Arsen by Mia Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
More than 5 Incredible & Intense stars!!!
Arsen is full of angst, love, sex, passion, devastation, heartbreak. I am a little speechless right now. Trying to convey my feelings for this book is proving to be difficult. This was an amazing read. It was just brilliant. Cathy’s story is controversial. It is hard to read at times.. This one really threw me for a loop. It left me with a major case of the feels.
Let me introduce you to Cathy. This is her story...
I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.
I love a man.
No, I love two men…
One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.
I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.
But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.
Cathy narrates most of this broken love story. We get a back and forth, into the past and present. Cathy has a life most people would envy. She is married to the perfect man who loves and adores her. She has a good job. She should be happy. She should feel fulfilled. But she isn’t. She doesn’t. She feels incomplete. Defective. Reality has not been kind to Cathy. The one thing she has always wanted in life, to become a mother, is out of her reach. It’s tearing her apart from the inside out. It’s making her resent Ben and his perfection. It’s changing her, changing everything.
Cruel reality has a way of always catching up to you, no matter how fast of how far you run; reality has a way to destroy ones hopes and dreams.
Cathy. I’m not sure if I was supposed to hate her or love her or both... but I actually loved her. She was such a real and relatable character. There are going to be some people who don’t like her at all, and that’s okay. Of course I didn’t love or agree with all of her actions, but I understood them. Understood her. Cathy’s story is real. It is raw. I appreciated that. And I loved being in Cathy’s head.
Cathy and Ben met when she was eighteen, just a college freshman. They were so in love. Ben is the best kind of man. He is funny, charming, handsome, sexy, attentive and he truly only sees Cathy. Most woman would die to have a man like him. It is impossible not to love Ben.
They have the ‘perfect’ marriage. They both love each other, they always have. But is love enough?
I felt like I could conquer the world with his love. I felt invincible.
If only I had known that it takes a lot more than love to make a marriage work, then maybe our story would be different.
Ben does everything he can to try to help Cathy, to understand her. It broke my heart reading some things from Ben’s perspective. Cathy wants to be the perfect wife, but it’s hard. She feels like everything is falling around her. She can’t break free of her life. She doesn’t know what she wants, but she can’t keep living her life like this.
Sometimes I feel like the normalcy of our lives will drive me insane.
One night, things change. She meets someone who changes her. His name is Arsen. Arsen is at a business meeting with Cathy and he is immediately attracted to her. Being a young, rich, devastatingly sexy playboy, Arsen is used to getting exactly what he wants. And he wants her. She can’t deny the attraction she feels to him, but she is a married woman. She can’t go there. Cathy is not a bad person. She is not out to hurt anyone. She will resist temptation, she has no choice. But there is something about Arsen, something that gets to her.
His smile is electrifying.
His smile frightens me.
His smile hypnotizes me.
Arsen and Cathy have some crazy sexual tension. They flirt, hang out at work, and become really close friends. Arsen is someone who will listen to Cathy without judging. He won’t just tell her ‘everything is going to be okay’. She needs that in her life. She needs him in her life.
‘If you ever feel like you need to talk to someone... if you ever feel like fear is making it hard for you to breathe... talk to me. I’m here for you, Dimples. I’m here.’
It was so hard not to fall for Arsen. I was so conflicted with myself. Arsen was far from perfect, but you could tell what he felt for Cathy was real. The more time Cathy and Arsen spend together, the more temptation calls to them. Arsen does something for Cathy. He lets her feel what she feels, be herself. Something she so desperately needs.
With Arsen, I can finally grieve and not pretend everything is alright. With Arsen, I can let my emotions take over me and not be ashamed. With Arsen, I can be me.
Oh what a tangled web we weave...
Sometimes not being in control, not being able to think, just losing yourself in the moment is the greatest feeling in the world. It’s liberating. It’s addicting. It’s the most powerful high you’ll ever get.
Can you love two people at the same time? How can you live with yourself knowing that you are destroying someone you love? When you are broken, drowning in your life, does it really matter? How do you cope knowing everyone you care about is being torn apart by your actions?
I have to make a choice once again.
And it doesn’t matter what choice I make. Which path I choose to follow. Either way, I will break my own heart. I will lose a part of myself.
But I think I already have.
I love two men.
And this time, the monster that I am, the one I’ve become, will bring someone else down with me. It’s the darkness in me, I tell you…It follows me everywhere I go, spreading like spilled black ink on white paper.
Love has the power to destroy you.
Are some things too broken to ever be repaired?
I will say it... I don’t have a team. I feel like it is impossible to choose. Ben and Arsen both worked their way into my heart. I really feel that I would have felt the same no matter what happened. If I had to pick, I pick Cathy. I may be the only Team Cathy out there, but I wanted her to find happiness, completion, something to fill that void inside of her in a healthy way.
It hurt to read parts of this story. The author has a way of making you care about and love these characters, flaws and all. Just knowing that its going to end badly for one or maybe all of them made me miserable. The ending was bittersweet. When it was over, I just sat there for a while thinking... part of me was elated. I was so happy- but a big part of me was devastated. I finished it last night, and I’m still not sure how I feel. This is a nail biter. One that makes you feel like you have an anvil sitting on your chest. I felt like I couldn’t breathe when reading part of this... but I love when any book can affect me like that. It was intense and unpredictable. It was a story about a broken woman trying to find some sort of way to survive. An honest and real story about love, lust, temptation. It’s a story that broke my heart, made me feel so strongly, and just touched me.
Quick disclaimer- there is cheating. I know you can tell from the blurb, but it’s there. Mass amounts of cheating. I know reading about cheating bothers a lot of you, it does me too- depending on the situation... as much as I would LOVE to recommend this book to everyone, it’s not gonna work for some because of that. Just a heads up!
To the author, Mia Asher... thank you for sharing this difficult but incredible story with us. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write a book like this, but it was amazing! This story exceeded all of my expectations. I’m pretty sure this is a standalone, but I know I would LOVE a book 2 about you know who... but then again, maybe not. Maybe the story ended the way it was supposed to for everyone involved.
To be released 8-23-13
***ARC kindly provided by author, Mia Asher, in an exchange for an honest review***
View all my reviews
Amazon Purchase Link: