Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes Release Date: January 15th Genre: Dark Romance
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Blurb: As the most notorious, sadistic drug lord on the west coast, I thrive on power and control. Valentina loathes me as much as I despise her. That doesn't stop me from kidnapping her, stealing her away for myself.
Over the years that have separated us, hatred has festered in my heart. The girl I once loved is all woman now, and she thinks she belongs to someone else.
Her defiance tempts and torments me, and I'll never tire of devising devious punishments to keep her in line. She can't escape my cruel touch and harsh discipline.
No one will take her from me. I'll kill anyone who tries.
Valentina was always meant to be mine. Nothing will stop me from possessing her, body and soul.
Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes was a fast-paced and steamy story about two people who were made for each other finding their second chance. Sykes is a great storyteller, and in this book she immerses the reader in the dark and gritty world of drug cartels while giving them a great love story.
"The sadistic drug lord wasn't here to set me free; he'd taken me so he could lock me in a different cage, one where he held the key."
I enjoyed both Valentina and Adrian's characters and thought they were both well-written. We got to see their young love develop in the prequel, Stolen Innocence, and this book picks up ten years after they were torn apart. I thought that Valentina was a great character and admired her strength. She suffered for years, all while believing that Adrian chose to abandon her. Adrian frustrated me at times; I felt like he could have tried harder to find out what was going on beneath the surface of Valentina's marriage. Regardless, he was possessive and protective of her in the best of ways, even through his anger. And I did enjoy the tension and animosity between them when they reunited; it made for some really great scenes. The intimate scenes between them were really well done as well. I am not huge on BDSM but I didn't feel that this theme overwhelmed the storyline. I think that the two characters complimented each other in their needs and desires, and in this case it fit well with the story.
"You gave yourself to me. There's no going back. I can't let you go."
The action and suspense elements were my favorite part of the story, and the author did a great job with the authenticity of these scenes. I loved that there was no unnecessary drama. I enjoyed the way Adrian and Valentina found their way back to each other and the way they finally found their happiness. I really loved Mateo's character and am so pleased that he will be getting his own story soon. I will definitely be looking forward to reading that one.
About Julia Sykes Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced coffee clutched in her hand (two pumps of mocha, liberal half and half). If she's not in Starbucks, you will find her with a glass of prosecco in hand, probably reading Harry Potter. Again.
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