Saturday, September 10, 2016

Voice for the Silent by T.A. Chase

Julio and Paine meet, triggering a chain of events that rocks both their worlds and brings justice for the silent victims.

Investigating and busting dog-fighting rings is what Julio Herendez lives to do. Defending the innocent and vulnerable from monsters makes his day, but when he meets Paine, Julio finds himself wanting to save the young man from the cruel world he’s been forced to survive in.

Paine Addison exists where the weak and innocent are exploited for entertainment. The men who use him and fight the dogs don’t care about the damage they inflict. He lives from day to day, doing what he can to heal the wounds suffered by others, but unable to help himself.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of animal abuse, non-consensual sex. Also contains reference to child abuse.

Publisher's Note: This book has been previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is an incredibly gritty look at the consequences of dogfighting and child abuse. Leading man Julio is a cop for the humane society and his love interest is a young man who has suffered a lifetime of abuse and is aptly named Paine.

I chose this book because I have loved TA Chase’s books in the past. She is one of the writers who introduced me to the world of m/m romance and I have much to thank her for. However, I have some serious issues with this story.

There is too much going on in this book and as a result, the recounted child abuse feels sensational and almost salacious. A breathless, and then, and then, and then… pace to the story reveals horrific damage done to the three children without ever exploring the consequences with the gravity or sensitivity needed to make the situation feel real or honest. Readers are told graphic personal details about all three young people without ever getting to really know them as individuals. The treatment and recovery is whitewashed, allowing for easy-fix solutions to a lifetime of abuse.

There isn’t much of any romance in this story. The connection between the cop and the man who has been kept as a slave for a lifetime is instant and initially feels very one sided. I found it difficult to see Paine and Julio as equals and wondered how different the power and control Julio has over Paine’s life is from the power Paine’s uncle had over his life. Paine isn’t much more than a teenager when Julio brings him home. Julio announces his attraction to the young man only days after Paine has been raped for a final time. There is an exploitative ick factor here – a ready-made happy family for Julio and a new, prearranged life for Paine and his cousins that they again have very little input into. Granted, the single sex scene occurs at the end of the story, but gratitude and dependence don’t make for a great happily ever after.

There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates TA and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, TA's watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Voice for the Silent by T.A. Chase to read and review.

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