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The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
Darcia Helle lives in a fictional world with a husband who is sometimes real. Their house is ruled by spoiled dogs and cats and the occasional dust bunny.
Suspense, random blood spatter and mismatched socks consume Darcia's days. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else's mind.
Join Darcia in her fictional world: http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com The characters await you.
I confess, I didn't finish this book. Not because of the writing or characters, both of which are well crafted, but because the subject is just too dark. I read for escape. I prefer my books light. Enemies and Playmates is neither. It deals with abuse very frankly.
Lauren Covington's father is a highly successful businessman who shows the world a face of compassion. But to his family, he is brutal, vicious, and unforgiving. Lauren wants to escape, to just live a normal life of a college student, but feels trapped by her mother's helplessness and the need to protect her younger brother. She meets Jesse at a bar, feeling an instant attraction to the man, without realizing that he works for her father, handling contract jobs her father wants kept off the book and out of sight.
Darcia doesn't hold anything back in this story. This story went places I just didn't want to go. I couldn't finish it. If you want a compelling story dealing with abuse, I'd recommend this book. If you want a beach read, try something different. This book will give you nightmares.
Very well written! Interesting, entertaining and overall a great read. I was at first worried about the name and the picture on the cover, but after reading two other books by the author first, No JusticeNo Justice and Hit ListHit List, I realized that the author simply writes well all the time. Something else I noticed about this author: she manages to add unpredictable and thrilling turns in all her novels when you at least expect it. And yes, you kind of know that the two main characters will find their happy end, but you will never be able to guess all the "how it will happen", which, of course, makes this book such a "take a break from the day and get lost in a good escape-book" read.
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What happens to the abuser when the person being abused fights back?
Lauren Covington, age 23, seems like a happy person when out with friends but at home, her father, Alex, is a domineering control freek who physically and verbally abuses his family.
Lauren gets her biggest break when she meets Jesse Ryder. Jesse is a private investigator and the two are immediately attracted to each other.
Jesse had been doing work for Alex Covington's law firm but when the asked Jesse to fake some evidence and set up someone to be framed Jesse tells them to forget it.
Lauren keeps the abuse to herself but when her brother overdoses, she can no longer stand it and confides in Jesse. Jesse then decides to take action against Alex but Alex has influential friends and hires some muscle to do the dirty work for him.
Darcia Helle tells an inticing story. She states that she has been influenced by Tami Hoag, John Sanford and Janet Evanovich. Her story has such a strong message that copies should be distributed at women's shelters.
The story is well told, Jesse Ryder is a likable character with a strong sense of morality. Lauren and her mother are somewhat meek but perhaps this is a trait common to the abused.
Copies of the book can be found at the author's website [...] or through Amazon by searching under the title and indicating, paperback copy. Read it, it's worth the effort and you'll have an enjoyable experience.
Not knowing what to expect, I tried to read Enemies and Playmates last night. After about 2/3 of the way through, I simply stopped...I couldn't do it anymore.
Here are my complaints:
1. There is absolutely NO character development in the beginning...I still have no idea how old Jesse is supposed to be. There were no real descriptions of the characters, and the author provided no opportunities for me to attach to the characters before the drama began. Do I feel bad for Lauren and her family? Yes, but it just wasn't enough to keep me reading.
2. How many times must Alex threaten to kill Jesse? This got really old - Alex threatens Lauren that he'll kill Jesse, Lauren freaks out and begs Jesse to stop AND tries to break up with him, Jesse calms Lauren and everything is okay. Seriously? Again and again...
3. It seems like the author wanted this to be a gripping romantic drama (from the description), but it just dragged on and on, with ridiculous plot developments. Not gripping, not romantic.
Sorry, Enemies and Playmates - I can't finish you, I'll be deleting you, and I certainly won't be recommending you.
Some spoilers in this review! There are things about this book that I liked (mostly the story's concept and some of the writing that captured Lauren's grief over her brother), and the writer shows promise. But that promise is not fulfilled in this book. Given its length, it was disappointing that the relationship between Lauren and Jesse was given such short shrift - we were told much more than we were shown. The author spent far too much time in repetitive scenes dealing with her evil father and his machinations - especially those involving his anti-Jesse campaign - and not nearly enough showing the development of the ostensibly deeply-felt relationship between the hero and heroine. The romantic/love scenes were handled perfunctorily. I don't need to see graphic depictions more appropriate to erotica, but given how the physical aspects of trust were so huge for Lauren, and that she was a virgin, the off-hand way they were written did not support the story overall, in my opinion.
What also seemed incongruous was Lauren continuing to see Jesse in such an overt manner - having him come to pick her up at her house (more accurately, her father's house!) when she knew her father was literally gunning for him.
What ultimately diminished my review were the endless grammatical/editing mistakes. Just a few expamples: mulling vs. milling about; site vs. sight; petitioned area vs. partitioned area; comprehensive vs. comprehensible; released on bale vs. bail; take charge roll vs. role...
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