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{December 24, 2013}   {ARC Review} The Token by Marata Eros (The Token #1)

P7280057From Goodreads: Twenty-two year old Faren Mitchell hears the two words that change her abbreviated life forever. They’re so final Faren decides she has nothing to lose by seizing every remaining moment of what life has to offer.

Until Faren collides with a motorcycle ridden by billionaire Jared McKenna.

Even the dark secret of her past and catharsis as a physical therapist can’t save Faren from the sexual spiral that waits for her in the arms of a man who commits to no one. When circumstances force her to get a second job as an exotic dancer, Faren never imagines how close that choice will bring her to the brink of a new reality she is unequipped to handle.

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With two small, quick words, Eros immediately hooks her readers at the beginning of this novella, causing a series of successive thoughts to rampage through our heads as the story takes off. It’s impossible not to be intrigued—even though we don’t know Faren Mitchell at all, we understand the words, we understand their all encompassing meaning, and we understand the pain, fear, and heartache that stands behind them.  We know, and Faren knows, and so we are quickly united from the very first page. It is a great beginning.

Faren is a strong character.  She is a fairly broken person, in more ways than one, but her heart is in the right place, and though I don’t necessarily agree with her final choice for work, I understand how she feels and why she chooses to do what she does.  Told from her point of view, we learn her thoughts, regrets, desires, and wishes for the future, especially where her mother is involved, and as this story unfolds, we also learn the harsh reality that engulfs Faren’s past, putting us eye to eye with her on an even deeper level.

As a novella, events within move rapidly, and while chapters do tend to jump from scene to scene, it keeps readers guessing.  I actually really enjoyed that Faren would suddenly be somewhere else after a chapter break, with Eros using Faren’s thoughts and actions to explain the time lapse and what happened in between. While initially jarring for me the first time it happened, I realized what Eros was doing failry quickly and it works very well for this type of story, especially as so much happens to Faren throughout.

Now, this novella does deal with strip clubs, but it is relatively clean–at least, not explicitly graphic, for which I am thankful.  Eros toes the line very gracefully, and as we learn Faren’s true reasons for taking on this line of work, we begin to understand exactly why she chooses to do what she does.  That, and the two little words at the very beginning of the story…

Of course, Eros leaves readers hanging in the worst possible way, which is exactly her style, as it were, and I wouldn’t expect anything less, though I am indeed dying to know what’s going to happen next for Faren as her situation is quite dire, to say the least.  Thankfully, The Token is the first of a novella series with monthly release dates—novella number two is already 71% complete with a pending release in mid January, and the third in the series is slated for release on February 1. Good reads are ahead.  I can feel it.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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