THE LOST & THE FALLEN by COLE McCADE
Dark erotic romance.
We must stress that you should read the author warning on these books.
There are a few triggers in these stories that might affect some readers.
We recommend reading in the order of The Lost, The Fallen (A free companion novella in Hart’s POV – events prior to The Lost) then move onto The Found .
Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
The Lost and The Fallen
“Do you think lost people recognize each other, when they meet?”
You know you’re reading something incredibly special and poignant when the second you’re away from this book your thoughts are straying back to it. You almost feel its emotional burden on your shoulders, mind and heart despite being parted. To call this a collection of pages purely with printed words is a grave injustice; we don’t often come across a written story that affects us so severely and deeply as this series.
“It seems like life is all about sacrificing one kind of happiness for another.”
The Lost is profoundly dark and harrowing as it deals with issues in life which are tragically real for many women, and men. Whilst saying that, the way in which this Author writes it not only highlights these issues and distressing subject matters, but also inspires and empowers.
‘One night, the universe saw its own reflection and fell in love.’
We have to say that it’s – without question – necessary to read Cole McCade’s warning and afterword. It makes us think that this man is otherworldly, somehow he’s viewed the world from afar to get a perspective that once read resonates deeply, makes you think and makes you realise that judgement in any way is dangerous. As an outsider looking in you get the surface, you do not see the depth and what’s contained within it. Who are we to measure someone else’s feeling up against our own when we can’t judge how hurt, confused or desperate another individual is.
“Do you want to die, Gabriel?”
“No. I just want that moment when the choice to live or die isn’t my responsibility. Not my life, or anyone else’s. More than anything, I want a reason to keep living.”
Cole McCade’s writing has absolutely blown us away. BLOWN US AWAY! This is a new Author to us and to say his writing is flawlessly beautiful is an understatement. It’s so exquisite; painting a vivid colourful imagery that grabs your heart and demands you to see and feel. To take heed of every word until every emotion has been laid out in front of you for naked scrutiny. Hatred, disgust, compassion, sorrow, understanding and ultimately a love that grows from recognition.
“Perfect is hard and cold. Perfect is…complacence and numb acceptance and loveless apathy. There’s nothing good in that. Nothing good in not being weak enough to feel the loss of things that matter.”
At times it’s so raw that you literally feel like you have someone else’s blood on your hands seeping from the pages. It is that evocative and all encompassing. The characters were laid out bare, with the elements of societal restrictions, classes and judgement painted across their bodies, marking them, ready for judgement. Relatable aspects found in all.
‘God, he was pure gunmetal, and right now he moved like the safety was off, the trigger cocked, ready to fire.’
Leigh, our heroine, and we use this word with purpose and conviction as is written, is lost. A woman merely existing in a world under the influence of others, as she tries to break free having to face a bitter past, her behaviour, her now and her future- it’s sadly as if decided by others. We all want to be seen or noticed in some way. We all need or want to be loved and accepted. We all have to learn who we are and learn how to respect and love ourselves. Be allowed to just be who we truly are whilst still trying to figure out just who that is, our place that makes us happy or happier. Underneath weighted expectations and societal standings is a woman who desires to fly. To feel free without judgement, guilt and reproach.
‘She loved the weightless feeling of life in freefall, tumbling flight with no ground in sight. It was only when the world came rushing up at her that the fall turned terrifying, and gravity dug its fingers deep into her soul.’
Gabriel, our perplexing hero, an ex-marine who’s broken, standing on the edge of a praecipe undecided on succumbing or letting go. There’s an orchestrated push where ‘broken’ meets ‘desperately trying to heal and overcome’. The mechanisms and tools so different, their stories world’s apart but at the same time a similar path is tread. In The Fallen which should be read after The Lost in our opinion, we learn of who Gabriel is, his burdened guilt, his exhaustion and loneliness.
‘The rifle had become an extra limb, its presence so ingrained that giving it up had felt like amputation.’
Gabriel and Leigh understand and see in each other the desperation, the need, the craving for acceptance and understanding. Of needs that may seem unthinkable – taboo to some – and yes, again, we must stress that reading Cole McCade’s warning is of utmost importance.
‘He followed those stars one to another to another, counting them as he once had with a fingertip tracing one line to the next, then let his hand fall to rest on his stomach and pillowed his head on his arm.’ “I don’t know if you’re here or not.”
If you then decide to go and experience this dark graphic kaleidoscope of feelings and behavioural emotive led actions stemming from the deepest of betrayals and out of our control situations; then you will quite simply experience something beautiful in all its ugliness. Something incredible scattered with moments of brightness. Something intense, passionate and raw. Something so distressing we’re reminded that this is the path for people that live and breathe alongside us.
“None of us are black and white. Not one of us, even if that’s how we try to see the world. We’ve all done good things, and all done bad. We’ve all hurt someone else, or been hurt. We’ve lied. We’ve broken promises. We’ve kept promises, too. But there’s no such thing as a villain. No such thing as a hero, either. There’s only us.”
* * * *
THE CROW CITY SERIES
Available to purchase below