Tear You Apartby Megan Hart
Their passion will consume everythingand everyone in its path .
I'm on a train.
I don't know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don't. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my lifea good life with everything a woman could
Their passion will consume everythingand everyone in its path .
I'm on a train.
I don't know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don't. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my lifea good life with everything a woman could wantand suddenly, there is something more I didn't know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled.
So this is where I am, on a train that's out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I'm the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster.
If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn't help it, that I've been swept away, that it's not my fault, that it's fate would that be easier? The truth is, I didn't know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must've been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.
This is my choice. And I don't know how to stop.
Or even if I want to.
"Megan Hart is easily one of the most talented voices I've encountered." -The Romance Reader
[Hart] writes erotica for grown-ups [and] holds her characters emotionally accountable, and nowhere is that more evident than in The Space Between Us. This is a quiet book, but it packed a major punch for me...She's a stunning writer, and this is a stunning book."-Super Librarian
"Deeper is absolutely, positively, the best book that I have read in ages! I cannot say enough about this book...I am not ashamed to admit that I cried real tears while reading this book. Beautiful, poignant, and bittersweet... Megan Hart never disappoints me, but with Deeper she went above and beyond."-Romance Reader at Heart Top Pick
"Hart did it again-with Collide we get a story that is so different from your usual romance novel but still it works just perfectly the way it is. I think it is one of Hart's strongest talents-her way to make her characters different and a bit flawed but still making them likeable. Her stories always feel so real and for me that makes them exponentially more appealing."-Book Lovers Inc.
A middle-aged married woman meets a photographer at a gallery opening and enters into an erotic affair, leading her to consider her current life and the moments in her past that led her to where she is. Elisabeth works at her best friend's art gallery, and openings are an everyday part of her life. Everything changes, however, when she meets photographer Will at the opening of his show. Before too long, they're involved in a passionate affair. Elisabeth is bored and unfulfilled in her marriage, and Will adds intensity and sensuality to her life. But he isn't relationship material, whereas Ross, her husband, may be disappointing, but he's steady, and leaving him would completely upend a comfortable life. Meanwhile, Elisabeth's twin daughters are just graduating from college and beginning their own "real lives," complete with fiances, wedding planning and professional anxieties. And her closest friends are going through life challenges. All of these events make Elisabeth contemplate her own choices and wonder what might have been. Or what could be. At the simplest level, this book is about a woman having a midlife crisis, being tempted by a sexy artist and revisiting some of the odd events of her life. However, Hart's beautiful use of language and discerning eye toward human experience elevate the book to a poignant reflection on the deepest yearnings of the human heart and the seductive temptation of passion in its many forms. Erotic, with elegant yet graphic descriptions of sex, the book explores one woman's dissatisfaction with her life and her ambivalence toward past and current choices. The storytelling is smooth, the characters textured and the plot compelling--though the use of first person, present tense at times seems to create an odd narrative distance, given the intimate subject matter. A gripping, lyrical journey into one woman's turning point in a life half lived.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Read an Excerpt
I came in on the train and then took a cab, but that didn't stop the late March drizzle from destroying everything I'd carefully put together at home earlier this afternoon. My hair hangs sodden against my forehead and cheeks. My clothes cling, damp and heavy and chilled. I stripped off my dark, soaked stockings in the gallery bathroom and wrapped them in paper towels to tuck inside my purse, and my legs feel glaringly pale. Instead of the glass of white wine in my hand, I'm desperate for a cup of coffee, or better yet, a mug of hot chocolate. With whipped cream.
I'm desperate for the taste of something sweet.
There should be desserts here, but all I can find are blocks of cut cheese, sweating on the tray among the slaughtered remains of fancy crackers. The bowl of what looks like honey mustard is probably all right, but the companion bowl of ranch dressing looks like a playground for gastrointestinal distress. Courtesy of the rain, I'm more chilled than the cheese, the dips or the wine.
I haven't seen Naveen yet. He's flirting his way through the entire crowd, and I can't begrudge him that. It's exciting, this new gallery. New York is different than Philly. He needs to make an impression with this opening. He'll get to me eventually. He always does.
Now I hold the glass of wine in one hand, the other tucked just below my breasts to prop my elbow as I study the photograph in front of me. The artist has blown it up to massive size. Twenty by forty, I estimate, though I've always been shit with measurements. The subject matter is fitting for the weather outside. A wet street, puddles glistening with gasoline rainbows. A child in red rubber boots standing in one, peering down at his reflectionor is it a her? I can't tell. Longish hair, a shapeless raincoat, bland and gender-neutral features. It could be a boy or girl.
I don't care.
I don't care one fucking thing about that portrait, the size of it just big enough to guarantee that somebody will shell out the cool grand listed on the price tag. I shake my head a little, wondering what Naveen had thought, hanging this in the show. Maybe he owed someone a favor or a blow job. The BJ would've been a better investment.
There's a crinkle, tickle, tease on the back of my neck. The weight of a gaze. I turn around, and someone's there.
"You'd need a house the size of a castle to hang that piece of shit."
The voice is soft. Husky. Nearly as gender-neutral as the face of the child in the picture. I pause for just a moment before I look into his eyes, but the second I do, my brain fits him into a neat slot. Male. Man. He's a man, all right, despite the soft voice.
He's not looking at me, but at the picture, so I can stare at him for a few seconds longer than what's socially acceptable. Hair the color of wet sand spikes forward over his forehead and feathers against his cheeks in front of his ears. It's short and wispy in the back, exposing the nape of his neck. He's got a scruffy face, not just like a guy who's forgone shaving for a few days, but one who keeps an uneasy truce with his razor at best. He wears a dark suit, white shirt, narrow dark tie. Retro. Black Converse on his feet.
"And who'd pay a grand for it? C'mon." His gaze slides toward me just for a second or two. Catching me staring. He gestures at the photo.
"It's not so bad." I'm not sure why I'm compelled to say anything nice about the picture. I agree, it's an overpriced piece of shit. It's a mockery of good art, actually. I should be angry about this, that I'm wasting my time on it as if the consumption of beauty is something with an allotment. Hell, maybe it is.
Maybe I actually have wasted today's consumption of beauty on this piece of crap. I study it again. Technically, it's flawless. The lighting, the focus, the exposure. But it's not art.
Even so, someone will buy it simply because they will look at it the same way I did. They'll note the perfectly framed shot, the pseudowhimsical subject matter, the blandly colorful mat inside a sort of interesting frame. They will convince themselves it's just unique enough to impress their friends, but it won't force them to actually feel anything except perhaps smugness that they got a bargain.
"It looks like art," I say. "But it really isn't. And that's why someone will pay a thousand bucks for it and hang it in the formal living room they use only at Christmas. Because it looks like art but it really isn't."
He strokes his chin. "You think so?"
"Yes. I'm sure of it. Naveen wouldn't have priced it if he didn't think he could sell it." I slant the man a sideways look, wishing I could be bold enough to stare at him when he's facing me, the way I was when he was looking at something else.
"Good. I need to pay my rent. A coupla hundred bucks would be sweet."
Of course he's an artist. Men who look like that, in a place like thisthey're always artists. Usually starving. He looks lean enough to have missed a few meals. Standing this close I get a whiff of cigarettes and corduroy, which should make no sense, since he's not wearing any, but it does because that's how I work. Tastes and smells and sounds link up for me in ways they don't for everyone else. I see colors where there shouldn't be any. The scent of corduroy is par for the course.
"You took that picture?"
"I did." He nods, not without pride, despite what he'd been saying about it earlier.
If he'd been talking shit about another artist's piece I'd have liked him less, even if he was telling the truth. I can like him better now. "It's really not so bad."
He frowns. Shakes his head. "You're a bad liar."
On the contrary, I think I'm an excellent liar.
He looks again at the picture and shrugs. "Someone will buy it because it looks like art but doesn't ask too much of them. That's what you're saying?"
"You're the expert." He shrugs again and crosses one arm over his chest to rest his elbow on as he stares at the photo. I don't miss the stanceit's a mirror of my own. He bites at his thumb. It must be an old habit, because the nail is ragged. "The only reason I did this thing was for Naveen, you know? He said he wanted something more commercial. Not, like, doll heads with pencil stubs sticking out of the eye holes and stuff like that."
I'm a good liar, but not a good poker player. I can't keep a stone face. I know the piece he's talking about. It's been in the back room of Naveen's Philadelphia gallery for months, if not years. Of course I assumed he couldn't sell it, which didn't explain why he kept it hung back there for so long. I joked with him that he kept it for some sentimental reasons; maybe this was true.
"That was yours?"
He laughs. "Will Roberts."
I take the hand he holds out. His fingers are callused and rough, and for a moment I imagine how they'd sound against something silk, like a scarf. His touch would rasp on something soft. It would whisper.
His fingers curl around mine. For one bizarre second, I'm sure he's going to kiss the back of my hand. I tense, waiting for the brush of his mouth against my skin, the wet slide of his tongue on my flesh, and that's ridiculous because of course he wouldn't do such a thing. People don't do that to strangers. Even lovers would hardly do so.
My imagination is wild, I know it, yet when he lets my hand drop I'm still a little disappointed. His touch lingers, the way his fingers scraped at mine. I'm not soft as silk, no matter how many expensive creams I rub into my skin. And yet, I'd been right. His touch whispered.
"You're Naveen's friend."
"Yeah. You could say that. We have sort of a love-hate thing going on." I pause, judging his reaction. "He loves that I work for next to nothing, and I hate that he doesn't pay me more."
Will laughs. It ripples in streams of blue and green that wink into sparkling gold. His eyes squint shut. He has straight white teeth in a thin-lipped mouth. He shouldn't be attractive in his laughter, the way it changes his face, but there's something infectious about him. I laugh, too.
There's music in the gallery, a string quartet in the corner painfully strumming their way through Pachelbel's Canon and Fur Elise. They must be students, because Naveen would never have paid for professional musicians. I wonder which one of them he used to fuck, because like that painting in the back room and other things here in the gallery, including me, Naveen hangs on to things for sentimental reasons. There's food in the gallery, too, a little lackluster. And there's wine. But there isn't much laughter, and we draw attention.
Will tips his head back for a few more chuckles, then looks at me. "I'm supposed to go mingle."
I want him to linger. I want to keep him from something he should be doing but chooses not to because of me. And I could make him stay, I think suddenly, watching his gaze skip and slide over my body, my damp clothes, my bare legs. He's already touched my skin. He knows how I feel. I want him to want to know more.
"Sure, go." I tip my chin toward the rest of the room. "I have some things I need to do, too."
I am a good liar.
"It was nice meeting you, Elisabeth." Will holds out his hand again.
This time I entertain no fantasies of his lips on the back of it. That's just silly. We shake formally. Firmly. I turn away from him at the end of it, feigning interest again in his piece-of-shit-that-isn't-art, so I don't have to watch him walking away.
Naveen finds me in front of a few pieces of pottery on their narrow pedestals. I don't like them. Technically, they're lovely. They are commercial. They will sell. What's good for the gallery is good for me. Still, they reek of manure. Maybe it's the mud they're made from. Maybe it's just the twisted signals in my brain that layer and mingle my senses. Whatever it is, I'm staring with a frown when my friend puts his arm around my shoulders and pulls me close.
"I already have several more commissioned from this artist.
Lacey Johnsbury." Naveen's grin is very white. He smells of a subtle blend of expensive cologne and the pomade he uses in his jet-black hair. Those are actual scents; anyone could smell them.
When Naveen speaks, I taste cotton candy, soft and sweet, subtle. There are times when listening to my friend talk makes my teeth ache. But I like the taste of cotton candy, just as I like listening to Naveen, because we've been friends for a long, long time. He might be one of the only people who know me as well as I know myself. Sometimes maybe better. I run my tongue along my teeth for a second before I answer him.
"I don't like them."
"You don't have to like them, darling, they are not for you." I shrug. "It's your gallery."
"Yes." Those white teeth, that grin. "And they'll sell. I like things that sell, Elisabeth. You know that."
"Like that?" I nod toward Will's atrocity. "You don't like that, either?"
I shrug again. "It's a piece of shit, Naveen. Even the artist thinks so."
He laughs, and I'm in front of a Ferris wheel under a summer sky, my hair in pigtails and my fists full of spun sugar. Not really, of course, but that's how it feels. "You met Will."
"Yes. I met him." I look for Will in the crowd and see him in one of the alcoves, flirting with a woman whose hair is not flat and limp, her lipstick unsmeared. She looks as if she hasn't eaten in years. She leans in close to him. He laughs.
I hate her.
I look away before Naveen can see me watching, but it's too late. He shakes his head and squeezes my shoulder gently. He doesn't say anything. I guess he doesn't have to. Someone calls his name, and he's off to schmooze. He's better at it than I am, so I leave him to it.
It's late and getting later, and I should leave. Naveen offered to let me stay at his place. I've done it before. I like his wife, Puja, but their kids are still small. When I stay there I'm treated to lots of sticky hugs and kisses, am woken at the crack of dawn and feel as if I have to give Puja a hand with things like diapers and feeding times. My daughters are long beyond needing that sort of care, and I don't miss it.
"You're still here."
I turn, the sound of his voice tiptoeing up my spine to tickle the back of my neck. "I am."
Will tilts his head a little to look at me. "Do you like anything in this show?"
"Of course I do." It would be disloyal to say otherwise, wouldn't it?
I'm caught. At a loss. I search the room for something I do like. I point. "There. That piece. I like that one."
White canvas, black stripes. A red circle. It looks like something any elementary schoolkid could do, but somehow it's art because of the way it's framed and hangs on the wall. When I look at it, I see the hovering shapes of butterflies, just for a minute. Nobody else would; they'd just see the white, the black, the red. But it's the butterflies that make me choose it. I don't love it, but out of everything here tonight, I like it the best.
"That?" Will looks at it, then at me again. "It's pretty good. It's not what I thought you'd pick, though."
"What did you think I'd pick?"
Will points with his chin. "Want me to show you?"
I hesitate; I don't know why. Of course I want him to show me. I'm curious about what he thinks I'd like. How he could think he knows enough about me to guess at anything I'd like.
Will takes me by the elbow and leads me through the crowd, still thick considering the hour, but then I guess most of these people live here in the city, or at least are staying close by. There's another alcove toward the back, this one hung with gauze and twinkling fairy lights. The inside of it's curved, which makes it hard to hang square portraits there, and why I didn't look at it tonight. I couldn't face another of those stinky vases.
"There." Will stops but doesn't let go of my elbow. If anything, he moves closer to me. "That's what you like."
The piece is simple. Carved, polished wood. There's no real form or figure, though the piece is evocative of a woman's body. The smooth curve of hip and thigh and belly and breasts, the curl and twist of hair. It's not a woman, but it feels like one. Without thinking, I touch it. She feels like a woman. My fingers curl against my palm as I take my hand away. I shouldn't have touched it. Oils from my fingers could harm the finish. It's not a museum piece, but even so, it's not right to ruin it.
And Will is correct. I like this one. I have no place for something like that in my home, but suddenly, I want it.
"Do you know who did it?" I'm already looking for the artist's card.
Will says nothing. I look at him, thinking he'll be smiling, but he's not. He's studying me. "I knew you'd like that one."
Meet the Author
Megan Hart is the award-winning and multi-published author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, romantic suspense and erotica. Megan lives in the deep, dark woods of Pennsylvania with her husband and children, and is currently working on her next novel for MIRA Books. You can contact Megan through her website at www.MeganHart.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
4.5 Stars ~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog I never really know what to expect when I open a Megan Hart novel, I just know I have to be prepared for an emotional and thought-provoking ride. TEAR YOU APART tugs at the strings of the heart and leaves you a bit empty. TEAR YOU APART is an enthralling and sad, erotic and deep, gut-wrenching experience. It’s not really so much a love story, but a journey of these characters until they find themselves. Megan Hart is a master of words. There are few authors out there that can transport you into a story and into a character as well as she can do it. And in this case, I did not want to be the heroine. Elisabeth is in her 40s. She’s been married to Ross for a long time and her marriage has become a bit stale. Her kids are now grown and not living at home. She’s stuck in the monotony of her daily life. She doesn’t lack for anything, except attention. TEAR YOU APART is the story of Elisabeth as she finds some of what she didn’t even realize she was missing. As the author said, it was like not knowing you were thirsty until you were offered something to drink. Elisabeth and Will’s affair is combustible. Neither one of them are at their best moment, but they can fill a void in the other person’s life. Cheating is always a hard topic to face in books, but what Megan Hart does well in writing infidelity is she never sugar coats it. Always keeps it real. There are actions, and there are consequences to those actions. That infidelity doesn’t always lead to a much better future than what the characters started out with. But maybe is the place to start to try and find happiness. There’s nothing better than a book that can make you feel, even if it’s sad. No one does it better than Megan Hart and TEAR YOU APART is the perfect example. Be warned, this is not the story where you can find a neatly tied happily ever after.
Tear You Apart. Megan Hart. ARC supplied by Netgalley This novel is a romance but not a sweet slushy one, it's one that makes the reader think deeply and gets into your emotions. Elisabeth works for long time friend Naveen in his art gallery. She's married with twin daughters, now both at university and, like so many, people now the kids are grown she and husband Ross seem to be drifting apart. They're still happy together from the outside, but he seems to be away more and more for work, and their life, including sex, has become sort of routine, mundane. Its a common problem I suspect for many parents who married young, and threw themselves into parenthood, forgetting they're also two separate people. Elisabeth's not sure what direction her life is going, its as if she's floating aimlessly along. Then one evening at the galley she meets Will, and something fires out between them that they cannot control. She doesn't intend to have an affair, he doesn't want to be a marriage breaker, and yet they cannot seem to stay away from each other, each time they meet the passion between them explodes into hot, erotic sex....then they agree its not a good thing, try to keep apart til the next time..and so it goes on until Elisabeth feels Will is an essential part of her life. She describes him as her Ocean. I felt for Elisabeth, she's in a position lots of parents seem to find themselves, with a marriage that’s not unhappy but no longer fulfilling her either. Ross, her husband hasn't done anything wrong, he's just not very reciprocal to the idea that maybe she wants more. He sees himself, their home and garden as being adequate for her, and doesn't even understand why she works. She doesn't seem to have many close friends. Naveen her employer and long time friend is not really a confidante, though they share some past close moments, they were never actually lovers, and he seems to be a serial adulterer. Its not a conventional romance of man meets woman and all live happily ever after, but one where we get deeper into the psychology and motives of an affair, and what drives a marriage. Elisabeth is a sad person in some ways, loves her children, enjoys her job and can't even say she's actually unhappy with Ross and yet...she's missing something, some spark in her life, and then out of the blue Will comes along and without intending to they slide into a passionate affair. Well, passionate on Elisabeth's side I feel; Will is more reserved. He's from a broken relationship, has a young son and lost his partner due to his constant affairs. I get the feeling he's afraid to have another relationship as he thinks he's not capable of being faithful – I don't know if that's right, its just how it seems to me. Still, he's very entrenched with Elisabeth and can't seem to keep away, though they have some long gaps where they agree its not good to continue as they are, and then something happens and they pick up and are headlong into passion once again. I enjoyed the book, the story doesn't race along but proceeds at a pace that makes you think “what would I do?” I was sad at the ending, its sort of ambiguous and seems as though its one thing when I hope and want it to be something else. My head is reading things that aren't there I think :) and I'm making what's been written fit what I want to happen...Probably not what Megan intended but I'm a sucker romantic! Stars: Its one of those books where the shadows of it stay with you for ages and echo through your thoughts. I enjoyed it even though it didn't resolve as I wanted so its a five star read from me.
Epigraph from Tear You Apart "Sometimes love does not have the most honorable beginnings, and the endings, the endings will break you in half. It’s everything in between we live for. -Ann Patchett, from the essay The Sense of an Ending" Review TEAR YOU APART is a sophisticated and heart-wrenchingly beautiful love story. It’s powerfully expressed POV affects the reader an intense, intimate and all consuming experience. The sex is white-hot, tantalizing and utterly satisfying. Each stolen encounter is unique and vividly described with a raw erotic beauty. The seasoned lovers fervently devour and worship each other's bodies. Elizabeth and Will are unabashedly bold and assertive when giving and achieving ecstasy. Their potent connection is thrilling, urgent and profound. This is not a passive read. It’s visceral, jagged and stunning. It’s bittersweet. Pleasure and pain. You feel everything. You ride high on lovely peaks of blissful giddiness, you throb with every breathless carnal pleasure, you break with every desolate stretch of pain, sadness and despair. Reading TEAR YOU APART lifted my spirits, tantalized and turned me on, shattered my heart and ultimately left me altered and inspired. I loved every word. ARC courtesy of Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Read from August 12 to 13, 2013 Book Info Paperback, 304 pages Expected publication: August 27th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA ISBN 0778314774 (ISBN13: 9780778314776) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links AMAZON B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS Their passion will consume everything and everyone in its path. I'm on a train. I don't know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don't. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life—a good life with everything a woman could want—and suddenly, there is something more I didn't know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled. So this is where I am, on a train that's out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I'm the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster. If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn't help it, that I've been swept away, that it's not my fault, that it's fate...would that be easier? The truth is, I didn't know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must've been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away. This is my choice. And I don't know how to stop. Or even if I want to. My Thoughts This is a story about a mid-forties woman whose disillusionment with her marriage of 22 years leads her to cheat on her husband, a man with whom she has raised two twin daughters but who has always chosen work and a weekend of golf over family life. Elizabeth Amblins' daughters have been gone to college for 4 years and in that time she has come to realize that she and her husband Ross simply do not have the connection they once shared, her life has become bland; boring and most of all filled with unfulfilling moments that do nothing more than cause her discontent to grow while her husband remains oblivious. This is a very dark look at the inner workings of what is an unfortunate fact many married couples face that too often we come together in the heat of youth to get married raise the family created together and then at the end of the day find that the person whom your entire world once revolved around has become a stranger, a person that sleeps in the same bed, lives in the same house and yet no longer inspires their significant other in any way that matters. Elizabeth has a good life, in her own words she admits that, but she has fallen out of love with both her life and her husband. Instead of going with the flow as she has been doing for years she finds herself becoming involved with a stranger that she met at an art exhibit in the gallery which she works. Will Roberts, the artist, whose photograph they both find themselves in front of where they strike up their first conversation and apparently forge the connection that is missing with her own husband. Theirs is a turbulent relationship, filled with violently intense emotions on both their parts and not more than a little guilt on Will's. The pair also are engaging together, they seem to find a very easy camaraderie that Elizabeth heretofore has only known with her employer and longtime friend Naveen and the intimate scenes between Elizabeth and Will scorch the pages. As others have said do not expect this to be a light romance. It has been pointed out by more than one person that instead it is a controversial tale about a woman who willfully cheats on her husband and in doing so causes such deep emotional pain to herself and her lover that one cannot help but wonder why she did not make a clean break from the marriage instead of taking the route that did not conclude in a happy ending for anyone, most especially herself. If you are a fan of Megan Hart already you will have some idea of just what kind of emotional roller coaster you will be facing, even then do not be surprised if this one leaves you with mixed feelings when done. For those who have never read Megan Hart prepare to be exposed to something that will shock you in parts, will force you to second guess some of the decisions that are made by the main characters and in the end leave you feeling completely drained by the intense ups and downs that you will experience right along with Elizabeth. Another fine example from the talented pen of author Megan Hart that showcases just how empty "having it all" can be worse than having nothing at all! If you go into this looking for an HEA ending you will not find it, you will find a story that will make you think and appreciate just how skillfully the author tugged on your heartstrings. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
Elisabeth's life has turned to muted colours, having lost most of its vibrancy in the course of her twenty plus years of marriage. She not unhappy exactly, more content, or better yet complacent. Then she meets Will, an artist whose work is displayed at the gallery where she works. He has a way of helping her see the vividness of the world around her again. Colours, sensations, fragrances all come back to life, interchangeable, as they always were before for Elisabeth. But with that comes the realization that her life as it had been, was bland and numbing.....soulless. Slowly things that were insignificant annoyances before, become major irritants and it becomes more difficult to continue to pretend to be unaffected when she craves so much more. Elisabeth is coming into her own.......and of her own. But why does choosing for herself have to mean hurting someone else? **** Holy!! Intense and heartbreaking! In all honesty, this story, however recognizable, left me feeling wrenched and rather sad and achy. I had really counted on a more hopeful resolution, understanding Elisabeth's plight so well and of course, drawing parallels to what I know. But perhaps in looking for my own answers, I found I was left disillusioned and empty. Maybe the struggle hit too close to home?? There are some things I just don't understand. Why, after struggling to keep everything together until her family is settled and then finally working up the courage to choose for herself, can't Elisabeth choose all the way and be with the one she wants and who wants her. And what is this ongoing dynamic between Elisabeth and Naveen, the gallery owner and her long-time friend? The final moments in the book were so long expected that the end was very anti-climactic and rather inconclusive on the whole. Here Elisabeth is, struggling the entire story in coming to a certain decision about her life, that involves other people, and when she finally makes the decision, there is no further input or consequence described or discussed, as if all the other characters in the book have suddenly disappeared. I know the story is about Elisabeth, but decisions she makes have a ripple effect, the ripple effect reflects back on her, but none of that is visible. I know that the book is considered erotic and I would agree with that description, however, I would have to say that the emotional complexities over whelmed the sexual aspects of the story to such a degree, that the erotic component became secondary to me. (However beautifully descriptive!) Lastly, I'm a firm believer in going after what you want with all you have, and this story just doesn't resonate that for me. Elisabeth was complacent, stayed complacent and chooses to continue to be complacent, albeit in a different set of circumstances. It is impossible to ignore the writing by Megan Hart, it is of such high quality. She is able to bring the characters to life and create tension with mere words and suggestions that are tangible. Nothing is 'over'-described, words are used in a very artful manner, not to blatantly outline, but to subtly hint and in that, Ms. Hart is unique. An artfully written story that demands a strong emotional involvement!! **ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA in return for an honest review.**
OMG, are they writing a book review or a book report. Don't ruin the book for other readers. I was disappointed in this book. I kept waiting to feel connected to Elisabeth but I never really cared about her. I just felt bad for bad for her husband and lover.
MEGAN HART - TEAR YOU APART ¿¿¿¿¿ 5 of 5 stars 4.125 of 5 erotic points About the book: Elisabeth Amblin is in her mid-forties & married. Her twin-daughters are almost finished with College and she's not all that happy with her life. Her husband is always out of town for work - the kids don't live at home anymore - the only halfway positive thing in her life is her job at her friend Naveen's Galleries in Manhattan and Philadelphia. That's where she meets Will Roberts. He's the photographer of the photograph she was standing in front of (and she was not really admiring it). They start talking - and flirting. The most curious thing about Elisabeth is that she 'suffers' from Synesthesia - which is not really a disease but a neurological condition she inherited from her grandmother - that lets her smell and taste voices and subjects. And see them in different colors. >> "When Naveen speaks, I taste cotton candy, soft and sweet, subtle." << Elisabeth and Will start seeing each other - well, they're having sex! It all feels a bit weird to Elisabeth - who never cheated on her husband before - but she's just not happy with her life and being with Will is so exciting and different. >> "Everyone needs to be happy, Elisabeth," Will says. Oh, my name. When he says my name, I see it in shimmering shades of blue and green and gray. Those are not my colors. I'm red and orange and yellow. Brown. My name is autumn moving on toward winter darkness, but not the way Will says it. When he says my name, I see summer. I see the ocean. << She didn't know that she was missing anything in her life - until she met Will. >> "You never know how thirsty you are until someone offers you something to drink." << He makes her feel again. And he listens to her - really listens. Not like her husband! >> When we are together, everything shines. << But things are complicated. She wasn't planning on leaving her husband. She doesn't really know what to do - how to act. Should she stay with Will and leave her husband? Should she just be happy with her old life? >> What if I have waited my whole life to find this person who fits me like the missing piece of my puzzle? << I'm not telling you more about the story - you have to read it yourself! And please DO - read it, I mean! I LOVED THE BOOK! When I started reading TEAR YOU APART I felt like I was sitting at a (roofless) bus-stop - on a gray and rainy Friday afternoon - with no umbrella - no coat - no iPod - and nothing to do over the long weekend. And I don't really mean that in a bad way. But the book just felt so depressing and sad - and it kind of stayed in that mood all through the book. After I finished reading my heart literally hurt! I had cried for the last chapters and it was just soo moving and sad and grrr - I don't want to spoil anything. GO READ IT! What makes the reader accept and even welcome the whole sadness of the book are the colors and tastes that Elisabeth sees and smells and tastes - and the way she explains them to us. I loved that. And of course I loved the sexiness of the book - there's lots of sex - lots of sublte sexiness - the Romance part of the book is absolutely amazing! And the whole story of course - the way Elisabeth is with Will - and how she is with her husband and family. Will is a really interesting guy - he's wonderful with Elisabeth - he listens - he touches - he gets her! This book will probably not be for everyone - the sad mood and the LOTS of nonstop written thingies...letters (words!) will probably make for a few bad reviews! Which makes me really sad :( Give it a try - you won't regret it - even if it makes you sad in the end - or at the beginning - or in the middle of the book ¿ Was there something I didn't like? NOPE! Well, yes - of course there was - but you need to read it to know what I hated - I can't say it - it would spoil too much ;) But it doesn't change the end result: I LOVED THE BOOK! (another 100 pages wouldn't have been too bad either!)