Need (Finding Anna – book# 2) —> Just RELEASED TODAY!!!
*slight spoiler note* —> If you haven’t read the first one, hold back from this review, for now. Here’s my review for book #1 (Slave).
The most gentle one of all, in my “dark reading” week, so far, but still, the subject matter is similar. It’s just the other side of the unwilling “Slave” spectrum. The healing side. And I sure can appreciate a book like this, after the book I read last night. Eeeeep!!! (more about that one, later).
In “Slave (Finding Anna)” we read about a girl who was saved by a sadistic “Master” (basically buys and sells his female slaves, human trafficking and all of that). In the BDSM lifestyle, both participants are willing and come together to fulfill each other’s needs. But Brianna was being forced to submit via fear, pain and eventual loss of her sprint and sense of self. She was kidnapped at 17, and for over a year, was brutalized, tortured and allowed to be used, against her will. But Master Stephan hears about this, takes her out, and struggles to build her back up throughout the first installment.
“… Why would you buy me?”
“There are people out there who enjoy what Ian does. Alex, for example, but if you weren’t that type of person… well, I couldn’t just not do something. I had the means to help you. I couldn’t just walk away, and leave you there, if that wasn’t what you wanted.”
Book #2 continues that storyline. The storyline, the connection between the two characters, and the book’s rhythm is consistent with the first. The somewhat “formal” dialogue and writing style. Many scenes that repeat. Brianna’s pattern and daily rituals are replayed for the reader. A very slow pace, hesitant interactions… all very guarded. Stephan goes slow so as not to freak Brianna out, as she tentatively attempts to break out of her “slave” shell. And as much as she is coming to trust (albeit …. slowly) Stephan, he has asked her for something she is not sure she can give him. A Dominant/submissive relationship. A real one (not just for play).
“I was selfish, though. When I brought you into my home, I knew that I wanted to keep you. Not as my slave, Brianna.”
He’d gone on to tell me that he wanted me as his submissive. I’d heard the word before, with some of Ian’s friends, but I didn’t know how it was different from being a slave.
Stephan has fallen for Anna, and while she can’t imagine ever leaving him, she can’t imagine wanting, accepting, or even, liking a “Master’s” form of discipline. And while he and his lifestyle friends try to show her that life with him will NEVER be as it was with Ian (her kidnapper), her fear has her paralyzed.
“I would like for you to stay. How do you feel about that?”
She shifted on my lap a little.
“Why do you feel scared?”
“You want me to be your… submissive,” she whispered. “Yes,” I answered.
“I don’t,” she said, and then stopped herself. “What would I have to do?”
So this is what the book is about. A continuation of the very cautious relationship between someone who wants to save and protect, and someone who needs to be saved and protected. And as he attempts to prepare her for the real world (even venturing out in public can be dramatic for her), he (and we) also learn about her past, and how she ended up where she did.
I liked each book for different reasons. The first, because we saw a completely broken soul slowly realize that she might be able to trust someone, and watching her grow from her most basic slave functions (no eye contact, always on the ground, bowed, ALWAYS doing everything the Master says and NEVER doing anything UNLESS the master says… and I mean ANYTHING), to realizing that she can exist and just “be” without being punished. That is certainly something to behold.
In book #2, we go a few steps further, as she also realizes she can be happy. She can enjoy herself. She can smile… she can even “want”. And as they explore each other (willingly), she realizes that she is cherished. Yes… it does have a bit of steam.
She can think of her future again, but how does she keep Stephan in her future, if she doesn’t want to be his “submissive”. What does she want? What does she need? And can they be that, for each other?
That’s what I enjoyed with this one. While I was able to put it down, and I never had an extreme sense of urgency or excitement reading it (just as with the first book), it was overall, a good story. It doesn’t move fast, and is pretty much a continuation (albeit progressing a bit more) of the first one, but let’s just say…. it’s not over yet.