Review: The Ritual by Shantel Tessier

“I vow. You vow. We vow.”


Barrington University is home of the Lords, a secret society that requires their blood in payment. They are above all—the most powerful men in the world. They devote their lives to violence in exchange for power. And during their senior year, they are offered a chosen one.


People think growing up with money is freeing, but I promise you, it’s not. My entire life has been planned out for me. I never got the chance to do what I wanted until Ryat Alexander Archer came along and gave me an option for a better life. He offered me what no one else ever had—freedom.

I chose to be his. He made me believe that anyway, but it was just another lie. A way that the Lords manipulate you into doing what they want.

After being sucked into the dark, twisted world of the Lords, I embraced my new role and allowed Ryat to parade me around like the trophy I was to him. But like all things, what started out as a game soon became a fight for survival. And the only way out was death.

Avery’s Thoughts About the Book

I volunteer as tribute!!!!

Ryat Muthafuckin’ ArcherPLEASE be real!

I literally don’t know how to start this review… Oh! Yes I do. Has anyone here read the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning? I firmly believe that Ryat is what you would get if Jericho Barrons were a human. Pure alpha attitude and with a long list of very good reasons to be that cocky.

I wasn’t sure what to think of Blakely at first but she grew on me quickly. She’s not the shrinking violet type at all. As she steps into a world she’s not entirely prepared for, she’s got a fearless streak to her and dives in headlong. This easily could have been a horror novel with some of the things you see and instead, you’re riding shotgun in the head of a chick who’s excited by her new surroundings. The thrill is still there, it’s just for a way more fun reason.

This is a long book. I didn’t know that going in but I have no complaints. None of it felt like fluff. Although this isn’t a series exactly, there are other novels in this world: The Sinner and The Sacrifice. I listened to The Ritual on Audible and I’m dying to know if the author is having the other two produced. The book was published in November 2021 and the audiobook only came out on May 9, 2023. I hope that means we will see more soon! At almost seventeen hours long, I was sad that The Ritual was over. That being said, the ending made sense and was wrapped up beautifully. I was just being greedy and wish there had been more.

The spice in this book is alllllllll over the map. The kinks are a’plenty! A pervy buffet for the bookish. If you’re into it, it’s probably in this book. And it’s not just the smexy stuff either. Secret societies. Hitmen. Power players. Intrigue! Action! PRISON! It’s got everything. I loved The Ritual and this will likely become my next travel day audiobook when I need to fly. It’s totally worth a re-listen one day. And I bought the gorgeous paperback just to add it to my collection. I loved this book.

CONTENT WARNING: Ryat and Blakely are truckloads of fun together. That being said, homeboy has got a thing for drugging his Lady for fun. It’s hot and she consents to it most of the time but that was the biggest thing in this book I could see rubbing readers the wrong way. As a quick reminder, check out the Trigger Warning page here on my website. This message applies to my books and pretty much everything you’re going to see on my blog, whether it’s dark romance or paranormal romance (which tends to be violent). I don’t include this message with every review but there are soooooooo many scenes that might make you clutch your pearls and faint so consider yourself warned.

Heat Level

Avery’s Rating

Tropes Used
Forced/Arranged Marriage
BDSM Elements (Like…..a lot of them.)
Alphahole Hero

Add It To Your TBR Pile
Bookbub | Goodreads

Review Copy Disclaimer
The review copy of this book was purchased on Audible.

Review Policy & Ratings Guide

May 2023 Book Events Featuring Avery & Friends

Dark Mafia Romance Book Fair
FREE Steamy Contemporary Romance Books
Steamy Contemporary Romance Book Fair

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.