I actually don't think this book qualifies as a dark romance, or even a romance. I consider dark romance to be love stories with taboo themes mixed in. Here, there was no love story but lots of taboo. If you have any kind of rape and abuse triggers, pass on this one for sure. The book is about Mary/Elena who is kidnapped when she is 16 for the pleasure of some sick old perv. When the book starts, we are in the middle of the story and then the book is told going back in time. The beginning was intriguing. A lot of the reason I kept reading some of the more difficult material is because I wanted to see how the book got to that point. FYI, you don't find out in the first installment.
While Elena is being "broken" and "trained" she suffers all kinds of ridiculous abuse. When it is finally Elena's turn to 'please the master,' by a strange twist of fate she winds up in the hands of his son, Dalton. I can't really tell you much about Dalton except that he is very attractive to Elena and torn about his desire for her. It seems like Dalton might rescue Elena but then he kind of doesn't. I guess it's a case of the apple falling sort of but not too far from the tree. It's clear that Dalton is obsessed with Elena but that's kind of her problem. Men get obsessed with her and then do horrible things to her.
There is almost no happiness for Elena in this entire installment of the series. One horrific thing after another happens to her. When she thinks she can trust someone, that goes left quickly. You will need to read a book about rainbows, unicorns, and sunflowers by the time you finish this book.
I'm giving this book 3 stars because Melody Anne is a good writer and that comes across here. I might have given it 4 stars for writing but the author's writing style did not match the subject matter. Usually when you read the darker books, the language is gritty and explicit and matches what is happening in the book. Melody Anne still writes this book like it is a Harlequin romance from the early 90s. It just didn't fit what was occurring in the book and it was distracting.
I usually try to tell you if I recommend you read a book but that's tough to do here. If the things I talked about in this review don't bother you, this might be a good pick for you. For me, I just want more love and hope then was offered in this book.
**Copy provided by Author**