Welcome to my stop on The Replacement & The Prisoner Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.
I read The Replacement back in January this year and decided to post my review here along with my spoiler-free review of The Prisoner so you don't have to go to another page and then come back. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!
Title: The Replacement
Series: The Replacement #1
Author: Rachael Wade
Publication date: January 24th 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.*
A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman's self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.
My name is Elise Duchamp. I'm twenty-three years old and I'm known as the town whore.
No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing - the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.
All things considered, I'm not completely reckless. I'm safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone's girlfriend. I'm convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.
But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I'd go to in order to keep it that way.
*This review originally published 1/31/14*
I went into The Replacement looking for an emotional read and was given so much more than I was expecting. When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to find out more about Elise, this girl known as the town whore. And why is she so desperate to keep this reputation? What is she afraid of? Something must have happened to her, I reasoned, but when I was given glimpses into her childhood, I couldn't even have imagined what I'd find there. Her mom? Worst advice giver ever. Her dad? Well, let's just say I had to keep reminding myself during his scenes that this book doesn't take place in the 50's. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The Replacement emotionally affected me much more than I had anticipated. I had to stop and put the book down because I couldn't see to read through my tears. It was as if a dam inside me had broken. I cried for the girl Elise could have become had she been given loving parents and cried for the girl Elise had become - someone who believes she poisons people and doesn't deserve to be loved by anyone. The scenes from her childhood are absolutely heartbreaking.
I could identify with Elise's need to self destruct, and I think that's what broke open the floodgates for me. For completely different reasons, I know what it's like to want to destroy myself while everyone else watches helplessly. One of the people watching Elise self destruct? Jay. He's a much needed father figure for Elise - he cares about her and shows it unlike her own father. Scenes with him made me cry, too!
Ryder was amazing. I couldn't believe how he refused to give up on Elise no matter how much she tried to push him away. He didn't care about her past - he wanted a future with her. On the other hand, she felt she was broken and undeserving of that kind of future. One of my favorite scenes between Elise and Ryder was when they first kissed - she thought to herself that must be what a real kiss was like, and all this time she had been duped into thinking she'd been kissed before. That was a magical moment I was happy she experienced. Every girl needs a Ryder!
After finishing the book, I was emotionally exhausted, but it was worth it. Reading The Replacement was cathartic for me - I've been needing a good cry, and this definitely brought it out of me. Elise's story will captivate you and bring out a wide range of emotions. You'll become so immersed in her story you won't even notice anything going on around you. And grab a box of tissues - you're gonna need them!
Title: The Prisoner
Series: The Replacement #1.5
Author: Rachael Wade
Publication date: July 24th 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Source: Copy for review
***THE PRISONER is a novella (approx. 25,000 words) intended to be read AFTER The Replacement. Contains explicit material and language.***
My name is Christian Walker, and Elise Duchamp is my drug of choice.
No matter how hard I try to break the habit, it's a lost cause. Okay, maybe I haven't really tried to quit this particular habit. All I can think about is owning her. Making her mine. Can you really blame me? With that sinful body, luscious mouth, and wicked tongue, she's every man's dream, and she knows it.
No one is immune to her charm, not even me, a man who has everything - a beautiful wife, an office with a view, and more money than most people can spend in one lifetime. Only I know how to make her toes curl. Only I know her body better than the other men she screws in her free time. None of them can compare to me.
But the joke is on me. I'm the prisoner.
The one who will never compare to him. The one man who makes me see red. His name is stored in her cell phone. It's the first one she calls out to, the first one she cries for when all hell breaks loose. Ryder Jacobson.
The name makes me cringe.
She loves him, and I love her. In my own way, I always will. But the bad guy doesn't always belong with the bad girl. Sometimes the bad girl needs a good man to believe in her, to give her that final push toward ultimate transformation. I wish I was that good man. That I could be her happily ever after. I guess that's the thing about prisoners, though. They're left alone with their torment, and in the end, they have no one to blame but themselves.
There's a fine line between love and obsession, and Christian walked that line every time he met up with Elise. Knowing he's a wealthy man might have biased me, but I truly believe he wanted to own Elise rather than have a healthy loving relationship with her. Told from his POV, The Prisoner showed how very self-assured he was that she'd "wake up" and realize she was his. Um, egotistical much? Yet I don't hate him; I just think he's misguided.
Several months ago, I read The Replacement and am struck by how much of the book has stayed with me. It had such a profound emotional impact on me that I don't think I'll ever forget it. The events Christian talks about here in The Prisoner are ones I remember from Elise's perspective, and it was astounding how different two people can view the same situation.
I think Elise knew Christian better than he knew himself. There were truths about him that were too bitter a pill for him to swallow. I'm glad I got the chance to delve into their relationship more thoroughly. I was curious about it when I read the first book, and enjoyed seeing things from Christian's POV. This was a terrifically told story, and I'm eagerly anticipating more from this series!
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she's not writing, she's busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.
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