Genres: Adult, Dark Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Series (trilogy)
Published on: Book 1 (November 15, 2016), Book 2 (February 7, 2017), Book 3 (May 16, 2017)
Pages: Book 1 (367 pages), Book 2 (342 pages), Book 3 (397 pages)
POV: Dual first POV
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Buy on Amazon:
Buttons & Lace (Book 1)
Buttons & Hate (Book 2)
Buttons & Pain (Book 3)
This series is hands down one of my favorite dark, contemporary romances ever. It was unputdownable, addicting, unconventional romance you are going to enjoy if you are a fan of dark romances. Before I elaborate further what this story about ad what I thought about it, I want to give you a heads up—this story contains taboo, offensive such as rapes, abuses, murders, violence, punishments, and the things related to human traffickings. In other words, this is not for everyone. Let me tell you, Penelope Sky did not hold back when it comes to details—all the information—relating to those subjects, therefore, if you are not ready yet, don’t read the following. However, if you are familiar with the subjects, welcome to the emotional roller coaster, my friend. 😉
What is the story about?
The story follows a young woman named Pearl who has a great job as an engineering and a boyfriend she loves. Her parents have been out of her life since she was little and her friends are very limited, so her boyfriend, Jacob, is her only family. She loves both her job and her boyfriend. When they are in a vacation an accident happens and she is kidnapped by the group of men she has never met whom later she finds out as human traffickers. They are brutal and very organized with only have one thing to do—bringing all the women to either the auctions or brothels. Her life then is filled with survivals and dangers and the only human she can trust is herself.
What did I think about this story?
I don’t want to spoil the whole story for you guys except the important subjects, just in case you are sensitive to one.
The plot is what fascinated me the most. It is dinamic—full of actions, turns, and surprises which are very entertaining. They make me unable to put it down. I read all the three books for three days straight without stopping except to sleep, eat, and take showers. It did rarely happen to me, even to some of my declared favorites. I was hooked right from the first page until the end. My heart was beating hard with excitement (to the whole story), sadness (for her), love (for their slowly developed relationship), and sorrow (for all the things this book brought out as a message). This is an unputdownable, unconventional, amazing story about love and survival.
I loved the message behind all the disturbing subjects presented in this book. It is not just to present the brutality the victims have to endure but it shows perfectly how strong a woman can be, which is portrayed in Pearl’s life perfectly. She is an amazing character that you would love. Despite what happened to her, she didn’t lose her heart. She is compassionate and loving to everyone and it shows even when she is being in the most unfortunate, devastating situation. Her love shines through her selfish actions to her loved ones and even strangers, which is a rare quality. All the negative aspects happening in her life did not define her. She always finds something positive to pull herself out of the darkness most women would suffer in the same situation. Furthermore, she is a fearless character–a badass survivor and fighter that always stand up for herself and challenges the storm who makes even the monsters in the form of human beings acknowledge and respect her. What an amazing heroine.
I’ll fight you until you kill me.
The hero, which I won’t say the name (you need to find out yourself), is the kind of hero you would fear, run away, and love. Yep, he is the most ALPHA of alpha males—dangerous, fearless, brooding, hard to read, unpredictable, and feared by most of the world criminals. The kind of man a healthy, normal human being does not want to have a problem with. He is driven by revenge and power, which the combination that makes him inhuman and unstoppable. It was terrifying yet refreshing to see how he would react to her actions considering both of their fearless personalities. I’d never thought I would love him and root for them, but I did. I grew to love him. He won my heart. He has all the qualities I love in book heroes and at some point even exceeds all my expectations, which made him one of my most favorite anti heroes. He would win your heart as well if you give this book a chance.
She came to me as a prisoner, but I quickly realized I’d become the prisoner. I belonged to her.
I loved that their relationship grew emotionally slowly. While their physical attraction happens early, their emotional connection grows slowly. It made their story believable and had me connect with them. I grew to love them as a couple as I read their dialogs, inner voices, and interactions. Each of the explicitly physical scenes did not feel just merely physical. There were message and meaning to each action, and it made them special. Don’t give up when you encounter lots of sexual acts, there are more to the story as their relationship evolves.
“Then what do you find most sexy about me?” She rested her arms on my shoulders to hold herself up.
“Hmm…that’s a hard one.”
“I already know what you’re going to say.”
“My pussy. You love that thing.”
I chuckled. “I do. But no, that’s not what I was going to say.”
I tried to think of the things that turned me on the most. Sometimes it was the movement of her soft hair. Sometimes the shape her mouth made when she screamed my name. Sometimes it was the tight muscles in her back when she on all fours underneath me. There were too many things to choose. But when I narrowed it down to one concept, one idea, I found my answer. “You.”
“Me?” she asked. “That’s not an answer.”
“I mean, who you are. What you say. How you behave. You.”
Her eyes narrowed, still puzzled. “I don’t understand your meaning.”
“Your fire. Your passion. Your ferocity. Your strength. All those things make up who you are. So, I guess my answer is you.”
The side characters are well maintained. The villains had me sit on the edge of my seat with fear and never failed to make my heart beat in abnormal rates. Their personalities and actions made me want to run. They felt unbelievably real and at times had me have real goosebumps. The non-villain villains left the same reaction in me. Although they made me laugh and relaxed, the air around the dialogs and the surroundings made me aware what kinds of men they were. In another word, the author managed to create an amazing, believable, reliable supporting characters that sometimes we could relate and miraculously understand despite their flaws.
Please don’t read the following if you don’t want any spoilers.
However, despite all the positive aspects above, I had problems I could not ignore which unfortunately I found in this story. First, there were any mentions of condoms in every sexual act, which made me think, “how could the heroine never get pregnant?” It was one subject that I think the author failed to acknowledge. Second, the main character’s fear of commitment felt too much and bored me at times. I would have liked to see them get over the issue sooner considering what they had been through together. Third, one of the heroine actions toward the end, during their brief break-up (if it could be called a break-up at all) did bother me even though I could see her reasons.
Overall, Buttons series is still one of my TOP favorites despite the issues. I admired the characters and enjoyed their story. It is an unputdownable, heart-breaking, unconventional love story between two flawed human beings trapped in the unfortunately dangerous circumstances. I cannot put into words how much I love it and how highly I recommend this series which contains three books. As I said in the beginning, it is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of dark romances, this series should be your next read. 🙂
“I never asked, Button. You didn’t have a choice.” Even if she said no I’d make her marry me anyway. She was a part of my life. She was a part of my soul.
The Series Reading Order: