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Anna Erishkigal's blog

"I put my heroes through hell..."

Healing read for Domestic Violence survivors

Blue-Eyed Devil - Lisa Kleypas

I have mixed feelings about this book, so I will break it down what I liked and didn't like, and then you can make your own decisions as to whether it's a recommended read.

What I liked whenever Travis and Hardy were together, the story flowed. There was nice chemistry between these two, and the writing, and descriptive prose, and the supporting characters were all well done. That part, I give 4 stars.

What was 'meh' - this book delved deeply into the psyche of a battered woman. As somebody who works with battered women a lot in her 'day job' I have to say every bit of research the author did into how a narcisstic batterer lures in, and then slowly breaks down, the psyche of their love interest was accurate. If you are somebody who has teetered at the brink of being battered yourself, consider this a must read because you will see yourself in these pages. If this were a psychology or treatment textbook, or a case-study of a battered woman, it would be worthy of 5 stars. Why, then, do I consider this portion of the book to be only 2-star worthy?

The author is an exceptionally talented writer, but this portion of the book (almost half of it) was nearly 100% telling and no showing. This is a work of fiction, not a non-fiction treatise on the psyche of battered women, and at no time did I feel that I was walking in Travis's shoes. I don't know if this is because the author has never actually been in such a situation and therefore was unable to take that last step into hell to make us feel what Travis felt as she lived through it? Or if perhaps she has lived through it and still teeters at that point of healing all domestic violence victims reach where they can flatly state 'this happened to me' but are not yet ready to deal with those issues on an emotional level. Whatever the reason, although I felt sorry for Travis as she lived through these things, at no time was I ever able to completely empathize with her or get into her head.

Overall, as a work of fiction and a romance novel I am going to give this book 3 stars, but if you are yourself healing from a domestic violence situation, then consider this book a 5-star book because as a quasi-fiction DV case study it is likely just what you need to read to feel as though you are not alone.

3 Stars