Book InfoThe Brigand Children by Lainey Delaroque
Series: Club Lavender Duet #2
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance, Romantic Suspense
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
His ex stole his dream and his people. Now this fallen gang leader will rally new allies against an old enemy...
After being a prisoner in his own home, Damien Grey tastes freedom for the first time in six years. Yet his criminal past, gangster ex-wife and an unfair police charge mean that he is far from free. When he learns some of his underlings have gone missing, he grabs the chance to investigate, prove his innocence and come out into the light.
But the case requires Damien to enlist the help of the father he put in prison and face his deepest insecurities. Unable and unwilling, he finds solace in the company of Sophie Taylor, a former thief and a newcomer in Damien Grey’s life.
They choose to explore their connection while the clock dangerously ticks away. Will high-octane action and kinky play bring them together or pull them apart? When one of the missing women turns up dead, Damien realises the time of reckoning is nearing faster than expected.
How long can Damien ignore his past before it catches up with those he’s sworn to protect?
The Brigand Children is the long-awaited sequel to The Lavender Phantom, and the second book in the Club Lavender kink thriller duet. If you like tortured heroes, dangerous odds, and fast-paced action, you’ll love Lainey Delaroque’s unrelenting novel.
CW: This book contains descriptions of sexual situations and occasional strong language
The Brigand Children - My Review
When I wrote about The Lavender Phantom my first point of contention was the prologue being written in the third person. Although it was expected, I was disappointed to see The Brigand Children start in the same way. This time around, our observer is following Penelope Wilson-Grey, Damien’s despicable, estranged wife. A number of chapters are written in observation of her. I have to admit, as jarring as the point of view is, it’s a really good reminder that you’re reading about the villain and not the hero.
The majority of the book is written from Damien’s point of view, with a few interludes from Sophie. I couldn’t help but find Damien frustrating, in a way that didn’t come across in the first book. Despite his imprisonment by Penelope having ended, he seems to be plagued by indecision and doubt, resulting in an inability to take even the smallest actions to resolve Club Lavender’s issues. Unfortunately, this showed through in the pacing of the book, and I couldn’t help but feel that it dragged for the first 3/4 of the story.
While The Lavender Phantom saw characters enduring more trauma than they do in the second half of the duet, The Brigand Children is more focused on the triggers they face and their recovery from that trauma. When you consider all that those characters went through in the first book, their actions in the second are understandable.
One aspect of the story which I really liked was the growth of Damien and Sophie’s relationship. At the end of the first book, they were entering into unknown territory after having been forced together by circumstance. This book sees them choosing to be together, and navigating that choice in light of Damien’s concealment from the law and the destruction of Penelope’s gang, the Jesters. Up until the final two chapters, the couple faces enormous challenges that could easily tear them apart; it’s brilliant to see the power of compromise so that they can both “have it all. “
While The Brigand Children is a good book, I don’t think it was quite as good as The Lavender Phantom. That said, it was good to see a conclusion to the story and for many of the characters to get their happily ever after. For me, I see this book as more of a stepping stone from the Phantom to Delaroque’s next book, Dark Rings. I’m getting really excited about reading Hana, Mathias and Connor’s story.