Title: Beautiful Addictions
Author: Season Vining
Genre: New Adult Standalone Romance
Release Date: January 28 2014
Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her. She’s the girl he thought he lost forever—the one he’s never been able to forget. Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again. But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own. On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in grave danger.
As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together. But will the past leave their love in ruins—or bind them together for a lifetime?
This really does offer something very different from a lot of new adult books out there – it’s dark, twisted and full of surprises and shocks and wholly compelling.
Meet Josie Banks – a loner amnesiac. Her past is completely lost to her – she was found unconscious after her Father was murdered and now only remembers her brutal upbringing in the foster system. As soon as she was old enough she ventured out into the world, defensive, hurting and completely alone. She creates vivid graffiti art unsure of whether this work comes from her lost memories and she cuts such a lonely figures using varying different drugs and casual, impersonal one night stands to blot out the pain and stop her from feeling anything at all. My heart really broke for Josie – she seemed so isolated, so lost.
Josie has become obsessed with sitting, hiding beneath a hoodie, watching a local tattooed bartender, Tristan – something about him calls to her but she doesn’t know what. She sketches him obsessively but when Tristan finally sees her face, he knows her. He remembers her from her lost childhood – her life before the accident that robbed her of her memories. He has loved her his whole life and thought he had lost her forever.
“You broke my heart, McKenzi, and here you are. It’s just too much.”
She didn’t correct her name. Instead, Josie was silent as she tried to work out his declaration. Was she too much? She’d never been too much for anyone. She’d never even been enough.
“I loved you from the first time I saw you,” he whispered, placing a soft kiss against her neck.
What follows is full of shocks and surprises and I never knew which way the plot was going to turn next but there’s a building air of menace throughout the whole novel as though these two are hurtling towards an inevitable and devastating conclusion and the threat keeps growing as Josie’s and Tristan’s pasts are about to come roaring back to haunt them. It’s tense and it’s edgy and completely engrossing and there are plenty of shocks awaiting them.
This really is an accomplished debut from Season Vining – she does an amazing job of creating the barren wasteland that is Josie’s world, her very singular and miserable existence. The desperation was palpable and uncomfortable to read and I found myself wanting nothing more than for her to open her heart and let Tristan in. He himself has a darkness within, pain that needs to be healed – it’s almost as if their parting as children forced this unfortunate couple onto a much darker path than had ever been intended for them and only being together again in the here and now can put it right. It feels very fatalistic.
It’s incredibly atmospheric and I found myself completely lost in their world gasping at every twist and turn and completely rooting for them as a couple. I adored just how much Tristan adored Josie and just how far he was prepared to go to secure her safety and protect her. This is a fantastic debut from Season Vining and I’m very much looking forward to what she comes up with next.
4 edgy stars
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Season Vining is the author of Beautiful Addictions, a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel from St. Martin’s Griffin. She received her three-book deal and agent representation as a result of attending the 2013 Jambalaya Writers’ Conference. She first gained attention for the book in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in which the story was a Quarterfinalist. Season is a graphic designer by trade and adores all form of art. She’s a fan of live music, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they’re.
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