Thursday, August 29, 2013

ARSEN by Mia Asher Blog Tour - Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Title: Arsen. A broken love story.
Author: Mia Asher
Release date: August 23, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Book Summary
One glance was all it took…I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.


I need to feel him inside me.
I need Arsen to burn me to ashes with the fire roaring inside his blue eyes.
I need to kiss him.
So I do.
When our lips meet, it’s not a tender moment. It’s fierce.
Teeth clashing... Hair pulling… Like this is the last kiss we will ever taste.
Arsen breaks away first, breathing heavily, color coating his cheeks. “Let’s get out of here.”
Silent for a moment, I let myself drink in his beauty. The color of his eyes, his strong jaw, the golden stubble adorning his face, his full lips…
I’m not naïve. I’m aware that if I leave with him right now, we’re going to do more than just hold hands.
We are going to fuck.

I went into this book with no real idea of what to expect. The summary doesn't tell you much, other than a woman is in love with two men. And starting out, I had no idea where the title came from. Once I found out it was a character's name (it took me AGES to get used to the name, by the way), I figured I knew where the story was going. I wasn't wrong.

 We start this story reading about Cathy (protagonist, main character, heroine) suffering a miscarriage. She says she is broken and you can definitely feel sorry for her. Maybe even some will feel the same devastation she does. Of course after this, I wanted to love her. Sadly, I just couldn't.

 The gist of the story: Cathy and Ben met 11 years ago and have been together ever since. Of those 11, they have been married for six. They have been trying to have children, but sadly three times led to a miscarriage. Cathy begins to believe they will never have any of their own. Ben is willing to do anything to make her happy, even mentioning adoption, but she doesn't want that. She begins to withdraw from him. Enter Arsen. He is the son of the man who bought her company. He's roughly five years younger, rich, sexy as sin, and a complete playboy with a reputation. She is designated to "train" him in the aspect of business because his father says it's time for him to grow up. Their attraction is instant and mutual and the sense of doom is immediate for the reader.

The names were a huge struggle for me in the beginning. No offense to other Cathys, but when I'm reading about teens or women in their early twenties, that's not a name I typically associate with that age group. All I could think of was that old comic strip! And Arsen? It means fire, right? But I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it fits the character and the book. It just takes awhile to get used to. Let's talk about the characters a bit. Cathy. Oh, Cathy! I wanted to love her. I wanted to understand her. By the first chapter I was already disliking her and halfway through I loathed her.By the end of the book, I wanted her to be miserable. I'm also 99% sure I'm one of the few people who feel this way. I know people are all for HEA and I usually am too. This book just made me want a HEA in a different way. I wanted Ben and Arsen to find happiness while Cathy was left alone. I know it seems harsh and crazy, and ridiculously bitchy, but I just can't help it. Cathy is the most selfish and irritating female I've ever met in a book. I understand that she felt broken and as if she was a failure due to the pregnancy problems. However, instead of continuously trying to speak to her husband about her issues, she let her feelings fester until they were out of control. Granted, she tried to make things known to Ben and maybe his response wasn't the ideal, but does that mean you give up?? Absolutely not! This is someone you feel is your soul mate, your heart, the other half of you... you don't pull away from them, especially since they're experiencing the loss just like you are. To me, Cathy is the cause for everything that went wrong. Yes, it takes two, but as you'll see, Ben was more than willing to TRY to make things better and work through things.

Arsen was another character I wanted to love. I always love the bad boy. ALWAYS. It's pretty much a guarantee that in a story of love triangles, I want the bad boy. I suppose I figure they deserve a chance to be loved just like that sweet guy that is willing to do everything for his girl. But this time, I just couldn't. It's probably because this "kid" was the catalyst in destroying a marriage. Love triangles are great and fun when there is no true commitment involved. There's nothing more fun than the angst in watching a woman torn between two guys - even though she usually picks the (reformed) bad boy in the end. And in the case of said bad boys, their vulnerability shines through and all I can think is how he needs to be fixed. I'm pretty sure that's a female thing and a lot of women will probably feel that way for Arsen. I just didn't and couldn't - even as the book progressed as we learned more about him. He came off as arrogant and selfish and usually I'd be attracted to him, but I had already met and fallen in love with Ben. And to me, the ability and willingness to encroach on another man's wife was not only despicable but also a complete turn-off. Regardless of the status of the marriage, it's not for anyone else to get in between. She is just as responsible for her own happiness as her husband is.

Ben!! Oh my gosh, how I love Ben!! I only need one word to describe him and that word is PERFECTION. I've said it before and I will reiterate here, in books involving love triangles, I choose the first guy 99% of the time. This book is no different. Ben is one of the sweetest and most gorgeous men ever created. I fell in love with him HARD. Which is why I spent most of this story pissed off.

Okay, I suppose I should talk about Arsen and how it made me feel. Or better yet, WHAT it made me feel. Anger is too tame a word. I can say I was pissed off but even that doesn't express it. All I know is that throughout this book, I wanted to jump into the pages and literally strangle Cathy. And punch her in the throat repeatedly. It starts off with a painful moment and chapter one already had me angry with the main character. Her thoughts about her husband almost caused my head to explode. You want him to leave you alone? WHAT?!?!?! And things were only worse after I read the flashback scenes which gave us looks into Cathy and Ben's relationship progression. I am a sucker for stories that do the time frame flip flop and so of course, I fell for Ben instantly. Hell, I loved young Cathy! They seemed perfect together. My absolute favorite part of the book was the look into the past at Julian's party. I could read that chapter daily just for the butterflies it gives me. It's seriously filled with swoon - did I mention I love Ben? Anyway, the marriage between these two is strained and she is definitely pulling away from him. It's hard to watch because you can see how hard he tries to keep them together and make her happy. This is where my hate for Cathy really stems from. I cannot fathom treating the man you married and are supposed to love for eternity the way she treats Ben. Bitch is too mild and the word I would use is highly inappropriate for a review. Once Arsen enters the picture, my decline in happiness began. The tension between Arsen and Cathy is like watching a speeding train rocketing toward a quiet, peaceful town. Destruction/tragedy is imminent and you're just waiting to see what will be left after the smoke clears.

Arsen isn't a happy book. It's a REAL book. I wanted to speed through the book because I was so filled with anger and pain, but at the same time wanted to take it slow to really comprehend it all. There were several times I wished it was possible to jump into books. I'd have warned young Cathy about what was to come in hopes that it would change the outcome. There is so much angst, your heart will be pounding in your chest. It will feel as if it's going to explode out of your chest.
Just a few of my notes:

"Arsen thinks he owns her. GAG! I hate them both!"

"F*** YOU, CATHY! I hope you end up alone!"

"Karma! Everyone hates you... you destroyed your husband for a child. Bravo, dipshit. Zero sympathy from me."

"I laughed at her pain. Self-inflicted, she's finally getting what she deserves. WOOT!"

"In the end, as cruel and harsh as it sounds, I wanted her to be alone. I felt she deserved that pain considering all she had caused in others. All she had been given was love and she tossed it aside."

As much as I hated Cathy, I LOVED this book more. I know it's crazy, but whenever a book can bring out such a reaction in me, I know it's great. This book nearly gave me panic attacks and I think is only below the Emi Lost and Found series in the level of anxiousness and anxiety I suffered. You might consider me masochistic, but I enjoy reading these types of stories. I love having my heart shattered and ripped out only to be glued back together again. And I found a new BBF in Ben - shoot, he's book husband material! My recommendation is to grab a reading buddy and do a joint read. You'll need the support as well as someone to vent to. Trust me. Your sanity will thank you later. If you can handle the intensity, this is a must read book. The flawed characters and story are like crack and I was definitely addicted.

Mia Asher, I bow down to your genius. I finished Arsen 2 hours ago and I am still emotional. I am emotional for all of my friends that have had miscarriages. I am emotional for all of my friends and family that have endured the pain of adultery. I am emotional from my own demons. I am emotional for Ben and Cathy's heartbreak and love. And I am emotional for Asher's loss and the world of regret and pain sitting on his shoulders. I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood comes knocking on your door because this would be one hell of a movie.
This book is raw, emotional, realistic, beautiful, sexy, hopeful, powerful, heartbreaking, soul-crushing, hot, and earth shatteringly painful. This story brings up every emotion in the human species.
When Ben and Cathy meet there was an instant attraction and he swept her off of her feet. He is To. Die. For. Perfect. He is the husband we all dreamed about and the husband we all want. He would do anything for her and they are the couple that everyone wants to be.

"Falling in love with the wrong person is easy. Falling in love with right person is easier. But falling in love with your soul mate is easiest."

However, Cathy is falling apart inside because she can't give Ben the one thing that they both want more than anything. A baby. Their baby. Cathy is broken from her four miscarriages and there is nothing Ben can do to make that pain, loss, hopelessness, and her feelings of inadequacy go away.

"Love can destroy you. Love can erase you. Love can heal you. Love can reinvent you. And, if you are lucky enough, love can make you whole again."
Arsen is the son of the owner of the company that Cathy works for and she is teaching him the business. He is younger and a man whore....very smooth with the ladies. He is drop dead gorgeous and sexy as hell. He has a swoon worthy way of flirting with every women he comes across, basically he is sex-on-legs.

"It's funny that his name reminded me of fire because he certainly looked like someone who could burn you to the ground. With one look, he made me feel as if my body was burning scarlet."
Arsen comes into Cathy's life after she finds out that she is pregnant for the fourth time. He comes on to her and flirts with her every chance that he gets. She makes it clear that she is happily married and expecting. They form a friendship and an emotional affair (although I do not think Cathy realized that confiding in Arsen and not her husband was opening the door to more).
After she lost the baby, she went to a very dark and scary place that no one could pull her out of. That is when she turned to Arsen and their affair began....An affair that will break and destroy all three of them.

"Love is infinite. There is no beginning and no end. There's no starting point and no finishing line. Love just is. Love is born, grows, matures, and sometimes it dies. But the memory will remain with you for the rest of your breathing hours."

So, clear your To-Read list.
Put down what you are reading now.
Order take-out.
Put the kids to bed or take them to a play date.
Open a bottle of wine or take a Xanax.
Grab some tissues.

About the Author:

My name is Mia Asher.
I'm a writer, a hopeless romantic, a wanderer, a dreamer, a cynic, and a believer. And, oh yes…I might be a bit crazy - but who isn't?

Up for grabs are two $20 Amazon gift cards - so make sure you enter!

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