Sunday, March 16, 2014


Pages: 310
Date: 16/03/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: no. 4 Finding Anna
            Received from The Writer's Coffee Shop
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb: 

“Brianna is lost for the fourth time in her life. Each time was unexpected, and each changed the course of her future. The first life-altering event occurred when her mother died, and she moved to Minnesota to live with her father.

The second was when she was kidnapped at the age of seventeen and forced to be a slave. She would never forget those ten months. Brianna thought her life was over.

Everything changed again the day Stephan steamrolled into her life and brought her home to live with him. She had no idea what to expect—what life with her new Master would hold. That first month with Stephan was, in some ways, more confusing than the prior ten. As a slave, she’d known her place. With Stephan everything was new and different. He’d given her freedom and so much more.

Five months after Stephan rescued her, Brianna once again finds her life flipped upside down.

In this fourth, and final, installment of Finding Anna, Brianna must unearth strength she never knew she possessed. Stephan can no longer protect her from the outside world. She must learn to trust herself, embrace who she is, and discover who she wants to be. Only by facing her demons can Brianna find true happiness and peace.”


My thoughts:

I had very high hopes for this book. I’ve been following Brianna’s journey from the very start and devoured ‘Slave’,’ Need’ and ‘Truth’. The way ‘Truth’ ended nearly killed me. I couldn’t believe the author would leave us hanging just after she’d forced Brianna apart from the man who has been holding her fragile life together. So to say that I was awaiting this fourth and final instalment with baited breath and great expectations would be an understatement.

And, in many ways this book lived up to my hopes. It was wonderful to watch Brianna as she very slowly grows stronger, less prone to panic attacks and, eventually, determined to do whatever it takes to make sure that those who harmed her will get what they deserve. I loved that Sherri Hayes didn’t try to turn this into a magical recovery during which the girl transformed from someone afraid of her own shadow into a sort of kick-as heroine over night. The steps Brianna takes are small and not without their setbacks, and that is what made her journey believable and fascinating, to follow not to mention heartbreakingly emotional at times. The way she slowly learns to recognise and accept herself and her feelings was uplifting and beautiful.

“Stephan may not own me in the way that Ian had, but he owned my heart and, with it, my body and soul.” - Brianna

I wasn’t quite as impressed with Stephan in this book. For a character who, up until this book, had been a prime example of one who is in total control of his life and always trying to think ahead to the possible consequences of his actions, he made one or two strange, not to say, unlikely decisions. I completely get that they added to the tension in the story but they seemed too out of character for me.

On the other hand, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of Stephan’s patience when it comes to Brianna and her recovery and his love for her is the stuff dreams are made off.

“You are the bravest person I know, and I love you. You could never disappoint me.” – Stephan

It is not easy for me to say this but this may well have been the ‘weakest’ book in this series for me. What attracted me to this story from the very start was the interaction between Stephan and Brianna. With the couple being apart for about half the book, it seemed to lack something.  Their separation made perfect sense at this point in the story but I feel that maybe that period apart could have been shorter. As soon as Brianna and Stephan were together again the reading experience picked up for me to the point where I couldn’t put the book down until I knew exactly how their story was going to end.

Another thing I was really impressed with while reading these books is the care the author has taken to make the distinction between BDSM and abuse very clear. While I did at times get frustrated with the characters in the story who were unable to see the difference between the two, their reactions made sense, especially keeping in mind everything Brianna had been through, the damage that had been done to her and her state of mind. More than that, BDSM is far from an accepted practice as far as the general public is concerned and hopefully books like these will go some way to explaining that BDSM does not equal abuse; that power-play within a loving relationship is beautiful provided it is what both partners want and need.

Please don’t get me wrong. While ‘Trust’ may not have been my favourite of the ‘Finding Anna’ titles, this series stands with some of the best I’ve read. The four books together give the reader a beautiful, well written, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story about the damage people do each other and what it takes to heal a broken life. Parts of this story are so dark you might want to read with all the lights on while others are so beautiful they lift the reader up. I fully recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a story that will touch them, give them something to think about and will leave them satisfied by the time they reach the end. Just remember to read these books in order. Most series benefit from being read from start to finish; these books can’t be read any other way if you want to feel the full impact of this powerful story.

Available 20th March from: TWCSAmazonB&NiTunesKobo

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 About the Author

Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn't good at spelling or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

At the age of thirty, all that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.

Seven years later, Sherri is the author of seven full-length novels and one short story. Writing has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create.

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