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Ravages [Kindle Edition]

R.A. Padmos
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Steve Gavan and Daniël Borghart are professional soccer players for Kinbridge Town – and also secret lovers. All that changes, however, when Steve innocently wanders into a city park and falls victim to a vicious gang of queer-bashers who beat him within an inch of his life. After that there are no secrets any more – and it’s a very long road back, for both of them, from there…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 512 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Manifold Press (10 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #255,281 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty Book for a Gritty Subject 27 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're thinking of buying this book expecting it to be a love story that shies away from the hard stuff, I heartily suggest you click the 'Back' button immediately. This is not for you.

This book tells it how it is. The world is a harsh place to be, and this book doesn't hold back on anything. We are with Steve when he is assaulted and we are with him through almost EVERY step of his recovery. But we are not alone. There is a note of hope in Daniel, and in others too.

Hopefully, when a footballer player DOES come out in the future, it will not be under circumstances like this, but until then, there is this. If you can hang on through a few gruesome scenes, the rewards are bountiful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 17 Feb 2013
By Sirius - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition

Okay, first and foremost a warning -- and I cannot stress it strongly enough -- even though the blurb says it, the description of the hate crime, the beating that Steve suffers from is graphic and detailed, and very VERY painful to read. If this is triggering for you, STAY AWAY.

If however you can stomach several pages of violent horror, you will be amply rewarded by the whole book if you love pure beauty of romance. The story is basically Steve's recovery from what was done to him as well as Steve and Dan realising what they truly meant to each other and adjusting and finding that they do want to spend the life together.

I also want to stress very strongly that the book is first and foremost a romance. If you prefer your books more plotty with the romance as secondary storyline, this will not be for you. I was actually a little surprised that I loved it so very much. Usually I want more plot in my books rather than concentrating mostly on the relationship, but once in a while a book like this one comes along and I just want to sigh happily and rejoice at the triumph of fighting human spirit and be glad that our heroes found each other.

One of the reasons I purchased this book was because I love football. No, not American football, the real one. That game Americans call soccer and what I grew up watching and loving and cheering up my home team on. It is by far my favorite sport in the whole world to watch, so I was wondering how much of the sport will be depicted on the pages of the book. I have to say not much. There is some of the atmosphere of professional football, but it is mostly in connection with Steve and Dan's situation and how it unfolds. We get to see their love for the sport, the reactions of their teammates and true friendship between many of them, but there are no games which are described in great detail.

I loved watching how what happened to Steve forced these two to see what their real priorities were, and how Dan fought to help Steve to come back from the dead. Even if Steve's body would never be one of a fit, healthy man because of the horrors they lived through, they have and support each other, and Dan being there made all the difference in the world. I enjoyed reading about their doubts and their fears and how their love kept winning over those doubts and fears, and how they achieved their happily ever after. It is a very hard earned happy ending, but it is truly happy.

The tension, the conflict in this book is for the guys to stay together, not to come back together after being driven apart. No, Steve has to come to terms that no matter how much damage and pain he suffered, Dan still wants him and loves him and does not want anybody else instead of him. Dan has to come to terms with how much their circumstances changed after Steve's beating, and that despite his love, there is a long road to travel for Steve -- and for Dan if he wants to be with Steve.

I keep wondering as I type this review whether this book could be considered too melodramatic and personally I just do not see it, although I am sure other readers may think that way. I am not sure what saved it for me from becoming too melodrama. Maybe because the writer did not keep throwing horror after horror on the guys and let them deal with the consequences of Steve's trauma (which was severe in itself of course) and how it influenced their love. Maybe because she did not go for the tried and true "lets break them up" plot device, but instead let them dealt with their doubts and insecurities together? Maybe because the writing was itself so, so beautiful, and beautiful writing can save a lot for me. Maybe it was all the above. Let me give you a taste of the dialogue and I think it may help you decide whether dialogue itself is too melodramatic for you or not.

"One day, you will lie in my arms again and you will say my name. You have taught me that I'm much more patient that I ever thought. I guess you have taught me how to stop looking at the clock"

Very highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving read! 15 Feb 2013
By Ade C. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The blurb says that `Ravages' is a love story between two footballers -Steve Gavan and Daniėl Borghart, who play for a fictional club in the Premier League-, but it's so, so much more than that. It's a story about loss, about acceptance, about secrets and what happens when those secrets come to light.

It's not the typical boy-meets-boy, boys-fall-instantly-in-love, boys-face-contrived-circumstances-that-keep-them-apart, boys-have-a-happy-ending story. The thing about 'Ravages' is that it's realistic in all the best ways. The characters are alive; they're real people with their virtues and their defects, their petty hopes and those more grandiose dreams they won't speak about. Their surroundings (both the city and the football club) could be one of the many we read about every day on the papers. The reactions of the characters to everything that happens to them, good or bad, are nuanced, fitting to their personality, influenced by their situation, but still undoubtedly their own. No one is unbelievably good, or ridiculously evil; even those characters who do wrong have their reasons, their internal logic we can understand even if we can't share it.

Beyond the realism that helped me feel as if I knew the characters better than I know some of my friends, this book stayed with me because of the very adult love story. Steve and Daniėl have already moved past puppy love and the first flush of falling in love: the story isn't about a couple getting to know each other, it's about their commitment to each other being put to the test. Established relationships can be interesting too!

A slow-paced, nuanced read, 'Ravages' is the kind of novel that stays with you long after you've finished the last page.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving story about unconditional love 28 May 2013
By Charly T. Anchor - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 8/10

- The author tackles a horrifying and weighty subject matter and gives it the consideration and development it deserves. There's nothing brushed over here, nothing rushed past or barely developed.
- The descriptions are deep and detailed, not just of settings, but also of impressions, observations, feelings, etc.
- I found Padmos's writing style interesting. It's unusual in that it's more abstract than most writing in this genre (example: "He remembers everything that is ever forgotten and foresees everything that is yet unknown"), and profound comments are thrown in repeatedly with very little fanfare. (see cons below also)
- I am very familiar with the top-level British football league, and the small details Padmos includes in the story--from the vocabulary the characters use to their comments about the various clubs--are well-researched and realistic.

- The first 15% of the story is harsh and extremely unpleasant. So much so that I needed a pep talk from a friend to continue reading. I was ready to quit.
- There is some awkwardness to the writing, perhaps partly because it's written in present tense (not always consistently/correctly), but mostly because the book has a meandering style that tends to get a bit lost in itself when it goes off on tangents.
- The author tends toward hyperbole at times and, even now, almost a week after finishing the story, I'm not sure whether I found it mostly compelling or cringe-worthy. Sometimes the emotions struck me as powerful-yet-realistic, and other times they struck me as melodramatic, as though the story were trying too hard to be epic.

Overall comments: The first part of this book is very, very hard to read. I had to skim much of it. I am glad I soldiered on and finished, though. The story has a melancholy, contemplative tone to it--one that alerts you right off that what you are about to read will not be fluffy and light-hearted. Emotions run high: anger and fear and despair run rampant alongside feelings of love so strong the characters are almost overwhelmed by them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful story 6 May 2013
By jeayci - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow. What an amazing story. I had some trouble at first with how committed they were to each other after just 6 months as a couple, until I remembered they'd been teammates and friends for years before that.
4.0 out of 5 stars Gratifying Journey 5 Jun 2013
By Restless1 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The violence in this book was a little tough to read, but it's a fact of life even today for those in the LGBT world. Many people who suffer from these attacks never survive at all, so it was gratifying to read a story that didn't illustrate a quick recovery in favor of a happy ending. The ending is happy, but it's a long road that makes the story believable.
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