Review: The Lost

Title: The Lost
Author: Cole McCade
Published: 8/24/15, indie
Genre: Romantic Erotica, dark

There's something wrong with Leigh. 

She's known it her whole life. She knows it every time she spreads her legs. Every time she begs for the pain, the pleasure, the heat of a hard man driving deep inside. She's a slave to her own twisted lusts--and it's eating her alive. She loves it. She craves it. Sex is her drug, and she's always chasing her next fix. But nothing can satisfy her addiction, not even the nameless men she uses and tosses aside. No one's ever given her what she truly needs. 

Until Gabriel Hart. 

Cold. Controlled. Impenetrable. Ex-Marine Gabriel Hart isn't the kind of man to come running when Leigh crooks her pretty little finger. She loathes him. She hungers for him. He's the only one who understands how broken she is, and just what it takes to satisfy the emptiness inside. But Gabriel won't settle for just one night. He wants to claim her, keep her, make her forever his. Together they are the lost, the ruined, the darkness at the heart of Crow City. 

But Leigh has a darkness of her own. A predator stalking through her past--one she'll do anything to escape. 

Even if it means running from the one man who could love her...and leaving behind something more precious to her than life itself.

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       5++ Hearts

This is the first book of Cole McCade’s After Dark moniker. It takes place in the fictional Crow City. We see the under belly and the upper crust common to most major cities. What this book brings to the reader is the blatant dichotomy of what it feels like to move between the societal classes. The blurb starts with “There’s something wrong with Leigh.” And there is. Her history up to this point has been riddled with poor self-esteem, rebellion and hatred. But what unfolds in this story is much more a statement about what is wrong with all of us than just what is wrong with Leigh. Are there still good people in the world who don't pass judgement? Are we bound by the class we are born into or can we spread our wings and fly so we can be who we really are? 

Leigh exists through her days and nights trying to find who she is inside. She wants to fly. She just can’t grasp on to what it is she needs to get there. She is wandering around just…lost. 

“I feel like I live in the keen still days of September, but I don’t know how to find my way to the mellow warmth of an October sun.” 

Until she meets Gabriel Hart. This guy is one tough, ex-marine. Very hard shelled and broody. He is fighting demons of his own. They mix like fire and water, yet Leigh is drawn to him. He stirs within her…hope. Gabriel could be a top ten book boyfriend for me. He has the bad boy image but it’s what he brings to the table in inner beauty and strength that makes him appealing on many levels. For Leigh, he becomes a safe place. A refuge. The book is labeled as a Dark Erotic read. Make no bones, what happens between Leigh and Gabriel will offend some people. I really felt that deep down, Gabriel was giving Leigh what she needed in a way she needed it because he cared for her. I don’t think he needed the roughness and pain, but he did it for her. I felt he understood her limits and his own. That makes him a great guy to have around. 

“Do you think lost people recognize each other, when they meet?” she whispered. “We did,” he said, and kissed her.

Please read the trigger warning at the beginning of the book. There are many dark elements that people may find offensive. I did get the willies at a couple of points, but the elements were relevant to character building. Labels for genres can get confusing. This is a dark read and there is a fair amount of s3x happening throughout the book. However, to me, this book is driven by the story line. If the s3x was not described in such detail, the reader would still enjoy this book. It is an extremely well written novel. We see the world through Leigh’s eyes and experience her emotional transformation. The characters are broken and angsty but there is also light and hope. 

I devoured the book. I lost track of time. I shed some tears. It wrung me out. I completely fell in love. I found myself so absorbed in reading this book that I got to the last four chapters and thought, “What?….Wait? ....So did not see that coming!” I need a re-read. I want to cheer for Leigh and Gabriel. I need to have all the feels again!

Corporate consultant by day, contemporary romance author by night.
Mid-thirties. Coffee addict. Cat lover. Bibliophile. Technophile. Definite sapiophile. Native Southerner. Runner. Country boy turned city suit. Shameless collector of guitar picks, vinyl records, and incense holders. Aficionado of late-night conversations over live music in seedy bars. Browncoat with a secret crush on Kaylee Frye.
Fascinated by human sociology, and particularly by the psychology of sex and gender – and their effect on relationship expectations, the culture of dating, and what it means to fall in love.
Non-smoker. The picture’s just a stock photo. A rather broody, dark one for someone who isn’t all that broody or dark, but sometimes forgets to smile even when he means to.


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