Thank you to Raincoast and Bloom Books for the copies of the Sinners duet, There is No Devil and There Are No Saints.
The Sinners duet has been on my TBR for a long while now. This is one of the most dark romances I have ever read. I will be honest there were elements I enjoyed, and others that I just did not jive with.
She knows he’s no saint, but she has no idea she’s dancing with the devil. Cole Blackwell values control. He’s the hottest sculptor in San Francisco―wealthy, successful, and respected. His only weakness is the dark impulse he carefully conceals. In truth, he’s not just an he’s a predator, and the city is his hunting ground. Mara Eldritch is a nobody. Broke and damaged, she works three jobs while creating paintings no one will ever see. When a chance encounter throws Mara into Cole’s path, her escape from certain death fascinates Cole. More than that―it fixates him. He begins stalking her, discovering there’s more to the struggling misfit than he would have guessed. She makes him feel things he never thought he could feel. Want things he thought he’d never want. He doesn’t know if he should protect her at all costs or destroy her before she ruins him. He’s losing control, breaking the rules that have kept his true nature hidden from the world. Mara knows he’s dangerous, but Cole is the only person who’s ever recognized her talent, and it leads her heart astray, straight into the dark. Cole can teach her to get what she wants…but what might this vicious killer want in return? Content serial killers, blood, dubious consent, graphic murder, graphic violence, mentions of child abuse, kidnapping, stalking, emotional abuse, self harm, sexual assault, alcoholism, torture.
Just because he couldn’t kill her doesn’t mean his enemy won’t. Cole and Mara’s relationship has grown to consume them both. Cole, sculptor and killer, finds himself adrift in a depth of feeling he’s never known, while Mara, unafraid of his darkness, is blossoming into a successful artist, shaking off the trauma of her youth to finally chase success. For the first time in both their lives, they might actually be…happy. But the past has a long shadow. Alastor Shaw is the Beast of the Bay, a frenzy-killer who once hoped to share his hunting ground with Cole. They never chased the same prey…until the night they both laid eyes on Mara Eldritch. And now, when Shaw realizes the cold-hearted Cole has fallen in love with the girl they once targeted, he plans to destroy him, using Mara as his weapon and pawn. Cole will do anything to protect Mara, including making her strong enough to protect herself. And soon, he finds himself tempting her deeper and deeper into the depths of violence she never thought she’d commit. Shaw’s hunt won’t stop. Neither will Cole’s love. When the time comes for Mara to act, will she be ready to do what needs to be done?
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Mara and Cole are the main characters of this duology. When we meet Mara she is a struggling artist, who happens to catch the eye of rich artist Cole. Due to his infatuation with Mara, one of Cole’s rival serial killers takes an interest in her too. Oh yes, Cole is a serial killer but has seemingly only killed bad men. While his rival has a taste for young women. I found that I was not getting attached to either character as I just kept not agreeing with the choices they kept making. My favourite character arc came in the second book with Mara embracing her edgier side, it felt reminiscent of the villainous descent many of Emily McIntire’s characters go through throughout various Never After novels.
- Setting: This story is set in San Francisco and depicts the affluent art scene. Much of the books take place at art galleries or feature scenes of the characters painting, sculpting, and of course the art of serial killing. The wider cast of characters in the San Francisco art scene did very little to hook me, and I found myself caring more about reading scenes with the two leads together.
- Pacing: Both stories have breakneck pacing, especially the first book. I flew through it because I kept needing to know more about the completely bonkers plot.
- Romance: So I will admit to growing slightly invested in Mara and Cole figuring things out. I found in the second instalment especially I grew much more connected to their relationship and its success. The first book was not so much for me, as I was more taken aback by some of his actions while he was initially fascinated with Mara, but had not made a move yet. There are countless hot and heavy sex scenes throughout the book and the art is such a perfect accompaniment.
The Sinners Duet receives three out of five stars.
Thank you again to Raincoast and Bloom Books for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!