Review: Sparrow by LJ Shen

Posted October 20, 2020 by Kate

Review: Sparrow by LJ ShenCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Troy Brennan
Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.
Oh, and my new husband.
Sparrow Raynes
That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. But then he caged me.Kidnapped me.And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.
I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'd ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he'd decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.
Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

Sparrow was such an absolute delight. A ?? damn ?? delight ?? I’ve had this book on my Goodreads TBR since (*checks shelf*) it released in 2016. That’s four years too long!! But Shen kind of scared me, she has so many books coming out all the time! But those concerns were absolutely ridiculous because I’m definitely going to be pursuing her backlist through the rest of the year – especially her dark romances!

This one follows Troy Brennan and Sparrow Raynes, as the former connives the latter into a marriage after basically kidnapping her back into his life. Her father had worked for his for their whole life and they lived on the same street, but they never interacted, so Sparrow has absolutely no clue what he’s thinking. But everyone knows him, “The Fixer,” and what he does to the people who wrong him, so she has no choice.

These books really make me question whether I’m a good person ?? But goddamn I adored this one. Sparrow had so much spice and gave back and good as she got. She’d already had a backbone, but I loved watching it grow stronger over the course of this story! I also loved how he was willing to let her have whatever she wanted (mostly to shut her up, but later, because of more ??), but she never let gave him an inch.

”I knew that the road to success was paved with sacrifices. Sparrow Raynes was my sacrifice. I promised I’d marry her, and I had.”

Everything she received, she donated to charity. She used his groceries to drop off food to local shelters and made the homeless happy with all the designer duds she dropped off. She may have been willing(?) to go through with this sham of a marriage, but she wasn’t willing to sacrifice herself to do it. In the end, she got her happily ever after on her own terms, and it was beautiful, even if it may not have been the way she planned. 

Troy, though, he’s not to be ignored. Our little sugar woogims was sent through the wringer in this one. Here we have this heartless bastard (and he was, too) who had his reasons for marrying Sparrow, even if it wasn’t by choice, and he did his best to break her. But he certainly hadn’t expected the fight he got, or the reciprocation. He did some things that will not sit right. But for this reader? I absolutely loved to hate it ?

This book was fraught with angst and suspense, both through the romance and through the dangerous element that lurked in the background of this book. It all felt a bit thriller-esque, really! It was gritty, real, action-packed, and sizzling hot. LJ Shen broke some of the barriers in the genre, doing away with the ridiculous insta-lust or insta-love that seems to permeate these kinds of books. Troy and Sparrow’s connection was authentic because it really took them time, and was this incredible slow burn throughout the story. I loved watching(reading?) the panicky feeling they each went through when they realized they no longer hated the person on the other side of the bed. Such an absolute win ?

Other dark romances you may enjoy…



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