When college sophomore Angela Birch sneaks from Texas to Mexico for Spring Break, she believes the worst that can happen is her parents finding out.
The worst is falling for the ruse of handsome, alluring Fernando. One spontaneous choice whisks Angela across the world to the pseudo paradise of Spain’s Mediterranean Riviera where she has another choice to make: live cooperatively as one of billionaire Marco Ruiz’s slaves, or die.
* * *
Colin Douglas’s future was seized and choked when deliberate tragedy struck his Scottish family at the age of sixteen. He spent his remaining youthful years infiltrating the U.K.’s crime world, seeking power, control, and revenge, all leading to a position as an undercover agent. With nothing to lose, Colin accepts the seemingly impossible job of rescuing America’s famous missing girl, Angela Birch. Colin knows that to enter a snake lair, one must become a snake. It turns out to be a mission which will put his desire for control to the ultimate test, and make him wish for things he never knew he wanted.
*AUTHOR’S NOTE* Escape from Paradise is a work of fiction intended for adult readers, containing graphic sexual scenarios and strong language.
Rating 5 out of 5
Escape from Paradise was a not a pretty book. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. This book was dark, gritty, ugly and my personal favorite word to describe it- RAW. Gwendolyn Field could have written this differently and it would have been a different type of story, but she included every ugly piece of Angela being broken in body and spirit. From being brutally raped and beaten to having to take a shit in a bucket in front of other people after being given an enema. Like I said, RAW.
But there was “pretty” to take away from Escape from Paradise. Angela and Colin’s journey was not a romance of sweet words and gentle touches, but a romance of a mutual understanding that paradise is subjective and freedom is relative. One of my favorite lines was, “Because even with all the ugliness of the world there was beauty. Some of it needed to be pulled from the dirt and dusted off, given wings.”
This book is so well written. The words and the imagery made the emotions come alive, so that you truly felt like you were living the horrors of Angela’s captive world. Ms. Field switches back and forth between Angela and Colin’s POV and she does it fluidly. The switches were perfectly timed to keep you riveted and rushing to get answers to questions as fast as they could pop up. And just when I couldn’t take being in “Paradise” anymore, Ms. Field took the story past the dark and a light shone through and kept me smiling and even getting a little teary eyed.
I refuse to provide cliff’s notes of a book when I review it, so I must tell you that this book is worth reading. Angela was a strong woman and experiencing her fall from normal American girl into an object was heartbreaking. Angela said it so eloquently, “I used to have an inner-feminist who would bitch slap me at the sound of these ‘dependent upon a man’ thoughts, but she’d been the first aspect of my personality to be murdered at the villa. I didn’t know if I’d ever feel her strong, independent presence again.” Colin was a hero’s hero. Sure, he did things that I find repulsive, but so did he! Colin acted within the confines of his role, but when he could break out; he did and he was a worthy hero.
At first, I rated this book a 4, but then it stuck with me and had my brain churning and thinking. I couldn’t get rid of my emotions that were left swirling after finishing this book. If a book can stay in my thoughts after reading it, and they are productive thoughts, then I must reevaluate my rating. Escape from Paradise was the perfect escape from the doldrums of laundry and suburbia.
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