His name was Joshua Carter. Now it's whatever she wants it to be.
She is a Deliverer.
She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.
As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.
Delivering is all she knows.
The one thing she can't deliver is a captive from slavery.
And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her...from herself.
Stand Alone (no cliff-hanger). The sequel is coming Summer 2014.
Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.
My mind is still reeling. I think the first 20-30% of this novel I was a mix of enthralled, disgusted, curious, confused, and pissed. I couldn't decide how I felt. Am I glorifying sex slavery by reading about it? Am I minimizing a real person's experience by having sympathy for the fictional world of a kidnapper and slave? How do I feel about a woman being in a position to do this? Honestly, I'm still struggling with my answers to these questions but I settled in and turned page after page, every free minute I had.
YES! All of that. I was actually pretty excited that for once it was the virginal man that would be the captive in one of these stories. I think that makes me pretty sadistic and I was confused with ohw I felt about it for a bit...but after reading something like Tears of Tess and finding that these are the stories that shock and awe me the most...I was totally ready for it. Josh. I really loved Josh.
I'd say that, for me, the novel is really psychological and a total mind fuck for at least the first half of the book. The relationship between Liv and Josh and Van is complicated. Throw in the man behind it all and the buyers and all sorts of rules, secrets, and the feeling of being trapped and you have lots of anxious feelings and questions and puzzling things out.
YES! The first half! WHAT! WHOA! But in all of that it is the writing that is really enthralling and beautiful. Each scene. Whew. I was stoked that we got both Liv and Josh's point of view in this story, because it was just so fucked up I NEEDED to know what EVERYONE was thinking. I will settle for the two I got. When she described him being locked in a box with a blindfold and a clamp on his nose to make him breath through his mouth, naked, headphones on playing an a constant noise for an entire day...even I was going mad. The scenes come alive, and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I could never predict what was going to happen!
The last 30% of the novel is faster paced. Things begin to happen faster and more and more information becomes available. I'm not sure I expected things to end the way they did...but maybe I'm not so surprised either. I'm still thinking about the ending. I guess, I wish we could have more at the end; I still feel like I want to see more of their story..more about the emotional consequences ..and I'm a little suspicious about some things at the end.
Good news. This isn't over. Well. This story is. Deliver ends and there is no "cliffhanger" but I did read that there will be a continuation of these characters this summer. I think that is fantastic news, because there are only a billion places this story could go...and that fact helped me not be as fidgety about the questions that did not get answered.
Sometimes it's the novel that makes you question things..yourself, your worldview, your ideals that sticks with you. It may make you a little uncomfortable..and this one was that for me. But that's okay, I like to think, wonder, question, and examine and without this novel maybe I wouldn't have approached these thoughts I'm having.
I say all of the time that the darkest and twistiest of stories have become my kryptonite. It is so true. They cause me to gasp out loud the most, want to throw things, yell aloud "No fucking way did he just do that!" and just go crazy for the author's words. Pam Godwin did that with this book, and while it was sometimes really edgy and uncomfortable, it was still steam up the pages hot. Sorry. It is. It isn't for the faint of heart for sure, but I think the story has so many angles that it is hard to me to pinpoint my favorite things about it. One thing for sure I want to know? Is it Stockholm syndrome? (That's the right thing, right Shel?) I think you'll be asking that too when you are done!!!
Courtney: 4 1/2 Stars
Van’s big body blocked her view, pressing in, violating her comfort zone. She raised her chin and searched the depths of his hood. Shadowed and vacant, his expression mirrored her presence of mind.
The back of his hand made a slow trace of her scar, brushing her hair from its path. When he reached her lips, he coiled several strands around his finger.
She grabbed his wrist, and the tendons in her grip turned to steel, immovable. She closed her eyes and braced.
He yanked, sparking a burn where the follicles gave way.
At the sound of his retreating footsteps, she opened her eyes and watched his broad back move toward the trees. “Someday, we’re going to talk about those fetishes of yours.”
Without acknowledgment, he continued in a slow, dispassionate stride until the shadows between the trees swallowed his silhouette.
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