Dark Path Series Book 1
Erika writes books for children and her Daddy is a rich publisher. Max or M.L. Crawford is a media mogul and Chris is the heir to Erika's fathers throne. Erika wants to be with Chris because she thinks he is charming, they make a great couple yadda yadda. Max comes into her life with a zing and they have an electric connection. Max is into Dominance and submission and loves to give a girl a good whip. Erika is innocent to the wider world of sex and yet wants to take the plunge with Max because they have a connection. So goes the story...
I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book. I hate Chris with a passion. He seemed nice to begin with then turned into a slimy douche with the mixings for an abusive boyfriend. I am continuously annoyed by Erika. She can't make up her mind and seems to ignore the obvious. Appears completely assertive one moment and then suddenly can't stand up for herself. She shows moments of fire but I just can't like her. There is something off about her character, I find that she jumps to conclusions too quickly, gets mad about the wrong thing and trusts the wrong people. Max seemed like the regular suave business man with a kink and sob story background yet he too comes off as an asshole. When is using sex as a weapon helpful ever in a fight? Someone is mad at you and you aggressively seduce them into having sex with you. They want it but they're still so mad at you that you get slapped at the end of it. I'm sorry but did that promote any kind of progress?? No.
Those things aside the story revolves around the love triangle and the kink that Max needs that Erika is experimenting with. The shining stars are Catherine and Bryan whose mangled lives warrant a story of their own. I was drawn to them and their dynamic which was written beautifully with so much tension and fluent heat. Things that did not come through in the three miserables love triangle who seemed to bumble through everything with enough clout to knock out an elephant. The Gate was a grand setting I just can't get past these characters and particularly one event in the book.
When I started reading I thought Erika to be a weak, pushover which didn't turn out to be entirely wrong.
She shows moments of fire with Max but with Chris well this is the incident I have issue with. The man practically rapes her and she says that it was consensual because she liked it. I'm sorry Erika but you said no throughout that encounter where he held you by force against the wall and that my dear, is rape. It doesn't matter if your body responds because if you don't want it, it's not consensual. PERIOD. Yet she continues to trust this lying, manipulative, arrogant prick! WHY!? I can't get past that. Did I mention I hate Chris?
I really want her to come to her senses about Max and I want to know if they end up together but in all honesty I don't know if I can bring myself to read it. Not with Chris still gracing the pages of the novel. Now don't think I am some stuck up twit who flinches at rough sex, I've read me some Kitty Thomas and I know want non-consensual disturbing sex scenes are. No, what irritates me is that Erika's incident with Chris is blown off and not even recognized by a single character as rape. Erika claims it was a consensual act by claiming ownership when she "admits" to Max that something happened with Chris. There is no, I didn't want it or I told him to stop but he wouldn't.
Is this part of the plot? I don't know and if it is I dislike that I need to read the next book to receive some closure. I encourage you to read the novel and tell me what you think? Maybe I just read it wrong, who knows?
Thank you to NetGalley and KT Grant for the advanced copy!
Release Date: Oct 15th
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