Thursday, July 24, 2014

[Series Review] ~ Ignite (Ignite #1) and Burn (Ignite #2) by R.J. Lewis

They grew up together as the closest of friends... and then more. When Sara Nolan and Jaxon Barlow decided to be together, their relationship as a young couple was consumed by a love that was both passionate and beautiful. Sara had it all when it came to a boyfriend: romance, trust, and a protector of all things bad. Jaxon had given her his bleeding heart for the keeping.

The last thing Sara expected was to ruin it all. Falling into a darkness that turned her loving relationship into a chaos of deceit and violence, she walked away from the pain she was inflicting on the man she loved, never seeking to return again.

But when Sara is forced to return to her hometown, she didn't anticipate for Jaxon to be there. Nor does she anticipate the change in him; a change so harsh and callous, he is a stranger with a dangerous agenda of his own. Ignited by her past feelings and the reminder of the guilt she carries in her heart, Sara attempts to avoid Jaxon at all costs… only to find herself trying to pull him out of the same darkness she was once in.

Burn picks up where Ignite ended.

Sara is in the hands of Remy "Reaper" Martinez, the VP of the much feared Black-backed Jackals MC.

Following a violent altercation that leaves Sara's life in jeopardy, she is thrust into the world of the Jackals where trusting people is tricky... especially when there's a mole in the midst.

A mole that answers to one man and one man only: Jaxon Barlow.

**WARNING: There are many adult situations in this book that might be offensive to some readers: sexual situations (non-consensual and consensual) and strong language especially. Book is intended for mature readers.****

Wow!  What a series that I never saw coming!  This is the first time I've read a book by R. J. Lewis and it certainly won't be the last.  I fell in head deep with this series and I finished both books within 48 hours.  It was THAT addictive.  I literally couldn't put it down.  

This is a story about soul mate kind of love.  And not the pretty kind.  This is a raw, hard, sometimes ugly, gritty, pierce-you-heart kind of love.  If you are an angst junkie like I am, this is your next fix.  This is the story of Sara and Jaxon, friends since she was 8 and he was 10.  From the moment Jaxon saved her from a playground bully, he was the light in Sara's life.  Sara soon started hanging out at Jaxon's house and his mother, albeit innapropriate at times, becomes the mother Sara wishes she had.  Sara's real mom is an alcoholic - a miserable woman who is indifferent towards Sara.  Sara is abused by her father under the watchful eye of her mother.  She grows up in a critical situation where she barely has any clothes to waer, food to eat, or anyone to care for her.  This all changes when she meets Jaxon and his mom.

Through the years, Sara and Jaxon remain close, but it's not until Sara is 18 that they move from friends to lovers.  And by lovers, I mean all encompassing, almost obsessive, passionate, can't-live-without-you, earth shattering love.  For several years, they live happily with one another until Sara's personality starts to change.  Sara makes some huge mistakes that lead to a domino effect on her's and Jaxon's lives.  

In Ignite, Jaxon is a beautiful, strong and proud man with piercing blue eyes and golden brown hair.  He is absolutely owned by Sara and does anything, and I mean anything, to keep her happy.  He does work he doesn't want to do, he deals with her attitude change, and he does whatever he can to let Sara know he will love her until the end of time.  Sara is a sweet girl from a broken home and has a plethora of issues to deal with.  After some misplaced advice from Jaxon's mom, Sara does whatever she can to sabatoge her relationship.  When Sara has a blow up one night, she makes the decision to leave Jaxon for his own good. 

Many things happen to Jaxon due to this night.  His entire life is changes and it leaves him a cold, unfeeling, mechanical man.  When Sara runs into Jaxon five years later, he is not the loving boy she left.  He has dealt with some serious life changes and is a higher up in a local gang. Just when Sara is ready to concede that her life is not complete without Jaxon, she is derailed by a biker club VP named Remy.

Sara is seaparted from Jaxon through much of Burn due to Remy. I'm not going to give anything away, but Remy has been watching Sara for a long time and has a connection to her past.  I think that what Remy does to Sara is sick.  A relationship between Remy and Sara develops, but it is totally fucked up on so many levels, I can't even begin to describe it.  

Jaxon makes some stupid decisions throughout Burn, and there were times when I wanted to smack Sara.  These two dysfunctional characters definitely deserve one another.  I never disliked them, but there were times when each character broke my heart.  

Ignite was a better read for me, although I enjoyed Burn immensely.  I liked Ignite better because of the storyline of young love, destruction and second chances.  I really like the character of Jaxon, even when he played petty games with a hurting Sara.  Burn, at times, felt like a different story completely.  Jaxon and Sara acted out of character in some scenes, and the decision making was terrible.  Burn turned the down on their luck, star-crossed lovers book into a motorcycle club book.  Burn also attempts to turn Ignite from difficult love story into a love triangle.  A love triangle that I was not buying, even for a little bit.  It just had a different feel in Burn.

The plot twists in this series were awesome.  There were so many things that I could have never guessed and didn't see coming.  Lewis has a gift for this.  There are so many people that are interconnected in this series and they all have their own agendas that cannot be guessed.  I love how those twists kept me fascinated.  

The writing in this book was well done.  I really felt like I was in the mind of Sara, or Jaxon or even Remy when the point of view shifted.  My heart ached for all three characters for different reasons.  This book made me feel - really feel - my heart pounding and my emotions going haywire.  

If you are a fan of dark, angsty reads with amazing plot twists and deep characters, then I urge you to pick this series up.  I can't wait to read the next book in this story dealing with characters that we met in Ignite and Burn.  Book 3, Ashes, is due later this year.


Braine TS said...

Gah! I can't handle angst! I can only take one angsty read a month. I guess it's coz my real life is angsty so I don't want to read about it too! LOL

Miss you Jamie :)


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Awesome. Sounds amazing and the first time I've heard of the books. Thank you.

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