Sunday, May 25, 2014

Behind His Eyes - Convicted: The Missing Years by Aleatha Romig ~ Review

Behind His Eyes-Convicted: The Missing Years
By Aleatha Romig

THE MISSING YEARS is the final piece to Aleatha Romig’s CONSEQUENCES SERIES puzzle. Follow the twists and turns as secrets are revealed, consequences are delivered, and the future is shown. 

In CONVICTED we saw what happened that fateful afternoon at the Rawlings Estate. Now experience the shocking repercussions firsthand. More than a companion, this full-length novel fills in the gap of time that was only mentioned, beginning when Claire Nichols forgets and seen through the eyes of collective men (the HIS is plural). 

In THE MISSING YEARS, readers will see Anthony Rawlings fight for what belongs to him and cope with the reality of his past. Watch as Harrison Baldwin discovers the truth that threatens his beliefs, and as John Vandersol comes to terms with his revelations. Witness Phillip Roach, as he decides with whom his loyalties lay, and Brent Simmons, as he demonstrates the meaning of friendship—no matter the cost. 

As the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED goes beyond. This final installment of the series offers a glimpse into the future of the lives that will forever be changed because there was a man who... 

Once upon a time, signed a napkin that he knew was a contract. As an esteemed businessman, he forgot one very important rule—he forgot to read the fine print. It wasn’t an acquisition to own another person as he’d previously assumed. It was an agreement to acquire a soul. 
—Aleatha Romig, CONVICTED 

BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED also contains a complete glossary of characters and a timeline that covers the entire series. If you have read New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig’s CONSEQUENCES, TRUTH, and CONVICTED, you must learn the rest of the story: BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED: THE MISSING YEARS!


Let’s revisit one of Claire’s favorite words—compartmentalize: (transitive verb) to separate into compartments or categories in a manner tending to preclude interrelationships. Keep that word in mind as you read BHE-Convicted. Especially Tony’s chapters. In much the way Claire is who she is, Tony is who he is. Tony is who he has made himself become based on the examples provided to him as a child and the manipulations he experienced in the name of vengeance.

Not long ago Tony reveled in his ability to mete out punishment and reward in order to mold Claire into the person he wanted the world to see her as. Then he chose to ignore it, to compartmentalize it away. Claire had forgiven him, and he was able to finally admit that he loved her. But then Tony has to attend therapy. What is therapy meant to do? Tear down the walls that define those compartments.

Stockholm syndrome does not absolve a person of responsibility for committing actions they know are wrong, so there is no absolving Tony for the things he did. However, there can be rational and Tony was a victim to far greater mind games than the ones he played. And in truth (or as truthful as you can be in fiction) he saved Claire’s life. Without his interference, she would have most certainly been killed. Catherine never gave up on that plan. She merely saw away to bring down two birds with one stone.

There are several other POVs in BHE-C. We get Phil, John, Harry, and Brent’s POV for some of the highlights. Each character adds their own twist to an already twisted story.

Harry – the guy everybody thought was supposed to be Claire’s true love. Might have been so if he hadn’t been lying and manipulating her the whole time. Funny how readers absolve him of lying and manipulating Claire but not Tony. It seems because his actions were never physical, he can be forgiven. Although, it could be argued he put her in physical danger. Having him suck it up and nail Amber’s ass to the wall was a nice comeback. I can definitely say I’m happy with his ending.

John – I’ll admit I really didn’t like him when I started reading and probably more than halfway through the book. He and Emily (still can’t stand her) seemed to want to live on their proverbial high horses. Yeah, yeah Tony fucked up his life. Once again I shall point out, at least he still had a life to fuck up. When Claire told them they didn’t look too worse for wear, I gave her a mental right on! John does begin to redeem himself when he begins to override Emily’s incessant bitchery, so he scores some points there.

Brent – He’s secretly a badass. He may not have Phil’s skills in taking care of people, but he gets the job done. The man is loyal, and he is able to see what is best for all parties. He may not be shouting it from rooftops. Who’s to say which is more important the person holding press conferences to sway public opinion or the one who actually accomplishes the mission while staying in the shadows. I’ll take a Brent any day.

Phil – Awww, Phil. I           LOVE Phil! If there is a man who was as devoted to Claire as Tony is, it’s Phil. He would lay down his life for Claire and Nichol. I loved reading his interactions with Tony and seeing what he was really thinking. As good of a guy as Phil is, his ending is almost the saddest. He will never truly have the one he loves, because he loves Claire. Not only does he love Claire, but he’s in love with Claire. What makes him so great is he is still devoted to her and not because he hopes that one day she will return his love. He is what true heroes are made of.

Aleatha definitely took readers on another interesting adventure through the psyche of her twisted cast of characters. Don’t miss your chance to read the final installment.

As I was reading there’s a point where Tony talks about the RED and its connection to emotion. It reminded me of this song.

Garth Brooks - The Red Strokes (1994)

Exclusive Excerpt for Naughty and Nice Book blog from Behind His Eyes Convicted: THE MISSING YEARS by Aleatha Romig

I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.
—Kurt Cobain (paraphrased from André Gide)

Before Tony could celebrate Claire’s freedom with another drink, he heard the knock on his office door. Curiously, he asked, “Who is it?”

“It’s me, Mr. Rawlings. May I come in?” Patricia’s muffled voice came from behind the closed door.

Tony rose and opened the door. “Patricia, why are you still here? You should be home.”

She lifted a plastic bag with what appeared to be Styrofoam containers and grinned. “You need to eat.”

Shaking his head, Tony ran his hand through his unkempt hair and allowed her entry. “Thank you, but you didn’t need to do that. I could have called—”

Patricia opened the bag and set the containers at the conference table. As she smiled, she said, “You could have, but you wouldn’t have.”

She was right. Tony had no intention of eating. He honestly hadn’t even given it much thought. Noticing the way she was setting two places he asked, “Did you get something for yourself, too?”

“I did.” She tilted her head toward the liquor cabinet. “I didn’t think you should be drinking alone, either.”

Since his return from paradise, Patricia had been instrumental in catching him up on all things Rawlings. He’d never be able to thank her for the long hours she’d spent running reports, filling him in on the numbers, and all around helping him re-acclimate to the world of CEO. It wasn’t that Tim, Tom, and Brent hadn’t been helpful—they were. But Tom and Brent were overwhelmed with legal issues, and Tim was still making the day-to-day decisions regarding operations. Tony didn’t see the need for resuming the role just to lose it when his prison sentence began.

He lifted the bottle of Johnny Walker. “I’d offer you something else, but this seems to be all I have.”

Patricia raised her eyebrows. “I’m not much of a drinker. Oh, but...” She hurried from the room. Seconds later she was back with a bottle of red wine and an opener. “... I’ve had this in my file cabinet for months. It was a Christmas present that I forgot to take home.”

Tony grinned and reached for the bottle. He closed one eye, helping his focus, as he lined the little curly Q opener over the cork. When the cork popped, he said, “Well then, here’s to your forgetfulness.”

Patricia produced two new crystal tumblers from the cabinet. “Oh, my memory isn’t that bad.”

“No, no, it’s not,” Tony said as he pulled out her chair and sat. “Thank you for this kindness. I seem to be taking self-pity to a whole new level.”

“Well,” her voice came out an octave higher. “Mr. Rawlings, none of that tonight. I’d say you’ve had enough for one day.” As she lifted her tumbler, her brows knitted together. “Should you drink wine after liquor? What’s that saying?”

Tony chuckled, lifting his glass and clinking hers. “I believe it has to do with beer, not wine. Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, all in the clear.”

Taking a sip, she laughed. “Then I guess you’re safe.”

Opening the container, the delectable aroma of garlic whiffed around the table, reminding Tony that he truly was hungry. After a few bites he remarked, “This is delicious, thank you again.”

“Mr. Rawlings, you don’t need to keep thanking me—”
“Patricia, how long have you worked for me?”

She feigned a pout. “You don’t remember?”

“I do. You’ve been my assistant for eight years. As I recall, you were the one candidate I never expected to choose for the position.”

Her eyes opened wide. “And why was that?”

“My assistant before you was extremely capable—”

“And you didn’t think I would be?”

“No.” He shook his head. “No, let me finish. She was capable, but she couldn’t keep up with the growth and technology. I wanted someone who would do both.”

“And, it wasn’t me because...”

Tony shrugged. “You were energetic enough, and your résumé...” He thought reflectively. “Graduated top of your class from MIT, with your MBA from Stanford.” He raised his glass again. “Impressive.”

Patricia smiled and lifted her glass too. “Thank you, Mr. Rawlings.”
“That’s why I asked you how long you’ve worked for me. Please, after all you’ve done, you may call me Anthony, outside of work hours.”

Crimson glowed from her cheeks. “Thank you, Anthony. I’m glad you took a chance on me, despite that dismal education.”

“Your education was superb, as you know. I was concerned about your age.”
“You do know that age isn’t a legal reason for not hiring someone? I believe they call that discrimination.”

He grunted. “Damn. Glad I hired you then. The last thing I need is another legal charge against me.”

Patricia reached out and covered his hand. “Shh, stop. Remember, you’re taking a break from that right now.”

Tony nodded, removing his hand from hers. “Fine...” he lifted the bottle of wine. “ long as I can refill your glass. I’m glad I hired you, too. You’ve proven your weight in gold around here. I just imagined you getting settled and then—damn, this will sound sexist—leaving to have a husband and babies.”

Her eyes diverted to her food. “It did sound sexist. If I wanted that, I could do both.”

“If?” His alcohol-infused mind had no idea of the dangerous road he was maneuvering. Her shoulders squared, reminding Tony of Claire when she was about to tell him a piece of her mind. However, instead of stern, Patricia sounded sad.

“I mean, I’m not too know what they say?”

Tony looked at her questioningly.

“All the good ones are taken.”

The food and wine helped lift a layer of grayness. He chuckled, “I thought you were going to say the good ones were gay.”

“No, I’m extremely confident that isn’t the case,” she murmured as she ate another bite of pasta.

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, who has been voted #1 "New Author to Read" on Goodreads, July 2012 - Present!

Aleatha has lived most of her life in Indiana, growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. 

Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty seven years, they've raised three children. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include exercising, reading, and creating heroes/ anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world.

CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011 by Xlibris Publishing. Then in October of 2012, Ms. Romig re-released CONSEQUENCES as an indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012, and CONVICTED, the third in the series, was released October 8, 2013. 

Unexpectedly, the fourth book of the Consequences series came to life with Behind His Eyes Convicted: THE MISSING YEARS. It is the fourth full-length novel in the series. It explores the missing years in Convicted that previously were only mentioned as well as a complete character glossary and timeline. THE MISSING YEARS will be released May 20, 2014.

Aleatha also wrote reading companions for the Consequences Series. BEHIND HIS EYES CONSEQUENCES (Book 1.5) and BEHIND HIS EYES TRUTH (Book 2.5) are currently available for those time and scenes when the readers asked, “What was he thinking?” These companions also contain never before behind the scenes scenes.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Brown and Miller Literary Associates.


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