Vile Boys by AJ Merlin

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Vile Boys by AJ Merlin

Book Info

Vile Boys by AJ Merlin
Series: Knot Their Toy #1
Rating: four-stars Book ratings explained
Genres: New Adult Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 278
Published: 18/09/2022
Available on
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
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Winter Grove University is the dream school for anyone who wants to get somewhere in life, no matter if you’re an alpha, beta, or even an omega.

It’s almost impossible to get in. So when I beat the odds, I know it’ll be life-changing.

I just don’t expect death on campus during orientation, or a warning to stay in my lane if I want to get through the next four years successfully.

Not that I’m worried, or anything.

That is, until the three most influential boys of Winter Grove decide to dedicate the semester to making my life a living hell for reasons that probably aren’t my fault.

Foster, Dorian, and August know how to hold a grudge. And they’re not willing to let me forget any slight I may have committed against them. Now, with three boys making my life hell and bodies piling up around campus, I have to wonder if maybe I should stop worrying about my grades and instead focus on the two alphas and a beta who can’t seem to leave me alone or the killer who might be closer than we thought.

Vile Boys is the first book in the Knot Their Toy duet and includes omegaverse, M/M, poly, and bullying.

Vile Boys - My Review

Book review from, 4 stars. Book cover: Vile Boys by AJ Merlin

AJ Merlin is back, and bringing us all the omegaverse vibes meshed with her signature style. The result is mysterious, and with fabulous characters packed into an addictive read.

Mercy has gotten into the prestigious Winter Grove university where she plans to study so she never has to be one of those omegas, the ones that rely on their pack for everything and can’t stand on their own two feet. She’s immediately at a disadvantage being a scholarship kid in a school full of the rich and elite. When she uses their name to get herself out of a difficult situation, she lands herself on Dorian, August and Foster’s radar. They are not happy with her and know just how to make their displeasure known. Add to that the murders that are happening on and around campus and Mercy could be in more trouble than she ever realised.

Teaser: Vile Boys by AJ Merlin

I loved Mercy’s character. She’s got a smart, sassy mouth that easily gets her into more trouble than it gets her out of. She also knows what she wants from life and is motivated to make sure that she’s going to get it. At the same time, there’s a vulnerability to her that makes her seem entirely relatable. She struggles with food issues as a result of her mum’s negative attitude to weight and diet and frequently has to educate others about her hearing loss and how she copes. Her love of horror movies and ability to find her in the midst of a string of murders make her another brilliant AJ Merlin character.

I wasn’t quite so taken with the boys. Together they’re a great unit but separately I felt that August and Foster weren’t the strongest of characters. Although they both had the capacity to be mean and certainly engaged in some harsh activities toward Mercy, they weren’t the bully that Dorian was. That guy, he had the psychological aspect of bullying down pat.

Teaser: Vile Boys by AJ Merlin

I wanted more from the murder aspect of the story. Aside from the second killing, there wasn’t enough made of it until near the end of the book. Some throwaway comments from minor characters had me guessing who the killer was pretty quickly but I had to wait for most of the book to get my suspicions confirmed.

Vile Boys is part of a duet but could easily be a standalone as the story wraps up well with the killer being caught and Mercy completing her agreed time under Dorian’s command. I can’t entirely imagine where book 2, Wicked Girl, will take the story but I would guess that Merlin has something imaginative (and hopefully a little depraved) up her sleeve. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing Mercy and the boys again.

About AJ Merlin

A J Merlin Logo

AJ merlin is an author, crazy bird lady, and rampant horror movie enthusiast. Her debut novel, A Little Wicked, is the product of being enamoured with the paranormal and the need to hunt down all things that go bump in the night. Born and raised in the midwest United States, AJ is lucky to be right in the middle of people who support her and a menagerie of animals to keep her somewhat sane. Connect with her on Facebook or social media to see updates, giveaways, and be bombarded with dog, cat, and pigeon pictures.

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