Okay so, I’m backtracking to a book I read quite a few months ago. It was so rough on me, that I… put my head in the sand and pretended I didn’t spend a day devouring it. You know. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. But… it’s come hopping back into my life when someone asked for another dark read. This one popped into my head and said.. “Hey there girlie who loves pink sparkly things. Remember meeeee?” *gulp*
Ummm. Yes. *clears throat* Yes I do remember you. And lemme just say that after this review, I’m gonna need sweet, fluffy love. Oh yes. Just barely re-living this one makes me wanna cuddle and be cuddled.
Do you remember a few months ago, when I had a “Dark Reads Week” marathon? It was… fun. In it’s own way. Thrilling, creepy, and well, pretty much mind boggling. You know. “Feeling” for the bad guy, and all that? That’s right. While it consisted mostly of a BDSM theme, that is not the reason I considered my selections “dark reads”. What made them dark reads were the circumstances that the female characters unwillingly found themselves in. Stockholm Syndrome, anyone? I experienced a lot of it, that week. But like I keep saying, if it keeps me on the edge of my seat, if I can’t put the book down, If I’m connecting to the story and feeling everything (the good and the bad)… it’s a thrill-ride, right? I like horror. This is just a different kind. Maybe more like… terror. Either way, I’m SO there. After all, it’s fiction, right? Yep. I kept telling myself that, and it helped.
Until I got to this book. This was my grand finale of the week, and OMG I was so exhausted after reading it, that I couldn’t speak of it right away. I don’t know if it was a culmination of all that I had “literally” experienced that week, or if this one was just that hard on me (it was!! LOL) but, wow. Just… wow.
All I could write is a “mini-review” on my reading progress page, and even that took me awhile to put up.
Judgment by Denise Hall (review to come, I just need to take a breather from it. I’d say —> 4 stars for keeping me reading but 3 stars for making me ache and grimace and feel outrageous shock, wayyyy too often. One of the hardest “dark reads” that I’ve read yet. Full on, non-stop, “Master/slave” commune type place and the training/”caning” is just too much for me. I didn’t put it down, mind you (the whole … “can’t look away thing”), and there were moments of hope that kept me reading ’cause I HAD to know (two aspects of the story being told at the same time), but… I wouldn’t recommend this to others unless I was sure they particularly liked (or at least somewhat enjoyed) hardcore BDSM/kidnapping type reads. And I mean hardcore.
If you want dark… I’ve got your dark right here.
Yep. That pretty much sums it up. It was hardcore.
But, some of us were just discussing “dark reads” and a few wanted another “really dark” suggestion. So I thought it was time to release this one.
Dena: I loved her recommendation for the captive in the dark series, comfort food, etc..
Michele: Dena, Dark reads are probably my favorite genre… I have SEVERAL that I could recommend… but they are REALLY DARK!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Do you guys wanna read something really rough? *squinches mouth* I still have to write the review. I was exhausted by the end, but the story was actually good. Just… painful.
Dena: I don’t know! I didn’t think I’d like the ones you’ve recommended so far, but, I loved them!!
Michele: YES Maryse!!! Please!!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay this one is similar in theme to the others (kidnapped and brought to a training center) – all different levels of girls as they “raise in rank” but OMG the punishment and discipline -eeeeeeep!! I felt as if I had been the one caned, by the end. You’ll need FLUFFY and sweet after this.
Michele: I can’t wait!!! Think I will start this one next…. I REALLY hope it’s not one I have read yet!!!
A girl traveling abroad that gets kidnapped and taken to a “training center” where cruel masters “break” the kidnapped women into absolute submission. And I’m not talking about BDSM play, or some of the erotica we enjoy.
“Please, I want to go home.” My knees failed. I sank into a heap on the carpet at his feet, rocking myself as I wept.
“I want to go home!”
“I am your home,” he said above me. “You belong to me now. You just don’t know it yet.”
*shudders* <— I just did that.
This is a psychological thriller mind-mess of a book that explores the initial fight, the cunning thought processes, attempts at escape, rebellion and eventual (and inescapable) submission, because really. That’s what it takes to not be punished. Except… *shakes head* these are absolutely sadistic “masters”, and well, they get their pleasure in tormenting. So even the “good perfect subs” get called on for public humiliation and pain. Pain? I meant torture.
Deeeep breath in… Deeeep breath out.
It. Was. Rough. And what made it even rougher was her need to connect to something… anything. And therein lies much of the story. The moments of reprieve that I gobbled up. I was dying of thirst. Love-thirst! Compassion-thirst! And that’s how this (and so many of the authors of this genre) “get you”.
Aside from the crazy “I can’t look away” torture that bleeds the reader dry, there are glimpses of… emotion? Feelings? Love? OMG What am I saying!? How can I possibly connect to these horrific sadists in any way? Love? Ugh. No Nuh uh. HOW?! No. NO! No way. Yah, I’ve lost my marbles. See? Seeeee what this book did to me.
But I suppose it’s human nature. Stockholm Syndrome. I was grasping at straws, accepting anything that resembled… humanity. Hope? and yes… “love” in whatever way it could possibly be presented. You’ll see what I mean. The possibility of more despite the reality that I was forced to accept. But my mind insisted. Her mind insisted… there was more. There had to be.
And there are ranks… and all of that. Prized “subs” that all the women eventually aspire to become (even though at one time, they all aspired to escape). Wow how things change. *sigh* Yep. *scratches head* <— literally I just did that, too.
I have no idea how to say anymore without giving anything away, other then, throughout the whole story, there are possibilities.
“Honey, I could fix it so nobody ever hurt you again. If you talk to me, I guarantee you’ll never have to go back to the one who did this.”
You won’t know until the end, and that, too, kept me reading. I had to know.
So if you’re game to give something this dark a try, if you like that whole “I don’t wanna I don’t wanna, but I can’t stop reading…” and can successfully remind yourself that it’s just fiction while you’re affronted by the horrendous acts of these *%^&*#@%!!!!*… then… by all means.
It’s a different kind of horror. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
Okay so for overall “unputdownability” I’m giving this one 4 stars. It’s not my favorite dark read, and I’ve connected (eeeeep!! *blush*) much more to a few others, but this one sure had it’s shock value and it’s claws in me, while I was reading it. It’s been long enough, and since I can pretty much still remember every detail… 4 stars it is.
Now it’s time to go cuddle me a werewolf!