Headcase (Necessary Evils #4) ~ Onley James
Please settle in carefully, this won't be a short one. Onley James' books make me want to talk about everything about them and that’s how you can tell how effective they are for me.
I have read every book that Onley James has ever released. She is one of my absolute favourite authors of all time and this series is one of my most anticipated series of all time. I was really excited for Asa's book, because we met him as one half of the murder twins who loves to hang out in BDSM clubs in the previous books of the series, and I just wanted to read his story so badly. And while I enjoyed this book a lot, it sadly wasn’t my favourite one. I still had an awesome time reading it though.
First things first, I stayed up all night to do a paper for university that was really stressing me and reading this book was my way to try and stress a little less. It worked so well for that. I had so much fun reading this that I would love to thank the book for that, it really was a lifesaver at this specific time in my life.
“I know people who’d give anything to have what we have. I’ve killed for you. I would die for you. I will put your wants and needs above mine forever because I want you to be happy. Is that love? Because when you’re not around, I feel like there’s…a splinter under my ribcage, and it only goes away when I see your face. That’s enough for me.”
Also, I still love the idea of a psychiatrist (Thomas Mulvaney) who raised seven psychopaths as his children so he could use them to kill the evil people in the world. That’s still just the best concept for a series ever to me and I’m really excited to see what the others are up to when I read their stories.
Zane writes about true crime stories, and he also writes scandalous articles about famous people in town. He gets suspicious that the Mulvaneys could be up to no good because a lot of people connected to them keep mysteriously disappearing. He goes to follow them at an award dinner, so he can learn more about the family. One of the Mulvaney children, Asa, is there and Zane goes to talk to him. Asa proposes to take Zane home, where Asa will chase Zane around his house until he has sex with him. Then Zane continues to try and ruin the family name and Asa kidnaps him so that he can do no harm. Asa and Zane end up falling in love and Zane becomes part of the family.
First, I absolutely adore Asa. He’s probably my favourite of the Mulvaneys so far. Mostly in terms of all the psychopathic traits he showed. Asa is a psychopath, and he has massive thirst for blood, he likes to inflict pain and have pain inflicted on him. He has a lot of murderous instincts, and he wants to murder everyone who dares hurt the people he cares about. I just love how his form of love is killing people who caused pain to his man, that’s just the best to me. All the Mulvaneys have been taught to act more like everyone else and to try to conform to society, but Asa doesn’t really care about any of that, he cannot really be bothered to appear more human, and I love that about him. I also liked how he didn’t have a very ingrained sense of morals and that nothing really bothered him and that most things didn’t cause him pause or concern. He just relied on his basic instincts to get him through most situations and he didn’t rely on most normal human things like feelings or emotions. He didn’t have a filter either and told his entire life story to Zane without a care. He had no sense of boundaries and he wasn’t even fazed that he kidnaped Zane. In fact, nothing really bothered Asa or phased him, he didn’t really try to appear more human when he was in Zane’s company, and I loved that about him. It was fascinating to read from his point of view.
“ I like chasing you down because you’re mine, and there’s an animalistic need inside me to stalk and claim what belongs to me. I like knowing you can’t outpace me, that you’re physically weaker than me. That you need me.”
Second, the sex scenes in this book were just so good. I love primal play and the primal play in this book was hot and lovely to read. It brought a nice element to the smut in the book. But then again, I never met an Onley James sex scene that wasn’t very fucking hot, so there are no surprises here.
Third, Zane and Asa’s banter. I really love banter in books, and theirs was just great. Also, they always teased each other. At the start of the book all their banter was stuck between lust and hate and it was so good.
“I’m the picture of mental health,” Asa said.
“Is that picture posted beside John Wayne Gacy?”
Fourth, I just want to make a point to talk about Zane and Asa’s first meeting and the first time they have sex because damn. That entire scene was just perfect. It is the stuff my dreams are made off and I was such a fan of it.
Fifth, I love how telepathic Asa is with his twin Avi. They communicate and always know what the other is feeling. It’s so much fun. The entire relationship between the twins is just the best.
Sixth, I adored the concept of this as a whole. How they got together on a lie and because Zane wanted to destroy the Mulvaneys, but then he couldn’t help but fall in love. It’s the kind of romance stories I absolutely live for. Plus, Asa had to kidnap Zane and bargain with him just so Zane wouldn’t publicly say bad things about the Mulvaneys. That’s the perfect set up to a relationship. Also, I just want to talk about the romance between Asa and Zane for a second because it was amazing. I loved how they felt like they are perfectly suited for each other even though they seemed like perfect opposites at first glance.
I really enjoyed the relationship development in this book. Even if they had sex early on, it took a while for them to really get together. Zane in particular wasn’t really into Asa at first, meanwhile Asa was lusting after Zane from the start. They just had to get to know each other before realizing that they wanted to be together. Besides, I also enjoyed all of the development their characters went through during the book, seeing them change their minds and grow as they got to know each other.
Side note, Asa's nickname for Zane is Lois Lane. That was so sweet and fitting
Besides, I loved how possessive Asa is and how he just wanted to claim Zane and mark him so that everyone would know he’s his.
“Killing would be the kindest thing I could do to somebody who touched you without my permission.”
Seventh, the concept of the books in this series. I love the idea of seven totally different psychopaths finding love, while committing murder and each being into a different kink and having hot sex all over the place. It's everything I adore in a book. Yet I think a big part of why these books aren’t working for me as much as I wish they did is because I read a lot of dark romance. I once read about a man who chopped up his lover’s leg and they ate it together and I enjoyed reading about that, so I think these books are just a little too light on the dark romance side for me. I often find myself wanting more gore, more exploration of the psychopath traits and of the kinks talked about. But I understand that these books are on the lighter sides of dark romance and maybe my expectations are just too high for them. They are still a perfect steppingstone into dark romance and maybe I’m just not the perfect audience for them, because I already know I like the genre.
Eight, the start of this book was so strong to me. Seriously, I was so invested in every single second of it. But not so much in the last 40% of the book. A lot of the focus of that part was on the murder investigation and I just don’t prefer long investigations as side plots in books. I would have preferred to spend more time with Asa and Zane having fun together and bonding instead of spending so much on the investigation. But that one is just a personal preference of mine.
Ninth, it pains me to say this as I adore Onley and I’m super excited for this series as a whole, but I feel like all the books in this series are starting to feel the same. I just wish that the they were a little more different from each other, because that makes it just harder for me to get into the books. I still enjoy them and I always have a very good time reading them, but it would be nice if the same events didn’t happen at the same time in every book and that each main characters didn’t sound and act the same as the previous ones.
Tenth, everyone in these books just formed a big happy family that would do everything for each other, and I love found family in books and it was lovely how emphasis was put on that.
“The only way out of this family is with a bullet, Lois.”
This book was so much, it was sweet, it was hot, it was a little twisted, but in all the right ways, and it served as the perfect distraction from the real world. All in all it was an absolutely lovely experience. The books in this series feel like a familiar blanket of comfort and I always know I’ll enjoy them and they will give me a great time.