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Roar - Aria Cage

You can read my full review at Sinfully Sexy.

4 Stars

“Love is the desire for their soul.

Lust is the desire for their body.

When both collide, it gives the other the power to destroy you.”


Roar by Aria Cage is a book about the dark and the abominable aspects of humanity. This author immersed me in a world of sadness, pain and suffering and took me on a journey through the vileness of human nature and what some individuals are forced to endure. We are molded, conditioned and shaped by our environment and circumstances. What happens when that environment is filled with nothing but brutal difficulties and harsh realities? Can you come away unscathed? Imprisoned by your demons and tragic past, what can give you the strength to set you free?

This book should have come with a warning. It does deal with the darker aspects of human nature but what was more powerful for me was how much this book smothered and engulfed me in sadness, grief and pain. The hero and heroine in this story go through some twisted and sick experiences. I wanted to ram my fist through my kindle and punish the evil tormentors and scream “enough is enough”. My heart hurt while reading this book and it left me with such a somber feeling in the pit of my stomach.


Alright, enough about that. Moving on with some semblance of a review.


“My building blocks of life are built upon guilt so thick, it's cold in here. My soul, my heart, my body, and love are all so cold. I have nothing warm and good to give anyone.” ~Charlie

Charlie Barns has experienced the unfathomable in her twenty-six years of life. The person who was supposed to love and protect her became the monster she both loved and hated. Charlie understands that she is damaged and broken, swimming in a sea of guilt and despair. Essentially she continues to be a prisoner trapped by all that she has experienced and unable to break through her shattered existence. However, this is her penance. The one shining beacon in her life, the only goodness she has experienced that became her primal addiction, is someone she thinks she destroyed. Now she deserves nothing more than the life she has carved out for herself - a life masked by fake emotions and with an underlying blackness. Charlie is not expecting her past to re-emerge. But when it does how will she be able to stay away from the one person who makes her heart beat and awakens her body?


“I chose you, Charlie Barns.” ~Nate

Nate Shaw has been tied to Charlie for as long as he can remember. Their lives have intertwined through tragedy, love and lust. Their love for one another started at a young age and grew into something more profound as they each clung to each other in their own personal hell. Like Charlie, Nate lives with an overwhelming sense of guilt for not being able to save the only girl he has loved. Believing he was doing what was best for Charlie, Nate let her go desperately hoping she would find a way out from their horrific past and into a life filled with happiness and all the good things she deserves. Now, eleven years later, Nate finds himself looking into the eyes of the girl who holds his soul. Charlie is still the broken girl with twisted perceptions that he literally aches for. There is no way he will ever be able to walk away from her again. He wants to help her heal and move forward with her. Underneath her fragile façade lies a woman who has endured more than most. She is strong and Nate wants that strength to shine for all to see. However, the choice has to be hers. Charlie has had so many things ripped from her. Nate can only pray that she chooses him in return.

Charlie and Nate were ripped apart and they both let each other go thinking it was the best recourse for the one they loved. Coming back into what they once shared will not be as easy as it seems. Both are plagued by demons that won’t let go. They both survived a living hell, but at what cost? The love they once shared still burns bright; however, can that same profound connection be strong enough to hold them up while they walk past all the shattered pieces that consume them? Or, is the intimate bond they have with one another simply an illusion. One that was formed by the perverse reality they once endured.


This book was very somber in its tone. As the story progresses and I discovered the extent of all that was done to Charlie and Nate, my heart bled for them. Both Charlie and Nate had scars that ran so deep that I did not think they would ever be able to surface from the depths of desolation, especially Charlie. I found myself wondering if a person can simply be too broken to even heal, to ever stand strong again. The mind can be a fragile thing. If it is continuously broken would it not stand to reason that it would become irreparable?

Overall, I enjoyed reading Roar. I am unsure if I have ever read a book so dismal in its nature. It simply tore at my heart and there were times that I felt like I could not keep reading. I am so glad that I did because what developed was beautiful. A lioness did break free and begin to roar mightily. The power of love is amazing. Sometimes...just sometimes...love gives us the strength to keep going even when our resources are depleted. Love can be enough. It can be the only thing that overtakes guilt, shame and pain. Love has the power to banish the monsters in our lives to live freely. For Charlie and Nate, their unconditional love and the need they had for one another was their saving grace and what ultimately led them to a happy forever.


****An advanced reading copy of Roar by Aria Cage was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.