Into the mind of madness!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌏🌏🌍🌏
Character development: 🙂🙂🙂
The setting: New York
The Hero(s): Mark – computer programmer, Mark has spent the last two years stalking his favorite actress and building a home in the country, complete with a fully supplied BDSM dungeon. He will work from home in the country house once he has Alana.
The heroine(s): Alana – successful movie actress and celebrity. Alana has no idea Mark exists until he kidnaps her at gunpoint.
The Love Story: Mark kidnaps Alana in New York and brings her to his country home where he makes her his slave.
After reading the warnings and some other reviews, I knew this book would be disturbing but I didn’t expect it to be so creepy from the very start. It was obvious Mark was not only disturbed but truly psychotic and absolutely cra-cra (*see my finger pointing at the side of my head and moving in circles). He was pretty much what you think a celebrity stalker would be, delving into every aspect of her life.
Mark had a relationship with Alana which was all in his mind. He knew her exact schedule, where she would be every moment of the day, her address, he researched every member of her family and knew their addresses and where each of them worked and much more. Though he was good looking, he was nuts in a way that was far from attractive.
However, I thought I knew how this one would go since I had skimmed over some of the reviews and saw trigger warnings for non-con and all sorts of extreme BDSM. I thought it would be one of those dark books where the Hero and the heroine loved all kinds of kinky D/s play. But this was much different than I thought. It was a study in sexual torture and mind control.
The story definitely had some heavy Stockholm Syndrome aspects, but I liked the way it was in Dual POV and in Alana’s mind you could see that she was doing whatever she had to do to survive and not get constantly punished severely. While Mark was perpetually thinking of more evil things he could do to punish her for the slightest of infractions. He conditioned her to attribute pain and sex together and she forgot what life was like before she was his slave.
I thought the ending was a bit odd. I had been wanting Alana to be found or to escape, at the very least for her to realize what was happening in her mind and whey she was feeling the way she felt about Mark. I was glad to be vindicated later when she thought the following:
She was like those hostages who became unnaturally attached to their captors. She might think she wanted to stay, but it was fear and conditioning, not love, that motivated her behavior.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.