ARC Review: Defy (Sinners of Saint, #0.5) by L.J. Shen

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4.5 “Truth or dare” stars

Defy, written by L.J. Shen, is the prequel to Vicious, the first book in her new Sinners of Saint series. Well-written and intense, this novella grabbed me from the very first page and did not let me go.  It’s a great take on the forbidden student/teacher relationship with a storyline that was electrifying, addictive, and smokin’ hot!

Once upon a time, Melody Green dreamed of being a dancer. After an accident crushed that dream, she is now a teacher at All Saints High in Todos Santos, California. Upon meeting her, we quickly see that Melody hates her job. She is not known for her teaching abilities and if she doesn’t improve, she will be out of the job. With her current bills and her soon-to-be homeless situation, she is already in hot water. Little does she know, things are only going to get hotter when she bumps into one of her students.

Meet Jamie. Hot, privileged, and eight years younger, he is sex on a stick. Considered one of “The Four Hotholes (Hot Assholes, as they were dubbed by everyone in Todos Santos),” he has no problem ruling the school and getting what he wants. And he wants Melody.

“Oh, Melody, you’re so fucked. Luckily for you, you’re about to get fucked even harder.”

Jamie is well versed in the female body and he knows just what to do to make a woman scream. He’s earned the right to be cocky. He has an authoritative way about him that is a total turn on. So is his sexy, dirty mouth…

“Ms. Green…you’re about eight minutes too late to walk out of this arrangement. This…” His hand dunked under my dress and between my thighs…“Is mine until school ends. I will eat it, fuck it, play with it, and sleep in it if I want to. And I want to. I wanna do all those things to you.”

Melody and Jamie are complete opposites in every way but somehow they mesh well. The chemistry sizzles and the sexual tension can be cut with a knife. The banter is fantastic and Melody soon finds herself in over her head before she even realizes it. He said it would be nice and short. He said it would just be a fling. What happens when it turns into so much more??

We had a deadline.
We had a plan.
And for a moment there, on that floor, when the haze of sex and bliss clouded our minds, I thought we were going to keep our careless promise. There was a little earthquake that moved some of the boxes when we made this agreement. I thought it was a coincidence. It wasn’t. It was the devil in hell down below, rattling the earth with his laughter. Laughing at
At how wrong I was.

Defy is a great little gem that encompasses a whole story within a short novella. It packs in a lot of emotion and excitement while taking you on a wild ride. These characters were entertaining and flawed, but they were wonderful together.

I really liked Melody. She didn’t pretend that she didn’t want Jamie. She knew what she was doing even if it could severely impact her life. She was full of sass, owned her actions, and stuck up for herself; I loved it all.

I was a little unsure of Jamie in the beginning but by the end he completely won me over. He is sexy as sin, hardcore, and a total alpha. Just when you think there can’t possibly be a sweet bone in his body, Jamie makes you melt when he lets you into his heart. Seeing his softer and protective side made me feel warm and fuzzy. I loved when he opened up to Melody and how he put everything out there. The turn the story took caught me by complete surprise and I liked the way things progressed. Though there is insta-lust, it was well done and I enjoyed the romance immensely. 


Full of sex, blackmail, and power, this novella was fast-paced and exciting. It was more than just a forbidden romance. There was suspense that made my heart beat wildly, not knowing what would happen. It was a fantastic introduction to other characters in the series, namely the Hotholes, and though I didn’t agree with all of their actions, I did understand where they were coming from. Their loyalty is solid and they would do anything to protect their own. Jaime and the rest of the Hotholes are intriguing and I can’t wait to get more.

Defy is a great introduction to Baron “Vicious” Spencer, the hero in the next book. Now, I am fascinated with him more than ever and I cannot wait to get my hands on Vicious!

*ARC generously provided by author in exchange for an honest review*


Sinners of Saint series

       Cover Coming Soon - 80

Defy (#0.5) (Jamie & Melody)
Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback | Audio

Vicious (#1) (Vicious & Emilia)
Buy: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Paperback

Ruckus (#2) (Dean & Rosie)
Buy: Amazon USAmazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Paperback

Scandalous (#3) (Trent & Edie)
Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Bane (#4) (Bane & ?)
To be released

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