Bane takes us on a journey through an extremely toxic and extremely wealthy coastal town in California.
BANE by L. J. Shen
Publication Date: May 6, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: Social Butterfly PR
Story Rating: 5/ 5
Romance Rating: 5/5
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.
When I signed up for this tour, the cover hadn’t been revealed yet. I read the description, flipped a coin and thought about things a bit more. The last L. J. Shen book I read wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t leave me wanting more. Honestly, it a good thing I didn’t see the cover before committing to this book, because I wouldn’t have even considered it. This cover isn’t doing much for me. Super unfortunate because this book was AMAZING!!!
Let me start this off with a warning. This book is beautifully written, but it deals with themes of sexual assault and abortion which I’m sure are upsetting topics to some people. So keep that in mind if you read this.
One of the first pages of this book says :
Spoiler: the princess saves herself in this fairytale.
The story hadn’t even started, and I already knew I was going to love it.
The book starts off by introducing us to Jesse, a young woman who has been failed by every system in place to protect her. After a brutal gang rape leaves her reputation destroyed and her body scarred, she has no intention of rejoining the world, much less ever dating again. Overcome by her trauma, she spends two years isolated, pushing everyone away, knowing she can’t trust anyone but herself. The entire situation is heartbreaking.
Next, we’re introduced to Bane who is hired by Jesse’s step-father to be her friend – just her friend. Bane has some serious insecurity and self-worth issues. He’s a bad boy who hides behind tattoos and a beard using them as a physical barrier to keep people from getting too close. With Jesse’s help, he finds a way past those barriers. I wish we got to see more of his struggles in this process.
Ok, I think this is a good time for a break. It’s been a long week, for me anyway. How has your week been so far? Are you looking forward to Friday too? I’ve been typing for several minutes, you’ve been reading for several seconds… it’s exhausting, isn’t it? Don’t worry I’ve got you! Here are some pictures of tattooed men, with beards. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy! Take all the time you need.
This book was an emotional roller coaster, Jessie has such a heartbreakingly tragic story. So many times during the story I found myself frustrated, wanting the author to give her the happily-ever-after she deserves. I love that she saves herself; I hated seeing her suffer.
At its heart, Bane is a beautiful story of healing, and the importance of refusing to let your past dictate your future. I think we can all learn something from that. It’s an intricately woven multi-layered tale. Every time I thought things were going to wind down there was another twist, another issue to overcome. On one hand, it was great because I didn’t want the story to end. On the other hand, it sucked because I don’t like seeing people, even book people, upset and hurting.
However, I have to admit; it was wonderful watching Jesse as she learns to trust again and being there as she opens herself up to Bane. Trusting a man after you’ve been so terribly hurt isn’t easy and I think the author gave us a very honest look at what this young woman went through as she overcame her trauma.
Overall, Bane was a well-written and engaging story sure to make you smile and cry. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a rainy weekend read.
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