Review: “Bastards and Scapegoats” by Coralee June

Author: Coralee June

Series: Twisted Legacy Duet, #1

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫  | Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Tropes: Forbidden Romance, Dark Romance, Erotic Romance, Angsty, Romantic Suspense

Trigger/Content Warnings: Mention of cheating, physical abuse, sexual abuse and drug use

Release Date: November 25th, 2020

Goodreads | (Available on KU)

Synopsis: The first time I saw Hamilton, he was balls deep in one of the bridesmaids at my mother’s wedding.

He was lethal. Handsome. Cruel. Twisted.

I was drawn to him like fists to glass. We had an angry sort of relationship. There was nothing kind about the broken man that stole my heart and crushed it in his fist. He was all sharp edges. One touch could ruin me. One kiss could end our happy little family.

When my mother married Joseph Beauregard, son of the governor of Connecticut, I never imagined I’d fall in love with my stepfather’s younger brother. I never imagined I’d uncover the truth about his family’s bloody legacy.

Hamilton escaped with scars to his name and a ruined reputation. And now? I wanted out, too. I guess the scandal of our relationship was the least of our family’s problems.

Review: I should have known from the blurb and the name of the duet that this book was going to be deliciously twisted and all kinds of crazy. And I also didn’t realise just how much I’d love it. Starting off, I thought it was going to be a bully romance and I was almost ready to give it up because it’s a genre that does not appeal to me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the book, the story and the characters. Coralee June sucked me in right from the start. Also, it’s important to note that this is just the first part in a duet, so there’s a bit of a cliffhanger with lots of unanswered questions.

Told through Vera, Bastards and Scapegoats follows her life now that her mother has married into a famous political family. Her mother has had a string of failed relationships till she meets Joseph Beauregard. And after a surprise pregnancy, they are getting hitched. And it’s the wedding of the season! And this wedding is where Vera and Hamilton meet. Hamilton is the younger (and illegitimate) brother of Joseph, so obviously he’s the black sheep and people hold that against him firmly. Vera’s first meeting with Hamilton is a little more than she’d like, but it sets the tone for their relationship going forward.

“Wanting Hamilton Beauregard was like standing outside in the middle of a lightning storm while holding a tall metal rod in your fist. There was a thrill in the risk of getting struck by lightning.”

While I was very skeptical about Hamilton throughout the book, I absolutely adored Vera. She’s been handed a terrible life and she’s been treated badly by people around her, but she continues to hold her head up and push through. Even when her own mother says cruel things to her and the paparazzi track her down, she pushes through. All the struggles she’s gone through have made her strong and that makes her an incredible character. I loved her tenacity, her heart and just….literally everything. One of my favourite heroines this year, without a doubt. She’s so brilliant and you can feel her pain, which is saying a lot since she’s going through so much through the entire book.

“I’m going to pluck you to pieces. I’m going to chew on your thorns. I’m going to breathe in your sweet scent, clutch you in my fist and ruin you, Petal.”

The chemistry is also explosive. As you’d expect in a book of this genre. Hamilton’s pursual of Vera sometimes borders on stalking and frustrating, but the chase is somehow really hot and distracting. It truly does distract you from all the other ugliness going on around them. There’s a lot about their relationship that cannot be disclosed, for fear of giving away spoilers, but just know that Vera and Hamilton are incredible together. She’s not some naive debutante, but she’s also not as experienced as Hamilton. And somehow, they find a way to make it work. With him, Vera really does unravel and become more herself. Between FaceTime calls and text messages and physical encounters, I can promise you that you’re going to need a cold shower afterwards.

Bastards and Scapegoats have lots of twists and turns and expected reveals and I have to admit that I was caught off guard a few times. I truly loved Coralee June’s storytelling style, it’s clean and clear and it gives you a perfect idea of every character, every scene and every inch of this book. I cannot wait to see how Vera and Hamilton’s story continues in Thorns and Forgiveness!

Thanks to Coralee June and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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