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4.3 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    A Different Kind of Romance

    Who knew that following a fox in the desert could change a woman’s life forever? Thinking it an omen when she saw the fox - she followed it. What she found was a raider who took her away from everything she had known as a Novice on her way to becoming a Nun for the church priests. Their trek from the desert, across seas and back to his home with other raiders was eye opening for both the Novice and the Raider. I was captured by this book just as much as Maud and Gunnar were by one another. Maud may have been Gunnar’s captive but by the end of the book he was just as much her captive as she was his. This was a steamy read that was definitely not vanilla in flavor. I enjoyed the strength of Maud and her ability to see Gunnar and help him to see himself again. This book is complete in and of itself. Having read book one in the series and this one I am now eager to find out if/when the lights will be turned on. I also want to find out who Wulf and his sister Eiryn will end up with and imagine their stories will be told in future books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series as it is published. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the copy of this book to read for an honest review.
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    Dark, dirty and raw

    Whoa! Welcome to the Twilight zone that is Gunnar's mind. This book is dark, dirty and raw. Dystopian bondage, yup that's what the chemistry between Maud and Gunnar is. Her submissiveness is basically what will save him from total madness But oh man! what a trip this book is. I needed a day to recover. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review
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    Gritty and erotic!

    This is the second story in The Edge series. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, which featured the raider war chief Tyr and Helena, a woman holding a potential key to information that could tip the balance of power for those living in this dystopian world. That story featured a complete couple romance but left several plot points unanswered, to be part of a continuing story arc for the whole series. Because this story takes place simultaneously, it can be read as a standalone as the important parts of book 1 are explained succinctly when the plot lines meet up, but I do recommend reading book 1 as it was a great introduction to the overall world building of the series. Though this story also features some short explanations of the general power structures to be found, it expands on the religious aspect. In this religion, young women who become nuns are basically sexual slaves to the priests in charge, serving them in any capacity until they reach a certain age after which they become breeders to produce offspring that will be raised in the church as well. Sold into the church at age 11, it's the world Maud has grown up in , and one where her natural spirit has been beaten down but not demolished. Being a captive to Gunnar is similar to her previous circumstances except that where her own sexual responses were discouraged in the church, with Gunnar they are encouraged. The result is some highly erotic scenes between them, following a BDSM theme where Gunnar is clearly dominant and Maud fervently submissive. She is used to pain, though here with Gunnar she also gets to experience accompanying pleasure. It makes for some very intense scenes between them. Some readers may find Gunnar overly harsh, but I felt he was true to his upbringing, having had no caring and affectionate female in his life to give him a positive relationship example. His mother was a camp slave. His mate Audra was a manipulative, power hungry jezebel. Why he'd want to bring her back is somewhat puzzling, as she's portrayed in a mostly unpleasant way (she cheated on him and ultimately betrayed their raider clan which in part caused her death). But what made her important to Gunnar was that she chose him over his brother, something that never happened with anyone else, such that he feels he owes it to her to do whatever he can to bring her back from the dead. It's his one mission - and a mission that Maud can bring to fruition or to ruin. His feelings for her become very complex as she willingly submits to all his demands, wearing his collar and clearly comfortable in her role as his slave. He finds himself alternately treating her as a possession and then as a woman to be cared for, and it's the latter that creates a guilt complex in him as the time for her sacrifice draws near. I was quite fascinated with the power play between Gunnar, his half brother Wulf and his half sister Eiryn who is one of Wulf's bodyguards. They were all brought up in the same raider clan and Wulf got his current position as King by forcibly removing his father - no easy succession here. It's a violent world where danger and rumors and betrayal constantly swirl. Gunnar struggles with loyalty for the man whom he grew up with but whom he blames for Audra's death. He knows he walks a fine line by disrespecting his king in public, a line that is held tight only because of their blood relationship. The tension between Gunnar and Wulf added to the drama of the story. While Maud and Gunnar get their happy ending, the story is definitely not finished, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this story is headed next! 4 stars.
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