It's Friday and we're one of today's stops on A Terrible Love Blog Tour. We have our review of this New Adult contemporary romance. There's also two giveaways. This tour is hosted by AToMR Tours.
A Terrible Love by Marata Eros
New Adult contemporary romance*Paperback/eBook, 269 pages
Self-published, February 11, 2013
Jessica Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She's left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. Jess soon discovers that passion can't be left behind; her own and that of the one man that sees who she really is. Whose presence caresses her soul in a way that may breach the peaceful life Jess has made for herself.
Devin Castile sees a young woman that is the missing puzzle piece to his existence and who is also the victim to a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. When the lies that Jess has made crumble before their attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life... or their very being.
A Terrible Love is one of those books I had a love/hate relationship with. As I read I would occasionally stop and think "what?" or "why?" I understood Jess was trying to create a new life for herself. At twenty she had spent the last two years away from her mother, political stepfather and abusive stepbrother, Thad. A sophomore at a Washington state college, she has changed her appearance and name, laying low with the exception of Carlie and Amber, her two closest girlfriends. The entire premise of a missing Senator's daughter with a new name/identity on the run from a serial killing stepbrother intrigued the heck out of me. This was something I had not seen done before in New Adult.
And then the love interests were introduced. Lacrosse player Mitch and bad boy Devin or "Cas" as his friends called him, not to mention biology classmate Brad Gunner, all three hot, all three interested in protecting Jess. When jock Brock singles Jess out, picking on her and being abusive, Brad intervenes on her behalf, as does Cas. Brock's menacing seemed to happen fast, as did Jess' attraction to both Mitch and Cas. For a private young woman hellbent on protecting herself/identity, having a flimsy door knob seemed too contrived. I liked Jess but her quick descent into embracing her sexual relationship with Cas soon after meeting him didn't convince me. She dropped her need for self-preservation (something she worked so hard for while on the run for two years) in pursuit of shagging a hot guy. Mitch comes on strong, pursuing her even knowing her arrangement with Cas.
Jess was a likable character, though her thoughts/actions were confusing at times. I didn't understand her decisions/choices at times nor did I connect with her or anyone else. I was not crazy about Cas or Mitch. Gunner was interesting but I didn't learn much about him. My favorite character became Carlie, the voice of reason for Jess. Parts of the story didn't add up from the convenient job Jess had (when did she work again?) to the quick resolution of the conflict. Cas and Mitch had such a way of appearing whenever needed I wondered what their course schedules looked like. Was Cas an actual student enrolled there?
The author had an intriguing premise but the characters weren't fully developed, some highlighted story points went nowhere, the tense would change at times and there wasn't much development between Jess and Cas besides their sex scenes. Some parts became repetitive while others were rushed and needed more exposition. What bothered me was the amount of abuse Jess received throughout this story at the hands of the guys in her life. First with Thad, then Cas (he enjoys having sex with her so much he appears close to choking her in a few scenes), Mitch, Brock, Brock's friend outside the club, and her ballet instructor--she gets slapped, slugged, pushed, shot at, pinched, and manhandled. What message does this convey? And the usage of foreshadowing was overdone, instead this device became obvious and annoying.
I continued reading simply because I liked the author's style (despite my concerns mentioned above) and became curiously invested in her story. With some additional revisions, in my opinion A Terrible Love could become a five star novel.
I received a promotional copy in exchange for my honest review.