Book #.05 Callous Boys of Crystal Cove series (Part of the Brutal Boys on Devils Night anthology)
Due for publication 1st October 2021
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Andi grew up with Nico, Cruz and Vaughn. They’ve always been best friends, though these days Andi is beginning to feel deeper about them than a best friend should. They’ve always protected her and always treated her with respect. So when the opportunity arises to explore the possibilities in their blossoming relationship, Andi takes it. What she isn’t expecting is that everything could be torn apart just as it’s beginning to come together and feel right. Murder will do that though. The question is, will they be able to survive it?
I love reverse harem reads, and have done for many years. I jumped into this book after receiving confirmation that I’d been accepted for an ARC copy after finishing another contemporary reverse harem, and I was so ready for it. The premise is so interesting and honestly I was hooked from the word go. Though this book was a little younger than I’m used to age wise, it was still a great read.
Reverse harem always raises questions, the reality is that a lot of people would not be okay with sharing the person they love with others, even if they felt strong love FOR those others. I really feel that this story addressed some of the issues making the story and it’s characters even more real to me. Though I’ll admit, it did irritate me at the same time. The reverse harems that I have read, the men tend to be possibly, sometimes a little weirded out by the concept at first, and the female character generally has those moments of “can I really do this? Is it sustainable?” but ultimately the fantasy side of writing wins out and it’s not mentioned again. A big part of the relationship dynamic in this story is that one of the men was having serious issues sharing the FMC which is totally plausible and I love that Lee included this in the story. It’s the less fun side of RH and we very rarely get to see it, so it was super refreshing to have it included.
The characters were incredibly well written and I felt endeared to them instantly. I will say this though, the male character who has the issues with sharing, I am not a fan of. He wasn’t just an alpha-hole male, he was a literal downright caveman and it bugged the absolute hell out of me. I adored the other to male love interests, though to be honest, I was kinda hoping that Hunter was going to be a bigger player in the harem. He was my favourite out of all the male characters and I’m kinda hoping that more things happen with him as the series progresses. I feel like my annoyance with the caveman character really shows that Lee is truly capable of writing four dimensional characters that just jump off the page. Being able to evoke strong emotions to fake people is something that not every write has the capability to do, and Lee certainly aces it.
I’m super intrigued by the story line and I’m hanging for the next instalment and the first full length novel in the series. This story isn’t just coming of age, exploring deeper feelings and why choose, there’s also a lot more going on behind the scenes that even Andi isn’t aware of and I’m salivating thinking of the possibilities of where the story could go. I will definitely be following this series and it’s subsequent release dates religiously until I get my first full length novel. I cannot wait to read more about Andi and her loves and see what becomes of them after that cliff hanger that left me shook.