Review: Unchained by Ainsley Gray

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Booksprout.

Unchained is a historical dark romance novella penned by first-time author Ainsley Gray, and I basically learned about through the recommendation of one of my favorite authors, Christina Lee, who raved about it. That raving was warranted because this read was such a breath of fresh air when it comes to the M/M romances that have made their way onto my tablet over the past nearly nine months this year. This was indeed an extraordinary book.

Gray has penned a story with an antihero who doesn't demand anyone's sympathy or understanding, but Noah Wilmington earned my empathy nonetheless. There's a reason why he does what he does--why he can't quite stop himself from taking the lives of those he's chosen when he heads out to his local haunts. He carefully selects each of his companions, but there's one person--one man--who has made it a point to engage him in conversation every single time their paths cross in the tavern, and every single time the offer of a drink leaves the man's lips, Noah has politely declined...until he doesn't. But what's he to do with Edward Yorke once he gets him up close and personal?

Yes, this is a novella, but there is a great deal that goes on in the less than 130 pages that contain Noah and Edward's story. There is no over-romanticizing nor is their any sort of glossing over that occurs. Noah is very much a murderer and anyone who tries to sugarcoat that fact would basically be them trying to make Noah into someone he is not. Now, I did mention earlier that Noah earned my empathy, but I can't fully explain why without giving away spoilers, and well, this is the sort of story that needs to remain spoiler-free in order for those who have yet to read it to fully appreciate what unfolds. What I can share is that there's amazing tension in the book, as there should be for a dark-themed novella that belies an actual romance evolving between Noah and Edward. With admirably effective writing and notable characters, Unchained is a remarkable five-starred debut not to be missed. ♥

Release Date: 21 August 2018

Date Read: 11 August 2018

Learn more about Ainsley Gray.

Purchase Unchained on Amazon.


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