Title: Poison Roses
Series: Boys of Bellerose #1
Author: Jaymin Eve, Tate James
Genre: Dark Reverse Harem Romance
Published: January 3, 2023
Format: eBook ARC
Poison Roses - Review
The first thing that caught my eye about Poison Roses was the tropes – Reverse Harem, Mafia, and Rockstar. Secondly, the writing duo – Jaymin Eve and Tate James. I love the Dark Legacy series by the authors and I was pretty excited to read this one and expected it to match along the lines of their first series.
It was also one of my most anticipated reads of 2023. I found the concept of the story interesting. It has a mix of my favorite tropes and I wondered how they would work out together. This is my first read of 2023, and here’s what I thought about it.
"A poisoned Rose, beautiful and cruel, stolen away by fallen Angel, you played me like a fool."
Poison Roses is the first in the four-book Boys of Bellerose series. It follows the story of Billie Bellerose, who hasn’t had a decent life since she turned 16. She’s been struggling throughout, living a life of destitution.
One day, she finds a temporary waitressing job at a restaurant, which turns out to be disastrous as a shootout occurs with the Ricci family in the forefront. She is reunited with Angelo Ricci, one of the boys she loved in the past, who is also a part of the Mafia family. Fearing for her life, she escapes him.
She is homeless, penniless and on the run from the Mafia. And in a weird twist of fate, she ends up with the Bellerose Rockstar band – a band named after her by her ex-boyfriend Jace.
It seemed life was hell-bent on making her confront her past. She was entangled with Jace and Angelo in their childhood. She loved Jace but had broken up with him when they were 16.
Now that they were reunited, we see just how wrecked the past has made Jace. We also meet the other characters in the band, Rhett and Grayson (who are also a part of the harem) and two others (whose names I do not remember now lol).
"You're not a problem, Thorn. I'm starting to think maybe you're the solution."
The book is written in all the main characters’ POV (majorly from the heroine’s) so we get a glimpse of the heroes’ pasts.
Billie’s character starts off strong, but somewhere I found her lacking a little bit. If the heroines I read are described as strong, I expect her to be bold and not just think about being it. I found her a little wishy-washy with her thought processes and behavior. I am hoping I can connect more with her in the next books.
Jace is the lead singer in the Bellerose gang and hates Billie. He is vitriolic when it comes to Billie. Almost all their songs are about Billie breaking his heart by cheating with his best friend (Angelo). I hated him completely because he was so self-centered throughout the book, he never once considered the danger Billie could have been in, and never let her explain.
Rhett is the one who meets her first while she is on the run, and provides her with the support and safety that she needs. It’s insta-lust on his part, but he starts caring for her and I loved how soft and gentle he was with her.
Grayson is that mysterious guy in the harem lurking in the background. He also has a dark secret that he’s hiding from everyone. It isn’t clear in the beginning if he hates Billie, but eventually, he starts to care for her too.
Angelo! I loved him the moment he entered the scene in the first few chapters. We aren’t sure if he will turn out to be a good or a bad guy, but he cares for Billie – which is apparent in the limited interactions they have in this book.
The main characters are bound by their pasts, and somehow the darkness they have faced, and their love for music – binds them together in some way – like the puzzle pieces waiting to come together.
As I said before, I liked the premise of the story. Poison Roses has a nice set-up for the entire plot. The Ricci family, the Bellerose Rock band, Billie’s, and the heroes’ past, all promise to make for an intriguing dark romance. It’s a good blend of mystery, darkness, death, and second chances.
The pace is good, and the story focuses more on the rockstar bit than Mafia – which I am sure we will see more of in the coming books.
There’s a lot to unravel, and Poison Roses ends on a solid cliffhanger that leaves you with more questions.
I do recommend this book if you love Dark Reverse Harem Romances.
Poison Roses Description:
You know that saying, things can’t possibly get worse? They always can.
I thought I’d hit rock bottom when I turned sixteen. The day I broke my first love’s heart, ending things before I could ruin his career as a rock star.
But damn, was I wrong.
Things got progressively worse from that moment on, until now. Eight years later, when I find myself homeless, jobless, covered in blood, and running from a ghost of my past.
Angelo Ricci–the second boy I ever loved–knows I saw him shoot a man. He’s coming for me, has men out all over the city looking for me, and if they find me I’m as good as dead.
But I’m not giving up so easily. I’ll do whatever it takes to escape the Ricci family’s wrath, even if it means seeking sanctuary with the most unlikely, and unwilling of allies.
Bellerose is the hottest rock band in the world right now–in popularity and looks–and it’s just my luck that I stumble into their laps while running for my life. It’s not the best plan to hide out on their tour, but it’s the best I’ve got.
Except, the only person that Bellerose’s frontman hates more than Angelo Ricci… might be me. Too damn bad. Jace owes me. After all, I’m Billie Bellerose.
Poison Roses is book ONE of FOUR in the Boys Of Bellerose series. This is a mafia/rockstar reverse harem romance series with dark elements and gripping cliffhangers throughout. Content is intended for a mature audience
Find it on Goodreads:
About Jaymin Eve:
Jaymin Eve is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and sci-fi novels filled with epic love stories, great adventures, and plenty of laughs. She lives in Australia with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and a couple of crazy pets. To date, she has sold over three million ebooks, and still can’t believe that she gets to create fantasy worlds as a job.
For action, adventure, romance, and a guaranteed HEA, start one of her series today.
About Tate James:
Tate James is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary Romance and Suspense Romance, with occasional forays into Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy. She was born and raised in Aotearoa (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband and their adorable crotchfruit.
She is a lover of books, booze, cats and coffee and is most definitely not a morning person. Tate is a bit too sarcastic, swears far too much for polite society, and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.