Desert Isle Keeper
Willing Victim left Flynn and Laurel at happy-for-now, rather than happy ever after, so I knew there was a lot of potential in a sequel. That said, I had no idea where that sequel might take them. With the frank sexuality of Willing Victim, and McKenna’s bold forays into kink, I assumed that the future for Flynn and Laurel had more erotic discoveries in store. I expected them to further push their boundaries, maybe with some ménage. What I got instead was a deeply gripping, emotional ride about two people trying to figure out whether their love is for now, or forever.
Flynn and Laurel have spent the last nine months in lust-filled bliss, without moving too close to more serious territory. He’s made comments about living together, but they haven’t taken that step. Laurel is still struggling with depression, issues with her own self-worth, and trying to find a job in her degree field. There’s really not an issue there as they haven’t been together very long, and they’re both happy. It seems logical that things can continue as they are until one of them is ready for a deeper commitment.
That is, until Laurel finds out she’s pregnant. She was on the pill and taking it religiously, so she isn’t one of those heroines you want to groan at for ignoring all reproductive consequences to their actions. It was just a slip up, and one neither she nor Flynn knows how to handle. They don’t feel ready to have a child, and Flynn offers Laurel an out; it will be her choice whether to keep the baby, because he plans to stay either way. Laurel doesn’t really know what it is she wants though, and she wishes that Flynn would contribute a bit more to the decision.
If you aren’t familiar with Willing Victim, you should know that Flynn and Laurel’s sexual relationship is built around his kink for domination and consensual rape fantasies. Those are still happening, but much more of this book is about the pregnancy storyline and what comes after. There are some seriously sexy scenes, yet I’ve all but forgotten them. What packs the biggest wallop is the emotional impact of the story. I felt the struggle of this decision right along with Laurel, and cried more than a few tears.
I can’t say that the storyline is particularly unique because I could guess early on where the plot would take Laurel; but I fully appreciated McKenna’s take on it. There is so much realism in her writing and she doesn’t spare the reader a moment of the experience, even when it hurts your heart for Laurel and Flynn.
It’s also nice to get to see a tough-guy alpha like Flynn humbled a little. He’s hurting, vulnerable, and completely lost as to how to handle himself. It’s a big change from the usual manly men who seem either unfazed, or exist only as a support for the delicate women in their lives.
If you’re a fan of Willing Victim, I fully recommend picking up this short read and finding out what has happened to these two characters. I sat down to read a few chapters and ended up finishing the whole book, and I think you’ll be tempted to do the same. If you haven’t read the previous installment then I suggest reading my review to see if it might be to your tastes, and then downloading a copy. Believe me, McKenna has another winner with Brutal Game.