Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen

I’m still quite new to this book reviewing lark so when I was invited to review an ARC (Advanced Release Copy – I had to look it up!!) of Joy Eileen’s début novel, Breaking Faith, I was more than happy to oblige. Having recently posted the cover release for the release on 18th August (Breaking Faith Promo Cover Reveal), I was very pleased to receive my copy to read and review. This is the first time I’ve been involved in something like this and I hope it won’t be the last.

Breaking Faith is the first book in The JackholeS series and the novel’s main protagonist is Faith, a college student with a penchant for expensive shoes (my kind of girl!) who has just left her abusive ex-fiancé, Jason. With a restraining order in her hand,she is searching for someone to serve him with it to make it legal. She goes to Ray’s, a bar where one of her best friend’s, Jessie, works, to tell her and her two other friends, Amy, the sugar addict and Trent, the oddball, what she has been subjected to by Jason.

I’ll be honest, I found the first chapter and a half a bit slow-going while we were given Faith’s back story by way of a flashback, all necessary, I might add. This doesn’t last though and I was eventually gripped after the book picks up momentum half way through chapter two when we finally meet Faith’s new saviours, the JackholeS, who are the resident rock band at Ray’s. We are introduced to them through Faith’s eyes as she tries to glean their personalities through their appearance. However, it is lead singer Killian, or Kill to his friends, who has the most impact on Faith. Eileen does a really good job of building up the sexual tension between Faith and the enigmatic Kill. He exudes raw sexuality and it is not hard to believe that perhaps Faith is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. He has a bad boy image to protect but he fits very nicely into the role as Faith’s protector.  Whether Faith can handle him or not in her fragile state remains to be seen.

Eileen’s initial use of flashbacks provides the reader with Faith’s background fairly quickly so this allows the narrative to flow better once the history of what brought Faith to Ray’s is out of the way. Faith is strong-willed and independent, and having grown up without a mother , she is used to facing adversity. Yet she is unable to get a handle on her emotions and she is no longer able to trust her instincts, having been so physically and mentally damaged by Jason. When her friend Jessie is having troubles, she can advise her of what she should do but she continues to procrastinate with her own feelings for Kill. However, the band, alongside Jessie and Amy, become her new family (a tad too quickly, perhaps) and she is given space to figure out what she wants while avoiding Jason as best she can.

Faith has to face a number of threats throughout the book from sources not always obvious at first. Kill, or Killer as Faith calls him, has to come to Faith’s rescue, not just at times of danger, but as the friend that will be completely honest with her, no matter what. Eileen defies typical stereotypes and this works really well to add another layer of confusion for Faith, when things are not as they seem. There are threats where you least expect them and the reader is able to share Faith’s inner conflict of who will help repair her broken heart and who will damage it beyond repair.

When I read this book, I thought that there were some similarities to the 50 Shades trilogy. Breaking Faith isn’t nearly as overtly sexual or kinky as 50 Shades but there are similar tensions in that there is inherent danger in Faith and Kill’s relationship and they are both characters who intrigue the reader into wanting to know what happens next. Like when I read 50 Shades, I felt like I was championing them, wanting them to become unstoppable as a couple in any given situation. The intensity of feelings between them emulates that of Christian and Ana in that they are so good, yet so bad for each other. Also, who could forget the personified vagina, who instructs the reader of Faith’s sexual feelings in contrast to her emotions,  Eileen’s version of the “inner goddess”, but executed more seamlessly. To those who think 50 Shades is a load of rubbish, please don’t take this comparison as a reason not to read Breaking Faith. While there are a few similarities, this by no means defines this book and in my opinion, this book is better than the Fifty Shades trilogy, so perhaps I should explain a little further.  Firstly, as I have previously mentioned in other posts, 50 Shades is my guilty pleasure despite it’s flaws, as it is for many readers across the world. Secondly, Breaking Faith is written with much more skill and attention to detail than 50 Shades. There are none of the grandiose words to make the narrative sound cleverer than it is and no constant repetition. (The more times you read 50 Shades, the more this grates!)  At no point did I think, “I’ve read this before”, a feeling which is all too common in EL James’s books. Plus, the plot is completely different and a little more believable.

Once I had got past the necessary back story. I found myself unable to put Breaking Faith down. I loved the characters and I really wanted Faith and Kill to get together and for the JackholeS family to kick Jason and any other “doucheboxes” to the kerb. I loved the sneaky peak of Surviving Faith, the next in the series, at the end. I sincerely hope that this will be in the book that is released next Tuesday otherwise readers will be driven mad by the cliffhanger ending of Breaking Faith. I also hope we don’t have to wait too long for Surviving Faith to be released as I am dying to know what happens next. I will absolutely be first in line to promote and review it. That is, if I’m invited!

Pre-order now by clicking on the above link. Released on Tuesday 18th August, 2015