Sometimes, books are like a fetish. An addiction. It was an unbearable wait till the release of VANDAL, by Carian Cole, since I brielfly met him when I read STORM (my review here), the first book in the Ashes and Embers series. You just have to read these stories, book buddies. They are awesome.
There is a lot of Vandal and a lot of pain right from the start. That's what I expected from his novel. Feeling. Raw, unadulterated feelings. I had them all.
Vandal is a man I've been dying to meet. Why? I think I'm traditionally romantic in the old sense of the term. Romantic as in tragic love, painful feelings, doomed fate. His story embodies all of that.
I wanted to meet the man who suffers, the beautiful man who loses everything and bleeds pain. And I needed to find out how he exorcises himself from self-destruction and crawls his way back to light, desire and forgiveness.
And, oh, my goodness, I did. Carian Cole delivered everything and so much more.
Vandal and Tabitha are linked by a horrific event. I felt devastated along with them as their sorrow is contagious thanks to the sensibility of the writer. When they cross paths, it happens in an eerie but perfect fashion. I was really surprised at the kind of relationship that's established between them. Their own brand pain collides with each other and seems to blend, offering a twisted sort of healing. Even through the lies, the omissions that are a prelude to disaster, a beautifully deep and sensual intimacy grown between Vandal and Tabitha. I loved how they talked about their lives and pain, how they needed each other to the point of catharsis.
What I really relished was this feel of foreboding that all was going to crash in a big tragedy when the truth came out. I was biting my nails all through the beautifully messed-up and sensual relationship Van and Tabi shared. Even though what bonds them is far from conventional, it was so powerful, so vibrant. I fell in love with an amazing inscription that has a lot of meaning in the story. Again, powerful and poetic in is raw beauty.
Now, this connection they have is insanely hot, though it can also be labeled as alienating. After all, Vandal has caused a huge distress in Tabithat's life even unbeknownst to her, but he consumes this woman in sorrow, he devours her and there's nothing left but his emotional experiment. It's a precarious balance that really exploded in a magnificent, dramatic way at the end.
I absolutely loved the heartache, the twisted but profound connection, and the lessons they both learn about themselves and life. Their warped love story comes to a climactic and romantic conclusion. Pure perfection.
Until the very last chapter.
I only have that complaint. Sorry, but that plot twist really spoils everything for me. It changes the story, it changes the characters' behaviour and what happened in my eyes is suddenly snatched from me and made void.
I know that many readers will think it original and that it makes the characters equal in their actions. Not to me. I felt cheated.
Vandal is perfect without that last insight. I suppose that for the author it's perfect with it. In my mind, however, I'll try to erase it ever happened. That's my choice as a reader ;o)
Grief is an evil hungry monstel that will eat you alive.
The ties that bind us each to one another may not always be visible, but they're there like thin, transparent veins. I don't know why, but this is one vein I don't want to slit.
She takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged. Yes I had broken her, ravished her life, destroyed her happiness. I brought her to ultimate despair. I was responsible for all the pain and suffering that now brought her to her knees in front of me.
Broken.Hopeless.Reckless in her agony.
She is a mirror of my own tortured soul.
But what I took away I can give back.In ways she cannot even begin to imagine.
She is everything right in all my wrongs.
She loves me. She needs me.
She has no idea I’m the one who wrecked her life.
ABOUT THE MASTERMIND
I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.
My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, published on September of 2014. Vandal, the second novel in this series is publishing in February of 2015. I currently have approximately nine books slated for this series, as well as an MC series in the works, and a few stand-alones coming in 2015 onward.
Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.
Good luck, book buddies! :o)