Published September 2013
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotic Romance
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Lust is a dangerous thing. It can make you believe things that are not real. It can seduce your mind and lead it blindfolded to the cliff that will be its demise.
What would you do if you could leave your life? Wake up one day and be someone else?
I signed the contract. I left Candace Tapers and her slutty, strip club life behind, abandoned every part of that life with one hesitant swipe of my pen.
The agreement was clear:
2. Photo ops
3. No romance
"I need a wife. I am not signing up for romance, or affection, or a full time job. I will not love you. I will have no use for you other than sex and photo ops."
Sex with Nathan was easy. More than easy. Panty-melting, can-never-get-enough HOT. I had begun to think that I could live this new life, showered in luxuries, orgasms, and diamonds.
Then I started tripping over secrets.
What I loved about this book:
- The thrill and suspense
- The steam
- The heroine
What I felt needed improvement:
- The ending, which really killed the whole book because it was too abrupt
The Dumont Diaries is one of Alessandra Torre’s earlier works, and was originally released as a 4-part novella. I can’t imagine what a torture this must have been – waiting for the next part to be released – because let me tell you, Alessandra Torre has a writing style and a talent for wicked storylines that sucks you right into the book.
It doesn’t take the reader long to get to the heart of the story and to figure out who Candace Tapers is, what she does for a living, and what kind of life she leads. When a mysterious high-roller client repeatedly asks for her, and then ultimately wants to take her out of the club she works at, she has no choice but to say yes.
“I know that I am a prostitute. I’m not proud of it. And when I am flush with cash, I refuse the requests for extra services. But at times like today, when I am struggling to fill my car up with gas, I don’t have much of an option.”
But it turns out that this mysterious guy has other plans for Candace. Nathan Dumont brings her to his mansion and makes him a very peculiar offer – and one that she cannot refuse given her life and her obligations.
“If I squint hard enough, this is just like Pretty Woman’s final scene. Maybe I can be Julia Roberts. Maybe I can have a fairytale ending, despite my poor planning.”
It turns out that Nathan Dumont isn’t much of a gentleman, despite appearances, and it is clear that Candace is just a part of a bigger plan, and that there’s no need for him to waste much time on her. He actually turns to a gigantic asshole in the course of the book, given how he humiliates Candy (which is not done in the intimacy of the bedroom, but publicly in front of the staff) and given the fact that he uses emotional blackmail to get her to do what he wants.
“I need a wife. I am not signing up for romance, or affection, or a full time job.”
It feels like she is free from her money issues, but trapped in another cage altogether. She’s subject to physical restraints, because every aspect of her life is dictated, and except for the occasional social gathering or photo ops, she is reduced to living in the confines of the mansion’s poolhouse. But she’s also subject to conflicting emotions, because she can’t help being attracted to Nathan.
“I hate when this happens. When I hate this man and then my mind wanders, picking up on one of the small details that makes him devastating. His looks are my weakness, his mind is my undoing.”
You may start thinking that The Dumont Diaries revolves around some kind of pseudo Stockholm-syndrome story. And it wouldn’t not be completely wrong to say so. Candace is definitely attracted to Nathan (you could say her “captor”), and has some sort of feelings or him, but the fact that these feelings are not reciprocated are an eye-opener from her and will cause for some unexpected twists in the story.
“I have no reason to care for Nathan. Outside of sex, he is cold, distant, business-like – a dictator who has constructed his world of rules that I hate.”
“For us, silence is all we have ever known. I do not speak because I do not know what to say. He does not speak because he has no interest in talking.”
The Dumont Diaries actually contains a bit of a love triangle, so if this is the kind of thing you dislike, then this book is probably not for you. I know some readers have strong negative feelings when it comes to love triangles, but I generally don’t, unless it’s really, really twisted – and that wasn’t the case here.
The book is written entirely in Candace’s POV, and we get a lot of insight into the inner workings of her mind, and I really loved her as a character: she was fierce, determined, and loyal – yet she had her weaknesses around Nathan, and was honest about her emotional needs, which he couldn’t fill. She was also smart and courageous, as demonstrated farther along in the book, when some unexpected twists in the story shed more light on the reason why Nathan needs her.
And as you would expect from mastermind Alessandra Torre, The Dumont Diaries turned out a suspenseful thriller, which keeps you second-guessing everything at all times. My favorite kind of read, really! The book was exactly the right pace, and kept me engaged and on my toes at all times. Not to mention the steamy scenes, which were hot as hell – in true Torre-style!
Now unfortunately, the reason why The Dumont Diaries didn’t deserve a full 5 Star rating is because 2 things were major turn-offs, which albeit happening at the very end of the book, did put a damper on my reading experience. The first one is that the ending was a tad to “easy” and abrupt – I was expecting something spectacular and unexpected to build up, but all that happened was a 360 degree character change that “sealed the deal” and concluded the story. It just didn’t work for me because it was too abrupt. And then, as a second negative, there were a lot of ends with lose ties once the book was over. What happened to the side characters in the story and would they not come with complications?
Usually, Alessandra Torre thinks her books through until the very last detail and never leaves any loose ends. But then again, The Dumont Diaries is one of her earlier works, so maybe she was still experimenting and polishing that thriller-style she is has become so unbelievably good at. You should definitely try this book, though!
|All the feels|