I just want to start by saying that I am doing a little something different. I am reviewing two books in one post, A Terrible Love is from the female POV and A Brutal Tenderness is the male POV, they go hand in hand – almost as if we were to read the POV’s in alternating chapters ;)
Jess Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She’s left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. But Jess soon discovers that passion can’t be left behind—neither her own, nor that of the one man who sees who she really is…and whose unexpected presence may breach the peaceful life Jess has painstakingly created for herself.
Devin Castile didn’t expect to meet a young woman who may be the missing puzzle piece to his existence…and who is also the victim of a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. But when Jess’s lies begin to crumble in the face of their undeniable attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life.
There are two sides to every story. In this dark and sexy companion novel to the New York Times bestseller A Terrible Love, experience the sizzling passion and pulse-pounding suspense through FBI agent Cas Steele’s eyes as he hunts down a psychopath…and falls for the killer’s prey.
Cas has been charged with an unsavory task: manipulate the hauntingly beautiful Jewell MacLeod—a woman he has every reason to hate—and slowly gain her trust in order to use her as bait to lure in a killer. But as the killer draws closer, Cas realizes that he can’t deny the scorching chemistry that ignites between him and Jewell, even if giving into his physical desire for her means jeopardizing his mission…and opening himself up to the possibility of a real and terrible love…
This story (throughout the course of two books – 2 different POVs) kept me on the edge of my seat. There was a constant air of mystery as the plot went on. I can remember at one point complaining to my book club about the large number of characters and how I was having a hard time keeping them all straight. I almost stopped reading because I was confused (maybe reading late at night when exhausted isn’t the right plan for me LOL). I pushed myself to continue and I am glad that I did. The story really fell into place, and I loved that the author kept me guessing who was who and what was really happening. I am going to try something different here. I don’t want to talk too much about either book in particular because there will be spoilers and you know how much I hate that! What I am going to try and accomplish is to really tell you about the two main characters and their relationship .
Let’s being by talking about our leading lady – Jess Mackey
Jess appears to be your typical college student. Making a few friends, studying hard, and practicing ballet (secretly) in her dorm room. Well, things aren’t always what they appear to be. Jess is hiding from her past and who she used to be. This poor girl has made sacrifices to get the freedom she has always wanted. But it can’t be that easy…
“I don’t realize it at the time but there is always a cost with freedom.”
The girl that has pretty much gone unnoticed is now suddenly gathering unwanted attention from several directions. There were lots of characters to keep straight (I was quite confused for awhile – it all made sense in the end). She has two guys that are interested in her – one romantically and one who says that it’s just sex…
“If it were love then it would be a terrible love.”
And Oh – My – God was it amazing sex. Devin “Cas” Castile is quite a man…
“I gasp and no, just no, I can’t take what he has. My eyes widen. He reads my expression. ‘You can and you will, Jess.’ ”
What was she getting herself into? This guy was H-O-T hot but he appeared to be nothing but trouble…it followed him everywhere, especially when Jess was involved…
“I’ve so opened Pandora’s box. And found Devin Castile inside.”
So now on to the one and only, the man of steel (you’ll get that after reading the books) – Devin “Cas” Castile
Like I said Oh – My – God and H-O-T hot but trouble, trouble, trouble. In A Terrible Love I couldn’t stand him through most of the book, A Brutal Tenderness changed my mind. He was still trouble but seeing things from his perspective made me love him! He really struggled with his feelings…
“If I hate Jewell, why don’t I want to let her go?”
He has officially met Jess/Jewell and begins to see her in a different light…maybe he doesn’t hate her, she is what he needs…
“The girl who will get me the truths I need is the fix to my broken, the key to a lock I didn’t know existed.”
I respected the fact that he could acknowledge these feelings, sometimes that can be tough. I remember falling in love and this is a great explanation of that feeling…
“I understand, for the first time, why people call it ‘falling’ in love. It’s real. The falling part. It’s like falling and never landing.”
The two are back and forth, keeping secrets and not being honest about their relationship when Cas finally admits…
“It’s all I have, all I am. A brutal tenderness is all I’m capable of giving.”
Can the two work things out, are they really made for each other, and can forgiveness solve it all?
“Jewell’s brought me to this point, where brutality and tenderness meet.”
A Terrible Love
A Brutal Tenderness
Marata Eros (a pseudonym for Tamara Rose Blodgett) is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.