Review: Devil You Know (Butcher Boys #1) by Max Henry


How do you define it? I guess it’s up to the individual. Love can be a sweet gesture of flowers on your anniversary. Love can be a meal waiting at home after a long day at work. Love can be a gentle caress. Or the unspoken words in your lover’s eyes.

Love isn’t a backhand, given because of a warm beer. Love isn’t wearing long-sleeves to hide bruises from the ladies at the supermarket.

I thought I’d never experience love. Such emotion didn’t seem to fit with what I had—who I was.
But he stepped in, and showed me his.

He pulled me from the dark abyss I had lost myself to, and showed me the simple things which could bring such joy. Sun on my face. The smell of fresh coffee. Colours in the autumn leaves. All the little things.

He shows me these things, but he doesn’t share in them. He knows happiness, but he doesn’t feel it. He will give love, but never accept it.

He saved me. Now it’s my turn to return the favour …

For me personally the worst thing that can happen with a story, is that I can not connect with the characters. Unfortunately that's exactly what happened here, and if I can't connect with a character, then I don't care what happens to them. Which makes it very difficult as Jane is being abused by her husband, and I do feel terrible about that, but somehow the way it was written I didn't care about it.

I was very happy for her when her neighbour came to the rescue. Malice, her prince charming, though he's neither charming or a prince at all. He takes her away from a bad situation, and I admire him for doing that. Having that courage to step up to this bully, and being able convince Jane that she shouldn't take it anymore.

So far so good. Malice takes her somewhere where they can stay low, until all the paperwork is in order and Jane can get herself back on her feet. That's when it went downhill for me. I can understand there is a certain attraction between Jane and Malice, but with his temper and her very recent past it didn't make much sense to me. Maybe mostly it was because Jane didn't behave the way I expected an abused woman to behave, at least not in such a short period of time.

Also there is this push and pull going on between them, that was tiresome and most of all repetitive. I felt like I read the same discussion/argument over five times. There is this mysterious side to Malice, that was always hinted at, but never fully explained to almost at the end. Even when it was from his point of view, he talked more about the horrors in his mind and how he shouldn't be feeling this way towards Jane. But you know, there was just something about her.

What could have been a deep, dark and emotional story, in the end just fell flat to me. The way it was written I couldn't connect with the characters, the dialogues were tiresome and mostly repetitive, and with his big secret I really don't understand how these two people could ever make it work. I know authors can take some unusual situations, and I just go with it, but with Jane and Malice I just didn't see it.

The Author
I rediscovered my love of reading last year after never really having the time with two small children, and in doing so, realised I didn't just want to read the books - I wanted to write them.
So I put fingers to keyboard and wrote. Then wrote some more. And before you know it, here I am now.

I decided that at thirty it was high time to stop living a 'what if' life and give my dreams a chance. Lost deep in thought one day as I walked the kids in their buggy, I realised that I didn't want to be an old lady who sat and reflected on her life thinking 'what if I had tried?' I wanted to be an old lady who reflected on her life and thought 'At least I didn't leave a stone unturned.'

I am me. Life is not to be lived in the shadow of others, doing what you think your peers expect you to. Life is to be lived to the fullest, explored and challenged.

Next time you sit and think 'what if', sit and think 'what if I die tomorrow?' There is no time like the present.

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