A liar…a hater….a forbidden kiss. A gritty, raw standalone love story.
Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.
After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.
A forbidden kiss…
But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.
Author’s Note: This book is intended for mature audience. It has trigger elements: Abuse, self harm, death. 18+ ONLY. Despite having an HEA, this story doesn’t follow the usual or conventional rules. It’s rough, edgy and yes, difficult to read in places. The characters are broken and jagged and so is their descent in love. Please proceed with caution. Thank you!
A WAR LIKE OURS is available to purchase below
Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
“You push me and push me and push me. Every single moment with you is a battle.”
“You’re right. Every moment with us is a battle. A war. And I’m going to win this war, James. You’re going to lose.”
Well wow, we may be lost for words. A War Like Ours is the debut novel by Saffron A Kent and it completely turned us inside out. You know those books that shock you, yet compel you, because they’re so unexpected. The kind of book that you just know is going to be a marmite book. Well this is it. We still don’t know what we truly feel and have spent hours discussing this story. It’s a fine line between love and hate and we veered across this line touching both sides throughout. We love books that provoke a reaction out of us.
‘Famished. Insatiable. Mad. That was what I felt when I was around her.’
“Hurt me. You know you want to.”
First of all we have to say that we are so surprised this is Saffron A Kent’s first book. The writing was sublime, flawless and highly evocative. She does not mince her words and the emotion they induce are spot on. The quality of writing is why we continued reading this story and why we could not look away. We struggled to connect with the characters and we’re not sure we liked them all that much. That may sound harsh but it’s a testament to this Author that we kept reading despite this struggle. James and Maddison intrigued us, they challenged us and they provoked us. We loved them – we hated them.
‘I looked up, and the fogged mirror reflected a man – diseased and inhuman – with tiny streams of blood snaking down his torso. A liar. A coward. A disappointment.’
This is not a hearts and flowers romance. This is an ugly and quite frankly painful romance. Why? Because Maddison and James are seriously chaotic and emotionally messed up characters. Their relationship is beyond anything we can relate to. Whilst it’s dirty and hot at times it’s the twisted actions, extreme behaviour and emotional turmoil of these characters that left us reeling. We were absolutely exhausted by the end of this book, though we have to give this Author credit for writing a believable ending that fitted the story and the characters. Our hearts bled for these characters.
‘Where had she been all these years? She matched me in every single way. She was just as raw and untamed. Just as angry and selfish. Perhaps that was why she got to me. Because I saw myself in her, a better me, in fact. I saw how unfettered she was, and I desired that, to be unchained, guilt-free.’
Maddison and James are both damaged emotionally for reasons very personal to them. Neither have had a life smelling of roses nor many happy memories. One could say that they have no idea or comprehension on what love truly is. Both have been starved of it. So when they meet, the recognition of themselves in each other, is incredibly visceral. Neither is convincingly looking to be healed nor looking to change or get better. Their pain is what it is. This is who they are, who they believe they are. What they do recognise after a physical empowerment spurred in the other, is the possibility of love. A War Like Ours was in our opinion a unique story brilliantly written with a bruised and battered pen.
“Let the pain take over. Let it own you, turn you inside out. Let it win, Maddison. That’s the only way to stop this, to stop feeling.”
“Show me how.”