Never Loved by Charlotte Stein

There is only one author I know that can pull of a book that is in its entirety pretty much a monologue. This author is Charlotte Stein. And she’s brilliant.

This book is about two people who’s lives made them craving closeness, normalcy, kindness and compassion.

The story is told from Beatrix’s point of view, and is basically a monologue, with micro bits of dialogue as she tells it when it’s absolutely necessary. Normally, I hate these kinds of books. They bore me, to be honest. I need the dialogue, I need the plot to progress with every character’s contribution. Stein, though…. she’s just wonderful.

Bea is a college student with a past that wouldn’t shame some real life horror stories we hear about abuse in families. She’s trying her best to fit in, to have a social life that doesn’t fall into the awkward territory. She’s failing. Her only friend, if you can call her that, is her roommate that barely gives Bea the time of day.

Then she needs to find her brother. Her drug addict brother, who’s always seem to find himself in, to be delicate in my phrasing, a pickle. So she goes off to this run down convenient store and asks a scary looking biker if he knows Tommy, her brother.

The biker, who’s name I’m not going to mention, is probably one of the most fascinating characters I’ve read in a long time. He’s huge and intimidating, and he’s unusually observant and kind. And he’s trying to avoid Bea as hard as he can. Only thing is… he can’t.

Bea telling her story is full of real and incredible imagery. It’s full of emotion and naiveté and realizing various life truths. The best of them being that fitting in is very subjective.

I loved this story, the gradual learning curve of the characters themselves, the beautiful writing and soul in every word.

My rating: 4 Stars

~Eleanor

* My thanks to LoveSwept and NetGalley that provided a copy of Never Loved in exchange for my honest review.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, the first novel in the Dark Obsession series tells the story of a beautiful wallflower who falls for a chiseled street fighter—and learns just how dangerous love can be.

Beatrix Becker spent most of her life under the thumb of her controlling, abusive father. And now that she’s free and attending her dream college, she has no idea how to act like the normal crowd: partying, going on dates, even having a conversation. Then she meets Serge Sorensen. Big and surly with a whole host of riotous tattoos, Serge is supposed to scare the hell out of her. But beneath his harsh exterior, Beatrix discovers a kindred spirit who knows what it’s like to be a misfit. Most exhilarating—and terrifying—is what he does for a living: illegal street fighting.

There’s nothing like the rush Serge gets from the intense athleticism and brutal glory of combat—though his chemistry with Beatrix comes close. Slowly at first, he introduces her to his world, where he lives by instinct, passion, and desire. He even helps her out with her equally traumatized brother. But when Serge gets in too deep with the wrong people, he ends up paying in blood. And suddenly, just as Beatrix has been drawn into Serge’s perfectly sculpted arms, she’s thrown once and for all into the fight of his life.

Charlotte Stein has written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her latest work, Run To You, was recently a DABWAHA finalist. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. For more on Charlotte, visit: www.charlottestein.net
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