Every so often, a reader has the privilege of experiencing a book so evocative, it’s hard to put their feelings into words. However, we ARE talking about me here. If you stalk me on Facebook, (wait…you ARE stalking me on Facebook, right?) you’ll know that I haven’t been able to shut UP about this book for the past few weeks.
Where do I begin? Mia Asher calls Arsen “A Broken Love Story”, and she could not have come up with a more apt title.
Love is infinite. There is no beginning and no end. There’s no starting point and no finishing line. Love just is. Love is born, grows, matures, and sometimes it dies. But the memory will remain with you for the rest of your breathing hours. You will fall in love, you will fall out of love. But you will love again. You always do.
At the beginning of the story, our heroine (or anti-heroine, depending on how you look at it) Cathy is broken. Although she loves her husband Ben, their marriage is stagnating. Compound that with her multiple miscarriages, she’s vulnerable, resentful, just not in a good place in her life.
Love can destroy you. Love can erase you. Love can heal you. Love can reinvent you, and, if you are lucky enough, love can make you whole again. That’s what Cathy has done to me.”
Then there’s Cathy’s husband Ben. If Martha Stewart were to write a Husband Cookbook, and concoct the perfect Husband Recipe, I’m pretty sure you’d end up with Ben Stanwood. A wealthy, successful man, he’s completely devoted to Cathy. Did I mention he’s totally dreamy, too?
…my mind finally acknowledges what my heart has known all along as the truth- I’m hers. I belong to Catherine. And I want her to be mine, only mine.
Enter Arsen. The son of Cathy’s new boss, he’s a rich, spoiled playboy. Naturally, I was crushing on him immediately. Cocky and confident, he’s used to always getting what he wants. And what he wants is Cathy. Upon learning that Cathy is married, and not interested in pursuing anything with him, he agrees to be friends, and they become close.
After yet another personal tragedy, Cathy finally snaps. She’s devastated, she’s hopeless, she pretty much checks out of her life. It’s pretty much a perfect storm of emotions that drive her into Arsen’s ready and willing arms. He’s a balm for her, soothing the ache in her heart, making her feel whole again. Like a drug she just can’t kick, Arsen helps Cathy shut out the world, and she begins to crave, even need him. But how does he feel about her? Are they just fuck buddies, or is it something more?
I’m not going to delve any further into the story, as I REALLY want you to experience this book for yourself.
From The Mind of Mo
I was very surprised to learn that this was Mia’s first published book. The storytelling is superb. It’s such a well-rounded story, seamlessly blending snippets of the past as well as occasional chapters from Ben’s and Arsen’s POV. Mia’s characters become to real you, you’re really feeling what they’re feeling. I felt lust, love, joy, depair, and a whole lot of anger. There were plenty of times that I shook my Kindle like it owed me rent!
It wasn’t an easy read. It’s visceral, intensely emotional, at times it’s agonizing.
This book made me think. Think about life, love, and the choices people make when it all starts falling apart. Moreover, it made me FEEL. And I’m still feeling (and reeling) weeks later.
Then there’s the epilogue. The epilogue laid waste to me. It ripped out my heart, threw it in a wood chipper, and set the pieces on fire.