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Review: A Terrible Love by Marata Eros

A Terrible LoveTitle: A Terrible Love
Author: Marata Eros
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: New Adult/Thriller
Rating: 2 out of 5


Jess Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She’s left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. But Jess soon discovers that passion can’t be left behind—neither her own, nor that of the one man who sees who she really is…and whose unexpected presence may breach the peaceful life Jess has painstakingly created for herself.

Devin Castile didn’t expect to meet a young woman who may be the missing puzzle piece to his existence…and who is also the victim of a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. But when Jess’s lies begin to crumble in the face of their undeniable attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life.


I think we could have had something here.  There is a great premise, but I didn’t feel the execution did anything for it. I found the character development lacking and the story a bit predictable.  I know the basic gist of a romance is guy meets girl, stuff happens, they aren’t together, and they get together; living happily ever after.  What makes a story compelling to me is everything that happens in the stuff.  A Terrible Love didn’t have the right stuff.

What I found disappointing was the fact that I had to be told Jess felt something for the mysterious Castile (a.k.a. Cas) rather than feeling it for myself.  I want writers to make me want the male lead.  My pulse needs to race at the first instance of their name on the page.  My head should feel a bit cloudy as if they’ve put me under a spell which cannot be broken.  I must tell the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach to settle down as they will be rewarded with more action from our fictional true love.  That’s what I need.  I really didn’t get that.  Instead, I was met with words that told me how commanding and sexy Cas is rather than feeling it for myself.

I also did not feel connected to Jess.  I found her to be naive or just thoughtless at times.  Jess has assumed a different life, far from her old one in South Dakota.  Her step brother brutally killed her best friend, Faith, and got away with it.  Jess changed her name and appearance and has started a new life in Seattle all the while looking over her shoulder.  The recent string of murders at her university does nothing to squelch her paranoia that something bad is going to happen to her.  If all of this is going on in her life, I cannot imagine why she is so cavalier about  her non functional room door handle and lock.  She keeps putting off the repair for another time.  Mitch, who is in her love triangle with Cas, appears in her room one night and she just figures he’s being nice and checking in on her.  Ummm…no.  That’s just creepy.

Speaking of Mitch, I have no idea why she considers him as a potential lover or why he would want her.  Mitch is constantly becoming less of the nice guy he was when they first met into a Class A dingle berry.  Jess admits that she is sleeping with Cas to Mitch, yet he still wants all up in her “golden panties.”  These characters just were not believable to me.

As I said before, this story has great potential.  A serial killer thriller mixed with a bit of Black Swan?  Put me down for that!  In some parts, I felt as though I was watching parts from Black Swan.  Perhaps these are things that happen to all ballet dancers.  Being told you are overweight is one.  I can see that.  It seems like it would be a problem to stay a certain size or a certain weight to fit an industry standard.  Some bodies just don’t want to do be that way.  Having your dance instructor insinuate that a good screw can really unleash some passion in your dance moves…I’m not sure.

The parts I enjoyed included the banter of Jess’s best friend, Carlie and the two sex scenes with Cas.  I really think Jess could have leaned more on Carlie to help her make some of the decisions she was making throughout the novel.  Carlie seemed to have her head on straight and was fun and open with life.  I reckon that was supposed to show the great contrast between her and Jess.  Cas is pretty good at the sex.  Damn, right I called it “the sex.”  He knows what he’s doing.  I wish I could have read more about his doing the sex.

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