‘You are my creator, But I am your Master’ – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
This quote at the beginning of this book accurately sums up the story within it.
I picked up this book after reading some positive reviews about it on Goodreads. This is my first book by Penelope Douglas and I do applaud her for her vivid writing. Her narrative talent is quite intriguing and constantly kept me on the edge! This book shall make your heart race, your lungs choke, your legs twitch nervously and would set your body on fire! If you have a taste for masochistic, passionate romance bordered on creative writing and obnoxious story line, this book shall devour that insatiable desire you crave for! Also, the author does mention a song playlist, accompanying her book which, unequivocally, adds up to the oomph factor of the book.
The story begins with Erika, our young and naive heroine who comes straight from the hometowns of rich folks or Thunder Bay (as mentioned in the book). From the start, the book talks about her wealth, influence and connections, which makes us think she has everything , then what might possibly go wrong with her life? But her constant need to depend on her guardians and trying to conform herself to follow the rules set by others; would make you symphatize for her.
Throughout the story line, she is shown as a person who craves to be free from the shackles of the society. I wasn’t highly convinced by her character because she, at the initial part of the story, has taken some rash decisions and her naivety was overly shadowed by foolishness to some extent. But in the latter half of the book, she turns into the #ConfidentDemiLovato, 🎶Knuckles out, And the guard in my mouth, When you’re hungry for the next round🎶😉 Jokes asides, she is shown to run away from everything, but eventually learns to accept herself and fight back! Win-Win for all, yeah!😄
Micheal, our hero, is a total badass. He is like the pack of hyenas from The Lion King movie. Haha… Weird reference! He rejoices in killing for fun, burns the town down, bullies people because HE CAN and he hates his family. However, at the same time, he can be loyal to his friends, an astute businessmen, pro basketball player and a self made person. He gives a damn of what people think of him. I guess, this is what makes him attractive! Kudos, to the originality of the character! #Pun intended🤑 Michael always lives by a policy, “You don’t have to live in the reality someone else had invented. Own it or it will own you.” You’ll love to hate him and hate to love him.
Now, Micheal along with his gang of likeminded friends Kai, Damon and Will, have a reputation to maintain every year. And did I mention they have the lamest gang name ever – The Four Horsemen! 🙄 On Devil’s night, every year, the Four Horsemen set on their tour to mitigate criminal acts and vandalize their town by starting fires and destroying gazebos. In short, they are known to wreak havoc! Worst being, instead of being arrested by the police, they are idolized by the youngsters of Thunder bay, for their acts and thus the police never get any evidence for their acts whatsoever. 🎶Power over money, man that’s just how it go…🎶😉
On their way, on one such Devil’s night, Michael decides to pick up Erika, just to fuel her interests and infatuation with the Horsemen, by providing her the insights into their deeds. But due to an evil plotting, something devastating happens and Kai, Damon and Will end up being jailed for their deeds. Michael, however, ends up being spared. This outrages Michael, with him, turning cold, towards Erika. Without digging into the details, they plaster the blame for it on Erika, with her being incognizant about it. Their new found friendship with Erika is destroyed and she is again pushed into the whirlpool of being the good girl she always has been!
“Run all you want, Little Monster,” he said, sounding like a threat. “We’re faster.”
Excerpt From: Penelope Douglas. “Corrupt.” iBooks.
But now, the men are back! And the only thing they want is revenge. Michael feeds his friends with an amazing revenge plot; just to keep them motivated in prison and to make Erika payback for what she did! Here, Micheal is shown as the hypocrite mastermind, whose he is an expertise in faking everyone, to believe his principles. He is outspoken in hating Erika but secretly wishes her well being too. His loyalty to his friends, with his twisted pity/spite/attraction towards Erika, is well explored.
Here is when you might not want to read the book; the Four Horsemen except Micheal, abuse her, torture her, threaten her and play dirty mind games with her. Worst being, Micheal’s languid demeanor to Erika’s innocent pleas, makes you want to punch his face! Erika’s victim situation is described in a barbaric manner, wishing that you could help that poor girl!
“Why?” he retorted. “Who are you to me?”
I clenched my fist at my side.
“Toughen up,” he bit out in a whisper as his breath fell across my cheeks. “You’re not a victim, and I’m not your savior. You handled it. End of story.”
Excerpt From: Penelope Douglas. “Corrupt.” iBooks.
And yes, the kinkiness and the hotness factor the book. On a radar of Hot to Very hot, it is STEAMING HOT here! If your child is below 18 and if you are an orthodox parent, your parental protection passwords need an upgrade, if you to find your kid with this book in hand. This book holds the potential to put even the Fifty Shades Trilogy to shame! As an adult though, you may enjoy reading a few scenes and few may even irk you out. But nonetheless, this book definitely explores the love/lust barriers between the protagonists in an engaging way.
Throughout the story, it is shown how Erika learns to take control of herself. The best parts are when Michael pushes her to the limits, just to see how much more she can handle. Indirectly, it is shown that Michael’s behavior towards her, induces her to stand up for herself. As an analogy-he had been poking a silent dragon for a long time, who one fine day, wakes up to breathe fire! She teaches herself how to stay strong, become independent and fight back. She never lets Michael’s games inside her head, but instead bends him to comply to her games. From being a itsy-bitsy Princess, she progresses towards being a badass Lara Croft! Her journey is quite daunting and reasonably inspiring…And yes, without dissecting the story anymore, I conclude that it does have a happy ending! Or as put in the book, they CORRUPT each other❤️
A special shout out to the side characters as well, each of Michael’s friends have shown to be battling their individual struggles. Their individual reasons for torturing Erika and over the turn of events, their guilt and respect for her, was commendable. With Michael’s constant badgering for keeping themselves focused on revenge, they could move out of prison with ease. However, left with no sole purpose and direction to their lives along with the hauntings from their past life in prison, I feel each of them have an interesting story up their sleeve.
Overall, the story is told in dual POV, which makes it so engaging. You’ll just want to know what happens next! Mind you, this is one such book, which is difficult to set down once you start reading it! Summarizing it all, it is a suspenseful unfolding of a plot to revenge; greed, envy, violence, lust, deceit & in the midst of it all, one of the best dark romances I have ever read! I have a feeling that this novel might turn up to be a series. Sorry, I WANT this novel to turn into a series! I’m curious to know more about Kai and what has happened to him in prison! Will and Damon are interesting characters too!
Please, Penelope, if you are reading this, Please write more books on them! 🙏🏼
Its best to read this book on a long journey because once you start, it really is difficult to put it down till the end!
This is my first full length book review. When it comes to book reviews, I don’t find adding GIFs and misconnected innuendos amusing.
Please do share your thoughts on this style of writing book reviews in the comments section below and also suggest if improvements are needed to upgrade my writing style.