Sunday, 30 August 2015

Bastard by JL Perry - ARC Review

Released: 14th September 2015.


My name is Carter Reynolds. I was born a bastard and I’ll die a bastard. I learnt it at a young age, and nothing and nobody can change that. I’m on a one-way path of destruction, and god help anyone who gets in my way. I hate my life. Actually, I hate pretty much everything.

That’s until I meet the kid next door. Indi-freakin’-ana. My dislike for her is instant. From the moment I lay eyes on her, she ignites something within me. She makes me feel things I thought I was incapable of feeling. I don’t like it, not one bit. When she looks at me with her big, beautiful, haunting, green eyes, it’s like she can see into the depths of my soul. It freaks me the hell out. She’s like sunshine and rainbows in my world of gloom and doom. I hate sunshine and rainbows.


I’m Indiana Montgomery, my friends call me Indi. Despite losing my mum at the age of six, I have a wonderful life and great friends. My dad more than makes up for the fact that I only have one parent. I’m his little girl, the centre of his world. I adore him.

When Carter Reynolds moves in next door, my life takes a turn for the worse. He’s gorgeous—sinfully hot, but that’s where my compliments end. He seems hell bent on making my life miserable. He acts tough, but when I look into his eyes I don’t see it. I see hurt and pain. To me, he seems lost.

I should hate him for the way he treats me, but surprisingly I don’t. If anything, I feel sorry for him. I want to help him find peace. Help him find the light that I know is buried somewhere within his darkness, but, he won’t have a bar of it.

He’s warned me time and time again to stay away, but I can’t. I’m drawn to him for some reason. He’s always referring to himself as a bastard. That may be true, but to me, he’s more like a beautifully, misunderstood bastard. Whether he likes it or not, I refuse to give up on him.

***WARNING This book is recommended for persons over the age of 18 years, due to sexual content and coarse language.

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Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: August 2015.
I was unfamiliar with JL Perry's work prior to her asking me to beta read Bastard, being a standalone I was eager to dive in. Carter Reynolds learnt early on he was a "bastard" never knowing his father and being shunned by his mother's family, he had poor examples for the way a man should behave, while his mother loved and doted on him, Carter found himself having to grow up far too fast, taking on the some of the financial burden of providing for their home forced him into situations that would impact his life in ways he couldn't possibly comprehend. Where Carter was once a sweet and loving boy, he'd grown into a arrogant young adult, he's rude and stand offish, closed off and argumentative, he struggles to accept kindness from strangers and expects nothing but contempt from those around him, he's never known kindness from anyone other than his mother and when confronted with it is unsure how to act.
Indiana Montgomery has had an almost perfect life, even with losing her mother at a young age, she's had the perfect loving family home, her father is her hero, and she's never gone a day without knowing that she's loved and wanted, she's loving and caring, young and full of life, she's known great pain and loss and yet she hasn't allowed that to break her spirit or turn her bitter to all the joy life can bring. Carter and Indiana have both been forced to grow up quickly but that is where the similarities end, where Carter is determined to see nothing but bleakness, anger and pain, Indiana see's the good and the hope in the people around her, when the two start to just be, away from the forced bravado and scowls, and nasty baited words, these two find a connection deeper than either expected.
Bastard's prologue quickly intrigued me, Carter's voice always ringing true, first as a child and then later as a young adult, his voice was always clearly reflective of his age as Bastard progressed, it never felt stilted or forced. Carter  was at times everything the title implied, and while I understood where his aggression came from there were times it felt unjustified, there were moments where I struggled to reconcile the man I knew he could be with the prattish behaviour and mean slurs he was throwing out, there were times that I wanted to crawl inside the pages and slap him around, I wanted to tell him to grow up and stop acting like a petulant child, but there is lies talent in an author, to bring about that kind of visceral reaction to their characters means they grabbed you, it means you're invested enough to want to effect change in their characters lives.
Bastard is an addictive read, I found myself quickly invested and desperate to know more, as much as I wanted to punch Carter in the face at times early on in the story, Indiana endeared herself to me almost immediately, she was the shining light in this story for me, despite her innocence and wide eyed optimism early on, she never seemed naïve, Indiana had a wisdom beyond her years, she had a beautiful fragility to her, while displaying an inherent strength, that was mesmerising, while the title suggests that Carter was the hero, Indiana stood out for me, it was her belief in Carter that made me want to believe in him and his ability to become the kind of man she could be proud of, I think it was that belief that enabled him to become the kind of man she knew he could be. Bastard was a funny, sexy, angst filled coming if age tale about a man struggling to find his place in the world, and the girl who was both his biggest adversary, and cheerleader, it was addictive from the very first page until the very last line.

About JL Perry:

J L Perry is a mother and a wife. She was born in Sydney, Australia in 1972, and has lived there her whole life. Her love of reading, from a young age, gave her the passion to write. My Destiny was originally written for her sister, in 2013. It was never intended to be published. However, after finishing this book, she felt there was still a lot of Brooke and Logan's story left to tell. This inspired her to write My Forever. With the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to follow her dream and become a published Author.

That dream was realised on the 6th of June, 2014.

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