Published: 24 August 2020
Series: Devils of Sun Valley High #1
Warnings: Language, violence, sexual assault
Roman Valdez is the Devil.
He sneers at me.
He hates me.
He wants to hurt me.
Let him try.
He thinks he’s untouchable. The self-appointed Devil of Sun Valley High.
But I’ve already lost everything and everyone I care about.
It’s me he should be afraid of. Not the other way around.
Because I have nothing left to lose, and he can’t break what’s already broken.
At least, that’s what I thought.
But when the Devil begins picking up the pieces, I realize while he might not break me. He can absolutely shatter me, heart and soul.
And I just might let him.
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This review is a long one, as I had a lot to say about this book. And still I could have said more. This is the edited version! But I found it hard to find the words to describe Wicked Devil in just a short number of words, so I’ll just start with this. If you’re like me, I think you’ll find that this book is like a slow burn – it will quietly draw you in without you realising it is happening, until you find yourself completely involved.
Wicked Devil is set in a high school. And if this school is an indication of what schools are like today, I’m glad I am well past those years! It is a mean place with traps and pitfalls waiting to trip up the unsuspecting.
Wicked Devil tackles the hard topics. Family issues, social pressures, racial issues, personal demons, substance abuse, evil violence – they all play a part in this story. And I struggle to call this book a romance. The ‘romance’ part of the story is far more about ownership & dominance. There is romance there, but it is just one layer of many in this book.
The story follows Alejandra (Allie) as she navigates through the recent death of a parent, subsequent transfer to a new school, and her interactions with the people around her. Both the people she left behind, as well as the new people she meets.
Allie struggles throughout this book. She has issues that she has to face, from within herself as well as external. Daniela Romero does a fantastic job of showing us the story through the eyes of the two main characters, but we spend more time seeing through Allie’s eyes than we do Roman‘s. We get to know her well.
For the first third or so of the book, Allie is the main thing that kept me wanting to keep reading this book. I was finding the characters too objectionable and unlikeable to make me want to keep going, but I was feeling empathetic enough to Allie to want to know more. But as we got to know the characters more, I became more invested in them and by the end, I couldn’t put it down.
On her first day at her new school Allie meets Roman and her very first impression is that he is a rude jock. He is no more impressed by her, calling her a spoiled brat. With that, the tone is set for their early interactions.
Roman is a difficult character to like. He’s mean, selfish and focused entirely on what he wants. There’s also an element of sadistic pleasure from him when it comes to the suffering of others. I definitely didn’t like that side of him & I struggled to overcome that dislike, when you consider that he (like all of the characters) is only 17 years old. He already has a wall of indifference to others about himself. He does come to show his softer side though, allowing the reader to see inside enough for him to become something more than just the nasty front that we see so much of from him.
There is also a strong set of characters around Allie and Roman and we’re given the opportunity to get to know some of them quite well. They definitely aren’t just background material. I enjoyed this aspect of the book and it definitely made for a more immersive story, as I found myself caring about them.
This book is the first in a series. As I haven’t as yet read the next in the series I can’t be sure, but it looks like there might be more in store for these two characters. There’s no cliffhanger for them though – this book can be read as a stand alone.
Before I finish this review, there is an aspect to this book that needs to be addressed, as it will be too much for some readers. Daniela Romero addresses it herself and I think she explains it quite well without having to resort to spoilers, so I will share the warning in her own words that she gives at the beginning of the book. But be warned though – the chapters being referred to aren’t gently handled or glossed over – they are harsh and raw and detailed.
“THIS IS YOUR TRIGGER WARNING. If you are easily triggered, Wicked Devil may not be for you. If you would still like to enjoy this book and perhaps gloss over the sensitive scenes, please skim/skip chapters 25 and Chapter 35”.
This book delves deep, sometimes uncomfortably so. It is definitely not light hearted. It will make you feel. There was anger, horror, sympathy, annoyance, disgust – you name it, I felt it. And to be honest I can’t say that I enjoyed it. It was too uncomfortable. Disturbing even. But that’s not stopping me from heading straight into book 2 in the series though – I’ll be starting it as soon as I finish writing this review. Because as uncomfortable as it was, I want to know what comes next.
Keep watching for my review of book 2 in the series, Savage Devil – I’ll be posting it in the next day or two!
Thank you to the author and TalkNerdy2Me PR for allowing me to read this ebook.
Daniela Romero is a Snarky AF, Latinx Author, who happens to also be a Mom of 3. Born and raised in sunny California, she now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and is happy to enjoy all four seasons even if the snow can sometimes be a bit much. She hates cheese–of all kinds–and yes that means she orders cheeseless pizza. Daniela is an ENTJ all the way which means she loves to talk (a lot) and is probably as extroverted as they come so feel free to shoot her a message, send a raven, throw up smoke signals. Whatever it may be. She love’s chatting with readers so feel free to stalk her.