#darkromance #interracial #mafiaromance #suspense #captiveromance
(He was the one thing she couldn’t run from.)
Beatrice Arsenault has spent the last ten years running. She’s changed her looks and changed her name and lives her life off the books or under the table, constantly looking over her shoulder for the one person she knows is looking back.
(She’s the one thing he could never leave.)
Dominic Xiang is a name that strikes fear into the hearts of hardened criminals. He runs an empire of vice and blood, which he rules with an iron fist. But when he met Beatrice ten years ago, he had just enough of a heart left to break.
(If they don’t bury the past, they’ll bury each other.)
Now he’s found her again, and she’s dancing on the edge of his knife. Whether it cuts her ties or ends her life is all up to him . . .
Dark, intense and more than a little crazy! 5 stars
Rent Girl by Nenia Campbell is an unapologetic dark read containing Dominic Xiang, a hot but crazy villain with few if ANY redeeming qualities, and Beatrice Arsenault, a troubled heroine whom he sets his sights on. He is the LAST person she needs to be with but unfortunately for her, as soon as he notices her there is no escape. The phrase you can run but you can’t hide certainly came to mind when I read this book!
I love the dark romance genre which allows the writer and reader to delve deep into the psyche of bad men such as Dominic. His world is not a pretty one and this book contains scenes of violence, murder and abuse, not to mention morally questionable behaviour towards the heroine. Although I was shocked at some scenes and at times felt that Beatrice would be better off without Dominic, the author slowly but surely turned it round and as the story progressed my dark heart started cheering this complex couple on. I was SO immersed in the interplay between the couple and the wider characters and plot that I read it in little more than a day.
The book has two timelines, one after the couple first meet and the other ten years later when Beatrice’s luck runs out and Dominic, intent on revenge, finds her once again. Dual timelines do not always work for me, but I found it done really well here and it helped illustrate how the dynamics between the couple changed over time and how they grew as characters.
Beatrice finds herself held captive and consumed by Dominic for much of the read and is revolted by his world. The author does an excellent job of showing us just how deep this revulsion goes. I loved how despite being powerless she stood up to him as much as she could. I enjoyed her character growth and Dominic’s realisation that perhaps she means more to him than he thought.
Just how far will Dominic go when it comes to punishing Beatrice for her deceit? Has he ANY capacity for forgiveness, love, or redemption? Will Beatrice ever be more than the rent girl/whore she sees herself? Can she love a monster? What will happen to her once he grows tired of her, especially given how he deals with his enemies and those who get in his way… These questions and more buzzed around my head during the read.
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as the book approached its finale, and I was a quivering mess as various chickens came home to roost for the couple. I loved the ending. It was just perfect.
Recommended for fans of the genre.