Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: FLAWED by Francette Phal

Blood.

That's the only memory he carries from a childhood he does not remember. And now it is all he knows. Blood is his life.

Knox Bishop has done a lot of horrible things, all at the command of the man who holds his leash. It's a matter of loyalty for him. Allegiance to the man who saved his life when he was a child. So he goes where he is needed and does what he is told. He tortures. He kills. He kills. He tortures. It is an unrelenting cycle that he constantly craves and can never quite satisfy.

Until her.

Eighteen year old Lacey Barnes distributes her assets to fund her dreams. Medical school is the end game and she is determined to get there by any means necessary. But a family member's careless mistake derails her plans and now she must pay a price in order to save him.

She goes to Knox willingly offering him the only valuable thing she has. Herself. In doing so he allows her into his world, a world filled with darkness but rather than being scared it intrigues her. It lures her, calls to something in her that she hadn't known existed until he awakened it.

Every bit of his flaws is reflected in her and Knox will do anything to keep her in the darkness with him.
 




I'm not even sure where to begin with this one.... 
I was completely enraptured by this book and honestly, I was kind of worried what that said about me. I MUST warn you, if you are even remotely squeamish then don't even open this book. Not even the first page. If blood and gore bother you, just don't. Stay away. 
Flawed is not a pretty, bad-boy-turned-good romance. 
Lacey is a high school senior. And she's a prostitute. As twisted as this may sound, the author delivered this situation in a way that Lacey evoked compassion. I couldn't help but be awed by how this girl had endured so much, went through so much on a daily basis and she still kept her goal in mind to go to medical school. She wanted a better life and was willing to do anything for that. She also knew she had nothing else but her mother and brother, and those two were living off Lacey so basically she was screwed. 
When her brother makes yet another mistake, Lacey has to bail him out. The price was way too high, but she gives herself up to Knox, the sociopath with serial killer tendencies I grew to love in this book. ( Don't judge ). Knox is a very complex character, yet at the same time, he is so simple. He is empty, devoid of basic human emotions. He thirsts for blood and gore. And his sights are set on Lacey. After he discovers her reaction to his torture, she weaves her way into his lifeless soul and although he sees her as his possession, we get these tiny little peeks into his background and what could very well be emotions towards Lacey. 
There are so many twists in this dark story, it was impossible to put down. Some were huge, some were small and passed over like a random thought, but they gave so much insight it was hard to not focus on them as well. 
So why 4 stars? First of all, the mother of all cliffhangers. And no next book in sight yet. Then there were some minor inconsistencies in the event timeline, nothing major but still noticeable. 

Overall, a very dark, erotic and disturbing read apt for the dark erotica lovers. 

Knox

I’m not what you would call normal. The word has no meaning to me. But I’ve been pretending to act normal. It’s something I’ve been practicing since I’ve been aware of the thrum and its significance in my life. I was seven when I first heard the lullaby. Second grade, just before recess. It happened in a squall. Nothing and then all at once. I remember everything about that day. The bell rang and the other children went to play. Not me. Never me. I always stayed behind, mostly by choice, but never contested because the other children thought I was weird. I think maybe they unconsciously knew that I was lacking something fundamental. Something they all had and I didn’t, and maybe even never had at all. Whatever it was, I was alienated, excluded from their games. But I couldn’t say it bothered me. I was indifferent to it. Katia would sometimes play with me. Yuri’s youngest daughter, my adoptive sister, kept me company when she wasn’t with her own friends. But she’d been home sick that day.
In the small classroom with its oversized, rainbow-colored letters hanging over the chalkboard and tiled number blocks littering the carpeted floor, I sat in the beanbag chair staring fixatedly at the class pet. Sweet Ms. Devon always stayed with me but she’d left for a moment. A moment to heat her lunch. A moment to speak to a fellow staff member in the teachers’ lounge. But it’d been a moment too long for me. The noise in my head had been too loud. The urge too strong. The pink-eyed little rabbit, Mr. Apples, and the yellow pair of scissors sitting blades down in Ms. Devon’s “Best Teacher” mug had been too much of a temptation for me to resist.
The pounding of my heart. The lullaby and the thrum. The latch had given way beneath my shaking fingers, soaked with apprehension and anticipation. The struggle. The frantic movement of something living, something warm, with the same accelerated heartbeat as mine grappling for life. Desperate for freedom even while knowing the inevitable hand of death loomed was intoxicating. The thrill, the excitement, the sweet seductive power. I swam in it. Like too much candy on Halloween. Too much ice cream in the summer. It had been a quick death for Mr. Apples. It had been crude. Amateurish. But ever so effective in quieting the discord of my mind.
Poor, sweet Ms. Devon came to find me on the floor of the overly-bright classroom. Huddled on the floor, covered in Mr. Apples. She’d been one to smile a lot. But I stole her smile that day and replaced it with horror instead. Her pretty features contorted like a Kabuki mask.


Francette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.