The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).
“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”
It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.
If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.
She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.
But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.
Which was the plan all along.
Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.
She’s going to show them all.
Like an afternoon special on bullying gone impossibly dark, Raeder's (Unteachable) dizzyingly intense, drug-addicted queer teenage revenge fantasy takes its reader on a sexy, bloody journey of pure emotion that's by turns expressed, denied, and turned back in on itself. Delaney Keating, viciously mistreated in high school for her attraction to girls and damaged by her unstable mother's suicide, falls into a love triangle with two of the dramatic inhabitants of underground dance club Umbra: DJ and patient medical student Armin, and impulsive, fierce, deliciously sensual Blythe. She pulls them into her scheme of violence against her abusers in a heady m lange of lust and bloodlust, while the triad pulls against itself with internal jealousies. A twisting timeline dancing over a year's events makes every moment seem both immediate and angrily steeped in memory. Major themes include depression, mania, and the ways that the use and abuse of drugs affect access to the reality of self and the world's essential nature; but the soul-searching always comes in the context of action, everyone around hit by the shrapnel of exploding feelings. This is an exhilarating ride for our inner underdog, craving a taste of what it would feel like to just get back at everyone if we were reckless enough not to care about the consequences.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Dark. Sexy. Suspensefull. Filled with Twists and Turns.
Raeder gives a hauntingly dark and enthralling tale that offers twists and turns that will make you want to keep reading until the last page.
First, I have to say WOW. I mean…holy crap. This book made me love it and hate it at the same time. The grit, anger, and revenge propels you into Laney’s world, but it is few moments of vulnerability that will keep you there.
As the book opens, we are told that the narrator is not a hero in this book. There is no sugar coating what lives in her head or the thoughts that she has. Laney is without a doubt a disturbed young woman. She has issues far beyond what is seen on the surface, though as you get further into the book, you start to see more of why she is the way she is.
What we also see is that she is hunting someone. In her quest to pursue her target, Laney becomes involved with Armin and Blythe. In many ways, these two are the good and bad in her. Armin tries desperately to bring Laney into a better place and to allow her to be present. As for Blythe, she is the anti-calm. She adds frankness and bitter truth into the mix. These two will become Laney’s world and they will be brought right into her plans.
As the pages go by, there are twists and turns that will make you question everything you knew few pages before. The reader is on a journey with Laney. She will let us know what she wants us to, when she wants us to know it. Her story is dark and twisty with all the emotions of love, hate, regret, forgiveness, anger, and passion that make it even more complex.
There is a beauty to reading a book that has this level of complexity and darkness to it. As I have said before, I love the dark and creepy. And when it is done well, I love it even more. The author so carefully weaved together a story that gave me chills down my spine. Every page that went by made me go deeper into Laney’s head. Though I will admit, I did wonder if she was a reliable narrator. There are mentions of this in the book, but you will have to make your own decisions.
Her actions, her feelings, and her vices truly grabbed me when I was reading this book. And on top of that, Leah was able to incorporate literary references and quotes without being pretentious. I loved those moments when the characters would quote poems, writings, and yes… 80s lyrics.
I have wanted to read this book since I heard about it and I am so glad that I did. It is certainly not unicorns and rainbows (…yeah I went there…), but it is a brilliantly chilling sexy thriller that you will no doubt love.