And for ninety-two days she has inspired me in ways I never knew possible. A muse, unbeknownst to her. Motivating me. Encouraging my darkest desires.
I’m a man who knows what he wants. And what I want is the beautiful and broken Holland Howard.
My name is Jensen Payne—photographer, autocrat, lecher, Scopophiliac. I am who I am and I will not—cannot—change.
*This is an Erotic Romance. Recommended for readers 18+ ONLY.
WARNING: This book contains possible emotional triggers.
Nobody can take your misery away, that’s yours to keep all your own. Find the person who can make you forget you were miserable in the first place.
If I wasn’t completely sold by the synopsis of this book, the prologue alone was enough to suck me in completely. I mean, talk about starting things off intense. That first chapter will grip you by the heart and hit you straight in the feels. Holy hell.
Hard is told in alternating POVs from Holland and Jensen. Jensen, having lost everything that meant anything to her is now an empty shell of the woman that she once was. She no longer cares…about everything. Having experienced one devastating loss after another, the final loss is just the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back. She picks up the meager belongings she cares about and moves away from everything she knows. She doesn’t want any connection or memory to her old life. But the one thing she does take with her is her grief.
I’ve been told there are five stages of grief.
Then you’re fine. You move on. Live your life. Everything goes back to normal.
I must be doing something wrong because I seem to be repeating them over and over again. I’m on a wheel of misery, running as hard as I can and getting no closer to my end goal.
Jensen Payne is a photographer and Scopophiliac. A collector and appreciator or beautiful things. And if there’s one thing that he loves more than looking at beautiful things it’s capturing them on his camera. The recent object of his obsession is the beautiful but broken Holland, a waitress at a pub that he frequents. Unable to get her out of his mind or spend his lust with any other woman but her, he propositions her…and isn’t shocked when she simply accepts.
Women typically have one of three reactions to my fervent perusal. They either want to slap me, fuck me, or run from me.
Jensen is definitely a man that likes his sex dirty. Now when this synopsis tells you that this is erotic, it really means EROTIC. Holy panty change, batman. A good 65% of this book is pure sex. There’s dirty fuckery, kinky fuckery, rough fuckery. Lots of fuckery is what I’m trying to tell you here.
That moment when her body becomes all nerves and sensations, consumed with pure and utter bliss.
I want to witness that.
I NEED to witness that.
I have to CAPTURE that.
If there’s one way that Jensen and Hollan connect, it’s on a physical level. Both of them have their dark secrets and neither is looking for anything other than a physical connection. But somewhere between panted breaths and sweat soaked sheets, something begins to form between them. Something…more.
I always expected I’d be alone in darkness. I never dreamt I’d find light near the end. It hurts to hope. It hurts to care. To want. To need. I shouldn’t feel this way. I CAN’T.
While I like a hot sex scene as much as the next girl, at times it was almost overwhelming here. I could have done with a little less sex and a little more story. Shocking. I know. I’ll give you a moment to absorb that.
This book was unique in it’s own right because I can’t say I’ve ever read a book with Jensen’s particular affliction and I’ve never even heard of Scopophilia ever before so that was something new. Holland’s story was heartbreaking to read (Highlight to view spoiler)especially as a mother myself (End Spoiler), and sometimes I felt that the abundant amount of sex almost overshadowed the emotional story that the book also had. I did enjoy it quite a bit, and I absolutely loved the epilogue. I wish there was a little more time spent on the emotional connection between Holland and Jensen, beyond just the obvious physical one, but I can’t complain too much. It was still a unique, sexy and different read.
Cheryl McIntyre is the author of the bestselling Sometimes Never series, as well as the Dirty series, Infinitely, and Dark Calling.
She calls Ohio home, though she secretly dreams of living somewhere much warmer–preferably near a beach. She is a mother, author, and insomniac, as well as a reader, self-proclaimed movie critic, and incredibly bad singer. Her life revolves around four things: family, music, books, and really bad scary movies.
You can follow her author page on Facebook where she lives part time. On Goodreads—which is like crack for avid readers. On Twitter, though she has still not yet mastered the art of tweeting. On tsū. Or on her website.