Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: LEAD ME NOT (Twisted Love #1) by A. Meredith Walters

                                         Synopsis:

In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation…

Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.

In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.

As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…
 
I’ve been planning this review (in my head) for a few days. I went into Lead Me Not completely blind and once I started I couldn’t put it down!
Some books are emotional and those are the ones I love the most. Lead Me Not was highly emotional for me, as it hit close to home and it took me back to a time in my life I don’t often go back to.

Aubrey is going to school to be a counselor; a drug counselor, and we meet her when she is given her first assignment as a counseling group facilitator.
Aubrey didn’t choose this career path on a whim; there is a powerful reason in her past that made her want to do this. She wants to help others overcome their addiction. 

Maxx has a past of his own, and from page 1 we learn that he is fighting the demons of addiction.

Maxx’s life has not been easy the past few years, he found himself having to grow up in a hurry and care for his younger brother. 

Maxx is mysterious, and reveals only what he wants people to see. Aubrey is cautious but not cautious enough when she gets sucked into an underground club scene, Maxx was all too familiar with.


 The chemistry between them was immediate, overwhelming, hot and suffocating. 





While Aubrey is not yet a counselor this is what she aspires to be. The circumstances in which she meets Maxx, put her career at risk was she to get involved with him. But what can you do when your heart just won’t listen?
Will she risk her career and her life to be with Maxx?

Maxx has no intention of falling in love; there is little that matters more than his drugs. His drug addiction is, as he would call it, his first love.
His life revolves around that world; his nights are wild and lucrative, and always laced with that high he can’t let go of.
Not even his unique talent and passion for art have been motivation enough to give up the life of parties, sex and constant flow of drugs.


At first one thinks that he has it under control, the story almost turns you into that fool who believes drugs can stay in control. Maxx is in complete denial; he doesn’t see that the drugs own him. 



He loves Aubrey and is a different person when he is with her, but will loving her be enough to break up with his ultimate infatuation?
  The desperate and life altering love he feels for her may not be enough to replace the high.

Maxx’s struggles when he finds escape and refuge in a bottle of Oxy were some of the most heart wrenching chapters I’ve ever read.
It’s all just so vivid, the desperation for the drugs, the relief when they finally flow in his system and make him numb to everything else, and the aftermath of knowing that he could lose Aubrey. He could lose everything because of that tiny white pill.

Maxx’s chapters had me in tears more often than not and Aubrey’s position tore my heart in two. What do you do when you are in love with an addict? Do you leave them? Do you ignore it?  Do you try to help? What do you do when the person you love is going fast on a downward spiral? When is it enough?
What do you do when you see yourself stuck in this hole that seems to have no way out? When you are torn in between the love of a woman and the love for your addiction, and both have as strong of a pull.

Lead Me Not was unique when it comes to how it makes you feel about the characters and their lives. I never felt like I could pick a side because the situation they find themselves in is not an easy one. There is the secret nature of their relationship, Aubrey’s haunting past and Maxx’s addiction.
My heart was bleeding for both of them.

Sometimes even the most intense love is not enough. 

 
Highly addicting, unbelievably emotional and devastating, A. Meredith Walters will really tug at your heartstrings with this story. I highly recommend this book!

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Follow Me Back (Twisted Love #2) is out on June 2nd. Make sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR and to pre-order your copy!






The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and
Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well  as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working  at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children  with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories  continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of  her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching  reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

LINKS:

FACEBOOK


If you, a friend, or family member is struggling with substance abuse, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recognizing an addiction is the first step and getting help shows the strength that’s needed to overcome it.
National Substance Abuse Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP

Or visit : https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ to find a service provider or counseling group. 

Thanks to Gallery Books for the review copy! 




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