Jess Mackey had a brutal life. She does the only thing she can do to save herself. She runs and hides. Determined to never be found she tries to close herself off. However, soon cracks start to break through her shell and slowly and surely people start finding ways in. But only a little. Until Cas comes along and completely blows her shell to smithereens.
So you're a horror fan who secretly adores some hot NA/YA contemp romances. (Ok, so maybe it's not really a secret anymore). Then this is the contemp romance for you! Oh my GAWD I have never seen so much brutal gore plaster the walls of a romance! Ever. I'm like in slasher/steamy almost erotic heaven here. And I don't want to come down. Really, if you would allow me to, without like down voting my review and stuff, this review would just be like: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am that excited about this book. So awesome. *Deep Breathes* Back the over- excited- soul train- up. Parking it. Now onto some reviewing. BEEP BEEP.
I love Tamara/Marata/Super Goddess's writing. I love it so much. I always thought she could pull off this genre and when she told me she had I instantly swam my way through my flu induced murk and bought a copy. Tamara has a very unique writing style. I sometimes see it blasted by reviewers because it's not conventional. Nothing about her is. It's not daisy farts and straight forward sentences. She very much has this sort of skat, rat-a-tat, jazzy improvisational writing style. I love it. I think it gives her whole entire work real character. It's how people speak. It's very real, and gritty. And it really shines in this dark romance. It gives the work that extra raw flair that a lot of other writers are trying give heroines in their works. Only Jess, really does have a very dark and damaged past. It's not just dead parents, or estranged parents, or a bad break up. No this is some real heavy stuff.
Honestly, I have been thinking about writing my own contemporary romance that has a bloody dark twist for a while. Sometimes those sugary sweet HEA's get to me. I mean I cut my teeth on horror movies and random weird nerdy things as a child. So conventional is boring to me. But now I don't have to. Marata wrote one for me and it is beyond anything that I could ever accomplish.
The first pages of this book tells you this is going to be different. The opening scene is absolutely terrifying and gruesome.
"Faith was in the wrong place at the exactly the wrong time.
Her arguing got Thaddeus to notice her. However, Faith will never submit.
Her pleas go unheeded. I bear witness in a dark locked closet; shamed, terrified and soaking in my own sweat and tears, I hear what he does and I can't stop it.
Faith saved me, and my apathy murdered her."
The next chapter picks up two years later and we find Jewell, is now Jess. I love the dynamic and the real struggle that she has finding her way and staying under the radar. She fails miserably, but the fact that she was able to survive two more years in safety away from her psycho step brother (Thad) is amazing.
Cas. The guy who blows Jess's well meaning plans to hell. Once he enters the book. It's like a swoony, fanning roller coaster. He is so HOT and then so cool. It drives Jess, and me insane. And, may I mention here, I have yet another book boyfriend. Sigh. It's not cheating, they totally live in different books.
The ending was the most satisfying HEA I have read in a long time. Marata really earned her ending with this book. Also the copious amounts of gore in the last few chapters didn't hurt, not a bit. Yes, it is all so sad and heartbreaking. I felt like crying, I did cry, but I was also a gleeful horror nerd.
"He turns at the waist, scooping up a round implement, covered by a blanket. My favorite quilt. I watch the jagged pattern of squares rise and fall on ________. I can't make out the design for the blood, as it is raised over and over again above _____'s head like an evil baton, the white becoming red.
And when the hero comes in and makes the HEA happen.
Then all hell breaks loose as Ben's head explodes like a watermelon beside me, littering fragments of his sickened brains all over myself and everything around me.
Exploding baddie brains FTW.
Right, I think I may have waved my freak flag a little too highly on this review. Anyway. This is an excellent, well written, engaging and DARK romance book. It's gritty and rough and I think people are really going to eat it up. Just like I did.