Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Bully Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2018
In the power struggle between two elite groups, one feisty girl will bring them to their knees…
Life is a cruel game where only the most ruthless survive. It’s a truth my mother rebelled against, and she paid for it with her life. Now, I play their game. Publicly accepting the destiny that lies in wait for me when I turn eighteen.
But, behind closed doors, I plot my escape.
Trent, Charlie, and my twin, Drew, rule the hallways of Rydeville High with arrogance and an iron fist. I execute my role perfectly, hating every second, but they never let me forget my place in this world.
Everyone obeys the rules. They have for generations. Because our families have always been in control.
Until Cam, Sawyer, and Jackson show up. Throwing their new money around. Challenging the status quo. Setting hearts racing with their gorgeous faces, hot bodies, and bad boy attitudes.
Battle lines are drawn. Sides are taken. And I’m trapped in the middle, because I made a mistake one fateful night when I gave my V-card to a stranger in a blatant F you to my fiancé.
I thought it was the one thing I owned. A precious memory to carry me through each dark day.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Because the stranger was Camden Marshall, leader of the new elite and my perpetual tormenter. He hates me with a passion unrivaled, and he won’t be the only one. Fire will rain down if the truth is revealed, threatening alliances, and the power struggle will turn vicious.
My life will hang in the balance.
But I’ll be ready, and I’m not going down without a fight.
Cruel Intentions is a novel set in high school, though its themes and content are not high school age appropriate. Trigger warnings for sexual assault, attempted rape, rape, physical and mental abuse.
Cruel Intentions is a bully romance. I’m not usually a fan of bully romances, so I was hoping Davis would change my mind. Unfortunately, she did not.
Cruel Intentions follows Abby as she navigates the treacherous water that is coming from a founding family of her town. Her future has been decided for her based on the needs of her father and his company. There are rules to be followed and everyone knows the consequences when those rules are broken until new players show up.
As I mentioned previously, Cruel Intentions does not shy away from its content like other novels with a similar storylines (The Royals by Erin Watt for example). The scenes are graphic and gut-wrenching at some points. This makes the stakes the characters are contending with more real and the situations more sinister.
Abby and the main love interest, Cam, have a complicated and fraught connection. It’s apparent from the beginning of the novel that this relationship will be dark, complex, and disturbing. Both Abby and Cam bring a lot of baggage to the relationship, so it’s only natural that their connection be difficult. Had Davis not steered into the darker aspects of their connection, their relationship wouldn’t feel genuine or earned. What I enjoyed most about this pairing were the glimpses of a healthy relationship that peak through. These moments are far and few between, but they make an impact.
There are so many twists and turns in the last half of the novel that I had a hard time keeping up. Some of the reveals land perfectly while others needed more groundwork to justify their importance.
Overall, Cruel Intentions is an intense bully romance that will keep you glued to the pages as Davis sets up a twisted social society and the secrets that support it.
***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book