Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon (Beards & Bondage #1)
Released: April 26, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
How can I pass up a series titled, Beards & Bondage?? What I liked most about this story is while it is erotic, and there is a beard, and there is some bondage, their courtship is presented so well. And the trauma and recovery the heroine goes through in this book felt so realistic.
Claudia is from the city but goes on a camping trip with her brother but they run into big trouble. Two men attack them, killing her brother and severely wounding her. The only reason she is alive is because she ran to a cabin, and directly into Shepherd Olsen, or just Shep. He lives in this remote cabin and is a nature photographer. He takes one look at the bloody woman, sees her attacker and after a brief warning, shoots. He rushes her to the hospital and answers all of the police questions. He feels protective over Claudia, as her parents are dead and she just lost her beloved brother.
Shep is single, after his last girlfriend didn’t understand his dominate needs. He now spends one week a year at a BDSM club in LA, where he can act out his dominate fantasies, before retreating into the woods for the rest of the year. As Claudia slowly recovers in the hospital, he spends time with her and gives her the comfort she is craving. And then she goes back to the city and to her life.
Claudia has a hard time adjusting back to her life. She is grieving her brother, she dumps her boyfriend and quits her job. She is lost – and after a few months, finds herself going back to that mountain in search of Shep.
Before she makes that journey, the reader has a glimpse into Claudia’s life after she goes back home. I think about four to six months pass as the author allows you to see how Claudia is living.
My brother is gone. After weeks and weeks of being told to be patient. I can’t even do the weird things I’ve been dreaming of like squeezing his hand one more time or kissing his forehead and telling him I’m comforted by the fact that he’s with our parents again. I’m not looking at my brother. I’m looking at a slashed and gutted husk sutured back together again, a grotesque monster movie version of what my brother used to be. The pain rises in my chest again. The crashing is back in my ears. I can hear his screams, mixing with the sounds of the brush crunching under my feet. The sounds of that man chasing me. I’ve tried to cope without my brother these last few months, but when I see him, we are back in those woods again.
Her grief felt so real to me. I’m so glad the author took her time in showing us that Claudia is grieving and feeling lost.
Besides the realistic nature of Claudia’s traumatic experience and how she has a hard time coping afterwards, I also loved how these two communicate and are honest with each other. If every romantic couple could do this, it would erase so many unnecessary fights. It’s scary to be honest, but Claudia is at a point where it’s either be honest or live in a black hole for the rest of her bleak life.
“Option two is I come here and I tell you that I’ve been wanting to see you in this very specific, weird way. I think it’s some sort of survivor’s thing. I mean I know it is. But I don’t know how you enter into any interpersonal relationship that way. Like this super fucked up thing happened and we were both there. Wanna be friends?”
When they are reunited, it’s a little awkward but it’s also hopeful. Shep tells her what he likes out of a physical relationship, and while Claudia is not that well versed in BDSM, she wants to try it. She wants to be there for his fantasies, all the while hoping it will help her find what she is looking for – and it does. They are both a little lost in life, Shep trying to recover from the messy situation of breaking up with his last girlfriend and the remote life he leads.
“Not a complete mountain man, are you? I thought you were gonna teach me how to whittle wood into the shape of a deer while we stared at the fire and you told me about the old days before indoor plumbing.” She freezes then looks up at me. “Shit. You do have indoor plumbing right?”
“Yes. And I don’t know how to whittle.”
They give themselves one week to explore each other and what the other needs and they take on life together for that week. It’s scary for them at first to open up and allow the other to see their vulnerabilities and wants and desires. But they trust each other and realize their feelings run deep.
And it’s mighty sexy. And verra dirty and erotic.
She’s looking at me. Waiting. I flip the switch.
And they are off. Hold on tight Claudia.
Very much looking forward to more in this series.