Savannah Gentry, now Savi Baker, escaped the torture and degradation forced upon her by a sadistic father for eleven years and has made a safe life for herself and her daughter. When her father threatens her peace of mind—and her daughter's safety—Savi runs to Damián Orlando for protection. Their one day together eight years earlier changed both their lives and resulted in a secret she can no longer hide. But being with Damián reawakens feelings she wants buried—and stirs up an onslaught of disturbing flashbacks that leave her shaken to the core with little hope of ever being a sexual being again.
Damián has his own dragons to fight, but has never forgotten the one perfect day he spent with Savannah in a cave at the beach. He will go to the ends of the earth to protect Savi and her daughter, but can never be the whole man she deserves after a firefight in Iraq. Besides, the trauma of war and resulting PTSD has led him to find his place as the Masters at Arms Club's favorite sadist. Savi needs someone gentle and loving, not the broken man he has become. But he sees that the lifestyle he's come to embrace also can help Savi regain control of her life and sexuality. How can he not help redirect her negative thoughts and actions if she needs him?
This fourth book in a riveting series about Alpha males and the women who tame them . . . the author's description, I might add . . . is a continuation of the story of two young people who met when they were 19 years old, both at a crossroads in their lives and who collided and shared a love that changed their lives, even though they didn't know it at the time. Now, eight years later, both have been radically changed, their life paths have once again crossed and they now share a daughter.
Damian is no longer the rather irresponsible teen who ultimately found no way forward back then and decided to enlist in the Marines. Landing in Iraq, he experienced one of war's most devastating lessons--that no one can keep everyone alive. Losing his own foot took Damian out of action, but his life was forever changed, and if it were not for encountering his former Marine leader, he might have ended his life. Now he has regained control over his life, come to some very important self-understanding, learned some deep insights about the human soul, and is a co-owner of the Master at Arms club in Denver. It is to Denver that Savannah Gentry flees when her abusive and sadistic father again locates her and tries to enslave her once again. She is now Savi Baker and she has her eight year old daughter in tow--Damian's child conceived on that remote beach in So. California eight years earlier. She doesn't know that Damian has carried her in his heart through the days of war's hell and the recovery that followed his injury. Now Savi is the one who has been forever marked by her father's pedophilia and sadism, by his use of her body as a child and later as a "gift" to his political and business clients who have sexually abused her and sadistically beaten her almost to death.
This story is really a continuation of the other books in this series. It is most certainly not a stand alone novel in the truest sense of the word, but I do believe that someone who picked this book up without reading the first books would catch the gist of this story but would be left in the dark about the characters who are background here but whose stories have been featured in the earlier novels. There is also a very strong BDSM presence in this book, one that demonstrates the positive aspect of the lifestyle for those whose life experiences have been so wounding that the external pain of BDSM can help to release the inner pain that is so overwhelming that those who have been victimized literally shut down. The scenes themselves, however, are quite mild. In Savi's case, her own self-medicating involved cutting, a phenomenon that is well-known in the mental health community as a way of inducing endorphins that can soothe and tranquilize and make it possible for victims of abuse to move through their lives. Damian's way of helping Savi release her inner pain was very mild and along with his treatment of her were the insights that helped her to get past her "triggers" and fears for herself and her daughter.
I found this book to be another fine example of writing skill from a relatively new author and one whose following is growing as we speak. I am delighted to have found the initial novella and have been chomping at the bit, waiting for each new book's release. Due to happenings in the author's life they have not come to us as quickly as originally indicated, but as one who reads lots and lots of books, I find this novel to have been compelling. It is a highly emotional story, one that will resemble an emotional roller coaster by the time it is all done. It also highlights the deep and soul deadening wounds that come from child abuse and the awful hurts that can kill the body as well when sadism is out of control and used without regard to the victims. I highly recommend it, not as a particularly easy book to read, but one that brings forth that kind of satisfaction when one realizes they have read a really good book. It is a story that deserves to be read and appreciated. I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
This novel can be purchased both at Smashwords and Amazon.
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