Sparrow by L.J. Shen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sparrow Raynes has known of Troy Brennan practically her whole life, yet their worlds have never, ever intersected, until, out of the blue, Troy kidnaps Sparrow and forces her to marry him.
The pair forge an uneasy alliance of sorts, with Troy continuing to live his life as he did before they married and while his character is completely amoral and brutally violent, he never forces himself upon Sparrow, and that’s just about his only redeeming quality.
Slowly and unwittingly, even to Sparrow, she starts to worm her way into his heart, by just being herself and having her own internal sense of morality, like not touching any of his ill-gotten money, a stance that she never waivers from, but she’s not preachy about it, she lets her actions speak for her proving the old adage true, that actions speak louder than words.
LJ Shen’s Sparrow is one of the best dark romances I’ve listened to this year, if you’re sensitive to, graphic violence and explicit sexual content, you might want to skip this book, hell you’ll probably want to stay away from LJ Shen period because she doesn’t sugar coat anything.
Can we talk about the enigma that is Michael Pauley? I have been critical of his narrating in the past, so imagine my pleasant surprise when he delivered a five-star performance and that’s saying something, because he had to do it all with a Southie dialect, and I think he did an amazing job! He was engaging and conveyed emotion and energy in this fully voiced performance. Kudos to both LJ Shen and Michael Pauley!
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