Hmm. I don’t know how to feel about this novel. I understand there’s a market for books containing abuse and dubious consent, but it can be a hard slog for the author to convince the reader of a HEA if said topics involve the hero. This story overstepped the ‘tortured hero’ mark I’m comfortable with and then some, and the main man? Jeez, that guy is a piece of work.
Wait! Hold the phone. Halfway through reading, I found out although this is book one, it’s not a standalone. It’s important to read the prequel – “With You” – first of all, as otherwise you will hate on the hero. Yeah, I was doing that big time. The prequel is free so I halted my read and jumped over to get the background.
These books concern Emily, a sweet and innocent girl of twenty, and Logan, a prize fighter and an upcoming rock star. He’s the first guy she’s ever slept with and she falls hard. She likes his dominant side, can excuse his telling her nothing about himself, and she loves his bedroom hair and his 8 pack (when did we get tired of 6 packs, people?). But Logan has a dark and terrible past which turns out not to be so past after all.
The start of their relationship is told in detail in the prequel. Emily wants to learn self defense after getting assaulted, and she asks the guy best qualified for the job. Fighting man, Sculpt (Logan). He insults her and laughs in her face but ends up agreeing. The training, with her winding up on her back rather a lot, ends up going where you’d expect it. They fall in love/lust.
Now, this significant relationship build is referred to in the main novel, but at the start you pretty much have to assume the new couple are deep in the throes of brand new love. As I didn’t read the prequel until half way through, I felt no connection between them and limited connection to them as individuals.
This really impacted the way I read the main story and I wish there had been something at the beginning to tell me the necessary reading order. What happens next is huge, and without the emotional connection, I was left floundering.
Emily is kidnapped and taken into a rape-auction ring (I don’t call them sex-auctions. They aren’t.). She thinks Logan’s going to save her, but imagine her terror when she realizes he’s one of her captors and worse, as he stands by while she’s sexually assaulted. From here, Emily enters the world of slavery, disgusting men and Masters. It didn’t do anything for me reading women being abused, but I also didn’t feel it very strongly. I did however want Emily to grab a gun and shoot Logan right in his bedroom-haired head. I didn’t care what he could possibly say to make up for it all later. I just wanted her out of there.
Spoiler on dubious consent in this book. I had a huge issue with this. As a prisoner, Emily has sex. As she agrees to it, this is considered consensual. In fact it’s used later by the hero to say Emily always wanted him despite what he ‘had’ to do. Wtf? I don’t think any court in the land would consider that anything but rape. I’d have had more respect for the hero if the sex hadn’t happened. As it was, and despite reading the prequel with some sighting of love, I hated him. He was a douche. Emily should’ve run and not looked back.
So the hero isn’t much of a hero and the work to redeem him was too strenuous for my blood. There were other characters I did like, however. And other potential plots and storylines I’d like to get closer to.
Conclusion? Eh, what can I say. I made a mistake in the reading order (or the story structure was just messed up), and I didn’t engage with this in the same way I did Georgie and Deck’s book (Perfect Chaos – part of a spin off series).
The alpha-ness of the ‘hero’ was too strong. He was too abusive, and the heroine too weak. I didn’t love it, but that’s not to say you won’t. Just read the prequel first. In fact, as it’s free, you could download it anyway and get a flavor of the author’s writing. I’m going to read more of Rose’s work as there’s talent there, and I want to see how it is developed.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Torn From You
by Nashoda Rose
December 30, 2013