GIVEAWAY & NEW RELEASE!! Merciless by Willow Winters ~ Sarah A’s Review

A ruthless man with a past to hide doesn’t let a soul close to him.
A coldhearted man at war doesn’t risk anything for anyone.
A depraved man with a beautiful woman at his mercy … he doesn’t fall for her.

She was only a bargaining chip.  Now she’s my property.
own her.
Nothing has thrilled me more than the thought of taking her how I’ve always wanted to.
To break her and make that soft voice of hers whimper with a strangled moan as I ravage her.

I know better than to give in to temptation and let her distract me from everything that’s at stake.

No matter how badly I crave more of her.
No matter how much the sordid thoughts plague me.
No matter if it’s the one thing that I’ve always wanted more than anything else.

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I’m feeling torn about this book, likely because I didn’t realize this wasn’t a standalone.  In my defense, there is no mention of a series or any other indication of Merciless having a cliffhanger.  That being said, the story was compelling, and I was completely invested in it for the entirety of the novel.

I hated to love or loved to hate, I’m not sure – it’s a fine line, Carter.  He was awful.  At this point, I’m really on the fence about him.  He’s mean, he’s demeaning, he’s cruel, but even with all that there is still something in him, small moments of compassion, the fact he was forced into a future he didn’t choose, that makes me want to like him.  Carter was quite an enigma in Merciless, and I’m hoping to figure out more about who he is in Heartless.

Aria isn’t much better, though I do feel more sympathetic toward her.  Her ups and downs, backs and forths, are frustrating.  I feel like I never know what she’s going to do or how she’s going to react in a situation, while I understood her motivations I didn’t understand much else about her.  Her paradoxical behavior was intriguing and understandable given her extreme circumstances.  I do hope that we’ll see more stability from her in the next book.

The relationship between Carter and Aria is tough to stomach.  There is such a disparity between their statuses and the power they had in their relationship; it was hard to decipher what was chemistry, what was Carter exerting his will control over Aria, and what was Aria’s self-preservation.  It was dark, twisted, and taboo but still oh so fascinating.  I felt dirty – in the best way – while I was reading this book because I was rooting for them so hard, even when I knew I should want Aria to have a choice in her life.

Merciless enraptured me.  I couldn’t consume it fast enough, even when I knew I was coming to the end and there were nowhere near enough pages left to complete the story.  The pacing was spot on, between the stuff going on with the ‘war’ Carter has been pulled into, to Aria’s imprisonment, to Carter’s history, there were so many moving parts I needed the next morsel of information as much as I needed my next breath.

Willow Winters is a gritty, intense writer.  Her books always leave me reeling and clamoring for what might be coming next.  She is excellent at building tension to a fever pitch and letting it linger to the point of discomfort.  I love the rawness she exhibits in her prose, it lends well to the types of stories she writes.  There hasn’t been a book of hers I’ve read and not wanted more of, but never so much as I did with Merciless, I’m going to be anxiously awaiting the release of Heartless.

Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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