2 out of 4 stars
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Heartaches 2 by H M Irwing is the second book of the Bad Boy Vibes series. The book continues the action of the first book, so reading the first one is necessary to understand this one. Anna and Rafe are the main characters. In the first book we learn that they both had suffered from very traumatic situations, including rape and psychological torture. Anna and Rafe seemed to have found their peace in each other, until at the military base where they settled their home, their enemies and rapists come to unbalance their emotional stability. The first book ends with both of them wanting to fight against the Prestons and Eric Dayton.
The second book starts with the fight between Eric and Rafe. A fight that was orchestrated by Rafe and Anna with the help of their friends to cast away Eric and the Preston boys from the military base. And from here a lot of things will be happening. The plot focuses a lot on the obsession that Rafe and Anna have for each other. It is supposed to be love and it is supposed to give them balance, but in my opinion their love is very obsessive, possessive and unhealthy. The main theme is sacrifice, not love and not rape. But a sacrifice gone to the extreme. Well, I think all the things happening are quite into the extreme in this book. Rafe and Anna can`t control their feelings, they are really messed up, and when it comes to do what is best for the other or what they think it is the best, they end up hurting the other even more.
I can`t say that I liked it, but I did not hated it either. At the end you are left with frustrations because there were parts where the action stagnated and I was waiting for something interesting that it came long after I gave up hoping. I think that the author could have filled these gaps with some psychological elements, or some analyses of why they feel so into each other. But letting aside the physical elements that by the middle of the book are so many and just the same thing that I really got upset. I would`ve liked more about them as a couple and as persons. Because by the end of this book I did not learn anything new about them. They seem to define their relationship in report to the others around them.
I get that the book and the series focuses on how a very traumatic experience reflects on the characters` mental health, but there are some parts that seem more obsessive than necessary. Like, for example, the jealousy on Pat. He is Anna`s gay friend and somehow he is always in between Anna and Rafe. They both care for Pat, but they both are jealous of him. Anna is jealous of Pat because he is always „drooling” at Rafe; and Rafe is jealous of him because he is always with Anna. Ok, a little jealousy in a relationship is healthy, but after you sit and talk about it, it is supposed to go away. But in their case it is not and is coming again and again until the end of the book when even if Pat is sleeping with the man he loves, Rafe is still jealous. It is a little to obsessive for my taste.
The book seems that it has not been edited at all. It gave me the impression that this was the first writing of it. I found a lot of typos, misspelled words, a name written instead of other, phrases that did not make any sense, extra words where were not necessary and so on. A new round of editing it could make it a lot easier to follow. I will rate this book 2 out of 4 stars because there were a lot of things that could have been handled differently to make it more approachable and because it needs more editing. I must say that is has violent scenes, explicit sexual content, same sex relations and I will recommended to those who have a lot of patience until it „gets to the good stuff”. Overall, the book has good potential of becoming an interesting psychological drama if it is revised.
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