C. M. McKenna's compelling voice has earned a devoted audience and multiple awards for her erotic fiction. Her page-turning literary debut, Badger, disturbs and titillates with the story of a recovering pill addict whose compulsive fascination with a Boston antihero spirals out of control.
Nearly twelve months sober, Adrian Birch feels like a nobody. But when her wrist is broken in a hit-and-run accident, she's avenged by the Badger, a secretive street vigilante. Instantly obsessed, Adrian takes to staging suicide and constructing chance meetings to get his attention. Their resulting affair is harsh and needy, wrought with McKenna's signature dark eroticism--until the connection gets out of hand and ignites the violent passions of the city.
Hailed for her "evocative," "intense," "realistic," and "engrossing" stories by reviewers at Publisher's Weekly, USA Today, and Romantic Times, McKenna now establishes herself as a rising star in neo-noir. Badger challenges the reader to imagine how an impulsive young man is killed, offering only the perspective of the fascinating and unreliable Adrian Birch.
"BADGER is for fans of twisted love stories, a read that will stay with you long after it's over, like a bruise you can't stop pressing because the pain feels so good you don't want it to end."
--Megan Hart, New York Times bestselling author of TEAR YOU APART
|Publisher:||Brain Mill Press, LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||706 KB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
He trots in, sniffing the air softly her pads over to astriodeye and sits next to him. (Sorry if any mispelling) "i can carry you back if you can be my sight." He offers softly.
"Cobwebs!" She yelled. "I need goldenrod too."
5++++++ stars! Disturbing, heart wrenching, and touching! Could't put it down! Must read! Keeps you thinking about it when its over!
Badger is not a romance with an HEA. It's the story of one woman and the intersection of her life with that of a vigilante, known as The Badger. This story is told entirely from Adrian's point of view, which is fitting as it is really her story. And truthfully, it was her character that kept me reading through parts where I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. Except that I wanted to know how it would end, so I stuck with it. At the start Adrian is a recovering pill addict, 11 months sober and attending weekly narcotics anonymous meetings. A 2 year pill addiction to Vicodin had wrecked many things in her life, but the love of her family despite this has helped her to find her way back to a new normal, one in which a job and an apartment have meaning again. With her criminal record (acquired during her low points of addiction), getting a job has been difficult but she's finally got something that can use her artistic and marketing skills. She's managing one day at a time. I liked her acceptance of herself and her mistakes, and her determination to make restitution for her wrongs - and I appreciated her twin sister's willingness to forgive and move past those bad times. For much of the story, I was on edge, hoping that Adrian would stay sober and wouldn't be pulled back into her addiction, especially as her relationship with the Badger began. The Badger is probably one of the most depressing characters I've read in a book. He's a thirty something man, with a rage problem, PTSD from horrible child abuse affecting him and his decisions. He's not sweet, he's not overly likeable (though he has some salvageable moments) and it's hard for Adrian to stop herself from picturing herself as his saviour - a savior he doesn't want. Still they are drawn to each other, like magnets, and she's attracted to him (and vice versa). However the sex they have, for me, was uncomfortable and depressing. Truthfully, I had to skim some of the scenes as I didn't want to have the details imprinted on my memory. The nicer Adrian is to him, the worse he treats her, until eventually she comes to realize that there is nothing she can do that is going to change him. But her relationship with him is important, as it helps her to grow and realize her own strengths. She becomes more assertive, more demanding, and comes away from him with a realization that she is worth more than what he was giving her. There are pockets of sweetness in their relationship, treats to be savoured but that ultimately aren't enough to sustain them. As the story moves forward, there is a new kind of tension that unfolds as the Badger's fans get involved in trying to protect him from the police who are looking to arrest him. The second half of the story moves swiftly and is hard to put down, as the fate of Adrian and the Badger hang in the balance. By the end of the story I felt wrung out, but hopeful for Adrian and her future. I don't think this one will be a reread for me, it was too intense and parts of it were disturbing for me. I'm not sure that I would have picked this up if it weren't for the fact that I love this author's writing. However I'm glad I read it, and it's a good example of how much talent Ms. McKenna has to instill such strong emotions through her storytelling. 4 stars.
Gritty, Erotic and Incredibly Emotional This review has been a long time coming and I've been struggling with writing it because I wanted to make sure it fully encompassed all of my feeling, because boy there are a lot. Let me start off by making it clear that BADGER is not a romance novel, and should not be read with the belief that because there are romantic elements it will end in a traditional happily ever after. Because you will get your heart broken if you go into reading it that way. This is not a story about misunderstood, scarred souls that find each other and heal one another's wounds, resulting in a blissful walk off into the sunset. BADGER is filled with raw, primal, often uncomfortable emotions that smack you across the face leaving a sting you can't help but crave more of. The characters worm their way deep into your heart and even when they do things you don't agree with and can't understand, you feel like they're a grittier, bolder extension of yourself. You just can't help but be pulled in by Adrian's obsession with Boston's "bargain basement Batman". She's a semi-neurotic, awkward 27 year old (something I understand) who is drawn to a man who is completely emotionally unavailable. No matter how much he confuses and hurts her, she can't help but be pulled back to him and the excitement he stirs in her. She may be a calming force for him, a break from his chaotic thoughts and anger, but for Adrian, Badger is an electric pulse waking her from the numbness she's always struggled with. There's just something so wrong but so incredibly erotic about these two together. Unfortunately, like his name would suggest, Badger is a snarling, clawing, feral animal and a lasting, loving relationship isn't really in the cards for him. BADGER gave me all the feels. Seriously, not even one emotion was left unfelt. I fell hard for these characters, had my heart bombarded and battered by emotions, and was left with a serious book hangover. C.M. McKenna is nothing short of a wordsmith. This book made me laugh and weep like a baby. Being able to connect to this novel on such a profound level is what truly makes this a five-star read in my book. BADGER is dark, dirty, uncomfortable, poignant, heart-wrenching and beautiful. I could throw around adjectives for days but the bottom line is that BADGER is an absolute must read. If you're looking for a deep, emotional novel to devour look no further than BADGER by C.M. McKenna, But be prepared. This one might just bite you back. Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.