Compartmentalize and glitches, two fairly innocuous words until you read the book Consequences by Aleatha Romig. At that point they take on a whole new meaning, one that will stick in your head for days and weeks to come. Consequences is a book best read without spoilers so I am going to do my best to tempt you into reading it so if you think my review is a bit vague, well you are right!
Claire Nichols signs her name to, what she thinks, is an innocent cocktail napkin accepting a job from the handsome stranger she met at her bar. Little does she know that her signature will forever change the course of her life. Several days later she wakes up in a beautiful prison having suffered a brutal night with that handsome stranger.
Anthony Rawlings informs Claire that he has paid off all her debts and now she will work for him in any and every capacity to reward him for his generosity. Tony isn’t what I would call your normal hero though. There is nothing heroic about him. There is nothing romantic or sweet about him or this book. The events that take place in Tony’s home and out, are all part of a very calculated plan.
It is clear from early on that Tony is a sociopath. The reader and Claire are both left up to the whims of what he feels at that particular moment. Some moments he is sweet and we think it might be getting better and other moments we have to cringe in dread as certain scenes play out. At around the 40% mark, I almost gave up on the book. Something happens that is so terrible I didn’t know if I could continue. I did and boy was I glad. Had I missed out on the ending it would have been a tragedy.
My one complaint with the book would be the length. 500+ pages some filled with details that I did not need nor really cared about. I almost thing the book could have been pared down 100 pages and we wouldn’t have lost anything. Because of the tenseness of the whole thing I forced myself to read each page but looking back there were parts that didn’t add to the overall storyline.
Consequences isn’t what I would call a romance novel. There are sex scenes but they aren’t done in a typical romance way. For me, the book would be more of a psychological thriller or straight up suspense. The book is about one relationship, Tony and Claire, but it does not follow the typical relationship pattern.
Bravo to Ms. Romig for shocking the heck out of me. I never saw the ending coming. I never would have guessed what was going on. I can imagine if someone saw me reading the last 25% of this book all they would see was someone with their mouth hanging open. Consequences really messed with me in that I am pre-programmed to like the male lead in a book. But there is no liking Anthony Rawlings. His actions are heinous and beyond reparation. So why is it that I want him to be redeemed even knowing that is likely not possible? Why? I suppose I will continue to ask myself this question while I wait on pins and needles for TRUTH. Final grade- A-
Now to change into his kind of clothes, get back to his real life, prepare for his scheduled meetings overseas and decide Claire’s future. He flashed a private smile-the acquisition was complete.
There is a good discussion on Consequences over at Smexy Books today. We’ll have an interview with Aleatha Romig later today and a giveaway.