One of the signs that I’m really into a book/series is when I break out of my reading plan and snatch one up out of order. In this case, I had just read the previous book in this series with plans to go on to a few others before coming back for book two. Instead, I immediately clicked this one open and kept going with this dark, intense, and suspenseful tale of a young woman who was taken by slavers, got away, and now a dramatic twist has brought her full circle.
Yes! Resounding yes, you must read these in order. In fact, if you’re planning to read the series and don’t want to have the good stuff spoiled for you, please don’t read further until you’ve gotten book one under your belt.
The story picks up where the first one left off. Jewel is rescued from the sea by a fisherman and is taken to his home and cared for by his wife while he goes to start the process of contacting the American Consulate. Jewel starts to relax her guard and enjoy her time feeling safe at last.
Only, it’s not a person from the American Consulate who arrives to take her away. She winds up back with the slavers who had a bounty out for her return. The Captain is as cold and cruel as ever and his crew are as eager to punish her and sample her wares as things march steadily toward the auction block and her sale into sexual slavery. And it’s there that Jewel receives two surprises and a potential new fate if the offer can be trusted.
So, Jewel’s nightmare is broken up by a brief time of rest before she is back into the nightmare. This book was intense with the unknown and Jewel’s fear, but it is also filled with her working to keep from being broken and crushed and to find a way to escape the inescapable.
There are exciting moments, but for the most part, the author relies on tone and tension to wind out this even-paced story.
It is as dark in the actions against Jewel as the first book, but yet I felt that it drifted more toward the dubious than the non-consent. Jewel understands her power as a woman over men’s weaker lusts and uses it. I think it was her limited power that gives the reader hope in her ugly, seeming hopeless circumstances. I wasn’t even all that devastated when she ended up losing her new found freedom because I expected it.
The characters are all interesting even the ones that are absolutely vile. I still am left intrigued by those who would sear their consciences and make their living in the slave trade though that feeling goes no where near warmth or sympathy. I definitely want Jewel to win and to get her revenge on them all.
Now, I look forward to where the events at the end of this story will take Jewel. I encourage those who enjoy or are curious about dark erotica to give this series a try.
My thanks to the author who provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #115 ER