Book Review: The Light Between the Shadows

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The following is a copy of my Amazon review of the product.

I'm not big on romance novels, but this is not your typical romance novel. The lead male character, Ben Brattler, is the kind of guy that many women will want to see get his. He is arrogant, self-absorbed, and uses his partners without a care for their feelings. It quickly becomes apparent that the only one that Ben cares about is Ben. It is also readily apparent that Ben gets a bit of a kick out of others' emotional pain.
The author does well at setting the tone of the story and creating scenarios which establish Ben's unlikable persona. There are times when the scenarios seem somewhat hyperbolic and contrived, but in the end, the hyperbole serves to build the reader's dislike for the egotistical and shallow main charater.
This story was hard to set aside. I found myself wanting to keep reading, which is rare these days. The chapters are short and the author doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary detail. The interactions between the characters are concise, sometimes like a sharp slap across the face when Ben's sadistic behavior towards others comes into play. Just when the reader thinks that Ben can't get any worse, he does.
The BDSM elements of this story are cerebral as well as physical. Some might find them erotic. Personally, I found them uncomfortable. Fifty Shades of Gray this isn't: it is far more complex and well-constructed. The punishment scenarios reminded me far more of the Korean thriller Oldboy, a movie I found far more unsettling than sexually arousing. I cannot say that I found the confinement scenario enjoyable to read, but I did find it compelling.
The characters are somewhat two-dimensional, but they did hold my interest. One does learn a bit about what makes Ben tick, but Shira remains a bit of an enigma. I would like to have learned more about her motivations.
This book seems to be the first in a series, and I look forward to reading more from the author. Her style is unique and she spins a yarn that is far from the usual erotic romance. 

Cie for Horror Harridans Writing Sisterhood

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