After reading the blurb, I settled in for a dark, twisting tale of a woman’s betrayal into the hands of fiends and her survival. I don’t typically take up a darker erotic story like this and it did indeed push me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to set it aside and was even shaking when the story really got going, but the writing and the intense story of this brave woman kept me reading through this first segment of the story to its dramatic conclusion that had a big twist leading toward more in the next installment.
The themes of the story were indeed dark and those who have triggers about sexual abuse and exploitation should be cautious. There is non-con, dub-con, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Gang sex and even some f/f action.
The story opens with young wife, Jewel, finding herself restrained and terrified in the hold of a ship after her husband lost her in a game of cards and let a cold-eyed captain and his men take her with no resistance. She is now to be trained for the sex trade. Jewel has to come to terms with her new reality and keep her wits about her. The captain intends to ‘train’ her and her training can break her or allow her to survive long enough to find a way out. If there is a way out…
Jewel endures even as she counter plots against the captain keeping him and his sleazy crew from guessing that she might be frightened, but she is definitely not beaten and accepting of her fate. Jewel must do what she must and that involves some intense and horrendous stuff. She can’t let the captain’s training warp her mind or use his crew to break her body and spirit. It is a battle of wills that she must win or lose herself.
Alright, so this was one intense read from cover to cover. It’s more of an introduction into the depravity of humanity from Jewel’s husband to the captain and to every man of the slave ship’s crew. Jewel’s story is told all from her point of view. The reader can feel the fear tightening the throat and chest, the nausea for what she must tolerate and endure, and the deep burning impotent anger as she waits her chance. It’s a raw, visceral story and pulls no punches. The sexual abuse (aka training) is accompanied by mental abuse designed to break her down and remake her into a sex slave all for profits. It’s awful, but I couldn’t stop even when the tears came.
I connected with Jewel and one other member of the ship. I am curious about the Captain and wonder about a few other characters mentioned.
But, there is one ray of light. Jewel is not entirely alone. And she learns that she has a stronger spirit and inner strength than she thought. There is one long-shot of hope that keeps her going.
The big scene at the end was unexpected and I look forward to seeing where the story takes Jewel now.
All in all, things are dark and bleak for Jewel. This is a gritty dark erotica and it’s well written, but I think for a limited audience of those who will enjoy or at least tolerate non/dub consent and a heroine sold into slavery.
I received my copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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