DESTROY ME by Shana Vanterpool
Bach lives his life with honesty and without restraints, happy to be known as a sexy as all hell, unapologetic asshole.
When he drinks, he drinks hard.
When he wants a woman, he makes sure she knows it.
When he opens his mouth, it’s either to piss someone off or to turn someone on.
You can normally find him with one hand on a bottle and one hand on a woman, trying to forget his past.
Harley Evans is a twenty-one-year-old year old college student. She’s a good girl who fell hard for Dylan, who’d promised her forever. But Dylan, Bach’s best buddy, lied.
He enlisted in the Army, crushing Harley with equal parts anger and sadness. She’d already lost her father to that choice. Heartbroken, she falls back into depression.
Stuck in Crystal Gulf all summer with little to do, Harley needs a distraction. Enter Bach, sexy as f*#ck distraction, ready and willing.
Dylan’s not all bad though. Before he left, he asked Bach to watch out for Harley, knowing she’d never go for a guy like Bach. She’s too good for him. Too good for anyone.
But Dylan was wrong. He never should have left them together. Bach is there to pick up the pieces Dylan left behind. Soon pieces aren’t enough. He wants more, needs more Harley.
DESTROY ME is book one in the New Adult Romance Crystal Gulf series and it is also my first experience with Shana Vanterpool as an author. Firstly her writing style was easy to get into and the story was very enticing, continuously making me want to read on to find out what was going to happen next.
This book is described as being dark, sexy, heart-breaking and intoxicating and I agree with this description. Bach is a bad boy who Harley initially hates, she doesn’t like his player behaviour and she thinks he is all round just bad news and a bad influence on Dylan. At first glance Bach and Harley seem like polar opposites, there is no chance they could begin to like one another or ever work towards a romantic relationship but as the story develops we understand that they are more alike than we realise.
In terms of characters, Shana Vanterpool incorporated Bach as a truly flawed character. His childhood has molded him into an insecure boy fighting the demons of his nightmares and hiding behind his cocky, overly confident exterior. In order to deal with the trauma of his past he drinks excess amounts of alcohol, takes drugs (as well as sells them) and sleeps with excess women. I really liked this element to the story as it provided deeper issues for the book, Bach is ultimately attempting to deal with his nightmares and his past. His relationship with Harley is more than just romance, she is ultimately acting like a savior for him to get off his destructive path. Harley doesn’t want Bach’s past to define who he is.
I have to say I was not a fan of Dylan, he is only really present in the beginning of the story and the end but he falls from grace, he presented himself to Harley as being this stand up great guy but in the end it was all lies. Dylan however does play into the shocking elements to the story as his secrets are revealed.
In terms of Harley, I liked her character but at times I found her to be overly judgmental and naive, especially in the beginning of the book. She thinks Dylan walks on water and that Bach has always been the bad seed dragging him down and making him act in a certain way but boy was she wrong. [There is a somewhat moral to this story that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, outside appearances can easily fool you…]
POV: Alternates between Harley and Bach
Overall I think DESTROY ME was a great romance read, I loved the bad boy – good girl relationship developing and the books constant tension throughout. It is truly a will they – wont they relationship as Bach is initially meant to just be looking out for Harley as a favor for Dylan but soon that changes. I would give DESTROY ME a total of 3 stars, whilst I enjoyed the story and had no trouble getting into it the ending is somewhat abrupt. Initially the pacing of the novel was great, I felt like everything happened in a correct amount of time without rushing or dragging out particular moments. But the ending felt rather rushed, I wish there was a little more time spent on Dylan’s return and the actual emotions which surrounding those moments. The ending’s content is a-lot as Dylan’s big secret is revealed and arrives into the picture, Dylan comes home from Afghanistan and then they announce their relationship to him and it’s all dealt with in a very short amount of time. There is no real resolution between Dylan and Harley at the end but I wasn’t really effected by the lack of resolution, the fact they don’t become friends again adds to the reality of the situation because would she really forgive him? I doubt it.