Review: Haven (Beards & Bondage #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon.

34745311Haven (Beards & Bondage #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon.
Published: April 25th 2017.
228 pages.
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:
City girl Claudia Cade’s carefree life is plunged into chaos when a camping trip with her brother in the national forests of Northern California turns into a deadly dash for her survival.

A solitary world turned upside down…

Nature photographer Shepard Olsen has resigned himself to a quiet existence, with only his dog by his side, until a woman in need of his protection shows up on his doorstep and throws his universe into disarray.

Two lives linked by tragedy…

Claudia is desperate to heal from her traumatic loss, but can’t stop thinking about her run-in with evil….or the grizzled mountain man whose quick thinking and good aim saved her life. When she shows up on Shep’s doorstep again, she finds she isn’t the only one who can’t move on.

…saved by bliss.

The two begin an intense, passionate relationship of Dominance and submission, pleasure and pain, but with dark memories haunting them and decisions about the future rapidly approaching, Claudia can’t help but wonder…how long can they be each other’s haven?

 

This book was nothing like I was expecting it to be, I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and the themes within. Normally, I’m not too into BDSM – yes, Fifty Shades of Gray totally ruined it for me, yikes – but I’m a big fan of Weatherspoon’s writing, so I decided to pick up this book, and I am so glad I did. It showed me a completely different side of things, the unproblematic side of it. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely not you’re go to fluff romance.

Trigger warning for gun, blood and gore.

Claudia Cade has gone through something traumatic to say the least, she was running away from her kidnapper that also killed her brother, when she meets Shepard “Shep” Olsen, who ends up shooting the attacker to save Claudia and get her the medical help she needs. After that, they find solace in each other.

Months later, Claudia is unable to go back to her usual routine, so she decides to return to the mountain, in hopes that she’ll find the answer she’s looking for to finally move on. But when they’re finally face to face again, they realize how broken they truly are, and maybe they can help each other, or destroy what’s left of themselves.

I don’t think either of us have thought much beyond this moment. She was looking for me. I found her. Now what?

This book could go one of two ways; amazingly beautiful or dreadfully wrong. It was a thin line the author was walking on, the “tragedy brings people closer” aspect of things could’ve backfired horribly, and I was so scared that it would end up with the same old “the romance makes all their problems miraculously disappear”. With that being said, this book definitely falls in the first option.

I loved how flawed the main characters were. They went through something horrible together and were just looking for a way to move on. However, they knew they needed help, there was no pretending that everything was fine and they were okay. It felt very realistic in a way, and I really enjoyed that.

“Can I tell you I love you even if I don’t know if I mean it? I don’t think I mean it, that way.”
“With that caveat, yeah.”
“I love you so much. It hurts.” I say as I bury my nose in his chest hair. I’m crying again. His hand strokes down my back. He kisses the top of my head.
“I love you too.”

All in all, this was a somewhat surprising and enthralling read, with a lovely nature setting – which is really not my thing, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this –, and a different approach on how to deal with tragedy. I was hooked from the start and I can’t wait to read more from this series.

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