Category Archives: R M James

FRAGILE TRUTHS (A Shadows of Sin Novel #1) by D H SIDEBOTTOM & R M JAMES

shadows of sin

SYNOPSIS

To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Friedrich Nietzsche.

Frankie…

The bitterness is consuming. It’s intensity slashes and claws at my insides, it’s hatred wrenching my soul as it curls and nurtures my need for revenge.

HIS torture only feeds my vice. I won’t let HIM break me, only strengthen me. The pain HE gives is welcomed, it’s rawness fuelling the loathing inside with each of HIS thrashes and tears on my pale skin, with every harsh truth HE breathes in my ear and with each of HIS crippling holds.

I have waited too long for this and I’ll never let the bastard win.
He will have to end me before I give in.
But now HE has a weapon against me. Something I swore throughout my life I would never let in;
Love.
Tate.

Tate…

Her strength astounds me. HE doesn’t seem to break her.
HIS relentless persecution and determination to bury her under his furious reign and brutality eats at my soul. It has found that dark place inside me, the pit of hell I had locked and secured away, and enriched it, demanded its flourish and ripened its ferocity. The family wrath.

She’ll never give in, and I pray every night as I guide her through the darkness that tomorrow will bring the light to her soul before it is consumed, finally, by the plague of HIM.
Evil.
Jude.

Jude…

She blossoms under my torture, the soft suppleness of her skin ripping and tearing as though her soul is trying to break free from the agony.
I’ll allow it, because I can. Because I need her soul. I crave the sustenance it feeds my rage with, my thirst for cruelty quenched by the sounds of her desolate screams and my hunger for blood, nourished by the slow drip of her life force at my feet.
She thinks I won’t break her, so does he. They underestimate the blood that slithers through my veins. It’s the blood that tenures those around me.
The bloodthirsty.
The Shadows of Sin.

♦♦♦♦

fragile truths collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny & Gitte: 4.5  completely addictive stars

“Don’t you like the dark?”

Gitte: Uh….okay. Where do I start, Jenny? Do I start with a warning of impending darkness and disturbing and gruesome visual images? Do I express a relief that I survived without breaking down? Or do I just say, go read Fragile Truths if you like your boundaries tested and you enjoy your dark gritty reads?

See, if ever there was a story that needs to be approached blind for maximum affect, this right here is it, and we did just that. Sure, we’d read the synopsis and the intrigue was immediately there. We wanted to read this book by Authors we’d never experienced before. Oh and also we loved the cover!

To say I was left gobsmacked does not even cover it. This is true soul mates romance swept up in violence, brutality, torture and heart-break. This is revenge and retribution. This is a love story spanning years, set in the most grossly unique and thought provoking environment.

“But without darkness, the stars can’t shine, Frankie.”

There are so many twists and shocking developments that I found myself exhausted by the time I’d finished. Did I enjoy it? Well, it kept me hooked, it kept me teetering on the edge of do I continue or not. The writing was fantastic; the characters Tate and Frankie unique and troubled. Our heroine Frankie kicks arse. I have trouble remembering many heroines who are as strong and determined; fierce and loyal as she. As for Tate, his voice and story brings the romance; the light in the dark. The passion and the all-encompassing love and endurance.

“The unknown scares them, twists at their minds and gives them false truths of what is actually just the norm for us.” – Tate

The story of Frankie and Tate is mind-blowing in its beauty and vulnerability; its ugliness, depravity and animalistic behaviour. The back-drop of this romance is not pretty and sweet nor is it hopeful or heart-warming. Rather, it’s reminiscent of that determined little green sprout that fights all odds and grows in the dark shadow of a grotty crack in a pavement slab.

“I could sense you with me, feel your heart beating beside mine but it was like seeing your reflection in water and every time I reached out and touched you, you floated away again…” – Tate

We are hesitant, aren’t we Jenny, to go into the story for fear of spoiling the gripping tension and reveal any hints of the magnitude of secrets, lies and family feuds?!

“I won’t let them ruin this.” – Nik

Jenny: Wow Gitte! It’s hard to know where to start and I think I’m still reeling from parts of this story. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly about going into this book blind. It’s the only way to experience it as some of the revelations will leave you breathless. I think “wtf?” was my most texted message to you throughout….in a good, twisted way that is!  Fragile Truths is best read with no preconceived ideas…..just jump right in there, but take heed….whilst this is not one for the faint-hearted I was completely consumed and addicted from start to finish.

“……there’s this darkness in him that is so potent it’s almost physical.”

My heart was a beating mess, I had that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and I felt as though I held my breath from the very first to the very last page and when I say I read Fragile Truths in one sitting I mean it. I couldn’t stop.  The brutality of this story certainly made me squirm at times with some scenes being quite disturbing. The suspense was intense and this story of revenge, jealousy, hatred, retribution and love had me completely engrossed. I was transfixed as this intriguing story unfolded before my eyes. Whilst Fragile Truths could certainly be quite gruesome, there were moments of true tenderness, a lot of heat and characters who each had a compelling voice to be heard.

“There were no stars where the darkness tormented me.”

Yes I was aghast that I could find such beauty amongst the horror, the cruelty and the pain that I witnessed and in Tate and Frankie’s unconventional love story these moments reached into my heart.

‘She was the virtue. I was the sin.’

This was a story of soul mates meeting adversity in place where violence, torture and revenge is king, where human life is easily disregarded and where power lies in those discarded along the way.

Frankie and Tate’s story was gripping, their relationship raw and intense. Frankie, the strong, tenacious woman who fought such inner conflict yet had courage that was beyond admirable. Tate, the raw, filthy talking alpha man who oozed sin and sexuality, who was the heart in this story  and whose past held so many questions…both had me every step of the way.

“This is your story and however long it takes you to tell it, I’ll be right here listening.”

Fragile Truths had so many twists, turns and revelations that I got whiplash as each one had me gasping and wondering what the hell was coming next! My heart clamoured in my chest many a time in a story that is as cruel as it is tender, as heart-breaking as it is uplifting and it was one where I hungrily devoured every word.

J&G:  Fragile Truths is primarily told from Frankie and Tate’s perspective which gives the reader a front row seat to this gritty, raw, dark, horrifyingly beautiful and utterly, utterly addictive read. The intermittent pov’s from Jude sent shivers down our spines and in a story where nothing is as it seems, these authors have created a compellingly potent, brutal love story set in gruesome and callous surrounding, some complex characters and a leading man who was rather unconventional, never afraid to speak his mind (and and wasn’t he filthy when he did!) and we bloody loved him!

‘He had taken my soul that night many years ago…’

The only gripe we had, and the only reason Fragile Truths wasn’t a 5 star for comes down to authenticity. Being that this story is set in London, we didn’t ‘feel’ that part of the story. The colloquialisms weren’t there and it came across as if it was set in Amercia. We understand this may have been a market based decision, but as the setting of this story was English; we would have really loved to have experienced it as such.  Although we realise this may not be an issue for the majority of readers, it was for us.

“I’ve put my life on hold for this day….”

So, if you like your romance stories dark and disturbing and if you love having your resolve tested by authors who really know how to weave a twisted tale, then be sure to add Fragile Truths to your reading lists. You won’t be disappointed! There was a point where the authors threw such a curve ball at us, we were so gobsmacked and pretty sure our mouths were gaping as we prepared to hurl our Kindles through the window. Well played guys, well played…you certainly got our heart rates spiking!   We’re really looking forward to more in this series a but for now we’re off to 1Click some of this author’s previous work.  We need more!

ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review 

Check out and purchase FRAGILE TRUTHS here:

Fragile Truths (The Shadows of Sin)

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, D H Sidebottom, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, R M James, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny