Series: The Condemned #4
Published by Orchid Publishing on 20 August 2020
Buy on Amazon
“Talk or suffer the consequences.”
Ruthless warrior Grif McIntyre is known for his brutal interrogation techniques, a skill he learned much too young from a monster even more savage than him. Still, Grif’s skills with ropes, restraints, and unbearable pleasure are unrivaled. His methods merciless, but effective. Tasked with capturing and breaking a critical target in order to rescue a handful of missing females, he assumes the mission will be no different from the others that have come before.
But the female he captures is not what he expects.
Captured and chained by a beast more terrifying than any she has seen before, Nayla is certain her already difficult life has just gotten worse. The brute’s mannerisms and grunts are strange, his demands terrifying and against the traditions of her pack. Even worse is the way he handles her. As if he has the right. As if she is not tainted and unworthy. As if he believes what he is doing is punishment. In truth, the searing heat he brings to life with his rough touches, and the growing lust in his gaze, is all she has ever craved.
She would be content to suffer his torment forever, but he wants information she cannot afford to give.
Soon, it is only a question of who will break first.
Fantasy, BDSM-erotica, escapism and some kind of otherworldly blended together, Alison Aimes’s ‘Tamed’ has come some way from the original book in the series which I loved. It’s certainly not a read for everyone who’s the strict syfy/fantasy fan: there’s the bit of world-building, some ancient lore and some alien-humanoid creatures, but it’s contained within the prison planet Dragrath-25 and not expansive if you’re looking for high-fantasy with elaborately-drawn maps at the preface of the book.
Instead, Aimes focuses on characters, the breakdown of boundaries…with a tad-bit of Stockholm Syndrome as captor and captive start to fall for each other through erotic foreplay, bindings and a little bit of talk. The pairing is also an unusual one: human and humanoid, the former having Irish roots while the latter is almost part-feline who has been repressed and called the lowest of the caste in her pack.
In short, the story’s a growly, sweary one with loads of heaving, panting and straining against bonds, veering towards the dramatic especially towards the end without really ever letting go of the lusty undertone that rides Nayla/Grif’s relationship the whole way. I was intrigued by the start, hooked by the middle, but sort of starting squinting with a little skepticism when the emotion felt overplayed by the end. Still, it was mostly an engaging read and something of a refreshing change from the type of stories I normally go for.