5 Hearts

Wild Cards by R.C Stephens

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Synopsis
Provided byGoodreads 

   She grew up with love but tragedy took everything away from her.
   He was forced into a life that he hated and was drowning in darkness.
  They both lost hope…
  They both looked for ways to numb the pain…
  To him, she was unpredictable and alluring.
   To her, he was a dark knight with a shady past.
   What happened next was unexpected. Their chance encounter was not chance anymore. 
    As their worlds collide and their impenetrable walls are infiltrated, these two dark souls are forced to face the one thing on earth that scares them the most…
    Love.

Personal Thoughts and Spoilers 

I received an ARC for an Honest Review. 
If you like dark romances where the characters that have many struggles; this is your kind of book. I am used to characters that come with a truck-load of baggage, but there was just a little too much for me. There is: death, drugs, alcohol, rape, lies, mobsters, murder, and sex. I give the book an overall rating of 3 stars. The characters were well developed.

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Vicky Molino
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Luc Lebaum or aka Luc Blanchard
The book is written in dual POV of our two protagonists, Luc and Vicky.

Luc comes from a crazy family that is part of a mafia group in France. Vicky grew up in a loving home, but because of a death the rest of the family falls apart, leaving Vicky all by herself.

Vicky’s situation is sad and I feel bad for the girl. The way she decides to escape the pain and loss of her family is through sex. She gives up her education, her friends, and decides to move on (in what I believe is) an unhealthy matter.

Luc dives into alcohol and drugs, but then becomes a violent person. This is talked about in book 1 and 2 of the series. 

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Overall…

I had a difficult time with the beginning of the novel. It starts off at a “Sex Party.” Now I get that those exist, but seriously I don’t want to hear or read about orgy parties. Besides the parties and the rape scene, I was intrigued by the characters internal personal dilemmas. 

One thing that disappointed me with the story was the lack of closure with Scott. He abused and raped Vicky; he was stocking and threatening her. Then we don’t hear anything from him for a huge chunk of the book. In the Epilogue we find out that he was in jail because other women came up and accused him of sexual assault. It was just a downer. It would have been more interesting to find out what had happened with Scott in the story line. Luc should have had information, or Vicky’s real father could have said something. I just felt like it was a let-down.  It would have been interesting if Scott had some ties to the French Mafia, or maybe they should have had that situation in the book resolved before Luc’s father reappears. There were many opportunities to add Scott’s conflict into the story line, but the author didn’t take it that way. I understand that the story was about Luc and Vicky’s overcoming their personal demons, but Scott was a large demon for Vicky and it seemed like there wasn’t much said about him. 

Many parts of the book were well done, and other’s just dragged on. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is a dark romance with a lot of kinky things. It was at points uncomfortable for me to read, but some of you out there may like that kind of stuff – all power to you. Let me know if you do read this book, what you think. I would love to hear from all of your readers out there. 

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