✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen’s My Dark Romeo ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: marriage of inconvenience; enemies to lovers; billionaire hero; intelligent, insightful heroine

I picked up My Dark Romeo by L.J. Shen and Parker S. Huntington the night before release day. I want to be honest. I’m a huge Parker S. Huntington fan, and I’m on the fence about L.J. Shen. As I read the “Prologue” and “Chapter 1”, something interesting occurred. First the first time in a bit, I didn’t want to put My Dark Romeo down. I was hooked from almost the first page. Let me tell you all the ways “why” you should read this story and tell you a couple of things that didn’t feel necessary to the story.

The positives

  1. I’m a fan of romances where the hero is an alpha-hole. I would NEVER want to date this kind of man in the real world. I’d tell him to take a long walk off a short pier. However, in a romance, they provide the perfect set-up for a chemistry between the hero and heroine that is off the charts. And this is entirely true of My Dark Romeo. Romeo is a staid, unemotional, and unapologetic jerk. He doesn’t think highly of Dallas. In fact, he has no problem telling her his thoughts about her lack of work ethic or his perception of her intelligence. Obviously, given that he wears blinders about people, he heartily misses his understanding of her. That’s where the magic lies for this romance. This means, at some point, he will be schooled, and how he responds will melt the heart of the reader. Shen and Huntington take their time in getting to this point. Even then, there is no apology or huge emotional revelation. Before this moment, he feels deeply attracted to her and fights it for much of the story. It’s what made me fall in love with this book because the banter and the chemistry are continuously on the verge of combustion. It’s what keeps you engrossed in the story. I did nothing on release day except read this book. That’s it. There were only breaks to eat and care for pets because I HAD to know how Romeo would fall for Dallas. And he falls…HARD.
  2. This is Shen and Huntington’s version of a rom-com. It’s funny. Not over the top, goofy rom-com. But Dallas and Romeo’s journey has moments of hilarity. I found myself chuckling every time Dallas did her thing and Romeo became annoyed. It’s the foreplay of their relationship, making you chuckle.
  3. Romeo’s journey reminds us that past trauma resides beneath a hard heart and cold exterior. Romeo wasn’t born an alpha-hole; he was fashioned into one by horrible parenting and traumatic experiences. 
  4. The band of brothers’ friendship between Romeo, Zach, and Oliver “Ollie” does two things: it adds another layer of funny to the story and sets up future stories in this new world from Shen and Huntington. I’m not sure whose story I want more.

The negatives

  1. Romeo’s past revelation comes VERY late in the story, and for me, it felt like a quick add-on. It was barely hinted at, and its integration didn’t seem totally organic. I liked it because it explains how he lives his life, but the timing seemed off.
  2. People will think My Dark Romeo is an allusion to “Romeo and Juliet”. The epigraph even suggests it, but this book actually has heavy Beauty and the Beast allusions. There’s a rose, a heroine who loves books more than anything in life, and a beast of a hero. It’s also a bit on the nose. I’m waiting for the day when we don’t need to rely on fairytales to tell romance stories. I didn’t think Shen and Hungtington needed that allusion to tell this one.

I seriously enjoyed My Dark Romeo. From the cover to the writing, except for a few things, I hated for it to end. I will always love stories about a difficult, emotionally unavailable hero and a heroine who brings him to his knees. And L.J. Shen and Parker S. Huntington did that well. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

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✍🏻 Have you grabbed L.J. Shen and Parker S. Huntington’s My Dark Romeo? I GOBBLED this story. ✍🏻

My fairy tale turned into a cautionary one.

Inked in tar and sealed in tears.

My Dark Romeo, an all-new marriage of inconvenience, enemies to lovers, standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling authors L.J. Shen and Parker S. Huntington is available now!

From Wall Street Journal bestsellers L.J. Shen and Parker S. Huntington comes an explosive marriage of inconvenience…between a tarnished Romeo and a reluctant Juliet.

It was supposed to be a harmless kiss at a lavish debutante ball.

A clandestine moment with a handsome stranger.

But unlike his namesake, my Romeo isn’t driven by love.

He’s fueled by revenge.

To him, I’m a chess piece. Leverage.

His rival’s betrothed.

To me, he is a man deserving of poison.

A dark prince I refuse to marry.

He thinks I’ll accept my fate.

Well, I plan to rewrite it.

And in my story, Juliet doesn’t die.

But Romeo? He perishes.

Start reading today!


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I hadn’t come here to find a husband. 

Before my birth, Daddy had already promised me to someone, which the diamond ring on my engagement finger reminded me. 

This always seemed like a problem for the future—up until I discovered the official announcement on the society pages two days ago. “I hear Romeo is dead-set on becoming the CEO of his daddy’s company.” Lord, Sav was still droning on about him. Were they planning on penning the man’s Wikipedia? “Already, he’s a billionaire.”

“Not just a billionaire. A mega billionaire.” Emilie fingered a marquise diamond on her Broderie bracelet, her poker tell. “And he’s not the type to blow it all on yachts and gold toilet seats or funding self-indulged pet projects.”

Sav snuck a desperate glance at them through her compact mirror. “Do you think we can be introduced?”

Emilie’s eyebrows pinched together. “Nobody here knows them. Dal? Dallas? Are you even listening to the conversation? This is important.”

The only grave situation I’d witnessed was the lack of shortbread, too. 

Reluctantly, I fixed my eyes on the two men that parted the thick crowd of silk chiffon and frozen updos. 

They both stood at least six-three. A towering height that made them look like giants trying to squeeze into doll houses. 

Then again, nothing about them was conventional. 

Their similarities ended with their height. Everything else was arctic opposites.

One was silk and the other leather. 

If I had to guess, the live-action Ken clone was von Bismarck. Dirty-blond, square-jawed, and adorned with shabby whiskers of stubble, he looked like something only a Walt Disney illustrator could sketch. 

The perfect European prince, down to the scandalous blue eyes and Roman-like structure. 


The other man was a polished savage. Menace decanted into a Kiton suit. 

He wore his inky hair in a gentleman’s cut, trimmed into submission. Everything about him seemed carefully crafted. Intentionally designed to deliver lethal doses straight into a woman’s bloodstream. Sharp cheekbones, thick brows, lashes I’d risk jail time for, and the frostiest gray eyes I’d seen to date. In fact, his eyes were so light and frosty, I decided they had no business coupling with his otherwise tan Italian features.


“Romeo Costa.” Savannah’s voice curled with longing as he breezed right past us, heading toward the table reserved for VIPs. “I would let him ruin me as thoroughly and impressively as Elon Musk destroyed Twitter.”

For more information on L.J. Shen’s books visit her website:

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