4 out of 4 stars
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Anna and Rafe are bound by pain. They share a passionate relationship based on a mutual need for healing. Heartaches by H. M. Irwing is a story of sexual exploitation and abuse. Though it is categorized under the romance genre, it is far from being your typical jolly tale of love. It contains a handful of steamy erotic scenes. These scenes are most often of rape or some form of sexual exploitation.
Anna Walters-Simmons losses her step father but is far from feeling any loss. The abusive rapist was killed by his own son, Brian. The presence of Matt Preston in her life was just the ice on the cake. Or so she taught. The hottest guy on campus had set his sights on her. For six months she was in paradise. To keep her man, she ate, dressed and took every step and action according to his taste. She did it all till she had sex with his entire family; his brother, father and himself. It was a rape. She was gang raped by three men, one of which she considered her boyfriend. However, she had enjoyed it. To top it all, she still longed for them. She had been used as a rabbit to test a new drug.
After serving the Australian army for thirteen years, Rafeal Luis Brown was discharged. He came back home a shattered man. Like Anna, he had been abused. The pain he saw in Anna's eyes during their first meeting drew him to her. Their quest to find justice would expose some dark truths about the military and justice system. It would also unravel the sad extent of their pain and sufferings.
I initially chose to read this book expecting something relaxing. I would tell you what I got was far from it. The story was intense. Sexual abuse and drugs are two very painful and disheartening ills. Unfortunately, they are a very rampant practice in our society. H. M. Irwing combines both in her novel Heartaches. She paints a very vivid picture of rape. She gives the reader an in-depth look at the feelings of both the victims and their perpetrators. I was saddened by the way Rafe and Anna blamed themselves for their predicaments. The justice system also blamed them for their misfortune. This is a sad reality of our world today. It is a world where the victim is victimized even after experiencing so much pain.
The story was well written. The characters were well developed. Each character had a prominent role to play in the development of the plot. The setting of the story was Australia and I was given a sneak peek of the lush landscape of Australia. I found a couple of errors in the write-up. There were some omissions and grammatical errors. These however were very minimal and did not hinder the flow of the story.
I would advise anyone who has a problem with erotic scenes and rape against reading this book. If you are able to stomach it, you will find this book interesting. Overall, I would rate Heartaches by H. M. Irwing 4 out of 4 stars. The novel was interesting, well-written and tackled a difficult subject in a very vivid, yet mild way.
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