Top positive review
a beautiful hott mess
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 15, 2013
"No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human beast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed" -Sigmund Freud
Oh...My...Gawd!! That book tore me up, put me back together, knocked me down & kicked me in the stomach before hugging & kissing me all over. So much emotional turmoil, drama, angst, lust & anger. I wanted to punch Trace in the mouth, kick him in the nuts, but hold him & protect him at the same time. Ember is the strongest, most understanding & compassionate woman ever. Sometimes it seems like maybe she's just a doormat, but that's not it at all, she will fight tooth & nail for what she believes in. Man, it was INTENSE!!
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." -Lao Tzu
Ember has just moved to New York with her best friend Lena to pursue a career in writing. Ember is a quite, shy, bookworm, wallflower who would be happy just spending the night in with a good book & a glass of wine when Lena & her new boyfriend Todd talk Ember into a night on the town. Sadly, shortly after arriving at the club 'Sapphire' Lena & Todd quickly ditch her leaving Ember to fend for herself when she runs into a problem of the 'drunk guy who won't take no for an answer' variety. Enter Trace....Trace steps in & literally knocks Mr. Grabby Hands out cold. Ember is in awe of the gorgeous, ripped, tattooed badboy with a love 'em & leave 'em reputation. After a few run-ins with Trace & spending some time with him, she wants him even more.
"I want you, too, Trace. I want to be with you. Let me in. let me close to you."
I studied him but I couldn't read him at all and then I said "If you don't want to take a chance on me I get it but you should know the damage is done because for me, it's you."
And it's clear he likes her too. But still he hold himself back. Trace spends every day fighting some very vicious personal demons which leaves him believing he's not good enough for her.
"I'm not good for you."
My voice was harsh as I took a step closer to him. "I don't know who it was in your life that made you believe you were worthless, Trace, but if I ever find out, I intend to beat the s*** out of them. You are good for me. You are special. You have more to give than you give yourself credit for."
He went completely still and his face absolutely blank. He moved so fast to pull me into his arms and his voice was a harsh whisper, "I should push you away, far away from me, but I can't."
"I don't want you to push me away."
But Ember doesn't give up. She sees more in Trace than Trace sees in himself. And Trace finds himself drawn to her like no other woman before & it gives him a small glimmer of hope.
"I'm all kinds of f****d up, Ember, and there are going to be times when I can't give you everything you deserve, like when I storm out or shut down. My demons -- I've had them for so long that I've grown accustomed to them but when I'm with you, the demons are quite and for the first time in my life there's peace. You're my balm, my lifeline, Ember, and everything that this f****d-up man has to give you: this body, my heart and my damaged soul, is yours. You said that for you, it's me and that's how it is for me. You, it's you, Ember."
The road is anything but smooth. Being with her changes him, he's actually happier than he's ever been but his self-hatred is still ever present & it causes him to retreat when it seems too good. I have to admit, some of the lengths he goes to to push her away are extremely painful to read. My heart went out to Ember countless times. Her strength, conviction, loyalty & compassion made my heart hurt & swell all at the same time. She doesn't give up easily which makes it harder for Trace to push her away.
He stopped in the doorway but he didn't turn to me when he answered, "Yes?"
"Tell me what you're thinking?"
The silence that greeted my question stretched out for so long, I thought he wasn't going to answer me and then, to my surprise, he turned his head and looked me right in the eyes.
"I just need a minute, Ember."
"It isn't everyday a wish comes true and you, Ember, are the answer to my wish."
Their journey was as heartbreaking & painful as it was beautiful. The supporting cast was amazing, some tried & true loyal friends & villains that make your skin crawl. Add in a psycho stalker & Trace's demons from his past coming after them, and what you have is a stay up late in the night-nail biting, seat gripping, tear filled, thrilling ride. So worth the heartache.
"I'll tell you what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter."