Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Escape from Paradise" by Gwendolyn Field

When college sophomore Angela Birch sneaks from Texas to Mexico for Spring Break, she believes the worst that can happen is her parents finding out.


The worst is falling for the ruse of handsome, alluring Fernando. One spontaneous choice whisks Angela across the world to the pseudo paradise of Spain’s Mediterranean Riviera where she has another choice to make: live cooperatively as one of billionaire Marco Ruiz’s slaves, or die.

Colin Douglas’s future was seized and choked when deliberate tragedy struck his Scottish family at the age of sixteen. He spent his remaining youthful years infiltrating the U.K.’s crime world, seeking power, control, and revenge, all leading to a position as an undercover agent. With nothing to lose, Colin accepts the seemingly impossible job of rescuing America’s famous missing girl, Angela Birch. Colin knows that to enter a snake lair, one must become a snake. It turns out to be a mission which will put his desire for control to the ultimate test, and make him wish for things he never knew he wanted.

I'm not a huge fan of "dark" romance.  I associate that with stories of kidnapping or rape victims falling in love with their captors via Stockholm Syndrome or otherwise.  I guess there is always an exception to the rule.  This book was recommended to me by, Claire, a Goodreads friend.  I trust Claire, (she introduced me to both the Kate Daniels and Charlie Davidson series.  Enough said.) so I decided to try this book. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't put it down.  

This story is compelling.  I've read other books with white slavery as the context, but this one did a good job focusing on the pyschology of being a captive and losing hope.  Angela is a fairly typical college student spending Spring Break in Cancun when she is assaulted and kidnapped into white slavery (sounds like a story you could hear on CNN).  We can see how Angela over time slips away to become Angel.  The methodical means in which she is turned from an self-confident, independent woman into a docile, subservient, prostitute is heartbreaking.  Her rescue and rehabilitation made my heart pound.  

I liked Colin as a character.  I liked that he is also a dark, damaged soul.  I wanted to know even more about him.  However, because of the nature of the story, the romance part felt a little off for me, maybe because it was so obsessive.  Even still, the relationship between Angela and Colin is sizzling and I loved the Epilogue.  Thank you for the Epilogue, Ms. Field, because I really needed that. 

Pick up this book. It is guaranteed to give you a book hangover.  '

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