A missing person case leads an actress down a dangerous path of seduction in this raw duology opener from Paige (Find Me, 2015, etc.).
On hiatus from her TV show, Emily Wayborn is shocked to come home to a message from her estranged friend, Amber, on her mother’s answering machine. When Amber uses a safe word they established long ago, Emily knows the message is a cry for help. She goes undercover to track down Reeve Sallis, the billionaire hotelier with whom Amber was last seen. While Emily pumps him for information, he’ll go to increasingly disturbing lengths to have his way with her—even hijacking Emily’s massage session while she's face down on the table. But he awakens Emily’s submissive side, and pleasing Reeve keeps Emily tied up (so to speak) when she should be looking for clues. Emily’s history with Amber is told in flashbacks that are painful to read—the two girls moved in with a sugar daddy before they were old enough to consent to such an arrangement—but the distinction between Amber’s situation and Emily’s becomes increasingly clear. Emily has grown up to be an independent woman, and while she claims she has never fallen in love, she at least seems to enjoy submitting to her willing dominant partner. One memorable encounter with Reeve leaves her literally gasping for air, blurring the line between titillation and terror. Amber, meanwhile, is caught in a downward spiral of addiction and abuse. The harrowing scene when Reeve and Emily tentatively reveal what they each know about Amber brings a surprising moment of tenderness between the two damaged characters—and the cliffhanger ending sets up an even greater conflict for Book 2.
Paige is unflinching in her depiction of a complicated relationship, and the results are explosive.