Dodging Trains by Sunniva Dee
Publication Date: March 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
I was twelve when a stranger at a train station taught me the meaning of ugly. He forced himself on me and threatened to kill my family if I told.
I stayed silent and the ugliness grew.
Now, that word rolls in film clips through my mind. All I’ve done since my best friend, Keyon Arias, left town is cement how ugly I am. Ugly on the inside—deep down to my core. On the outside… I am a Vixen. I flash men a smile and make them moan out pleasure I control.
Not them. Never them.
After five years of being away, my beautiful boy has come back to town for his father’s masquerade ball. He’s different. Hard muscle supersedes the skin and bone of his once boyish frame. One thing hasn’t changed though: the murderous look in his eyes when he slaughters his opponents. In the ring, I see the bullied boy, all grown up, dominating in ways he couldn’t in high school.
He’s the mayor’s son. The rising MMA fighter. The beautiful one.
I’m not the Paislee Cain of before, not the sweet girl he once knew, the one who chased away his bullies. I’m the town slut. The dirty girl whose shame will never fade no matter how many men I use. He’d disown what I’ve become.
Because beautiful can never love ugly.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“He fights me, breaks me down, loves me so hard he shoves me to the fringes of fear.”
I finished this book in awe. In awe of the words, the story, and most importantly, the characters. You know that feeling when you finish a book? You’re left speechless and breathless all at once. This is how I felt at the end of Dodging Trains.
“With him, pleasure mixes with terror, and I lose the ability to breathe. I hate it. I love it. I want it.”
Silence. Paislee Cain has allowed years of silence to deaden her heart. Something so precious was stolen from her when she was just twelve years old. As time went on, Paislee realized that with men she would always need to be in control. Always stay in the lead. Until Keyon Arias comes back into town. He’s her old best friend. The little boy who she used to stand up for when he was bullied. He is no longer a boy, but now a man and an up and coming MMA fighter. While now he’s the dominating one with fierce eyes and in total control, Paislee recognizes something in him. Something dark. She knows this, because sees this same darkness within herself.
“Your body, baby, will be the death of me. Do you not feel me below you?”
True love is loving someone enough to sustain them during the times when they cannot love themselves. True love is powerful, moving. It stands up to every circumstance. It lessens the pain. This is what Keyon’s love did for Paislee. He loved her through darkness. Through HER darkness. He loved her through her past, her pain, the ugly. He loved her down to her soul. Only he could truly see her beauty. Because beneath all the layers of pain and hurt she so desperately tries to hide, Keyon sees her stripped raw. His love saves.
“I wish I were the sum of your beliefs. I wish, I wish.”
Keyon and Paislee’s story is not an easy one. It’s dark. Raw. But the most beautiful testimony to the power of love. While Paislee knows Keyon is slowly putting together back her broken pieces, little does she know she is doing the same for him. Life has made him a fighter. He fights through everything, but when it comes to his love for Paislee? It brings him to his knees. He relishes in her love. It makes him better. Brighter. And gives hope that just maybe he can escape the darkness. But what happens when secrets come to light?
“Always beauty. Here.”
The author speaks to the hearts of so many with this one. To those that feel ugly. Used. Never enough. Well you matter. The author’s VOICE is loud. She doesn’t hold back. The author pushes you. Challenges you. But isn’t that what reading is about? For the author to push you out of your comfort zone and allow you to experience real, raw, and genuine emotions? THIS is that book. You will question their love, your heart will soar, but it will also break. The writing is seamless as she places you within the hearts of her characters as they both face a darkness that changed their entire lives.
“Tender, violent, and difficult like me, he preaches love and ever-afters…”
Dodging Trains is a story of hope and resilience even at the darkest hour. The author brilliantly captured the vulnerability of two flawed individuals that had to understand that despite their past, they deserve to be loved. To be desired. To be whole. This book is full of emotions and it is a story to easily lose yourself in. This is not your typical romance. This author doesn’t do typical. Her writing is mesmerizing, her talent in crafting a story is unparalleled, and she has an uncanny ability to ensure that every single word of her story is felt deeply within your heart. Dodging Trains is a beautiful, raw, and gritty journey that I had the privilege to read. This author gave a voice to everyone living in silence. No longer must you accept that silence. Love loudly. Love boldly. You are worth it. Always.
Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.
Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece--Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.
Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it's contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon's Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).
This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.
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