I bought “Vicious” last year when I first read another blogger’s review for it. I think. However, I didn’t get into it as I was still sloooooowly ploughing thru my backlog of TBR books, and the next thing I knew, “Defy” was being advertised EVERYFREAKINWHERE I go. I tried to buy the anthology where it was originally published – something called Hot Teachers – but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, I waited. And waited. And waited, until “Defy” was released independently on January 31st, 2017. That’s when I pounced and savored both books.
First, let me tackle “Defy.” I’ll kid you not. It’s very reminiscent of Mary Kay Letorneau, except it’s not as vomit-inducing. I know. I know. MKL is the face of a convicted child rapist. A female at that! IMO, she’s not right in the head. I put her current husband in the same category. “Defy,” though? It stars an 18-year-old boy/man who sets out to seduce his high school English Lit teacher, Ms. Melody Greene. They’ve had sparks going on between them for quite some time already, but thank goodness Ms. Greene had the presence of mind and a ton of personal ethics not to go after her student before he turned legal (and she was romantically unattached to anyone else). Thus, I find Melody and Jaime Followhill’s story hot, sexy, wonky, risky, crazy, and romantic all at the same time. It really helped that Ms. Shen made Jaime the instigator of his taboo relationship with Melody. It also helped that the “Sinners of Saints” series, from which these two books come, remind me of one of my all-time favorite the Japanese manga, Boys Over Flowers, except that Jaime and his three friends, Vicious, Dean, and Trent, call themselves the HotHoles and not F4.
Secondly, let’s talk about Vicious. Oh Em Gee. This one was different. Like, DIFFERENT. The hero, Baron “Vicious” Spencer, a.k.a. Vic, is a grade-A a$$hole. Plus he’s a lawyer, too, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, but apparently, is too much a bad guy that he also semi-practices labor law, wherein he authored his company’s standard labor contract to include a clause where he and his friends can just fire anyone at will. With no rhyme or reason. Just because he can. If Vicious were a real guy, then he’d be Donald Trump.
I digress. Vicious is not Trump-like. He’s sexy, for god’s sake. Just behold that weed-smoking book cover model! Plus his hair was not described as a dead animal on top of a man’s head. And he’s not colored orange. In fact, he’s described as pale white with black hair. #Sizzle
While Vicious came upon his nickname justly, he’s likable. How?
Trust me, though. A$$hole he may be, but he’s all about his Emilia. Even from their high school years. He had driven her away from her family, her first boyfriend (who just happens to be one of his best friends, Dean), and her life. However, in the end, he redeems himself and proves it worth Emilia’s time and love. It can be subtitled “Lé Sigh” – that’s how good it is. In fact, that’s how good BOTH of these L.J. Shen books are.