Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder


3 stars

Read from December 22 to 24, 2014 — I own a copy

Synopsis: My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.
But I was wrong. Roy could see past the façade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.
The boy who loved me.
The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

Bookish Things:  320 pages. The cover is lovely, simple and subtle.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $4.64 or paperback for $14.39

My Review: 

Complementary Colors sees Paris Duvoe (our protagonist) explore an extremely dark past that has been haunting him his whole adult life.

Add to that, the messed up family situation he finds himself in and you have one recipe for disaster.

His saving grace, his tormented paintings that depict abstract clues to his shadowy past. Clues that his supposed one night stand, Roy, can understand.

The mental anguish and emotional turmoil was very candidly depicted. We got to see the tortured expanse of Paris’ soul, we also got to dissect the reasons behind why he was as he was. I really liked this aspect of the book.

My main concern with this story is how brutal Paris’ existence is. It’s in-your-face and crude and everything you really don’t want in a romance story. But somehow, Roy seems to counter balance all the darkness, he seems to radiate a warmth from within himself that just kept tugging at my heart as I hunkered down to take this journey with the guys.

I felt that there was too much sex. This is a graphic M/M romance, that bordered on erotica simply because of the quantity of sex scenes that littered the dark pages. If you can handle that style of sex and drugs (some of it very dark and abusive), you’ll find this to be an interesting read with plenty of wicked twists.

The colours used to describe things was a nice touch. Paris seeing things in colours and using them to describe his feelings was a great way of bringing in a creative communication method. It also allowed the reader to interpret the hues themselves and create the scene in their heads.

Supporting characters in this book were neither here nor there. They had personality, but I wasn’t drawn to them. This was a let down, especially when talking about Alice.

The antagonist/s were thoroughly messed up. Insidious and cunning, they really snuck up on you before landing a kick to the ribs. I really liked how they were portrayed in this story.

I’m happy to say I didn’t find a typo or error. Great result!

Why the 3 star rating then? Well, it comes down to the general feel of the book. It’s a bit too dark, a bit too messy and a bit too erotic to work for me. Now, each of those things (and even some combinations of two of them) work well, but all three just didn’t do it for me. I loved the writing style, but found myself longing to skip some of the sex scenes.

Possible trigger warnings for those sensitive to rape, abuse or excessive drug use.

However, if you enjoy M/M erotica, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you like dark books about mental anguish, this could be for you. If you enjoy messed up family histories with death and abuse sprinkled throughout, this one is likely a good pick for you. If you like all of those types of books in equal measure, then this is certainly the book for you.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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