Heroine: Catherine Standwood – Wife, Cheater
Hero: Ben Stanwood – Husband, Broken Heart
Hero: Arsen Radcliff – The Other Man, Playboy
My warning to the reader… this book contains mass amounts of cheating and it will smash your heart into a billion pieces.
Arsen wreaked havoc on my emotions. It twisted my insides, angered me, frustrated me, disgusted me, and broke my heart. I was a hot mess. Which means this is my kind of book. I love a hardcore emotional, well-written book that can make me scream and growl in frustration, cry sad and angry tears, turn me into a nutcase and, finally, make me sigh with relief at the end.
This story is told from Cathy’s POV but we do get both Ben and Arsen’s POV during the story a few times. Cathy is Ben’s wife. The story gives us flashbacks to when they first meet. They met when they were both young and in college. It was love at first sight. Their story is romantic and beautiful. They were happy. They had it all. Ben is a wonderful husband. He loves and adores and cherishes his wife. He would do ANYTHING for her. Cathy should be happy with her life. And she was until she had three miscarriages. She is suffering from RPL, better known as habitual abortion… recurrent pregnancy loss. Now she feels like a failure as a woman. Empty. Lonely. Incomplete. She starts to resent Ben, who is only trying to be her rock. He’s optimistic, supports her, coddles her, but that’s not GOOD enough for her. She doesn’t want the perfect husband any more. The one thing she wants that will make her feel complete is to have a child. Being a mother would fill the void that is growing inside her heart. This void is changing her. It takes her to a dark place. She doesn’t feel alive anymore. She’s numb with pain.
But then Ben and Cathy get a second chance at love when she gets pregnant again. During this time, things seem to be getting better between them. Cathy feels in love with her husband again. They are hopeful but not too hopeful because she could lose the baby. That feeling of not knowing if she will carry the baby to full-term haunts Cathy. It makes her sad and lonely. She feels like she can’t talk to her husband about her feelings. Then Cathy meets Arsen. He is the son of a very important client. Arsen is a gorgeous, rich, spoiled playboy that can get any woman he wants. He wants Cathy. Cathy denies her attraction to Arsen though it’s obvious she wants him also. The sexual tension between them is thick with want but Cathy refuses to go there. She makes it clear to him they can only be friends. And close friends they become. Cathy feels like she can talk to Arsen about things that she can’t talk to Ben about. (So she says. *growls*) As they grow closer, it becomes harder for them to resist each other. Then one night everything changes. Cathy can’t handle life anymore. She doesn’t care about hurting Ben anymore. She wants to feel something other than hurt and pain. She wants to feel alive again so she turns to Arsen, who makes her feel something other than despair.
People say that when you play with fire you get burned. Well when it comes to Arsen, I not only want to get burned, I want to be incinerated. He’s my chance to be unguarded and content. To be wildly, incredibly, fiercely happy.
What starts out as a sex affair, turns into something deeper. Cathy’s no longer in control of her emotions. She does some things that are so downright gut-wrenching my heart ached. Her actions and selfishness have no limits and ends up hurting everyone by the end.
Cathy… I’m just not sure if I was supposed to like her or not. For me personally, she was written in a villainous way. It was hard to understand the choices she made, especially when she had a wonderful husband – a husband who would’ve moved heaven and earth for her to be happy. I hated the things she was doing. It was weak of her to turn to another man. I never wanted her with Arsen. The feelings I felt for Cathy made me feel insane. I went from feeling sorry and sad for her to having my sadness turn into anger… And then all my emotions turned into hate. I loathed this woman. But the good news is that Cathy is redeemable by then end. Although she does pays a high price for being a liar and a cheater.
Ben… I fell HARD for this man. He is truly an amazing hero in this story. The moment I started this book I knew that he would my choice in this heart-wrenching love triangle. No doubt about it. It was devastating to watch him be deceived by the one person that he cherished the most. She didn’t just break his heart… She demolished it…
Own me, fill me, break me, repair me, complete me. Do whatever you want to me. Just stay with me. I need you. I need to be able to live. I need my life back. I need you back.
Oh, Ben. My heart broke for him. He deserved better. He deserved the truth. Marriage is not easy. It takes two to make it work. I will never condone cheating on your spouse. Ever.
Arsen… I never fell for him - which is odd because I always go for the bad boys. I never really understood Cathy’s need for him. I never connected with him on a visceral level. What I saw develop between Cathy and Arsen is intense feelings of lust and desire… but not love. I never saw the MORE between them or the DEEP that defines a relationship. Sure, they talked about their issues and they confided in one another, but the relationship just felt… all wrong. Now if Arsen was written in a different way and with a different woman, I could fall for him. He has the potential to be an amazing hero.
There is sex. Lots of sex. There is sex between Ben and Cathy. And sex between Arsen and Cathy. This book is loaded with sexy times that almost border on being erotic. The sexy was hot, sizzling… explosive. There are sex scenes between Cathy and Arsen that felt so very wrong and made my gut hurt. This book. *sigh* Prepare yourselves.
Betrayal has a price. The cheating and lies are gut-wrenching. The story is devastating and heartbreaking. Can there be a happily ever after when souls are crushed and lives are shattered? Can there be forgiveness? I have to give Mia Ashton props for writing such a thought-provoking and controversial story that ripped the emotions right out of me. Her writing is provocative and addictive. Ashton wrote a story that people will talk about and think about for days, even months. Even though this is a difficult read, I dare you to try and put the book down. It’s nearly impossible. I was on the edge of my seat reading frantically, wondering how the hell this broken love story will end. And what a fucking journey it was. I’m exhausted. I need a strong drink.
P.S. If you love stories like Thoughtless by S.C. Stephen, Collide by Gail McHugh, or Love Square by Jessica Ingro (I loved all three books!), you should definitely read this one.
Check out this excerpt from Arsen by Mia Asher!
Opening my legs with his hands, he enters me slowly, taking his time, making the moment last. When he’s all the way in, he pauses as we stare at each other, both of us breathing heavily. Slowly, he brings a hand to caress my naked shoulder. “I’ve wanted to do this since the moment I kissed you on the street.”
“Have sex with me?” I ask.
“No.” He bites my lower lip. “Make you mine.”
This time he makes love to me. There is no roughness in his treatment of my body, and I don’t miss it. This feels as if he is telling me with his body what he cannot voice yet. This feels like we are imprinting each other to our bodies and to our hearts. Moaning, I grab the back of his neck and pull him down for a kiss, getting lost in the moment.
About the Author
My name is Mia Asher.
I'm a writer, a hopeless romantic, a wanderer, a dreamer, a cynic, and a believer. And, I might be a bit crazy - but who isn't?
I believe in happy endings however I know that not everyone is lucky enough to get one, but such is life. I think fine lines exist to be pushed and possibly crossed.
Keep that in mind when you read Arsen…
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