When people look at the cover of Slave, it would be easy to instantly jump to the conclusion of BDSM or abuse. This book is the first in the series Finding Anna. I find it sad when I hear people jump to conclusions after reading Slave, saying that it was abusive, the author doesn’t know the difference between slavery and consensual sex. What I really find amazing if how these conclusions come to surface since there are no sex scenes in this book. Well one minor one but Stephan puts an end to it right away in order to protect Brianna. Yes, protect, so how do you come to the conclusion that he doesn’t care for her? I am not sure. I am not in the lifestyle, I know nothing about the lifestyle, but I do know Stephan in no way kidnapped her, abused or her held her against her will. I will never understand how some readers have decided this book is abusive.
The story starts with Stephan being told by a friend that there was this young woman who might be in trouble. His friend said that he saw this girl at a party and she didn’t look like a willing submissive and that he confirmed she was available for purchase by her owner Ian. Stephan was horrified that people were being sold for sex. Wrestling with his own ethics as to buying another human, he decided after seeing Brianna and the fear she was in, he was going to have to purchase her in order to set her free. I don’t think he really understood at that point what had been taken from her and how long of a process it was going to be before Brianna would be able to live an independent life.
Once he got her home, he saw the fear this woman was living in. She was broken all the way to the core of her soul. Stephan began the journey of establishing trust with Brianna. He gave her a room, bought her clothing and introduced her to his closest friends, hoping that she would begin to adjust to the world around her and come out of her shell. He also investigated to see who this girl really was. This task was truly harder than raising an infant because she had so many scars to heal and walls to break down.
Brianna wondered how evil this new master would be. She was use to sleeping on the floor, not having food, having one set of clothing that covered nothing. She was covered in bruises and the emotional scars were too many to count. The only thing she was sure of was that Stephan was her new master and she must please him in every part of life or the punishment could be severe.
Slowly as this story progresses, Stephan gives control of her life back to Brianna. He shows such patience and kindness to her yet he builds healthy routines and structure for her. While doing this he begins to battle his feelings for her. Stephan has fallen in love with Brianna, but she is in no shape to have to deal with love. To add to his confusion, Stephan needs the BDSM life style and he wants to share that with Brianna, but he knows she doesn’t understand the lifestyle as it was actually meant to be. So he continues to be her protector and hides his feelings from her through out this book.
Sherri Hayes is an expert at cliff hangers, by the time you get to the end of this book you are willing to run naked through the house to get on the computer to find the next book Need. (yes some of her readers have stated this has happened, for myself I was screaming she couldn’t end it this way) The author does a great job as showing the effects of sexual and mental abuse but does it in a way that isn’t so in your face, which is why I think this book is so misunderstood. If you can read it and take out your own beliefs and theories and read the words before you, watch as the story unfolds, I think you will then see the effects of human trafficking. Yes it does happen, we are just honored by Slave to see the recovery of such abuse.
I give this book five stars, not only for the way it is presented and for the issues it discusses, but for the ability to invest myself in each character. Stephan and Brianna are two characters that have become important to me and I still think of them long after I have finished the book. The writing style allowed me to be in the room with them as they sat in the chair at night discussing their day, building trust with each other. I was allowed to see the confusion with Stephan as to what to do for this young woman, while being degraded by his own uncle for the way he was handling Brianna. I was at times feeling the fear and panic in Brianna and wiping tears away when she would discuss her memories of what had happen to her.
Read Slave with an open mind, take in the story as Sherri writes it. This is really a book you don’t want to judge by the cover.
AMAZON REVIEWS FOR SLAVE:
GET CONNECTED WITH SHERRI HAYES:
- Meet the Author: Sherri Hayes (girl-who-reads.com)