Book Review – Escape From Paradise by Gwendolyn Field

by Maryse on July 5, 2013 · 13 comments

in My Book Reviews

Escape From Paradise
<— Oooooooooh yesssss!! Dark and uncomfortable, just like I like ‘em. And I didn’t feel half as guilty loving this one ’cause it’s everything we kidnap-read addicts love, but with a slightly lighter edge to it. It’s not as harsh, or hardcore, and the human “monsters”, while scary, are just not as intense as some of my nightmare stockholm syndrome books, but this is a good thing.

If you think you might have an inclination for a darker read such as the ones we discuss (like this), but you’re nervous, this might be the one to start with.

When I came back from Book Bash, I realized our fellow readers had been busy reading like crazy (and seemed to unanimously love this one). And they took care of me by making sure I jumped on it right away. You guys know me SO well, and this was exactly what I needed to get back into my reading routine.

Lori: Escape from Paradise (kidnapping) 99¢ great reviews!

Stephanie: Ohhh…a dark read! This looks too good to pass! Thanks!

Michele: Wow I just one clicked, looks great!!! I need a good book. Thanks Lori!

Kandace: I just finished it and OMG! It was intense. I loved ever second of it. I really should have used my no husband & kid free time to do something productive, like clean the house. But NO I had to read the sample and then another chapter and so and so on…until 4 hours later I realized I haven’t moved an inch and forgot to eat diner.

sidenote from Maryse: that’s the sign of a good book!!!!

Kelsey: ESCAPE FROM PARADISE by Gwendolyn Field. Absolutely brilliant. This will be in my top ten reads. It comes alive from the start ,it’s dark,unnerving,emotiona , heartwrenching,scary and truly amazing 5 stars plus. No cliffhanger..

Kathy: It was 5 stars for me too! Loved it!

Kandace: This book is in my top 3 for 2013. LOVED every word. 5++ stars for me.

Johanna: Totally agree!! Finished it last night and all I can say is WOW!! its so intense and dark.. Loved every minute of it.

Stephanie: We need to recommend this to Maryse! I have no doubt that she will love it too!

Kandace: I know, Stephanie. I think she would really like it too. She’s been kind of quiet since the BB. She must be in recovery mode.

Lori: Yes, tell Maryse – she will love it!! It was a one of my favorites – really dark and intense. I couldn’t put it down then I couldn’t stop thinking about it, definitely 5 stars!

Kandace: I made a comment on her new release post about EFP. Hop hop, Stephanie and go put your 2cents in.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I was in BB recovery mode. Incredible how conked out I was once I got back. But you guys were SO right on this one!!! Thank you for thinking of me.

Stephanie: P.S. I see room for a sequel…keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

Debbie: This was a really good read.

Julie: loved!!

Jennifer: Just finished and oh my, I loved this!! Definitely a must read!!!

And when my husband asked me what I was reading and I told him another kidnap book…

Husband: “What is it with you and these kidnap books lately?”

Me: “I need a freaky adrenaline rush with the potential for an unconventional love story”

Him: “Yah but, what kind of love can come from that?”

Me: “The fictional kind! Don’t judge my reads. ;)

Him: “Yah but how can you want to read about bad guys that want to hurt people?”

Me: “Same way I want to read about scary clowns with sharp pointy teeth, that like to eat people. It’s reading, not real life. I like it when it’s “out there”. Makes it unforgettable. No worries, eventually I’ll need a break from these, too and I’ll go back to my misunderstood tattooed bad boys. Tee hee!!”

Him: *hrmph*

Me: “And anyway, why’s it okay for us to love paranormal anti-heroes that cause death and destruction and claim the human woman, and she eventually falls for him (’cause he needs love to warm his cold broken heart). And why’s it okay for us to love Highlanders that kidnap the daughter of an opposing clan and force her into marriage only for her to eventually fall in love with him anyway? It’s okay ’cause vampires don’t exist, and way back when it was the norm to kidnap a potential wife. confused emoticon We’re always safe with those characters since they don’t exist in real life, so when we claim one of these bad guys as a book-boyfriend, it’s all in good fun.

But what makes these modern “dark-reads” even more thrilling is because they exist in our time. They’re human monsters but with a potential for healing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like these in real life, for real life, or even come close to thinking that true monsters in our society have any redeemable potential. But you know… behind the safety of my iPad, I get a thrill.”

Him: *hrmph*

So I proceeded to tell him the story, from start to finish. In detail. He liked it. I could tell. He didn’t stop me once. ;) hehe.

Ahhhh well. Whatever. rolleyes All that to say, this one fulfills my “crazy read” needs.

It actually gave me more needs though, so I’m not going to 5-star it, but it’s an easy 4 star (to 4.5 stars) for me. Does it end on a cliffhanger? No. Pretty much a complete story. It does kind of speed-through at a certain point towards the end, but overall, a great first installment. First installment? YES. I believe it has the potential for more. And I’d say needed, considering how much more the author can expand on a certain… new development, or two.  A need that she introduced for me that I’d love to get to live in depth.

So what’s it about?

Angela goes to Mexico with friends for a few days, falls for a gorgeous local, is drugged and date-raped…

… in real life there was nothing sexy about rape.

… and awakes on a boat. Because she’s an American and will likely be highly publicized once she is discovered missing, he hands her off to his father (a sex-slave-trader).

I had a choice to make. Failing this test would mean death. Passing would mean sexual slavery. Both options were inconceivable.

And while she is treated well enough in his majestic mansion (compared to some of the slave reads I’ve read), she is still held captive against her will, forced to perform sexual favors (*happily*) for his wealthy paying guests, and treated like a dog.

Anger burned like acid inside me. Being called a submissive felt like being called weak, and I hated the truth in that. I hated that I felt so weak.

Fed but not in copious amounts, hand fed by the masters as they kneel at their feet, and punished (whipped) when they “get out of line”.

Disgusting right? And for the first 30% to 40% it was all that. A lighthearted writing tone (young sorority girl) that changes slowly as this happy go-lucky girl is transformed before our eyes. And from her perspective, I’ll tell you, it’s not so bad. It’s as if she keeps enough of her own mind and control that I didn’t lose myself in the cruelty of it all.

This is not my life, I chanted in my head. This will all be over soon.

I had to keep saying it or I’d lose myself. The moment this all became my “norm” would be the end. I’d truly be Angel instead of Angela, and I could never let that happen. I couldn’t fight the people here, couldn’t control them, but I could fight my own mind and control it.

I had to.

Until a special “paying guest” shows up for a week at the resort and chooses her.

… right and wrong became skewed.

To enter a snake lair, Colin would have to become a snake.

He’s got a few secrets up his sleeve, and she, well… I’m going to stop there. Once I hit that point, I was in 100%.

A fantastic read! It’s dark, tantalizing and adrenalizing and one that I couldn’t, and simply wouldn’t put down.

So that’s it friends! In the mood for a dark “romance” read? This’ll do the trick. It will absolutely make my upcoming dark reads list.

4 stars for most of it, 4.5 stars for a few specific touches that I hope the author expands upon in book #2. I love me an alpha male!


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Gwen Field July 6, 2013 at 4:45 AM

Thank you so much for this review, Maryse! I’d love to hear what your “needs” are now. :) Maybe it’ll give me that push I need to start writing more. I am toying with two different ideas.
Again, thank you. xoxo, Gwen

BEpps July 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Just one clicked thanks maryse!

Maryse July 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Ohhh I’d LOVE to, Gwen!!! YAY! :D I’ll send you an email so as not to *spoiler* anything for anyone here.

Jeannie Smith July 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I love your conversation with your husband. At least he tries to understand lol. And now I have another one to add to my list….

Sadie July 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

One clicked! :) What’s next for you Maryse?

Gwen Field July 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Please do email me!! And thanks for the smiles today!

Maryse July 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Next review will be the latest “Experiment in Terror” series “Come Alive”. I started it during Book Bash week and got to 30% but didn’t want to ruin my Dex experience (with all the fun & fatigue I was going to be experiencing), so now that I’m catching up to myself, I can get back to my man. ;)

Yashira July 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Saw your review today and had to Read it !!! I absolutely loved it. Read it in one sitting once I started I couldn’t put it down, I sent my husband away with the kids and made it a pizza and wine night with my kindle. Thank you this was just what I was looking for :)

Marisa July 7, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Thanks for recommending and getting me on board. I loved it too. I agree with you – 4 to 4.5 stars – it really rushes in the end and it does open lots of possibilities for sequels. Although not on the darker side if dark (is this even possible?) still had some OMG moments. I focused on the title “Escape from Paradise” and the comments that there wasn’t a cliffhanger and it had a HEA and got through. Glad I did!

Dana July 8, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Loved this book. Agree that the ending seemed rushed and I was a little bit upset about how a few of the way things played out but I hope that means Gwen is going to write a sequel. I went through a range of emotions while reading including rage, sadness, and cried happy tears, too. I really loved Angela’s interactions with Graham.

Parts of her captivity were SO un-sexy but parts of her time with our hero were very steamy.

Kristen July 9, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Thanks for the recommendation. I liked this one. It seemed more realistic than some of the other scenarios I’ve read. It did feel a little rushed at the end. I got chills when she was in Cancun with her friends. I mean who hasn’t taken a girls trip and let their guard down a little. I feel like their are “Fernando” creepers lurking in the dark now.

Jennifer LaMont December 23, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Just read this one and agree 100%- rushed at the end but great read!!! Loved the character development and could be continued- wrapped up too quickly but great recommendation!

Kelly March 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Love! I’m curious if you’ve heard anything about book two?

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