Release Date: February 27, 2014
Genre: Romance Thriller
Rating: 4.5 – 5 stars
THIS BOOK WAS INTENSE. I honestly don’t know where to start. I’m kind of emotionally drained after reading this book. It is the kind of book that takes over your mind and has you questioning what is right and wrong. I need to preface this review by explaining that this is one of the first books in this genre that I’ve read. I’ve never read a book that dealt with captor/captive romance and this is probably one of the darkest books I’ve read to date.
All that being said, I feel like this is one of the most well written books that I’ve read in a while. I feel almost wrong saying I loved this book, simply because the events that happened were so wrong. But let me be clear, this book was damn near perfect when it came to the writing, story and character development and plot points. The author used words in an almost poetic way to describe emotions and events that should be heinous or monstrous.
“Your beauty isn’t just an experience for the eyes. It breathes through the ears and evokes a reaction so consummating, it claims the soul.”
I feel like I should prepare you – this book has violence and extremely graphic sex, the kind that goes along with sex slaves, kidnapping and blackmail. Because this is one of the first books like this that I’ve read, I have no comparison, but some of the things that went on throughout the book (okay maybe most of the things) made me so uncomfortable that I felt ashamed and almost dirty while I was reading.
There were some scenes that made me so sick to my stomach (not because of the writing, but how the way the story was playing out) because the situation was so fucked up that I asked myself if I really should keep reading. I’m not telling you this to scare you away. I’m telling you this so that when you get to these parts, know that I felt that too. Just know that the author wrote these scenes so well that despite feeling discomfort, I found myself enthralled by the story. In fact, I can honestly say that every one of those “uncomfortable” scenes was necessary to further the story. They were not fluff or thrown in for simple shock value.
Let me take a step back. The story is told in omniscient third person perspective, alternating between the captor (Liv) and captive (Josh). There are layers upon layers woven into the story. Liv is a Deliverer, meaning she kidnaps and trains slaves for potential buyers. One would expect her to be a ruthless, dominatrix, heartless bitch given her line of work, but here is the kicker…she’s not a willing participant.
“She was stolen innocence, following the rules of monsters. Somewhere along the way, she’d become one.”
Liv is forced to choose between doing her job to protect her loved ones and her feelings for Josh, the captive, who is pure and makes her want freedom. She is perpetually stuck between a rock and a hard place. This story is not a simple one and I couldn’t help but both sympathize and empathize with her. There are times where you think she is so stupid for the choices she makes, but other times where you find her to be incredibly brilliant, especially given her history and what she’s been conditioned to. She is a character that is completely unpredictable and every move she makes will surprise you. I loved her and never stopped rooting for her.
“Her nerves were so raw, she trusted nothing, connected to no one, and her loneliness was exasperated by her complicated fucking relationship with the man peppering kisses over her lips. She wanted to love him even as her fingers twitched to run a blade across his throat.”
Josh. Sigh Josh is this perfect boy. He is a star football player who lives at home on his family’s farm while in college to save money and help out his elderly parents. He is studying to be a minister and he is a virgin. He’s pure, inside and out, tries extremely hard to always do the right thing and so mentally strong. He has one secret that he holds completely close to his chest, but other then that, he’s an open book. His purity is what made Liv choose him. Not only did he fit her buyer’s requirements, but she saw something in him that she wanted for herself.
“He would adapt to this environment, but he would not become an instrument, an empty shell, or a grateful slave.”
As a boy raised in a small community, being a sex slave/captive was not something he was prepared for. I loved being inside his head and feel all the different emotions that he went through throughout his time with Liv – anger, hatred, sorrow, intrigue, wonder, lust, jealousy, love. Just as Liv was a walking contradiction, so was he. He hated her, but wanted her. Like I said before layer upon layer to this story.
“He flailed between hating her, fighting her, and praying for her. And through it all was the incessant urge to screw her.”
Despite this being a book about a Deliverer who kidnaps her latest slave to train him for her next buyer, the heart of this story is the connection that develops between these two people. It was beautiful, all encompassing and powerful. In addition, the ending of this book was heart-stopping and I loved the way Pam handled it. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this story.
Pam did an AMAZING job and I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a stand alone; however, there is a book coming from a secondary character that I am extremely excited to read. Enjoy, but be prepared – this is not a rainbows and sunshine kind of book!