** 4.5 out of 5 Intense Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Nero is the king of Legacy Prep, living a life of power. Elle is the school's punching bag, living a life of fear.
The only good girls Nero knows jump in his bed when he tells them to.
The closest to Elle has come to a bad boy like him is in the cafeteria line.
The mob boss gave him orders to find out what she knows.
Her mouth is sealed.
Holy book hangover!! This book is so good! Let me get the basics out of the way first. The writing style was great. It's easy to follow and told from several different POV but mainly from Elle and Nero. You will be drawn in from the first page. I began reading about 830 pm and finally stopped around 3 am only to get back up at 4 and finish it around 7am. Yeah, it's that good.
I loved Elle's character. She was strong even in the face of all she had to deal with. She's loyal to Chloe. She didn't want to give into Nero but love is funny like that. Nero. I tend to go back and forth with him. I liked him. I liked how he could be with her and his alpha side. There were definitely things I wasn't happy with but I'm not sure it was enough to totally turn me against him. I knew going in that his character wasn't always gonna be easy to stomach. I loved them together. He always protected her. He was there when she needed him and when she didn't. He always put her before everything else. When he fell for her, he fell hard. The book was a little on the young side. They are both high school seniors. She acts like it but he doesn't at all. I had a hard time remembering that he is only 18 most of the time.
I would definitely recommend this book. If you love alpha males who are controlling and possessive then give this book a shot. I will warn you though...it can be hard to handle at times. There is strong abuse and bullying through most of the book. I'm giving it 4.5 stars. It wasn't a total 5 star book because of the ending. We didn't get a HEA...more like a HFN. I needed more and I'm hoping there will be other books in the series so I can check in with them.
Nero is HOT. He's young, king of his school, a ladies man, and beautiful. His dad is a mob boss and he's known since birth that he would follow in his footsteps. He's used to getting anything and everything he wants. He's intense, moody and completely alpha. He can be sweet but honestly there were times when I flat out didn't like him or the things he's capable of. Mob or not...it's not ok to be abusive to women.
Elle is the school's punching bag. She hates her life but continues to allow the torment to continue so she can protect her only friend Chloe...who honestly has it worse I think. She comes from a family with little money but attends a prep school on scholarship. Everyone hates her. She's bullied and abused on a daily bases. She's pretty but she hides it trying to blend with the walls.
Let me say from the beginning this book can be hard to swallow. Elle is verbally abused, assaulted, and tortured during school hours. She's been hurt so many times that her parents no longer question what's happening because she's learned to lie so well. The book begins the day school returns after Christmas break. She is dreading lunch knowing what is coming. She isn't disappointed. She and Chloe choose which lunch line to wait in based on who will be meaner to them. They sit at the table closest to the door so they can make a quick exit if need be. I'm not gonna go into all the details but just know that the bullying is extremely bad in her case.
At work that night she is taking the trash out before she leaves in an ally behind the diner where she works. She's quickly realizes she's in the wrong place at the wrong time. She hides behind the dumpster and becomes witness to 3 men killing someone. She doesn't think anyone has seen her but she was caught on camera. Enter Nero. It's Nero's job to find out what she knows. She's only 17 and his father doesn't kill children (that's sweet of him...I think?). He has until her 18th birthday to find out if she's saw their faces.
Nero is king of his school. He hasn't ever really been involved in Elle's constant abuse but he hasn't done anything to stop it either. She doesn't trust anyone and he has his work cut of for him. He slowly begins to work his way into her life. He tries talking to her but she pushes him away. He ends up having to stand up for her and Chloe at lunch to gain her trust. He and his two friends become her and Chloe's bodyguards. They walk her to class, escort them to his car, etc.
While he is playing protector the dynamic between them begins to shift. He no longer tolerates anyone being ugly to her. If he finds out about it there are consequences for it. He doesn't like other men looking at her let alone touching her. Feelings start to enter the picture, kisses are shared, etc. They are falling for each other all while he hides this huge secret about himself from her.
It's a lot of the same until about 70%. They break up because she caught him with another girl at a club...it wasn't what it looked like...mostly. He continues to protect her from a distance but eventually they make up. He finds out every last thing that was done to her and gets his revenge on them all. Keep in mind he is the son of a mob boss. He has no qualms about hanging screaming girls over balcony's or beating guys with baseball bats. All the bullying stops.
He finds a poem she wrote in art class while she's waiting on him outside the door. She finds a picture of his older brother at the same time. She realizes who he is and he realizes that she saw everything. I felt bad for him but she did exactly what I would have done. She ran. He eventually finds her and she meets with his dad after he has made it clear that she will not be harmed. His dad talks to her and lets her live because of his son and his feelings for her. She isn't about to go back to him though. She tells him goodbye.
Months pass and they are both miserable. She can't even look at him and he's giving her the space she needs. By space I mean he keeps to the shadows while he protects her without her knowledge. The schools queen ambushes her in the school bathroom and beats her into unconscious. Chloe runs for Nero and he doesn't leave her side while she's in the hospital. She refuses to see him until the last night. Nothing is resolved but she tells him they will talk once she is out of the hospital the following day.
Nero doesn't like the word no. He wants her and he mean forever. He shows up at the hospital the next morning to take her home. Only home isn't where she thinks. He takes her to the penthouse corner suite that he now lives in and bluntly tells her that it is also her new home. She forgives him and he explains that this is the first night anyone has spent in the suite because he couldn't stay without her. He finally tells her he loves her. He handles the issue with her being beaten later that night and then lets her know she will just have to get used to it because he will never let her leave him.
The last chapter is a week or so later and they are attending their last day of class before graduation. Nothing major happens and I was disappointed. I needed more. I wanted to see what happened a few years down the road.
Describes my feelings perfectly....