Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review Hayden's Verse by AC Bextor

I’m known to my friends as a player; a user of women.
I don’t believe in relationships. They’re messy and confusing. They don’t last.

Lacey Wells walked into my life and ruined it. Although not in the traditional sense, we made the decision to be “exclusive.” We used each other to satisfy our bodies want of lust and attraction. And we had this… for a time.

When uncontrollable events altered the arrangement and life as we knew it had fallen to circumstance, my reactions weren’t only punishing, they were painful and cruel. I pushed her away, causing her heartache but in return she refused to break. Instead, she challenged my will at every turn. She was determined to make me see the person I always was, but had never been. I was desperate and searching for the answer that I was so anxious to have…
Was I capable of falling in love?

Our path together was tumultuous and unforgiving. At times it was full of anger and resentment. But it was also fun and sometimes downright ridiculous.

There’s no label to our story; tales of cliché pale in comparison. It just happened. It was us. It was crazy and it was exactly what we made it.

Note: There are no love triangles or cheating that takes place within this story. It’s a HEA, however the road to getting there is full of angst, sadness, and regret. If you aren’t a reader who enjoys the element of angst or heartache, this book isn’t one you’d find enjoyment in reading. This is not a dark romance. Due to explicit language and sexual content, this book should not be purchased by readers under the age of 18. This book has been written as a standalone novel as have all other books in the Devil’s Despair series.

4.5 Fantastic Stars!

Review by Jen Hagen 

A.C. Bextor has quickly risen to being one of my favorite authors.  Her books always carry a ton of angst, and I am forced to wear a long-sleeve shirt to wipe away my tears.  This particular book did not invoke the emotions that her previous works have, but that doesn’t mean that it is not just as good.  Actually, it was nice to have a respite from the wet sleeve.  Even though it didn’t bring out the tears, I would have to say the main character brought out something from me that I have never felt towards one of her characters before…anger.  I became quite hateful towards Hayden and that is a good thing as it takes a very good writer to make me feel something while I’m reading. 

We have been introduced to everybody in the Devil’s Despair band in the previous book, Ace’s Redemption, which began the series.  Hayden is the lead singer and has always been known as the man-whore.  He knows it and everybody else knows it.  His best friends turn a blind eye towards his behavior.

I f*cked up and I own that… and even though I’ve apologized for this and have done everything I can to win back the respect of my friends, I haven’t.  I don’t think I ever will.  I’ll always be the man-whore, the player, and the one person in our group who can’t be trusted.

Hayden didn’t fall far from the man-whore tree as Hayden is following in his father’s footsteps.  Hayden’s mother left his father when Hayden was an infant.  His father has never gotten over losing the love of his life and has schooled Hayden on the fine art of using women…

“Play them all, Hayden.  Don’t ever settle for just one.  Women f*ck everything up.  You can give them your body, but never trust them with your heart.  Never share a piece of your soul.”

With that advice and the witnessing of his father’s open door policy, Hayden has done nothing to change his perception of what a woman is really for…somebody to love him unconditionally.  He was never given that love by his mother and he has had to take care of his alcoholic father for a long time.  He’s never taken the opportunity to believe slightly that he is capable of having an exclusive relationship.  That is until Lacey…

Lacey is the 21-year-younger sister of Hayden’s best friend, Travis.  Lacey and Travis have just recently become acquainted with each other and Travis is very overbearing and protective of Lacey.  He has seen Hayden with other women and he does not want that happening with Lacey.  He can sense the lust-filled tension permeating the air when Hayden and Lacey are near each other and he doesn’t like it.   Words are spoken and the hurtful truth is hard to hear when it’s coming from your best friend.

“You’re not a monster; you’re worse.  Women don’t see you coming; the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  You make them want you, you let them have you.  Then you take their hopes and heart with you on your way out. This doesn’t make you a monster, but it does make you a thief and a liar.”

Wow Travis…tell us how you really feel.  Those are some venomous words being spewed at Hayden, even if they are true. 
While Hayden has been with hundreds (yes, hundreds…his own admission), Lacey has been with 2.  Hayden and Lacey embark on an exclusive sexual relationship with no feelings from the heart coming into play.  At least that’s what it starts out as.  You know they are eventually going to go farther with their relationship.

It’s on the tip of my tongue to say three words I’ve never said to another woman, ever.  Lacey has to know I care about her.

Everything up to this point is good, but now is when the angst meter rises high and where I begin to really, really dislike Hayden.  He can be cruel with his words when Lacey needs him the most.

“I didn’t want this,” I admit; she deserves the truth.
“I know.”
“I don’t want this.”
“I know, Hayden.”

Besides being faced with something that Hayden had not seen coming, he is also facing a betrayal of epic proportions.  How do you continue on when your life feels like it is based on a lie?  Hayden already thinks very little of himself and this just throws what little self esteem he had out the window.

“I am broken, Lacey!  You don’t see it.  I don’t know why you don’t!  Everyone I know does…I’m never going to be what you think it is I can be!”

After Hayden is finally starting to get his life under control, another curveball is thrown at Hayden and tests all of the gang’s faith.

Out of all of us, I’ve always been the one I feel was closest to believing to prayer and understanding there’s more out there than we have proof of there to be.

Although I have enjoyed the stories of Ace and Hayden, I am so looking forward to Travis’s story.  Right from the beginning of the series I knew that Travis has a huge story to tell and it’s going to hurt.  Of course it will hurt…this is AC Bextor we’re talking about.  I CAN’T WAIT…bring on the long-sleeved cotton shirt.  I’ll be ready.

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