3 1/2 stars rounded up. This story begins with Brianna living in an extremely abusive slave relationship from which she cannot escape. Stephan is a dominant who is looking for a submissive when a friend tells him of Brianna's situation. Being Stephan, he cannot walk away from her plight and approaches her current master, who is known to be abusive. When Stephan first sees Brianna, he knows he wants her and is forced to "buy" her from her master.
The balance of this story is told in mostly Stephan's POV as he struggles to help a broken Brianna, but we do also hear her POV occasionally and understand what she is going through. Their relationship develops painfully slowly, as Brianna requires careful handling and support. Often it is one step forward and two steps back.
There is no real conclusion at the story's end, rather a feeling of to-be-continued.
I found this story very compelling and very different than other BDSM titles I've read. Do not expect bdsm scenes or sex in this first installment, as neither take place. For me this was not a problem, and I grew fond of both Brianna and Stephan as they struggled to find their way. I look forward to reading more of their story.