Friday, April 7, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: The Sacrifice by Shantel Tessier


*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: 
April 6, 2023
Pages: 535 
Genre: Adult Dark Romance
Source: E-ARC 



A Lord is to marry after he graduates from Barrington University, an elite college for the rich. A Lady’s job is to help him fit into a world unaware of his secret society. The Lord does not get to choose who he spends the rest of his life with. But there is always an exception to the rule. And I just so happen to be his.


I was to wed a Lord of my parents’ choosing. Wealth can’t buy you everything, or I would have had freedom years ago. Instead, my strict parents made sure I lived a dull life in a mansion resembling a prison.

But on my wedding day, I was handed over to another man—an even more ruthless Lord that my family hated.

Tyson Riley Crawford only wanted me for his revenge. I’m nothing more than a debt to be paid. I didn’t have a say in the matter. So when I said my vows before the congregation, I knew I’d break them. Consequences be damned.

Too bad I underestimated my husband and didn’t realize he was more determined to punish me than I was to succeed at escaping. He’ll make me choke on those words I used to bind myself to him.

Yet even he couldn’t have seen what our future held. Ultimately, we’re all just pawns in a game that none of us can win unless you’re willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice … and even that may not be enough.
LINK: Goodreads 



Blood is required to solidify their marriage. Only death will release them from their oath.

OPENING LINE: “As a Lord, one must prove to us that we can count on you.”


Huge thank you Shantel Tessier and Candi for sending me an ARC of THE SACRIFICE!

Shantel Tessier delivers once again!

My first book by Shantel was THE RITUAL and it hit every one of my sweet book trope spots so I was excited to read THE SACRIFICE. And she did not disappoint!

“𝒲𝑒𝓁𝒸𝑜𝓂𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝑒𝓁𝓁, 𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓉𝓁𝑒 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝒴𝑜𝓊’𝓁𝓁 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝒷𝑒 𝒶𝒷𝓁𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒸𝓇𝒶𝓌𝓁 𝒶𝓈 𝒻𝒶𝓇 𝒶𝓈 𝓂𝓎 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝒾𝓃𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝒶𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝓎𝑜𝓊.” 

Ever since meeting Tyson in THE RITUAL, I was curious about him and couldn’t wait to read his story. Tyson was HOTTT and dark and dominating. He was also possessive and clever and mean.

𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝑒𝒾𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓁𝓎 𝓌𝒶𝓁𝓀 𝒹𝑜𝓌𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒶𝒾𝓈𝓁𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝑒, 𝑜𝓇 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝓇𝒶𝓌𝓁 𝑜𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒽𝒶𝓃𝒹𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓀𝓃𝑒𝑒𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁𝒶𝓇 𝒶𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓃𝑒𝒸𝓀 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝓁𝑒 𝐼 𝒹𝓇𝒶𝑔 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒷𝓎 𝒶 𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓈𝒽.

The spice was chef’s kiss! Dark and spicy and plentiful. Well done, Shantel!

Now for some of the bits, I didn’t care for. For the most part, Laiklyn was too meek for me. She literally thought Tyson murdered her sister and then forced her to marry him but yet never raged against him or asked questions. That character flaw drove me crazy! So, when Lake grew a backbone for like two seconds, I literally pumped my fist in the air—wish we got to see more of that side of her.

"𝒟𝑜𝓃'𝓉 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓈𝓉𝒾𝓂𝒶𝓉𝑒 𝓂𝓎 𝒶𝒷𝒾𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝓊𝓂𝒾𝓁𝒾𝒶𝓉𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊, 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝐼𝓉 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓅𝑒𝓃. 𝐵𝓊𝓉 𝓇𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝓃𝑜𝓌, 𝐼'𝓂 𝑔𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒸𝒽𝑜𝒾𝒸𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝒾𝓉 𝒷𝑒𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝓇𝒾𝓋𝒶𝒸𝓎 𝑜𝒻 𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒽𝑜𝓂𝑒, 𝑜𝓇 𝒾𝓃 𝒻𝓇𝑜𝓃𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒."

As for the plot, it was very murky—which is both good and bad. We didn’t know what was driving Tyson to force Lake to marry him. We didn’t know the actual villain’s motive either. And, honestly, a couple of the plot threads didn’t make sense. But it was a fun, hell of a ride trying to make sense of it all—*spoiler alert: like why did Luke and Whitney get married? What was the purpose?* Be prepared for plot twists on top of plot twists. 

Also, some story threads were left untethered—they weren’t followed through. For example, when Lake’s asshole father gave her the cell phone to keep in contact with her about Initiations and whatever other nefarious plans he had for her, nothing ever came of it. It was essentially “cleared up” by saying she simply forgot about it—how convenient.

Lastly, don’t expect the villain's motives to tidy up until the Epilogue. I was confused and annoyed as to why we weren’t told WHY the villain did what they did. I don’t know about you, but I need to know what the driving force of the plot in the book I’m reading is. In my opinion, waiting until the Epilogue to spell it out was too late. 

“𝒮𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓋𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒶𝒾𝓃 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝑜 𝓌𝒾𝓃𝓈 𝒷𝑒𝒸𝒶𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝓃𝑜 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝑒𝓁𝓈𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝓇𝓊𝓉𝒽𝓁𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝑒𝓃𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒽𝒾𝓂.”

All in all, I really enjoyed THE SACRIFICE and recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark romance. Please see the tropes and trigger warnings below.


- Breath Play
- D3gradation
- Butt play 
- Bondage
- Pun!shment
- Virgin h
- Implied/referenced r@pe
- Graphic depictions of violence & serial unaliving
- Forc3d Marriage
- Forc3d proximity
- Revenge


Shantel is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. She lives in Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their two daughters. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book. Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her.
Email her at:

Happy Reading!


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