Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Arsen by Mia Asher

 One glance was all it took…

I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

Purchase on Amazon! 

See snippets of Heather and Selene's conversations while reading Arsen following our reviews!

Buddy Reviews:
Averaged Smooch Rating!

Heather's Review

4.5 infuriating angst filled smooches


Falling in love with the wrong person is easy. Falling in love with the right person is easier. But falling in love with your soul mate is easiest.
It’s meant to be.
I don’t think falling is the right word when referring to my feelings for Ben, though. How about soaring? Every time I’m with him I feel like I can fly. I feel weightless. I feel free.

Ben and Cathy met in college. Through flashbacks in the book you get to watch them fall in love. They have this amazing soul touching connection. Ben is so loving and attentive. They really are the perfect couple. Then, tragedy strikes and Cathy is losing herself. She can’t deal with the pain and begins to resent Ben for not falling apart the way she has.

I can feel myself withdrawing from him.
From his love.
From my marriage.
And there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Wrong answer!  You could seek help with a therapist, a friend, or I don't know maybe try talking to your husband!  She does none of these things!

Cathy is sent to pick up her bosses family at the airport one evening and meets his son, Arsen. Expecting him to be a young boy, she is caught off guard when she sees his son, who is only a few years younger than her and incredibly attractive.

William Shakespeare said that the eyes are the windows to your soul. When our eyes connect, I see danger , and maybe something exciting. Something forbidden. Some basic instinct in me instantly recognizes that this man doesn’t make love to a woman.
He fucks her.

Arsen ends up working with Cathy and what starts off as a somewhat innocent friendship gets out of hand very quickly. Cathy likes the way Arsen makes her feel like a real woman and she can forget all about her issues with Ben and the problems in their life.

“What if I told you that I don’t care that you’re married? I don’t mind sharing. What if I told you that I’ll settle for fucking you once? Just once where I’ll make you come so hard on my cock that you’ll forget that you’re married and beg me for more? And if you’re a good girl, Dimples, you may get it again before I let you go back to your husband, sore between your legs because I fucked you so good.”
I’m shocked and aroused.
What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I so turned on when he basically just insulted me and my marriage?

Arsen is a freaking ASSHOLE!!!!! I cannot understand his appeal at all. Cathy and Arsen completely disgust me. He is vulgar and disrespectful and Cathy just eats that shit up! She has the perfect husband and yet is pulling herself away from Ben and falling for Arsen. The flirting just gets worse and is totally inappropriate but for a while at least, Cathy tells herself that it is all innocent and they are only friends.

I hate when Ben reaches for me at night.
I want to throw up every time he makes love to me.
I’ve grown to hate looking at his beautiful face and everything that makes him so perfect.
I hate the fucking joke that our marriage has become.
And I hate myself because I seem to have lost all care for everything

Eventually she has disconnected from Ben almost completely and is totally sucked into Arsen’s web. Cathy is the most selfish infuriating female character EVER. She does not care that she is hurting Ben and destroying her marriage.  Arsen is all she thinks about. She has to have him and cares for no one but herself.

When I feel his dick inside me, my body instantly recognizes the difference. The thickness…the length…it’s not the same, but it feels just as good. Maybe even better because it’s not Ben. I shut my eyes and silence the voice screaming in my head that this is wrong. In this moment, nothing exists but Arsen and me.
Not even Ben.

The affair initially is all about sex and her physical need to forget her pain and to feel “alive.”  If alive is feeling like a whore then I guess she got what she was looking for.  How you could desire Arsen over Ben I will never know.  Ben is not some douchy guy that is not satisfying in bed.  Ben is freaking HOT, sexy, loving, and attentive.  Arsen is disgusting.  He is the definition of a pig.

The thing is, I’m ashamed, but I’m not sorry. I’m not. It’s funny, really. Thinking about the way he came inside me, on me, everywhere, makes me sick to my stomach, guilt twisting it so tightly. Yet the memories make my heart flutter as fast as a hummingbird’s wings. Control and restraint gone, being with him was pure bliss.

People say that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. Well, when it comes to Arsen, I not only want to get burned, I want to be incinerated.

Yes, it's REALLY funny Slutty Cathy...seriously?  She is pure EVIL.  She not only is cheating on her husband who is also supposed to be her soul-mate but continually reflects on how NOT sorry she is.

Cathy becomes addicted to the feeling she gets when she is with Arsen. The affair goes on for weeks, but Arsen no longer wants to share her with Ben.

And now I have to face the music. I have to make a choice once again. And it doesn’t matter what choice I make. Which path I choose to follow. Either way, I will break my own heart. I will lose a part of myself.
But I think I already have.
I love two men.

God forbid Cathy, that you should break your OWN heart!

“Please, Cathy…not tonight. Not tonight. Let us…let me just kiss you.”…
Ben lowers his forehead to press against mine. I feel the moisture from his tears, my tears, our tears. Together...
“I don’t want tomorrow to fucking come, Cathy. I’m afraid.”…
I bend down and kiss her lips, lips that look red and swollen, and this time I know that I’m the reason behind it and not him. Cherishing the moment, I let my mouth linger on hers as I close my eyes and inhale the smell of jasmine and sex branded on her skin deeply into my lungs, savoring that, for once she doesn’t smell like him. I grind my teeth and think back to all the times she’s come home, pretending to be too tired to stay awake and keep me company. Or on the few occasions when I’ve reached for her at night, and she turns away from my touch because she doesn’t feel like fucking, all the while smelling like a different man.... (Ripped my fucking heart out)
I want to believe every single lie of hers so I can gladly continue living in denial. I love her that fucking much….
Love is never supposed to hurt. Love is supposed to heal, to be your haven from misery, to make living fucking worthwhile. But as I stare at my wife, I know it’s all fucking bullshit.
Love has the power to destroy you.
Love has the power to bury you alive in a coffin full of pain and despair, robbing you of air, of the will to live.

“Falling in love with someone is easy. It’s loving when the newness has worn off, when life gets tough, when things get in the way, when physical passion is gone, that true love remains. When love can conquer it all.”-Cathy

I absolutely LOVE a story that makes me feel any emotion in the extreme. This book had me ready to spit fire and commit murder. My heart absolutely broke for poor Ben and I totally fell in fictional love with him! What really lacked for me was a connection with Arsen and Cathy. I don’t understand what drew her to him. For me he was rude and just plain nasty. There was nothing sexy or appealing in him. I also could not even draw up an ounce of sympathy for Cathy. I wanted to be affected by the things that happened to her but she was just so horrible that I could not even bring myself to care. I think that had Ben been lacking in any way and Arsen brought something, anything to the table it would have worked better for me.

I would venture to say that for about 98.5% of this book I wanted nothing more than for it to end with Cathy 6 ft in the ground along with her boy toy Arsen. So, I feel totally confused that somehow I accepted and was even happy, with the ending of this story. I feel even a teensy bit proud of Cathy when I couldn’t have given two shits about her for the entire book! I’m still feeling pretty mind blown. To take my feelings from complete disgust to pride and accomplishing this in the last chapter of the book is genius!

Selene's Review 


4.5 "what the heck just happened?" Smooches!

I should probably preface my review by saying there are few things in life I can't stand more than married people who cheat.  Don't get me wrong, I can completely understand certain situations drive people to seek whatever they aren't getting from their marriage from someone else.  It happens.  There was absolutely nothing in this story that made me feel that way though.

This book was a hot mess of a train wreck.  As much as I wanted to walk away, holy crap I couldn't put it down.  Watching a pretty near perfect marriage turn to shit was hard to stomach, especially when Ben was the perfect husband.  A series of miscarriages, however, shake their once ideal marriage to its core and Cathy seeks solace in another man.

Cathy meets Arsen at work.  Arsen’s father owns the company Cathy works for and he wants Arsen to work under Cathy to learn more about the business.  From the moment they meet, there is an instant attraction between them, one Cathy initially tries to deny.

So many warring thoughts are running through my head; fear, dislike, shock, but the voice that is the loudest is lust. - Cathy

They seem to reach a mutual understanding to only be friends but Cathy finds that there is a very fine line between pretending to be friends and what they actually feel.

“Suddenly, none of this seems friendly.  Being alone with him, the flirty banter, his touch…it feels like we’re hanging on by a very thin thread of what’s allowed and innocent, and what’s not.”

Cathy continues her friendship with Arsen … every "WTF are you thinking red flag" is flying and warning her to choose a different road.  She’s cruising down the 'Faithful Wife’ highway but the 'Cheating Whore' exit is two miles ahead.

 … I decide not to tell Ben about my day if he doesn't ask me for specifics.  I don’t want to lie to him again, yet somehow, for the first time since I've met Arsen, I feel like I've done something wrong.  But how can that be?  We’re just friends, right?

WRONG!!!!!!!  'Cheating Whore' exit straight ahead!

As she continues to live in denial, Cathy invites Ben to join her and Arsen for drinks after work.  When Ben walks in, Cathy and Arsen are holding hands.

All of a sudden, what felt like a harmless gesture between friends not a moment ago now seems immoral.  Improper.  Offensive.

Gee, ya think?  Arsen goes on to be a total ass to Ben, making him even more of a douche bag (which I didn't think was possible).  After meeting Ben and seeing him and Cathy together, Arsen goes off the deep end.  He has himself one helluva night that ends up with a front page headline of “Arsen Radcliff, a cokehead?”  Arsen gets fired and is removed from Cathy’s life. With Arsen gone, Cathy begins to come to her senses.

The realization hits me that since Arsen came around, I seem to have stopped paying attention to Ben.  I love this man.  So much.
Feeling my belly, I speak to the room and to our baby, “We are very lucky to have him, you know.”

Oh yeah, Cathy is pregnant.  Did I forget to mention that?

Anyway, she lasts ONE WEEK before she breaks down from “missing her friend” and texts Arsen.

And It’s downhill from there.

“What if I told you that I don’t care that you’re married?  I don’t mind sharing.  What if I told you that I’ll settle for fucking you once?  Just once where I’ll make you come so hard on my cock that you’ll forget that you’re married and beg me for more?
Baby, you may say no to me tonight and pretend that you’re above all this,” he grabs my hand, guiding it towards his dick as he makes me rub him over his jeans, “But you’ll beg me to let you suck my cock one of these days…”  - Arsen

I’m sorry but there is nothing hot or appealing about that.  Arsen is just a crude, nasty, walking penis.   And yet Cathy still craves him.  Surprisingly, Arsen pulls the plug on whatever it is going on between them before they actually consummate their affair, leaving Cathy devastated.

I have a loving husband, a beautiful home, financially stable…we even got our second chance at complete happiness with the small miracle growing inside me.  My life is good.  So why do I feel so hollow? 
Maybe it’s because in the short period of time that he was a part of my life, I discovered something that I didn't know existed;  something I didn't know I could have.  Something I may want? - Cathy

Heartbreak follows when Cathy and Ben lose this baby too.  Cathy is trapped in a downward spiral of grief and despair.  Poor Ben just gets shit on.

I hate when Ben reaches for me at night.  I want to throw up every time he makes love to me.  I've grown to hate looking at his beautiful face and everything that makes him so perfect.  I hate the fucking joke that our marriage has become.  And I hate myself because I seem to have lost all care for everything. - Cathy

It’s not long before she and Arsen reconnect and their affair begins.

I’m going to stop at the beginning of the affair because I think the true magic of the book happens from here on out.  I don’t want to spoil that for anyone.

For me, the absolute best part of the book was when one of Arsen’s friends puts Cathy in her place -

“… drop your innocent act and get the fuck out of here.  Go back to your husband who seems to be a really nice guy and don’t contact Arsen again.  He’ll get over you.  He always does.  Now, get lost, bitch.” - Sali

I couldn't have said it better myself.  

I love the flashbacks so we can see how Cathy and Ben meet and fall in love. I love that each main character has the chance to share his point of view.  I will admit it is nice to see inside Arsen’s head because it makes him a little less douchey than his actions would lead us to believe he is.

Love can destroy you.
Love can erase you.
Love can heal you.
Love can reinvent you.
And, if you are lucky enough,
Love can make you whole again.

I think the same can be said for Mia Asher’s writing.  When I finsihed the book, I sat there for a moment and then I thought, "WTF just happened?" I no longer hated Cathy which shocked the shit out of me.  I spent the better part of this book judging and disliking her and the spoiled, self-centered, asshole she has an affair with. The only thing that I disliked more than Cathy and Arsen was Cathy and Arsen together.  There was absolutely nothing about Arsen that endeared him to me.  He continually cheapened and degraded Cathy and for the life of me I can't understand how Cathy found comfort in him.

In the end though, Mia reinvented Cathy and made her whole again. 
The new Cathy was easy to like.
The new Cathy was easy to forgive.

Thank you Mia for creating a story I couldn't put down .... a story that made want to throw my kindle across the room and call it a day yet grabbed me and wouldn't let go until the bittersweet end.

A peek inside of the minds of your favorite housewives ;)

1 comment:

  1. OMG your screenshots had me rolling. Well done, ladies. You captured every miserable sentiment I felt reading this book. Rockin review.