More Than a Slave by Anaelle Gadeyne

Book Blurb:
Alexander Anderson has a reputation that would strike fear into the heart of the devil himself. And now, Aria Starbird is his property. Aria has spent only a few months as a lowly slave, but already her happy childhood memories were starting to fade under the weight of her brutal existence. 

When she is sold to Lord Anderson at an auction, she cannot help but be afraid. Lord Anderson is known for his cruelty. He is fiendish and handsome and as wicked as he is wealthy. However, as she gets to know her new master, she realizes there is more to him than meets the eye. Over time, she is able to penetrate his tough exterior, and begins to understand the struggle of a man who believes love is a weakness, but whose heart is now yearning for something unknown. 

As the two let down their walls and discover each other’s truths, will Aria be able to tame Alexander's inner-beast? 
This is a story of a girl who is sold off to ease her very poor parent's burden. And while the story had elements that were good, the violence was a little over the top, and seemed wholly unnecessary at times. We are introduced to the heroine being sold off to two different men, and the hero nonchalantly talking about killing four slaves in a week.

It's hard to put your heart into reading a historical romance with really so much violence going on around the slaves. The issue here isn't actual slavery, but the attitude of sadistic violence that all the characters employ. (Spoiler: there is an actual torture dungeon in the house, and the occupants can hear the screams.) The main characters regard torturing someone as a non issue, so much so that it was hard to like anyone. The writing and the dialogue between the characters seemed disjointed in places making it hard to follow along, and the ending fell flat. 

I try to find the good in most books, though, and I was truly amazed that Aria seemed to hold her own even though she was sold by her poor parents into lifetime servitude (although she never really much acted like an actual slave throughout the book) and she had endured so much torture and abuse. That by itself shows her strength.

Book Info:
Disclosure: this book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own.

+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC