Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Toxic by AC Bextor

Told through Shame’s point of view, the final installment of the Lights of Peril MC takes place on the ‘implied’ wedding day.

Shame is plagued with doubts surrounding his love for Mace. He loves her. He’s loved her since she was five years old, but feels he doesn’t deserve her. This uncertainty is surfacing while struggling to forget the loss of his tragic childhood.

“What if the trigger has already been set and I’m going to wake up one day and realize I’m my parent’s son in their way of evil? The thought sickens me. I’m no good without Mace. I never have been. She’s the one person in my life I would refuse to live without. If I ever treated her and Ryder like my father treated my mother and I, it would make for an easy decision. I would kill myself.”

Shame’s childhood wasn’t filled with happiness and love. It was heart wrenching, and abusive. Used by his father and resented by his mother, a young Neil struggles through his days waiting for an escape; a savior.

“As he seethes his anger onto me I feel the spit from his words land on my face and in it I smell his whiskey and coke coming down like rain over my blissful day. I’m working for them now. I’m nine and I’ve just been interviewed and hired for my very first job… running drugs.”

Once meeting Doc, Lynda, Mace, Hem, and Sadey - his life changes from desolate to hopeful.

“At just five years old, she found her way into my heart and loved me in a way I never thought I could be loved. All that was before I ever even knew I needed her. “

Throughout the story you learn why Shame has become the person that he is. Intense, raw, powerful, and most of all – protective of those he loves the most. In the end he finds himself surrounded by everything he had ever hoped for.

“The storms I waited out were violent and unstable, but once finding them I found the unconditional love that I’d ached for in my search for them. It’s in this moment, among the sounds of monitors and babies crying and the feel of Mace in my arms, holding me tight, just as she always had, that I realize - I am finally well and truly home.”

4.5 Heart Aching Stars
Review by Jen Hagen
You thought you knew the entire story with books 1 and 2 of the Lights of Peril Series, but now we get to see the story through Shame’s eyes.  We were given very little to go on in terms of a back story with Shame.  We knew that he came from a neglected home and that he killed his father.  Now we get to see just how terrible life was for Shame and how he was going through the daily steps needed in order to “live only to survive.”   My heart broke for the little boy who at the age of 7 was forced to steal food in order to quench his starving stomach.   His parents paid little attention to him, only using him when it would benefit them and their drug habits.  The bright spot in his life occurred when he met Hem, Mace and their mother.  This is what got him through the terrible pre-adolescent years.  He was fed and nourished not only by food but by love with this family.  

Hem, Sadey, and Mace are all I want to remember from my childhood.  They were what I considered my family.  There was never anyone else.  Before they came into my life, it was empty. 

Shame has been an integral part of Sadey and Mace’s lives.  He’s been with them while they danced around in tutus, shopped for prom dresses, scared off prom dates and left home for school. He was there to watch Sadey’s life fall apart.  Today is his wedding day to Mace and Shame has too much time on his hands; time that allows him to think and to remember the road that brought him to Mace.  It is through his visits to places prominent in his life that we are able to relive his troubled times.   We are witnesses to the end of Shame’s horrific childhood and when his hands became innocent no more.   He is scared of becoming his father… 

Since I’ve been in her life, I’ve done nothing but add danger and heartache to it.  If she marries me today, that’s all she will be promised going forward and that thought is what continues to haunt me.  

There may be a 12-year age difference between Mace and Shame, but that didn’t stop Shame from his feelings being morphed into something more than an overprotective brother.   Years ago he knew that Mace was the one for him, but he didn’t know how to handle his feelings or how to push them back.  All he knew is if he acted on them then their lives would forever be changed and he was not willing to live his life without Mace in it.   

As we know, Shame gets the girl.  But we also know that Shame goes through a lot to get to the point where he can stand in front of others and proclaim his “I do.”  Before that he has to have his heart broken and face the loss of his best friend.  These chapters are back to back and whereas before I was having to blink hard to hold back any tears, now I just gave in and let them freely fall hoping that my pajama shirt neckline could keep up to the dam that broke.    

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and I congratulate Ms. Bextor on writing a series that never wavered in her ability to hold the reader captive.  Some sequels cannot stand up in comparison to its predecessor but I never felt like the story was losing its momentum or quality.  I was never rushed through the storyline and each component of the plot was covered in its entirety.  I do not know if the author will continue on with any of the secondary characters, but I feel complete with how the story has ended.  

“This life that you’ve given me is more than I ever thought possible.  You’re everything that I’ve ever needed…”
Amazon Toxic

Amazon Holding On

Amazon The Way Home

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