So today I will be reviewing Knight by Kristen Ashley. I had heard good things about her from other reviews on a number of her novels so I thought I would give it a shot. I picked this one because the blurb was one of the most interesting out of her selection. So! What did I think of this one? Ehhhhhhhhh. No.
The first 20% (I’m sorry non-kindle readers) was okay. I mean, maybe I should have seen the signs as an experienced romance reader that I was not going to like what was coming. Ashley didn’t try to hide the fact that this guy was controlling and I thought I was prepared for it. I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You and even the Up in the Air series. I truly thought I knew controlling. I’m not saying I overly liked the character dynamic in these books but they did have some (some less than others) redeeming qualities.
I think this book is summed up by how Knight and the I-can’t-even-remember-your-name protagonist address each other. She calls him “Daddy”. She actually calls him “Daddy”. NO. Just NO. And he calls her “Baby”. Not even in a funny, ironic way. There is no ‘Daaaamn Daddy’ in this novel, just good old infantilisation of women. Now I understand that not everyone is a feminist and there are even some that like being controlled by their partners. BDSM or S&M as long as it is safe, sane and consensual is all good… But something in this book felt VERY unpleasant to me. Although it was seemingly safe and consensual, nothing was sane about this novel.
In the beginning I thought it would be the typical ‘cold-hearted tortured hero’ trope but as I was reading it turned into more of a murdering misogynist trope. A leading man who likes to pressure women into sex by not letting them have an opinion or any control in their own life whatsoever. Romance really isn’t dead… But that’s just my opinion.
Now maybe I was ‘asking for it’. Sadly most women are all too familiar with that phrase. But in Kristen Ashley’s defense she did write a “WARNING” at the front of her book. She advised sensitive readers (me, apparently) not to be shocked by the “hero in this novel”. A ‘hero’ who “lives a life by his own code with no apologies”. So yes, I thought I knew what I was getting into. It turns out my imagination did not fully understand what “no apologies” could really mean.
It is safe to say this book pisses me off. Like, really, really pisses me off. Maybe I shouldn’t have read this book but right now I’m wondering why in God’s name anyone would even write it in the first place.
Anya! Ah yes that’s her name. As a character, she honestly had some potential at first. She starts off as the elusive friend sticking by one of her besties at a party as she unknowingly gets herself in bed with an arsehole. We find out that she’s different; she’s a hard working independent girl who just does what she can to get by and help her friends.
We also see her play it cool when the Arsehole’s brother bosses her around, is rude to her but ultimately drives her home.
Okay… I wouldn’t have gotten in a stranger’s car but I know people that would so I’m not going to judge her for being thrifty and saving money on a taxi.
She hands back the phone Knight gives her and I think ‘Good for you!’. Then she accepts it again (after some pushiness) but as a poor university student I can fully understand that.
Then she allows her ‘hero’ to have her landlord beaten up over a broken elevator.
And then you go to his house (alone) and spend most of the time unconscious.
To be honest if the guy doesn’t seem to mind if you’re asleep or awake when you’re together then I would like to think I’d know this probably isn’t the relationship for me. And it’s not as if he has shared any information about himself at this point either. All she knows is his name, the club he owns, where he lives and the fact that he has a deadbeat brother. Oh, and also the fact he has “his boys” beat people up he doesn’t like. NOTHING ELSE. NOTHING. By this point, I wasn’t surprised by the club scene and the general obnoxiousness of Knight’s personality.
Then there was this:
Her best friend in the world is asking around about the new guy she’s seeing and he finds out so he tells Anya to tell her to knock it off, and not just politely.
“She’s your girl, but I’ll warn you, I do not like all this enough that if she doesn’t stand down, it will be me makin’ clear she’s gonna do that. First time, I’ll go gently. There has to be a second time, you mean somthin’ to me, she means somethin’ to you, but I still make no promises. You get me?”
And all she does is nod. Bloody nod! About five seconds before she was ranting at how much her friendship means to her and the chapter before that she was explaining at how perfect their long standing friendship was. But no. It’s okay if you want to beat her up, maybe kill her, ‘I don’t know what my new boyfriend does but he’s pretty and he makes things tingle so even though I know he resorts to violence very easily I’ll stick around’. I call BULLSHIT.
BULLSHIT. That’s all I have to say about this book.
So I think it is safe to say I wasn’t the biggest fan.
Stay safe Fledglings.