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“My Dark Desire” by Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen Book Review

Book: “My Dark Desire”

Author: Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen

Series: Dark Prince Road #2

426 pages, Paperback

First published March 10, 2024

Do you remember what a nuclear reaction is? Let me remind you. That was when Shen and Huntington got together and their brain-love adventure gave birth to their most explosive baby yet. 

If My Dark Romeo is an inhumanly charged book, then My Dark Desire is quite capable of singeing hair, eyebrows and nose hairs and melting brains, hearts, muscles, sinews and bones ala Sarah Connor. And by the end, you’ll not only be grateful for it, you’ll be begging me for more with a big smile. 

And here are the things that convinced me about this book.  

The dark Cinderella we all secretly dreamed of in our teenage years. The Cinderella who rescues the prince, pushes her foolish and jealous sisters into a dungeon and puts her wicked stepmother behind bars where she belongs.  

But even more impressive? He managed to fend off the three-headed dragon called “mother-in-law”.  

Farrow is an inspiring combination of strength, gentleness, willpower, empathy, intellect, emotionality, reason, sarcasm, independence, and a thirst for family and love. I couldn’t stop laughing like a madwoman at her pranks and wit, and the next moment I was melting with compassion for her unenviable situation. I respected her tenacity and the inhuman lengths she went to to save her father’s legacy.  

And the next moment I wanted to eat her pumpkin somewhere because she persisted in banging her head against the wall, even when everything indicated that it wasn’t going to work, and it made no sense.  

Farrow is an image that shows us that you don’t have to be showered with riches to exude self-assurance, aristocracy, nobility and elitism. It’s enough to feel perfect in your own skin. 

The possessed prince with childhood traumas who can’t bear to be touched by anyone… except by her. The prince with a heart of stone, an icy intellect and an intolerance for feelings. A prince who has never heard the word “no” in his life, who has everything he wants, and nothing can pique his interest… until a beloved game.  

His image was in equal parts irritating, oppressive, mortifying, repugnant and capable of subduing the heart, mind and everything below the navel in negative time.  

My insides went through the blender as I realized what exactly was behind his aversion to physical contact. The incident was definitely traumatic. Even more so for a young, autistic child. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that he also witnessed his mother’s mental breakdown after the incident. Overlay his PTSD diagnosis, survivor guilt and assumed guilt over the condition of his sole surviving parent.  

Knowing all this, his antagonistic behavior as an adult takes on a completely different tone. The logic behind it was more than well presented and utilized in the book. 

Some of my biggest weaknesses in the romance genre are witty dialog, sarcasm and situational comedy.

In My Dark Desire, they are present in industrial quantities. Shen’s incredibly peppery style blends perfectly with Huntington’s dry, distinctive humor. The end result is hilarious.  

Followed only by tears, for both are creatures of hell and have not a drop of pity.  

The plot as a whole was the perfect combination of devilish humor and grounded drama. The characters’ actions had an explanation and were a logical product of their past and mentality. These actions, in turn, put them in all sorts of situations – both comedic and tragic – that felt like a natural extension of their existence.  

Exactly the same could be said of the dialogs. They’re very lively and imbued with the personalities of the characters. It feels like you’re there and that you’re a direct observer and listener, not just a reader.  

I was completely captivated by the seemingly hypnotic balance show put on by the two authors. Just when you think everything is going to be “my dear laughing man,” they take that and hit you with a 20-pound emotional hammer. Then, without warning, they spin you 180 degrees and rip thunderous laughter out of you again. 

I would like to open a short parenthesis about TW (the warnings) in the book. 

The good news is that the topics were not chosen solely out of sensationalism. The bad news is that the topics are not just used for sensationalism. In other words, grease your heart with Vaseline, drink a handful of mint hawthorn valerian and keep one thing in mind.  

Despite their importance, however, it is clear that both authors are not just talking about it. No doubt they sat down beforehand and researched what PTSD is, what the lives and behaviors of people on the autism spectrum are like, what is specific to Korean class culture, and how it manifests itself to this day.  

It certainly gives the impression that the story comes from a place of knowledge and understanding of the issues under discussion and not just for the sake of sensationalism. 

If I had to summarize everything in a few words, they would be “painful longing” and “burning eroticism with a pinch of danger and adrenaline”.  

I have often pointed out that the key to a truly effective sex scene is not a rich vocabulary of synonyms for genitalia or an intimate knowledge of the Kama Sutra, but the heightening of sexual tension before the actual act.  

The foreplay – My Dark Desire

There are as many pre-games as you want. And it’s so intense that a rag was punished nonstop next to me to have something to wipe in case I totally leaked. 

 The relationship between the two characters, the love story, the tension and the sheer accomplishment were so, so well crafted and realized that you were left breathless.  

I loved that Farrow was the one with the experience and guided Zach in their intimate relationship. I also liked how Zach was simultaneously vulnerable and insecure and the next moment so overwhelmed by his desire for her that it was downright infuriating. I also liked that he didn’t shy away from praying. Oh my God, how he prayed! Holy Jesus!!! So sincere, so humble, so painfully honest that it makes your skin crawl. You can see how he’s burning in his skin and needs rescue. If Farrow hadn’t taken pity on him, I’d have found a way to get into the book and save him.  

I never thought that touching a puppy could be so effective. Until this moment. I also never thought that breathing in and out with someone could be sexy. Until this moment. It never occurred to me that I would find the nickname “octopus” romantic. Until now. Or that I would blush every time I saw a mango in the store. Until now. Nor did I understand the obsession with knife play. To. To this. Moment. 

A lot of my preconceptions were thrown out the window. I definitely won’t be reading this book again anytime soon. 

My Dark Desire is the best romance novel I’ve read since early 2024 until now. Every element was just perfectly placed and executed for me.  

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a sucker for the kind of humor that’s in it, or because of Asian culture in general. Maybe it’s because of the archetypes used in the story – the strong and steadfast female character whose sympathy is hard-won but lifelong, and the cold, aloof man with a heap of intellect who becomes plasticine in the hands of the right woman. Granted, my opinion is very subjective, but to be honest, I wasn’t even trying to be objective in this particular case. I love it, had a great time, laughed like an idiot and even got a bit carried away at the end.  

It was an experience on all levels for all my senses and that is more than enough for me. It’s exactly what I was looking for and I’m glad I found it.  

If you’re still looking for an objective perspective, here it is:  

✅ The characters were well thought out, coherent and developed as they should be.  

✅ The dialogue was lively, organic and witty.  

✅ The drama was properly sown in the introduction, successfully nurtured and finally bore rich fruit.  

✅ The voices of Shen and Huntington were easy to hear and harmonized perfectly.  

✅ The alternation between the dramatic and comic moments was very inventive. It lightened up the story and made it extremely easy and engaging to read.  

✅ The topics covered in the book were not self-serving, but well-researched in advance. ✅ The love story, the chemistry between the characters and the sex scenes were explosive, but didn’t distract from the main plot.  

✅ The secondary characters were productively present in the plot without overpowering it in any way. They were not used as artificial tools to drive events forward, their actions were dictated by their character  

Which reminds me…  

Oliver in particular was very imaginatively integrated into the story to give him a boost for his book. A total douche, super much for me. I can barely contain my anticipation for his demise! My Dark Prince is scheduled to be released on February 07, 2025. Fingers crossed that I survive until then.

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