Butcher & Blackbird Book Cover Butcher & Blackbird
The Ruinous Love Trilogy
Brynne Weaver
Dark Romance
August 14, 2023
eBook, Hardcover, Paperback

Every serial killer needs a friend.
Every game must have a winner.

When a chance encounter sparks an unlikely bond between rival murderers Sloane and Rowan, the two find something elusive—the friendship of a like-minded, pitch-black soul. From small town West Virginia to upscale California, from downtown Boston to rural Texas, the two hunters collide in an annual game of blood and suffering, one that pits them against the most dangerous monsters in the country.

But as their friendship develops into something more, the restless ghosts left in their wake are only a few steps behind, ready to claim more than just their newfound love.

Can Rowan and Sloane dig themselves out of a game of graves?

Or have they finally met their match?

“Being a serial killer who kills serial killers is a great hobby… Until you find yourself locked in a cage.”

Please accept this as my official notice that “Butcher and Blackbird” by Brynne Weaver may be my favorite book of the year. I want to give sufficient heads up so that when I announce that a book about two serial killers falling in love has surpassed all others, that there has been enough time to process the news.  The trigger warnings are enough to make even those comfortable with the darkest of topics to shy away, but when they were paired with the genre of “dark romantic comedy” there was absolutely no way that I could resist. I am the cat, and curiosity is my arch nemesis.

I will emphasize that the triggers listed at the front of the book, as well as on the author’s website are very real despite the “comedy” tag and we are introduced to some gore fairly quickly.  As much as I love this book, there is content that makes it not accessible to everyone, so please take care of yourself and proceed with caution.

Rowan and Sloane have both already made names for themselves in the headlines as “The Butcher and “The Orb Weaver,” as they are both vigilante serial killers who go after the scum of the earth, but despite their good intentions, murder is still a crime. A chance meeting between the two allows them to reveal their true identities to a stranger for the first time and an unlikely friendship develops.

While they feel as though they have found a kinship with one another, they are still hesitant to trust, because after all, both have no problem killing those who kill. It is also hard to fathom that they have developed a true personal connection when their interests are so…niche.

An annual competition between Sloane and Rowan emerges, which gives them the chance to meet-up and show off their particular sets of skills as they work to remove another scumbag from society. As the years pass, both find that once a year is not enough to see their partner in (literal) crime and a careful back and forth happens as they each attempt to get out of the friendzone, but are afraid of pushing too hard.

The scenes from Rowan’s POV were my favorite as his admiration for how Sloane lays out her scenes quickly transforms from appreciation to infatuation.  While he knows that Sloane is a killer and can take care of herself in extreme situations, his instinct to be protective over her is sweet enough to make your teeth hurt.

“When I look at her, I can’t seem to pry one emotion away from the others. They all intertwine when I think of Sloane Sutherland.”

And while I completely understand how hard it is to believe that a book with a trigger warning such as “accidental cannibalism” could possibly be described as cute, but the interactions with Sloane and Rowan are just that. Their banter is enough to have you kicking your feet and giggling as they manage to tease and flirt with each other even while creating a crime scene.

“You might be psycho,” I say with a grin as her eyes narrow, “but you’re my psycho, and I’m yours. Got it?”

I know that there will be people who are not able to enjoy this book as there are descriptions of violence and gore, but if you were able to watch the show Dexter I don’t feel that this would be too far outside your comfort zone. If you are interested in watching the contrast between two people who are out for vigilante justice and a sweet love story about people who are scared to take a risk than this will be a homerun for you. This was an utterly unique romance that has made me a believer and I am so excited to get to know more of Brynne Weaver’s work.

Congratulations on the start of what I know will be a new cult classic!