Book Reviews, Bully Romance, Dark Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Laces by Tempi Lark

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Laces; Boys of Hawthorne Asylum #1 
(#1 in a series)

Publication Date: January 31, 2021

Genre: New Adult/Dark Romance/Intrigue

Author: Tempi Lark

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



I’m completely Gobsmacked and want to assign 100 stars!! Laces is the BEST kind of psychopath I think I’ve ever read. Tempi’s writing is brilliant as the story unfolds and I can’t wait for more Hannibal Sketcher.

Hawthorne Asylum holds the underage criminally unstable. Kids that hopefully could be rehabilitated, but were too disturbed to even face juvie or jail. These children may seem like they are working towards rehabilitation so they can reenter society, but are they actually safer in HA living away from the evil that placed them there?

Laces, from the very beginning, had me snickering (I’m not sure if that also makes me unstable). He is unapologetically himself, knows his own faults and realizes that he will probably never be released from Hawthorne because of them. What we don’t know is if Laces is playing into the game because he is highly intelligent, extremely gifted, and is clearly the top dog when it comes to how things are done at Hawthorne. (How I ended up loving the weird psycho more and more as the book progressed).

Gambrielle arrives as the new girl at Hawthorne after a very public trial, clearly broken, and thrown to the wolves (I mean hierarchy of boys) who live at the asylum. It doesn’t take Gambrielle long to realize that she needs to play nice with Laces and his friends, but she doesn’t exactly trust them. Gambrielle’s whole focus is on earning enough points to earn a pass to go home. Not that she misses her family, but she needs time to clear her name and she will never achieve that locked away. Is she crazy…well she is locked in an asylum afterall. She has a lot of problems that we don’t know the full extent behind of why she has them, but she is an intriguing character as she unfolds more and more throughout the book.

Laces is absolutely brilliant! Hands down, intelligently written and pieced together in just the right way to keep the intrigue flowing that I didn’t realize the end was coming until I turned the last page. The bomb dropped on that last page….WHAT!!!!! Tempi, I loved it and didn’t expect it and need more, more, more of Gambrielle and Laces.

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Welcome to Hawthorne Asylum.

Welcome to hell.

This place isn’t run by the doctors who make you talk or the orderlies who force you to swallow your pills.

It belongs to them, to the Infamous Four.

Tabloids, talk shows, documentaries—their faces have been plastered everywhere. Not because of their impressive rap sheets, but because of how they look.

And when I arrive, they take notice. Especially their king: Lincoln “Laces” Caster.

He’s dark and disturbed.

He’s controlling and possessive.

The exact kind of boy I should stay away from if I want to clear my name and get out of here.

* This is an upper-YA bully romance not intended for readers under seventeen. This book may contain triggers for some readers.



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