Monday, June 29, 2015

Release Day Review & Giveaway: The Grand Ballast by J.A. Rock

E-Book Giveaway

Roll up! Roll up! Enter the darkly disturbing, sinister world of The Grand Ballast and take your seats for a most unsettling ride!

The Grand Ballast is a devastatingly thought provoking and utterly mind blowing surreal experience that some, but not all, will truly relish. Sometimes a book just hits you, as in, completely knocks you for six… because of the exceptional writing and the incredibly brilliant concept and ingenuity behind it, which makes you want to shout to the world, READ THIS BOOK! So because we loved it so much, we are giving three lucky readers the chance to win a kindle e-copy of The Grand Ballast.

Check out our Macky’s review to find out why this book is so outstanding in our eyes.

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The Grand Ballast by J.A. Rock

The Grand Ballast Front Cover Final

Published ~ 29th June 2015

Genre ~ Dark Erotic M/M Romance, non con.

Rating

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Synopsis

In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.
Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.
But Kilroy won't let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.
WARNING: Contains violence and noncon. Not a genre romance.

Macky’s Review

Roll up! Roll up! Enter the darkly disturbing, sinister world of The Grand Ballast and take your seats for a most unsettling ride!

OMG! J.A Rock took me to places in this book that had my skin crawling, my stomach churning and my heart pumping wildly, but fuck...I couldn't have loved it more! SO different from the norm, I could not put this amazing book down, and after I'd finished, had one of the strangest emotional reactions to a reading session I think I've ever experienced!

The gamut of dramatic emotion I encountered reading this story was countless (you name it, I'm pretty sure I felt it) but it was only about five minutes after finishing and closing my Kindle, that a feeling I can only explain as "being overwhelmed" hit me. Out of the blue the emotional floodgate that had obviously been building up inside, burst...and that was it...I just started to sob and I couldn't stop! Like when someone tells you something so shockingly sad, your mind has to process it for a few minutes before the emotional response sets in. That's what this book did to me, and it was the most extraordinary feeling! Kudos J.A, for totally discombobulating me in such an unexpected way.

Bode, Kilroy and Valen's story is hauntingly hypnotic and J.A.'s writing style so beautifully compelling, that I just read solidly; hardly stopping for anything. Drinks went cold, food got skipped and everything that was going on outside of my insular little reading world was ignored, as I could hardly bear to tear myself away from its pages. It was THAT good! Be warned though, this is as far away from a conventional romance as it could be and even though sex is a huge catalyst in the book, despite its premise, it's not the titillating kind. However, it is a love story of sorts and its inspired, thought provoking ending is a fitting reward for surviving the harrowing journey.

In this frighteningly believable future, overuse of technology has created an "An Age of Ennui" where a now apathetic, bored society can only get stimulation via extreme violence and explicit, hard core (se)X shows, that exploit misguided, lost souls and those without purpose, as entertainment for the masses. Using drugs, (aka Haze) to control and falsely lessen the physical pain and sickening degradation they're put through during, and after ShowTime.

Told in two parts, the first alternates a 'Then and Now' scenario, that cleverly weaves in and out of the past and the present; building up tension as it slowly reveals how Bode and Kilroy have reached the sick, twisted relationship they have at the start of the book. Whilst part two stays mainly in the now, when Bode and ex cult member Valen—the 'Boy of the Water' he saves from a snuff performance in another X Show—find refuge among the quirky inhabitants and 'Liberators' of Harkville: a western saloon style town, that harbors anyone who manages to escape their life as a performer in the X shows. Meet weird and wacky characters with names like Horse Leg, Calamity Zane and Skullsprute and wallow in the eccentricities of a town where the word 'normal' isn't even in its vocabulary, and getting surgically modified alterations is a general occurrence.

The juxtaposition of Bode's and Kilroy's early, almost normal relationship, against the harsh cruelty of the humiliation and perversion he later suffers at the hands of his once attentive lover, is both shockingly fascinating and achingly poignant. It's the stuff of nightmares that you want to look away from...but can't! Kilroy Ballast's heinously, perverted manipulation of Bode's guilt ridden, sex show performer is not an easy read, but Ms Rock keeps you locked into their contorted, fucked up relationship by slowly drip feeding snippets of their history together... sneakily dragging you further and deeper into the drama and complexity of it all.

Still fairly innocent when they first meet, promising young dancer Bode is seduced by the sophistication, power and confidence that Kilroy Ballast exudes. Lured by promises of a life outside the dullness and mediocrity around him, which he thinks is all that's out there waiting for him, he falls for the enigmatic man he hopes will help him achieve notice and recognition, but demon filled Kilroy Ballast is not the man he thinks he is, and when jealousy arrives in the form of a rival of sorts named Driscoll... Bode's existence is changed forever! And then with the introduction of Valen, the story soars even further as the tension and anticipation of what's to come, is stretched to breaking point.

Graced by a cast of unforgettable, mind blowing characters (woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks) who range from flawed innocence to evil incarnate and scaaaaarily freaky to likably weird and eccentric, The Grand Ballast reminded me at times of an adult Alice in Wonderland; eerily surreal, and hallucinatory in a dreamlike/nightmarish way, yet still with a stark, mortifying realism that hits you in the gut with its rawness and ability to shock. Then there are moments of pure beauty and tenderness that punch their way through all that darkness, enough to make you hitch your breath. Gorgeous, multi highlight inducing writing from J.A. Rock that literally took my breath away at times, it was so affecting! This is definitely J.A. Rock’s diamond and I'm simply left in awe! Cannot recommend this highly enough...push your boundaries because this is so worth it!

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Giveaway

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19 comments:

  1. Intriguing blurb to say the least, thanks for the giveaway ^_^

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  2. Good rave so need to enter the contest.

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  3. An intriguing blurb and such a convincing review: count me in ! Thanks for the chance to win this book.

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  4. Wow! I feel both deeply attracted and repelled by Macky's review: After reading it, I am really looking forward to reading the book, but I'm not sure I'll be able to go through it without breaking... Thank you for an amazing review, Mackly (of course, the book is already in my TBR list)

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    1. Lol...thanks Books! You will love it. I'll be here for you when you read it!!! Hahahaha. ;)

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  5. This book sounds damn fascinating. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. I like the sound of this book and can't wait to read.

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  7. with a review like that, how could you NOT want to read it??

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  8. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

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  9. I think the book sounds very interesting.

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  10. I don't mind darker stories. The blurb and review definitely piqued my interest.

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  11. Great cover! I added to my TBR list.

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  12. Great review, book sounds like a good one.

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  13. Whoa! This doesn't sound like something I would normally read but can't discount this awesome review. I've bought enough books based on Macky's reviews and she's never steered my wrong yet :)

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    1. Ooh Lisa, I've got a lot to live up to on this one then! 😱 LOL... Aww Thank you for the vote of confidence on my ramblings. *Blushing and biting nails now* haha.

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