Cruel Intentions - Siobahn Davis
Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romance Review, Series, Suspense, Thriller

Book Review: Cruel Intentions by Siobhan Davis

In the power struggle between two elite groups, one feisty girl will bring them to their knees…

Life is a cruel game, where only the most ruthless survive. It’s a truth my mother rebelled against, and she paid for it with her life. Now, I play their game. Publicly accepting the destiny that lies in wait for me when I turn 18. But behind closed doors, I plot my escape. 

Trent, Charlie, and my twin Drew rule the hallways of Rydeville High with arrogance and an iron fist. I execute my role perfectly, hating every second, but they never let me forget my place in this world.

Everyone obeys the rules. They have, for generations. Because, our families have always been in control. Until Cam, Sawyer, and Jackson show up. Throwing their new money around. Challenging the status quo. Setting hearts racing with their gorgeous faces, hot bodies, and bad boy attitudes.

Battle lines are drawn. Sides are taken. And I’m trapped in the middle, because I made a mistake one fateful night when I gave my V-card to a stranger in a blatant F you to my fiancé.

I thought it was the one thing I owned. A precious memory to carry me through each dark day.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Because, the stranger was Camden Marshall, leader of the new elite and my perpetual tormentor. He hates me with a passion unrivaled, and he won’t be the only one. Fire will rain down if the truth is revealed, threatening alliances, and the power struggle will turn vicious.

My life will hang in the balance. But I’ll be ready, and I’m not going down without a fight.

Due to mature content and themes, this book is recommended for readers aged 18 and over. This is a full-length novel, and it’s book one in a planned trilogy. It cannot be listened to as a stand-alone and ends with a cliff-hanger. 

Let me start by saying this book is very different from my usual fare. I generally avoid YA and high school stories because those stories feel weird to me. I honestly only gave it a shot because of the title (the Reese-Ryan movie is one of my all-time faves), which is unusual for me but I’m so glad I gave this series a chance. This was also my first bully romance and by far the darkest thing I’ve ever read under the romance banner. It really had all the hallmarks of something I was going to drop about three chapters in, but I was obsessed with this story.

I can’t even really explain what spurred the initial interest because this story is weird but I was hooked from the beginning. Abby isn’t all that likable at first although to be fair, nobody is in the beginning of this story. They’re a bunch of spoiled rich jerks torturing each other for sport so not very sympathetic. But as I slowly learned the horrors of Abby’s life, I just wanted to see her kicking everyone’s ass. This was a nail-biter for me because I didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes you get happily ever after and other times the hero dies and the monster gets the heroine so I had concerns.

There were some slow parts but the pacing is good overall and that’s important here because there’s a metric shit ton of stuff going on in this book so there’s no time to waste. Once or twice, I even had to scroll back to re-read an earlier section because I stayed up way too late reading and couldn’t keep it all straight in my head. Abby lives in a bizarre world of elite families that rule everything and her life is pre-planned.

She’s only in high school but is already engaged to some complete dick because that’s how things are done when you’re elite. This is one of those stories where it’s tough to tell who the enemy is at times. You’ll hate everyone at some point but some of the characters do end up having redeeming qualities and you’ll fall in love with a few of them.

When the description says dark take that to heart. There’s a lot of sexual assault in this story but these characters and their world are so crazy out there, none of that bothered me the way it might in a more realistic setting. So many terrible things happen to Abby, I was invested because I just wanted to see her kicking ass and taking names, because she’s nobody’s puppet.

You’ll get whiplash from the twists here but won’t mind at all. It’s safe to say most readers won’t guess where things are headed in these books because they’re that crazy so you will be surprised. There’s a love-hate relationship with Cam/Kai in the beginning but he’s impossible to hate after that because their relationship is hot. Like scorching. And dirty and descriptive and just very well done. He’s not the only one though, I reassessed my feelings about various characters multiple times because so much happens and lots of it is quite drastic.

My only complaint about this book is that it ended in a cliffhanger which is just a no for me, but the full series had been released already by the time I discovered it, so I was able to proceed. And proceed I did, devouring all three books with an insatiable appetite to see how it ends. Stay tuned for more Rydeville Elite.

Cruel Intentions: Rydeville Elite book 1 on Amazon.

Footnote: there are 7 books in the Rydeville Elite series (so far) but Abby and Kai’s story is a complete series to me. Books 1 and 2 end in cliffhangers so the story flows uninterrupted for three full novels while books 4-7 are stand alones for various characters we’ve met in Abby and Kai’s story (Charlie, Jackson, Sawyer and Drewe). I’ll probably read the rest eventually — especially Jackson’s because wow — but 6 and 7 haven’t even been released yet.

Other reviews in the Rydeville Elite series

Other reviews in the Rydeville Elite series

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