Book Review – Truth by Aleatha Romig

by Maryse on January 24, 2013 · 50 comments

in My Book Reviews

Truth (Consequences)
*spoiler alert* While I don’t give anything away in this review, in terms of twists and reveals, I DO work through my feelings of one of the most important parts of the book. The hero/villain. Skip this review if you haven’t read book #1 yet, and check out that review instead. And if you haven’t read #2, but you’re going to start, I dunno if you read this review yet, either.

Beware… this is probably the longest “review” I have ever written, and it’s mostly just me arguing with myself. LOL! ;)

*paces back and forth* … Okay… so. Ummm. No. Wait. I’m not ready yet. How do I…? *paces some more*

Okay. I really liked it. A lot. In fact I have to admit that I missed them all for an entire day once I was done. These characters stayed with me. Don’t get excited!! Doesn’t mean I’m team Tony, er… but uhhhh you know. neutral Tee hee!! This is hard. I’ve gotta work this out in this review.

These were right up my alley. Long books that had enough detail as to pull me right into the story and forced me to experience everything. Forced? Oh yes. The good with the scary. The subject matter scared me to the point that I was trembling with fear when I’d simply “hear his voice” on the phone. These books caused me some serious anxiety, and kept alert for most of the process. While occasionally long and drawn out, the impending doom still had me on the edge of my seat. Dark secrets and twists, a gorgeous billionaire bachelor that started off (and may still be) an absolute monster, and an intense romantic focus that was completely disturbing. Thank goodness for this book after reading #1 It provided tons of relief and reveals and answered SO many of my questions, but still kept me delightfully disturbed.

Real quickly – what is book #2 about? Vindication. Freedom. Real friends, and an amazing support system. Healing, connecting, rebuilding and living again. And being stalked by your super-scary-psycho of an ex-husband who’s not done with you yet.

Warning and alarms rushed through Clair’s mind as time stood still. Her body involuntarily sought to run – the flight instinct. However that monologue had been talked to death – run where? She’d started a new life. Therefore flight wasn’t an option. Therefore biology told her to fight.

Everything we fear in another human being, Tony was. My worst “relationship” nightmare, Tony created. So how could anyone ever possibly be team Tony?

Kirsten: …Do we have anyone switching to Team Tony yet?

Michaela: I’m 60% into consequences… I HATE Tony idk if I want to see how this plays out in Truth. Not sure i can handle it! He drives me crazy! But I will… Bc I’m too curious and too many ppl have said to keep going and push through! I just can’t imagine switching teams!!

Mikayla: Finished Consequences and Truth this weekend! The webs we weave in order to deceive is the first thing that comes to mind. I cannot wait for the third book

Meghan: I really liked Consequences. It was painful to read but I just couldn’t put it down. I LOVED Truth though. The entire story from beginning to end was so gripping. I loved seeing the confident woman Claire became and how the dynamic between her and Tony changed so drastically. 6 stars!!!

Darla: I literally just finished Consequences. I LOVE dark reads…this was certainly one of the darkest and most twisted. My body aches from the tension. She is BRILLIANT.

Louise: Loved Consequences and loved Truth (finished today). I fought to love Tony. I really, really did. But dammit if I didn’t about 80% thru Truth. Dammit. Dammit. Great writing, great story–LOVED it!

Courtnee: Ahh… Truth… So enjoyed this book! It makes all the pain and agony you felt while reading Consequences worth it! And Tony… He might just make you believe in redemption

Kim: I just finished Consequences and I don’t want redemption I want Claire to take his ass down! Starting Truth ASAP

Courtnee: Oh Kim! I was right there with you! I DID NOT want to like him at all!

Rebecca: Finish Consequences this early morning and going to jump right into Truth. My mind and heart are all over the place.

Kim: Ok Courtnee, just finished Truth and I’ll admit defeat about Tony!

Ashley: Just finished Truth….. OMG!!!! These books are amazing! I’m pleading for an earlier release date than the one I’ve seen posted. I’m good with a late spring release ;D

Natalie: Ok I HATED Tony and so wanted Claire to take his ass down…how ever after finishing Truth…. I swapped to team Tony. Yep I said it. I still have a love hate relationship with him, lets face it hes done some Horrible things…..but now I am on the other side of the fence. Anyone else agree with me or am I nuts? lol

Courtnee: LOL Kim! Isn’t it crazy? Aleatha Romig does such a sneaky job of getting you there! Darnit if I wasn’t shocked when I realized my change of opinion! I love it when an author can do that!

And while I referred to book #1 (Consequences) as a Lifetime movie on steroids, #2 (this one) reminded me of one of those nighttime mini-series soaps. The darker ones. Not “Desperate Housewives” but something way more sinister with a crazy history and promises of unbridled revenge, to back it up. Things that made you go really? You’d go to THAT extent? The level of detail, and effort that went into fulfilling a certain vendetta was over-the-top, but fantastic freaky fearful fun for fiction. Heehee. I went a little overboard there. ;)

Speaking of “f-words”, let’s discuss Tony. ‘Cause really, our love/hate relationship with this series pretty much culminates around him, doesn’t it? “Anthony the monster” did the worst of the worst things any character could possibly do. Broke the female in every which way he could. Lost me completely, although he never had me to begin with. The way the series starts is terrifying and you knew right away, this guy is no hero. He’s the villain.

Crystal: Soooo now that you finished Truth…did you begin to like Tony?

Kathy: I want to say maybe but it’s still probably a no. Too much happened in the first book.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m… arguing with myself in my review, as we speak. ;)

I expected this to be like one of our crazy-dark “kidnap but deep down heart of gold” romances but didn’t quite get that. I kept hoping what I was experiencing was wrong, and that some craaaaazy truth would come to be and I’d find myself relieved with the romantic feelings that were flourishing between the two main characters. But at the same time enjoyed the fact that I had no idea where this was going and that I wasn’t getting what I wanted, or at least the feeling of “see… it’s now okay to love him, because he…” <— insert good excuse to love him here.

You know. Like I used to be able to do with paranormal books. I used to tell myself… “Ahhh but he’s a vampire and/or werewolf. Things are different for them. They’re ancient with very specific customs and need for power. They kidnap and control and demand and imprison ’cause it’s their way, and once they are loved by a human woman and understood, they will be in touch with their own “humanity” and change into the perfect man.” *smirk* Heh.

‘Cause you see, Tony is (was) a human monster. And I had no excuses for him without feeling like I was accepting something that should NEVER be accepted. While we like to say that that we should embrace our humanity and love one another (faults and all), Tony’s faults, to me are beyond that. Unforgivable although… we hear of this kind of thing every day (these monstrous acts, and the forgiveness that many are afforded). And his biggest imperfection are his horrible reactions to the imperfections of others.

He kidnaps her, and physically abuses her (in every way). Holds her hostage with a set of rules. Break the rules and seriously suffer the consequences. And let’s not forget the series of mysterious deadly accidents, that have us all pointing the finger at him. I mean come on! It’s so obvious. So why did sooooo many readers join team Tony while reading #2?

‘Cause as many of you have told me, not everything is as it seems. And you’re right. There were some serious surprises. I can see where some of you “Team Tony’s” are coming from, after “Truth”. But the one thing I wanted explained away the most, was the one thing I had to accept at the end of #2. I was hoping he had an evil twin. A severe split personality disorder where doctors could prove he wasn’t “who he was” in “evil Tony” mode.

When Kirsten (who is “team Tony”) asked:

Kirsten: Finish?

Maryse: Yep! Late late into the night/early morning but I’m done. *spoiler* Tony *spoiler*… he still did those terrible terrible things to her in #1. I was hoping for some crazy paranormal twist reveal of a demon-wizard guy taking the appearance of Tony as “he” did it.

*sigh* Aleatha realllllly changed him in #2, and I just wish I didn’t have to know him, the way I did, in #1. I dunno what to do right now.

And that’s where I struggle the most. I had no qualms about my fear of him and my lack of Stockholm syndrome in #1. I liked that I could experience all of the fear-factor and the crazy love story in #1, without “loving him” myself. Hating him (and still enjoying the story) gave me some relief. While I like feeling sheepish about connecting with the “crazy”, doing so in book #1 would have been too much for me.

And for a good portion of book #2, I was still SUPER anti-Tony. I looked up at my husband and said,

“No. Way. Still hate him. I dunno what these girls were reading but I’m not affected. So ha!”

I was so smug. Tony still seemed to be who he was in #1, we were just “safer” away from him. He was manipulative, creepy, and downright scary. Remember that phone call.

“Claire, you should know, I learned of your release less than twenty-four hours ago. As you can hear, I already have your telephone number. How long do you think it will take me to learn your location?”

Eeeeeeeep!!! That one scene reminded me of Hannibal Lecter’s “Good evening, Clarice.” Eeeeeeeep! I had an immediate wave of terror-induced goosebumps.

But then something changed. The author turned him into my kind of obnoxiously domineering yet protective billionaire alpha hero. I found myself anxious for his next scene, and was mad at myself about it. You would think I would have loved his new redeemable self, but I couldn’t forget his “irredeemable” self.

“He’s capable of wonderful things. We just never knew the extent to which he was capable of terrible things.”

And I struggled with that. Tony for the most part in book #2, is NOWHERE near the Tony in #1. He was… wow. I hate to say this but almost… amazing. Patient. Loving. Gentle. Protective. Regretful. So wanting to do anything and everything to truly deserve her. Trying so hard (although still way too manipulative – old habits die hard I guess, but they did seem to…die). And he was so honestly sorry, I could feel it. And her struggle over the new Tony, was my struggle, too.

His expression remained soft and so were his words, “You should know… I am sorry.”

The world as Claire knew it, shifted. Perhaps it was an earthquake, they do happen in California. Why couldn’t he be domineering or abrasive? That she could resist. But, apologetic, in the depths of her soul, she never expected to hear those three words.

Something inside of me was being pulled to like him, and I fought it, tooth and nail. I just can’t get over the atrocities he committed, over and over again in book #1. I mean right to the very end. Right to the last page… he was mostly despicable!!!

There was such a drastic change in him. Mind you he did struggle with his “natural villainous tendencies” so at least there was that part of his reality, in “Truth”. I went from being terrified of him, wishing she would run away at all costs no matter what, and actually breathing a sigh of relief with her in jail in the first book. She may have still been locked up, but she was freer than she ever was by his side. Safer. You know it’s bad when your reaction to being incarcerated is “ahhhhhhh… free!!”

So how could I go from thinking she’s better off locked up in jail, than locked up in his opulent home, to … pretty much eventually trusting him completely in book #2?

Did he change “naturally” from the love of a good woman? See the error in his ways? Was he truly the misunderstood hero all along? Was his own mind so terribly influenced by his past that he has anger management and control issues. Is THIS what our “controlling alphas” are really like in real life, and I just got a shock to my system?

Personally, I don’t think so. I think he’s “good Tony” now. Can a seemingly unredeemable bad guy change to this extent? As much as I connected to their story in #2, I want that answer to be yes. But… ugh. Book #1!!!!

So did he change naturally? Evolve, and become a better person despite his past transgressions? Or did the author change him for us, because he was just too evil and we needed something better from him? I think it’s a little of both.

  1. The natural evolution of a broken man (no matter how powerful) when he finally receives a true love that he never before experienced, and
  2. the author’s need to provide some redeemable qualities in a man so many readers developed stockholm syndrome for. I will thank her for that, but at the same time, I take issue to connecting and caring for a character that I was so vehemently afraid of (and with good reason). These were not “perceptions” or misunderstandings. He did what he did, and because of that, at times I found his personality change so drastic as to possibly be a bit too easy or convenient, story-wise.

GAH!!!! You guys?! I don’t know what to do!!! If it weren’t for the unforgivable things he did in #1, I’d be team Tony too, after #2. Even with his him being an absolute jerk at first. But I just can’t get over that. I know a big part of the message in this book is growth and forgiveness. Re-evaluating priorities and what makes us happy. What makes OTHERS happy. Humanity and all of it’s faults. Healing. Love.

And yes, I’ll admit to “missing” and connecting to Tony at some point of #2 but my brain smacked my heart upside the head and reminded me of alllll those terrible things that he had done. I can’t tell if I was feeling empathy and affection for a new man who deserves forgiveness and a do-over, or if I was experiencing the “abused woman syndrome” who leaves her abusive partner only to come back to him when he promises (and seems to have) changed. And has changed. For now.

What about those seemingly innate violent tendencies? Is he just a psychopath who will lose it during a moment of weakness? Are we still being played? After all, there’s still a 3rd book coming.

As you can see, I’m stuck. And probably over-thinking this. My stance on reading is… if you’re enjoying the fictional book, just “go with it” and have fun (and/or let it tear you up for awhile). Again, it’s fiction. And while this one deals with dark subject matter, it is so far-fetched in the grand scheme of things that I’m deciding to just… let it go, while I anxiously await the 3rd and final installment.

But for the record, my brain says I’m going to stick with my anti-Tony stance. I have to for my own sanity and self-preservation. I just do. My heart well… whatever. Stupid heart! confused emoticon And anyway… I heart —-> Harry. A LOT!

4.5 stars ’cause it made me crazy and turned my world upside down and makes me wanna read #3. Not perfect (some of the reveals were a little much, for me), but plenty entertaining. Not romance… but your heart will be 100% involved (romantically and otherwise).

I think I need to join our Consequences spoiler forum/support group. Y’all warned me. *shakes head and grins*

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Gladys Medina January 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Awesome review! Now head to the groups to see theories and discuss all the events.

Nicole tetrev January 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM

In my opinion it kinda sorta reminded me of the tv show revenge and I couldn’t get enough!

tise January 24, 2013 at 7:33 PM

ohh I’m a little sad your not “team Tony” but I totally understand. I fought with myself long and hard about this love/hate relationship he makes you have with him. It was so bad, that I was 200 pages from finishing that I had to walk away because he was to much. But after “Truth” I realized he was coming from a place of love. He loved his grandfather and made this ridic promise to restore honor to the Rawls name. He never expected to fall for Claire, which to him made all his decisions legit. But when he did he was (atleast to me) truly deeply sorry and felt emotionally responsible for what he did, Or not lol maybe its just me and I find exuses to believe everybody has a genuine heart..even fictional character lol

Valerie January 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM

These books messed me up something fierce! I don’t think I’ve EVER read a book where I hated a character more (Consequences) only to completely change my mind & dare I say like them (Truth). Tony was truly heinous in 1 with no redeeming qualities at all! In 2 I became more empathetic because I could see him feeling & showing real remorse. It took me awhile. He was still displaying dominating tendancies while he ‘stalked’ her after her release from jail. It begs to question can someone really change who they are. For the sake of MY heart, I certainly hope so. I’m naive & believe love can conquer all. Especially since there is a baby on the way. I hope that I’m not disappointed in 3, but if I am it will just be a testament to Romig’s fantastical writing!

Jennifer January 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I loved how you summed up Tony’s imperfection being his reaction to others imperfections. Perfect description about Tony!

Danette January 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

I wanted to change my mind about Tony, too. But the bottom line is: Domestic Violence is NEVER okay. And the things Tony says/does in Book 2 are the things abusers always say/do to get the object of their obsession back. And the way she responds to him is the way an abuse victim often responds — with forgiveness and excuses for the abuser (“well, he’s this way because…”). Can someone messed up to this extent change and be redeemed? Absolutely. Does it just happen overnight without therapy or assistance of some kind? Unlikely. I’m still immersed in the story. But still Anti-Tony.

Maryse January 24, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Danette: exactly – so many things he said and did to get her back reminded me of those very scary “got back together” stories that end right back up where they originally started when she ran away in the first place.

So… that was always there with me in the forefront.

Like so many of our fellow readers, I felt him, felt myself softening and liking him and wanting… things. Struggling with this new amazing Tony and my feelings for him. And he was just so… WOW so many times, in a good way, during Truth.

And you are right… maybe he really could become and stay a new man, a good man, with therapy. Oh and she so desperately needs it to so that they do not fall back into their old roles, so that she doesn’t lose herself to him again.

I can see him (in the future) getting used to having her around, getting slowly more and more controlling, more and more expectant, and angrier and angrier during times of personal stress to see them right back to Monster Tony and abused and broken Claire.

She feels safe now, and she knows he wont hurt her… now. ‘Cause he loves her so much and is so sorry and will do anything for her. But what about a year from now? Two years? Unless they are supported, who knows.

And I bet if Harry had as much “screen time” as Tony did, maybe more of us would be team Harry. I bet he would have eventually, over time (gently and patiently) been GREAT for Claire, and Claire, for him. Sweet sweet Harry. Even with Tony he was perfect.

But… this is Tony’s story and what a story it is! I’m in for the long haul.

Loved the series so far, that’s for sure!

Maryse January 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Thanks Jennifer!! And that really was the case, wasn’t it? He expects perfection and yet he is the most imperfect one of ‘em all. Yet everyone else has to suffer for his own issues.

Julia Zuniga January 24, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Maryse, that was a terrific review and mirrored my thoughts and impressions exactly. I am firmly Team Harry and just cannot find it in myself to forgive Tony. What he did to Claire is just OTT; there can be no rational explanation for it. And no matter how nice he became in book 2, I always felt at any time the Tony in Book 1 could pop out of him again. I’m praying she winds up with Harry in book 3!

stephru January 24, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Anyone have it to loan for kindle? I have a thread looking for it in discuss section!!!! The first book drove me crazy!!! LOL

Lisa January 24, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Just finished these books and I loved them. Totally addictive. I was on the edge of my seat during all the twists and turns. I was completely engrossed in these two and how their relationship would turn out. I’m still absolutely ant-Tony. I mean really if this were someone you knew whose husband beat her repeatedly and once almost to the point of death once, would you tell her to forgive him because he had his reasons? I mean …cmon. Even when he had his “redeemable” moments he still struggled to keep his anger at bay. I like my heroes alpha, but this isn’t alpha its just ……completely unbalanced. Now after that being said …..Tony made the book. I hated him throughout , but still couldn’t wait to see what he did next. Don’t have to love the “hero”…or whatever……to love the story.5 stars!

hted him I. Still couldn’t wait to see what h3e did next

Leigh Anne January 24, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Here’s my problem with Tony:

In Book #1, he did whatever it took to obtain & keep his obsession (Claire).

In Book #2, he did whatever it took to obtain & keep his obsession (Claire).

Did he really change, or did he just revise his methods to achieve his goal?

Melissa Chavez January 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

I hated Tony in the first book. Actually the whole 1st book was a love/hate kind of relationship for me.I loved Claire for her strength and determination. I liked the story and concepts. I HATED Tony! He was mean, phycotic, sinister and just plan evil. The end of the first book was a total mind fuck for me. My nerves were shot by the time I finished. This book was slightly easier for me to handle than the first but still it was quite a rollercoaster of a ride. In the beginning of Truth I thought here he goes again. but as I got further and further in Tony changed. Now the question is it a real change or is it just another game for him. I am hoping for a real change. But at this point I still just can’t completely trust him. The ending of this book was slightly easier for me. But what is going to kill me is that I am going to have to wait a year for the next book!! GRRR>>>

LucyLou January 24, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Maryse, I’m with you on loving Harry and not being completely sold on Tony. I mean, it’s not like Tony was young and ready to go to therapy and change his abusing/controlling ways… he is almost 50 YEARS OLD!!! and probably somewhat stuck in his ways.
Yes, it was about retribution, but the level of domestic abuse delivered by that man was beyond revenge (we all know he was ‘turned on/up and ready’ during the worst). Even in “Truth”, Tony’s obsession was creepy scary and I feared for Harry’s life.
I kept hoping that Harry and Claire would befriend one of our favorite Outlaw Biker Clubs and Tony and his lady friend would be “put in the ground”. he he he ;) .
I guess even villians need love, and what better person to love a villian than sweet, forgiving, understanding Claire (who clearly suffers from ‘abused woman syndrome’ ) , that everyone adores. Because, if he did all that to me, I could never love him, much less be attracted to him. I don’t give a crap how charming he can be, I would always remember!!!
But, the books are great and I could not put them down. I like a good dark, twisted story and this is definately one. ;) Really, really ready for book 3. :)

Courtnee January 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Maryse! That was awesome! I am totally with you, when you’re finished reading there is just this cluster of emotion while you’re trying to process everything… I don’t LOVE Tony but I sooo want them to work out and be together. I feel like it will make all of the awful and terrible things be worth something in the end. I second guessed his “changes” throughout but really felt the moments where he would struggle with the way he’d always reacted vs. the way he knew he needed and wanted to, as he was starting to understand how he could be the man worthy of Claire’s love. He was/is evolving and I am so looking forward to seeing him become someone who understands love- both the giving and taking. I think I would totally hate him if he wasn’t learning from his past mistakes but the fact that he is; makes me want to believe that it is possible.

JenFrias January 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Hello all,
I understand the negative feelings towards Tony. I had them ALL as soon after the first 5 pages from the first chapter and until the end of ¨Consequences.¨ I also thought he was a really bad multi- personality disorder prick bastard..and HE definitely was.
However, after finishing Truth¨, finding myself really troubled, agitated, upset and content, not believing myself of my change of heart… and almost blaming this story from an unwanted premature menopause, from all the hot flashes then, the cold shivering and then sweating and hot flashes again (apologies for the analogy)…considering to make an appointment with a therapist because I have issues for just thinking how sympathetic I was towards Tony, when I decided to calm down and assess my feelings.
Tony had a bad upbringing. Anger, bad temper, abuse (remember when Nathaniel slapped Samuel in front of Tony) authority, humiliation, patronized (remember when he got a B plus and not an A) and more, believe that behavior for many many years can really F-up anybody. The influence Tony had the most was his grandfather (the father of dysfunctional-ism), The burden of a promise…(I relate to this, if I give you my word you can count on me no matter what) so many factors that made him whom he was. Control is a BIG issue for alpha male, he is the father of alpha male…I thought Christian Grey was the ultimate but, Tony wins by far. Power, ego, narcissism all this can lack your judgment. Yes! He did bad, really bad but….he didn’t stay super bad… and I hope he stays good in book 3, let some else be the bag guy, the villain and let him have peace at the end.
Furthermore, Tony gave Claire the chance to leave, he gave her the option…nonetheless, she stayed and she accepted to marry him. Yes! I condoned him for all he did, but he is not 100% to blame. Claire gain strength mostly in the second book, but at the beginning she was very insecure, and lets know forget that in spite of everything SHE wanted him, She was attracted to him and she said ¨when he was a nice person, she really love him¨ she is as much to blame as he is.
His domineering, scary ways, alpha male are intimidating…I agree! But I believe she learned to managed them very well, and she managed him very well. I have seen in real life how my women tamed their husbands. At the end, I think like two hands holding each other they matched perfectly.
I believe for the sake of the story, that most of the bad things that happened in this book will be *spoiler* doing with an accomplice that would be the BIG surprise. I also believe, that people DO change and redeemed themselves. Yes! Some people don’t but there are many that truly… out of love, make a universal effort to be a better person, and I believe that is what Tony was doing. I also believe that Harry was a great complimentary for the story, because he was the key for Tony to re-confirmed his love for Claire. Sometimes men need to be shaken to see the big picture…we all know this is true… I like Harry, a lot, his bohemian personality pleased me…but I don’t think he was meant to be the main character…it was WAY TOO SOFT, besides, I really do feel that if Claire ends up with Harry the book will have no meaning, no point. Why all the struggle if at the end, there is not a happy ending! It will not have the same effect, I know for sure I will not have the same effect in me.
I believe in forgiveness, is the most solid strength in real life. Change…people change every day, constantly it is part of life, LOVE…don’t we all wanted? No matter how much we have to endure and fight and survive, true love is what we all want. PASSION, the last piece of a puzzle in a relationship. This is my understanding of the why…Claire did not feel of these things for Harry, that is the why I know SHE WILL FIGHT. Life is not perfect and neither is this book, that is why they call it Romance Fiction and only the heart knows its reasons.
With 180 degree change in book 2, me, the hopeless romantic junkie considering all angles and facts, I say without angst, struggle or doubt, I AM TEAM TONY!

LucyLou January 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM

Also, if Tony and Marie killed people out of revenge, I hope they are “Convicted” and go to prison!!!

Michaela January 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Maryse, you couldn’t have put my inner turmoil into better words (or lack or words)!! I’m in such a state of disbelief — disbelief over how things turned around, disbelief over whether he actually changed or if more bad is to come, disbelief over the extent of his disgusting behavior and Clair’s love for him that holds true through Truth… I just can’t believe any of it.. and yet it all makes me clamoring for more! I hate Tony, still, but I love the story and I, too, was anxious for his scenes to appear. I needed to see what he would do next and I felt myself feel what Clair was feeling and experiencing. Well done, Aleatha. It’s not every day people are conflicted over a truly bad guy! I don’t know whether to be angry with myself for feeling empathy or to just let myself enjoy the story and continue to hope the changes are true!

UGH! :)

Rebecca January 25, 2013 at 1:22 AM

I love this review! I’m right there with you about this series, and your review was able to get all my feelings and wrap them away in a cute little box and move on. Thanks.

Kirsten January 25, 2013 at 1:27 AM

Maryse great review! I know I went through a ton of different emotions while reading this series and you have captured most of them. I read Consequences in August and Truth in November as soon as it went live and this story is still with me.

Ok because my man is kind of taking a small beating here, here I go, trying to avoid any spoilers of course. BTW we do have a thread here on Maryse’s blog for this very subject:

First, I truly believe Tony is a changed man. I’m not excusing his behavior in Consequences, it was at times horrifying. Having said that, Claire did make a decision to be with him, to stay with him, to forgive him. I don’t think this decision came out of fear. It came out of a love that she had developed for Tony. She knows Tony better then anyone, and she loves him. She forgives him.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”-Mahatma Gandhi

Tony has never loved anyone in his life. He had a lukewarm relationship with his parents and he idolized his grandfather, but he loves Claire. She envokes feelings in him that are unfamiliar and for someone with control issues that is a difficult road to travel. At first he doesn’t even know how to deal with those feelings, those emotions. It’s the first time probably in forever that he feels that loss of control, and he doesn’t know how to handle it. Does this excuse his behavior… NO, does it help me understand it? Yes.

I actually find it funny that we are all debating this because I am envisioning this being something that Tony deals with in CONVICTED. I mean Claire loves him, and has forgiven him, but can the rest of the world look past his sins? In life it’s easier for us to excuse the wrong doing of a loved one because we LOVE them, it’s much more difficult for the outsider looking in to do the same. For someone who is all about appearances this is sure to be a bumpy ride. Yes, Tony is stuggling at times with his temper and control, but he has done it. I don’t think it’s just an act or just something that he will keep up with for a bit and then fall back into his old patterns. Tony is truly remorseful for everything that has gone on with Claire, and he knows that his life without her in it is just colorless. Tony doesn’t want to be his former self, he wants to be a better man for Claire. Tony no longer treats Claire like a possession, he has started to treat her as his equal. For Tony that is big. At the same time it is that changing relationship that has caused the villianess (is this a word? :) ) to make note and realize that her plans also have to shift hence our ending.

At one point Tony tells Claire that she gives him to much credit for all of the evil deeds she thinks he has done. This is a TRUE statement. Yes Tony has done some stuff. I’m still sorting it out situation by situation, but this other person is far more spiteful, far more bent on getting revenge so I can’t pin everything on him. It would be unrealistic to think he did nothing, but at the same time to think he did everything isn’t really realistic either.

I want to touch a little bit on Harry. Harry seems like a very nice guy, but not for Claire. She doesn’t love him, he will never hold her heart like Tony does, and so for me he’s just not an option. Claire is attracted to the alpha male, and Harry is not that. Besides the fact I’m a little bit suspicious of him and Amber. I don’t want to get into detail here because of the spoilerish nature of my comment, but IMO nobody is that nice.

I see Claire not as someone who is suffering from abused woman syndrome, or stockholm syndrome, but as a strong, intelligent, resilient woman. Claire has gained strength, courage and confidence from everything she has gone through with Tony and she still wants to be with him. She is not afraid to take a chance on love.

I’m going to leave off with this quote:
Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many. The intelligence of a few, perceives what has been carefully hidden. -Phaedrus

I am sure that CONVICTED will be another story that will twist and turn and have us on the edge of our seats wondering what’s going to happen next. Aleatha Romig, who by the way is one of the most fan friendly authors I have had the pleasure of speaking with, has really given us a great story here. To have us debating this in this manor, and to have people going from HATING Tony to liking or loving him is quite the accomplishment so kudos to her.

Lisa @silverlight00 January 25, 2013 at 6:22 AM

Omg, I’m so afraid to start this series!! I mean I just HAD to read your review(could not look away from it) and I was just as confused as ever. WTH, I guess I just have to dive right in and swim w/the fishes w/this one.

Courtney M January 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM

While I don’t trust Tony just because he is showing his nice side at this point no one has mentioned *spoiler* who it seems to me to be master minding behind the scenes. I think we will find her more of the villian then Tony in the next book.
I struggled with the first half of the first book but then it got me in the end and I just had to immediately read the second book to find out more. It didn’t mess me up quite like Captive in the Dark did as that read from a more personal aspect and Truth and Consqueneces read more like a story. Nonetheless, I’m glad I stuck with it as it did turn out to be a good series. I think this series would make a great Lifetime movie or TV miniseries…. lol.

Tracie Dickinson January 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

So glad for your review. I was LOSING MY MIND! Is it sick that I loved / not liked (never hated) Tony in book 1? I kept thinking “oh, he will redeem himself, have a change of heart”. I refused to give up! When I finished book 1 this morning, my heart was BROKE! I couldn’t BELIEVE it. Had book 2 not been out, I just don’t know what I would have done. LOL I’m only in to Truth about 2 chapters, but your review and a few spoilers have settled my nerves. I NEVER cheat and read spoilers. I avoid them at ALL costs. ALWAYS. But this time, I just couldn’t help myself. ugh…….What has this book done to me? AND I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE THIRD BOOK? OMG, WE ARE GONNA NEED A SUPPORT GROUP – with a margarita machine!

LucyLou January 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

“OMG, WE ARE GONNA NEED A SUPPORT GROUP – with a margarita machine!” — LOL Tracie…. I’m in…I’ll bring the margarita mix! :)

Joyce January 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM

not sure if you have read it yet but the author put out 2 scenes in Tony’s POV last month. One from the “accident” in book 1 and the “dream” scene in book 2.. Aleatha is spoiling us and will be giving us another POV if she hits 1000likes in her Goodreads group discussion so please spread the word! I would love to get another piece of Tony’s twisted mind =D.–the-accident-scene-tony-s-pov


Suzanne January 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

No matter which ‘team’ we are on, what I love about the consequences series is the way it causes us all to justify the emotions it stirs up within. After reading a few scenes from Tony’s POV, I can honestly say that I can almost start to mellow in my opinions of Tony and his controlling, manipulating behaviour towar Claire!
Would live to have the conviction and courage to read both books again just before the third book is released….

Missy January 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Support Group held at my house – everyone is welcome to visit San Diego! (and @ Lucy…margaritas!
I’ve been in a dark space the past few days. First, I read Comfort Food – and that started the downward spiral. Ugh! Then on to Consequences and now 38% through Truth. I think it was Natalie who wrote – “I wanted to see Claire take his ASS DOWN!” Yeah – me too! My poor husband has totally felt the wrath of the dark reads. I’m way too short with him…of course he’s figured out my latest book is the cause. In fact he mentioned needing a support group!!! Anyway – I can’t possibly see how anything Tony does will make me switch to TEAM TONY. I’ve played a thousand scenarios over and over – the twin theory, plastic surgery… seriously cheesy endings (almost hoping for the cheesy ending). I’m hoping to power through tonight…I need my life back!

jenfri January 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Hello all,

can someone please point me where can i read the teaser from AR POV? i have been trying to find it and i dont know why…i just cant. Thak you.!

LucyLou January 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Thanks for the heads-up Joyce. I can’t wait to read Tony’s twisted POV!!! Yay!! :)
Oohhh Missy, thanks for the invite!!! San Diego sounds soooo sunny and warm!! Perfect for margaritas!! :) Sounds like you need to read or re-read “Wallbanger” to get out of the ‘Dark Read Funk’. I always have to read something funny to overcome that particular mental state. In fact, I asked Maryse if she had a list of books that made her laugh the most, just for that purpose. ;)

Missy January 25, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Great idea!! I need a pick me up!! Seduction and Snacks – here I come! And yeah – it’s in the 70′s here!

LucyLou January 25, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Missy, I love “Seduction and Snacks”!! So funny. I haven’t read the other 2 books in the series though. Maybe they will be my next pick me up. :) It’s cold and rainy here. Southern California sounds wonderful!!!

jenfri January 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

This is one of my favorite quotes from “Truth”, i just read the teaser from Tony’s POV, and I just have to say…I love Tony…

“I am deeply sorry for one and four.” He rubbed her hand with his thumb. “I did provide you with an alternative destination for number four.” Claire exhaled audibly. Tony continued, “I’m not proud of two, but three would never have happened without it.” His tone deepened and slowed, “I am not, and never will be sorry for three. And, for the record, I never lied about, or pretended, to love you. I didn’t realize it at first, but I have loved you since before you knew my name.” He bowed his head, kissed the soft skin on the top of her hand, and continued, “And, you forgot our divorce. I am sincerely sorry for that. Had I known you would be released so soon, we could still be married.” Placing her hand once again on her knee, he touched the fourth finger of her left hand, “You could still officially be mine.”

Vikki January 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

I haven’t read TRUTH yet and the ONLY reason I’m going to give it a try is because so many of you seem to be forgiving? understanding? liking? Tony, who I’ve decided is a big *jerk*. I only hope there is enough payback to satisfy me!

LucyLou January 25, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Go for it Vikki!!!
Aleatha Romig is a genius in the way she weaves Tony from unforgivable villian to forgiven hero for so many. I still am not fond of Tony (because I am stubborn in my beliefs), but I do see the temptation to cheer for “Team Tony”. The story and the process of getting Tony to that status is awesome!!!! I think you will really enjoy it. :)

Emely January 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM

I’m still reading this one! So I skimmed thru this post but I plan on revisiting once I’m completely done with part 2 of this amazing torturous series! I’m gonna need some light reads with happy endings after this

Mary January 26, 2013 at 2:07 PM

These booksm are messed up. Hate, fear love anger, tears, I ran all over with these emotions. Awesome writing to be able to bring across everthing like that. I took me awhile to read both because I had to get away from the intensity of these books. Thanks for letting us know about them Maryse!

Jan January 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Incrediable story line. Best books I have read in a very long time. I felt like I was reading a Dan Brown thriller novel with a heartbreaking love story at its core. I truly hope that a publisher picks these novels up so that more than e-book readers can read this very talented author. Wow!! I could not put these two books down for several days. I’m looking forward to the continue saga. Love you Aleatha.

Muriel January 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

On the outset I have to say that Aleatha Romig has written two of the most compelling books I’ve ever read. I have true book hangover and have decided I need at least a day before starting another book. These are “mighty” fine books! That said, I am not happy about the direction they’ve taken. Unless Tony has an evil twin, how can we forget he drugged, raped (yes, raped), physically and mentally abused Claire? Regardless of whether she is suffering from Stockholm syndrome, he did those things and more. What about John and ruining his career? Even if he tried to restore it, he suffered in prison. Then there’s Simon…did he have him killed? I’m sorry, I think Romig has done a masterful job of romanticizing Tony, but it is beyond me how he could be considered anything but the criminal he is. I am waiting with bated breath for Conviction.

Sweeta D January 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Okay….I just finished Truth and your review…..
Even though he made some great strides in Truth, I am with you all the way on being team Harry!
I think the abuse that Tony put Claire through is unforgiveable, AND even if I could forgive the abuse….

What about the media scrutiny (gold digger)?
What about the jail time SERVED? (A Governor’s pardon does not give her that time back!)
What about ruining Emily and John’s lives?
How can Claire look past that and treat her family the way she does in Truth?

Claire is selfish, irresponsible, ungrateful, and a complete twit! Harsh, I know, but COME ON!
She doesn’t deserve an understanding and patient guy like Harry. I’m glad he let her go once he realized her mindset. I get the Stockholm syndrome. I get it. I get it. I GET IT!
It doesn’t make it any better though.
Even in Consequences I was pissed at how she treated her sister in the limo on the way to the dress shop, but patiently understood the Stockholm angle.
Now, she is free and able to move about as she chooses. She meets an honest, sweet, free spirited, professional and absolutely gorgeous man! What does she do with her new freedom?
Claire self-counsels and then rationalizes Tony’s manipulative and controlling behaviors.
I get forgiveness. Everyone deserves a chance at forgiveness if they are willing to admit their flaws.
However, Tony deserves that forgiveness and the responsibility to live with the consequences of losing Claire. Unfortunately, I think Claire is too weak and pathetic to live without the control and domination.
That being said, If Claire likes it, I love it. It’s her life. She’s obviously only concerned with herself. If she is half concerned as she pretends to be about her child, she’d recall that the father is real life MONSTER and try to protect the baby at all costs. I don’t know, maybe she could take a chance on the family and friends who have never harmed her and have always stood by her side as opposed to Tony. I’m just throwin out some possibilities! I don’t agree with Claire, but I will continue my observance from the sidelines…..Whew!!! Alethea Romig what are you doing to me!! lol
I’m anxiously awaiting the release of book 3, but I SERIOUSLY, don’t get all the “Team Tony” love.

Bella February 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Is there a discussion group for those who have read the book. All the comments are in code so we don’t spoil. I have some questions!

Denise February 3, 2013 at 5:51 PM

I am totally with you Maryse!! I was thinking the only way I could become Team Tony would be if he was somehow possessed by the devil in Consequences which led to his unforgivable and evil behavior. Turns out he was never possessed by the devil. I still don’t like him and I think Claire is crazy for sticking with him. I need someone who is “Team Tony” to explain to me why I should love him. He kidnapped a woman, beat her, raped her, killed her ex-boyfriend, forced her to give him BJ after seeing the ex, beat her again to the point of death, isolated her from her family and friends, imprisoned her, and framed her for murder!! No way am I Team Tony. I don’t get it.

Robin February 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I went into Truth hoping upon hope that she was going to get her revenge and Tony was going down. I was irritated and frustrated with Claire for rationalizing his behavior. However….when I got to the end…..I am not Team Tony, but I am dying to know what happens next. My feelings for Tony shifted, but I still can’t get past everything he did…..Both books really captured me and drew me in. It was very well written. Aleatha Romig did an outstanding job. I wish #3 was closer to being released. There are times I think I should wait to read a series until they are all out because it can be so frustrating to wait!!! I want it now! Thank you for the recommendation.

Blanche March 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM

WOW!!! This book gave me big time adrenaline rush. I can’t believe I am gonna say this but I am TEAM TONY! I detested him in book 1 yet in book 2 he melted my heart. GUSH maybe I need therapy!

Heather Gibb March 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

So I loved this series, and it wasn’t necessarily the darkness of the story, etc. it was just that is had substenance and meat to it and it was interesting!!! I never would’ve read it w/o your recommendation and now I’m wanting another meaty book!! Any ideas?

Dana March 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM

I feel bad for saying this because so many loved it but I really felt let down by this book. It took me forever to get through and Claire at the beginning of the book was someone I could admire and relate to but Claire toward the end seemed brainwashed and just didn’t resonate with me. I was right with her in the first book but not the second one after the first half.

I didn’t like the way things flipped toward the end and much of it felt like swiss cheese (but not in a build up and suspense way) and really didn’t like the ending and don’t know that I want to read the third when it comes out. Usually I’d want to read it to see how things pan out but I’m really not sure if it’s worth it for me after the way the 2nd book bothered me.

Definitely NOT Team Tony for sure. I might need to read a few reviews of #3 before deciding if it’s worth it.

Usually I’m with the majority but not this time :(

crystal March 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

In a way Maryse i agree with you but i was one of those woman Team Tony. I think as an individual and the things he did in #1 are dark and twisted and unforgivable, but seeing him with Claire and the person she turned into(stronger, confident…)because of his “rules”, i can’t help think of them as a power couple. Didn’t she say “when he was good, he was so good”? i think he is redemable however i don’t think i can make that assumption without the final book. I was amuzed i wasn’t the only one with the Hanibal Lector reference! hahaha I also thought there were a lot of similarities in his relationship with Claire and Nathaniel’s relationship with Marie. These books have moved me and i often found myself flintching with her or crying over something he did. I hope my emotions can survive the wait for the third book.

Kim Cheeseman March 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I LOVED this book…I would give the 1st one a 4.5, but the 2nd a 5 star….my goodness it has been forever since I have read a book that was so good NO matter how long it was…I thoroughly LOVED these 2 books!!!

Esther April 28, 2013 at 8:51 AM


Any suggestions on what to read after Aleatha Romig truth??? I’m having serious withdrawals. Cannot get the story out of my head, and I noticed you suggestions on what to read after other series/books. Help!
Ps– I think I’m sick. I saw Tony through Claire’s eyes, from book one. Hated him, fell in love with him, and even after ending Cosequences, I couldn’t bring myself to hate him — after all he did! It made me seriously question my sanity….

Janet Price August 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM

How can any of you people like this man??????????? He KIDNAPPED a woman, raped her, beat her, abused her verbally and physically, and made her life nothing more than a love slave. What is wrong with all of you? I’m sickened ………. and I’m about 55% through the first book. I’m just about ready to quit it, to be honest. That anyone could “love” Tony is just beyond my comprehension.

Sarah P October 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I just finished book #3 Convicted. I must say if you want a ride, get on this one. It flat out blew me away to the point that I have no idea what to read now. Convicted haunted my dreams, it kept me up late at night, I had to put it down in the middle of paragraphs just to get a grip. At 40 pages left in the book I had to put it down for an entire day because I was so frightened of the ending. I won’t tell you who’s team I am on now, but I will tell you the ending was worth it.

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