September 14, 2021

ARC REVIEW: Playing with Knives by AJ Merlin

Playing with Knives by AJ Merlin
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Format: eARC

“Curiosity killed that cat. And I don’t think any amount of satisfaction will bring this kitten back”

Playing with Knives by AJ Merlin is a perfect spooky read pick for fans of dark romance. Before getting into the body of the review, I want to emphasize that I would NOT in any way recommend this book for younger audiences. Mature readers only! And if you aren’t a fan of reverse harem books, then this probably isn’t the best choice for you and I would recommend that you not read it. 

Our main character Willow, or “Will” is a small-town girl who spends her days working at the animal shelter and her nights indulging her kleptomania. Nothing ever really happened in her town until one day her roommate is brutally murdered. Four mysterious strangers show up (which stumps Willow as “the only local activities are hiking or drinking”). She quickly becomes obsessed with discovering more about them and can’t stop herself from getting close, despite all their warnings to stay away from them. Once she’s committed, Willow finds herself in for more than she bargained for as she learns more about Lysander, Nykos, Azriel, and Rhys and their secret lives. 

Willow is a bit of a conundrum. While she does positive things like work at the animal shelter, she also steals. I don’t think the fact that she steals small stuff that her victims shouldn’t miss makes that much of a difference. If it was some type of Robin Hood situation where she gave back to the needy or something, that might change things but everything she steals she keeps. There were definitely some moments in the book where she made me want to yell at her, kind of like when you want to yell at characters in horror movies because they are about to do something stupid. I did enjoy the banter between the members of the “pack” and Willow (witty banter is a known weakness of mine). Out of the foursome, Lysander is definitely my favorite. 

The beginning does take a while to pick up steam. You should definitely push through though! Once you get to about the midpoint of the book (roughly Chapter 19 or so) the action really starts to pick up. If you love dark romance books with steaminess galore, gorgeous love interests, and witty banter between the main characters then Playing with Knives is a solid choice for your next read. 

Thank you to the author AJ Merlin and Affinity Author Services for allowing me to read an early copy of the book at no cost to myself. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your thoughts! Post your comments here.

Be sure to check back again later, as I do make an effort to reply to comments.