I’m effed up. A hot mess. Haunted.
But he doesn’t think so.
He thinks my imperfectness is what makes me perfect. He loves my flaws. My quirks.
He wants to protect me. See me happy. Make me alive. He wants to give me everything I need, no matter how twisted and wrong and depraved.
He needs me to need him.
Which makes me wonder…
Is he damaged, too?
Warning: Recommended for readers 18+. This beautifully damaged romance deals with seriously heavy topics, such as depression, anxiety, violence, and self-harm. Be advised. And be mindful and kind to your own mental health.
Layla Frost has always been a rebel. A true badass.
Growing up, Layla used to hide under her blanket with a flashlight to read the Sweet Valley High books she pilfered from her older sister. It wasn’t long before she was reading hidden Harlequins during class at school. This snowballed into pulling all-nighters after the promise of “just one more chapter”.
Her love of reading, especially the romance genre, took root early and has grown immeasurably.
In between reading and writing, Layla spends her free time rocking out (at concerts, on the couch, in the car… Anywhere is a stage if you get into it enough), watching TV (the nerdier the better!), and being a foodie. Though she lives in NY (the state, not the city), she’s an avid Red Sox fan.
First and foremost, I’M SORRY I’M LATE WITH MY REVIEW. Second, major trigger warnings for everyone. This book deals with sensitive topics, including self-harm. There’s a trigger warning in the blurb, but it’s my duty as an authentic reviewer to make sure I reiterate that.
As someone who has self-harmed in the past, I can say that for me, Layla got it. Sometimes when reading a book with anxiety and depression, it can miss the mark. It’s a sensitive topic, especially as someone who cut themselves for years, to read a book where the author just doesn’t get it. Depression isn’t me crying all the time, it can be total apathy for life, surviving for the others around me. Anxiety isn’t always nail-biting, rocking in the corner, but the fear that you are never doing the right thing. Self-harm isn’t about hurting myself, or hating myself, but the relief you get from that one moment, that one cut.
Layla Frost absolutely gets it.
What else she gets? That no person can fix you. No man, no great, all consuming love will fix it. Briar struggles, and she goes to therapy, group therapy, hides her depression but still goes. It was refreshing not to have therapy seen in a negative light, to have Briar be the one who has to fix her self. But also have a man who will be by her side through it all.
Now, that’s not to say this book is a light, fluffy read. Cause it ain’t. Alexander’s got his own issues, his own darkness. But they work so well together.
Briar has had it bad. Eating disorders, physical abuse, parents that most definitely should not have had children. She’s got a sister she sees as the epitome of perfection (if you’ve read Deathly, WHICH YOU SHOULD HAVE, you know that’s the furthest thing from the truth). Briar is completely uninterested in male attention.
In comes tech genius, self-made billionaire Alexander. A mystery, an enigma, hot-as-hell. He stays out of the public eye for personal reasons, but from the moment he meets Briar is carefully laid plans blow up in smoke. He understands her pain, can feel it. He pushes Briar out of her box, while understanding her boundaries.
I loved him. I loved Briar. I loved everything about this book.
There’s not to much I can say without giving away the plot. It’s a difficult book to review. Layla once again weaved a tale that sucked you in, made you feel pain, fall in love, and kept you on the edge of your seat. Swiping pages to see what the next one would bring. The steam was off the charts, the character building was out of this world, and the darkness was just dark enough to pull you in without pulling your hair to hard.
Safe squad – you’re good on this one. Layla’s good for that.
I bow down to you, Queen of Cupcakes. Keep writing. Pls. For the love of God.
I mean, great work, pal. Keep it up.