Blog Tour (Book Review and Excerpt): Shame by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: Shame (Ruin #3)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 stars

RELEASE DATE: October 6, 2014

Everything done in darkness, will eventually be brought into the light.
I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can’t change your soul.
A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one that seemed confident, but it was a lie.
When guys kissed me–I felt only pain.
When they touched me–Nothing but fear.
Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone that will see you as their world.
But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn’t fool enough to think I’d ever get it.
Until he walked into my life.
I wasn’t prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie–I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea.
But I was powerless to stop myself from falling.
And he was powerless to catch me.
Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I’m stronger than I knew. I’m stronger than you think.
You think you know my story, but you don’t….after all everyone has Shame in their lives– and I’m no longer afraid to show you mine.

Grace Review

In the third installment of this series, we finally get Lisa’s story.  And boy is it a dozy!  She and Gabe have a lot in common as they both hide from their pasts.  This was hinted about previously, but we never got the full story as to why she had to hide, until now.  Lisa’s secrets are very different from Gabe’s.  Her secrets center on shame.  Causing shame.  Exploiting someone’s shame.  Being shamed.

Lisa’s biggest mistake – falling in love with a monster.  Thru journal entries, we learn about this monster, Taylor Blaine.  This guy is a total nut job.  Exploiting Lisa’s self-esteem issues, he manipulates her in the most frightening ways.

Lisa is a bit of a weak heroine, but that didn’t make me dislike her in any way.  I felt sorry for her and while it seemed the stakes were building against her, I was hoping things would work out for her.  But if you’ve read the previous books in this series, you know that the characters will go thru hell before they can finally find peace and happiness.

There is so much going against Lisa.  Her own guilty conscious.   Her stalker.  A website that is impossible to shut down.  A professor who supposedly hates her.  And a sketchy classmate.

What Lisa was lucky to have was friends like Wes and Gabe.  (Side note: if you didn’t completely fall in love with Wes in Ruin, I’m not sure we can be friends. )  They did everything in their power to protect her.  And while their protection wasn’t always enough, she had an enemy become an ally.  Someone who gave her hope for the chance of happiness.  Something she wasn’t sure she would ever deserve.

What I loved about this book was the whole mystery behind it.  Who could be trusted?  Not if, but when would Lisa be exposed?  What would ultimately be her downfall?

Some of my suspicions were spot on *claps hand on back*, others not so much.  But I was glued to this story and loved it from beginning to end.

I think this might be the end of the series, and while I’m sad to see this amazing series end, the author delivered 3.5 books that were each strong on their own, while at the same time building upon each other.  Capturing the very lows and well deserved highs of this group of young adults.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.



I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead against hers. A shaky breath escaped her lips.
“I’m going to kiss you now.”
“Are you trying to prepare me or ask permission?” she whispered, her voice beckoning me like a siren’s call.
“Both.” My lips hovered near hers. “I figure it’s only fair.”
“Fair?” She pulled back slightly. “How so?”
“Ten thousand.” I angled my head and watched the pulse jump on her neck. “That’s how many nerve endings, on average, are in your lips. Consequently, when your body anticipates pleasure, the build-up is the best part. Imagine, those ten thousand nerves are swelling, allowing blood to surge through them in anticipation of… what?” I swept my tongue across her lower lip and whispered, “Of being touched. I ask permission, not because I’m being a gentleman. It’s actually the complete opposite. I ask permission so your brain anticipates the pleasure before I’ve ever even touched you.”
I tasted her lower lip again and abruptly dipped my tongue into her mouth. Then just as quickly retreated. “The human body is an instrument. Know how to master it… and well…” I let my voice drop as I moved my hands slowly to her shoulders and tugged her body flush against mine. Our mouths met softly at first. I deepened the kiss, memorizing her taste, knowing I wouldn’t experience a kiss like this again in my lifetime. The way her scent, her soft moans destroyed my body, wrecked me from the deepest part of me, was nothing short of life-altering.
And I’d like to think I’d kissed a lot of women.
I’d studied the psychology of sexuality.
I was an expert in pleasure.
But she was schooling me, absolutely wreaking havoc on every logical thought as her soft whimper cascaded over me. Blood surged through my body as it tightened with awareness at her proximity.
She pulled back, her lips swollen. “That was… not a good enough warning.”
Laughing softly, I cupped the back of her head and gently drew it toward mine and kissed her again, angling my lips differently, searching her, consuming her, drawing pleasure from her lips as if it was my life goal to discover every single secret she owned.
Her arms wrapped around my neck. She was shy; she didn’t push against me, didn’t wrap her legs around me or moan into my mouth like I was having sex with her rather than kissing her.
My hands moved down her corset to her hips, and I lifted her into the air and walked her backward toward the brick wall. The whole time, our masks collided. In frustration, I ripped hers off, then mine. The shadows of moonlight hid our faces as I kissed her harder, losing myself in her.
Her nails dug at the back of my neck as she jerked my head harder. Groaning, I let her fall to the ground as I placed my hands on the brick wall to keep myself from ripping the dress from her body.
Shouting started from the ballroom.
“Ten, nine…!”
“Eight,” I whispered against her mouth. “Seven.”
“Six.” She sighed, her breathing labored as her tongue found mine again. “Five.”
“Four, three.” I pulled back and trailed kisses down her neck.
We broke apart, both breathing heavy. “One.”
People burst out onto the balcony as the fireworks started, lighting up the sky. And our faces.
And the only thing I could say as she gasped in horror was “Oh, shit.”

Shame teaser 3

Shame teaser

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To purchase the previous books in the series, click on images below:

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