Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
‘This isn’t a love story, but a story about love’
Jenny: And so begins the tragically woven story about the forbidden and overpowering love between Ysabelle and Sebastian.
‘I wanted to be with her. I didn’t care about repercussions. I lived in that moment. I let it take over me. ‘ – Sebastian
We’re taken through the lives of these two characters from childhood to their eventual meeting in adult life. There’s seemed to be a path that was destined to collide and the events that followed made this a tragic tale of love, passion, sadness and of two hearts who had known their fair share of heartache.
‘I don’t need to be saved, this isn’t a love story…..’
This was one hell of a story wasn’t it Gitte? We came to know all the characters on a deeply personal level as we followed them through childhood to adulthood and were there to witness all the sadness, hopes, dreams, triumphs, failures, wants and needs of them all. It was a well-developed story that held me captive from the get go and I know you were the same G.
Gitte: Was it ever tragic Jenny, it was so bloody sad I think I read with a lump in my throat the whole way through. The characters were so well fleshed out and had incredible depth. You got to know them and I completely understood them and connected with them. The story-line had me completely engrossed and I just knew it was building up into something intense and life altering. I wasn’t wrong, it broke my heart yet I was rooting for this moment too.
Jenny: We are introduced to Ysabelle in the most cruellest and saddest of circumstances as she narrates her tragic and sad life before she takes us back to the beginning and her story was heartbreaking.
Don’t you dare feel bad for me. I’m not writing this for you to shed tears. My story goes a whole lot deeper than this, and I definitely don’t want your pity. I adapted. I embraced…….Ysabelle
Forced to survive from an early age this young woman has never known love or kindness and has suffered unbelievable pain, humiliation and degradation at the hands of her dug addicted mother. I wanted to strangle her mother with my bare hands. How could she have been so hateful?
In order to know my happiness than you need to know my sadness – Ysabelle
Ysa deserved a break, she deserved happiness. Ysabelle learnt early in life that her body was her tool to survival and this realisation would eventually lead her to become an escort for VIP under the “care” of Madam. Ysabelle’s story was really gut wrenching wasn’t it G and this story spared no expense when taking the reader into Ysabelle’s world.
Gitte: Yeah, Ysabelle has had an awfully horrific childhood if you can even call it that. She never got the chance to be a child in fact, rather, she was simply there to sustain the habit of someone who should never have had the honour of the title; Mum. No wonder Ysa ran and didn’t look back. Growing up in a home where all you know is what Ysa knows, no wonder this girl was lost and unable to find or see her true self.
‘I realized that I had never experienced any normal things growing up. I never enjoyed my life, and the only time I ever felt true happiness and at peace was when I was using my body….’
It was so painful, ugly and disturbing and at no point did I feel anything but compassion, understanding and hope that she got what she truly deserved; love, hope and happiness.
‘I hated who I let myself become. I could barely look at myself in the mirror…’
Jenny: As much as Sebastian has known a life of privilege, love, devotion and enjoyed the love of two women who were devoted to him. Julia, who he had known since birth and Olivia, Julia’s adopted sister. These three shared a bond that was unbreakable and all three would do anything for each other. Sebastian had always “settled”.
You can think of any word and there is an opposite meaning; Happiness & sadness, pleasure & pain, Joy & misery, companionship & loneliness, life & death, and love & hate. I have experienced every one of these emotions …. – Sebastian
He was always respectful of Julia’s feelings and was hell bent on ensuring her happiness and not wanting to hurt her, yet this always seemed to be at the expense of his own happiness. Sebastian loved Julia without question, but I have to say I never felt the connection between these two. For me Julia knew his weakness was her happiness and she played on it and as nervous as I was at the impending meeting of Ysa and Sebastian I have to say I welcomed it and whilst yes, the cheating was an issue for me, but because I “felt” the connection between him and Ysa so strongly I accepted their love and lust early on. Ysa and Seb came from completely different worlds…in fact, you couldn’t get more different, but there was a passion and intensity between these two – a love that went soul deep that couldn’t be denied. Theirs was a destiny.
‘I was destined to meet Ysabelle. We were meant to cross paths. For whatever fucked up reason she came into my life, I couldn’t let her go.’ – Sebastian
Is it bad that I desperately wanted Ysa and Seb to find a way through G? Did you feel the same?
Gitte: Now, as for Sebastian Jenny, I wasn’t sure about his role at first as I felt he played into a role decided by others. However, I loved the boy and man he grew into despite this, the bond he had with Olivia and Julia was beautiful and turned into something quite overwhelming. I suppose the three of them created their own little world with their respective parents’ creating a path and destiny through the bonds they cemented as children. So yeah, I understood his sudden disparity at his situation and the connection between him and Ysa was so intense and healing for both of them, their souls and brokenness mended by this incredible connection.
‘We lost ourselves, we felt, we experienced, and neither one of us wanted to move on.’
J&G: VIP is told in mostly alternating POV’s between Ysabelle and Sebastian taking us through the lives and the eventual destined meeting between two individuals whose lives couldn’t have been more contrast. Theirs was a sorrowful tale of lies, lust, love and heart ache. Could they find a way to be together? Would love prevail?
‘I learned in that moment that you can’t always have what you want and you just have to hope that everything works out for the best. – Sebastian
VIP is a story of a woman who doesn’t know how to love and a man who has known nothing but love and devotion all his life. What could they teach each other? How could a happily married man, a devoted father fall so desperately for a woman who doesn’t understand or feel love and who only knows how to provide pleasure, not emotion or feeling? What could they learn and how can a man who yearns to make others happy very deliberately seek out a woman who could destroy everything he has built up and change everything he believed in? Well, VIP explores all that and more and the reader is certainly led on a journey of discovery and a whole lot of suffering and self-discovery.
This story had us hooked, no doubt about that. It was well developed, the characters were given such depth and it really was a good read. So….why a 3.5 rating? Unfortunately this amazing story was let down by editing and it breaks our heart that this book was not run through an editor before release. We can overcome a few errors in a book, heck, we can overcome more than a few but when they are constant….past/present tense shifts, spelling errors….rendezvous spelt “rondayvoo” is just one example and when there is an over misuse of words, it has the ability to detract from the story and that was the case for us with VIP. The errors were particularly prevalent in the last half of the story and it really is a crying shame. If this book had been properly edited it was a 4.5 star without question.