ARC Review: Flesh Cartel #4: Consequences by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau

Posted February 6, 2013 by Leigh in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Flesh Cartel #4: Consequences by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau
Flesh Cartel #4: Consequences
by Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz

4 Stars

BOOK INFO


Released: Feb 4, 2013
Published by Riptide Publishing
Pages: 65
Format: ARC

 

 

“Yes, it is a mind fuck for Mat, Dougie, and the reader as well.  Kudos to Haimowitz and Belleau for being so damn good at their craft!” ~Under the Covers

Well, here we are with episode #4 of the Flesh Cartel, the psychosexual serial, and this episode, CONSEQUENCES, truly enveloped the “psychosexual” aspect of the series.  In the previous episodes, we have seen so many dark aspects of human trafficking at play – kidnapping, rape, torture, brutality, and mind games.  But I think this episode truly embraced the mind games part so very, very well.

In this episode, Mat and Dougie are still at Nikolai’s house, as he has begun training them for his clients.  In the previous episode, Nikolai begins to “teach” them that they have choices (ha!), but that their choices also have consequences.  We see a little bit of Mat in this episode, and he continues to be head strong, fighting still for both his pride and for Dougie.  After the tortuous consequences he received in CHOICES, though, he seems better inclined to make the “right” choice, but his mouth still gets him in trouble.

Nikolai is very focused on Dougie in this episode.  He wants to teach him that if he submits appropriately, he can be rewarded greatly.  But right now, this reward only appears as in the form of great sexual pleasure.  While Nikolai believes that the rewards of submitting appropriately are so much more than that, I just cannot agree.  And as much as it is comforting (for lack of a better word) to see Dougie receive pleasure for the first time in a long time, it is equally horrific, for he is still being raped, just not with the brutality as before.  And of course, he is at such odds with it all since he loathes what it happening to him, but is still able to experience tremendous physical pleasure.  It is a mind game – a mind fuck, if you will – of such epic proportions, and my heart just continues to break for him.  I almost don’t know what it worse – the brutality he received in earlier episodes, or the fucked up “caring” he is receiving now.  It truly is a toss up.  Yet, I find myself rooting for him to make the “right” decision so that he doesn’t have to suffer the seemingly worst consequences for making the “wrong” choice.  *sigh*  Yes, it is a mind fuck for Mat, Dougie, and the reader as well.  Kudos to Haimowitz and Belleau for being so damn good at their craft!

Another part of this episode that is bothersome is watching Nikolai repeatedly use words to break Dougie down, and not just with threats.  But twisting events of his life in such a way that maybe one day, with enough repetition, and enough positive consequences delivered by his own hand, that Dougie just might start to believe him.  And of course, it is all self-serving lies, and while Dougie as a psych major understands this, there will come a point I think, that he will start to doubt himself and believe Nikolai instead.  Nikolai really gets to the heart of it (in his mind) with this quote:

“We are all creatures of our circumstances, Douglas.  When those circumstances change, so too must we.  Or be crushed by them.  Don’t you want to be happy, Douglas?  Don’t you want to live free of pain, free of fear?”

So, as I said at the outset, this episode truly plays on the psychosexual aspect of this series so very much.  Eerily so – to the point where I feel like I really do have my own mind game going on.  With each release, I loathe to read more of the abuse that Dougie and Mat have to endure, yet I am so engrained and fixated on the series and these characters, that I devour each episode the moment I get my hot little hands on it, and can’t wait until the next one.  Haimowitz and Belleau clearly know their stuff if they can keep drawing in the reader for more torture. But like Mat and Dougie, I continue to have hope.  Nikolai, though, has this to say about that:

“Hope,” Nikolai told him.  “You hope for things.  Hope is a fool’s game.  Hope will only break your heart.”

Yet, I will continue to keep my hope alive, for the boys, and for me as a reader, because if I lose all my hope, then what’s the point, right?

Next episode up is called WINS AND LOSSES.  Bring it!!

*ARC provided by publisher

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Leigh
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Leigh

Guest Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I am a wife and mom of two sassy and fabulous kids, and I have decided I will be forever 39.After college, I became a paralegal and read only legal documents and eventually some baby naming books.Then about six years ago, I needed to check out all the hype of some teenage vampire romance, and that was all she wrote.It didn't take me long to rediscover my love of reading that I had throughout my youth, and I was devouring every paranormal romance and urban fantasy series I could get my grabby hands on.

Through Amazon forums and Goodreads, I met a lot of amazing women with that same passion, including the lovely ladies who started UTC.While those genres will always be two of my favorites, I have discovered that M/M romance is my primary love.That kiss between Qhuinn and Blay in Phury's book (you BDB lovers know what I'm talking about!) sealed the deal for me.I love a story where love is hard fought and hard won.I am also a firm believer that EVERYONE deserves love and a happy ending, and the beauty in achieving that is what keeps me coming back for more.

I have amassed quite a collection of book boyfriends through the years, with the top two being John Matthew and Jamie Fraser.**le sigh**In the M/M genre, my best buddy is Randy Jensen.Two of my favorite tropes are Friends to Lovers and Out for You, and I enjoy just about any subgenre - PNR, UF, contemporary, historical, RomCom, Young Adult, Erotica, Mystery/Thriller - in my M/M romance.As long as it is written well, eventually gives me an HEA, and makes me have all the feels, I am one happy girl.
Leigh
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Lori Meehan

Thanks for the review Leigh.

Timitra
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Timitra

I don’t think I’ve read any book quite like this so thanks for the heads up on this Leigh!