arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Kandiland by T.L. Smith


by T.L. Smith

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He was forbidden, my boss and incapable of loving me.

People talked about him, whispered about him in passing.

He was the king of his town.

And I was a visitor.

I was by no means a smart girl. Never loved with my head, always with my heart.

That fact alone almost killed me once.

I should have listened the second time around.

But the king of this small town, had me starving. Had me craving his taste.

My name is Kandi, and he called me his Kandiland.

The king declared I was his medicine, and with each dose, he became better and better.

He was the perfect liar.

And I was his perfect Kandi.

Together, we were explosive, and toxic in every way.


You can also read this review on Goodreads!

“Don’t fall for me, Kandiland. I’ll only break you.”

I wasn’t expecting more than a forbidden romance between an employee and her overbearing, handsome boss. Kandiland is so much more than that. It is about loss and desire, deceit and self-confidence. Mystery, suspense and intrigue is weaved through the romance, making this a well-rounded, intense story.

Huxley is self-made. Dangerous and haunting, yet alluring, Huxley’s decisiveness makes him formidable, a force of nature who owns virtually the entirety of Candy. With a brooding persona, he epitomises the quintessential “bad boy”.

Brimming with self-confidence and usually self-assured, Kandi is attempting to nurse a wounded heart. Something about the elusive and seeming emotionless Huxley alights her senses and causes her bruised heart to flutter once again.

But these wanting feelings are leaving Kandi confused and suffering a sense of betrayal towards her deceased husband, Jarod. When your heart already belongs to another, it couldn’t possibly become someone else’s, right?

His eyes are like a storm as it comes over you, one that’s so intense you’re afraid of what it’s about to bring.

Together, Huxley and Kandi are explosive.

They share an intense connection and exciting chemistry. On the outside, they are vastly different from each other, but beyond their external appearances, their pasts share something in common.

Both Huxley and Kandi are vulnerable in unique ways.

Huxley’s desire to maintain ownership over every aspect of his personal life and affluent career is driven by his impoverished childhood. Kandi is drawn towards the quiet rural town of Candy as it allows her the chance to maintain a connection with Jarod, but this need to remain faithful towards her deceased husband makes her incredibly wary of loving another.

“Not everything different is bad, and sometimes you should embrace it.”

Kandiland focuses on two broken people finding love in each other and learning that it is okay to allow yourself to be vulnerable again. Kandi is bright, an independent free spirit who loves with her heart. While it is often her downfall, it is difficult to not be in awe of her ability to do so. To love others so open and freely after everything she has been through signifies her strength.

T.L. Smith’s characters and perfectly imperfect. Kandiland is my first read by this lovely author and it won’t be my last!

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