What do you do when your whole life is played out as atonement for someone else’s mistakes?
Lola has spent her life in the shadow of her older brother, until one day he does the unforgiveable and is disowned from the family. Now she feels as if her parents are putting pressure get married, have children, and live the perfect life to wash away the guilt they harbor for her brother’s mistakes. She’s completely set against it, and refuses to ever fall in love. Until Drake Thomas knocks on her door.
What do you do when the one person you trust the least is yourself?
Ever since Drake was a boy he’s been alone. That was the way he wanted it. His father was abusive and when Drake witnessed him beating his mother one day, he learned that he holds the same kind of anger inside of him as his father. Terrified that he’ll one day become the man who ruined his life, he stays away from relationships of any kind.
Will they be able to move past their misconceptions about themselves and each other, or will they learn that not only can they love, but together they are stronger? Only the Universe knows.
Read the Prologue for Dark Universe
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It's been some time since I've read Devon Herrera's Sapphire Universe and, even though I recall loving the story, it was the minor details of the narrative that escaped my mind. After reading just one page of the follow-up novel, Dark Universe, I remembered exactly why I love the author's writing, which has an effortless quality, inviting the reader to return to the comfort of familiar characters. Some books take time to capture my interest, but this one had me hooked from the moment each protagonist is introduced. The romantic relationship between the book’s main characters, Lola and Drake, has previously been introduced in the first book, but Dark Universe backtracks to fill in all the missing pieces.
Although Drake provides sporadic narration, it is Lola who narrates the majority of the book, which was perfectly fine with me because I absolutely love her character. I have to say that she's one of the most enjoyable heroines I've had the pleasure of reading about because I never knew what to expect from her, especially since half the words that come out of her mouth are purposely said for shock value. Lola is a brazen, blunt, and make-no-apologies kind of girl, which translates to a fun narrator. She's already proven herself to be a strong and fiercely loyal friend to former protagonist, Nina, but this book offers a different view of her, exposing her vulnerabilities and inner desires once Drake enters the picture.
Such a feisty heroine deserves a strong willed hero and Drake doesn't disappoint. His character is more of a wildcard, with a troubled past and a closed off attitude. Drake's a bit of a mystery and is oftentimes frustratingly vague but understandably so. Drake’s views about life and love are just as jaded as Lola’s, making them an unlikely match, yet their chemistry is undeniable. Theirs is a somewhat strange relationship characterized by playful and snarky bickering at work and steamy encounters between the sheets. Who needs terms of endearments when you can have sarcastic comments? The unconventional romance works for their characters’ personalities.
Although Dark Universe would be categorized as part of the New Adult genre, there are elements of action and suspense that distinguish this story as something more than your typical NA Romance. There is a bit of a twist added into the plot, but it's one that's set up early in the story so the reveal wasn't so much of a shock. While I knew it would be an issue, the more pressing concern dealt with the romance between Lola and Drake, which starts as a casual, physical relationship and evolves into something deeper. Dark Universe isn't so much a sequel as it is a companion novel to Sapphire Universe, with the two narratives running almost parallel to each other for much of the book, and I loved getting to re-experience past events in a new light and getting to experience Drake and Lola’s journey to happily ever after.
Rating: 5 Stars
I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming and work for the Wyoming Department of Revenue. I'm a wife to a U.S. Army Soldier and mother to a beautiful 4 year old little girl. In 2012 I had read about 300 books that year and had a ton of stories floating around in my head. I finally just sat down at the computer one day and starting writing. At first I had no intention of even telling anyone I was writing a book, I was just enjoying it. About ten chapters into it, I started to get really emotionally involved with my characters and decided to tell my family about it. They urged me to finish writing, and Sapphire Universe was born. I did some research and heard a little about self publishing. Despite all of my fears of rejection and failure, I decided to give my characters the chance to be heard, and self-published Sapphire Universe as an ebook. I plan on writing two more books in The Universe Series and have a few ideas for a Paranormal series. I love reading and writing and plan on doing both until I can no longer see or hold a pen.
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