Title: Flesh Cartel Episode 5: Wins and Loses
Author: Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Status: Available 2 Mar 2013
Genre: Action, Horror, Contemporary, Erotica
Themes: non-consent, kidnapping, abuse, slave/capture, comfort
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
In episode five of The Flesh Cartel, Nikolai is well on his way to undermining the bond between Mat and Dougie, but there’s still a long road ahead. Training slaves is a process full of setbacks, and with these two, the situation is more complex and precarious than usual.
Walking the line with Mat is especially challenging. Too severe a hand leaves him fearful, even broken, but too light a touch leaves him disobedient and full of fury. Dougie, on the other hand, wants desperately to end his suffering and loneliness and fear. But his unwillingness to disappoint his brother means he can’t bring himself to submit.
Controlling Mat with pain alone is futile, so Nikolai must take a defter route by decoding Mat’s deeper desires: why does he fight, and why does he want so badly to win? By contrast, Dougie may need a firmer touch than the pleasure and affection Nikolai has so far shown him. To convince Dougie of how much he stands to gain by giving all of himself to Nikolai, he must first teach him how much more he has left to lose.
This title is part of the The Flesh Cartel, Season 2: Fragmentation serial. Check out the season discount!
I have the song “Nobody Wins” by Radney Foster stuck in my head. Honestly the lyrics have little to nothing to do with The Flesh Cartel Episode 5: Wins & Loses, except the title itself is very very apropos. In this episode, we watch as Dougie and Mat come to terms with redefining what it means to win and what it means to lose, all while still trying to stay true to themselves and each other. Nikolai continues his attempt to divide the brothers, while taking very very different paths in training them for his desired end result.
When you have been ripped from your life, repeatedly violated in hundreds of ways, hundreds of time, and literally sold to the highest bidder, only to be taken to new face new horrors and realities… do your former definitions of Win and Lose still hold any meaning? For Dougie and Mat that answer is a resounding “No”. Along with the redefinition of “win” and “lose” we face the question of “how much is too much?” I often found myself struggling right along with the brothers with these questions. Asking myself and them when is right to break and when is it right to fight. Just as Dougie and Mat did with themselves, I found myself arguing in ways I don’t wouldn’t have considered before starting this series.
My husband asks me why I read this series when I literally have to psych myself up to delve into this world. The answer is simply that I now care immensely for these characters and have to see them through. Haimowitz and Belleau have created such a rich world, that from the first words, I am completely immersed in the world of these unwilling sex slaves, watching in horror and Dougie and Mat endure unspeakable evils at the hands of Nikolai. I wonder what damage Nikolai must have endured in his life to make him who he is. I wonder what kind of person would want to buy someone broken in this way. I ask myself a million and one questions. Yes I love a good “fluff” romance, but I also love a good thought provoking opus. The Flesh Cartel series falls squarely into the later category.
I would like to thank Riptide for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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