Wow, talk about a psychological mind-warping experience. I just finished reading Antidote, by Jack L. Pyke, and I am emotionally spent. Usually, I cannot even write a review immediately following a book. I have to wait a day or two, absorb the words and let it come to me. However, I almost feel, if I don’t write this one right now, I will not be able to capture my true feelings. First, I would like to make note that Antidote, is the second novel, in the Don’t series. The first time I read Don’t was when it was first released in Dec 2012. It was one of those that you watch with anticipation and the moment Amazon has it on their site, you click. In order to give Antidote the fairness and understanding it deserved, I felt I needed to read Don’t, again. I wanted to go into this new release with as many details as I could. This is not a standalone book. It is imperative you read them in order to have a complete timeline of events and circumstances. The back history is just as important as what lies ahead in the future. You may or may not know that Jack Pyke has teamed up with Lynn Kelling and they have merged together their two worlds into one. Lynn with Deliver Us series, and Jack with Don’t series. They will loan characters from one book to the other bringing them all into one setting, one world, and it really is spectacular and brilliantly implemented. Reading Antidote in one setting, this is my take-away.
Jack?? You have to love him, he is so broken at times almost damaged beyond repair. He has many hang-ups that stem from OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) but being with Gray for eleven years has helped him tremendously and allowed him to maintain order in his life. Having Jan in the relationship with them also gives him what he’s not able to get from Gray, which is romance and affection. Things seem to be going well for the three of them, Jack still under medical care from an incident in the previous book. Of course, things never stay positive for long. One of Jack’s biggest fears are coming true. His time from his youth spent with Cutter is being passed around to people that are very close to Jack. DVD’s showing Jack, with Cutter, in compromising situations. A very negative time in his life that he still has trouble getting past. It appears that Gray is having a hard time getting past it as well. Only, what Jack thinks is the problem, is not really what is bothering Gray. Hurt and confused, Jack goes home and Jan goes with him. A very big problem with this decision, they have people waiting on them to arrive. It’s not long before their world is turned upside down. Dreadful things begin to happen to both Jan and Jack. They don’t understand what is happening. Why isn’t Gray coming to rescue them? Who are these people that are destroying their lives? Head games of the most extreme. Why are they putting them thru this mind altering nightmare? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I never saw it coming.
This is a very dark, suspenseful read. I admit I had trouble at times getting thru it. Not because it wasn’t any good, quite the opposite. The author takes you on a roller coaster of highs and lows. You feel as though you have been tossed around, never knowing what to expect next. The situations that Jack and Jan are forced into really take a toll on you as the reader. There will be moments that you cannot breathe as you are fighting with them to get away from the danger. You are completely sucked into their world, struggling to cope and keep your own emotions in check. Several times I had to take a tissue and dry the tears that were pouring down my face. This story had my full, undivided attention and I was sick with worry as to what was going to happen next. The complexity of this storyline is nothing but brilliance and that has everything to do with this author. I can’t even begin to imagine the research that it must take to write something of this caliber. There were times I felt gutted to my core. When an author can bring me inside the characters heads and hearts, feeling their pain, agonizing over the events as they unfold, that’s storytelling at the highest level. The plot moves forward taking you with it. As the characters pick up the pieces and try to move on, you move on with them, feeling their hope and determination. I didn’t particularly care for Gray in Don’t. He’s hardcore, strict, never budging too much from protocol. He is a Dom in the Masters Circle, after all. However, we get to know him so much better in Antidote. You realize some of things he does really is the best way. You see that he only has the best interest for his sub and those in his immediate circle. He is a highly intelligent, giving person who has been misunderstood. Even though he doesn’t say it much, maybe only once or twice, you can feel his love for Jack and what he means to him. How much he needs Jack as much as Jack needs him. How will they handle the mental and physical trauma they have endured? Will they shut each other out, or will they lean on one another? As the puzzle slowly falls into place, more pieces revealed, I was completely in awe of this author. How this story unfolds is nothing less than amazing. If you like BDSM, suspense, mystery, sex that will leave you tingling, you will love this series. I cannot recommend it enough or do justice to the level in which this author writes. It is mind-boggling, intense, gut wrenching, but it is also clever, cut-throat, creative and complex. It is beyond good, it is incredible. I can hardly wait to see what Jack Pyke brings us with the next book in this amazing series.