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Monday, November 24, 2014

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY ❤ Flawed (The Butcher #1) by Francette Phal


That's the only memory he carries from a childhood he does not remember. And now it is all he knows. Blood is his life.
Knox Bishop has done a lot of horrible things, all at the command of the man who holds his leash. It's a matter of loyalty for him. Allegiance to the man who saved his life when he was a child. So he goes where he is needed and does what he is told. He tortures. He kills. He kills. He tortures. It is an unrelenting cycle that he constantly craves and can never quite satisfy.

Until her.

Eighteen year old Lacey Barnes distributes her assets to fund her dreams. Medical school is the end game and she is determined to get there by any means necessary. But a family member's careless mistake derails her plans and now she must pay a price in order to save him.

She goes to Knox willingly offering him the only valuable thing she has. Herself. In doing so he allows her into his world, a world filled with darkness but rather than being scared it intrigues her. It lures her, calls to something in her that she hadn't known existed until he awakened it.

Every bit of his flaws is reflected in her and Knox will do anything to keep her in the darkness with him.

There are many books out there that are categorized as dark but only few hit the mark and Flawed is a definitely a dark romance.  This story is not for the faint of heart. It contains violence and graphic sex scenes which left me confused about my reaction to the story because I loved it but I don’t think I should.  This is an amazingly well written but disturbing story that did not disappoint and left me wanting more. Be warned this is a two part story and ends with a MAJOR cliffhanger but it so worth the ride.  

Flawed is told from 3 points of view, Lacey, Knox and Katia. Most were from Lacey’s point of view but when Knox and Katia were introduced I became frustrated because the connection between the three was not clear.  It seems to take too long to get to there but once it did I couldn’t walk away from the story even if I wanted to.

Lacey is an 18 year old high school student that makes her money turning tricks. Yes, she’s a prostitute, a good one cause she makes $200 a pop and has regulars.  You immediately want to save Lacey from herself. Her mother is a drug addict and her brother is Dante’ is just as worthless, but regardless of what they do Lacey is always there to save the day. I found myself talking to my iPad telling Lacey to let them solve their own problems but she never heard me.   In an attempt to save Dante’  from sure death, Lacey sells herself to the Devil and is subjected to brutality that she never could imagine.

Yes, Knox is the Devil. A hitman for the Russian mob, Knox is one coldhearted, bloodthirsty, sadistic motherfucker. He gets off on not just killing but torturing his victims and he is just as vicious as a lover.

“Have you ever looked at something so beautiful, so utterly alluring that you just wanted to destroy it? That’s what you are to me. You are this beautiful thing I want to destroy.”

But even with his viciousness there are times when we are shown a few cracks in his armor. But Knox so fucked up that when these emotions appear he doesn’t recognize them and this results in more violence. Francette wrote this character so well that I found myself both loving, hating and fearing Knox.  He is so inhumane that I want to hold on to him and make him feel, but I am afraid of what his reaction would be. He has only been close to one person for most of his life, his adopted sister Katia.

Katia is the devils evil twin and fucked up in her own pretty way. She has a public face and a real face, both equally daunting. There isn’t much I can say about Katia that wouldn’t result in a spoiler so I will just say I hate her.

Flawed is the darkest book I have read in a long time. There is very little to no romance. The characters are twisted and the story is a complete mindfuck, leaving you wanting more. If you love dark reads then this book is for you but but be prepared that your will really never be prepared for that darkness that is Flawed.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.



I’m not what you would call normal. The word has no meaning to me. But I’ve been pretending to act normal. It’s something I’ve been practicing since I’ve been aware of the thrum and its significance in my life. I was seven when I first heard the lullaby. Second grade, just before recess. It happened in a squall. Nothing and then all at once. I remember everything about that day. The bell rang and the other children went to play. Not me. Never me. I always stayed behind, mostly by choice, but never contested because the other children thought I was weird. I think maybe they unconsciously knew that I was lacking something fundamental. Something they all had and I didn’t, and maybe even never had at all. Whatever it was, I was alienated, excluded from their games. But I couldn’t say it bothered me. I was indifferent to it. Katia would sometimes play with me. Yuri’s youngest daughter, my adoptive sister, kept me company when she wasn’t with her own friends. But she’d been home sick that day.

In the small classroom with its oversized, rainbow-colored letters hanging over the chalkboard and tiled number blocks littering the carpeted floor, I sat in the beanbag chair staring fixatedly at the class pet. Sweet Ms. Devon always stayed with me but she’d left for a moment. A moment to heat her lunch. A moment to speak to a fellow staff member in the teachers’ lounge. But it’d been a moment too long for me. The noise in my head had been too loud. The urge too strong. The pink-eyed little rabbit, Mr. Apples, and the yellow pair of scissors sitting blades down in Ms. Devon’s “Best Teacher” mug had been too much of a temptation for me to resist.

The pounding of my heart. The lullaby and the thrum. The latch had given way beneath my shaking fingers, soaked with apprehension and anticipation. The struggle. The frantic movement of something living, something warm, with the same accelerated heartbeat as mine grappling for life. Desperate for freedom even while knowing the inevitable hand of death loomed was intoxicating. The thrill, the excitement, the sweet seductive power. I swam in it. Like too much candy on Halloween. Too much ice cream in the summer. It had been a quick death for Mr. Apples. It had been crude. Amateurish. But ever so effective in quieting the discord of my mind.
Poor, sweet Ms. Devon came to find me on the floor of the overly-bright classroom. Huddled on the floor, covered in Mr. Apples. She’d been one to smile a lot. But I stole her smile that day and replaced it with horror instead. Her pretty features contorted like a Kabuki mask.

Francette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.

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