Book InfoPenance by K. L. Taylor-Lane
Series: Swallows and Psychos #2
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Regret, remorse, repent.
With the ghost of my past unexpectedly crashing back into my life, his presence threatening to tear through everything I’ve built, I’m quickly losing grip on my sanity.
Voices start to whisper, infecting me with their poison as I struggle to battle against them. Mentally forced down into the deepest pits of hell, phantom hands trying to bury me in the fiery decay. Removed from my throne, my kingdom crumbling at my feet, my tarnished soul fractured and bleeding. I can’t see a way out of the darkness alone.
But with the help of my fearless onyx-eyed demon and protective golden-eyed beast, I don’t have to anymore.
My bones waging war with my flesh, my insides churning with uncertainty.
I face my fears.
Stalking my way through the shadows, twisting the descending fog into a weapon I can wield, I ready myself to stand-off against those that threaten to hurt me.
You can see them too... right?
This is a contemporary reverse harem, meaning the female main character will have three or more love interests and will not have to choose.
This is a dark book. If you are even a mildly sensitive reader this is probably not for you.
The characters in this series all deal with trauma and problems differently, the resolutions and methods they use are not always traditional and therefore may not be for everyone.
This is book 2 of a planned trilogy and DOES end on a cliffhanger.
The series will end with a HEA.
Penance - My Review
The prologue of Penance starts with sorrow and brings in a new point of view. This time it’s from Max, the guy who left Kyla-Rose on the day her mother died, triggering the events that sent her to juvie. I really wasn’t a fan of Max’s after reading the first book, Purgatory. Max may have been Kyla-Rose’s best friend but he also treated her like shit. After reading about the day of Max’s grandmother’s funeral it seems that K. L. Taylor-Lane wants to change the reader’s mind about Max; she started showing me who he was as a person and not just as an asshole. And she did that just in time to dump him in the story as a cause of one of Kyla-Rose’s panic attacks.
Now, if you recall from reading Purgatory, Kyla-Rose can be a tad unstable. It’s understandable considering all she’s been through, but this makes her breakdowns rather intense, or should I say dangerous for those around her? In some books, this might seem over the top, but it fits so perfectly for the character that you couldn’t expect anything less.
In terms of storyline, there’s a huge amount of character and relationship development happening in this book. Seeing as relationships need to be cemented (and re-formed in some cases) this results in plenty of tense moments that give way to steamy scenes and some scenes that don’t even need tension as a catalyst. It does mean that the action in the storyline isn’t non-stop, but when explosions happen, they’re loud and wide-reaching.
Penance was a darker read than Purgatory, especially when it came to the characters’ interpersonal relationships. It also racks up far more trigger warnings than its predecessor. If like me, you think the more trigger warnings the better, then you’ll enjoy this book. Kyla-Rose is slipping further down the rabbit hole of psychosis and, despite her being the mafia queen that most readers will never be, this actually makes her a really relatable character.
Despite all the darkness, the steam and the absolute crazy, the one thing that really stood out to me is how much K. L. Taylor-Lane has developed as an author. I was completely drawn in by the beautiful and uniquely descriptive language and the darkened whimsicality of Kyla-Rose’s thoughts. I can’t wait to read more of her development in the next book, but I’m not sure how it can improve upon the cliffhanger we were left with. Trust me, you’ll never see it coming.