Friday, May 3, 2013

REVIEW: BLIND OBSESSION BY ELLA FRANK



Obsession, defined as the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image or desire....

Chantel Rosenberg's passion for music and life had never shone brighter than the time she spent in Bordeaux France. It's a time when feelings arose and desires ran deep, a time that fundamentally changed her life.

A man living in seclusion, Phillipe Tibideau is haunted and plagued by memories he cannot disregard. Choosing to live a quiet life in his Chateau surrounded by the vineyards of France, he's left his passion for art behind.

However, the time has arrived to tell his side of a tale. A tale that has depicted him as a 'beautiful monster' and he's finally allowing someone close.

Close enough to ask questions. Questions he's not sure he wants to answer. Questions about her.

For up and coming journalist Gemma Harris, the pursuit of truth is what drives her and when a job of a lifetime presents itself there is nothing in the world that will stop her from taking it. Even if it does mean leaving her home for several months to stay at Chateau Tibideau, with him.

This is a story of what happens when three passionate lovers collide and the desire for truth, art and music merge.

Chateau Tibideau is a place full of unanswered questions, dark sinful desire and a beauty so hauntingly sad it will have you wondering how you will ever leave the same.

Published April 7th 2013 by Ella Frank

Where to Find Blind Obsession: 

Where to Find Ella: 



***4 1/2 Stars***

Courtney. I'm so glad that we had each other to vent to...and that the lovely Ella Frank was so kind to hold our hands via twitter as we were reading this novel. I'm still not sure I can form coherent thoughts about this novel and it's been days since I read it. So here goes nothing...

1. Interactivity. I was blown away with the inclusion of links to the music and artwork referenced in the story. What a fantastic and original idea. This is the FIRST time I've ever read a novel that included this type of interaction and I truly hope to see more of it. Every time Phillipe or Chantel mentioned a painting or a piece of music, I was able to either see the image of listen to the music (provided by a link in the novel). It enhanced the entire reading experience.

2.The story. It's erotic. There is absolutely no way to write about this book without mentioning the eroticism;   it's very much a part of this story. It's not sordid but it is explicit. And steamy. I think I actually heard my Kindle sizzle every time I picked it up to read. Aside from the steamy sex scenes, the story of Phillipe, Chantel, and Gemma is unique and unsettling. As Gemma discovers the true love story of Phillipe and Chantel, she ends up entangled in it. Ella Frank establishes at the beginning that this story did not end well, so I wasn't necessarily surprised by the tragedy but I guess I kept hoping that the resolution would be happy. Instead of that happily ever after though, at the end of the story I was left wondering who had the saddest ending.

3. Chantel and Phillipe. Their story was soaked with love and passion and intensity. They seemed to fall hard and fast. I loved that we read about a heroine that is blind and that our hero sees it as, essentially, a nonissue. Instead of it being her flaw or an obstacle to their love, it adds interest to their story. They are also bound together in that they are both artists--she's a violinist and he's a painter. They are moved by each other's artistry and connect with each other because of it.  The beginning of their story is so sweet and by their last scene it is so heartwrenchingly sad.

4. Gemma and Phillipe. The tension between these two crackles from their first meeting. He's hired her to tell the true story of his relationship with Chantel and Gemma is determined to ask the tough questions to unearth the truth. As Gemma reads through Chantel's journal and interviews Phillipe she finds herself reliving parts of the journal entries with Phillipe. Eventually she is not only discovering the story of Phillipe and Chantel, she becomes part of the story. And what a beautifully sad story it is.

Every tweet I read about this story intrigued and disturbed me. I knew that I was potentially setting myself up for heartbreak by reading this novel but I'd also heard that it was so damn good that it was worth the heartbreak. So I'll confirm that theory--it is so damn good that it's worth the unsettled feeling you have at the end. If you are up for an erotic tragedy (for lack of a better description), you'd be hard pressed to find one better than this. 




***5 Stars***

Blind Obsession can be described a lot of different ways. A few things come to mind for me like it is a: tragedy but still a love story, yet foremost a literary work of genius blending past with present in the form of Phillipe telling us what happened and Chantel's journal of her version of things. To say I spent the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop is an understatement to the point it makes you feel like it's a thriller (though it isn't) just because you're dying to find out what happened, and I never figured it out! I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to Ella for tweeting us her moral support while reading this novel. Ella, from the bottom of our hearts it meant a lot, and was a lot of fun, and we hope you know we appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to humor our crazy emotions! 

1) The interactivity. Shelley just told me recently that we should create something that puts the playlists authors make for books into an interactive form where it plays while you're reading the book. Then, this book actually has it and it blew my mind. The violin is a huge part of the story, part of Chantel, and part of the art that it was 100 times better to be able to listen to the pieces right before reading about why it was significant. He tells her once that he wants her to play something haunting, and when you hear it, I seriously felt the emotions on a higher level. Though I could listen to solo violin or piano for hours, I think this will appeal to non-classical music lovers as well. 

2) The story. Whoa, the content is definitely not for the faint of heart. Fair warning to all, this is steamy to the n-th degree, and when I say steamy I mean STEAMY! But you know me...I am more of a sucker for the everything else part. Gemma didn't understand her attraction to either Phillipe or Chantel, but she definitely rode that wave wherever it took her. I wondered a lot WHY is she doing this to herself. She is setting herself up to fail, and she doesn't care. Phillipe thinks of himself as depraved because that is what people are making him out to be like. He uses this term a few times and shows it through his actions when he is trying to prove a point. Every scene whether it includes sex or not is full of passion through the art, love, and their memories. I liked that he made her read each entry piece by piece and not all at once, so we essentially found out how events unfold right along with Gemma. It took the intrigue through the roof!

3) Chantel & Gemma. Chantel being Blind really helped us figure out that part of the title! And I think that is about the easiest, only straightforward clue we got the entire time. Her journal entries were incredible, because while she couldn't see she still really saw the world and used the senses she did have to really enjoy and live it. I am so sad that her family didn't get this about her, but love Phillipe for that he did. Gemma is her complete opposite in every way, but is the same in how she gets Phillipe. She doesn't understand what he has went through, but she tries to. Every shove away that he gives her, she finds a way to put herself in his shoes most through Chantel's chronicle of their love story. This triangle/not a triangle will take your emotions through the ringer, and make you feel so conflicted when you're done.

4) Phillipe. Phillipe of the past is happy and such a fun young guy that you can't help but fall in love with him even though Phillipe of the present isn't always a joy to behold. He is emotional and perceptive and knows how to get what he wants, yet is selfless in a way that I can't even begin to describe. His art, and the use of it to paint Chantel and show Gemma how it felt to be as vulnerable as she could possibly be was intense. His loyalty is his greatest strength and yet his achilles heel. The outcome in a way is not what I would have wanted, but then I lay awake for a long time after and began to realize how beautiful it was. It's real, it's raw and it's right, no matter how much I wanted it to be different. The end of his tale that everyone is dying to hear his side of broke my heart. 

Prepare yourself with as many "get out of a book hangover" reads as you can find, for when you are finished with Blind Obsession you will most definitely need them. The writing is incredible, and makes you feel everything that Phillipe, Gemma, and Chantel feels and it is powerful. 

2 comments:

  1. Wow! this sounds great. I haven't heard of it before but I will definitely need to add it to my TBR

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is intense! We loved it...made me feel so conflicted yet at peace with the end all at the same time, which truly blows my mind!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are bloggy food.

Feed our blog...