Title: Black Tangled Heart
Author: Samantha Young
Series: Play On – Standalone #3
Publisher: Self Published
Read: May 2020
Rating: 4 Caffeinated Stars
Content Warning: Sexual Situations with a minor (19-year-old with a 17-year-old), angst.
Trigger Warnings: Mention of child abuse, abandonment, sexual assault, drug abuse, death of a family member
To my siblings, Jane was a friend. A pseudo-sister, the girl we grew up with.
To me? She was everything.
Our passion consumed us.
When our world fell apart, I thought our love would be the thing that held us together.
She was the love of my life. But she abandoned me when I needed her most.
And I’ll never forgive her.
For years I’ve been planning my revenge against the people who took everything from me.
Jane won’t be an exception. I’m coming for her.
She knows it.
She says she wants to help me serve my version of justice on the people who hurt me.
I’ll let her.
She probably thinks it will save her from me.
*This is a complete standalone. The Play On series are books connected by the theme of the arts industry, not by characters.
Black Tangled Heart lives up to its title. Each character is tangled up with pain to the point where I questioned if some of the characters were redeemable. In the first half of the book, we got to see Jane and Jamie grow up, and I loved watching their relationship flourish. Both characters were well written, and I enjoyed seeing them grow up. With that said, I have to say that I struggled to read some of the sexual scenes. By now, you all know that I’m not a prude. I read some really raunchy things but, all of those raunchy things take place with adults. It’s actually one of the reasons I tend to read adult novels and not YA. It’s so hard for me to root for the hero & heroine to hook up when they’re not of legal age. So… the on-page sexual situations with a 17-year-old definitely made me a little iffy. Look, I know that kids are having sex, but this 30-year-old definitely does not need to read in detail what is happening. I felt weird reading about them in sexual situations, and that didn’t alleviate until the second half of the book.
Once we reached the halfway part, I started to get into the book more. I struggled with the choices of both Jane & Jamie to the point that I just felt disappointed in them. This enemies to lovers trope was incredibly toxic, and I struggled to read about all the anger and angst. I do think this was more of a me issue and not a book issue, though. With COVID-19, Cal’s surgery, and everything else, I haven’t been able to read angst. This book was filled with hate and angst to the point that I had to keep putting it down to get my anxiety in check (yay Animal Crossing). I do know that pre-COVID-19 Kristy would have eaten this book up and demanded seconds.
Samantha Young is one of those authors who deliver well-written books that create characters that you want to be friends with. Even when they were enemies, I wanted to smoosh them together and make them go to therapy. Jane and Jamie’s story is something I would love to go back to when I’m feeling more myself.
All in all, this angst-filled book was well written, and the plot was incredibly intricate. I recommend this to anyone who loves angsty romances.
Are you up for an angsty read? Here is the buy link!