Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fading (Fading 1) by EK Blair

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 big fat emotional stars!!

This book was just WOW!! Totes AMAZEBALLS!!

Emotional, passionate, sensitive, poignant….I could go on and on and on but it was beautifully written. This is by no means a hearts and flowers romance, it is dark and covers the horrible topic of date rape. Candace was not only date raped but she was brutally beaten too and probably would have ended up dead had it not been for a stranger that interrupted the assault and beat her attacker away.

Candace is a brilliantly talented ballet dancer at Uni studying ballet and dance before her life is cruelly destroyed, this book covers the before, during and after and some of it is not pretty. Rape is not often covered in books and the author has covered this subject sensitively and compassionately. It centres around Candace coping, surviving and trying to recover from this terrible ordeal and learning to trust and love again.

This book had me hooked, I could not put it down, I didn’t want to put it down. The first thing that had me drawn in was the cover, it was simple and alluring yet it spoke to me and I didn’t fully appreciate it till after I had read the book. Once I had read it, the cover spoke volumes, pure genius!! I loved Candace, she was not some 22 year old tart with a heart, but she studied hard, worked hard and just did all she could to be better, she had her aspirations and was working solidly to achieve them despite zero emotional support from her parents. Kimber was Candace’s room mate, she was encouraging Candace to go out a bit more, experience a bit of life, Candace’s parents encouraged her to go out with Jack, they were friends of his family, he was of good stock blah blah blah. Candace had zero experience and her first was brutally taken from her.

Candace turns to her BFF Jase (who is gay), he has got to be the best BFF ever…he knows exactly what Candace wants and needs and is always there for her, eventually his partner Mark is let in and they make a formidable trio. Candace shuts out Kimber as she is too embarrassed about what has happened and does not want to have to explain to anybody about what she has been through, she shuts herself off from everyone apart from Jase. Slowly but surely, the dark place that she sinks too affects her dancing, something that normally manages to bring her out of any funk, her tutor notices but still she does not let anyone in.

Jase and Mark introduce Candace to Ryan, he is the bar owner of a bar that Mark’s band play in….he finds Candace instantly alluring and can’t help but want to get to know her better. He tries to befriend her but Candace is still shut off…he perseveres….but as with any book is he as good as he seems, does he have an ulterior motive, is he really that perfect.

I must admit, I loved Ryan and I adored his mum, she was the mum that Candace never had and I am glad that she saw through Candace and worked hard at breaking her walls down. Ryan comes from a loving family, something that Candace never had. Her parents whilst supporting her financially are embarrassed at her chosen profession and feel that their money is wasted on a pie in the sky vocation. They cannot see that Candace lives, eats and breathes dance and most days it is her reason for even getting up in the morning. Only lawyers, doctors etc are suitable enough to uphold the family appearances not anything artsy fartsy and they are willing to lose their daughter over this. God, her parents, I could have nutted them!!

I was so glad that Ryan was 28, being that bit older he was more sensitive, more worldly wise and knew that he couldn’t push too far. He was very accepting of Candace’s relationship with Jase to a point and being so mature he realised that she was never going to heal quickly and he gave her that time. I can see why he did what he did and I could see it coming but I was willing him on to be more open, I knew it was going to end up biting him on the bum.

“I promise you, nothing will change the way I look at you. Nothing will change what you do to me when you are next to me. You make my heart beat in a completely different way – nothing will ever change that”

All I can say is I highly recommend this book, I feel EK Blair can hold her head up high and pat herself on the back for a brilliant approach to a more or less taboo subject. She has dealt with it amazingly and you cannot help being moved whilst reading and feeling every ounce of pain and heartbreak that Candace goes through.

“This doesn’t define you”

I can’t wait to read more from this author and hearing there is more to come in this series…I can’t wait!!

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