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Hear Me by Skye Warren

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hear Me (novella)
Dark Erotica #3

Skye Warren
Contemporary Romance/Erotica (BDSM, non-consent)
Published in 2012

H/h - Sam Pike/Melody Cole
Setting: Present Time.

Read in Sept, 2012.
My rating:

                                                               [spoiler alert]

Hands down, Hear Me, for me, is the best installment in SW’s Dark Erotica series... so far. What can I say? It’s always hard to comment for me every time I read an installment of this series. SW never leaves me speechless, breathless, questioning my sanity and trying to reason with it all. But, I love her voice and her writing style. Erotic non-consent is a sub-genre that I wasn’t at all comfortable with, neither had I the urge to read a book, until SW’s series. I can only say that I put my trust in her and she hadn’t failed me so far.

If you haven’t read Keep Me Safe (book 1) and Trust in Me (book 2), I highly recommend that you do before this. Carlos, the sadist crime lord, who made me cringe and shudder (and had me morbidly fascinated in him) wasn’t present in here; physically perhaps but his specter remained all over the story because of what happened to Melody. Carlos is sadistic, loves to abuse and rape. He abducted Rachel, the h of KMS. Mia, the h TIM, was a woman in his keeping... I say ‘keeping’ because there’s no sane way I can describe her being in Carlos’ clutch. It was just so utterly horrifying. We knew that Carlos had a human trafficking chain, women were abducted (or manipulated) to be ‘trained’ to become pleasure slaves. Bits and pieces of what goes on in that warehouse were revealed to us in shocking descriptions in TIM.

The H of KMS, Zachery was working with FBI to help freeing these women which led him to Carlos’ den. Same happened to Tyler, the H of TIM, both wanting to be the saviors, helping however they can... In TIM, these women were freed because of the risks they all took (including Mia). Not all went home safe though. We actually don’t know what happened to most of them. But Hear Me is the story of one of them and Escape, the bonus story, has the story of another.

Melody can’t speak anymore. She only knows how to react to instructions and how to please her master or rather, masters when she was there in that place. Hell, she didn’t even remember her name but her slave number! She has no clear idea of what happened or how she ended up in that hell hole but only what she was taught. Memories come back to haunt her in pieces, so vague, sometimes they don’t even make sense but the only thing she knew that she was ‘trained’ to please and serve. To pay with her body and sex.

When she’s found by this big, muscular stranger, naked and all wet, she had no clear idea of where she was. The only thing that was clear that the stranger knew what she was, knew how to command, even when he wasn’t commanding... Melody’s body reacts to his gentle commands, even when those aren’t about sex and submission.

The stranger, whose name we learn after quite sometimes, Sam, lives lonely in a cabin inside the woods on a faraway island. He’s a recluse and a carpenter. He apparently finds Melody and takes her in. It’s soon revealed that Sam is a Dom. The first sex scene between them happens kind of unexpectedly IMO, when none could communicate, except only in a sexual way. I don’t really know how to explain this. Melody’s body has already worked itself for anything sexual. But let me tell you, I didn’t think it was abusive, if that’s what you’re thinking. I actually loved the scene and Melody enjoyed their coupling, even though slaves aren’t meant to enjoy whatever is being done to them. Melody has gone through things we can’t even imagine. After this, Melody is hurt inside because she felit that Sam was definitely in love with another woman, who most probably left him.

But, Melody has already chosen this gentle stranger as her Master already.

Now Melody’s heart aches to have her Master’s acceptance as his submissive and his appreciation (even though she knows that as her stature as a sub of the extreme sort, how ridiculous her wishes are). Sam understands her perfectly somehow through her body language. And Sam never fails to surprise her in every turn.

I LOVED the starting of the story and how both Sam and Melody connected with each-other, even with no words spoken from Melody. Yes, I was horrified and sad whenever the flashes of what Melody went through came back to haunt her (and me in the process) but that didn’t take away the enjoyment of seeing these two together. I felt that Sam’s gentleness is what she needs to heal and maybe, in the process, he’d heal too. I read on, most eager to know what happens next because this story held me enthralled from start to finish.

Soon, things go wrong. Something happens one night... which includes sex but Melody wasn’t sure what was wrong, until the next day when Sam’s brother Brendan comes to pay a call. They have a fight over Melody. Melody already knew, from Sam’s talks, about the woman he loved and how this bitterness had developed between the brothers because they were always in competition with one another.  Brendan is a Dom too and wants to take Melody away. But somehow Melody feels an aura of malevolence coming from him, which makes her beg to Sam to not let her go. Sam accedes. But with a look from Brendan, Melody figures out her confusion of the night earlier, all too well. I had my stomach tied in knots, not knowing how to react to this... when Melody had a feeling Brendan was somehow involved in her ‘fate’.

But Melody feels safe with Sam and wants to stay, when Sam wants her to return to her normal life. Melody is hurt but a sub can only listen to her Master’s command. She even gets back her voice, rusty and unused. She wasn’t a mute to begin with, just was muted through the shock of her ‘training’. So before she leaves, Melody asks Sam for one night, to show her what it is to be only his; not as a ‘pet’ but a woman intensely wanted by a man.

From then on, the story takes bizarre turn after turn... Melody returns to her old life but things aren’t what they used to be. Her life has changed irrevocably and she doesn’t know how to cope. Then come the shocking revelations, one after another. And Melody thought she’d seen it all, experienced it all... I was twisted and turned by those revelations, felt Melody’s horror to my bone as she comprehends the kind of trap she was put into; one, probably of her own making. I was literally blown away by the implications and shuddered with apprehension. I didn’t quite know what she’ll uncover next. Even though Melody thought her reactions to certain suspicions can be termed as paranoia from her captivity, it was proven soon enough that her survival instinct hasn’t entirely died with her ‘training’.

But, no matter what, now Melody wants Sam and to be with him. The feeling of safety that being in his keeping gives her. She runs to him... only to stumble upon another gut-wrenching revelation.

That last part... God, I was and am still in a daze as I write this review. I felt the shiver and the cold apprehension all through me when I tried to put myself in Melody’s place. It was crazy, all of it. A double edged situation, a pure mind f*ck. Whereas in KMS and TIM, I could at least try to keep myself numb and be a spectator to things being unfolded by scenes, in HM, I couldn’t. I felt myself giving into Sam, no matter what. Can’t explain but I think I kind of felt what Melody did. And I don’t even want to get into the question that was niggling in my mind when I finished it.

I can’t possibly explain everything, so the best I can do is to recommend that you read Hear Me, if you want a beautifully twisted story with some luscious mind f*ck. SW certainly knows how to play with your dumb little head!

4.5 stars.

Now, why did I say that Hear Me, ‘so far’, is the best installment? Turns out (hold onto your bloody seats!) Carlos the mofo is getting his own book! OMG, yes!! I had a fantasy like this (among many, don’t ask!) but never really thought he would get a book. But to read that he’s brought down by a woman? HELL Yah! Will be waiting for Don’t Let Go most impatiently.

************
“Escape”
(a bonus short story, takes place in the same world as the others in Dark Erotica series)

H/h - Alex/Tiffany
Setting: Present time.

I already said that Escape is the story of another victim of that hell hole from where Melody was rescued, sort of.

This is the story of Tiffany and how she was abducted by the gang to be ‘trained’. I can’t possibly write much without giving it away. It opens up after the rescue and Tiffany thinks she had dodged her captors finally. After, she’s rescued by the police. What she doesn’t know that Alex, a police officer (not sure about his position though), was somehow feeling guilty about her abduction. The whys and hows of it are revealed in the end, and the story finishes with the belief of understanding and forgiveness.

I can only say it was too short. I could ask a few questions but I decided not to. Still, I wished to see something more developing between Alex and Tiffany. I thought the idea was there, hovering... but not executed. Anyway, I give it a 4 star because I enjoyed it nonetheless.


Warning: as I always do, if your aren’t comfortable with BDSM in any form and stories that contain rape, violence and scenes of dubious consent, this story (and any other in the Dark Erotica series) are not for you!

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I love to read in my spare time and do reviews the books I read. My blog Punya Reviews just turned 6 in 2017 and still going strong. I love music and traveling. Sometimes, I wish I could live inside a book, having my own HEA. :)
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