Title: Grace Street: Chapter 8, #1
Author: Ella Dominguez
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release date: 9th April, 2014
Revised Edition of Grace Street (Chapter 8 #1)
Obsession, possession, resilience, insanity…
Seeking solitude and reprieve from her past failed relationships, Elsa begins her life anew in Richmond, hoping to find the change that she so desperately needs. Things are looking up for her—a new job, new friends, a fresh start.
But Victor has different plans for her. From the moment he heard Elsa’s voice, she became next on his to-do list—his Chapter 8. A well-known and respected criminal profiler, his mind is as dark as the criminals he hunts down. It takes one to know one, after all. Under the guise of making his subjects stronger, he intends to break Elsa down using everything in his arsenal—including pleasure, pain, humiliation, and things unspeakable.
Lonely, still on the mend from a bad break-up and longing for attention—Elsa consents to an odd proposition. Initially unaware of Victor’s plans, she quickly realizes that the casual encounter she agreed to is, in fact, a cruel psychological game with no ending in sight. She may be one in a long line of test subjects for Victor; however, she can’t be broken so easily. What he puts her through only fuels the fire burning within her—a flame that begins to blaze out of control as she becomes obsessed with everything about Victor and peeling back his cruel layers in search of the real man hiding beneath his heartless facade.
In Victor’s world, there is no such thing as happily ever after, and Chapter 8 proves to be an infuriating challenger when she flips the tables on his selfish and twisted game, a game they both may end up losing their hearts and minds over.
Warning: this is neither a conventional romance nor a traditional love story. There are no hearts and flowers on the pages of this book. The heroine doesn’t always make wise choices and though I’ve tried to make her strong, she’s often times weak in the face of the fierce hero. The hero is not a knight in shining armor. He’s broken and frequently cruel, and what every woman in the real world should avoid. What’s contained within this book is fiction—dark, depraved and decadent make-believe. Contains erotic elements, uncomfortable situations, and descriptions that may trigger past memories of abuse. Intended for readers 18+
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Kindle Friends Forever 4.5 ★ review by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
I’m a first-timer regarding the works by this author and my ooh my, where had she been hiding? Why have I not read any of her books is a question I can’t even answer myself but I am so very glad I found her. And then I was christened with this one! Never has a book brought out so many conflicting feeling in me. One minute I wanted to jump into my Kindle and kiss the protagonist to death; death being the ultimate word in this thriller, the next I would have gladly throttled him with my own bare hands. The reader; me, felt like an accomplice in a physiological game which took me on a helter-skelter ride of emotions of his own doings. To say the storyline is refreshingly original and a real eye-opener into one of the most complex personas that I have yet to read would most certainly be an understatement.
“My sanity is already questionable and I fear what might happen if you drive me too close to the edge.”
I did feel the beginning was lacking in banter; nevertheless, my enthusiasm to get to know how Victor Laurenzo, aka Mr Black, ticked literally got the better of me. Then what I wanted the most kicked in with little break. His unusual modus operandi swung between good and evil. Torn between the two, I was smitten with the first. Yes, this read took me on a voyage of indescribable dimensions of confusion only to be made clear to me towards the end. Becoming invested in him and his narrated experiences with his Chapters with a capital C didn’t mean I was used to his usage of this noun. Neither does this word have anything to do with the correct definitions.
“Maybe, just maybe, the next Chapter in his life would finally see him for who he truly was and allow his demons loose on them.”
Discovering his interpretation was a revelation which made my hairs stand on end. Each Chapter’s story is one in itself and astonishing. All of them had rules and regulations and as in syntax clauses, have to be valued. When I related the two together and although in this case; it was far from a laughing matter, I smiled to myself and silently saluted the author. I wasn’t the only one trying to fathom out why seven Chapters. Chapter eight’s project to unravel the truth was exactly on par with mine. Victor is an extremely intelligent man but his savoir-faire never fooled me for a minute. He is above all, a professional in his field; however, his odd relationship with one of the secondary characters didn’t please me.
“You want information? Then I want the notes on that little defiant bitch you mentioned before. The one whose spirit you said you liked.”
Elsa Cassidy. Why he chose her I am still trying to grasp and just have to read the follow up to this nail-biting read to find out the outcome of a love-hate affair if one could even call it that. I couldn’t help but fall head of heels for her. She is not what he needs, but she is everything he yearns for! I wanted her to be the one who showed him how to see the light.
“There is no light in me, Elsa, so don’t.”
“Fall for me..,”
For me, she didn’t seem to fit into his profile. She is tremendously inquisitive, intelligent, sassy and adorable and beyond all, strong. The line she walks on is dangerously fine though and being aware of the game she’s letting herself in for urged me to shout out aloud to her… “Don’t go any further, he will break your perfect heart.” The result is to be revealed but I will tell you this. my heart beat nine to the dozen and I crossed my fingers for her. Will he break his own rules; respect them? And will she be able to convince him that there is light at the end of tunnel? I damn well hope so!
“We all have shadows following behind us, some of us more than others, but to be consumed totally by darkness isn’t a good thing.”
False impressions reign in this read. Lies, deceit and power struggles, the need to rule and control present and accept past events are foremost. If you like complex physiological reads, this one is for you. Ms Dominguez’s way with words is nothing less than outstanding and I’d like to ask her kindly not to make me lose sleep over the next read which I am starting now. Bravo ma’am!
The playlist on Spotify is nothing less than awesome. Listening to Demons by Imagine Dragons to my mind of thinking, summed up Victor’s feelings in a nutshell!
Purchase Links for the boxed set available:
The boxed set includes deleted scenes, alternate ending and epilogue.
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Excerpt (copyright Ella Dominguez, 2016)
“Once you sign this, there’s no going back,” his gruff voice held a note of challenge as did the wistful expression on his face.
Elsa knew better. The make-shift contract in front of her was neither legal nor binding. Surely a man of Mr. Black’s intelligence knew that. Keeping her thoughts to herself, she nodded and attempted to take the pen from him. As if he had read her thoughts, he held the pen at bay once more.
“If you think you can back out of this agreement at any point, Ms. Cassidy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Though this piece of paper may not be legal in a court of law, I follow my own set of laws and rules, and I will hold you to this agreement regardless.”
She lowered her hand and placed it in her lap. There was a certainty in his voice—a kind of conviction that told her that nothing less than her all would be acceptable to him.
A loud ringing in her ears blocked out all sounds as she sat unmoving and gaping at him.
“For how long?” The words caught in her throat.
His pupils flared infinitesimally and his response came without hesitation. “Until I say otherwise.”
Suddenly Mr. Black’s simple rules didn’t seem so simple.
“Are you going to hurt me?” she finally found the courage to ask when he sat silently unresponsive.
“Everything done within these walls will be done with safety in mind. No irreparable physical damage will be caused.”
Mr. Black definitely had a way with words, but he didn’t answer her question. Not directly anyway, and the secret expression on his face told her he was holding something back. And what about her emotional well-being? Would there be irreparable damage caused to that?
A phrase Elsa had read once in an erotic book popped into her head and she asked, “So what you’re saying is: everything will be safe, sane and consensual?”
Victor clicked the pen several times, one side of his mouth twisting upward as he let out a short, breathy laugh. “Not exactly, but two out of three ain’t bad.”
Her eyes widened at his remark. Based on his previous statements, sane was apparently the one thing off the table.
When he held the pen out to her, it was as if he had wordlessly dared her to take the bait that he had laid out for her.
It was too easy for Elsa to get caught up in the way Mr. Black was looking at her. With her heartbeat throbbing in her ears, she took in the vision of him one last time before she made her final decision and signed her freedom away. His beauty was devastating, his shimmering green eyes devious and alluring, his deep-crimson mouth inviting, and his sweetly intoxicating musk overwhelming. The possibilities of the unknown, the danger-factor, and the intrigue of a captivating stranger were impossible for her to resist.
She lifted her hand and as it moved closer toward the pen, her limbs suddenly became heavy and warm. She pushed forward, impelled involuntarily by her own passion and curiosity. She was doing this.
With pen in hand, the tip touched the paper when a wicked thought crossed her mind. She glanced upward to meet Mr. Black’s gaze, and licked her lips purposefully.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have my signature in blood?”
Chapter 8: The Series
Grace Street Return to Grace Street
Chapter 8 Spotify Playlists
In addition to being a writer, Ella is a mom, wife, a respiratory therapist, and a lover of ukuleles and unicorns. She was born and raised in a conservative, strict Christian household in the bible belt of the USA. This upbringing contributed to her wicked imagination and writing has been her only outlet for her fantasies. At the mature age of forty, she mustered up enough courage to share her thoughts and put pen to paper. She sincerely hopes to find her niche in writing romance in all forms, be it dark romance, romantic comedy, psychological thrillers or paranormal.
She doesn’t consider herself an author, rather an avid reader above all else, and someone who simply writes the stories that the characters in her head tell her to.