Slave (Finding Anna)
Here is another book that, once upon a time, had me hesitating, worried that perhaps it might be *too dark* for me. Well… that was before. When I was still in my “dark reads” closet. But the sequel to this book shall be released any day now, and when the publisher sent me both of them for review purposes a couple of weeks ago, I was excited. Nervous, but anxious for an unusual thrilling read. I read them both over the weekend, and surprisingly, they are really not dark at all (well, at least in comparison to Captive in the Dark and the like).
Of course the subject matter regarding Anna’s circumstances, what she lived, and who she thinks she is… yes, certainly “dark”. But these books are not hard to read, compared to the other “kidnapping” books I’ve just reviewed. In fact, they have more to do with healing and growth and connecting, then with “living” what she once lived.
‘Cause you see, Brianna has spent the last year or so with a “Master”. Purchased and demeaned over time by him (Ian), her spirit, and self of sense was completely broken. Having been “taken in” by him at the age of seventeen, she lost all of her normal teenage girl ways, her joy and her hopes, when her monster… (sorry – “master”) subjected her to his lifestyle and madness.
And the only way she could get out (after numerous attempts at escaping) was by being purchased by another Master (Stephan). What is up with all of this buying and selling of slaves, right? I know. I was just getting used to books like Masters of the Shadowlands, and well, even Fifty Shades, where “Masters and slaves” or “Dominants and submissives” had a need that each could fill, and that they came together willingly. Yep, this is a whole new genre. Hence my “dark reads” week. We went from dark and fun, to darker and eerie (yet all of it, unputdowanable).
So anyway, Stephan is the kind of Dominant we are more used to. More into “play” and has always entertained his lifestyle with willing participants. But when he hears from another “Dom” about Brianna’s predicament,
“Hear me out. She needs your help.”
This aroused my curiosity. “What do you mean she needs my help?”
“I know how much you like to help people Stephen. I mean look at what you do.”
I was in complete disbelief.
“Helping find medical care for those who can’t afford it is a little different than taking on a submissive. Is she already a trained sub? Is she looking for a Dom?”
“She’s a slave.”
… and knows the only way to possibly save her is to purchase her from this sadist, he does what he has to do.
It was then I got it. “You want me to buy her.” It wasn’t a question, and he didnt deny it. The thought of “buying” a woman turned my stomach, but if what Daren said was true, I couldn’t just leave her there.
But he realizes his hands are full with her, as she is a 24/7 slave, and has no free will of her own. Fear rules her, and she trusts no one. Stephen’s goal is to bring her back from that, but how? Has he bitten off more then he can chew?
A person’s eyes revealed so much about them, and I wanted that connection with whomever I was playing.
With Brianna it was different. I’d never played with someone so damaged. Of course, we weren’t playing.
No matter how much I waited and watched, Brianna’s personality showed no signs of emerging during the long weekend. The only real emotion I saw in four days was fear.
Can he be what she needs?
Brianna lived in fear, not pleasure.
I was going to change that.
Let me tell you, his journey is sweet, but… kind of exhausting. Fascinating story, one that I absolutely wanted to read to the very end, but I DID take breaks on and off as I read. It is a much slower read then the ones I’ve recently reviewed. If you’ve read “Gabriel’s Inferno” I’d almost say both “Slave” and it’s sequel are more along the lines of that book, in “feel”. The moderate pacing, dialogue style (somewhat dry and formal) and the type of connection between the two main characters. It’s tentative, and tender. And not explicit.
And while I didn’t find it “unputdownable”, or nerve-wracking like the others, it was almost soothing. Light in the darkness. Hope, and the beginnings of a guarded trust. That was nice. Oh… and that ending. Hrmmmm… well, the end leaves something to be desired, but luckily book #2 steps right in and continues the journey.
So not my favorite, but good. Real good. And probably a GREAT recommendation for those who want to continue reading this theme, but need a break from the heavier, darker stuff.
Need review (Book #2 in the Finding Anna series) coming up next.