by Gemma James
This book has made me thoroughly sceptical of recommendations I see on Goodreads, because it's the second book I've read and had the same sort of issues with. I wasn't even going to review it because I was afraid it would be more rant than review, but I think negative reviews are important too...so...here goes.Summary: She sent an innocent man to prison. Now, eight years later, he's returning the favor...
I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now.
Now that he's holding me captive on an island.
Rafe has his reasons for doing what he's doing, and if I'm honest, I can't blame him. I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn't commit.
But now he's free and the tables have turned...now he's the one driven by obsession.
I want to start of by saying that I don't have an issue with the author or with the people who loved the book and I'm not judging them for writing/liking the book.
So...I had a lot of issues with this book. There was a warning at the end of the Goodreads summary saying this: "new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some"
Now, the book didn't offend me, but I was annoyed that the warning wasn't more specific.
The book is about kidnapping*...because of that it's easy to think the warning is about the kidnapping aspect and the problematic things linked to a kidnapper/victim relationship. But no, there was a lot of rape and sexual assault in this book--the love interest himself is a rapist, and I wouldn't have read the book had I known that. The warning lists "sexual scenes" and "violence" separately, I wish it had warned specifically that it contained sexual violence.
But, I didn't know so I read it...and didn't like it. Here's why:
To me, "love interest" and "rapist" are mutually exclusive terms in a romance. I'm fine with dark romance, but there's nothing romantic about a man who rapes and sexually assaults a woman, who is violent and abusive and gets off on it.
Anyway...enough about that. As for the book itself, I felt kind of sick while reading it...and yet, I did keep reading it because I wanted to see how it all played out. So while I had major issues with it, it did hold my attention, which is something I guess? The author can write a compelling story, it's just the characters and the subject matter I had issues with.
This wasn't a romance to me, I can't view it as that...I can view it as a book about a horribly unhealthy and disturbing relationship and it's kind of like a train wreck I can't look away from. When I thought of it like that, instead of as something intended to be romantic with a relationship I'm supposed to be rooting for, then it mades it easier to read it.
It ended on a cliffhanger and I hated that. Not just because it was a cliffhanger, but because of the twist it pulled, I hate that kind of twist. But, I will probably read the sequel because it will really annoy me not knowing how it turned out...I guess in that way, the cliffhanger served its purpose.
I'd rate the book 2 stars out of 5, purely because it didn't bore me. If you're okay with stories with the subject matter then maybe this one will work for you, there's clearly people on Goodreads who liked it (loved it even). The main reason I wanted to review the book was so I could explain what happens in the book and you could decide for yourself whether to read it or give it a miss.
From now on, if a book comes with a warning like this one had I'm probably going to just assume it means rape or sexual assault even if the warning is vague and could be referring to many other issues (because this is the second time it has happened).
*I was hoping it would be sort of like the New Adult version of Stolen by Lucy Christopher