by Season Vining
Published by St. Martin's Griffin Release date : January 28th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romantic Suspense
Source: The Publisher | Format: eBook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible • The Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her. She’s the girl he thought he lost forever—the one he’s never been able to forget. Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again. But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own. On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in danger.
As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together. But will the past leave their love in ruins—or bind them together for a lifetime?
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After participating in the release day blitz for Beautiful Addictions, I immediately added it. I have been riding the contemporary wave lately and it seems like I have been in a forgiving mood when it comes to NA, so I bumped it up on my list and dove in.
I.. kind of don’t know where to start off with this review. Based on the synopsis, I had a good idea what I was going into when starting Beautiful Addictions. But there is so much more to this story than meets the eye. It’s dark and intense but I wasn’t able to really connect. I am one of those weird, picky readers that will stay hung up on something small, or something another reader would care less about. There are many things that I loved, aaand, at the same time, those same things I loved kind of peeved me. I have to break down my review to express all the conflicted emotions & thoughts.
What I liked:
The characters. With how the book is written, I didn’t really feel as connected as I like when reading a book (more on this later). But even though I wasn’t “connected” I was rooting for both Tristan and Josie. Both Tristan and Josie had rough lives, after Josie’s disappearance at age 14. Josie, using sex and drugs to numb her pain, is a such a broken girl. Having no memories of her past and living in an abusive foster home. She is alone, isolated and expresses herself in her art. But what I loved most was her big heart. After living on the streets, she now provides for her “friends,” and has a close relationship with another woman named Gavin. She couldn’t give them everything, but she gave them at least one thing that they needed.
When we start to learn about everything in her past, my heart just broke. Rape, abuse and neglect are nothing new to me (in books) but it still gets to me every time. Especially in Josie’s case. She doesn’t remember her family, love or friendship from before, just the hate and abuse she suffered. So, I can see how that could mentally mess with someone, and want to use things to escape and numb her pain. Enter Tristan. Josie is drawn to him, after witnessing a “breakdown” in an alley out her apartment. Tristan, unbeknownst to Josie, is her childhood best friend and first love. Tristan too, has a rough few years but in my opinion; not like Josie. He broke too, after losing Josie and got caught up in organized crime and is on the run from his boss, always looking over his shoulder in case of retaliation.
I loved these two together. You could tell just how must they loved each other as kids and that Tristan never got over her “disappearance.” I loved that he talked with her about their past and her family. They had the best chemistry and although Josie just wanted to succumb to lust and numb her pain, Tristan wouldn’t let her. He healed her; opening her eyes to his love. It was just so freaking heart warming.
The Plot & Suspense. I love a book on organized crime. I don’t know why, but it is so fascinating to me–Drugs, lies, betrayal– the whole shebang. The plot gets really thick as more POV’s are introduced, and more on Josie’s and Tristan’s past come to light. Everything is so wrapped up and connected to each other and I loved it. There were times I didn’t know where the story was going and the suspense drove me mad. Knowing little by little what was going on before the characters do, it adds a little nervousness. It’s like seeing the bad guy behind the door before the actor and SCREAMING at them to TURN AROUND.
That I didn’t Like-
The writing. Honestly, this could be under both “What I like” and “What I didn’t like.” But the fact of the matter is, the execution is my #1 issue with Beautiful Addictions.
I liked how everything was woven together, over the course of the book. This isn’t just about Josie and Tristan, there are so many people involved. I liked that we get to see the reasoning behind everything everyone did and back story of every character. It leaves out those questions at the end when you’re like, “but WHY??” Know what I mean?
But at the same time– I was overwhelmed with it. I was mixing up all the characters and it was just so frustrating to keep up with. My other issue; is the POV switch in the middle of a paragraph, and back and forth on the same page. I can see the potential benefit; we see EVERYTHING in front of us, getting a feel for what both parties involved are “thinking” at that particular moment. BUT. It’s adds a veil over everything, creating disconnect. It was hard to keep up at times.
The Randomness. I don’t know how else to describe it, other than random. We have Alex, as I mentioned before, he is a friend of Josie’s. But in the middle and then again towards the end, we get this 2-4 page POV of his that was just so random and out there. Maybe we will see more of him in later books from Season, so she wanted us to see more of him? I don’t know. I just know that it was completely random and I didn’t really care.
So you see, there is a lot going on here and much to love. But since I am one of those weird, picky readers that gets their feathers ruffled for the smallest of thing…. *shrug*
Overall- While I did have some issues with the writing, I did enjoy Beautiful Addictions. I loved the dark, intense tone and the suspenseful plot. It stands out in its uniqueness and I applaud Season for doing something different. I am curious to see what else she brings us, so I will definitely be on the watch for more of her books.