ARC Review: The Starkest Truth by Courtney Lane

10 Oct 2015

Book Title: The Starkest Truth
Author: Courtney Lane
Series: Breaking Insanity #2
Release Date: Oct 22nd, 2015
Genres: Dark Erotica, Psychological Thriller
This is not a romance.

After her recent nuptials, Nikki Brenton is quickly thrust into a world she once avoided. Unable to adjust, her unhealthy addictions begin to tempt her and threaten to poison more than her sanity.

Nothing has ever been peaceful for Eric Brenton, and his life with Nikki is no exception. The past he suppressed has returned to wreak havoc on his life. He quickly discovers he can’t avoid his past, because it’s ready to attack him where he is most vulnerable.

When the truth is as subjective as reality, the line between trust and doubt is tested; for Nikki and Eric the line may come dangerously close to disintegrating.

Content contains descriptive violence, graphic sex, coarse language, and scenes that some readers may find objectionable. Reader discretion is strongly advised.




"You're in denial about him. If you ever see pass it, you will see this for what it really is. You're part of a cycle that never ends. It will never end."

Holy. Cow. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this read after finishing and sleeping on it for one night. If anyone is capable of writing a story that sends your mind into doing cartwheels, it's definitely Courtney. At this rate, I want to know what's it like being inside her head and how she conjures up with plotlines that should be sending me running for the hills but yet I'm glued to the ground and begging for more.

The Starkest Truth is the continuation of the first one, The Sordid Promise and we delved further into the lives of Nikki and Eric post-marital. If you've read the first one already, you should know by now that these two are living far from the ideal fluffy cotton-candy romantic kind of a blissful marriage. Nope, this is NOT a romance story. Their relationship is a dysfunctional one, they're both damaged in their own ways but they're hooked onto each other like it's their drug.

Where do I even begin with this read? It's still as crazy and as insane as the first one. But if I really had to compare, I loved this one much more. Mainly because we finally got Eric's POV and oh boy, me finally being inside his head was like a kid who finally got her candy fix! It wasn't just about prying into his twisted, dirty mind (honestly my pervy self ain't complaining) or unravelling the ghosts of his past. Tapping into his psyche revealed another side of him that we've been all wondering about: was he actually capable of love?

But don't be fooled by the idea of getting dual POVs would give the story more clarity because if it's any indication of Courtney's brilliance, she just succeeded in making you doubt everything you THINK was going on in this read!! Between all the truths and the lies, there is just simply no way to tell them apart. Who's the good guy? Who's the bad guy? Are these people all insane? Or am I, the reader, is the one going insane?

I don't know how Courtney does it everytime but she has her wicked ways with planting seeds of doubt into your mind and trickle feeding you with half truths and half lies. Every time I thought I had it close to figuring it out, nothing is what it seems. The level of depth she puts into each character is done so intricately and keeps you second-guessing their motives. This is one book that constantly puts you on the edge and I loved it.

Completely unputdownable and addictive, this was an absolutely riveting read that toyed with my sanity and left me begging for more. After reading a couple books from this author, Courtney Lane surely makes it look like putting out a dark read is like a walk in the park for her. She does it like it's her second nature and every book of hers till date has still stumped me in all ways imaginable. Clearly this was no exception.

I will flat out say this: This book surely isn't for everyone. There are themes in this book that many would find objectionable, the characters are those that you'll find difficult to grasp with and to simply put it, it's just all kinds of messed up. Again, this is a no romance read, it's a psychological thriller that really puts your sanity to the test. If none of that bothers you, by all means, this is a book not to be missed.

The Starkest Truth is the second book in the Breaking Insanity series and must be read in order.

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


COURTNEY LANE has been creating her own little world since she was very young. When she was eight years old, she began to bring her worlds to life with a pen and paper.

Although she's had a few short hiatuses, writing has been her passion for a number of years. Until 2013, she'd always viewed her writing as a personal hobby and a purgative process: She never thought about sharing her very personal works with anyone outside of her friends and family. On October 8, 2013, she took the plunge into self-publishing and began making her works available to the public. 

While many of her works touch several different genres, she has an archetype when it comes to the female protagonists in her stories — they have to have certain brand of strength, be deeply flawed, and harbor layered personalities. In her books you will find themes that reflect the darker side of life with a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. She also has an affinity for characters that aren't necessarily the girl or boy next door, or the people you'd encounter in everyday life. In other words, she prefers to explore characters who aren't easy to fall in love with.

Currently, Courtney can be found either working on her next book, playing the latest role-playing game on her X-Box (preferably a game by Bioware), or spending time with her family.

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