Originally reviewed for BMBR posted on May 28, 2017
This book had everything but the kitchen sink in it and yet, it worked. Worked really well. The byproduct of all of those elements are two MCs that are polar opposites. Beast is the brawn to Laurent’s slight. The “damaged” to Laurent’s beauty. The insecure to Laurent’s confidence. The self-hatred to Laurent’s self-acceptance.
Laurent and Beast had two completely different lives that shaped who they are. As stated in the synopsis, Laurent was an indentured servant in the 1800s. Through this and other horrific life circumstances, he developed a lack of trust and freedom became what he coveted most.
Beast is a broody Motorcycle Club VP in the “future” (2017) that was badly burned in a fire. This fire left him disfigured and was the catalyst for his self-hatred and motivation behind every thought, feeling, and action for every
day hour minute after. Beast is also the son of the MC president, King.
The connection between these two men came from the “Devil.”
“Am I the lord of the Underworld in the way you Christians see it? No. Am I a devil? Perhaps I am. And I have the power to give you a new life. A life where you can have all you’ve ever dreamed of.”
The infernal being showed up in the worst moment of Laurent’s life and offered him a way out. He gave him a task to complete.
“And in exchange, I will make you free in a world where you can fulfill your desires for men without fearing the law. You will gain your sight back. You will be able to forge your own destiny. But if you fail, you will come back to this very room and suffer the consequences of what you’ve done. Kneel, Laurent.”
Laurent finds himself in the future but isn’t quite sure what to make of it. He is found and cared for by Beast. They discover that he has been branded with a mysterious symbol that matches the marking on King. This sets off a series of events that lead to loyalty, manipulation, sabotage, (mis)understanding, and magical discoveries.
With every little nugget that was revealed throughout, I had so much anticipation for what was to come. It was comical to see how Laurent managed the future. He was enamored by everything, especially plastic.
There was some heat and sexy times. Laurent was an eager little beaver. He wanted to experience everything and Beast was devoted to worshipping Laurent in a way he would never want to leave. Laurent and Beast loved each other deeply. Yet, their past thoughts and feelings prevented them from accepting it for what it was. Beast’s blinding self hated and Laurent’s refusal of anything less than total “freedom” led to a lot of misunderstandings, arguments, and slowed their relationship from fully developing for most of the book.
“It was as if this wholesome beauty was the compensation for all the years Beast had spent in the body that used to be his personal hell.”
The ending of this book was kind of anticlimactic IMO. For so much world and character building, the ending left me just meh. The pretty bow it was wrapped in didn’t quite fit, it was too pretty. The epilogue focused on building up book #2 instead of providing the much needed continuation for Beast and Laurent. Knight, who is Beast’s best friend and fellow MC member is a complete ancestry buff. Knight was an important character in this book and will be a MC in book #2. I get wanting to set up the next book but the ending could have been crafted better while giving us more with Laurent and Beast instead of switching right to ancestry and book #2.
This isn’t a book that will leave you warm and fuzzy while swooning at the perfect love. It’s raw and imperfect just like the MCs. There is a depth to this book with all its interconnecting pieces that was enjoyable. There were a few errors throughout; more-so in the 2nd half. Did I love it? No, but I really liked it. Would I recommend it? Definitely, if the elements listed above are your thing.
”I once knew an incredibly handsome man. When you looked at his face, his beauty made you assume he was the perfect gentleman. But deep down, in his heart, he held evil you wouldn’t comprehend. People are wrong to judge you by your scars.”