ARC Review: The Tomb: Exposed – Ella Burns (The Tomb #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Please note: The Tomb is a dark prison romance intended for readers 18+

The Blurb
The Tomb. A prison run by inmates; it is home to the most despicable scum of the earth.
And me.
Ana, but call me Josh. My life depends on it.

After disguising myself as a man for years, a fluke landed me in the worst possible prison. I may know how to fight but nothing could have prepared me for the depravity of The Tomb.

When the leader of this horrid place, Ax, discovers my secret, I assume that is it—I’m done for. Ready to be tossed to the savages of The Tomb, he instead claims me as his own and teaches me things about my body I never knew possible.

I know I need to use Ax and his desire for me if I’m ever to escape this place and be safe again. But I never expected it would be my heart I needed to protect most.


Incarcerated as a child, I’ve spent most of my life in The Tomb and the last ten years leading it. When a new batch of prisoners come in, I discover a woman hiding in their midst. Her fearlessness intrigues me, and I decide to keep her for myself, and her secret.

Bloodthirsty and ruthless are how I have been described, but I can tell Ana is going to change things. My darkness and addictions seem to dissipate when she’s close, and I fall harder than I ever thought possible. Now to keep her hidden, keep her mine, and ensure no one learns her secret.

My Review
If I could describe this story in three words, I would say it’s dark, dirty and dangerous! What a fantastic story in an intriguing and captivating series.

The Tomb: Exposed describes the unpredictable and perilous new world order within a jail and the dystopian environment that has created these changes. The world-building that the author has created is delightful. So much has happened to create this crazy, new world and I feel like the author has only touched the tip of the iceberg with this world. I love that because it means there is going to be so much more to learn and enjoy throughout the rest of the series (in addition to the romances).

Having lived most of his life in the Tomb, Ax is the definition of a tall, dark and dangerous Alpha male. He runs the show in the Tomb and nobody messes with him. His world is thrown into turmoil, however, when he discovers newcomer Josh’s secret: he is actually a woman in disguise.

The new dystopian world is dangerous for women and it isn’t long into Ana’s young life that she discovers the only way to survive is to disguise herself as a man. She cuts her hair short, covers part of her body in tattoos, wears baggy clothes and binds her chest. All of these actions won’t save her from the harsh and dangerous realities of living in the Tomb. It isn’t long until she’s discovered by Ax and a deal is set between the two to keep her secret from the rest of the dangerous inmates.

What I really loved about this series is how both the hero and heroine were tough, independent Alpha-types yet they worked well together. Ax is a man who isn’t used to answering to anyone but he allowed Ana to voice her opinions about the way things were run and he actually took her opinions on board. I loved that he was willing to explain his current actions to her and use all of these experiences to learn and grow, making changes as needed. Alternatively, Ana was provided with the same opportunities to grow and used those to grow stronger as a person. The romance between Ax and Ana was quite fast-paced but it worked for their situation so it never felt off. The sexual components were fast, hard and dirty but surprisingly still had many sweet elements.

This was the first story by Ella Burns that I’ve read and I enjoyed it immensely. Burns delivered a compelling story full of drama, an intriguing dystopian world, and a sweet romance within an inmate-run prison. If you enjoy dark or dystopian-based romances, I highly recommend checking this book out!

Disclaimer: Thank you to the author for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase your copy here
Amazon AU
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


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