**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
So, it has taken me a long time to post a review for this book. Normally, I try to incorporate some humor into the reviews, but this one just.....no words. This book isn't humorous, but still great. It isn't the first book I have read that was about sex slaves and the like, but it is by far the best. The one word that comes to mind is phenomenal. This book is not for those of you who want some fluffy romance novel, nor for those who have triggers that you need to avoid. This book was dark, hot, and tough to get through at times, but was completely and totally worth it. I guess you have to read it for yourself to find out. I will try to do this book justice in the review, but I don't know it it will happen.
Tess Snow is our main character, and she is strong. When on a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, she is captured by slavers. She is dehumanized, beaten, and goes through many other horrific experiences before she meets her new master. During all of this, she never loses her will to live. After arriving at her new master's house, she lives there for a while before trying to escape, it doesn't work, and bad things happen as a result. Living with Q (her master), she learns more about herself, and begins to fall in love with Q. I think this would be defined as Stockholm Syndrome, but after finishing the book, I do not think I could classify it as such. Q is not an evil person, and does care for Tess, he just has a very interesting way of showing it. I liked that Tess never let her spirit die, she was always willing to fight, even though she knew that she could be punished. I enjoyed being in her mind and feeling her confusion about Q and what he is doing, what he wants from Tess.
Throughout the book, I found myself rooting for the couple (I guess we could call them that?), but then questioning myself as to why in the hell I was rooting for them to get together. This book was dark, and the author did an absolutely fabulous job of crafting this story. The lines were definitely blurred with regards to the sex that Q and Tess had, whether it was consensual, and whether or not this was a case of Stockholm. This book was slightly hard to get through because it was so heavy. I strongly caution those of you who don't like this type thing to begin with STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK.
Now let us talk about Q. Q is awesome, horrible, hot, and a badass. All rolled into one confusing as hell package. He is good, but has some pretty big demons that he needs to come to terms with. I loved realizing that he wasn't as bad as he seemed, and that everyone in the town knows him. I did feel really bad for him after some of the things that Tess put him through (again, I wondered why the hell I was rooting for him...wasn't he supposed to be bad?). But I still loved him.
Overall, I give this book all of the stars (yes all of them). The plot was addicting and well written. This book took me on a thrilling journey from beginning to end. With a brilliant set of characters and just enough dark twists and turns to keep me on the edge of my seat, I would happily recommend this to anyone interested!