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Posted January 31, 2014
I went into THE REPLACEMENT looking for an emotional read and was given so much more than I was expecting. When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to find out more about Elise, this girl known as the town tramp. And why is she so desperate to keep this reputation? What is she afraid of? Something must have happened to her, I reasoned, but when I was given glimpses into her childhood, I couldn't even have imagined what I'd find there. Her mom? Worst advice giver ever. Her dad? Well, let's just say I had to keep reminding myself during his scenes that this book doesn't take place in the 50's. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
THE REPLACEMENT emotionally affected me much more than I had anticipated. I had to stop and put the book down because I couldn't see to read through my tears. It was as if a dam inside me had broken. I cried for the girl Elise could have become had she been given loving parents and cried for the girl Elise had become - someone who believes she poisons people and doesn't deserve to be loved by anyone. The scenes from her childhood are absolutely heartbreaking.
I could identify with Elise's need to self destruct, and I think that's what broke open the floodgates for me. For completely different reasons, I know what it's like to want to destroy myself while everyone else watches helplessly. One of the people watching Elise self destruct? Jay. He's a much needed father figure for Elise - he cares about her and shows it unlike her own father. Scenes with him made me cry, too!
Ryder was amazing. I couldn't believe how he refused to give up on Elise no matter how much she tried to push him away. He didn't care about her past - he wanted a future with her. On the other hand, she felt she was broken and undeserving of that kind of future. One of my favorite scenes between Elise and Ryder was when they first kissed - she thought to herself that must be what a real kiss was like, and all this time she had been duped into thinking she'd been kissed before. That was a magical moment I was happy she experienced. Every girl needs a Ryder!
After finishing the book, I was emotionally exhausted, but it was worth it. Reading THE REPLACEMENT was cathartic for me - I've been needing a good cry, and this definitely brought it out of me. Elise's story will captivate you and bring out a wide range of emotions. You'll become so immersed in her story you won't even notice anything going on around you. And grab a box of tissues - you're gonna need them!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Posted January 26, 2014
It’s no secret that I’m a Rachael Wade fan. I’ve written a review on every one of her books, have loved each and every one of them for the journey they’ve taken on. Really, I just adore her writing. But The Replacement was more than just a book for me. Unfortunately, I’m going to have a hard time explaining it because, for me, this is one of those stories that will stick with me forever.
I am an emotional person by nature, but I’m also a person who must feel a real, honest connection to the characters and their plight to experience that emotion. In other words, I don’t sob over every emotional book I read or every romantic/dramatic movie I watch. It has to really resound with me. It must feel real enough that I could imagine experiencing it myself. So, when taking this into consideration, I hope you understand the full effect of my saying this book required tissues. I haven’t cried over a book in probably a good eight months or more (when I read Easy by Tammara Webber).
Elise’s story begs the reader to look beyond mere plots, story lines, world building and character dimensions. Through her, we can spend time exploring the why’s behind the things we do, the mistakes we make, and the lies that lead us to our own negative self-beliefs. It can also spark a fire inside, encourage us to seek out the truth about who we are beyond the societal standards, the pain of our past, or the mistakes we’ve made.
“Because I see what he sees. A girl who *** up. A girl who made careless choices – choices she’ll never regret, but consequences she’d never wish upon anyone – and who needed something unconditional. A girl who did not kill her mother. A girl who is not rotten, only broken, like the world she and so many women are forced to walk in. A cruel word. Perfectly imperfect, just like Ryder Jacobson. My something.”
If given the opportunity, Elise’s story has the potential to forever change us, to set us on a path of more than just self-love and respect; it can bring us to a place of compassion and understanding for those in our day-to-day lives. We have the unique opportunity to experience life in someone else’s shoes, even if it’s only for 300 and some-odd pages.
“I must have been dreaming to think I could cross over into Natalie’s world for a while – hell, even for a night. Or to think that I could fool someone like Ryder, that I could have a meal with a man on Thanksgiving without any lies, without any dirt. That I could be clean. I can never touch foot on the solid ground enjoyed by people like Natalie, because I destroy everything I touch, and I am sinking – sinking in the quicksand I created.”
And, by walking in those shoes, maybe we can find a way to be compassionate, loving, and honest with ourselves – to treat ourselves as kindly and gently as we would our best friend. Or a complete stranger facing a difficult situation. Because…well…I’ll just let Elise tell you:
“Be exceptional. Be your something. ‘Cause you’re all you’ve got. And until you have that, you’ve got nothing. Look in the mirror. Take a hard, long look. I hope you see what I see.”
What does all my rambling mean as far as story-wise? Well, for it to have this much of an impact, for it to resound this strongly, I am sure you understand that this has to be an exceptional story with characters that don’t really feel fictional. The reality of this story – it’s depth, it’s gritty, honest look at self-worth, self-love and the hell we put ourselves through when we don’t have those things – has changed me in ways that I can’t explain. It’s also forever raised the bar for all other authors and books to come after reading a story this deep, this moving, this real, you can’t turn back and hold others to the same standard as you had before.
In short, The Replacement is, in my honest opinion, a MUST read. It is a story that I will definitely read several times over. I’ve recommended it to several people, even those that aren’t bibliophiles, because I loved it THAT much!
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Posted February 11, 2014
My heart broke so many times for Elise. She’s a girl that has been given the impression that she’s only as good as she looks. She can’t seem to get over the supposed fact that she can only ever get attention for her body.
There are quite a few sex scenes, and Elise is at the center of all of them. It’s insane that she only sees happiness when she’s in the throws of passion. Elise doesn’t know how to be loved, and doesn’t think she deserves it. It takes on certain someone to show her otherwise.
I didn’t care for Elise’s actions. I don’t understand why she would choose to be the “other.” She’s worth so much more than that, and can’t see it. She doesn’t want to end up like her family, and does these things because that’s all she thinks she’ll amount to.
The Replacement is very much a story of breaking all of your own beliefs, and learning that you do deserve love. Just because you come from a broken family doesn’t mean you’ll always be broken. You can overcome the hurtful things that have been drilled into your head, and said about you, and won’t always be a replacement.
Posted February 11, 2014
Well what can I say, every other book I have ever read form Wade has been SO Good I never want to put it down. Well this one is no exception to that, if anything I loved it more! This story about a young girl who has to face her self before she can be who everyone around her knows she can be is powerful. It never falls short of anything from page one to the end and you will not only fall in love but you will add a new story to your heart.
I loved this book, it has so much emotion and heart ache I think I found myself crying a few times for Elise. She is a young girl who was raised to think self-image is all that matters, and a woman who is beautiful should use that beauty for what ever she wants. Well now that her parents are gone and she is one her own she is using all that she learned from her parents. She is giving her self to men in town even if they are married or have girlfriends and she really has no concern about it. She is using her beauty like she was told. Elise is a beautiful women and she knows it and being promiscuous is all she know and the only thing that makes her feel real.
But then she meets Ryder the man who will change everything, but for the best I cant say you will have to read. There are lots of ups and downs and I love that about this one. I was always excited to get to the next page to see what would happen. Wade made you feel for each and every character through the book and that’s one thing that I LOVED. I always like to connect to the characters it makes for a more “longer after its over” stick to you kind of book.
I like how the title is SO the book too. Dealing with always be the replacement in others men’s lives Elise will need to figure out if this is something she wants to do for ever. And we all know we DO NOT want to be a replacement. If you are looking for a read about life, life changes, fining yourself and love this is the book for you. I loved it and I would love to see more from this story!!
I gave this one a 4 1/5 star rating!!
Posted February 7, 2014
‘The Replacement’ is one of those books that will just knock you over the head with its genuine heartfelt beauty and heartbreak. Rachael Wade has created such a wonderful story, with real issues and characters that broke my heart and then put the pieces back together again with a little bit of glue known as Ryder.
My adoration for Elise’s character shook me from the start. If you look at me and then at Elise, we would be the complete opposite of each other. Her actions and manner had me wincing, yet I was so desperate to know more about her, to understand what had caused her self-destructive behaviour, and to really know what it was that made Elise feel that only sex could give her a piece worth. I just had to know. And so started the incredible journey that is ‘The Replacement’.
I liked that whilst there were many other characters and faces in this story, the story was, in its essence, about Elise and her journey to self-discovery rather than further self-destruction. It was a hard journey to read, and at times I had to put the book down, take some deep, calming breaths, remind myself that this story was fictional, and then feel prepared enough to return to the story. But every second I was away from my Kindle, my thoughts returned to Elise, really concerned for her well-being, wishing with all my heart that she would get to the light at the end of the tunnel.
There were a number of recurring characters that made the journey all the more difficult. Christian in particular made me want to scream due to his high handed ways and the way that he hurt his wife to be with Elise. Although Elise was just as much to blame for their relationship, it was Christian’s dishonesty to his wife that made me most angry. Elise doesn’t seduce as much as she takes a man when he shows interest. That Christian at one time felt the desire to cheat on his loving and emotionally unstable wife had me spitting with fury.
And then we come to Ryder. The glue that stuck my heart back together.
I wish with all my heart that there is a Ryder out there for me. Ryder was the most gentle, kind-hearted and honest man that had ever come into Elise’s life (romantically I mean, as her boss, Tim, was a complete and utter sweetheart and deserves the gold star father-figure award). His completely untainted view of the world and his desperate desire to help Elise see the good in the world and herself, was just so heartwarming to read. He made no demands of her, and was there for her through everything, no matter her behaviour because he wanted to make her the best she could be. Elise’s actions when it came to Ryder broke my heart at times, her own fear of love causing her to throw any chance of it away recklessly, yet I loved that despite her many setbacks, the way that in her every action, the reminder of Ryder’s belief in her made her want to change and be a better person, and gave her the strength to move on from her past and make the best future possible for herself.
This review was purposely vague so as to not spoil anything about this amazing story, so I’ve just realised that this is a rather rambling review about my feelings, but it is the beauty of this book, Rachael Wade’s gorgeous and honest writing style that invoked such strong rambling emotions in me, and that is why this book is a must read, because trust me, you want to feel these emotions too because they are damn good ones!
5 Stars and a definite recommended read!
Posted February 5, 2014
Rachael Wade is an author I will absolutely be reading again. She crafted a enthralling story with an MC that has many flaws but whom I couldn't help but root for.
Elise Duchamp is not what you think of when you think of a likable heroine. She is one of those women. A woman that uses her beauty and sex appeal to her advantage. Elise takes from others - she sleeps with unavailable men. While I certainly don't condone her choices, I nonetheless found myself identifying with her and the reasons behind those choices. Elise is insecure. She believes her trysts are all she deserves, but she's searching...searching for something. Maybe she's searching for herself.
Ryder Jacobson is a man who knows himself. He knows what he wants out of life. He's philosophical, he's a bibliophile *swoon*, and he has a bit of wanderlust. When he meets Elise, he knows he wants her. He's not all Alpha though. He knows Elise's past, knows she's broken. And he's patient, kind, and gentle in his pursuit of her.
Elise and Ryder's relationship, as it unfolds, was at times frustrating and at times heartwarming. Elise's attempts to sabotage what they're building made me want to shake her. Ryder's patience with her was endearing. I adore him for his part in helping Elise grow.
I think The Replacement is a sort of soul searching journey for Elise. And as I said, she's not a character you want to like, but I admired her spunk. She owned her choices. And I cheered once she began realizing she deserved more. Being witness to her finding herself - be her somebody - was satisfying, to say the least.
The Replacement was, at times, gut-wrenching as we watched Elise making mistakes. But mistakes area a necessary part of growing up and, luckily, Elise learned from hers. Elise's story was not always pretty. She was a bit broken. With some help from Ryder, she realized she wasn't un-fixable, that she did have goodness, and that she deserved love.
I was emotionally wrung out when I finished The Replacement. As I said, I'll be reading Ms. Wade again. An author that can evoke such feeling AND create a connection with a character with a shaky moral compass has quite a talent!
**I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review.**
Posted February 3, 2014
Elise goes through life accepting what other people think of her. She doesn't seem affected by it, but underneath it all she is. And it isn't until Ryder walked into her life that she starts to realize that maybe she could leave her past behind and move on. This is not an easy feat for her when she's always felt second best and unworthy. But with Ryder's presence and some time, she comes into herself.
I would love to say that this story was completely enjoyable to me but I cannot. There were some elements to the story I did not understand and some characters I just could not stand.
However, I do have to commend the author, Rachael Wade, for bringing forth a different type of love story where the heroine truly does move on from her past and grows as an individual without having to apologize for her past. This was not an easy story for me to get through since so many times throughout the story I wanted to throttle the heroine and shake some sense into her. Thankfully, the author allowed Elise's emotions about her situation and her actions to come clearly across the page, which helped me connect to her more easily and invest myself in her story.
I liked that Elise didn't fall easily to Ryder's charms. He had to work through the walls Elise had erected around herself to be able to get to her and that made it a more enjoyable read for me. Of course there was sex, but at least the sexual encounters between Ryder and Elise gave a glimpse of the connection that was developing between them. I could see how affected she was by the emotions Ryder was awakening in her and understood why she hesitated in giving into him.
Half the book I spent exasperated with Elise and the other half I was cheering her on to get her crap together. I admired her tenacity and her refusal to apologize for things past, but mostly I enjoyed watching her embrace her happiness. I believe Ryder brought out on the best on her and she reciprocated the action for him. I would have loved to get Ryder's side of the story, but this was mainly Elise's journey in finding her true self, so I could easily overlook that.
My only complaint was the abundance of horrible characters and the whole event that took place towards the end of the story. I think the story could have worked better without the drama and conflict. Other that that, I think that the author did a great job in the execution of the concept as it pertains to Elise's struggle with herself and the added romance and emotions rounded it up nicely.
All in all, an enjoyable read.
Posted January 27, 2014
"Beauty is our power."
I have to be honest and say that I did not like Elise at all when I began the book. If anything, I pitied her. She was self-centered, self-destructive, shallow and hurt people just because she could. Just for the power of it. I understood she was a product of her environment and she didn't have great role models growing up, but that didn't excuse her behavior in my eyes. But, as the story went on and I learned more about her and her past, her motivations for why she was doing the things she did, I wanted to see her change. Be a better person. I might not have liked her that much, but I was still rooting for her.
"You're a little piece of heaven, baby," he pants against my mouth, "even if your halo's broken"
The men in this book drove me nuts, and not in a good way. Half of them were downright despicable, which I guess is to be expected as they were cheating on their girlfriends, fiancees or wives with Elise. Despite his obvious flaws, Christian gave me hope that there may be hope for one good guy in Elise's life. Then Ryder entered and I fell head over heels for him myself. He was different than the men she chose on her self-destructive path. He was sweet and caring, sexy as hell and patient. He's exactly who Elise needs to push her to fix herself. While Elise might not have realized it, he knew about the rumors surrounding her, he knew she was more than that and he wanted all of her.
"I'm not a bird with a broken wing you can fix, do you understand? I'm not a dishwasher or a f______ garbage disposal. I'm Elise Duchamp, and I destroy relationships. I destroy people. Wives, girlfriends, good people. People like you."
There came a point in the novel where I started to actually like Elise. I won't spoil the storyline by telling you which point it was, but when she truly began feeling guilty for her actions, I realized she was doing all of this not because she wanted to, but because she thought she had to. I appreciated the way she grew and matured. Her past would never go away and she had to live with that, but she made strides towards righting wrongs and becoming a better person. Throughout the story, even when she was at her worst and doing things I kinda hated her for, I did applaud her "don't give a ____" attitude. People wanted to talk? Let them. She knew who and what she was. She wasn't going to lie about it.
"We all have a past, Elise. Sometimes we don't like where the road takes us; sometimes it takes us exactly where we need to be. I don't regret my past, and I don't give a ____ about yours. All I care about is this."
I loved The Replacement. This was the first of Rachael Wade's books that I've read and I loved her style. The writing was honest and fantastic. The characters were amazingly complex and kept me on my toes. It wasn't always easy to like Elise, but I am thrilled with the journey she went on in this book. I was completely wrapped up in this novel and with these characters. I was emotionally invested. There were moments when I wanted to throw my iPad across the room because of the decisions they were making and the way things were playing out. But then just as quickly, I found myself swooning over Ryder's sweet words and acceptance of Elise. I may have even shed a few tears along the way. (I know! Me, cry?!) This was a coming of age story about acceptance, redemption, forgiveness and true love.
If you like new adult romances with flawed characters, lots of hot sex, sweet romance, betrayal and twists and turns that will keep you guessing, The Replacement could be just the book for you. I desperately want this to be a series so I can have a chance to get more Elise and Ryder in my life.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.
Posted January 26, 2014
Elise is beautiful. She demands attention when she walks in the room. The product of an a father who was only concerned with appearances and beauty and a mother who was beautiful but felt that was all she had to give the world. Watching the cruelty in her parents relationship shaped and molded her into what she is today. She is called many things: slut, whore, home wrecker, and replacement.
She doesn't do relationships. She does pleasure and has pleasured most of the town she lives in. She isn't ashamed, she owns it. She gets drunk on their desire, it excites her, but they can't whisper sweet nothings, had better not mention commitment because if they do, that's when it ends.
At the point of ending two liaisons she meets Ryder. The ungodly handsome repairman with eyes like chocolate and ink that begs to be traced. Will he become another man in her already jumbled world? Suddenly everyone wants more. More than she can give, more than she'll ever consider, a future. The only future she's planning for is Paris. She's worked doubles and saved as much as she can to get there. Every time she gets close she has to dip into the money for emergencies.
When turmoil erupts, secrets are bared, people are disappointed. Why? They know what she is. It's what she's always been. What she will always be. Never "the woman" but "the other woman". She destroys, just like her father said.
This book isn't just a romance, it's food for thought. It's about owning your choices, your mistakes, and the pain you've inflicted on others. It's about finding the light in the dark and grasping it. Not letting your past define you. Through the whole book Elise explains that she doesn't do relationships, but in reality she does. She is sleeping with men and has understandings with them, relationships but without the claim to one another. Each one gives her something the other can't yet in total she never reaches fulfillment, never feels whole. Our childhood shape us, shape how we relate to people and love. Every person in this book has their burden. The thing they have to work through. By the end of the book we learn what they are. Though the men she was with were doing wrong, I felt bad for all of them at some point in the book. All but Tim, he's an ass from word go. I'd love to know what becomes of Christian and Brad.
This is another example of the thought provoking stories that Rachael Wade is capable of. Reeling us into a life that is under some level relatable to all readers. Real characters, real flaws, and true emotions that leave you not just reading the story but feeling it until the last page.
This story is 5 stars all the way.
The Replacement will leave you feeling,
feeling hopeful, looking to the future,
and the Epilogue showing it can always be bright.