Consent by @_AJRose #LGBT #Review #BDSM

Bethany and Dana review Consent (Power Exchange book 3) by AJ Rose (Published by The Grim Writer Press, September 27, 2014, 292 pages)

Why Bethany read this: Well I wasn’t going to stop at book two when I knew there was a book three now was I?  Um NO!!!

Why Dana read this:  I loved books one and two and wasn’t going to stop there.

We were given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

And Check out AJs interview here: Power Exchange Series Postmortem and the review for book 1 here: Power Exchange and book 2 here: Safeword

consent

Blurb: 

Cole, what’s wrong?

Former detective Gavin DeGrassi likes his new life and his job as a university professor, molding the minds of the next generation of law enforcement. It keeps him in the field he loves, but out of the media and out of the danger he seems to draw. He’s settled and happy with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson.

It’s Myah.

Until a middle of the night phone call from his brother, Cole, whose desperation and fear yank him back into the world of criminals and countdowns. Only this time, the stakes are much higher.

She’s missing.

Detective Myah Hayes, Gavin’s sister-in-law and former partner, has a past of her own, one that has returned to claim her. With only their instincts and the help of a rogue CSI, Gavin, Ben, and Cole will do whatever it takes to find Myah, following a flimsy trail of evidence to Chicago, where all is not what it seems—dirty cops, moral pimps, and a nest of snakes who call themselves businessmen.

They’re on a collision course with the worst of humanity, and more than Myah’s life is caught in the vortex. Can they find her, and if they do, will there be anything left to save?

Warning: contains scenes of rape and graphic violence and may not be suitable for sensitive readers. Discretion advised.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | ARe

Bethany’s review: Oh dear God this book is tough to get through.  Not because it was bad, no because it was fantastic.  But this one is brutal and brilliant at the same time.  I know that reviews are a lot of why a reader will pick up a book and read it, I must admit that I read a few reviews on Goodreads and they scared me.  They almost made me not want to finish this series.  Please, please, please don’t let those reviews keep you from reading this one.  Yes there were times I HAD to put it down and step away from it.  At one point I put it down, and had to reread one of my comfort reads just to cleanse my palate.  Its tough and raw and emotional.  Its graphic and dark, and gut-wrenching.  But its a fantastic book that grips you and lets you know its an epic series, no way around that.

I am going to confess something to yall.  I couldn’t write this review right after I finished this book.  Heck I put it off as long as I possibly could, but we put them on a deadline for us so I knew I needed to write something, ANYTHING.  So here is my confession, I didn’t start it till after I read AJs interview.  Why you ask?  Well it cleared up a lot for me, it helped me understand they whys and the parts that pissed me off to no end I didn’t think I would be able to finish this book.  The interview helped me past MY hang-ups so I had a clear view of what I read and understood Consent so much better.

I was 20% in and had to stop, put it down and walk away.  I couldn’t pick it back up for a bit, believe me I tried, and my mind rebelled against it.  I picked up a comfort read and let what I just read in Consent be washed away.  This is where I was going to tell Dana to just read and review this one without me.  I just didn’t think I could continue.  I don’t know why I felt like this, well I guess I had an idea of why, so I stopped and asked myself why?  I realized what was happening in Consent was basically the same thing that happened in Power Exchange, and in Safeword, it just involved the opposite sex and someone I saw as a main character.  Someone I really liked, and that was why it was so difficult for me.  BUT I put on my big girl panties and made myself get through it because had I not finished it, it would have been like I was saying what happened in this one was worse than what happened in books 1 & 2.

So I powered through and I am so glad I did, yes there were still parts of the book that I did need to put it down and walk away.  There were parts that left me so terrible pissed off I wanted to scream, where I thought I might throw my kindle across the room.  Parts that left me in tears, in the fetal position rocking back and forth.  I am not going to lie to you, this one is gritty, and dark and some of our favorite characters suffer so much.  But like AJ stated in her interview “Love or hate it, people remember it.”

But the good parts……they reminded me WHY I love this series.  Why I love Ben and Gavin, and Cole and Myah.  It reminded me that sometimes the world is a bad place and horrible things happen to good people.  It made me fall in love with them all over again.  It shows the strength of family, and that loving someone can help you heal.  It might be a long road to travel but they will help you get there.  This book broke me, left me in pieces many times but by the end AJ was able to put me back together, just like Ben and Gavin, and Cole and Myah.  This book reminded me of what a BRILLIANT writer AJ is.  So thank you AJ for letting me take this journey with these characters.  They will forever hold a place in my heart.

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Dana’s review: In my opinion last two covers of this series were sexy and simple. This book cover with it’s blood-stained looking background, is more disturbing to me, but maybe this is designed to be that way. This book is definitely the darkest of the series.

In the past, Gavin was a detective and the cases he worked in the other two books often involved victims that had something in common with him. It made him more of a target, but in this book he is investigating the disappearance of his sister-in-law and former partner Myah, despite the fact that he’s no longer a detective. With his Dom, Ben, and his brother, Cole, at his side, the investigations move from St. Louis to Chicago. Being from that city, I love books that take place there, but Consent definitely showed the seedier side of the city, with a few bright spots that kept it from appearing too awful.

Throughout the book, Ben, Gavin, and Cole are busy searching for Myah. Cole is a bit more angry and depressed, showing us a different side of him than his light-hearted comic relief attitude in the first two books. Who could blame him. Ben and Gavin are pretty serious as well, and we see a much darker side to the dom personality of Ben. Not that he is proud of it in any way, but if you need a man in control, Ben is the man. The dom/sub relationship between Ben and Gavin isn’t as big of a storyline in this book as it was in the first two either, except to display how the submission Cole gives Ben helps him to be more focused and able to handle the worries about Myah and what she might be going through. I have to say the author writes the dom/sub relationship so well, that instead of being skeptical of it, I almost feel like everyone not in that type of relationship is missing out. They give each other everything with the roles they play, the trust they give, and the love they share.

The main bulk of the story is Myah and her disappearance. The other books had been told from just Gavin’s pov. In this book it is Myah and Gavin’s voices who tell the story. This is where the story gets the darkest and most difficult. Before becoming Gavin’s partner in the Saint Louis police department, Myah worked in Chicago, where she had suspected there to be dirty cops, and a possible sex slave trade ring. Due to the crooked members of the police department and sexism being alive and well in law enforcement, she was forced to transfer or possibly come under suspicion with the Internal Affairs department herself.

Because of her research there into those things, she was kidnapped and taken to Chicago. Nothing that happens to her next is good. Rape and violence are commonplace in the sex slave trade business, and as the leader’s prisoner, she is faced with both repeatedly. It might be a sensitive and extremely difficult subject for some readers. There has been rape situations in the other books and it’s never pretty, this is the first time we see it happen to a woman. The rapes aren’t detailed but you can see the toll it takes on the psyche of the characters forced to endure it. As a reader I felt almost numb to it, disassociated with it, but I think that is because that is what Myah becomes. She seems to shut off part of her brain to get through it, but you can also see that it has it’s long term affects, like a disassociation with her own life. She starts to not care whether she lives or dies, perhaps even preferring the latter.

In another move to keep her tethered to her place in this horrible new life she is living, the boss-man gives her a job to care for the young men who are actually trafficked, sold, and rented through the business. She can’t help but want to help these poor souls who face worse conditions than hers, and she even runs into a character from one of the previous books, and it broke my heart that she did. I think the only thing that made it all bearable was the good that she was able to do. After getting this job, she also takes on a never-give-up attitude about taking down the ring. That helped too. It made me be able to sit through the horrors that they faced knowing that she still hadn’t completely broke.

I may have already given away too much, so I’ll try to wrap up my thoughts. The book isn’t pretty. It’s less about Ben and Gavin’s love, though their relationship is a bright spot in the story. It is about the love of family, perseverance, and doing good where you can. It was well written and as always the characters are very well developed and relatable. I can’t say everything ended happy for everyone, but there is some silver linings to the clouds. And with new friends and the same loyal family, Ben, Gavin, Cole, and Myah look like they will be okay after everything they endured. I loved it for it’s heart and heartbreak.

pot-of-gold-10specialAuthorBio

 It began with a Halloween themed short story assignment from a second grade teacher, and from then on, AJ Rose fell head over heels in love with writing. Even an active social life through school, learning to play the piano in a passable imitation of proficient, and a daring cross country move couldn’t stop the tall tales about imaginary people that refused to be ignored. With college experiences came a change in perspective to romance and passion. A propensity to slash favorite TV characters brought AJ to today, writing mostly M/M for publication. But don’t be surprised if the occasional ghost still pops up. AJ tweets as @_AJRose and blogs at https://ajrosewrites.wordpress.com/

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4 thoughts on “Consent by @_AJRose #LGBT #Review #BDSM

  1. Pingback: Safeword by @_AJRose #LGBT #Review #BDSM | Rainbow Gold Reviews

  2. Pingback: ‘Power Exchange’ by @_AJRose #Review #LGBT #BDSM | Rainbow Gold Reviews

  3. Pingback: Power Exchange Series Postmortem: #Interview with @_AJRose #LGBT | Rainbow Gold Reviews

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