Bend don’t Break
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Available November 18, 2014
I thought I was done.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her as the bullet tore through me, leaving me with nothing but the hope that I had done enough to save her. The darkness tried to engulf me—to brand me as its own and drag me to my fate.
Waking to see her tear-stained face above me was enough to make my heart stutter. I was alive and free from that place—but not from the toll it had taken on my mind and body.
My story should have ended, but one woman kept standing in the way of that. The only way I could have her was to find a way to put the darkness to rest.
“She’s fine,” Dr. Combs assured me. “But I don’t think it would be in the best interest for either of you to see each other. You put yourself in a dangerous situation with her.”
Put myself? Last I checked I wasn’t the one to drag her into the Retreat. “I kept her alive and slightly less broken than she would have otherwise been.”
“The two of you adapted to a horrible situation, found comfort in each other—”
I didn’t want to hear it.
I wondered if the captor could get it, too. Was I even the captor? It seemed like I’d lost control of the situation long ago.
But I’d still been the one to beat her, rape her, bend her will.
Just like she’d bent mine.
I wanted her back so bad I couldn’t breathe. The more we talked about it, the worse it got. The harsh reality of it all forced me to face the possibility that I had to walk away if I wanted to do what was in her best interest.
“How long until I can talk to Trent?” I tried again, drawing back a modicum of control by changing the course of the conversation.
Dr. Combs sighed and snapped her portfolio closed. “If it’ll get you to talk, I’ll make the arrangements on one condition.”
I’d already sold my soul, there weren’t many more concessions I had left to give.
“I need to know you’re not going to try to reach out to Rose—or anyone else.”
Did that mean there was a chance she’d see me? Or was Dr. Combs convinced I’d stalk and abduct her anyway? That was quite a laughable possibility, but some sick-as-fuck part of me considered it.
She came around the corner on hands and knees, and I saw her face visibly pale as soon as she saw the chain in my hands, but she approached anyway. Stubborn, belligerent, and brave.
Three traits that’d get her killed.
I dropped the chain to the floor next to the bed. “Come up here.”
She paused, but finally climbed onto the bed and straddled my lap as I directed, and damned if I didn’t feel like I was losing it. The bruises from her encounter with Gabe’s buffoons were starting to set in, but she pulled back and shut herself off as I examined her.
Such a degrading way to make sure nothing was broken, but if she didn’t believe my act, no one else would either. I realized the plug in her ass was probably growing even more uncomfortable with time, especially if she hadn’t experimented with them before.
Not that I could ask since I wasn’t supposed to care.
“Hate me all you want, Sugar,” I said, hoping to get her to walk a fine line between trust and fear where she might listen. “I’m the only ally you have.”
“Ally…?” she whispered, “You’re going to hurt me.” Her eyes filled again, but she blinked it away and held back just like she had in the basement, and I couldn’t face her any longer.
“I am,” I lifted her off of me, flipping her over. “Ass up.”
Even though she kept up her protective walls, I saw her body visibly relax when I pulled the plug free and sat it on the side table. It was going to be hard enough for her to kneel through dinner. I hoped the threat of it might make her more compliant.
The mix of vulnerability countered with her impossible stubbornness had an aphrodisiac effect on me. I had been convinced this was the only way we’d survive, but for the first time, I truly considered the effect it was going to have on both of us.
Gripping and Emotional
Five Star Indulgence
An 18+ read. Warning: This isn’t your rainbows and love sonnets kind of romance. This story explores topics of abduction and slavery, and contains explicit scenes of graphic violence and (non-con/dub-con) sex. Please note: If you are thinking about reading this series, as this review relates to the continuation of James’ and Rose’s story, it contains some spoilers for the first instalment, Irrevocable.
I found Skye Callahan’s dark erotic romance, Irrevocable one fantastic read, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC for its sequel, Bend, Don’t Break as part of the Blog Tour organized by Everything Marie. I could not wait to see how James (aka Kirk), the undercover cop and Rose (aka Silver), the woman who found herself abducted and enslaved by him in the ‘Retreat’ adjusted to normal life again and how the deep psychological torment of their experiences impacted on their relationship.
This book is told through the eyes of James as he adapts to life outside the ‘Retreat’. It also deals with his feelings for and relationship with Rose and the ongoing criminal investigations. Initially all James can think about is Rose and he struggles to follow the advice of his psychologist, to maintain his distance and allow them both time to heal. He is also haunted by the time he spent undercover and experiences many symptoms of PTSD: nightmares; flashbacks and anger.
When danger threatens and James can keep away from Rose no longer, they are reunited and decide to take things slowly and try and become friends, before resuming their sexual relationship. James is full of guilt and angst at what he put her through, despite the need to do it to keep her alive and also so as not to blow his cover. His feelings towards Rose are intense and complex – he is very possessive of her and wants to protect her, sometimes from himself, and he is wary of his own dark desire to gain pleasure from her willing submission…..
I loved the character of Rose. She is a strong woman and she both trusts and understands James more than he does himself and is also very protective of him. She does not take any nonsense from him and accepts that his darker desires are part of his make-up. It is not long before they begin to succumb to their mutual attraction and there are a number of passionate and toe curling scenes as James and Rose test if their relationship is ready to accommodate James’ needs.
The characterizations of both Rose and James are expertly done and I also enjoyed the supporting characters, particularly Trent, his partner. We also get brief glimpses of Miles, who played a big role in Irrevocable. Whilst much of the book focuses on James and his relationship with Rose, there are also significant elements of danger and suspense to the read, as first James, then Rose gets drawn into dealing with the aftermath of events that closed down the ‘Retreat’. The further they get drawn in the more their safety becomes compromised.
If you have read Irrevocable then you will certainly want to read Bend Don’t Break. If you are new to this series and like dark, erotic, deeply psychological romances, then go get your hands on it, you are in for one ‘helluva’ ride!
Reviewed by Tina Williams (please note that a copy of this book was given to me for a fair and honest review as part of this blog tour).
Sometimes when you can’t go back, the only way out is to descend into the darkness.
When I woke in that place, I just wanted to survive. But survival came at a cost, for which they demanded my will and body.
With pain came acceptance. Fully-dependent on the man who claimed me, I learned to appreciate what I had-life and relative safety.
I watched him spill blood and tend my injuries. With betrayal came a revelation.
The only way out was to bring them all down or die trying.
“Not only did Irrevocable gut me, it took me on a roller coaster ride full of emotions that I usually don’t experience while reading romances…. You start to hate, you start to sympathize, and you begin to fall in love in every way. Ms. Callahan has turned my world upside down with her writing. Dark, sensual, and at times overwhelming, Irrevocable will bring you on a dark journey that you will never forget.” Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads TOP PICK of 2014!
“You HAVE to read this book. It really is one of the best that I have read in a while, and definitely one of the best of 2014. It has everything I look for in a dark read. The twist that the author throws in is, just wow. I just cannot emphasis just how much I love this book!” Alicia, Mean Girls Luv Books
“Finally a good DARK read, that has it ALL…!! Overall – the characters drew me in, the situation jangled my nerves, the sexy scenes were HOT, and the story just blew me away.” Shelby, Wicked Reads
“Beautifully written! Great characters and story line. Skye made me a fan of dark reads. A must read for all who dare to step out of the light and into the darkness!” Summer’s Book Blog
About the Author
Skye Callahan was born and raised in rural Ohio and has had an insatiable love of reading and writing since she was young. Thanks to the encouragement of teachers, family, and friends, she has found her passion in immersing herself in the imaginary worlds of the characters who live in her head.
Most of her early stories were paranormal, and although the paranormal world still has a special place in her imagination, her interest in BDSM and dark romance has led her to expand her writing endeavors.
Before she began writing full-time, she earned a M.A. in Public History and worked for a non-profit business consulting center. When she’s not indulging the voices in her head, she’s enjoying life with her husband and two ferrets.
Contact Skye Callahan
Other Works from Skye Callahan
Bound and Unbroken
Genre: BDSM Romance
Lena is about to discover pleasure in the things she can’t control.
To get even with her roommate for dragging her to a sports bar on a Friday night, Lena begins flirting with the handsome stranger who sits at the bar next to her. Their anonymous conversation leads to a shared cab ride, but Lena’s conscience puts a damper on the evening—leaving the near-fling to become a memory. Until she finds him roaming the halls of the school where she teaches.
Will she submit to his desires?
Eric’s only reason for returning to his hometown is to care for his recently orphaned nephew. He knew the return would involve dredging up his past with family and friends, but he didn’t expect a lone girl to capture his interest and offer an escape within his new life.
Will his binds be enough to keep her?
Beyond the Divide