ARC REVIEW: Black Iris by, Leah Raeder


OUT APRIL 28th 2015!

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

~ Synopsis~

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.


 I just finished the last 45% of this book in one sitting, even though I’ve been slowly reading it over the last 10 days – at times getting lost in Raeder’s lyrical prose as Laney Keating maneuvers through her life, one that is in upheaval. Her home life causing most of her issues – but as she slowly starts to admit to herself that she’s in love – perhaps for the first time, with a girl things start to fall apart. Kids at school bully her to within an inch of her life creating something inside her that’s dark.

The prose of this book was so fast paced, almost lyrical as Raeder takes us through the ups and downs, highs and lows with Laney and her friends – when she meets Blythe and Armin, though she is not trusting – nor looking for friends, these two latch on with all their might and the three of them form a tumultuous relationship that will have you flipping through the pages as fast as you can to find out what happens next.

There were some lulls for me throughout the story, but once I picked it back up I had to know what was going to happen next as she narrates us through a puzzle of a story. What is really happening here – Laney is on a mission, a mission that might be the end of the two people she loves most in this world. But she has a strong need for justice – for revenge. Our narrator cannot be trusted. You’re told that from the very beginning. But what can we trust?

The story is dark – suspenseful and erotic.

Laney Keating is a girl like so many stuck in a house of mental illness and trying to find her way out of it – hoping to retain her sanity with all the negativity being thrown at her.

I gave it a 4.5 only because the narration did loose me in parts, but once I picked it back up I needed more – Leah Raeder wrote this book almost in a continued stream of consciousness and 95% of the book I loved that – the other 5% sometimes left me a little confused….

Will there be a HEA for Laney? Can she overcome the demons of her past to start a future? And with whom?

You’ll just have to find out…

* Favorite Quotes*

 “I’m completely dysfunctional and that’s the way I like it, so don’t expect a character arc where I finally find Redemption, Growth, and CHange, or learn How to Forgive Myself and Others. Fuck forgiveness.”


“Dad said college would be different, but adults just tell you that so you don’t kill yourself. It gets better is the biggest lie they’ve sold to our generation, unless it means the meds.”


“Sometimes all you know about where you’re going is that it’s away from where you are.”


“Girls love each other like animals. There is something ferocious and unself-conscious about it. We don’t guard ourselves like we do with boys. No one trains us to shield our hearts from each other. With girls, it’s total vulnerability from the beginning.”


“I don’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for others. I”m still trying to staunch my own bleeding.”


“Maybe all you need to pull you back from the ledge is to know someone would miss you if you fell.”


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