18 + Review: Mutual Release, Stewart Realty #7 by Liz Crowe

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Title: Mutual Release
Author: Liz Crowe
Format: eBook
Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing
Pages: 457
ISBN: 978-0985991180
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Family Saga
Series: Stewart Realty # 7
Stars: 4
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Barnes and Noble 

About the Book:

Can two dark souls ever make a light?

As president of her own distribution company, Julie Dawson has all she ever wanted — money, power, and respect. But her carefully crafted façade conceals a torment of abuse and helplessness. After years remaining emotionally aloof, she is finally independent, but alone. Because she refuses to rely on anyone but herself ever again.

Evan Adams is no stranger to success, or personal demons. The horrific trauma that destroyed his twin sister, and tore his family apart, forced him to craft a new life from the ashes of the old. He’s content enough, focusing ahead and not dwelling on his murky past. But something important is missing. He knows what that thing is but refuses to acknowledge it.

When a chance encounter brings these two strong-willed but damaged people together , what seems like a long, erotic journey through hell could lead them to a match made in heaven.

A coming of age novel about trust…on the long road to love

Disclaimer: 18+ – Content contains mature situations, explicit language and erotic sexual scenes.

Book Review:

This was my first introduction to Liz Crowe’s work, after hearing that her books were a “must read” from others, I jumped at the chance to read this book. While it is the seventh book of an ongoing series, this book does stand on its own quite comfortably, although I now will be reading more of this author’s work.

Two souls, damaged by life and afraid to trust must fight their own personal demons, and learn to share their burdens and hearts. Julie and Evan are totally relatable characters, the author begins the book by sharing Evan’s story: bringing us to the tragedy that so changed his life and his subsequent introduction to the BDSM lifestyle. A highly emotional story, you will find yourself viscerally connected to Evan’s pain, anger and frustration as we follow him from high school through mid-twenties. His curiosity, attraction to and experimentation with BDSM practices are clearly defined and detailed, and we see him transform as he starts to accept and learn to integrate his darker side.

At this point, the story focuses on Julie and her struggles with a mother who was distant and removed, and the horrific circumstances Julie withstood after her mother’s remarriage. Following her until her mid-twenties as she is a successful, yet curiously unemotional businesswoman, readers are provided information that reader’s require to understand her reactions to, and attitude about men, and Evan in particular.

From their first meeting, sparks fly – both are defensive and sharp tongued, and seem to just never find a smooth path to just give in and accept they are meant for one another. Frustrating bouts of missed communication and quick to judge from hurt rather than reality did side-track this story at times, but each argument was perfectly realistic and relatable: this author pays attention to those around her and can write a dysfunctional relationship! Fortunately for readers and the characters, Evan and Julie do manage to not only steam up several scenes that are both emotionally charged and erotic, they also manage to find common ground that gives them both what they so desperately needed in their lives: Love and Acceptance.

Certainly a worthwhile read for 18+ readers who want to see an example of the cause and effect relationship of personal circumstance leading to entrée into the BDSM lifestyle, and those who want emotional scenes with characters that live and breathe in the room with you. Liz Crowe has another fan in this reader, and I will be reading more of her other titles.

I received an eBook from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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