A woman is kidnapped and introduced to the world of sadomasochism in this first erotic novel in a new series by Bene (The Invitation, 2014, etc.).
Thalia awakens in a locked, unfamiliar room, and she’s gripped by fear as the memory of the night before returns to her: a security guard attacked her in a parking lot, sexually assaulted her, and threw her into his trunk. When her captor enters the room, she slaps him, and then he beats her and forces her to engage in sex with him again; Thalia is frustrated when her body repeatedly responds with pleasure. Soon, she learns that their actions are being recorded and broadcast to the man’s “friends.” The guard reveals that he chose her because he believed that she would be submissive—that she would call him “Master,” ask his permission to do anything, and even crawl in his presence. “You were always meant to be a slave,” he tells her. Thalia oscillates between despair at being told no one will save her and coming to rely on her “master.” When the guard’s brother arrives, in advance of a party in which Thalia will be sold to the highest bidder, things take an even darker turn. On the night of the party itself, a man named James offers Thalia what appears to be an escape—but only if her master accepts his offer. Although the novel opens with a disclaimer that it’s “a dark book,” it’s hard to stomach a novel built upon the rape and kidnapping of a woman. The author does develop the guard/master into a complex character who eventually shows Thalia some mercy. However, it will be difficult for readers to see him as anything but a villain. There are plenty of sex scenes (the word “moaned” appears more than 30 times), with each one pushed to the edge of abuse (involving rope, handcuffs, and welts). Near the end, Thalia is offered a sort of reprieve with a new “owner,” but it may be too late for readers who prefer their erotica to feature consensual sex.
A dark, intense BDSM story taken to an uncomfortable extreme.