Shame by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin # 3
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Source: Received for review
Everything done in darkness, will eventually be brought into the light.
I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can't change your soul.
A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one that seemed confident, but it was a lie.
When guys kissed me--I felt only pain.
When they touched me--Nothing but fear.
Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone that will see you as their world.
But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn't fool enough to think I'd ever get it.
Until he walked into my life.
I wasn't prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie--I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea.
But I was powerless to stop myself from falling.
And he was powerless to catch me.
Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I'm stronger than I knew. I'm stronger than you think.
You think you know my story, but you don't....after all everyone has Shame in their lives-- and I'm no longer afraid to show you mine.
I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead against hers. A shaky breath escaped her lips. “I’m going to kiss you now.”
“Are you trying to prepare me or ask permission?” she whispered, her voice beckoning me like a siren’s call.
“Both.” My lips hovered near hers. “I figure it’s only fair.”
“Fair?” She pulled back slightly. “How so?”
“Ten thousand.” I angled my head and watched the pulse jump on her neck. “That’s how many nerve endings, on average, are in your lips. Consequently, when your body anticipates pleasure, the build-up is the best part. Imagine, those ten thousand nerves are swelling, allowing blood to surge through them in anticipation of… what?” I swept my tongue across her lower lip and whispered, “Of being touched. I ask permission, not because I’m being a gentleman. It’s actually the complete opposite. I ask permission so your brain anticipates the pleasure before I’ve ever even touched you.”
I tasted her lower lip again and abruptly dipped my tongue into her mouth. Then just as quickly retreated. “The human body is an instrument. Know how to master it… and well…” I let my voice drop as I moved my hands slowly to her shoulders and tugged her body flush against mine. Our mouths met softly at first. I deepened the kiss, memorizing her taste, knowing I wouldn’t experience a kiss like this again in my lifetime. The way her scent, her soft moans destroyed my body, wrecked me from the deepest part of me, was nothing short of life-altering.
And I’d like to think I’d kissed a lot of women.
I’d studied the psychology of sexuality.
I was an expert in pleasure.
But she was schooling me, absolutely wreaking havoc on every logical thought as her soft whimper cascaded over me. Blood surged through my body as it tightened with awareness at her proximity.
She pulled back, her lips swollen. “That was… not a good enough warning.”
Laughing softly, I cupped the back of her head and gently drew it toward mine and kissed her again, angling my lips differently, searching her, consuming her, drawing pleasure from her lips as if it was my life goal to discover every single secret she owned.
Her arms wrapped around my neck. She was shy; she didn’t push against me, didn’t wrap her legs around me or moan into my mouth like I was having sex with her rather than kissing her.
My hands moved down her corset to her hips, and I lifted her into the air and walked her backward toward the brick wall. The whole time, our masks collided. In frustration, I ripped hers off, then mine. The shadows of moonlight hid our faces as I kissed her harder, losing myself in her.
Her nails dug at the back of my neck as she jerked my head harder. Groaning, I let her fall to the ground as I placed my hands on the brick wall to keep myself from ripping the dress from her body.
Shouting started from the ballroom.
“Eight,” I whispered against her mouth. “Seven.”
“Six.” She sighed, her breathing labored as her tongue found mine again. “Five.”
“Four, three.” I pulled back and trailed kisses down her neck.
We broke apart, both breathing heavy. “One.”
People burst out onto the balcony as the fireworks started, lighting up the sky. And our faces.
And the only thing I could say as she gasped in horror was “Oh, shit.”
This series has really touched my heart from the first book to this one. And I have to say that I'm glad to have finally gotten to know Lisa's story. It's heart breaking, it's painful, and an incredible read. Since Ruin, the first book in this series, I have been so touched by Rachel's writing, it's fantastic.
This story is all about Lisa hiding and running away from her past. She has secrets, demons, and ghosts to deal with, so she hides behind a new-ish identity. But how long can demons stay buried, how long is it going to take for her secrets to surface, and who's ghost is coming back to haunt her?
In comes in Tristan, brother to Taylor. He pretends to be a teacher at Lisa's school to get close to her and to find out the truth about his brother's suicide. He knows that Lisa was his brother's girlfriend and that she knows what happened to Taylor, what drove him to insanity. Tristan will stop at nothing until he finds out what happened, but can he fight the pull the Lisa has towards him, or does he give up to his immense attraction towards her?
Regret. Darkness. Manipulation. Misled. Despair. That describes Lisa's past. She'd love to forget what happened in her past, forget the memories, the moments, and all the emotions that come along with remembering. This girl has been to hell and back, all because she was young and naive. This book really touched my heart because it is about a person that just wanted to be loved, appreciated, and most of all accepted. And she went to the ultimate extremes to achieve all that, at the cost of her own dignity. Lisa really did do everything she could to keep someone happy and in turn, it would make her secure in the relationship. I understood her and all her struggles because we all want to be loved and accepted for who we are, but she trusted the wrong person and got burned for it. So she had to live in her own personal hell. This story is a perfect example of one event, one moment that can change your life forever. Can Lisa be saved or will she save herself?
One of my favorite things about the structure of this book was that it was told in multiple points of view, Lisa's, Taylor in his journal entries, and Tristan. The journal aspect was quite new for me, I hadn't read anything like that before so I thought that was unique and interesting. The journal showed how insane and cruel Taylor really was. He was a manipulator to the extreme, had a god complex, and thought that everyone was beneath him. How he wanted to mold and perfect Lisa into his personal doll, he also wanted to corrupt her and make her just as damaged as he was. This guy was the ultimate evil but disguised himself as the perfect boyfriend.
Lisa's relationship with Taylor was a horrible experience for her that ruined her for any other guy. But her relationship with Tristan was beautiful, he showed her her worth, she got her confidence back, and most importantly that her past didn't define her. That is the most important lesson of all, the past can only be accepted and once you've done that, let it go cause it doesn't have the power to control or hurt you anymore.
Rachel's Ruin series has been heart wrenching, inspirational, beautiful, and with the perfect amount of humor. I was so happy to have seen Wes and Gabe from the other books in the series, I think that they were so good for Lisa to be around, they protected and comforted her in her worse times. It was great to see how it all tied together in the end. The plot, the writing, and the characters were absolutely phenomenal, in true Rachel fashion. I can't get enough of her books. Another awesome read by her and it can not be missed.