☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• 3.5 stars ☆••*´¨`*•.☆••
What it’s about:
A forbidden romance about pain that binds us together…
Five years ago we lived in the same house.
He was the ultimate bad boy.
And my foster brother.
Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.
BETTER WHEN IT HURTS is a full-length bad boy romance novel that does stand alone.
Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren is the second book in her Stripped series. It was originally published in June 2015, and has now been released as an audiobook. The author provides ample background of the main characters through flashbacks, but I felt I had a better understanding of the characters from reading the prequel in a recently released anthology.
Better When It Hurts is the story of Lola (formerly known as Hannah) and Blue (who might punch you if you call him by his given name, Eugene). They have a history together; they were in the same foster home until Hanna, forced by circumstances, lied so that Blue was sent away. She had a good reason, but Blue doesn’t know why she lied.
Better When It Hurts is raw, gritty and unseemly. Foster care provides salvation for some, and for others it is just a different form of torture. Blue and Lola experienced many dark moments in their various foster homes, and they didn’t end up on the right side of the tracks as a result.
“My life isn’t about luxury, it’s about survival.”—Lola
Hanna/Lola is filled with self-loathing, but she hides behind her stage persona to appear tougher and less vulnerable. She’s scrappy and she will do whatever it takes to carry on.
“The strong ones never think they are [strong]. They’re too busy surviving.” —Mrs. Owens
Blue is an anti-hero. He’s handsome and brawny, but his life got even tougher after Hannah got him kicked out of his last foster home. His edges are frayed; he’s meaner. He’s resentful, and he wants revenge. Since the story is told only from Hannah/Lola’s point of view, Blue remains an enigma until he shows his hand at the end of the book. Blue feels everything deeply. Lola is so worried about the potential of Blue’s revenge that she doesn’t see how he watches and protects her. Even Blue is torn by his anger over her past lies and his desire to see that she is safe.
I did struggle with some of the content, however I appreciated the quality of writing and storytelling. Skye Warren has created edgy, dark characters who alternatively inspired compassion and contempt. Their bitter and sometimes ugly struggle for survival is easy to imagine with Warren’s vivid portrait in this fast-paced, dark story.
NC-17 content–for mature readers only.
☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• Giveaway ☆••*´¨`*•.☆
About the author: Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Houston, Texas, with her loving family, three dogs, and one evil cat. Connect with the author: Twitter Facebook Website Goodreads Amazon page Instagram