Blog Tour for Flawed by Francette Phal

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Synopsis

Blood.

That’s the only memory he carries from a childhood he does not remember. And now it is all he knows. Blood is his life.

Knox Bishop has done a lot of horrible things, all at the command of the man who holds his leash. It’s a matter of loyalty for him. Allegiance to the man who saved his life when he was a child. So he goes where he is needed and does what he is told. He tortures. He kills. He kills. He tortures. It is an unrelenting cycle that he constantly craves and can never quite satisfy.

Until her.

Eighteen year old Lacey Barnes distributes her assets to fund her dreams. Medical school is the end game and she is determined to get there by any means necessary. But a family member’s careless mistake derails her plans and now she must pay a price in order to save him.

She goes to Knox willingly offering him the only valuable thing she has. Herself. In doing so he allows her into his world, a world filled with darkness but rather than being scared it intrigues her. It lures her, calls to something in her that she hadn’t known existed until he awakened it.

Every bit of his flaws is reflected in her and Knox will do anything to keep her in the darkness with him.

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Knox

I’m not what you would call normal. The word has no meaning to me. But I’ve been pretending to act normal. It’s something I’ve been practicing since I’ve been aware of the thrum and its significance in my life. I was seven when I first heard the lullaby. Second grade, just before recess. It happened in a squall. Nothing and then all at once. I remember everything about that day. The bell rang and the other children went to play. Not me. Never me. I always stayed behind, mostly by choice, but never contested because the other children thought I was weird. I think maybe they unconsciously knew that I was lacking something fundamental. Something they all had and I didn’t, and maybe even never had at all. Whatever it was, I was alienated, excluded from their games. But I couldn’t say it bothered me. I was indifferent to it. Katia would sometimes play with me. Yuri’s youngest daughter, my adoptive sister, kept me company when she wasn’t with her own friends. But she’d been home sick that day.

In the small classroom with its oversized, rainbow-colored letters hanging over the chalkboard and tiled number blocks littering the carpeted floor, I sat in the beanbag chair staring fixatedly at the class pet. Sweet Ms. Devon always stayed with me but she’d left for a moment. A moment to heat her lunch. A moment to speak to a fellow staff member in the teachers’ lounge. But it’d been a moment too long for me. The noise in my head had been too loud. The urge too strong. The pink-eyed little rabbit, Mr. Apples, and the yellow pair of scissors sitting blades down in Ms. Devon’s “Best Teacher” mug had been too much of a temptation for me to resist.

The pounding of my heart. The lullaby and the thrum. The latch had given way beneath my shaking fingers, soaked with apprehension and anticipation. The struggle. The frantic movement of something living, something warm, with the same accelerated heartbeat as mine grappling for life. Desperate for freedom even while knowing the inevitable hand of death loomed was intoxicating. The thrill, the excitement, the sweet seductive power. I swam in it. Like too much candy on Halloween. Too much ice cream in the summer. It had been a quick death for Mr. Apples. It had been crude. Amateurish. But ever so effective in quieting the discord of my mind.

Poor, sweet Ms. Devon came to find me on the floor of the overly-bright classroom. Huddled on the floor, covered in Mr. Apples. She’d been one to smile a lot. But I stole her smile that day and replaced it with horror instead. Her pretty features contorted like a Kabuki mask.

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REVIEW

Reviewer: Kim

Rating: 5 Groupie Stars

I have never read a book by Francette Phal before. I love a dark erotica story, so I was looking forward to this story, even though I knew nothing about the author or her writing style.  I found Flawed had quite a original concept and didn’t follow the usual dark erotica style. I found the whole story interesting, twisted, mind blowing and pure genius.
The story is told from 3 people’s POVs. There’s Lacey, Knox and Latia.
Lacey is in high school, but she’s also a prostitute. She is a nice girl, who is just trying her best to get through the mess that her life’s in, because of her mother and brother, she had to turn prostitution to try and save money to go to college and medical school. At the same time though she’s supporting her mother and her drug habit, as well as her brother. She is so sweet and kind natured that every time one of them gets in trouble she will always bail them out. I felt like I needed to shake some sense into her and tell her to stop giving them money and supporting them. If her mum does drugs, that’s not her problem.  I feel in love with her character instantly and loved how the author made her so nice and sweet, but also a survivor who can get through anything .
Knox is an assassin. At the start he comes across as a absolutely nutcase, who is a serial killer and needs to be in jail. He’s very cold, calculated and cunning. I didn’t feel any connection towards him at the start. He was not kind, he had no patience and all emotions within him are switched off and gone. Unfortunately for Lacey, being the kind sister that she is, she steps in to protect her brother from Knox and what he owes. Knox wants 25 sessions with Lacey for the $25,000 her brother owes. Why Lacey did this to save her brother, I’ll never know, as Knox is insane. I did however like that the author gave us a clear insight into his thoughts. As some of the story was told from his POV we got to know him a bit better and understand him and his ways more clearly.
Latia is the third character in the book. She is Knox’s adoptive sister and the daughter of the head of the Russian crime family. She is absolutely crazy and not a nice person in the slightest. At some points I thought she was more crazy than Knox. She’s two faced and knows the crime world inside out and how to play the game. She has no trouble trafficking young girls and wants to take over her father’s organisation upon his death. If that wasn’t enough about how crazy and messed up she is, she also is obsessed with Knox and wants to be with him.
This wasn’t a easy book to read. It’s up there with one of the darkest books I’ve ever read, and I love dark reads and have read a lot of them. The plot was original and I think the author did a amazing job at writing a book that was so dynamic and messed up that you couldn’t stop reading. The author created perfect characters for the book. They needed to be seriously messed up for the book to have the impact that it does and the author pulled it off fantastically.
The author made sure that there was twists and turns all over the place and that you could never predict what was going to happen next.
The story does end on a cliff hanger, but right now I can’t imagine Knox ever changing. I can’t imagine him any way but the way he is. I’m hoping in the next installment though that we will start to see a slightly more open Knox because I want to love him, not hate him.

One of the best dark reads I’ve ever read, it also smashes all the “dark reads” out the part because your never truly know how dark a book can be until you read this.

Brilliant book if you love a dark read.

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About the AuthorFrancette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.Goodreads FacebookTwitter3 Teaser

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