Check out my stop on the blog tour for Sting by Cindy R. Wilson from Entangled Teen!

by Cindy R. Wilson
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: March 3rd 2020
Entangled Teen

They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.
But then a trusted friend reveals who I am―“just” Tessa, “just” a girl―and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.
In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.
With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…

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His fingers brush mine when he takes the knife, and I fight back a shiver, trying to hold my ground.
           “Scorpion,” he says softly.
           I brace myself for more Pike wisdom, or maybe even a mention of the kisses we’ve shared that we haven’t mentioned.
           Instead, he smiles. “You’ve been a very good teacher. Are you sure you want to do this?”
           “If you say so.”
           He takes his stance, gaze zeroed in on the board. He’s wearing a simple blue shirt, cut off at the shoulders, and his muscles flex when he lifts his arm.
           I exhale just as he throws and the knife zooms to the board, hitting inside the widest ring, but not in the middle.
           His eyes narrow. I smile.
           “I’d like to see you do this with a distraction,” he says.
           My heart flutters, but I nod. “No problem.”
           I step to the line, a whole head shorter than Pike. I feel his eyes on me. In fact, he’s so close, I feel the heat from his body. But I’m focused, and all I can see is the red circle I’m aiming for.
           I squeeze the blade between my fingers and hold my breath, preparing to throw.
           Pike blows on my neck.
           Chills race across my skin even as I fling the knife. The blade hits the board with a thud, straight in the middle.
           Pike curses softly and shakes his head. I turn to him, unable to help the smile stretching wide across my face. “See? I know a little something about focus.”
           “I’m impressed.”
           “Looks like you could use some practice.”
           “What about on the mat?” He lifts an eyebrow. “Do you have focus there?”
           Uh…no. But Pike doesn’t need to know that. “I have focus anywhere.”
           He points. “Mat. Now.”
           I lift my chin, toss the last knife at the board, and smirk when it hits the center. Then I walk to the mat. I get into my stance before he joins me. I wouldn’t put it past him to attack right away. Pike’s a big fan of not being caught off guard, and he’s taught me accordingly.
           Pike stalks the edge of the mat, knees bent. He feigns a lunge, then laughs when I tense.
           “You’re lucky I don’t have a knife,” I say, mock warning in my tone.
           He takes a step closer. “Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about being prepared. Besides, I don’t want a hole in my side like Mongo.”
           “He deserved it.”
           Pike gives me his dangerous smile and takes another step. Almost close enough to reach me. “You’re not saying I deserve to be stabbed, are you?”
           My chest vibrates with a low laugh, but I’m still on guard. “No, Pike. Not today, anyway.”
           His smile lights his eyes. And suddenly he stands fully, shoulders relaxing, and closes the gap between us.
           I draw in a sharp breath. “What are you doing?”
           “What does it look like?”
           His hands skim my arms, making me shiver. I lift my chin to meet his eyes, lips parting slightly.
           “Pike,” I say, my voice coming out breathless.
           Then he sweeps my legs from beneath me. I hit the mat hard, banging my elbows. I kick out and almost catch Pike’s leg, but he’s too fast. He bends and snags my arm, twisting it behind my back as he pushes me flat on my stomach. My breath whooshes out, but I don’t struggle. Crap. So much for proving I can’t be distracted.


My first experience with Cindy R. Wilson's books and I am hooked. The blurb got my attention because The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite classics and I haven't read a retelling based on it before, so I am happy I had the opportunity to read this one.

The story is set in a dystopian world, where people are divided into two factions, The Light and The Darkside. Of course the most privileged are part of Victor, the city of Light where they live the best life, surrounded by opulence while the unfortunate ones are left to starve beyond the borders of the city. Tessa has been on her own since she was twelve, she lost her parents and was forced to survive amongst the Darksiders. She's a warrior at heart and will do anything to help those in need so she becomes a vigilante, a symbol of hope for the people in the dark. But someone in her group betrays her so Tessa finds herself was thrown into jail. The need for revenge fuels her to survive amongst the inmates and with the help of a new ally she plans her escape.

I love Tessa, she is fierce and heads strong, and has such a big heart. She always puts people's needs before her own. It was interesting to see how the love triangle between her, Pike and River evolved and I liked that the story didn't put too much emphasis on that. Her feelings for Pike developed organically and their connection was beautifully presented. The world-building was great and the characters were well presented and relatable. The plotline was suspenseful, intriguing and had enough angst to keep me engaged in the story. I loved how things turned out in the end.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot, it was emotional and entertaining and I recommended it to those who like dystopian YA novels with a twist!

About the Author

Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You'll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.

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