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Publisher's Summary

In the heart of Louisiana, the most powerful people in the South live behind elegant gates, mossy trees, and pleasant masks. Once every 10 years, the pretense falls away and a tournament is held to determine who will rule them. The Acquisition is a crucible for the Southern nobility, a love letter written to a time when barbarism was enshrined as law.

Now, Sinclair Vinemont is in the running to claim the prize. There is only one way to win, and he has the key to do it - Stella Rousseau, his Acquisition. To save her father, Stella has agreed to become Sinclair's slave for one year. Though she is at the mercy of the cold, treacherous Vinemont, Stella will not go willingly into darkness.

As Sinclair and Stella battle against each other and the clock, only one thing is certain: The Acquisition always ends in blood.

Full disclosure: This book is a dark romance. It is the first of a completed series and ends on a cliffhanger. If you're good with these caveats, enjoy!

©2015 Celia Aaron (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

THIS WAS DARK AND DRENCHED IN FEELS

This is the third review I've written for the start of this well written, fast-paced, epic, dark and sinister trilogy - hopefully this one won't get lost somewhere in cyberspace because I didn't want, all you who can handle dark, to miss out on a great story. Dutiful daughter Stella has to save her father so she reluctantly signs over a year of her life into Counsellor/businessman Sinclair (aka Sin) Vinemont's eager hands.. he's cold, ruthless and totally focussed on winning his family's dark and twisted legacy. A secret brotherhood of the most elite and powerful Louisiana families enjoy the barbaric and bloody four-part Acquisition Tournaments.. and this year three families compete. Stella is unaware of the games, the part she will play, the penalties and the outcome - all she knows are secrets upon secrets - well that and her intense attraction to Sin.. and her growing friendship with Sin's brothers.

Sin is the oldest of three boys so the responsibility of picking the right Acquisition is his to bear and it's a heavy burden because Stella is fast becoming his obsession.. but he must remember she's just a pawn to play/sacrifice and his slave to use in a deadly game where not everyone is going to survive. Yet lines get blurred secrets get found out and suddenly Sin is left behind.

The suspense is overwhelming, the conceals are never-ending, the drip-feeding of reveals is so cleverly done, the year long preparation and anticipation for the quarterly games makes your blood pressure rise, the violence is chilling, ruthless and jaw-droppingly tense. The off-the-charts sexual chemistry and slow to build relationship between Sin and Stella has you gasping for breath. Stella is naive yet wise, strong, determined and very caring. Sin is handsome, dark, broody, moody, angry and sexy. It's dual POV (mainly Stella's) and the narrators did a great job at expressing the emotional rainbow of feels held within this epic listen.

Worth a credit? Well I loved it, I couldn't put it down, it was unique and had its sexy hot spots too... so everything I was hoping for.. and a whole lot more. So YEAH very creditworthy. There were NO rape scenes.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 01-10-18

Good Book But Violent

What an interesting story of power, privilege and deception. Is everyone who and what they appear to be or are they hiding behind a mask? Counsellor is a well written, dark story, set in modern day in the south. Families from the privilege set play a game every 10 years. This year the Vinemonts are to play. There is debauchery, twists and turns and Counsellor certainly sets the stage for the rest of the series.

My only complaint is the short length of the book I felt the author was really out make her money by the cliff hanger ending and the trilogy. If you like this type of book there are better value choices out there. Try Red Phoenix Brie Learns the Art of Submission: Submissive Training Center (Volume 1) also a trilogy each book has and hours hours of listening pleasure or Sawyer Bennett Uncivilized.

I will continue with the series because I am hooked.

Robyn Verne and Stephen Dexter were outstanding with the delivery of the story.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW 😲🤩🤔AMAZINGLY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DARK ROMANCE

This was a really enjoyable book. It is well narrated and even better written. The story is just differnt. One complaint is there is a CLIFFHANGER 😲😲😲.....but wait I dint have to wait two years for book two!!!! LOVED EVERY MINUTE worth Five Credits

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Misty
  • Washington
  • 01-21-18

If all audios were this good, I would never read again.

I'm sure this has been said before, but this is the Hunger Games on steroids. It is not for the weak of heart or a beginning dark reader.

Nothing is as it seems and no one is telling the truth. Everyone is guarding their pride, their hearts, their character and their motives.

Stella is The Acquisition. She has only her father left and will do what it takes to protect him but what is the cost and what is the truth behind her being Acquired.

The Vinemont sons will make you squirm both in desire and in fear. The eldest, Sinclair, is perhaps the most guarded of them all because only he knows all the secrets behind the Acquisition and although he is full of hate and spite, there is also a glimmer of something redeemable.

This was unlike other dark books I have read in that I felt Stella's pain to my bones. I didn't feel like I was reading something so incredibly far fetched; I felt like I was Stella and I still have no idea how Celia Aaron could create characters that have you hating them so much you want to kill them and then turn the page to feeling so deeply for them and wanting them to succeed at deplorable actions.

It's a cliffy but all 3 books are out so it's a non issue for me. Most definitely worth the purchase.

Stephen Dexter makes Sinclair come to LIFE. His voice is perfect. On top of that he gives each character a voice that distinguishes them in my head and makes the book even more deadly and dark. Goosebumps.

Robyn Verne was excellent. Truly a great choice for a Stella. I can’t even wait to hear how she progresses as the character progresses. This is going to be good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dark Romance Is A Highly Inadequate Description!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't know that I could recommend this book to anyone. I wouldn't want anyone to know that I actually listened to this. I kept hoping the story would change, that Sin would find a way or Stella would escape during one of her many opportunities to do so, but it just kept breaking my heart. I did get the other books in the series, but ultimately couldn't stomach the severe abuse and returned them.

Would you be willing to try another book from Celia Aaron? Why or why not?

I just finished Blackwood which is what encouraged me to find more from the author. Its a great mystery/romance novel, but this series was different. The author is a very talented writer and I am hoping there will be other "lighter" reads by her in the future.

Which scene was your favorite?

I really didn't have a favorite scene. The entire series was just heartbreaking and left me disturbed and depressed. My stomach was in knots when he flogged her (25 lashes) and she required round the clock care and IV fluids to survive...it made me sick to my stomach. If violent repeated rape/sodomy, blood spatter, gore, hangings, mutilation, and physical torture get you off, then have at it...but find a therapist too please. Sorry to be so blunt, but there should be a more transparent book description for this series.

Do you think Counsellor needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. This series was like the worst type of horror. Pure evil. It shoots straight past what I consider "dark romance" and into something out of a horror movie.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I liked the Bad Guy

This book had too much of what is abuse and mob mentality. I did not care for the idea that love can come from this. Domestic violence is real and this comes really close. Be careful if you have had this problem before reading these books. Triggers definitely present.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not my taste

I struggled to finish it. A friend shared this book with me as an introduction to audio books. This book was not for me. I like good love stories, hot and steamy sex but I found the first few chapters to be disturbing so I can't finish.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An ok read.

I like a good story told with my erotica and sometimes I just want the quick and dirty. The lengthy build up cools off all the hot points. I became more interested in the plot and the sex scenes became page fillers that could had been summed up in a couple sentences, no more. It's an intriguing plot though. You have to keep reading the next two books to see what happens. It broke the momentum for me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great start to a trilogy

I finished this series before I decided to write a review for each book so I can have a better scope of things.

Book 1 – this is like a long prologue. It’s setting up the premise of the whole story but the author got to it from the first chapter. The whole story is violent but not much on book 1. There are hints of violence as told from characters but no very graphic details. I like dark romance so what I consider is light might be heavy on some. We get to know a lot about the main and supporting characters.

This is my first book/series from the author and Im very impressed with her skill in storytelling.

Narration - this is my first listen from both narrators and they are very good! The emotions and timing are there! The only tiny thing I dont care for was Stephen Dexter’s voice for the supporting characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tiff
  • Durham, NC, United States
  • 05-16-18

Something a little hot and southern

I love this story line and oh rhe narration is wonderful. I am a new fan and can't wait for more.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-18

Not so interesting

It was very slow story, nothing really happened in the whole book what you couldn't say in two-three sentences. I had problem to continue reading/listening to it. More times. Maybe if author would not split the story to three books then you would get at least some adventure.