There was light in him, one so bright it could illuminate the entire night sky if only it wasn't covered over by the shadow of his darkness.
Well...hell. This book...Damn. I struggled with my rating on this one. There were things I loved, things that disturbed the ever loving fuck out of me, and a few things I could have gone without. I love a dark romance, and this book definitely delivered on that front. This is not an easy read by any means. It's dark, gritty, disturbing, somewhat erotic, and not a book I'll be forgetting any time soon. The author does not play around. She tells you exactly what you're in for with the epilogue.
Madeline is a talented yet an incredibly sheltered young cellist. When her talent catches the eye of a certain man, her life takes a dark twist. She is taken from the only life she knows, and is thrown in to a den of vipers where depravity, violence, and brutality become her new surroundings.
Taken by a madman and given as a gift to his son for his 25th birthday, Maddy finds herself in the middle of a deadly game of power. While her new Master might not be quite as evil as the man that kidnapped her, she knows that he's just hiding a different type of darkness.
Aaron is The Estate executioner. While he doesn't blink an eyelash when meeting out death, he's inexplicably drawn to Maddy's innocence. While his brutality is the key to keeping her alive
I promised you pain for pain, Madeleine, and it only makes my cock harder when you fight back. Keep writhing beneath me, it’ll only help me along as I fuck your body and as I fuck your mind."
The man that he hides beneath the violence and death seems to come out in her presence.
Dream of me, Maddy. See me as I want to be; not the nightmare who torments you, but the devoted and mystified man who worships at your feet."
I loved Aaron. While he was not a white knight, he still had this soft side to him. It didn't come out very often, but when it did...*sigh*
I’m not a good man, Maddy. I’ll never be a person worthy of you, of the beauty and light you provide to this world. I kill, I steal, I lie and I cheat. I take pleasure when I bathe in the blood of another man’s demise, when I watch the life drain from their eyes as they die. I enjoyed you as well, Maddy, not when I had to hurt you, but when I took things from your body that weren’t mine to take. I’ve done nothing for you, Mouse, nothing but what I wanted to do."
But then again, I always do seem to go for the tortured and broody ones.
I loved the author's writing style, it was almost poetic at times. There was a flip side of it for me though. I felt it was a bit much at times. There was almost too many descriptive sentences. I lost count of the many different ways that Aaron's green eyes came across. It was a bit much for me. At times it almost read like a historical to me. I struggled to remember that this is set in a modern setting.
The brutality. I am not a virgin to dark and gritty reads, but some of the scenes in this book disturbed even me. The event that takes place at 89% for instance. It takes A LOT, and I do mean A LOT to truly disturb me, but fuck...that scene still fucking haunts me.
The romance. This took a while to really get into. It took a backseat to a lot of other things that were developing in the first half of the book. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting instant Stockholm here. This is not really a complaint, but I do feel it necessary to mention.
Aaron's background. We didn't get much except for little hints and words. This is a continuing series, so maybe it will be covered in the future books.
Aaron's father. Holy shit! Holy fucking shit! I have never...and I mean never spent so much time picturing killing a fictional character in quite such brutal fucking detail as I did here. The man was a sadistic asshole. The things that he did...Holy shit...just holy fucking shit. This book had some of the most brutal and descriptive scenes I have read in a while (And I've read and loved Captive/Seduced in the Dark, SKALS, and all of Madeline Sheehan books. I'm not exactly a fucking innocent here). I was left gaping, reeling, and so fucking disturbed I almost felt like I needed to take a break after reading those scenes. FUCK!
On a lighter note, I loved that even though Maddy was innocent, sheltered, naive, and in an impossible situation, she still came across as strong. Aaron was a great hero as well. My heart broke for him and his struggle. He tries so hard to protect Maddy from the brutality of The Estate, and when he failed at certain times, it was heart breaking.
In short, although this wasn't quite the amazing 5 star read it was to many of my GR friends, I still enjoyed it thoroughly. With the little peaks the author gave us of Xander, I cannot wait for his book next.
For more reviews visit: