Release Date: November 14, 2012
Source: Cristiane Serruya
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
They are beautiful. They are rich. They are strong willed and successful. They have everything, but love. And each one of them has a dark secret looming in their past.
Sophia is a 25 year old Brazilian widow. Intelligent and ravishing, she flees from her own country after a tragic incident. Hiding from everyone and everything, she remains alone, torn between the love for a dead man, the torment of living without part of her memory and the fear of moving on.
Ethan is one of the most important tycoons in the steel industry. As the memory of an awful evening in his adolescence haunts him night and day, he keeps looking for an elusive woman whom he could love - and who would love him - as he never has in all his 35 years... Until he finds Sophia.
Alistair is a 34 year old powerful banker, searching for one–night stands with women who will warm his bed. And that he can punish physically to abate his anger for his late wife's black deeds and his own guilt for being such a debauched man for so many years. Any woman will do, and he has many to choose from, as they all fall instantly for his manly, devilish charming ways.
In Europe, in the months after October 2009, their paths will cross and clash. Who will win the prize of love?
Wow! This book was freaking intense! A Twitter buddy asked me what it was about right after I read the last page and I was lost for words. There's so many layers and angles to the story I needed a moment to settle down and process how I can share my experience with you, my dear Supies.
Let's start with the plot. TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING by Cristiane Serruya is the first of a planned trilogy. To compartmentalize the story, TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING revolves around the life and romantic liaisons of Sophia Santo: the first is with steel magnate, Ethan Ashford closely followed by Scottish banker, Alistair Connor MacGraig. To sum it up, Sophia's personal life is in bloom but the crux lie on the men she chose to associate with. Their entanglements are ardent, frivolous and dangerously passionate I'm sure erotica fans (Fifty Shades, Crossfire, Inside Out) will get a big kick out of this one not because of BDSM (although Serruya touched on that but lightly) but because TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING is emotionally jarring. Not to mention Ethan and Alistair going bonkers over Sophia, I guess her animalistic appeal brings out the cavemen in them.
"This need, this desire, this yearning. It's so strong, so uncontrollable, so savage, it hurts." [Alistaire]
I'll start with the men. Both Ethan and Alistair struck gold in the looks, brains and virility department, GQ material through and through. Now pay attention closely ladies because I know a lot of you are into tortured heroes and these two Alpha males won't disappoint you. Ethan has deep hang-ups about rejection and the need for approval stemming from a pair of selfish, emotionally abusive parents. Alistair's the same but his baggage comes from his cheating dead wife and this dude is leaning on the dark kinky side. Being as powerful as they are, the need to possess comes with the territory and Sophia cranks this streak up to the highest decibel to the point where things became violent for her. Right now I do not like Ethan because he's a royal douche and Alistair has yet to convince me that he'll treat Sophia right. If it were up to me, I'd rather Sophia end up with Edward, the CEO of her company/bestfriend, methinks he's the only one who's got a good grasp of his emotions in general.
The real heart and soul of the story is Sophia Santo, femme fatale and Renaissance Woman. You'll admire and hate her with equal measure because she's so superlative at almost everything. At twenty-five, she can go toe-to-toe with either Ethan or Alistair in almost anything from academics, business acumen, art, to horse back riding and race car driving. She's one of those women who is so unbelievably perfect and so seductively charming I can't help but feel a little girl crush/envy towards her. The chip in her armor is some mysterious traumatic experience that happened in the past that continues to haunt her. However we are yet to discover this piece of the puzzle and I have a feeling Sophia is far from being a saint.
"You know, Dante was wrong. Hell is here. We live in a place of woes, of eternal pain, and loss" Sophia said, feeling desolate.
Now what's interesting is for a self-possessed woman, Sophia's taste in men really sucks. When you're that rich, your needs go back to basics like love, respect, trust and partnership, things that no amount of money can buy. For some reason Sophia frequently finds herself in the company of older, domineering men who have this insatiable need to possess, tame and brand her. The pampering and attentiveness was cute at first but it turned a little dark for both Ethan and Alistair when they failed to reign in their insecurities. Sophia's rationalizations are also insightful and a little innocent as she sort out her emotions and thoughts about Ethan and Alistair. I don't know if Sophia has latent daddy issues because Ethan and Alistair are just a hair's breath away from being obsessed with the Brazilian beauty.
The only thing that I felt was a little overwhelming aside from Sophia's straight-A curriculum vitae and Sophia's luscious lips and annoying lip biting (Bella Swan!) are the constant label dropping. There were times where the opulence distracted me from the importance of a scene. I get that CSerruya is trying to establish that her characters are privileged and have access to the best things money can buy and sometimes it's great trivia too. But mostly it takes away from the normalcy she wants to sell and the ability of regular readers like me to relate to the characters because I'm always reminded that though they're human, we're never equals.
Nevertheless, TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING is a very layered and intelligent read plus the under the sheets action will have you fanning yourself and steam up your room. Yes, the sex was HAWT! It's predominantly a romance novel but there's so much more to the story than that. My take on it is TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING is an illustration of a person's primal reaction when s/he finds his/herself consumed with too much love and desire for another. Like how can you even contain something that's bigger than you are? Can you give without taking and what is the cost of having it all? Add all the secrets and mysteries running to and fro between Sophia, Ethan and Alistair about their respective pasts and present and you have a truly riveting and intriguing book in your hands. It's personal, psychological, sensual and down right sexy it's a great amalgam of romance, erotica and literary fiction I'm sure you'll enjoy it!