Author: Keri Lake
I like to come up with hashtags for Keri Lake’s books. This was #GlommingGavin. I fell in love with this Son of Wrath in the first book of this series. His measured control. His compassion. All the little things that make me, as a reader, compelled to finish a book. At the loss of sleep. In lieu of meals. Hoping for a few minutes of ‘wait time’ so I could open up the Kindle app and read even a few more lines.
First things first. This is a supremely dark paranormal urban fantasy erotic romance. Ms. Lake warns her readers at the beginning that this is a story that may be difficult for those that are expecting a baby or those that have suffered a loss to read. *nods sagely* Listen to the woman. Be ready for it, and be somewhere it’s okay to ugly-cry. The middle of the couch, with Mr. VampBard wrapped around me, was perfect.
I think I made enough highlights and notes to write my entire review in quotes. The dialogue and narration was engaging, and there was humor in all the right places. Snarky humor, oftentimes.
With all the awesome supporting characters, we get to know our main couple, Sabelle and Gavin, better. Their interactions with one another as well as with each other solidifies their ‘coupleness’ for the reader. Even though they fight their bond for a hot minute, it’s one of those ‘I don’t deserve you’ things.
In the beginning of the story, Gavin was in Obsidius being tortured. However, Sabelle is taking on a risky mission to protect those she loves. Her Divine Matron (I think of her as a fairy godmother), Nola, pulls Gavin from his confines by calling in a debt owed to Sabelle (see Logan’s book). Nola wants Gavin to protect her. So, basically Gavin is dropped on Sabelle’s doorstep, still healing from the ‘ministrations’ from his captors in Obsidius. Sabelle says:
“You can’t just drop him on my front porch, in the middle of the afternoon … like he’s some package I ordered from Male Depot…”
Thing is, Sabelle is resisting her succubus side. With two kids—these adorable twins, Thomas & Janie—she is SUCH a momma bear it’s not even funny. I liked watching Sabelle evolve and change. Starting off as a serious hard-ass, not letting anyone in to her bubble, she began to trust Gavin. Trust him enough to keep her—as well as her kids and sister—safe. That’s a big paradigm shift for Sabelle, who has had to be the responsible one since she was young. Oh! I LOVED the stuff about her dad. Readers will know what I’m talking about when they get to that part, near the end. Sabelle didn’t think she deserved happiness. The entire book centered around the type of person she is, how she reacts to situation, and how she survives. I think she’s one of the strongest females I’ve read about in a while. She suffered, endured, and on the other side, came out a survivor with a bright future ahead.
Gavin. When I read the first book of the Sons of Wrath series, I fell in love with Gavin. He is the ultimate book boyfriend for me. I wanted him to have his HEA because I wanted him to find happiness. He was SOOOO tortured. So much the controlling businessman—in all aspects of his life, it seemed. He was calculated, and did things to ensure the people he loved were taken care of. Oftentimes, at his own expense. When I found out that the next title in the series was about Gavin, I couldn’t wait to read Soul Enslaved. I NEEDED to hear Gavin’s story. And, ultimately, see Ms. Lake work for his happily ever after. In true Gavin fashion, we saw him as a giver throughout the novel. Even when he was having his Savius (as Maddox so eloquently put it, “How’s your manstrual cycle going for you, Brother?”) and knew in his heart and his head that he wanted to bond with Sabelle. It would’ve been so much easier for him. But, he put Sabelle’s needs before his own.
“Nothing in his life was more important—not even the downright, soul-wrenching despair of losing the only woman he’d ever loved.
Yeah, he loved her. All his doubts had come tumbling down to one single truth that he’d known all along. He loved her. Even if she didn’t rust love. Even if he’d live with the agony of unrequited love. He loved her.”
And Gavin stands by his love for Sabelle throughout the novel. Which is part of the reason I love this guy. There’s a bazillion lines that Gavin said that melted my heart. Said ‘em to Sabelle, to his Brothers. For being so guarded before, so unwilling to open himself to love, I am enamored of his transformation.
We all want to be loved. We want the whole she-bang: physical attraction, emotional bonds, intellectual equal. But, I never thought about it the way Sabelle communicates near the end of Soul Enslaved:
“Most of us are born with five senses, but in the course of a lifetime, if we open our hearts, we die with six. Knowing a soul mate isn’t about touch, taste, sound, scent or seeing. Any one of those could disappear at any given time, and still the truth inside our hearts remains. It’s an innate understanding, that you’ve found the one soul in billions who will walk through fire to stay at your side, and will never let you leave this world alone.”
This. Exactly why I’ve fallen for the Wrath demons, fallen angels, and other other-worldly beings of Keri Lake’s Sons of Wrath series. If you’ve not started reading, there’s two full novels as well as a novella before reaching this title. I recommend reading them in order. And most of all, I recommend having tissues and a large block of time to binge read. The series is addictive, and I think Soul Enslaved is my favorite title of the bunch. The way Ms. Lake is able to toss her readers into the moment, complete with the emotions, and carry them along for the journey makes Sons of Wrath a favorite series, on auto-buy for me!
Imprisonment in Obsidius. Enslavement to a soul-sucking succubus. A reproductive cycle that’d send a sex fiend running into the arms of celibacy. Given the choice, most demons would opt for death.
Gavin, eldest son of Wrath, has been sentenced to all three.
When the succubus decides its time collect, though, he fears his nightmares have only just begun.
And Sabelle’s timing couldn’t be worse.
With a bad case of uncontrollable lust, thanks to his Savidon, the last thing Gavin wants is a vengeful succubus stoking his darkest desires, but debts must be paid—he just didn’t bank on enjoying his punishment so much.
Because the swinging bachelor may have found his perfect mate in the sexy seductress.
However, just as things seem to be looking up, past sins resurface, plunging the two into a deadly game of power and deception. As their worst fears merge into one unexpected threat, Gavin is determined to protect Sabelle and win her freedom.
At any cost.
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Series: Sons of Wrath #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): paperback (586 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author
Soul Enslaved (Sons of Wrath #3)