Series: Twisted Love #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation
Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.
In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.
As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…
I don’t want this.
If only it were true. Too bad want and need were two entirely different things.
Sure, I didn’t want this. But my body sure as hell needed it.
Lead Me Not by A. Meredith Winters is a rip-you-to-shreds, bleed-you-dry, wound-your-soul love story. This story will tear away all your preconceived notions, while still frustrating the shit out of you. It’s the tale of a tumultuous, tenuous love between a lost boy, the girl who tries to save him, and the siren that he can’t resist.
Maxx is dangerous. He’s the worst kind of bad boy; he’s a broken boy. Having lost love early, he’s left with a world of responsibility, drowning in his obligations; desperately latching on to anything that’ll keep him afloat. When we meet Maxx he’s cocky, sure, and deceptive. As he pulls us in we’re helpless to resist.
I knew the way people looked at me, and I fucking loved it…I was a guy that mattered. I was a guy with power and control.
But Maxx is losing his grip on the carefully crafted world he’s created, and as the story unfolds, Winters expertly, and beautifully conveys the dark hopelessness of Maxx’s cage.
Aubrey thinks she can save him. She’s seeking her own redemption, trying to forgive herself the guilt she feels for not saving her sister when she saw her self-destruct. She’s putting her career on the line, risking everything she’s worked so hard to achieve so that she can free Maxx from his prison.
I would fight for the life I wanted with everything I had – even if that meant a hefty dose of denial, denial, denial.
Maxx is Aubrey’s drug. She knows that he’s dangerous to her health and sanity, that he has the power to crush her, but she just doesn’t have the will to walk away. She believes that she is that girl, the one who can save him from the maelstrom of addiction, rage, and denial. Unfortunately, she’s battling a bitch that has her claws deeply entrenched, and in order to win she’ll have to risk it all.
These two characters are deeply flawed, and they will cause you to rage and despair. A. Meredith Walters doesn’t gloss over the struggles that Maxx and Aubrey have to overcome. She doesn’t dilute the stark emotional turmoil you’ll experience by making things pretty. You will feel intensely, and if you approach this story with an open mind, Lead Me Not will provoke your prejudices, and hopefully allow you to feel empathetic to those who struggle to cope with life’s hardships.
I feel passionately about this story because I feel passionately about books that honestly portray the human condition. We really just want to be happy, as corny as that sounds. We want love and we want happiness. Unfortunately life doesn’t happen smoothly. We get are hearts broken, we lose the ones we love, and it’s hard to just stay strong and positive. Some people flounder – some struggle to stay afloat, and some drown.
This book put me through the wringer, and in the end I was crying, but I was also smiling. The story ended on a tenuously hopeful note, that satisfied my need for closure, but still left the door open for more of Maxx and Aubrey. Lead Me Not was my introduction to A. Meredith Walters, and this first impression was a good impression, and a lasting one. Read this book people! Don’t let your fears and set opinions deter you from experiencing this wonderful story.