The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen
ABOUT THE BOOK
Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect—from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend.
When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.
What ensues is a chain of events that detonates Maddie’s life—and when Chase’s walls come down, they both are forced to face reality.
They say keep your enemies close. But what if your enemy is also the man you love?
Satisfaction guaranteed! A phrase I stand behind when reading an L.J. Shen novel. It took some warming up to the characters, but that’s what makes it so good as you watch the characters grow and morph into the people they are meant to be.
That gap between reality and our dreams? That’s where life is tucked.
Maddie Goldbloom is a quirky, kind, wedding dress designer with a penchant for martyrdom and an addiction to one Chase Black, CEO of Black & Co. devil incarnate, arrogance personified. She thought she was rid of the cheating slimebag until he shows up six months later with a proposition that tore at her heartstrings and that she couldn’t refuse.
Chase Black is a sarcastic jerk with no filter. He learned that love is fleeting and relationships are a dime a dozen until he met Martyr Maddie. A woman with no sense of fashion and no self-respect. When their relationship started getting too comfortable the first time, Chase called it off in an extremely hurtful and destructive way. Now he’s back to plead (well, actually Chase doesn’t plead, he manipulates) for Maddie’s help in a fake relationship to make his terminally ill dad’s last days in life enjoyable and happy.
OMG, I love this story. There is a lot going on. In true L.J. Shen fashion, there is a good amount of angst, laughter, sadness, and redemption that had me turning the pages like they were on fire. Maddie is such a pushover at first, but then she begins to come into her own and sticks to her guns about walking away from Chase after everything is over. My heart broke for her as she struggled to protect her heart while keeping her integrity and kindness intact with a man who I just wanted to kick in the balls. Chase is a truly unlikeable character at first. He grows on you gradually as the reader slowly learns the truth about his fucked up family dynamics and his reasons for pushing Maddie away. However, it takes his grand public gesture at the end to really seal the deal for me with his true intentions toward Maddie. I literally clapped with joy!
I loved Maddie’s friend and neighbor Layla with her sarcastic wit and on-point advice. It is clear Chase’s family loves Maddie as they accept her awkwardness and compassion as Chase’s dad grows weaker. Chase’s brother Julian and wife Amber are the exceptions, though things resolve themselves after a lot of backstabbing and messiness. Chase’s adorable niece Clementine, whom Chase affectionately calls Booger Face, is a show stopper. And Chase’s dad, Ronan, comes through by giving Chase the best advice of all.
I am so delighted to recommend this slow-build, tear-jerker of a story that reminds us to be ourselves, stand up for what we believe in, and take responsibility for our own actions. A memorable read for 2022.
Thank you to Ms. Shen for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.