**ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**“I try to shake off the shattered remnants of my haunting guilt. But it grips me, carrying me off on the current of memory like a captured leaf, forever churning as the water of my emotions takes me back to the night that Faith called me. And I didn’t answer.”
Blaine “Cas” Steel has been watching Jewell MacLeod aka Jess Mackey for two years, silently blaming her for the death of his cousin, Faith. Determined to avenge his sole family member, Cas, along with his team of Federal Agents go deep undercover to help flush out the sick individual who has been murdering women who all match Jewell’s description, practicing for when he can finally get to her. Cas could have never prepared himself for the reaction he would have to Jess; starting a chain reaction two years in the making…
Cas wants to hate her, keep his distance, do his job; but as soon as Jewell starts to dance, he’s done.“It instantly slams into me why Faith loved her, it strikes me between the eyes like a physical blow: Jewell is fragile, vulnerable. She’s a woman on the chasm of breaking apart. Faith had felt the same thing I’m feeling now: a fierce sense of protection.”
Keeping his cool and playing the role of “bad boy” Devin Castile gets more and more difficult when he starts to realize Jewell is not who or what he originally thought. Cas has a killer to catch, many lives to save; it shouldn’t matter if one must be lost in order to save many more…but Jewell is proving to be a very dangerous distraction. His feelings can’t get involved with this situation and though he fights it, Jewell gets under his skin and into his heart.“The girl who will get me the truths I need is the fix to my broken, the key to a lock I didn’t know existed.”
Reading this book did things to me. There is something to be said about “two sides to a story.” I absolutely fell in love with Cas all over again. Being able to see the events unfold from his perspective; to watch HIM change, because of her. To experience this amazing story through his eyes…PRICELESS!
Marata Eros has an amazing gift and the re-telling of Jewell & Blaine’s story is just a glimpse of the awesomeness that is she. Everything I felt the first time while reading A Terrible Love was magnified ten-fold while reading A Brutal Tenderness; I don’t even think I can adequately explain…and I don’t want to. READ.THIS.BOOK.
(After you read ATL first, of course).
There is so much more to Cas’ POV than I could have ever expected; and the bonus at the end makes the sweet torture of reliving all the “crazy” (including the rare glances into the mind of a true psychopath) so worth it! Brava Ms. Eros, you’ve done it again.“She owns me and I can’t breathe for knowing it.”**5+++ Brutally Tender Stars**
My cast for Jess/Jewell:
Blaine "Cas" Steel: