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

Review – Poisoned Paradise by Lucy Smoke

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Poisoned Paradise; Black Heart Romance presents Heaven and Hell 
(A standalone within a series; Black Heart Romance, 6 books)

Publication Date: September 3, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Taboo/Forbidden/Bully/New Adult/Dark Romance

Author: Lucy Smoke

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



A new taboo twist with smexy, dark themes.

Lucy Smoke leads this book with a content warning. Normally, I love jumping into a book wide-eyed and fresh, but for some reason, this particular warning caught my attention and I’m glad it did, and here’s why…

This book is labeled taboo and forbidden and while I would definitely give it a dark label and bully label, and if I had jumped into reading Poisoned Paradise without any prior notice, then I could see the first two labels sticking, but, and this is a big but, Lucy is excellent at writing this story with a lot of gray undertones that allows readers to not only want these two characters to work out in the end, but also to work out for the right reasons.

As a reader if, like me, you decide to read the content warning, understand that those reasons are important and I won’t give away what those are just in case you are normally are like me and like to dive in head first. However, since I did actually read the warning and it basically gave away THE huge reveal, I had mixed feelings throughout reading the book. On one hand I was glad I did know because otherwise those gray undertones I was talking about, weeeellllllll, they could have been a bit darker than I might have been willing to handle. On the other, since I did know…as a reader we love getting to those twists. I suppose I’ll never know because I did know, but aside from that, I REALLY enjoyed the story and I REALLY enjoyed Lucy’s writing. This will not be my last book by her, because I forgot to mention, this is the very first book by Lucy Smoke. WOW, what a story to jump into plot wise, but I am hugely impressed with how she writes and I want to return.

Willow and Ryan grow up in foster care together, but end up split up for six years not connecting again until college. Ryan is a huge bully, dark and mean. He wants nothing to do with Willow and makes it known that she needs to stay away. As much as she’d love to reconnect, she also knows better, as he never once responded over the six years he was gone from her life, however, some force seems to keep pushing them together and no matter how much Ryan keeps tormenting her, she can’t find it in herself to hate him.

There is certainly more than what meets the eye between these two, but will they destroy everything around them for love?

There are some great twists and the secondary characters help drive the plot as well. I really enjoyed the book overall and no matter what the taboo theme was, I was happy to take the ride.



Six years ago, I made a mistake. The worst mistake I could have ever possibly made. I fell in love with the wrong person and … I told him.

Ryan’s always been with me ever since I can remember. It’s been the two of us—side by side. Through every new beginning, every new ‘family’, and every failure. Is it any wonder that the love I had for him turned into something different—something deeper? Something utterly rotten?

And is it any wonder that he hates me for it now?


I’m a damaged soul, and she’s the only thing that’s ever held me together. But the one woman I want is the one woman I can never have.

She thinks I hate her for her confession, and maybe a part of me does. What I hate more, though, is that I have to push her away to keep her safe. That I have to pretend like I don’t fucking want her when she’s all I’ve been able to think about for the last six years.

We’re no fucking Romeo and Juliet. We’re much worse than that.

A love like ours was doomed from the start.

**NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Alright guys, I’m gonna need your trust on this one. This might seem like a crazy idea and I assure you, it is. But I’m here, on my knees now, for you―asking you to trust me. TRUST. IN. ME. It’s gonna be fine. Just get to the end and you’ll understand why I had to do this. This is a STANDALONE book.**

Find more of my reviews on Amazon under Kayreader
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