This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
Once Upon A Time,
there was a wicked girl.
She lost everything that mattered,
causing darkness to unfurl.
Impulsive and intelligent,
she helped her family name grow strong.
But then one day a man without a heart came along.
An undercover agent, meant to spy and bring back tips.
Following down her hidden path of faded yellow bricks.
She hated him, he wanted her;
she was too good to be true.
But a woman can be great…
and terrible too.
Wretched is a dark contemporary romance and the third complete standalone in The Never After Series: A collection of fractured fairy tales inspired by our favorite villains. It is not fantasy and it is not a retelling. Reader discretion is advised.
But if I’m her calm, then she is my chaos, and if I can’t live with her forever, then I don’t want to live at all.
This is a book that is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and after reading the first two books of the series, I really loved what the author created with this series. There was a TON of hype surrounding this book, especially on bookstagram. It is a more unique retelling, this is where we have a “Wizard of Oz” theme to it, it’s not a straight-up retelling, but I was really intrigued by how this author was writing this series here. I really wanted to see more of what this author would deliver in this story. Now I won’t lie in that I was nervous as the author had written a heroine that is the villain (kinda). But honestly, I felt like its very rare for a anti-heroine to work for me, but i did like it for the most part even though it didn’t quite work as much as I had hoped for. I do think that this book is a bit overhyped, in my opinion,. While I liked it overall, the first book “Hooked” still wins for me.
Let me be your calm in the chaos, pretty girl.
Nick and Evie are from two different worlds, but they meet one night in a club and share some passionate interactions and even though they are complete strangers, they live that night together, just embracing the passion they have for each other. But reality wakes them up when they are reunited with each other. Nick is working undercover, to bring down a drug cartel and his focus is the family that Evie is a part of. Her father is the king of the underworld or at least his section of it Her older sister was killed and ever sine Evie hasn’t been the same. Her sister Dorothy, is the evil sister and has her father’s heart. And even though Evie sacrifices so much for the family, she is still viewed as second best. She is the daughter that does the dirty work and is still given the least amount of information. Evie lives for the poetry and her gardens and secret places she hides from the world. Even though Nick’s focus is to be drawn in by Dorothy, as she is the flighty sister, there is something in Evie that he can’t resist. Even knowing she is probably the villain and there is no happy ever after in their future, he can’t resist what she gives to him and the love that is starting to build between them despite how forbidden their relationship is.
“How can someone so fucking beautiful be so goddamn bad?”
What I Loved
This book just kicked booty, there is so much to unpack here. I really do feel that this story will be one that most dark romance readers will really get a kick out of. Because normally when it comes to anti-main characters, we always see it in the hero and just rarely in the heroine. I did enjoy what we get from Evie, she is such a badass but also has her share of vulnerabilities as well. My heart just ached for her, she wanted to be a part of the family, and she missed her older sister who was killed, and she has a heart of a poet. There are quite a few redeemable qualities to her. Then we have Nick, who is quite divided in how he feels. He has his duty to the law but at the same time, he can’t deny what he feels for Evie. I really enjoyed seeing how this author handled the forbidden nature of their relationship and how they gain their HEA was such a beautiful wrap-up to this angsty love affair of a romance. This is definitely a dark romance so please know that going into it before reading it. However, if you like dark romance and are intrigued by the series, I can’t recommend these books enough and they easily read as standalone. And the quirky connections that we have to the Wizard of Oz were such a delight. We NEED more authors that are willing to write these uncommon retellings because I was all for this and I might have been wanting to listen to the soundtrack for this classic while reading, not going to lie. I also think the way that this author handles her layers of plot and character build-up was quite impressive. I was so hooked on this story and intrigued to see where she would take this story.
“I lie with her, and she with me.” He pauses, and then suddenly his tongue is on me, swirling in small circles around the sensitive nerves. I whimper, heat shooting down my legs. His tongue disappears. “And in our faults by lies we flattered be.”
What I Struggled With
There were a few aspects to this story that I will admit that I did struggle with. I was split into two with the heroine. I wanted to love her but at the same time she is CRAZY and a bit unhinged at times. She does know how to take care of herself, but I was torn on her character because yeah this book did push my limits “Morality wise” and while I love that in dark romance, it definitely took me to the edge of what I normally enjoy. I also felt that this romance was not as connecting as the previous two books. While there is plenty of chemistry, the actual intimacy part that I love to see in a romance was missing. And I definitely wanted more of those small moments between Nick and Evie.
I found Wretched to be a badass dark romance that will stretch the limits of your morality, open your eyes to hidden depths, and will fascinate you with the connections to the Wizard of Oz. It’s a magical dark edgy romance that will get your blood to pump and your heart to race and keep you enthralled from beginning to end.
There’s no one like family, Evie, and there’s no place like home. We have to stick together.
Author: Emily Mcintire
Genre: Dark Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Length: 281 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 4
Story Itself: 4
Character Development: 4
Writing Style: 4
World Building 4
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4
Cover Art 5
Overall Rating of the Book
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.
Triggers/Warnings of Content:
Bullying, Violence, Death of a family member.
Hooked-Pub 2021-#1 in Series
Scarred-Pub 2022-#2 in Series
Wretched-Pub 2022 #3 in the Series
Emily McIntire is an Amazon Top 20 best selling author of painful, messy, beautiful romance. She doesn’t like to box herself into one subgenre, but at the core of all her stories is soul deep love.
A long time songwriter and an avid reader, Emily has always had a passion for the written word, and when she’s not writing you can find her waiting on her long lost Hogwarts letter, chasing her crazy toddler, or lost between the pages of a good book.