Hello everyone!! Happy Monday/Tuesday!!
It’s been a few weeks since I read Slave to the Rhythm by Jane Harvey-Berrick and I still can’t stop thinking about it! So I figured it was time to write my complete review of it!
Music in my head, dance in my body, the rhythm of my heart.
How far can you fall in just one month? How quickly can the human spirit be broken? Where does evil hide in plain sight?
Ash wants to dance. Needs it. To leave behind a life of expectation and duty, to set his soul free.
But life is never that simple. Every step is a journey on a new road.
For every action, there is a reaction.
Every choice has a consequence.
And when you meet the wrong person, all bets are off.
Laney tolerates her limitations, pushing quietly at boundaries. But when Ash crashes into her world through rage and violence, it sets off a chain reaction that neither of them expected.
♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♪♫♪
MY RATING: 6 + POWERFUL “Ash” stars
***ARC received from the author in exchange of an honest review***
Starting a new Jane Harvey-Berrick book is always also a new experience. Specially when it comes to epic romances, forged in such a real “fictional” world. The background world to her stories are always so real, and because of that we can relate to her characters.
Slave to the Rhythm is a quintessential Jane book. If you have read Jane’s books you know what I mean. It’s got this magical quality only she can bring to words. It makes the words flow so easily and it creates living, dancing poetry in form of sentences and feelings. But although this one is quintessentially Jane, it also brings something new. Something different. A darker side of Jane, a side I never imagined before and I’m glad, because it is MIND-BLOWING.
This is in no way or form a book in the dark romance “genre”. It’s not about a girl who falls in love with her captor, it’s not about BDSM, it’s not about a traumatic past. But there is a traumatic present, that it’s so present, it will haunt you while you read those parts. No, the darkness Jane brings to this book is as real as her writing-style. It’s not her usual style, but nonetheless it is AMAZING. It brings so much proud to my heart to see not only an author, but a person, I love dearly becoming this epic force! When I thought it wasn’t possible, Jane took me completely by surprise with a story that bleeds trough every page.
I never read the blurb of Slave to the Rhythm before going in and after reading the prologue I literally exclaimed OH MY GOD! It was that good. I just KNEW it would be one of Jane’s powerful reads! But I never imagined how powerful she could get until I kept reading it!
This book is beyond EPIC! For me it’s Jane’s best work so far! It’s different than her usual stories but it has what Jane does best: making it so real that the story will grip you and not let go of your heart and feelings!!
I felt desperate. I felt angry. I felt love. I felt angst. I had so many feelings that it’s so hard to put all of them in writing! You should expect a great story when you start a Jane Harvey-Berrick book, but I was not prepared for this. I never expected to read a story that would move me this way. Yes, many of Jane’s stories have moved me so much, but never as deep as Slave to the Rhythm. I still can’t stop thinking about this story and I believe I never will, even though I’m not even sure I could re-read it again so soon. Both because it was so powerful and because I want to hang on to the feeling of reading such an incredible book for the first time.
Reading this book was like watching a movie unfold, the story goes fast, but not in a fast pace, it’s because it’s so complete. We get to see the characters as friends and then falling in love and then they have to overcome the difficulties. Difficulties both of them already had before they even met.
My poor Ash! Everything he went through completely broke me! And I related SO MUCH to Laney!
In none other book of Jane’s I related to the characters this much, I’ve always related more with one of the characters, and felt like the story belonged to one of them a bit more (like Lifers is so much more about Jordan and The Travelling Woman more about Aimee, even though it’s her story with Kes), but with this one the story truly belongs to Ash and Laney, they are true partners in every sense but specially in how the story is equally about both of them. They are partners in my love and feelings for Slave to the Rhythm. Both of their stories together made a combination of an EPIC love story I will never forget!
I absolutely LOVE dancing and music. So relating to that part of the story was easy for me, but even if you haven’t heard a thing about music or dancing I belive you’ll still be able to relate to what Jane’s characters (and her too) created!
I love how she starts the story with the prologue and then we get to see what happened in the weeks prior to how it all started for Ash and Laney. It’s almost like from the moment they meet, the real story begins. No matter what they went through before that, and believe me, it was a LOT, when they are together is like in a movie where the hero and heroine have that chemistry that goes out of the screen and everyone can see why they are so perfect together. That is how it is when Ash and Laney are together.
I love that by 50% the story was already so complete, because so much had already happened. I ABSOLUTELY love stories that can be like that and never run flat. There isn’t a flat moment in Slave to the Rhythm and the last 50% are just as amazing as the first ones. This story is a full cycle, and a rollecoaster of emotions you will gladly ride! Some parts of it were literally painful to read. Some got me thinking “Will Jane really go there?”, and not only she did, but she went beyond there. This book is all about going beyond.
Laney is a great heroine, she has got a HUGE baggage. I mean, I don’t think any other character of Jane had to deal with as much as she did. Usually her female characters are less broken than the male ones and they help them along the way. With Laney, she was as broken as Ash, but her broken pieces are a bit more aparent. And even so, she has a heart of gold. I think what ultimately drove Ash to her was her compassion and her heart. No matter how many beautiful women he might have encountered, none of them compares to Laney and what she has done for him.
Now Ash…Jane surprised me a lot with everything she threw at my poor Aljaž! He is by far her most broken character yet. But he also has this lightness to him. He makes us like him so easily because to him things are quite simple, even when complicated. He finds joy in the most simple of things like dancing and music. And for a love of both I just kept thinking that I needed to enter my book and get him for me, because he is EVERYTHING. Ash has his moments of being unresonable and unfair to Laney. But after everything the guy went through, it’s not only comprehensible, but expected. He has credit for being a bit of jerk, specially because he realises it. He has a good heart and good meaning. The times he might lash out on Laney are extremely unfair to her, because she was the best friend he could ever find. But I got it and I forgive him because we tend to lash out on the people we’re most close to or care the most, with no explanation or justification. I’m not saying he is always right, after all he is a human being and flawed as any other one (I love how Jane po
rtraits her characters entirely, specially their flaws, that’s one of the things that make them so real), but I can give him a wider berth than most characters.
For me I not only live their story with them but it was more than that. It was like I was inside the book but watching them. I related a lot to Ash, but Laney? I can relate a lot with her and her problems, and even if you’re not like her like I am, you will relate too, because that’s the only choice with a book so masterly written!
I love that this story is so powerful. It’s full of powerful (and real) quotes! We can see (and feel) they weren’t thrown in the book just to impress. They come from the heart and whenever we get a story that comes straight from an author’s heart to their words, we have book magic! Book perfection, I dare say! Slave to the Rhythm is a ONE OF A KIND book. One that you only find a very few to read in a year and I belive it will be a hard one to top in 2016!
You all know how much I love Jane’s writing, I’ve talked about it a lot in here. And several of her books are favorites of mine. Jane has consistentially shown how good of a writer she is, but with this book she steps out of AMAZING, and goes straight to a whole new level of INCREDIBLE. Slave to the Rhythm is simply FLAWLESS.
Jane can write. She wrote us about a controversial (epic) romance between an older married woman and a 17 year old boy and then years later. She wrote us about a beautiful boy who finds love in a girl who represents everything he has lost but who shows him the sound of their love is higher than any other sound. She wrote us about a girl and a boy who don’t want to live imprisoned in a life sentence of emptiness and show the society that caring is the road to freedom. She wrote us about the magic in the carnival. The magic that creeps inside our hearts and it’s called love. And she wrote many more stories, those are just my favorites. But now? Now Jane has written about love in a way that, belive me or not, has managed to surpass any other tale of love she has written so far. Yes, love is patient and kind. But Jane shows us that love is also RAW. Love is dirty and ugly. Love can be unfair, but on top of it all love is POWERFUL!
It’s oftenly said that the song and dance chooses the dancer and I belive that one of the greatest metaphors in this book is how much love is like dancing. Love is like a dance that you weren’t even invited too. It starts and you have no other choice than to start moving. No matter the rhythm, you can’t help falling in steps with it. Love is the rhythm in which our hearts beat. And to become a slave to that rhythm? A slave like Ash and Laney? That makes Jane the most amazing coreographer because she is the one that makes us realise that a love like theirs is the biggest goal to achive in the world and the most beautiful show!
Slave to the Rhythm will be released on March 8th, but you can already PRE-ORDER it for 2.99!