Book Review – Raw by Belle Aurora

by Maryse on January 5, 2014 · 31 comments

in My Book Reviews

Now THAT was a pure and perfect synopsis “jolt” that followed through wonderfully in the actual book! WOW! I read that blurb and was absolutely dying to jump in, ’cause I knew… anything that mentions the “girl falling for her stalker” (what what whaaaaaaat!!??) just had to be tumultuous and crazy. How could it not?

Maryse’s Book Blog: With a crazy synopsis like that, how can I resist? “Raw” by Belle Aurora. Oh. Em. GEE!!!! Look at it:

“I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.  He makes me feel.  It’s unconventional. But it’s real.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.  So am I.

This isn’t a story. This is my life.”

Krystal: Well DAMN!…that how to write a synopsis!..I’m thinking my other reads might have to be put on hold.

Traci: Just one clicked…may be a snow day for me…so will start today…

Candace: Wow! Just one clicked!

Sandra: You sold me again!

Lori: I’m not too far in, but I am IN!

Michele: I do not know what to even think of this book, I started reading it last night. It’s waaaay out there. I am going to keep going. It’s really wild!

Kandace: Belle Aurora is one of my favorite authors. I hardcore love all of her books. I’ve already started this one too and I’m LOVing it.

Theresa: Thank you once again Maryse’s Book Blog! Loving it…

Nancy: Just finished it…damn that was a good ass book! Book hangover fo shizzle

Hang: Oooo this looks so good!

Jodie: Just finished it. Loved this book. Very intense. Can’t wait for the next one!

Yep! Now THAT is a “must-read-now/forsake your TBR list” kind of blurb. And… nope, this is not your average “romance”. But a love story, nonetheless! A one sided-one, or more? I’ll let you find out.

Along the lines of our dark reads (exploring the relationship between kidnapper and kidnappee – total angsty thrillers!), but I had never read one like this, yet. Right up our alley, but just different enough to explore a new “crazy connection” dynamic.

So what’s it about?

Lexi has been stalked for a long while, but at a very discreet level. Just followed, constantly by the same brooding mysterious bad-ass (possibly homeless?) looking man that never approaches her. Doesn’t leave her weird gifts. No notes. No phone calls. He’s just… always there. She notices and while somewhat alarmed, she’s gotten used to his presence. And strangely feels a sort of comfort? (or maybe not so worried anymore) in regards to it. She continues living her life:

But I need to be careful.

And I will be careful.

As much as a person with a stalker can be.

And one day, she is attacked (and I mean viciously) in a dark alley, but her stalker comes to her rescue (after all, he’s always… “around”), and this time, his stalking saved her life. He carried her home, took care of her, and watched over her as she slept. She feels protected, safe, with him around, cinching her attachment and attraction to him. And over the course of the next few days, he continues to watch her…

Suddenly a feeling of contentment watches over me. Opening one eye, I turn and peer across the street as if I’m homing in on him.

And there he is.

A hooded figure, hands in his pockets, walking away from me.

Bubbles of warmth course through my body.

There he is. Watching me. Keeping me safe.

Or so my gut tells me.

… and sneaks into her apartment at night to hold her as she sleeps.

His fingers still at my back; he loosens his hold on me and utters sleepily, “Sleep.”

Taking a second to give him a tight squeeze, I relax and exhale.

Twitch doesn’t say much. He doesn’t need to. You know that saying actions speak louder than words? His actions are speaking of rhim. And I like what they’re saying.

I wonder if he’ll let me keep him.

And you know me and that sweet “sleeping innocently” together (for comfort) that I love SO much in these books. It happened in Twilight. It happened in Beautiful Disaster and it happened in a few more that I loved. So I realized I was going to experience this again, in full force, I was SO IN!!!!!!

BUT!!! I wondered if that eerie-story/psycho-love potential was gone now. After all, it was understandable that she’d grow attached to him. He was her hero. And it was sweet.

However, over the course of a few more chapters… I became confused. I couldn’t get a handle on the er…. “hero”. ;) Anti-hero? I went in thinking this is going to be crazy (’cause for sure, he’s a bad guy, right?) to thinking, oh okay, the synopsis fooled us a bit, ’cause I’m thinking he’s not a bad guy and it will be “okay” for us to love him, to maybe he doesnt “want her” want her? Maybe there’s another purpose to his stalking…

Did I seriously just get rejected by my stalker? What the f#%k?

To moments of absolute… ROAR!!!! Yep… he’s on my “bad-guy” list again! Ohhhh I want to put a quote from the part that had me saying “whaaaaaaa?” so bad, but I won’t. I’ll let you uncover that, too.

Fun times!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Only 20-something% in and I’m dying to know what Twitch’s problem is… Gah! First I had that whole “creepy dark-read” vibe from the blurb, then I started it and had that “protector sweetness” vibe and now I’m thinking I’m way off again… Grrrrrr!

Amy: 42% in and still wondering . . .

Barbara: I just read it last night. I cried! I yelled! Loved it! My first 5 star book of 2014!!!

Laura: Oh oh oh!!!!! Can you remember when you totally screwed me over with How To Kill A Rockstar ~ ha! you’re welcome

Tee: it’s Raw by Belle Aurora and is so freaking amazing. Maryse this book…I can’t even deal. Read it in four hours.

Argie: Omg! You will not know what hit you!!!

Christine: Prepare yourself!!!!!! I balled my eyes out!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Haha! Yay u guys are thrilling me! (And yay!) Roar! He’s so.. sooooo….so… Ugh! Roar! *fumey face* hehe.

Argie: All of the above and then some!! Keep tissues close by.

Summer: Just finished and it was SO good!! The epilogue aggggghhhhh is all I have to say

Rachel: The end!!!! Argh – I cant even….

Jackie: I’m halfway & still trying to figure it out. CAN’T.STOP.READING!!!!

Michelle: I just finished this morning & I’m still really hoping this isn’t a stand alone! I can’t wait to read your review.

Colleen: OMG I LOOOOOOOOVED that book!!!

Nona: Can’t wait to read your review! This book is one of my top 5!!

Emma: OMG.. just finished this minutes ago. You are in for one heck of a ride, girlfriend

Angel: it is AMAZING and the epilogue will rock your world.

Janet: All this talk has me thinking I need to stop what I’m reading and start Raw, and I never do that !!

Melanie: Loved it. My first book of the new year it set a high bar for all other books to meet.

Cherie: This book mind-effed the … eff out of me. Can’t stop thinking about it days later!!

Di-Ann: Ditto to all above!!! I can’t seem to find another book to read now

Hang: %15 I can’t wait to get back to it tonight. I can’t decide on Twitch either!!!

Robyn: OMG! No words for this book. I’m in a book coma and don’t know where to go from here. Lost…..

Sarah: Just finished it …. Words cannot come, this book was simply unbelievable …. Top read of 2014 for sure … Can’t stop thinking about it!!!!!

Sandra: All I can say is don’t let anything interrupt your reading of Raw because there is a oint at which if forced to stop you will have heart palpitations until you can finish. 5 years really!

The LOVE for it just keeps coming my way. This book affected us all.

Things I loved? The uniqueness of the story, the exploration of this strange connection, the chances it took (’cause OMG he could go from hot to cold, from hero to villain in seconds flat). And I loved that the book kept me guessing. Who was he? Why was he? What was his deal!!??

Slight spoiler alert —> Now skip this part if you haven’t read the book yet as I analyze what else might have made me love it more. I don’t reveal anything, but I don’t want you going in with preconceived notions due to how I experienced these parts:

Things that held me back somewhat: I would have LOVED to have that “stalker” experience for a bit longer before they officially met each other. I would have loved to experience her initial realization, fear, trepidation, concern… and then move into that “comfort” zone and live there for a bit. I think that would have made it all that much more intense for me.

I struggled with his intensity towards her where it came to his seeming hatred of her, and how he treated her. I get the innate D/s relationship that was developing between them, but I wasn’t connecting to him during those parts. Let’s just say I wasn’t “team-Twitch” through a lot of those moments (and really struggled with her acceptance of it, even though I usually really enjoy a good D/s love story). I wasn’t really connecting to him. Or maybe I was disconnecting (’cause the sleeping scenes gave me the warm and fuzzies). But I kind of think I wasn’t meant to love him (let alone like him) just yet, so I went with it.

I also feel like I missed the “switch” or the emotional change during a certain progression in their story. It just… “happened” and I was all… oh. Okay. Why? How did that change? From one “angry” extreme to another. I don’t want to say exactly what, ’cause I want you to keep guessing throughout like I did.

And I was a bit surprised with the “reasoning” behind a lot of it. There are answers to our questions, but I wasn’t as excited about the answers (the reasoning) as much as I wanted to be. I was expecting the explanations to be a bit twisty-er and gasp-worthy and almost genius in it’s reveal. But it was all a lot simpler then I was expecting. ;) Kind of… obvious, and more of an “it is what it is” kind of reasoning.

BUT!!! To me, the ending totally made this one. Kind of took us full circle. I couldn’t help but love it, and I got my gasp-worthy moment. It really will make your jaw drop. Did I cry? Well… I was too exhilarated to cry, I kind of had a certain feeling… and I… I just… Okay no more from me on that front. ;) But it was WAY clever!!

Okay y’all can come back now, I’m done working it out of my system!!

Now, I won’t say anymore ’cause the rest is for you to experience
in it’s “raw” form. <— tee hee! See what I did there? ;)

I recommend it for those that love these unconventional (and sometimes scary) love stories the way I do. It’s an adrenaline-inducing frenzy of a wild ride, and pretty much… unputtdownable! And if you do have to put it down, the only thing you can think about is picking it back up. Fast-paced AND well paced.

4 stars as a whole from me —> (4.5 stars for the beginning, 4 stars for the majority of it, 3.5 stars for a few parts that I mentioned above that kept me at a certain distance) and 5 stars for that ending!!!

P.S. Thank you to the author for sending a review copy my way! I squee’d when I saw it and happily devoured it!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele January 5, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I want a sequel! It can not end like this!!! Maybe she could call it Raw Redemption :)

Maryse January 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I was thinking “Redemption” would be the title IF there was a #2. ;)

Rachel January 5, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I agree with you on all points. I hope there’s not a sequel. I’m kind of over reading sequels, unless it’s purposely a series. I think it was perfect the way it ended – all wrapped up, with just a bit left to the imagination.

Ok, side note. We have a neighborhood Fb page and someone made a fake profile on it with the name Twitch Johnson. His pic is of a portly 70s porn star – you know, longish curly hair, extra hairy body, the sexy works. He makes vulgar and hilarious comments on things from time to time. I absolutely could not get this image out of my head while reading Raw. Quite the conflict!! Haha!

Lise January 5, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Great review as always Maryse and you are spot-on with some of the plot holes. I still loved this one and especially the ending. Agree with Rachel, do not need a sequel. However, I can’t stop laughing over her Twitch visual. Poor thing… LOL ;-)

Lisa January 5, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Just finished. I think I still need to process all of it but I really liked it. It was so different from the other stories I’ve been reading. I would like to think this the end but I’m sure there will be a sequel. I loved the twists at the end, so refreshing to be surprised!

Lisa January 5, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Just finished. I think I still need to process all of it but I really liked it. It was so different from the other stories I’ve been reading. I would like to think this the end but I’m sure there will be a sequel. I loved the twists at the end, so refreshing to be surprised

Wilda January 5, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I read Raw in one sitting…absolutely could not put it down!!!! Definitely top read so far, how do I find another book to top that? What do I read now to get my mind off of Twitch? All I want to know is there going to be a sequel?!?! I need to know what happens.

Traci January 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Just finished…I’ve read 2 books with crazy endings…this one & night now…Loved Raw.. a little slow @ times for me.., but I agree with your review on the stars.

Amy January 5, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Wow, that was quite the ride now, wasn’t it? I think I have whiplash from it. And yep, that ending. I was holding my breath and thinking, ‘wait for it, wait for it…’ and then BAM! There it was. ;) I’m conflicted about a sequel. I think it ended perfectly for a situation that was so much less than perfect. :)

Sarah January 5, 2014 at 11:12 PM

I’m DEFINTELY with you, Maryse, and the majority on this one! The whole explanation of why he had his “plan” for her confused me a little–it was too simple, I guess?? The ending blew me away!! It’s so good that it really could be left as it is, but I’ve developed a “twitch” that leaves me wanting more!! Maybe just a little novella for my fix??:)

Lauren January 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

I enjoyed the book & cried so hard @ the end but I didn’t quite understand WHY he hated her as much as he did. Enough to spend millions searching for her, stalking her, & planning to destroy her. As far as I know she just put a band-aid on him. And she was what, 5yrs old? Never saw each other again because HE ran away. Why hate her?

Laura January 6, 2014 at 5:26 AM

Oh man I need to get back into the book world!! This looks great but I’ve been stuck on Kristen Ashley’s fantasyland since Xmas on book 4 now and I don’t want them to end :( they are soooo good!! But at least raw will be next…….. Hmmm 2nd actually as kresley Coles the professional part 2is out today yay!!! $1.63 everyone!!!

Dawn January 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Ok, ok…you guys win! Raw is next up for me!! :)

Lisa B January 6, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Made the mistake of finishing this book on my lunch hour today. Was sitting at my desk, tears rolling down my face (thank goodness I was the only one in the office) and then came the ending…OMG! I had a mild freak out moment! I was done the rest of the afternoon. I can not get this book off my mind. I all ready know this will be one of my top reads of 2014! Thanks for the recommendation Maryse! You rock!

xiao January 7, 2014 at 7:54 AM

oh my f%&king goodness >///<
i cried in front of my professor reading and swearing like a sailor TT^TT

Sue Tint January 7, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Damn! Had to one-click this sucker!

Jill January 7, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Just finished and i still can’t breathe. Definitely will have a book hangover on this one.

Jean January 8, 2014 at 10:57 AM

I am at 40% and have no words….not sure what to think….not sure where this is going….just not sure…..ugh!

Danielle January 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

I just finished this. For all you reading this going idk if I can make it through, push through it. While reading this idk what to think I thought she was crazy for allowing him into her life the way she did. I thought she was stupid a lot too. Throughout the book I couldn’t pin twitch down and I was so very confused with him as a person. But I kept going, kept reading and wow, that ending blew it away for me. I originally thought maybe I’d rate it 3 stars or something, but nope it got 4 from that ending and making me wonder wtf. I am torn on if I want a sequel cause I want to know the reasoning behind that….cause I don’t get it….at all. Wow.

Brenae January 9, 2014 at 9:25 PM

WOW….just finished Raw. This is a story and ending I will feel for days. Thanks for the suggestion and review!

Jean January 9, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Just finished and I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh at the end….that epilogue!!!! Can’t stop thinking about the end. Maryse, your review was right on. I still don’t know how I feel about Twitch….definitely love/hate relationship, but I would love a 2nd book (I think)! Major book hangover.. Now don’t know what to read next!

Katy January 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Amazing book. I read all of it in one night. I literally could not fall asleep until I knew what happened. Her falling for him was a given. I was very pleased with the overall character of Twitch.. but the end.. O.M.G the END! Please tell me that their is a sequeal..

Tracy Dalton January 16, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Awsome review, and I totally agree with your thoughts!!! There was one scene in particular that I couldn’t wrap my head around, it was just something I didn’t think her character would really do. But, overall, it was an awsome, unputdownable read!!

Jean January 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

That is the BIG question!! Will there be a sequel?? I even wrote to the author, but have had no response……there has to be one!!!

Maryse January 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Just a quick note to answer the emails & comments I’ve received asking if I knew if there would be a “Raw” sequel. As of my latest research, Kayla (her assistant) posted this on the author’s Facebook page on January 13 at 9:05pm:

“Thank you, everyone!! Belle wanted Twitch to be a standalone unlike any of her other books. No plans for a part 2, but she is working on Friend-Zoned #3!! ~ Kayla the Bibliophile”

Jean January 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Ugh, that breaks my heart! I need more of Twitch!

Chantal January 19, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Wow! I just finished reading it. I still haven’t dried my tears. It simply CANNOT end like this. I WANT a SEQUEL!!! 5 stars for me.

Michelle February 3, 2014 at 6:29 AM

I actually wrote belle and. She wrote me back! She. Had no plans for a part two but wouldn’t discount it either so maybe if we beg her she will LOL!

Thelma March 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

TWITCH!!!!!! <3 <3 read this weeks ago and I'm still not over it!!!cried like a baby!!!this book was amazing!!! <3

nicole May 21, 2015 at 11:45 AM

I have her facebook and she has confirmed a “dirty” which would be Julius and she said twitch will be heavily in there so yay for that!

Nancy September 21, 2015 at 2:58 PM

I LOVED this book. Cannot ever begin to explaine how I felt at the end….there has to be SEQUEL!!!!!! it is inhumane to end it like that and not have the follow-up waiting in the wings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How can she NOT plan on a book 2??????????????

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