A Discussion about Consequences by Aleatha Romig

Edited to include updated purchase links and new cover.

A few days ago Amy and Jen (both reviewers at Fiction Vixen) and Tori all told me to read this book. These are three ladies that share my tastes in books, so when I read the blurb and felt slightly horrified, I knew I had to push forward and try it.

I ended up really like this book, but I want to say a few things first before we get into the discussion. First of all, this is not a romance book. This is a psychological thriller. There is no ‘hero.’ Anthony and Claire are the protagonists. The author does not redeem Anthony in this book, nor try to. (I believe three books are planned, whether redemption comes in book two or three – I don’t know. I think that will be a great point to debate). There is a kidnapping, a rape and then a book full of physical abuse (stick with me!) There were scenes that made me feel sick to my stomach. At times I screamed, WHY AM I READING THIS?! But I kept my trust in Tori, Amy and Jen because they freaked out at the end of the book, so I knew I had to get there. And the end is pretty awesome.

Okay, now that we are done with the warning…let’s get into the discussion. First, if you want to read the blurb go here. It is super long so I’m not going to copy/paste. Basically, billionaire Anthony kidnaps Claire, rapes her and slowly starts to brainwash her with total control and physical abuse, so that she isn’t quite sure if she loves him or not. He showers her with gifts and love at some points, but if she is not the perfect hostess or girlfriend for appearances sake, he beats her. It’s all about control and consequences.

Tori and Amy – First I want to discuss Claire’s slow descent into loving Anthony. By all accounts, he is a monster. Was it his total manipulation of her that made her too scared to reach out to friends and family and tell them the truth of her situation? Did she really fall in love with him or was she scared that if she tried to leave, he would come after her?

Tori: In the beginning, I think she is confused, lost, and in shock. She wakes up not understanding what just happened. The man she respected and liked just RAPED and abused her. 0_o Then he starts telling her she signed a work contract with him allowing him carte blanche. Huh? I admit that when he spoke of the contract, my first thought was, “Dude, tell him that crap don’t fly morally OR legally.” Then break out the nunchucks. *sigh* It takes awhile for Claire to gain her bearings. Trapped and at his complete mercy, I don’t think she ever REALLY falls in love with him in a romantic sense. Her love for him stems from self preservation. Classic brainwashing. She remarks later in the book that obedience takes more strength than retaliation, and the fact she recognizes that, let me know that she never went completely under his control. It’s easy to stand outside of an abusive relationship and say, “Oh, I would never put up with that.” Yet, unless you’ve been in that situation, you have no way of knowing what you can and will do in order to survive. It’s only at the end do we really understand that she never had a chance.

Amy: I agree with Tori in the fact that I think Claire was in total shock once she woke up and realized what had happened. I mean, one minute she’s serving a hot man that is flirting with her drinks and the next she is locked in a bedroom with no way out. And that’s the main issue, she is now a captive to a monster and has absolutely NO way to contact friends or escape in the first few months. Claire is very smart in the fact that she knows there is no way she can make it outside of the house, even if she did, she has no clue where she is, and once she finds out she is under camera surveillance, she knows she has no chance in leaving. I think that was such a pivotal moment when Anthony takes her to the home theatre room and makes her watch herself on screen from the first day to the current day. That gutted me because at that point, Claire’s perspective of the situation was clear and self-preservation mode kicks in. And I never bought that she was truly in love with him. She convinced herself she was, at least partially, in order to mentally survive.

Mandi: They way he ‘met’ her, took her, and imprisoned her really freaked me out. He brainwashed her to an extent where later she was allowed to hang out with her sister, have friends, go shopping by herself (all under his strict control of course). I just felt this set-up is so creepy and disturbing. For every freedom Claire felt she won, she was really being mocked by Anthony. My major complaint with this book is that it is too long. I feel like it starts to drag in the middle and the author gets her point across and could have taken out a lot of the pages.

The end made me gasp more than once. While I knew something was fishy, I didn’t expect things to play out as they did at the end. Do you think the foreshadowing was present enough in the story? Without giving away the end, did you find it a believable ending?

Tori: I had remarked to Jen and Amy that this book had the setup and execution that is present in a Quentin Tarantino movie. We start in the middle, work our way forward, go back to see the beginning, then jump to the end. That in itself was the foreshadowing. Had it been clear cut and presented in the traditional manner, I wouldn’t have enjoyed as much. The not knowing and learning along with Claire does is what appealed to me most of all. Well, that and my hatred for Anthony. And yes, I found it completely believable. The entire setup was brilliantly played out to me. I do hope book 2, Truth, gives us more insight into Anthony’s thoughts and some needed explanations..

Amy: I have never seen a Quentin Tarantino movie, but I can tell you this; I was blown away by the ending. BLOWN AWAY! And that is what made this book incredible in my opinion. There was no foreshadowing of Anthony’s main objective that the reader could see. It was obvious something bad was going to happen to Claire when she took off in the car but what did happen was NOT what I was expecting at all! And when Anthony whispered in her ear about consequences and appearances, I came unglued!

Tori: OMG-I laughed my arse off about his note. I think he seriously overplayed his hand there. “Does he want a ‘well done’?” *shaking my head*

Mandi: The second book comes out next month and I believe a third book is in the works. At this point, after watching Anthony abuse, humiliate, and pretty much destroy Claire’s life, I want his penis chopped off. I can’t see him being redeemed. Now I have NO idea what the author has in store for us in the next book, and again I really don’t think this is a romance book. But I have to ask – what if the author attempts to redeem him? Is this even a possibility in your minds?

Tori: Yes, Truth comes out next month and Conquest (I think that is the title) releases in 2013 possibly 2014. *gasp* I have no urge for an HEA between Anthony and Claire. I don’t see how their could be, honestly. I want him to see the error of his ways through his own discovery and drown in the the shame, disgust, angst, pity, etc….he should feel when he realizes what he did. I want Claire to nail his arse to the wall and then leave him hanging there. I want her to play him like a fine instrument, get him completely enamored with her, then walk away as if he doesn’t matter and leave him lonely and heartbroken. I want him to die a slow death by porcupine. I want…lol…I’m sure everyone gets my drift.

Amy: I cannot wait to get my hands on Truth! I have not been this messed up over a book since waiting for Lover Mine! Seriously, I would have never thought a psycho-thriller book would appeal to me as much as this has but I MUST know the next phase in the story. I am DYING for Claire to have the ultimate revenge and yet I know the author can take this story is so many different directions. It’s going to be riveting to see how it all plays out in the end. I see no redemption for Anthony. I have no desire or see any fathomable reasoning as to how these two could ever have an HEA and I don’t want one. What I want more than anything is for Claire to find just one vulnerability in Anthony, one thing he might covet or care for and then I want her to destroy it in front of him and literally bring him to his knees. And like you Mandi, I would enjoy Claire castrating him and feeding him his own balls, lol.

Mandi: Okay, to wrap things up – this is a tough book to read. Girls – give the Smexy readers a reason to read this book – tell them WHY they should pick this book up.

Tori: You’re right Mandi, this is a VERY tough book to read. It is not an emotional feel good book. It is NOT a romance. So be forewarned! I read mainly because I have a problem with pain and I like to push that comfort zone. I don’t like to see characters give or receive physical pain in romance-bdsm for example. This book was appealing for me because the pain wasn’t imparted for romantic reasons. The author wasn’t trying to convince me that the pain was necessary in order for h/h to have a romantic relationship. The male protag in here systemically destroys then attempts to rebuild the heroine to his specifications. Her actions and reactions to that is what makes this book so compelling.

Amy: The book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s is extremely tough to read and the author does such a fabulous job establishing a visceral fear and hate for what is taking place. For me, the appeal was the author’s ability to draw such intensive emotion out of me throughout the entire story. I literally felt like how I was watching Silence of the Lambs and Sleeping with the Enemy for the first time. I wanted to scream, stab, kill and castrate which are far different emotions than what I usually feel when reading romance novels. And honestly, the strength of this book is in the heroine and I was rooting for her the entire time. Where many in a situation like she endured, would crumble, she’s still standing and I can’t wait for her to be able to say “vengeance is mine”!

A final point from Amy (in which Mandi and Tori completely agree) – The worst thing the author could do would be to continue Claire as a victim through the next two books. While she was a victim in this book, her strength sustained her to endure the madness and it would be exhausting to have to deal with it for two more books only for her to have retaliation at the very end!

.Consequences: Goodreads l Kindle  l Nook l Smashwords ($2.99)

Jen has her review posted at Fiction Vixen today with an interview to follow.

For those that have read Consequences, the author has the first chapter of Truth up on her Goodreads page.

Comments

  1. says

    Ohhh you guys are killing me. This sounds good, but to read this kind of book there has to be something that really makes me root for the heroine. Is there that in this? For an example think about The Color Purple, Celie is a beaten down victim but you root for her. Thoughts?

    • Mandi says

      Looking back, I never got frustrated with Claire. Her always had that strong inner core – she is smart – she learns to read Anthony and to shut up and do as he says as to avoid beatings. She was really good at pushing the truth to the back of her mind but never forgetting. She did what she had to do to survive, yet the author has her grow confused feelings for Anthony too. So that babbling answer means yes – she is a beat down victim but I totally rooted for her. ;)

  2. says

    I liked this book too. LOL.

    Loved the discussion. And Amy had a great point at the end. We need to see something different from Claire in this one.

    And I might be the only person that wants Tony redeemed. I am a sad sap.

      • Mandi says

        I honestly don’t know how I feel. If he is redeemed, it’s going to be VERY tricky. First Claire needs to make him suffer. SUFFFFFFFFFER.

          • Mandi says

            No..no way, right? Why would he go through that whole set up, just to get her out? Unless someone else got her out and he caught wind of it…

          • says

            Nothing was as it seemed in Consequences so I have to assume there will be a curve ball in TRUTH too. Right? Or maybe the curve ball is this other party that enters the picture.

          • Mandi says

            ooooooh…yes – I didn’t think about past people. Claire may not have been the first victim. Oh I like this.

          • Amy says

            OMG I didn’t even think about a past victim that has not entered the canvas yet! That would be awesome if there was and they watched Claire’s situation and are now coming forward to help!

          • says

            Ok, then this past victim had to have escaped Tony’s ultimate revenge somehow. Claire would likely have been in prison for the full 4-7.

            Poor you know who. It irritates me to think of Tony with her. My issue to get over though, thinking this is anything like a normal romance.

          • Amy says

            I agree, Jen. It’s very doubtful it’s a past victim but that would definitely put a twist on it. Again, the author could take this story in so many different directions. I can’t wait to see where we go in TRUTH!

          • Angela says

            What was the lady who helped Claire in the mansions name? Catherine? I’m still wondering why she kept insisting that she’s known Tony for a long time and that he was a really good person. I’m thinking Catherine is going to fit in the next book somewhere.

          • says

            Oh Catherine! Yes, another interesting thought.

            I think I might have cried a little when Ms. Romig said CONVICTED doesn’t come out until 2014.

  3. says

    I have this loaded up on my Kindle and my finger keeps hovering over the title. I KNOW I need to read this for the simple fact that we have similar tastes in reading and you never let me down. Another reason is because I need to step out of my comfort zone and try something different. I am a huge fan of a book having some sort of romance. That is why I have a hard time reading UF when romance is almost not there at times. BUT….if any book can leave me satisfied and justified in using that time to read it, then it is something I need to try. I am going to commit to reading this one this weekend.
    Mandi–be prepared for tweets because I might need the support to make it through it. LOL

    • Mandi says

      As you read it, just remember, Anthony is not redeemed. Once I realized that, it made it easier for me to read it.

      I’m here for you. LOL.

  4. Angela says

    This book blew me away. Jen emailed me and recommended it to me, so of course I picked it right up. Then she had to tell me to keep reading at the 40% mark when I literally wanted to reach into the book and beat this guy down. I’m so glad I stuck with it, the ending was crazy. I did not see it coming. I so can not wait until Truth comes out next month.

  5. says

    I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you ladies discuss this book on twitter and now with this post!! I can’t start it until I get over the anxiety I have over getting anxiety while reading it!! :P

  6. says

    Thanks to you and Fiction Vixen, I bought this book last night and spent five straight hours devouring it. My screams of “holy sh*t!” went on for a full minute after reaching the 75% mark. It was only the knowledge that Anthony would not be redeemed that kept me going. It was my mantra. November 1st can’t come soon enough.

    • Mandi says

      LOL. I’m glad you freaked out along with us! ;)

      I srsly can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!!! Claire needs REVENGE.

  7. says

    Something has been bothering me and maybe someone can explain. Spoiler alert here!

    If Tony had this plan all along for Claire, why would he care if Claire loved him and needed her forgiveness and for her to love him especially after he attacked her so badly she almost died? That’s one of the big contradiction I found throughout this book with Tony among a few other things.

    Things just didn’t add up to make the ending believable for me because of the contradictions that I really think weren’t planned on part of the author.

    • Mandi says

      maybe because Tony didn’t plan on falling in love with Claire but he really did?

      OR – because he is a psycho? I like this answer. LOL. He is a psycho who has no definition of what love is and needed Claire’s forgiveness to make himself feel better about his actions.

  8. says

    Sorry I’m late to the party XD

    One thing that I found interesting is that for their first time, Claire slept with Anthony willingly. The rape comes after. Which was probably all part of the master plan that Anthony created. It’s easier to forgive him and put the bad things aside when you have a good memory of the guy instead of just remembering that he raped you. As for if she ever loved him, I think to a degree, yes. She just became so used to their dysfunctional relationship that she allowed her feelings to get the best of her, even if deep down she knew it wasn’t exactly normal.

    I definitely think the book is too long. Especially since I knew something epic was going to happen at the end so I started getting anxious to reach the end but it took forever. However, I can’t really complain about the length because even *I* was brainwashed. Certain times I saw the goodness in Tony (and there is goodness here and there) and I was rooting for that even though I should not have!

    I think Anthony could or will be redeemed but then Claire won’t have any of it. Which is probably the worst thing that could happen to him. If he started seeing that he’s really a bad guy to the core and he would like to change but Claire, who’s his only chance of overcoming that “evil” doesn’t give the time of day, he’ll probably kill himself.

    “the author can take this story is so many different directions” VERY TRUE which is why I’m so exited for Truth! I know that I WILL be shocked to what will happen.

    I’ve also read several reviews that have said Claire has made bad decisions when she could have found away to get out of that relationship but I think Tori summed it up perfectly: “It’s easy to stand outside of an abusive relationship and say, “Oh, I would never put up with that.” Yet, unless you’ve been in that situation, you have no way of knowing what you can and will do in order to survive. It’s only at the end do we really understand that she never had a chance.” I think overall, Claire made the best decisions she could have made. even if they weren’t good ones.

    • Mandi says

      Did she sleep with him willingly at first? I don’t remember that….

      Agree it was too long and agree that while I have no personal experience with an abusive relationship, she made decisions based on the trauma that was happening to her at that time. She WANTED Tony to become a better person, and kept waiting for it. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

      Very interested to see where the author takes it.

  9. Nic says

    I picked this up based on this review and while I did enjoy it (and agree with the Tarantino comparison) it was a little flawed in its execution for me. I love to get lost in a book, and when an author can do that they have me hooked. They lose me when they stop showing me and start telling me the story. There were several places where that happened in this book and I’d get frustrated. I think I agree with a previous reviewer that suggested the book was too long. The story was fantastic, with a little better editing the book would have been too. It is hard to see how Anthony could possibly be redeemed. Count me in the column for wanting to see an epic fall for a seriously bad guy.

    • Mandi says

      Agree it was too long. Way too long.

      Per Goodreads, it looks like Truth is just as long. I just want Tony to suffer. Really, really suffer. I’m so interested to see where she takes the story.

  10. Carol says

    I read this book a week ago, I stumbled upon it as I was cruising the Amazon ebook site. Some of the reader’s reviews piqued my interest so I decided to chance it. Wow, that’s all I can say…WOW! I was hooked from the first word to the last page & the plot just blew me away. I agree with Tori’s opinion that the middle sections did go on alot, I was like ‘get over the travelling already’ & wondered where the athour was going with this. But it did gel together in the end & I finally ‘got it’ (why there was so much creepy Tony mushiness)
    This book is a very detailed, heavy read, kinda knocks you back abit but I’m a sucker for punishment so I’ll be back for Truth. WOOT!

    • says

      I DNF’d the second book halfway through…I didn’t like that they were getting back together. That’s just me. Not sure if Tori read it or not

  11. Becky says

    I was surprised how much I liked these two books and I anxiously await the next book in the trilogy. I am also searching for other books that are similiar to this trilogy. Please, please let me know if there are other books out there for me to read to fill this need.

    • says

      I really don’t know if there are other books with such an anti-hero…but I’ll think about it today.

      I just read Rush by Maya Banks – and the hero is extremely dominant. Not the same set-up or anything, but if you like the hero in this one, you might like it.

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