Beauty and the Beast, Book Review, Comedy, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Forced Marriage, Grumpy/Sunshine, Opposites Attract, Revenge, Romance

My Dark Romeo by Parker S. Huntington & L.J. Shen


It was supposed to be a harmless kiss at a lavish debutante ball. A clandestine moment with a handsome stranger. But unlike his namesake, my Romeo isn’t driven by love. He’s fueled by revenge.

To him, I’m a chess piece. Leverage. His rival’s betrothed. To me, he is a man deserving of poison. A dark prince I refuse to marry.

He thinks I’ll accept my fate. Well, I plan to rewrite it. And in my story, Juliet doesn’t die. But Romeo?  He perishes.


I’m always up for a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I loved this modern adaption. I also jumped at the chance to review a book penned by two of my favorite authors, Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen. Both of these authors know how to write a cold-hearted beast, and boy, oh, boy Romeo is a nasty, gum-chewing, control freak with strange eating habits and a preference for peace and quiet. Enter Romeo’s complete opposite, Dallas Townsend, a loud, spoiled little rich virgin who has a voracious appetite for food, books, and as it turns out…sex with her new arrogant and grumpy husband. Let the games begin.

If you had to change yourself to be accepted, you didn’t need that person in your life in the first place. Because it wasn’t you they wanted to be with. It was their version of you. There would be no universe in which I caved to Romeo Costa’s expectations.

Dallas is a Southern heiress with expensive tastes, but she doesn’t buy to impress. She buys what she wants, and in Romeo’s case, she spends his money just to get back at him for refusing to give her a baby. Her mission is to be a wife and mother and Lord help the man who gets in her way.  I went into this story thinking this was going to be another man manipulating a young woman, but wow was I wrong. Dallas holds the reins in this marriage. Every time Romeo thinks he has her under his control, she proves him wrong in brilliant and hilarious ways, i.e. the costly credit card shopping spree and the entertaining ruination by whipped cream. She’s strong, sassy, quirky, and smart as she realizes her power over a man who claims to dislike her.

She was the one thing I never wanted and the only thing I craved.

Romeo is domineering, mocking, and cruel, and he doesn’t believe in love, but he can’t resist this woman who gets on every last nerve and makes him feel alive at the same time. Watching him fight his growing feelings for the beautiful and exasperating woman who is melting his heart is delightful. Living off revenge for years to ruin his father and his company, has made him hard and unyielding, but Dallas helps him overcome his physical and mental trauma by keeping his secrets and showing him how to trust again. It looks like the powerful and stoic Romeo Costa has met his match.

This book is not classified as a romantic comedy, but I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud at Dallas’s antics, Romeo’s droll dark humor, and his amusing exchanges with his best friends, Oliver, the player, and Zach, the superior egotist. However, this story is more than that. The protagonists are more than they seem. They are “products of their upbringing” but they prove their resilience and courage by coming into their own and opening their hearts to become a fierce and loving team. 

My favorite authors have done it again! If you adore hate-to-love tropes with captivating and complex characters, loveable nicknames, laugh-out-loud moments, and shocking, fucked up family drama at its finest, give this addictive heart-pounding romance a try. 

Thank you to Ms. Huntington and Ms. Shen for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


My Dark Romeo

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Parker S. Huntington

Parker S. Huntington is a stay-at-home dog mom from SoCal, where she discovered her allergy to rain.

In spite of her shoddy attendance record and strong aversion to homework, she earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside and an A.L.M. in Literature from Harvard.

When she’s not writing or exchanging food pics with her friends, she’s binge-watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix while curled up with her dogs.

Parker hates talking about herself and is (also) allergic to social media, but you can catch up with her in her newsletter or through the occasional TikTok video.

Follow Parker on TikTok, Amazon, Instagram, and Goodreads.

L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary, new adult, and young adult romance. Her books have been sold in 20 different countries, and she hopes to visit all of them.

She lives in Florida with her husband, three rowdy sons, and rowdier pets and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows, and reading to her heart’s content.

Follow L.J. on TikTok, Instagram, and Goodreads.