"Bonnie and Clyde meets Kill Bill." - Jenna, Goodreads
His name is Beat, and I should hate him.
Bound, blindfolded and bruised, I'm tied in his basement, waiting for the men who stripped me from clothes and humanity to collect his debt to them. Me.
His name is Nate and I should hate him, but I don't.
I'm not supposed to know his real name, even worse, I'm not supposed to care. He is nothing to me but means to an end. The plan is simple: break free, collect the pieces of my broken soul, kill the bastards and run away.
His name is Nathaniel Thomas Vela, and I've never seen his face, though I hear that it's beautiful.
Behind the rugged and handsome exterior, there's a quiet murderer, a killer who thinks guns are for pussies and ends people with his bare hands.
His name doesn't matter, neither does his face, but what does matter is my heart. And right now, sadly, it's his.
Blood to Dust is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.
©2016 L.J. Shen (P)2016 L.J. Shen
Audio Reviewer under Audio Flow. I enjoy delving into the imagination of writers and hearing it read aloud by seasoned and new audio actors.
L.Shen is such a powerful writer. I never know what to expect. That's the beauty of her work. She is able to create unlikely characters that your heart and mind griws to love. In this story, it is hard to tell at first who you actually like, who to trust and who will steal your heart.
Because I don't want to give away the plot, I will just say that there is Prescott who wants to survive and she will do anything to make that happen...including giving of herself. What makes this even better is the relationship that develops from the one she attempted to give herself too. Out of everything in her life she finds that even broken people can find their other half...
What a truly nontraditional love story. Full of action, passion, hate, ultimate sacrifice and healing. I loved this story because Shen's heroines always are written so well. At times when you think they are at their weakest, they show greater strength with or without a man.
Michael Pauley is fantastic. He is not just a narrator, he is a true voice actor. Believable with his character deliverance and easily brings the listener deeper into the story! Pure perfection.
EXPLOSIVE. BRILLIANT. MINDBLOWING
My most memorable moment was after Prescott seeks vengeance on Seb and she is near her breaking point..and Nate convinces her to keep fighting...“Promise me you won’t break.”“I don’t have any more fight in me.”He cups my face in his hands, so that I can’t escape his penetrating gaze. “Then I’ll give you some of mine.”Another favorite was when she refused to leave with the cops to save him and Nate gives this impassioned speech about how much he loves her.
Too many to name! The scenes where they are on the run, blazing a path of destruction, exchanging razor sharp barbs, falling in love and having explosive sex!!
The Michael Pauley narration was off the charts amazing! He embodied these characters so viscerally that I was enraptured throughout. He emotes spectacularly, his inflections are brilliant, line delivery pitch perfect (and LOL funny!), and I also love his interpretations of each and every character. This audio solidified him as my alltime fave male narrator.
MY FULL REVIEW“This is a story of a boy and a girl fighting storms and trying to find peace in the most unexpected place. They try and find it in each other.”I thought nothing could top SPARROW by L.J. Shen, but Holy Wow, BLOOD TO DUST did just that! This Bonnie and Clyde romantic thriller with a gritty captivity twist blew me away on so many levels I do not have enough words to possible convey the gamut of emotions it stirred in me. It wrecked my heart, shattered my soul, made me laugh and cry and Feel. So. Much. While I have had the immense pleasure of reading many SENSATIONAL dark romantic thrillers, this one…this one I believe truly tops them all. One thing's for certain, it solidified Ms. Shen as an automatic 1-Click author for me.
BTD was brimming with so much intense emotion, BLAZING PASSION and nail-biting tension, it gave me heart palpitations throughout. It is dark and chilling…passionate and provocative…. beautiful and haunting…sadistic and sweet.... humorous and heartbreaking. All masterfully converging into one ADRENALINE-PUMPING masterpiece! There is just something so rejuvenating for me as a blogger to come across an author with the magnitude of talent that this author possesses. L.J. Shen has such a distinct narrative voice, unlike any I have read before. And her MASTERFUL character development is beyond compare!!! But what truly sets her apart for me is her ability to blend quirky, dark humor with gut-wrenching angst and thrilling suspense. She is truly a writing maestro!
The EXPLOSIVE chemistry between “Beat” and “Baby-Cakes” captivated me from the start, and their deliciously dirty, razor-sharp banter was a true highlight!!! Their odyssey from stern captor/sassy prisoner to CRAZY-IN-LOVE partners in crime determined to take down their enemies in a bloodbath of EPIC proportions was brilliantly depicted, harrowing and heartwrenchingly beautiful. Ms. Shen's craftsmanship of Nate and Prescott is absolutely phenomenal. These characters are so achingly flawed and endearingly complex with so many layers and dimensions…and I instantly fell in love with them both. They are Peace and Storm... two polar opposites whose fates become inexorably intertwined.
Prescott is one the bravest heroines I have EVER read. Yet what I l adore about her is that she is strong yet vulnerable. Hard yet soft. A beautiful, vibrant wildcard with dark, tormenting secrets she keeps locked down so deep inside because it is too unbearable to face. She could break, and does on occasion, but NEVER in front of her enemies. She has no one in her corner until she is held captive by Nate, a troubled brute of a man who would not only eventually offer her the key to freedom but also stand and fight beside her. “I’ll fight your war while I’m winning mine.”Ultimately, he becomes her savior (even though she does not need one and proves to be more than capable of fighting her own battles!) but also her best friend. Her lover. Her reason for fighting with every fiber of her being. And FIGHT and FIGHT and FIGHT she does. She never gives up…even when every bone in her body screams at her to do so.
Prescott defines female empowerment, but in the rare moments of weakness when she has no fight left in her, Nate lifts her up, takes on her battles as his own, and ultimately gives her the strength to keep going. Gah! I get goosebumps just thinking about what this heroine went through but she finally emerges victorious, reclaiming every single “piece of her soul” that Godfrey, Camden and Seb had so viciously stolen. Ultimately, “Country Club” proves to be a true Braveheart--through and through.
And Nate….OMGGGG. Nate!!!! I have a SERIOUS SCHOOLGIRL CRUSH on Nate/Beat/Christopher Delaware! I flove everything about him! His big, brawny physique, his tortured soul, his gruff tenderness, his roguish charm, his caustic wit!!!! His sexy tats! His big, beautiful heart. His bad side and good side and everything in between. And the ending?? My lips are sealed except to say the final climactic showdown was so harrowing and scary intense, I am still hyperventilating from the aftershocks!!
In closing, BLOOD TO DUST is without a doubt among my top five reads of 2016! It is a darkly entrancing, triumphant tale--pulsating with MEGA FEELS!!--about the miraculous resilience of the human spirit, surviving against ALL ODDS, and finding the courage to never stop fighting for what you believe in, even when you have to blaze a path of destruction to achieve it.And, when all is said and done, at its core, this novel is about discovering a soul-deep love beyond your wildest dreams that’s “beautiful and ugly and broken…and whole.”
This is one gritty, raucous roller coaster of an audio. Make sure your seat belt is fastened for this one. The story of Beat and Pea isn't pretty and like most gritty romance, it's born out of violence and passion, and I loved it. They've both made decisions in their lives that may have been necessary or justified, but have placed them in the worst circumstances. Watching them change and learn to trust and love is wonderful. L.J. Shen's writing is at times brutal and shocking but the quiet moments of trust and finding your heart temper the harsh world she creates.
Michael Pauley's performance is as always, fantastic. The accents he pulls off (much like his narration of L.J. Shen's amazing book Sparrow - a definite MUST LISTEN) are brilliant and in the first chapter, fairly terrifying. Another amazing collaboration for L.J. Shen and Michael Pauley. I look forward to many more.
About in the middle. It was a good book.
Yes, it was highly entertaining. Two souls coming together in absolute craziness. You don't know where the story is going to go or how everything comes together. It was not at all like I was expecting. L.J. Shen does a great job weaving an interesting plot together.
I thought he did a pretty good job. At the beginning he was hard to hear at times. I thought it might be my speakers, but nope it was just his voice talking softly. I enjoyed his voice.
My heart wants what it wants...my captor. The man who has blindfolded, bound and bruised me.
I really enjoyed the story, but with new authors I need to read the book first before I listen to the audio I think. I thought the narrator did a good job, but at times I found myself not fully absorbing everything because of the manner he was speaking...to softly at times.
Overall I recommend this. Its different...I love dark reads and love when an author can surprise me. I will definitely go back and read the book. This was violence and hate that turned into love...loved it!
Audiobook given for an honest review
I am an avid reader, not a professional book reviewer. I gladly offer my opinion of the books I read/listen to.
I generously gave this story 2 stars overall because I had to give credit to the author for writing one of the darkest, antithesis of a feel good love story.. Eventually there is a conclusion that should have been considered a HEA, however the whole storyline and brutality that took place throughout the book left me kind of shell shocked. Add a terrible, possibly the worst narration performance I have ever heard and the story barely merits 2 stars. I would NOT recommend this book for a sale let alone a most cherished credit!
I started this book in audible but honestly this is the worst narration I've ever heard. this guy goes monotone randomly he doesn't use the right inflections or emotions at the right time, and frankly his "accented" parts we're just bad. now I want to go on and say this is actually a pretty good book but I recommend you skip the audio version and read the book outright...
This is the first book that I've listened to by L. J. Shen but, it won't be the last! I really enjoyed this story, it's well told and the pacing of this book is flawless! There were no lulls in the action, and the characters kept me fully engaged.
Prescott has been kidnapped, and Beat is tasked with holding her captive until God comes for her, no not the almighty one but Godfrey whose holds both Prescott and Beats life in his hands.
While being held in the basement, Prescott comes across a journal written by Beat. This journal gives her important insight into the person he is and a chance for her to gain the upper hand and perhaps win her freedom.
Both Prescott and Beat are extremely flawed. In time they both come to realize they fill a need in each other. Now if only they could exorcise God from their life all would be good! This book is very dark and pretty brutal, there is graphic and disturbing violence, explicit sex and language so be prepared.
The writing is top notch in this audiobook that clocks in at almost 10 and ½ hours long, the narration by Michael Pauley is the best he’s ever done in my opinion. He really captured the emotion, drama and excitement in his reading. I’ve listened to several audiobooks narrated by him and he definitely brought his “A” game to this production and the clarity of the audiobook was perfect throughout. If you enjoy dark thrillers put this one on your list!
I couldnt connect to either lead character. I dont know if it was because of the plot or the flat narration.
No.I enjoy well written Mafia Romance which features strong female characters. I will continue to read books in the genre.
He didn't make me feel: I wasn't happy, sad, shocked etc.I couldn't connect to the characters and thus wasn't invested in their fate.
I first need to read the ebook . The audio version didnt work for me. reading the book instead might change my opinion of it and then be able to better answer the question
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author.”
diabolical, sarcastic brilliant
Pea's nick name "C**KBURN!"
At the end in the bathroom!
It was everything an more!
S. A. Williams
This is the second book by L.J. that I have tackled but the first audiobook. One of the things I found most amusing about this story, was it was based in my stomping grounds So for once when they were talking locations, I knew exactly where there were.
The story was different than what I was expecting. Darker perhaps? I wasn’t expecting the violence, the rawness to the story, and the characters. These weren’t happy characters, they are beat by life and desperate for survival.
Be for warned, there is a lot of dark subject matter in the story. Rape and violence are a part of that. Thankfully, it wasn’t as graphic as it could have been. Yet it is there and it isn’t pretty.
Michael Pauley did a great job changing his voice especially with the different accents. For some reason his voice as Nate was throwing me for a loop, it felt a bit forced.
Overall, I liked the story and I am giving it 3 Boundless Stars....Sara
"Please please please find another person to read!"
This is the second L J Shen book that I have abandoned. I cannot bear the voice being used for the characters in this book. I will now again go and buy the kindle version so I can actually read it!
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