This review of Slave by Sherri Hayes is courtesy of my first ARC from Net Galley. I saw the title, the description said BDSM romance, so I grabbed it. THEN, I read the reviews and realized it sounded way dark for my tastes. Since I didn’t know the policy on getting a book and not reading it, I decided to push ahead. I’m so glad I did!!!! It was a wonderful book.
Two things you MUST know going in: this is not a stand-alone book. The second book, Need, comes out July 26th 2012. Second, there is no sex in this book, though it appears to be coming in the books following this one.
Stephan is a very wealthy Dominant. He has not had a sub in a while because he hasn’t clicked with anyone. Then he is approached by a friend who saw a beautiful young sub at a party who seemed to be a slave, there unwillingly. Stephan steps in and buys Brianna from the horribly sadistic asshole who owns her.
Brianna is 18 and terribly broken. Expecting to be punished and used at any moment, she is afraid of everything, and can’t even go out alone without having a panic attack. Stephan tries to ease her out of this fear gradually, and provides her with much needed guidance and comfort. As her Dom, Stephan is 100% responsible for her well-being, and being as broken as she is, it’s a hefty responsibility. As the days pass though, you can see Stephan is falling in love, and Brianna is beginning to feel safe and trust him.
That was it for this book. There is no sex beyond chaste kissing. Brianna isn’t ready, and it’s easy to say she may never be. But this is a 3-4 part series, and there is an amazing connection between the two. This is a modern day Cinderella story, and I’m hoping the Prince (or in this case knight in shining armor) gets his princess finally whole again.
This book was told in first person, switching between the two characters. It was very clear whose POV you are reading, and it was great to be able to see a little bit about what is going on in each of their heads.
- The story was a tastefully done depiction of human slavery and not unrealistic.
- Though the subject matter was dark, the book itself did not feel dark. It feels hopeful.
- I liked the switching first person, and though it wasn’t a specific pattern I always knew who was speaking.
- Book two, Need, comes out next week so you don’t have to wait long!
- Stephan did not make it clear to Brianna that she was not his slave right from the beginning. While this is the main story, and it would have changed had she known, it made me crazy the whole book.
- This book should NOT be classified as BDSM Romance. Yes, Stephan is a Dom, with a playroom, but there is no sex in the book at all. Perhaps the series will have more sex and there must be the same classification for the entire series.
- I had some trouble getting a deep connection to the characters. It was almost as if it were being narrated rather than told in first person. It’s hard to explain, but I just didn’t feel that deeply invested, though I didn’t put the book down.
Rating: 4.5 stars 1.5 heat
I highly recommend this book. Supposedly this is Twilight fanfic just like Fifty Shades of Grey, and published by the same publisher who initially published Fifty. I don’t really see it in this one as much. Though there are no real sex scenes, it is very interesting to read about the Dom/sub dynamic, and watch as someone so broken comes around gradually. I love Stephan and the fact that he is holding back all of his wants and needs to make sure Brianna is ready.
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It is a heartbreaking yet hopeful book, and leaves you desperate to read the next one, Need, immediately. See my review of NEED here.
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