Title: In This Iron Ground (Natural Magic #1)
Author: Marina Vivancos
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: September 3, 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 216 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Damien is nine years old when his parents die. What should have been the worst moment of his life begins a journey shadowed by loneliness and pain. The night of a full moon, four years and seven foster homes later, Damien flees to the forest, desperate to escape everything.
Instead, he finds the Salgado pack, and the earth beneath his feet shifts. Damien has seen the Salgado children in his school: Koko, who is in his class, and Hakan, two years older and infinitely unreachable. Damien is suddenly introduced into a world that had only ever existed in his imagination, where there is magic in the forest and the moon. He meets creatures that look like monsters, but Damien knows that monsters have the same face as anybody else.
Over the years, Damien and Hakan grow closer. First, just as friends and foster brothers in the Salgado house, and then into something heated and breathless when Damien joins Hakan at college. Despite what he may yearn for in the darkest part of the night, Damien knows, deep down in that bruised and mealy part of his core, that he’s not good enough to be part of the Salgado family, their pack. He’s not worthy of calling Hakan his home.
Even though he knows in the end it’ll hurt him, he’ll hold onto this for as long as he can.
CONTENT WARNING: This book contains themes of emotional and (nonsexual) physical child abuse and the subsequent emotional, cognitive, and behavioural impacts.
This is one of those books I had to come back to a couple of times in order to actually read it. I am not sayingthat it was a bad read or anything but it is one of those books that is very slow to get to the point of where the book is heading. That is part of the reason I had to come back to this book. The other part is it broke my heart the way one of the main characters was treated and the details of that treatment was hard to read. It was not written in a way that it was a memory of the abuse he endured but more like you had to live through all of it with him in order to be able to get past it.
Also the treatment of Damien and the child abuse he suffered was not just a small part of the story but went on for a very good portion of the read. As I said it has a very slow pacing of the story being told so you really have to be prepared to endure what he did when reading this book.
After Damien lost his parents tragically he was moved around a lot in the foster care system. So much so that when he got the family that treated him so horribly, he did not want to say anything to the case worker or anyone else for fear of being moved somewhere worse. So he took the abuse to the point he even tried to kill himself just to have some peace.
The only blessing in his life is the Salgado family. After accidentally learning their secret they took him in as a friend, then as family, and then as more when it came to one of the Salgado children Hakan. But all throughout this journey, Damien did not feel like he was good enough.
This was a good read but the lead up to how it actually ends took all the way to almost the very end. That was a disappointment because I felt as if this book put more information towards the bad in Damien’s life and not enough on how it all ended. I wish there had been more of the happily ever after then there was.
Regardless this was a decent read. I enjoyed it but I will have to really debate on if I will read the next book or not when it comes out.
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