Review: Does It Hurt? by H.D. Carlton

DOES IT HURT?
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: H.D. Carlton
Release Date:
July 22, 2022

Who am I?

I’ve forgotten the answer to that question long ago. Ever since I ran from that house, so desperate to escape, I left with only the clothes on my back and socks on my feet. After that day, I’ve only ever walked in stolen shoes.

Could I be a girl who is searching for the meaning of life in faceless men? They were all so forgettable. Until he came along. He took me under a waterfall and made me forget my name, and in return, I took his instead.

Enzo Vitale.

An enigmatic man that will only ever love the deep sea. Or rather the predators that inhabit it. Turns out, he’s not so different than the monsters he feeds. He lured me onto his boat like a fish in the ocean, seeking vengeance for my crime. Had I realized his intentions, and that a massive storm would leave us shipwrecked, I would’ve ran.

Now, I’m a girl who’s seeking refuge in a decrepit lighthouse with a man who loathes me almost as much as he craves me. He wants to hurt me, but the old caretaker of the abandoned island may have intentions far more sinister.

It’s no longer a question of who I am, but rather, will I survive?

AMAZON

“Does it hurt, baby?” he asks quietly. “Not being able to scream for me like you want to.”

The second HD Carlton teased with this book, I was eagerly stalking her for every little morsel of detail. So obviously the second it dropped on my kindle, I dropped everything to read it. And that page of trigger warnings at the beginning of the novel? Well, color me ALL OVER IT.

Oh God,” I cry, trying to keep my voice down but failing miserably.
“Can you see him, baby? Ask him for forgiveness.”
“Why?” I pant, another high-pitched moan nearly swallowing the word.
“Because you worship me now.”

If there’s one thing I’ve come to know about this author, it’s her ability to create some of the most vivid and memorable characters. And I’m not just talking main characters, I’m talking about all the secondary characters. I’m a reader that will forget names, plot, almost all details, yet her characters and stories stay with me. And this book was no different.

Sawyer is on the run, forced to steal identities to survive. If there’s one thing I love, it’s morally gray characters, and she definitely serves some morally grey character energy. This is a woman who has been forced to do things she never thought she would, including sleeping with men to steal their identities after. She’s riddled with remorse but unable to stop. Then she runs into an enigmatic stranger at a bar who’s as rude as he is unforgettably sexy. So what does she do when he gives her the best sex of her life? Leave like a thief in the night with his identity in hand. But this time is different, because he tracks her down with every intention of punishing her for her sins.

Enzo is a shark expert with his own dark secrets. When he realizes the woman he spent the night with stole his identity, he doesn’t call the cops. He wants to deal with her himself. So when he runs into her again, he’s determined to make her pay. And so he lures her to his boat…completely blind to the deadly brewing storm.

Barely surfing the shipwreck, they find themselves on an island with an abandoned light tower, and forced to endure each other to survive.

Now I may be slight desensitized, but I didn’t find this book as dark as the trigger warning made it seem. It has a dark vein for sure, but it felt more suspenseful and creepy. The darkly veiled mystery running parallel to the romance was also deliciously intriguing. Enzo was everything I love in my main characters; grumpy, enigmatic, possessive, and with a mean streak a mile long. Sawyer, admittedly, took me a bit longer to warm up to. She’s a survivor, but I did wish she’d stand up more to Enzo. But she felt like she had to atone, and her tears would wash her sins away. I did get frustrated by her in parts, but then she fully grew on me towards the end when the full scope of her past gets revealed. She’s an incredibly complex character, full of many layers, and while I didn’t love all of them, I did love her as a heroine.

I binge read this book, eager to unravel the dark mystery. This author can definitely write one hell of an enrapturing read, and this one owned me from beginning to finish.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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