Review: Raw (RAW Family, #1) by Belle Aurora

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4.5 “Raw and gritty, and dirty as hell” stars

Warning – don’t go thinking this is the kind of story where the good girl meets the bad boy, they find happiness together despite their differences and live happily ever after. This is not that book, but it completely sucked me in, and God, it’s good!

“Not everyone can be a fairy-tale hero … The world needs villains too.”

We all love a bad boy. I think Twitch may be the baddest of them all. He makes most other book bad boys look like pansies. He’s a total antihero, and actually a bit of a sociopath. So much so that it took me a while to warm to him, but the more I got to know him, and the more I saw him reacting to events in the story, I ended up completely falling for him.

“You know that thing that people have that tells them they’re doing something wrong or pushing too far?
Yeah. I don’t have one of those.”

“Monsters don’t always lurk in the shadows … sometimes they hide in plain sight.”

Lexi has recovered from a less than perfect childhood to be living a happy life with great friends, and a job that she loves helping troubled kids. She also has a stalker. He doesn’t creep her out or frighten her, he’s just a man wearing a dark hoodie that she often notices watching her. When he saves her from a terrifying attack one night, they officially meet for the first time, and this begins a bizarre and somewhat scary relationship between them as Lexi finds herself inexplicably drawn to the mysterious, dangerous stranger. And with the UST at epic levels before they’ve even had a conversation, it’s not too long before…

“So here I am. Naked. In front of the man who has been stalking me for as long as I can remember.
What the fuck is wrong with me?”

“He prods, his husky voice hushed, “You feeling uncomfortable?”
I immediately nod. Squeezing my ass once more, he places his lips at the shell of my ear.
“Good. Get used to it. Because I’m going to do bad things to you.”
And just like that, any warmth or safety I was feeling flies out the window.
I can’t help but wonder what I’ve got myself in to.

Yes, Lexi makes some stupid, stupid decisions, but I really like her, and found myself empathising with her. It helps that she is a good person with a big heart, who is easily relatable. She recognises that Twitch is not a good guy, and that she’s playing with fire, but she just can’t help herself. And the fact that she berates herself for her behaviour just made like her even more!

“Holy shit. It just hit me.
It just hit me that I don’t know this guy. Not even a little bit. I’ve basically let a stranger into my home and begged him to have sex with me. Sure, he saved me, but seriously…
What in God’s name is wrong with me?
You need him. You need to know who he is. Why he is. And why he watches you. Admit it, girl. You want him…as much as he wants you.
Oh, wow. I’m a stupid asshole. I’ll be having words with myself about this later. Right now, I’m distracted. My distraction is in the form of a sexy, tall tattooed man stroking himself, watching me through a hooded gaze.

Twitch is such an intriguing character, and he is full of surprises! Initially all we know of him is that he is out to destroy her. But why? And how is he planning on doing it? Well, I’m not going to tell you. In fact I’m not saying anything else about the story. Just jump in and experience the ride.

The story is incredibly raw (pardon the pun). Nothing is held back, and it will definitely shock, scare and devastate you, but it’s not all evil and darkness. Lexi’s friends are hilarious and bring some fantastically funny moments, and both Lexi and Twitch have fantastic inner monologues, frequently providing comment on their own behaviour, making me laugh and further endearing themselves to the reader, and I thought it was really well done.

Twitch –

Why did I think I would say what I had to say and she would just jump into my open arms cooing, ‘I’m yours!’?
Stupid movies and their completely inaccurate argument scenes.

Lexi –

You, my dear, are a stupid ho.

With the story told in dual POV, we get right inside the minds of Lexi and Twitch, and I loved that! Not only is Twitch’s head a fantastically dark place to be, but I loved seeing how his thought processes work, and how things twist and warp in his mind. I also loved watching him trying to navigate Lexi and the ups and downs between them as they get to know each other.

“You’re poison.”
My chest pangs.
Well shit. That fuckin’ stings. Like a bitch.
It’s not a lie, but it stings still.

This book is well written and fast paced with fantastic characters, a clever plot, and lots of twists and turns. It’s dark, it’s sexy, it’s romantic and it’s funny, and it kept me flipping pages madly. It’s very clear from the synopsis and reviews that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and it doesn’t have a happy ending. But weirdly, it’s the kind of read where I think I would have felt let down if everything got tied up in a nice neat bow. It wouldn’t have matched the story. And even though my stomach was a churning mess for the last 10% of the book and I was left gobsmacked and swearing – loudly – I think it really works.

It wrecked me, but I loved it. Well done Belle Aurora!

4.5 stars.


The RAW Family

Raw  Dirty  

Raw (#1)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook Paperback

Dirty (#2)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook Paperback

Raw: Rebirth (#3)
Coming soon


For similar reads, check out our Dark & Edgy Recommendations page


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