I finished reading Consent by AJ Rose a few days ago. This was not a review I could rush into haphazardly. Days later, I am still feeling the effects of what transpired within those pages. AJ gave us many warnings about the content. She told us it was not going to be easy. I watched silently as she posted on social media the toll it was taking on her. Her worry was like a spotlight on how her readers would perceive this story. Personally – At times, Consentwas very hard to read. I won’t sugar coat the effects it had because I think that would short-change others’ experience. Certain chapters left me suspended in disbelief of what I was reading.
I never questioned or had doubt, ever, the capacity you have to suck us in with the sheer wonderment of your words. Consent was disheartening, yet brilliant. My lungs were burning from holding my breath. I was gutted over and over but refused to put it away. The magnanimous hold I was under to finish left me utterly devastated. You, my friend, are a master storyteller. Every bit of praise and gratitude is so well deserved.
Here is where I normally recap highlights from the story. I’m not going to do that this time. Not only could I not do it justice I also don’t want to risk leaving any spoilers. Trust me on this – you need to experience every nuance for yourself. The blurb efficiently tells the gist of the story. What it doesn’t tell you is every emotion you have will come to the forefront.
Fear for Myah, fear for Cole, and fear for Gavin and Ben will become your friend. It will stay with you through the duration of the story. You learn quickly to pace yourself. Minutes will turn into hours that you aren’t aware of. Time is not prevalent. You want to get to the end fast in hopes that everything will be okay. However, you don’t want to go to fast because then it will be over.
I started with no expectations. I admit up front I was feeling a little nervous. Using caution will not spare you the many graphic and disheartening events. But more rampant than evil is the love, dedication, and commitment these characters have for each other. Ben and Gavin clearly are more in love than ever. Their union is strong and the support they lend each other is unwavering.
We’ve seen bits and pieces of Cole from previous novels but we’ve not encountered his heart, until now. The love he has for Myah is so palpable that your own heart breaks witnessing his despair. Your heart will be squeezed and its rhythm will falter as you grapple for any sign of hope.
And Myah, WOW! You will be hard-pressed to ever find a woman with such strength, courage, and bravery. Many times her anguish was so relevant I had to back track because I became lost in her situation. From the hands and evil minds of her captors, her pain and anguish will strangle your heart. Even in the worst of times, she tries to see the positive.
Over and over, she is put to the test and each time she rises to the challenge. She is in a situation no one ever wants to face. She is forced to make decisions that will probably haunt her for years to come. She does not have a selfish bone in her body. Her needs always came after the needs of the younger and more helpless. Myah has earned the highest of respect, she deserves no less.
Gavin has the weight of the world on his shoulders. The stress he puts on himself to find Myah would bring most men to their knees. Gavin, however, is not like most men. One reason is due to Ben, his partner, his soul, and the Master of his heart. When it gets to be too much, when the situation threatens to pull him under, Ben is always there. Being the dominant in their relationship, the keeper of Gavin’s heart, he knows when and how to settle the nervous energy that overtakes Gavin’s mind. When Gavin submits to Ben, he does so selflessly.
The interaction between the two is beautiful. Time stands still and nothing or no one can break their connection. Taking Gavin out of his head and receiving his full submission is a treasured gift to Ben. The reverence of his tone will leave you with goose bumps.
The edging scene Ben takes Gavin through left me in a hypnotic state. As the reader, you feel blindfolded, taken out of your actual existence and placed within the scene of these two formidable men. This was one of the most intense, captivating scenes I have ever read. Gavin screaming and begging for Ben’s touch, his kiss, a ghost of breath on his face. Enduring each and every trail of fingertips up and down his skin. Their love is genuine and unstoppable.
Each time they come together new life and devotion is restored. Their love and commitment is beyond my wildest imaginations but it is so tangible. Not a greedy or selfish bone, in either, their love extends to their family and friends. The time to succeed has never been more important than it is now. Time is closing in and the knowledge that failure is not an option has never been heavier.
The sinister actions played out by the worst of mankind are tragic. Along with Gavin and Ben, Cole and Myah, there are new characters that will help bring justice to this family. Even though their role was small, their impact was huge. Brady will forever be in my heart. McKnight, hopefully, will find the man that will cherish him and earn his submission. Together, all of these amazing characters will work tirelessly aiming for the same goal. Finding Myah, bringing her home, will change each of their lives into something that will forever bind them together.
I will finish my ramblings with this. Consent, without a doubt, is a masterpiece. The details and descriptions AJ lays out before us are nothing short of spectacular. Unfortunately, not every book has the ability to turn my insides out, shake me up, and then put me back piece by piece. Consent is one of very few that has done this in spades. For no other reason, this is due to the genius and talent known as AJ Rose.
Consent can be read as a stand-alone. There is enough in the context to clear any confusion. My only question would be, why? If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to read Power Exchange and then Safeword. Read these two before you start Consent. To know the history these amazing characters share and the rough road they have travelled is detrimental to fully appreciate the outcome. As a reader, I feel you will be doing a disservice to not only yourself but to Myah, Gavin, Ben and Cole, if you choose not to.
AJ, many thanks to you for having the courage and bravery to tell Myah’s story with conviction and aptitude. I know it was not an easy feat to relay her story. The proficiency you place with every detail is overwhelming. Ben and Gavin are a part of us, thanks to you, and we will always cherish your gift, of them, to us. Consent is so well done I have no doubt it will be a top seller for years to come. Bravo!!!