When Sinners Kneel (Blackest Gold World, #1) by R. Scarlett

ARC provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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“I wanted to be safe.
I wanted to be strong.
I wanted to be loved.”

R. Scarlett has the best covers in PNR, the best titles in PNR, and with this book she proves she also has the best demons in PNR. I love this world, these characters, and each of their stories. Finally reading about Beau Knight , and seeing what went on behind the scenes during To Crown A Beast, was nothing short of amazing. This was a phenomenal standalone.

But it is important to take note that this book, even though it is on its own, will spoil the ending of Molly and Tensley’s story in The Blackest Gold series. And I completely recommended all four books, because the ending is so rewarding. Seriously, this is one of my favorite PNR series, and easily my favorite PNR that surrounds demons

In this world, demons are looked down upon for having feelings. And it’s especially hard for Beau Knight, since he had to learn this lesson the hard way, even having it ingrained in him from birth. Tensley and Beau are brothers who have grown up only knowing the harsh world of the Scorpios, who rule the demons in Manhattan and a lot of the rest of New York, but Beau lost it all when he lost his heart many years ago. Because of this, Beau has never been willing to let anyone get close to him again.

The ultimate sin in this world is to fall in love, and it’s even worse to fall in love with a human, who is considered lesser, and it’s absolutely unheard of to have a child out of wedlock. But there are also higher-ranking demons and lesser-ranking demons, too. And Alexandra, is a very low ranking souleater, who Tensley saved when she was eleven-years-old. And even though she is now eighteen, she has had a harder life than most. She is living on the streets, suffering from PTSD from the events that took place in a The Blackest Gold series, looking for her friend that went missing, and the only way she can think to cope with it all is to learn to fight and to learn to defend herself.

And what better place than the underground fighting ring. You know, the one that Beau is known for being the king of. But they both soon realize that there is a huge mystery surrounding The Pit and the person who runs in. Seriously, I loved the mystery and twists in this book. And seeing parallel events from the end of the original series made for such an amazing reading experience.

“The Pit was my hell, my heaven, my saving grace, and it was where I became addicted to her…”

Also, I don’t want to give too much away, but another aspect that I really loved that we never get to see any rep for is that Lex is living on the streets. She is a homeless, young girl, with no family. This is heavily talked about and shown unapologetically, and I just really appreciated it and it took the story to another level for me. Especially since the only other homeless character I even can think of is from a Rick Riordan book.

This is such an amazing standalone set in a The Blackest Gold world. Plus, it has everything; romance, steamy sex, mystery, political intrigue, demon hierarchies, thrilling suspense, amazing grey and flawed characters. There is a lot to love from this world and from this author. If you guys love the paranormal romance genre, you have to give these a try, especially this book. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Trigger/Content Warnings: physical abuse, drug and other substance abuse, kidnapping, being captured, torture, attempted rape, death, loss of a loved one, loss of a child.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Blackest Gold Series:
1.) Vein Of Love ★★
2.) Body of The Crime ★★★
3.) A Vow of Thorns ★★★★★
4.) To Crown A Beast ★★★★

To Crown A Beast (Blackest Gold, #4) by R. Scarlett

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1.) Vein Of Love ★★
2.) Body of The Crime ★★★
3.) A Vow of Thorns ★★★★★

“She’s my crown, my court, my queen. Nothing matters without her.”

This was such a satisfying conclusion. And even though I had a bit of a rough start with these first two books in this quartet, I ended up absolutely falling in love with the last two. And I promise you, A Vow of Thorns and this book are so worth it. Fantasy romance at its best.

I feel like I can’t say much, with this being the concluding novel, but Vein Of Love stars two characters who were destined to be together from the very start. Molly and Tensley’s ancestors crafted a contract 300-years-ago that ensured they would be together. Molly is a human, but also a daemon, which means she has supernatural powers that also enhance any demon she is bonded/mated with. And Tensley is a powerful demon from a very powerful line of demons, who obviously created a contract to ensure their family stays powerful.

Molly and Tensley’s romance is for sure enemies to lovers, but the journey is so enjoyable to witness. And regardless of what they are feeling for each other at any point in the story, they are being haunted by the events that happened to Tensley’s brother when he fell in love with a human and grew a heart, something that demons should never do. And the only way to deal with a demon who grows a heart for falling in love with a human, is to rip it out.

“I love you. I don’t care if it’s forbidden…”

And it was such a joy seeing these two characters grow right before my eyes; both individually and with each other. Molly ended up being one of the strongest protagonists I’ve read in all of PNR, and I can only hope I’ll get glimpses of her and everything she’s built and achieved in the spin-off books.

My only complaint was the villain in this book, and not that she was a bad villain, she was actually a close to perfect one, but I just feel like she shouldn’t have still been alive. Molly and Tensley should have ended this woman at the very start. And when the villain’s life just seems unrealistic, it takes away from the story a bit. Or maybe I wish she would have somehow been more powerful? Or seemed more of a challenge over an annoyance? But I still enjoyed the entire story line, I just feel like she took away from this being as perfect as A Vow of Thorns!

Overall, I’m lowkey sad that it’s over. I honestly am not ready to leave this world. But thankfully R. Scarlett is writing more for us, just not with these characters. But I’m ready to do sick and twisted things, and even commit a minor felony, to read a story about a certain prince. Soon, soon.
The romance is so amazing, the sex scenes are beyond words, and this story is a tier above the PNR out there. I completely recommend this with my whole heart. And I am so excited to read When Sinners Kneel next, where we get to learn all about Tensley’s brother and that missing heart of his!

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A Vow of Thorns (Blackest Gold #3) by R. Scarlett

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1.) Vein Of Love ★★
2.) Body of The Crime ★★★

“You will be my equal, my queen, my night sky of darkness. I would wage war for you. I would move mountains and steal stars. Anything, anything…”

Good dear Lord, this was one of the best Fantasy Romance books I’ve ever read.

The previous two books mostly took place in Manhattan, and even though they heavily had fantasy aspects, they always still read like contemporaries. Then R. Scarlett gave me a medieval castle, and fall equinox hunts, and feasts, and dancing, and court politics, and my aesthetic immersion was in overload. I loved this setting. This book reads so differently than the previous ones, but they are so worth reading to get to this one.

“You’re my court. You’re my crown.”

The Blackest Gold series stars two main protagonists:
Molly – Victim of a 300-year-old contract that was set up by her ancestors. The contract promises Molly, who was born with ancient daemon (unlike demon) powers beyond her control, to marry a demon of a very prestigious demon house.
Tensley – The demon who is promised to Molly. And he comes from a very powerful line of demons, yet because of a mistake his brother made years and years ago, his family is desperate to prove their worth and value to the rest of the demons. And obviously Molly is the perfect claim to (more) fame.

And their relationship was not the easiest in books one and two, but in A Vow of Thorns they are a romance lovers dream. I was honestly swooning at all the heartfelt moments. Then I was panting at all the perfect steamy scenes. That fall equinox scene I mentioned above? For sure one of the sexiest scenes I’ve ever read in my entire life.

“I love you with my whole cruel heart. It’s wild and ruthless, but it beats for you and only for you, my dolcezza.”

The angst was perfect, the romance was everything, the plot was completely enthralling, the twists were so very gripping, the setting was flawless, and the characters made me feel every emotion under the sun. I feel like I can’t say more, with this being book three in the quartet, but I promise this book is a masterpiece.

But the cliffhanger ending in this? I about fell off my bed. And as much as I wanted to scream, it’s going to make such a perfect concluding novel. I can’t wait.

Overall, I loved this. I loved this so much. Easily one of the best Fantasy Romance books I’ve ever read in my entire life, and I cannot wait for more. Also, this doesn’t impact my ratings at all, but the author of this series, R. Scarlett, is honestly a confirmed angel. You all should follow her on social media. One of the kindest and sweetest humans, who actually listened to my two star review of book one. Seriously, the romance community is blessed to have her. And I feel so blessed to have read this book.

“She was the Queen on an ancient chessboard. Demons would bow for her.”

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Body of The Crime (Blackest Gold #2) by R. Scarlett

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1.) Vein Of Love ★★

“Love is a weapon; it’s a weakness.”

This is book two of a series all about demons and the wicked world they try to hide from humans. This book stars a young 19-year-old girl, Molly, who is the victim of a 300-year-old contract that was set up by her ancestors. The contract promises Molly, who was born with ancient daemon (unlike demon) powers beyond her control, to marry a demon of a very prestigious demon house. She is also promised to give him an heir eventually, but he has to have sex with her, AKA mate her, so no other demon can pursue Molly, since she is a very rare commodity that would make any demon mate even more powerful.

Tensley is the demon who is promised to Molly. And he comes from a very powerful line of demons, yet because of a mistake his brother made years and years ago, his family is desperate to prove their worth and value to the rest of the demons. And obviously Molly is the perfect claim to (more) fame.

In this second book, Tensley and Molly’s relationship has actually developed into something pretty adorable. Even though Tensley has only known this scary, cut-throat world, where demons are never allowed to show anything other than anger and rage, Tensley proves over and over that he is soft and capable of giving and receiving unconditional love. Tensley is such a good male love interested because he is very dominant without ever reading/feeling like toxic male masculinity.

“Demons don´t love-they destroy.”

And I feel like the struggle and growth between both Tensley and Molly are so believable. I love seeing them grow as people, above the discriminations and hate of their people, yet also seeing them grow together to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their way of being together. I mean, hopefully!

But content warnings for attempted rape, lots of talk/threats of rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and just violence in general. This book never felt that dark to me, but this is a story about a forced marriage, while a demon will gain an immense amount of power if he takes her virginity.

Also, because I know most of you follow me for my fantasy reviews, I always feel it necessary to state that I rate erotic books differently than other books! I know many of the relationships are toxic and problematic and I completely understand that they wouldn’t be the healthiest and/or most ideal of starts for people in real life, but I love steamy reads and I rate them purely off my enjoyment, and I truly did enjoy this second installment, and I absolutely cannot wait to read the next! I honestly have the highest of hopes and predict this series will just get better and better.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and it was such a fast and addicting read. And I feel so happy that I was able to start my 2018 off with this engrossing and captivating PNR! I read this in two sittings and it took everything in my power (and me looking at my TBR of ARCs for the month) to not immediately pick up A Bow of Thorns!

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