Published March 2014
Genres: Dark Romance, Dramatic Romance, Romantic Suspense
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When physical pain allows you to escape your reality; what do you do when the pain is no longer strong enough to quiet the emotional ache?
Diouana "Nikki" returned to her hometown six months ago to tend to her sick mother. She thought she'd left her "baggage" behind her on the opposite coast, only to find that it never left her side. As her self-destructive thoughts begin to consume her, her mother -- realizing Nikki's torment -- pushes Nikki to complete her last wishes.
Eric Brenton, Nikki's new neighbor, lives in a dark, chaotic world that is easily hidden behind his model good looks and cocky demeanor. Unapologetic about his dirtier intentions, he sets his sights on Nikki with an offer to help her. But his help comes with very unorthodox conditions and a huge price.
And Eric...comes with an extensive black box warning label.
Diouana “Nikki” Givens is back in her hometown in order to take care of her dying mother, who wishes nothing more than to die in peace and to make sure her depressed and suicidal daughter is taken care of after her death.
Nikki settles in her mother’s house and soon discovers that her neighbour is no other than handsome but cocky and egomaniac Dr. Eric Brenton, her mother’s doctor. Even though Nikki wants nothing to do with him and his promiscuous attitude, she knows that he has been performing assisted suicide in the past and can thus be helpful to make her mothers’ final wish come true. Eric agrees to help her, and requests that – in exchange – he owns Nikki any way he pleases until he says otherwise.
“I want you to see me for the monster that I really am. Too many people see it and pretend it isn’t there. But not you, Nik. Because I know when you find out everything… it’ll only bring us closer. It has to sit on the shelf until the perfect time.”
Eric mentally manipulates a gullible and weak Nikki into liking him, so much as being addicted to his presence and to the sex they’re having. But the truth is that there is more to their “relationship” and that it is not pure coincidence that they met.
Also, Eric and Nikki are both messed up: Eric has a very peculiar way of treating women and Nikki, who is guilt-stricken by her past, believes it is the only way she deserves to be treated, and a way to seek redemption.
I can’t really tell you any more than that as it would be giant spoiler and it would spoil you the great rollercoaster ride you embark on when reading A Sordid Promise. I really couldn’t put this book down – it was a hot and steamy thriller, a total mindfeck of a book that left you wondering who to trust and who to be wary of all along the read. I kept guessing and wondering, making up my own theories only to have them blown to pieces at the next turn of the story.
I have been reading dark reads before – but the believe me when I tell you that this read is as dark as dark can be, and revolves around various themes such as: suicide, murder, abuse, rape, self-mutilation, humiliation, mind-games, mental and physical submission, rough sex, bdsm, violence… So it is definitely nothing for the faint-hearted.
And you definitely have to make the effort of getting into the heads of the characters, and seeing things from their messed up minds, or otherwise you will not get along with this book.
The writings has a great flow and it was really hard to put the book down. It was the perfect equilibrium of hot steamy sex, mystery and thriller.
The only reason why I didn’t give this book a full 5 stars is because of its ending. I couldn’t relate to it at all – especially not to Nikki’s reaction and I just wanted to know more!!!View Spoiler » So in the end, it turns out Eric was brought into Nikki’s life by Nikki’s mother in order to keep her safe. Yet, what Nikki’s mother didn’t know, was that Eric has a very sordid past and actually went by the name of Ethan. And up until now, the guy has been using women in the worst ways because of his mommy-issues: whenever he was done playing his mindgames with a woman – but she was too caught up with him, almost acting as his personal sex slave – he goes breaking and humiliating her in the worst ways. But why does Ethan/Eric want Nikki so badly? Is he actually capable of feelings? Is professing his love to her part of his game, or is it real this time? Why trap her by getting her pregnant? What tells us that she is not just another one of his conquests and that she’ll not end up raped and humiliated when he has had his share? And finally, worst riddle of all – Nikki find out about his past and about his tendencies, is scared to death and wants to get rid of him/kill him. Yet, after a very heavy scene involving mutilation during sex, she forgives him and almost makes the last chapter sound like the beginning of a HEA – what in the actual fuck is this????? « Hide Spoiler
Honestly, I’d love to discuss the ending with someone as perplex as I am, so happy to engage if you wish, because I feel I need closure or at least a better understand of WHY?