Scandalous by L.J. Shen
Scandalous is the last book about the four HotHoles of Todos Santos – thankfully L.J. Shen is also giving us Bane’s story this May – and Trent Rexroth, the Mute, was the HotHole that intrigued me but didn’t really hold my interest in the earlier books. But in this book, he was definitely given a chance to show his true colours, his true nature – both the good and the bad – and his true feelings for one Edie Van der Zee. Edie is the daughter of Jordan Van der Zee, the man who had bought out 49% of the HotHoles company with the idea being that the guys could start to settle down with their new families… this guy, however, ends up being a lot more trouble than he was ever worth.
I’ll admit that this book didn’t grip me like Vicious’ and Dean’s books and it took me a while to really get into it. I liked Trent, I liked Edie … but they really took the whole “enemies” part of “enemies to lovers” quite seriously and so I didn’t warm up to them straightaway. But their story is certainly a captivating one and the twists and unexpected surprises that came towards the end more than made up for the slow start. These two characters were definitely true to themselves throughout the whole book – even through to the epilogue – and I definitely appreciated that there wasn’t a personality transplant for either of them… that there love was genuine, their relationship based on understanding of each other and, most of all, a “we don’t care what others thing” attitude to the world which always shone through.
I can’t review Scandalous without mentioning Trent’s beautiful daughter Luna. She has quite a few issues and yet the love she has for her dad – and vice-versa – is so genuine that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them both. And the budding relationship between Luna and Edie is also so lovely to watch happen – for us as readers and even for Trent.
And finally, I got to meet the title character for the final book in the Sinners of Saints series – Bane. I’m so glad we get his book because this man – who, as Vicious so kindly said is the “made in China” version of the himself 😂 – clearly is going to have one hell of a story to tell.