As much as I absolutly love LJ’s writing style, her in your face ass-hole characters, and her nasty smutty scenes… I still found the story line of this one a little hard to stomach at times. On one hand; because it’s a tale of triumph, love blossomed from the worst of cirucimstances, and overcoming a life trial that would and has broken people beyond repare, I loved it. Then on the other hand; there was so much rape, horible parents who not only turn a blind eye but also put their own sicknesses before anyone or anything else, that I struggled through parts.
A part of me felt like Shen had already covered so many rich family skelletons with the other Sinners of Saint books, that with Bane she dug up the nastiest grossness that she posibly could just she could to cover a new angle of Todos Santos. I’m torn between loving the fact that she was brave enough to cover such uglienss that our world is sadly no stranger to, and hating the fact that she intertwined the ugliness into so many characters. This book left me to wallow as an emotional basketcase, I felt attached to each character and completely engrossed… yet this is the lowest rating I’ve ever given a Shen book. That’s how confused and torn I am after reading it!
Jesse is on the brink of turning 20. She’s a complete hermit, and for good reason. She was gang rapped in high school by her boyfriend and a couple of his friends. They beat her within an inch of her life and carved the word ‘slut’ into her stomach. Through out the book she see’s her therapist, and has nightmares that slowly reveal another dark secret from her past that she’s repressed… again for good reason.
Bane himself is the product of rape. His was conceived in Russia by means of attack, and his mother moved to the states to raise him alone. Bane is known as the ultimate man-whore of Todos Santos. He’s built a chain of businesses from the ground up, and made a name for himself both as the town bad-ass and the prostitute. Rich families pay him for sexual favors, because, well, he keeps his mouth shut and delivers the ‘goods’ that he has to offer… in epic proportions, if you catch my drift. He’s sexy, powerful, well-equipt, and he doesn’t give a shit about his reputation. In fact he loves being what and who he is.. until Jesse comes along.
Bane goes to Jesse’s step dad with a business investment proposal. The old oil tycoon is eger to throw money at Bane’s vision of a surf community on one condition. That condition is that he helps Jesse, his step daughter, come out of hiding and learn how to function in society again. At first it seems that his intentions are pure, as he puts a clause in the contract that Bane sticks strickly to friendship. He’s not to touch Jesse, just befriend her and teach her how to function amongst regular people again.
Once the contract’s ink is dry, Bane jumps right in by learning Jesse’s running routine, along with when she sees her shrink and her elderly neighbor, as those really are the only times she steps out of the confinement of her bedroom. As he inserts himself into her life, and pulls her out of her shell things spiral. The emotions and energy between them are feirce, and circumstances around them unfold into much more than what things seemed at first.
Ultimately, I’ll surely be reading more of LJ Shen’s work (propbably every book she ever writes, because I really am a huge fan of her style), but, so far this one is my least favorite of her works.
Roman ‘Bane’ Protsenko
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.
*This book contains material that might be offensive for some or elicit a strong emotional response.