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Promises and Pomegranates (Monsters & Muses, 1)

Rating: 3 Stars

"Was the first taste of ruin not enough for you? Do you still crave my darkness, little one?"

To most, Kal Anderson is a villain. Harbinger of death, keeper of souls, frequenter of nightmares. Doctor Death. Hades incarnate. They say he stole me. Usurped my fiance and filled the cracks in my heart with empty promises. Imprinted his crimson fingerprints on my psyche and tried to set me free. They're not wrong, per se. Except it was my choice to stay. To most, Elena Ricci is an innocent. Goddess springtime, lover of poetry, angel of my nightmares. Little one. Persephone personified. They say I ruined her. Shattered her virtue and devoured her soul like a succulent pomegranate. Embedded my evil as deep as I could possibly get and tried to set her free. They're not wrong, per se. Except it was she who ruined me.

Okay so I was a little disappointed with this book. I really loved the novella and this book just didn't even have the same vibes that the novella did. Elena and Kal felt like such different characters that it took me a moment to adjust to things. I honestly wish I hadn't read the novella, because this book is completely different. This book starts with Kal pretending that he has no interest in Elena and her dad making a deal with Kal to protect her; but Kal is playing a whole other game in the process that gets hard to follow.

The relationship between Kal and Elena is mostly just full of them ignoring each other, Elena falling in love, Kal continuing to pretend he doesn't have feelings, and them sleeping together. I think they both work well together because they compliment the other's issues well and provide a counter to it. However, throwing in the jealous mom element just made things awkward, it felt like a forced obstacle for them to overcome; when the fact that it was a mafia romance could have opened up so many other opportunities for obstacles.

I also feel like the Hades and Persephone element was overdone and not really used well. I really wish this book had gone a different route, to me it just seemed like it was creating a greater plot outline that would play into the rest of the books in the series, and Kal and Elena got lost along the way. I wish the book had been more to the level of the novella. However, I am open to reading the next one to see if I feel any differently about things.

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