Author ~ Kol Anderson
Published ~ 7th February 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary, Dark M/M
Jake Ross never had it easy. He's learned to accept he won't have the life his friends have. With an abusive, alcoholic for a father and a younger brother far too good for this world, all Jake focuses on is keeping his kid brother safe.
But when their father goes one step too far, and introduces Weldon to their lives, it sets off a series of events that will change all their lives.
Graphic depictions of rape, incest, violence. Dark themes throughout.
It’s been hard to read this book and even harder to rate it. Brutal is definitely a good word to describe it, but I’m not convinced the book is very much more than that. I won’t go so far as to say the violence was entirely gratuitous because it is very much in context with the story, or at least the way I see the story progressing, as this is clearly a first instalment. There are no happy endings here and while I wouldn’t say it ends with a cliffhanger, it definitely leaves the protagonist in a dire situation.
There are two halves to the book. In the first half we meet Jake, a troubled boy with a drug habit acquired in his attempt to blank out the things he has to do to keep his father’s hands off himself and his younger brother.
We meet Jake through the POV of Trey, an older doctor who is immediately attracted to the boy. After seeing him through an overdose he rescues him and takes him home where he cares for him until Jake runs away the next day.
The gentleness of the first part doesn’t prepare you for the brutality of what happens after Jake gets home when his father sells him to the mysterious Mr. Mason. That’s when the book got uncomfortable because we get to see Jake’s abuse from the mind of the abuser. Mason’s twisted attraction for Jake and his belief in the terrible things he’s doing to him is disturbing.
I didn’t feel the two halves of the story gelled very well and I didn’t think there was a strong plotline at all. It was a very short book which introduces quite a few characters and three POV’s which was, to me, unsatisfying.
There is enough meat to intrigue though. I find myself wanting to know what happens next, if only to want to see Mason taken down, although I suspect that isn’t going to happen. I don’t find myself so interested in Jake as I don’t feel his personality has been well established. This is something that might well develop through subsequent instalments, but I feel this is something that should be done right at the very start. I’m not sure if I’m intrigued enough to want to read on, but I’m sure that to someone who is curious about seeing abuse through the eyes of the abuser and what that abuse does to an innocent, teenage virgin, it will be a very satisfying read.