Author’s Note: This is a mystery/suspense romance with violence and explicit sex. Trigger warning.
I’m giving Blackwood ONE STAR because its author is the single most versatile writer I have ever come across. From straight-up dirty fuck-fests to books so dark they make you wonder about her psyche to books that make you sob like a toddler who got socks for Christmas, Celia Aaron can do it all. She proves this again in Blackwood – a story filled with thrilling suspense and intriguing mystery.
I’m giving Blackwood TWO STARS because of its main character. I still haven’t decided who I like best. The mysterious bearded owner with dark desires or the sassy student who refuses to take no for an answer. It’s a battle of wills which turns into tentative friendship laced with secrets, doubts and an undeniable attraction.
I’m giving Blackwood THREE STARS because of the sexy times. Often in books it’s a case of boy-meets-girl, heavily described oral, a quick romp with some emotional thoughts, orgasm and then rinse and repeat. Not so in Blackwood. Dark desires turn into delicious deviancy and you’ve never quite read sex like this before.
I’m giving Blackwood FOUR STARS because that’s the number of times I gasped. The plot has many twists, moments of danger and as the secrets unfold and characters are revealed the plot stops taking a linear path and becomes more of a spider’s web. Only thing is: you’re the fly.
I’m giving Blackwood FIVE STARS because that’s the amount of crazy theories I came up with trying to solve the mystery before the author revealed it herself. I failed. Blackwood is a who-dunnit which is also a what-dunnit that turns into a how’s-they-do-it. I was totally enthralled by the eerie feel that permeated this story, trying to guess what tiny bits of information would prove to be significant and trying to form all the scattered clues into a theory. But, Blackwood kept me guessing until the very last pages.
Blackwood was an absolute treat. Entertaining, engaging and at times shocking. I absolutely recommend it.
(ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
He laughed, this time the sound rich and sultry. It reverberated inside my chest. Something about it reminded me of the forest, the way the sunrise warmed it but couldn’t quite reach its dark heart.
“You don’t like my beard?” He sat next to me, much closer this time.
My pulse ratcheted up, and I took in a quick breath.
“Well?” He grinned and took my wrist.
I tried to pull it away, but his grip was like an iron shackle. He eased the back of my hand down his cheek. “Not so bad, is it?”
It wasn’t. Not exactly soft, it felt thick and masculine. Rich. “What are you doing?” I leaned back until I pressed up against the headboard.
He moved closer, his woodsy scent a mix of smoke and soap. Maybe he didn’t need a shower after all. I didn’t turn away, not even when his lips were only inches from mine.
“I just wanted to see.” His eyes flickered to my lips.
“You’re about to see what a vicious head butt looks like.” My rapid pulse infected my voice, making it quaver.
“Yeah?” He squeezed my wrist harder. “I don’t believe you.”
“Fuck you.” I stared into his eyes, searching the stormy irises for some way to solve the enigma of Garrett Blackwood.