About this book:
He collected beautiful things.
Ripped them out of their natural environment and preserved them in all of their dead splendor.
The problem was I wasn’t beautiful. I was all of the hideous and ugly realities of the world packaged into one broken human being.
He came to kill me.
That was his business.
He ripped me out of my natural environment, the prison I’d created, and locked me away with all of his beautiful dead things.
I hated him.
I still hate him.
But if I was given the choice and the ability to leave this cage, come back to life, I’d stay dead.
In all of my hideous splendor.
Because my murderer can only possess dead things.
And I can only be possessed by someone more broken and ugly than me.
Release Date: 11th May, 2018.
What I think?
“Though was I that? Human? I didn’t feel it. A corpse was closer to the definition of what I was.”
W. H. O. A.
That was one hell of a book man. What have I been doing never reading an Anne Malcom book?!
I requested the ARC after I came across the blurb somewhere on Facebook. Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking- people can’t find anything on FB, and I’m finding good book recs? How?!
Don’t worry, I have an answer for that—
I should’ve realized that moment that higher powers were at play, but I was far too in love with the blurb already to think more of it.
And then this book happened.
As you must know, and if you don’t I’ll just let you know, that I flove (that’s fucking love for the newbies here) dark romance novels. It’s like a pet hobby of mine. And when I say dark, I really mean dark. Give me all that nasty, non-consensual, dirty, filthy, fucked-up stories and I’ll be one happy baby. But I also happen to be very possessive of what I consider dark. So having said that—yes I have a point in saying all that—an assassin falling in love with the woman/man he/she came to kill is not a new plot for me. And having said that, I should also say that I find that very clichéd now.
And having said all that as well, I find myself compelled to say that this is by far one of my favourite dark romances.
So, with all that foreword let’s start with this review.
Elizabeth is a thirty-something agoraphobic, living isolated from the world after being meticulously abused and tortured by her husband over a period of years. Grief stricken, and living with a serious case of PTSD, she doesn’t quite believe that anyone in the outside world cares for her anymore. But as if to prove her wrong comes along Lukyan, or Oliver if you must.
Lukyan is one of the most powerful men of the underworld society that rules the government, so when he was sent to assassinate the divorcee of another powerful man, he doesn’t expect her to surprise him. And his response to that? Bring her to his house.
“You’re going to get everything from me. Everything I’ve got. Not an inch of it is kind or empathetic or soft. But I’ll carve out my fucking heart and serve it to you on platter. That’s what was trying to demonstrate to you. That must count for something.”
Reading this book, I had real, honest to god chills running at how perfectly Anne portrayed Elizabeth and Lukyan. For a woman suffering from agoraphobia in a romance book, you might think that falling in love might be the answer to that. But nope. Not Anne.
That is not how she plays apparently.
The battle Elizabeth fought on a regular basis was so written with such blatant reality that it would be impossible not to be entranced by her. And for someone like Lukyan to be that obsessed with her, just the way she was, was absolutely perfect for me.
Right from the beginning of their relationship, or non-relationship in this case, you are drowned in this major sense of fore-brooding, and constant threats, where if Elizabeth were to die, you wouldn’t have been surprised; because that is literally how dangerous and gothic the atmosphere is.
So you see, while I was being seduced into this dark, depressive world, Anne did me a one up and shoved death into my face. And when I say death I don’t mean dead as in people dying, which they really do, but I mean it in the way that death becomes so tangible in this story, that even while you are reading a story about two fucked up people struggling to find themselves and fall in love, it feels like there is a third one in bed with them: death.
And the goth inside me fucking LOVED it.
Because she left an open ending to the story, I’m not quite sure if there is another one after this, but by god if there is, I need it and I need it now! And I really really cannot recommend this book enough to every single dark romance lover out there.
Like I said this was the first book I’ve read by Anne, but her writing is so gorgeous, and powerful that I am berating myself at not having picked her up before this. She is definitely going right there on the shelf with other top writers of mine. And I know how vague I am being in this review, and there’s a reason for that- I don’t want to say anything and possibly ruin anything in this for you.
Birds of Paradise is poetic, enticingly dark, and beautifully macabre—it’s impossible to wrench yourself away from Anne’s words once you’ve let them inside your head. I finished this book nearly thirteen days ago, and I’m still reeling from the aftereffects. She will make you believe in dark magic with this book, because it being anything else is absolutely not a possibility.
“But you only love dead things, so maybe I don’t want to be quite alive. Maybe I need to be a little dead so you can love me too.”
About this author:
Anne Malcom has been an avid reader since before she can remember, her mother responsible for her book addiction. It started with magical journeys into the world of Hogwarts and Middle Earth, then as she grew up her reading tastes grew with her. Her obsession with books and romance novels in particular gave Anne the opportunity to find another passion, writing. Finding writing about alpha males and happily ever afters more fun than reading about them, Anne is not about to stop any time soon.