Shel: You know it's gonna be a good read when you can tell it's gonna hurt within the first 20% of the novel. And then you try to tuck that info away and enjoy the ride, all the while anticipating the hurt. Court: But a Vicious appearance yo...it was worth knowing that pain was a bit foreshadowed.
Shel: I really enjoyed these characters. Bane was such a funny alpha asshole and Jesse was so prickly and smart and the idea that she would have to feel one more ounce of hurt just sucked--be we all know L.J. Shen was going to make it hurt. And she did. When I got to the OHSHIT! moment I 100% had to take a breather, text Court my panic at the fact that shit was going down, and steel myself for all that was coming. All the way leading up that moment, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop because I just knew with the way Bane's contract worked, it was going to, right?! I mean, seriously, how did he not know that his 'deal' was NEVER going to work? Reading his inevitable fall was fun--his inner monologue, his semi-resistance to Jesse, and his capitulation took the edge off my most angsty moments--and Jesse and her badassery made those hard moments even more meaningful. Court: The layers to this story were complex and real life, and yet a fantasy aspect that we know and love in Todos Santos. I really enjoy the world that L.J has created here and I will continue to keep coming back every single time she wants to let us back in there a bit. And boy...if I thought some of these kids weren't big jerks before, I have no idea who I was kidding. It was cray cray the things these rich brats get up to...but it'll be our guilty pleasure until the end! I really enjoyed Bane (and that we'd met him before!) and Jesse...and all that baggage that came with her.
Shel: To be honest, I've really enjoyed this series (and am super stoked about the next generation series) but I had no idea that Bane would delve into the things it did. As enjoyable as the other books in this series have been, this one definitely took it up a notch in the things that it tackled and that kept me on my toes (and I liked that I had no idea what I was in for with Bane and Jesse's backstory). This novel just whet my appetite for what's coming next! Court: RIGHT! Ugh...every novel she writes gets better than the one before until we are literally waiting on our tippy toes begging for more. As it says below...this is highly anticipated...and I am so glad that she gave it to us when we needed it most. We need more L.J. Shen in ours lives y'all...so read it and let her know how much we need more!
Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.
Bane Then. A liar. A con. A godless thief. My reputation was a big wave that I rode, one that swallowed everyone around me, drowning every attempt to fuck with what’s mine. I’d been known as a stoner, but power was my real drug of choice. Money meant nothing. It was tangible, and therefore easy to lose. See, to me, people were a game. One I’d always known how to win. Move the rooks around. Change the queen when necessary. Guard the king at all fucking times. I was never distracted, never deterred, and never jealous. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself being all three at once. It was a siren with coal black hair who robbed me of riding the biggest wave I’d seen that summer. Of my precious attention. Of my goddamn breath. She glided from the ocean to the beach like nightfall. I crouched down, straddling my surfboard, gawking. Edie and Beck stopped beside me, floating on their boards in my periphery. “This one’s taken by Emery Wallace,” Edie had warned. Thief. “This one’s the hottest masterpiece in town.” Beck had chuckled. Con. “More importantly, she only dates rich bastards.” Liar. I had all the ingredients to pull her in. Her body was a patch of fresh snow. White, fair, like the sun shone through her, never quite soaking in. Her skin defied nature, her ass defied my sanity, but it was the words on her back that made my logic rebel. It wasn’t her curves or the way she swayed her hips like a dangling, poisonous apple that warranted my reaction to her. It was that tattoo I had noticed when she swam close to me earlier, the words trickling down the nape of her neck and back in a straight arrow. My Whole Life Has Been Pledged to This Meeting with You Pushkin. I only knew one person who went gaga over the Russian poet, and, like the famous Alexander, he was currently six feet under. My friends began to paddle back to shore. I couldn’t move. It felt like my balls were ten tons heavy. I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, maybe, but even that wasn’t the word I was looking for. No. This girl fucking intrigued me. “What’s her name?” I snatched Beck’s ankle, yanking him back to me. Edie stopped pedaling and looked back, her gaze ping-ponging between us. “Doesn’t matter, bro.” “What’s. Her. Name?” I repeated through a locked jaw. “Dude, she’s, like, way young.” “I will not repeat myself a third time.” Beck’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He knew damn well that I didn’t mess around. If she was legal—it was on. “Jesse Carter.” Jesse Carter was going to be mine before she even knew me. Before I even knew her. Before her life turned upside down and her fate rewrote itself with her blood. So here was the truth that even my lying ass wouldn’t admit later on in our story—I wanted her before. Before she became business. Before the truth caged her in. Before the secrets gushed out. I never did get to surf that day. My surfboard broke. Should have known it was an omen. My heart was going to be next in line. And for a small chick, she did one hell of a fucking job obliterating it.