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Mercy Kindle Edition
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This is my kind of book. Mercy by Debra Anastasia ticked all the right boxes for me with this story. It’s difficult not to take a second glance at this book in the first place, what with the easy on the eye cover. It’s simple, but it invites a potential reader to browse the blurb. Job done in that respect.
“My heart felt like a hot air balloon.”
I haven’t read all that much of this author’s work – Poughkeepsie and Fire Down Below being the only ones. Both very different, both unique in style that readers have come to recognise from Debra. Mercy lays on the serious side, more like the tone of Poughkeepsie but with an interjection of humour which is in no way out of place. The funny little anecdotes and comments enhances the readers enjoyment. Mercy is heavy in places, so the humour is welcome. I must also mention how quotable this book is. There are reams and reams of sentences and dialogue that one will simply swoon at, or wish to remember, or write down to look back on another day. I certainly highlighted many throughout my ebook and this is a rarity for me. A simple sentence often had a profound affect while I was reading, so much so I would sit back and puff out a little contented sigh. I wanted more.
“I felt my heart taking off its armor.”
Characters were extremely well written and I found myself enamoured with both Fenix and Becca. Neither had the easiest of lives, in particular Nix. I loved the dedication he had towards Becca, even when she didn’t realise it. The man loved her and loved her, then loved her some more. His vulnerabilities bounced to the forefront whenever Becca is on the scene, I loved seeing that side to him. Underneath his armour is the soft shell that seemingly only Becca (and Animal) were privileged to encounter. I must make mention of the ‘bromance.’ Strip this story down and you are left with fundamentally strong relationships that make the core of this book – and the most beautiful one for me was the friendship between Animal and Mercy (Nix). I think it is the best I’ve ever read, as a reader you can feel their connection soul deep which is a very difficult thing to get right. Debra Anastasia knocked it out the park. Most of her relationships are very well thought out and leave an impact for sure.
“You’re my heart, and this is the first time I’ve ever thought it was worthy of a beat.”
Becca is extremely likeable and again a character that was well developed and quite joyful to read. She had a way about her that you simply couldn’t not like. Much of the quirky humour stems from her and her antics. Her family dynamics were a little skewed and the relationship she has with her Mother is testing for the most part. I wasn’t a fan of her but in the end, it is what it is and Becca finally stands up. Her compassion towards Nix shines from the very first meeting, there’s lust initially and they get to know one another. Secrets unravel yet still she faces her adversaries and stands up to be counted.
“The moon is your crown. You’re my skeleton princess.”
The other relationship worthy of a mention is that of Nix and the young girl – Christina. A child can see beyond the sum of someone’s appearance and little Christina served to make that purpose a reality. It added another dimension to Nix and his personality. Beautiful.
“His voice was the soundtrack to sin.”
Mercy is a little bit of a slow burn, in terms of the two main characters connecting. There are action points at pivotal moments which keeps the story rolling along, preventing it from stagnating. Some gruesome parts abound, and Mercy has a definite gritty undertone – not enough to spoil your dinner – yet it’s there all the same, the story errs on the dark side at times. Debra gives the reader a little bit of everything, hence why it’s my kind of book. I’d highly recommend this, Mercy hits my coveted ‘favourite books’ list of this year. One for the paperback shelf for sure. Not one to miss. Enjoy!
My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.
My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.
Usually, it takes me at least a couple of days before I post a review for a book I've finished, but with this one I couldn't wait. I will admit, that I knew nothing about the author and that the main reason I picked the book was the page count (403) and that the title started with a "M" so it would fill a hole in my challenges page. However, this was a book that I couldn't put down and I finished it the same day I started.
The novel is about Fenix/Nix (street name Mercy) and the object of his attention Becca. The two of them met as children in a supermarket/convenience store the day that Nix's father killed his mother. That day a young girl stood up to Nix's father and told him to take his hands off him. Becca's father called her name to draw her away and two obsessions were started.
Nix is a man who wears his pain on his skin, literally as he has transformed himself into a human skeleton via tattoos. He works as a contract killer and is for sale to the highest bidder, but he's also a self proclaimed protector and he has three obsessions: Ember (his sister), Christina (the granddaughter of a mafia boss he rescues at the start of the novel) and Becca (the girl from the supermarket and our heroine). These three females he protects with all his skills.
His appearance means that normal society has somewhat shunned him and that his surveillance of his three woman is done remotely, usually via hacking into security cameras and phone tracking, although he has a few other methods up his sleeve too.
Becca works in a bar and when her boss decides to host a "Day of the Dead" themed weekend, Nix'es best friend and only family "Animal" persuades Nix to go and meet Becca in person. Their chemistry is undeniable and the devotion that Nix has to Becca almost slavish. Nix has some very serious abandonment issues, father issues and generally feels that he doesn't deserve someone like Becca. Becca doesn't realise that the ink is anything other than an elaborate make-up job to start with and this allows her to get to know the real Nix.
However, there was a reason that Nix looked after Becca with such fierceness - he knows his abusive father well enough to realise that he'd come after her and seek his revenge for standing up to him and Becca is in real danger from him. The timing of Nix and Becca meeting coincides with the return of Nix'es father and much drama ensues.
As always, I'm going to stop with the plot synopsis about there as spoilers will come shortly.
Common sense tells me that I should be extremely alarmed by the behaviour that Nix exhibits, but I'm not. I think his stalker-ish nature isn't scary because Nix believes that his father is a serious danger to Becca and if a contract killer says that, who I am to disagree? Nix'es devotion to Becca is touching, obsessive but proportionate as Nix truly believes that Becca's actions the day they made saved his life. There is no doubt that Nix is damaged by his childhood, but his loving side is seen both in terms of his interactions with Becca and with his best friend Animal that he met when he ended up in a children's home as a teenager.
Becca is a worthy match for him. She is fun loving and extremely devoted to her best friend Henry (Hendrix). She deals with her "Mother Monster" in a realistic way, managing her mothers "husband finding" missions to perfection. She's strong in a quiet and understated way and will take whatever hand is dealt to her without complaint.
When I look at what Debra has created in terms of the interactions between them, it makes me smile. Despite the way Nix looks, he is actually a very relate-able character and I felt myself grinning when he got things right and face-palming when he managed to get things wrong. I was always on his side because I knew deep down, he was good and that he deserved to be happy. I think, in me Nix ended up with his own personal cheerleader. Often in the case when a character puts another on a pedestal I fail to see what is so special about them. But when you put Becca and Nix together it makes them better than the sum of their parts. That I think is what a truly great couple should be.
This book astounded me - Debra Anastasia has created a new favourite for me and I can't wait until the end of the year when Animal's book is released!
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