The Token (#10): Shepard: Alpha Billionaire Dark Romance Standalone Novel Kindle Edition
"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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It’s one of those books that has you rooting for the bad guy, knowing that he has a heart in there somewhere. It left me absolutely wrung out. The whole time you simply want them to have something good. It’s a standalone that explains so much about Shepherd, but it also has some of Juliette’s and Thorn’s story, so you are able to comprehend the dynamics between the characters. It was beautifully and painfully written, and another masterpiece by Marata Eros. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.
Despite the number behind the title, this book can be read as a stand-alone and enjoyed immensely. Of course, it's been a long time since I read the previous books but the few chapters that explain who Shepard is, the villain, serve its purpose with sharp, bloody efficiency.
I'm dazed, maybe in shock a little. This piece of black soul will leave you bare and raw. The villain has done unspeakable deeds of horror, yet the origin of that is also steeped in non-consent, inescapable horrors committed against him. That is the unbreakable link that binds him to Marissa, another victim who fights back with all her wit and will. I loved this story, despite its dark themes, or maybe because of them. Abuse, the worst kind, inflicted for too long.
Both characters have escaped it, barely, when their paths cross, he as the weapon or maybe a saviour in disguise, she as the target that finds herself uncannily pulled towards him in spite of the danger.
I really liked how brutal and contained Shepard can be, how his bad side was yelling for certain death while his brutalized goodness yearns to be free and loved. The steamy passion between Shepard and Marissa is emotionally provocative and blissfully sensual.
The book is terribly, beautifully dark, the prose is strong and wistful. It's about love denied but triumphant, dark men who can love, strong women who survive, and all the dangerous and tender passion they can share in those scenes that really melt the core.
(First reviewed on my blog Literaria, this is my honest opinion based on an arc for a tour)