Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas

Tender Mercies
by Kitty Thomas
Publisher: Burlesque Press
Release Date: May 6, 2011
Book Source: Review copy from the Author

“Grace. That word that finally meant something again. Mercy. Favor. Good will.”

Fed up with play kink, Grace Warner moves to an island that embraces erotic slavery to be with a man she met online. Within hours of her arrival, everything is ripped from her, and she quickly learns play is preferable to the realities of actual enslavement.

Asher Collins has spent the past year mourning and blaming himself for the death of his slave, Darcy. When Grace catches his eye at a showing, obviously abused, he becomes obsessed with buying her and finding a way to atone for his own past sins
~ From Goodreads

This is Kitty Thomas’ third novel and probably the most emotional. I cried, worried, felt anger and disgust, worried some more, felt despair then hopefulness and finally I was awestruck at this author’s ingenious story-telling ability.

This is a story which depicts scenes of abuse, slavery, and dubious consent. The prologue is a tear-jerker. If you make it past the disclaimer, sit back & buckle up. You’re about to take a plane ride to Eleu, also known as the Island of Kink.

Grace Warner is a submissive who is bored with safe, sane and consensual play kink. She wants to be truly owned by a man. Ever since her best friend off-handedly mentions Eleu, Grace has been obsessed with thoughts of moving there. Eleu is an island where there are no human rights for the slaves. Once you enter the island you give up your citizenship and all your rights. That’s it. Once you agree to move there you become your master’s property in every sense of the word.

I was so worried for Grace as she was contemplating her decision to move to the Island of Kink. Her best friend, Lainey tries to no avail to convince Grace to find a Master in the real world. But after a year-long “courtship” with Lucas Stone, Grace is convinced that moving is the only way she can be happy. But how sure can you be about someone you’ve only known through chat and web-cam?

Fast-forward 8months into Grace’s life on Eleu. I was horrified and disgusted by Grace’s living situation.  She was kept nude and chained in Lucas’ dungeon under the most heinous conditions. She had been brutalized both physically and sexually in the vilest ways possible.  I felt angry at Lucas’ relentless assaults to strip Grace of her soul.  
“Tell me you’re mine, you worthless slut.”
Tears pricked at the corners of her eyes.
“This slut is yours, Master.”
Only because it’s what he wants to hear.
She had to hold onto that thought and repeat it in her mind so she wouldn’t forget. Her body may have submitted to him, but she hadn’t yet lost her mind. ~ Lucas & Grace
Asher Collins lost his slave Darcy during an unfortunate night of punishment. He has mourned her for a year but his need to own another woman has re-emerge and he soon wants to buy another slave. He sees Grace at a showing and immediately feels a sense of compassion and lust towards her. He seeks atonement for Darcy’s death and feels that he can redeem himself by bringing Grace back to life. 

I became hopeful for Grace after Asher brought her home and patiently helps her to overcome her nightmares and fears. He was the perfect hero and quite a merciful master. There was nothing that Asher would not do to keep Grace safe. He would kill for her. 
“Grace, listen to me. I know you’re scared. You don’t have to feel any particular thing about any of this. So stop fighting with yourself. All of this is out of your control. I am taking what’s mine, but you can keep your heart. For now. You don’t have to give me everything, just your body. When your body trusts me, your mind will follow. Now open.” ~ Asher
Yes, Tender Mercies is erotica and there are slavery, rape, and disturbing themes but it’s also a compelling story about a woman’s psychological survival and the man who gets her through it and finds atonement along the way. Although Grace toiled in the depths of hell with the devil, she managed to survive it when her angel of mercy swooped down to rescue her.

As I mentioned earlier, I am in awe of Kitty Thomas’ storytelling abilities. I was deeply caught up in the psychological conditioning in her novel Comfort Food and was titillated by the kinky sexual training in Guilty Pleasures. But the plot twists and multi-layered characters in Tender Mercies have made this book one of my all-time favorites. 

This novel absolutely gets 5 out of 5 stars


  1. LOVED!! Asher, oh swoon!! Kitty certainly did BRING IT with this book too.

    great review hun, loved the "Island of kink" HEE!

  2. Thank you for stopping by my blog and following. I'm following you too! You have such a pretty blog, I love it! :)

    ~ Sarah ♥ I'm Loving Books

  3. I love this book's cover art, but it seems a bit deceptive based on your post.
    I don't think this is a book for me (I don't think I'd fare too well with the Lucas period), but I think I'll check out the author's other books.


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