“Could it be possible to hate and love someone too?“
In honor of the TRUTH Blog Tour, I’m reposting my original review today 🙂
4.5 stars. Spoiler-free review.
I swear to God, this book should come with a care package – tequila, Valium, a stress ball and a punching bag. Just sayin’ !!
Ok.. here goes (warning: its a loOoOong review!!)
Honestly, when I was about to start reading this, I was just wondering where on EARTH could the story go from that point?? How could the mindfuck POSSIBLY get any deeper?
The facts were there. Actions had been taken. And I was absolutely positive that I hated Tony Rawlings. Like really, really hated!! I was sure he belonged in a jail cell and no where else. I mean… looooook what he did! Right? Riiiight?? …
Le sigh *deep breath*
Over the course of this book, my emotions were toyed with, and my heart was lead down a path I would have SWORN it would never go down.
I have to say that, having finished the book, I am officially on Team Tony ((I think)).
I’m sure any of you who have only read book #1 think I’m utterly insane now. I’m not. I swear. Just… stuff happened. Big stuff. Changes. Growth. An understanding. And in the end, I have to say that, honestly, I’m not 100% sold on the Team Tony thing, but… I’m about 95% there. Honestly, I don’t think there is ANYTHING in the entire world that will EVER make me able to be 100% in love with him. Why? Because of what he did in Consequences.
Having read Truth, I feel like I’ve come to have a deeper understanding for him. And a respect for the changes he made. BUT. Nothing can ever erase the past. The future can still be determined, but the past is fixed. And because of that, no matter WHAT he does, there will always be a small 5% of me on guard because I *know* that somewhere in that man lies (or, lay) the potential to make the events of Consequences happen. But… so long as those old actions never resurface, I am willing to be open-minded and accept the new Tony for who he is.
So, I’ll revise my statement…. I am officially Team (new) Tony. That is my team.
I have to say that Ms Romig is an very talented author not only because the story is good, but in large part its because of the actual writing style – its an extremely well written book.
Did I dread going into this book? Yeah. A little. I wasn’t sure how far the mind fuck would go. Or if I was ready to handle it. But I bravely put my big girl panties on and dove in and seriously, woah!
There’s no ‘easing’ into this book. Nope! The prologue pretty much just slams you into the story and away you go – its a roller coaster ride of questions, more questions, the occasional answer, which in turn leads to more questions… I will say though, that we did make some big ‘discoveries’ in this book. It kept me guessing but I was pleased to see some of my theories work out too.
I was just in this constant state of… Wait, could it be him who did that? But then, why would he have done the other thing?? … Hmmm *wonders* …. Its this complete feeling of not knowing which way is up. Not being able to tell right from wrong.
Do the ends justify the means? I felt myself constantly asking myself that.
After the events of the last book, I’d become jumpy and deeply mistrustful. Of everyone. Now, every single thing was squinted at suspiciously, every possible action was eyed from all angles to try and figure out if it had a double meaning or a hidden purpose.
I have to say that, as a romance reader, I am usually either bored to tears by the ‘mystery’ side of stories but that was NOT the case with this one. I was really riveted to the story. It was so multi layered and multi dimensional with so many possibilities and outcomes that I found myself just needing to know the answers.
That being said, I will say that this book “felt” long. Its not a bad thing, or a complaint, but I found it a longer book to get through than the first one. Kind of like with book #1, I reached a point around 60% in where I was definitely intrigued and invested in the story, but no longer had any idea where it was going. But once again, once I got to the final 20% I just couldn’t look away!!
This story had double layers to everything. The double layers even had layers… it was this spiral downward into more and more questions………
I don’t know how to explain how HARD the little reveals hit me. Every time we actually learned something that was a fact, a definitive piece to the puzzle, I got that same full body CHILLLLLLS feeling. It was pretty cool 😛
I liked that we got bits and pieces from all sorts of perspectives in this book. It was still primarily Claire’s story, but there was a LOT of back story into Tony’s early years that gave us a much better understanding of him and the complexity of where the plot originated (gosh, that’s vague, lol), and there were some side characters that got their perspective told to help round out the story as well.
Tony’s back story was one of my favorite parts because we got to see the life events that made him into the kind of person he was. I found it gave a lot of insight into his character and, although it didn’t excuse any of his actions, it DID help me understand him more.
I liked that in this book we got to see more of Claire’s strength shine though. She’d been through hell and now, despite her traumas was at a place where she was regaining a measure of control over her life. She was brave and smart about many things but there were still some moments of naivety where I wanted to shake her, moments where I couldn’t understand *why* she’d go along with something or make the decisions she made. She frustrated me in places but I got to a place where I felt I understood her a lot more.
And then there was Harry. The anti-Tony. Was I in love with him? Hmmm, a little bit. Ok, fine, a lot. And I think that if Tony hadn’t changed, I would have loved him more. But… gah, I mean, he was kind of perfect. And I totally could see myself falling for him. I was soooooooo tempted by him! So. Freaking. Tempted!! but… the sick twisted part of my mind is grumbling over the fact that he’s just not Tony so… even though, I will admit, there was a chunk of the book where I kind of was rooting for him, my heart ended up choosing Tony.
About Tony though….. *deep breath* I really felt like my emotions went though a long journey with him in this book. In my heart, I wanted to ‘fix’ him. Tried to justify things. But my brain thankfully kept stepping in and reminding me of everything he’d done in book #1 (and even, to an extent, book #2). I mean, where is the line drawn? The line after which the guy is just too fucked up to fix? Had he crossed it? … well, yes. But… could he still change? Well… apparently so!
He toyed with my emotions again in this book though because just when I thought he was turning over a new leaf, he’d AGAIN go overboard and leave me spluttering and wanting to throttle him.
I couldn’t tell if he was still being manipulative or if I should try and forgive him… Was he even WORTHY of forgiveness? His actions in book #1 were unforgivable in my eyes.
What if this was the story of the attempted redemption of an irredeemable man?
I wanted to love him. I loved his spark. I loved his intentions… but actions speak louder than words and a lot of his were just MESSED up. Not. Okay. There are some things you just can’t justify. But… what if its not about justification. What if it was about change? He WAS trying. That was impossible to deny. But… was the change enough?
Love should never be forced. Or bought. Or coerced… but what happens when you’re faced with someone who doesn’t know HOW to love. Who has never known it. Never been shown it. And never experienced it. Who had wrapped himself in a security blanket of control. Given his back story, I could see where his dominance came from – he had such a deep-seeded insecurity and fear stemming form a lack of a love and a fear of the loss of the only shred of love he’s ever know that his actions were, to me, for the first time, understandable as opposed to flat-out crazy (even though I still didn’t agree with them all).
He just didn’t know HOW to love having never really BEEN loved ever.
There was a turning point. A definitive turning point after which the change he made in himself was undeniable. He tempered himself, controlled himself and was put in many situations where he had the opportunity to go all old-Tony-psycho on us but he didn’t. To me, he was showing his self control and how strong his desire to be the kind of person Claire deserved was.
Also, the more he changed, and the more ‘sane’ his actions became, the more I began to see the world through his eyes more. He became a lot easier to relate too and I even found myself supporting many of his decisions that I might, in the past, have frowned upon because I could ‘get’ where he was coming from.
I even got to the point where I was flat-out AWWW-ing and grinning over some of his lines and scenes with Claire. Seriously guys! I even had a heart clench moment for him!! A heart clench!!!! Never thought I’d see that day.
I decided that you can’t fix the past or turn back time. But you CAN decide the future.
I do not take back any of my previous Tony-hating feelings from before. Those ALL remain the same. Yes, I hated him and truly believed he deserved to rot in a jail cell. But… as he changed, so did my feelings.
So yeah… given his changes and proof in certain scenarios which would have sent the old-Tony into a flying rage, but the new-Tony handled with an attitude I could understand and respect…. I have fallen for him.
I’m decidedly on Team (new) Tony. #teamNEWtony
But let me tell you…. if he puts one TOE wrong in CONVICTED…. *shakes fist* . Let’s just say that my new “team” alliance is built on faith and trust and not much else and because of his past, it would be pretty easy to have that come crumbling down so I’m just saying…
About the ending… I know some of you will be wondering if its a cliffhanger so I’ll let you know there is clearly a TON more to the story – lots of secrets still to unravel, a lot more questions to answer, and of course a “conviction” to be made, BUT.. it ended at a point I could live with. I’m okay to wait at this point. The characters are all at a place where, in my mind, I’m okay to leave them until the next book is out.
Speaking of the next book, CONVICTED, it is due out October 8, 2013.
Here’s a break down of some of my reactions while reading… Spoiler-free of course!
27% – Ohhhhh FUCK. Guess that’s a lesson never to underestimate Tony! GURK!!
30% – Hmm there’s that *spark* again with Tony. Dammit. WHY AM I FALLING FOR IT?????? Cuz I so am :/
33% – O_O
39% – DAMMIT!! I swore this wouldn’t happen but yes, Tony is melting my heart just a wee bit.
45% – Grrrrr Tony, dammit, stop making it so hard to love you!!!! *mimes throttling*
58% – *blink* … *blink*
69% – SAY WHAAAAA???? Gahhhhh!!!! Ok This brings a whole extra level of NOT OKAY to the already high levels of NOT OKAY surrounding the dream thing. Just sayin’!
78% – Ok. I’m officially leaning towards Team (reformed) Tony now… Tony, pleasepleaseplease don’t make me hate you again!!! *whispers* #TeamTony
80% – Awwwwwww!!! Seriously, I can’t believe I’m awww-ing but I totally am.
84% – FFUUUUCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!
89% – *grins* seriously, AWWWWWWW
92% – HOLYYY FUCKING HELL!!!! OMG! I so so SO called it!!!!
97% – Pleasedontbeacliffhanger pelasedontbeacliffhanger pleasedontbeacliffhanger pleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeeease
100% – *deeeeep breath* okay. I’m okay with it ending there. I FREAKING WANT THE NEXT BOOK. but I’m okay to wait…. *whew*
If I had to rate it, I’d give it the same rating as book #1 –> 4.5 stars.
This bundle includes all 3 books for $9.99 (savings of $3 overall)