Review: Bane

Bane Bane by L.J. Shen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Final Score - 5+ The Princess Saved Herself Stars!

This book touched on a lot of subjects - neglectful parenting, abuse, depression, redemption, salvation - which all help to culminate in one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2018 I've read yet!  Now granted, I expected some filthy, dirty sex times courtesy of Bane (after all, he's the cockiest #Hothole) and I wasn't disappointed.  He still can't hold a candle to my man Trent though (#TrentForever).

I was obsessed with this book from beginning to end.  I knew I couldn't put down - no matter what the consequences.  So I said goodbye to 6+ hours of uninterrupted sleep and prepared for the showdown.  Our story once again takes place in Todos Santos and we even get a cameo from the #Hothole who started it all, Vicious (he's still and will always be #ViciousIsDelicious to me).

However, the story takes a very serious turn from there ... and that's just in the prologue!  My god the events that unfolded in this book were enough to make my head spin.  Never have I ever highlighted passages as I did in this book - ask Leigh as I had to talk to someone about what was going down!  My nerves were shot and I don't think I ate at all during reading, so completely immersed was I in this story.  And now days later, I'm still suffering from #BookHangover.

Bane.  Egotistical. Unapologetic. Brutally Honest. A total asshole, but underneath those layers, he's just that little boy who's still tormented by how he came to be.  God, my heart hurt for what he must have felt all those years knowing how he came to be.   He's built an empire by wielding street smarts & savvy and overall cockiness to become one of the big players in town.  A player no one would dare to cross.  Isn't it fitting that he be placed in the same league as Vicious and Trent?

Jesse Carter. Strong. Resilient. Warrior Woman. Victim?  I have an issue with calling her that, because to me she's not.  She's a fighter - that's a more adapt description of her.  And I absolutely, 100% am in love with her.  I understand Jesse.  I was Jesse.  And like Jesse, I picked myself up out of the ashes, dusted myself off and battled with those who hurt me.  Never before have I read a female character with such strength, bravery, and perseverance.  To have been through what she had and still have her fire, her passion for life, her acerbic whit & sassy attitude intact?  We need more characters like this!

I can go on and on about all the things I loved about this book - most especially Jesse & Bane's relationship - but the one that touched me the most was Bane's relationship with his mom.  I just don't see or read enough stories where sons & mothers have such a good, realistic relationship.  That's great writing, compliments of LJ Shen.  She is hands down my go to author and has been since I read Sparrow.

This is a definite must read and certified 5+ Star read.  I've never given a book that grad before - this is the first, so you know it's something special.  So what are you waiting for?  Better get on this one quick.

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