* Review copy provided by the author via the BDSM group’s TPE BAR Read2Review
★★½ (rounded up to account for my personal quirks)THE SHORT:
Not what I had expected and probably an example of “more me and not the book”. IMO, somewhat misleading to tag this as “BDSM” as I read this as more NA/CR. Overall, fairly well-written & sweet story, but I had issues with certain technical aspects and the lagging pace. Also, no definite ending so SLAVE is apparently the first book in a serial trilogy.UPDATE: Apparently, now changed so that storyline spans 4 books, not the original 3.THE LONG:
Despite high ratings and favorable word-of-mouth from more than a few GR friends, I never got around to reading SLAVE by NTM author, Sherri Hayes. So I jumped at the opportunity when it came up for R2R in the BDSM group.
Now, as a rule, I don’t read anything about a book except for the blurb. And the blurb for SLAVE was intriguing but left many things open to interpretation. So my review and rating are reflective of this. Frex, I expected BDSM to play a significant role in the storyline, given the character descriptions and tags, so kept waiting for *something* to happen and change the direction of the story. However, the BDSM aspect/background was almost superficial in the sense that it could’ve been replaced by a different traumatic experience without significantly altering the basic concepts/progression of the story. Also, by no means is SLAVE in the erotica category. Lastly, I didn’t expect this book to end with no definitive resolution/HEA (read: “to be continued”).
SLAVE was a rather dispassionate read for me. I never truly connected with either MC and therefore, read the story as if from a distance. It was easier for me to sympathise with Brianna than with Stephan. Part of the problem was that I couldn’t suspend disbelief enough to accept Stephan’s character and actions. There was no real basis as to why he would immediately agree to help Brianna other than he “like(s) to help people” and is wealthy enough (implied) to fork over a significant amount to buy Brianna from Ian. Moreover, there was nothing by way of his background to give credence to his experience/ability to help someone suffering from a very traumatic experience. And for me, Stephan’s emotional connection seemed too soon and unsubstantiated.
The technical aspects of the writing were another reason why I never got immersed in SLAVE. Plot backtracking following a POV switch (occurred more in the first half) and detailing every.single.thing.killed the pace of the story for me such that I was tempted to skim at certain points. Then just as I settled into a nice groove, an odd sentence or an inherent inconsistency would jar me out of the story (e.g., passage of time first noted as two weeks, then a few paragraphs later, it’s a month, and then later, three weeks). And as stupid as it sounds, the fact that non-noun/adjective “thank you” was repeatedly hyphenated became a tiny twitch to my reading experience.
However, despite everything, there was enough to SLAVE that I would consider moving on to [b:Need|13605496|Need (Finding Anna, #2)|Sherri Hayes|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1343373415s/13605496.jpg|19200254] (book #2) to see what happens to Brianna. SLAVE worked as a good introduction to Ms. Hayes’s writing. (Although I read [b:A Christmas Proposal|16002294|A Christmas Proposal (Hidden Threat, #1.5)|Sherri Hayes|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347317825s/16002294.jpg|21764369], a novelette connected to her Hidden Threat series, it was too short to form any substantial opinion.)