Only Pretend: A Novel by Nora Flite
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh my word Nora… Can I please get a signed copy of this one when you release it in paperback???? I am 100% certain that I haven’t LOVED a dark villainous captor this much since Caleb in The Dark Duet. This was written so well… all the things, the traps, that I hate when some try to write this kind of story and fall into were avoided here. Celeste was a strong-willed woman. Though she had nothing and came from nothing she was a constant reminder that as long as we have free will nothing else matters. She fought Leonide tooth and nail from the very beginning. Even though she was most definitely attracted to the man, and felt a ton of confusion regarding some of those feelings not once did she stop fighting for what she wanted. Freedom to choose!!!
Leonide, WOO! I don’t even know where to start. First, I’d like to say this book was definitely dark, but it wasn’t dark in a gross or overtly brutal kind of way. It was more of a mindfuck and it definitely felt good. Leonide said and did cruel things but he also was a conflicted man… It was amazing how he was able to get a reaction from Celeste or screw her mind all up without even having to cause her physical harm at times. At other times, he was like a fucking demon, and it wasn’t clear what exactly he would do with her. He was really complex and I am always amazed when I find myself feeling one way about a character and then feeling completely different in the end. Even though Leonide does make some changes, he also makes it very clear up to the ending of the book he is who he is. I loved that the best, because it would be unrealistic for him to change completely.
I just loved it. I was a fan of Nora Flite after I gorged myself on The Body Rock Series but this just cemented the “I will read anything you write” status for me… only a handful of authors are in that category for me.
“Her words struck something in me, a statement I’d been slapped by… how long ago? I don’t want to be boring. I can fix myself.”
“I’m not those women. I’m Celeste Barstow… and you’re a fucking demon.”
“He growled in my ear, clawed at me not like someone in love– but someone who hated my guts. I didn’t care at all. Even hate was better than indifference; more satisfying than the man who had slid on a mask and could walk away from me after his dick had been inside my mouth.”
~Celeste & Leonide~
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