Book Review: Monster in His Eyes by J.M. Darhower

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Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I'm thinking before I even do.

It's alarming and alluring. It's dark and deadly. It's everything I've ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn't take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it's too late. He has secrets, secrets I can't fathom, secrets that make it so I can't walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that's both terrifying and thrilling. He's a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.
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 5 STARS

Suspense-heavy novels are always a little difficult to review because you never want to give away too much. You want to talk about the parts that you loved, but you don't want to ruin the element of surprise. But I need to do it. Just a little bit. I need to do something to shake off this book-hangover I've got. Because I have got it bad for Monster in His Eyes! While I won't be getting too plot-specific *squeals and covers mouth*, I really need to talk about everything J.M. Darhower put me through! ;)

Karissa Reed is just an 18-year-old college freshman. At first, there's nothing particularly remarkable about her. Raised by a single mom, no spectacular social life, no boyfriend. Ignazio "Naz" Vitale, on the other hand, is immediately fascinating and mysterious. Their first couple of encounters were a little unsettling, yet I felt compelled to know more about this guy. This much older guy. Who is he? Where any girl in her right mind would typically be cautious and slowly back away, curiosity took precedence. Then, something happens between them, and there's just no looking back. No walking away now.
He turns to me as soon as we’re alone in his house. The air is heavy, and his eyes are dark, the blue like midnight in the dim lighting. It’s like seeing him for the first time all over again, but being greeted by an entirely different creature.

He’s a beast. A monster.

And he looks like he wants to devour me.
The more intense their bond became, though, the thought lingered in the back of my mind: Why her? Even she asked, Why her? Naz knows everything about her, can read her like a book, and is always one step ahead.

The beginning was almost like a fairy tale, with the way he doted on her, like Cinderella going to the ball. But as the tale kept spinning, it felt more like Beauty getting locked up with the Beast. The armor on Karissa's knight isn't so shiny, and although he's charming, he's no proper prince. Naz kept pulling her (and me, of course!) deeper and deeper. He let Karissa in, and she willingly followed him into those dark corners. As more details about his past and his "work" were unveiled, my Hmmm's progressively turned into HMMMMMM's! But still, I stayed with it. Just like Karissa, I was caught in the web with no chance to get out! 
"I wasn’t supposed to like you, Karissa…There’s something about you…something I’ve sought for a very long time. Something I’ve always wanted. And now that I’ve found it, I don’t know if I can let it go.”
“Then don’t,” I say.

“You don’t know what you’re asking.” 
Even as Karissa met more of his family and noticed how people react around him, everywhere they go, the warning signs and red flags were there. (At one point, I actually squealed at my Kindle, "Oh, sweetie, biggest hint ever!")...But, that big flashing *but*...For Karissa, I think the signs of trouble got lost in the haze. A haze of all the things she's never seen or felt or had before, things that someone was finally providing for her for the first time in her life.
Happiness is being fucked so rough you can hardly breathe, can hardly speak…Happiness is waking up the next morning, barely able to recall your own name, because the only one that mattered for hours was his, screamed so loud your throat is painfully raw, like the name bled from your lips.
Naz made her feel, and I got the goosebumps, the tingling down my spine, and each new thrill right along with her. She had a naive, inexperienced air to her, so I understood how she'd be completely overwhelmed by someone like Naz. She had no chance against him. (I was certainly knocked off my feet.)
I’m not sure when it happened, which minute it was that drove me to the brink, pushing me over the edge and making me feel like I can fly without wings...the man became the beat of my heart and blood in my veins…all it took was ticking seconds, one after another, slowly altering it all.
Then, the darkness of Ignazio Vitale began to seep through the cracks. By the time she realized that she was in so deep, it was too late. The more of himself that Naz gave to Karissa, the more it took over both of them. It was intoxicating. There were moments when it was as if time slowed down, with so much to take in. (A certain scars scene. Tore. Me. Up. *buries face in hands*)

At last, everything unraveled. My breath caught when it all started to click. It felt like picking up each of those red flags, waving them in the air, and crying out, "A-ha!" Because *it* dropped like a devastating bomb. 
My world was a sunny sky before him, a pretty picture...and he painted it black with the truth, splattering it with red from the bloodshed.
When I turned the final page, my eyes were wide and my jaw practically unhinged...Heart pounding, mind racing, repeating "Wow" as if it were a prayer...15 minutes after I finished reading, that was me. Still.

Monster in His Eyes was gritty, heartrending, and a little twisted, yet it was beautiful, passionate, powerful, and all-consuming. It deserves 5 stars and a slow-clap, and the story isn't even over yet! I can not wait for book two, Torture in Her Soul!

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PURCHASE


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MORE FROM J.M. DARHOWER

| Torture to Her Soul | 5 Star Review + Playlist |

| Author Interview |

***ARC provided by author in exchange for honest review***