MARY is the perfect tool to use against the man who took his sister, Lily. What better way to exact retribution from Governor Hagen and force him to bring Lily back, than to steal his own daughter and threaten to sell her as a sex slave, too? But, even the best laid plans don’t always go
smoothly. Slade ends up falling for his captive, and is faced with a decision that might just cause him to lose the one thing he doesn’t want to let go.
SLADE is every bit the animal he portrays. Dominant, dark, unbending, and possessive—her own personal predator. Mary can’t help but be drawn to the soul deep darkness in him. It calls to her like nothing she’s ever felt before.
When her father bends to Slade’s will and releases Lily, will Mary be
allowed to walk away and follow her father’s plans to marry another, or will Slade make her a captive to the dark…forever?
WARNING: This book contains very graphic violence, disturbing situations, dubious consent, and very strong language.
2 STARS for the dark romance aspect3.5 STARS for the actual story and plot
Before I jump into a little bit about the plot and my thoughts on that I need to clarify something about thegenre classification and why that was 2 stars for me. So the book is categorized as dark romance and that was the mindset I had when I went into the story. While I did see this as a twisted, batshit crazy (in a good way) story, unfortunately, this book failed to live up to dark romance standards for me. For one,Slade was the nicest captor I’ve ever read about. Where’s the physical and emotional breaking of the captive? Let me tell you, there was none. I like strong heroines and Mary was one so she had tons of grit and fierceness but she wasn’t treated like a captive at all, more like Slade’s queen. Another thing was, Slade was so intent on making her his (dangles her virginity in front of her and treats her so delicately) and the two of them fell in love in a snap. Aside from the erotic, BDSM-nature of their relationship, I honestly couldn’t understand how they fell in love. I wouldn’t call it Stockholm Syndrome either; Mary’s way too strong for that term to take effect.
So if you are reading this book with the intent of getting a dark read with a mindfuck, it’s not. I would call this romantic suspense with erotic (bondage, knife/blood play) and some dark elements. If you don’t read much dark romance then maybe this book will hit a 6 or 7 on a 10 point scale. Keep in mind I do read a lot in this genre and the term is so subjective and thrown around a lot the meaning is almost archaic.
Right from the start, the story got my attention with the powerful prologue. It told me a lot about Mary’s character: a fierce, independent woman whose scarred past left a permanent mark on her, and how her dark, sadistic urges were born. I really felt for her and what she went through as a teenager and so could understand her sexual proclivities. All in all, this woman thrived on pain but was also in pain when no one, not even her family, bothered to comfort her in her dark times.
While vacationing with her sister and brother-in-law, she meets Jordan, her father’s business partner’s son and at first glance, Jordan knows Mary is different.
His sexual tastes are somewhat similar to hers and he can identify with that. I know that the male lead isn’t Jordan but I couldn’t help falling for his character. His tastes are dangerous, to the point where it’s life-threatening but he truly cared for Mary and I appreciated that fact. He also stood up for her and protected her in various situations and that just made me fall for him more. So aside from his eccentric sexual tastes, there was really nothing I could pick on him for and that made it hard for me to accept Slade as the male lead and Mary’s potential love interest.
Slade’s on a vengeance spree. His sister Lily was taken and sold into sexual slavery and so he’s retaliating on the man responsible by taking his daughter, which is Mary. At first contact, the two of their personalities clash. They may be kindred souls in the erotica world, but holy hell, they’re like fire and ice in everything else!
I really liked the book in terms of plot, the pace, and writing style (stellar!!), but there were some plot inconsistencies and grammatical errors and typos that bumped my rating down. For example, I wish the author revisited Mary’s sister and her brother-in-law as they were thought to be responsible for what happened to Lily. After a particular camera scene, they never were really mentioned again. There were also some typos that didn’t break my reading flow, but were noticeable enough.
The ending of the book really didn’t work for me. As you can see earlier in my review, I am a fan of Jordan and when things didn’t work out too well (that’s putting it mildly) for him, I was ready to blow a gasket. Plus that final action scene where everyone is in the room and bam everything starts flying was absurd. I can only guess that it panned out that way so things could be wrapped up nicely and Slade and Mary could be together again.
As this is the first book I’ve read by the author and liked, I’m definitely not opposed to reading more from her.
A copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.