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Bliss (English Edition) von [Henry, Lisa, Belleau, Heidi]
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Bliss (English Edition) Kindle Edition

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They're always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.

If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.

Reader discretion advised.

Word count: 76,000; page count: 289


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1654 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 246 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1626491399
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: Riptide Publishing (19. August 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #184.471 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Wow! The reader knows from the beginning that not all is as it seems, but for the characters it's a long way. And what a hard way... It's not a nice romance with some idiotic misunderstandings to slow down the HEA. This is "the real thing". Drama, suspense and not all black and white. Therefor no easy HEA, as well. A fantastic story.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen 56 Rezensionen
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen If rape and non-con are triggers you shouldn’t even try to get into this one. 18. August 2014
Von Joha @ Littles Books - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Prepare yourselves to fall, because this one is dark; so dark that your throat will close up and your stomach will turn. And you’ll find yourselves loving every second of it. If this book is for you, and we’ll get into the dos and don’ts in a minute, you’ll ride this rollercoaster of ugly and hate and love every page.

What goes on in Bliss is something that should never happen, not even in the pages of a book. Rory and Tate’s story is something out of the darkest horrors stories. Here’s how it goes: Rory James moves legally into the idyllic Beulah, where there’s virtually no crime-rate and no violence because the system works. In comes Tate Patterson, lured by the lack of jails in Beulah thinking of it as an easy target, and he gets sucked into this perfect rehabilitation program for criminals; but he is faced with how actually screwed up the system really is. Tate is chipped and put under Rory’s roof, to comply with the city’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program and serve Rory for seven years. What Rory doesn’t know, is that the pleasant and complying Tate is under the influence of a much behavioral-modifying chip that he thought; Tate is unable to disobey and unable to tell anyone about how deep the chip goes. Tate learns that even though there’re no prisons in Beulah, his fate is much worse: he is locked up inside his own mind without the possibility to ask for help.

I’m going to stop you right here; if rape and non-con are triggers you shouldn’t even try to get into this one.

The chip is set to make Tate only feel good when he serves his master, no matter how painful and dehumanizing the serving might get; and they test it to a fault; while we get the round down of what Tate is asked to do, we also get the voice inside his head and the conflict between what the chip forces him to think and feel and what is really going on inside his head.

The taking away someone’s free will is not piece of cake to deal with; not even when the subject of said stripping is actually happy to oblige, because he doesn’t have a choice. Tate is actually in pain –excruciating, bleeding pain – when he tries to go against the chip.

“They are always happy”

Ms. Reus gives us dark, twisted and disgusting characters, and also sweet, compassionate and naïve ones. She writes a world where the romance takes second place to emotions and behavioral modification making us question the advances in technology that we might even get to see. People are so pleased with the results that they fail to see the lie and the ugliness behind the perfection.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone; it’s too dark and so twisted and so disgusting sometimes that some of you might not even be able to get past the first half. But if you can deal with the ugliness, the disgusting, and the need to pull your hair out when you see a character being less of a human being or even getting so sucked up in the lie that they don’t even notice how dehumanizing they are being, then you’ll find yourselves sucked up in an amazing story, where feelings and emotions go deeper than thinking.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen It got a lot of people writing reviews but.... 21. November 2014
Von Mel - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I waited a while before writing a review because I wanted to make sure I was being fair. This story has an interesting--not terribly original--but interesting angle/plot. A dystopian universe where one town has managed to "eradicate" crime. I'm not going to summarize the plot because many reviews have already done so. Where the book falls short for me is:

1) The over the top depravity. It's very hard to believe that the "antagonists" would have been able to keep this a secret for so long. They are hardly subtle about their "proclivities" or this system that's been set up... it just seems so unbelievable that they could be that brazen, have so many players involved and develop such an elaborate system and no one would ever really notice the problems? Or have a negative response? There are some attempts to explain this away but they aren't satisfying. At all.

2) The rape scenes. And there were so so many of them. Very detailed. I understand this is a part of the story. But the scenes were in my opinion written gratuitously and in excruciating sexual detail. I found it really inappropriate--rape and torture are obviously way "inappropriate" but it's the way these things are depicted in this novel that I'm referring to as inappropriate distinct from the the acts themselves. It's almost written like any of the sex scenes we've read in some of the darker books of this genre--and it sits wrong. I don't know how else to articulate it. I skipped over most of the scenes because of this. They should have faded to black at some point because graphically depicting the rape and sexual torture of these guys with an "erotica flair" (for lack of a better term) detracted from what could have been a very interesting dystopian story. Sometimes an author should ask "what is the purpose of this?"

3) The ultimate connection between the MCs was unbelievable. Perhaps some of the connection building scenes were edited in favor of increasingly detailed scenes of sexual torture. At the end of the day I really didn't buy that these guys, despite it all, had connected.

I think it was an interesting attempt. Wish someone had been honest with the author and helped her write a book that very well could have transcended some of the problems many of us have articulated. I think that a lot of people saw the potential in this story and that's why they felt compelled to write a review. If it was simply a bad book no one really would have cared. Plus Henry has written some good stuff before. I really liked "Mark Cooper vs. America" and "When All the World Sleeps." Then again maybe this is exactly the book she wanted. Can't really argue about it--it's her book after all... but the book was so problematic on so many levels...I can't recommend it at all. Not worth your time despite the hype.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Dark and disturbing and wonderful 18. August 2014
Von disturbinglynic - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Well. That was sufficiently dark and disturbing. But it leaves an impact, and those books are the true treasures.

I admit to having a hard time liking Rory. It’s not because of what he did. He didn’t know and he can’t be blamed for that. Except, he didn’t listen to his gut. That bothered me. So many times he felt like something was off or something was wrong, but then he ignored it in favor of believing that Beulah was truly a paradise. However, when he finally does realize that the chip does more than keep track of Tate, and stave off violence tendencies, he handles Tate well and does right by him. So I don’t hate Rory, but I can’t really say that I like him all that much either. At least he feels horribly guilty about what he’s done and for not listening to his gut sooner. That helps. And really, he is a good man.

Poor Tate. Seven years of slavery for some thievery and for punching a guy. And to be trapped inside his own head. It was painful to read the parts that where from his POV. But it was also fascinating to see how the chip worked and how his own thoughts and feelings warred against the ones the chip was forcing upon him. The first time he was actually able to reach out for help I wanted to cry. Of course, it all really went to crap after that.

Lowell is a disgusting human being. He should be forced to be implanted with the chip as punishment. He deserves it. Perhaps it should be that way for the others who knew the truth about the chip. That one scene at Lowell’s place? That was horrifying. So was any scene that involved Lowell, actually. He was the creepiest of all the creeps in the book. I mean, this is a guy who fabricated a crime so he could keep Aaron as a slave just because Aaron turned him down. As a slave Aaron had to pleasure Lowell. And Lowell was not decent to him. At all. There is no humanity in Lowell.

I would have enjoyed if the book had been a tad longer so we could see Tate and Rory together more without the chip. I would have liked to see that relationship develop. I also hope that Aaron and Alexandra get their happy ending. But these aren’t really complaints. The book is wonderful as is.

This book will make you feel a lot of things. Frustration. Anger. Disgust. Hope. There is absolutely no limit to the truly terrible things humans can do to each other. Bliss is proof of that because it’s so easy to imagine just how real this could be. And the people of Beaulah were way too cheerful. That was creepy all on its own. I would never trust a place like that.

Bliss won’t be an easy read for a lot of people what with the non-con and the slavery and depravity and stuff. But is it worth it to read? Oh, absolutely. I need more books like this in my life.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen 5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book ... even if it did scare the bejeezus out of me! 27. August 2014
Von Angela S Goodrich - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Bliss was an absolutely horrifying tale. Do note that I said the story was horrifying, not the writing. The authors have crafted an excellent sci-fi romance that is just a tad too believable, which is why it scared the bejeezus out of me. I could so see this type of justice system being corrupted in the exact way the authors have it occur in Bliss.

Beulah is an almost utopian society. Everyone works for the greater good and because of this, crime is practically nonexistent. But when laws are broken, the community works to rehabilitate, not punish the offender. At least that is what the majority of citizens believe. With Tate' s induction in the rehabilitation program for assaulting Rory we learn quickly that the chip does far more than suppress violent urges as the public has been led to believe. It is Rory's discomfort with Tate and Tate's subsequent sexual advances that confirm what you already suspect, that Rory is a good guy. It's also why you cannot help but feel sympathy for him later in the book when he is dealing with the guilt he feels once he learns the true nature of the chip – he is as much of a victim of the system that Tate is. While Lowell's behavior as he attempted to convince Rory of the benefits of having a rezzy were disturbing, it was what Lowell did to Aaron that truly disgusted me and forced me to walk away from my Kindle for a while. Lowell is an example of the adage absolute power corrupts absolutely and he is a large part of why this book freaked me out.

Because of the nature of the chip, nearly all of the sex scenes are nonconsensual. Despite that, some are very loving and touching, while others are hot. But some of the sex scenes are quite disturbing because of the way in which they were orchestrated. Fortunately, the authors include a fully consensual scene that is perfect and was exactly what I needed as a reader. Bliss is an excellent example of the gray areas in life. While there are a couple of clear-cut bad guys, there are also characters who are both victim and perpetrator and I couldn't help but feel badly for them.

Bliss is a definite 5-star read for me. Not because it meets my reread criteria – because I'm not sure that I'll ever read it again – but because it has left a significant impression on me. This is a book that I know will cross my mind many times in the future. I can only hope that it remains a work of fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Very Dark 6. Oktober 2014
Von Talvi - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I admit to being very conflicted on this review. There are several triggers here: noncon, abuse, torture, etc., that were graphic and frequent enough to be stomach turning. Add in a very unbelievable and almost inst-luv situation amidst all that violence and the ending can feel very suspect. But there are also many layers here and, as seems to be the case with Lisa Henry's books, no easy answers or simple characters.

Story: Society is falling apart except in the City of Beulah - a master planned community of the future. The walled city is safe and clean - rare criminal activity (usually from visitors outside the City) are sentenced to rehabilitation through servility to those they wronged. When newcomer to the City Rory is unexpectedly attacked by a thief, the captured criminal is forced to work for Rory (live at his house, cook, clean, and perhaps more..) to make up for his assault. But what Rory doesn't know is that the thief, Tate, has been implanted with a neural chip enforcing servility - and that human nature means there are those who would take advantage of that condition.

This book rates a solid three stars for the depth and nuances of the characters. Very compelling and intriguing reasons were given to support how such a mind-altering chip could actually work. As well, there are no evil or good men - just those willing (or less willing) to give in to baser desires. We all know there really is no utopia that could ever survive its inhabitants. Authors Henry and Belleau give yet another compelling view of just how wrong one can go.

There are quibbles here: I didn't believe the worldbuilding nor the characters as much. As noted earlier, the romance/instaluv, while not silly, was underwritten enough as to not ring completely true at the end. But the book, while a bit slow in the middle, was compelling enough to keep me reading throughout.

I'm not sure how I feel about the continual non con rapes and violence. It makes the book hard hitting but also can leave a bad taste in the mouth for quite a bit afterwards (you may feel like you have to shower afterwards for a lingering dirty feeling). Reviewed from an ARC.
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