Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great story from Kitty Thomas, is there really much more to say about it than that?! Of course there is!
This is a story about Grace Warner, a woman that should come with a big sign that says, "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!"
She wants a 24/7 Master/slave relationship, and she is willing to give up everything to have it. And when I say "everything" I do mean *everything*! She is willing to move to a private island full of Dominant men, who live by a strict set of rules. She will become a fulltime slave to her Master. When a submissive joins a Dom on this island, she is giving up all rights of modern society to become an owned slave. Her Master can do anything he wants to her. Anything except kill her. That is the only law.
Grace meets Lucas online when she goes in search of information about this island. She talks to him via chat and webcam. He wants her to join him and be her slave. She takes a year to decide, and when Lucas has had enough of waiting he gives her one final chance to make up her mind or he's going to move on. Grace at this point is "infatuated" with Lucas and the idea of being his slave, and agrees to give up everything for this man who admits that he won't be an easy Master. Which is the understatement of the century in this story!
Grace's best friend Lainey tries every way in the world to talk Grace out of doing this. For a year, she's talked, begged, and pleaded... everything to get Grace to see that she is making a mistake. I felt for Lainey, her best friend, who had Grace's best interest at heart.
But what good would this story be if Grace didn't hop on that plane and fly off into the sunset to be with her dream Dom?
Ahh, her Dream Dom is Lucas Stone and he turns out to be so sadistic and twisted that from the moment Grace steps into his luxurious mansion, she is immediately stripped of her own humanity... and her clothing. She is kept in a dungeon cell and beaten, tormented, starved, and repeat... daily. Everything he told her and made her believe over the last year has been a lie. But she doesn't realize it until it's too late and she's give up all of her rights, all of them.
My heart just broke for Grace. Even though she did all her homework on Lucas, he wasn't what he seemed, or what the internet showed about him.
Time goes by Lucas finally tires of Grace, mainly because there is one part of her that he can't break, so he decides to sell her. And he does. Grace is bought by another Dominant on the island, Asher Collins, who recognizes that she has been severely beaten and almost completely broken. Lucas warns Grace that the Master, Asher Collins, that just bought her is more twisted and sadistic than he is, and rumor has it that he killed his last slave and the authorities just haven't been able to prove it... but everyone knows he did it. Asher Collins is the worst of the worst.
It's Grace's fate, a fate that is out of her control, she has no choice in the matter. No amount of begging or pleading will keep Lucas from selling her to an even worse Dominant.
The story ends with a big twist the just made me want to cry for Grace. It all plays out perfectly and Ms. Thomas wraps everything up nice and neat.
Be warned, the story between Grace and Lucas Stone is hard core. There were times I had to just step away and catch my breath. Lucas is a master manipulator, he was patient waiting for his prey, and he waited for a year for Grace's decision. He made all the right moves, said all the right things, to get her there without making it look like coercion in any way. But, truth be told, that's exactly what it was. The scenes and the things Lucas does to Grace to try and completely break her are descriptive and at times terrifyingly heartbreaking.
This book is dark and twisted... and it was right up my alley!
A solid 5 stars!
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