Friday, September 2, 2016

Staged by Kim Fielding

Once the second-prize winner on My Slave’s Got Talent, Sky Blue has spent the past few years singing at a failing New York nightclub. While Sky has never had control over his fate, his life seems to take a turn for the worse when he’s torn from the familiar comfort of performing and sold to a rich and enigmatic man.

Morgan Wallace takes his newly purchased slave to San Francisco, his intentions unclear. On the one hand, he treats Sky with more kindness than Sky has ever known—treats him like a real person. On the other hand, he shares Sky at parties hosted by his sadistic new friends.

A confused slave is an endangered slave, and Sky isn’t even sure of his master’s real name. Is he Morgan Wallace, wealthy and cruel, or Mackenzie Webster, caring and compassionate? Caught between hope, fear, and an undeniably growing attachment, Sky struggles to untangle which parts are real and which are merely a performance. His future, his heart, and even his life may depend on it.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: dubious consent, explicit violence, and non-consent.

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Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series; I didn’t seem to need to, but the whole slavery thing kind of threw me. I am used to slaves in BDSM or people sold as sex slaves, but slave slaves? That was new for me and took a bit of adjustment for me. How anyone reading this story couldn’t guess what Morgan’s intent was from the start is beyond me. Even knowing what it was, I still was interested in the story and really liked it.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes, but not all consensual
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M
Would I read more by this author: Yes

4.5 Dark Stars.

Kim Fielding is a new-to-me author, and I read the third installment of the Belonging series as a standalone.

Truthfully, I'm unsure how to review Staged, fearing spoilers, so I'll just state how I felt while reading the book.

Staged hooked me from page one with its intriguing premise unlike any other. It was a refreshing change of pace to read a book that didn't have the usual wash-repeat premise. While Staged is set in our current time frame, it's an alternate universe where slavery is still flourishing.

Delve into the mind of Sky Blue – the mind of a slave. In a world where they lie to themselves about how slaves have no souls so they can live with themselves, sleep at night, and are able to debase fellow human beings as if they are sub-human, Sky knows his place yet proves he is just as intelligent and capable as the freemen.

The novel revolves around Sky being purchased by a new master, and the reader knows there is more behind the scenes going on, which I did surmise correctly but it didn't take away from the entertainment value.

Staged contains a heavy thread of realistic romance, which is a good balance to the darkness of violence, powerlessness, and abuse that heavily weaves this tale. Like a train wreck, the reader is drawn into the story, intrigued but can't stop reading until the very end.

Recommended to MM Romance fans who aren't afraid of the darkest facets of the human condition, or for those who truly enjoy exploring it.

I haven't read any of the other books in the series so I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it was about a slave, however it took me a moment to process that it was about an actual bought and paid for slave. This was a first for me, so it very much intrigued me.

I enjoyed the story, however I found it quite predictable as I guessed a lot by around 30%.

I liked Sky, he was a good character. He was strong no matter what was thrown at him. Morgan, however, annoyed me with the way he acted all the time.

Aside from being slightly predictable, it was an enjoyable read.

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in fifteenth-century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Staged (Belonging #3) by Kim Fielding to read and review.

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