Review: Psycho- Onley James

Psycho is the second book in Onley James’ Necessary Evils Series. I finished reading it a few weeks ago but haven’t had the time to sit down and write a review.

Book Trigger Warning: Trauma, Psychopathy, Rape, Kidnapping, Murdering, Violence, Stalking and Torture. In my opinion, none of this is really in any graphic detail (except maybe the violence). Honestly, I’ve written worse.

Summary:

August Mulvaney has always been exceptional. As the genius son of an eccentric billionaire, his off-putting behavior is often blamed on his high IQ. They say there’s a thin line between genius and madness. August is both—a brilliant professor loved by his students and a ruthless, obsessive killer tasked with righting the wrongs of a failing justice system. And he’s just found his latest obsession: Lucas Blackwell.

Lucas Blackwell was once the golden child of the FBI, using his secret talent as a clairvoyant to help put away society’s worst. Until, with a touch, he discovers his co-worker is a killer and his life falls apart. Now, the world thinks he’s crazy and that co-worker wants him dead. He seeks refuge at a small college, hoping to rebuild his life and his reputation. But then he runs into August Mulvaney. Literally.

August is immediately intrigued with Lucas and his backstory. He doesn’t believe in psychics, but there’s no missing the terror in his eyes when they collide in the hallway. Now, August has a problem. Lucas knows his secret, and August knows he wants Lucas. And August always gets what he wants.

Can he convince Lucas that not all killers are created equal and that having a psychopath in his corner—and in his life—might be just what he needs?

Psycho is a fast-paced, thrill ride of a romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a psychopath hell-bent on romance and a disgraced FBI agent attempting to redeem himself. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, and scenes so hot it will melt your kindle. This is book two in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

Review:

I liked this book a lot more than Unhinged, the first in the series. Just like the first book, you get right to the main characters meeting without a ton of backstory.

The readers meet August for the first time in book one, but you really get to know him in this Psycho. I actually fell in love with him. I’m such a sucker for awkward, smart guys, and that’s exactly what he is (besides being a psychopathic murderer). He is just so endearing, and he makes me swoon. He is also so smart and cunning which *swoons more*. I have nothing bad to say about him. At all. I found him so much more likable than Adam.

Lucas is an ex FBI agent who has the special ability to have visions when he touches items. He used this as an FBI profiler to find the ‘bad guy’ until he found out that another FBI agent was behind the disappearance of dozens of women. Of course when he revealed to the FBI his secret, they didn’t believe him and put him in a psych ward. The books starts after he’s been released and he took a job at a university as a criminology professor.

When Lucas literally runs into August in the hallway, he sees who August really is. August has an immediate connection to Lucas, much like Adam had with Noah. For me, this connection made more sense. I expected it to be more of a slow burn given Lucas’ past, but the author did a really good job of making the quick pace of their relationship more believable. August is cunning with the impressions he leaves for Lucas, after all.

Just like the first one, this book isn’t angsty in the relationship department. Most of the drama comes from trying to figure out the case Lucas had started during his time in the FBI which held my interest. I didn’t find any part of this book boring and the characters didn’t do anything stupid or out of character just to move the plot along.

I also love that you get to see them interact more with their family and other brothers. You still get to see peeks into Noah and Adam’s relationship and how Noah interacts with the rest of the family and now a new person. I have already started book three in the series. I’m excited to see what it holds.

I don’t have a ton to say about this book other than I definitely thing you should give the series a chance if you’re able to handle the triggers and morally ambiguous main characters.

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Review: Unhinged- Onley James

I have been on a dark romance kick (what else is new?), so when I found the Necessary Evils Series and read the blurb to Unhinged, I knew I found my next read. It’s one of those concepts that I read and immediately wished I had come up with myself. It’s very creative. Full disclosure: I’m already over halfway through the second book in this series: Psycho.

This review will contain small spoilers.

Book Trigger Warnings: Sex Trafficking, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Abuse, Molestation, Childhood Trauma, Psychopathy, Violence, and Torture. In my opinion, none of this is really in any graphic detail (except maybe the violence). Honestly, I’ve written worse.

Summary:

Adam Mulvaney lives a double life. By day, he’s the spoiled youngest son of an eccentric billionaire. By night, he’s an unrepentant killer, one of seven psychopaths raised to right the wrongs of a justice system that keeps failing.

Noah Holt has spent years dreaming of vengeance for the death of his father, but when faced with his killer, he learns a daunting truth he can’t escape. His father was a monster.

Unable to ignore his own surfacing memories, Noah embarks on a quest to find the truth about his childhood with the help of an unlikely ally: the very person who murdered his father. Since their confrontation, Adam is obsessed with Noah, and he wants to help him uncover the answers he seeks, however dark they may be.

The two share a mutual attraction, but deep down, Noah knows Adam’s not like other boys. Adam can’t love. He wasn’t born that way. But he refuses to let Noah go, and Noah’s not sure he wants him to.

Can Adam prove to Noah that passion, power, and protection are just as good as love?

Unhinged is a fast-paced, roller coaster ride of a romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a dirty-talking, possessive psychopath and a sweet cinnamon roll of a boy with Daddy issues and a core of steel. There’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, enough steam to fog up a hundred car windows, and something a lot like love. This is book one in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. The concept is just fascinating to me. It was one of those that I wish I had come up with myself. In this book, you get right into the two main characters meeting, which I very much apricated.

Adam is a bit of a spoiled rich kid who has gotten by on his good looks and his father’s money. He is a good-looking, devil-may-care model, but what he does behind the lens of the camera is a different story. He is a psychopath, and he, along with his brothers, are vigilantes. He kills people who do evil things but these people are somehow either above the law or the law just simply can’t catch them. I must admit, I was way more interested in Adam’s brothers than I was him.

Noah is the son of one of Adam’s victims. When he confronts Adam one night for his crime against his father, Adam shows him who is father really was which unlocks memories that Noah had repressed. These memories lead Adam and Noah into a dark world where Noah and many other children were the victims.

I thought this story would have worked better as a slow-burn. Their instant attraction to each other didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. The way James explains Adam’s desires for Noah is almost… supernatural? It’s reminiscent of supernatural beings who have found their mate, but Adam isn’t a werewolf. I found the explanation a bit odd, but I went with it. There was lots of steam in-between the action.

I wouldn’t describe this book as particularly angsty, especially when it comes to their relationship. A lot of their conflict comes from outside sources. There was no will-they-won’t-they questions. You knew from the beginning that they would. The conflict revolved around the mystery that was unfolding about Noah’s past.

The one thing that really annoyed me about this book is that Noah acted really out at one point for no real good reason other than to move the plot along. If James would have added a few lines about the reason as to why Noah acted out of character, then it would have made sense. The other thing that bothered is how quickly they fell for each other. The blurb made it seem like a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, type deal but it was the opposite. Everything with their relationship happened really quickly which seemed really unrealistic to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend you read it if you can handle the triggers that it contains. I must admit, I am enjoying the second one way more. I am looking forward to doing a review on it in the coming weeks.

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Sneak Peek of Paradise in Death

Read the first two chapters of Paradise in Death one week EARLY and for FREE

I’m so excited to share this book with you, that I wanted to give you a little free sneak peak! I hope this satasifies you for the next week as I continue to post teasers, snippets, and the trailer. Also, starting December 7th, Born in Sickness is going to be offered for FREE and Sweetness in Innocence will be on sale for only 99¢! Tell your friends!

Chapter 1

“So– umm– how’s the wedding planning going?” Harlan asks, sitting down at the table with his mom. His mom looks shocked by the question but smiles after a moment, her dimples carving into her cheeks. She seems younger somehow as if meeting Paul has added years to her life. She is definitely happier. 

He tries not to notice that his foot is still tapping along to the beat of Dueling Banjos. Ever since he dubbed Luka an official hillbilly after their impromptu trip into the woods, he has been humming it to Harlan at every opportunity. It has been a week now, and just when Harlan thinks he’s finally forgotten it, Luka quietly hums it into his ear again, setting off another two days of it replaying on a loop in his head. 

“Good as can be expected with it being just over two weeks away,” Alison responds with a smile at the prospect. They decided on a quick wedding, wanting to have it before Harlan goes to college. Harlan still isn’t sure he will be going, but he understands their thought process. There is no sense in having a long engagement if they know they want to be together, so his mom and Paul have spent the last month planning everything out. 

“Makes sense. Are you nervous?” Harlan questions, hoping it is the right thing to ask. He never knows how to speak to his mom, so he is just trying to keep things light, even though he kind of wants to talk to her about something that has been plaguing his mind for the last few months. Something he hasn’t told anyone else about, and he desperately needs another perspective. A more mature perspective. 

“Not really. Are you?” She asks, looking at him through her lashes. He can see that she is holding her breath, waiting for something. 

“Kind of. I can’t believe he asked me to be his best man. I figured he would ask his son. I don’t even know what I’m gonna say in my best man speech,” Harlan answers, telling her his honest thoughts for the first time in forever. Thankfully, the ceremony will be small and intimate, with just a few family members and close friends. Luka and Cadeon will be there, which will be an added bonus.

“I’m sure it will be wonderful. He loves you, Harlan. You are important to him, to both of us,” she tells him, but he doesn’t really believe her. He forces himself to bite back the bitter remark that is on the tip of his tongue while he tamps down the anger rising in his chest.

He takes a deep, calming breath, his logical side silently reminding him that she can’t change the past. It’s just hard to move on, his instincts screaming at him to go on the defense, but it is time to give her a chance. “Yeah. I’ll figure out what to say,” Harlan finally answers, looking up at her. She smiles at him again, but this time it doesn’t reach her eyes. 

“So…um…do you have a ride to get fitted for your suit next week?” she asks, changing the subject a bit. 

“Yeah. Lu said he could take me,” Harlan responds with a shrug. He begins jogging his leg under the table again, and he clasps his hands, wringing them in an attempt to get rid of some of his nervous energy. He takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself. 

“Good. You know how much I love him. He’s such a nice boy,” she says, a smile lighting up her face once more. Harlan nods, returning her smile, but it probably comes across as more of a grimace. She is looking at him out of the corner of her eye as if she knows he is about to ask her something important. She doesn’t push him, just waits patiently. Harlan takes another deep breath, closing his eyes.  

“Umm– Mom, can I ask you a question?” He pushes the words out through his lungs quickly before he can even think about taking them back. Her head snaps to him, but a smile is tugging the corner of her lips, eyes twinkling in the light. 

“Of course, Harlan. You can ask me anything. What’s on your mind, hon?” Alison reaches a tentative hand across the table, placing her much smaller one on top of his. Her hand is warm and sure, and Harlan can feel the prickle of a tear in his eye. 

She has been touching him a lot more lately, a pat on the shoulder, a squeeze of his elbow, even a hug occasionally, but this is the first time she has held his hand. He wants to hold on to it, afraid the moment will slip away before it even starts. He is still so fucking hurt though, he is conflicted. He hears Luka’s encouraging words in his ear, which spurs him on. 

“How did you know that Paul was like– the one for you?” Harlan asks, his speech pattern even slower than usual because he is so unsure. He holds his breath, looking up at his mom. Her eyes go wide for a split second before she tilts her head to the side, considering an answer. At least she isn’t laughing at him like he was afraid she would. 

“Well, that’s a difficult question because it’s different for everyone. There just comes a time when you know that you’ve met your person,” she starts, and Harlan notices right away that she didn’t use a gender-specific expression. 

Fuck. He’s probably being far too suspicious. Harlan opens his mouth, deciding that this is a terrible idea, and he immediately needs to abort the mission. “Um… Never…” 

“When you realize that you love that person so much, your heart feels like it is about to burst with it,” she continues, ignoring his interruption. “The feeling both hurts you and makes you happy. You feel like you are able to breathe when they are around, and they just make your day better. Like you can take on anything the world throws at you as long as they are holding your hand.” 

Harlan doesn’t know why he’s surprised that she just described everything he feels for Luka. Deep down, he has been aware of it for a while; he’s just been too afraid to admit it, even to himself. Harlan is in love with Luka. He swallows hard, suddenly feeling sick with his next thought. “What if your person doesn’t feel the same way?” he asks, voice hoarse and eyes stinging. Luka could never love someone who is as broken as Harlan. Harlan doesn’t even love himself, so how could he expect Luka to? 

“Have you asked?” she questions, her blue eyes sparkling in the light. Harlan shakes his head, unable to form a response in fear of choking on the lump in his throat. “I see. Well, maybe you should.” 

“I can’t,” Harlan tells her, looking down at his fingers, fiddling with his rings, deep in thought. There is no possible way he can voice that kind of thing to Luka. He has a hard enough time talking about his feelings as it is. So how the hell is he just going to drop something like that on Luka? Especially when they haven’t even defined their relationship. 

“Talking about your feelings is hard, Harlan. I understand that more than anyone.” She pauses as if she wants to add to that confession. Harlan watches her out of the corner of his eye, too afraid to make eye contact. She takes a deep breath, “You keep a journal, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Harlan croaks out, wringing his hands so hard, he worries that the rings on his fingers will be crushed into the bone as he tries to disperse the nervous energy.  

“Maybe you should write them down. If you can’t say them out loud, that seems to be the next best option. Right? You don’t have to even show them to this person, but it could help you figure things out,” she advises, patting his hand again, effectively putting a stop to his attempts at forcing the metal to meet his bone. 

“Yeah. Thank you, Mom.” Harlan finally looks up to meet her eyes, squeezing her hand.  

“You’re welcome. I hope I helped a little bit,” she says with a nervous chuckle. Her eyes follow Harlan when he gets up from the table, eager to go to his room and get some of his thoughts down on paper. 

“You did,” he assures her, watching her body sag in relief.  

“I love you, Harlan.” 

He freezes when the statement slips from her lips. He hasn’t heard her say those words in… well, he doesn’t even remember the last time she said it to him. He doesn’t say it back, but he does give her a smile, hopefully telling her that he may be ready to return the sentiment someday. She smiles back, as if she understands. 

Chapter 2

“I guess we should go in. The appointment is in like two minutes,” Harlan points out, glancing at the clock on the dashboard. They just made it to the formal-wear boutique where Harlan has his final tux fitting. Luka insisted that Harlan drive even though he would have preferred Luka to do it since they had to go to the next town over, and he had never driven there before. The drive was even more nerve-wracking since he couldn’t stop thinking about the letter in the glove compartment.

“Yeah. I can’t wait to see you in a tux,” Luka says, reaching for the door handle as Harlan turns off the ignition. Luka doesn’t know it, but Harlan is also going to be getting something formal for prom. It won’t be like the tux he is wearing for his mom’s wedding. Instead, he wants what he wears to prom to reflect his personality and how Luka makes him feel. The confidence he has found through Luka. What he wears will probably still be black, but he wants Luka to be pleasantly surprised.

“Not that special,” Harlan responds, but he can feel the blush on his cheeks. He gets out of the car, shoving Luka’s car keys into the pocket of his tight jeans as they walk inside. The man recognizes Harlan right away and smiles in greeting. He thinks his name is David, but he isn’t entirely sure. 

“I have finished the final alterations to your suit, Mr. Sharp. If everything fits properly today, you may take it home. Mr. Martin has already paid for it,” David tells them, leading them to the backroom, then gesturing at the black bag the suit is in. Harlan nods and smiles, unsure of how to respond. He was with his mom last time he came, then Paul the first time, and they carried those conversations. Harlan still feels awkward on the best of days, so talking to strangers is still difficult for him.

“Thank you,” Luka replies, smiling at David. Not for the first time, Harlan is so thankful for Luka. Luka is just good at everything Harlan is not. It almost feels like Luka completes him somehow. Harlan tries not to think about that and the overwhelming love he feels for the other boy. He has thought a lot about what his mom said and if he should tell Luka. He has been working on a poem to get his feelings out. He doesn’t know if he will ever give it to Luka, but it helps him process things. 

“Call me when you have it on; I’ll be right out here,” David says, smiling one more time and excusing himself. Harlan looks at the black bag reproachfully. He almost wishes he hadn’t brought Luka because he feels slightly vulnerable at the prospect of Luka seeing him in anything other than his t-shirts and skinny jeans. Of course, Luka has seen him naked, but this feels much more monumental for some reason. 

“The wedding is next weekend, so we don’t have time for another adjustment. Let’s hope that it fits.” Harlan turns toward the fitting room, and Luka follows him inside without being asked. Harlan doesn’t mind, though. He has no idea how to tie a tie. Paul did it for him the first time, and David did it the second time. 

“I’ll pray for you,” Luka says, with a smirk and a wink, putting his hands on the hem of Harlan’s shirt, pulling it upwards, over his head. 

“Thanks. You take the Western God, and I will take the Eastern Gods,” Harlan replies with a smirk of his own, but Luka doesn’t laugh. Instead, his eyes slant in interest, his cold fingers still on Harlan’s skin. Harlan loves that look and wants to kiss him, so he does. He makes it quick, not wanting to distract him from the conversation at hand, but he just can’t help himself. Luka looks so cute when he is thinking about something. 

“Who are some of the Eastern Gods?” Luka asks, fingers working on the button of Harlan’s jeans as Harlan tosses his shirt to the side. Thankfully the dressing room is quite large, so they aren’t bumping into each other. Luka looks down while he asks the question, even though Harlan knows for a fact that the other boy has no issues unbuttoning his pants without looking. 

“That’s a tough question because Hinduism, which is the main religion in India, has thousands of Gods. Religion in places like China and Japan is interesting because they don’t really see religion the same way we do in our culture. Some would even go as far as to argue that theirs is more of a philosophy or a way of life,” Harlan tells him, helping Luka push the tight pants down his legs, leaving Harlan in just his underwear. 

“So they don’t believe in God over there?” Luka asks, his brown brows drawing together with his question. Harlan turns around to grab the shirt first, pushing his arms through the white sleeves. Luka’s hands are on the collar, helping him guide the starch-laden material over his shoulders. It makes a scratching sound against his bracelets, but Harlan isn’t going to remove them. He can deal with that for now. His arms will be covered for the wedding, so he doesn’t have to worry there. 

“It’s kind of complicated. I am by no means an expert since I have never been to that area, nor do I know anyone who is a believer. From my understanding, they follow the teachings of various people like Buddha, Confucius, Sun Tzu, and Laozi, but they don’t believe them to be gods. Well, not in the same way you see the Christian God. They don’t believe that these men created the universe or anything of that nature, and they don’t just follow one of them. Many people in that culture follow more than one because their teachings aren’t contradictory,” Harlan explains, turning around. 

“Wait. Do we know these people actually existed?” Luka asks, looking down to button Harlan’s shirt. 

“For the most part. Sun Tzu is debatable, but his book, The Art of War, is highly regarded by the military forces,” Harlan answers, grabbing the suit pants and pushing his feet into them while Luka holds him steady.

“Wait. I thought we were talking about religion. Why would someone have a religion based on war? Christianity is a religion of peace, not war,” Luka says, eyes on Harlan. Harlan snorts in response, but Luka looks genuinely confused by that. Harlan pulls the pants up the rest of the way, tucking his shirt in as he thinks about how to answer Luka’s question. It is really hard for people in the Abrahamic faiths to understand Eastern religions because the concept is just so foreign to them. 

“Have you ever heard of The Crusades?” Harlan asks, buttoning his pants and zipping them easily, looking down at Luka. Luka nods his head but still doesn’t seem to understand Harlan’s point. He looks like he is open to it, though, almost as if he wants Harlan to tell him instead of wanting to argue the point. 

“Then you know they were a series of religious wars to gain control over sites that both religions claimed as holy. The point is, Christianity isn’t a religion of peace. Do you have any idea how many people have been killed in the name of God? Christianity is so widespread because of war and their forced belief system. It’s hard to call a religion peaceful when they would throw babies against a wall because their parents worshiped the same God as them but followed a different prophet,” Harlan tells him. It is a bit crude, but it has the desired effect. Luka’s mouth falls open in shock. 

“But Jesus teaches love and peace,” Luka insists, as Harlan shoves his feet back into the black boots he plans to wear for the ceremony. 

“You’re right. He does, but his followers didn’t seem to get the memo. They have been forcing their beliefs on people for centuries. If he was really correct, and his teachings were sound, then why would they feel the need to force it? Why can’t they follow his path in peace instead of using force?” Harlan asks, grabbing his tie. Luka doesn’t say anything, just takes it from Harlan’s hands and gets on his tiptoes to loop it around Harlan’s neck, fixing the collar over it. 

“I don’t really know,” Luka finally replies, his gaze distant despite the fact that he is currently tying Harlan’s tie. Harlan looks down at him, unsure of what to say. These types of conversations are somewhat normal for them. Luka has had more and more questions for Harlan lately, sometimes just texting him something random when he thinks of it. A few days ago, Harlan was surprised to see a text message from Luka about Noah’s Ark because he had been watching a documentary about it with his family. 

Harlan replied back with a very long and thorough text about how there is no evidence in all of the historical records that indicates a flood that wiped out all of humanity. The Ancient Egyptians were keeping records around the time of the supposed flood, and there isn’t even a pause or gap, nor did they write anything about it in their text. 

Not to mention the notion of having every animal in existence, on different continents nonetheless, travel to board a large boat is ludicrous. The sloth alone only travels about a mile every six hours, so it would have taken its entire life for it to have made its way to the ark. 

Luka called him after that, and they got into an even more detailed discussion. Harlan loves it and hopes that he is teaching him something, but he isn’t sure what is going on in Luka’s head. He doesn’t know what Luka believes anymore. He isn’t sure that Luka even knows what he believes anymore. If the title of the poem Harlan wrote for Luka was modeled after that discussion, no one needs to know. 

“Luka, you know I’m not trying to like– make you an atheist or anything. Like I said before, I just want you to see the flaws in your own religion. The religion that you allow to dictate your life and your happiness. Can you truly be happy following everything that is written in the Bible?” Harlan doesn’t say anything about love, but it is implied at this point. If Luka still truly believes in everything his family and church have taught him, then he can’t love Harlan. 

“I know, love. I do,” Luka tells him, finishing his tie and patting his chest, finally meeting his eyes. Something about the moment feels raw all of a sudden. Luka’s eyes are suspiciously wet, and his fingers are shaking ever so slightly. Harlan knows his words have gotten to him, but he doesn’t want to take them back. He was just stating the truth. 

Luka doesn’t fight him when Harlan pulls their chests together, wrapping his arms around the small of Luka’s back. Luka’s own arms come up around Harlan’s neck as he hooks his chin over Harlan’s shoulder, squeezing tight, breathing in deeply through his nose. Harlan kisses him on the cheek, unsure of what else to do to comfort Luka. 

“Mr. Sharp, do you need help?” They jump apart at the sound of the voice from outside of the dressing room. Harlan isn’t sure how long they were hugging, but it must have been a while for David to have interrupted. 

“No. We’re good,” Luka says, smiling at Harlan as he hands him the suit jacket, helping him pull it upon his shoulders. Harlan isn’t sure if Luka is talking to him or David. Are they good when their future seems to be caught in the balance? If Luka can’t get past some of the shit written in the Bible, then they don’t have a future at all. 

With that thought heavy in his mind, they finish the appointment, the tux fitting perfectly. Harlan takes it out to the car with them, climbing into the driver’s side once he carefully places it in the back seat. He turns the ignition as Luka shuts the passenger side door. 

“What are you…” Luka starts, expression confused, as Harlan reaches between his legs. Harlan smirks at him for a split second before opening the glove compartment. He takes a deep, steadying breath and grabs the envelope, almost afraid it will burn him. He shuts the glove compartment a little too forcefully, then sits up. With a shaky hand, he slips into Luka’s lap. 

“What’s this?” Luka asks, looking at it with curious eyes as he lifts it up, holding it to the light. 

“Umm– It’s from the scholarship,” Harlan tells him, glancing over at Luka’s small hands holding the envelope that possesses so much hope for him. Harlan hasn’t been able to bring himself to open it, though. It’s too much. He is too scared. Every time he thinks about opening it, he considers the fact that he could be rejected and his future will go down the drain. Everything is in that envelope. The hope of getting out of this town and going to college with Luka. 

“Which one?” Luka asks, his eyes lighting up with excitement. Harlan hopes it’s still thereafter it’s open. He can’t handle the light in Luka’s eyes disappearing. Harlan can handle his own disappointment and heartbreak over it, but not Luka’s. Never Luka’s. Luka is his happiness. He loves him. He isn’t ready to say it out loud, and he doesn’t actually think Luka returns his feelings, but he loves him. He really fucking does and just the thought of seeing any kind of happiness fade from Luka’s face makes Harlan’s heart hurt. 

“The big one. The one that could pay for everything,” Harlan explains, swallowing down his fears. He is far too panicked over the idea of what is in that envelope. 

“What? Why are you giving it to me? You should be the one opening it, Haz,” Luka says, eyes wide with the realization, looking down at the envelope as if he is holding something precious. He has been attempting to prepare himself for disappointment. Good news like that doesn’t happen to people like him. He tries not to have hope about anything anymore. It makes things much easier when the inevitable happens. 

“You found the scholarship and helped me apply. I want you to open it. I have had it for almost a week, and I just– Lu, I can’t bring myself to open it,” Harlan admits, looking around at the parking lot so he doesn’t have to look at Luka. The sound of paper tearing floods the car, Luka’s nimble fingers opening the envelope, pulling out the letter within. A few seconds later, the distinct sound of a piece of paper being unfolded, then Luka’s sharp intake of breath. Harlan’s heart drops. He didn’t get the scholarship. He knows it. He just does. 

“Haz…” Luka’s sentence trails off, and Harlan breaks. He finally looks over at Luka, who is still reading the paper, his firm pink lips moving along to the words printed on the page. Harlan looks at the boutique, feeling like he is going to cry. He told himself that he wouldn’t get his hopes up, but apparently, he did because his heart feels like it is in his knees. 

“I knew it,” Harlan murmurs, more to himself, as disappointment floods his veins. He blinks his eyes a few times, hoping to keep the tears at bay because crying over something that he can’t change just sounds counterproductive. He holds his breath when he hears Luka’s voice again, preparing for the news he knows is about to come. 

“Harlan, you got it. It says here that you can go to any school in the state, and it will pay full tuition and fees for up to four years as long as you complete 30 credit hours per year and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Hazza, you fucking did it!”  

“What?” Harlan asks, his eyes snapping back to Luka’s face, who is now smiling so brightly, the fucking sun must be jealous of his radiance. Harlan still can’t believe it. He glances down at the paper then back to Luka’s face. Luka has to be wrong. He has to have read it wrong.

“You’re going to college on a full-ride, Harlan! Holy fuck! I’m so proud of you!” Luka exclaims, thrusting the paper into Harlan’s hands. Harlan continues to stare at Luka, though. There is not an ounce of jest in Luka’s expression, just joy and pride. He’s not lying. Harlan looks down at the paper to read the words for himself. The first word is ‘Congratulations’ and Harlan doesn’t bother reading the rest. Harlan got it. He’s going to college. A feeling that can only be described as elation floods him, and before he knows it, Luka has hopped over the middle console to wrap Harlan in a tight hug. 

“I– I can’t believe this,” Harlan says, breathing in Luka’s scent, his warmth. He savors the touch even though now he knows he doesn’t have to say goodbye to Luka just yet. They can go to college together. They may not have to completely hide what they have there. They will be away from Luka’s family. Holy fuck. They may be free. 

“You did it, love. I’m so fucking proud of you,” Luka tells him, letting him go in favor of kissing him, his mouth warm and sure on Harlan’s. Harlan could melt. He can feel the pride radiating off of Luka, and it is making him almost proud of himself. Harlan is so excited about the future now, the possibilities. They both have gotten into every single college they have applied for, so now they just need to choose. 

“Thank you,” Harlan responds when Luka breaks the kiss. He is still in shock. He feels like it’s not real, but the letter in his hand says otherwise. He is fucking going to college, and he won’t have to worry about money or being in debt when he is done. He looks down at the paper again in disbelief, reading it twice before it sinks in. He looks up at Luka, whose eyes are shining in the afternoon sunlight, nodding as if to say ‘it’s real’. 

Harlan eventually starts the car, even though driving back home suddenly feels like driving back to reality. Driving back to their cage. They will have to go back to hiding what they have. Harlan doesn’t know if being on a college campus will change anything. If Luka will be okay with being more open about their relationship. They haven’t really talked about it, and Harlan is too afraid to even broach the subject. Either way, they will be happier away from prying eyes. Only four more months, though. Four more months until they are in college and finally free.

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Music Speaks- The Songs that Inspired Sweetness in Innocence

Below, I will walk you through each song that inspired Sweetness in Innocence: Book Two of the Take me to Church Series. You can also find the playlist I created on both Spotify and YouTube. In this, I am just going to cover some of the songs. There are more songs on the playlist provided, and I suggest you click on those links to listen while you’re reading the book! It just adds to the experience.

Bring me to Life- Evanescence

Lyrics:

How can you see into my eyes like open doors
Leading you down into my core
Where I’ve become so numb. Without a soul
My spirit sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home

This song and band made up my formative years. The chapter where they go grocery shopping is somewhat monumental. It seems so simple, but it was so important for the development of their relationship. It’s the first time Harlan shows trust toward Luka. He gives Luka a glimpse into his life and his problems.

Witching Hour- In This Moment

Lyrics:

Don’t you see the way I look at you
I can see behind your eyes
Can’t you tell the way I reach for you
I wear my halo in disguise
I watch you burn
I can feel you
I watch as you turn
What did you do

I think this is pretty self explanatory. This song coincides with the Halloween chapter and Luka, of course, wears a halo.

Follow You- Bring me the Horizon

Lyrics:

My head is haunting me and my heart feels like a ghost
I need to feel something, ’cause I’m still so far from home
Cross your heart and hope to die
Promise me you’ll never leave my side

When Luka got hurt, I think it made Harlan realize just how much he cared for him. Before this scene, their relationship was almost one sided. Luka always went out of his way for Harlan, and I wanted to see that reversed a bit. Luka needed Harlan, and Harlan was there for him. He followed him to the hospital because he was worried. It solidified their relationship a bit more.

Half God Half Devil- In This Moment

Lyrics:

I won’t pretend that I resist temptation
I think it’s funny when you preach damnation
I’ve been to hell and back and now it’s just a part of me
Without the darkness there’d be no light in me

I just love this song and the lyrics so much. I think this really fits with the Christmas chapter because Harlan finally lets another wall down and allows Luka inside of his home. The dark is a part of Harlan, and Luka sees that now but accepts it.

My Soul- Thrice

Lyrics:

Are you ready for my soul?
What if I’m broken from the start?
And what if I never heal?
Are you ready for my soul?
What if I open up my heart?
And somehow we stumble into something real?

This song is just so fucking beautiful, and I felt it was perfect for their first time. Harlan really allowed Luka inside. He showed he trusted him in some small way, and it was so fucking gentle. I think it reflects Harlan’s thoughts perfectly. He worries that he will never be able to full trust anyone because the wounds from his past run so deep. He is afraid to show Luka everything because he doesn’t want to scare him off with the amount of darkness he has suffered. In turn, Luka is almost afraid of something this real. Every other time he has spent with a guy hasn’t felt this real, and that scares him a lot.

Iris- The Goo Goo Dolls

Lyrics:

And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later, it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight

I really could have just quoted this whole fucking song. It’s so fucking perfect. Harlan and Luka danced to this in Harlan’s room on New Years Eve and I think something really shifted for them. I can’t listen to this song without getting emotional. It’s a very personal song for me, for different reasons, and I knew I had to use it for such a pivotal moment in this book. The lyrics sum up their blossoming relationship perfectly.

The Judas Kiss- Metallica

Lyrics:

Followed you from dawn of time
Whisper thoughts into your mind
Watched your towers hit the ground
Lured the children never found
Helped your kings abuse their crown
In the heart of feeble man
Plant the seeds of my own plan
The strong and powerful will fall
Find a piece of me in all
Inside you all

Warning: Do not drive while listening to this song. You will probably drive far too fast because the drums are fucking killer. This song isn’t really for a specific chapter, more so the slow demise of Luka’s faith. It also comes into play in the next book. The title that is… but spoilers.

A Reason to Fight- Disturbed

Lyrics:

When the demon that’s inside you is ready to begin
And it feels like it’s a battle that you will never win
When you’re aching for the fire and begging for your sin
When there’s nothing left inside, there’s still a reason to fight

Luka sang this to Harlan during the concert. Harlan has a lot of demons. Luka doesn’t know why yet, but he knows that it’s a constant battle for Harlan. He wants to give him a reason to fight those demons, and this song sums that up perfectly.

Avalanche- Bring me the Horizon

Lyrics:

Cut me open and tell me what’s inside
Diagnose me ’cause I can’t keep wondering why
And no it’s not a phase ’cause it happens all the time
Start over, check again, now tell me what you find
‘Cause I’m going out, I’ll fake what’s real
Can anyone respond?

When Ezra finally confronts Luka about what he’s been hiding, I think we were all holding our breaths. Luka still hasn’t accepted that it’s just a part of him. A small portion of his mind is still telling him that he’s sick for his sexuality and he needs to pray and ‘fix himself’, so I think this song perfectly reflects Luka’s inner turmoil.

Brighter Than the Sun- Poets of the Fall

Lyrics:

Like a miracle you change me, raise me
Brighter than the sun till I’m ready to be me
And your love is the reason, yeah
Like a miracle you wake me, make me
Brighter than the sun when it used to blind me
I know your love is the reason
Love never goes out of season

Harlan compares Luka to the sun more times than I care to admit. I think he is finally starting to accept the positive changes Luka has made in him. I wanted to end this book on a positive note, and I think this song does just that. Luka is the reason he’s happy now, and he is starting to realize his feelings for Luka.

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Maahes by Emma Jaye- Review

A few weeks ago, I randomly picked up this Maahes by Emma Jaye after searching Amazon for “mm dark gay romance with crime”. I was immediately drawn to the book by the summary. Not many of you know this, but I have always had a fascination with Ancient Egypt. I wanted to be an archaeologist for the longest time because Ancient Egypt had drawn me in from a young age. When I saw that a lot of this book revolved around the religion of the Ancient Egypt, I couldn’t stop myself from downloading the sample on my Kindle.

As always, this review will contain small spoilers.

Book Trigger Warnings: violence, mentions of rape/non-con , dub-con (between the to MCs), mentions of incest, animal cruelty, BDSM (primal kink specifically), dark romance, angst, and main character death (sort of).

Summary

Corrupt to survive or seduce to kill?

Lev lives for death.

Tainted from birth and despised for sacrificing fellow Servants of Maahes, Lev pursues a life of devotion and abstinence as the Left Hand. His reward will come in the Afterlife.

Živan Bratko, bastard heir to a Bulgarian crime family, lives in the moment, rescuing big cats and slaking his lust with even wilder men. He can’t resist the challenge of corrupting one of the legendary Hands of Maahes.

A sociopath hedonist versus a devout assassin. Who will be hunter or prey when lives and souls are the ultimate stakes?

A dark contemporary mm story featuring a collision of cultures, manipulative main characters, assassins, kidnap, and hungry lions.

Welcome to the dark world of Malicious Gods: Egypt. A collection of standalone modern tales, both magical and non-magical, featuring deities from Ancient Egypt. You’ll find reincarnated Gods, assassins, gangs, madness, and different realities. Expect high heat and morally ambiguous themes. Seductive and often twisted, they are not for the fainthearted.

Review

For the first time in my life, I’m not even sure where to start. I am almost positive I love it, and I wonder how fucked up that makes me (I mean this in the best way possible). The beginning was super slow with lots of world building and setting the scene. Our two lovely main character didn’t even meet until the reader is about a third of the way into the book. That usually annoys me a bit, but I found I didn’t mind. The world building was intriguing enough to get me hooked.

Lev annoyed me in the best possible way. He is very ‘holier-than-thou’ in the beginning. I’m not a religious person (as you may know) so reading a character that is so devoted to his faith was a bit strange for me. I didn’t relate to him because I didn’t know where he was going to end up with this story in term of faith. The further into the story I got, the more I grew attached to him, much like his male counter part.

Živan is an irritably charismatic character. I may or may not be in love with him at this point. He’s incredibly intelligent and witty. He pretends not to care, when deep inside his heart, he cares a lot. He is just very selective about it. He is very cocky in the beginning. I hated the clicker almost as much as Lev, however, I do love how Jaye always brought it full circle, even with the clicker. I also found his kinks fascinating. I have read a lot of BDSM, but I’ve never really heard of a primal kink in this way.

I didn’t find this book particularly triggering, but then again, very little actually triggers me. There was a part that was sort of dub-con that was between the main characters, but it was a very gray area. I’m still unsure of how I feel about it, but I know for a fact that I do not hate this book. Not at all. It’s dark, sexy, and intriguing. Everything I ask for in a book.

The reader in me sort of hated the ending of this book, but the writer in me is incredibly impressed with the balls Jaye has. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I was in complete shock. I do feel like I was left with a lot of unanswered questions that I’m not sure will be answered in the sequel. I wouldn’t call it a happily ever after, but definitely a happily for now.

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Please read this book at your own risk. Take the trigger warning very seriously. If you have an questions or want more spoilers, feel free to DM me on any social media platform listed below.

Paradise in Death: Book Three of the Take me to Church Series

Trigger warning: Self Harm

I’m actually very nervous for this cover reveal because the contents of this cover may be triggering to some people. I think it’s no secret at this point that the third book is very dark. I wanted a cover and title that reflected that darkness.

This was actually the first cover I came up with for the series. All the other covers are based off of elements from this one. I knew when it finally came to life, it would be a gamble because it could trigger some people, but I think a cover like this is incredibly important.

I have tested it with many individuals, including those who have this particular trigger. They all said the same thing: they had a visceral reaction to the cover but not really a negative one. In fact, one person even said that the more she looked at it, the more beautiful it became. Honestly, that’s what this series is about. Seeing the beauty in the broken. Scars are human. They aren’t supposed to make people uncomfortable, and it’s time to realize that.

The cover isn’t graphic. There is no blood, but it does show self harm scars, so viewer discretion is advised. If this something that could trigger you, please hit the back button (and you may not want to read the series if I’m honest).

I wanted to give a special thank you to my cover artists/designers Bibi and Daria. Bibi drew the cover exactly how I envisioned, and Daria made it come to life. They’re both so amazing, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the final one.

Paradise in Death: Book Three of the Take me to Church Series is available for pre-order now (the ebook).

Summary

Avoiding Hell is getting harder and harder for Luka Thomas. Because of one boy, he teeters somewhere between salvation and falling from grace. With the looming threat of his family disowning him, every day spent with Harlan is more risky than the last.

Harlan Sharp holds secrets close to his damaged heart, but Luka makes him forget all of the pain he’s endured. Facing his struggles with trust, he is finally ready to share his story with Luka. He just hopes the outcome isn’t at a cost.

After an emotional prom night spent with Harlan, Luka makes a confession that will change his life forever. The lies he’s woven suddenly rip apart, leaving him scared and vulnerable.

Will love be enough to keep him sane during his nightmare or will he turn his back on Harlan, praying for forgiveness and salvation?

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Cover Photo by Bibi. Follow her Instagram: @moon_sun_thyme
Cover Design by Daria. Follow her Twitter: @ghostiemedicine

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Paradise in Death will be released on December 7th, 2021. Follow me on my social medias below for sneak peaks, give away and more.

Wilde & Twisted- Review

A month ago, I signed up to receive an ARC for Willow Erdem’s upcoming book, Wilde & Twisted which will be released 7/7/2021. It is an m/m romance novel about battling your demons, discovering your sexuality and falling in love. Erdem has a poetic way of writing. She has a way with metaphors, really drawing the reader into the scene. She writes third person, split POV and present tense, which is something we seem to.

Summary:

Silver-tongued lawyer, Linus Twist, has expensive tastes. The sharpest suits, the purest drugs, and the dirtiest sex; Linus wants it all in excess, especially the sex, and especially with the wrong types of men. So when he impetuously follows a foxy redhead into the gym shower and gets kissed like it means something, Linus knows he’s headed for certain disaster.

Finnigan Wilde is a dreamer, a wanna-be novelist, searching for himself. In love with the idea of love, Finn only knows what he feels. He woos Linus with lilacs, speaks to him in filthy poetry, and touches him like he doesn’t care who’s watching. But can Linus set aside his sinister tendencies, his ambition, and one vital fact: that, as far as the world is concerned, Finn is straight? 

Wilde & Twisted is a bisexual-awakening, opposites-attract novel, with a happily-ever-after.

Review: 

I must admit, when I first picked this book up, it took several chapters for it to really hook me. I am sincerely glad I stuck with it though because the story was worth it. At first, I didn’t like Linus (fucking) Twist at all. He was pompous, arrogant, and his actions didn’t really make sense to me. After I was finally  introduced to Finn Wilde, and his character really drew me in. 

Finn is an aspiring writer (relatable) who works as a trainer. He is a cupcake. That’s literally the one way he can be described. He is young and dumb, and doesn’t always make the best decisions, but who does? He is really sweet and patient. He deserves the world even though he pissed me off a few times. 

Linus is a divorce attorney that is very clearly good at his job. Even though I hated him at first, he grew on me. After I started understanding his past more, I found myself forgiving of his all around asshole-ness (yes that’s totally a word). He is caring in his own way and very protective over the people he loves even though he doesn’t always know how to show it. Without spoiling it, I was very proud of a decision he made near the end. It was much needed. 

This book has it all. Steam. Poetry. Fucked up, imperfectly perfect characters that you hate to love. My favorite kind of stories are about imperfect people. Real people have flaws. It’s important that they grow and own up to them in the story, which is exactly what happened. I appreciated the character growth. It was a Wilde (& Twisted) ride, but I would recommend it in the end.

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The Letters of Infertility- Dear Body

Content Warning!! Suicidal thoughts; Blood; Graphics Content; Miscarriage; Pregnancy loss; Infertility

This one may be the scariest that I’ve posted. Below you will find two poems. My poetry is very personal to me, so posting this is very difficult. These are going to be serving as the open letter to my body. The body that I hate most days. The body that doesn’t work. The body that is broken. This body.

Wasteland

A wasteland so bareen 
A dry and dusty hue
Nothing has sprouted
Nothing had grew

Tears used as water
Blood to nourish
Heart providing warmth
But nothing will flourish

Will life be seen?
Will cries be heard?
Will the world come alive?
Will growth be stirred?

It matters not
The death the land bleeds
Gone is the life
The end of the seeds

Blood turns to dust
River paths run dry
Flesh gave away
To live you must die

Growth may never return
1095 days to see something bloom
Only to be gone
Taken from the world too soon

The wasteland is still barren
Gray, sad and alone
The nights and days blend
The maiden becomes the crone

Blood

Is it life or is it death? 
This blood that flows through my veins
It gives life
It carries your breathe
It keeps you alive
As long as you don't loose too much
Because then you die
Once a month, I die a little
I bleed and hate myself
Twice last year, I blead for days
I lost a potential life
Blood means death
It means loss and heartache
I ask myself
Why can't I bleed in my more constructive manner?
Why can't I bleed in a way that will allow me to truly die?
Instead, I have to live with half deaths.
Blood that kills my soul but not my body.
It makes me loose my heart but not its beat
Blood means both life and death
And once a month, I die.

I know these are very difficult to read. I know they can be triggering. They are dark. My poems tend to be, but I hope they resonate with someone. You are not alone.

Please follow me on my social media accounts below. I also beg you to please donate to our go fund me to start IVF treatments. Please. I want to stop hating my body. I want to stop hating myself. I want to give life. I don’t want to always be a wasteland.


Others in this Series

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Finding My Sexuality Through my Religious Guilt

Content Warnings: Mentions of self harm and suicidal thoughts

This blog post is going to be very difficult for me. It is a very personal subject, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared the whole story. I am a very private person. I don’t share my life or myself with everyone, but I’m learning that I need to step out of my comfort zone because sharing my experiences can help others.

It is no secret that I grew up in a conservative Christian family. I went to church every Wednesday then twice on Sunday with my mom, dad and two sisters. We said grace before every meal. I had a bible with my name engraved into it. I went to Sunday school. 

The earliest memory I have of the word ‘gay’ was when my mom used to watch the show Three’s Company. The male character on there said he was gay so that he would be allowed to live with the two female characters. I remember asking my mom what it meant. She said I was too young to understand, but I was smart enough to figure it out. 

As I got older, I began really listening to the preacher on Sundays and Wednesdays. That’s what my parents told me to do, after all. I remember a few sermons very distinctly because they stuck with me so much. One was about homosexuality. I actually wrote my memories of that serman into Born in Sickness 

“So if you know someone who is suffering from the disease that is homosexuality, bring them in and let the Lord’s saving grace heal them. May He lay His healing hands on their skin and repair their mind to His ways. Through Him, they will see light and salvation. So pray for them. Pray that they see the flaw in their filthy ways and seek out the Lord for deliverance.” 

Born in Sickness

Even then, I didn’t really understand why it was so wrong. Why something happening between two consenting adults was wrong. What was wrong with love? I kept asking myself this over and over, but I couldn’t find an answer. I even asked my mom, and she didn’t have an answer for me either. She just said that God said it was wrong, and we don’t question Him. That was wrong though. I had been questioning Him for quite some time. 

When I got to high school, one of my best friend’s came out to me as bisexual. He was so scared when he told me, whispering the words like God himself was going to come and squish him into oblivion. He swore me to secrecy, fearing for his life because we were from such a small, rural town. Being openly gay or bisexual was just unheard of. I gave him a hug, told him I love him, and kept his secret. 

In high school, I started noticing my own wandering eyes. I had always found women like Alyassa Milano and Shinia Twain attractive, but I always just kind of dismissed that as ‘appreciating the female body’. My female friend and I would hold hands, smack each other on the ass, and I always laughed it off even though it made my heart flutter the same way holding hands with a boy did. 

When I got to college, I finally felt free. My parents were five hours away and so was everyone that knew my name. There was no way anyone would know the activities I had gotten up to. For the first time in my life, I was able to explore the parts of me that my parents had always controlled. I didn’t have my sister calling me a slut everytime I even mentioned a boy’s name. 

One night our dorm neighbor, let’s call her Crissy, invited my roommate and I to tailgate before a football game. I wasn’t going to the football game, but my roommate talked me into tailgating with them. It was the first time I had really drank, and of course I got shitfaced. Crissy said “Do you know what I like to do when I get drunk” and I responded with “No what?” She then told me that she liked to makeout with girls when she was drunk. My response was “I’ve always wanted to make out with a girl”. Before I knew it, I was kissing her. It was sloppy and drunk but, fuck, I’ll never forget that. 

After that, I just did what most girls in college did. I said I was ‘bicurious’ which is just fucking stupid. In hindsight, I know I was scared. Scared to admit who I was and who I was attracted to. I had this teacher though. Gods, she was so fucking pretty. I was alarmed to realize that I had a massive crush on her, and I was sober. 

I remember being on the phone with my friend and quietly admitting it to him at 3 am. Saying it out loud was both scary and liberating. I knew I could never tell my parents, but it was nice to tell someone. Nothing ever happened with the teacher, obviously, but she really helped me understand my sexuality and my attraction to women. 

Eventually ‘bicurious’ turned into bisexual, but you’re probably wondering where my faith came into play with all of this. 

Even though I thought there was nothing wrong with being gay, it still somehow felt wrong for me to be gay or bisexual. Like it’s fine if others do it, but by allowing myself to do it, I was signing my name on the books of Hell. I was starting to lose my faith in god around the same time I was starting to understand my own sexuality. 

I went into a pretty deep depression. Other factors were at play, but sexuality and faith were both in the lead. I started to hurt myself as punishment. I needed to feel something other than the pain in my chest and distract myself from the questions in my head. I wanted to die. I figured may as well go to Hell now and get it over with. I turned to poetry as well. Some of that, you will read eventually but *spoilers*. 

After a long road, I came to accept it. I still haven’t actually told my family, but it’s not something I have kept secret either. I have posted many a bisexual meme on Facebook for my entire family to see. I’m not sure why I haven’t said it out loud to them. It feels scary though. Maybe someday I will.


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The Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

CONTENT WARNING!! Infertility

Dear Pregnant Stranger, 

I see you out and about, roaming the baby aisle at Target with a purpose while I go through those isle, looking at the contents with longing. You pat your belly, picking up various items, inspecting them with a huge smile on your face. Occasionally you’ll show your significant other, and you will discuss pros and cons. 

A part of me hates you, but then I instantly feel guilty because the truth of the matter is, I don’t know your story. You could have gone through years and years of infertility like me, only to end up spending your life savings on IVF for it to work for you, or you could have gotten pregnant by accident, the result of a night coated with inhibreation and lose inhibitions. 

I don’t know you so I shouldn’t hate you, but I do. I know it’s jealousy, the envy that lives deep inside of us all coming to the surface. I hate it, but I don’t really know how to stop it. I just… I want to be in the baby aisle of Target with a purpose. I want to bicker with my husband about the pros and cons of a certain brand of diaper. I want that, but the American healthcare system has failed me. It’s failed us all really. 

Maybe you are one of the people who spent your life savings on a chance to be a mother. If you are, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the healthcare in our country is so fucked up that you have to spend somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars just to become a mother. I’m sorry that it cost twice that to adopt. 

At this point, I have been told that IVF is really our last option, but my husband and I cannot afford it. We don’t have any kind of savings. We don’t have anyone to help us. We have nothing in this battle. Just like everything else in this country, if you’re not rich then you don’t matter. Your wants and needs do not matter. 

My insurance is more than happy to cover limp-dick syndrome but it covers 0% of infertility cost. That’s right ZERO. Meaning, every single procedure I’ve had in regards to infertility has been paid for out of pocket or billed to me with a lovely little bow. Each IUI cost somewhere between 300 and 500 dollars. That seems like chump change in comparison to the cost of IVF. IUIs haven’t worked though. Nothing works, and IVF isn’t a guarantee. 

So, I guess I will just stand in the baby aisle of Target, looking at the merchandise with longing. I guess I will continue to feel like a failure in this world because my body cannot do the one thing that it is biologically supposed to be capable of. I cannot give life, only death. 

So please, Stranger, cherish your pregnancy and baby. Cherish motherhood with everything you have because some of us are forced to just view it from a distance. Some of us aren’t gifted with the ability to create and hold life. Some of us are just wastelands of dust and sorrow. 

Sincerely, 

A Broken Wasteland

Others in the Series

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Letters of Infertility- Dear Body