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This book had some great stories in it, but they are hot button issues for many readers and since this is part 1 I can't see how this is all going to work out yet. Those issues would be:
1. Male Submissives, which was kind of hot!
2. PTSD, these characters did time in Iraq and they are vivid about retelling their stories and the author portrays flashbacks and PTSD episodes very well....scarily well! If you have experienced PTSD, especially from the Military stand point might want to skip this book.
3. Suicide due to PTSD
4. Drinking to dull the pain
5. Loosing a loved one due to random gang violence in a suburb
6. Finding a new relationship after your fiance dies
I think that covers all the major issues people might have...generally I don't tell so much about a book but if it involves a true hot button for people I'd rather they know in advance.
I liked the book, really liked how the author built up the story and have already listened to 2 of her other books, she is really great and I plan to listen to them all!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would absolutely recommend this book. The story is strong, and the characters are people I feel like I know.
Have you listened to any of Cassie Fields’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This was my first book narrated by Cassie Field. I could absolutely "see" her as Michelle, the main female character. She completely owned the character and I give her 5 stars for her perfomance. For her portrayal of Wyatt, I give her 3.75 stars, because it took me to about the end of chapter 2 before I was completely adjusted to her voicing of Wyatt. As a personal quirk, I rarely find women narrators can do male voices well. The other characters' voices were well done, but I had a bit of an adjustment to accept that Yuki, Michelle's best friend, sounded like she was from the Southern US. Yuki's origins/accent is never described in the book, so she could easily be from the south naturally, but it threw me at first, hearing the accent associated with Yuki.
Any additional comments?
I read "Still" when it was first published and was deeply impressed by Ann Mayburn's writing. It's rare to find an author who can weave a poignant love story using the disparate elements of military sevice, war-time PTSD, and BDSM, but Ann did so with ease in the pages of "Still."
The opening scenes from the main characters' time while deployed in Afghanistan were authentic -- enough so that my own issues from deployment were engaged. As a personal benchmark, that tells me the author has gotten the military portion correct.
The story then picks up with Michelle and Wyatt reconnecting Stateside, once they are both discharged from the military. Their relationship is complicated by their individual mental health challenges, specifically Michelle's crushing grief and guilt from her fiancee's murder years earlier and Wyatt's multiple combat-tour induced PTSD, which has been punctuated by a downward spiral of alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide. Ann's accurate description of Wyatt's PTSD symptoms and Michelle's on-going anguish at the loss of her fiancee made me feel those emotions and the devestation both characters experience. Just as in real life, there are no easy "cures" for these problems and at the end of the book, Wyatt knows he is in a better place thanks to his relationship with Michelle. Michelle on the other hand, still has issues to resolve, but their devotion to each other is helping them heal.
The final strand of the the story, the erotic content, is off-the-charts HOT. Ann knows how to write a smokin' hot sex scene and "Still" has the perfect balance of them. The fact that Michelle's kink is Female Dominant BDSM and Wyatt is an alpha male, used to being in charge of his sexual encounters, makes the dynamic between them subversively delicious and it shows that the usual (and overdone) MaleDom/femalesub pairing isn't the only kink able to melt panties and explode ovaries. Anyone who thinks a male submissive can only be a sissified wimp who wants humiliation and abuse at the hands of ball-busting, man-hating Dominatrix needs to read this story, so those pathetic stereotypes can be laid to rest. Wyatt is all alpha male, even when he is submitting to Michelle, and Michelle is a tender, loving woman who enjoys commanding Wyatt to their mutual pleasure.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful