Book Review: Rellik by Teresa Mummert

Rellik Bentley is to die for.

He can have any woman he wants and they will do anything to be with him. He uses and abuses them like drugs and tosses them out with the trash. The only thing he gives a f*ck about is his music. That is, until Ella Leighton walks into his life and stumbles upon one of his darkest secrets. In the midst of doing damage control, he begins to obsess over the mysterious woman who wants absolutely nothing to do with him.
Rellik won’t take no for an answer.


This author wrote one of my top reads this year, so I was really looking forward to diving into another of her darker, edgier books! Rellik Bentley is a singer and guitarist in a rock band, but this isn't a flashy story about rockstars with fame and fortune. They're, in fact, a mysterious group of misfits, whose painful pasts ultimately tie them all together.
We all had our demons. Some were flesh and bone, others chemical, but they tortured each of us just the same. Life wasn't about living to the fullest. For some, for us, it was about for us was an escape. It was the blood that oozed from the wound. Same struggle, different demons.
One show in particular, in Rellik's hometown, leads them to cross paths with Ella Leighton, who works at the venue they're performing at. There's that instant spark of curiosity between Rellik and Ella. Ella is young, living on her own, and struggling immensely...but still a fighter. As the story is told in dual point of view, details in the beginning make you wonder what happened to her, what secrets she could be hiding too. Once again, flashbacks are a huge aspect in Mummert's storytelling. The slow but steady hints at what Ella and Rellik had been through in their pasts quickly drew me in. I loved that both hero and heroine had history to dig into...
"We all have scars, Ella. Some of us just have them on the inside." His voice was gravelly and quiet. My body shivered as his warm breath blew over my ear.

"Where are yours?" I slowly opened my eyes as his long fingers wrapped around mine. He lifted my hand and placed it on his chest, directly over his heart.
This is one of those stories that makes your mind swirl with theories right off the bat, speculate how these two characters could truly be connected. However, a big drawback in this story--for me--was that I couldn't get behind their romantic connection 100 percent. I yearned for a bit more buildup. This was a fast-paced read, and I couldn't help but think that the romance moved a little too fast, like I was simply watching it happen, instead of feeling immersed in it. Certain details just didn't click for me. Although I absolutely felt sympathy for these characters as their truths were revealed--what they'd experienced, that they were two severely damaged and desperate souls finding a common thread--I still couldn't quite get behind or understand some of their actions.

In the end, though, I kept going because the other plot twists and developments were too gripping to ignore! I wanted to figure out how everything fit together! There are some dark, heavy subjects covered in this book--including abuse, brutal violence, and obsession--but as I mentioned before, the unraveling of Rellik and Ella's pasts were the strong point. Those parts--the eye opening revelations--were what intrigued me the most! It all culminated with a crazy ending, and that's a holy-sh*t-whoa kind of epilogue!
We weren't anywhere near perfect, but we fit perfectly together.
Rellik was a dark, twisted tale about facing one's demons and the carnage that can entail. It just didn't have that intensely consuming feel that I craved. The overall story that Teresa Mummert told, though, was still riveting, and I even finished this book in one sitting. I definitely still look forward to reading more from this author, and I'm even hoping that Rellik's bandmates get their own books!


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***ARC provided in exchange for honest review ***