Friday, January 3, 2014

Release Blitz: Raw by Belle Aurora

Happy Release Day Belle Aurora!!  Raw is the latest from this incredibly talented author and oh my goodness ... I was lucky enough to get an ARC ... it is phenomenal people!!  Twitch is more than fifty shades of *messed* up and what transpires between him and Lexi is riveting, disturbing, erotic and heartbreaking.  

If you're up for a slightly darker version of Fifty Shades of Grey then Raw is the book for you.

Title: Raw
Author: Belle Aurora
Genre: New Adult Dark Romance
Release Date: January 3, 2014

*Author Note: This is not a love story. This is a story of love gone wrong.*

Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.
Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street.
Best decision I ever made.
Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job.
My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved.
But the saying is true.
The world makes way for those who know where they are going.
That’s me.
I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.
But then there’s him.
I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.
He makes me feel.
It’s unconventional.
But it’s real.
I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.
So am I.
This isn’t a story.
This is my life.

Staring down at my chest, she takes a step closer to me and whispers miserably, “I’m here to let Brad fuck me.” My cheek ticks and head implodes. She steps closer to me to add, “He’s going to fuck me. Fuck me til I forget you. Til I forget I ever met you. He’s helping me drown you out and I like when I’m not thinkin’ about you.” 

She looks into my eyes and repeats on a whisper, “You’re poison.”

So I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Raw and with release day looming, I juggled my reading and prioritised this baby.  And boy, am I glad that I did.  What an amazing way to start my reading list for 2014.  While some may not appreciate the comparison I would say that if you are looking for a slightly darker style Fifty Shades of Grey read, then Raw is the book for you.  And as someone who liked FSoG that is intended as a positive and very complimentary recommendation. 

Raw is Lexi and Twitch's story.  Both have had a less than stellar childhood.  Despite her childhood challenges, Lexi manages to make something of herself as a youth caseworker, supporting those experiencing life much like she did as a youth.  Twitch's start to life was even harder than Lexi's, with a stint in juvie steering him down a particular life path.

Twitch watches Lexi.  Yep, in a stalkery kind of way.  And Lexi knows he watches and is disturbingly OK with that.  Not wanting to disclose any of the detail of the story suffice to say what follows is an encounter between the two that leads to more ... much, much more. 

I was incredibly torn as I was reading.  Twitch is messed up, seriously messed up.  He is controlling, he is violent, he is embroiled in an world that most of us can't even begin to imagine.  He is inclined to sexual practices that push the boundaries of eroticism and pain.  Most of which is borne from his painful and violent childhood. Despite his life and personality being so outside of my comfort zone I liked him, I liked him a lot, I connected with him and I had hopes that he would find something that would give him what he was looking for.

Lexi finds herself questioning everything about Twitch - she doesn't understand what it is about him that she trusts, but she does trust him, even though he is so outside the realms of 'normal' (and I use that label cautiously, Twitch is not a fan of labels).  Her struggle with her feelings for Twitch and everything he represented was intense to read. 

Belle Aurora has created an amazing book in Raw.  It is beautifully written, intense, gripping.  It has characters that you will love: Nicole and David - Lexi's best friends, Happy - Twitch's business partner, Michael, one of Lexi's 'kids', even Ling who is more messed up than Twitch!  And it goes without saying that you WILL love Lexi and Twitch.

Even though it pressed many of my 'discomfort' buttons I sat there at the end, both heartbroken and exhilarated that I'd had the chance to read Lexi and Twitch's story.  I know I haven't done it justice in this review, but I don't want to try and recap the story for fear of spoiling it.  I hope I've given you enough that you will go and grab yourself a copy of Raw so you can see exactly what I mean.

5 out of 5 stars

Belle Aurora is twenty six years old and was born in the land down under. 
At an early age she fell in love with reading. Boredom one summer had her scouring the bookshelves at home. She stumbled across Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal and fell in love with romance.
Having been brought up in a loud and boisterous family of Croatian descent, she developed a natural love for dramatics and humor. Only some years ago had she discovered a new love. 
Humorous romance novels.
 Kristen Ashley and R.L. Mathewson had opened a brand new world where she could lose herself yet feel safe and at home in their stories. Belle has been known to become a screeching banshee while anxiously awaiting their newest titles.
Belle never thought she would write. It had never interested her until recently. Friend-Zoned began to form and in February 2013 Belle typed the words Chapter One. And she fell in love.
With words.
With writing.
 With a creative imagination she never knew she harbored.

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You can find teasers of Belle's books here - here

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