Helpless

Adult
Rated 4.60/5 based on 5 reviews
Caught up in a war between the Alistairs, nicknamed The Irish Mob, and Belial’s Disciples, England’s nastiest MC. Kidnapped and at the mercy of Caden Winslow, Fracas Macintyre is convinced that life is going to get very nasty indeed. Warning: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex. It is for adults only. More

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About AJ Adams

Enter into the violent world of the Cartel, Camorra, Belial's MC and Prydain where death and romance go hand in hand. AJ Adams novels are all self-standing and although some feature the same families, you need not read them all - although it would be awesome if you did!

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Reviews

Review by: Deb Burchfield on July 28, 2016 :
AJ Adams does it again in the contemporary fiction Genre, that crosses over dark romance, erotica, action & suspense with sub-G's in military, mafia and a unique MC style I prefer- not too violent! :D Helpless is an edgy, wild roller-coaster ride that grabbed me from the start and held me hostage until the very end! ... So riveting, it kept me on the edge of my seat, turning pages, totally engaged and not wanting to stop when I had to! Yes, this has an intense story-line, with a few different plots woven in, but it is so entertaining that I could see it being made into a movie- a huge blockbuster hit movie!
With well developed characters, and a multi-faceted H/h pairing that you'll learn to love and come to cheer for, as you battle with your emotions that will run rampant! :o A well rounded, yet complicated story with twists and turns that will keep you guessing and has a surprise ending! :D I honestly do recommend this novel (Adults 18+) and any other book by this talented author!
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)

Review by: Kristi Cramer on Jan. 13, 2016 :
Helpless is bold and daring, and walks the fine line between what is acceptable and what is not. The heroes are larger than life, and more than a little...bent. Damaged, but not broken. They're not hindered by the law or held to any code other than their own sense of right and wrong, which has been shaped by their histories and is also a little bent.

Caden started off on shaky ground for me. He is hard, uncompromising, and obviously tortured by something(s) in his past. He does some things usually considered unforgivable. (You'll get no spoilers out of me.) He doesn't listen! But the depth of his character is revealed in a satisfying way, and as the story progressed I actually grew to like him quite well. He is strong, and loyal, and once you get him on your side, he won't shake free.

But Fracas.... You're asked to feel sympathy for, and root for, a woman who has had the shit end of the stick since puberty. She's crass, vulgar, and goddamned if she doesn't have a fighting spirit that society would sing praises of--if she were a man. So why not? Fracas is indomitable, outspoken, blunt and honest. Even when she's having her ass handed to her--and she knows that it's time to shut up--as a reader I really wanted her to win.

On the flip side, she is so flippant about her history--especially in the beginning, during the backstory rundown--that I wondered if she was even human. She almost lost me, there. How could anyone endure the crapfest that was her life and be so matter-of-fact about it? If I were having a conversation with Fracas and she told me all of that in one sitting, as it is presented in the opening chapter, I would either be looking for an exit or Googling a good therapist.

The author has a delicate line to walk. If the backstory isn't told, the reader may not be sympathetic with Fracas. But if it is told without kid gloves, it almost becomes too much to take in. There's got to be a happy medium, of revealing information in just the right increments to deliver the character's full depth without the reader despising her for what she is, or going a little numb because we learned too much too fast.

The plot has plenty of twists, and funny moments as well as horrifying ones. I very much enjoyed reading it. I can't think of anything to say that couldn't be considered a spoiler, so I'll just reiterate, it is a story worth reading. Crazy, up and down, wild ride. I did grow to care quite a lot about the characters and their battle to prevail...(no spoilers!) I wanted Caden and Fracas and the Disciples to WIN! There were a couple scenes that even had my eyes leaking on Fracas' account--the kind of tears I get from someone's core belief about themselves getting blown to pieces, when that's a good thing.

Now, as far as that missing star...
Because it is in first person, I had a rough time with some of it. As anyone who follows my reviews knows, I'm not a huge fan of first person. I don't see the appeal, and find when it isn't flawless it feels to me like I'm overhearing Chatty Kathy in the diner, telling her best friend about what happened last night. Helpless isn't flawless, but a lot of it is pretty well done. AJ has done better in other stories, though.

I found it hard to connect with Fracas--possibly as much if not more due to the issue I discuss above. Most especially, Fracas' little asides--commentary as though she's telling the story from some future date. Most of these I just found odd enough to pop me out of the bubble, but at least one was overtly revealing. Caden does at least one of those, too. As a reader, they make me go "A-ha! Something is coming!" but as a writer, I find it...well, a cheap trick. Foreshadowing with a sledgehammer.

The other quality of note is the amount of slang in this book. Britishisms galore, and many of them just plain derogatory terms. I could follow along through most of them, because they're used pretty well in context, but at times it was a bit overwhelming to follow. It gives the story a very salty feel, and I enjoyed a lot of it, but sometimes the sheer quantity was enough to pop me out of the bubble while I tried to figure out what on earth they were talking about.

This was a solid 4 star read for me. I would recommend to anyone who has enjoyed other AJ Adams books, and also to anyone who enjoys a read about the darker side of life--people who are not held up as shining examples of humanity, but who really, at their core, highlight some of humanities finest attributes.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)

Review by: Raisa Bangsal on Dec. 19, 2015 :
Out of all the AJ Adams story I read HELPLESS is by far the best one yet. Set in England with Russian Mobs and MC, Fracas and Caden (odd names for characters and I tend to interchange genders more than once while reading this book) are one heck of a couple.

Fracas being known as a very low person in the society doesn't care about hearsay even and just wants to leave it all and start anew but along the way, be it legal or pure that she did, she is still judged. It wasn't easy life for her and when she met Caden, a 6 foot 2 ex military with a past so dark, everything she ever worked for would go down the drain. Caden plans to live a normal life after his vendetta but that all change when his bike was stolen and met Fracas, a feisty girl with a pure heart. One lived a life full of joy and smiles and the other lived a life of pain, suffering and judgement.

At the start of the story, I was lost because I was not much of a fan with mafias and mobs story but AJ Adams story makes it easy for me to understand the flow even if I don't understand the terminologies of the mafia/mob world. I felt the regret Caden feels towards Fracas that I was gripping to every word. I like Caden because:
1. He is hot
2. He gives princess treatments
3 He is smokin hot :D

The story in the end was a bit confusing but I got the gist after reading it again. Like I said I am not accustomed to plots like this and I was only looking forward to how Caden and Fracas will go until the last chapter. Yeah I am a romantic.

This book needs to be a series because I can see a lot of potential characters needing stories. The plot is nice and somewhat new and I like that it switches from one POV to the next. I'm hoping more POV from male characters because they are more entertaining to read TBH.

Like I said the best one so far so go ahead and read HELPLESS!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

Review by: Jfarrell25 on Dec. 19, 2015 :
Man, AJ Adams is one of my favorite authors. This book is just as fabulous as her other four. Action-packed, full of violence and romance! My favorite type of book. This is her 2nd book in which the H is basically a good guy and not a criminal even though in his pursuit of good he does not really follow a law abiding path. It was an exciting ride. As always with an AJ Adams book I can hardly wait until she writes another!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cathy Geha on Dec. 17, 2015 :
Wow! What a rollercoaster ride this book was! Fracas has had a rough life that really went bad when she turned 15. She thinks she has turned her life around when everything get worse. Caden, a ruthless man with demons but a soft side for those he loves, gets tangled up with Fracas and what a tangle it turns out to be! The two are an unlikely duo but perfect for one another, at least once the first hurdles are overcome. I loved tough Caden, spirited Fracas, intriguing Rex and all of the members of the motorcycle club. The bad guy was BAD and the ending a surprise and when a book surprises me that is saying something since I often read the end of a book first. This is indeed a great story!

Thank you to the author for the copy of this book to read and review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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