Review: The Palace (Chateau #4) by Penelope Sky

TitleThe Palace
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 5/25/21
Length:  250 Pages
Series: Chateau #4

Overview

A line was drawn in the sand.

I made my choice.

I picked her over him.

But I begin to regret that choice, and when Raven wants to destroy the camp, I know I’ll regret it even more.

My Thoughts

It’s great that we get to see the full story play out from both sides – watching Raven’s story evolve first with Magnus and then now seeing Melanie and Fender. The crux of the story is still the same, however this version has a different approach and connection.

We know that in the first installment of Melanie’s story, we watched Fender first lay eyes on her and fall in love with her in a way that no one expected of him. He was patient and refused to take anything from her that she wasn’t willing to give and that’s something that he’s never allowed of anyone. We watched how his long standing butler Gilbert took issue with Melanie being in his life and then realized that it was a losing battle to have problem with.

So all in all, we felt that this was a story on the right path. The challenge of course is that even though Melanie developed deep feelings for Fender and that all he wanted in return was to give her the world, there was still the looming issue of Raven – her sister. Who wanted nothing more than to take down everything that Fender and Magnus had built, just on principle. She refused to believe that there was more to either man in the sense of what they could or couldn’t do and even at the back story of it all, and that really played out to the worst extent when Raven forced Melanie to choose. Her for Fender. And she chose Raven.

We start off this second bit of the story with Melanie and Raven living in Paris, ‘free’ from the camp and all that it was, trying to rebuild their lives. Melanie is heartbroken of course because Fender was the perfect man for her but she couldn’t choose him over family. She tries to move on with her life in the sense of getting a job and finding purpose, however she knows that she’ll never find a man to take his place. Raven goes through the process of getting back to her life – dating and getting back into things, but she still wants revenge and we know how that goes.

They sneak back to the camp, burn it down and in return, they get a new level of hatred for both of them. While Magnus helped free Raven before, she’s his most hated person now. Fender takes this as a personal slight and that results in Raven being captured and Melanie being shunned.

From that point on, we watch Melanie realize that her life is empty without Fender and she tries all that she can to get back into his life. To try to gain his trust and his love back. It’s a tough battle since he’s not one to let those walls down again, and we watch her try her best to make that happen. At the same time we also watch Melanie do what she can to get Raven’s freedom but that’s a losing battle.

The sub plot here that we remember from the previous installments is that Fender wants to make his empire bigger and more powerful. He wants to bring in a partner Napoleon who we know Magnus has doubts on and we know how this will end. I was expecting to see more of an interaction there to better understand why Fender was so adamant about having Napoleon as his partner, but sadly that doesn’t come. Instead we just watch the demise of everything that they’ve built, and watch the massacre that takes everyone at the camp, and causes dire damage to Magnus and Fender’s health.

The culmination of this series in this last installment gives us the flip side of the story – the romance of it, the side of a woman who wants to be valued for more than her beauty and cherished above all. It’s an uphill battle but one that is meant to be since she’s truly strong and a force to be reckoned with. She believe in change and she pushed that belief on someone else and as a result, we saw the story turn a corner.

The epilogue was quite interesting though – taking us to the camp – and the hands of an unknown person. There’s a fear now in my mind of what’s to come next and the short blurb at the end of the story introducing ‘The Cult’ makes me scared for what will find its way to that area. It was bad before with the drug trade and I have shivers thinking about what’s next. Now I just have to wait a few months for that story to come out. So…on that note – Enjoy and let’s be patient for the next story to begin.

Review: The Boss (The Chateau #3) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Boss
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 3/23/21
Length:  290 Pages
Series: The Chateau #3

Overview

It’s complicated.

Am I allowed to say that?

Am I allowed to use that as an excuse to feel something toward the man that runs this place, is the reason I’m here in the first place, as well as my sister Raven?

They call him The Boss. I call him Fender.

And he calls me Beautiful.

I can tell myself I’m just using him to get what I want.

But we both know that’s not true.

My Thoughts

The first two installments of this series were about Magnus and Raven – we watched how the actions on an ill-fated night by Melanie ended up getting them captured and sent to a camp to help a drug lord. We watched Raven’s never ending quest for freedom, and Melanie’s guilt for getting the captured, how she follows Raven where ever she goes, but at the same time we watched how the Boss – Fender took a liking to Melanie, and this is what we get in the second half of the series.

Where this third installment picks up is the first time that Fender sets his eyes on Melanie at the camp. He’s been snared by her beauty – and even though he’s always surrounded himself with beautiful women, there’s something about Melanie that soars above and beyond. He wants to give her comforts at camp that he’s never given to any other woman that was brought there. He wants to take care of her and wants to ‘own’ her in a sense, but he won’t do it unless she’s willing. so we spend much of the front half of this story watching how this slowly begins to happen.

Melanie on the other hand is stuck in this limbo of truly doing what’s right given the situation, and yet fighting what her body is telling her. She’s afraid of him, yet Fender continues to remind her that he won’t hurt her or force her to do anything. She wants to get her freedom back and she more than anything wants Raven’s freedom. If only her sister didn’t constantly cause trouble….maybe that would be possible.

Over time we watch the relationship develop between Melanie and Fender. There’s still.a significant gray area around what they are and what they can be, but we see that there’s something that’s starting to grow here. Fender continues to share nothing about himself, and broods and is angry all the time, yet Melanie has patience.

Fender takes her back to Paris with him when he leaves camp, and makes it clear that Melanie is his – that she’s not going to go free, but she will have the life that she deserves. We watch the transformation come over Melanie once she’s under the guidance and care of Fender’s household. We see the role that Fender’s butler plays – both with Melanie and with Fender since the relationships there are so complicated.

If you’ll remember from the first two books, there’s the drive and need for Fender to amass more. to be the biggest and the best distributor and he’ll stop at nothing. Magnus was the voice of reason throughout those first two books, but we saw that it didn’t matter. Now we’re getting the chance to see how that played out from the other side, knowing that Fender was stubborn and that nothing good could come out of what he’s trying to do .

If you’ll also remember from the first two books, Magnus managed to help Raven escape the camp and brought her back to Paris. They also went to Fender and asked for Melanie’s release. Fender didn’t think that Mel would actually go, so he allowed it and that’s where we ended this first book of Fender/Melanie’s story. We see what was starting to be an intense romantic relationship come to a crashing halt – and we can only imagine the implications that will result knowing that Fender doesn’t take well to people who lie to him, cross him and take things that he deems to be his. I can’t wait for the next installment to come along since I really need to see how this plays out from a different angle. Enjoy!

Review: The Camp (The Chateau #2) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Camp
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 1/5/21
Length:  329 Pages
Series: The Chateau #2

Overview

She betrayed me. 

After everything I did for her. 

Now I’ll have to suffer the consequences of that mistake. 

But then I’ll get the revenge that I deserve. 

My Thoughts

We have the continuation of Magnus and Raven’s story and we know that it’s going to be insane. When we left them in the end of The Chateau, everything was blown up in their faces. Literally.

We saw a really tender and sweet relationship develop between these two in the first book and only had the best things to hope of their future. Magnus protected her from everyone in the camp, managed to help her escape and even managed to get her free from the camp forever. Raven though, had more on her agenda now than ever. The strong willed woman that she is, we knew that she’d never settle for just her freedom which resulted in her return to the camp to liberate all the women, to set it on fire and get everyone out. What happens though is almost the unthinkable.

She loses her freedom and is recaptured. Her sister Melanie has to go back to Fender (which may or may not be a bad thing). Magnus gets crushed under a burning building and Raven saves him. But life has once again returned to the misery of the Camp and Raven’s life has now gotten so much harder. Magnus hates her. Wants her to suffer now that he’s lost the respect of the guards, and his brother is beyond angry and what’s transpired.

This second book as a huge theme of redemption in my mind. Mangus has to find a way to get back into better standing with his brother. We learn more and more about their past and how they came to their current empire, and we learn that as he reveals more and more to Raven.

Which of course mans that Raven’s managed to get back into his heart again. Like there was ever a question right? She takes a knife in the stomach for him when one of the guards comes after him and that endears him a bit more to her and we watch from there as he realizes that she’s not acted with malice in any of this but instead doing what she felt was necessary. That in itself gives her a bit of redemption in his eyes and we get to see what that can evolve to.

Magnus claims Raven as his and as such, she’s got protection in the camp. He takes her with him when he goes back to Paris each month and we see how their lives turn into something more. Something with a different tone and purpose. He slowly realizes that she’s only there for him. She’s got no other motive and not other intentions and that’s what slowly builds trust. But with trust comes and ultimatum, one that really proves to be impossible for Magnus to uphold.

In this story, we see so much transpire. Magnus comes to terms with what they’ve done, and pushes his brother to change his ways. Fender is driven by greed and a need to always have more that he makes decisions that Magnus tries to sway him away from. Decisions that have catastrophic impact and the world they know will be changed forever.

There’s marriage, love, death, despair and maybe a glimmer of hope in this story and it’s really sweet. We also get this story entirely from Magnus’ perspective whereas the first book was from Raven’s. I think that’s a really good way to extend the story a bit more – a way to see how things are far from black and white. At the end of this story, we see that there’s a third book coming out, I believe now from Melanie’s eyes. That’ll be a nice change since her experience was intensely different from that of Raven and Magnus. I can’t wait for that one to come out. Enjoy! I

Review: The Chateau (The Chateau #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Chateau
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 10/27/20
Length:  299 Pages
Series: The Chateau #1

Overview

There’s a fine line between right and wrong.

And Magnus is on both sides of it.

I don’t know much about him, but he’s the only reason I’m still alive. I’ve been taken by a group of heartless men and forced into a labor camp, and even though there’s no way out, I still have hope.

I have hope because of him.

He’s the only reason I’ll escape this place.

Even though he’s the villain who works in this camp, he’s my hero.

And I know he’ll be the hero to everyone else too.

Because that’s the price to be with me–and he’ll pay any price to be with me.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge huge huge fan of Penelope Sky and just about every series that i’ve read and this one continues on that same path. We’re in a completely different world unrelated at all to the Italy stories that it’s a welcome change. In the end of this story – our author tells us about how she’s poured so much of herself into this series in a way that’s new from the others, and it’s really clear to me as I read it.

We start off a moment in the past where a boy goes home after a night out with friends only to discover that someone’s in his house, murdering his family. He’s not able to save his mom or 2 of his siblings, but he’s able to get his brother out of the house only to see that the killer is his father. they run, and that’s all we learn about them.

Then we find ourselves in Paris, with our leading lady Raven who’s American and is studying in France. She’s always been responsible for her younger sister so going to Paris was a chance to get away, and yet we find ourselves with her sister visiting. When one day Raven notices a man watching her apartment and watching her sister, she gets on edge, and at a night out she sees the same man talking to Melanie. She’s not comfortable with this and all for good reason because her sister decides that she needs to go with him and his friends, and she of course has to follow. They end up drugged and kidnapped and that’s how our story evolves.

They’re not trafficked but instead brought to a camp in the Alps where there’s a cocaine operation that kidnaps women to pack and process the drug for distribution all across Europe. Raven is confident that she’ll find a way to escape with her sister, but quickly learns that it’s all but impossible. They are so remote that there’s no real chance of getting to a village. It’s the dead of winter so they won’t survive the weather, and the guards there will hunt them down faster than even imaginable. Raven tries anyway, and fails.

The only reason she’s still alive is Magnus. The guard that’s been assigned to her. He’s frightening of course and powerful, but he clearly has a different sort of power and authority in the camp because he has freedoms and access that the others don’t have. We never quite get it but we know that there’s something interesting there. Magnus protects her as much as he can, brings her things to make her time there more comfortable and we see an odd sort of friendship develop between them. Every time Raven is almost hung, or beaten, or accused of doing something that she’s likely done, he gets in the middle in order to save her.

One day ‘the boss’ shows up and takes interest in Melanie – which is no surprise to Raven given that she’s beautiful and has always gotten attention. Raven’s scared for her safety since we all know what’s likely to happen to her, and that’s even more motivation for Raven to find a way out.

A few failed attempts later, Magnus realizes that staying in the camp means death for Raven and he offers all the help he can to get her out. He tells her how to escape gives her resources an a map and a location to go to so that she can wait for him to come and get her, and we realize that their relationship could mean something more. There are emotions and chemistry between them and it’s intense given that they are both in incredibly unconventional phases of their lives.

From that point on in the story, Raven’s eyes are opened up. She realizes that there’s more to Magnus than she realized, specifically in money and power. She also learns something interesting about the boss and what that relationship is. What she doesn’t learn though is how to keep her feelings in check and not give too much of herself to Magnus since that’s a relationship that’s going to be 1000000% impossible.

She’s free now, as is her sister, but that’s not enough. She insists on freeing all the other women in the camp so she sets out to do that. The problem though is that when she goes there, she’s destroys everything that could have been good and when Magnus sees her, he wants to kill her. So, we’re left on a cliff and sadly I have to wait until the end of January to see who falls and who’s still alive. I have such high hopes for where this story will go and to see how the past brings itself to the present.

We have complex and engaging characters. We have romance and chemistry that sizzles. We have a story that’s unique and all that together makes for an amazing book 1. Enjoy!

Review: Truth (Betrothed #10) by Penelope Sky

Title: Truth
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 7/30/20
Length:  198 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #10

Overview

I had no idea she was going to tell Damien.If I did, I would have stopped her.I would have told her the truth myself.Now I’m afraid I’m going to lose her…and there’s nothing I can do about it.

My Thoughts

Well, that summary was lack luster, but at least we knew that the story ahead would be a good one given the up and down roller coaster. There are so many forces trying to push this couple apart, that even Cat is letting it happen since she’s not willing to give up her family.

We watched this couple fall in love, and we watched them try their best to make things right with Damian in order to be together. When he reveal more to Catalina about Heath than she knew, more background on the situation, she realizes that she’s never going to get his approval and she walks away from him. Damian thinks he’s won, knowing that Heath won’t kill him, that he uses this to his advantage and captures Heath. Which we see play out just in the same way that Cat’s initial capture played out. Heath is put in a cage, yet this time Damian beats him to within inches of his life.

He’s somehow saved – I guess the power of love truly is stronger, and we see how this creates an interesting predicament as the story continues. Catalina has made her decision on what she wants, even if it means the demise of her family. She tries and tries to make things right, and that doesn’t work. Balto steps in and picks up the slack with the Skull Kings while Heath can’t even move and that puts a new set of challenges at the forefront since his wife is pregnant. We watch that one play out and it makes us anxious.

In all of Ms Penelope Sky’s books, we see dark men who really don’t deserve to be saved. Yet they want to be saved by the right woman once she walks into their lives. We’ve watched it time and time again, and this isn’t any different. Heath is willing to give EVERYTHING up for her if that would help and while it works for some, it does’t for others. It’s only when Heath meets her father and they have a chat that we see that there’s more to the family history than anyone knew – and I have to admit, I actually toyed with the revelation in my head before it came.

Secrets that were never meant to come out are shared and they have both a healing and a destroying power. We watch Vox take his vengeance out at any length, forcing folks to go on the run, be prepared for a shootout and know that some characters that we’ve come to know well aren’t going to come out of this story alive. I feel like this is well set up for the culmination of this series, yet i’m sad to see that it’s over. We get an ending that’s right for this story – but there’s so much more that we could actually get into if our author decides to write it. So on that note, i’m off to find something new and i hope you enjoy this one!

Review: Secret (Betrothed #9) by Penelope Sky

Title: Secret
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 7/7/20
Length:  158 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #9

Overview

She saved my life.

She promised she wouldn’t intervene, that her loyalty was to her family, not me. But she did it anyway.

Now everything is different. I can feel it with every kiss, every time she’s underneath me. This isn’t a meaningless fling anymore.

It’s so much more.

I know it…and she knows it.

My Thoughts

I love everything that our author writes and this continuation of Heath and Catalina’s story just adds to my love fest. We saw this couple come together as part of a scheme to get at Damian for falling in love with a woman that ‘belonged’ to someone else, and we watched how their uncommon circumstances turned into a really amazing relationship – unexpected and intense, and so good all at the same time. Until it wasn’t.

Throughout this ninth installment in the series, the second for this couple, we remember where we left off – Heath was going to collect the taxes that Damian owed, and Damian had a plot to kill Heath and his men since he felt that he was unfairly being taxed. Catalina knew about the plan, and while she said she’d never go against her family, she realized that Heath meant more to her, and she warned him at the last moment. Saving his life, and resulting in a shift in the dynamic of just about everything from then out.

The way that their bond strengthened and changed was amazing. We saw that their ‘fling’ – their short term thing became love, even when they didn’t admit it to one another. In the moment that Cat called Heath to warn him, he saw right through what she wasn’t willing to admit and as a result, his own feelings became clear to him as well. Their relationship turned to something concrete. They had open entry to each other’s house. They were part of each other now, and even when Cat tried to fight it, fight Heath on it, she realized that she would always lose.

We spend most of this story watching how they are happy together and how they have something special. The only issue that they truly faced was the notion that Damian and Heath had a pure hatred for one another and as a result the two parts of her life could never meet. When she tried to make that change – she learned more about the past than she ever wanted to know, and that rips her and Heath apart. The things that he did to her family in the past was truly too much and the lies that he kept meant that she was now numb to him.

This brings pleasure to Damian of course because it now opens the door for him to take Heath down, and that’s exactly what happens. We see Cat torn – she’s numb, and she’s standing by her family, but of course life and love are never that easy. The end of this ninth / second book leave us at a crossroads of where Cat will be knowing that she’s vowed never to choose against her family but her future was already chosen by that same fortune teller in Morocco that directed everyone else’s lives in this series. So….I now have to wait until the next installment to see how this plays out. Enjoy!

Review: Lie (Betrothed #8) by Penelope Sky

Title: Lie
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles Press 6/2/20
Length:  198 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #8

Overview

Why did I let her go?

I can’t answer that. How do you expect me to answer that when I don’t even know? I’m the Skull King. I never let ANYONE go.

When I see her at the bar six weeks later, she’s still the feisty handful that I remember. She owns the room in that tight dress and that fire. Now that she’s not dirty in a locked cage…she’s stunning.

She cleans up good.

I decide to say hello…and see what happens.

My Thoughts

I love how we were introduced to Catalina’s story and what it ultimately means is that things are going to get very complicated very fast. We knew there was some type of connection between them when Heath realized that she was more than he first thought – and seeing their ‘relationship’ evolve throughout this story shows us that there’s much more than meets the eye.

When we first met Heath, youll remember that it was in Balto’s story and there wasn’t much that Heath had to redeem himself. He was rough around the edges, didn’t really have a sensitive notion at all in his being and even knowing the story around who Cassini was both to Balto and outside of him, there wasn’t much that made you want to like him. We saw him do things for his brother to help when needed and as a result, when. Balto stepped down as the Skull King, Heath stepped in.

He’s not the typical king and we saw that through his interactions with Damian. Sure, he was out for the money piece of things since that’s how the Skull Kings made their business thrive, but he also had vendettas and revenge to deal with. He also has Vox in the back of things to make life miserable. Vox being the Skull King that felt that he was next in line to be king and will take whatever opportunity he can to take the throne.

Catalina on the other hand is exactly as we remembered and is exactly how all other leading ladies are in Penelope Sky stories. We see how independent and strong she is. how she is able to take care of herself and needs no one, yet has this idea in her mind of how her life should be. She’s made the mistake of seeing the gypsy as well and feels like she’s got to follow that premonition to a T since the prophecies have played out for Hades and Damian.

This first real installment of their story is one that’s rough. We see that Catalina continues to avoid Heath, push off his advances because of what he has against Damian as well as what he put her through when she was kidnapped. It doesn’t matter that there’s an insane attraction between them, it’s still something that’s never going to work out.

Heath of course is persistent and we see walls come down. We see what could be between them and we see how there are still far too many obstacles to make it work as it should. It’s not until Catalina is trafficked that Heath comes to her rescue, and there’s a chance for whatever it is that they want to make their relationship to become.

If only Damian wasn’t an issue and he didn’t continue to come at Heath every chance he could get. We know that it can’t possibly end well for everyone and when we watch Catalina get put into a position where she’s devoted to her brother and yet wants to protect Heath, someone’s going to die and that’s not good for anyone.

We’re left off watching a plot go wrong, and then we don’t get to see the after affects. – that’ll come in the next installment which i think i have to wait a month for. So…i’ll be patient, try to find something else to read in the meantime and enjoy this nice weather. Enjoy!

Review: Forever (Betrothed #7) by Penelope Sky

Title: Forever
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles Press 6/2/20
Length:  204 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #7

Overview

She’s mine once again but she’s practically a ghost. 

She’s just using me…not that I mind. 

But her indifference is suffocating. I mean nothing to her…less than what she used to mean to me. Admissions of regret and apologies aren’t enough to fix it. 

I have to return to the gypsy…and hope for the best. 

My Thoughts

I don’t think that the summary really does a good job here in describing what your’e going to read. In this 6th book of the series, it’s not that Anna is indifferent to Damian, but she’s in a tough spot still. She’s made her decisions in life because that’s what she felt was the best thing at the time and yet she’s miserable. Everyone’s miserable.

We spend much of this next installment watching everyone go through the motions knowing that they have to bide their time in order to get what they want. Liam continues to be a problem, he’s got this hold over Anna that makes no sense to anyone, and yet it’s still there. He doesn’t yet realize that Damian is the man that holds Anna’s heart until he actually does figure it out and then we watch the downfall of everything. He’s out for blood, Anna won’t let Damian kill him, and that means that someone’s going to die and the who dynamic of our characters will shift.

If that weren’t enough, the Skull King Heath is in the mix yet again. He continues to have this vendetta against Damian and that means that he’s not going to give up his quest for torture and revenge and insane need to just make the poor guy miserable.

Throughout this series, we’ve always felt that Hades and Damian could figure out how to get through anything, how to pull in the right resources to get what they need done, yet in this book, that’s not going to happen. Heath and Liam are on the same side. Bones is out of the game, and while Hades will always be there for his best friend, he’s got a family to think about and that means he’s not as ready to put his life on the line.

There are moments of despair when we see that Liam can’t seem to keep it in his pants and Anna learns about his infidelity again. We hope that it means that she can finally be with Damian, but that’s too easy. She’s too moral and wants to put time and space between any decision that she makes. Damian is patient, but that also means that he’s suffering.

At the same time, we watch Liam realize that Damian is the guy that has come between them and that means that he’s out for death. He comes after Damian time and time again, and it’s not until he breaks into Damian’s house and there’s a gun battle that the story changes and not in a good way. Where that one resolves is the expected way yet the path that they take to get there is unorthodox.

Then there’s the involvement of Heath in all this. Liam engages him to kidnap Catalina in order to get under Damian’s skin and what we always knew about Catalina is that she’s tough and she gives them a run for their money. She’s not the kind of girl who will give up easily and we watch that one with sheer enjoyment. The way that her involvement is used in this story gives us a direct and clear path to see what book 8 will be and i can only imagine how poorly all this will go down since there’s nothing good that can come out of where i think this story will go.

So on that note, i can’t wait to dive into the next book since this story keeps getting better and better. Enjoy!

Review: Second (Betrothed #6) by Penelope Sky

Title: Second
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles Press 5/5/20
Length:  198 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #6

Overview

She’s gone.

But the fortune can’t be true because she means nothing to me.

Nothing at all.

But the doubt starts to creep in. My thoughts only focus on one thing. The other women no longer satisfy me.

It starts to drive me crazy.

When I finally confront her, the horror shatters me.

She’s marrying someone else.

My Thoughts

At the end of the first book we had to watch Anna marry her ex husband again – truly believing that he was the right choice for her at this point in time since a future with Damian was off the table and Liam seemed to truly regret and repent for what he did. This of course crushes Damian and we have to wonder what that will mean for the rest of this book.

Throughout this second installment of their story although the sixth of the larger series, we watch Damian try to move on with his life as best he can although that doesn’t mean that he’s really interested in moving on with another woman. Can’t stomach the idea. When one is put in front of him, he uses the situation for what it is, but hates that any time he crosses paths with Anna, it turns to a jealousy thing. He truly wants to find a way to be around her knowing that he walked away from her to protect her. The threat that his lifestyle proved to all of those that were close to him was too much for him to risk, even if it sacrificed his own happiness.

We watch Anna try to be happy – to be the wife and partner that she should be with Liam. She truly believes in the vows of marriage and will do anything to make it work, even though she’s admitted that she’s not over Damian. Liam is willing to take all the time that’s needed in order to get her to love him the way that she used to, but i think that as readers we all know that it’s never going to happen. He promised to give up death fighting to be with her and that’s something that we know will come back to bite him. curious to see if Damian is his opponent.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that we go through in this story. Watching Anna and Damian try to figure out how to be friends since they are in the same circle. Watching them both clearly love each other but never admit it out loud or even to themselves. We watch Anna move on with her life and then at the same time we watch Damian go through the motions.

If romance and love wasn’t enough, we also have the Skull King as a pain in our butt through out the story as well. Heath continues to be a thorn in their side and since we all know that he’s a loose cannon even outside of these guys, it’ll be a huge question of when he’ll go off the rails and what that will mean. Damian is adamant about killing Heath but doesn’t have the right plan yet since his only option isn’t in the game before. (you guys will all remember a man named Bones right?)

So….we are left at the end of this story on so many open paths. what’s going to happen with Anna and Liam since there’s definitely no way that he’ll keep up his end of the bargain. At the same time, we also have to wonder what’s going to happen to Damian since we know that he’s a masochist but this is taking things a bit far for even him. And then there’s Heath – what will happen there. Only way to find out is to read on to book 7 now – which i’m going to try to do. Enjoy!

Review: First (Betrothed #5) by Penelope Sky

Title: First
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles Press 3/31/20
Length:  206 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #5

Overview

Hades retired from the business. 

Now it’s just me. 

Look at me now… Bitter… angry… depressed. I resent my former friend so much, even hate the guy, but I’ve never been the same since he refused to forgive me. 

I meet a woman. She’s like all the others…beautiful, interesting, good at the fun stuff, but I don’t feel anything. 

One woman will love you for you, not your money or your power, but you’ll lose her. And once she’s gone…she’s gone. 

That gypsy wasn’t right about me too, right?

I’ve got trouble on my doorstep when the new Skull King shows up. He wants a cut of my business. 

Like he’s getting anything. This is all I have left. 

Once again I become swallowed by the underworld. 

Will I survive it?

My Thoughts

The way that Ms Sky has evolved this story has really taken us on a journey that makes it both necessary to love Hades and Sofia in order to push Damian forward but also hate them because this story wouldn’t happen if the struggle wasn’t real. What we have here in this first installment of Damian’s story is the path that his life takes now that he’s not in a good place with Hades and likely never will. Maddox is dead, so he’s now the sole owner of the drug business and yet at the same time he’s still partnering with Hades in their bank. Every day is worse for him and all he wants to do is drink himself into oblivion, that is until Anna walks into the bank one day to get his help and Damina’s life is changed forever.

While the summary above reminds me that Damian got a prophecy from the fortune teller years ago, that really doesn’t come up in the context of this story so we almost forget about it. Anna is newly divorced from a powerful man who ironically she wants nothing from aside from getting off of anything that’s attached to him (namely his bank accounts). at the same time she really wants to start a new life for herself which means she needs to clean our her only personal account so that she can buy an apartment. This transaction not only puts Anna fully on Damian’s radar, but that means that we get to be on the peripheral of another guy that we likely do not want to ross (Liam – her ex).

The story that we have from here is one that really results in a lot of pain and suffering. Damian still has lost his best friend, the only person that means anything to him and as a result, he’s also lost Sofia since there’s no way to co-exist there. At the same time, he’s found this attraction to Anna but he knows that he’s neither in a mindset in his life to be a good guy for any one single person, nor does his professional life lend itself to being safe for anyone else. Yet that doesn’t stop either of them from the attraction that’s shared and we have a wild ride come out of it. (Anna’s no stranger to danger given that her ex is a death fighter so the shock is minimal here).

We see positive momentum come from their relationship and then we see it crash and burn when tragedy hits. Some of our favs from other Penelope Sky series come back in this one, in the form of the Skull Kings where we get to see Heath in his role as King trying to take what he feels he’s owed by Damian. Pride of course gets in the way and what we have is a kidnapping, death and fear. Every time i think that we’re about to see something good happen, a truce with the Skull Kings, a change in the trajectory if the relationship with Hades and Damian, hope for romance, another curve ball is thrown and makes us realize that hope really is lost.

We end this first installment at a wedding and then we wonder what the future will bring. So on that note, i’m picking up the next book to see what happens next for everyone! Enjoy!