The Ritual – Shantel Tessier

I vow. You vow. We vow.

Barrington University is home of the Lords, a secret society that requires their blood in payment. They are above all—the most powerful men in the world. They devote their lives to violence in exchange for power. And during their senior year, they are offered a chosen one.

People think growing up with money is freeing, but I promise you, it’s not. My entire life has been planned out for me. I never got the chance to do what I wanted until Ryat Alexander Archer came along and gave me an option for a better life. He offered me what no one else ever had—freedom.

I chose to be his. He made me believe that anyway, but it was just another lie. A way that the Lords manipulate you into doing what they want.

After being sucked into the dark, twisted world of the Lords, I embraced my new role and allowed Ryat to parade me around like the trophy I was to him. But like all things, what started out as a game soon became a fight for survival. And the only way out was death.

Things to know about The Ritual
It is MF
TW (Please see the author’s note on the inside)
J/P & OTT Hero (jealous/possessive & over the top)
This is a 150K word dark romance and may contain triggers for some due to sexual situations, language, and violence.

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Really all you need to do to get me to read a romance novel is tell me that it is dark and set at a school. Bam. Sold. Add in a secret society and a sexy cover and I’ll be clamoring for it. That was the case with The Ritual for me. The second I saw this cover I was intrigued, and then I read the synopsis and was obsessed.

This book is CHONKY and I have to start by saying that there were no scenes that I felt were filler. That is the danger with thick romance novels, in my opinion – they usually contain filler scenes that do nothing to progress the plot. I didn’t feel that way at all with this book. There was definitely no point at which I was bored.

The storyline was both absolutely addictive, and ridiculously hot. I loved the premise of the book, and the idea that these men go through years of trials and are rewarded with their own Chosen One for their senior year of college. As far as dark romance goes, it is SOLID. This was definitely dark and the spice was incredible. It happens early and often, and I really felt the tension and chemistry between the main characters

Sadly, I didn’t particularly love the main character. For some reason, I just had a hard time connecting to or feeling empathy for her. I also really struggled with aspects of the romance as their relationship progressed pretty quickly into insta-love territory. I think I just expected a bit more back and forth in such a long book and was disappointed when they developed feelings so quickly.

Overall this is a good read for people like me who are fans of dark, school setting romance. I do wish that certain aspects of their love story had received more focus, but was entertained throughout.

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