Thirty Days of Hate
*Third book in a three part series. Spoilers if you haven’t read the first two books.*
Thirty Days of Hate picks up eight months after the ending of Thirty Days of Shame. Willow is in Russia working as a volunteer for an organization that’s trying to shut down Cataha and other human traffickers. She doesn’t know whether to believe if Sergei was being honest when he claimed to be a trafficker, so she’s doing everything she can to find out. Despite still loving him, she hates him in equal measure for what he put her through, and she promises herself that if Sergei is a trafficker she will kill him and live with a broken heart.
The plot is just as exciting and anxiety-inducing as the first two, so it flows steadily. There are some really shocking moments that I didn’t see coming, but left me walking away thinking, ‘ooohhhh, now that makes sense’.
Sergei’s evolution wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped for. Actually, beyond his minor attempts to pretend to have a normal relationship with Willow and promising to stop lying, not much else changes. He still physically punishes her (quite harshly, too) when he perceives she’s misbehaving. What’s ‘misbehaving’ to Sergei, you ask? Well, when he thinks Willow is considering disagreeing with him, but she actually doesn’t. Now she needs a severe punishment for just thinking about speaking her mind. Beyond giving Willow two (usually undesirable) choices for her punishment, she’s not even given the illusion that she’s allowed to make her own decisions.
I like dark romance, but I prefer HEAs where the hero or heroine isn’t still treated like shit. Still physically abusing Willow (yeah, maybe she enjoys it to an extent, but more often than not she screams no and begs and cries) just to break her down and make her ‘behave’; threatening to humiliate her knowing she hates it; forcing her to marry him… yeah, that isn’t my idea of a healthy relationship.
Potential triggers: Emotional and physical abuse, violence (bloody and sometimes gory), rape, and pedophilic rape. There are references to child rape that have some depth and detail that were particularly hard for me to read.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.