Poison Roses (Boys of Bellerose #1) by Tate James and Jaymin Eve
“How can it only be days, when it feels like I’ve never existed until we met.”
There is something so genuinely special about a book that has you so excited while you are reading it. Poison Roses is one of those books for me! I literally finished this book within a day, electronically flipping through the pages so quickly and eagerly to continue the story to see what will happen to Billie Bellerose and the boys of the Bellerose band. This was a complete 5 star (maybe even more!) review for me, having me feel all the feels, eagerly anticipating what will happen, and being surprised and tortured by the cliffhanger!
Billie Bellerose thought she hit her rock bottom at the age of sixteen when she broke her first love's heart, ending their relationship so that she wouldn't ruin his burgeoning rockstar career. Boy, was she wrong. Things progressively got worse for Billie, and now eight years later, she finds herself homeless, jobless, covered in blood, and running into a ghost from her past, Angelo Ricci. Angelo, or Angel, was the second boy Billie ever loved, and now he knows that Billie saw him shoot and kill a man. He is looking for her now, has his mafia men all over the city hunting for her. And if they find Billie, she's good as dead.
Billie isn't giving up or giving in that easily though. She will do whatever she needs to in order to escape the Ricci family. As she is running, she ends up finding sanctuary with the least expected, and most unwilling of allies - Bellerose. Bellerose is the hottest rock star band in the world, and it is just par for the course for Billie to stumble into their group as she is running for her life. It's not her best plan to hide out with them on tour to escape the city she is in, but it is all she has left. But the only person who hates her just as much, if not more, than Angel is Bellerose's frontman, Jace... aka Billie's first love. Jace owes her though, he literally named his band after her.
I was absolutely captivated by every single one of the characters we met in this story and I both love and find it torturous how Tate James and Jaymin Eve are slowly revealing the characters and their histories bit by bit. The more I learn, the more I want to know about these characters! Each of them seem to have quite a story and history - who caused the fire in Billie's childhood home? Who is Gray's family and how did he escape? Why was Angelo not able to escape from his mafia family? What happened with Jace that caused Billie to break both of their hearts when they were young? This is just the first book in the series released in January (the second installment was released earlier this week) and the third and fourth will be released in March and April consecutively. I love that this is a rapid release and we do not have to wait months or even a year for the next release since this series has squeezed its fingers around my heart and I am in love!
Poison Roses is told from multiple POVs, and will take you on a wild ride. Being able to connect with each of the characters in their POV, it enabled me to really connect with all of their characters and fall in love with them all individually. Billie is a strong, independent, stubborn female character. She has had a terribly rough time since she was sixteen, running, living on the fly, paycheck to paycheck, yet she is surviving. Though strong, she also comes across as lonely and sad. She's been on her own for eight years, and that cannot be easy. When she sees Angel for the first time in a scary, volatile situation, I was not sure if we (because I am right there in the story with Billie) could trust him, if he wanted to harm or hurt her. We really only got glimpses of Angel in this first book, and all from Billie's POV. With each glimpse, I became more curious and could see that Billie still meant something to him - what that is to be determined still.
While running from Angel, the first person from Bellerose that Billie runs into and takes her in is Rhett. Rhett is curious and interested in Billie, likes that she has no idea who he is. But Rhett also has this savior complex that you can witness immediately. I can't tell if it was because he felt an instant connection with Billie, or for some other reason, but he could see she was in trouble and wanted nothing more than to help her any way he could. Throughout this first book, learning more about Rhett, his strength and vulnerabilities, his passion, and sexiness was so fun and I easily fell in love with him right along with Billie.
In comes Jace - Billie's first love and face of the band. He is ANGRY when he sees Billie, wants her out of the picture and gone, yet he can't keep his eyes off her. He is furious she is there but also wants to protect her once he learns she is on the run from the Ricci family. He is insanely jealous of the budding relationship between Rhett and Billie, but also doesn't want her for himself. Jace is struggling hard in this book and I can see his point. His love, the woman he thought he would spend his life with and build this awesome career with, broke his heart. He has not wrote all his songs for the band about his pain and hurt. He cannot seem to break way from his pain and I hope he and Billie can talk and be honest with each other of what happened. There is alot of hurt between the two of them but also you can just feel the love.
Last, but certainly not least, is Gray. Gray is fierce. He is strong, secretive, protective, and very much musically talented like all the rest of them. Gray has a past that I cannot wait to learn more about. How is he able to kill a man by just punching him? How is he extremely handy with a gun? What did he do with his family and how did he get away from them? He is very close lipped for most of the book but has this spark with Billie. I love his no nonsense way of how he speaks and handles Billie. He intuitively knows what she needs and gets her through some scary situations.
Honestly, I could write a novel myself on this first book and how much I loved it! I am just focusing on the characters for now because even though we are given some detail into the ultimate story and what we expect to see unfold, I do not want to give anything away! Instead, I want to intrigue you enough with these character descriptions so that you'll pick up a copy of this book as well! This story had everything for me - secrets, steamy love scenes, angry and jealous moments, drama, twists and turns, friendships, and ultimately love. We have both dark and light moments, anger and humor, suspense and spice.
If you’d like to see what I’m reading now, check out my Goodreads or follow us on Instagram and Facebook! If you’re excited to see what other topics we’ll be covering in the coming months, make sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading with me!