Tuesday, May 6, 2014

[Review] - Monster in his Eyes (Monster in his Eyes #1) by J. M. Darhower

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.
I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I'm thinking before I even do.  It's alarming and alluring. It's dark and deadly. It's everything I've ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.
It doesn't take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it's too late. He has secrets, secrets I can't fathom, secrets that make it so I can't walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that's both terrifying and thrilling. He's a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.  I want to hate him.  Sometimes, I do.  But it doesn't stop me from loving him, too.

Ok.  I know.  There are a lot of you out there that didn't like this book as much as I did.  I will agree straight up that this book has many flaws.  It does.  From the inability of main character Karissa to think and question things right in front of her face to the issues with the plot (not a lot going on besides eating and having sex - which didn't bother me one little bit) to the issues opened up at the end of the story, this book could have easily gotten a lower rating from me.  When I thought about this book as a whole, though, I couldn't help but love every single bit of it.  So what if they eat and date and screw a lot?  Who cares is Karissa "naivety is my middle name" Reed makes some pretty stupid decisions.  She's 18 years old and has been sheltered her entire life.  So what if Naz's true purpose in Karissa's life is much darker than we first knew?  He's sexy and controlling as hell.  And who cares if I saw the twist at the end of this book coming from miles away.  It was still written in a way that kept me on the edge of my seat.  I flew through this book in two days, while working full time and taking care of three kids!

Karissa is a college freshman at NYU on a full academic scholarship.  She was raised by a neurotic and paranoid mother who constantly had her moving while growing up.  She never made any real friends or had any real relationships because she never stayed in one place for too long.  While blowing off some steam one night at a bar, she is drugged and ends up at the mercy of the handsome and powerful Ignazio Vitale. 

Naz is much older than Karissa's 18 years.  He is in his late thirties and by all accounts a very wealthy and important man.  He is almost immediately taken by Karissa and her innocence.  They continue to meet for many dates, and slowly we see the world that Naz lives in.  His world is full of fancy cars, expensive suits, world class meals and people who cater to his needs.  Karissa is very uncomfortable with his lifestyle in the beginning, but soon grows into it.  Naz dotes on Karissa in every way possible, buying her crazy expensive gifts, as well as making himself available to her at any time.

I liked the character of Naz very much.  He's older, sexy and very alpha.  At the same time, he seems to have a tremendous soft spot for Karissa.  Karissa is the problem.  At times, I think she was portrayed as too innocent.  She doesn't ask vital questions and seems to walk around with her head in the clouds.  I hope that she experiences some growth in the next book.  By the end of this novel, I don't know what to think about Naz and his intentions.  The full story of Naz's past becomes apparent by the end of this book and things aren't looking too pretty for my favorite mafia couple.  Naz does something that will turn his relationship with Karissa on its head.  I don't know if I still trust him by the end.  There isn't a huge cliff hanger, but waiting for the next book will be torture for me. 

If you are a fan of dark and forbidden romances, or a fan of fucked up alpha men, pick up this book.  There are a few problems as stated before, but I really enjoyed the writing and the voices of the characters.  I have a lot of questions that I hope are answered in the next installment.  I am really looking forward to Torture in her Soul, which isn't due until fall 2014.  


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