Review: Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas


Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas
Burlesque Press (May 7, 2011)

Rating: B
Heat: Sizzling?

Heroine: Grace Warner – Slave, Broken 
Hero: Asher Collins – Master, Atoning  






First off: you will know by the prologue if this is a book you want to read. Miz Thomas hits you with the darkness from page one and the hits never stop. I think I cried for most of the book. The first half was almost non-stop tears. It horrified me and scared me and kept me turning the page.

Grace has been a part of the BDSM lifestyle for years and has become disenchanted by it because it feels like playing pretend. She doesn't want safe words. She doesn't want safe, sane, and consensual. She wants a true Master/slave relationship.

So when she meets Lucas online, it seems like a dream come true. He lives on a tropical island where slavery is legal. To move there, you revoke your other citizenship. To move there, you give up all your rights. The only law protecting you? Masters are prohibited from killing their slaves.

After a year of IMs and video chats and phone calls, Grace takes the plunge. And she dives face first into a nightmare. If there is a word for something worse, more evil and atrocious than a nightmare, that's what Grace experiences. Lucas is despicable. Sick. A sociopathic sadist. What he does to Grace… there are no words.

Grace is abused by Lucas. Beaten, violated, broken. The only part of her he can't seem to touch is some place deep within her mind. One tiny last reserve of strength that pisses Lucas off and makes him decide to sell her. Thank goodness for that, because Grace was already wishing he’d kill her.

Asher, who is still grieving the loss of his previous slave, wants to atone for Darcy's death by purchasing Grace from Lucas. One look at Grace and he wants to own her. And while he wants utter submission, what he gets from Grace in the beginning is utterly broken.

Asher is not a knight in shining armor. He's also not evil like Lucas. He's firm with Grace but not cruel. He is the Master and she is the slave and that's what both of them want. Their relationship had me mesmerized. It felt… authentic. Twisted. Often disturbing. I can't put Asher or Grace in a neat little hero and heroine box with tidy labels. I liked them even if I didn't understand them or relate to them.

This book is not for everyone. It will offend you, terrify you, make you bawl, make you gasp. There are things in this book you can't un-read. Dark, dark things. These characters don’t play pretend with the Master/slave dynamic. Grace has no rights, no voice. She’s not her own person. And that reality was scary as hell. So, yeah, this book isn’t for everyone. It isn’t a happy, feel-good book. But it is an excellent story and the author’s way with wielding this material is aweing.

Tender Mercies drew me in with the darkness, the horror... the way it rattled my mind. It's so… extreme. I can't even put into words the things it made me feel but, oh, it made me feel a lot. If you’re feeling brave, give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. Gulp. I just... don't know what to say to this. I'm intrigued to read, yet very, very afraid. Great review, Letitia.


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