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Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by J.M. Darhower

Menace Book Cover Menace
Scarlet Scars Duet #1
J.M. Darhower
Fiction, Dark Romance
January 16th 2017

Scarlet Scars is a two-book series.
GRIEVOUS (Scarlet Scars Book Two) will release February 6th.
**Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may find disturbing**

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he's a sociopath. Maybe he's a psychopath. Whatever path he's on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him--a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something... or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn't quite sure.

You can bet your ass he's going to figure it out, though.

show all books in this series
Scarlet Scars #1
Part of a Series
Scarlet Scars #2
Part of a Series

ARIANNA’s review

 “I just think about how fucked up it is to realize that heroes are make-believe but monsters are real. That’s the world we live in. There’s no knight in shining out there. It’s just me, trapped in a world filled with fire-breathing dragons.”

If you have been following my reviews, you know by now that I’m a big fan of this author. J.M. Darhower never ceases me to amaze me with her well developed, dark and gritty tales, fascinating story lines and most of all multi layered anti-heroes. ‘Menace’ was well written, utterly addictive and held me at the edge of my seat for so many reasons, because like J.M. Darhower’s other books, ‘Menace’ was full of turns and twists, with just a little bit of everything that makes a dark story a captivating read – dark elements, suspense, action and steam.

“The man’s like Beetlejuice… or hell, maybe he’s Voldemort. He’s fucking Bloody Mary. Don’t dare say his name or he might show up.”

Lorenzo Gambini is a dangerous man you don’t want to cross paths with during the night…or day. He commands respect and oozes confidence, he’s ruthless and intimidating and he never gives anyone a second chance. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, Lorenzo looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. He’s not afraid of anything or anyone, he’s not afraid of dying and he’s not afraid to punish anyone who disrespects him in any way.

Morgan Myers has been running for a while. She hides, trying to survive and find…information. Forced by circumstances, she grew up fast, faster than a kid should grow up. Now, in her twenties, Morgan is ready to do anything to get what she desperately wants – strip, lie, steal or even use her body. Everything changes for her when she meets Lorenzo. They become very fast some kind of frenemies, their relationship, as time passes, starting to change into something more.

“I would destroy that pussy.”

I’d wreck you for any man that came along after me, put them all to shame, because I’d give you exactly what you wanted.”

                “How could you possibly know what I want?”

                “Because,” he says, grabbing a fistful of my hair and twisting my head, forcing me to turn away from him. “Looking at you is like looking in a mirror, Scarlet.”

Like any other book I’ve read by this author, ‘Menace’ was captivating, fantastically written and sucked me in from the very beginning. The addictive story line and our “perfect” anti-hero held me enthralled and glued to each page from the beginning until the end. This story will be the perfect story for you if you enjoy dark, gritty and violent reads filled with some interesting action and suspense, because let me tell you every single one of these aspects was captivating and so well done.

Lorenzo was the “perfect” anti-hero to me, his portrayal keeping me intrigued the entire time. Dangerous, f@cked-up in a very intriguing way, intense, a sick psycho if you want, his character was amazingly developed. His unapologetic behavior was fascinating to read about and his smart-ass comments made me grin and even laugh as the story unfolded.

“I’m starting to understand what everyone says about you.”
“And what, pray tell, do they say? Don’t leave me in suspense here.”
“That there’s something seriously wrong with you.”
“Oh, well, I could’ve told you that. There’s a lot wrong with me.”

I absolutely loved his internal monologue, which it was so very entertaining and of course his dark humor and I adored his softer side towards his brother. Lorenzo was mesmerizing, somewhat mysterious, even hot in a strange f@cked-up way, his protective side towards Morgan showing up plenty of times as the story unfolded. The way he cared for his brother and his generosity made me really enjoy his character.

Morgan was a broken, yet strong and courageous heroine I loved from the start. I loved how fearless she was and how determined she was to get what she wants. The way she pushed Lorenzo at times was pure entertainment. This woman for sure had a lot of guts when it came to this dangerous, yet fascinating man. Snarky and sarcastic, Morgan was my favorite heroine this author has written so far and trust me when I say that you will love the sh*t out of her if you love ballsy and confident heroines.

“He ignites something inside of me, stirring up these little sparks in my gut that send jolts through my body, like a defibrillator to the heart.

It’s terrifying, but fuck, to feel alive again…It’s nice.”

I loved everything about these two characters’ relationship. How it progressed, their encounters, their entertaining as f@ck banter, the dark humorous interactions between them. Everything! Everything was fantastically done IMO. Their chemistry was off the charts hot, so palpable at times and the sex scenes between them…holy sh*t! Simply amazing! These two were perfect for each other in every single way and I felt that with every single one of their interaction, sexy or not.

As for the secondary characters…my oh my! All of them were so engaging and f@cked up in a very thrilling way. Needless to say, I would love to read more about them.

‘Menace’ is written in dual POV, which I loved and I really had a blast being in these two characters’ heads. If you are looking for you next dark/mafia story, don’t hesitate, come to the dark side and meet Lorenzo and Morgan. You will not regret it!

“You and I, we can be the best of friends, but don’t expect to find your fairy tale under my roof. You got me?”