The Brute and I 

Love is never easy. Alex and Marco know this, perhaps, better than anyone. They simultaneously make the perfect and the most volatile of couples. Their history is long, troubled, and charged with an animosity that neither of them is able to verbalize. This, in fact, may be the downfall of their relationship. When every battle they have been fighting comes to a head one night, violence threatens to end what they have worked so hard to build, and the two are forced to look at their relationships and themselves in an entirely new and terrifying light.

The Brute and I, by Suzanne Smith, is an utterly stunning piece of fiction. Not quite a romance and not exactly in the spiritual vein, this short novella delivers one of the most powerful messages of hope I have ever had the fortune to read. Alex and Marco have a tumultuous relationship, and readers see the result of their dynamic in the first few paragraphs. It is harrowing to read, triggering for some readers, and incredibly impactful by the story’s end.

One of the most gripping aspects of Smith’s plot is the focus on rationale versus raw emotion. There is nothing more realistic than the battle between these two when it comes to love, and the author is a master at conveying this through her characters. The first-person narration adds to the emotional impact of Alex’s story. Her fears, her jealousy, and her own disappointment with herself will grab readers from the first sentence. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I felt Alex’s trepidation as she grappled with staying with Marco or leaving him behind. The author has truly done an amazing job of creating a believable cast of characters with whom many readers will be able to relate.

The thing that sets Smith’s work apart from so many other books that deal with domestic abuse is that the characters’ experiences offer hope. Alex and Marco are both strong-willed and determined, but they are set on making their relationship work–no matter what it takes. Readers are taken on that journey and hold hands with Alex as she seeks the therapy she needs to heal. Marco’s journey is an absolutely breathtaking one. His healing, though different from Alex’s, is no less amazing.

The author delves into some frightening areas of the human psyche, and it is a ride I am glad I did not miss. The emotions of the main characters are raw from beginning to end and give readers a lot to process as they watch Alex and Marco move through some very challenging stages. I highly recommend Smith’s work to anyone looking for a psychologically rich story with well-developed and relatable characters. This is a one-sitting book and, hands-down, one of my favorites this year.

Pages: 211 | ASIN : B07F95G2FS

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on June 13, 2022, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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