Consent - A.J.  Rose So... No. Just no.

Let’s start by quoting from the blurb:
Content Warning: contains scenes of rape and graphic violence and may not be suitable for sensitive readers. Discretion advised.

I read this warning. I am glad it is there. It should be there. Only it is quite the contender for the ‘understatement of the year’ title, I’m afraid.
Rape scenes? Don’t like those at all, but I can deal with it. You get to the bad place, someone gets raped, you take a deeeeep breath to steady your nerves and soldier on through the book to where things get better.

Not so in this one. Whereas in the first books, the Ben and Gavin storylines were tough on my nerves and at times very painful, in this book, those chapters were the breathers. The reprieves. And I needed those. I dreaded the beginning of each chapter before knowing if we were still with Ben and Gavin or back to Myah. Because Myah’s chapters were nauseating. The above-mentioned scenes of rape and violence were not just unbelievably brutal. They were also many. Kept coming back chapter after chapter. It never ended.

And it really was too much for me. Since there is no ‘comfort version’ of this book to compare it to, I cannot really say if the extreme violence was actually necessary for the story. I believe it would have been possible to not quite go to such levels without harming the end result.

On a more positive note, this book was an example of excellent writing. The suspense was very well built and the plot had some very nice twists.
But that again meant that I was so caught up in the plot and the search for Myah I felt that Ben and Gavin were reduced to secondary characters. I did not care much for the little insights to their relationship.
In the middle of what should have been a very hot and enjoyable scene I caught myself thinking something in the line of ‘get on with it guys, you don’t have time for that. Gotta find Myah.’

Objectively I can find little wrong with this book. Excellent writing, nice plot, great cover etc. But I am not writing the objective review, I am writing mine. And I did not like it. The of rape and graphic violence made me sick. Not even the great and most definitely very happy ending could make up for that.

August 9: Interview with Ben