Book Review – Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig

by Maryse on October 22, 2016 · 14 comments

in My Book Reviews

Black Swan Affair
I had been seeing early excitement over the release of this book, and when I finally looked it up and read the synopsis, I was THRILLED! It gave me and ultimate “blurb-jolt”. Promising pure intense marital (and family!!) drama. OMG that blurb says it all! Plus a potential love triangle to end all love triangles. That, coupled with the reader reactions and skimming LIGHTLY over reviews (I’m always afraid of spoilers), and I knew that I had to read it right away!

Maryse: OH YESSSSSSS!!! JUST WENT LIVE & I ONE-CLICKED IT SO HARD!!!!! This is that crazy sounding one that I posted about a few days ago. So you can bet this is what I’m reading now!!!

“He was always meant to be mine.
He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.
So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.
I got my revenge.
I married his brother, Kael.
Now we’re one big happy f*cking family.”

Sarah: I just finished and it was excellent. Actually left me speechless

Amy: Black Swan Affair? If the prologue and first chapter are any indication, this one is gonna be all kinds of tummy-twisting fun. :D

Cristina: I’m about 53% into Black Swan Affair and loving it!! But I’m biting my nails wondering how this is going to end? Right now, this story has the potential to be predictable or completely mind-blowing!! I’m wondering where the author is going to take this story?! Oh the angst and anxiety!! I’d be done with it by now if my stinking job would quit getting in the way!!

Jean: Black Swan Affair! Finished it last night and freaking loved it!

marina: Just finished Black Swan Affair. Loved it. Definitely hard to put down.

Cheryl: Just had to comment about Black Swan Affair. I loved it, such a good story; Not the typical “cookie-cutter” story. Wasn’t sure where it was going and had some twists I didn’t see coming and I was on the edge of my angst-ridden seat waiting for what the h was going to decide.

This was TOTALLY what I was in the mood for.

The writing was awesome, the concept, exciting! I mean come on… you’ve been in love with the person you believed to be the love of your life, ALL of your life, and expect to marry him, and then… he marries your sister instead?!!! *gasp*!!!!! eek WHAT?!!! mad

I begged him to choose me. Love me. Marry me.

But he butchered me, marrying her instead.

So as revenge you marry your best friend… which just so happens to be HIS brother. GAH!!!!! I was so excited at where this was going to go! I was imagining all sorts of delightfully crazy stuff.

I will marry a man I genuinely respect the hell out of and love… but just as my very best friend.

Who does that?

A destructive, selfish bitch. That’s who.

Though, in the grand scheme of things, I was expecting even more drama, more jaw-dropping moments, and more angst than what I personally experienced, in this one.

Amy: Yep, Black Swan Affair is as fun as I thought it would be!! It doesn’t have the level of angst I was hoping for, but there is enough tummy twisting and emotional turmoil to keep me coming back to it. Obviously, because I’m already at 70% and started it less than 24 hours ago. ;)

Maryse: And I too, am enjoying Black Swan Affair so far… :D

In fact, there were a few details from the “past” that seemed to be foreshadowing an upcoming, possibly clever revelation (for me, anyway) that never came to fruition at all. That’s okay. Apparently I was inventing my own story and “reveal” as I was journeying with these characters. LOL! ;) I dunno. It was good, no doubt! And plenty emotional (in sweet and sad ways)…

I don’t get it. I don’t understand how we got here… to this very moment. I don’t know where the wheels fell off, changing our course or why he won’t just admit he made a mistake marrying someone who treats him like a worthless pile of sh!t.

Killian Shepard loves me.

but I suppose what I was envisioning in my head, was more ostentatious behavior, backstabbing, affairs, secrets and a maybe a twist to blow my mind!

Though I should be running as far away as possible, I can’t seem to do anything but run in the direction of the one man I’ve loved my entire life: his brother.

The only man I truly want even though he betrayed me in the worst possible way.

Oh… don’t get me wrong. There was a secret alright. A BIG one.

But I feel as if this journey was more gentle on me than I was anticipating, and therefore, by the time the reveal came along, it didn’t have that much of an impact. Also, I just had my doubts, overall, because the twist was so “out there” that… it felt a little thin, in the long run.

It could also be the timeline thing. While the writing was great, and wonderfully detailed enough to make these characters come to life, I struggled with the frequent timeline, and POV switches.

It went from present to past, chapter by chapter, but when it would go in the “past” it could be years ago, or it could be months ago, or it could be weeks ago, and back again, in no particular order. So having to concentrate at the beginning of each chapter on “who’s head we were in” along with what timeframe we were in, was a bit of work. Let alone, if you put the book down for a few hours (or for the night), in the middle of a chapter, picking it back up could get confusing for a few pages, while you worked “where you were” again, in the story.

And I think it was because of that, that I had been putting it down easily without the urgent need to pick it back up.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Well… not really. ;)

BUT!!! This is a quick general analysis by Amy and I regarding our “issues” with the story, so for those wanting to go in blind, SKIP THIS QUOTE BELOW. LOOK AWAY. It’s not a spoiler but it does give some insight (maybe too much, for some readers) as to how we experienced this one:

Amy: Black Swan Affair wasn’t all that I hoped it would be…3.5 stars for me. Maybe I was just misled by the title and blurb. Instead of being a love triangle, it was more a story of her trying to move on. So much focus was put on Kael and her trying to fall for him after she married him, and Killian was continually framed as being the a$$hole who married her sister (but still wouldn’t let Maverick go), so I never really fell for Killian and never really had that torn feeling. BUT! It was a fun ride, and I would recommend it for people who only like to dip their toes in the angsty pool. ;)

Maryse: Amy… I am right there with you on Black Swan Affair. It’s been good, but slow going and kind of drama-free considering it was gonna be all out drama-y (sounding). Still, the writing is REALLY good, so I knew I’d finish it absolutely just to see if something crazy happens. I’m in the last 20% and poop is hitting the fan right now. But up until then, I’ve been able to put it down.

That said, it was the very real-feel of the main character, and the range of emotions they were experiencing, that kept me connected, and wanting to know more. Why? What happened? What would happen? I was absolutely going to find out (and I was highlighting my heart out, through it!) So much heartfelt detail, in this story… just a different “feel” than what I was expecting.

“I’m just not sure how to fix this mess I’ve made.” My eyes sting. I blink the feeling away. If I let one tear go, a whole waterfall will gush. It might not stop.

“Maybe it doesn’t need fixing at all, Mavricky,” she replies just as softly. “Maybe it just needs nurturing.”

If only it were that easy.

Good read, great writing, and an intriguing premise to explore with enough depth to have us connecting and sympathizing with (or maybe even falling for) certain characters,

When we’re alone, just the two of us, we can almost pretend that we both entered into this marriage with honorable intentions, when we both know we didn’t. I wanted someone else. He wanted me, regardless.

…while keeping us guessing as to where this love triangle would actually go. I think I’m happy with where it ended. I’m still mulling it over. ;)

3.75 stars <— In fact, I keep fluctuating between 3.5 stars (due to the fact I kept putting it down, my complaint with the timeline/POV structure, and the lack of “angsty-oomph” level that I was anticipating) and 4 stars (because I loved the writing, the premise, and the heroine’s voice, PLUS I highlighted SO much of this book, so I was into it)… *sigh* I may come back to this rating in a few days.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime K October 22, 2016 at 4:06 PM

I feel the same way as you. I never fell for Killian so there wasn’t much angst for me. I kept reading, waiting to experience this passionate love affair that her and Killian had but the book never went there. The book had so much potential so I was pretty disappointed when i finished. It was okay. There was some heat and swoon-worthy moments between her and Kael.

Jen October 22, 2016 at 4:41 PM

Some of the things Kael had me swooning!! I felt sorry for Maverick. Everyone and I mean everyone lied to her!

Jen October 22, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Sorry! I meant to say some of the things Kael said!!

Amy October 22, 2016 at 5:32 PM

I’m probably repeating myself here, but this really IS a good one for those who don’t usually like love triangle or intense/angsty books but want to “safely” dabble with them a bit.

Great honest review, Maryse. ;)

Cheryl October 22, 2016 at 5:37 PM

I didn’t fall for Killian either, but I think for me that’s what made it more anxiety-ish because I didn’t want her to pick him and was worried she was going to. I enjoyed it and the premise, but agree it was not your typical angst-loaded love triangle.

Nay October 22, 2016 at 9:16 PM

Maryse, I so agree with this:

‘there were a few details from the “past” that seemed to be
foreshadowing an upcoming, possibly clever revelation (for
me, anyway) that never came to fruition at all. That’s okay.
Apparently I was inventing my own story and “reveal” as I
was journeying with these characters.’

I did the same thing!!

Leslie M October 22, 2016 at 11:33 PM

I can’t wait to read this one. Can someone please add more hours to my day???

Julie o October 23, 2016 at 4:25 AM

I enjoyed it. Was Team Kael all the way. She is a very good writer but thought a little drawn out in places.

Natasha October 23, 2016 at 9:44 PM

I think my take on this book is slightly different, and I think that’s one of the beauties of this story–we all take something different from it, greatly depending on our own lives and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

To me, this book is and isn’t about a love triangle. It is in the sense that there are two men competing for the heroine’s affections, she is feeling conflicting emotions towards these two men, but I do believe the story is not about her choice in the end. It is about learning what true love is, and what it isn’t.

Maverick has been in love with Killian for so long, that her heart doesn’t even know anymore why it loves him. He is her childhood crush, her first love, her dream man. But her heartbreak teaches her what true love should feel like. Kael’s selflessness teaches her that. And that is why we get those flashbacks into her past–they are like breadcrumbs that lead her towards understanding that her heart had misled her.

To me, this story is entirely about Maverick, about her ability to push her heart to love another man, a more deserving man in my eyes. It is also a story that shows us that every action has a consequence, regardless of our motivations, and Killian’s actions bore consequences in the end. He expected her to wait for him, to trust he loved her regardless of his actions, when he never really gave her enough reasons to trust him that way. He took her for granted and when you think about it, has never done anything to show how selflessly he loved Maverick. Not even when he saw how happy his brother made her. Even then, he could not think of her happiness first and selfishly asked her to leave Kael. That is not love, not in my eyes, at least.

I guess, this story resonated with me because I know how hard it can be to stop loving someone when you’ve grown up loving them. Your heart is irrational, stubborn, cruel to you at times, because it wants what it always wanted, regardless how bad that something is for it. I really felt Maverick’s struggle, her determination to love Kael, to give back all he was giving her, but I also felt her pain from failing time and time again to rid herself of her obsession with Killian.

The black swan theory kind of summarises the book–something happened that was not expected (Killian married her sister); there was an extreme impact (Maverick married Killian’s brother and then worked on her marriage); events are made explainable and predictable (we find out why Killian did all he did). But where this book takes this to another level is by showing us that even when events are explained and framed in a way that they make sense, that they could have been foreseen somehow, their impact, the consequences of those actions sometimes cannot be erased. Even though Maverick understood Killian’s actions in the end and perhaps even forgave him, her heart had changed. Her life had changed. And she no longer wanted what he offered.

That’s my take on this book and why it affected me so greatly.

Hugs to my Maryse and all her beautiful followers!!! xxx

Lisa Aiello October 24, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Only 40% in…but I love Kael. I do NOT like Killian (perhaps I will????), and my heart breaks that Mavs doesn’t really see yet what she has in Kael. I think we’d all kill for a Kael. Le sigh!!!!

Amy October 24, 2016 at 12:38 PM

VERY insightful, Natasha. ;)

Maryse October 25, 2016 at 1:13 PM

I agree! I love how you experienced this one, Natasha!!! I highlighted so much of it, so I totally get what you’re saying. :D

Jean October 25, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I would really like to have the story from the one left behind….kinda felt bad.

Great review Maryse! Natasha, love your thoughts! I felt the same way……so many types of love and ways to interpret them

Lisa October 25, 2016 at 7:13 PM

Wow…that was emotionally draining. What an awesome read that was. I flove Kael to the moon and back!!! I never connected with him either…but felt much better about him in the end. I just adore a book that leaves me all smooshy and teary!!Lisa

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