Scandalous, the highly anticipated next standalone
in the Sinners of Saint Series by LJ Shen is LIVE!
Scandalous by LJ Shen
Publishing Date: September 29th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
5 Ocean’s Tide CROWNS
Scandalous is everything I expected from L.J. Shen, and yet it is also so much more. Yes, it has the antagonistic relationship between hero and heroine, it has the undeniable chemistry that is almost palpable, and it has an engaging story-line. What I wasn’t expecting was the depth of the characters, the complexity of their development, and the many layers that added not only to richly developed characters but also a story that pulled at my heartstrings in a very different way from the previous books.
Trent Rexroth certainly gave my favorite #hothole Dean a run for his money, and, although Dean still retains that number one spot in my heart, Trent has slid securely into slot number two. Like all of the previous heroes in this series, this man has a mean streak a mile long, but what I like about him is that his silence, similar to that of Vicious, is what makes people squirm. There is something incredibly alluring about a man who can yield such power with a look and no words, and have not doubts that this man is overflowing with power and testosterone. Numerous times, I have hailed L.J. Shen for her ability to take miserable and nasty heroes and make them lovable, leaving readers no choice but to become infatuated with them and forgive them any of their indiscretions. L.J. Shen effectively accomplishes this with not only his daughter Luna but also in how he comes to care for Edie and the final sacrifice he makes (Samson and Delilah allusion is pure genius). And, while I do love Dean, Trent’s behavior during the story and more specifically at the end of the story, makes him the more honorable of all of the #hotholes, which only ups his hot factor.
Edie is going down as my favorite heroine of this series. Even though she is a teenager, she is more grown up and mature than the average 18 year old based on the life she has had to live. Even when committing crimes, she tries desperately to keep some of the honor and respectability. And although she doesn’t see it within herself for a good portion of the novel, Edie has an incredible strength to survive under the roof of Jordan. She really is more than I expected from her, and I quickly fell in love with her for her actions, her compassion, her protectiveness, and her willingness to sacrifice everything for those she loves. Like Trent, her honor shines through.
This story is similar to the others in the series as it begins with enough sexual antagonism to set the room on fire. The sexual tension and hatred permeates the air, and the delicious aroma seduces readers into the story being laid out in front of them. Scandalous has an extra layer of suspense, in a sense, with the hidden secrets of Edie and Trent’s on-going battle with her father, Jordan, forcing these two not only to confront their growing feelings for one another but also to battle the outside forces threatening to destroy them. One aspect of this plot that I really enjoyed is that L.J. Shen was able to surprise me with the character & plot revelation near the end of the book. Although I wouldn’t consider it a plot twist, the connection is one I didn’t see coming. Additionally, the ending the L.J. Shen provides for Edie and Trent is truly perfect. She gives them a conclusion that is wholly them, living their lives the way that makes them happy and suits them and their family while saying forget everyone else, and I love when a writer doesn’t just give readers a canned HEA but one that fully encapsulates everything a couple is.
Scandalous ends the #hothole journey (insert sad face here), but I truly hope to see more of them and more of the whole gang. Because while I had read L.J. Shen before, this series of standalones made her a one-click favorite of mine as she never fails to draw me into her stories with her hot anti-heroes, scorching chemistry, and plots that captivate me from cover to cover. I am certainly looking forward to more, whether that be more stories from this world or a whole new venture.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what a beautiful chaos it will be.
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About LJ Shen:
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
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