--- Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. ---
1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.
Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.
Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.
In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.
What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.
So many things about this story had me reading long into the night:
- the time travel element: intense and wrapped up in dark magic
- the creepiness of the house where Beast and the gang live: dusty mirrors, flickering lights, creaking staircases, satanic symbols on the floor
- the historical aspect (The book is set in the present, but Laurent was born in the late 18th century; his obsession with plastic knows no bounds.)
- the epic romance: jealousy, anger, lust, LOVE
- Beast's friendship with Knight (I wasn't a fan of Knight's girlfriend drama or his reckless sexuality, but hopefully he'll change his slutty ways in book 2.)
- the scorching PASSION between the MCs (Laurent is such an eager student, and Beast utterly obsessed with pleasing his man.)
- two complex and imperfectly real MCs: BEAST (insecure, damaged, emotionally stunted, troubled, hopeful, selfless) and LAURENT (innocent, brave, wise, manipulative, free)
- Hound, Beast's rottweiler; he's a teddy bear at heart but protects his own.
- hurt/comfort at its finest (Beast heals Laurent's eyes; Laurent heals Beast's soul.)
- the fairytale quality: despicable villain, an impossible choice; love (ALWAYS) conquers hate.
I'm rounding down to 4 stars because I was not thrilled with the way the book ended. I did not expect the demon/mystery plot to be wrapped up in a neat little bow; this series is called Kings of Hell for a reason. But I expected a longer HEA for Beast and Laurent (just one more chapter!).
I don't like it when authors use the epilogue to set up the next book in the series, which is exactly what happened here. But never mind that; I enjoyed the, uh, hell out of this book and want more, so much more!