My life, inside this apartment is simple. It works, as long as I follow the rules.
1. Don't leave the apartment. Not in case of fire, not to mail a letter, not to run an errand. The door stays shut, and I stay inside.
2. Don't get attached to clients. I take off my clothes, I stand in front of the camera, and I perform. What they want, I give. Their secrets, I keep. Everything I tell them, is a lie.
3. Don't kill anyone. I've obeyed that rule for over three years.
My life, inside this apartment was simple, and it worked. Then, I started breaking rules.
Enter a world of lies, thrills, fears, and all desires, in this original thriller from A. R. Torre.
Warning: This book contains explicit sexual references, and should not be read by anyone under the age of 18.
OUR REVIEW: (from March 2013)
**Courtney** 4 Stars
1) The tone. I think of it as dark, sexual and borderline psychotic, which is exactly how DeAnna describes herself. It could easily turn people off within the first 25% or so with very graphic situations, so if that is not your thing, be prepared. In all honesty, I was preparing myself to be disappointed after I started because I kept thinking "Where on earth is this going." *Hiding now* BUT I was intrigued (use that word way too often) and curious. If you keep going, like me, you realize that these web cam scenes are not the main focus of the story like I first thought, but provide a true insight into the real world. Sometimes it sucks....ya know.
2) Camming. This girl hasn't had contact with ANYONE in 3 years, but lives her days doing sex chats on a webcam and is quite successful at it. I really thought a lot about the human condition during this one, as cliche as that sounds, and about the things we don't know about the people we are closest to. DeAnna is living proof of this with her past, specifically with her mother, and Carolyn who we meet late in the story realizes this in a big way.
3) Her urges. DeAnna talks a lot about having murderous thoughts. This is her motivation for literally locking herself in her apartment and not coming out, ever. Another dip into evaluating the human psyche, and you focus less on what she makes her money doing, and really wondering about her. Torre does a great job of detailing this and when I finally figured it out, I read the entire passage with my hand over my mouth. Poor DeAnna. I might act a little cray cray too if I went through what she has.
4) Jeremy. Good guy, but I kinda liked that this wasn't a romantic story. I think if their story had been anymore than it was, it would've made the whole thing too over the top.
5) Mike. I am choosing NOT to reference him by his online userID! Hah! I really liked him by the end because he really had DeAnna figured out, even when she thought her walls were impenetrable.
I had trouble with switching point of views. I was a bit confused for the first 1/4 or so and had to double back a few times to figure out who was speaking. I got the rhythm eventually, but it did take a little effort. I, like you, do not want to post anything that might be spoilery, but I absolutely loved the twists and turns that I didn't expect. Unexpected love for this book.
**Shelley** 4 1/2 Stars
I think I just experienced reader whiplash. What I thought was happening at the beginning did NOT-- definitely did NOT-- prepare me for the ending. Let me try to do this …try to form coherent thoughts and sentences without giving away too much. I really really want to hash this out. Talk and talk and talk about all these thoughts and questions swirling around in my head but I don’t want to spoil anything so here are my thoughts:
1) Courtney, I agree that the tone was dark and was so fitting for the subject matter. If anyone would’ve seen me reading the first few pages they would’ve seen my mouth hit the floor many times. I remember thinking something along the lines of “um, WHAT??!!!” I think we might’ve even messaged each other that sentiment at the beginning of our reading. If you are thinking the same thing, I promise you—stick with it! Once I sunk myself into the story, I was not put off by the darkness and I didn’t feel that it weighed me down or distracted me; it felt right.
2) Camming. Well that’s a world I was completely unfamiliar with. I’ve never read a novel tackling this subject area and became quickly intrigued by all the protagonist’s insights and observations about her clients. Congratulations to Torre for exploring this sexual underworld in a way that felt honest and real. The entire sexcam aspect of the novel could’ve easily been sleazy or slimy but it became evident, quickly, that this was not the aim.
3) Her murderous thoughts. Maybe I’m not as widely read as I thought I was (scratch that—I’m definitely not as widely read as I’d like to be) but I don’t think I’ve read someone with an urge so overwhelming that she hasn’t been in public in years. It was fascinating to read about the protagonist’s struggle to process and deal with the how’s and why’s of these urges.
4) Jeremy and Mike. They both added a distraction and relief to the suffocation of her apartment and the intensity of the action. I appreciated Torre’s light touch with these two characters but there were definitely times when I wish I would’ve known more; however, I agree that if this had been too romance-y it would’ve taken the story in a completely (and maybe unwelcome) direction.
5) Pacing. This book practically read itself. Sometimes I am put off by quick reads because I feel that too many plot points are rushed or underdeveloped but I rarely felt unsatisfied while reading this one. I found myself having to stop and take a breather because of the twists and turns . I think I texted Courtney at least 3 or 4 times with O.M.G. moments simply because my anxiety levels had reached the upper atmosphere and I needed a sympathetic ear! **C Jumping in here - I so could not have said this any more perfectly than you just did! **
If you are easily offended or a delicate flower, this is probably not the book for you. Since I am neither of these, I enjoyed it! It was so original and not at all what I expected (in a good way). If Alessandra Torre ever decided to revisit these characters I would not discourage her (hint, hint).
Meet the Author:
A.R. Torre is a pseudonym for popular erotica author Alessandra Torre. Blindfolded Innocence, her first novel, was a huge success and captured the attention of readers everywhere. When not writing, A.R. Torre enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
EXTENDED EXCERPT 2:
“Something happened, and I need advice.” I grip the phone tightly and wait for the psychiatrist’s response.
“No - nothing about that. It’s Jeremy…you know the guy who-”
“You’ve had one human interaction in three years, I know who you’re talking about. What happened?”
“He left me a note. Outside. With my package.” I read him the note, trying not to add inflections that probably don’t exist. When I finish there is silence, silence that stretches out so long that I find myself fidgeting.
“What do you want from me, DeAnna?”
“I want you to tell me what to do! I don’t know how to handle this shit.”
“What do you want to do?”
“I - I don’t know what I want. I just need you to tell me what to do.”
“What was it like when you were with him?”
I stand, pacing the expanse between my two bedrooms. Crossing the thresholds feels like moving between my two selves – sex kitten to lonely recluse. JessReilly19 to scheming murderess. I pushed against his hard chest and then he was there, in my mouth, his tongue pressed gently against mine, and my own traitorous mouth responded, my heart rate increased, my hands moved of their own accord, to his strong arms. Shoving the blade of the box cutters deep into his skin, the blood bursting from the movement, spraying gently upon my hand. I tasted him, greedy for everything, my hands roamed everywhere, grabbed at his shirt, hastily undoing the buttons. If he came back, if he came inside, I could be more prepared, could succeed in my quest for death.
I halt, trying to focus. “I’m sorry - what was the question?”
“What was it like when you were with him? How did you feel?”
“I wanted him.” On me, in me, dead beneath me.
“In what way?” Derek’s voice is so sensual, so soothing, so male. I make a decision, moving to my pink bed, and lay back on the sheets that smell of lube and latex.
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