Saturday, July 26, 2014

REVIEW - ELEMENTAL FEAR (Surviving #1) by Ada Frost:

TITLE: Elemental Fear
SERIES: Surviving
AUTHOR: Ada Frost
GENRE: Romance, Abuse
RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2014
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
PAGES: Approx. 374

RATING: ★★★★

Evelyn Beaumont is a beautiful, intelligent, loving woman. She has an adoring family, a man who loves her and a best friend who is willing to do anything to make her happy. Sound like a perfect life to you?

Evelyn Beaumont:
I hide a terrible secret, one I have hidden from the people I love the most, from the people that love me the most. For the longest time I have hidden behind my shame, silenced by an elemental fear and depravity. I am bound by silence to protect them, to hide what I really am. In truth I can never let my family know what darkness haunts me, I am the key to destroying my family. And I would rather die than allow that. 

WARNING: This book is about the survival of severe domestic abuse, it’s not pretty, and it is fear at a level most of us cannot comprehend; women endure this life on a daily basis, this is Eve’s story. Contains severe domestic abuse, violence and strong language.

Can be read as a stand alone.

REVIEWERS NOTE: I was gifted this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

4 Fearful, Surviving Stars!
Brutal and Heavy! This Story Delves Deep Into the Struggles of Domestic Abuse but Also Shows the Power of Love, Family and Friendships! 

The Review: 
Elemental Fear was a harrowing story of one woman's strength and determination to overcome the horrific circumstances she fell into. It’s not for the weak of heart and there are some very disturbing things that happen to her throughout the story, but I’m so glad I read this one. 

As anyone who knows me can attest, I love my angsts. I love a dark story and the bravery that comes from the characters as they fight their way out of their circumstances. They can be broken, shattered and irreparably damaged in the process, but if they come out in the end, stronger, livelier and with full hearts, then I can say the journey was well worth the time spent. This is very much that kind of story. 

Eve finds her life has totally spiraled out of control and all at the hands of an unstable villain hellbent on destroying her from her very core. Her boyfriend, Elliot, berates her, abuses her, humiliates her, breaks her in every way possible and then blames her for all of it. He’s a monster posing as a man who loves her. Through fear, intimidation, threats and outright violence, he’s stolen away so much of her self-respect and self-worth and she believes she deserves the anger, hate and abuse he unleashes on her. He’s the epitome of evil, covering his weaknesses and hate for himself by disguising it as a morbid, warped form of love. Yeah, I hated Elliot with a bloody passion!

Eve has endured this torture for nine years and she’s been twisted to believe it’s to keep her family safe. Elliot has talked her down from the beautiful, self assured young woman she was becoming and he’s almost taken all her will to fight. But what I loved most about Eve’s character was as hard as Elliot tried to completely destroy her, there’s still a spark in her crying out for a life and love she thought lost to her. And it was in the form of her best friend, Dominic. 

I was captivated by her character and her story. She was easy to relate to as a woman and her story was a familiar one to me so I felt for her and what she was going through. She needed a good support structure to escape the nightmare she was living through and like so many normal families who love and support each other, Eve’s didn’t realize what was happening until it was almost too late. 

Dominic, Elliott's brother and Eve’s best friend from childhood, is the light in all the darkness and their friendship and her feelings for him keep Eve going. He is totally swoon worthy with his patience, love and the care he shows Eve after he finds out what’s been going on and it’s breathtaking. It’s just what she needed to show her how wonderful love is supposed to be and what kindness in intimacy should feel like. Not to mention the man is sexy as sin!

She also makes a wonderful friend, Johan, who I simply adored. Johan’s experience in this type of situation and their uncomplicated friendship gave her a wise sounding board and a comforting starting point for the help she so desperately needed. I loved him!

From the beginning to the climatic end, this read held a very real and hellish journey for it’s characters within the pages and the suffering Eve endures was extreme. I wanted her to speak out and take her power back. I wanted her to break free from that demon-man-child! I wanted her to yell from the top of her lungs that she wasn’t going to take it anymore. Elliot’s intimidation was ingrained so deep inside her, the fear overpowered her most of the story but this woman is so much stronger than she thought possible. I loved that she held on, just a little bit, even in the darkest of times. 

This book was raw and unrestrained and scary and I loved the emotional “feel” I got from it. In fact, when I started it, I couldn’t put it down, reading straight through to the end. So many women and children live this stark kind of reality and it’s heartbreaking.

As a side note, I also really loved the dialect and the uniquely Yorkshire lingo which was fun to decipher. That grandpa was something else ;)

And that ending?? Totally rocked my world in all it’s gut-wrenching emotion, high intensity and courageous wonderment! Such a great read all around.

The Wrap Up: 
This is Ada Frost’s debut novel and she did an outstanding job bringing Eve’s story to life. I enjoyed the writing style and her penchant for angsts was spot on. I can’t wait to read Johan’s story in the near future. He’s got a lot on his mind and I can’t wait to see more of his back story.

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