The Bastard by S.M. LaViolette brings a dark, beauty and the beast dynamic with an older hero and heroine. Perfect for those craving a story with depth and a touch of spice.

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The Bastard by S.M. LaViolette

The Bastard by S.M. LaViolette

The Masquerades #3
March 9, 2022

Read this if you want:

  • Older characters
  • Hero with a lot of scars, mentally and physically
  • Something a lil spicy
  • Beauty and the beast dynamic

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There was a lot to like about this book. It was interesting seeing the heroes story from the present and then scattered through the book, his life as a child living under the thumb of a sadistic gangster and the lengths he went to escape. It really allowed you to see the trauma John, our hero, experienced. Making the fact that although stoic and taciturn, he has a deep vein of compassion running through him. And that showed not only in his actions toward the heroine, but also in other aspects of his life. Like hiring too many servant, especially those that he knows will struggle getting work elsewhere. Like the elderly butler and the footman with a child like mind.

Cordelia was like memorable, but still likeable, a spinster who tends her older sister’s children. She has a tender heart and an almost immediate attraction to John.

Okay, so the love story was great and I really enjoyed it. So let’s talk about what annoyed me: the villainess of the piece.


It was boring and very route one. She was a maniacal murderess only out for her own ambitions, and had been from the beginning. Okay fine. What could have been more interesting is the picture of a woman forced to live with a cold and proud husband. A husband who has countless mistresses and affairs and then places his illegitimate kids in her home and is slowly driven to extreme action. That is more interesting then the “Oh she was always evil, it doesn’t matter about her husbands disgusting behaviour over the last 20 years” vibe that I got by the end of the book.

It left me with a really sour taste in my mouth at the end.

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