This freebie surprised the hell out of me.
Firstly, because for a Love Landscape's freebie it was exceptionally well written, the plot complex and with 208 pages, it was a relatviely long read. But more importantly, it threw me right in the middle of a scenario that I tend to avoid in my books.
The right to own sex slaves has just been made illegal. The government is taking the slaves to a reeducation camp where we can learn to be a part of everyday society. But what they don’t understand is that I’ve been with Master for 7 years and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than kneeling at his feet, with his collar around my neck and being used in any way he needs. I’m his.
I'm no fan of sexual slavery stories. I don't enjoy dub-con/non-con, falling in love with your abuser is not a trope for me - not in erotica and sure as heck not in romance. Stockholm syndrome is NOT my idea of a romantic relationship. With all that said, nobody was more surprised than me when this little one not only landed on my Kindle, but that I read it front to back. And was interested and invested the whole time. But Rory was a fascinating character. On the one hand slavery was all he's ever known. He was born into it, became his Master's property and was prepared to stay with him for the rest of his life. He thought he loved him, he was okay with how his life was going, he enjoyed the D/s relationship in the bedroom, and was alright with how the rest of his lofe was supposed to pan out. Or so he thought. But when sexual slavery was abolished, when he was taken to another location and contact to his Master isn't an option anymore, Rory's world is crumbling. Everything he thought was right, suddenly isn't anymore. Black isn't black, white isn't white and grey never looked so chaotic. He's changing, the world is changing - even his feelings are changing. It's terrifying, but through all of it there is one thought that prevails: He needs to get back to Geo.
This story sure as hell isn't a psychology handbook. It's also completely different from what I expected. And I liked it. For once, it wasn't a twist on Stockholm syndrom. There was a difference between consensual D/s relationships and the master7slave conext Rory and Geo were used to. It was very fascination to see this struggle, this journey, the psychological and physiological ramifications of their complex, shared history.
Was it preachy? MAybe? A little? There were some side characters that - while layered and interesting and sometimes a pain in the ass - loved taking the roles of angels and devils. Sometimes that was frustrating, but all in all not too bad. The story is wordy, though. More so than I usually like in the "preaching and lecturing" department. But all in all, I enjoyed this one, and I liked how much it managed to surprise me again and again. Definitely recommended.