Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies - Kitty Thomas Too short, and ultimately it seemed unresolved. There is an island where people can go and willingly become slaves. Suspend disbelief here shall we? Well our narrator decides to do this very thing, with disastrous consequences. I'm still on board at this point, I can imagine this crazy world even if I think it a bit far-fetched. She escapes the clutches of her evil master and is sold to...another evil master?

Here was my problem. Her new "Master" was supposed to be the good guy. I think he wanted to be, but he didn't quite get there. I couldn't understand his need to punish her and go against his own nature as her master to make her submissive. She was already there. She'd been abused. She didn't need another a**hole, she needed someone to help her. Her recovery and his redemption all hinged on her supposed need to be involved in the D/s lifestyle, which was supposed to convince the reader that he was doing it all for her own good. But I wasn't convinced. As a reader we'd never seen her involved in that lifestyle in a way that was pleasurable for her. We'd only seen the pain. I wasn't willing to believe that she hadn't been thrown from one bad situation into another. She needed a do-over. A chance to make independent decisions again. I guess we got a bit of that when he said that she could leave if she really wanted to (of course then he rescinded the offer immediately, but hey.

I didn't feel like she had healed by the end of the book, only that she had admitted defeat. Maybe if there had been more book I could have appreciated the story more, but it was just a couple hundred pages, not enough to really get close enough to the characters to understand them, especially not our male lead.