Review // A Heart Of Bitter Poison by Brynne Weaver

February 08, 2022

A Heart Of Bitter Poison by Brynne Weaver

"Ashen is a demon, Lu. If you give your heart to a creature of the shadows, you have to learn how to love the darkness as much as the stars."

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A Heart Of Bitter Poison by Brynne Weaver

A Heart of Bitter Poison by Brynne Weaver

The Shadow Realm #2
Release - January 27, 2022
Genre - Paranormal Romance / vamps, demons, angels
Heroine POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5 / several scenes
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 376 pages
Publisher - Indie

Goodreads * Amazon (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)

An executioner and a bounty. A soldier and a weapon.
The hunter and the prey that won’t go down.

After centuries in hiding, the last of the original sirens took a chance on love.

And it blew up in her face.

Imprisoned by the Shadow Realm, Lu's days now pass in a haze of torture and tears. She's the most ancient vampire siren, the weapon they can't work out. Halfway to a hybrid of immortal creatures, she could be the key to their plans for war against the Realm of Light... if only they could figure out how to finish the transformation.

After a daring escape, Lu finds herself on the run with an unlikely set of allies. Their enemies have a head start in the race to find the oldest vampires, and Lu will stop at nothing to keep them safe from a fate worse than death. If they can't find them in time, it will end in the war of the ultimate superpowers. But every move she makes, Ashen is there. The demon that she trusted. The executioner she loved. The Reaper that poisoned her heart with his betrayal. And as secrets of the Shadow Realm and her own history start to collide, Lu begins to question everything she knows... including the motives of the enigmatic demon she can't seem to escape.

She's promised herself she'll never go back.
She's determined not to fall in love.
If only she knew whom to trust...

My Two Cents

4.5 "There better be more books to this series" stars

When I found this new-to-me author, when I read A Shadow in the Reaping, I knew that she was someone to keep my eye on. She had me hooked to this story and I was willing to give her just about anything to get my hands on the next book. Well here it is and thankfully the wait wasn't that long.

Seriously, if I thought she had the goods in the first book, I KNOW she's got them after reading this one. HANDS DOWN one of THE BEST sequels I have ever read!!

You already know I can't stand a story told from just one perspective, but the author made it work!

Picking up right where the last one left off, this book was full of angst, torture, heartbreak, fighting, bravery, evil, and so much freaking love. So much love!

Lu and Ashen... I cannot get enough of this couple and I'm hoping (I'm looking at you, Mz Author Lady) that there will be another book in this series. It's necessary!!

Reapers are after Lu. Ashen, also a reaper, is determined to keep her safe. Her friends are also there to lend support and their might. And there's the love again. I'm so in love with all the love in this book. And the sexy times between Ash and Lu... Damn, these two were so freaking hot together.

And I want more. The end (yes Queen) was great, but not enough. Not for me. I'm greedy, I've never denied it, and I need more.

The writing... magnifique. The plot... incredible. The characters... stunning. And I want more!!

A Heart Of Bitter Poison by Brynne Weaver


"Stop," I whisper. Fat tears are still rolling across my skin. He brushes one of them away.

"Stop what?"

"Just stop," I say. I don't know whether I'm talking to Ashen or myself. It felt like a game only this morning. But I can't play and win like this. My gaze falls away from him but I don't move from his touch. "Stop making me want to feel for you what I shouldn't."

Ashen sweeps stray locks of hair from my cheek and holds my face in his palms. I meet his gaze for only an instant and regret it as soon as I do. I'm not the only one hurting. It's all laid bare in his eyes. "Feel what, vampire?"

"Don't." I pull from his grasp and keep my eyes down on the stone beneath my feet. I don't want to be so vulnerable out here in the open. I feel like a tiger without claws. A snake without fangs. My legs feel leaden when I back away and skirt around him to slip into the solitude of night.

"I will tell you one more thing I did not do, vampire," Ashen calls after me. There's a note of anguish so pained in his voice that I stop moving. The silence between us stretches long enough that I turn to look at Ashen where he stands shrouded in the shadows of the tunnel. But I can still see him clearly. I see the tension in his jaw, the way his brows knit together. I see how hard it is for him to gather a breath. "One more thing I did not do, it was the worst thing."

My heart plummets. Fingers of ice trace my spine. I don't think I can handle some deadly admission right now. But I guess that makes it the perfect time to strike. I steel myself for something awful but my voice comes out weary rather than strong. "What?"

Ashen comes forward from the shadows. Every step is careful, like I might run, or combust, or simply disappear. "I never told you how I felt. You asked me, in your ways, and I never answered."

He stops in front of me. The light of a nearby streetlamp casts his face in a haunting glow.

Ashen's eyes search mine, probably finding all the evidence of fear and distrust and confusion that lurk within them. Centuries of loneliness seem to surface in Ashen when he finds it, and he takes a steadying breath. "I never told you how the lifetimes I have spent taking souls have eroded my own. I did not tell you about everything I have lost over decades of time. I should have told you then, how every moment spent with you brought me out of the shadows. How being with you was like landing on a paradise shore after swimming through a sea of grief. How being apart from you is like being cast into a cold and merciless darkness." Ashen's fingers trace my cheek and I close my eyes. I want to lean into his touch. I want to fall into his words. I fight myself with every heartbeat. "I tried to stay away and could not. I tried to push you away and failed. I tried to protect you and failed at that too."

Ashen steps closer. His palms warm my cheeks. His breath heats my skin. He places a gentle, careful kiss to one closed eye, then the other.

"Look at me, Lu. Please," he whispers. And I do. He looks back at me with such determination and longing that I know without any doubt that what I see is true. "The worst thing was that I never told you I love you, Lu."

About the Author

Brynne is a fan of velociraptors, the Alien movies (well, most of them), red wine, and wild adventures.

She can relate nearly anything you say to a line from the movie Hot Fuzz. She has been trying unsuccessfully for years to convince her husband that they should acquire a pet mink to add to their menagerie of animals (what could possibly go wrong with that plan?!).

Brynne has been everything from an archaeologist to a waitress, a deep-sea core analyst to an advertising account executive. For the last several years, she has been working in the field of neuroscience clinical research. Brynne has been writing since childhood and has published a non-fiction book under her real name, but she won’t tell you what it is unless you provide a live, fully trained velociraptor.

When not busy at her day job or writing, Brynne can be found working with her husband and their son on their family farm in Nova Scotia, Canada, or enjoying her other passions which include riding horses, reading, and spending time with family and friends around a raclette and a bottle of wine.

The Diviner is her debut novel.

Find Brynne Weaver here:
Goodreads * Facebook * Instagram * Amazon


  1. One of the best sequels you've ever read? That's HIGH praise! I love it!

  2. What a great review you have here and what high praise for this story!! I bet you loved having a book work so well for you.

    1. I did! This book was amazing and thank you so much, Renee! ❤️


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