Book Reviews, Reviews

[After Dark] Early Review: Enslaved (Shoshanna Evers)

Review: Enslaved Amazon| Goodreads

Summary (From
Elisabeth Anderson has seen Trevor and his friends at the infamous Manhattan BDSM club WhipperSnapper, where everyone calls them the BAD Boys, for “Billionaire Arrogant Doms.” The BAD Boys—Trevor Brooks, Marc Wilde, and Roman Chase—are aptly named; they’ve made money hand over fist due to their aggressive investing at the Brooks Wilde Chase Fund. These guys are so rich they can get away with anything, or so the rumors go.

Trevor gives Elisabeth full reign of his estate in Westchester, letting her do as she pleases. He has only two rules. Rule One: she must obey and submit to him while she is living in his house. Rule Two: always answer the blue cell phone. She’s happy to oblige, because being with Trevor makes her want to obey, to love him the way he seems to be falling for her. But Elisabeth’s never been good at being the quiet sub; she’s feisty and gets off on the punishments more than she does by pleasing Trevor.

Elizabeth can’t submit to Trevor the way he needs her to, so his friend and business partner (and fellow BAD Boy) Roman takes her in hand. But love triangles can have sharp edges…and somebody’s bound to get hurt.

Author: Shoshanna Evers
Length: 175 pages
Series: First in the Enslaved Trilogy
Source: NetGalley

Plot: ★★
Characters: ★★
Readability: ★★★
Overall: ★★

My opinion:
The first thing you should know about this book is that Elisabeth is a self-confessed “Pain slut” – she’s not just into pain but also anti-pleasure, which seems sort of counter-intuitive for an erotic novel.  This is something that isn’t mentioned in the synopsis, perhaps because it would be a little awkward to slip in more clearly than the veiled sentence that’s already there “Elisabeth’s never been good at being the quiet sub; she’s feisty and gets off on the punishments more than she does by pleasing Trevor.”  Her enjoyment of pain, and aversion to pleasure might be something that puts you off, especially if you’re drawn in by the romance element of the story. The punishments aren’t overly graphic, but for me Elisabeth’s repeated comments regarding her love of pain started to grate on me very quickly.

Elisabeth is a newly un-collared slave, released by her Dom Gregory, as he’s going after a sub he truly loves.  Elisabeth is lost without a dom, so Gregory sends her to Trevor – one of the BAD boys who’d expressed an interested in her.  Trevor is looking for a sub he can love, and be loved by in return. Although previously married, Trevor’s wife was vehemently opposed to his BDSM interests, leading to their divorce.  This time, Trevor is looking for a sub first, and hoping the love will follow.   However, despite his attraction to Elisabeth, and their combined hopes for a fulfilling relationship, Elisabeth is, to put it nicely, a pretty poor submissive. She consistently tops from the bottom, acting out in order to be punished, leaving her with all the power in their relationship.  Trevor discusses their issue with his fellow BAD boys, Marc and Roman, and Roman eventually offers a solution – he will train Elisabeth to be a disciplined submissive.  This seems like a perfectly sensible idea since Roman “never” gets attached etc etc etc. You can obviously see where this is going though!

In my opinion, Trevor gives Elisabeth to Roman for training late enough in the book, that it almost seems like a spoiler to announce it in the summary.  However, some reviewers objected to the idea of Elisabeth being effectively shared by the two men, so perhaps it was spelled out to try and minimise complaints like that.

As well as following Elisabeth, the story occasionally flicks back to follow Gregory, and his developing relationship with his new submissive. This didn’t seem to add a lot to the story from my point of view, apart from a M/M relationship – which may not appeal to all the readers of the book.  Although this was cute at times, I personally feel that Gregory and Andrew’s story would be better as a separate novella.  The portions of the novel previously used for that side-plot could then be used to further develop the main story, which at times felt rushed.

Some of the characters in this were wonderful, but overall opinion of the book seems to hinge on how you feel about Elisabeth.  At times I liked her – she could be feisty, and she knew what she wanted sexually and how to get it. Unfortunately, her decisiveness apparently doesn’t extend into the rest of her life, and she came off as almost needy due to her flickering back and forth emotionally.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a very indecisive person, but Elisabeth was almost too indecisive.  Instead of coming across as  conflicted by intense emotions, it started to seem almost like she couldn’t be that into either man!  She had the potential to be a great character, and she’s much more Nora Sutherlin (from The Siren) than Anastasia Steele (from Fifty Shades of Grey), which can only be a good thing. However, she didn’t have quite enough backbone to pull it off.

Trevor on the other hand, was immensely likeable – he was like an alpha male mixed with a contemporary love interest. Yes he was a dom, but he was also funny, tender and generally kind.  His feelings for Elisabeth felt a little forced, and were something I’d have liked to see explored more.  Since Trevor is so likable, occasionally when Elisabeth was grating on my nerves, I almost wanted her to leave, so that he could find someone better suited!

Enslaved was an enjoyable enough read, and I’m glad I read it, if only to set the scene for the rest of the series. I’m definitely curious about books two and three, since for me, it was only really Elisabeth that let this story down.

Buy it? This is something I’d either buy on a deal (Something like Tesco’s 3 for £5) or borrow from the library.
In a nutshell: Great potential, but slightly disappointing overall – just okay.

Other Reviews of Enslaved: Mission to Read | Tome Tender | My Reading Obsession

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