Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Darkness of Perfection

The Darkness of Perfection
By: Michael Schneider

Published by: 
The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House

Release Date: June 28, 2011

Format: eBook (203 pages)

Buy it at 
Amazon or The Writer's Coffee Shop

Source: eBook provided by publisher

Audience: Adult

*Enter to win an ebook of The Darkness of Perfection. 
Entry form follows the review!**

My Thoughts:
I was intrigued by the blurb for The Darnkess of Perfection. It is the story of a young girl, Jayden, who was born into a life of slavery only to be kidnapped away by her mother when she was a child. She has blocked the memories of her childhood, and grown up in a loving, supportive family with her mom, step-dad, and step-brother. Unbeknownst to Jayden, Nicky, the boy whom she was given to as a child, has never stopped looking for her. When the grown-up Nicholas finally finds and reclaims his possession, Jayden is thrust back into the world of white female slavery where Nicholas is prepared to pick up her training as his wife where he was forced to leave off twelve long years ago. Jayden must either accept her fate, and training, and settle into the world she was born in, or fight for her freedom. Only fighting for her freedom will only make her situation even worse. The feelings she had for Nicky as a child, when he was her protector and savior, only complicate the matters worse.

I have always been curious about the darker sides of life, the sides that we don't want to believe can exist in modern days. The fact that this story deals with human trafficking sparked my interest, and I knew it would be disturbing just from the nature of the topic. What I was not prepared for was how real my reactions would be. I read the first chapter one night before bed and was so disturbed by what I was reading that I had to put it down. I stepped away for a day and came back to it the next evening. As I continued reading, I discovered that the author handles the topic very well. She is able to weave a believable (or unbelievable?) tale in such a way that you can't turn from it. The story is gripping and the characters are consuming. I was able to become Jayden and feel everything she felt, right down to the confusion over her emotions and feelings for Nicholas. In one blurb I read, it said "the enemy has never been so easy to love". I kept looking for that small break that would reveal the loving, nurturing child Nicky was in the cold, demanding man that was Nicholas.

The author switches back and forth between Jayden's point of view and Nicholas', also alternating between past and present. While this may be confusing to some readers, I found it to be highly enriching to the story. Hearing Nicholas' side straight from his own mind allows us an inside view of the world he grew up in and how being raised in the world of human trafficking effects his dealings with Jayden even as he struggles to deal with his growing feelings for her. Jayden's point of view and flashbacks are vital to the story, they add depth and emotion to a world where the main focus is that on breaking the human spirit.

This wasn't a hot and steamy romance, but it was a highly emotional read. When I picked it back up after that first chapter, I immediately got drawn in and could not put it down. I was in turns horrified and sad, confused and hopeful. My only complaint is that the ending left me reeling. Surely Ms. Schneider does not plan to leave things there?! We need a more detailed epilogue - a sequel - a slice of life set 5 years in the future - anything! Please don't leave us there!

Would you like to win your own copy of The Darkness of Perfection? The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House has been gracious enough to give us five ebook copies for our readers.

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Contest ends Sept. 5th at 12:00AM

Summary from Goodreads:
Nicholas comes from a world of darkness where women are no better than slaves. He believes the secret to true happiness is for his wife to be molded to perfection. He had the promise of perfection in the bright eyes and innocent smile of a childhood friend long since lost to his world. He never gave up his dreams of their perfect life together. An accidental meeting brings him face to face with his dream.
Will he realize that true happiness can only be found in the beauty of imperfection before it's too late?

Jayden escaped from a life of terror and found security in her new home. Given a loving home and raised with all the normal expectations of college, career, love and happiness her memories of her earlier life fade into darkness.

An accident draws the attention of those who never gave up searching for her, determined to fulfill a contract not of her making. Jayden is taken from her perfect life and thrust back into a past she'd long forgotten. Broken of spirit, she is given to Nicholas to be his bride.

Jayden is desperate to find the light before she is lost to the darkness of perfection.

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