|AMAZON | KINDLE|
Consequences is a very dark, painful, and complex story. It is not a romance. It's a psychological thriller with lots of twists that will leave you reeling. Sensitive topics such as rape, physical abuse, and mental abuse are not glossed over and left me feeling raw. The suspense of not knowing where this story was going completed screwed with my head. At some point I even thought this book was going to be the death of me.
Glitches. Consequences. Appearances. Compartmentalize…four words Claire will never forget.
Claire met Anthony at the restaurant where she bartends. While she worked, they flirted and teased one another. Anthony charms her into meeting him for a drink after her shift. Thinking Anthony is joking when he offers her a job with enough money to pay off her debts, she signs a little napkin that changes her life forever. A week later, she is drugged, kidnapped, violated, and taken to Anthony's beautiful home which is now her prison. She is now at his mercy until her debt is paid in full.
He hurt her – not just physically but also emotionally – down to her core. He had humiliated and seemed to enjoy humiliating her routinely since she arrived.
Claire endures so much from this man. She must obey the rules and if she failed, there are consequences. She has no freedom. Her job is to pay Tony back for her debt. Her duties include: keeping up appearances, dress in his clothes, no contact with her family, ask permission for everything, always be punctual, and give him pleasure at his convenience. She is no longer Claire Nichols, bartender, once Meteorologist. She is now Anthony's property.
I have always had a desire to read books with HEAs, books with a redeemable hero—even if I don't like him in the beginning. This is a first for me. Anthony Rawlings is one of the darkest, most depraved heroes I've read to date. There is nothing heroic about Anthony Rawlings. He's controlling, cunning, calculating, cruel, and demands loyalty from everyone that works for him. He is THE puppet master. If you work for him, he owns you. If you cross his path and he feels threatened by you, run. I've never disliked a leading male character more in my life. I've read other books where I've started out hating the hero, but he usually redeems himself. Yet I never could find anything redeemable about Anthony.
But as I say that, and as much as Anthony repulsed me, there were times when Anthony seemed close to changing his ways by treating Claire with the love and respect she deserved. He would treat her as his partner not his property. Therefore, I formed a hope that he could change. This is a man who's been deprived of love and doesn't know how to reciprocate it. So, I try to understand him. Then, of course something would happen, and I'm reminded why I hate him. This non-stop emotional rollercoaster drained me.
In the beginning, Anthony is very cold and distant towards Claire but as time progresses and Claire shows him she is the perfect submissive, he gradually begins to show a kind and gentle side of himself to Claire. This is confusing for Claire because she hates him. She doesn't want to see Anthony as kind. But the more caring he is, the more Claire is drawn to him. She wants to please him. Make him proud of her. She wants to be perfect for him. Not only that, but she finds herself extremely attracted to him. She forms feelings for him.
His impending decision terrified her. His smiles today gratified her and his physique in jeans aroused her. How could her body defy her mind so severely? Claire believed her body was the true offender of insubordination!
Even though a relationship is eventually formed between Claire and Anthony, it never felt...right. The consensual sex scenes even felt wrong at times. And when Claire had to keep compartmentalizing things in order to stay sane, I continued to feel uneasy about the relationship. Because this relationship was strategically created by Anthony in the beginning, and no matter how much I would let my mind hope things could be different for them, I couldn't let go of the malicious and cruel things he kept doing to Claire. My fear for Claire was always close to the surface.
The second half of the book slowed down for me and actually dragged a little. I thought the detailed descriptions of everything was a little too much and at times completely unnecessary. But then I reached the 80% mark where the truth starts to unfold. The last 20% of this book is so shocking that is literally left me speechless. This final part of the book is how I decided on my rating. Which is very unusual for me.
This story made me question my own limits. How can a story as disturbing and appalling as this one keep me compelled to keep going? It pushed my boundaries. Made me angry. And it was almost too painful to read at times. But, to be quite honest, not knowing where the story was going is what kept me glued to the pages. I HAD to know what happens with Claire and Anthony. And with the unpredictable, jaw dropping ending, I'm thrilled to find out Truth comes out November 1, 2012. I want it now!
Thoughts While Reading:
22.0% - "Argh! I hate the the leading male character! I feel like he is messing with my head too!"
61.0% - "I'm still stunned she married him! Something big is coming, I can feel it. I need some tums."
70.0% - "My head is about to explode with anger! This book is going to be the death of me!"