Torn. That's how I feel. Can you relate, book buddies? Can a soul be in love and in fear of the same thing at the same time? There's a handful of things I love about this book. The title, for instance. Like a flood of emotion. That cover. Gods! I can't close my eyes without seeing it there, seeing him there, all impressive flesh and bewitching tattoos. Then the story, so harsh and cruel, and the writing that sticks with you.
Title: Torrent (Condemned #1)
Author: Gemma James
Publication date: July 22nd 2014
Genres: Erotica, Romance
I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now. Now that he’s holding me captive on an island. Rafe has his reasons for doing what he’s doing, and if I’m honest, I can’t blame him—I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn’t commit. But now he’s free and the tables have turned…now he’s the one driven by obsession.
MY OPINION OF TORRENT
Revenge, pain and twisted sex in 140 pages of unrelenting addiction.
This story is raw emotion from beginning to end. It starts with betrayal and loss, takes off with kidnapping and heated hate, and never lets go when it grabs you with the force of a typhoon.
Sometimes I crave a romance that caters a little bit to the wild and warped side, but not kinky. Torrent is much more than that. It's so wrongfully right!
Let me warn you. It's heavy stuff. There is emotional violence and physical violence. Don't expect subtlety because pain and humiliation are the outlets for the deep scars Rafe and Alex wear inside.
Eight years of prison for a crime not committed ask for a steep price to pay. Alex in a cage, naked and the mercy of her ruthless and dangerously wounded captor, is how the debt is going to be paid. That's a big, unforgiving premise, don't you think?
The journey is challenging for one's comfort zone. It crosses barriers for what one is willing to accept from a man. Though he's torn inside for what he suffered in jail, it's still hard to swallow some of the things Rafe subjects Alex to. And the poor thing is too messed up with guilt and issues of her own to do anything but endure.
I've enjoyed the plot, the sheer intensity of the emotional pain, but I don't like the amount of violence both physical and psychological, and the puzzling reaction of the victim to all of it. She's just turned on! I think this is just a ruse to justify the utter wrongness of what's done to her. Sorry, but these things go beyond my limits.
The narration is strong and vivid, perfect to send the reader over the edge with how realistic the horrible situation is.
Some of my favourite quotes:
...the darkness festering inside him. Part of me craved his sinful obsidian desires.
Nothing mattered so long as she surrendered her soul to my demon and
let him devour her.
Even though I couldn't enjoy the rough handling and twisted sex torture, I did appreciate other aspects of the plot. First, the lingering promise that when Alex spilled her secrets, something in Rafe's dark mind would bend and crack and he would finally start to mend. Therefore, I kept hoping for forgiveness and true love emerging from the nightmare. I wanted them to find understanding, to forge a bond they both deserve and the courage to fight their pain together.
On the other hand, there's danger of people finding out about the kidnapping. Not only that, there's a surprise side plot that could change everything for Rafe and his slip into the black hole of his psyche. That was unexpected and stimulating.
To wrap it up, despite it being too deviant for me, I really enjoyed the raw intensity of the characters' damned situation, the carnal writing style, and that WTF cliffhanger ending. Superb way to cut this first part of the story and make you go hungry for Rampant.
Coming Soon in late October 2014
Pre-order RAMPANT for the promotional pre-order price of $0.99 on the following retailers!
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Gemma James (a pseudonym for Christina Jean Michaels) loves to explore the darker side of sex in her fiction. She's morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy and enjoys exploring the deviant side of human nature. Her stories have been described as being "not for the faint of heart." She lives with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-
loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.
10 Random Facts About Torrent
1. I began writing Torrent last summer. Back then it was a barebones beginning about a young, reckless girl and her dead brother's best friend who couldn't fight his darkness any longer. The island has been in the story all along.
2. I really have Skye Warren to thank for how Torrent turned out. Last year around Christmas time, she called for submissions for a short story anthology about criminals. Well, I had an idea…and that idea was too good to confine to a short story. I decided to combine my earlier efforts with the premise of a girl sending a man to prison for a crime he didn't commit, and him coming back for what he felt he deserved.
3. Once I had the island in mind (small, privately own, with a single cabin on it), I turned to Google to find out if I could find any real islands of a similar nature to use as a reference. There just happens to be one about three hours from where I live, situated on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It even has a cabin on it. I've driven there twice and have seen it from the highway. I call it "my island." The setting in the novel, though based on real places, is purely fictional, with the exception of the Columbia River and Portland, Oregon.
4. I rewrote the beginning about three, maybe four times.
5. Zach and Alex were originally full-blooded siblings. I gave into censoring myself out of fear of being banned from retailers, even though I had no intention at first of writing sexual scenes between the two. Once I changed their relation to step-siblings, the brief taboo scene in the beginning formed, and in my opinion, strengthened the setup of the novel. It also opened wicked avenues for book two. ;)
6. I didn't immediately know why Alex sent Rafe to prison. She was a stubborn character who kept me in the dark for a while!
7. Torrent is the first book in which I wrote from the hero's POV. It was interesting getting inside Rafe's head.
8. One of the twists about Rafe's past (something he learns after he's out of prison) basically wrote itself into the story part way through. Same with Jax, Rafe's buddy. These characters and subplots just popped in of their own accord!
9. If you're looking for an easy read with hearts, flowers, and mainstream topics—this isn't the book for you. This story will make you squirm, possibly make you sick at times, and push you into the darkest corners of your mind. But I'm a romantic at heart and believe in happy endings. Getting there is hell though.
10. I do not feel guilty about the cliffhanger ending. Have you watched any TV season finales lately? AHHHHHHHH! I understand the frustration, and I'm evil enough to rub my hands together in glee. Don't lynch me. I'm working on the second book. :D