Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her. She's the girl he thought he lost foreverthe one he's never been able to forget. Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again. But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own. On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie's world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in danger.
As Josie and Tristan's lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together. But in Season Vining's Beautiful Addictions, will the past leave their love in ruinsor bind them together for a lifetime?
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
SEASON VINING is a writer, a bookworm, a cook, a night owl and always a student. Beautiful Addictions is her first novel. She lives in Louisiana, where she works as a graphic designer.
Read an Excerpt
By Season Vining
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 Season Vining
All rights reserved.
Two planets in close proximity to each other in the sky.
"Hey, babe, hand me my smokes."
"I'm not your babe," Josie replied.
"Fine. Hey, bitch, hand me my smokes."
She laughed darkly and complied with his request. One-night stands were not afforded the privileges of pet names. Contrarily, the neatly arranged rails of white powder on the tray across the room meant he could call her anything he damn well pleased.
As the stranger lit a cigarette, Josie sat up and stretched her arms over her head. The air reeked of sweat, sex, and tobacco. The humming fan that had helped lull her to sleep a few hours ago now got on her last sober nerve.
Spotting her underwear across the room, Josie slid from between the sheets and retrieved it. She slipped on each article of clothing as she found it, eventually donning her outfit from the previous night. The young man's eyes followed her around, seeming amused by her hunt-and-gather technique.
"You were amazing," he said.
His voice rasped like he had cotton and sawdust in his throat. The way his slate blue eyes shined, she could see all his lust. She had no interest in dwelling there.
Josie ignored him and leaned over the tray, holding the rolled-up dollar bill to her nose. She closed her eyes and smiled as she inhaled the drug, knowing that numbing bliss would soon find her. With a final sniff, she stood and let the chemical absorb into her blood. It was soft feathers across her skin, drifting down from the sky and landing around her toes. Her body tensed and prickled with the warmth of a prolonged orgasm. In this high, she had no name, no past, and no future. All she had was now. And now was amazing.
"Can I get your number? Sam Bradley is playing the Casbah on Wednesday. My boy could get us in for free."
His words punched holes in her buzz. Irritated, she slung her bag across her body and pasted on a smile. The morning light peeked through the vertical blinds, casting stripes of gold across his body. He smiled and she could feel his desire for her again. To Josie, he was just a guy — a guy with a warm bed, pleasurable hands, and a large supply of coke.
"It was fun. Let's just leave it at that."
She spun on her heel and headed for the door.
"Yeah, whatever. I'll see you around," he shouted.
"Not likely," she answered, stepping out into the blinding light of another morning after.
* * *
Josie sat back in the dark corner of the familiar bar. Graffiti-riddled walls and empty chairs were her only company. A journal lay open in her lap while her charcoal-stained fingers clutched the pencil hovering above the page. Hundreds of words flashed through her mind, yet she did not possess the will to choose one and write it down. The first word of a sentence, the precipice of an idea, usually held all the power as far as she was concerned. This is why, most nights, she kept to sketching — the curved lines and shading smudges were easier to commit to.
Most bar patrons took no notice of her. They were too busy, focused on their immediate goals of sex and intoxication. Josie's intentions were the same as every other night spent in this establishment. She'd come to see about a boy.
Routine was not something she was accustomed to, though lately she'd been devoted to him. She always arrived an hour before his shift started and slipped out when he took his last break. She'd convinced herself that her obsession was normal.
With glossy eyes, she glanced up from her blank paper, awaiting the arrival of her muse. She sighed and blew her bangs from her eyes, wishing she'd smoked a bowl before coming here, something to take off the razor-sharp edge.
Since she was fourteen years old, Josie Banks had existed this way. She floated on whatever high she could get, reluctant to touch down, afraid reality might never let her go again. There wasn't a physical addiction to the drugs. She never used one long enough to develop a taste for it. The addiction was solely to the state it provided, a numbing blissful high of indifference. Her savior wasn't always drugs or sex with strangers. Sometimes her pencils, along with fresh paper and a silent room, could deliver the much-needed feeling of ecstasy. The rough scratch of charcoal or the shake and rattle of paint cans calmed her in a way that no therapist ever had.
Josie looked up to find a stranger staring down at her. He seemed to stand at the edge of her personal space while wearing a brittle smile. She did not respond but impatiently waited for his next line. It was delivered like a rehearsed speech.
"You're too pretty to sit alone. Can I join you?"
Her silence answered. The man turned swiftly and retreated to where he came from. Josie didn't watch him go. In any other place, at any other time, she would have entertained the idea. He was tall and handsome and she loved how nervous she made him. But not here.
Plenty of charmers had told her that she was attractive, but she always dismissed their words as a systematic technique to get into her pants. If only they'd known she didn't need to be seduced. She gave it up freely and often. Shame did not exist in her bank of emotional labels; it had no place in the life she led. Fucking was always enjoyable. Even bad sex was still sex. Ever since she'd lost her virginity, she'd felt empowered by her feminine allure. No man or woman, no matter how attractive, had ever held her attention for longer than it had taken to get off.
She leaned back in her seat, curling her fingers around the nearly empty glass, and thought back to their first and only encounter.
* * *
Clouds stretched across the moon, stealing her natural light. Josie settled herself on the fire escape, drawing by the glow from her apartment window. Dirt and dust on the glass cast a freckled pattern over her. Haunting eyes stared up from the page as she tried to recall a connection to them.
A hooded figure stormed into the alley below, catching her attention. The lead of her pencil ceased in its track, its intended path abandoned. His dark garments blended into the shadows as if she could smudge him out of one of her drawings.
"Fool!" he shouted. His voice rolled up the alley walls until being freed into the sky like thunder.
He pushed the hood back, his nails scraping through dirty hair. It wove through his fingers, staying upturned in a veritable crown of thorns. Heavy footsteps counted off his rhythm as Josie watched him rage.
"Unforgivable," he said. He tried it again, repeating the quiet chant over and over until it mirrored the beat of Josie's pulse.
She gasped as he ripped off his hooded sweatshirt and threw it to the ground. Brilliant inked images covered his arms, interrupted only by the white beater that molded to his body. He slammed his forehead into the wall and then landed punch after punch. His blood painted the bricks and Josie knew a part of him would die here this night.
She sat stone-faced, her gaze fixed on the raging figure below. She was envious of such a physical kind of anger. She had never unleashed her fury that way and wondered if it would do any good. His chest heaved in a quick cadence, and Josie fought hard to keep her own breath even.
In that moment, the moon broke through the clouds and cast a blanket of silvery light over the alley. He froze, mesmerized by the grid-pattern shadows created by the fire escape. His eyes traveled up the shadow as if navigating a labyrinth, until a small, solid shape obstructed the path. He looked up, catching her.
The pencil slipped from Josie's grip, rolling and falling over the edge. As connected as she felt to the lead and wood, she did not watch it drop. Instead, she stared down into the face of something so familiar — heartache. She'd never seen such a beautiful, broken expression, and it took her breath away. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she registered the soft tap, tap, tap of the pencil hitting the ground.
Josie felt bound to him in that moment. They were two souls snared by chance and circumstance. Though they did not feel like strangers.
She wanted more, but she didn't know what. It tugged at her like the undeniable pull of the moon. She couldn't name it, but she craved it like her drugs and her art.
A siren wailed from somewhere down the block and they both blinked, released from each other in a defeated kind of way. He turned away slowly. Josie leaned forward against the railing as he disappeared back into the dotted path of streetlamps.
When he was gone, she raced down the steps of her building and retrieved his abandoned hoodie from the alley. Josie wrapped herself in the black cotton and, for the first time in years, slept through the night. Almost every day since, she'd worn the oversize article, growing attached to it as if it were a long-lost friend.
"You need another drink?" the waitress asked. Josie made eye contact with the girl and nodded. "Another rum and Coke and no conversation. Coming right up, hon."
She smirked when the waitress left to fetch her drink. Alone again, Josie began sketching a couple making out against the bar. The woman was standing, squeezed between the man's thighs, while his hand gripped her waist. Their faces pressed together in heated kisses and whispered words. Their display garnered the attention of everyone in the place before the waitress tapped the bar and told them to take it elsewhere. Josie couldn't care less. Her boy had arrived.
He took his place behind the bar after a smile and wave to the waitress. He looked good there, backlit by mirrors, lavender lights, and half-empty bottles. Gone was her tortured boy from the alley. This version was sexy and confident.
It was pure luck that she'd found him here, tending bar at this yuppie establishment. Josie had come in one night, looking for a release of any kind, when she'd spotted him. She recognized his tattoos, and when he turned, she remembered his flawless face as well, even after six months. The images had been burned into her memory on a cellular level. It hadn't taken long to learn his schedule, and soon she saw him four nights a week. But he never saw her.
Josie wanted him. The one-night stands that left her feeling coveted but isolated were no longer satisfying. She wanted to taste his lips and trace the patterns on his skin. She wanted to live in his clothes and feel the weight of his body on hers. Their relationship was complicated, existing only through one-way glass and never shared. Josie liked it this way. She felt anchored to him but not possessed.
Tristan Fallbrook was complicated and just barely a man. At the ripe old age of twenty-two, he'd suffered heartache, seen his fair share of violence, and thrived as a professional criminal. His life could rival that of a drafted wartime soldier, including battle scars and haunting memories.
None of this was planned. His life should be different. Yet here he was, living in a new place, facing a new direction that still felt faulty. All of his knowledge, through personal experience and countless books, could not help him. Tristan was alone and trapped in the foreign city, with only a 9mm and an addiction to literature to save him. Night after night, he tucked away his one-hundred-thirty-seven-point IQ and stood behind the bar, wearing his inked armor and crooked smile.
Looks like Bundy is back," Erin said, sliding her tray onto the bar. "Same as always, rum and Coke."
"You got it," Tristan answered. "Why do you guys call her that?"
"Because she's really pretty and really weird, in a serial killer kind of way. She never comes in here with anyone. She never leaves with anyone. She just sits in that corner, sipping her drink and scribbling in her notebook. Sometimes she draws pictures on the napkins. I feel like she's leaving them for me on purpose. Like it's some kind of clue I'm supposed to decipher."
Tristan placed the drink on the tray and shrugged.
"Maybe she's just shy, Nancy Drew. Did you know Picasso and Warhol both had the habit of sketching on napkins?"
"So what are you saying? I should be saving them? She'll be famous and I'll be rich?"
"Maybe. What's she drawing, anyway?"
"Usually faces of people in the bar. There's a sketch of me on the wall in booth twelve. Some of her finest work, I'd say." Tristan smiled, amused at Erin's confidence. "Whatever she is, she definitely needs some wardrobe help. You should see the ratty old sweatshirt she wears all the time. My bet is serial killer. That pretty face could lure you chumps in, no problem."
Reaching his quota for small talk, Tristan gave her a grin and sent her on her way. He rested against the shelf of smartly lined bottles and considered the behavior of Bundy. He didn't see anything wrong with someone wanting to be alone with her poison and her thoughts. He wasn't so sure what solidified her status as a freak. Many nights, Tristan had found himself half deep into a fifth of whiskey while venting frustrations to strangers. Vagrants, fellow employees, even customers had been subjected to drunken rants of pipe dreams. Some offered advice, some only listened. He soon learned that talking about it never mattered. His life's course seemed to be fixed.
Tristan watched Erin deliver the drink. He forced himself to focus on Bundy, his curiosity piqued. She was shrouded in shadows and he could make out nothing but a faint silhouette. He recognized the intent of her posture and placement. Her hiding was intentional.
Josie did not look up as her new drink was dropped off, her mind preoccupied by the presence of him. The smell of the waitress's flowery perfume brought forth an angry memory she quickly expelled. Then she wondered what he would smell like. His scent and her memory of it had faded from the hooded sweatshirt. Would he smell of heavy colognes and aftershaves or just a simple combination of soap and cigarettes? She scolded herself, knowing that her fascination with this man was unreasonable. She had no right to want him the way she did.
Josie knew the name the bar staff had branded her with, Bundy. She'd overheard two of the waitresses talking on their break. They hadn't seen Josie there as they chatted about her weirdness and state of dress. She hadn't been the subject of their conversation for long, though, easily dismissed as in every other aspect of her life. Her eagerness to simply be in his presence outweighed any humiliation she'd had to endure.
Suddenly, Josie felt a burning fire on her face, a pull from across the room. She glanced up to see his eyes on her. He was looking, really looking. Even though she knew he couldn't see much, she felt as though she were being dissected in front of a crowd of spectators.
After weeks of her veiled presence, he'd finally taken notice. His muscled forearms leaned on the bar and his gaze stayed fixed. Sure, she wanted him, but on her terms. She wasn't ready. He wasn't another man to be conquered and forgotten. He was different. Josie felt smothered with the need to escape.
Spying no movement from her corner, Tristan finally dropped his eyes back to the bar, liberating his subject. He knew she was a creature of habit and wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. He would wait her out.
An hour passed, steady and unhurried, neither one of the players giving up on the waiting game. By midnight, Tristan couldn't take it anymore and needed to step out for a smoke. He let his coworker know and headed out the side door. The alley welcomed him with quiet darkness.
When he was out of sight, Josie threw a few bills down, including a generous tip, and packed away her notebook. She slid from the booth, hastily making her way outside. When the rubber soles of her shoes hit the sidewalk, she breathed a little easier. Out here, she could disappear again. Out here, she was anonymous.
Josie turned to make her way home but was met by a familiar form leaning against the building. She sucked in the crisp air, almost choking, as his eyes worked themselves up from her feet. Even after all this time, he recognized her.
"You," he whispered, curls of smoke escaping through his lips.
Tristan dropped his cigarette, crushing it under the toe of his shoe, before shoving his hands deep into his pockets. Before him stood a girl full of secrets and history, and he knew that she was alone in the world. He took two steps toward her, expecting she would retreat. He was wrong.
Josie trembled with some feeling that she didn't recognize. Her head felt light and her legs became shaky under the weight of this moment. He moved closer, his beautiful face contorted in caution. She wasn't afraid. Their long-awaited reunion outweighed any unease. Without thought, Josie lifted her hand toward him, wanting to make sure he was real. She had no doubt that her mind could invent his presence just to mess with her. She slid her fingers along his jaw. It felt like warmed stones and sandpaper. Eventually, Josie rested her palm against his face, and he let her.
Tristan leaned into her touch. Their eyes held firm, locked on each other in a battle for understanding. This bond, this connection was undefined yet all-consuming. In the familiar moonlight, their breathing had become synchronized and the rest of the world fell away. Tristan needed to say something but feared that it would end the fragile moment. He took the chance anyway.
Excerpted from Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining. Copyright © 2014 Season Vining. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
16. Far Side,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Get ready to be drawn and quartered emotionally. Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining reunites one damaged and lost soul with a past she cannot remember. Josie’s life has become so meaningless that she lives in the shadows. Using her body and drugs as means to try to satisfy an endless emptiness inside, only through her haunting art did Josie feel anything. Her childhood and her memory were torn from her when her parents were murdered and she became part of “the system,” that allowed her to become another abused statistic. Then she saw HIM, a stranger that spoke to her heart, as he railed against an unknown demon of his own. Tristan became her obsession; there was something about him that stirred a spark within her. Living on the dark side of life, Tristan has his own personal hell to deal with, the loss of the one girl her loved. When their paths finally cross openly, Tristan knows he has to help Josie regain her memory, because he was a huge part of her life at one time, but can she trust him? Someone wants Josie dead for something she cannot remember. With few people to count on, and an unknown evil stalking her, what is Tristan’s role in her life? Is there a connection between her newfound danger and this man who claims she once loved him as much as he loved her? How could someone so important be lost in the dark void of her memories? Season Vining has veered from the well-used path of damaged souls reconnecting by blazing her own trail full of twists, dark passages with promises of a brighter future. Her style of writing commands the attention of the reader with her ability to detail each changing scene and mood. The world she has created is as stark and flat as the emotions she has given to the “Josie” most of the world sees, but you "feel" there is more. With a tenuous support system from unlikely places, she has put Josie in the right place at the right time, almost ready and almost strong enough to reach out for the unknown. For me, it felt right, anything more would have been too clichéd, anything less and the impact could have been lost. The intrigue of the life-threatening cat and mouse game added an entirely new dimension and depth to Josie’s story when the past she can’t remember and present she knows collide and a chance for a future hangs in the balance. I received this ARC edition from St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for my honest review.
This book will have you feeling so many emotions at once. Tristan, strong and too smart, is scarred and emotional. Sometimes I just wanted to reach through my kindle and slap him and other times, I wanted to hug him for his never ending love for Josie. Josie's backstory leaves you feeling sorry for her and rightfully so. Then other times I wanted to yell at her to stop feeling sorry for herself and see the boy/man who would do whatever it takes to protect her from everything. I wanted her to allow herself to be vulnerable and be loved. Hell, I wanted her to have a friend that wasn't something or someone to use. The other stories within the main story bring everything together and give you "a-ha" moments. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book. This book evoked anger, sadness, caring, love, laughter... Just a wide array of emotions. If you want to read a book that makes you feel, then I suggest you pick up Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining. You won't be disappointed.
Do not waste your tume. Book jumped all over the place and plot was seriously lacking and the characters were so bland
I really enjoyed this story! It captured me and kept me entranced from page one! From the moment she saw him, she was captivated. Watching fight with himself in an alley only made her want to know more. Josie has had a horrible past, what she can remember of it anyways. She’s all alone in the world and does whatever she can to make her FEEL something. What better way to feel something than have sex with random strangers and take drugs? She’s let a few people in her bubble, but she only lets them in so far. This all changes though when she sees that man in the alley fighting with himself. She’s drawn to him and is determined to understand him. However, what she wants and what she ends up getting are two totally different things. Tristan had found his soul mate at a young age, but she was taken from him while he was young as well. A year or so after he lost the love of his life, he found someone that could take the pain away. The only issue was, she got him into doing illegal errands for her father. After this woman breaks his heart, he goes walking and then fights with himself in an alley. This is when he finds an interesting woman watching him tear himself apart. After Josie has watched Tristan for months, they finally met. To Tristan’s utter shock, Josie is the young woman he lost years ago. The woman that everyone thought was dead. Josie has no memory of Tristan or her past, but is extremely interested in finally talking to someone who might know who she used to be. However, she isn’t ready to hear any of this, she is the one that has to be in control and she lost it the minute Tristan mentioned the name she gave up years ago. So she runs to her safe place, in the arms of a stranger and right to the drugs. Tristan and Josie’s story is very interesting and keeps you guessing as the story moves along. You get to see Tristan and Josie get to know each other once again. But someone from Josie’s past is out on the hunt and will do everything to get rid of her. They think she knows something that can ruin their plans, to bad she has no clue what it is. With everything that get in their way, will Tristan and Josie be able to finally reconnect and have that happily ever after? Or will the person that is hunting down Josie get to her before they can start their new beginning? Like I said earlier, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to read more from Season Vining!
Josie is a young girl in San Diego surviving from day to day trying to escape the pain that is her past with sex, drugs and her art. At least the past she can remember. Josie has amnesia since the age of fourteen and has no idea why she was shipped across the country only to be placed in one abusive foster home after another. She got out when she turned eighteen and never looked back. Tristan makes his living as a bartender trying to escape his past. One night, while on break, he runs into a ghost from his past. He thought McKenzi was dead and now she stands before him. Tristan, never wanting to lose McKenzi again, meets her after work one night to find out what happened. She doesn't have the answers he's looking for. Only that she's in San Diego and her name is Josie. She can tell him about her life since she got her, but nothing before that. The next few weeks have Tristan and Josie spending a lot of time together trying to get to know one another and never wanting to leave each other's arms. In the mean time, their pasts come back to haunt them. Tristan's former boss has one final job for him and Josie learns that she's been found. Tristan has no choice but to accept his final job. If he wants to live. Josie needs to leave San Diego, but does she have it in her to start over, again? Even though she doesn't remember him before San Diego, she just got Tristan back. Can she leave him? Will he go with her? This book was beautifully written. Emotions were high and I found myself on the edge of my seat and biting my nails right along with the characters. I couldn't put it down once I started reading. I could feel Josie's frustration with herself as Tristan recounts events of their past. She wants to remember and is upset that she can't. I have found a new author in Season Vining and I can't wait to read more of her work! *I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Crime or assassin themed books are not my thing so if I had realised that was the main backdrop of this book I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but all that aside the writing was gritty, the characters complex and dramatic enough to pull me through to the end. It was compelling story premise especially if you like your romance to have some suspense to them. Overall not my cup of tea but a well written book all the same. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars
I will start off by saying it was such a nice break to read something other than New Adult and to read a book that was so well edited. I only found two errors in this whole book and this was the unedited edition! So, that in itself was amazing. Okay so in this book we meet Josie who is addicted to sex, alcohol, and pills. Well anything that will take her out of her pitiful existence. She has no memories of her childhood before going into foster care at the age of 15, I believe. Her foster parents were horrible and she would have done anything to get away from them even living on the streets. She is hard core and afraid of emotional involvements. She has never let anyone in. Until..... Tristan is another lost soul eeking his way through life. He is smart and even has an eidetic memory. They have a chance meeting in an alley and felt a connection. We go on the journey from there. "You look just like a girl I used to know. McKenzi Delaune," Tristan said. "But that's impossible." Josie, not having heard that name for so long, dropped her hand and looked down at the sidewalk. She didn't associate with that girl anymore, she hadn't for years. Fear clawed at her chest as she wondered how much she should say. Something pulled the confession from her. "I used to be her," she answered. "I thought you were dead." This is a mixture of romance, suspense, and thriller. Tristan and Josie are connected in a way that nobody could imagine and they will both risk their lives to save each other. I really enjoyed this book and seriously could not put it down. I had an hour (according to the Kindle) left and it was four in the morning. I set the Kindle down, covered up, put on my sleep show, laid there for ten minutes and then convinced myself that another hour of staying up wouldn't hurt. So my recommendation to you is that if you get anywhere near the end, make sure you do not have any plans or it isn't in the middle of the night because you will HAVE to know what happens. This book also had a couple of twists and turns and even a scenario that shocked me! So I really enjoyed it. I loved Tristan and really want to find someone as well read and smart as him. The supporting characters were great and very well developed. I will say that there were quite a few different roles in this book and it did get a little confusing at times (especially the beginning) trying to keep them all straight. I loved Alex and hope that maybe one day we will get his story. That being all said, I don't know why it wasn't a five star for me. It was good, but it just didn't wow me. "All of his memories, his intellect, his unwavering love and devotion for a girl like her is what made Tristan her perfect and beautiful addiction." Reviewed by Mystery for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for honest review*
For an up and coming author, she hit the ball right out of the park. I absolutely loved this book. I didn't want to put this book down. As you read this book, you will root for the two main people, Tristan and Josie. This book will have your feelings all over the place. You will feel their ups and downs. Josie is this girl with a hidden past to her. Tristan is a guy who is running from is past. Then their paths cross one night in the alley of her apartment building. And then one night, as she is leaving is job they run into each other and recognize her from his past. After that night, they are drawn together and almost inseparable from that night. Things things turned from okay to bad to worst to okay again. This book will have you on the edge of seat. I highly recommend others pick this book up. I can't wait until this book comes out in paperback, I will pick up a copy of this book just to have cause it's that good.
Good flow! I love a book that isn't choppy. You are immediately drawn into Josie's world.
There were so many ups and downs. I was captivated from the first word. This is a must read. I found myself staying up REALLY late reading and not wanting to put it down.
Got this book from NetGalley for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. It was really good and kept me interested. I liked how it unravel and secrets were revealed. Tristan is Josie's addiction after she meets him. Tristan immediately recognizes Josie as someone from his past. He can't let go off the past and can't get pass it. He wants the girl he once knew but has to learn to love and know the young woman Josie has become. Josie has amnesia, she has a tragic past she can't remember and is a broken soul. She doesn't work, does drugs and is a graffiti artist. Tristan is a broken soul. Broken by the circumstances of the past and the paths he took. Together they uncover things that can cost them their lives. I would recommend this book. It's really good and it keeps you intrigued as to what will happen and if Josie will will regain her memory. Some of it is predictable but that's not bad. It's well written and flows nicely.
My rating: 5 of 5 ¿¿ Josie is alone in the world. She struggled through a traumatic time in the foster system, after losing her parents. But she can't remember them.....she has amnesia. All she remembers is the abuse that came after. She spends her time drawing and painting, mostly under the guise of darkness, and dulls her pain with drugs and meaningless sex. When a young Tristan lost his girlfriend years ago, part of him died as well and in the years that followed, he made some choices that haunt him still. Now working as a bartender, keeping mostly to himself, he is hoping to be able to move past that. Until he gets a close look at the girl that has been lurking in the shadows of the bar for weeks now and realizes that his past has just caught up with him. Josie doesn't know what draws her to the man who works behind the bar, but something compells her to return night after night. When Tristan approaches her and claims to recognize her from before, she is shocked but not afraid. He makes her feel strangely safe. Tristan gently fills her in on some of the pieces of her life that her amnesia has taken from her and they soon come to the conclusion that their lives may never have been completely disconnected. The discovery they may have a dangerous enemy in common spurs Tristan into action, needing to do whatever he can to protect the one girl who ever completely owned his heart. But neither of them know that the enemy is already close by..... ***** DAMN!!! That was SO good!!! There are only a few authors who can give me this kind of feeling after reading a book....but I think I found another one. A debut novel??? Holy cow........impressive. Two other authors I adore come to mind immediately.....Debra Anastasia with her Poughkeepsie series and Karina Halle with The Artists Trilogy. The dark, violent and angsty setting of the story, riddled with sad tales.....in the midst of which something beautiful and pure happens. Something so bright, it lifts the entire story. So different from most of the formfitted novels out there, BEAUTIFUL ADDICTIONS brought something unique, a book for those who want something REAL to put their teeth into and be moved by... You cannot be judgemental, you have to read with an open mind and an open hart, because what you see is rarely ever what you get. Season Vining's writing style is confident, rhythmic and completely sucks you in, setting a scene and portraying an atmosphere so clearly, you can taste it. The way she introduces her characters and weaves the context and background into the story is wonderful. It has an almost magical flavour to it. A sex and drug addicted ethereal beauty, a soft-hearted ex-thug alpha gone straight and a mutual connection to organized crime..... A fabulous debut novel of an author I will be sure to keep a close eye on!!! ¿A powerful, edgy and mesmerizing tale of karma.¿ **ARC provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in return for an honest review.**
** spoiler alert ** Provided an ARC for honest review: I would give this book 4.5 stars as it is not my usual type of romance book. So I was looking at the book from a different perspective then my usual. I would say there are a few under developments of the book. For example I am curious as to what the point was of Ethan's character. I understand it was to make us question which male was Mort, either Ethan or Rob but the explanation of the character just seems like it needed more explanation, at least to me. Why is he stalking her? As the book is not a typical book I would choose to read, I still found some things that were predictable just as if I was reading my usual suspense story. I know this has suspense also however I am more typical to fall into a military/FBI/CIA/Spy suspense then from who would be considered the criminal side story. It was a nice break. Again to further development of the supporting characters. Seems like the same supporting characters are popping up in the book. So some had good development but like Ethan, Erin pops up with little to no explanation to have what feels like a rushed explanation towards the end. Ethan as a purpose to throw off the predictability of using the social worker. Erin is there to be a friend to Tristan slash future lover of Alex. Great, I am happy that Alex got a happy ending but could have had more development of the relationship so it was not thrown out there in the end. Unless this is going to be a series and their relationship is the focus of the next book.
I have been reading a lot of new adult romances lately, and they've started to feel simple and forgettable. Then Beautiful Addictions came along like a breath of dark, angsty fresh air, and moved me beyond words. This love story ripped my heart to shreds and then put it back ogether again. It's not your typical love story. The characters are broken, scarred, and heartbreakingly real, but it's their love that heals them. And the end is perfect--it's a standalone so there's no cliffhanger--and I just can't get the end out of my mind. It literally made me cry when I read it. I loved this book beyond words--it was brilliant!
"Thrilling Adventure from the Inside Out" I would like to thank both St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC. Although I received this book for free, in no way did that influence my review. Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain. When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her. She’s the girl he thought he lost forever—the one he’s never been able to forget. Now a twist of fate has brought them back together again, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms. But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own. On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in grave danger. As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together. But will the past leave their love in ruins—or bind them together for a lifetime? Twenty-two year old Josie Banks leads a rough life by most anyone's standards. She does whatever drugs she gets her hands on, sleeps with total strangers for drugs, a place to sleep, or simply as a distraction from her messed up life. She doesn't remember life being anything other than hard. Her life consists of her tagging around the city, drugs, sex, and bringing food to her friend Gavin, who then distributes it to the homeless kids in the area. The only time that pattern is interrupted is when her former social worker, Monica, stops by her place. Monica is always trying to get Josie to clean up her act, take better care of herself, hell just to take care of herself period. One day at a local bar Josie happens to look up and she sees him, the tattooed bartender that draws her interest like a moth to a flame. There is something about him she simply can't resist - she can't explain the attraction, but she can't deny it either. Soon she knows his work schedule and is at the bar for each of his shifts. What happens next startles Josie to no end. The sexy, tattooed bartender calls her McKenzi Delaune, a name she hasn't heard for about eight years. When he tells her that he knows her, staring at her as if she should know him she cuts him off, telling him McKenzi is dead, she's Josie now. Eventually he convinces her to meet him for coffee after his shift. Over coffee she tells him in a completely detached voice that she doesn't know him, explaining that she and her dad had moved to NYC from Louisiana, and shortly after that her father went missing, his body found a few days later. She woke up in a hospital two days later, surround by FBI agents and with no memories. The doctors said she had retrograde dissociative amnesia, which as Tristan knew meant that she had no memory of anything prior to waking up in the hospital, but is able to form memories of everything since then. Then she tells him they changed her name to Josie Banks, moved her to San Diego and put her in the witness protection program. Tristan is stunned. The two slowly spend more time together, as he very slowly wins Josie's trust and begins to break through her walls. Josie has never really trusted anyone before. The closest she's come is her neighbor Alex, a big, tough Hispanic guy who seems to have made it his job to watch out for her, Gavin, a homeless woman that Josie is friendly with and gives bags of food to for Gavin to share with the street kids, and finally Monica, her former case worker who just won't quit trying to somehow help her. While Josie and Tristan are falling in love, across the country things are being put into motion. Bad things. Dangerous things. For word has gotten back to the man responsible for the death of McKenzi's father that she is still alive, which equals a loose end. And he really, really doesn't like loose ends. Particularly right now. He already has had one man on her contract, but once he gets some fresh news he calls in a second man, pitting the two against each other. The second call sets a dangerous chain of events into action, events that could spell not only McKenzi's death, but possibly Tristan's, Alex's, and Monika's too. Which hit man will find Josie Banks first? If she does get caught can she keep Tristan and the others safe? Will she be able to convince the man after her that she really doesn't know anything, that her life began when she woke up in that hospital bed? This is a very well constructed story. Although she doesn't seem it, Josie is a strong character given all she has endured. She's tough, independent, and still willing to try to learn to trust. The twists and turns in this tale could make you nauseous they happen so quickly and with such frequency. Yet they never reveal too much, nor do they give away the explosive ending. Definitely an entertaining read in which the characters' development and the arc of the story are deftly blended to create a wonderful unity. Without a doubt I will be scouring the shelves for more works by Season Vining.
4.5 Star rating Vining tells a great story about finding lost loves and second chances. What was refreshing was that this book was so off from the cliched NA story lines. Yes it has the sexy hot alpha male with secrets in his past which have left him somewhat broken. It does have a beautiful heroine who is not sure if she can get close to someone on an emotional level due to her issues from her past. Yes both characters are broken and finally come to help fix each other, but truly that is where the similarities end. Josie is a young woman on her own due to unfortunate circumstances. She has no memory of her life before the age of 14. She knows her mom is dead and her dad was killed but that is all. Faces come to her in her dreams, but they mean nothing. After being traumatized through the foster system she is out on her own using drugs, sex, and tagging to fill in all the emptiness. While not liking attachment she is drawn to this man, a beautiful stranger with tattoes up his arm. She often seeks him out but from a distance. Tristan, is estranged from his family after a poor relationship choice which got him caught up in the wrong crowd. If only he never lost his first love, this would have never happened. Imagine his surprise, when he finds that love, the one he thought was dead. Josie and Tristan's love story is one of rediscovery. Josie learining about her old self, Tristan reconnecting with the missing piece he never thought he would find. But there love story isn't easy because they are threatened with their pasts. Crazily interconnected, Tristan is determined to take on his past in order to keep Josie safe and never lose her again. Other characters in this story were also great. I loved Alex, Josie's neighbor, and his protective nature over Josie. Monica, Josie's former social worker, was funny and thoughful. There are crazy twists and turns with the mystery that backlights the whole story. People are not who they seem and some of the interconnnections are wild. What is great though, is Vining explains is all in a plausible way. There is resolution and we do eventually get our HEA for Josie and Tristan, but there are tears along the way. This was a surprising book to me and was far from what I expected based on the cover and the blurb, but it definitely was worth the read. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.