Review #275

Master of Salt & Bones is a dark/modern gothic contemporary standalone romance. I gave this a generous 4.0/5 stars. Sometimes it felt more like a psychological thriller/almost erotica. At times I couldn’t determine what was real and what was a hallucination which felt part of the point. I thought Isa had a boring personality and enjoyed Lucian’s chapters more.

Here is the blurb:

When I was a little girl, I dreamed a handsome knight would come and rescue me from my wretched mother. He’d ride up on his white steed and break the curse I’ve been fated to carry since the day I was born.

Funny how things changed over time. How the fairy tale twisted into something far more crooked, darker than I ever imagined.

In reality, my knight is scarred and broken, living alone in a castle of bones that overlooks the sea. He isn’t searching for me. He never was.

Lucian Blackthorne is as cursed as I am, and equally shunned by the locals, the fishers of men, who believe him to be the devil in the flesh.

Perhaps he is, with the way his amber eyes draw me in, ignite me like an infernal blaze. And the sins he whispers in my ear are as wickedly intoxicating as the man himself.

Yet, his touch is heaven and his will is my weakness.

He calls us forbidden, an unsalvageable tragedy, with no happy end. Maybe we are. But in this story, he’s the one who needs saving.

After finishing the voice of the blurb didn’t feel to match the voice of the novel, but blurbs are devils to write. So I get it.

Here are my live thoughts while reading:

I’m a little confused by the prologue. What did she mean female child predators? A child being the predator or someone preying on female children? And was she insinuating that Lucian is a predator because it’s “15 years ago” which means he sounds like a child himself. And why would his mom say that if she’s also crying from the situation. Is she cruel or grieving?

So Izzy is desperate enough to start a new job and work for Lucian’s family at his “castle” even though there’s extensive rumors that he’s cursed and dangerous. She even has to sign a contract and let’s hope she didn’t sign away her soul!

Lucian at age 16 has such a distinct and realistic male teen voice that I’m not sure how a female author pulled off! It’s impressive.

Alrighty, so it sounds like this is a steamy Phantom of the Opera slash Beauty and the Beast slash BDSM. The scene in the cave was a new unique take on being handcuffed and in danger while climaxing! Phew 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶

I’m 100 pages in and the two main characters haven’t had much time together. I’m hoping for them to be in the same room more often soon and interact more.

So far, I really like that all of Lucian’s POV chapters are from 16 years ago. So not only do we have dual POV but also dual timelines.

By chapter 19 I’m starting to get a little bored and need more to happen. Right now a bunch of the same things keep happening and there’s no forward momentum.

Well…Solange made me un-bored

Oh my. Wait. What’s been a hallucination and what’s been real?

So the aversion therapy being torture is a bit disturbing. It’s not BDSM if the participant isn’t willing so I wish there were trigger warnings to prep me for the type of book I was getting into. The cover had me guessing a darker Phantom of the Opera love story.

Cocaine? Where is this book going…?

So… after chapter 24, this is dark psychology and is messed up lol.

So at page 200 the two main characters have had maybe 30 seconds of on page time together/interactions. At this point I’m not invested at all in them as a couple or what they do or don’t do. The only plot hook keeping me going is to learn if he’s insane with the hallucinations or if they were real. I feel as is Isadora is a flat character and boring. The story revolves around Lucian and his mental state.

On page sex with another woman from his past that’s not the heroine feels unneeded. Is that supposed to make me like him more or less? Do other readers enjoy the sex scene just because it’s erotica without any major purpose behind it?

Their age gap feels a bit much of 19 and 33. He’s almost twice her age.

Ugh at the halfway mark idk if I wanna keep going. Like it’s creepily messed up but I just wanna see where it goes. Very conflicted.

Well a few chapters later the on screen sex from earlier now makes sense with the forced marriage.

Loved this line: “The way your body responds to my touch. Like the strings of a piano when the hammer strikes it. Every note of a song that I write. A song you keep begging me to play.”

Why would a 2 year old make that choice though? What would interest him in it? Something seems off. It seems purposeful.

Then Nell. Nope. Something is up. It’s obvious. But who and why?

I didn’t like Lucian’s visit to that factory of research studies that he funds.

Why would Giulia tell Isa all of that if the last time it didn’t go well?

Why did Isa’s aunt keep all that from her just to tell her the truth when it’s too late?

In chapter 62, I’m not sure why the confrontation ended so quickly. Who is on whose side?

So I’ve never understood the concept of the villain explaining everything they’ve done and why. But I guess the reader needs it. I’m glad to have all the answers but the conversation felt forced.

The ending was satisfying for the overall story. I have to admit, I’m kind of relieved it’s over. It’s not a story I would’ve wanted to keep going. And if there was a sequel, I wouldn’t have purchased it. Yet, I did keep reading through the end after the point of being unsure. The reader had me hooked enough but there was too much violence for me.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: