My rating: 5 of 5 stars
SPARROW Raynes is blackmailed and bullied into marrying Troy Brennan and so begins their journey.
Initially we are almost fooled into thinking that SPARROW is simple girl, intimidated by Troy and his power but as we get to know her thoughts and actions, we find out just how much a rebellious girl she is. That she may be temporarily cowed but that will not stop her from speaking her mind, keeping her spunk and personality intact. She will not let any man define her or stand for him to mould her into something he expects her to be. I admire Ms. Shen for keeping the core of Sparrow’s personality the same throughout the book even as she grew as a person.
What I especially loved about SPARROW is her relationship with Troy. Both their initial POVs show just a mild attraction amidst mutual loathing and blunt talking. They genuinely treated the whole situation as an arrangement rather than hidden lust we tend to see in this genre. They fight, they challenge each other and each refuses to cave in unless they plan on manipulating but even then, there is some truth in their blunt assessments. Their relationship evolves not from the big gestures but the tiny, small things in between. The little details and things they do to compromise for getting their way and it is these things which eventually grow into a love they neither wanted nor expected. Ms. Shen has done justice to her characters and beautifully shows the growth of the Fixer, Troy Brennan and SPARROW; both as individuals and as a couple without losing their core nature which defined their character right in the beginning.
The situations involving other characters are all intense and kept me on the edge throughout. Almost each turn led to an unexpected twist with a result I least expected. In other words, caught me completely in unawares, blowing my mind at the execution.
SPARROW is one heck of a roller coaster ride which pulls no punches when it comes to violence and straight talking and yet, there are moments. Moments which are not only unexpected but also unconventionally tender and heart-warming.
Near the end, I had tears in my eyes and a moment where I went “Oh crap! This will be a cliffhanger ending with a sequel.” No it wasn’t, thank goodness, and Ms. Shen wrapped it all up beautifully, staying true to Troy and SPARROW, warming my heart and leaving me satisfied.
SPARROW is not to be missed read for all those who love dark gritty romances which have the perfect balance of suspense, mystery and heat level with an unconventional touch of sizzling romance. SPARROW now belongs in my all-time favourite reads bookshelf. Can’t wait to read more stuff by L.J. Shen.
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