Lydia awakes, bound and blind, to the whispered urgings of a man who has his hands on her. His words confuse her at first, but she soon understands they are both in the middle of a performance that will determine whether she remains in captivity or dies. The crowd must be entertained, and her cellmate makes sure it is.
Forced submission is not the only horror Lydia endures. She has no memories of life before her imprisonment, and Joe, her cellmate, is her only comfort as the powerful creatures that hold them captive torture and debase her. Together, she and Joe cling to the will to survive long enough to break free and seek revenge. Their desire to sustain one another triumphs over their wardens' efforts to destroy them. There is no pain, no suffering, that can tear them apart.
Beyond their cell, their love is tested. Can they hold strong in the face of the challenge of the new powers they have gained along with their freedom?
This is not an easy read. The violence is very real and as this is written in the first person, there is no escaping the intensity. I felt at times like hiding between my hands whilst I was reading it! But, I just *had* to keep reading to find out what happens next. The violence and the torture Lydia in particular has to endure, sometimes at the hands of Joe, is stomach churning. You can't help but admire her will to live and the lengths she will go through to protect Joe, even if ultimately this completely backfires on her and you feel all is lost.
Lydia and Joe go through an incredible journey and I only found myself relaxing slightly towards the latter half of the book, when I felt fairly sure that there would be a happy ending of sorts for them. This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I never could anticipate what would happen next, right to the end and I wanted more when it ended.
This is not the sort of story I normally read, but I am so glad I took a chance on it, having been drawn to it by the cover, because it is such a compelling read.
I couldn't find any fault with it at all. In fact I will have to read it again, because I clicked pages so fast in my need to know what happened next!
Be warned though this isn't for the faint hearted, but incredibly well written and will have you think about it for some time afterwards.
Available through Noble Romance