The third instalment of the Finding Anna Series.
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 spiralling 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.
FTC: I was approached by the publicist for a review of this book. I wasn’t paid and I do not know the author personally, although she has been involved in events on the blog previously.
I loved the previous two in the series so I jumped at the chance to review this. Unfortunately, there were issues with this book that I cannot ignore. Will I read book four? Yes, I feel I must. I’m hoping that the next one changes my mind again. I feel this book was inevitable; I don’t think I could have imagined Stephan being so selfless forever. I also knew that, with his methods seemingly working before, there was a possibility that he would continue on without guidance. I found this book more difficult to read than the previous two because I had already grown to like the characters in the first books and, in this book, Stephan starts to show that he is only human after all as his flaws become very apparent.
In the previous books, I loved Stephan. I knew that he was doing what he thought was best for Brianna, even if I felt some of it was misguided. In this one, he starts to let his own desires influence how he treats her. It was always going to happen when he fell in love with her, but where he was willing to go scared me. He wanted to see if she could be his submissive but this book occurs only 3 months after rescuing her from Ian. He was willing to push her to places where she was in a fugue state, under the illusion that, if she was with him, she would be safe even if she was mentally breaking. He exposed her to memories she wasn’t ready to unlock and exposed her to BDSM scenes and techniques, aware that she might not be able to handle it. He did it as a test, was willing to push her, without guidance or support, to see if she could be what he needed. It was selfish and it undid part of my trust of him as a Dominant; I no longer know if I want them to get their HEA.
How did Brianna handle this? She didn’t but she persevered. For him. She is so dependent on him, and so grateful, that she allowed him to continue trying to push her. She was in a situation where she was raped, abused, tortured and held captive and he rescued her. I’m starting to agree with the side characters in this book; I’m not sure anything about this relationship is healthy. She hero worships him and she still isn’t a person in her own right. I don’t know if she ever can be but she definitely won’t be without time and space. There is another book in this series and the ending of this particular book gives me hope. I can’t believe in a romance where one person is completely dependent on the other, where there is no true give and take. True, there were sacrifices for Stephan but they were surface sacrifices. Do I believe that they make each other happy? Yes, but I’m not sure it’s a happiness that won’t fade when Brianna heals. Do I believe that they are in love? Yes but I’m not sure that, in this time frame, that love is enough.
Is this the book I wanted? Hell no. Do I think that this book needed to happen? Yes. This is a series that shows how a broken young lady finds her way back to herself and I don’t think that that recovery can be dependent on one person. This book proved it to me and I hope that it proved it to the characters; I really want to like Stephan again.
I won’t reread this book so it cannot be a five star rating. On the other hand, it wasn’t average so it can’t be three. It is a solid four star read that needs to be read if you follow the series; I can’t say that I actually liked the events of this book but nor could I put it down.