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SPLIT DECISION REVIEW: a book already reviewed on the blog by one reviewer, rereviewed on the blog by another reviewer with a very different opinion!
Originally reviewed for the blog by Shelley on May 12, 2014. Shelley gave it a MNY (“me-not-you”) rating. Read this time by Sara…let’s see her opposite reaction to the book…
Video footage of Jack Harrison sleeping with Cutter, a man who has mutilated teenagers, should have stayed dead and buried with the man who had filmed it. Yet when footage to Jack’s past starts appearing on Internet porn sites, Jack’s whole world is again turned on its head. At first the porn links are done to unsettle, to disrupt Jack’s fire and ice world: all the sexed-up adrenaline of being caught between the pleasure to Gray Raoul’s BDSM kink, and the gentleness of Jan Richards’ vanilla touch. But when the content of the porn sites force even Gray to turn his back on Jack, leaving Jack isolated and away from the full protection of the Master’s Circle, Jack is left at the mercy of a group of men who are out to alter Jack’s whole perception on his BDSM lifestyle.
As brutally as possible, Jack’s sex life is now live webcam feed for a whole new audience.
I need a new shelf for this book and I’m going to call it “cutting onions.” Why? Because onions have layers, lots of layers, even those thinnest with the skins, they are all there lying in wait. And when you cut those layers, they bring tears to your eyes and most of the time, the sting and pain from those tears bring you to your knees and leave you unable to function. Yeah. This book is going on the cutting onions shelf as its first issue. Fuck.
This book, with all its twisted pages was brilliant. I am in lust with the author’s brand of storytelling. It’s fucked up and dark but there is this amazing undertone of light, of warmth and of love that leaves me breathless. Yeah, stunner, you and your words are something else. So the book… that title, Sweet Saint Brigid, all the things it means…
1. a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison,disease, etc.
2. something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects:
This begins shortly after Don’t… ends. We are together with the newly formed triad of Jack, Jan and Gray and though Jack is still under the weather with a headache, the boys are in a good place. I loved seeing Gray and Jack together after the confessions of love and Jan with Jack is always romantic and beautiful. I have to say, the author does a fantastic job at making you care equally about each man. My first thoughts are always about Jack; he is the center of it all and though there are moments where I just want Jack to be with Jan because Jan is so gentle and Jack gets lost from a simple look the vanilla boy gives him but I know as much as Jan loves the bones off his martial arts guy, he cannot be all that Jack needs. Then you get the moments with Gray and Jack; eleven freaking fracking years between these two and finally they admit the love and it’s so intense and consuming I can imagine them living life away in the manor but Gray, he can’t give Jack what Jan can and these three, they need one another. They complement each other better than any ménage story I have read yet.
As a triad, the intensity was balanced, but take Jack away, things felt odd, too much… too little.
If you have read this or even read Don’t… you know that the happy, it doesn’t last long with Pyke’s work. She takes you to this place where you are comfortable, relaxed and content to turn the page until you feel the unease settle in your soul. You feel the anxiety, the fear and the tension running through your veins about what might happen next and nothing, nothing prepares you for what actually does. Good lord. I would love for this woman to tell me a bed time story but I am afraid my own OCD and anxiety disorder wouldn’t survive.
You fuck up my world in so many ways, but only ever in every right way that matters anymore.
So the boys are happy for now, they are doing what they do; Jack subbing, Gray doming and Jan getting in the middle where he belongs. But the past won’t stay where IT belongs and when the videos Cutter made of Jack turn up on porn sites, things go south and fast. I felt awful for Jack as he ripped open packages trying to find each address and video. It killed me that it killed him and then Gray? The shit he goes through and what he does to Jack? I wanted to punch him in the throat and then pull him in for a hug… fucking peachy right? The push and pull of Gray Raoul is intense but the hurt on Jack? I don’t like that and thankfully, Jan doesn’t either. I loved that Jan stood up to Gray when it came to Jack. I just wish things could have gone differently.
Life started to get dark very fast.
Dare I say this book is even better than the first? I had seen a few reviews that said this book was too much, too painful to read. I agree at times it was but what I love about the story is that this world you get in the middle, this fucked up and terrible place where unspeakable things happen to men I have grown to love, was stunning. You feel the pain, the hurt and the frustration of it. You are in those rooms, you feel the weight of it all, and you feel the foggy confusion as you try to figure what the actual fuck is going on? You are there with them and you want that bad ass to ride in and save the day but your knight in shining armor isn’t the one who seems so tough on the outside.
But this, again there is so much I want to say and can’t. It’s just amazing to me all that this book has done to me. I have cried so many times and been utterly lost trying to figure out how to make it all okay. I needed it to be okay more than I needed to work because I dedicated an entire day to do dick at work and finish this. I admit it, I am a terrible employee but Jack needed me. Jan needed me and needed to tell Gray what he was hiding and Gray, he needed to go all Tarantino for his boys. GOOD LORD. This book.
“Do you manipulate and control everyone you meet?”
“I keep an eye on the people I care for and I make sure they get what they need out of life. So control and manipulate? Yes, every fucking time.”
I don’t know what else to say. I am a mess. I can’t think straight and through this book I have been nothing but amazed. Amazed by the authors talent to breathe life and deceit and terrible behavior into characters on the page. I adore Jack beyond the beyond and his strength and willingness to try again astounds me. I lust after Gray, I can’t help it, because I feel his love and devotion for those he holds close and cares for. And Jan? I can’t get enough of Jan in whatever I get him. He’s in so deep and so am I. This book, it punched me in the throat, stabbed me in the heart, kicked me in the balls and has left me breathless. Will I read the next book? It’s already bought and loaded. I can’t leave Jack that way, I have to be there for him. I just hope he’s there for me too.