Monday, September 24, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: Into The Darkest Night by Cassandra Giovanni

Into the darkest Night banner

This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Into the Darkest Night by Cassandra Giovanni. This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 18 till 24 September. See the tour schedule here.

Into the Darkest NightAuthor: Cassandra Giovanni
Series: The Chaos Theory Duet #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Show n'ot Tell Publishing
Release Date: September 18th 2018
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Lola's Blog Tours
Blurb (from Goodreads):
I was born a child of the Elite; destined to live a life of privilege in Sun City.
With one decision I gave it all up.

Ana Jacobs knows the Elite and their depravity all too well. She was one of them once. Her father was a member of the Inner Circle and head of the Trinity funding the corruption of Sun City. When he learned she knew the names of those he'd hidden so well, he turned his back on her; had her kidnapped and tortured to protect his secrets.

When she escapes the island and learns of her father’s death at the hands of a knife-wielding vigilante called the Nightwatchman, she returns to Sun City, vowing to use her knowledge to protect the city. As a city cop, she blends into the background, and no one suspects her real motives.

Levi Bennett knows where Ana’s been. He's also an Elite, but where Ana was sent to the island, he ended up there by accident. While Ana buries herself in her work and stopping the flow of illegal drugs and weapons into the poverty-stricken Blue District, Levi covers his pain by partying and spending his trust fund on buying bars and restaurants.

Thrown together by Levi’s constant pressing of the limits, the two can’t deny the connection they share through their dark pasts.

Their demons are one in the same, but some demons can’t be tamed.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Lola's Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.

I’m a huge fan of superheroes, but lately I’ve been wishing for a little bit more darkness with them, the kind of darkness that matches the will to make some things right while doing all the wrong things to get there. Because let’s face it, superheroes are all fun and games when they’re on your side, and like one of the characters said in this book, their motives aren’t always known by people. So when I heard of Into the Darkest Night, I knew I had to read it.

Let me tell you right off the bat that the similarities with Green Arrow are what intrigued me at first. I love the idea of a female superhero, and having Ana as a version of Arrow makes me even happier. But that doesn’t make Ana a copycat by any means, it makes her a very fun version of a really famous superhero. Being somewhat familiar with that storyline, and especially with the TV show, I was expecting something in the same vein, but this book really surprised me. By making Ana the main character, the author wrote a much darker story that I anticipated, and let me tell you, I loved it.

Ana is a survivor, a fighter, and I loved reading her journey. Her story doesn’t start with a need for redeeming her family’s legacy, per se, it’s more revenge that drives her. Revenge and the need to understand why. Why was she abducted, why was she tortured, what is the truth about her family and her father, why was her father killed. I also loved the fact that the author showed how Ana was struggling with being back in Sun City, and how the horrors of the past five years were still plaguing her. The flashbacks showed just a small part of what she endured, but she definitely went through a lot more than what they showed. Her PTSD didn’t magically go away just because she started a relationship with Levi, nor because she became a cop, and the psychologist side of me was thrilled to see that. Not because I enjoy seeing characters suffer, but because it felt much more realistic for what she went through.

It’s pretty obvious that she’s hiding something, and I wonder what exactly. There’s no hint as to what exactly that is, and it intrigues me a lot. I’d love to see more of how she acquired her skills, what she had to do in order to master each of those skills, but also how she was discovered. I really liked Anna, and I wonder where her story will lead to.

Levi is the big mystery for me, because I’m not 100% sure of his intentions, I’m kind of skeptical to believe his actions. I do believe he is hiding something, and not the rather obvious element of the story. Though it’s easy to suspect him of doing his own kind of vigilante activity, I find it hard to believe everything is as easy to uncover as this first book in the duet makes it seem. While he came back a changed man from the island, I’m not certain he’s his own person. Because we only see things from Ana’s perspective, I can’t really tell if he has the same trouble adjusting as Ana does, or if he is just a great actor. I may be wrong, but he seems to have all the right reactions at the right time. So I kind of suspect him of some stuff. Not necessarily that he’s a villain, but that something or someone is involved in whatever it is that he is doing in his free time, and not as a helping hand either.

The ending was somewhat expected and yet surprising. Not only is it a huge cliffhanger, but it also seems too neatly tied up. Like I said, I have my doubts that this story is as easily uncovered as it looks like right now. And while the similarities between Anna and the Arrow are rather big, the two characters are definitely different enough to make me in love with the story. I’m very excited about the next book, and I’m also kind of hoping there will be more than just one book in Cassandra Giovanni’s superhero world.

You can add Into the Darkest Night to your to-read list on Goodreads

You can buy Into the Darkest Night here:
- Amazon
- Kobo
- B&N
- iTunes
- Google Play

Into the Darkest Night

Book Excerpt:
“So, you and Lily?” I ask, pointing between the two of them as the familiar burn settles into my throat. Alcohol isn’t something I’ve missed, and I watch Levi from the corner of my eyes as he shakes his head when the bartender offers more. It’s in direct violation of everything in his files. My fingers tingle, and I pull them into fists at my sides as I look back to Robbie. He nods, and his nose twitches as he signals for the bartender to fill him up. Lily tucks a loose strand behind her ear and shakes her head to the bartender. She shifts from foot to foot as she stares down at her tan and teal cowboy boots.
“Want to dance?” Robbie asks Lily, and her eyes widen with relief.
“Yeah, that sounds great.”
They disappear into the crowd on the dance floor, and I sit on the stool beside Levi, letting my head roll to my shoulder, so I’m looking at him. “Just happened to get too loud tonight?”
He smirks, watching the crowd sway to the music. “Check the business’ file like you did mine, and you’ll see it happens regularly. Our neighbors just aren’t that fun.”
“Mhmm,” I reply as I lean back.
“So, you and Robbie—how did I not know you?” Levi finally asks, changing the subject.
I raise my eyebrows at him, and his hands are in fists, the smile on his lips gone.
“It was after you went missing— but I was around before that – we’re both Elite, well, were. You were just a tad bit engrossed with Lily from what I remember,” I reply.
His eyes drift to the ceiling. “Ah, yeah—that.”
“It must’ve been awkward coming back to…” I don’t know how to put softly your best friend dating your girlfriend. I don’t understand why my throat thickens as I watch his reaction. I shouldn’t care if it bothers him.
Maybe it’s because I get how lonely coming back is. My toes curl in my shoes at the thought. Loneliness is my only friend.
Levi leans forward, pressing his muscular forearms into his knees. “Just a little bit.” His shoulders lift, and his eyes come up to mine, causing an eruption of tingles up my spine. “But they’re good for each other. I’m not who I used to be, so it’s not like it would’ve worked anyway.”
Butterflies erupt out of dormant chrysalis I never thought would be awakened as his eyes flick over my face. The calculated smugness is gone, and the man before me is part the innocent boy I had a crush on all throughout high school and part damaged man that I feel, stupidly–no doubt–that only I could ever understand.
I turn in the stool, so I’m facing the bar. “Do you have anything that doesn’t taste like Windex?”
Levi laughs as he goes behind the divider. He reaches up to the top shelf lined with expensive looking bottles, and his shirt lifts, showing one of the dimples in his back and a pale scar that travels diagonally from it. My eyes follow the line to a tattoo of a kanji—Japanese character—for a skill I’ve yet to master.
Seishinteki kyōyō: spiritual refinement.
Judging by its placement on his back, he has almost as many skill marks as I do. Not only did Levi survive the same hell I did, but he’s received the same training.
Levi Bennett is a Shinobi—a ninja.
Just like me.
We’re something that isn’t supposed to exist in the modern age, yet here we are. I watch as he mixes me a drink, dropping a cherry in the glass before sliding it across the concrete counter to me.
“How’s paying for your father’s sins going?” he asks.
I raise an eyebrow, looking at the dark pink drink. “What’s this?”
His voice is level as he answers, “Unoriginal Sin.”
My eyes lift to his, and he leans down on his forearms, so our faces are inches apart.
“Real original, Shinobi,” I say, my voice so low only he can hear it.
He stands up and rubs his hand over his the scruff around his mouth down to his chin.
“I guess we’re more similar than I thought,” he says. His eyes flick to the television as he nods to it. “He’s trying to save the city, too. Looks like he’s doing a better job, though.”
I read the text scrolling across the screen since the volume isn’t on.
The Nightwatchman has struck again, this time taking out Adam Cleary, an international businessman. It appears Cleary was involved with sex trafficking.
My ears ring. Another name from my list and my prime suspect for the Nightwatchman is standing in front of me with his arms crossed and pulsing with irritatingly sexy muscles.

Cassandra GiovaniAbout the Author:
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. She writes romance books in various genres, including adult romance, new adult romance and teen romance. She also has several kids books. In addition to being a published author, Cassandra is a successful full-time financial marketer. When she’s not making the characters in her head come to life, she either has her bow and arrows or longboard skateboard in hand. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their daughter Hope and their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

You can find and contact Cassandra Giovanni here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Goodreads
- Amazon

There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Into the Darkest Night. One winner will win a paperback copy of Into the Darkest Night. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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