Blurb as written by the author, review follows below…
His Spite. My Derision. Our Manipulation.
If I could describe Logan Benson in two words, they would be heartless and callous.
From the moment we met, we were thrown into a maze of our own making full of lies, hatred and lust. One neither of us knew how to navigate. The age difference between the two is of course more noted at the start, with Aurora starting out at the legal, if only barely just 16 years of age.
Perhaps it was the way we never backed down from a fight which proved to be our undoing.
Or maybe I had been fooling myself into thinking he could change.
A man like him would never see me as anything other than a toy.
I was a game to him.
One I refused to play.
Logan left me with one harsh and unforgiving lesson. He showed me love was meaningless. It only hurt and destroyed those stupid enough to fall into its pit of deceit. When he walked away from the mess that was us, I vowed one thing and one thing alone. I would make him rue the day he ruined me.
Our Darkest Maze by Sarah Bailey is the fourth selection in the “Our Darkest” series that examines love across a multiple year timeline in a coming of age stylization. Let’s cut right to the chase for this one: Sarah Bailey IS back! This isn’t to sell short or put down the previous books in this series, the author should be commended for sharing and exploring new ideas in storytelling. That being said, Our Darkest Maze plays right into the author’s strengths, starting off with a bang. Aurora Knox is the daughter of Quinn, the unquestioned and unrelenting patriarch of the Syndicate family. Logan Benson is the heir to a no less infamous family, the fashion magnates with lifestyles sure to make a family intersection a mere eventuality. While attending a stag party at the casino, Logan can’t help but notice a young girl, one much too young for a gambling floor, who is staring at her. It would be smarter not to confront the little bombshell, and leave well enough alone…guess nobody’s ever that smart. One too bold to ever say no, one too bold to ever accept it. It’s nice starting a novel in this series with a lead aged in the late teens. The author’s writing style truly shines at the moment a character comes of age, and what follows is a journey of indifference, hate, and love as the next generation of London’s infamous 1%ers balance family wishes and their own lustful desires.
While most of the offspring from the Syndicate family look to downplay their family heritage, Aurora jumps in with both feet, feeling a sense of power and entitlement being the devil’s own daughter. Logan, whether he knows it or not, possesses his father’s lust for control and submission, but wants less to do with the fashion house empire his family has grown since we last encountered the Bensons in this universe. Much of the novel’s tension can be derived from the pair’s differing views on family, coupled with the animal lust that neither can seem to avoid for very long. The dom/sub dynamic is present, more so verbally than anything else, but it would be a far cry from a BDSM experience. No matter how far apart the two might think they are, their growth can be best explained by their similarities.
Verdict: Our Darkest Maze by Sarah Bailey is yet another fun, intense, and engaging journey of two lovers that’s anything but a sure thing. Bailey’s writing style shines as the characters come to know themselves through their shared lust and break the barriers of their comfort zones. It’s so very nice to see some “enemies to lovers” that don’t involve inexcusable behavior (murder, human collateral, etc..) but still feels appropriately intense. A deep exploration of love through the lens of an established family history and reputation. It’s quite amazing that a story of impossibly rich, impossibly beautiful privileged insiders can yield a truly relatable love story, one that some romance authors couldn’t dream of reproducing.
Well fucking done.
Special thanks to Sarah Bailey for providing an advance review copy of Our Darkest Maze to TehBen.com. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
PURCHASE LINK: AMAZON
Author’s Twitter: @sbaileyauthor