LitStack Review: Raw by Belle Aurora

Belle Aurora

***Author Note: This is not a love story. This is a story of love gone wrong.***

Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.

Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street.

Best decision I ever made.

Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job.

My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved.

But the saying is true.

The world makes way for those who know where they are going.

That’s me.

I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.

But then there’s him.

I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.

He makes me feel.

It’s unconventional.

But it’s real.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.

So am I.

This isn’t a story.

This is my life.

It’s one of the best synopsizes I’ve read in a long, long while. From a writer’s standpoint, it’s intriguing. From a marketing standpoint, it’s absolutely genius.

Readers want unique, especially romance readers. The genre is flooded with a lot of plots that seem very familiar. I’ve personally read quite a lot of rock star, MMA fighter, orphaned, innocent heroines plots as of late. So when something unique comes along, readers tend to gravitate toward it. I know I certainly did when I ran across Belle Aurora’s summary for RAW.

I was looking for a post-writing read. Something to get me motivated to start in on the second book of my series. I’d just finished a novella and was in one of those rare spaces of time where I didn’t have a thing to do, or to read. And so I jumped on Amazon after the recommendation of a friend to find RAW.

Man, was I sucked in.

I started reading at midnight on Friday. By five a.m. I was done and utterly and completely drained.

RAW concerns Lexi, a sweet, generous American expat working in Australia as a social worker. She loves her job. She loves her “kids” and wants nothing more than to nurture everyone that comes into her office. Lexi is a do-gooder, but she isn’t one of those annoyingly sweet protagonist that makes your teeth ache from a sugar overload.

Despite all the good in her life, including two great best friends, a generous boss and the kids who are more family than case to her, Lexi has a secret. She’s being stalked and it’s not something she seems to mind all that much:

Suddenly a feeling of contentment watches over me. Opening one eye, I turn and peer across the street as if I’m homing in on him.

And there he is.

A hooded figure, hands in his pockets, walking away from me.

Bubbles of warmth course through my body.

There he is. Watching me. Keeping me safe.

Or so my gut tells me.

Now, that naggy little feminist part of my brain that forbids me from writing weak, needy women, was screaming at Lexi, saying things like “are you insane?” and “girl, this cannot be good. Walk away!!” But there was another voice in my head whispering to me while I read. It’s the same voice that is likely responsible for every bad relationship I ever got into. It’s the same voice that thinks it’s totally fine to love a bad boy. SHE was telling Lexi “okay, I see what you’re doing. It’s fine. I’m sure he IS trying to protect you.”

And he, being Twitch, Lexi’s stalker, did protect her. She is attacked, nearly raped, and Twitch was there to rescue her. And take care of her. And help her get to sleep. And Lexi’s attachment to Twitch was instantaneous. Even when Twitch told her he wasn’t a nice guy. Even when Twitch proved that he wasn’t interested in nice girls.

So the do-gooder Lexi, dipped her toe (and other body parts) right into Twitch’s world. The result was a love story that is both consuming and unhealthy, but so incredibly wonderful. Twitch was not a good man. Twitch was not a hero, but over the course of the book, he softens, finds that he can’t be without Lexi and the result of that love is something that will have you grabbing for your Kleenex and signing up for my pre-planned riot should Aurora not decide to write book two.

Because, though you will either love or hate this book, you will really want a second book. Trust me.

RAW is not for the faint of heart. It is not a sweet, HEA warm romance. It is visceral and real, incredible, emotional and well, quite raw.

Highly recommended. No, seriously, highly.

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