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I am Lover of romance, who indulges in the romantic adventures of literature

My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.

 

Book Review-The Sinner’s Duet

by | Jan 4, 2022 | Book Reviews | 13 comments

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Books

There Are No Saints

There Is No Devil

I loathe Alastor Shaw.

The city of San Francisco thinks we’re rival artists.

In truth, we’re predators battling for hunting ground.

We never chased the same prey. Until the night we both laid eyes on Mara Eldritch.

Shaw wants to use her as a pawn in his twisted game.

I’m fixated on her for a different reason…

She makes me feel things I never thought I could feel. Want things I never wanted.

Only she can make me lose control.

I don’t know if I should protect her at all costs… or destroy her before she ruins me.

Mara knows I’m no saint. But she has no idea she’s dancing with the devil…

I Couldn’t Kill Mara…

But that doesn’t mean Shaw won’t.

She’s living in my house, always with me, always under my control.

The more I push her, the more she pushes back.

She’s peeling away my secrets, one by one. And I’m tempting her to do things she never thought she’d do…

Shaw won’t stop hunting her.

When the time comes to act, will Mara be ready?

Author’s Notes

There Are No Saints

There Is No Devil

I have always been fascinated by true crime, as well as by villains and anti-heroes. A serial killer is, of course, the ultimate anti-hero — the baddest of the bad boys. Redeeming a character who starts so evil was a challenge that inspired me to entirely new heights and entirely new depths. Come on this darkly sensual and utterly brain-bending ride with me! — Sophie

“There Are No Saints” is the first book in the Sinners Duet. Reader be warned: this is a dark and steamy serial killer romance that will take you on a journey through the twisted mind of an artist on the brink of madness.

I was so pleased how many women identified with Mara’s character – with her sensory issues and history of trauma. It sounds crazy to call this an “inspirational story of murder”, but at the end of part two, I hope you will indeed feel inspired by Mara’s journey. — Sophie

“There Is No Devil” is the second half of the Sinners Duet. Reader be warned: this is a dark and steamy serial killer romance that may be triggering to some.

My Review

There Are No Saints was such an incredible read and I couldn’t seem to get enough of this book. I will be honest in that I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one here. I will be frank in that unfortunately this author just hasn’t worked for me in the past. I have really admired her for quite a while and it has been hard to not enjoy her books like I have wanted to. This duet was my last run with this author I was pretty sure and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to discover that this book won my heart in so many ways. There are so many complex layers to this story, and I was hooked pretty much from the beginning of this one. It’s not going to be one that will work for everyone. It does deal with some darker content (I mean the hero is an assassin) so there is that. However, Sophie Lark really worked her magic in this story and showcased a romance that seemed to just work in a variety of ways that you don’t quite expect to find.

And yet . . . not all of us were drawn to Prince Charming. Some little girls ate up the stories of ball gowns and castles and knights who slayed the dragon . . . While some little girls read the stories of a dark pathway into the woods . . . a twisted mansion with black windows and fog covering the grounds . . . That’s where we wanted to go. No matter what we might find inside . .

The story is this, our heroine, Mara is an artist and she gets caught in the middle of a rivalry between two artists who are also assassins. Cole has a cold exterior and only lives for his heart. He doesn’t like people but he has one rival, an enemy, that he despises more than any other….Shaw. But when Shaw plays a game and the beautiful Mara gets caught in the middle, Cole’s priorities begin to shift toward Mara. He doesn’t understand his consuming thoughts on Mara but for some reason, she is a woman that is delicate but has a spine of steel. She has a strength and talent that surpasses any other woman he has ever known, and before he knows it, he will do what it takes to protect the woman who is beginning to hold the heart that has been locked away for so long…

Mara warps who I am. But in the moment, when I’m with her . . . I like it. I see things I never saw before. I feel things. Hell, I even taste things differently.

This story was such an incredible read and I am not going to say that EVERYONE should be reading this one, because frankly, not everyone should because it does deal in darker elements. So unless you enjoy dark romance, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. I will say that if you enjoy this sub-genre, then you definitely need to grab this one up. I really was impressed with how this author handled this assassin type of hero and see the depths of the story that we are given here. I didn’t know what to expect with this story but it was so captivating. I honestly couldn’t seem to put this story down….NOT ONCE. I just had to read this and I was hooked on the connection that Cole and Mara were building with each other. The beginning to their relationship isn’t easy, but seeing them find a connection was such a beautiful thing to witness.

“I don’t want to be taken care of,” she says. “I want to be seen.”

My Review

In There Is No Devil, we have the continuation of Cole and Mara’s story and what a story that this one turned out to be. I simply was hooked and I couldn’t wait to delve into the conclusion of Cole and Mara’s story and I knew that it would be filled with so much intensity especially as our villain is raising the stakes here, and Shaw won’t be easy to get rid of. There Is No Devil is basically where Cole and Mara are “together” from the very beginning and we see them exploring their newfound relationship. It was quite interesting to see them explore each other and find the unique personalities within themselves that seem to blend into the other. There are many depths to this one where we see that there isn’t anything so simple or easy in life and that both Cole and Mara have a dark past which only solidifies their bond.

I’m not trying to change who you are. I’m trying to reveal it. A diamond can’t shine until it’s cut.

The storyline to this book simply follows Cole and Mara discovering each other while also coming to the realization that Shaw is dangerous. Cole would love to kill Shaw, but its a delicate process, as there is a slew of murdered women and it isn’t Shaw that the law enforcement is focused on, it’s Cole. He has to handle this very delicately. Also, he needs Mara to understand that neither of them is safe while he is alive. Because Shaw is obsessed with taking Mara away from Cole and Cole will do anything to protect the woman that he is coming to love. In this story, we see how the lines of morality become blurred as these two survivors learn what it means to embrace themselves, fully without reservation.

I used to be Mara the victim. Mara the damaged. Mara the disposable. The day I met Cole, I was dying. Maybe I did die. Through Cole, I was reborn. Now I’m Mara the artist. Mara the star. Mara the unbreakable. Only Cole could make this possible. He wants to be the center of my universe. I want that, too. I want to worship him as the Egyptians worshipped their gods. I want to pray to him for help and protection. I want to give him my mind, body, and soul. 

What a powerful story that Sophie Lark has cultivated in this book. I have read quite a few duets before and they do have a similar format. But I respected how this story truly was handled. And as these are the first two books I have truly ADORED from this author, I was on such a reading high from reading this one. I absolutely couldn’t get enough of Cole and Mara. I just wanted to stay in this story forever and I didn’t want to let go of Cole and Mara and see their building relationship blossom. There are so many beautiful moments that build upon their intimacy. We see both Cole and Mara grow in different ways, and it shows how well they complement each other. And what a villain that adds so much delicious angst within the plot. He definitely is one of my favorite villains I have had a chance to read in a romance.

The man who never cared about anyone is fixated on the girl nobody gave a shit about. In some twisted way, we’re made for each other.

Overall I have to say that this duet was packed with everything I expect and am endeared in reading romance, it’s a story of self-discovering and connection even in the darkest of moments.

That’s what loving her means—I want her safe, protected, flourishing, whether it benefits me or not.

Book Details

Title: There Are No Saints

Author: Sophie Lark

Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Length: 350 Pages

Book Details

Title: There Is No Devil

Author: Sophie Lark

Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Length: 332 Pages

Book Evaluation

There Are No Saints

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.75

Character Development: 4.5

Writing Style: 4.5

World Building 5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 5

Pacing 5

Plot 5

Cover Art 5

Ending 5

Book Evaluation

There Is No Devil

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.75

Character Development: 5

Writing Style: 5

World Building 5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 5

Pacing 4.5

Plot 5

Cover Art 4.5

Ending 5

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

About The Author

Sophie Lark is an Amazon Bestselling author who writes intense, intelligent romance, with heroines who are strong and capable, and men who will do anything to capture their hearts. She lives with her husband, two boys, and baby girl in the Rocky Mountain West.

She has a slight obsession with hiking, bodybuilding, and live comedy shows. Her perfect day would be taking the kids to Harry Potter World, going dancing with Mr. Lark, then relaxing with a good book and a monster bag of salt and vinegar chips.

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13 Comments

  1. Ann Lorz

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of her before. I’m not sure what I would think about this one. I’m glad that even though you’ve had a tough time with her books before you were able to get into this one. I’ve had that happened to me and sometimes they end up being a favorite author.

    Reply
    • Lover of Romance

      Yeah, this type of duet isn’t going to be for everyone that is for sure. So unless you like the dark romance genre I actually wouldn’t recommend it. Yeah, I do hope she ends up becoming a favorite because I just love her as a person.

      Thanks for stopping by Ann

      Reply
  2. Mary Kirkland

    I haven’t read these but they sound like a good books.

    Reply
    • Lover of Romance

      Yeah they are all over Instagram right now though haha but I haven’t seen them anywhere else.

      Reply
  3. Nadene

    I am so glad this one was a hit for you after disappointments with some of the author’s previous work.

    Reply
  4. Sophie

    These seems to be perfect books for romance readers Renee!

    Reply
  5. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    Yay. I am glad you enjoyed this so much. It is so hard when you like a person but not their books. This is new to me, but I love the idea of redeeming the bad boy.

    Reply
  6. Natalie

    Have I told you that I love what you’ve done to the blog? It’s such a unique experience. I visit a ton of romance blogs and NONE look like this 🙂

    I’ve never tried this author before, but again, your words make me want to try something new! 🌺

    Reply
    • Lover of Romance

      Oh you are so NICE!!! Thank you for saying that Natalie I appreciate it so much. It was definitely my plan to do something completely different with the site and something completely unique. I can definitely see this author being one that you would enjoy greatly.

      Reply
  7. Sophia Rose

    Love seeing how the heroine really grew and came to shine throughout the story. The two books really gave the story plenty of space to develop. Great pair of reviews, Renee!

    Reply
    • Lover of Romance

      Yes I definitely loved how developed the characters became in this one, it was the top highlight of the story.

      Reply
  8. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Sophie Lark seems to be super hot right now! This duet gets so much attention on Booktube. I’ve read a few excerpts and while I don’t think Lark’s writing style is for me, the premise of the duet is really intriguing. So glad these were a hit for you!

    Reply

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