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They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.


I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**

418 pages, Paperback

First published May 9, 2014

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E.K. Blair

25 books3,116 followers

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5 stars
5,292 (49%)
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Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,674 followers
September 8, 2016
No rating (I did finish the book)

My immediate reactions after finishing the book:



This is another one of those times where I honestly don’t know how to rate a book. I could be a bitch and rate it 2 stars because I didn’t really enjoy it, or I could be lazy and just rate it 5 stars because I thought it was brilliantly written and ignore the other not-so-pleasant feelings running through my head. But I’m not going to do either – I’ll just write what I thought & felt and you can decide if this is the kind of book you want to read.

But if I HAD to rate this book, here is an in-depth rating breakdown (1-5 scale):

Writing: 5
Story: 2
Emotion: 1
Concept: 5
Steam: 3
Believability: 1
Nina (main character): 0
Bennett (Nina’s husband): 5
Pike (Nina’s foster brother): 0
Declan (someone important Nina meets): 3

Book Summary & Plot details

This book blurb seriously is so freaking vague!! And the reviews are so freaking vague!! I can definitely see why it’s completely necessary to go in blind, but I think there are some things worth mentioning - none of these are spoilers, just really general information that’ll help give you an idea of what the book is about.

- I have to stress this point first – NO WAY is this a romance! The book completely revolves around Nina’s character, so there really is no “couple” or “hero.” There are three men whose lives are closely entwined with hers: Bennett (her husband), Pike (her foster brother), and Declan (someone very important she meets). I’ll explain more about each later. Any kind of love that does appear in this book isn’t meant to romanticize the story; it’s there to prove an ugly point.

- When Nina was five years old, she had someone very precious taken away from her, and as a result was thrown into the foster care system. She finally ends up in Carl and Bobbie’s house (her longtime foster parents) and it’s there she meets the other foster kid, Pike. He’s the quintessential bad boy and when the going gets tough (especially with bastard guardians like Carl and Bobbie) he’s there for her. Anyways, Nina and Pike are forever fucked up because of their foster parents. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

- Nina’s married to Bennett BUT she hates his guts. You’ll find out later how Bennett was indirectly responsible for why Nina had to go through the foster care system.

- Nina’s out for revenge against Bennett and she meets Declan, the perfect someone to carry out her vengeance plan. Only, she doesn’t expect to actually feel something for this guy. She’s torn – revenge for her past or pursue a possible love for her future?

My thoughts

I didn’t enjoy this book one bit. I felt completely miserable. I will concede that it is brilliantly written and it must’ve taken a lot out of the author to write what she did – I mean how could she keep track of it all?? However, I hated the female lead – she didn’t have a single redeeming quality. Her reasoning for the revenge? It is COMPLETELY wacked up – she’s targeting the wrong guy! But I suppose part of the reason this book is considered to be such a mindfuck is because she genuinely believes that Bennett is the antagonist.

Anyways, you should know that I’m not the kind of reader who thinks that if an author stirs any kind of emotion – love, hate, confusion, etc… - it’s a sign that he/she succeeded and I should rate the book 5 stars for making me feel. No. What if a book makes me feel sick to my stomach and I think there’s nothing redeeming about the character(s)? That’s not positive at all and quite frankly, a 4 or 5 star rating doesn’t reflect those thoughts. I was constantly wavering between:

A) Obtain a physical copy so I can burn the book
B) Hug the book tight because you don’t come across this kind of story every day

The only part of the book I can say that I was truly, utterly impressed with was the ending – I saw it as both a cliffhanger and closure. It ends in a way where I’m not really sure if Nina will be making an appearance in the next book, but regardless of that matter, I feel strangely liberated, like I’m glad this one giant rollercoaster ride came to an end. Much like the characters in this book, I’m constantly jumping from love to hate when it comes to my feelings for this story. Will I be on the lookout for book 2? Well…when a book ends the way it did here, you just kinda have to read the next one.
Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,119 followers
May 21, 2014
Oh my GOD!

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Talk about blown away and traumatised!! This is actually my first read by EK Blair and I was really keen to try her work I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how profoundly this book affected me. It was totally not what I was expecting but that’s not a bad thing – very few books have the ability to grip and consume me quite like this one and to truly shock me. And this one’s a shocker!! It’s bold, it’s brave and it’s completely addictive. Once you’ve begun, it’s almost impossible to put it down.

I finished it late at night with that final, devastating word echoing in my head – traumatised, bewildered and really rather shocked. I attempted to sleep but this stalked my dreams, refusing to release it’s hold on me. Even now, days later, it’s resonating loud and clear in my imagination. Bang is not easily forgotten! It’s a dark and twisted and very challenging tale of revenge and hatred, Everyone here is either being played or is a player and nothing and no one is what they seem to be and everything is shrouded in intrigue.

I strongly believe that it’s very important to experience this book just as the author intends so I’ll keep the summary very brief. You really need to go in blind and just let the whole experience take you and lead you far down a very dark path with nothing to guide you. You don’t read this book – you experience it!

We start with Nina, beautiful wife of Bennett, a very rich and successful businessman. They’ve been married for a few short years and Bennett is a loving, attentive and caring husband. We also have Declan, a deliciously kinky Scotsman and business associate of Bennett and also Pike, a man from Nina’s past. Nina has an agenda, a darkly twisted plan for vengeance that is slowly revealed as the story progresses.

I was able to feel really very strong sympathy for all four main characters. These are all good people but they are all victims of circumstance. None of them deserves the pain and agony that EK Blair unleashes upon them and part of the trauma of reading this book is the shocking chain of events set in motion by Nina’s ill-conceived plan – everyone here is undeserving of their fate. Nina is a woman completely destroyed by her awful past and it’s easy to understand her motives even if you think they’re wrong. Not many who’ve endured what she has would even be sane today. Is Nina sane? I’ll leave you to mull that one over once you’ve finished the book.

So, the story is told in a dual timeline – the present and the past. It’s not clear how these two lines converge and set Nina on her destructive path for a long time but each story is wholly compelling. Each time EK Blair left the past and returned to the present, I really wanted to stay to learn more and vice versa. I found myself galloping through these plotlines with horror as the story unfolds. Nina’s past is a dark and harrowing place full of extreme sadness and horror and abuse with Pike being the only light in a dark world for her. He was her shining beacon, her only hope and it’s not hard to understand the strong loyalty she feels towards him. I was completely unable to put this down as Nina’s past is revealed in agonising, poignant, heart-breaking detail.

And now, in the present, as a reader, I found myself experiencing a bad case of divided loyalties. I fully understood the bitterness and resentment that consumes Nina but her intended victims were all good people that I found myself also adoring and, as the plot hurtles towards its devastating conclusion, the word Nooooo screamed long and hard in my head.

It’s a really brave story line from EK Blair, treading a path very few authors dare to take, and I don’t think many books that I read this year will be able to shock be quite like Bang did. it’s a dark and destructive story of vengeance from a woman consumed by hatred, resentment and bitterness – a woman who is closed off to all positive emotions that she can’t see true love, her one true chance of salvation, when it’s standing right in front of her.

Nina does really bad things to really good people and it;s conflicting experience to read this book – at once I felt deep sympathy and utter revulsion for her and shuddered at how she set her dastardly plan in motion. There are two more books planned for this series and the synopsis for book two isn’t even available yet. I tried to get it out of the author but she resolutely refused. Authors can be so evil! It’s hard to see where the story goes from here – any chance of happiness for any of these people seems to have been destroyed by the cataclysmic events of the last few chapters.

So, for an utterly consuming yet deeply shocking read, I can highly recommend Bang but all I can say is – BE PREPARED!

5 deeply shocking stars

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Profile Image for Vanessa Booked Up.
856 reviews379 followers
April 16, 2016
5+ Bangin' Stars!!!

OMG!!! I finished this book an hour ago and have been literally stunned into silence!!!!!

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I loved this book....I hated this book!!!!! I have never read anything like this! Dark, twisted, emotional, and the steam goes to a WHOLE new level of kink that I had never experienced! More than dominance... pure animalistic possession!! This is one of the best books that I have ever read in my entire life!!! The author does a fantastic job of conveying the true depravity of these characters. An excellent thriller that was IMPOSSIBLE to put down....believe me, I speak from experience!! A story of revenge vs. the possibility of finding love in the least likely of places. I was seeing fireworks, doves being freed, ocean waves crashing against the rocks all day long here....until about 98% when the rug got completely ripped out from under me (take a gander at my updates below)!

I am completely blown away and numb right now. Just Wow!! E.K. Blair's writing is incredible and this story is insanely bold, edgy, and imaginative! This author just went from a pretty good author in my book, to a straight up boss!! LOL!! She took some big time risks here and I commend her for doing so!


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Nina is kinda like a female Tony Rawlings and I LOVED her so much!!! She is a stone cold bitch at times and you will fear her, but at the same time, you will want to hug her and tell her that it will all be ok. With that being said though, don't try to pigeon hole this book in your head. I do that all the time, like oh that sounds just like this book or kinda like that book. Trust me, it is like NOTHING that you have ever read before!!! One of my now top three best dark books I have ever read!

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Mind= FUCKED to smithereens!!!!!

I really think that this was E.K. after she wrote this book!!

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That is all you're getting from me because it is so important to go into this book totally blind. I need to regroup now and maybe go cry!

Bang is one of those books that has reminded me why I love to read!!

Disclaimer - I do need more answers because the ending is a major WTF!?! I am going to assume that the outcome of a certain aspect of this ending went one way, and this review only applies under that assumption being a correct one. If the outcome of the ending went in the opposite direction of my assumption above, then no, not fair, and just no!!! Too much and I really wouldn't understand why someone would end a book that way and what the overall message or point would be. Not gonna lie, I will be downright pist and probably come back and give the book maybe 2 stars, although it will break my heart to do so!!! However, the more that I think about it, I really don't think this is the case. If this were a stand alone, maybe I would be more afraid, but it's a three book series. I know you have no idea what the hell I am talking about but this will all make perfect sense once you read this book!! ;)

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ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,818 reviews32.4k followers
July 8, 2020
3 BANG stars!!!


I am at a loss on what to say about this book… That was a wild ride. I can’t say I’ve read anything quite like this book. Some of these characters give the word ‘damaged’ and entirely different meaning. I can’t tell if I loved this book, liked it or hated it. My mind is still all over the place. I don't want to talk too much about the story, but I will talk about the characters.


No one can ever hurt you if you can’t feel, so I don’t.

Nina has turned off all her emotions. Thats how she gets through life. Her character is not likable most of the time. I did sympathize with her. She grew up in a terrible environment. Words can’t even describe how disturbing her childhood was. Now, she’s out for vengeance. It’s the only way she can cope with what happened. She needs to get revenge on the person she holds responsible… but at what cost?



There were parts at the beginning of the story I really loved Pike. As the story went on, not so much. Pike was the only person Elizabeth had as a child. He loved her, protected her and did whatever the could to help her. Now, he’s ‘helping’ her find her revenge. He taught her to be tough, to not count on anyone but him.
“Hard as steel, right?”


I liked Bennett a lot. He definitely got the short end of the stick in this story. As Nina’s husband, he is loving, compassionate and sweet. How can you not like this guy? I am very anxious to see what happens in the next book with Bennett.


Is Nina capable of love? If she is, this is the man that can bring out the emotions in her. I didn’t hate Declan, but I wasn’t a Declan lover like so many others. I actually liked Bennett better. However, Nina doesn't’ really deserve either of them. I can’t review this book without mentioning the biggest WtF moment (besides the ending). Does Declan really love Nina or did Nina really love Declan? I don’t know. I think its hard to truly love someone that keeps that much of themselves from you.
“I don’t believe in happiness. I don’t believe in anything anymore.”

“Believe in me.”


As I said before, I’m not sure if I loved or hated the story, but the writing was amazing, the characters were memorable, and as soon as the sequel comes out, I will be devouring it to see what it the actual fuck is going on! There were some moments I couldn’t believe the author went there.

I would like to say more about this story, but I’m still at a loss for words here. If you’re looking for a dark and extremely twisted read with a crazy ending, read this. Once you start, you won’t be able to put it down. You’ll have to know how it ends. Once you read the ending, you will want to hunt down the author because you’ll have a million and one questions and theories. It’s intense, dark and crazy!

**Just a little disclaimer- there is some content in this story that is difficult to read. I have a pretty strong stomach, but some of it really bothered me. Just a heads up. **
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
906 reviews1,082 followers
December 12, 2016
Review Updated

WARNING: This is a non-traditional M/F ROMANCE with a non-traditional ending. If you're under age 18, please think twice and then you read this book.

If you like to read dark / erotica / disturbing stories go ahead read this book, but trust me after you finished it you’ll never be the same person… But take that risk and give a chance this book.

First of all I wanna thank BRENDA. My sweet friend thank you so much for mentioning me this book… I read it and loved it so much. And congrats honey, you fucked my mind so bad!!! So thanks. :D

My God, what the hell I just read. It was like roller coster and when I finished the book I was totally fucked up so bad.. Last pages of the book just made me WOOOW! And when I read the last words of the book my hands were shaking… It was really good.

This book is about revenge, hating so much someone or life itself or every single living thing in this world. There were a lot bad I mean really, really bad things happened in this book. Abuse / Rape / BDSM etc. It was really hard to read cause this book is just not about HEA or fairytales. And don’t expect hearts & flowers type love story. It’s just so dirty and it was very disturbing to read…

By the way while I was reading this book I swear a lot to that monster… I couldn’t believe what I’m reading but when I take a deep breath and re-think again yeah there are living monsters in this world and they are real. And I’m gonna tell you some real thing about me, about my childhood and when I said to you I’ll never ashamed sharing this thing because I shouldn’t be the one who ashame of this bad memory, it was those monsters fault and they are the ones who ashamed of theirself. When I was a child, I was one of that victims. I was abused when I was 7 years old and I almost got raped but I got away very last minute. One of my older cousin saved me. Even after all those years you never forget something like this and when I read this book, those scenes felt so real. I mean my hands were shaking when I read those awful scenes… And I just want to say you if you abused / raped by someone, this is not your fault and please try to move on with your life. Try to get professional help, talk with your family / friends. Never let go yourself and never give a chance to win those monsters for what they did to you…

And if you’re wondering how I carry on living? I just choose to live, I buried my past and move on… And now here I am. I’m alive, still breathing and I’m a 31 years old grown up woman now. I’m married and I have a son. I know it’s not that easy or simple but pls trust me there is out there someone who will love you no matter what happened in your past. So please just breath in-out and go find that person. Pls never give up, NEVER EVER think give up! Cause we’re stronger than that monsters… :)

And I'm sure you'll think if I lived something awful things like that why am I reading this kind of stories. I don't have any good or reasonable answers for that but maybe I just wanna see that fictional characters will be happy no matter what bad things happen to themself or maybe I wanna see them never give up, carry on living their life or something like that... Maybe just like me, if they be patience enough they'll find happiness soon... :)

This is me while I was reading this book…

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,216 followers
December 15, 2014
AMAZING!!! There are not enough stars to give this book. E.K. Blair has created a literary masterpiece!

I won't even attempt to summarize the book contents, because I know that, without a doubt, I could never do it justice. It is a tragic, beautiful story and I've never read anything quite like it.

This book had me captivated from page 1 and had my rapt attention all the way to the end. I felt angry, sad, elated, shocked, enamored, conflicted and heartbroken while reading this book. You name an emotion, and I felt it at some point while reading this book.

Simply put, this book is a MUST-READ! Don't try to guess, or figure it out ahead of time, just read it. Trust me.
Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,263 followers
June 22, 2016
“The heart is a weapon—a self-inflicting weapon—that if not trained properly, can destroy a person.”

Bang is the first book in the Black Lotus Series. This is a dark and twisted read that will leave your mind spinning and your heart in a vice the entire time. I was on pins and needles from the very first moment until the very last!


Nina Vanderwal is an adoring housewife who lives a luxurious life in Chicago. Bennett, her loving spouse, does everything he can to keep his wife living comfortably. Together they have maintained a beautiful world. However, things are not always as they seem. Nina has a dark past. Bennett isn't the only man in Nina's life. She also has Pike. Pike plays a critical role in her life. He has been with her through every heartbreaking and horrific moment. Together they share an unbreakable bond. As if two men in the picture weren't enough, we also have Declan. Declan is the new man in Nina's life and will is a critical piece to the puzzle of Nina's BIG GAME.


Told in a dual time frame (both past and present), Bang was a complete "mind fuck". As a reader, I find comfort in grasping onto the "hero" in the read and focusing my attention and devotion to that main man. However, in this read, NINA is the only critical element. She is the queen. She is one complex character and as soon as one layer is peeled away another one richer and more complex layer is revealed. I felt the complete spectrum of emotions while living in this world. I felt passion, disgust, outrage, intrigue, and even pain. The dialogue is rich, and the tempo of the action was well paced the entire read.


Overall, I highly recommend Bang to anyone who likes a dark read with an intense subject matter. Although others might disagree with me, I would not categorize this as a dark romance but instead a psychological thriller. Even though I was quite mesmerized by this twisted tale, I haven't quite mustered up the strength to continue on to the next one in the series. But you never know....I might just venture back to this crazy place one of these days!

~This was a BR with my girl LOYDA!


*A copy was graciously provided via the publisher in exchange for an honest review!*

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Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,092 reviews798 followers
January 23, 2022
Writing - 4 stars I am only rating the writing because the rest is fucked up and I can't say I enjoyed it.


The writing kept me here. This is a book that you don't enjoy. You just take in the details of how fucked up life is. Because there are people who have lived and are still living Elizabeth and Pike's lives.

Daamn! This is the story of Elizabeth/Nina, told in her POv we see her being blinded by hate and on a revenge mission that honestly I didn't get. She is on a mission to destroy the person she thinks is responsible for her misserable childhood. Her reason for revenge was so underwhelming, I wish the author had a better explanation. She blames everyone but her dad and to an extent herself. But I can't fault her, she never got to experience childhood and deep down, Nina is still that 10 year old child who never grew up after her world was torn apart and she came face to face with monsters.

Nina/Elizabeth is a very unlikable character with no reedeming qualities, I guess the author wrote her this way so the reader couldn't get attached? because she is cray cray! Come to think of it, every character in this book is unlikable.


I know there is some sort of romantic relationship that Nina gets involved in with Declan. But I didn't feel it. She didn't need a Knight with a magic dick, she needed therapy, lots and lots of therapy.


Pike?? Lawd! This guy! I can't even explain him. Let's just say he is a survivor, a fucked up one.

The whole Foster Care system???? UGHHH!!! They always fail big time. Why do that even exist? Humans are horrible.

That's it! I don't think I will continue with this series and that ending! I call BS. Cop out!

Not recommended for the faint hearted.
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
622 reviews949 followers
August 17, 2015
"Sometimes, for some people, there's no such thing as happily ever after."

This book is dark, gritty, and completely hard to put down...

Picture this: You were still a child when your father-- who's the only family you had, was taken away from you and was put into prison. You grew up in a foster home and were eventually led to a new family that brought you an even more traumatic experience. You were raped, degraded, and your life became simply a thing you despise. And then you met someone who could possibly end all your rage. All your life, you wanted revenge and that someone is the key to have it all done. But what if everything, in the end, will just ruin you all over again? This was what happened to Nina Vanderwal, a totally messed-up character who wanted nothing but revenge as she grew up.

I've never read a book as dark as a dungeon as this. This author seriously nailed such a theme that basically blow my mind, wrenched my gut, and made my heart leap into my throat. The plotline was sickeningly outrageous that it kept me anticipating, wanting to know everything until I completely get the answers that are building up inside my head. How E.K. Blair plotted those brutal and sadistic series of events just made me admire her boldness in this very challenging genre.


The author created such characters that are totally twisted. It made me question how far their insanity has gone all throughout the book.

This book will absolutely make you go WTF the entire time. It's like the author just wanted to throw as much disturbing things in here. A combination of rape, BDSM, crime, deception, lies, taboo, and everything twisted. The writing style of this author successfully produced the intended result to me. MIND-BLOWN!

And oh, did I mention it has an ending that made me freak the heck out?

If you are in for dark, completely out-of-your-comfort-zone reads, then this one is a highly recommended book!

Rating: 4 Stars

Special thanks to my dear sister Bea for recommending this book to me! ;)
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,964 followers
October 16, 2014
*****FIVE STARS*****
(BR with Melissa)

This book was totally not what I expected.
I've never read any of E.K. Blair's books before, but after having read this one, I am definitely a HUGE fan of her now!
"Bang" is quite different from anything I have read before.
It's a story of incredible loss, despair, lust, revenge, the ugliness that people are capable of, and also hope & LOVE!!!

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Nina & Bennett Vanderwal have been married for several years. They are a very wealthy and powerful couple in Chicago.
Bennett is a doting husband, who caters to his wife's every whim.
They seem to be very happy, but looks can be deceiving.
For whatever reason, whenever they make love, Nina turns off her emotions. She feels dirty after they are together.
She turns to Pike, who is very close to her and connected to her through a very dark and disturbing past.
They are working a very elaborate con.

The Vanderwals meet Declan McKinnon at his Lotus hotel.
They plan to throw their annual New Year's party at the Lotus.
Almost instantly there is an attraction between Nina and Declan.
Don't think this is about cheating, because my friends, this SOOOOO IS NOT!!! HOLY SHIT!!

The story started off slow for me, and both Melissa and I were thinking what did we get ourselves into.
I wasn't feeling connections to any of the characters, especially our heroine, Nina.
But then, BAM, when we go back to her past, Oh My GOD, this woman has gone through the darkest and most horrendous things when she was just a little girl.
There were like four or five consecutive chapters from her past, that were so horrific, I really was almost wanting to walk away from this book. Thank God I had Melissa to hold my hand through it.
I don't advise reading this without a buddy.
I will just say, that this made me feel so much sympathy for Nina, and I was rooting for her to get her vengeance and hopefully to find happiness as well.

Sometimes, for some people, there's no such thing as a happily-ever-after. - Nina

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This is definitely a "mind fuck" story!!
I very much fell for Declan as well.
He's got a painful past that causes him to be very dominant in the bedroom and holy hell, the sex is beyond STEAMY HOT!!!
There will be one part, that will have you saying, "WTF"?!!!
I have never read anything like it till now!
But he loves Nina with so much passion and wants so desperately to make her his and to keep her safe, it will be pretty hard not to SWOON over him!!!!

"It's not. I promise you, it's not. You're just scared, but you have me now. I'll take that fear away, every piece of it that you carry around. I'll take it away. I'll give you everything you deserve from this life. I'll do what I can to make up for all your suffering." - Declan

A little after the 85% point, things will get kicked into high gear, and I had a terrible sense of foreboding.
I was not expecting what actually ended up happening.
I was screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" at many parts.

All I can say is that this is definitely worth picking up to read.
I'm not going to lie, I do think it ends on a huge cliffy.
Because that ending could go one of two ways and I'm really at this point not sure what the hell just happened, but I am holding on to hopes for an HEA when all is said and done for Nina.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,378 reviews4,627 followers
September 12, 2016
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E.K. Blair delivered a dark, intense, guaranteed page turner with this story. I enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland vibe that was incorporated. This story was entertaining and very fun to chat with friends who have or are currently reading.

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I did however have some issues with the characters throughout the story…

Issues with Pike:

”Pike has given up so much these past few years while I’ve been married to Bennett.”

”Everything he’s given up for the past few years while I work this con.”

Pike has been putting his life on hold? What the hell has he done in the past 4 years for this con? It doesn’t require him to be a drug dealing trailer park resident!!! He makes like she is putting him out.

Issues with Bennett:

Not really my issues but Nina's issues with him. Her whole reason for revenge…WEAK. I am hoping book 2 has some good twists because I really liked him and I’m thinking he is the smartest of all of them!! What’s not to love about a guy who wears a tux?

Issues with Declan:

”…bathed in his scent.”

I can’t spoil so the quote is all I’ll say. He is heavy into BDSM and came across a bit hot and cold but he grew on me.

Overall, the author went for shock and awe and she did indeed deliver. As for recommending this book to friends, I don’t think it’s for everyone, while many friends are over the moon about it I can see why some didn’t like it. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series because I enjoyed forming theories to what will happen after that dozy of a cliffhanger. I hope I’m on the right track!

"Aren't we all a little crazy?”


Thank you Bev, Brandi, Stephanie and Kara for sharing in the crazy during this Buddy Read !!!
Profile Image for Aleatha Romig.
Author 113 books12.5k followers
May 6, 2014
Bang is a dark twisted tale that will leave you reeling and begging for more. In the Black Lotus series, Ek Blair has created a cast of intriguing characters that will forever lurk in the corners of your mind. One moment I despised their actions, the next I couldn't get enough. Hot. Suspenseful. This dark tale of thriller meets romantic suspense is a do not miss!

Profile Image for warhawke.
1,299 reviews1,957 followers
January 3, 2016
Genre: Dark Erotic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 3 from Black Lotus series
POV: First Person - Female

Nina grew up with less than ideal past. With only one friend growing up, together they’ve been each other support. She wanted to avenge of what she lost, no matter who or what in the way. But sometimes she forgot, there were certain things one cannot control.

Before starting the book, I didn’t have much idea what it’s about and I’m glad I went in blind because that’s the best way to enjoy this book – by peeling the layers yourself. With that said, this is review is spoiler free, so it is safe for you to venture beyond this line lol!

The heart is a weapon—a self-inflicting weapon—that if not trained properly, can destroy a person.

I’ve been very conflicted with how I felt about Nina. On one hand, I understood her motivation, but at the same time, I felt that I can’t support her quest. But I would definitely give her credit for having the guts to do what she set out for.

There were three male characters in the book and I actually like every single one. Each has his own unique appeal.

Bennett Vanderwal was the caring, understanding one. He seemed like a perfect gentleman. He might look naïve at times, but I believe he was smarter than he appeared to be.

Declan McKinnon was an intense character. He required control in every aspect of his life, but he’s also capable in yielding when needed.

"You deserve everything that’s good in this world, and I swear to you that I will fight to give you that."

My favorite was definitely Pike. I have a soft spot for him no matter what he did/didn’t do.

For me, a mark of a well written book is not only that it should grip me, but also make me question what will happen next. This book did all that. I kept having theory why certain decisions were made throughout the book and I like that because it made the book more engrossing.

Life’s cruel, and I’m its bitch.

My favorite part of the book was actually the first half. It was dark and gritty. It was graphic and totally fucked up – absolutely the kind of things that appeal to me. It also made me incredibly sad and incredibly angry.

Bang is a story of a woman’s path to avenge her past and how it affected the people around her. It’s a fast pace read full of intrigued and sexiness. With a heart stopping ending, it sure lured me to know what happens in the next book.

Books in the series:
Bang (Black Lotus, #1) by E.K. Blair Echo (Black Lotus, #2) by E.K. Blair Hush (Black Lotus, #3) by E.K. Blair

★ ★ ★ (F)BR With Javigina Twin CC ★ ★ ★

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews799 followers
May 23, 2015
* * * * 4 ____ Stars * * * *

At 5 years old Elizabeth’s life is changed forever.

"And that’s the moment when you realize that hopes and dreams are as fucked up as the fairytales."

Her loving father is arrested, and she is placed in foster care. Elizabeth goes through multiple foster homes before she ends up with Carl and the duck lady.

Carl and the ducky lady...

This is where she meets another foster child named Pike, 3 years older than Elizabeth he becomes her protector. To say Elizabeth’s childhood was horrific would be putting it lightly…some of the “past” scenes were actually hard to read.

Elizabeth having lost everything is consumed with hate and her need for revenge.

"The heart is a weapon—a self-inflicting weapon—that if not trained properly, can destroy a person.”

Elizabeth and Pike develop a plan to change their future, and avenge her father.

Here’s what I am thinking…

The writing in this book is beautiful, and the story is not an easy one to tell. The characters are all different, and when I finished I felt like I knew them all. That brings me to the ending -

What the hell!!

First, how am I supposed to wait for the next book to come out??

Second, please, please let things be different then how they ended!!

I was so anxious to finish this book and find out what happens, and when I did I realized I still don’t know how this ends. I would say there is a cliffhanger…mostly things are left open to speculation and some people (ME) are left hoping things might be different then they seem!!

Thanks for sharing in the crazy ladies!
Profile Image for Brandi.
633 reviews1,278 followers
January 12, 2015

I honestly don't even know where to start with this one. It made me feel a lot of feelings. Most of them not good. Bang is a dark and twisted book - equally horrifying and heartbreaking.

“Fairytale is nothing but a fancy word for a lie used to deceive little kids…A false perception of reality used to give them hope in a hopeless world.”

Secrets. Lies. Love. Hate. Revenge. Suspense. Lust. Deceit. It was one hell of a ride. I didn't know what the hell was going on most of the time, or what to expect. But, I couldn't put it down and I'll be thinking about this one for a while. I still feel a little stunned. I have a few theories, and I'm interested to see what happens next.

Glad I had some buddies to hold my hand.

Profile Image for JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust.
345 reviews580 followers
November 3, 2014

No disrespect to the author nor my friends who loved Bang. There are numerous reasons why this did not work for me, the main one being the heroine and the motive behind her vendetta. I'm sure Declan is screaming "TELL ME , TELL ME. I need to hear you say it, Damn it!" . Well, I didn't care for his character, so ...Boo-You Boo-Boo , I'm not TELLING YOU squat.

I am undoubtedly in the minority here (No biggie, I'm quite use to it) PLEASE follow the majority on this one and give Bang a try. It just wasn't my cuppa arrogant heroine.

For more reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,164 reviews7,594 followers
May 26, 2015
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SERIES: (Black Lotus #1)
GENRE: Dark | Contemporary | New Adult
RELEASED: May 9th, 2014
MY RATING: ★★★★★

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I originally rated this 4 stars but then I sat back and thought about the plot, the writing, the uniqueness of the story and I had to put this at 5 stars!!Because in all honesty once I started this I devoured it, I didn't sit there looking at how many pages were left, how many chapters I had to get through to the end, and that's why this deserves my 5 stars!!

At the tender age of 5 where all young girls believe that fairy tales are real Elizabeth's life takes a plunge into the darkness where life from this day forward shapes her years there after to the woman we meet at the beginning of this book..

I was taken away from my house and placed in foster care, I was told he was trafficking guns in South America.

Where manipulation and revenge go hand in hand..

From foster home to foster home, unbearable doings, this book will gut you, it's raw, gritty, edgy, trepidation of what's going to happen next coursing through your body, disturbingly heartbreaking..

Your heart will ache for Elizabeth's stolen childhood..

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It's taken me so long to get to this book and I'm so glad I took the plunge and kept at it, it took me a while to warm to the story, like pieces of a puzzle you have to put the story together piece by piece as they are given to you..


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This is one cray cray ride, it will have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what the hell the author is going to throw at you next..


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No matter which way I look at writing this review up I'd be divulging spoilers and I don't want to wreck this sick twisted journey for anyone, just go one clicking this and book 2..You won't regret it..

June 16, 2019

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ 14%

The premise of BANG sounded really great, although the Goodreads blurb doesn't tell you that much. My friend, Lady Vigilante, wrote a much more detailed review that's way more helpful about letting you know what you're getting into.

So why did I put the book down?

I didn't like the writing style at all. It's got a very clunky, bulky feel to it and the author uses a lot of big words in strange ways that gave me the impression that she was using a thesaurus to sound more sophisticated and fancy, but it ultimately ended up making her sound like she was trying to channel the weird dude from The Room. For example, one of the characters tells Nina, "Your mood is really starting to scathe me." From then on, it's only a stone throw away from, "You're tearing me apart, Nina!"

I also really didn't care about any of the characters. The beginning of this book was boring, and it was boring in a way that made me feel like there wasn't going to be enough payoff to make struggling through worth it. Good golly, this book is long. Way longer than it needed to be. And I'm sorry, there's, what, three love interests? Holy cluck.

This book is not for me, so I am deleting it from my Kindle. At least I tried.

1 star
Profile Image for Debra.
474 reviews2,411 followers
August 7, 2016

My reactions during the final few chapters of this book:

And in the end, I was left speechless... My thoughts are all over the place so I'm going to need some time before I can come up with a proper review. Just know that this book has a lot of disturbing situations and that you'll probably want to throw your e-reader at a wall towards the end. BUT, still, I could not put this book down once I started it and if you're intrigued by the blurb, I'd say give it a shot and find out for yourself what it's all about.
Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
767 reviews566 followers
April 10, 2016

WOW IT'S FREE 4/8/16


reading book one and two in anticipation for book three release!! Let's do this...

"I'm ready to take back what I was always meant to be mine. Vengeance is what I seek to reclaim what was viciously ripped from me."





They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.


I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only.*

Book order:
Bang (Black Lotus, #1) by E.K. BlairEcho (Black Lotus, #2) by E.K. BlairHush (Black Lotus, #3) by E.K. Blair

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for CC.
1,060 reviews630 followers
January 3, 2016

Elizabeth Archer was only five years old when her father was taken away. From that moment, Elizabeth’s life irrevocably changed as she was shuffled from foster homes for three years until she was 8 yrs old. At that time, she arrived at her most permanent home and met another foster child named Pike. Elizabeth and Pike became brother and sister and Pike always promised to protect and keep Elizabeth safe. What they endured together strengthened their bond, as they could only trust and rely upon each other.

“Like I said, no matter what, you’re my sister,” he says, and I respond with, “And you’re my brother.”

Fast forward into adulthood, Elizabeth is now Nina Vanderwal, wife of the self-made multi-millionaire businessman, Bennett Vanderwal. On the surface, their marriage is picture perfect with Bennett as a handsome and loving husband and Nina the fiery but beautiful and doting wife. However, Nina is holding a powerful secret that fuels her every day.

“I know I’m ugly. Uglier than most. I’m tarnished and decrepit, but I’ll be damned if I ever let him or anyone else see the wretched heart that beats inside of me.”

To complicate an already deceitful situation, Nina meets Declan McKinnon, a sexy Scot and hotelier. Although, he knows she is married to Bennett, Declan falls into Nina’s web of deceit. Declan is not naïve and brings his own set of flaws to the table, but this doesn’t stop the whirlwind their connection creates.

“No, Nina. It’s not about obeying, it’s about trusting; something I don’t think you do too easily.” “Trust can be costly,” I argue. “Or it can be comforting.”

Now that the groundwork has been set, there isn’t much more that can be said without including spoilers. However, I will say that this book is addictive! From the first page, I was glued to this story! The story unfolds in the present and is told from Nina’s point of view, but soon the past weaves itself into the plot in such a cleverly organized way. In reading about Nina’s past, it only emphasizes the significance of the relationships in her life. With Nina determined to get what she’s been seeking for so long, she must stay true to her innermost desires.

For me, the character development is skillfully written and the plot layers deliver an impact. Just when you think you have it figured out, the plot twists in such a way causing you either wince, anger or have lustful thoughts for the men in Nina’s life. The diversity among the main characters is also an interesting aspect to the story because it parallels the darkness and light we all share. With ever building tension, each chapter unlocks more deception and truths that further complicate Nina’s decisions. I will immediately continue this story with book two, Echo, and just hope for book three, Hush, to be released tomorrow! Lol! If you are looking for a book stir a range of emotions, this one is for you! I highly recommend!

*This was a (F)BR with Javigina with the intention to end/start the year of with a bang! I think we succeeded! ;D
Profile Image for Ilze.
264 reviews196 followers
October 19, 2014


Dark, twisted, insane and deadly, I was hooked immediately!


You don't need to know anything before reading this book, just that Nina is on a mission to destroy the man who had an input when her dad was taken away from her and her life become hell.

"My purpose is clear, and no one will stand in the way of me righting the wrong."

Nina really reminded me of Emily Thorne from 'Revenge' and I couldn't be more happy about it. She was a very strong heroine, I don't even know how was she still functioning after all that happen in her past, but she was. She is intelligent and cunning, capable of putting whatever face is necessary for the particular situation. I like how she thought about all the small details in her plans.

"The truest part of the person is always the ugliest."

This book is definitely not easy to read, it contains some very very very dark and disturbing parts, even I had a trouble getting thought them. Those few chapters absolutely gutted me ... and I kept asking 'why aren't you running away??????'

"He has no idea that I'm the poison in his bones, making my home in his soul."

Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, and it was very unexpected. Although, it was easy to predict some things, most stuff that happened were pretty unpredictable. I was constantly surprised.

I am not giving 5 stars, because heroine made some pretty stupid decisions, and even though I can let the reason for her revenge slide, I can't forgive her for trusting that scumbag .

The ending left me speechless and I wanted to scream, that the book 2 is still not out. I hate when authors makes us wait a long time for the next book, waiting actually kills the suspense btw.

Lastly, I really enjoyed it and I recommend to read it when the second book is out because this one ends on a huge cliffhanger.
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,347 reviews1,419 followers
May 27, 2014
5 "I'm Gonna Make You Believe In The Fairytale Again" Stars!
(BR with Patty)

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Nina Vanderwal is a 28 yr. old woman living a lie. She is married to Bennett Vanderwal, one of the wealthiest men in Chicago. Her husband absolutely worships her, and treats her like a queen. Nina plays the part of the perfect high society wife while secretly planning out her vengeance. We don't know much except she hates her husband, and is plotting her revenge. As the story goes on we find out why Nina is broken inside, and what fuels her hatred.

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Nina's whole life changed at the age of five when circumstances took her from her home, and made her a ward of the state of Illinois. She spends her youth in foster care, where she meets a boy named Pike. Pike is her only constant growing up. He is her best friend, and she considers him her only family.

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I don't want to say too much, as I don't want to give anything away, but Nina continues to be a calculated, bitter, angry woman out for retribution. She has a plan she is focused on, and continues working the men in her life. She only cares about her end result. She meets a gorgeous scotish man named Declan McKinnon who owns a hotel that her and her husband plan to host a party at. Declan's family also does business with her husband. She ends up spending quite a bit of time with Declan during her party planning.

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As Nina continues to be numb to life, and vacant on the inside, she moves forward with her plan. She hopes to one day have her revenge, and get her new beginning. Once she can put the past behind her, she feels she can maybe have the life she deserves. But with matters of the heart, things don't always go as planned. :D

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WOW, this book just blew my mind. The first 20% I didn't know what was really going on, as we are introduced to three different men. I didn't know who to like, but didn't really care for Nina the main character. I thought she was a heartless bitch with no morals whatsoever! Then we get her past, and it is heartbreaking. It was a little much for me, but I continued. I don't think I've hardly ever been so confused as to what I think of a book. By about 60% I was hooked. This was such a mindfuck, and the writing was just fabulous!!! I could never have predicted all that would happen, and am now invested in Nina, & her story. I can't wait for book 2! :))

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-He taught me, at an early age, how to live without emotions. How to wrap that steel cage around my heart, always telling me that no one can ever hurt you if you can't feel. So I don't.

-Hope had always failed me, but for some reason, I kept holding on to a tiny piece of it. I was scared to know what the world would be like if I didn't have it.

-My pain is threaded within the fibers of my existence.

-He has no idea that I'm the poison in his bones, making my home in his soul.

-Am I crazy?"
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-"Aren't we all a little crazy?"

-"I've got you, darling." And when I nod my head against his as I cling to him, he strengthens his hold on me as he breathes into my skin, "I adore you."

-He takes my face in his large hands again and holds me still as he looks down at me, and I swear he can see inside of me.

-I'm getting lost between reality and fantasy, and I need to pull back.

-I move my hands to his wrists and hold on to them as my eyes fall shut. I've never felt this with any other man. But it's not just now in this moment, it's every single time I'm with him. He always has a way of keeping me connected to him, never allowing my body to go numb. I used to fight for that with him. But now? Now I don't even try.

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-There's a pressure in my chest, a foreign ache inside of me, and it begins to swell. My emotions swarm in confusion. Questions fill my head; each of them hitting the softest part of me, parts I'm just now realizing exist within me.

-I've created a hopeless situation in a place I never expected to find hope. But I did, and it rests inside of this man- a man I've allowed my heart to fall for.

-For the first time, I feel happy. Truly happy.

-He's intense, overwhelming, addictive, and utterly all-consuming. When I'm not with him, I want to be. These days, I can barely go an hour without wanting to talk to him. That's how much I crave him.

-Somehow, in this fucked up world, you have a way of making all the ugly disappear."

-It's like he's the oxygen I need to survive, and when he's gone I'm suffocating. I don't know if love is supposed to feel this way, but it's all I know, and it's all with him.

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Profile Image for Lucy.
308 reviews50 followers
May 24, 2014
3 to 3.5 stars....I did find this ridiculously entertaining but I had one big problem with this story that kept me from rating this higher.

My big problem with this book was that the reasoning behind Nina's revenge is so motherfucking STUPID!

This ended on a cliffhanger but I'm assuming that maybe


Oh one more thing...I did lmao at the scene when
Profile Image for Hirdesh.
399 reviews88 followers
March 11, 2017
Oh my Goodness!
Stunning thriller.
I wasn't expected that much good, it has gone better.
" I hate my life."

Exceptional emotional novel !
Excited to read next,I've in my shelf.
Great job, E.K. Bliar.
Profile Image for Michelle.
943 reviews223 followers
June 23, 2015
3.5 - 4 Exhausting Stars!
**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**
The warning above should be taking seriously before you read this book.

Elizabeth is five years old when her father gets arrested and she is sent into foster care. She's moved around several times. Until finally at eight years old she comes to live with Bobbi, Carl and Pike. Pike is also in foster care. Carl is a drunk and when his wife goes out of town on the weekends he becomes a monster. A monster I wanted to get my hands on! He made me so angry...I wanted him to
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Pike and Elizabeth become best friends. They only have each other. As the years go on Carl becomes even more of a monster! Elizabeth and Pikes childhood had my feelings going every where. I'm feeling sad for them!
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Then I'm angry! So angry! I wanted to get my hands on that Carl and Bobbi!!
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Finally they both get away. Elizabeth then becomes Nina.
Nina is now married to Bennett. Nina hates Bennett! She wants her revenge! After three long years she finally thinks she's found the perfect man to help her move forward with her plan.
This is where my feelings for Nina change from feeling sorry for her to not really liking her.
Spoiler alert below:

Why not a 5 star read?
I really couldn't figure out why Declan fell so hard for Nina. Then the spoiler above.
When Nina finally reveals why she hates Bennett I wanted to bash something.
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Really??? That's why you wanted revenge??
The ending also had me screaming!!
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Will I be reading the next book? Not right away. Im so exhausted from this one I need a break. lol
My hats off to you E.K. Blair! I love your writing style and I love how you got every feeling possible out of me!
Thank you Kirsten for this book! I'm so glad that you finally finished one before me and I could vent while reading this. lol
April 14, 2016
ETA - 4/7/16...Kindle freebie!

To say that Elizabeth's had a hard life would be an understatement. She's literally been screwed over by life in more ways than one. And what's really sad is that her life started with such potential. Unfortunately, her view is now skewed and her focus is singular, that is, until something changes.

This story is told in the past and present and from Elizabeth/Nina's POV so it takes a while to figure things out. Even then, things aren't always what they seem.

It was hard to decide if I liked Elizabeth/Nina. Like I said, she's had a hard life but that's not even true. She's had a horrific life...something no one should ever have to go through. And there are parts that are very difficult to read. So, it's understandable that she wants some revenge.


Pike is Elizabeth's foster brother. Luckily, he was there when she needed someone in the midst of all that ugliness. The problem is that Pike is messed up too and has had to deal with his own horrible things. It seems he wants to help Elizabeth but he has his own agenda as well. I'll never forgive him for what he did!

Nina's husband, Bennett, is a real sweetie. He loves her and takes care of her. He doesn't know what happened in her past...he only knows her as Nina. It's just hard to believe that he is innocent in all this.

Nina meets Declan at an event at his new hotel, Lotus. There's an instant-connect between the two but Nina is married. Unfortunately for Declan, Nina has plans for him. Fortunately for Nina, life throws her another curve ball.

This book certainly is a head trip. Some things are easy to figure out and others, well, let's just say that when you get done reading, you'll have a lot of questions.


There is all kinds of steaminess in this book...some more steamy than others. And there was a certain scene that had a real ick factor...where do they come up with this stuff?

There's lots of drama and it's interesting to see who wants Nina with which guy. Like I said, the ending will leave you with lots of questions and theories. And obviously the story is not over with at least two more books in the works.

(Thanks to Melissa for getting me to read this!)


Favorite quotes:

♥ "I'm gonna make you believe in the fairytale again."

♥ "Best grilled cheese of my life."

♥ "It's not. I promise you, it's not. You're just scared, but you have me now. I'll take that fear away, every piece of it that you carry around. I'll take it away. I'll give you everything you deserve from this life. I'll do what I can to make up for all your suffering."
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,254 followers
May 11, 2014
ARC provided by author in exchange of honest review

☆ ☆ ☆☆ 4.5 BANG STARS ☆ ☆ ☆☆


BANG …. E.K. Blair is a freaking evil brilliant genius.. Literally, this book started off with a bang and ended with a BIG BANG!!! Hold on to the edge of your seats, Ms. Blair will take you on one hell of a dark twisted suspense filled ride that have you guessing and holding onto your breath on what will happen next. Expect the unexpected and know that no one is innocent. Forget the HEA because there is none when innocence is lost and tarnished. Bang will leave you glued to your kindle and devouring each page. It is a twisted dark tale of revenge, lies, adultery, deceit, and suspense. Prepare to get captivated and consumed with BANG!!

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Bang took me on one hell of a whirlwind emotional ride.. I felt love, hate, anger, disgust, resentment, and vengeance. This book chronicles a woman’s tale as she plots out her quest for revenge. Bang consumed me…I was on the verge of pulling my hair out as Nina aka Elizabeth brought out all the dark emotions. You can’t help but hate her but you are drawn and captivated by her deceitful and manipulative ways. Her reasonings for vengeance had me questioning her morals but hate consumed her and she only saw RED.

Without giving away anything to the plot, BANG must be read and experienced. Be prepared to be bewitched with E.K. Blair’s phenomenal writing and storytelling. BANG will leave you stunned and have you applauding Ms. Blair with her shocking twist of events. BANG is gripping, captivating, consuming, demanding, and off the charts amazing!! This story will stay with you and have you saying Holy Shit...did that really happened!!

Bravo Ms. Blair for another fantastic book!! BANG ended with a BANG, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the next book.


E.K. Blair
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