Malevolent by Lainey Delaroque

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Malevolent by Lainey Delaroque

Book Info

Malevolent by Lainey Delaroque
Series: Deviants of Onyx Grove #1
Rating: three-stars Book ratings explained
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance
Pages: 321
Published: 30/03/2024
Available on
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
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My name is Jade Hadley, and I’m back in Onyx Grove – the crime-ridden city I once called home.

Today I start work at Onyx Entertainment, a company that hides many hideous secrets. I’m here to expose them all and destroy it from the inside. I’m here to lay claim on the whole Onyx Grove.
Not that the Warrick family will let me.

When I start work for Hunter Warrick, Onyx Entertainment’s Marketing Director, he has no idea who I really am. Neither does his brother Alex, the CEO, or their trusted friend Leo, who is some sort of shadow leader.

The three of them will soon learn what it means to be Jade Hadley’s enemy. They will try to stop me, but I’m not one to back down.

The Deviants of Onyx Grove series will be a dark why choose romance with serial killers, stalkers, and organized crime.

Malevolent - My Review

Book review from, 3 stars. Book cover: Malevolent by Lainey Delaroque

I enjoyed reading Lainey Delaroque‘s Club Lavender Duet and the subsequent Dark Things series so I was curious to see how her first reverse harem novel would compare. The blurb didn’t give too much away so I was reading with little impression of what the book would be about. Unfortunately, things didn’t become much clearer throughout the book and I was left with several unanswered questions.

Jade returns to Onyx Grove, not as the person she was when she left it, but undercover as Mary. Her mission is to “stop an illegal drug flooding the market.” Her agenda isn’t so straightforward as while she’s in Onyx Grove, she wants to uncover the truth about events that happened while she was a child and to topple the current ruling family of Onyx Grove, reinstating her and sister Ruby to the top of the pile.

Her mission is backed by the Arcana (you’ll recognise them from the Dark Things series), but readers never learn how Jade gets involved with the gang. As part of her undercover role, Mary lands a job at Onyx Entertainment, working for one of the sons of the man who deposed her family from their Onyx Grove throne. Along the way she meets the other Warwick son and his right-hand man and despite her hatred for all they stand for, she starts to become emotionally (and in some cases, physically) involved with each of them.

I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters. Writing from four points of view will always be a challenge and in this book, the chapters shifted between the characters so quickly that we never got to read the depth of their thoughts and emotions. This was coupled with not knowing the history of Onyx Grove despite vague allusions to childhood events so there was nothing to anchor Jade to her hatred of the Warwicks. There were many moving parts for each character but with the writing only grazing the surface of each person, it was difficult to feel any attachment to what was happening with them.

Immediately after reading Malevolent, I went to read the prequel, Unlawful, to see if it would answer any of those questions. It told about the events leading up to Jade leaving Chicago but didn’t give me any more details about her past life in Onyx Grove or how she came to reunite with Ruby (just that she did).

I don’t believe that Malevolent is Delaroque’s strongest work but I will be reading book 2 Obedient because I’m the kind of curious that wants to find out about the past and see its resolution in the future. I think that there is potential for the series to be saved with the second book and until I’ve read that, I will reserve my final judgement.

About Lainey Delaroque

Lainey Delaroque logo

Lainey Delaroque started writing poems when she was stuck in hospital with pneumonia. She was 11 years-old then and hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves dangerous, fantastical worlds and morally grey characters. She writes diverse romantic thrillers packed with action, danger and sizzling tension. When the suspense is too much for Lainey, she takes a break by writing contemporary romance stories with kinky twists.

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