Thursday, 9 May 2013

Consequences by Aleatha Romig

If you’ve read this book, you’ll probably wonder what the hell is wrong with me for thinking that this book was going to a run-of-the mill contemporary romance. Here are my excuses: I had no idea who the author was until I met her in March at the Boston Author Event (I'm fairly new to this indie-author scene); even after I purchased the book, I didn’t read the back, and I sure as hell didn’t read any reviews.

This book is a mind-f***, wrapped up in a shit-storm, sprinkled with a lot of crazy! And that’s the mildest term I could think of. It started out innocently enough. I even remember thinking ‘aww - it’s really sweet that he’s so persistent’. Right. Because I’m sure the argument can me made that even Hannibal Lecter had his decent moments in the beginning. Anthony Rawlings is the epitome of everything women are ever warned against, but he’s able to keep up appearances by maintaining a perfect facade.

There are moments when all seems better with their world, and I momentarily hoped that Tony would turn out to be some prince charming and his bat-shit-craziness would all be explained away by a debilitating medical condition. I would have even taken split-personalities. But no; just your everyday billionaire psychopath.

As much as I want to volunteer Tony as a target at a shooting-range, Claire had me wanting to claw my eyes out. In the beginning, she seemed like a strong, resilient individual. Even through everything she was enduring, the reader was able to see that the spark she was trying to contain was still there. My issue was that if you’re going to devote yourself to your captor, then don’t have moments of defiance that only end up detonating a cluster-f*** around you. I understand the first time, but there has to come a moment when you just have to survive, and not give the slightest bit of ammunition to someone who’s a loaded gun.

As I’m reading, my mind is screaming RUN! She never did. And then the internal battle would always begin:

first half of me: for the love of god woman, JUST RUN!
other half: you moron, she’s not going to run
first half: why the hell not?
other half: she’s probably afraid that if Tony finds her, he’ll chop her into pieces
first half: *sobbing*

Even just reading the words consequences, rules, and appearances has me trying to keep the bile from rising.

I’m reading on public transit as she’s grabbing the keys and in that moment, I pray I have a plastic bag in case I throw-up. The anxiety was all-consuming. I break out in a light sweat and the part of my brain that’s trying to salvage my sanity is telling me I need to stop. But I don’t. The way that Claire’s world began to fall apart during the joy-ride was nothing short of beautiful is the most perverse way (one would think that some sociopath SOB choreographed the entire thing...).

I wish I could say that the end was an absolute surprise, but I had a feeling it was heading in that direction. When all is said and done, I can’t decide who I hate more. Claire for not running, Anthony for scaring the bejeesus out of me with his incessant ways of controlling Claire, or Aleatha Romig for making me jump at the slightest beep. Pavlov would have a field day with how some readers still react to this book.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again - hating characters in a book is an absolute compliment to a writer. It mean that the reader connected to them on an emotional level. It means that the characters were written in such a way that the reader had no choice but to feel something. It’s far worse to be indifferent because then nothing about the story was worth remembering.

Case in point - some of the awful characters in this book are what make this a really good book.

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