A War Like Ours- Saffron A. Kent

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About the book:

A liar…

Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.

A hater…

After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.

A forbidden kiss…

But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.

Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.

Release Date: 24th February, 2017

4-5-star

What I think?

Before I talk about the book, I just want to say that this is one book I would really heed the warning too. It’s very dark, and not just because it contains non-consensual sex, and rape, but also because of the entire tone of the book. It’s very disturbing, and even to someone who mostly reads dark romance like I do. And that is not a warning I give out very easily, so please keep that in mind before reading the book. Strong trigger warning.

Well I felt like that warning was a must, because I was pretty surprised by this book, and at this point there isn’t much that particularly surprises me anymore.

The story is about a lesbian chick, Madison, who hates men on sight because of bad experiences in the past, and a newly widowered father, James, who doesn’t know how to tell his 5 year old daughter that she had lost her mother. And Madison hates him for that.

So yes, while that remains the main focus of the story, there is a lot more going on. This book was a lot more than just two people clashing and being all humorous and cutely arguing with each other as foreplay.

Nuh-uh.

That is what I thought was going on before I started reading, and I was very quickly set right to my thinking.

Both Madison and James have had a traumatic past, which resulted in both of them being psychologically damaged. Only problem was, they couldn’t recognize it. In their own way, they were both masochistic, and craved pain- because they believed that that was what they deserved.

James blamed himself for his father’s abandonment in his childhood, and his wife’s untimely death, and because of that he has a lot of repressed self-hatred that he releases in the form of self harm. In the book, Kent starts us off with bloody hands that come with brutally punching punching-bags, and then slowly escalates to cutting. Yes, James is a cutter, and usually I wouldn’t lay out the spoiler for you just like that, but I felt because of the entire tone of the book, it was a bit necessary for me to mention.

Madison on the other hand had a dreamer of a mother who had been constantly abused by her boyfriends, until one of them finally killed her. Not stopping at that, her mom’s partner then raped her when he was drunk, because of how much she resembled her mother. All those experiences made her into a man-hater, and dependent on a really viperous woman. Now, some might not call Julie, her girlfriend as viperous, but the thing about that woman was she loved that Madison was generally unhappy and miserable, she liked the fact that Madison was broken, and never let her heal, breaking her back down whenever Madison showed signs of healing. And Madison clung on to her, because she felt like no one else would love her.

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This book deals with a lot of issues. Let’s try and see if I can list them all:

  • child neglect
  • rape
  • spousal abuse
  • self-harm/cutting
  • depression
  • PTSD
  • toxic relationships
  • cheating

Think I got it all?

Well all those many issues, and Kent dealt with them brilliantly. Not once in the entire book did I feel a situation being half-assedly written, because usually by this time authors lose their charm, and start just plotting cliches just for the sake of completing the book. But not this one. Oh no.

Kent did not write a book about two characters who were flawed but quirky, and easily lovable. Making the reader love the characters was not what her goal was with this one I think. I think she wanted to show us two really fucked up people who got together, and learned how to deal with the current situation, and how to heal. (Mind you I’ve read about a lot of fucked up characters, and it’s pretty safe to say that these two were the most fucked up of them all).

Kent doesn’t make you love the characters, fuck that, she doesn’t even make you root for James and Maddy to end up together. By the 65% mark I was just wishing for all this angst to get over. I just wanted to know that they fought their demons, and honestly I didn’t care if they ended up together or not, not because I didn’t care or didn’t want them to, but because that was not the focus of the story I feel.

This is not a lovestory, it’s a story about two really damaged people coming together, and healing with their own perverse sort of medicine.

What can I say, this book was very well written. It is not one of those books that you can just sit down with, and read in a go. You need to take your time with it because the book on the whole is just so goddam depressive. The entire tone of the book made me feel like I had a rainy cloud over my head, and that is something not many books could do.

For a debut novel, this was brilliantly bold and darkly unique. I would definitely be keeping my eyes on Kent, and watch out for what she puts out next, because if it is anything like this, then it’s going to be magnificent.

arc

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About the author:

Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper.

My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things.

I LOVE to chat with readers about reading and writing so come follow me!

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2 thoughts on “A War Like Ours- Saffron A. Kent

  1. Pingback: Sitting by the lake with Saffron Kent||Author Interview | Readin' Under Street-Lamps

  2. Pingback: Damnable Grace- Tillie Cole | Readin' Under Street-Lamps

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