Review: The Pawn by Skye Warren

The Pawn by Skye Warren
Series: Endgame #1
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Source: I one-clicked this one all by myself.

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

This isn’t a book that I was planning on reading any time soon, but apparently I just let Daniel decide what I’m reading these days. 🤷 Thanks for telling me not to read this on a plane. I might have actually died.

A few things before I get started:

  • I was going to do a mini-review, but I just have too many thoughts.
  • We all know how I feel about dark romance, so I’m not even sure why I own this book.
  • The average rating for this book on Goodreads is 4.14, so clearly there’s a market for it that’s just not me.

Anyway, let’s get into it. Under a spoiler tag, of course, because the last thing I want is to deprive you of the full experience of reading this book. So, full disclosure, tons of spoilers ahead.

Click at your own risk!

Where do I even start? I guess I should say that, overall, the writing isn’t terrible? The dialogue actually feels pretty natural and flows pretty nicely. The descriptions aren’t awful and I’m sorry but those are the only semi-nice things I can say about this book.

So, basically, the entire plot of the book is that Avery is selling her virginity to earn enough money to provide care for her sick father. Very noble, whatever, it’s really just sad but what am I going to do? Not read the book? Of course not. Have you met me? I read the whole thing. I complained the whole time, but I read it.

Some things that happen in this book:

  • Avery’s fake uncle proposes to her, calls her a slut, and then bids on her at the virginity auction anyway.
  • There’s a character named Gabriel who is referred to as “fierce like an avenging angel,” because did you really write a character named Gabriel if you didn’t make at least one angel reference?
  • Avenging Angel Gabriel goes way above and beyond to bid A MILLION DOLLARS for Avery’s virginity and then, just in case anybody was getting the idea to bid a million and one, he growls at the crowd to intimidate them.
  • Avery gave Gabriel a blowjob and he roared with a ferocity that reverberated through the library (he offered to give her a five-star review on Yelp afterward).
  • At one point, Avery referred to herself as a horse and Gabriel as her “virgin whisperer” and I have no other comments than yep, that’s a thing that happened.
  • Gabriel actually, literally, really, I’m not even kidding you, uses chess pieces as sex toys when they finally have sex. The poor pawn. I will never look at a chess board the same way again.
  • A decidedly un-happy ending.

Anyway, let’s recap:

  • The premise? Sad and very much not sexy.
  • The characters? All terrible.
  • The ending? Not even happy-for-now. Just straight up sad.

I also feel like I need to mention the fact that Avery’s dad caught her masturbating when she was younger and punished her by putting chili juice on her fingers every night for a month. Because that’s a thing that sane, reasonable, good parents do. 🙄

Some quotes:

  • “There have to be lights somewhere.” I never had occasion to use them.
  • My knowledge of sex is so limited that I only imagine it at night. That goes doubly so for a strange old man. Uncertainty vibrates through me. “He’d want me during the day?”

  • “I’m not your friend,” he says gently. He’s my enemy.
  • I would feel something if he’d taken my virginity, wouldn’t I? Some foreign texture, some soreness? [side note: FOREIGN TEXTURE????]

This is everything I hate in a romance novel in one book, okay? I guess if you’re super into dark romances, or arbitrary concepts like virginity being auctioned off, or maybe you have a chess fetish, you might like this book. But other than that? Definitely not recommended, unless you’re just reading for the entertainment factor alone.

I would’ve given this book one star, but I bumped it up to two for the sheer amount of times I laughed.

#killingthetbr: 11 months on shelf
Goodreads summer reading challenge: TBRing it

Have you read The Pawn? How do you feel about erotica?
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