Manuela’s Review of “Their Vicious Darling” by Nikki St. Crowe

By: Manuela Soares

Before getting into this, just a quick reminder that this is a dark romance/reverse harem fairy tale retelling, meaning that this is a smutty, smutty series that is not for everyone. There is a lot of sex in this book and in the series overall, so if reading that isn’t your thing, you should probably give these a pass.

“I’ve missed the light and I’ve missed the warmth, but both pale in comparison to you, Darling.” – Peter Pan, Ch. 4, Pg. 38 (Kindle Edition)

Pan has his Shadow back and the King of Neverland is once again whole, but not all is well in Neverland; there’s darkness afoot and a fight on its way.

Once you get past the prologue, this book picks up where the last ends. Peter’s been reunited with his Shadow and he and Vane are headed back to the treehouse. This book introduces a slew of new characters right from the start, the biggest of which is Croc (Roc), Vane’s brother. The prologue is in his POV as he’s traveling to Neverland with the Darkland royal family, who not only want their lands Death Shadow back – the shadow that Vane carries – but they’re in league with Tilly, the current Fairy Queen who wants Peter dead. All of these characters end up in a pretty good battle in the end with the Neverland crew.

“Women fascinate me. They are almost always underestimated, which makes them potentially some of the most lethal opponents.” – Peter Pan, Ch.10, Pg. 67 (Kindle Edition)

As I mentioned in my last review, The Dark One ended with Winnie and Neverland’s Death Shadow somehow merging. That comes to light not quite halfway through the book when Winnie goes feral because of the Shadow and kills the Darkland Queen and its princess. Honestly, even with everything that happens in this book, Winnie’s character development is pretty good. Despite being a main character in this series, she was relatively blah in the first two books, but in this one, with the addition of the Death Shadow, Winnie has some pretty badass moments. There’s a line towards the end, during a battle when she fully embraces the Death Shadow and says “Because I am Winnie Fucking Darling and no man will steal my power.” Just after this, she beats up some guards and jumps off a high rock to save Vane, after the Darkland Shadow was ripped from him by the last of the Darkland royals, inadvertently splitting the Dark Shadow with him.

Much like the first two books, this one was fast-paced and easy to read. This one clocks in at 237 pages (in the Kindle edition), so you can easily get through it in one sitting if you have a few hours to spare. What’s different here though, is that this one is more plot with smut, rather than smut with plot like the first two. It definitely fleshed the story out as a whole and added to the world-building and character strengths.

Overall, this was pretty good, it was another quick and fun read. The main story line is interesting, there was some more world-building – well world explaining at least – (which I love), the characters show growth and the interactions are better (also love), and it’s got one hell of a cliff hanger that’s sure to make book 4 a great series finale. It’s certainly got me wanting the next and last book in this series.

This review will also be posted on Fathoms Amidst the Lines and Goodreads.

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