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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: Debauched by Jennifer Dawson

Whew, this one was definitely a scorcher and an emotional ride for the characters.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Jennifer Dawson
Release Date: April 26, 2016

One night in a moment of sheer madness I confessed my secrets to him. All my life I’ve been pretending. Pretending to be the woman I thought I should be instead of the woman I really am. I’ve been faking it and I am good. No one has ever guessed. Except him. He just looked at me and knew.

Chad Fellows is not the man I want, but he’s fast becoming the man I need.

One night in a moment of sheer madness I held her in my arms and let her cry. I did the right thing, letting her walk away, no matter how much she calls to the part of me that wants to rescue her. We are nothing alike, and she’s a mess of complications in a life I’m trying to keep simple. But then I touched her and made her tremble and now I can’t turn away.

Ruby Stiles is not the woman I want, but she’s fast becoming the woman I need.

After confessing a secret to a man she convinced herself wasn't her type, Ruby just wants to pretend that night never happened but she can't help being drawn to Chad in a way that excites and frightens her. Chad on the other hand wasn't looking for someone like Ruby but he can't deny that there's a strong pull between them. He wants to keep his life from becoming more complicated and Ruby has "Complicated" written all over her and the more they're around each other the more the reasons "why" turn into "why not?"

I’m never going to be a fan of BDSM romance, ever. BUT there’s something about Jennifer Dawson’s Undone series that has me coming back for more. Told in first person, Debauched thankfully goes back and forth between Chad and Ruby’s POV. I say thankfully because I hate not being able to get into a character’s shoes so to speak because it keeps me from connecting to them if I only see them through someone else’s eyes. I felt I got to know Chad and Ruby fairly well.

Debauched begins with Ruby’s POV and she doesn’t waste any time piquing my interest with the way she describes Chad. While every book in the series can be read alone, there was an incident in the novella Unraveled that left Ruby feeling raw, vulnerable, and shaken emotionally and in the way she thought of Chad. I felt this was more Ruby’s story of rebellion, growth, acceptance, and love. Coming from such a traditional family was a form of prison for someone like Ruby, which I can totally relate to. I understood her need to be a free spirit even as she feared it and it really played a back and forth game in her mind. It wasn’t easy for her to let go of that upbringing even though she really wanted to. It made her thoughts and feelings about sex much more complicated and more of an obstacle.

Chad defied the stereotype of a Dom. Most people think Doms just take what they want when they want it and bulldoze over everyone in their path in every aspect of their lives. That my friends is an “Alpha-hole” which is not appealing in the least. Chad on the other hand is the very symbol of what a Dom would look like: Normal and respectful of a person’s wishes but he was also very intuitive with what Ruby wanted and needed from him. I felt it was more of a give and take relationship between these two characters than in previous books which made the romance even better to me. Chad had ways of cutting Ruby out of the traditional bindings (No pun intended) that weren’t allowing her to live her life on her terms. Chad’s controlling manner didn’t extend to everyday life which made him so much better than the stereotype. I really liked him.

Each book in the series has been well written and solid and Debauched is no exception. Jennifer Dawson really does dig deep into these characters’ minds and emotions in order to present them to readers as they really are, flawed, scared, hurt, and then, hopeful. Pacing is important in these kinds of stories and Dawson made sure that Debauched had a steady pace that allowed for Chad and Ruby to express themselves without dragging it on too long. I will say that sometimes Ruby’s inner monologue was a bit monotonous and she seemed to love floating in the river of denial, even against some pretty obvious facts.

Final Verdict: Another great erotic read from an author who knows how to bring out the emotions in her characters.

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