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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
I'm normally against spoilers, but it's a pivotal problem with this story. It starts off like the typical blackmail tale - man has a debt he cannot pay and is forced to give his wife/daughter to his debtors. Man goes to get his daughter, tells her she will be staying with his boss for the weekend, loads his gun, stashes the gun in the car, then takes daughter to go to the boss.
At this point, the father and the gun vanish from the story. Williams makes a HUGE point that the father is plotting something dark and violent but we never hear from him or see him again. The boss take tells the daughter she's never leaving, seduces and masturbates her, then chains her up in the bedroom and leaves her there overnight.
The next morning, the boss goes up to get the daughter...and reveals to her that he's been her lover / husband over countless lifetimes. She suddenly has all these dreams and memories that help her remember the lifetimes they spent together. They get married as soon as possible. They consummate the relationship. She gets pregnant on their wedding night. They live happily ever after.
Now I'm all for happily ever afters and romance. But this is nowhere near the bondage tale we're lead to believe. If it weren't for the fact that the boss is a bit rough during his first time with the daughter and she's cuffed to the bed briefly, there'd be no roughness or bondage at all. Her impregnation is not forced, but rather begged for. The violence / justice / suicide Williams takes several minutes preparing us for with the father's gun never happens.
I don't mind a good bondage / impregnation tale. And, if it's done well, I don't mind a tale of lovers finding each other again through time. But this story really doesn't do either of them very well. The rough masturbation scene at the beginning of the tale is pretty hot, but the rest of the tale is pretty sex free, so it doesn't even work as good erotica.
Would you ever listen to anything by Terra Williams again?
I've read / listened to a couple others, and they weren't bad - but they weren't that great. And after this, I'm not sure I'll continue reading her works.
Which character – as performed by Marie Dumas – was your favorite?
Marie Dumas was the ONE highpoint of this piece. Her reading was spot on - you felt the fears, the passions, the joys of the characters. Were it not for her reading, I don't think I could have finished the story. I strongly recommend her - reading almost anything else.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Other than the narrator, not much. If Williams wants to tell a bondage / blackmail story, she needs to focus on telling a good one. And she sets the stage brilliantly for a classic blackmail / bondage / breeding tale. It comes across like she decided at the last minute she wanted to do something different or was afraid of getting too violent, so she runs off of this tale of lost love reunited. Again, if you're gonna tell a story of past life love, you need to tell it well, and you need to market it as such. This is an epic failure on every level.