Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.
A godless thief.
My reputation was a big wave that I rode, one that swallowed everyone around me, drowning every attempt to fuck with what’s mine.
I’d been known as a stoner, but power was my real drug of choice. Money meant nothing. It was tangible, and therefore easy to lose. See, to me, people were a game. One I’d always known how to win.
Move the rooks around.
Change the queen when necessary.
Guard the king at all fucking times.
I was never distracted, never deterred, and never jealous.
So, imagine my surprise when I found myself being all three at once.
It was a siren with coal black hair who robbed me of riding the biggest wave I’d seen that summer. Of my precious attention. Of my goddamn breath.
She glided from the ocean to the beach like nightfall.
I crouched down, straddling my surfboard, gawking.
Edie and Beck stopped beside me, floating on their boards in my periphery.
“This one’s taken by Emery Wallace,” Edie had warned. Thief.
“This one’s the hottest masterpiece in town.” Beck had chuckled. Con.
“More importantly, she only dates rich bastards.” Liar.
I had all the ingredients to pull her in.
Her body was a patch of fresh snow. White, fair, like the sun shone through her, never quite soaking in. Her skin defied nature, her ass defied my sanity, but it was the words on her back that made my logic rebel.
It wasn’t her curves or the way she swayed her hips like a dangling, poisonous apple that warranted my reaction to her.
It was that tattoo I had noticed when she swam close to me earlier, the words trickling down the nape of her neck and back in a straight arrow.
My Whole Life Has Been Pledged to This Meeting with You
I only knew one person who went gaga over the Russian poet, and, like the famous Alexander, he was currently six feet under.
My friends began to paddle back to shore. I couldn’t move. It felt like my balls were ten tons heavy. I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, maybe, but even that wasn’t the word I was looking for. No. This girl fucking intrigued me.
“What’s her name?” I snatched Beck’s ankle, yanking him back to me. Edie stopped pedaling and looked back, her gaze ping-ponging between us.
“Doesn’t matter, bro.”
“What’s. Her. Name?” I repeated through a locked jaw.
“Dude, she’s, like, way young.”
“I will not repeat myself a third time.”
Beck’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He knew damn well that I didn’t mess around. If she was legal—it was on.
Jesse Carter was going to be mine before she even knew me.
Before I even knew her.
Before her life turned upside down and her fate rewrote itself with her blood.
So here was the truth that even my lying ass wouldn’t admit later on in our story—I wanted her before.
Before she became business.
Before the truth caged her in.
Before the secrets gushed out.
I never did get to surf that day.
My surfboard broke.
Should have known it was an omen.
My heart was going to be next in line.
And for a small chick, she did one hell of a fucking job obliterating it.
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5 +++++ STARS
I’m not even sure how to begin this review except to say that “this book was AMAZING.” Bane is somewhat of a dark fairytale; I loved the references to Snow White. The princess in this story, Jesse, is broken and shattered, but underneath the fear and pain lies a warrior. Bane is in no way like the Prince Charming I read about as a child, yet he is so much more. As in all fairytales, this one is full of villains. I knew this one was going to be special when Shen told us that “this princess saves herself in the fairytale.”
Jesse Carter is my new heroine. She is shunned, isolated, and broken. Her only friend is her loyal dog, Shadow, and her elderly next door neighbor. When Bane comes into her life, she is totally unprepared for him. In fact, she really doesn’t see people anymore, giving up on them a long time ago.
People as a concept, were starting to feel blurry and unfamiliar. Fuzzy, like black and white static flakes playing on an old-school TV.
Bane changes all that. He wants to fix her. He wants her to be a part of the world again, one she was scared of and angry at, yet she wants to feel something again. As she was allowing Bane into her heart, she was also finding herself again…the strong Jesse. She was remembering what her father told her,
You don’t need a prince, princess. You need a sword.
I loved seeing her realizing that more and more every day!
Bane is also hurt. He hides it under his tattoos, his beard, and his attitude. What he wasn’t counting on was Jesse seeing his flaws and accepting him despite them. He believes she may be his atonement. He wants to save her, but she might be the one saving him.
As with all fairytales, Bane and Jesse will face a battle for their own HEA in the form of lies and betrayal. I totally didn’t see the twists and turns and emotional rollercoaster Shen was going to take me on.
I’m in awe of L.J. Shen and her ability to use her words like magic. This book is raw, realistic, at times very hard to read. In fact, there were several times I found myself in tears for both Jesse and Bane. Yet, Shen words were like poetry…just beautiful…pulling me further into the book. I literally never stopped reading until I was done…around 3 AM in the morning. I have been fortunate to read some fantastic books this year, but Bane stands out and now takes the top place of my favorite book of the year!!!!
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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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