Fun and Games by Alissa Rose

So this has just about everything you could possibly look for in a story.

Bethany lived with her partner Damian and I use the word “lived” in the loosest possible terms because what she really had was verging close to servitude. But nothing was ever good enough for Damian and he was both physically and verbally abusive – I applaud the author for not shying away from including the details of his abuse, it is not an easy subject to include in the confines of fiction but it one that will only improve when it no longer is an untold horror.

When he beat her one night so badly, she was lucky to survive and she knew it was her time to walk away- not something that would be easy but when her battered body rouses itself, this strong but battered and bruised woman took stock of her surroundings and seized the moment. Damian was out of his head drunk and had fallen into a deep drunken sleep, she gathered herself together and snuck out of the house- taking her car and fleeing into the night.

Needing attention and a friend to lean on, Bethany winds up at her friend Roxie’s house. Her friend takes one look and packs her off to the hospital. Patched up, she sets about rebuilding her life, all the time mindful that she needs to hide from Damian.

But time and tide doesn’t stand still, her life as to go on and she has to start somewhere, So with Roxie by her side she eventually gets herself back into the big bad world and starts to take the much needed steps to reclaiming her life and more importantly her future, they head off to the fair.

Just one look and she knew that there was something about the magnificent Jackson Cage, This chainsaw carver drew her in immediately and they end up spending time together over the next few days. But a few days is not enough and before the carnival moves on, Jackson (Jax) asks Bethany to move on with him to the next festival. But where exactly does Bethany see this relationship going. That is the question?

She goes with him and they have another fabulous week but after what she went through with Damian, she is reluctant to fall into any form of relationship, well anything more than what they have now. I understood the turmoil she was facing but I also wanted her to take the bull by the horns and embrace the fact that this man wanted to be there for her. Damian was still controlling her life by the fact that her experience at his hand had her still running scared.

I have to give you some background on Jax and I will start off by saying that his ex-wife must have been batshit crazy for letting this glorious man slip through her fingers and he is just too good to have been treated the way she did and I was so cross that he too found it hard to trust because of what she had done to him. Trust is something that is vital to Jax, he is an open book with Bethany, he hides nothing and never sugar coats any of the answers that he gives to her questions, it is a refreshing trait.

Honestly I want a Jax of my own- if I could dip into the book and pluck him from the pages I would, he was divine.

The story, the setting and most of all the characters were handled with the utmost care and consideration. The descriptions were evocative and the reality of life with the carnival wasn’t glamorized, it was honest and hard hitting.

I think I can honestly say that I have no criticism at all, I really, really liked the book.