Redemption is the third and final installment of the story of Jewel, a woman sold to slavery by her husband and live through that dark and horrific world. This concluding part of her story was just as captivating as what came before leaving me tense and breathless as she found her way through to the end.
This is the third leg of a trilogy that absolutely must be read in order. In fact, I will suggest that if the reader has plans to read through this series that you may wish to forestall reading my review because I will need to connect some dots with this third part to what came before it.
Redemption opens with Jewel parted from Annie at the slave auction and taken to fulfill her agreement to the clandestine government agency in exchange for her freedom in five years after she works off the debt of her auction purchase. Jewel is guilt-ridden and devastated to know that Annie was bought by a cold-blooded sadist who kills the women he buys and tortures, but she hopes that her new employers will help her find and get Annie back.
Meanwhile, Jewel lives on the embassy grounds and begins her training in earnest as a ‘hostess’ who will be assigned to specific guests to cultivate their trust by supplying their every want while extracting the information the government wishes to know. Jewel’s handlers are clinical, but not unkind though with her past experiences she is still wary. She could even like them if they allowed it and she could more than like Mike one of the outside agents that is also one of her trainers.
Not long into her new life, she learns that others are still keeping secrets from her, things aren’t exactly what they seem, and Jewel is more determined than ever to recover Annie. There is danger in not following orders and the stakes are just as high as they have always been since she lost her freedom. Who can she trust and how will she see her way through this ongoing murky, dark world?
This leg of the story took a twist away from the obvious and sordid world of blatant slavery to the polished and subtle world of government diplomacy and secrecy. Her chains aren’t as noticeable, but they are still there. Jewel was roughly groomed to be a sexual slave and now she undergoes another form of grooming. This new world she enters was fascinating and more subtle.
The pacing starts out slow and almost grinding before it picks up steadily until there is the mad and heart-stopping excitement of the climax near the end. The reader has to exercise patience through the early scenes that have their place establishing the groundwork for what is to come after. There is a fabulous shocking reveal at the end that left me grinning because it was a clever one. There were hints leading up to it and the truth started to dawn on me, but way late and almost at the point of reveal.
All along the characters have been amazingly drawn. There are several new characters introduced in this segment and as before, I enjoyed the shades of gray with many having quite dark souls. Jewel herself maintains her spirit, fire, impulsivity, and even unapologetic openness and lust. She is still unbroken and dares to reach for what she wants even when made to understand in no uncertain terms just what her place is.
As to the passion and relationship side, Jewel is a sexual woman with diverse tastes for women, men, and not opposed to a group encounter. For all her troubles, she seeks out emotional connections and relationships. She is a champion for the down-trodden and doesn’t suffer bullies lightly. Because of the world she lives in, she is well aware that she can never completely trust even while she allows herself to like and want some of the people.
There is a denouement for the end that transitions things and shows the direction of the future. My only real niggle is that I would have wanted some of the summation to be more first hand. There were some comeuppances and revenges that I am blood-thirsty enough to want more up close and personal. I was alright with the open-ended feeling of the story that left room for more even as it did give enough so that I could see what direction matters were headed.
All in all, this final segment struck just the right note bringing the main character along in keeping with the plot and tone established early. This is an erotic romance with the first two books being more flagrant though this one is no less titillating. I would recommend these for those who appreciate a darker story ranging from non-con to consensual encounters.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author Jaye Frances has generously included a giveaway of all three books, e-book format, in her World Without Love series to one Int’l winner.
To enter, leave a comment on my review of Redemption. The winning comment will be chosen randomly and the person contacted by email. Winner has 72 hours to confirm and supply email to receive prize. Author will handle the distribution of prize.