Saturday, June 6, 2015

Review: Freed

Freed (Club Sin #4)

by Stacey Kennedy


Mary Schmidt knows only too well how thrilling a Master’s touch can be. Her husband, Charles, had been her ultimate fantasy, a seducer in the erotic dance of dominance and submission. She misses the sensual lifestyle they shared, but mourns him so deeply she cannot bear to embrace her submissive needs with another Dom—until a man who exudes temptation reawakens desires she can no longer deny.
Elliott Foster is dazzled by Mary. He instantly knows that she’s the woman he’s been waiting for—a woman who turns games into need. As her Master, he dares to unlock the deepest pleasures of her flesh, releasing her from pain and healing her mind. When Mary’s lithe body comes to life under his, he knows their connection goes beyond sex. Now that he has found the perfect woman, the perfect partner, the perfect submissive, he desires only to give her everything she craves.
Themes: Erotica, BDSM
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating:
Damn that was a story that truly had me crying almost the entire time.  I knew going into the story that the couple weren’t first loves, beginning their adventures as lovers and partners, but I never imagined getting to live through two entirely different, but oddly the same love stories, with one woman at the heart of each, getting a chance to have love again after her first great love disappears.  I have enjoyed the previous novels in this series mainly, because they were intense, sensual, and immensely entertaining as each couple found their feet with one another and learned the joys of their new relationship and the ways they will love in their alternative and somewhat difficult lifestyle choice.  But this story goes so far above and beyond the usual passion and new love that I couldn’t give it anything less than a 5 star review.   While some may not understand the true depths of love that couple in a D/s relationship experience, this novel shows perfectly that love and the ways that a woman copes with the loss of not only the love of her life, the father of her children, but also the man that has commanded her heart and soul for over 20 years.  There is a lot of loss and sadness in this story, but also the beauty of a woman finding herself again and finding a way to open her heart to a new man and a new opportunity to fulfill her deep need for submission.  The book takes the Club Sin series from just a sexy erotic thrill ride into the deeply emotional and often traumatic truths of love and death.  I cannot wait to read the next book and see if that level of intensity remains in the series, even without the themes of death and reinvention.  And of course I cannot wait for the return of the club members that make life interesting, mainly Kenzie’s smart mouth.
Mary has been dealing with the loss of her husband and longtime Dominant for 5 years now and has never again felt the spark she had with him, until one night she comes face to face with a dominant that stirs all her submissive desires and her heart and soul as well.  The problem is her feelings are all too familiar but she’s not felt them since her husband, and being around Elliott brings back all those memories, and pains, right along with her intense desire to reconnect.  Elliott is unprepared for Mary’s pull, but when he feels the connection he has waited his entire adult life for, there is no way he will pass up on a chance to experience her, even if her reluctance confuses him.  As they play together, Mary tries her damnedest to keep Elliott at arm’s length, but there is no way he will stand for that, not with the way she makes him feel?  No matter what he does though, Mary’s fears and guilt keep her from wanting to truly embrace a relationship, so Elliott has his work cut out for him bringing her around to his way of thinking.  Only if she finds a way to get past her husband’s death and understand that she in fact didn’t die with him will allow her to look to the future, and possibly give Elliott a chance to win her heart and soul. 
Freed was such a great story, mainly because Mary and Elliott were such great characters, human in every sense of the word, full of flaws and insecurities.  Mary has a lot to work through, and I loved seeing her reminiscing about moments with her husband, whether they were the hot and steamy moments that Elliot brought to her mind, or the horribly sad moments as she relives his final days.  She is obviously a strong woman, once full of confidence, and a rock for her family, but since her husband’s illness and ultimate death she has lost a very important piece of herself, one that she needs to regain if she has any chance at every being a whole woman again.  I cried so much as she dealt with her issues, but it was a cathartic cry and reminded me, as well, that some things cannot be changed in life, but overcoming and focusing on the future happiness that can be found are the only way to get through life.  Elliot too was a wonderful character, with his own issues, and certainly the kind of man that was made to offer Mary her next adventure in life.  Seeing how much he came to love and need Mary, even though he is the Dom in the relationship reminds us all that even in these types of relationships there is truly a give and take in any relationship based truly on love.  His strength and determination to help heal Mary, even as he tries to make her his, and of course his willingness to place the ball in her court again and again, show that he is willing to do just about anything to keep her, even force her to see the damage she is doing to him, her family, and mostly herself. While the story was very intense, sensually and emotionally, the ending and the healing that came from the story left me feeling just as freed as Mary, making the title truly apropos.  Honestly I hope to be as strong of a woman as Marry ultimately proved herself to be when I hit that age... and hopefully I have my very own Elliot in my life at that time.  5 Stars, 5 Flames and 5 Tears all the way.  Can we say MOVIE please, because this to me is one of the great D/s stories that really needs to be shared with a wider audience! I’ll certainly be shouting it’s awesomeness from the rooftops and sharing with every erotic fan I know. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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