NUMBER THIRTEEN by Bella Jewel

thirteenI don’t usually start writing reviews this way; nonetheless, for you to understand a little about this intriguing plot without letting on too much, obliges me to tell you that this is not a run of the mill love story! It’s harsh, more often than not, violent, and extremely explicit. William is the protagonist whose past was complicated from the start of his young life. He lived with his mother while his twin brother had the opportunity to study in a different place. William wasn’t given that option. His father, who has a personal animosity towards him, was barely at home while he looked after his mentally sick mother.

He was too docile to stand up for himself and far too concerned about what his parents would think of him if he did. He was bullied beyond the point of expiration, and there wasn’t anyone there for him, to guide him, to save him. Something horrendous happened to William on a day which would mark his very existence. No-one could possibly have comprehended or imagined why he was so influenced by the number thirteen until  the reason is slowly disclosed in a story full of angst.

He kidnaps thirteen young women, eradicates their memories and takes them to his mansion where he slowly gives them the opportunity to recuperate their past by making them obey to rules and regulations which are by no means legitimate, in most cases, darn right cruel and exaggeratedly controlling. To free them from their sufferance, he demands subservience and is convinced that his unorthodox methods will be the only answer for them to be able to cope with the possibility of having a normal life. The girls are put into groups depending on the severity of the treatment they had previously experienced before he took them. Number thirteen is put together with number three, seven and twelve.

Number thirteen is different. She’s unruly. She doesn’t know who she is but this doesn’t dampen her strong will or spirit to survive. The constant questions she asks herself only seem to cause her more confusion and even more reason to rebel.  She stands up for his injustices and takes punishments when they’re not even deserved. How long will it take for him to break her? Does he? Will she reject him when she eventually finds out who this man is that hides behind a mask and the plans he has for her?

The most important woman in this unusual love story has a name. Emelyn. Incredibly honest, a natural leader of outstanding beauty and a fighter in a  losing battle, seems to gain this damaged man’s respect and love. Say no more!!! It’s definitely worth reading if you like a read with  a lot of sensuality with a difference!

I think that the reason the author hasn’t been given the credit she deserves from other reviews I’ve read is probably because this story is so bizarre! Although it is shocking, it is without a doubt, original. I couldn’t put it down and finished reading this book twenty-fours. If I haven’t given this Ms Jewel five stars, it was because this innovative plot left me hanging. Her style of writing and her description of her characters is flawless. Ms Jewel. I simply found the ending slightly rushed!

My favourite passage is a confession! “You needed to feel that fear; it was the only way I could get past the walls you had built so high.”

 

DISTROYED by Pepper Winters

Hazel is perturbed young woman of outstanding beauty with an extremely complicated past for her years. But more importantly, she was not only a fighter, a survivor, a saviour, a woman of many identities, she was also the mother of a young child. Her heart of such immense dimensions never gave up on lost causes. One of them was her flatmate and best friend who had been there and back to hell.

Clue! A stunning oriental who would always be in the background of this story, loved Hazel like no other being. She managed to convince Hazel to accompany her to an extremely dubious club and although Hazel had got more important things to do at home that night, she was curious to meet the new love in Clue’s life.

Corkscrew, a gorgeous coloured man that had his head screwed on right fought at this club, adored Clue. But little did Hazel realise when she she walked through the threshold of what looked like a lion’s den with her friend, and seeing Fox fighting in the ring, would her dire desire to save the only person that couldn’t be saved, that didn’t want to be saved, change her life forever?

Fox is an untouchable machine! Inhuman. Horrendously attractive, grey-opaque eyes as cold as an iceberg, so highly trained, and breathes danger. This owner of the ring was unbreakable. Hazel was drawn to him. He was drawn to her. He wanted to own her. She didn’t know why this beast of a man wanted her to sign a contract difficult to complete for her services rendered and if she signed it, maybe there would be hope for her daughter. Could she break him? Will she be able to tame him? Did she sign precious days of her life away to such a magnificently tormented man for nothing?

Oscar is (Fox) Roan Avrin’s associate and only friend in an underground fighting ring that revolves around dark rooms, dungeons where Fox makes bronze statues of animals. The premises are dark, suffocating and depressing. He tolerates Fox because of his abilities. He gives him advice which, in turn, Fox chooses to ignore. Sometimes!

Clara, Hazel’s daughter is the key to this story. She is the sun that shines in this story of pain and suffering. She is the balm that will still troubled waters. Old beyond her years, you will fall in love with her.

This is definitely one of the most impressive love stories I have ever read about two lost souls that find each other in an impossible scenario difficult to read without a huge box of Kleenex at hand. The author has managed to convey an absolutely breath-taking novel by taking us on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, beautifully described and grammatically perfect. I can’t salute you enough Ms Winters. This word is too sublime for the work that you have accomplished! Phenomenal would be more fitting.

One of the passages in the book that made me think twice was, ” Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. I’m still in control.”