Age gap, Book Review, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Forbidden, Romance, Suicide

Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington

ABOUT THE BOOK

My first love ended in tragedy. My second began with his brother.

I wasn’t supposed to be on that roof on Valentine’s Day. Neither was Kellan Marchetti, the school’s designated freak.

We met on the verge of ending our lives. Somehow, the tattered strings of our tragedies tangled and tightened into an unlikely bond.

We decided not to take the plunge and agreed to check on each other every Valentine’s Day until school ended. Same time. One roof. Two restless souls.

We kept our promise for three years. On the fourth, Kellan made a decision, and I was left to deal with the consequences.

Just when I thought our story ended, another one began. They say all love stories look the same and taste different. Mine was venomous, disgraceful, and written in scarlet scars.

My name is Charlotte Richards, but you can call me Venom.

MY REVIEW

What a fantastic Christmas gift for me. Ms. Huntington has created an exquisite love story from a heartbreaking tragedy. It’s about an extremely broken and dysfunctional group of people who are wallowing in their guilt and fighting for their sanity over a young man’s tragic death. To the rescue comes a lonely, intelligent, and unwavering young woman with a mission to carry out her best friend’s wishes and find the love that is needed to heal them all. 

They say time dulls the pain. They lie. Guilt is pain’s fuel, and it rekindles it every time the flame fades.

Charlotte “Lottie” “Charlie” Richards has lost a lot over the years. From the accident that killed her parents and maimed her sister to her best friend’s death, Charlie has carried her guilt for years. Her sister Leah hates her for the fire and her best friend’s brother, Tate, hates her for keeping Kellan’s secret for so many years. Charlie couldn’t save Kellan, but she is determined to save Tate with the legacy Kellan left for the people he loved. But at what cost?

Tatum “Tate” Marchetti is an OBGYN who is called “Dr. Miracle” by his patients, but his inner torment of losing the brother he couldn’t save and dealing with his worthless POS sperm donor of a father leaves him angry and cold. When he meets his brother’s only friend, Charlie, he dislikes her immediately with her strange clothes and quirky personality. But the more time he spends around her, the more she messes with his composure and control. Something he cannot give up at any cost.

Charlie’s first meeting with Tate is a shocker with his crude and extremely inappropriate behavior. It confirms why his brother Kellan despised him so much. But the chemistry slowly builds as these two try to piece together why Kellan died. What I love about Charlie is that she doesn’t hesitate to take his gift to her and unselfishly use it to help his brother and father deal with their demons and eventually find peace. She’s a natural-born nurturer and so strong as she learns to live with so much grief and generously gives her time and compassion to the people that don’t want her help.

Tate is a cold fish at first until Charlie starts to get under his skin and frequently calls him out on his bullshit. He is torn at his attraction to her because of the age gap and her relationship with his brother as innocent as it was. Watching Tate spiral out of control is upsetting but necessary for him to learn to accept love. It’s a slow burn getting there, but so worth the wait.

This story is by no means is just about Charlie and Tate, but about Tate and Kellan’s selfish and entitled father who threw all his money away on drugs and alcohol. What Charlie does for him is nothing short of a miracle as he comes clean and makes amends.

And then there is Charlie’s sister Leah with her scarred heart and her scarred body who blames Charlie for her problems. All she needed was a good kick in the ass to make her open her eyes and be grateful she still had a loving sister who was there for her despite everything she put her through.

This moving and unforgettable story threw the whole book at me so to speak. I laughed, I cried (a lot), and I cheered for all of the characters to find happiness and peace after such a crushing event. I’m adding this as another favorite book in 2021. Pick it up. You won’t regret it.

BUY THE BOOK

Darling Venom

Amazon US Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Parker S. Huntington is a USA Today, Amazon Top 15, KDP All-Star, and KDP All-Star UK bestselling author from Orange County, California. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside and a Master’s in Liberal Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Harvard.

Follow Parker on her websiteInstagramTwitter, and Facebook.