A Terrible Loveby Marata Eros
"We’re terrible together. . . ."
Jess Mackey’s whole/b>/i>/b>/i>/i>
In this electrifying New York Times ebook and USA Today bestseller from rising star of dark and sizzling new adult novels Marata Eros, a former ballerina struggles to hide her painful past—only to discover she’s not the only one with secrets.
"We’re terrible together. . . ."
Jess Mackey’s whole life is a meticulously fabricated lie. She escaped the violent tragedy of her past and is forging ahead with a clean slate far removed from her powerful political family and its dark secrets. But Jess can’t ignore her passions—not her love for ballet, nor her tumultuous desire for the unexpected lover who threatens to jeopardize her carefully constructed identity.
Love does no harm. . . .
Devin Castile is all sex-and-hotness wrapped up in a dangerous package. Jess worked hard to leave danger behind. But she wants Cas as much as the girl she once was longs to be free. Convinced they can keep their messy emotions at bay, Jess and Cas indulge their wildest fantasies. But soon Jess’s lies begin to crumble, and the lovers discover that freedom comes with a deadly price.
- Gallery Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 2 MB
Read an Excerpt
Two years later
“Jess!” Carlie calls, chasing after me. I listen to the rat-tat-tat of her high-heeled boots stabbing the poor hallway behind me.
God, if it is another scheme to get me to go along with some crazy-ass plan . . . I’m going to be pissed.
“Jess!” she shouts, and I turn.
It’s impossible to stay mad at Carlie; she is too over-the-top ridiculous for words. My eyes take in her customary look, the perfectly coiffed hair, the skinny jeans jammed into second-skin boots that somehow house thinly knit leg warmers. And don’t even get me started on what she rams her boobs into. It is surely a manacle for tits.
How did she get them to look like that? I shake my head and smile despite myself.
“She smiles! Excellent!” Carlie runs and throws her arms around me, saying in an uncharacteristic whisper, “Look what I have, girlfriend.” She waves a paper around in my face like a flag.
I can’t make anything out, it’s just a grayish blur. “Stop that, ya tool!” I say with false rage.
Carlie gives me the bird and holds it steady in front of my face. The words come together in a collision of—no. “I’m not going,” I say, beginning to walk away.
“You are so going,” Carlie says. Then softly she calls, “Jess.”
I stand with my back to her as other students ram through the hall, jostling and loud, maybe a minute left until class.
“What?” I ask, still not turning.
“It’s ballet,” she says.
“I know,” I whisper. I break out in a light sweat, an automatic response. The opportunity to indulge my passion for dance, my former privileged life’s only oasis, now teases me with its nearness.
“They’re coming here . . . to our school. You could, like . . . audition.”
I could. “No, Carlie.”
She takes me at my word, throwing the paper in the trash and slinging an arm around my neck. Carlie uses me for balance as she totters around on her stilettos. “You have to admit it was a good idea.”
I look up into her face; she’s a damn Amazonian. “Yeah,” I say.
“You can’t run forever, Jess.”
Her words jolt me, but then I realize Carlie is just using an expression. She isn’t being literal.
It seems a little too easy; she’s usually a dog with a bone.
Carlie stops hanging off me like a monkey and we part ways for our respective courses.
I listen to the sound of her heels as they echo down the nearly empty hall.
I take a deep breath and pass through the door for English lit class. Just one of many sophomores in a generic university in the great state of Washington. I like blending in.
My life depends on it.
Ballet was my life—before. I can’t give it up, because it won’t give me up. The music plays in my head night and day. It’s a wonder I ever get anything accomplished. Some of the other students might see a subtle bob of my head and wonder. I smile at the looks and stare off into space during lectures.
I do a similar internal music routine when I work at the coffee shop like a good drone; my partial scholarship at the University of Washington requires a little sideline income. I’m lucky to have it. I had to test out of a bunch of freshman courses, prove proficiency and then cop out as poor. I certainly couldn’t use my former grades and prestigious private school to get the full ride I’d had. That was from before.
It was all worth it. The stress, the work.
Then Carlie wormed her way inside my defenses despite every obstacle I’d thrown up in her way. Declared herself my friend when it went against every promise I’d made to myself. I broke them all with our friendship. What she sees in me I’ll never know.
Carlie knows about the ballet barre I installed in my dorm room, which doesn’t have space for it; it’s pretty tough to hide and it’s my only décor. A huge metal bar driven into studs behind drywall. Yeah, so beautiful. I move my bed every day and go to sleep each night looking at it. Trying to forget. Ballet blanks the pain; it’s the eraser of my memories.
Each day I execute my barre exercises, just as I did every day when I was another girl. Now I am a woman, with woman-sized desires and dreams. My traumatic memories haven’t robbed me of my humanity. No matter what happens there’s a stubborn spark that wants to live.
Carlie has begun something inside me with the whisper of the ballet company visiting the U Dub campus. I ignore that something, beat at it when it appears, reject it, but it refuses to let go and blooms inside me.
It’s all Carlie’s fault. I was just fine when I didn’t have any.
Now it’s here and there is no hiding from it.
I open my mouth as I put the blue contact in, blinking once, hoping the damn thing will sit correctly. I’ll never take having perfect vision my whole life for granted again. At the end of the day I can’t wait to tear the suckers out of my eyes; they dry up like popcorn farts and burn like hell.
I stand away from the mirror, applying the barest hint of colored lip gloss, giving my eyeballs time to rest from the abuse of inserting contacts. I brush my teeth, squirt vanilla body spray on all the high points and cover my deep-ginger lashes with chocolate-colored mascara.
I flutter them and decide they look just right. Next, I plait my hair into two thick braids. Even braided my hair is past my breasts; its former deep auburn is now dark blond. Its length is my only concession to my former life. Despite its length, it is nondescript, nearly invisible.
Just like I want it.
I study my hairline for roots. Finding none, I step away from the mirror, then turn back to it and stick my tongue out.
It’s a glaring blue from the Blow Pop I’ve just ruthlessly sucked on.
I need to grow up.
I saunter off just as the knock comes at my door.
Carlie doesn’t wait for an invitation, she just bursts in.
I put my hands on my hips. “Why bother knocking?” I laugh.
She flicks her hair over a shoulder and puckers her lips, giving a dismissive shrug.
I don’t see her stuff my ballet slippers in her backpack.
“Ready?” she asks innocently.
“Yeah, just . . .” I collect a few things, ramming them into my oversized Guess purse, which I swing over my shoulder.
It’s a rare day off and I am really dragging ass. I’m sore from the barre and twirling in the middle of a dorm room with only the walls watching my perfect performance.
“You wore makeup,” Carlie says, eyeballing my pathetic attempt to look cute.
“Does mascara and lip gloss qualify?” I ask.
“Hell, yeah! Especially for you,” she exclaims vigorously. “Miss au naturel.” She giggles behind her hand.
“Bitch,” I say.
“Sticks and stones and all that happy ho-ho shit,” she replies, completely unperturbed by my shameless name-calling.
“Why did you tell me to wear makeup?” I ask, suspicious as I cross my arms underneath my breasts, my eyes narrowing. I slam my dorm door, rattling the knob to ensure it’s locked. It never closes right.
We move away from the door and I impatiently wait for her response.
Carlie’s brows arch and she pouts at me. “Because: you will look attractive to the opposite sex. If it takes my last breath, you will look cute even while we sweat.”
I look down at my yoga pants, the turned band at the top a muted tie-dye pattern, with a tight deep-blue tee and my braided hair rounding out the hippie-chic thing I’ve got going on.
“I think you’ll have to try harder,” I say.
“If you were just sluttier,” Carlie says mournfully, hiding behind her dark curly hair.
I slug her and she yelps, giving me hurt eyes, then she smiles. “I’ll wear ya down, you’ll see.”
“Never!” I stab the air with my fist as we turn the corner and a wall of noise hits me. Everywhere I look there are students, older adults and an odd assortment of people I’ve never seen. It’s too much to take in. I turn to Carlie; obviously, we totally can’t work out today.
“Hey,” I say, looking into the deep auditorium that doubles as a gym. “What’s going on . . . what are all these people doing?”
But Carlie’s already moving and doesn’t hear my question.
An older woman is seated behind a folding desk and Carlie speeds to the desk, her flats making no sound as they whisper across the floor.
She signs in to some ledger and I start taking it in.
A totally hot guy comes to me with a numbered paper and a safety pin. “Hey,” he says, and I stare numbly at him. I can’t think of a thing to say.
“Hi!” Carlie blurts from beside me, fluttering her sooty eyelashes at La Hunk. “This is my friend Jess Mackey.”
Hunk smiles at me and I sink into his pale gray eyes—drown, more like. “I’m Mitch,” he says.
Carlie elbows me with a traitorous cackle. God, can she be more obvious? “I’m Jess,” I stick out my hand and he swallows it in his own.
“I know.” He smirks and a dimple flashes into place, disappearing just as quickly. He swings back long dark hair that refuses to stay out of his eyes.
“Right,” I say, heat flooding my face.
He steps into my private bubble and my flush deepens; my heart starts to speed when he reaches for my thin T-shirt and I shrink away from him.
“It’s okay,” he murmurs beside my face, his minty breath tickling the sensitive skin there. “I’m attaching your number.”
I look around and see about fifty girls with their hair slicked back in tight buns, some high, some on the nape because they’ve been zapped with the unlucky thick-hair gene like yours truly.
Realization slams into me.
The Seattle Pacific Ballet Company has arrived. This is the audition Carlie tried to bully me into attending a few days ago. Heat suffuses my body in a sickening nauseous wave. I turn to leave and Mitch puts a staying hand gently on my arm. He jerks his jaw toward where a mock stage has been set up. “It’s this way, dancing girl.” He smiles, his teeth very white in his face.
“I can’t do it . . . I’m not signed up,” I say, folding my arms again, the paper with my audition number crinkling underneath the gesture.
His smile widens into a grin as he dips his head to look at a clipboard that just magically appears. Mitch runs a long, tapered finger down the assembled names until he reaches midway. He taps it once and I jump slightly. He lifts his chin, a light dusting of dark stubble sprinkled on the slight cleft that bisects it. “There you are,” he says softly. “Mackey, Jess.”
He sweeps his hand in front of me; I give a death glare to Carlie and my traitor friend winks at me.
I can’t not audition without looking like an ass.
My feet are dragging like lead fills my shoes.
Carlie jogs to my side and hands me my ballet slippers. I seethe at her; she smiles sweetly and whispers, “Break a leg.”
I gaze at the stage like it’s the fabled pirate’s plank. My stomach clenches as I move to take my place in line and watch the girl onstage.
She’s perfect . . . breathtaking.
The music ends softly and she moves off the stage. The judges whisper and I know immediately who they’ll choose.
It won’t be me.
I think of Faith and what she would have wanted. I think of how I love her still. Of how this dream of Faith’s that I reach my full potential, that I escape the madness of a household ruled by indifferent tyranny and jealousy born of privilege and entitlement come to an end . . . and a new beginning. Thad can’t reach me here, and this is my way to honor Faith and, in so doing, myself.
Then an extraordinary thing happens. When it is my turn I float up the steps and onto the temporary stage as they put on Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.
It’s from before.
The notes breathe through the auditorium, making the fine hairs of my neck stand at attention. The music robs me of thought, forcing my body to execute moves I forgot I knew. My arms sweep, and I pirouette, spinning and snapping my head to find my corner. The soreness from earlier melts away as my body heats with familiarity. As I whip my leg up, my foot is parallel to my head for a fraction of time and then I land softly, only to immediately rise to the balls of my feet as I approach the judges with their riveted stares. The length of the song and its sad ending beg my limbs to undulate in a perfectly timed flutter of classic swan arms. I draw nearer still while keeping my elbows level as my arms float in a wavelike pattern and the balls of my feet propel me forward just as the final piano notes fall.
Then once more their sorrowful notes swell and fill the auditorium in melancholy triumph.
I stop, dipping into a graceful plié, and assume first position.
My hands are cupped slightly and I tilt my head, looking off to the right of my position.
The utter lack of noise causes me to look at the judges as I relax my shoulders and my hands drop gracefully to my sides.
They have stood and every eye is on me. Including the gray gaze of a certain hunk named Mitch.
When the applause breaks out I don’t know whether to cry or run.
In the end, I stay.
My eyes scan the crowd and notice the one person who does not clap.
A man leans against the back of the cavernous gym auditorium, his black eyes seeming to attack me, and I take an involuntary step backward from the burning intensity of his gaze.
Carlie interrupts the moment, throwing herself at me.
“I knew you could,” she whispers, strangling me in an epic hug that cuts off my airway.
I gently push her away and look for that disconcerting male presence. Hostile.
But he is gone.
Just like he was never there.
Meet the Author
Marata Eros is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
A Terrible Love was a heart pounding, panty dropping, suspenseful read and I LOVED every second of it!! I’m still experiencing the high from the adrenaline rush. I wasn’t expecting to completely devour this book but I did. All the while my heart was racing from the first page to the very last one. The story was not only well written but had ALL of the characteristics that I check off when finding that “good read”. • One or more HOT alpha bad boys • Terrific sidekick/best friend • Hot chemistry • Great story line • Danger • Secrets • Likeable heroine • Twists • Complete story - no cliffhanger!! Meet our heroine, Jewell MacLeod she is in disguise and on the run from her monster of a stepbrother, Thaddeus MacLeod. Jewell is the stepdaughter of the South Dakota Senator and presidential candidate. She changes her name, her hair and eye color and flees the only life she knows after a horrific event takes place. As a reader we meet up with Jess two years later attending the University of Washington living under the radar until her best friend signs her up for an audition for the Seattle Ballet. Jess meets several hot guys and some scary ones and the story unfolds from there. My new book boyfriend Devin Castile. He is more than yummy and oh wow there are several off the charts scenes that he is featured in. He is the perfect combination of dark and sexy. " I loved him and that is all. And Everything." As for how the story unfolds – I can’t really explain without giving anything away so let’s just say you’ll have to click the purchase button one more time for A Terrible Love and find out for yourself! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
This book grabs you from the first page. Awesome story!
Jewell MacLeod life is filled with secrets, deadly secrets. Sometimes the deepest and scariest secrets are caused by your family. Jewell’s step brother and the senator’s son, Thaddeus MacLeod is a monster. The only way for Jewell to escape from this monster was to hide and become someone else. Jewell became Jess Mackey, a student at the University of Washington. New hair color, contacts to hide her eyes, always keeping her head down and hiding in plan sight, Jess has spent 2 years carefully concealed … Until the day, her friend Carlie pushes her into audition for the Seattle Ballet. Breaking all the rules of staying out of sight, her ballet talent out shines all the other dancers and she finds herself in the limelight. Jess not only gained the notice of the Seattle Ballet but also the hunky, Mitch Maverick, and the campus bad boy, Devin Castile. Pretty much totally opposites, Mitch is offering a refined relationship but Devin, he wants to know Jess bodily and doesn’t hide his obvious desires. Torn between her desires for Devin and her building friendship with Mitch, Jess’s carefully constructed secrets are unraveling. Jewell MacLeod can’t let her secrets out because she knows if Thad ever discovers her, she will not survive. But the closer she grows with Mitch and Devin, she realizes she’s not the only one with secrets, deadly secrets. A Terrible Love blew me away. The strength of this story lingers in your mind long after your finish reading. A young woman with no where to turn, finds the perseverance to break out on her own to survive and thrive. You couldn’t help but become emotionally wrapped right into this amazing plot. The sexual chemistry was explosive, the characters riveting and the story completely original. 5 stars for A Terrible Love.
A Terrible Love by Marata Eros Series: Stand Alone ~ Cas’s POV -A Brutal Tenderness-(2013) Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense Age Group: New Adult (ages 17+) Release Date: February 11, 2013 Print Length: 270 pages (read via Kindle) ISBN-10: 1482533553 ISBN-13: 978-1482533552 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Overall Rating: 4.5 stars Steam Rating: 4.5 stars Intense, Dark, Passionate -> A Terrible Love… I’m not sure where to start with this one because I was all over the place. There is so much packed into 270 pages, it took me for a roller coaster ride of emotions. Between the suspense, intrigue, and volatile romance, I could not put this one down. It was intense, dark, and tragic. Not for the faint at heart—it contains a lot of violence. If you are looking for a light read I would pass on this one. I don’t know what it says about me, but I love the alpha male characters that have been in so many books lately. It has been said that many professional women secretly want to be dominated in other areas. Well, I’m no expert, but maybe this is the case for me. Because, like I said I cannot get enough of these characters. And the Hero in this book could not be more alpha male. Yummy ;-) Jeulles Macleod is a senator’s/presidential candidate’s step-daughter. She has been living in fear for quite some time of her vindictive stepbrother, and decides to go on the run after he brutally attacks and murders her best friend. She meets Devine Castile *sigh* at the University of Washington, where she has fled to after changing her appearance and identity. There is an immediate, almost animal attraction between the two. Devin aka “Cas” is a tattooed, Harley driving playboy that seems to be all rough edges. Jeulles aka “Jess” knows “Cas” is bad for her and tries to stay away from him by dating another man, Mitch. Things get even more complicated from there. Relationships full of secrets, lies, and deceit fill the pages. There are numerous ominous warnings, red flags that if “Jess” was older she may have noticed, or cared more. But she is young, scared, and overwhelmed by the situations placed before her. She chooses to ignore many of these dangers, playing a dangerous game with her heart, and her life. The chemistry between the two main characters is of the charts. Their sexual tension is laced throughout the pages. “Jess” explains it in this quote: “Our attraction is so lethal, so overwhelming, it doesn’t feel real.” She has never felt anything like it, and is powerless against it. There is not an abundance of sex scenes, but the few there are, are red hot, scorching the pages. There were quite a few surprises thrown in at the end, but I won’t spoil it for you. I will however highly recommended you read this book if you are a fan of highly dysfunctional romances with alpha males. After all, the title is A Terrible Love. Happy Reading! ~StacyHgg
Romance, suspense, thrills, finding your inner strength, twists, turns, and, oh, did I say romance? This book has it all. Jess lives a secret life after running from a terrible secret in her past. As a student and aspiring ballet dancer, she interacts with a close group of students as she attempts to move on with her life. When she meets a quad group of men – Brad, Brock, Mitch and Devin – her life takes on a wide variety of twists that leave the reader going ‘Whoa!’ Good plot, pacing and character development. Carlie (the roommate) is a real hoot! You don’t see the major twist until almost the very end. It’s a doozy! Some grammar and technical issues but still worth a read.
Its kinda rough,the beginning holds no punches, very strong. A good book, well written.
Love love loved this book! I couldn't put it down, I loved how strong the characters were and how there was no cliffhanger ending everything ended they way I hoped it would! I cant wait until her next book Brutal Tenderness from Cas's POV! I will most definitely recommend this book!
I had never read this author before, well worth the read. Not your standard romance, so twist and turns. I would definitely read this author again.
Definately worth the .99! It is kinda of short, about 150 pages on the Nook. Great range of characters, i think there is potential for a sequel. I need to google it
I would love a second book!
A Terrible Love by Marata Eros is a terribly wonderful love story. Jess needs to hide, and she has been doing a terrific job, until she dances. She was born to dance, and that was nearly her undoing. A lot of violence and murder/mystery in this one, but a terrific HEA. I still have questions..
Marata Eros writes a different story from the series', of hers, I'm used to reading. Yet, they retain her fingerprint...completely captivating, dark and breathtaking. I rode an emotional roller coaster trying to decide which direction Jess (Jewel) should go, what part of her heart was telling the truth. Cas was powerful and intense from the very beginning, as all attractive bad boys are. But, Mitch (Ben) has his attractions too, even though he felt suspect from the first time they all meet after the initial audition. The sex is erotic and sensual, powerful and devastating. The story is intricate and chilling. I love the free flowing banter between Jess and her best friend Carlie. Everyone has a friend like Carlie, and she made me smile. Those are the friends that stand by you when you discover that the no-strings attachment has turned into something involving the heart. It was frightening, exciting and passionate, all the things that play with the reader's emotions. I loved it and definitely recommend it!
The secrets, lies, mystery, lust, hotness and true love. What a wonderful ride this book will take you on.
WOW just WOW!!!! This book was brilliant!!! Definitely Movie material. This story is from Jess' point of view. Jess (aka Jewell) is an amazing character. Having lived in fear and listening to her step brother Thad kill her best friend whilst hiding, she is stronger than she looks and having to go into hiding changing hair and eye colour and giving up her greatest love ballet. Jess was a constant surprise from start to finish just when you think you have her figured out she goes and does something to completely change your mind. Marata Eros has an incredible knack of making you feel everything Jess is feeling. I loved the instant connection and soul melding link between Cas (Devin) and Jess. The amazing way this is portrayed even though it is through Jess' eyes only is utter brilliance. Now Cas (Devin) is an alpha male to be put up in the hall of fame (with the beloved Brolach from Demon Series) holy ships is he hot and the pull between him and Jess is extremely extra salsa chilli HOT!!!! I LOVE love loved Cas as a character his strength and protectiveness. And that one word line “Respond” is panty dropping hot. So many twists and turns and plenty of action to keep you on your seat edge with an added dose of spicy sexy scenes. The sexual lead up is mind blowing and you get shivers. The anticipation and excitement can hardly be contained whenever Cas (Devin) and Jess get together. I love the danger aspect that something is lurking in the background. That any minute now something scary is going to happen. And I love the fight scenes where the men are all being incredibly macho and manly. This book was so hard to put down, not knowing what was coming or what was happening next is an incredible feeling as a reader. The unpredictability in many of Marata Eros' works makes you NEED to come back for more time and time again. All up an incredible MUST READ!!!!!
I loved the characters, the mystery, the EVERYTHING! Please write more. Faster. Thank You!
3.25 stars A TERRIBLE LOVE is the first storyline in Marata Eros (aka Tamara Rose Blodgett) contemporary new adult series-A Terrible Love. A companion novel -A Brutal Tenderness –that parallels the timeline in A Terrible Love was released in August 2013, written in the hero’s POV. It is the same story, but told from Devin Castile’s point of view and much of the storyline overlaps. The premise of A Terrible Love follows university sophomore Jess Mackey, who for the previous two years, has hidden a secret and her true identity from everyone at school. A former ballet student who once had aspirations of a dancing career, Jess is on the run, hiding in the halls of a post secondary institution, hoping that her past and her family do not uncover her whereabouts. But fate has not been kind to Jess, now that two men are vying for her affection. And in the end, her secrets will place everyone she knows and loves in danger and some of them will not survive. A Terrible Love is a story of mystery, suspense and a building relationship. The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of one woman’s indecision that threatens to destroy them all and the past that comes full circle. The storyline also features a love triangle that set my anxiety radar into over drive. Although this isn’t a young adult storyline-the heroine’s attitude as it pertained to her safety; the men in her life; and the potential for a very bad outcome was immature and ill conceived. Jess instinctively wants both men-one is safe (as far as she knows) and one is the epitome of the bad boy-tattoos, leather and foul language. And to add more mystery, there is a serial killer on the loose on campus, and the killer has recently upped his body count and his intent. What ensues is a bitter and ugly battle for Jess Mackey’s affections and one that disguises a deadly intent. The relationship between Jess and Devin is one of forbidden love and sensuality; Devin wants the one woman he has sworn to protect and their antics will become fuel for those hoping to bring them down. A Terrible Love is an interesting storyline about a woman with a secret past, who is desperately trying to remain hidden behind the façade of someone else. But her past will eventually catch up, and when it does, no one is safe from its’ deadly reach.
Wonderful story line.
What would you do if you learned your step brother had a sadistic side? You would run and hide knowing that he killed your friend to hurt you. That's exactly what Jewell MacLeod does. She runs from her family shutting her past out. She changes her name and hair color and wears contacts to hide. The one thing she couldn't hide is her love for Ballet. Jesse Mackey aka Jewell Macleod see's danger in every corner. She meets 3 guys and starts to fall for all three. You have the nice guy the pretty and the bad boy. As terrible things start to happen at her school, Jesse is pulled in different directions by all three men. Only one will win her heart and step up to be the hero when her step brother finds her. I will admit when I first picked up this book, I thought that I wouldn't like it. I was so wrong. I LOVED this book. Marata Eros has a way with writing that makes you feel like you are actually there in the story watching it happen. I want to read ALL the books by this author. If you are looking for a great read this is it. This was my first time reading a book by Ms Eros and it won't be my last.
4 solid stars!! Oh goodness, gracious, me alive! I really, really liked this book. This book had angst, drama, hot guy you can't stay away from no matter how hard you try, and a freaking murderer on the loose. Holy hell! This book really kept me on my toes. Jess is hiding. Like, really seriously hiding. And she needs to be. What she witnessed as a child is enough to turn anyone insane, but Jess holds it together pretty well. One thing she is missing out on, though is dancing. She's a born dancer, through and through. However, when she dances, she stands out in the crowd and in doing so, it puts her at risk of being "found". And believe me, we don't want that to happen. Enter Carlie, the cute little friend that helps Jess find dance. Also, enter Cas. Yummaliscious! He's dark, broody, and oh so hot. Poor Jess doesn't stand a chance. I totally wasn't expecting to love this one like I did. I am definitely a new fan of this author and can't wait to read anything else she puts out there. I recommend this one to my GR friends! *Copy kindly provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Making a life for herself, meeting new friends and building trust has not been easy for Jess Mackey. Not as long as she is forced to live a lie, hiding from her well-known family who are willing to ignore violence for the sake of votes. She had no choice but to run, and to reinvent herself without drawing attention, but dancing is something she will never be able to let go. It is in her blood. Attention is coming at her from all sides suddenly. Some welcome, some less so, but none as unsettling or as seductive as the attention Devin Castile is giving her. Despite warnings from a multitude of directions, Jess is unable to resist the basic pull he has on her. He makes no promises, but seems equally thrown by her. Appearing and disappearing at random, he flits in and out of her life, leaving her unbalanced and aching. Devin's instincts have been to protect Jess from the start, but he is unable to do so around the clock. His frustration around his restrictions and his evergrowing need to be near Jess threaten to destroy his ultimate goal. He devoted years of his life to accomplishing what he set out to do, and he can't afford to drop the ball now, not when he is this close, not when lives are at stake.......not when Jess is at risk. Even if it means losing her. ********* The characters are compelling, the writing is insightful, the story is provocative. An incredibly well-written book, which will require some patience on the part of the reader. The e-book version for this story was released much earlier, and it's subsequent book, A BRUTAL TENDERNESS, was already released in e-book as well. That is the story told from Devin's perspective, and if you have the opportunity to read both books closely together, it would greatly improve your enjoyment. This is the story told from Jess' point of view. Given that Jess is unaware for most of the story, what the underlying dynamic of the characters around her is, the same is true for the reader. Which means that not until the end of the book, will the reader be clued in to a lot of situations in the course of the story that may have seemed strange or random at first. This is why, I suggest the first time readers of A TERRIBLE LOVE, be patient, because all will become clear in the end. Clearer yet, once you have the opportunity to add the second book, based on Devin's point of view to your perspective. The story is an intense one, not just some coming of age or new adult type story, but one that carries some damaged history with it. It also contains some serious suspense aspects that are like a silent threat throughout most of this book and you feel it, more than see it, until it suddenly is before you. The heavy chemistry between Jess and Devin is one that is as undeniable as it is unwelcome, for both of them, although their considerations are vastly different. Their connection raw and passionate, they break through barriers each had carefully constructed to protect themselves. What their words can't convey, their bodies tell. ¿Darkly seductive, morally complex, hauntingly suspenseful.¿ **ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Gallery Books in return for an honest re
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this one, but it was a little different all the way around. Despite the fact that I did like the premise, and the story developed pretty well from a plot perspective, I just wasn't completely into it. I think part of the problem might have been some aspects of the characters' personalities, and the interactions between them. First of all, the heroine came across to me as a bit weak. Although she has been through a horrible tragedy and is in hiding as a result, which justifies a certain bit of timidity and a desire to move through the world unknown and apart from other people somewhat, she took it to a bit of an extreme for me. I'm talking more her personal choices. There is more than one guy in this story, and she just seems to hop from guy to guy with little thought. The little arrangement she makes to screw one but date the other just isn't an admirable trait, in my opinion. She just needed to pick one. She seemed to spend a great portion of the story stating that she couldn't let anyone know her due to the necessity for hiding, so you would think that she wouldn't go for a guy that wanted a relationship. So that would leave one of the guys off the list right away. The other one, who seems to just want sex, would have been the perfect choice. Yet, she makes this little arrangement so she can have the safer, relationship-oriented guy, while still being able to have sex with the no-strings guy. It just didn't make sense to me exactly. Her motives just weren't clear. Plus, I didn't really like either guy, and I had trouble seeing how quickly she began to like both. She had seen what I'd seen of them up to then, so I'm wondering what she saw in them. The danger aspect of the story was pretty good, and it was for that reason that I did get some enjoyment out of the story. Especially after she finally figured out who she wanted to be with. All in all, I'd give the story an A for effort, but all of the pieces and players in the story didn't really win me over like I had hoped they would.
A TERRIBLE LOVE wasn’t a bad story and I found it really intriguing at times. What got me the most was the dialogue. I didn't feel it flowed well and would come off sounding choppy and confusing. Several times I had to reread scenes just to make sure I had it right. And often I was still left wondering what they were talking about. Maybe it was the word use or that the author was trying to 'talk' like twenty-somethings and it just wasn't coming out like it should. I wanted to like Jess and thought I would at the beginning. But as the story went on I was becoming more and more irritated with her. I thought she was extremely weak and would cry at the drop of a hat. For a girl who up and left without a trace from such a horrid situation, she sure wasn't the head strong girl i was hoping we'd see. How she lasted 2 years without being found was beyond me. Same with Cas...I wanted to like him but soon grew tired of his hot and cold attitude and his flippant stance on relationships. Am I the only one who is getting tired of all NEW ADULT guys being complete jackasses and the girls falling hopelessly for them? Do NEW ADULT ladies not have any self-worth anymore? (Ooh I feel a blog post coming on.) I will admit that the chemistry between Cas and Jess was undeniable and amazing. And hot! They really completed each other and I enjoyed their scenes together. So very much. Technically I rated this book about 3.5 stars, but on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, etc...I always round up to the next full star. Although it seems like I was complaining about the book, the story itself was one I found hard to put down. I stayed up late last night to finish it. I had to know what was going on and who Jess would end up with. All in all, I was happy with the outcome. Will I read A BRUTAL TENDERNESS, told from Cas' POV? Probably not. I am not hugely fond of stories retold from another POV.