Book Review, Romance Review, Romance Serial

Review: Lock Me Inside by C. Hallman

My enemies, my stepbrothers, my worst nightmare.

When my mother announces she’s been dating someone, the last person I expect it to be is James Alistair––the father of two of my biggest bullies.

Nix and Colt Alistair.

I never knew why, but they always hated me. In school, they made my life hell, and apparently, nothing has changed. Only this time, instead of cruel jokes, things get physical, and when our parents leave for their honeymoon, I find out how far Colt is willing to take this.

I thought the worst time of my life was over.

I was wrong.

This one is very dark so be forewarned if that’s not your thing. Poor Leni has had a rough life after a gruesome injury ended her Olympic hopes and left her with lifelong repercussions. Her single mother came to resent Leni for the care required to rehab and their relationship has been rocky ever since. Leni goes to visit her grandma for two weeks and returns to find her mother is getting married and they’ve already moved in with the fiancé. She’s shocked since her mom never even mentioned a new boyfriend and Leni thinks they’re rushing things since this is her mother’s new boss, whom she’s only known for a few weeks. But nothing could’ve prepared her for the worst piece: he’s the father of her bullies, the twins who’ve tormented her for years and she now lives with them.

Colt and Nix are beyond cruel as they seem to spend every minute making Leni’s life intolerable. From locking her in room (which only locks from the outside) to non-consensual sex acts, they’re monsters. Their dad seems to genuinely care about Leni, so she finally turns to him for help after they break her down completely, but that’s when things get really bad. I liked Leni from the beginning and she’s a very sympathetic character because she has no support system or options. They’ve stripped her of everything. I kind of warmed up to Colt towards the end, but it was tough. I usually end up liking the bully in these situations, but this story would have been far more interesting if he’d taken Leni into his confidence instead of making her life miserable. There’s an explanation for it, but I didn’t care for it personally. I enjoyed the first half but felt a bit let down with the ending, which is a cliffhanger. While Leni was easy to root for, I’m not invested enough to care about the conclusion. I received an ARC from Candi Kane PR in exchange for an honest review.

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