Does being raised a victim of abuse mean you will continue to gravitate to abusers? Stephanie, a teen who was literally kicked out of her abuse father’s home and sent to her aunt, the one thing that tore her heart out was leaving Eric behind, never saying goodbye. Ten years later she is a beautiful, grown woman, married to an extremely handsome and successful businessman who is fast becoming a clone of her abusive father. Alcohol spurs his cruelty to new heights, but Stephanie is too afraid to leave. Was it fate that reunited her with Eric, the warm and caring boy she never forgot? Will she be able to resist the pull they still feel for each other? What if her husband Travis finds out? Clandestine meetings, the feeling of safety she feels with Eric and her lack of self-control may get them both killed if her powerful and twisted husband finds out.
Evil of Love by N. L. Echeverria is one of the most gritty and twisted dark romances I have read in a while. There were times it was painful to keep reading. Stephanie was too timid to escape; she “loved” her husband as much as she feared him. Travis had issues from his own past that haunted him, driving him to hurt and humiliate the woman he professed to love. Eric rode in like the knight in shining armor, or boxing gloves, as his method of dealing with his hurt and anger over the loss of Stephanie without even a note or a goodbye, was to become a champion fighter. He at least found a channel for his pent up rage at the loss. One other noteworthy character was Travis’ limo driver, who sided with Stephanie, covered for her affair, but did nothing about what was happening to her. The mental images created by Ms. Echeverria are brutal, chilling and so well done, that the reader forgets this is fiction, the distorted world she has built is not real. Each character was pivotal to the plot, as were their actions.
I particularly like how Ms. Echeverria doesn’t try to “pretty up” what is going on. Three, actually four people are in the wrong, all for different reasons. For me, there were no real heroes, but there were people who had each suffered in their own way, dealing with their problems with only the tools their mental arsenals had.
The plot is disturbing, yet intriguing on many levels as I tried to see the character’s point of view. Still, whether I disagreed with many of the actions and poor choices made by all of them, I can definitely say that Ms. Echeverria can write, timing each twist well, sending out her message and evoking powerful emotions from her readers.
I received a review copy from the author as part of the Evil of Love Blog Tour