When I found out Trent from the Sinners of Saints series, story was coming out, my excitement level went from 0-100 real quick. I was on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram stalking for any news on our fourth HotHole.
Scandalous by L.J. Shen is the last HotHole’s story and it is a juicy one. It’s not what I expected if I’m being honest. The storyline had me feeling a little iffy at first as it was a wee bit taboo – I think L.J. Shen has a knack for that or something. IDK. Regardless of the fact, I FLOVED it.
This review is going to be messy because the story is messy. Try to remember that all of this mess was not made by me, I was going to keep it pretty.
Let’s hear with the author has to say. . .
They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.
To be 100% honest with everyone, I had a secret crush on Trent since I read Vicious, Book 1. He seemed so sexy. When he got caught up with an oops baby, I knew his story was going to be a good one. Plus, Trent was token. The token’s story is always a good one, one like no one else’s. Trent never spoke much, but when he did he had a point to make. All of this made me want his story.
Trent was underestimated and prejudged his entire life and it was time for us, as readers, to finally understand who he truly was.
“He’s too. . .you know what. Too hood. Too angry. Not very talkative.” – Jordan Van Der Zee
Edie, our heroine, is the daughter of Jordan Van Der Zee, Trent’s new and unwelcome business partner. She is also 18! Yep, our heroine is 18 years old. I enjoyed getting to know her and learning about her life, which is not what I thought it would be. Edie’s father is loaded, but she is not and he doesn’t let her forget it. The girl works hard for everything she has and it’s not much.
Trent’s oops baby, Luna is the most beautiful, heartbreaking part of this entire story to me. As we learned from the previous book, Luna’s mother ran out on her when she was only a one year old baby. Painfully, she hasn’t spoken a word since. The worst part of all, Trent has no idea how to help her. Trent was in agony everyday watching his daughter isolate herself from the world. The guilt he carried around with him was so heavy and deep. He knew what it was like to be mute, to be like Luna.
“. . .I’m The Mute. When you don’t talk, people assume you don’t listen. They start caring less. People love the sound of voices. Theirs and others. So I don’t say shit. But never thought it would be like this with Luna.” – Trent
Even though Edie is 18 and Trent is 33, their connections was strong and magnetic. No matter how hard they tried to stay away from each other, life always found away to place them back in the same mix.
At first I was like, “Um. . .I don’t know how I feel about this age gap.” It took me all of two chapters to get over that. Edie grew on me and it didn’t take me too long to look past the age difference. Edie was very mature for her age and struck me as someone with an old soul. I loved that about her. If she were an immature, spoiled brat, I would have not enjoyed this book at all – it’s a good thing she was not.
In all fairness to me and many other readers, Trent had a wee bit of trouble looking past her age from time to time too. He even tried to fight the attraction as best he could in the perfect HotHole way – by talking shit.
“I don’t want to fuck her, asshole. I mean, I do, but I won’t” – Trent
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes Edie’s acted like an 18 year old, but the majority of the times she displayed the full maturity of someone twice her age. Leave it to a HotHole to throw a few digs at her age here and there.
She acted like a child. I had one at home. They weren’t much fun, and were ridiculously hard to tame. – Trent
Trent knows that he should stay away and he tries, but it never works out that way. He even attempts to warn her.
“. . .when it’s all over, when all that’s left of us is sweat flesh and shattered minds and torn hearts, you will remember me as the man who made you as the girl I had to break to stay afloat.” – Trent
Trent had a hard time connecting with Luna and that broke me. To think of a parent being unable to find a common ground with an emotionally ill child – that’s the worst. I wanted them to connect so badly, I fucking prayed for it. The poor man couldn’t even manage a smile out of her an any given day. Can you image? Not being able to see your child smile?
My favorite part of Edie is the relationship she developed with Luna, it brings out a beautiful side of her. Luna was the bridge that had the ability to either tear Trent and Edie apart or be the one thing that could hold them together. Sometimes, it was difficult to navigate for the both of them for many, many reasons.
Both Trent and Edie had their inner struggles and those internal conflicts, more often than not, tore them apart. You never knew which part of them you were going to encounter and that kept me hooked throughout.
“. . .never underestimate a broken person. We’re unpredictable, because once you’re broken – what’s one more crack? – Edie
Now for the real questions. . .
Will I read more books by L.J. Shen? If she writes it, I will read it.
I did pretty damn good with this review, not too messy and quite pretty. Hats off to me!
TTYL, lovers. . .
Follow all things pretty and messy. . .