the kind of life I could offer her. I knew she didn’t want to belong to me, but she did.
And for those of you who love steamy reads, you will be rewarded well because once they give into each other, their passion is just something else!
“How far do I have to push until you fall for me?”
He chuckled… “I like it when you push at me, even when you’re pushing me away. I mean, you’re here and you’re fighting, me or yourself. It doesn’t matter… But I fell for you long ago, so there’s nowhere else for me to go.”
I should also mention that this book seriously had SUCH. GOOD. WRITING!!! I’ve read several of Jay Crownover’s books and loved them but this book was something else. She was seriously on freaking point with it (no pun). I actually just decided to count them for fun and I have highlighted 40 quotes in this book!!
Characters who hover in the grey zone are the most intriguing to me. A bad guy who is just a psycho murderer is undeniably bad but not too interesting to read about because they’re one dimensional. But a guy who is good at heart, but does bad things tempered with morality and his own code of honor is just plain fascinating to read about. They’re unpredictability makes you desperate to learn more about them…
Nasser never stopped fighting… And the fact that he understands he won’t ever be able to make up for all the things he did before getting to the Point is what keeps him human. His regret is what keeps him from going back to being nothing more than a weapon waiting to be aimed and used without thought as to who he might be pointed at. He cares about things here even if others don’t see it. He has a cause here, his own kind of code, which might never make him a good man but does make him a better one than he was before. The Point gave Nassir his own kind of honor.
…and it also makes it mean so much more when a character like that falls in love because you know that for a person who is as damaged and hardened as them to give their heart to someone else is a huge deal.
I probably have never done it right, but I have always loved you, Keelyn Foster.”
This book can be read as a standalone if you wish. I read it as a standalone. Technically, it’s part of the Welcome To The Point series and characters from other books do show up in this one but I was never confused and never felt like I was missing anything. So you really can just dive right into this one. My personal feeling is that I’m really glad I read this book alone just because this particular book within the series was about the kinds of characters that matched the mood I was looking for. It hit the spot and gave me complete reader satisfaction.
The only thing is that I wasn’t ready for the book to end. It’s quite rare for me to say that ‘I wanted more’, but I found myself surprised that this book ended when it did. I actually flipped the page expecting it to continue and was surprised that it was over. To clarify, there IS a resolved ending and NO CLIFFHANGER, but I think I just wasn’t ready to let go of these characters yet. While this book can standalone, there are more stories to tell within this world but if it had had an epilogue, this book would have been 5 stars for me because I LOVED the story, I LOVED the characters, I LOVED the writing, and I LOVED the entire experience of reading this book.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough!! It was unique, intense, and captivating! The romance was passionate, believable, and oh-so-sexy! The characters were flawed, complex, and fascinating! The writing was addictive and made me completely lose myself within the story! It was everything I could hope for in a book — a TOP FAVORITE!!
PS: Also, as a side note, this whole world would make a pretty awesome TV show. I could totally see it as an episodic storyline format with an much larger story ARC over a whole season. Kinda random thought, but it would be awesome if this were ever translated onto screen. This world, the characters, and stories would be a fantastic fit!
Rating: 4.5 STARS!!! Can standalone. (Technically, this book is part of the Welcome To The Point series of standalones, but you can read it totally separately. I’ve only read this book and I was fine!)