12 May 2013

Mirror of My Soul by Joey Hill

Mirror of My Soul (Nature of Desire, #4)

5 Heart-wrenching stars!!

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. --- Kahlil Gibran

Mirror of my Soul picked up right where Ice Queen left off. Tyler had just endured a brutal beating from the hands of Marguerite and the both of them had to deal with the aftermath. Will Marguerite be able to learn to let herself embrace Tyler's love for her? Will Tyler continue to endure in his devotion to the woman who is determined to shut him out?

“I’ll endure anything for you, angel. Anything.”

“You’re idealizing me.” “No. I’m telling you that I want you, light or dark, every shade in between. That’s the formulation of trust, unconditional acceptance.” He locked his gaze with hers. “Remember, I swore it to you. No matter what happens between us, I’ll always be there for you.”

This book is a continuation to Tyler and Marguerite's story, and it delved even deeper into Marguerite's and Tyler's past. The things that happened in this book will just break your heart. It certainly broke mine. I thought Ice Queen was already emotional. Boy, was I wrong. This book took emotions into a whole different level. You will feel love, anger, lust, joy, fear -- you name it, it's here.

“And I look in your eyes and see everything I could ever want. Trust in that, angel.”

Again, Joey Hill has crafted a magnificent tale of love and redemption without resorting to cliches. It could have gone down that route--a tragic heroine with a very dark past and a hero who is willing to save her but has his own darkness to deal with--but it never did. Thank God.

As I've said in this book we finally know the whole story about what happened to Marguerite, and it was even worst than I previously imagined. It.Was.Tragic. It was heartbreaking and it explained so much of why she is the way she is. It really did. OMG! The unspeakable tragedy that she went through would have destroyed a lesser person. Miraculously it didn't destroy her, at least not totally. But the emotional and psychological scars--and the guilt she carried were so enormous that I thought, maybe she was beyond saving. I won't go into the details, you have to read it for yourself.

Tyler's past wasn't so rosy either. He suffered from PTSD after serving as a covert CIA operative. It destroyed his marriage and drove his wife to commit suicide. He couldn't save her and he had blamed himself ever since. There were times in the book where Marguerite inadvertently caused Tyler so much pain by doing things that Tyler feared the most. My stomach was constantly in knots while reading the book and it didn't let up until about 85% in.

“When you jumped from that building, I died,” he said simply, his voice a whisper in her ear. “I was so certain that I was going to lose you that I haven’t known how to feel or think since, beyond the basic steps of caring for you. There’s this rage in me, this anger. Every time I touch you, I want to hold you so tightly that I’ll see pain in your face so it matches what’s raging inside of me. So I’m afraid to let it show. I don’t know what to do with it. I love you so much, Marguerite. There are no words for this kind of love. It’s not pretty or romantic, it’s as visceral as sex or breathing, something undeniable, necessary to go on living, for anything else to matter.”

Some wounds could only be healed by the touch of a soul mate, two broken pieces coming together to become a whole being again, so simple the jaded world would call it a cliché. The angels would call it one of God’s miracles, offered off the tips of His fingers like diamond raindrops, driving and cleaning away all that didn’t matter. That love was worth any torment, every disappointment. It couldn’t be explained or described.

I was finally able to breathe and smile again because after all that happened to them, there is actually an HEA for Tyler and Marguerite. It was magnificent. It was really moving especially the wedding scene and that letter and Marguerite's gift. Ah, it was beautiful. The anxiety that I felt melted away and I was in my happy place again. There was even an epilogue. Yes! Again, it was wonderful. (I know I sound like a broken record but that's truly how I felt, so apologies.)

It was a perfect ending.

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Ice Queen by Joey Hill

Ice Queen (Nature of Desire, #3)

5 Wonderful Stars

Darkness may hide the trees
and the flowers from the eyes
but it cannot hide
love from the soul.
Kahlil Gibran, Love Letters in the Sand: The Love Poems of Khalil Gibran

This is my second book from Joey Hill and I will say that this one just totally blew me away. It had everything I could have ever asked for in a book; it had great characters, captivating plot and brilliant writing. I know that this is marketed as hardcore BDSM book but honestly, it was really more than just a BDSM book.

Ice Queen tells the story of Marguerite and Tyler. Both are powerful and sought-after dominants of the Zone, an exclusive BDSM club. Due to computer error, Marguerite lacked the mentoring program required by the Zone where each Doms and Domme will undergo BDSM training from a submissive's perspective. For this, she approached Tyler Winterman to be her mentor.

But things aren't always what they seem, especially for Tyler and Marguerite. Because while Marguerite is known as a powerful Mistress, she is also a closet submissive. Her dual nature would play a big part in this book and the next book, Mirror of my Soul.

Marguerite is one of the most complex and the most intriguing characters I've read in a while. Her being a dominant mistress to other and a submissive to Tyler made this a very character-driven read. And Joey Hill was able to deftly add layers upon layers to Marguerite's character that is utterly fascinating albeit at times very painful to read but always real and always consistent.

You feel her pain, her struggles that in as much as I could have hated her for some of the things she did, I couldn't because I understand her character and know where's she's coming from. The things she did were always explained and her motivations were always clear to the readers.

Tyler Winterman is another wonderful character. He's a Southern gentleman, a Dom, a lover, a friend and he is fascinated by Marguerite and vice versa. The first time the reader meets him is through Marguerite's POV and he's utterly delicious.

As she moved out onto the floor, she saw him right away. He wore tan slacks and a perfectly ironed and fitted cream-colored Oxford shirt, open at the throat. His jacket was hooked on the point of the chair, and he wore brown, polished dress shoes, the casual elegance suiting Tea Leaves.

He didn’t blend though. Instead, he looked like an intrigued, benevolent god who walked among men. He emanated difference and yet something so familiar, as if she knew him like the touch of the sun.

Right off the bat, you see their attraction and fascination with each other and it goes deeper and deeper as the book progresses. You will learn how far Tyler will go to prove his love for Marguerite. Gah! You will fall in love with Tyler because despite his own private pain--and he has plenty, by the way--he never lost sight of his love for Marguerite.

“You are very important to me. It doesn’t matter if you never accept me or what lies between us. If you need me, I’m here for you. Tomorrow, ten years from now, it doesn’t matter. And you know me well enough to know I don’t make idle declarations of commitment.”

And then that final scene at the Zone where Tyler willingly gave himself to Marguerite as her submissive and what happened during that time was just terrible (view spoiler)[Marguerite beat him up (hide spoiler)]. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't angry at Marguerite because in a strange way, what she did to Tyler had hurt her too.

“Don’t you understand, when all is said and done, it’s the Master who’s the captive?”

I would recommend this book to everyone I know just for the story alone. BUT I also know that not everyone may have the same level of tolerance for BDSM and there are a couple of scenes in the book that might be a little too much for some. That said, it really didn't bother me at all, and I am not a BDSM reader. The genre has never appealed to me before but Joey Hill did it so beautiful with such knowledge and reverence for the lifestyle that it was easy to swallow. And all the BDSM elements in this book were always consistent with each of the characters' development. So for me, those scenes made sense.

Love this book and I can't wait to continue Tyler and Marguerite's story in Mirror of my Soul. Thank you, Baba for buddy reading this with me. I enjoyed it very much.

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