“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
From reading the blurb for this story, I kinda knew what I was getting myself in to. What I didn’t expect was the way the author makes the reader actually feel as though they are right there in the room, feeling the pain and emotions of this character. This book hits the ground running and never stops.
When the story opens we find Aaron, who is a male escort, in a heated discussion with Sebastian, a former client. He has fallen for Aaron and wants him to stop seeing clients, but Aaron insists that Sebastian try to fix things with his lover, Eric. When Aaron meets his client for the night, Aaron thinks he’s hot and in for a night of fun. Unbeknownst to Aaron, Vince has bought him from his escort company and will be training Aaron to be a slave.
I was on an emotional roller coaster the whole time I was reading this book. This book made my heart race; it made me have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. At times it was even hard to read, but I never wanted to put this down and stop reading. Aaron is kidnapped and there’s no one to help him, and he knows it. He slowly comes to terms with what is happening to him, which in itself is heartbreaking to read. On the outside he’s submissive but his inner dialog is still fighting for release from the hell that is now his life. He’s becoming dependent on the drugs Vince is injecting him with. He’s being raped, caned, whipped, flogged, tortured with a cattle prod being dehumanized and humiliated. The author puts you right there in the middle of all this madness and forces you to feel, see and gasp in horror at what is happening to Aaron. I loved it.
I loved how the author incorporated other POV’s throughout the book without taking me out of the story. Vince’s POV is the most interesting to me. We know that he’s developing feelings for Aaron. He’s kind to him at times, he takes care of Aaron when he’s hurt real bad. But in his mind Aaron is just a job no matter what. Sebastian’s POV if great because it gives us a sense of hope that Aaron will be rescued. Sebastian knows Aaron is missing and is actively looking for him.
Aaron, for all he’s going through isn’t broken, he’s still the same Aaron that was meeting Vince for the first time that fateful night, he’s not the victim. On the inside he’s fighting Vince all the way. Outwardly, he’s doing what he can to survive and to keep Vince happy, to avoid punishment and for the drugs Vince had him hooked on. He knows the only way to escape his reality is to be stoned out of his mind and the drugs do that for him. Vince on the other hand, is cruel and unforgiving. He’s a little on the psychotic side too. One minute giving viscous training sessions to Aaron and then being kind and almost loving while attending Aaron’s wounds. He’s like a Jekyll and Hyde personality. I’m really curious to see what the author has in store for Vince. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
This story is not for the faint of heart. It’s a devastating story but it’s also a story about survival. This is a serial, so I’m real excited to see where it goes from here.
Reviewed by: Lynn