Title: Twisted Secrets
Author: Ace Gray
Genre: Dark Romance/Erotic Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2018
Cover Designer: Bex Harper Designs: https://www.bexharperdesigns.com/
My whole life, there had only been one rule. Don’t go to Chicago. It always made me feel like a damsel in distress, trapped in a tower. But my life was filled with kings and queens and the most noble knights and I didn’t need another fairytale.
I needed a bad boy.
Brye McCowan was just that. He was smooth, and seductive. Dark, dangerous and downright drool worthy too. I saw trouble swirling around him in place of a shadow. He was my one rule personified.
And I couldn’t stop myself from kissing him.
Which was right about the time that whole fairytale thing kicked back in. Only this time I wasn’t surrounded by heroes. These were the villains, wicked and vengeful. And Brye was one of them. When all was said and done, when all the blood was spilled, the only thing more tormenting than the dungeon he threw me in was knowing it was my family’s twisted secrets that put me there.
As innocent children, we all seem to want and maybe even need the fairy tale and its happily ever after, hiding behind rose colored glasses and believing that good always prevails thwarting any attempt for the villain to win.
But the real world is not a fairy tale…it’s not a place with only beautiful and angelic beings because perfection is impossible and the contradictory actions and feelings of love and hate, beauty and ugliness, and healing and destruction are the true reality of the world regardless of how sheltered and shielded parents try to keep their children, especially when they know firsthand what malice, mayhem, and savagery exists in the world because they were a part of it in the past.
The sins of the father…
Brye McCowan lives his life according to that dictate; in fact, as the heir to his father’s ‘unholy throne,’ Brye revels in the mayhem, in the duplicity, in the savagery, and in the hedonistic pleasure that he takes without warning. He’s a soulless murderer thanks to his father’s iron fist and the vacancy in his eyes was placed and created by a monster whose controlling and manipulative ways forced a boy to become a man hellbent on becoming darkness personified in order to survive in this dangerous and deadly world that he never had a choice but to join.
Filly Ryan knows nothing of her father or her mother’s sins; in fact, they have done everything they can to not allow their past to infect their daughter’s present, but in doing so, their sins wreak even more havoc than they would have if her parents would have been honest and shared the reasons behind their insistence that she remain out of Chicago. But regardless of their shielding, she learns firsthand exactly who her mother and father were when she was faced with a monster who made it his mission to share her parents’ misdeeds in exquisite detail, shattering Filly’s world in one hellish and depraved night that never seemed to end her heartbreak or her feeling of loss.
How do an angel and a demon…a saint and a sinner…a heroine and a villain find a connection that they seem willing to risk EVERYTHING for, despite the depravity and torture that the innocent had to endure? It’s not an easy question to answer nor is it a simple storyline to read, but it’s a concrete representation of the darkness that invades the world and what occurs when a naive girl learns a truth she never wanted to but now can never forget.
Wow! Ace Gray DOES NOT take it easy on her readers, but I would expect nothing less from a story where monsters are out in the open and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their depraved selves in full view of the chaos they create, and while it’s difficult to witness what Filly must go through due to her curiosity and her pull towards Brye, a man she knows nothing about, the woman who Filly becomes because of her experiences at the hands of the McCowans is one who now understands life’s paradoxical contrasts and that enlightenment allows her to survive…allows her to understand and even forgive her parents’ past and a future that may be nothing like she thought it would be but it’s one she chooses nonetheless.
I adore dark romances, especially ones that twist in unexpected ways and Ace Gray’s Twisted Secrets is that kind of story. Gray constructs a duplicitous and deadly world with dynamic characters who change and grow as truths are uncovered and they find ways to face life’s ugliness even when they want to give up.
Do horror stories have happy endings? I can’t really say because one person’s happiness is another person’s nightmare. But what I do know is that Brye and Filly’s story ends in the only way it can, providing them a choice – one that will determine just how far they’re willing to go for themselves and each other.
4.5 Poison Apples