This stand-alone story includes intense violence as well as sexual activity that is non-consensual.
The story concept is interesting, but not crafted well, resulting in lack of credibility of characters and events. Although the opening and some other parts are well-written, and despite the adult subject matter, some parts of the book are written as if to or by juveniles.
A young nurse, grieving over the loss of her parents and fearful of her violent, ex-boyfriend, is easy prey for an attractive and charismatic man. The reader realizes immediately that something is not as it should be, but Melissa, the female protagonist, is naïvely unaware of her vulnerability until she is trapped with The Brotherhood at the Abbey. One main problem is that Melissa’s awareness, judgement, and decisions regarding early events are seeming more that of an older child or teenager than that of a young adult in her twenties. This and behavior of some other characters who accept/tolerate the over-the-top happenings at the Abbey would strain the credibility of all but the most loyal of the author’s fans. Cult-like followings are imaginable, but the events have to be somewhat realistic and not have descriptions of character behaviors and of events that defy credibility. This is the book that could have been but wasn’t. With more realistic events and better crafting of the story, this could become a solid 4- star book. I rate the potential of this story with 4 stars, and the author’s execution of her story with a generous 2 stars, thus enabling an overall rating of 3 stars.