|My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Dark romance is not my favorite genre and I was not totally into it at the beginning, but after reading Corrupt, I’ve changed my mind. I enjoyed all of Penelope’s books and this one had to be checked on my list. I was very cautious at the beginning because my romantic style is opposite to many ideas in this book, but managed to have an open mind and to understand its messages.
Rika and Michael are one of the most powerful couple I’ve stumbled upon in a book, but I loved them, loved their unique personalities, especially Rika’s (you go girl!!). She was so strong and feisty, couldn’t be intimidated easily and really managed to handle all the though situations without any regret. Michael on the other hand was very confusing for me, I had a love and hate relationship with him, but mainly because of me. He is not the typical Prince Charming and I had to get accustomed to it in order to understand exactly the definition of “dark romance”.
Eventually I got it, but it took me a while. I discovered a tormented Michael, that had to chose between being loyal to his friends or succumbing to the love he felt for Rika. As expected, he will fail at some point in the book to meet everyone’s expectations and will begin to act as he feels, without having to cover his emotions based on divided loyalties.
Their relationship is very complex and intense, with a lot of mixed feeling, a strong background and you just have to read between the lines sometimes in order to fully understand it. Even if at the beginning of this story all the feeling rose from hate and anger, particularly this intensity will cause them to change and transform into something else.
The balance between love and hate was so uncertain, so fragile that most of the times I was wondering if the couple was going to get the happy ending or not. It kind of makes you question if there are better of alone or not, simply because they are so different. But this is the beauty of dark romance, putting 2 people completely different and showing they can be together despite that all world is against them, beginning with themselves.
Circumstances are not in their favor as well, but from my point of view, Rika and Michael’s worst enemy were their own hard personalities that just couldn’t let them see clearly how good they are together. Penelope was so involved and passionate into making this characters work, and you can see the dedication and hard work she put in it.
The”not knowing” was an important element for me that kept me hooked and intrigued. The shocking elements were a bonus for me, a rookie in this field, but surprisingly, I’ve love them. I tried to understand all the complex scenes, no matter how shocking they were, and I think I did a pretty good job. From my point of view there was no scene too far from reality, that making the book authentic and down to earth. A things about dark romance is that the reality is surprisingly socking, the cliches are gone and you experiment the story in its raw state.
A quote that I will never forget is “Own who you are and don’t apologize” . That cut deep into my consciences and stood there a lot. The message is powerful and so full of meaning that it gave me the chills. You can simply go through life with this and don’t regret a thing about it.
Only 4 stars because I am a hopeless romantic and in Rika and Michael’s relationship I would of liked to experience more of the general feeling of being save and feeling protected by the one I love. There were a lot of scenes in which I wasn’t OK with how he treated her but I know the genre is much tougher that the romantic ones I’m use to. In opposition to this, I enjoyed their love scenes, pure intensity and emotion that really connects you with the characters.