So many expectations I had when I went into this. I honestly thought I’d be laughing so hard. A snarky mute protagonist who falls in love with a killer. What’s not to love. The blurb and the cover combined led me to believe that this is what was going to happen. Sadly the book did not live up to expectations.
There was more than my fair share of issues with this one. The biggest and most unavoidable one was the story itself doesn’t seem to have a defined plot. One person, Romily, claims the other as their future husband and from then on the entire premise of the book is about everything they do, the other person being Fox, directly relating to how confidence/competence is sexy and doesn’t my future husband look good when… And I’m not exaggerating. Almost every fight is about how good Romily’s future husband looks when he’s being murderous.
There is a lot of stuff about how puns are funny and I am here for a good pun. I literally keep rewatching the magic school bus purely for the puns. But most times the puns don’t even feel like puns. One time in particular Romily actually says laugh at my punniness or something to that effect. One time he said ‘you see what I did there’. I missed that joke and didn’t reread it to see. Generally, I missed most of the puns. He spends so much time rambling about things and finding ways to connect everything happening to how awesome his future husband is or how hilarious he himself is that there isn’t any time for anything else to get dug into. To make it even more annoying after all this rambling and monologue he has the audacity to be annoyed when someone else is talking at the end of the book. But as I said, more needed to be dug into.
What exactly is a reaper? How do they receive contracts on who is to be killed? Who is their boss, is she even a she? Does she prefer they pronouns? I honestly can’t remember because Romily says he’d sleep with her if he didn’t already have fox so that comment is questionable in itself, but he saves her as Daddy in his phone and she says okay. Who is the council that Romily and Fox work for and more importantly the bad guy who keeps trying to kill fox is also in the exact same council’s employ and a few speeches about balance and power doesn’t cover it because essentially if they run both sides they have all of the power to manipulate everything so it begs the question is Fox’s job even important at all if the council can change the rules at any time seeing as they also pay/employ the bad guys. That’s just one teeny bit of ‘this doesn’t make sense’ and ‘this feels incomplete’ going on with this story.
There’s a thing with cherubs being kidnapped and I’ve left the book without knowing who or why they are being kidnapped. Or how so many of them could be kidnapped since they are so smart and hard to trick and how they could be gone for months without their parents noticing. I honestly thought this was the real plot. After just over half a book of Romily basically monologuing to us and himself but nothing came of it. Even when cherubs got abducted a second time the plot wasn’t dug into. It always goes back to how funny Romily apparently is and how he and fox are made for each other and isn’t my future husband hot. At the end when a new character, Darcy mentions something about anatomy Romily states to himself that fox fighting always gets him hot and his suit isn’t designed to hide anything thus bringing the situation back to how his future husband is hot by another character commenting on how Romily has gotten hard watching him.
It didn’t end there. Right after the bad guy decides he’s going to stop trying to kill Fox, rightly so cause he’s killed dozens of these would-be assassins at this point, Romily gets abducted and low and bad guy never wanted to kill him he just wanted to convert Fox to the darkside. Big let-down. Then, apparently, the author wants us to think being mute is a superpower because the bad guy is part Succubus and he gets all mad that no matter how many forced orgasms he gives Romily he doesn’t scream out in ecstasy. Sigh. And this is the one and only encounter we have with the bad guy. After this the story goes on. But Romily has now adopted a son. An over thirty-year-old he claimed to rescue him from the bad guy, Santanos. Every single joke about his son, and not talking to him unless he said papa, or the times he said he enjoyed embarrassing his son was enjoyable and just all of it was awkward and felt forced.
Adding it all up we have lots of rambling, talks about how puns are awesome, serious plot things like the cherubs getting side-lined, and awkward sort of adoption even though he isn’t even married to Fox now ads even more jokes that aren’t actually funny and, plot… still don’t know what that is.
Then the bad guy gets abducted and another new character is brought in, Darcy. And he felt stereotypically described and this also felt awkward. He’s wearing tights, for the only reason to show off his anatomy so that Romilly can comment on it. Romily also wore tights at the beginning of the book because he can’t talk and if Fox turned him on he wanted him to see it. Having been accused of too many sexual undertones in my own writing I still found the ones in this book weird. Awkward in where they popped up and how they were presented.
Some scenes were over the top but not in the this is so crazy it’s amazing like say not another teen movie, scary movie, or not another gay movie. The over-the-top was just ‘well that was weird’. And the adopted assassin, Bellamy, apparently has a crush on the new Darcy who shows up to help them find the villain who isn’t really a villain. He’s a great tracker who has magical abilities and whatnot, but my takeaway is he has a big penis, wears tights and doesn’t like the person he’s trying to find, Santanos. Beyond that, his only purpose is for more ‘jokes’ from Romily. As for evidence of this crush considering how Romily checked him out the assassin character would have to be ten times more obvious than that for me to even consider something is on crush level. And without evidence that massive, all the jokes about him pining for, fell flat. I couldn’t remember so I went back and reread it from Darcy’s arrival to the moment Romily mentions the crush. Nothing, not even a teeny tiny bit of anything beyond the fact that Bellamy has slept with him puts the two of them together behind friendship. I almost wish I had reread it before my video review so I could’ve confirmed this then.
I’m honestly having trouble making this review make sense because there was so much going on and none of it was satisfactorily explained and the only constant was Romily rambling on about things and directly associating everything he rambles about to him and his future husband. The relationship doesn’t even grow because Fox just accepts Romily claiming him and it goes on with them being fully and one-hundred percent established the whole book. Even adopting a fully grown man, which I said was awkward already, he gets right on board with Romily from the start agreeing with and ignoring Bellamy if he doesn’t call one of them papa and the other one something I can’t remember.
I’m just going to end here. The more I think about it the more things don’t make sense and the harder it is to find a solid and obvious plot direction. I basically couldn’t follow the book and found the lead character more annoying than funny and all the things I wanted to take off or be more deeply dug into like the Villain abduction that happened and was over as fast as it happened; the cherub investigation; a legitimate love progression of a snarky mute boy warming his way into the heart of a murderer; an explanation and good world-building of the world that Fox lives in, and basically finding a solid plotline, beyond trying to force laughs and continually practically telling readers it’s supposed to be funny. So many things I thought were going to happen when I went to this and my ending paragraph is still going on. Sigh. The next one will be the real end.
If you made it this far and you’re confused and can’t make a bit of sense out of this review, neither can I but it is what it is. So many good reviews are out for this book. People loved it. I thought maybe I was overreacting but the not so good reviews, while shorter than mine, hit on the same things so I’m in the minority but not alone. I just wish there were a whole lot less of Romily, a lot more fleshed out characters and descriptions of the world, and a solid plotline I could recall well enough to write this review. Unfortunately, this book really missed the mark for me.