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Book Review: Trainwreck

So, to first explain why there are two books here. The author cut this book in half, because the full story was too long. I don’t mean they made it two parts. It’s literally one half in book 1 and the other half in book 2. Book 2 begins with Chapter 59. Oh, and it’s a five part series. So I don’t doubt that book 2 will probably leave off in the same way.

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Trainwreck Trainwreck 2

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Book 1

Detective Sergeant Vincent Sweetwater hates dead bodies. That’s why he’s an undercover narc and not a homicide dick. So why is he standing on a sandy beach in California staring at a lifeless body—oh yeah, the suicide attempt. Lieutenant Hanson is making a statement. Something about life worth living. Shows what he knows.

As Vince examines the tortured body, he feels an empathy and déjà vu for the victim, her wounds are similar to scars he has only a vague memory receiving. An intense desire to find her killer fills his queasy belly as a dark game of cat and mouse begins.

The young woman’s death forces Vince back into a secret life dominated by sex, perversion, and sadomasochism. Estranged from his wife he still loves and longing for the man who possessed him once, Vince buries his torment deep inside meaningless sex.

*Warning: This book contains adult content and situations. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

Book 2

A missing girl turns up dead in a public bathroom not far from the dumping place of Anna Marie’s body. Two dead girls and Vincent Sweetwater is sent out of one tailspin into another. Clues linking Vince to both crimes convinces him the killer is from his past. Perhaps a former associate of his father?

To solve this crime, he’ll have to confront his father in prison. With IAD looking over his shoulder, a trip to the state prison could be more of a risk than Vince is willing to take, but the innocent victims drive him to do what is most painful. The more Vince learns from his father, the more he understands the kind of man he truly wants to be, and determines to fix all his relationships. If he survives this investigation.

The young woman’s death forces Vince back into a secret life dominated by sex, perversion, and sadomasochism. Estranged from his wife he still loves and longing for the man who possessed him once, Vince struggles with his self-destructive nature. Vince punishes himself by giving his body over to someone who doesn’t have his best interests at heart.

After Mica has a close call on the job, Vince realizes all he wants is to patch things up with his wife. Although, the man he left behind is always on his mind. A man he doesn’t believe he can have and a life only real in his fantasies, Vince slips back into his masochistic mentality. Even if Mica accepts his submission, he knows she’ll never accept his sexuality.

The only hope Vince has is that he’ll catch this killer before the bastard kills again.

*Warning: This book contains adult content and situations. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

**Part Two in a five part series.

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Book 1

Book – Trainwreck

Author – Michele Michael Rakes

Star rating – ★★★★★

No. of Pages – 374

Cover – Fitting

POV – 3rd person, multiple people, all confined to their own scenes

Would I read it again – Definitely.

Genre – Crime, Dark, Suspense

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** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

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TRIGGER WARNINGS: eludes to child rape, with some scenes on page. Torture, kidnap, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, pain play, erotic asphyxiation, violent drunk, dead child, BDSM, cheating

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Warning #2: This is the first half of a story. I don’t mean part 1, but literally one half. It stops abruptly, with a cliffhanger. So, be warned.

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Okay, so this is a bit darker than some of my recent reads, but it totally takes me back to some of my early reads from this year. The pain and torment of the main character is the driving force. But, you know what? The first thing that really struck me when I started this book was the brutally honest and touching Dedication and Acknowledgements. They made me want to love this book and the author. And, I do.

Forget romance, forget all those mushy feelings you want from an MM romance. This isn’t it. This is a super hard hitting, edgy, dark read, with one heck of a twisted main character. But, amongst all of that – buried beneath the pain and the torture – is a man who is crumbling to pieces and who isn’t quite sane anymore. And he hasn’t been for a long time.

Vince’s past is an enigma that takes a long time to figure out. As the case progresses, so does our understanding of this very complex man. Sure, he’s a total man whore, but I love how the author makes it very clear why he’s like that. He has desires and needs that he feels he can’t share with his wife, which is perfectly understandable. As is his fear that to tell her would mean the end of their already fragile relationship.

At heart, Vince is supremely complicated – dyslexic, suicidal and prone to self harm, he’s a man who can’t control himself. From a young age, he’s done everything to protect his wife, even when that meant taking so much worse than beatings, to keep her safe. He’s a broken child, suffering as an adult. Not only the loss of his child, a fractured marriage and a case that hits far too close to home, but he suffers sexual secrets and mental and physical scars that he can’t explain.

Vince and Nick are brilliant characters. So vast and deep; they both have these tangled webs of emotions that are slowly explored throughout the story. The contrast is almost painful. Nick is living the perfect life – married with kids and a career he loves – that Vince has always wanted. And almost had.

When it comes to the other characters, I really like Mattie and Momma. I really hate Angela, the judgemental ass that she is, and Beck. Obviously, I hate the bad guys (not telling you who they are!) but I find it really creepy and interesting that we get their POV. I’ve read the POV of sadists and rapists in stories before and normally it just makes me want to scream and throw the book away. But, somehow, this one delves deep into that psyche and makes you curious enough to keep going. At the same time, we’re given the POV of the victims, as they’re being tortured, which is also new.

At 5% I was already in tears. Reading how much Vince missed Mary, his daughter, really made an impact. Not only because it was so powerfully written, but also because it reminded me of the dedication and how real all these emotions are. This isn’t fiction; it’s one persons soul poured out onto paper. And that’s moving. Then again, I also cried at the Momma and Vince talk on the porch.

Quite honestly, I haven’t seen any MM sex here. This isn’t an MM story, at all. I wouldn’t even class it as anywhere in that genre. The MC just happens to be bisexual and has had sex with men before. So, if you read this expecting a big sweeping MM love story or even the hint of one, you’ll be disappointed. It doesn’t happen. There is, however, a mass of MF sex scenes and all are explicit.

Overall, this book tackles some seriously hard core issues, with one seriously messed up trainwreck of a man. It’s masterfully unapologetic in depicting the dark lives it delves into and exploring the harsh realities of abuse victims and the lasting effects that abuse can have on a child. It’s a fantastic, dark, twisted story about child abuse with a strong criminal investigation woven into the tale. This book deserves to be read by everyone.

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P.S. If there’s one negative thing I’d say about this book it’s that it’s not placed in the right genre. I don’t see any MM relationship even close to forming, so I wouldn’t class it as MM, gay romance or anything like that. At a stretch, it’s an LGBT book because of a bisexual MC. But, I have assurances that the MM relationship will come in book 2, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Oh, and I liked it so much that I bought book 2 before I’d even reached 80%. Now I get to go straight into the continuation of the story.

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Favourite Quote

““I’m afraid you won’t love me,” he said to the empty room. “If you really knew me, you’d run.””

Book 2

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