My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Warning: colorful language abound!
Shattered Promises is absolutely ridiculous.
Now lets all be honest with ourselves for a moment, shall we? When you see a book with a title like this on top of a cover like that there are certain assumptions that are fairly safe to make. Chief among them is that this is not literary genius with deep characters and a multidimensional plot. Instead rather you conjure up a little dash of insta-love, controlling love interest who is moody and borderline abusive, and a not so special girl who turns out to be chock full of key to the world's salvation special . Awww yeah. You could say I had a good idea of what I was walking into, and of course I went willingly. When I realized that this was a retelling of a YA book made specifically more smexy for adults I was totally interested.
So we start off with this chick Gemma, a college student with some issues and pretty purple eyes. Apparently she's never felt an emotion in her life. That is until somewhat recently where she starts having traumatizing dreams and all sorts of emotional turmoil. As far as she knows, her parents died when she was one and she's been living with her maternal grandparents ever since. They are incredibly withholding on all things and Gemma has grown up without affection, love, or guidance. As a mother with two daughters I find this to be incredibly difficult to process, children that grow up in environments like this typically have some kind of sever psychosis. Not Gemma though, she's just frustrated and shit. Yeah. OK.
Then Gemma meets Alex and there is actual electricity between them, although he's incredibly rude to her and she's obsessed with him instantly. Of course this is how it plays out. Alex, the douchecanoe extraordinaire is one of the worst characters of all time. I just barely tolerated him until about 30% and then it bloomed into deep and consuming loathing.
Alex of course holds the answers to Gemma's past and in true shitbag form he withholds the things he thinks will make her mad at him. Duh. There could be no rapey sexual tension without these things slipping, and his reaction is to literally pin her down with his body and say things like this:
"You're not going anywhere until you tell me why you were crying."
"Fight all you want, you can't do anything about it. I'm the one in control here."
This specific scenario happens several times throughout this fucking book. He physically restrains her so she cannot leave the conversation because he loves her. Isn't he just so charming? Just the take charge, physically assertive dreamboat everyone female lusts after?
You know what a man does when a woman doesn't want to continue a discussion and wants to remove herself? HE FUCKING LEAVES HER THE FUCK ALONE. IT'S CALLED RESPECT. RESPECT FOR HER MIND. RESPECT FOR HER EMOTIONAL STATE. RESPECT FOR HER BODY. RESPECT FOR HER CHOICE TO SAY "YOU ARE A LYING SCUMBAG AND LEAVE ME ALONE".
Nahhhhhh, it's totally foreplay and shit.
Not only does Alex physically assault her he also manufactures complete dependence on him and his opinions and she starts asking him for permission for things. The single best aspect of this book is Laylen, a sexy vampire who has some neat tricks up his sleeve. At one point Gemma is having a sort of panic attack and Laylen offers to calm her down with his cool vampire ability. It's important to the plot that Gemma stay calm so, Laylen asks her if she wants his help. It plays out like this:
Laylen asks Gemma.
Gemma looks to Alex.
Alex gives Laylen his permission, this one time.
Laylen ignores Alex, and asks Gemma again.
Alex is so upset about how calm she is, he takes her to the car and gets her off because he's jealous that Laylen was the one to make her calm.
GROSS. WORST. HATE IT.
As far as the world goes it's actually pretty interesting. Keepers, Forseeres, vampires, werewolves, faeries, underworld, others worlds, wicca, dark angels, it's a smorgasbord of any and all things paranormal which I actually enjoy. I wish so much that female authors would stop writing male leads who are physically and emotionally abusive. Give me an empowered female author who will not write about men fundamentally disrespecting women, who write a male lead that does not physically overpower her unless she wants him to, PLEASE. I cannot read anymore books like this, it's fucking disturbing.
On a side note: If there was a book about Laylen, I'd read it. Otherwise I will not be reading anymore of this author.
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