Book: The Difference Between
Publisher: Dark Ink
Publication date: January 10, 2017
Length: 242 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Wade Maguire and Russ Paulson are in love. After a year of passion and happiness, they’re buying a home and moving in together. Everything is rosy for them—until a jealous and insane ex from Wade’s past puts all of that to the test.
After being kidnapped and tortured by his deranged former lover, Wade loses his ability to engage with his own sexuality or with Russ. With the help of a psychologist, EMDR therapy, and a sex plan, they work together to overcome the damage inflicted. In the process, they discover wells of love they’ve never known before.
As passion is reborn and their sex life reignited, Wade realizes a need to re-experience certain events in Russ’s loving arms. For Wade, the difference between pain and pleasure is love, and the difference between rape and rough sex is consent.
Dark, and yet ultimately hopeful, this book contains many emotional and graphic sex scenes, as well as some scenes of torture. This book deals with rape and rape recovery. Proceed with care.
I always find books that evoke so many emotions are harder to review than others that just simply make you feel. The Difference Between is one of those books that after you finish it, you need to process and decompress.
I feel it needs saying: Heed the warnings. The author does an absolutely wonderful job of warning the reader what they are going to be reading. He says, and I will agree with, if rape, torture, humiliation, things that relate to kidnapping are hard for you to read then skip chapters 2 and 3. Skipping these chapters won’t affect the overall meaning of this book. Enough is discussed throughout the story to understand what Wade went through all those weeks with his ex. I read every chapter and every word. We don’t just feel Wade’s pain in chapter 2 and 3 but we also get inside his ex’s head too. Mental illness is terrifying. In this case Owen was beyond mental illness in my mind. He lost his humanity. He lost the person that once meant something in this world and never got help. And Wade pays a huge price for that.
There were moments in this book that, out of nowhere, a sob would escape me. Moments like when Wade’s eight year old godson hugs him and tells him, “I got you.” I mean my heart just exploded. And Russ….His love for Wade was gorgeous. Russ met and fell in love with a Wade that Owen stripped away and broke. Russ has to fall in love again in a way. He needs to glue the pieces back. Russ is patient, kind, and pretty much the most perfect man ever! I say that in all seriousness. I’ve read many times that spouses of rape victims can’t cope a lot of the time with what it takes to recover. I give huge props to Russ.
Now, the therapy and recovery is a huge part of this book. It’s pretty much the whole book. We recover with Wade and we glimpse inside his and Russ’s mind throughout. Seeing it through both their eyes was brilliant. It was needed and it helped, me at least, understand the emotions and such a lot better.
This is a very powerful book. Dark, gritty, raw, and not easy to read. For an author to start a book out with such horrible darkness. To show us a humanity stripped of all its good and have us endure a Hell not many would survive and then turn it into a happiness we all wish we could feel just once in our lives? That’s serious talent. It’s more than talent though. There’s an understanding between author and character here. Research, and there’s a serious realism here I felt one could not write unless they really understood it.
I applaud the author and I do recommend this story.
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