Monday, September 27, 2021

REVIEW - FILTHY CROWN by Eleanor Aldrick

Her mother is on her knees as one of their captives grasps her hair.  Even as her mother begs her not to watch she can't turn away from the horror in front of her.  How had a family vacation gone so wrong.  Her stepfather Austin was lying beside her mom, but his head was nowhere to be seen.

Penelope holds her young brother and sister to her chest hiding their eyes trying to keep them from seeing the machete come down on their mother's neck.  Then the man let's her mother's body fall to the floor ignoring them huddled in the corner and walks away.

Penelope and her brother and sister were in Mexico with her mother and stepfather when they had been kidnapped and suffered a long week of starvation.  Although the she and her brother and sister were left alone her parents were beaten severely, her mother raped viciously and then both were decapitated.

Penelope needed to find a way to get her brother Alex and her sister Amanda out of here before they were next.  Before she can move a man in full tactical gear comes through the door like an dark angel.  It is so obvious that he is not one of their captors.  He tells her he is with WRATH Securities hired by their uncle to get them out of here.

Jack is 6'3" with black hair and hazel eyes.  Like all of the Crown brothers he has a chiseled jawline and bulging muscles and too gorgeous for his own good.  Four years ago to the date they lost both of their parents to the cartel and now a brother.  As the oldest brother he feels that he has let everyone down and feels responsible for his brother's death.  Maybe he should have done more to keep them all together.

He and his brothers Matthew, Jace and Hunter didn't spend as much time as they should together.  Jace owns the hottest nightclub in Florida, Matthew lives a few hours away and Hunter a literal hermit hidden away up in the mountains from Jack's massive ranch in Colorado.  But, everyone is here to welcome Penelope, Alex and Amanda.  Jack is now their guardian, but his brothers wanted to make sure they were here when they arrived.  

They are finally out of Mexico, but are having to wait on health checks before they can be released.  Of all the brothers it had to be Jack who was their guardian.  She had a crush on him since she was 9 and had never forgiven him for leaving her alone for the last 4 years.  After being there for her for five years every weekend and never missing a birthday or recital, he just stops coming - no goodbye - nothing!  

Penelope was determined that when she turned 18 in a few months that she was leaving and taking the kids with her.  They may be 5 and 9, but they were her life and she wasn't leaving them behind.  She learned the hard way that Jack couldn't be trusted to stay when he was needed.

When the SUV pulls up Penelope has to pull her jaw back up.  The farmhouse could double as a hotel.  Well, she didn't care how gorgeous the home and ranch were she learned the hard way that she couldn't depend on men.  First her dad left never to be seen again and then Jack.  Never again.

Jack is stunned when Penelope gets out of the SUV.  This woman with long slender legs, dark hair tumbling down her back with honey-colored eyes is not the girl he remembered.  And he has to remind himself that not only is she too young, but she was his brother's stepdaughter and practically his niece.  He knew he was in big trouble.

I loved this book!  It is very well written and the horror comes through the pages as Penelope and her siblings are not only starved, but having to witness the brutality and ultimate murder of their parents.  The characters are all well-developed and are very relatable.

This book is action-packed from beginning to end.  We have torture and gruesome murders, age gap romance, taboo relationship, and age play.  You want to go through the pages and hug Alex and Amanda tight as they wake up screaming from nightmares.  The relationship between the brothers is tight and loving despite not seeing each other as often as they wish.

The sexual chemistry between Jack and Penelope is off the charts hot and even though Jack feels that their relationship is all kinds of wrong he can no longer fight his feelings.  This books has several twists at the end one of which was an outright shock.

The author does not hide the brutality of their parent's death so beware, but you literally have to be there to get the full depth of this story.  I highly recommend this book and can't wait to see what she has in store for the remaining Crown brothers.

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