Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.
Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.
Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.
She’s got nothing left to lose.
So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.
It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.
Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.
Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…
Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.
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Review by Michelle:
Innovative, unconventional, powerful, and thought-provoking, just a few of the words that spring to mind at the mere mention of Leah Raeder's name. This is why whenever a new book is released with that name on its cover it is an immediate must read for me. With no rules, no boundaries, no constraints, Leah Raeder never fails to tell the story that begs to be told, the story that may not always be understood or appreciated by all, but a story that is important, impactful, and honest. The love in these stories is anything but formulaic, they are distinct, beguiling, and utterly captivating. The writing impressively smart, poetic, and expressive.
No matter how dark or twisted the subject, Raeder's vivid, artistic, passionate writing never fails to captivate and spin an intricate web in which, much like the unsuspecting fly, readers are instantly ensnared, held captive, and consumed until the very end. Beginning with the most eloquently traumatizing description of a painful event, you will shake and squirm and feel breathless as the air is knocked right out of you with the striking imagery and arresting emotion. The feels don't stop there as you are inundated with emotions of every kind every step of the way along this tempestuous, deceitful, hesitant journey and refuse to let up until the very last word.
As with every Raeder book, Cam Girl is a labyrinth of twists and turns. As one mystery is solved a plethora of other issues and complications come to light drastically changing course as you dig deeper into the story shedding layer upon layer until you reach its intensely stirring heart. Not your average romance in more ways than one, at its core Cam Girl is a touching story about not letting the outside world dictate who you are or what you feel, finding and believing in yourself, and being true to that self no matter what shape or form that takes.
An intense and mysterious, powerful and important story that is both entertaining and personally and culturally significant. An escape from reality and a heavy dose of that same reality at the same time. If you like your books for the diversion, the complex, enigmatic plot is the perfect preoccupation that will take over and consume your mind. If you like your books realistic and relevant, Cam Girl is unrivaled. The social commentary and awareness gained is eye-opening and invaluable. Raeder's fearless portrayal of characters and topics that are not widely accepted, that may very well discourage some from reading the book altogether, that scream for awareness, and that seek to educate and to shed light on bigger, pertinent, and meaningful issues is nothing if not courageous, sincere, and significant.
More than ever Leah Raeder gives us a story that we can all relate to in some form or fashion, a story that can teach us all a thing or two about ourselves and how we look at and judge others, and a small piece of herself. Simply stated Cam Girl is a gift. A precious, commendable, exceptional gift.
*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars
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