Good morning, fellow bibliophiles! It is a dreary Tuesday in my neck of the woods. I was also up (sort of) late last night finishing up this latest read and taking on a craft project. Needless to say, as I sit in my office for the next 8-9 hours, I’m going to be kicking myself because I’m wiped.

My latest read is one that has been getting a lot of hype from friends of mine in the reading community. After reading it’s summary/description, I admit, I was intrigued. I began on the book on Saturday, and wrapped it up last night feeling… conflicted I guess. It definitely held my attention though, even if I was screaming at the characters in my head, so I still gave it a higher rating. The book I’m talking about is Corrupt by Penelope Douglas.

Honestly, I felt like I should sleep on my thoughts before I posted a review, but I decided it was best to just put my thoughts down via goodreads as they were in my head right after I finished the book.

For two people who love each other, they certainly go about it in the weirdest and most insane ways ever. Rika (Erika) kind of obsessed with her (boy)friend’s big brother, Michael because he’s dark and dangerous. In return, he’s plain cruel to her because she annoys him and seems too needy. Plus, she’s ALWAYS around.

Throughout the entire story, Rika is trying to follow Michael and his cronies around. She has a history with him and his family (which essentially remains mostly un-explained until the epilogue) so she’s always curious as to what him and his friends are up to. Their antics are dangerous and destructive, but if anything, that intrigues Rika even more.

Michael and his friends Will, Kai, and Damon are good looking, popular, and love raising hell from behind these masks they love to wear. They run their school and even their town. Guys want to be them and girls want to be with them, and Rika is no excuse. She may have been thrown together with Michael’s younger brother, Trevor, but that doesn’t stop her from pursuing who she actually wants.

While she’s still in high school, Rika somehow finds herself as a member of their group, (known as The Four Horseman) and the proverbial shit hits the fan. Michael is tempted by the “forbidden fruit” and Rika is trying to leave her “good girl” image far behind. He pushes her and she winds up pushing back instead of shying away from him. Some of the shenanigans they wind up in with the other guys involve the law and breaking so many rules, the reader has to know all their antics will blow up in their faces, which it does.

Three years after high school, Rika is trying to branch out on her own, and get away from this group she’s grown up with in order to become her own woman. She becomes flustered by Trevor and her family being so overbearing. After moving into a new apartment and starting at a new university, she finds herself in the company of Michael again for the first time in awhile. On her own, she becomes a target for him and his old friends who are all recently out of prison. Events of the past have reared their ugly heads and Michael’s friends are angry. They think Rika is the reason they were all in jail and plan to get revenge on her. All hell breaks loose.

I kind of wondered (a lot) where the hell this story was going. Parts of it seemed insulting to women, some of it seemed like some kind of kinky fantasy gone wrong, and some seemed like it was straight out of a horror movie. These characters had very little boundaries and didn’t even attempt to play nice with each other. However, once things really reach their pinnacle, it all falls into place and begins to make some sense and head in the right direction.

It’s explained what happened to the guys and why they ended up locked up for three years, and characters that you didn’t think should be anywhere near each other wind up being a compatible match in their own way. Originally, I did want to quit reading this, because I had no idea where it could possibly go and thought no good could come of what was unfolding on the pages in front of me, but I’m glad I stuck it out and got a bit of closure at least once the book was done. I understood the real past, and why things worked out the way they did. I’m glad the characters were corrupted and pushed enough to change them for the better and bring them into the new chapter of their futures.  It was for sure the darker side of romance, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the author was going for, so, bravo, Douglas.

My Final Rating: four out of five stars

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