Available Now, Contemporary, New Adult, Reviews, Romance, Trilogy

ARC Review | The Insiders by Tijan | Available Now!

๐“ฃ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ ๐“˜๐“ท๐“ผ๐“ฒ๐“ญ๐“ฎ๐“ป๐“ผ

๐‘ฉ๐’š: Tijan

๐‘ฎ๐’†๐’๐’“๐’†: Contemporary | New Adult | Romantic Suspense | Trilogy

๐‘น๐’†๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’† ๐‘ซ๐’‚๐’•๐’†: May. 04, 2021

๐‘ฉ๐’๐’–๐’“๐’ƒ

Bailey is as normal as could be, with a genius IQ and a photographic memory. But still, normal for her. Then, things happenโ€”a guy breaks into her house in the middle of the night to take her hostage. She finds out her father is actually billionaire tech genius Peter Francis, the same guy sheโ€™s idolized all her life. She learns all this when she meets dark, mysterious, and electrifying Kashton Colello. Heโ€™s an associate of her fatherโ€™s, and he gives Bailey two choicesโ€”go with him and meet her father or survive on her own because those kidnappers are going to try again. Itโ€™s a no-brainer.

After this, three things become clear for Bailey:

  1. Sheโ€™s living at her fatherโ€™s sprawling estate, complete with bodyguards and the best security that money can buy.
  2. Sheโ€™s no longer an only child. She has three siblings and has no idea what to do with them and vice versa.
  3. She is being guarded by Kash himself. Personally guarded. And there is a lot of guarding going on there and some of it is going to drive her crazy.

A complete outsider in a world of wealth and decadence, Bailey has to find her way within a family that has more secrets than she could have imagined. One of these secrets could be deadlyโ€ฆ

โ„‚๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•—๐•–๐•ค๐•ค๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•ค ๐•†๐•— ๐”ธ ๐”น๐•š๐•“๐•๐•š๐• ๐•ก๐•™๐•š๐•๐•– โ„๐•–๐•ง๐•š๐•–๐•จ

Actual Rating: โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ ยฝ (I rounded up, as per usual.)

The Insiders‘ book one in Tijanโ€™s new trilogy. The Insiders is a suspenseful, contemporary romance filled with secrets and betrayal. I have to admitโ€ฆ although the story held a lot of promise, this one was not my favorite. There were a few things that I found just a bit odd, which is why for the first time, I was unable to rate a Tijan novel 4 or 5-stars. That kills me to say because she has always been one of my favorite authors but unfortunately this just was not my favorite novel from her.

Okay so letโ€™s just get this out of the way.

What I likedโ€ฆ

  • I feel like there is a whole lot of potential with this one. There are some amazing characters and were quite a few little side plots going on that I feel like Tijan will delve more into in the upcoming books.

What I didnโ€™t loveโ€ฆ

  • The cover. I liked the cover when I first saw it. But then I read the book and now Iโ€™m confused by it?! Two girls, one guyโ€ฆ Iโ€™m pretty positive the brunette is our heroine but who the heck is the blonde?! Iโ€™m really, really hoping itโ€™s not who I think it is because why in the heck would she be on the cover?! Pretty positive she was in on the whole plot twist at the ending soooโ€ฆ???
  • The ending. There was so much build-up. So, so much. And then it kind of just fell flat. All was said in done in what, a chapter? I mean I know there is a whole lot more going on with the plot pertaining to Kash but I was all hyped up once I realized what was happening out on the patio and thenโ€ฆ nothing. Super anti-climatic.
  • I hate to say this.. but even the writing seemed different. Usually, books I read by Tijan are filled with highlighted quotes… that wasn’t the case here.
  • It just seemed like there was SO much going on but nothing really actually happened.

All in all, not a horrible read but a lot less than what I would have expected to come from Tijan. With that being said, I will be reading the next book in the trilogy and Iโ€™m hoping that this was just a slow start and Tijan is about to blow all our socks off with the next two books!

With that being saidโ€ฆ letโ€™s get to the facts!

๐Ÿ…ƒ๐Ÿ„ท๐Ÿ„ด ๐Ÿ„ต๐Ÿ„ฐ๐Ÿ„ฒ๐Ÿ…ƒ๐Ÿ…‚:

๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฟ๐—ฒ: Contemporary | Romantic Suspense | New Adult

๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€: The Insiders Trilogy, Book One

๐—ฃ๐—ข๐—ฉ: Single POV, Hers.

๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜†/๐—ฃ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜: โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ

๐—ต ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด: โคโค๏ธโค๏ธ โ€“ Bailey Hayes is a beautiful contradiction. Sheโ€™s so quirky and even a little bit odd. Youโ€™d never know sheโ€™s actually a highly intelligent computer hacker with a photographic memory. At 22 years old Baileyโ€™s life is flipped upside down. After a failed kidnapping attempt a truth bomb is dropped and Bailey is dropped into what is essentially a completely different world than the one she is used to. But she took it all in stride. Especially after the way she is first introduced to the Francis family.

๐—› ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด: ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™ ยฝ โ€“ Kashton โ€˜Kashโ€™ Colello is a mystery. He came into the Francis familyโ€™s life at a very young age but now heโ€™s the mysterious right-hand man of Peter Francis, as well as a sort of lead security for the rest of the family. After the failed kidnapping attempt on Bailey Kash is tasked with protecting Bailey, but the relationship between the two turns into a lot more than that. Possessive, protective, silent but deadly, there is so much mystery still surrounding Kash that it feels like his character was unable to be fully developed just yet but what Iโ€™ve seen so far, Iโ€™m enjoying and I canโ€™t wait to see what comes for him next.

๐—œ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ-๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ?: Not really, more along the lines of insta-lust.

๐—”๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€๐˜ ๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น?: Not very high.

๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ & ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—บ: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅยฝ โ€“ Okay this one is tricky. The steamy scenes were more of the fade-to-black type of scenes which is very unusual for me to see in something by Tijan. That wouldnโ€™t have been such a big deal if I was actually able to โ€œfeelโ€ the relationship between Bailey and Kash. As far as the physical, we were told they had that down pat and it seemed like they didโ€ฆ but with as mysterious as Kash is, although he opened up a bit to Bailey, I just donโ€™t feel like I felt the connection between the two.

Again, this is only book one and there is still a whole lot more story to come and Iโ€™m hoping that in the upcoming books the more that is revealed about Kash, the more that connection between them will be able to grow. I have a feeling I know where things are going with this whole thing with Kashโ€™s dangerous grandfather and I have a feeling there is going to be a whole lot of push and pull to come but Iโ€™m excited to see how things unravel.

๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ฒ: No

๐—–๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด: No

๐—ข๐—ช/๐—ข๐—  ๐——๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฎ: A little bit but nothing major. Just a bit of jealous girl bullying.

๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐˜… ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ข๐—ช ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ข๐— : No.

๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€: There are a lot of moving pieces and characters in this one. Baileyโ€™s mother, her newfound father, her stepmother, and three new siblings. I did enjoy the scenes of Bailey getting to know her new siblings and I’m hoping that is something we see more of. I have a feeling Seraphina is going to need her with everything that just went down, so I hope to see that relationship grow. Mattโ€ฆ smh. I wanted to like Matt and although my heart hurts for him and the demons he has, he is the definition of an entitled rich kid and he did some really crappy things to Bailey. I’m hoping to see his behavior turn around because it’s obvious how much Bailey craves a relationship with all three of her new siblings.

๐—™๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ?: This is crazy but I canโ€™t say that I have a favorite character. I donโ€™t feel like I connected with either of them enough to have a favorite. But if I had to choose, Iโ€™d choose my favorite little hellion, Cyclone!

๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€: There are difficult subjects that could be considered triggers. If you would like to know more about what those subjects are, feel free to DM me! #NoSpoilers ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿคซ

๐—›๐—˜๐—”?: No happily ever after just yet. There are still a whole lot of unanswered questions and this story is far from concluded, in fact, it seems like it may have just started… There is a bit of a cliffhanger, but it was kind of what I consider an “expected cliffhanger“.

โ“Œโ“„โ“Šโ“โ’น โ’พโ€ฆ?

๐—ช๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—œ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ-๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ? Idk about re-reading, but I may skim through it again before book two is released.

๐—ช๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—œ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€? Yes. Iโ€™m invested now. Plus, Tijan has always been and is STILL one of my favorite authors and I have faith that sheโ€™s got something up her sleeve and that this was just a slow start.

๐—ช๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—œ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ? If you enjoy mafia romances or enjoyed Tijanโ€™s standalone โ€˜Bennett Mafiaโ€™, then you should definitely check out The Insiders.

๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’‚๐’ƒ ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’„๐’๐’‘๐’š ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’”๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’•๐’๐’…๐’‚๐’š!

๐‘พ๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’†๐’† ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’“๐’†๐’—๐’Š๐’†๐’˜๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ป๐’Š๐’‹๐’‚๐’’๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’†๐’”? ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’†๐’„๐’Œ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž ๐’๐’–๐’•!

๐‘พ๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’‚ ๐’”๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’Œ ๐’‘๐’†๐’†๐’Œ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’”๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”? ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’†๐’„๐’Œ ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’†๐’™๐’„๐’†๐’“๐’‘๐’•!

We were heading out of Chicago, and maybe another half hour or so from the small town where my mom and I lived. 

Wait. Second thoughtโ€”where we used to live? 

What would my mom do now? Could Chrissy Hayes remain in that house after I was just attacked, almost taken hostage? I called my mother by all kinds of namesโ€”Chrissy Hayes, Chrissy, or Mom. Or, well, a whole other kind of names too, because to say sheโ€™s a character is putting it mildly. And we have an interesting relationship to say the least. 

I might be deflecting here. 

Numb. I was numb. I should be pissing my pants, but instead Iโ€™m ruminating over how I refer to my mother. 

Could I stay in that house after what just happened? 

Iโ€™d been planning to spend time with Chrissy, helping with the house and working at the local computer store to make some extra money before I left for school. But now . . . fuck if I knew. 

Myriad curses went through my mind as I realized Chrissy would have to move. 

Shivers pierced me as I went over what had happened tonight, but then we were pulling into a driveway, next to a booth. A large gate barricaded us from moving forward. 

Official police business, my tech ass. 

Then again, nothing seemed official. I was told that I was being taken to my mother, but I left with two detectives. Bright and Wilson. They introduced themselves, then said she couldnโ€™t see me in the hospital. They didnโ€™t explain why, but I was to go with them to see her. 

I went. 

I was in the backseat of their unmarked car a few minutes later. 

Brightโ€™s window rolled down. She flashed her badge. โ€œWeโ€™re expected.โ€ 

The attendant nodded, hitting a button. The gate opened, showing a campus of buildings behind it. Some made of dark red brick. Some seemingly made of reflective windows, top to bottom. Some painted totally black. A large parking lot sat in the middle of the buildings. โ€œPhoenix Techโ€ was on a sign in front of the first building, but we went past, heading around it and toward a smaller building on the opposite end of the lot. 

My tongue was glued to the back of my throat. We were at Phoenix Tech headquarters. 

I had yearned to get an internship there every year since fifth grade, and then through college. I kept applying, but they kept denying. Some might say I was being desperate. I prefer determined. Itโ€™s a quality that I feel is honorable. Plus, I wasnโ€™t above hoping theyโ€™d take pity on me one day. It worked, because while I might not have been good enough to walk their hallways, I was good enough for them to give me charity. They awarded me the majority of my grants for undergrad, so Iโ€™d been able to go to college debt free. Iโ€™d been expecting that to change for graduate school, but it hadnโ€™t. Or, well, it kind of had. 

I was hired as a graduate assistant, starting in the fall, which gave me a stipend, but the rest was covered by another scholarship from Phoenix Tech. 

Phoenix Tech was one of the worldโ€™s leading companies on cyber security. I was going into information systems, which was close enough. A job here would be a dream. 

โ€œMy mom is here?โ€ I asked, when Bright parked, and both her and Wilson got out of the vehicle. 

Neither answered. 

Bright opened my back door and motioned for me, slipping her sunglasses over her eyes. โ€œItโ€™s time for you to find out some answers.โ€

๐‘จ๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘จ๐’–๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’“

๐‘‡๐‘–๐‘—๐‘Ž๐‘›

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels.

Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked.

Sheโ€™s written multi-bestsellers including the Fallen Crest series, Ryan’s Bed, Enemies and others.

She is currently writing many new books and series with a couple English Cockers she adores.

Website|Facebook|FacebookGroup|Instagram|Twitter|Goodreads|BookBub|Amazon

You can find Confessions of a Bibliophile pretty much anywhere! Come follow, like, join, and chat books with me! ๐Ÿ’œ

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s