Format: Digital ARC
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Release Date: July 26, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Writer's Coffee Shop | iBooks
As Brianna comes to terms with the realization that she is no longer a slave, she must figure out what she wants for her life. Forgetting her past isn’t an option. It is an integral part of who she is now, and it will forever shape her view of life. The one thing she knows is that she cannot imagine her life without the man who saved her, but can she be what he needs?
Stephan never imagined falling in love with the woman he rescued, but the thought of her no longer being part of his life is physically painful. The scars from her past continue to haunt her, and he is helpless to stop them. All he can do is try to help her work through the traumas of her past. Can he be everything she needs and help her move on?
The two must figure out how to navigate not only their relationship with each other, but also the outside world. A friend from Brianna’s past shows up where she least expects them, and Uncle Richard continues to enforce his well-meaning agenda to get Brianna more traditional help. As forces, both friend and foe, threaten to tear them apart, Stephan and Brianna have to navigate the turbulent waters and find what they need in each other.
“I had thought I would spend the rest of my life owned by someone, to be used and abused as they saw fit. And now…I was…not.”
Need, book two of Sherri Hayes Finding Anna series, continues where Slave left off with Stephen giving Anna the choice of leaving on her own volition or staying with him. Stephen’s expressed that he would love for Anna to stay and possibly become his submissive but only if Anna chooses to. Anna is elated about the prospect of being free but at the same time even more frightened to go out into the real world and leave Stephan behind.
“I could be Anna gain. Anna.”
Need explores Anna’s discovery of who she is, was and wants to be. It was inspiring to see Anna discover things about herself and slowly changes day by day. She’s still grappling with the knowledge that she’s no longer a slave and has every right to walk away from Stephan. But as much as she wants to be free the thought of leaving Stephen’s safe and comforting arms scares her. Like anyone who suffers from PTSD, she has good days and she has bad days. As the story progresses she slowly builds up strength, courage and begins to express her thoughts and feelings to Stephen a little more openly. It was really inspiring to see Anna slowly change and as scared as she was she pushed her self because she wanted to have life where she no longer lived in fear. The last ten months of her short eighteen years of life has been horrific and the process of finding herself is a long and hard road but one that she was willing to travel.
“The thought of leaving him, the idea of not having him in my life anymore, scared me more than anything. He was like a light in the sea of darkness I’d been living in for so long.”
Once again, Stephen amazed me with the amount of patience, compassion and love he shows towards Anna. At the end of Slave, Stephan had come to realize that he’d fallen in love with Anna and he would do anything and everything in his powers to keep her safe. He has every desire to have a physical relationship with Anna but vows to not take anything from her until she is well and ready. As much as he craved a physical relationship with Anna, I love how he’s more determined to have an emotional connection with her. He encourages her to speak up and express her feelings. He wants her to know what it’s OK to be truthful with him and wants her to be her own person again. Most importantly, Stephan wants Anna to whole heartedly trust him and know that he can and will be a shield for her when she needs it. He encourages her to overcome her fears but never pushes her over the limit.
“Sex can be an amazing thing, full of unbelievable sensations. I would love to show that world to you, but only if you would allow me. I told you before that I would not take it from you.”As Anna and Stephan become closer they begin to explore more and more of their sexual relationship but at a very slow pace. Being taken and made into a sex slave, Anna had never experienced a consensual or pleasurable sexual encounter. While she was under her former owner, Ian, Anna suffered terrible physical abuse, humiliation and rape. Anna had a difficult time of being physically intimate with Stephan at the beginning but Stephan made sure they moved at a slow pace and didn’t push Anna into doing anything that was uncomfortable for her. Stephan promised to show Anna how sex could be pleasurable and become something she would crave rather than fear. As Anna’s need for Stephan grows she realizes that she longs for Stephan’s touch as much as her need for him to emotionally support her.
Need was a wonderful sequel to Slave and I was surpsied that Sherri Hayes was able to make me even more attached to her characters. Hayes bring in some old secondary characters and introduces us to knew ones that makes Anna and Stephan's story a little more exciting. Anna's story is very intriguing and it's not the typical BDSM or erotica story. While Hayes does explore the sexual relationship, she focuses more on the relationship between the couple. Need is an emotional read and you really see how the characters grow. Hayes shows that while BDSM can have harsh or painful elements there's also a lot of trust and companssion found in this kind of relationship. Need ends in a very HUGE cliffhanger and literally left my jaw dropping to the floor. Although I was anticipating this revalation I wasn't expecting the book to end on that note. Sherri Hayes definiltely left me on the very edge of my seat and I'm sad that I will have to wait until 2013 to read the next installment of this series.