I will protect and own her.
The Ritual, an all-new dark college
romance by USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Shantel Tessier is available now!
The Chosen One
I vow. You vow. We
Barrington University is
home of the Lords, a secret society that requires their blood in payment. They
are above all—the most powerful men in the world. They devote their lives to
violence in exchange for power. And during their senior year, they are offered
a chosen one.
People think growing up
with money is freeing, but I promise you, it’s not. My entire life has been
planned out for me. I never got the chance to do what I wanted until Ryat
Alexander Archer came along and gave me an option for a better life. He offered
me what no one else ever had—freedom.
I chose to be his. He made
me believe that anyway, but it was just another lie. A way that the Lords
manipulate you into doing what they want.
After being sucked into the
dark, twisted world of the Lords, I embraced my new role and allowed Ryat to
parade me around like the trophy I was to him. But like all things, what
started out as a game soon became a fight for survival. And the only way out
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The dark and mysterious cover is what lured me into taking a second look at this book.
The compelling blurb is what convinced me to read this book.
But unfortunately, that's where the intrigue ended for me.
I had a rollercoaster of emotions while reading this book and not in a good way. This story had SO MUCH potential, but it was just not done right IMO. I needed a deeper connection between the two lead characters and I'm not referring to the s*xual connection because there was plenty of that. The supposed suspense, was not really there. The supposed mystery, was not really there. The heroine had ZERO backbone and just went along with ANYTHING that was given to her. One minute she's complaining about having her whole life decided and controlled and how she wants to do something for herself, but then the next she gives COMPLETE CONTROL and TRUST over to essentially a complete stranger whom does unspeakable things to and with her. Umm...what? And don't even get me started on Ryat's God complex...it wasn't attractive. I went along with the unknown and craziness of the storyline until about 40% and then it started losing it for me.
This is NOT a romance. It's barely a relationship, at least not a healthy one. Are the characters perfect for each other...1000%...they are both off their kink/bdsm rockers and deserve each other, but I just didn't understand the appeal. Almost all of the s*x scenes were cringe-worthy at best and I got to the point where I skimmed over them. Idk if there's a term "consensual date r*pe", but this is basically it.
I've read plenty of books similar to this (secret society, possessive/alpha male, s*xually adventurous girl, etc etc), so idk if I'm just over this trope or what, but this book just didn't do it, which really bummed me out. I still love that cover though!
Loyalty Freshman year at Barrington
University I KNEEL IN the middle of the darkly lit room along with twenty other
men. My hands are secured tightly behind my back with a pair of handcuffs. My
shirt is torn, and blood drips from my busted lips. I’m panting, still trying to
catch my breath while my heart beats like a drum in my chest. It’s hard to hear
over the blood rushing in my ears, and I’m sweating profusely.
We were dragged out of our beds in
the middle of the night to serve. Our freshman classes at Barrington University
start in two weeks, but we already have to show our loyalty to the Lords.
“You will always have to prove
yourself,”my father once told me. “You were each given a task,”the man calls
out as he paces in front of us. His black combat boots slap against the
concrete floor with each step, the sound echoing off the walls. “Kill or be
killed. Now how many of you can fulfill it?”
“I can,” I state, lifting my head to
stick my chin out in the warm and sticky air. Sweat covers my brow after the
fight. It’s rigged. You are supposed to lose. The point is to wear you down.
See just how much you have to give. How far you can go. I made sure to win
mine. No matter what it took.
He smirks down at me like I’m fucking joking.
“Ryat. You seem so confident in yourself.”
“I know what I’m capable of
handling,”I say through gritted teeth. I don’t like being second-guessed. We
were each raised for this—to be a Lord.
Wealth got us here.
Yet our determination will separate us by the
time it’s over.
The man looks at the guy on my left
and nods. The guy walks behind me and yanks me to stand by the back of my
shirt. He undoes the cuffs, and I rip the shredded material up and over my head
before dropping my hands to my sides when what I really want to do is rub my
Never show weakness. A Lord does not feel. He’s a
The man steps up to me with a knife
in hand. He holds it out handle first to me, his black eyes almost glowing with
excitement. “Show us what you can do.”
Taking it from him, I walk over to
the chair bolted to the floor. I yank the bloody sheet off the chair to reveal
a man tied to it. His hands are cuffed behind his back, and his feet are spread
wide and secured to the chair legs.
I’m not surprised I know him—he’s a
Lord. Or was. The fact that he’s restrained tells me he’s not anymore. But that
doesn’t change my orders.
Kill without questions.
You want to be powerful? Then
you realize you are a threat to those who want your position. In order to
succeed, you don’t have to be stronger, just deadlier.
The man shakes his head, his brown
eyes pleading with me to spare his life. Multiple layers of duct tape are
placed over his mouth—those who spill secrets will be silenced. He thrashes in
Walking behind him, I look down at
his cuffed wrists. He wears a ring on his right hand; it’s a circle with three
horizontal lines across the middle. It stands for power.
Not just anyone would know what it means, but
I do. Because I wear the same one. Everyone in this room does. But just because
you get one doesn’t mean you’ll keep it.
I reach down and grab his hand. He
begins to shout behind the tape as he tries to fight me, but I remove the ring
easily and walk back around to stand in front of him. “You don’t deserve
this,”I say to him, placing it in my pocket. “You betrayed us, your brothers,
yourself. The payment for that is death.”
When he throws his head back and
screams into the tape, I press the knife to his neck, right below his jawline.
His breathing fills the room, and his body strains, waiting for the first cut.
A Lord does not show mercy. Blood and
tears are what we demand from those who betray us.
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