Torrent (Condemned #1) by Gemma James
Released: July 22, 2014
Genre: Dark romance
Publisher: not yet published
Reviewed by Sarah
On the flap: She sent an innocent man to prison. Now, eight years later, he's returning the favor...
I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now.
Now that he's holding me captive on an island.
Rafe has his reasons for doing what he's doing, and if I'm honest, I can't blame him. I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn't commit.
But now he's free and the tables have turned...now he's the one driven by obsession.
TORRENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content that includes sexual situations and violence. Intended for adult readers 18+ only. If you are easily offended by dark subject matter, this story is probably not for you. Part one of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read. Approximately 43,500 words.
There are things you should know before you pick up this book. First, there is a warning on the flap for dark and disturbing themes. This should definitely be heeded. Sometimes this forewarnings tend to be for marketing reasons but not in this case. This entire premiere of the Condemned series is violent and abusive with some fetishes that push the envelope. Secondly, know this is a series and will end with a cliffhanger.
Alex has been controlled all of her life; by her adopted father, her mother’s mental illness, her step brother’s obsession. She does whatever she’s told just to make it through another day. On one hand, she seems to lack all self-worth and identity and yet, on the other, she is strong and a survivor. The only decision that was ever truly hers was to take an interest in Rafe, her step brother’s best friend. Even that choice gets removed when she sends him to prison for raping her.
Rafe had it all. He had a career as an UFC fighter beginning to flourish. He could have any woman he wanted and did but knew where to draw the line. Then it was all taken from him when Alex lied. Now he’s had eight long years to plan his revenge. Once out of the penitentiary, he sets his scheme into motion. First he taunts her, and then kidnaps her. He will take from her all the things which were taken from him.
There are subjects of non-consensual breath control, rape, quasi-incest, kidnapping, and slavery. In fact much of the torture is prolonged because Alex won’t tell Rafe what he wants to know. Even by the conclusion of this installment, I don’t get why she wouldn’t tell him sooner. It’s apparent to me as the reader the general answer to his question, so I can’t understand why she won’t just tell him. My guess goes back to her lack of self-esteem but I think it goes even further and she is trying to protect him with her version of love.
I tend to like some fluffiness or loving emotions with my romance and erotica. This lacks all lightness and is gritty and rough. If you’re still with me and decided to read Torrent, it’s worth it. Yes, it is full of uncomfortable and sometimes downright brutal scenes but it’s also compelling. I found myself reading it by only peeking through my metaphorical hands covering my face. At one point, I had decided I was brainwashed because I could comprehend and begin to empathize with the viciousness. While this twisted romance is not for all, it’s a brilliantly written story begging for a perverse form of a happy ended to two exceptionally broken characters.
Rating: 4 stars
B&N | Goodreads | Author
I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.