LK Shaw-Absolution

So, LK Shaw is making a new appearance on the blog. This one is with Absolution. This is the 7th book in her Club Eden series. This is the story of Gina and Leo.

So, these two have history. They knew each other as foster children. Leo was 5 years older than Gina. When he was 18, and she was 13, he left for the Army. She begged him to not leave her, to stay with her. But he didn’t, instead entrusting her safety to Gideon, another person in the foster system with them.

Now, years later, Gina and Leo have managed to end up in the same small town, far from where they grew up. She saw him at the BDSM club they both belong to about a year ago, and she let him know in no uncertain terms that she hates him and wants fuckall to do with him. When they are at the club at the same time, she pretty much just completely ignores him, looking through him.

Leo works for a security company that just happens to be run by Gina’s best friend’s husband/Dom. He’s taking his military training and putting it to work for him. He also boxes for fun and teaches boys how to box. It totally works out. He’s relatively happy, except he has no fucking clue why Gina hates him.

Gina works with her best friend and depends on BDSM to keep herself under control and to help fight the demons. She has plenty of demons and secrets in her past. There really is only one person (other than her therapist) who knows almost all of her history, and she really depends on that person to keep her head straight. She  has a lot of things that she is sure would make her friends look at her the wrong way or make them not like her if they told her. Gideon and the fact that he’s in prison, at least for a little while longer, and still managing to cause her problems is one of the secrets she’s keeping.

Gina has a lot of issues which has made her really want to protect herself and hide inside. I totally get that. I don’t blame her. Anyone who has been so hurt wants to be able to hide and protect themselves. That’s just human nature. It also made me really like her because of that really human aspect of her. Of course, I think there were a couple of times where I didn’t like her all that much, but that makes me feel something, so that’s good.

Leo is a pretty good guy, and it’s obvious that he still has the feelz for Gina, even if she hates him at the moment. I think that he was a little blind and little too trusting with the wrong people in the past, and I also think that he did something that he should’ve done a lot sooner. I don’t think he was a complete idiot or anything, and he definitely showed his caring and protective side.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one, and I had a hard time putting it down last night. I quite literally fell asleep reading it because I didn’t want to put it down.

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It’s interesting how 2 people can be 1 person, isn’t it?

OK, that’s all for this one! Go check it out! Happy reading!

LK Shaw-Secrets of Betrayal

LK Shaw is a new author to me, so this is her first appearance on the blog. I’m a member of the Purple Prose Society on FB, where authors and ARC readers can hook up so that everyone is happy. That’s where I hooked up with LK and this book.

Secrets of Betrayal is a new book in LK Shaw’s  Secrets series. Full disclosure, I have not read the rest of the series, but they are currently in my Kindle’s TBR collection so I will be reading them soon. Keep an eye on my GR feed for when I review them.

Anyway, Secrets is the story of Phebe and Donovan.

We open to Phebe trapped in a dark, windowless cell. She keeps imagining sunshine to help get herself survive in that room. She’s huddling in a corner and when the door opens, she’s convinced that she’s about to die, and she’s kinda perfectly OK with that. Death would be freedom, at least. It turns out that she’s being rescued.

Phebe has had a hard life. She’s spent all her adult life in a relationship with Kieran Underwood. He started out as a DJ, but soon became a little drug dealer and then worked himself up to a higher-level drug dealer. It turns out that he was working for Phebe’s dad, not that she ever knew her dad.

When she is rescued, she is asked whether or not she will provide evidence and testify against Kieran, she says that she will, especially since one of the things that they want to prosecute him on is working with Russian sex traffickers. She knows all too well that Underwood was working with the Russians since he sold her to them. She agrees to do so and she wants to see his ass locked up for pretty much always. So, she’s put into a heavily guarded safe house.

Donovan is a complicated man. On one hand, he’s a successful prosecutor, who also does pro bono work to help out various women’s shelters. He’s also a Dom and part owner of a club called Eden. However, he has been trying to keep his Dom side a little more under wraps since his sub betrayed him and left him. He’s been appointed to be the lawyer on the Underwood case, which means that he will be spending a lot of time with Phebe, deposing her and getting her information. When he first sees Phebe, he gets some Dom-ly urges to take care of her and protect her, but he has to keep reminding himself that she’s not his sub.

They end up spending a lot of time together, working on the case, and things progress as they normally do.

OK, final thoughts before we move to the spoiler section. I did not connect deeply with these characters. I thought the book was very well-written and it’s a good premise. It did do some things that I really liked. For example, it shows Phebe going to a mental health professional to help in her recovery. Nothing happens overnight, and there is a lot of patience on everyone’s part. It also shows how a healthy D/s relationship can help women who have been in a very bad situation get back to trusting people and help them gain their power back. Will that work for everyone? No, of course not, not everyone has submissive tendencies, and you kinda gotta have those to be in a D/s relationship.

There are some things that may be triggery to people who have been in a relationship with violence in it, so be aware of that if you read this book. There aren’t a lot of them, but it’s better to know that they are there than to be blindsided.

 

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Ok, I think that one of the reasons I didn’t really connect well with the characters is that sometimes I felt like Donovan’s betrayal and Phebe’s betrayal were being placed at the same level, or even that his was a little higher than hers. Yes, he had a sub, they were in a committed D/s relationship until she went off and cheated on him. That’s pretty bad and would be hurtful, but it doesn’t compare to being in a relationship with a drug dealer who hits you or being sold to a sex trafficker. That is my personal perception of it, colored through my viewpoints and experiences. Your perception will vary, so please don’t let me turn you off the book, OK?

I like that Phebe does research into the whole kink world on her own, by talking to her therapist and Bridget, before she talks to Donovan about it. That lets her figure out what she wants before she talks to Donovan. She needed that time to get things straight in her own head, which was important.

Donovan did do everything he could to make sure she was safe, and when something did happen that could hurt her, he made sure to rescue her and take care of her.

It was a well-written book, I could tell that LK Shaw put a lot of thought into it, and I enjoyed the premise behind it.

We have more goodies coming up this week, meanwhile, happy reading.