I accepted a review copy of Dancing With the Devil, by Gayatri R./Gayatri Ramchandran. It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight.
They didn’t call me “The Raven” for no reason.
I’m known for being ruthless, lethal, and dangerously magnetic. I’m a shadow, the monster pirouetting in the dark. I’m feared yet loved by all, and the entire city surrenders to my name as I rule them with an iron fist.
People always look both ways before crossing me.
Until Bianca Romano turned my life into a storm with just a single glance.
She became mine to keep.
My beautiful temptation.
I broke my rules for her, but that doesn’t mean she can control me.
She’s staying, and she wants to play my game.
But I’ll show her exactly who’s in control.
They call him “The Raven.”
Legend has it that if you look at him, there’s no going back. But I bent my rules for him, and now I’m his, with no way out.
Corvo De La Rossi isn’t the monster he claims to be.
Because I know underneath that brutal exterior lies a lot of pain.
If he’s the monster, the beast in this fairytale, then I’m the beauty who will put back the broken, lost pieces of him-the one who will tame him.
I am in a really, really awkward place reviewing this book. So, I’m just going to lay it on the table. I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. And often ARCs come to reviewers before they’ve had their final editing pass. So, it’s not uncommon to find the occasional editing mishap. I’m used to that. We look over them. But Dancing With the Devil seemed to have come to me before it had any editing, despite releasing only days after I read it. The file I read was really quite rough. I would have DNFed it if I hadn’t been committed to the review.
I normally wouldn’t talk about this in a public review. It, of course, isn’t pertinent to those purchasing or reading the book after it’s had further editing. Presuming it does; we reviewers generally take it on faith that the books will get that additional, final pass. But I feel like I have to mention it here, because I’m not wholly able to disentangle how much of my dislike for the book was because of how unpleasant and uncomfortable it was to actually read and how much was not liking the actual story and writing style itself. Do you see my difficulty? I don’t think I can fairly review it without including this note on a possible conflict.
At the end of the day, I gave this a 1-star. I might have been willing to grant it an extra star if I had a cleaner copy and knew some of the over-inflated dialogue was toned down and smoothed out. But I don’t think it ever would have been a real winner. Raven talks in catch-phrases, monologues like a super villain pretty much constantly. The plot judders along inconsistently. I was never even wholly able to decide if Raven’s demonic descriptions were meant to suggest he physically had a demonic form or was just poetic license, on the author’s part. (So, I literally don’t know if this is a paranormal or contemporary book AND I’VE FINISHED IT.)
All in all, the best I can maybe say for Gayatri R.’s Dancing With the Devil is that I finished it.
Cheryl’s Booknook: Book Review Dancing With the Devil