Noxious Boys by K. L. Taylor-Lane

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Noxious Boys by K. L. Taylor-Lane

Book Info

Noxious Boys by K. L. Taylor-Lane
Series: Groveton College
Rating: five-stars Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance, New Adult Romance
Pages: 448
Published: 04/03/2024
Available on
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
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Starting at a new college halfway through the school year is miserable. Especially when you have to move halfway across the globe to do so.

My false sense of freedom from the man pulling the strings is crushed, his control crossing oceans with evil eyes watching my every move.

There are a million things that I shouldn't be doing with my new found liberation, however slight it may be.

I definitely should not be falling for my accidental roommate.

Or his brutal best friends.

Or his broody older brother.

Or my slightly unhinged student counsellor.

Falling for them is one thing, but what happens when they decide they don't want me anymore?

*Noxious Boys is a dark bully STANDALONE romance where our FMC will not have to choose between her five love interests. Written in first person, multiple POV. Why choose MMFMMM. As with any of my books, please know your limits.

Noxious Boys - My Review

Book review from, 5 stars. Book cover: Noxious Boys by K.L. Taylor-Lane

I’ve been in a book slump again and not connecting to anything I’ve been reading. I don’t normally opt for college or bully romances but I was expecting Noxious Boys to drag me out of that dark hole. No pressure there for K. L. Taylor-Lane.

If you’ve read enough of Taylor-Lane’s books then you’ll know there’s a certain vibe to her writing. Honestly, I didn’t know how that would translate from the South of England at its dreariest to a Texas college; Groveton hardly seems like the setting for a modern gothic romance. Noxious Boys has a very different feel from the world of the Swallows and the Blackwells but the familiar traits of delving deep into emotion and the effects of trauma are very much present, alongside darkly whimsical imagery. As I’ve come to expect, Taylor-Lane has managed to find tragic beauty and weave it into the darkness inherent in the characters of this story. This book very nearly broke me, and that’s no small feat.

Poppy is a trauma-riddled, drug-addicted 19-year-old who arrives at Groveton mid-way through the year. She’s essentially been sent away by her father, but the place she’s arrived from was “so much worse.” Lynx has returned to school after time in rehab, forced to room on campus as part of “the terms of his return to school without a scandal.” They meet for the first time as he helps Poppy through the effects of a bad trip. Soon after she meets Rex and Raiden, Lynx’s brothers by choice and the four fall into a kind of relationship. It could have been so simple and darkly smutty from that point, but that wouldn’t have been the kind of emotional rollercoaster I’d signed up for. At the same time as her relationship with the three younger brothers begins to develop, she also meets Bennett, Lynx’s older brother, and Flynn, her sociopathic student counsellor who, unbeknownst to her is Raiden’s older brother. It feels rather like a web of lies spun by omission. As Poppy struggles with her feelings of worth and the potential impermanence of her relationship with the younger three, she also battles with her attraction to the older two brothers. And yes, if you’re confused that’s perfectly okay. I couldn’t keep all the varying relationships straight in my head either.

A youthfulness to the characters’ voices separates this work from Taylor-Lane’s other books. In those, the characters may have been just as young but their life experiences had aged them far beyond the college years of these ones. Although each of the six protagonists in Noxious Boys had suffered at points in their lives, they still retain a juvenile lack of responsibility. Flynn and Bennett are the exception to this, although that is to be expected given their older ages. Poppy is almost childlike in her responses to the boys. It’s like she’s so overwhelmed by them she can’t rise to her full height or potential in front of them. I felt that it was important I noticed this at the beginning of the book because as the plot develops, her responses to the boys’ actions make a lot more sense in light of this.

When Bennett and Flynn discover who Poppy’s father is, they hatch an evil plan of revenge and quickly drag their brothers into it. Despite the hurt they feel from the actions of Poppy’s father. none of the boys want to act so evilly towards her. They’re caught up in the notion that they need to get revenge and she is the way to get it, but if they stopped to speak with each other they’d realise they’re going about things all wrong. Instead, their lack of communication with each other and failure to understand Poppy’s history with her father leads to becoming so toxic and chaotic that she gives into the depression and despair that pervades her mind.

It’s heartbreaking to watch as the boys’ bullying reaches its peak, not just for the young woman who is being systematically destroyed by the five men whom she once laid trust in, but also for those men, none of whom seem to want to hurt her truly. Part of me wanted to read those chapters from the point of view of any of the men as if hearing their doubts and regrets would go some way to offsetting their actions. At the same time, I was glad that everything was seen through Poppy’s eyes; the woman in me knows that none of them deserve redemption.

I was frustrated not only by how quickly the boys found redemption from Poppy but that they found it at all. What they did to her was unforgivable, and although she doesn’t offer absolution, I felt that she was far too accepting of their apologies. When you look back at the the state of Poppy’s self-worth throughout the book, and how she reacts to each of the male characters it becomes more understandable. I have to remember that I’m looking at this story with an extra 20 years of womanhood and emotional work under my belt than Poppy has, and there’s no way to say that at 19 I wouldn’t have made the same choices.

Although a move away from the style of K. L. Taylor-Lane’s previous books, Noxious Boys is an incredible story that will take you on a gruelling ride. The trigger warnings are many, but even if they’re not things you usually take heed of, ensure you’re feeling emotionally strong before starting this book. It has the potential to wreck you.

Listen to the Noxious Boys playlist

About K. L. Taylor-Lane

K. L. Taylor-Lane is a romance author from sunny England, where she lives with her fiancé. She’s obsessed with reading and can always be found with a book in her hand. She’s rarely seen without her trusty leather jacket, needs coffee just to breathe and often wakes in the middle of the night to scribble down new ideas.

Last Updated on 4 March 2024 by Glowstars

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I, Vic Pires (Place of residence: United Kingdom (UK)), process personal data to operate this website only to the extent technically necessary. All details in my privacy policy.