Monday, August 19, 2013


Pages: 369
Date: 19/08/2013
Grade: 4
Details: no. 1 Unbreakable Trilogy
            Received from Harper Collins UK/Avon
            Through NetGalley

The blurb:

“Bound by passion, she was powerless to resist.

One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever…

Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion.

To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.

As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?”


Aspiring photographer Serena Folkes leaves behind the lover of her teenage years when she travels to London, convinced that she is done with men. It is a conviction that will last less than 48 hours.

While she is out about town on Halloween night she meets an intriguing man. She knows she should be careful about engaging with strangers but something about this man cuts right through her reservations. This man, Gustav Levi, doesn’t send of a dangerous vibe - well he does, but in an intriguing way, not one that makes her feel threatened.

“But Gustave Levi is not just any old company. I have the weirdest feeling that he’s picked me.”

While Serena cuts her evening with Gustav short, she can’t get him out of her head. And when they meet again because she has left her camera in his care he offers her a deal that will ensure that the two of them will get to spend a lot of time together. He will show a collection of her photographs in his gallery if she signs herself over to him until all the pictures have sold. Delighted to be given this opportunity and intrigued by and attracted to the man, Serena doesn’t have to think twice before she signs on the dotted line. A deal Gustav seals by locking a silver bracelet around Serena’s wrist. A bracelet to which he can, and will, attached a silver chain; proof that she is fully connected to him.

“But the instant I’m chained to him, I’m anchored.”

While Serena is mesmerized by Gustav there is a lot about him she can’t explain. He obviously has issues that stem from a past he is reluctant to share – issues that keep him far apart from her even while the chain seems to imply they’re very close. As Gustav’s past is slowly revealed it feeds into Serena’s issues. Having never felt loved or wanted in her life, it is only too easy for Serena to believe that she is not what Gustav wants or needs. And worst of all, his actions seem to confirm that she is not what he is really looking for. Misunderstandings, mistrust and miscommunication appear determined to keep these two characters apart. It will take a lot of pain and confusion before Serena realizes that:

“At last it’s me he’s seeing, Nobody else.”

This was a very enjoyable read. There is a lot to like in this story. Yes, it does resemble a lot of other books in that it features a young girl falling under the spell of an older, more experienced man. This is certainly not the first time I’ve come across a relationship haunted by dark pasts and deep seated insecurities. But, while similarities like that have irritated me in the past they didn’t so much this time around. I liked that Serena is a girl who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is not the poor little girl who needs the older and richer man to make her way in life. At all times, while reading this story, I felt that Serena would have made it on her own – that Gustav only fast-forwarded the process. I also liked the fact that although there definitely are some aspects of bondage and domination in this story it shows both sides of that particular coin – how it can break relationships just as easily as make them.

Having said that, there were times when Serena’s character was a bit too volatile for me. Serena seemed to jump from one, strong, emotion to the exact opposite emotion from one paragraph to the next. While her insecurities made perfect sense, I would have preferred it if the changes in her state of mind had been a bit less sudden and frantic. There were pages where I had a hard time keeping up with what exactly she was feeling and why.

Overall though, I really liked these characters and their story. And with the sudden, and to me completely surprising, revelation on the very last page I can’t wait for the sequel, “The Golden Locket”, even if I haven’t been able to find a release date for it.

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