mindfck series st abby review

I Read My First Dark Romance and was Underwhelmed: Mindf*ck Series by S.T. Abby (FOMO Made Me Read It)

one dark window rachel gillig

The Risk, Sidetracked, Scarlet Angel, All the Lies, Paint It All Red

by S.T. Abby


GenreRomance, Dark, Dark Romance, Thriller, Crime, Mystery


Release Date: December 1, 2016 (Book 1)

Pages: 692 (Books 1-5)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I didn’t expect him. I didn’t want to fall in love. But I can’t let him go.

Logan Bennett makes the world a safer place. He’s brilliant. He’s a hero. He locks away the sick and depraved. But while he’s saving lives, I’m taking them. Collecting the debts that are owed to me.

Ten years ago, they took from me. They left me for dead. They should have made sure I stayed dead.

Now I’m taking from them. One name at a time.

I’ve trained for too long. I’ve been patient. I can’t stop now.

Revenge is best served cold…

They never see me coming, until I paint their walls red.

Logan doesn’t know how they hurt me. He doesn’t know about the screams they ignored. He doesn’t know how twisted that town really is.

He just knows people are dying. He doesn’t know he’s in love with their killer.

No one suspects a dead girl. And Logan doesn’t suspect the girl in his bed.

They’re looking for a monster. Not a girl who loves red. Not a girl in love.

I’m a faceless nightmare.

At least until I tell them the story they’ve pretended never happened.

Quick note: The Mindf*ck Series is technically a series of 5 separate books, but I’ll be reviewing the series as one book. All 5 books are really just one story, so I can’t separate them in my head. 😭 All I can remember is that books 3-4 (I think) were the best of the 5.

**Bonus note: This review may contain minor spoilers. There are no spoilers for the mystery aspect though.

I expected a trashy romantic thriller, and I got a trashy romantic thriller.

I was once again failed by my intense FOMO. In all honesty, I was expecting to absolutely hate this series. 😂 The FBI agent x serial killer romance sounded so bizarre and nonsensical to me… but I read it anyway. Everyone and their mothers love this, so I gave it a shot.

Quality and execution-wise, I’d say I pretty much got what I was expecting. This series is self-published, so I wasn’t surprised that the writing was choppy and that the storyline was poorly edited. The plot had potential. It needed better dialogue, deeper characters, and a smoother narrative. I’ll get into all of these things individually.

The Mindf*ck Series read a bit more like fanfiction more than a refined story.

I don’t really watch shows like Criminal Minds or the likes, which I saw mentioned in a handful of other reviews, but I like to listen to true crime podcasts… So maybe that’s why I was kind of cynical about this one. It did feel a bit like the author got familiar with those types of stories and just took the most interesting bits and shoved them all into one book. (Again, I feel like this could have been refined so much more!)

Lana and Logan were very one-dimensional characters. The romance was decent though.

They had zero personality aside from being A Serial Killer and An FBI Agent. They were both “perfect” characters — Lana in the sense that she was the perfect untouchable killer, and Logan in the sense that he was just so fundamentally good.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like them! I did (Lana a lot less), but I just felt like they were very flat.

HOWEVER, I did appreciate some things about their relationship. It was hard to get into them at first, because the attraction was absolutely instant, but I appreciated that they actually flirted with each other outright and were very clear with their intentions. We’re all so used to romances where the MCs have to beat around the bush for half the book, but that definitely wasn’t the case with Lana and Logan.

Characterization in general just lacked consistency.

Whether with the main characters or the side characters, it seems like the author didn’t flesh them out all too well. Every now and then (especially towards the end), characters would do things that didn’t really make sense with their personalities and would completely throw me off.

Which is a shame, considering we had a few interesting characters. I’d love to know more about Jacob or Hadley (though I did not appreciate them as a couple… which I will touch on later). 🤷‍♀️

Can I pretend the ending didn’t happen?

I was honestly going to give this series 3 stars after the third book because I was finally getting into it, and I was genuinely excited to finish the series. BUT THIS ENDING. It took me a while to process the ending, but I have come up with the conclusion that it was really bad.

First of all, the big reveal for the “Original Killer” was smart(?) and shocking but also came out of nowhere. There could have been better foreshadowing for it. I could feel the question marks floating above my head when their identity was revealed.

Second, let’s talk about the way the author portrayed Jacob and Hadley. [Minor spoiler alert!] Their relationship made no sense and it sucks that the two “bi” (I’m putting this in air quotes because I don’t remember if they themselves identified as bi in the book) characters were, of course, into threesomes. I’m not bi, and I can’t speak for this community, but it made me feel so uncomfortable that this book was just perpetuating this misconception about them.

Lastly, if you’ve read the epilogue… What the heck happened to Logan? 💀 Do with that question what you will. If you’ve read this book, please tell me if I’m the only one who thought that his character at the end was unhinged.

This wasn’t the best book I could have started my Dark Romance journey with, but it did spark my curiosity for the genre.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy this story from a craft perspective, it did make the gears in my brain work really hard. I questioned my own morals quite a bit while reading (and am still thinking about them after I’ve finished the series), so you could say this is going to lead me to exploring this genre even more. If you have some recomendations, shoot them my way! 😊

Let’s chat!

Have you read this series? Are you on the dark romance train at all? If you are, share some recs, please!

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14 responses to “I Read My First Dark Romance and was Underwhelmed: Mindf*ck Series by S.T. Abby (FOMO Made Me Read It)”

  1. Louise Avatar

    I’ve seen so much hype around this series, I’ve been tempted to try it, even though, like you, it’s really not my thing. Seeing it broken down though, I think I’ll stick to my instincts and pass – there’s too many other books I think I’ll get along better with.

  2. Lola Avatar

    I don’t read dark romance, so I can’t help you with any recommendations. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t as good as you had hoped, but it’s still helpful to know you want to check out more of the genre and I hope future dark romance you books you pick up are better. I don’t like reveals that come out of nowhere and always like if there is some foreshadowing. And characters that act out of character always bother me too.

  3. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books Avatar

    This series is sooo hyped but for whatever reason has never called to me. I do enjoy dark romance but the serial killer aspect just doesn’t interest me. Your issue with the main characters having no depth beyond “killer” and “agent” is something that would have bothered me, too. I’m totally a character-driven reader and if the characters aren’t fleshed out I’m not going to enjoy it.

    If you’re still up for trying more dark romance I would recommend the Hades Hangmen series by Tillie Cole (if you can find them), the King series by T.M. Frazier, or the Trails of Sin series by Pam Godwin.

  4. Yvonne (It's All About Books) Avatar

    I confess that this genre isn’t really for me, although I admit I’m intrigued by the potential of that FBI agent/serial killer romance.

  5. blodeuedd Avatar

    Ehhhh, I really do not know to say, except or maybe not for me

  6. Kat @ Bookish Blades Avatar

    I’ve actually never heard of this series before 😀 I’m absolutely not into dark romance. I could maybe like it if it’s more romantasy but I wouldn’t pick up dark romance if I didn’t have to. I read a hyped German dark romance series last year because every teenage girl bought it in our bookshop and I wanted to know what it was about and… uhhhhh… no, thank you 😀 I’m sorry this wasn’t to your taste. I hope that if you pick up dark romance again, you’ll like it more!

  7. yvonne473 Avatar

    Not really a genre I read. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you.

  8. Rachel @Waves of Fiction Avatar
    Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    I don’t read dark romance so much , but I have heard of this one. Sorry to hear this was a dud!

  9. Leslie Avatar

    I am sorry this one didn’t work out for you!! I have been burned by a lot of hyped books too. It seems more often than not!

  10. Cindy Davis Avatar

    Yeah, I avoid trashy romance books of any kind, they are not my jam. Once upon a time, but that ship has sailed. I hope you find what you are looking for, LOL!

  11. ER LeVar Avatar

    “I expected a trashy romantic thriller, and I got a trashy romantic thriller.”

    There’s something to be said for a book that gives you exactly what it promises, even if that promise isn’t really your cup of tea. I’m not sure I’d pick up this series myself, but I’ve definitely been known to veer off course due to FOMO before, so I get you there! So many times BookTok has led me astray…

  12. Jodie | That Happy Reader Avatar

    I’m sorry that this book wasn’t a good match for you Aimee!

  13. Samantha @WLABB Avatar

    There are so many reasons this is not for me (dark romance and the page count). I did see some great reviews though, and can understand why you took the chance.

  14. Tammy Avatar

    Awesome review😁 I don’t know that I’ve read .any dark romances, but I’m sure there are really good ones our there. My friend Stephanie from Book Fever might have some good recs!

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