Book InfoWhen The Sun Goes Down by Arabella Black
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance, Romantic Suspense
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
We’re going to wreck you, little one.
Mercy Moseley needs to pay for messing with the wrong men. The only issue is, Mercy Moseley is dead. She took everything, and then she abandoned us.
She’s left behind her frail little sister.
A little sister that should be left alone to grieve her loss. But we’re impatient men, and in our world, time is money. Loulou Moseley is young, innocent, and naïve.
She’s the perfect victim for our madness.
We live a depraved life in front of the cameras. Our twisted world revolves around pleasure, living out the filthy fantasies of the masses. Many wish for a life like ours, the sex, the money… But at what cost? Daily, we sell our souls. We’re the best at our job, and so was Mercy Moseley. She was our leading actress, and now, she’s gone.
And her innocent little sister?
She’s about to replace her.
This is a reverse harem story. This is not a safe love story. This is dark romance.
Subjects of suicide, cheating, parental neglect, physical abuse (and more) will be touched upon.
When The Sun Goes Down – My Review
I don’t even know where to start with this review. You know how a book can be brilliant, but leave you absolutely speechless at the same time? That’s me right now after reading When The Sun Goes Down.
The prologue is about as filthy and punchy as it gets. It’s also incredibly intriguing when you think about it, but I’m still stuck on the part of it that’s a blow by blow (pun totally intended) description of a woman watching a porn flick. I had to put the book down at that point to digest what I’d just read. I knew then that I wanted to give the story ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ but that it already had a lot to live up to.
To be clear, this is a book about sex. Selling sex, sex as entertainment and titillation, sex as revenge or as a means to an end. It’s graphic in ways that many books can’t match; filthy, shameful and blisteringly hot. If you’re into a good bully romance, this book will be a step up from that. There will be people that can’t handle reading much of it, but if you’re one of those that can, you’re in for a real treat.
I find that there’s always a danger with reverse harem novels, that some characters are favoured over others. Having four protagonists requires a delicate balance but Arabella Black felt the need to push the boat out and go with five. Mercy Moseley may be dead but she’s as much of a presence in this book as the four, living protagonists, despite not having a single chapter written from her perspective.
The dynamic of Mercy’s harem is a strange one. Vincent wants to pay for her attention, Jackson pays so he can hide the feelings he won’t admit he has for her, and Knight pays because he’s in love with her and it keeps her with him. On the flip side, Mercy charges them for their time with her so that she doesn’t need to form attachments or build a relationship with any of them, despite that being what she’s actually doing.
Although we first meet the men from Loulou’s perspective, the reader starts to really get to know them through their time with Mercy. Considering that Loulou is the living female protagonist it’s a unique approach. Mercy wins Knight over with her combination of vulnerability and caring nature. Jackson is attracted to her games and the opportunity to use her to find success and to get back at his wife. Vincent enjoys torture, “the bloody, soul-sucking type.” He wants to bend her to his will and for her to become what he makes of her.
I need to see the terror in the girl’s eyes to make it through the day.
As uncomplicated as she can seem at times, Loulou is a surprisingly intricate character. Her core need is to belong, and we see a lot of this as a driving motivator in her actions. She’s malleable, with little sense of her own self. At times she seems incredibly naive (even considering her young age). I struggled with the idea that she believes, on Vincent’s say so, that she’s inherited Mercy’s supposed $2.5m debt and needs to repay it. I wonder what her character thinks would happen to her if she doesn’t repay it? Or is this acceptance a calculated move on her part? It’s not until her first month with the men has passed that we realise just how shrewd Loulou can be. Or has she been moulded that way?
Out of all the men Vincent was the one I was most drawn to. I’m not going to say ‘liked’ because he’s a pretty despicable and morally reprehensible character. You can’t tell if his motivations are career-driven, revenge-driven or just for kicks. In one moment he is surprisingly protective of Loulou but as a reader, you’re not sure whether he’s actually angry at Jackson for disobeying orders, or it’s a calculated move designed to bring Loulou to heel. His every action has numerous possible influencers and it’s never certain which is the correct one. He’s observant; in less than 24 hours he picks up the differences between the Moseley sisters and notices that Loulou is the more interesting of the two. It seems that he never really feels much for Mercy, but his feelings to Loulou are intense, even if they never veer towards love.
There’s so much more that I want to write, but I don’t want to drop spoilers. Yes, you’ll find out who killed Mercy Moseley, but this is not your average murder mystery novel. It won’t leave you with a warm glow at the end. In fact, there’s very little warmth in it at all. While technically, the ending could be called a happy one, it’s also a tragedy. And maybe that’s why I loved it so damned much.