Series: Adamson All-Boys Academy, Book 3
Genres: Reverse Harem, Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Dark, Bullying Romance (sub genre)
Publication date: January 24, 2020
Charlotte is officially dating the entire student council, a fact that her headmaster father isn’t thrilled with. Two students are dead at this point, and all signs point to Charlotte being next. Everyone is on her suspect list, even the very boys that she’s falling in love with. What’s a girl to do in a situation like this other than don the skirt she’d been refusing and show all of the haters that she’s not afraid of them? After all, it’s her final year in high school so she’s going to make the most of it.
Our past isn’t an anchor that keeps us tied to a shipwreck beneath the sea; it’s the sail that we can collect wind in so that we can soar.Chapter Four
This story is the final in the trilogy and was a fun read. While the raunchiness ramped up throughout the entire story – and if that’s what you’re reading these books for then you’ll love it – the plot in this book just wasn’t as strong to me as the first two novels. Charlotte and her boys are still trying to piece together the who and the why about who’s trying to kill her, but that plot seems to have taken a backseat to the romance within this story.
To a certain extent that makes sense – this is a contemporary reverse harlem romance novel after all – but the mystery in the background has now been teased for two books leading up to this, the finale. Personally, I wish that this story paid more focus to the murder mystery part of the story than it did as the mystery held so much promise.
Even if the mistakes are big. If there’s love there, and you care enough about another person, you work through it and you both become better people.Chapter Four
The story starts right where The Ruthless Boys left off – in the middle of the Senior class field trip, right after Charlotte and Spencer were chased by the cultists. (Let’s be honest, we all knew way before the crew that this was a cult they were dealing with.) Church was seen stabbing the librarian, but swore that he was actually trying to help him. Yet once again Charlotte wasn’t sure if she could trust him or any of the guys.
Then we have Micah’s lighter with the red candle wax on it, hiding in the pocket of a sweater that looks similar to the ones that the people chasing Charlotte have been wearing. His reasoning was an attempt at being romantic without Tobias finding out, but the timing was pretty bad.
On a small side note, I know that Micah and Tobias have that twin thing going for them. But Micah’s whole thing about the closet was to try and get some alone time with Charlotte. To be his own person, aside from being Tobias’ twin. Yet he ends up using the whole setup with Tobias. I understand that it could be seen as a peace offering between the twins, but to me it just underestimates Micah’s feelings on the gesture he was making towards Charlotte.
However, I do like that Charlotte was able to listen to Micah’s truth about the Amber situation – where he fully expected her to hate him – and forgive him for the actions he took. That shows a maturity that Charlotte didn’t have at the beginning of this story. Sure the whole cheating-behind-your-twin’s-back thing is awful, but Micah showed true remorse about his actions. By Charlotte being willing to listen to and accept the past as the past, I think it helped Tobias forgive Micah for his actions.
Then we have Charlotte’s increasing dread about the moment her boys will finally make them choose between them. Church and Ranger both came out and told Charlotte that they also want to date her. While she knew that she was also attracted to the two of them, she didn’t dream that all of the boys she liked would like her back. Or that they would be okay with her dream reverse harem situation.
Turns out they boys were pretty darn okay with it. Sure Charlotte freaked out about her “fake” engagement to Church, but that was only because she thought he didn’t have any real feelings for her. When he told her he truly wanted to be married to her – and that he’d disappeared the week before she was attacked on the West Coast in order to find the perfect engagement ring for her – she was thrilled. Heck, she was even thrilled to hear that they all wanted to take her to prom together and had even picked out the perfect dress for her to wear there. To learn that she wouldn’t have to choose between her boys after all must have been a dream come true.
A non-sexual relationship that I’ve enjoyed the progression of is the relationship between Charlotte and her father. Throughout the series they’ve finally started to understand each other. While they’re never going to be the closest people in the world – and I doubt he’ll ever fully come to terms with Charlotte being with the entire student council the rest of her life – their relationship has seriously grown over the three books in this trilogy.
All Charlotte ever wanted was her father to show some kind of emotion when it came to her. She started off acting out the way many teenagers do, by refusing to take part in her new school life. But slowly her acting out turned… more dangerous. Sure she had her boys around her to give her backup, but there’s only so much that teenage boys can do against an ancient cult. Charlotte’s dad’s lack of an emotional outburst for a long time led her to believe that he didn’t actually care if she lived or died. Her life was at risk numerous times, and yet it took him years to have an actual outburst at her.
As an adult myself, I could see the more subtle signs of her father’s affection for her. While she didn’t like his decision, he did try to send her away from the school to try and protect her life. He tried to keep her safe by having her live in his house with him instead of the dorms so that he could try and keep an eye on her. Heck, he was working behind the scenes with the authorities to try and bring the cult down and save not only Charlotte’s life, but the lives of every other victim that would follow.
Yet I was also a teenage girl myself, and I can see why Charlotte thought that he was just trying to punish her. He took her away from her friends and was more and more strict with her. Sure it was his way of showing his love to Charlotte, but it was a subtle, more mature way. It must have taken a lot for him to tell Charlotte that he would give up his own life to protect her, and it was clear that he meant it with every fiber of his being. I’m glad they were finally able to connect.
While it’s always been clear that this is more a romance novel then a mystery novel, I truly wish that the mystery aspect of this story had a bigger payoff. It was teased for a long time that Lionel Murphy and Jack had something to do with Jenica when she went to Adamson. Honestly, I wasn’t even shocked to find out that Jack had been there when Jenica was killed – he kept freaking out and trying to protect Spencer without being brave enough to tell his brother what he was trying to protect him from. And the “twist” that the people after Charlotte was a cult that’d been around since the beginning of Adamson and Everly was a giveaway (at least to me) from the first book.
When the exchange between the two schools started I expected the cult activity to ramp up drastically… and it didn’t. There was minimal suspicion about Aster wanting to join the baking club, but that was more because they didn’t like her. They clearly let her mess with the baking for the prom so weren’t actually keeping an eye on her while she was around. And it was on their Spring Break in London that another attempt on Charlotte’s life had been made. Yet even though Mark was unmasked, nothing was done with the information. He claimed that it was just a prank, and they all but dropped it.
Truly, the only shocking part about the cult to me was the fact that Spencer was supposed to be a target. I guess it makes sense that they attempted to kill him the one week he spent time away from the crew, but there didn’t seem to be any other hints that Spencer was a target. There had to be moments that he would have been easier to grab than Charlotte – no one expected him to be a target, either. He was way less protected than her. Yet I can’t think of another attempt on his life – or even to separate him from his friends.
While I enjoyed the romance aspects of this story, and wish Charlotte and her boys the best, I truly wanted to love the mystery of the story. Instead, the mystery’s conclusion seemed rushed and forced. There was a small fight which was quickly ended when the authorities showed up – in the middle of Adamson’s forest. There weren’t even any real consequences. Sure Selena lost one of her eyes, but there were no serious repercussions on either side.
Maybe you enjoyed the ending more than me. If you did, congrats! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
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