I don't know who I am anymore, or what I'm becoming. Time doesn't exist in this godforsaken Hell I call my life. Every time I find a semblance of hope, it's bled away. Just like I'm bleeding away. The longer he believes he's won, the more I die inside. I may be nothing but a shell by the time this is over.
I failed her. I couldn't keep her safe. Now I may lose her completely. We're running against a clock controlled by a madman and we don't know when he plans to end his game. Every minute that passes without finding him makes the thought of killing him that much sweeter.
I didn't think it would be so easy. Pretty soon, my Snap will be on the streets and I'll be living the dream. That is, after I take Cash out. With him gone, I'll control not only the drug, but Hazel as well. If she listens, she will have a hell of a life. Right. Beside. Me.
*This series contains scenes of drug abuse, brutality, and rape. Reader discretion is advised.
REVIEW: 5 out of 5 Stars
Tara Dawn is so good at writing dark and thrilling suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you emotionally wrecked. After reading Snap, I knew that she was just getting warmed up with the twisted and mind-blowing storyline she began weaving in book 1 of the series. Taint picks up right where Snap left off, with Hazel's life hanging in the balance after Phil's brutal attack. With Phil on the loose, Cash and Hazel's relationship heating up, and the altered version of Snap causing destruction in its path, expect one hell of a roller coaster ride with this book.
The author has created a fantastic cast of characters in this series. The characters are all so well-written and intriguing. Hazel is surrounded by a great group of friends who have become family to her. They try their best to help her through the chaos that her life has become, and we are given additional POVs in this installment, which I loved. Hazel herself is such an incredibly strong woman. She has been through so much, but refuses to be broken. Phil's obsession with her has caused her so much pain, both psychologically and physically, and it is a wonder that she is still sane after what he put her through. It is the inner pain that she struggles to recover from, as she tries to heal from his latest vicious attack.
"They say tears are supposed to heal. That allowing yourself to feel and cry mends you back together somehow. If only tears could flush out the memories as they fall."
There to help Hazel pick up the pieces is Cash, who is as sexy and dominating as ever. Cash is the perfect male character in my eyes. He is just the right mix of good and bad, darkness and light, and I loved the way he was with Hazel. He refuses to allow her to push him away, as he realizes that he is feeling things for Hazel that he never expected to. I was so glad that he finally opened up to her and they began to break down each other's walls. I loved how protective he was of her, and was happy to see their relationship kicked up a notch as they both let each other in. He found as much solace in her as she did in him.
“She calms my inner demons when she’s around. Her nearness, her smile, and her touch make me whole instead of fractured.”
And then there is Phil- as twisted, violent, and volatile as ever. He is by far one of the sickest characters I have encountered, which is a testament to this author's fantastic writing abilities. He is a villain that you hate but can't help but be intrigued by. His desperation to get his hands on both Snap and Hazel make for some incredibly suspenseful moments in the book, and I was equal parts nervous and fascinated to see what was coming next.
“This is my chance to make her mine, to bend her to my will and make her realize she was meant to be here with me. I’ll convince her of it, even if I have to break her to do it.”
I seriously could not put this book down, not knowing what would happen next and who would become the next casualty in this twisted game. Poor Hazel is hit with one thing after another in this book. This author sure knows how to torture her characters. We were hit with a couple of shockers that I did not see coming, and I love reading stories like this that keep me hanging on to every word.
“None of us will ever be the same when this is over, and some of us probably won’t be around to see the end.”
The novel moved at a fast pace , was incredibly suspenseful, and had just the right blend of intrigue and romance. We were left with an ending that had me screaming at my Kindle, and I cannot wait for the final book in this series to come out. There are so many things that I want to see play out. Tara Dawn has created a fantastic dark series with the Snap Trilogy, and the final book will surely be an amazing conclusion to this series.
AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C1ARQ9Y/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01C1ARQ9Y&linkCode=as2&tag=wordwencgui0d-20&linkId=5NIFPGDORUU3IRNL
AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C1ARQ9Y
AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B01C1ARQ9Y?fp=1&pc_redir=T1
AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/aw/d/B01C1ARQ9Y?fp=1&pc_redir=T1
OTHER RETAILERS COMING SOON!
My hand slips from his and I make my way to the kitchen. I look at the bottle and back to my glass for a moment before putting the bottle to my lips. The wine fills my mouth, and I gulp it down hoping it will drown the emotions swirling within me. But the lump in my throat remains and grows larger with every pull off the bottle. The more I swallow, the more it feels like I'm choking. I lower the bottle, letting it thunk on the counter top, and try to breathe through the panic attack building inside of me.
"I was infatuated with you."
The rumble of his voice makes me clutch the counter, my breath caught in my chest. As much as I want to know, I can't listen to it right now. It's all too much to take in when I'm still coming to terms with what Phil did to me.
"The longer I watched you, the more I was drawn to you," he continues, his voice getting closer. "You learn a lot about people when they don't know you're looking." My back warms as the heat of his body gets closer. He places his hands on the counter, trapping me between his arms. "Want to know what I learned about you?"
I stare down at the counter, thankfully hidden by the curtain of hair falling around my face, and shake my head. Cash's slight stubble on his jaw rubs against the side of my face as he leans closer, his chest grazing my back. His heart beats a rhythm that mine recognizes and tries to keep in tune with. I'd rather face Phil right now, because at least I know where I stand with him.
"You are selfless," he says, disregarding me. "You're happiest when those around you are happy. You have this need to help others without getting anything in return. But you're too prideful to let anyone in and help you when you need it most. You push people away by putting the focus back on them and deal with shit that you shouldn't have to deal with alone. And you do it all with the most beautiful smile I have every seen." His arms drape gently around me, and he rests his head against mine. "It's hard to find genuinely good people in the world," he whispers. "Trust me, I know. I've spent my life watching people selfishly choose their needs over others. And I turned into one of them."
Cash turns me around and cups the side of my face lifting it up to his. "I didn't want this to happen. I wanted to do my job and come home. But I couldn't stop thinking about you. I wanted what you gave everyone else freely. So I selfishly took it. I needed to see you smile at me like that and know I was the reason for it. And when you did, I couldn't get enough." He searches my eyes as he bares his heart to me. His mouth hovers over mine, bathing my lips in the warmth of his whiskey-scented breath with every word. "I wanted more. I thought I'd get it and walk away from you when this was over. But there's a piece of me that thinks I deserve this…" His lips brush against mine tormentingly as the shaky words fall from his lips. "That I deserve you."
ABOUT TARA DAWN:
Tara Dawn is a married, stay-at-home-mom who homeschools her three sons. When she's not busy with them, you can find her reading, talking about other authors and books over at The Word Wenches book blog, writing, editing, crafting, or hula hooping. She wears many hats and finds that if you aren't learning something new everyday then you aren't living to your full potential. Tara is currently working on The Snap Trilogy and about to start work on Twins (an erotic horror novel), a collaboration with Bonny Capps, author of The Killer Series. She loves making new friends and talking about life, so stop by her Facebook page and say hello.