Friday, October 10, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Jag (Pandemic Sorrow Book 1) by Stevie J. Cole

WARNING: This is not your traditional pretty romance. It is raw. It is very realistic. It is the explicit story of an addict - a side of a disease that may be disturbing to some readers. This book contains explicit language, sexual situations, and scenes of drug use.

"My name's Jag Steele. I’m the lead singer and guitarist to the band Pandemic Sorrow and I have a drug problem – well, I mean it's not really a problem – unless you count the fact that I almost made my heart explode from all the blow I shoved up my nose a few weeks back..."

That was my introduction during my first stint in rehab. I'm a f*ck-up. If you ask anybody who I am there’s a list they will go down: Famous, rock star, legend, drug addict, womanizing man-whore… but if you asked me, I wouldn’t have the first idea of what to say, because I don’t know who Jag Steele is. Really, I’m living every other damn person's dream, and all I want is reality.

Roxy Slade, that girl was my reality. My brutally flawed and beautifully broken reality. And she f*cking hated everything I stood for. To her I was just one of “those guys”, and she’d rather be buried alive with poisonous snakes than give someone like me a piece of toilet paper to wipe their ass with. Brutal. Life. Is. Brutal. And it is just a giant pain in the ass, which is why I chase after anything to make it numb, anything that can fill this void. I just want anything that can make me not feel.

4 Rock and Roll Stars!

 Review by Jen Hagen

Jagger “Jag” Steele is an addict and it’s not his fault.  Nope…it’s his manager’s fault who gave him his first hit of a drug, it’s his father’s fault for walking away, and it’s his ex-girlfriend’s fault for not staying by his side as he rose to fame.   Six years ago Jagger went from a nice, one-woman man to “Jag” – a rockstar who fills his bed with groupies and spends his days on a high.  He doesn’t know what it is like to perform on stage sober. 

Jag’s dream since he was 6 years old was to be a rock star.  He and his brother, Stone, are both named after legendary rock stars.  His father was also a driving force for Jag to become involved in rock music; that is until his father left the family.  There is no bonding over guitar music for father and son anymore; the only thing that exists is bitterness.

Seven months ago Jag was practically dead from an overdose.  He has been in a rehab clinic and has recently been released and is back to his old ways again.  He was hiding his drug use from the band, but once it became apparent that he was not clean they helped indulge him. 

The fact that I could still think straight enough to put one fucking foot in front of the other, well, that was as sober as I ever wanted to be again. 

Besides being addicted to drugs and alcohol, Jag is also addicted to sex.  He always has a woman in his bed but makes certain they are gone by morning.  They want him because he’s a rockstar and he wants them for the pleasure-inducing high he gets from it.  He’ll take any high he can get, however temporary it may be.

Roxy and Jag don’t have a pleasant introduction.  She made it perfectly clear that she does not like him, she does not like their music, and she does not want to be in his presence but is there for her sister.  Jag is not used to women standing…they usually fall at his feet.  Jag sees Roxy as a challenge.  In fact he sees her as a $20,000 challenge. 

“I bet you twenty thousand dollars I can get her to suck my dick.”

Jag definitely wasn’t planning on Roxy being the challenge that she is.  She doesn’t give in to his fame.  She just sees him as a regular guy, and after a while Jag comes to like this.  She is what he needs to keep him grounded and to keep him in reality.  He hasn’t had sex for 14 days…that’s how much he likes being with her.   But she cannot make him change his ways when it comes to a high.

“I don’t need anything that will interfere with who I am!  And if you’re going to try to change me, I don’t need you either!  I’m not sober.  I never will be.  I don’t want to be – not even for you!” 

Unbeknownst to anyone, Jag is dealing with a betrayal that is eating at his core.  Somebody he loved and trusted betrayed him and if he had problems with drugs before, then that was nothing to the amount that he is doing now to find a way to numb the pain.  I can’t say I blame him…it’s horrible what is being asked of him when he didn’t even get a choice in the matter.   Jag has had enough and one night he ups his ante with drugs and goes hard-core with heroin – a drug he has always stayed away from.  This is either the end or the beginning of a permanent change for him.

The euphoria glazed its way over my body, leaving me weightless, and all of that pain that had been twisting and turning, splintering through me for most of my life, vanished.  I had nothing, no one, and I was tired.  I didn’t even know who the hell I was anymore, and I just wanted rest.  I wanted out.

The first part of the book was setting up for us to see how highly addicted Jag was to sex and drugs.  Some readers may not find this comfortable to read, but I thrive on this material.  Deep down Jag was a good guy who wanted to do the right thing, but too many people had set him up for disappointment and unfortunately he found a crux to fall upon to take away his pain.  Roxy was the real deal for him and she could stand on her own when it came to Jag and his rockstar persona.   Roxy has her own set of demons.  She was raised in a home where she and her brother helped their father make meth. She has her own personal reasons for not wanting to be with an addict and she will not see another life sacrificed to drugs.  She gave a few hints as to how horrible her life was living in that trashy house, and her story will be revealed in the author’s upcoming release. 

Jag tells his own story and I enjoyed hearing it through his words.  He doesn’t sugarcoat anything and is crude at times, but when it comes to his soul being tortured and his heart broken his words speak volumes.   One thing Jag never does is break a promise he made.

“I’ll give you Jagger.  A sober Jagger.  I promise you,” I said in the most serious tone I’d ever heard come out of my body.

I love a good epilogue and the author gives us a beautiful epilogue complete with one of my favorite things (and no, I’m not telling you!).

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