Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Derek Sawyer, Russ Thomas
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Derek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.
One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.
Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.
If you follow this site, it’s easy to determine that I love all types of stories. Most of the time the books I will come across doesn’t have a lot of angst and rarely do they deal with the rape of a male character. Dreamspinner is about to have this book on audio and when I read the blurb, I remembered that I bought this book long ago. Since I read and review books so much for this site, I have a tendency to put my own personal purchases aside for a rainy day, but since I was in the mood for something more emotionally charged and angsty, I had to read Violated. I’m so glad I did because from the start of the book to the end, I was swept up into the lives of these two men and Mr. Fessenden wrote a compelling, beautifully written story that stayed with me long after the story come to an end.
Rape is never an easy subject and frankly, in the beginning I was worried how Derek’s violation would be handled. I’m not really crazy about reading this subject, but honestly I thought it was done in a very educational and realistic way. Yes, there are times it is hard to watch Derek’s life spiral out of control. Because of his molestation he loses so much before he truly begins to heal and start living again. The devastation he felt by being raped by his best friend, then losing his job and his fiancee made my heart bled for him. Like many rape victims, he blames himself and wonders if there was something he could have done to prevent it. As we all know, NO means NO whether it is a man or woman so in no way was Derek’s rape his fault.
One of the reasons I loved this novel was the relationship between Derek and Russ. Since Russ is a police officer he quickly recognizes that Derek has been through something traumatic and because he is an all around good guy, Russ’ friendship and support becomes a huge staple in Derek’s life. Another thing I thought the author did an superb job at was NOT brush the trauma that Derek was going through under the rug. Derek truly goes through hell before he begins to heal and watching him stand on his two feet again was a beautiful thing to see.
Not only was this book well-written it kept this reader on the edge of her seat the entire time I spent reading this book. I experienced many different emotions while I read Derek’s story and though there were times I wanted to crawl into the story itself just to give Derek a big hug or two, there were also times I wanted him to not be so self-destructive, although I definitely empathized why he was.
Was this an easy book to read? No, but it was so worth the tears of compassion and saddness I had for Derek and the plight he goes through. If you haven’t read this one, I hope you give it a chance because in the end, Derek’s story will move you, just as it did me. I loved this book.
Why the 4.5 Kisses? Well, though the book ends on a very positive and even happy note, I thought the end was too rushed. I wanted to see how Russ and Derek’s relationship progressed into the love they shared and because it was a tad bid washed over, I felt cheated.
I still love this book.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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