Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
If you thought Reed was royally messed up, then you haven't met Easton.
“I’m the design flaw in the Royal family, the one who isn’t quite like the others, the one who crashes and burns more often than not.”
Easton Royal is rich beyond imagination.
He uses his money to feed his addictions.
He's the member of a family that loves him.
He's always alone.
He parties hard like there's no tomorrow.
He knows that his tomorrow will be bleak.
Hartley Wright seems well composed.
Her life is turned upside down.
She's a loner.
She won't let anyone get close lest they find the truth.
She wants to keep Easton at arm's length.
She wants him, but maybe not enough to let him ruin her.
They're both good at pretending.
“I told you, trouble follows you wherever you go, Easton.”
Teenage drama, backstabs, addictions, desire and a slow burning romance? Count me in! If you look up the word addictive, you'll find Erin Watt as the definition. It doesn't matter that their characters are so messed up you can't untangle them even if you dedicated your whole life to that end. It doesn't matter that you desperately wish to smack some sense into them before all Hell breaks loose and damage control is just not possible. Nor that the halls of Astor Prep with their petty politics and teenagers lusting after power (and each other) seem like they're taken from TV series like Gossip Girl. You're hooked. Stuck from the first line to the last. Even though said last line leaves you like this.
In Fallen Heir, it is Easton's time to shine, and to ruin people with his reckless behaviour and his abandon, his charming smile that hides the inadequacy and the hurt he feels. He doesn't want to ponder on his darkness. He uses alcohol and violence to numb his mind, he seeks the forbidden, and it constantly gets his in trouble, something that thrills him. But when his new, mysterious classmate gets in the way of his shenanigans, he faces the question whether he'll keep hitting on her, only to be rejected and alienate her, or become her friend, and shockingly, he chooses the second. He wants to know her. To protect her. But as past experience has shown, when Easton Royal cares, bad things tend to happen.
“No one has ever really needed me. Ella needed Reed. My mom needed pills and booze. The twins have each other. Hartley is alone. And there's something about her loneliness that strikes a chord in me.”
Easton describes himself as a self-destructive screw-up, and he proved himself right again and again. The authors did a great job delving into Easton's insecurities and troubles, and even though I wanted to throttle him for his childish whims, I somehow understood him. Hartley was a delight, he needed someone to say no and make him struggle for something, and my heart broke for all the ugly things she went through. The lack of a female POV added to the surprise factor, and I loved that they didn't let their attraction dictate the way their relationship evolved. There were many secrets. Distrust. Angst and desperation. And tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. Once more, Erin Watt managed to ruin me.
*ARC generously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review*