About the Book
Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.
But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.
Author bio: Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.
Consumed is a heart-breaking, intense and honest look at substance abuse, but it is a fantastic read. Raw and honest, it is an emotional ride.
Stacey is a mess. She went through treatment once, got clean and is now ready for college. Unfortunately, she can’t fight the draw to use again. She is battling her past, battling her addictions and she falls into old patterns. Her life is spiraling out of control. She falls for Jesse, a drug dealer. If that isn’t self-destructive, I don’t know what it. Then one night, she goes overboard and she finally takes a deeper look at herself, at life, at everything.
The book is told from both Stacey and Jesse’s POVs. Adding Jesse’s POV was a brilliant move, in my opinion.
A raw, gritty book that is more than worth the emotional roller coaster ride.
“Your nose is bleeding.”
I brought my hand to my nose and nodded.
Ugh. I snorted coke last night.
My whole body contorted and I ran to Derek’s bathroom as quickly as I could. I made it just in time. Blood and acid trickled from my nostrils, vomit spewed violently from my mouth, and tears poured from my ducts.
Eli caught up with me, closed the door, and pulled my hair back into a neat bun. His soft hands rubbed my back gently until finally, after what seemed like years, my body stopped betraying me and calmed. The stress Eli felt was written all over his face; he couldn’t imagine the idea of me being hurt, sick, under his watch. He handed me some tissues for my nose and held me to his chest on the tile floor. He didn’t say a word but I knew that he was worried; he felt betrayed by my choices. I hated that I had let him down again. I cried so hard I threw up again.
I was never going to be normal. I was fucked up. I was a slut. I was a whore. I deserved to be raped. I was disgusting. I was never going to be happy.
I was rocking back and forth, rubbing my arms, trying to calm myself down. I didn’t know if I was having a panic attack or a heart attack. My chest burned, and my breathing became labored. Jesse looked petrified but didn’t waste time. He made a long, thick line for me. I bent over, and inhaled the coke into my nostril.
I started to breathe again. Jesse stood over me, watching me as I calmed down. Eventually, I wasn’t rocking anymore, and my chest pains went away. Just as that happened, the little butterflies flittered across my view. Lights sparkled at the periphery of my vision.
“Are you okay?” he asked me, now that I was calm.
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m fine now.”
“Stacey!” Jesse moaned into my ear as I ripped through my second orgasm. My whole body shook through it; my mouth opened wide. I was shocked by how this felt, I had never been this consumed in missionary position.
But then something seemed to change. I was so high that I just couldn’t really focus. My eyes blurred and as he thrust inside me harder. With every hard thrust, I became just a little more scared. I started to shake and my legs instinctively closed. My breathing became shallow and quick just as Jesse started to slow down.
“Stacey? Is it too hard?”
This is Jesse. This is not Mike raping you. You want this. You want him inside you.
“A little. Can we slow down?” I didn’t want to tell him that hard sex reminded me of my rape.
“Of course I can,” he whispered.
His strong hands came down to my legs, which he slowly stroked with his fingers. With that soft touch, my legs opened up bit by bit, welcoming him inside. He rocked inside me more gently than I could have asked for. And with every tender thrust that wasn’t accompanied by anything hard, fast, or violent, I reminded myself where I was. I was in the arms of a protector, not a monster.
“Jesse, stop! I’m fine!” I tried to convince him. I hoped if I convinced him I was fine, he would let me have the drugs. I really didn’t want him to take the coke. I needed it to function.
“No, you’re not, Stacey.” He wasn’t yelling anymore. He was pleading, kneeling down in front of me. “Please, just stop. For me.”
“Why, though?” I looked into his eyes, watching tears start to run down his face. “Don’t cry, Jess.”
“I love you, Stacey. But, I can’t watch you become this dependent. When I was with you and your family”—he hiccupped, and inhaled loudly—“I realized how stupid we were being. You’ve had a hard past. I know all about it, and I am so sorry that happened to you. But I feel horrible because your family trusts me, and I’m fucking giving you coke to help you with your anxiety. I’m not helping you; I’m making it worse. I love you so much, and I can’t bring you down anymore.”
Watching him cry made me want to lock myself in my dorm room and never come out. I wanted to stay with Jesse and just focus on each other. I cried with him, beginning to understand how he felt.
“You’re not making it worse,” I sobbed into his chest, leaning down to be closer to him. “I love you.” He looked at me; one stray tear trickled down ever so slowly.
“Why don’t you repeat after me?” she asked, and then started. “I am a recovering addict.”
My eyes started to tear as I opened my mouth. “I’m a recovering addict.”
Carol didn’t waver as my voice quavered, betraying me. She just continued. “I’m smart,” I repeated it after her.
“I’m talented,” she continued.
And then she said the affirmation that made me shake. An affirmation that felt all too much like a lie. “I’m special. I’m beautiful. I’m not perfect but I will be happy.”
I slowed down, wiping the tears away from my eyes. And I said the words as slowly as I could. Trying to believe them.
Carol nodded. “You are.”
“I’m beautiful?” The statements were coming out like questions. I wasn’t sure if I really was these things that Carol was having me repeat.
“I’m not perfect,” I sighed, making the affirmation my own. “But, I’m on the road to happiness.”
Carol put her arms around me and I sank into her embrace. I may not have been perfect, and I may not have felt beautiful- but I was trying. Trying to recover. Trying to be happy. Trying to live.
About the Author:
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a Human Development and Family Studies major and a Psychology minor. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. She can be found getting lost in her characters in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.