My father was most certainly NOT an innocent man. As the leader of the Gypsy Brothers MC, he was guilty of many things. But he died for a crime that he didn’t commit, framed by an enemy within who then stole his club and everything he had ever worked to protect.
Including my innocence.
When Dornan Ross framed my father, he set into motion a series of events that could never be undone. My father was murdered by Dornan Ross and his sons when I was fifteen years old.
Before my father died, Dornan and his sons stole my innocence, branded my skin and in doing so, ensured that their lives would be prematurely cut short. That they would suffer.
I’ve just turned twenty-one, and I’m out for blood. I’m out for revenge.
But I didn’t expect to fall for Jase, the youngest brother in the club.
I didn’t expect that he would turn my world upside down, yank my heart out of my chest and ride away into the sunset with it.
Now, I’m faced with an impossible choice – Jase, or avenging my fathers death?
How do I rate a book that disturbed me on a cellular level? I don’t know.
On the one hand, I want to give it one star – because JFC, this woman is a sociopath, nearly everyone around her are assholes, and I wish everyone would die. On the other hand…I couldn’t stop reading. At 20 percent the book disgusted me beyond measure – and then it kept going. I was so horrified and disturbed, and ended up hate-reading it from about the middle of the book.
HEAVY TRIGGER WARNINGS: This is a DARK story. So dark. The heroine was raped when she was fifteen, by seven men (father and sons). This story is about her revenge.
Confucius said, “Before embarking upon a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
I planned to dig seven.
I was actually really intrigued after this beginning. I continued reading. I had hope that things would be handled well, and that I’d get an awesome story of revenge, redemption, and love…after finishing this first part of the serial, I’m honestly not sure that’s possible though. Well, the revenge I think is.
Don’t get me wrong, these assholes deserve everything she wants to do to them – they deserve death, slow and painful. And I completely understand her turning sociopathic because of what happened to her. She was brutally raped, over and over, nearly to the point of dying.
In her quest for vengeance, she changes her identity. Fake ID, plastic surgery, dyed hair, the whole deal. Because the men who raped her (and killed her father by the way) are nearly untouchable, she can’t (??) go to the police. She instead decides to infiltrate their motorcycle club and kill them all. Keep in mind that she can’t go more than a day without this ruling her world and life. She’s self-destructive and intends to take them all down with her, but she still has severe trauma and PTSD from the incident (completely realistically, BTW)
I don’t have a problem with her plan. I have a problem with the way that she expects to accomplish her plan. I find it completely unrealistic, and doomed to failure – except, of course, this is fiction, so it’s going to work the way it’s supposed to.
The rest of what I have to say delves pretty heavily into spoilers, so … be warned.
Julz, now Sammi (Identity change, remember), infiltrates the MC by going to try out for a position at their strip club as a dancer. She knows that she’s going to have to fuck the guy that raped her (Dornan) in order to get the job. I don’t buy that someone that was raped so badly, to the point of death, would willingly put themselves in the position to have to screw the guy that did it. I did like that the author made it clear that her body betrayed her (still) by orgasming – this can, and does, happen in rape (in men and women). But she gets through it by imagining how she’s going to bring them down, and that turns her on. See? I told you she’s a sociopath. Understandably, but still.
After that, she endeavors to get invited back to the clubhouse. I should clarify here that her plan alternates – sometimes she’s trying to find the video they made when they raped her, to bring them all down and to justice, I guess….others, she’s flat-out trying to kill them all. So, anyway, she succeeds in getting invited back to the clubhouse – where she ends up a virtual prisoner. Because her rapist is so enamoured of her that he becomes (more than) a bit obsessed. Now it’s not just a matter of getting through one time of having sex with her rapist, she has to do it over and over again. Sometimes she has a gun pointed at her head, sometimes she has to think only of her revenge, but she manages to keep him thinking that she’s enjoying herself and enamoured of him.
I call bullshit. I don’t buy, for one second, that even in her state of mind she could maintain the fiction enough to not arouse his suspicion that she’s a fake. I’ll buy that he doesn’t suspect who she actually is, but that she’s just who she says she is? Pfft. Whatever. He’s supposedly vicious and smart enough to have not gotten caught all these years, running this club that does HIGHLY illegal things, and he’s not a bit suspicious of someone that can barely keep it together while looking at his face, much less having sex with him? Okay, then.
So, I’m having trouble with the premise of the story in the first place. But then you add in the other things that irritate me.
1. This quote: I am actually surprised the he even bothered raping me. [I] definitely wasn’t his type.
I can’t even begin to explain how much this makes me rage. Rape is NOT about attraction. It’s not about sex. It’s not about desire. It’s about power. Plain and simple. And I’m going to stop there before I descend into true rage.
2. The scenes between her and her rapist are, quite simply, too graphic for me. This is a personal issue for me, but I just can’t handle reading about any details when it comes to her having sex with her rapist. I started skipping them after the first one (20% in).
3. She makes up a backstory, including an ex-boyfriend that won’t leave her alone. She’s never met said-boy, just picked him out randomly from the internet. She then proceeds to give his name to the crazy fucker she’s trying to kill (Dornan), who then proceeds to drive cross-country, kidnap said “boyfriend”, drag him back to California (on bikes?) and kill him in front of Julz. She has a moment of regret over it and then forgets about it. (Remember how I said she’s a sociopath?)
4. She’s still in love with the youngest son – Jase – who tried to save her when she was being raped by his brothers and father. Never mind that he’s still there, still doing his father’s bidding. He’s trapped, too. A hostage. There’s a “chemistry” between them that six years and an alternate identity couldn’t tame (don’t bother with the fact that they said maybe two words to each other).
5. She gets a tattoo to cover the scars they left on her, on her hip mind you, so they can’t see them. But he’s screwing her, doesn’t he ever hold her hips? Doesn’t he ever feel them? Guess not. Okay.
6. She just finished getting said tattoo. What’s she do? Goes for a swim. In the OCEAN. Of course she does. Because one of the first things they tell you when you get a tattoo isn’t “Don’t get it wet.” And common sense doesn’t say, in the least, that keeping SALT away from wounds is a good idea.
So, how do I rate it? I’m not sure. I want to give it no-stars, because it pissed me off and disturbed me on a level I can’t even name, but at the same time I have to admire what the author set out to do. And it makes me curious if she can actually get an HEA out of this clusterfuck. And that deserves a bit more, doesn’t it?
I’m really conflicted about reading on, but I think I have to … I have to know if the author can only deliver revenge, or if she manages to add redemption and love – believably – into the mix.