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I should have kept my mouth shut.
I should have let them win.
Now the kings of the school are out for my blood,
... and they’re not the only ones.

The fire took everything.
My parents. My best friend. My life.

Now I have a second chance.
I only have to endure one year at this prestigious academy for rich snobs.
One year of being the charity case no one wanted.
One year of taunts and insults and bullying. Then I’m free.

But I didn’t count on Trey, Ayaz, and Quinn.
Arrogant, privileged, dangerous.
Drop-dead fucking gorgeous.
They want me gone.
They want me to suffer.
They’re determined to make my nightmares real.

Tough luck, bully boys – I won’t hide away.
I’m not afraid.
But maybe… I should be.

HP Lovecraft meets Cruel Intentions in this dark paranormal reverse harem bully romance. Warning: Not for the faint of heart – this story of three broken bad boys and the girl who stood her ground contains dark themes, crazed cultists, books bound in human skin, high-school drama, swoon-worthy sex, and potential triggers.

266 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 21, 2019

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About the author

Steffanie Holmes

132 books775 followers
Steffanie Holmes is the author of steamy historical and paranormal romance. Her books feature clever, witty heroines, wild shifters, cunning witches and alpha males who get what they want.

Before becoming a writer, Steffanie worked as an archaeologist and museum curator. She loves to explore historical settings and ancient conceptions of love and possession. From Dark Age Europe to crumbling gothic estates, Steffanie is fascinated with how love can blossom between the most unlikely characters.

Steffanie lives in New Zealand with her husband and a horde of cantankerous cats. Learn more about Steffanie at her website: www.steffanieholmes.com. She also writes dark science fiction under the name S C Green.

Want to be informed when the next Steffanie Holmes paranormal romance story goes live? Sign up for the mailing list! http://eepurl.com/ZrowD

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5 stars
1,620 (35%)
4 stars
1,442 (31%)
3 stars
1,014 (22%)
2 stars
340 (7%)
1 star
157 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 508 reviews
Profile Image for Namera [The Literary Invertebrate].
1,193 reviews2,930 followers
May 26, 2019
DNF at 22%.

I'm extremely disappointed to be saying this, because I find Holmes's Nevermore Bookshop series to be one of the most original and well-written RH series out there. I was a little wary when I saw her jumping on the bully/academy bandwagon - it feels like every RH author and their cat is on that bandwagon these days - but I began reading eagerly anyway.

I can't believe this is even the same author who wrote my beloved Nevermore series.

❌ The heroes weren't sexy in the slightest, yet the heroine still kept moaning to herself about how hot they were. You want to know how unsexy they are? The first thing one of them says to her is that he 'loves all kinds of pussy, from tight to loose.' He tells her he's the resident man-whore. He was trying so hard to be alluring but he looked like a crude, pathetic wannabe.

❌ One of the heroes is Turkish. HIS VOICE MAKES THE HEROINE THINK OF SHISHA, AND TURKISH DELIGHT, AND STEREOTYPICAL MIDDLE EASTERN STUFF LIKE THAT. From a voice. We get it, okay, he's Turkish! Maybe I should be asking my friends if my very voice makes them think of Southeast Asia. Ridiculous.

❌ The Gothic atmosphere? Trying way too hard.

I'll stop there, because that was as far as I got, but I feel let down.
Profile Image for Jessica *The Lovely Books*.
1,219 reviews620 followers
May 4, 2020

Wtf was that ending?! I almost DNF this book at the very beginning because it was so similar to Filthy Rich Boys. But it’s not anything like it. Like at all. Sure, there’s a bunch of similarities throughout the book; but Shunned completely holds its own. I need the next book.

Slight note to any and all authors:
Please keep the bully/academy trend coming. I personally love the shit out of them!
Profile Image for ⋆☆☽ Kriss ☾☆⋆.
560 reviews195 followers
March 13, 2020
As I said in my pre-review, the idea of cultists and what not piqued my interest when I first heard about this title. Boarding schools meeting the occult is a fun concept, so merging it with reverse harem bully romance seemed like it could be something really engaging, since the two concepts overlap with one another nicely.

However, this book doesn't quite live up to the grandeur of its ideas and in fact has content that struck me as unnecessarily problematic because it was just tossed in for no good reason when so many other things could have adequately replaced it without stepping on toes.

I did get through it pretty easily and was engaged enough to want to go into the next book, so I wouldn't say it's a terrible story or anything--I do see potential for it expanding into something more--but we have to talk about everything else first.

So, let's unpack.

The biggest content issue I had is that Hazel is a white girl with some poorly kempt dreads and the book is strangely fixated on making her dreadlocks a thing--Hazel constantly mentions them and seems to be bizarrely attached to them. They're something she is also bullied over constantly, and it's done in a way that feels like at best ignorant appropriation and at worst the author trying really hard to push forth a whitewashed understanding of why dreadlocks, a black hairstyle, are seen so negatively.

This is kind of long so I put all my reasoning for why Hazel shouldn't have dreadlocks and it shouldn't have been such a point of focus underneath a spoiler cut to cut down on how much space is eaten up in my review:

Also, yes, Hazel is a white girl as far as I can tell.

My evidence? There's a passage where Hazel talks about the diversity in the school "Apart from Ayaz, Loretta and Andre were the only non-caucasian students in an ocean of white faces." "The only other black people [besides Lorette and Andre] were the staff." If she wasn't white, why didn't she include herself? All it would take is "and me" but nope, she did not.

Further proof is that Hazel states that in Philadelphia, she lived in a neighborhood where being friends with a black kid could "get you killed" and recalls being called a a "c**n lover" by someone in her old school. If she was black, this wouldn't be an issue because no one is calling out a black person for having other black friends. The author never outright states Hazel's ethnicity, but these lines either were really poorly though out or she's white and the author just thought she could dodge the issue of Hazel's dreadlocks being inappropriate by never being forthcoming.

And on the topic of being sorta racist, Ayaz being Turkish automatically means he smells of opium pipes and exotic spices and has the sexiest voice around. The author also says a really stupid line where Hazel is like "his looks make me think he's non-American in origin" which like... y'all know that you can be any race and like... be born and raised here, right? Like "American" isn't a race it's a nationality and it's kind of racist to look at the one Middle Eastern guy and be like "he can't possibly be American he probably came here from another country."

Kind of like how a lot of Turkish people are genetically white, not Middle Eastern, because there was a lot of mixing of cultures from Eastern Europe throughout the centuries.

And then, despite the author trying to be very pro LGBT+, she makes the one gay kid the most stereotypical gay kid ever. He's a gossip who exists to be the heroine's gay best friend who does hair hair and makeup. Way to really do the gays a solid by making the only gay the most overused archetype of gay ever. He could have, you know, just been a teenage boy who happened to be gay. Didn't have to relegate him to the sad role of most gay boys in these books.**

**This is later remedied in later books where Greg admits he tries hard to be the stereotype to fit in and be accepted, since, as he reasons, people are more accepting of that idea of gay men than any other.

Beyond this, I also got really tired of Hazel constantly being aroused by everything the boys did. It's getting real irritating to see every heroine have dripping panties while being harassed and abused just because the person doing it is hot.

We already have way too much flack over people denouncing assault victims' claims of trauma because their assailant was hot and they were attracted to them, as if that fact alone is all that's required to make it okay, which is a SUPER gross way of thinking, so I would appreciate authors move away from trying to reinforce this idea that it's all fine as long as the guy knows what he's doing and is hot and the girl is attracted.

There's at least 10 time where Hazel says some variation of "it sent a fire between my legs and aroused me" and this starts pretty much from the start of the book despite the boys always being rude and antagonistic towards her. Like, they're hot that she's just constantly wet around them. Girl should take her own advice and masturbate for a good long while, because if she's aroused by their mere existence and is ready to bend over and beg to be penetrated from a mere glance from one of them, she really needs to chill out and regain some control over herself so she stops doing dumb things in the pursuit of her lust.

Which brings to me all the moments Hazel does something clearly sort of risky and then berates herself later but doesn't truly learn anything from it, because she repeats the same mistakes multiple times. She still constantly falls for them being hot, for them showing a sliver of humanity--in Hazel's mind, Trey being hot, Quinn being "not that mean", and Ayaz having some "sadness" in his eyes is all that's required to constantly get wrapped up with them and forgive them and flirt with them and just... like, you'd think after a few dances with these guys ending the same, she'd maybe act differently, but, not really.

Like, you can argue most girls in bully romances are a little too quick to forgive their bullies because they're hot and that they're really dumb for falling for things that are probably traps because the action in question leaves the heroine vulnerable to attack, but at least like with Marnye in Filthy Rich Boys she only naively believes in them the first time by wanting to give them all a second chance and then doesn't just immediately forgive or forget what they did, the guys constantly have to regain her trust and make amends to some degree because the point is for a bully to be reformed of their cruel ways and redeemed throughout the story for their past actions.

Here Hazel just sort of goes "eh, fuck it they're hot" and somehow the three guys just go from bullying to being all "we gotta save her and be nice" without any development or build up beyond "she stands up to us, she's different, so we're into her now" which is just lazy.

Like, Boys Over Flowers: Hana Yori Dango, Vol. 1 could do that with Tsukushi and Tsukasa because it was like the OG bully-romance and you realize that a childish brat like Tsukasa really would be wowed by the idea of a girl giving back to him as good as he gave, so, unless a bully is really created to fit a certain personality, authors gotta try a bit harder to find justification for why they'd suddenly take particular interest in the girl they're bullying.

Finally, this book cuts off on a super harsh cliffhanger.

Like, not even a cliffhanger, really.

It just cuts off mid scene after a super quick and sudden build up the the big reveal. It would make more sense if more of the book had been building up to what Hazel finds out, but it feels like it wasn't done enough. Hazel wasn't suspicious enough, she didn't have enough theories about something happening, it wasn't enough of a drive for the book to have that cliffhanger, so it felt super jarring, like the book is missing chapters. In fact, the last 5% of the book is just samples of the author's other work and shit like that so the book isn't even as long as the kindle edition claims :/

As for the good stuff.. well... the setting and plot were generally interesting. I like the mysterious approach and the gothic vibes and was interested in figuring out what's up with the school because I'm not too familiar with Lovecraftian horror and mythos, but I felt like the little clues sprinkled in were super obvious about what they were alluding to (plus Ayaz also gives a backstory dump about how the person who built the building that became the school was in fact an occultist who did ritualistic cult shit so... it kind of spells it out pretty quickly, given that the whole book is only about 240 pages) and that there lacked the right amount of depth in terms of the heroine's growing suspicions and theories. Hazel sees weird stuff but tends to shrug most of it off and doesn't really poke around to find out more, nor is she forming her own ideas. In fact, beyond "hm, maybe it's a secret society to advocate for bullying" she seems to not even consider that anything more nefarious might be happening. Even if she doesn't believe in anything supernatural, she could have easily theorized that people were still doing weird shit or that there was something really off; she could have believed they were killing off students as human sacrifices even if she doesn't think demons are real. Like, they have a pentagram for their school crest and they offer a class called alchemy. I'd be like "y'all believe in some weird shit here don't you" and probably leave because there's no reasoning with cultists.

What else?

Oh, content warnings! There are some instances where Hazel seems to be doing self-harm (as in she hurts herself to ground herself and regain control--this point is also subsequently abandoned in later books, so, its inclusion was pointless), there's swearing and crude sexual language, there's sex and some depictions of it, the one student is having sexual relations with the headmistress who is a grown woman... so I'd say this isn't YA at all, but pretty squarely like a 18+ teen or NA novel, especially because Hazel is nearly 18 in the story.

I'll see if things pick up in book #2. The series is 4 total books with the final one coming out in a few days, so maybe as we go things improve. I wouldn't pay the $4 pricetag of this book though, even if the others turn out better; this would be like a 99 cent buy for me, if that. I borrowed with Kindle Unlimited.
Profile Image for Jel.
148 reviews11 followers
January 23, 2023
Wth did I just read. Everything about this book was weird, it passed by like a blur. I would cringe while reading it in public. It was so god damn cringy. The story was so ridiculous that I found it funny.

Also, the cliffhangers are driving me insane.

The plot twist at the end made me laugh. I feel as if the author was inspired by Harry Potter but instead of a nosy Harry, you get a nosy heroine who acts and does not think about the consequences. When she gets in danger, one of the heroes come to rescue her. Harry Potter but a parody with shitty love interests. I would roll my eyes at her silly behaviors, it’s as if she’s constantly wishing for death.

Another heroine who is lusty and easily aroused whenever she is near the guys. She’s easily influenced and cannot control her body when she is near them. ‘My body says yes but my mind says no’ 🎶 The guys also called her meat which still aroused her lol.

I would like to ask these heroines. How can you get attracted to anyone who insults, bully you like that. Even if they are handsome, rich, powerful, control your desires please. I get goosebumps every time they kiss.

The h calls herself a gutter wh*re throughout the book as her mum is a stripper. Which is quite off putting to say the least. Sometimes she would call the other girls s*ut when she sees them with one of the guys.

She’s becomes an orphan after her mother’s and friend’s death in the fire after which, she is approached by the people of the school and attends as a scholarship student. There, she meets the 3 kings of the school who are rich and seems to have control over everything. Or do they??

So about the 3 heroes in her harem. They’re called kings and are called monarchs. 😬

They all hated her right from the start. The guys would bully her: pour maggots and poop 💩 on her breakfast, pour rotten meat in her locker, destroy her dead friend’s diary, pour tar on her dreadlocks, (I think it was one of the other girl bullies-that’s what the guys said but I forgot) causing her to have to cut all her hair and go punk style, push her off a cliff. And of course there has to be a reason for them to make her life miserable. Otherwise, how can they redeem themselves?? 🤡

Anyways one of the guys in her harem (Ayaz or smth) gets caught by the h having seggs with the headmistress of the school. I nearly puked. 🤮 I usually enjoy some taboo and age gap but this did not sit well with me. They are high schoolers and the head is like 40 smth. Old woman.

There’s also these weird rat noises throughout the book which is just funny to me. The way the school outcasted her for wearing dreadlocks and not conforming to the stereotype is just racist and unnecessary. The world flames are also repeated over 60 times throughout the book. It’s supposed to mean something but I did not find out lol. It just lost its purpose somewhere in the book.
4 reviews3 followers
May 24, 2019
I truly don't understand how this book got so many positive reviews. I felt absolutely nothing while reading this book. I felt nothing for Hazel, couldn't relate with her AT ALL! Felt no real spark with the guys what so ever! And the entire story felt extremely rushed. Nothing was memorable or built upon. I can't tell you what Hazel looks like, what the uniforms look like, what Dante looked like, what the school looked like, what the dorms looked like. And the author did nothing to help me imagine it all on my own. Honestly it felt like a cheap imitation of the Filthy Rich Boys. Three hot rich guys, one is the leader, one is the man whore, and one is the cold hearted asshole who hates her on site. They read her journal, then mess with her hair. They give her a stupid nickname and call her a charity case. The manwhore invites her to the party but goes back to his assigned girl, she works on school assignments with the cold hearted asshole. The leaders father is an asshole who constantly berates him. I mean the list goes on and on. And the revenge plot was pathetic. I mean from the beginning she talked about getting revenge but the only thing she did was put itching powder in their shorts. Really? And then there's the ending, I guess they are turning the scholarship students into the students that died? Honestly I'm not sure where this book is going and I really don't care to find out. Really sorry I wasted my time on this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Natalie .
2,414 reviews32 followers
July 7, 2019
Well this one blew my expectations out of the water. In the beginning chapters it’s over the top gothic vibe with the kings and queens, not to mention the overuse of meat. The bullying is harsh but after the first incidents it’s tit for tat on the revenge side to the point I felt for the guys.

More on the light horror side of the paranormal and ends in one hell of a cliffhanger.

The MC is strong, defensive and reactive. I liked the friendship between her, Greg and Andre.

Initially I hated the guys but by the end not so much. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Profile Image for Valentina.
1,001 reviews252 followers
July 13, 2021
Cute but lacks cultural sensitivity

Interesting, creative tale with a surprising twist at the end. The heroine was fun, quirky, and strong. The supporting characters were endearing. The story and its paranormal elements and reverse harem heat were entertaining.

Issues I had with the book and these take it from a five-star read to two: Poor character development and attempt at diversity. The author provided very little description of the characters. For example, little is described about the heroine other than having hazel eyes (oh and dreds), but for humor, I guess, her name was Hazel. Hmm...cute but weak and unoriginal as a description. And I get to figure out that Dante, her best friend, was African American because of the derogatory term others threw at her when she associated with him. Further, other than smells -- coconut, spice, etc., I had little clue as to what the heroes looked like -- OK, muscles -- well, other than the Turkish guy, which brings me to my biggest issue. Thank you for your attempt at diversity (well, no thank you), but every diverse character was a stereotype.

Let's start with the help staff -- ALL black. Not a single one was or was described as any other ethnicity. Also, this author would not use the term "African American." The Turkish hero was always described as spicy, and the heroine's "shock" at discovering his room was minimalistic, containing Danish/Scandinavian furniture, and not what she assumed, Turkish rugs, furniture, and jewel-tone colors. He drank muddy coffee though. The Turkish guy also happened to be a scholarship recipient who "rose through the ranks," and not an original Monarch / King. Her African American roommate: from the South, frizzy hair with southern accent. However, once she returned and was indoctrinated as a Queen girl, her hair was straightened and curled. Her diction also changed. The gay friend was artistic, likes shows, doing makeup, painting nails, and performing. Of course, he and the roommate were scholarship recipients, i.e. lowest on the social latter. Next, the "wicked white girl" was blonde. So overplayed. All evil women are blonde.

If the author was attempting to create a tale that included cultural diversity not found most of these tropes, I applaud her. Unfortunately, it came across as culturally insensitive and revealed more about the author than elevating the book. Hopefully, the next part will show improvements. Smh
Profile Image for Tia.
179 reviews4 followers
May 23, 2019

I read the blurb for this and I love a good Dark Bully Romance, add in the fact that it’s RH and I’m so down!! It wildly exceeded my expectations!

Before I get into it I wanted to mention I love the “Heathers” and “Carrie” references and feels in this book!!

Okay, so I finished this in around 3 hours (I am a fast reader and it was also so captivating) and it was a mind fuck and I am completely amazed/confused/aroused/obsessed and now have a book hangover. Its so different from your normal dark RH Bully it’s honestly like nothing I’ve read before and every time I thought I knew what was going on I was wrong!! Omg. This is the first time I’ve read a book of Steffanies and I am officially a fan!! I’m dying for the next book!
Profile Image for Emma.
1,102 reviews81 followers
January 20, 2020
Bully romance I guess is not the same as that gruff, mean guy turns softy trope. I guess it's like actual physical violence? At one point this girl almost dies? There is also a scene where the whole school is chanting at another character to kill herself. I don't get it! I thought maybe the books I had tried with this label were just extreme examples but it turns out it's me. This is too wild for me.

This book also features A LOT of racism and race as a fetish. So all around bad.

PS there is no sex in this book.

PPS there are no tentacles either, before you pervs all DM me.
Profile Image for Soph .
240 reviews32 followers
July 6, 2019

I actually really liked this . I really didn’t think I would.
*********Trigger central/ dark themes covering suicide, death of family members, teacher student relations that borders on .... under age student and teacher relations, hard core bullying and name calling ********

Academy style
Bully romance
Bitchy girls


I really enjoyed this book, it kept me in suspense it kept me reading and I am itching *snort laughs* for the next book
Profile Image for Tanja.
235 reviews15 followers
June 4, 2021
The story is not so bad, at least the mysterious spooky stuff happening in the school. The creepy atmosphere was so well written. Our MC and her bullies not so much. But the ending… I did not see that coming! Quite the shocker.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
August 18, 2019
I don't know what it is about family vacations..but I was really into bully romances. I'm sure there is no correlation between the two.

Shunned was an okay RH book. Not particularly my favorite but it was interesting. I did enjoy the whole mystery behind everything but I thought the ending was pretty easy to figure out. That being said, it doesn't mean that I will never dive into book two. Mostly because I already have it lined up on my damn kindle (this book addiction kills me sometimes). It does mean, though, that I'm just not 100% invested now. I'm hoping that the next book will be a bit less predictable but one never knows until diving into that book. Which again, kills me but I am willing to do it whenever I have the time.

I don't really want to go into detail about who you meet or what really happens - just know that it will give you some mystery with a bunch of twists and turns. The ending was a good cliffhanger, even though I saw it coming a mile away, but I'm intrigued enough to see what the heck is going to happen to this group in the next one. Will she go through what Loretta (oh lord, I hope that's her name - read so many books this week lol) went through? Who knows - but I need to know.

Overall, I'm going into book two. Wish me luck.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,312 reviews502 followers
July 12, 2019
I really enjoyed this one. This is my second Bully Romance book I've read so far (the first one was Surviving Year One) and I'm glad to say my heart didn't suffer as much as I thought it would! The FMC was strong and I loved that about her. The suspense and paranormal aspect of this story kept me intrigued and I am so curious to find out more after that ending.
Profile Image for Cee.
2,379 reviews99 followers
November 21, 2020
DNF @ 12%

Look some of the comments remarks felt racist which is a big reason I decided to dnf it.
I should also say bullymances are hit and miss with me and the way this one is handled is just a huge miss for me. I don't like the guys, I don't like why she is there and I'm so tired of the "I hate them but omg they are so hot I can't think" trope.
Profile Image for taveena kade.
683 reviews44 followers
February 7, 2020
i hate all the guys but i’m interested to see where this will go from here
Profile Image for Steelwhisper.
Author 5 books395 followers
January 4, 2023

This is my second attempt at reading the currently trending genre of "reverse harem", which apparently now gets perforce blended into high school/boarding school settings and "bully" romance. So I was intrigued enough to try reading a few books.

Good grief. I shouldn't have bothered.

Apart from the fact, that the writing is extremely poor, and apart from the fact, that this author seems to have a major problem writing ethnicities without coming across as having prejudices, and apart from the fact, that there's no real story or plot, I came away with one major question:

Why do so many women find ANY of this even remotely sexy or attractive?

I can't wrap my brain around this.

Now, the least of what I expected was that the unsympathetic guys would get their comeuppance. Nope. We are supposed to root for them. Actually we are supposed to find boys sexy who tell us, that they are manwhores and fuck just about any pussy, whether tight or loose.

Hello author? I mean, apart from the fact there are no "tight" vs "loose" pussies unless someone suffers from one or the other disease, why the hell should anyone find such an arsehole sexy? Why all that misogyny? As a woman you get to meet a variety of such idiots IRL, why would anyone put them on a pedestal in romance novels?

What is this preoccupation with skeevy idiots who harm and bully others about?


Someone rec me a couple of romances which have adorable guys I can dream of, rather than men that I want to drown in vats of sulphuric acid.
Profile Image for Emma James.
Author 32 books1,486 followers
May 27, 2020

Loved the originality of this bully story.
It's not hard to suspect the possibilities around the corner.
First time reading this author, and yes, I have read Initiated already.
Profile Image for Tiera McMillian.
1,150 reviews42 followers
August 7, 2019
3-3.5 stars. This book almost threw me for a loop. It started off like any other academy bully romance. I kept waiting for the "paranormal" part to kick in and it just kept going on and on and then finally like 40% in we finally get a little teaser.. a history of witches and demons. Ok I'm down. Then we keep going on and on with the "bullying" and I was just about ready to give up on this place thinking my hopes to be dashed by an elaborate hoax. Good news the ending confirms its paranormal, in one heck of a cliffhanger lol.

Bully romances in general, are usually a readers thing or not. I tend to not be able to stand a Bully romance if there isn't an incredibly strong, take no BS, pulls no punches heroines. I need the FMC to be able to give as good as she gets. If the heroine is a pushover, it starts to get awkward, uncomfortable and just down right sad to me. I'm happy to say our FMC Hazile in this story is a strong heroine. I wish she had, had more time for revenge.. but instead we were getting into the main plot of the story so it had to go on a back burner. Another thing I liked in this story is that not all the "kings" were super RICHARDS. That gave us a quick break between beat downs, now the mean girls on the other hand.. we gonna have to take care of business in book 2.

With a cliffhanger like that one, there is no going back now. I'm excited to see where this story takes us.
Profile Image for CeCe.
3,393 reviews109 followers
June 13, 2020
06/09/20 - Reread so I can continue series. I originally gave this three stars, but after rereading the book, I move my rating to four stars.

06/24/19 - This RH/bully book was okay. I did not really feel a real spark between the three heroes and the heroine. Everything was a secret. The heroine was okay. I did not love her or hate her. I will read the sequel. I am not sure what will happen with that revelation.

The heroine's mother and BFF, Dante, died in a fire in her house. Hazel gets a scholarship to attend the boarding school. Hazel is seen as different with her hair and clothes. There are four scholarship students like Hazel, but she notices that neither the teachers or the other students want any of the scholarship students at the school. Hazel meets three guys Trey, Quinn, and Azel. They and their girlfriends bully her relentlessly mentally and physically. The reader never knows for sure why the Hazel is bullied by the heroes. They just keep telling Hazel that there is more that she does not know and that was the frustrating part that I was not given anything. Hence, I was unable to connect.

I loved the "NOTE FROM AUTHOR".

I will read other books by the author that other readers have praised. Off to my next RH/bully book.
April 16, 2020
Pretty good but bears much resemblance to its peer novels of the same micro-genre. I can’t say I am 100% taken with “Hazy” (gag on that nickname), as I feel she needs more of a backbone, even if it gets her into more trouble. Yes, she’s strong, but why does she turn into a blubbering mess with the guys? Dudes tried to kill her! Resist that shit!

Can’t the author trust we will understand and remember her unwilling attraction to the guys without mentioning it every page? We get it, the mean dudes are hot and stuff. And something about you feeling all “fired up” (like, literal fire) when they touch you? More on that plot point later, I guess.

Anyways, i can’t say I am very surprised about that supposed cliffhanger ending. But maybe I read too much paranormal stuff to be surprised by much of anything any longer. I’m still intrigued enough to want to read on!

Ps: Racial stereotypes abound here and made me feel hella awkward. Also...they just bummed me out. For example: Really? The Mc says (to herself) that the hot Turkish dude smells like opium and spice to her and she expected his room to be like a sheik’s den or something? (She’s surprised he opted for Scandi-chic minimal decor!) ugh...So wrong.
Profile Image for Deana The  Queen .
459 reviews40 followers
June 3, 2020
Hazel, an orphan after losing everything in a fire, is surprised to learn she is one of four scholarship winners for the Derleth Academy, a school so exclusive you must be invited to attend. She arrives and is immediately insulted before even getting a foot in the door. The school’s prefects and headmistress have a definite Goth thing going on, and everyone’s class standings, based on points and demerits, are flashed on screens in the commons room.

There are lots of references to kings, queens, crackwhores, and meat, and that’s just within the first few pages.

This is a dark, brooding bully romance and reverse harem with lots of occult and supernatural overtures. The gorgeous jerks - Trey, Ayaz and Quinn - were a nightmare of a different sort. Totally hot but disturbed. Offset this with cult members, spells, books bound in human skin, and yeah, you get a different kind of kink going on.

The book was well written, but as I am not a fan of reverse harems, I decided to forgo reading the rest of the series. I prefer my MCs to end up in a HEA with one main love interest, and I didn’t want to put in the work to see if that would happen here in the end.
Profile Image for Carol.
726 reviews40 followers
June 6, 2019
loved it could not put it down.
Profile Image for Snow.
2,213 reviews651 followers
June 17, 2019
what an excuisite and thrilling ending...

I'm even more intrigued than I initially was...

Looking forward to book 2...
Profile Image for Bec.
526 reviews64 followers
November 1, 2019
I'm going to mark this as a DNF because I skipped quite a lot of the last half of the book. This book feels like it has an identity crisis for me. It just isn't quite sure what genre it wants to be. The characters are not fleshed out at all. You don't even really get much of a physical description of the FMC. The other MC's are just paper cutout mean people. Everything is very rushed so you never really get any in-depth details which makes it hard to really get into the story. It almost felt like a really really watered down gloss over of "Filthy Rich Boys" for about 75% and then it takes a paranormal twist at the end that feels like it's there to carry the story since everything before it was a bit flimsy. The author likes to draw inspiration from Lovecraft but I'm not feeling like the weird in this story was successful.
May 25, 2019

For me, this book was like a knockoff of Filthy Rich Boys with less fleshed our characters and a little supernatural thrown in. It was still an interesting read, and I enjoyed it. However, it aggravated me when the MC kept going around basically shaking her fist at the sky and saying “I will get my revenge!” There wasn’t much actual revenge happening just saying that she wanted it. The boys don’t seem genuine — I don’t really care about them now although maybe that will change in the next book.
Profile Image for Lena.
27 reviews37 followers
May 30, 2019
I liked this one a lot, not quite what I was expecting... Hazel is totally badass and the guys are so intense and beautifully broken, I found myself forgiving them for all the shit they’ve pulled almost instantly! Also, the author’s note gave me the chills, all my love to you, Steffanie! All you went through made you stronger as a person and an incredible writer. Can’t wait to read more of your books!
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