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So Hot That It’s a Wonder My Kindle Didn’t Catch Fire…

Thank you KATIEANDBREYPA and author Santana Knox for this ARC and the pleasure of reading this dark romance inside this lovely white and crimson cover.

The following review is my personal opinion only.

There are trigger warnings like violence, blood, asphyxiation, exorcism, abuse and probably two dozen more triggers surrounding explicit sexual content – which may seem like there’s a full chapter worth of triggers in this 490 page book: and the triggers are real. So if you are faint of heart, wash your hands in holy water and cover this book in an opaque wrapper and bury it somewhere deep in your backyard where no one could ever find it.

For those who plough on…

Santana Knox’s Dark Romance novel Heartless Heathens is loosely inspired by Victor Hugo’s NotreDame de Paris, but trust me, the blurb will not prepare you for the ride inside.

This is the story of Romina – an orphan adopted by the church in secret to keep her safe and pure from the satanic elements of this dystopian era where the country has gone to sh*t.

In come three brothers – the identical twins Corvin and Felix and their brother from another mother Sonny.

They discover Romina and can’t decide what to make of an undocumented girl or barely eighteen years who claim to be ignorant and innocent. Whether she is planted by the church, a ploy to thwart the efforts of the trio, or is she really who she says she is.

The more they dig into Romina (mind and body) the more they find themselves unable to ignore her. But who does Romina find interesting? Is it the evil incarnate, truly dispassionate and sadistically cruel Sonny? Or the Sweet and charming Felix? Or is it the broken Corvin? Why choose?

Together the four of them are bound by more than fate and their journey through the weeks involve emotions and blood and distrust and hurt and devotion and obsession and thrill and passion and most of all, unbridled, unfiltered, unfettered sex.

The three brothers are so interconnected that in the beginning they might seem interchangeable. That is, when the chapters shift POVs between Sonny, Corvin and Felix, it is, at times, difficult to understand who is speaking to whom. But as the novel progresses, as the depth and the differences of these three is made clearer, it becomes possible to understand whose POV the current chapter is narrating without even looking at the name of the chapter.

The biggest glue there is in this story to keep you hooked is, of course, sex. Not just sex, but how each act, each instance unravels the characters just a little, binding them just a bit tighter and making us want just a bit more. There may not be such a thing as too much of sex, but in this case, at some briefest of moments, it feels like there is.

This sex is not for everyone, either. It is primal, raw and not confined to any definition, any limits, any sense. You are bound to feel the urgency, the exhaustion and the scorching heat of the scenes, in ways you may never have felt before. And it will make you uncomfortable. But you will not be able to keep the book down because there is so much more in this story!

It contains the right number of unanswered questions which would make you wonder if you missed anything in your first read and make you want to go for seconds. But, yes, there are unanswered questions: which stem from the fact that this book is in fact a dark romance and not a dark dystopian fantasy / suspense thriller. The story can not exist in the normal world as we know it – so the dystopian setting is an integral part of this story. As such the dystopian society and ecosystem is well established, there’s a decent bit of exposition and description of the world outside, but it is left mostly in the backdrop. The resolution of few elements is wanting.

There are supernatural elements in the story which give it another dimension, but are kept unresolved and mostly teased, so this is not full blown dark magic.

If you are an adult, and you don’t get queasy at the mention of blood and you are ok with the triggers, well, then go get your copy of Heartless Heathens and savour each page. Preferably alone and cozy.

My rating does not take into account the typos, formatting and other errors which are inherent to most ARCs and will assuredly be dealt with before the final publishing.

Must read. Book link:

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