Wow. What an emotional roller coaster I have been in the last two days. This story has put me in a terrifying yet consuming world that I always crave in dark reads, although I had to take a break, catch my breath many times, to make sure I was ready to continue. It blew my mind within the first few pages and messed with my mind in a way that I had to countlessly rethink whether I wanted to finish it or not.
What is the story about? It was about a man named Sam who had terrifying needs to have control over others. He needed to release his needs by going to different houses, raping them and making them feel powerless, as a way to cope with his past. He had a completely negative perception toward women, especially those who seem to have happy, fulfilling lives.
“They mock me. They taunt me. Their white smiles and flawless faces show me the life I will never have. It’s like they know I’m here and want to shove it in my face.”
But everything changes when he meets Vipers who has just gotten engaged with her long-time boyfriend. When raping and destroying her life does not seem to be enough, he kidnaps her.
“Fuck plans. I’m going to steal their joy just like they just like they have so harshly snatched mine. He can’t have her. I’m going to put my mark on her. I’m going to make Vesper mine. I’m going to be with them when they walk down the aisle. I’ll be laced in every memory, every milestone.”
I had a very difficult time to connect with him at first, since he did not possess an ounce of a human being traits. He is a psychotic, dangerous alpha man in a human body. How his mind analyzes and processes things are too much for me to even believe that this story will lead to something less terrifying where I can connect with him and the story as a whole.
“I am a monster. Monsters don’t live under the fucking bed or the closet. They don’t appear in a puff of smoke. No, monsters are like me: the quite guy who walks a drunk woman home, a protective uncle, that unassuming guy with the friendly smile who fixes your porch. We do our work in the dark, we lurk in the shadows, but we roam during the day, scouting our next prey.”
A big question clouding my mind for the first half of the book, “can he redeem himself at the end?” NO WAY he can redeem himself! What he did was unforgettable and unforgivable, even for me as a hardcore dark romance fan. However, the way Miss Jones gave explicitly detailed explaination about his past, on how he was growing up, made me able to understand him, but not to tolerate his actions. I cried for him, for the lonely, abandoned kid who was unloved. I could feel his pain that had turned him to be a monster.
Vesper was a strong, loving young woman who loved her family, especially her disabled brother and would do everything for those whom she loved. I could feel her desperation, hopelessness and fear as she fought to survive.
“How does he know things about me?”
“I am going to do anything I can to survive.”
And She did. She fought her hardest to keep alive.
What is it that bothers me? Remembering the unique, unusual circumstances that she was in with him made me question their connection and feelings for each other. Was it LOVE or the feeling that was produced out of a traumatic experience? The author brilliantly acknowledged this question by showing her (Vipers) confusion about her own feelings and thoughts toward him and their relationship. However, by the end of the story, I was still left confused. Maybe the author purposely made it that way to make a point that their relationship was, in fact, complicated and not normal and we could not expect the opposite.
The other thing that bothers me is that the end was felt too rushed. Many questions left unanswered. How could Carter propose to Vesper, after her kidnapping, when in fact he had been in a relationship with another woman? I wanted to know his struggles and conflicted feelings that were unfortunately not more elaborated. How did Sam and Vesper deal with everyday, normal situation, aside from their families, considering their “unique” relationship? How did Sam adapt to it?
However, aside from the things that bother me, I do love this story. The writing flows smoothly. This is one of the most unforgettable stories I have ever read. I do need to warn you though. This is not a typical sweet, beautiful, heartwarming, romantic love story. This is the story that will mess with your mind and push your boundaries of what love should be. If you are a fan of dark reads, this one should be your next read. 4.5 stars!
I’m curious about this author’s other books. I love her writing. Need to check them as soon as possible. 😉