Menace by JM Darhower

In the romance novel world there are thousands of book with heroes who are “bad boys but good men.” Gruff sort of jerks who melt and capitulate about halfway through the story. And the heroine, be she sassy, pathetic, or a siren (whichever she is she’s plucky and untarnished) – inevitably serves to bring out the best in this manwhore or ne’er do well. This book blows that bullshit out of the water.

Lorenzo is a psycho. Not in a cute tough guy way. Not like he’s a good person who sometimes has to do bad things. He’s legitimately nuts. Scarlet, who he meets in a pretty fantastic way, is mighty balls-out herself. As soon as I figured out what she did for a living my perspective on this book changed. Here’s an author who lets her heroine be every bit the gritty bad-ass that the hero is. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a romance where I thought the hero might kill the heroine at some point – oddly enough I’m totally okay with it here.

I have a lot of respect for Darhower – willing to write two people so unsympathetic and to make them likable. On top of that, this book has some heavy emotional shit, but it doesn’t lower itself to blubbering and pandering. Lorenzo and Scarlet are tough – and this book does a good job of tempering the drama with violence and action. I’m going straight on to the next one. (PS – this ends on a cliffy – if you’re gonna read it plan on committing to two books. No real option to stop at one.)Me

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