By: Sherri Hayes
Synopsis: For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn’t expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring.
There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good.
Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna’s father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer?
As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan’s love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they’ve built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known.
(I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley.com)
Let me begin by saying I really enjoyed this book and it was a great third installment to the Saving Anna series series.
When I first discovered Slave seven months ago I had only recently begun reading as if my life depended on it. I had found a few series and trilogies that I had fallen in love with and my hunger for more was only just beginning. That cold winter morning when I began reading Brianna's story I was shocked. Up until that point The Finding Anna series was the darkest, most disturbing subject matter I had encountered.
Sherri Hayes's series is not your typical BDSM novel. This series goes beyond the D/s relationship or even the overbearing alpha male you may know. These novels touch upon something much worse, actual human trafficking and sexual slaves. Shocking... Behind every fiction is a truth. The truth is there are people out there like Ian Pierce and his sadistic merry men. There are individuals like Johnathan Reeves, so wrapped up in their own guilt and sorrow that all rational though escapes them. There is an innocence like Brianna's that is stolen countless times a day in unthinkable ways. But there are also people like Stephan Coleman.
Stephan's lifestyle may not be everyone's cup of tea, but after getting to know him is compassion and loyalty is undeniable. The patience he has for Brianna is amazing. The powerful Dom has a soft spot. At only twenty four he has a refined aura around him. Perhaps his maturity is a product of his own tragic past or maybe it is simply is upbringing. Whichever, I often had to remind myself of his age. Although he is only six years older than Brianna the way in which he interacts with her is almost paternal. I know, I know that is kind of creepy sounding, but I struggle to find another way to describe it and the author did an excellent job walking that delicate line. Ms. Hayes was able to provide Stephan the compassion and empathy to calmly and efficiently help Brianna work through her fears, but also keep the spark and raw sexual tension heavy in the air.
Brianna's strength astounds me. She is not only able to work very hard to send her demons into the darkness where they belong, but she is able to find moment to finally laugh. To find some enjoyment in life. The growth she has made of these three novels is amazing. Looking back to when Stephan first met Brianna to saying goodbye at the end of Truth the difference is like night and day.
I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve. Stephan was no longer the only one offering comfort. He has learned to find serenity in Brianna. The author did a great job developing that relationship over the course of the series.
I am anxious to see where Brianna's story might go next. I am hoping there is a fourth novel. I will be disappointed, and cannot even begin to imagine, if the storyline ends where it did. I need to know Brianna and Stephan turn out OK.