I could not get into this. I mean I tried. I made it a whole halfway into this before I finally had to accept it wasn’t going to happen. There was so much about this that triggered negative reactions out of me. And, after stalking the reviews, I noticed I’m not the only one who was bothered buy this.
The blurb reads like it’s going to be about an alpha male rescuing his human mate and some steamy, and taboo scenes will come of it. I’ve read more than my share of erotica, both tame and as I expected here, taboo. This however wasn’t any of that. It honestly felt like rape fantasy with all the clichés involved. I don’t have any triggers so I was just naturally uncomfortable reading this because of how it was presented.
Firstly the lead character falls into the virginal, all men repulse me, I’m only eighteen years old and pure category. If I didn’t know what the story was about beforehand it had all the makings of the overused virgin sacrifice trope. It didn’t stop there. When approached by a guy who, as far as I can tell, even drunk was sane enough to let her walk away in the woods to pee, she decides running into the unknown instead of towards the party she just left was a smart idea. And, to really make it awkward, he didn’t chase her. Was he creepy, a bit, but if he was intent on forcing her he certainly didn’t act like it.
That’s why this whole story feels wrong. After running away, which again made zero sense, she is then picked up by Ezra and literally kidnapped, not kind of. He claims he wants to keep her warm but instead strips her naked and puts her in his own shirt when the logical keep her warm thing to do would be to run as fast as he can back to his house, into a warm environment. Everything here on out is not some sort of sexual, he entices her to stay and then tricks her into falling in line with his plans. It’s all by force. She makes multiple attempts to escape which culminate in him forcing her down into a basement. Plus all of her thoughts revolve around him killing her. None of this scans when the story quite literally starts of with her, Summer, running away from an uncomfortable scene that readers have no real clue would’ve went somewhere, then we are expected to get on board with a ‘Hero’ who does to her the exact thing she was running away from.
Then, Ezra, is always your mine. My mate. You were designed for me and me for you. You will understand. Sigh. He wants her to stay. Can sense her fear, and his only solution is to continuously talk in terms she can’t and he knows she can’t understand. Then telling her she will understand, and, no matter how many times she protests or tries to escape he physically forces her to stay. I’ve read some really, really raunchy, I should be ashamed I liked it so much but I did like it stuff, and been fine. Yet here the steamy stuff hasn’t even started yet and it felt icky and wrong and personal space boundary violations abound. Just a big ball of ‘you love her but talking to her in terms she understands and acting like you want her to love you back instead of physically picking her up and demanding it and not allowing her the choice is you know, totally okay. There was even a point where she was talking about her schooling and Ezra literally thought to himself it doesn’t matter cause she’ll learn her place. Her place is, of course, to be his little baby making machine and sex slave. And he literally talks about her getting pregnant within the first 24hrs of meeting her.
Finally the steam happens, which is also by force and because he bites/marks her suddenly everything is okay and she magically understands after all the taking her by force from the moment he saved her from death right up to the fateful bite. After being desperate to find a mate for so long and then treating her with horrible communication skills, kidnapping her and ignoring all of her desires because as her mate he should on some base level care about her feelings, he doesn’t, but after all of this the mating is supposed to make everything magically okay?
The author just didn’t do a good job of making this read like a girl was being drawn reluctantly into a strange and new world instead of being forced into it against her will and losing her virginity/innocence in the process. Also relying on that whole age gap teen virgin trope didn’t help any of this. Basically, all of Ezra’s awkward sentences and responses when talking to Summer, coupled with her perfectly reasonable need to escape and then the magical now that we’ve bonded all is right with the world, made this into a frustrating, this feels like rape fantasy and not in a good way, kind of read. I just couldn’t, even after multiple tries, get into this.