Rebecca just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unbeknown to her, she was being observed by Aiden while enjoying a break with friends in the grounds where she studies the history of art. He follows her to an art exhibition, starts up a supposedly innocent conversation while she contemplates an erotic painting and asks her for her opinion. She doesn’t think twice when this attractive and well-dressed man invites her for coffee with the pretence of his ignorance regarding the art world.
Little does she know what Aiden has in store for her when she wakes up bound and chained to a bed in a cold dark room where he, the Master of Masters, is about to rip her life apart not only by torturing her physically, but also by breaking down her mind with a sadistically intricate psychology which makes her question her very existence. Converting her into a submissive slave for a more than dubious club member of a capriciously immoral men’s club which had existed for years should have been plain sailing for a man of such expertise. However; he had never envisaged Rebecca’s willpower to survive the constant mental and physical cruelty he dealt out to her. She was like no other captive he had ever trained and what had started out as a simple task, became a complex battle to dominate her. Constantly forcing her into situations of total degradation doesn’t stop her from fighting or loving him and he in turn, fights his underlying feelings for her in a perversely peculiar manner. Albeit he would never admit to himself that this woman had gained his respect, he suggests to Rebecca that instead of selling her to his highest bidder, a despot allegedly renowned for treating his slaves horrifically, they could fool the buyer by kidnapping her friend Kelsey who had long blond hair like her. She trusts him and willingly helps him do this. But when she accidently has access to her friend’s mobile and finds text messages between her friend and her first lover, she realises that she’s secretly been the laughing stock for many years. Her inquisitiveness to find a video recording of her first sexual encounter mentioned in a distasteful reunion is effective too and feeds her need for vengeance. Aiden only finds out about the video when Rebecca has a nervous attack. Although he gives her the opportunity to retaliate, it all backfires in such an unimaginable way that one is literally aghast by the outcome.
Aiden plays Rebecca like a fiddle. He deceives her, he lies outrageously to her, and he makes her body hum even when he rapes her. Aiden never makes love to Rebecca. Aiden’s sadistic ways will shock and disgust you. He is a masterful sinner you will hate from the first paragraph of the first chapter to the very last. There is absolutely no reason for you to like him. He doesn’t want to be liked. He is unconventional. He is indifferent.
Rebecca is beautiful, strong and unbreakable. She has also been cleverly manipulated to such an extent that even though she tries to give him as much as she gets, it’s hard not to get angry with her when she succumbs to his manipulations. Her total submission will annoy you but since she has no choice in the matter, you will forgive her, even pray for her. When she and Kelsey are trained, their future with devil’s advocate is only a matter of time!
I thought I had read shocking books. I was wrong! This author’s debut in a genre not easily categorised as erotica as there is so much torture in it, is a dark and difficult read. Notwithstanding; there is no argument that Ms White has written a masterpiece which will be talked about for an eternity. Why you may ask? Well, simply because every miniscule detail regarding the few protagonists’ relationship has not been left out. For this reason, not only did I find this novel suffocating and difficult to read, but at times I felt a desperate need to come up for air by taking a breather.
I salute the author for a book extremely well written. However; I would like to point out to future readers that this novel is certainly not for the faint-hearted.