Warning: This book made me swear. A lot.
And I’m pretty sure this is my longest review. Ever.
4.5 stars. Spoiler-free review.
HOLY. FREAKING. MIND FUCK.
WHAT DID I JUST READ ? ? ?
That ENDING!!! I mean … just … ummm… *speechless*
What a roller-coaster!
I have lost sleep. My mind has been utterly toyed with. And I still have no freaking clue how I should feel about Tony Rawlings.
To the rest of the world, Anthony Rawlings was a mega-successful self-made billionaire who donated to charity, was always perfectly presented and never put a foot wrong. To Claire Nicols, he was her captor. Her abductor. Her tormentor. And also the man she was falling for.
This book is about a young, sweet woman, Claire, who meets a charming man, Tony, after work one day who sweet talks her into dinner and then abducts her. Just takes her straight from her life to live in decadent captivity at Rawlings mansion. There is no ‘easing’ into this story. Cut off from every part of the outside world, she is violated, raped, physically abused and loses every possible measure of control over her life. Every single thing she now does happened by the will of her captor, and by his will alone. We hate him from the start – he is cunning, cruel, manipulative and controlling.
He toys with her mind and her heart. And yet! There is more to him beneath the layers… a spark of something… genuine? Real? Humanity? Enough to make me able to ride out of the waves of the book, able to consider seeing him from another side – a less predatory side… but still… I’m not yet completely sold on his humanity. But I have high hopes for it. Truly, I don’t want him to be as evil as I think he might be.
This book perfectly captures that feeling of literally not knowing what to expect, not knowing what is coming next. Just when I was *sure* I’d found my footing and got a *feel* for the story, it just yoinked the rug RIGHT out from underneath me.
Tony. ohhhhhhhhh Tony Rawlings. *deep breath* Man? Monster? Mastermind? Predator? Hero? Broken hero? Anti-hero? Villan? I don’t know. I didn’t know the whole time I was reading and honest to goodness, I. Still. Don’t. Know. This is the crux of the mindfuck. Are his actions those of an intrinsically sadistic man? A man with a hidden purpose? A tortured hero who is *trying* to heal in the only way he knows how? Or is he maybe really just a straight-up phychopath?
Honestly, I couldn’t decide if he was creepy, deranged, clinically insane, just plain fucked up or had some bizarre highly intelligent higher purpose behind everything…. but then if he *did*, it still wouldn’t justify the horrible things he did so really… ok. I have to stop myself. Literally, I can debate that in circles nearly endlessly.
I’m still on the fence about him but I have to say that judging from the sum total of what I’ve seen to far, I do NOT love him. I’m leaning towards hate at this point, but with an open mind… I don’t know, I *sense* a spark of something else in him. I think. Or, maybe that’s just the part of me desperate to redeem the “hero” of my book? Or maybe I’m getting Stolkholm Syndrome too? God. I don’t know.
He started chillingly sadistic, cruel and creepy. It almost made it worse that he was ever polite and gentlemanly. He was abrasive, brutal, violent and often irrational. He shocked me. Disgusted me. And then… just when you were SURE that he was a deranged asshole who deserved to have his nuts slowly ripped off, he would show this tender, caring side of him that was impossible not to fall for…
“I have spent most of my life only concerned with myself. I’m truly trying even if it does not always appear so… Perhaps I’m afraid of losing you, afraid you if you truly know me you will not want to stay with me.”
He had a deep rooted obsession with control – with having it, keeping it, losing it, and maintain absolute power over everything and everyone in his life.
The more I read about him, the deeper the mindfuck went. The *moment* I’d come within a whisper of thinking one thing that *maybe* I had a handle on him, he’d just swing the other way. Like 180. He’d go from suave to nice to creepy and sadistic to potentially understandable to downright fucking mental.
I need to *show* you what I mean by this… here are some of my updates while reading:
31% – Could this be??? A spark of … sweet?? *hopes*
38% – The fuck???? So unfair!!! I hope he feels FUCKING GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
39% – WHAT?????? SERIOUSLY?!?? Fucking rat asshole bastard fuck shit DAMN YOU TONY RAWLINGS!!!!!!!!
40% – *huffs*
41% – *grumbles* why why WHY am I actually considering forgiving him now??? What is WRONG with me???
43% – Ooooo I’m liking this insight into the real Tony…. Do I sense a whiff of actual romance perchance?? *hopes*
44% – Waaaaaaiiiiiiittt…. W H A T ? ! ???
*speechless* …. *still speechless*
Wo-hoahhhhh I did NOT see THAT coming!!! O_O
Throughout the story we get alternating POVs. Thank GOD!!!! It was just sheer relief to see that because I seriously needed to get inside that man’s head. Seriously. THE FUCK WAS HE THINKING????
Clearly something in his past made him unable to functional in a normal loving relationship and yet, in some ways, you see HIM begin to crack a little. Almost as if he has reverse Stolkholm Syndrome. Against everything he believes in, despite the fact that he captured her for HIS purposes, he does begin to soften…. ish. For a time I wondered if he wasn’t so much a cold-hearted bastard, but more of a supremely messed up individual whose need to hold complete control preceded EVERYTHING else, even his morals (if, indeed he had any).
But eventually I got to a point where I no longer thought he was evil and didn’t hate him. Yes, I wanted to beat the ever loving shit out of him more than once, but I didn’t hate him.
And JUUUUUUUUST when I was thinking that, he pulled a totally all-out SLIMY, and just plain COLD move that basically just reduced me to a violently shaking wreck. The fucking NERVE on that guy. I mean REALLY????? At that point I just wanted to SLAP myself for even considering “understanding” him. To the fucking gallows with that one!!
I wavered back and forth with Claire’s character. I guess I both understood where she was coming from and yet really wished she’d fight more. But then, I could also get why she wouldn’t. I mean, I really didn’t understand some of her decisions – especially a lot of the ones surrounding their first meeting and then first outings together. I mean, she *had* an out. She had several… and yet every time I thought mayyyyyyybe she’d do something, no. She didn’t. But then again, okay, not everyone’s logic works the same way, so maybe in her mind she was doing the best/most right thing? hmmm I don’t know. What I do know is that despite sometimes wanting to shake her, really, I just felt badly for her.
“She actually thought she would walk out of this twisted nightmare. However, it wasn’t a nightmare, twisted or otherwise. It was reality. Her mind searched for a way to survive and escape.”
However, despite it being told in third person, and having some insight into Tony’s perspective, most of the story is told “through” Claire’s eyes. And you really experience things along with her. You freak out. Feel violated. Justify. Theorize. Rationalize. Try to find a way out. Until you reach a bit of a “lull”, so to speak, of *acceptance*… and juuuuust when you start to get comfortable, or at least, acclimatized… — YOINK!!
Every possible shred of her privacy is stripped away bringing everything back to HIS complete and utter control and domination of every minute facet of her life.
And everything came back to HIM. To Tony. Him. Him. Him. What he wanted. What benefited HIM. What suited him. What pleased him.
Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is about appearances and consequences. How do things look to the outside world. Every action has a consequence. Some can be good. Some, very very VERY bad.
I have to give the author major props for this book though. It was clearly VERY well thought out. From the quotes at the beginning of the chapter, to the way everything tied in at the end… just amazing!
There are these little hints that are dropped throughout the book that really nailed down the “chilling” backstory behind what was going on.
This book was long. But, it had my attention from the first page straight through till the end. There were a few parts that slowed a little due to detailed descriptions and the such but the *feeling* the book gives you makes you pay attention to everything and honestly, I didn’t want to stop.
There were a few ‘lulls’ and even a point about 2/3 of the way through where I really wasn’t sure where the story was going but then as it all started to come together at the end, it really built into something I never anticipated.
At 80% the events that took place just SLAMMED right into me. I’d been teased, I’d been toyed with, I been made to theorized, but now… I KNEW. I got full. body. CHILLS. Like literally starting at my head and going down to my toes. The REALITY of what the event’s implications meant just FLOORED me. Like HOLYYYYY SHIT. Here was my reaction:
WOAH FUCK WOAH FUCK WOAH FUCK
He COULDN’T??? Right???
Seriously. FUUCKKKKKKKK. NONONONO.
That is just….
That didn’t happen….
O_O That’s it. I’m gonna need therapy after this.
For all you readers who are hesitant to start this, first of all, I encourage you all to take the plunge!!! Go for it!! If it helps to know this, the book is NOT graphic. There is sex. There is violence. There is brutality. But none of it described at length. You get just enough details to fully understand the situation but not enough to leave you grossed out. Truly this is a MIND fuck. It messes with your brain. Makes you question everything you are thinking, feeling and experiencing. But it is not a graphically disturbing book. This is not a BDSM book. This is not a kink book. Its just extraordinarily mind-fucky.
The ending is a complete cliffhanger but don’t worry!!! Book #2 “Truth” is out right now and you can dive right into it when you’re done this one.
Now I *know* you guys who have read book #2 all tell me to “just wait” because I’ll fall in love with Tony. At this point I’m kinda just looking at you guys warily and wondering how are all you crazy people in love with this dude??? Seriously??? He’s a freaking psychopath!!!!!
Okay. *deep breaths*
I promise to reserve judgment until after Truth.
And so, these are my final comments based on the ending of Consequences.
I now need therapy. (Ms. Romig, please expect a bill for my therapy sessions in the mail.)
Tony needs a fucking padded cell.
Claire needs a hug and then a good shake.
Ok. That is all. I’m going to dive right into Truth now because I just NEED to know more!!!
Here is my entire review summed up in one image –> CLICK HERE
SERIES READING ORDER
This bundle includes all 3 books for $9.99 (savings of $3 overall)