Wednesday 26 November 2014

Blog Tour ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Flawed by Francette Phal

Book Description:


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.



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.
Our Review:
**ARC received  for honest review**
Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

“Everything I do now is for her, to protect her. She is the only one that sustains me. The only person in this world I cannot do without. She is the one person I will not share. She is mine.”

This book is dark, disturbing, disgusting, distasteful, deviant, depraved, in fact everything a DARK read should be. If you have a queasy stomach this is definitely not the right book for you. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to be scared, shocked, appalled, stunned in fact dumb struck, this is one sick ride!

I have loved everything that Francette Phal has written, she has shocked me many times but this book took the “shock factor” to a whole new level. I went in totally blind as she is one of those authors that I automatically read, so I was totally unprepared. To be honest, I still feel a bit sick. This is the first book of a series so be prepared, but I will say this is definitely one of those stories that could not be completed in one book. This book was a page turner from start to finish and even though I felt guilty that I should be reading it and enjoying it, I did also feel a bit disgusted in places.

There are quite a few disturbing scenes in this book, I have to say I did feel that sometimes the content was put there more to shock you than anything else, but bearing in mind the f**ked up characters that we are dealing with in this book I can actually see them doing it and that worries me! It also makes me wonder what the hell is going to come in book 2!

“But then all that changes when I see that look of nothingness on her face. And my past assumptions that she is just like me, flawed, empty inside, reaching blindly in the darkness for something, anything to grab and annihilate just to feel alive, returns with a vengeance.”

Lacey is in high school and just shy from graduating, she has high aspirations to get out of her current life and be the student that she desperately wants to be. She is clever and has university places lined up, scholarships are on the table and she needs every dollar that she can get to sustain herself through this new phase of her life. Her father is nowhere to be seen, her mother is a prostitute that has a severe drug problem and her brother is equally as bad. He is a total waste of space and her mother and brother are total leeches and take advantage of the loving and giving heart that Lacey has. She will do anything for her f**ked up family including becoming a prostitute herself to pay the bills, keep a roof over their head, bail her mother and brother from no end of problems and whatever is left to fund her university pot. Her school life is crap, her ex-best friend taking great delight in telling everyone how she earns her money, the school halls are constantly ringing with bullies vile diatribe and cruel pranks, she really does have an awful life, yet she is still such a beautiful person, inside and out.

“I have learned not to depend on anyone else for my well-being but myself.”

Knox…hmmm what can I say about him…he is definitely the man that you will hate to love, after all how could anyone love him? He is a hit man for the mob, but not a bullet to the head kind of guy, no he punishes and tortures in the most sadistic fashion. He has dark, base needs that need to be fulfilled and nothing satisfies these urges more than torture and we get it detailed in all its gory, blood curdling glory. However, I loved Knox and I cannot believe I am actually saying it, there was something about him…how did he get this way? What happened? He has definitely been hurt in the past, we do get to see little snippets of possible causes and I am sure more will come to light going forward but he is a dark and brooding enigma and someone I desperately want to know more about.

“You have this one fundamental flaw, Lacey. And that is your foolish need to control everything around you, when really, you are the one meant to be controlled, all you need is the proper hand to steer you. This inherent need you have for pain goes beautifully with my need to cause it.”

Katia is Knox’s step sister, she is the daughter of the mob boss but she has her own hidden agenda. It seems this woman will do anything and everything to get what she wants in life, she is evil personified. It would not surprise me if she actually does not have a heart, what keeps her alive is the pure evil running through her veins. She is a force to be reckoned with.

This book is told in all POV’s, so we get to hear from Lacey, Knox and Katia. Francette Phal has woven an extremely intricate and layered plot with all characters having their own agenda. As I said above this is dark, extremely dark, macabre and is more a psychological thriller with a very faint undertone of romance and at this moment it is extremely faint. It covers murder, torture, BDSM and is a total mind f**k, not so much in trying to understand what could be going on but in the fact that you are enjoying reading, despite the sick, lead feeling you have in your stomach. Francette Phal is quickly becoming the queen of dark, how she manages to dream up these Flawed characters is beyond me. It is sick, it is twisted, but like a moth to a flame I could not stop reading. It did get way out of my comfort zone in places but could I stop reading…NO!

I am not going to go into the plot at all, this is one of those reads that you need to decide if you are going to read or not and when you make that choice go in blind. Be prepared to be shocked, but more importantly be prepared to read a book that will take you on a journey, one that you have never been on before and will probably never want to go on again, yet despite the “stops” you won’t want to get off, but continue till the end of the line. I can’t wait for book 2, there is so much still to happen but I will put on my big girl panties, brace myself and dive right back in. Francette Phal, all I can say is how on earth are you still sane? I don’t want to know where the inspiration for this story came from but keep writing.

“It sickens me, this revolting mental state I have spiralled into and yet, given the chance to escape his labyrinth of iniquity, I would not take it.”
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About The Author:

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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