Review – Thorne: Rose's Dark Secret


Author: R.B. O’Brien

Genre: Erotic Suspense, Erotic Romance, BDSM

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My rating: 5 of 5

Blurb: “You will always be a monster – there is no turning back from it. But what kind of monster you become is entirely up to you.” ― Julie Kagawa, The Eternity Cure

The angsty story of the beautiful and submissive Rose and the dominant and sadistic Thorne continues in this second installment as William Thorne convinces himself to move on from this seemingly doomed relationship. He fights his urge to be with Rose at every turn and is determined to put her behind him in search of a new personal assistant to fulfill his every salacious need.

Obsessed with confessing the secrets of his own marred past, William desperately grasps for the balance that once kept him grounded. He yearns for the controlled way of life that satisfied him professionally, personally, and sexually long before the arrival of Rose.

But when an unforeseeable event occurs, everything William Thorne has vowed to do is again thrown into disharmony. Rose and William teeter precariously to amend their dark secrets. Will they continue to stumble and fall or can the light of love show them both happiness?

Blurb: R.B. O’Brien returns with the long expected sequel of Thorne: Rose’s Dark Contract. That young but very talented author delivers on her promises from the first part of that steamy yet psychological erotic suspense. I never believed it but Rose’s Dark Secret is even better than its predecessor. It is much deeper, it gives us a better perspective of the characters, their past and flaws. The plot is thickening, the suspense is getting heavier with each encounter between William and Rose. His anguish and her quiet despair pull the heart strings and when sex is concerned… do I even need to comment? Have no doubt that this is a novel with a strong story and character driven but the sex and kink are hot, heavy, emotional and will leave you in need of a glass of icy cold water and some private time.

William Thorne is back and he is unraveling. As the famous Oscar Wilde quote says “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.”

He is the very definition of someone whose life is ruled by the temptation of the woman he forbids himself from loving. Ironically that makes his love, lust and need for Rose even greater. There is no denying of their obvious chemistry as these two can’t keep their hands from each other. No matter how hard Thorne tries to distract himself with work, his on and off girlfriend Olivia, other personal assistants applicants, his mind is forever consumed by the memory of the girl with the golden hair and dress with magic fingers dancing on the piano. Even if he knows very well why they can never be together.

At times Thorne was getting annoying with his stubbornness and denial of obvious facts but I still think he is a fantastic character, very well drawn and flawed. At some point I had many eye roll moments at his constant reference to himself as a monster. He had spent his whole life ever since the fatal incident that changed his destiny repeating that to himself until it turned into a mantra. However, he was very skillful in the art of cruelty and tender torture. I must give credit to Rose for handling it all with as much grace as her position of a submissive in love allowed her. He surely met his match in her.

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rose when I started reading the first book even if I found her to be a sympathetic character. It is partly because I like my heroines with a bit more spitfire but that is entirely personal preference. Her naivety and intention of staying virgin until she was married made the first part such a pleasure for me, how Thorne completely turned her world upside down and demolished her inhibitions. Her corruption was truly a work of art and I enjoyed the hell out of her slow descent into depravity. Personal preferences aside, she is really worthy of admiration for her strength of character and for going after what she wanted. Rose may not be a firecracker but she has a quiet, gentle fortitude that I hope she’d continue to develop in the next chapter of that dark journey.

Besides, it is not easy to preserve your innocence when you are so responsive to temptation, physical lust and torment.

Speaking of characters, I know some people have a problem with R.B.’s leading males as being borderline abusive. I have the same problem with her “nice” guys. But you’ll find out why Mark is one of the most irritating characters when you get in the story.

The conflict of Rose and William’s past is slowly revealed to the anxious audience. I loved how the author gave us the full understanding one morsel at a time. Another really powerful moment of the story was how the addicted mother character was presented. At Book 1 we get the idea she is a horrible, vicious and completely unlikeable woman, solely responsible for William’s issues. There is a more insight in her character here, more understanding and sympathy… and then there is the unexpected ending that would knock the air out of you. I won’t give any spoilers of the plot and I’ll only say you should be prepared for an intense, emotional journey filled with love, lust, pain and need of redemption, frequent theme in R.B. O’Brien’s work.

If you like your erotic literature smart, well-written, with a steady pace and multifaceted characters, as well as wonderful scenes with BDSM dynamics, give Thorne a chance. I can’t wait for Book 3.

Interested? Go and get your copy today, you won’t regret it.


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