Tag Archives: angst

A WAR LIKE OURS by SAFFRON A. KENT :: REVIEW

A liar…a hater….a forbidden kiss. A gritty, raw standalone love story.

SYNOPSIS

A liar…

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.

A hater…

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.”

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Saffron A. Kent

GRAVITY by LAUREN RUNOW :: REVIEW

Standalone : Childhood friends to lovers angsty romance spanning over twenty years.

24th TBB Rec

SYNOPSIS
Gravity is not your normal, sweet romance of childhood friends to lovers. Spanning over twenty years—it’s raw, it’s real, asking the question if soul mates really exist.

Lily
At eight years old, the boy next door changed my life. He was the force pulling me toward him despite our differences. It was like magic.
We understood each other, supported each other and in the process became everything to each other.
But in chasing Trevin’s dream, I lost myself along the way.

Trevin
Through tremendous heartache, she was there. Through fame and fortune, she was there. Loving Lily was the one thing I got right.
Eclipsing her in my shadow, I took from her until she was empty. Now I must do anything to prove I can be the man she wants, no, the man she deserves.

Pre Order GRAVITY below – Releasing 24th January

purchase link small          purchase link small


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Gravity Review

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“You and me, we’re meant to be together.”

This was our first experience with Lauren Runow’s stories and we’re certainly keen to try out more. In Gravity we meet Lily Pace and Trevin Allen who become firm friends at eight years old and who live a life of ups and down, successes and failures, missed opportunities. And as the synopsis suggest, it’s certainly not a warm and gooey childhood to lover’s story, indeed it’s not. This is one angsty journey for Lily and Trevin that’s full of heartbreak, loss and bad decisions, and begs the question, can soulmate love fight, survive and conquer?

‘Without each other, we both will float away into darkness, because my life would be nothing without her.’

Trevin Allen lives in a troubled household with an alcoholic cruel father who really was one of the most revolting characters we’ve met. He made our stomach turn and his treatment of Trevin was hard reading, in fact his behaviour was downright bizarre at times.

A friendship with Lily develops when they are both eight, with Lily’s companionship being the reprieve Trevin craves. They share a reckless innocence which is so sweet and develops as the year’s progress into something more than friendship. At thirteen Trevin’s talent and passion for Baseball could be his passport out of his situation, but it is music that is his dream, and apart from Lily, his love.

‘I will try my hardest to be the best man anyone would want to love, especially the girl holding me right now.’

Trevin’s life begins to take a downward spiral thanks to his father in which Lily tries to pull him out and show him his potential, signing him up for an audition with Sony records. Trevin’s life changes, leaving Lily behind as he chases his music dream.

Trevin tries to include Lily into his life but it’s clear the prim and proper Lily is out of her depth with Trevin’s drug taking, rock star companions and cracks in their relationship and friendship develop.

Gravity follows Trevin and Lily from eight to thirty five and it’s quite the journey. We advise you to hang onto your Kindles because you’ll want to throw them a time or two! Both Lily and Trevin change in personality, behaviour throughout the story, fighting to find their identity whilst exploring the complexities of growth and eventual maturity. Life at times is erratic, separation unavoidable, and both have to learn to bend and make allowances for the other, which is easier said than done.

‘He’s been here, with me, every day since I was eight years old, and now he’s gone.’

Despite Lily’s belief and encouragement in Trevin, we did find Lily to be a little judgemental at times, and felt the time jumps didn’t allow for us to actually feel and live their story some of the time. We know Trevin had drug issues throughout his rock and roll lifestyle but we feel as though we didn’t really experience the gritty, raw aspects of this, and so the impact wasn’t as compelling as it would’ve been if we had lay witness to it.

“He’s my gravity I’m pulled toward him, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

The path to true love isn’t always straight and narrow, it’s rocky and full of potholes, and no more so than in the case of Lily and Trevin. Their love tested us, their reasoning frustrated us, some of their decision making infuriated and confused us, but there’s no doubt Lauren Runow’s story held us captive as we hoped with our hearts in knots that love would eventually prevail for these two.

4 Stars

Gravity

 

 

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Filed under Lauren Runow, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny