Mutual Release by Liz Crowe
3 out of 5 Licks
Can two dark souls ever make a light?
As president of her own distribution company, Julie Dawson has all she ever wanted — money, power, and respect. But her carefully crafted façade conceals a torment of abuse and helplessness. After years remaining emotionally aloof, she is finally independent, but alone. Because she refuses to rely on anyone but herself ever again.
Evan Adams is no stranger to success, or personal demons. The horrific trauma that destroyed his twin sister, and tore his family apart, forced him to craft a new life from the ashes of the old. He’s content enough, focusing ahead and not dwelling on his murky past. But something important is missing. He knows what that thing is but refuses to acknowledge it.
When a chance encounter brings these two strong-willed but damaged people together , what seems like a long, erotic journey through hell could lead them to a match made in heaven.
A coming of age novel about trust…on the long road to love
This book is not for the faint of heart, the first two-thirds of this book deals with a lot of dark things. For me, I almost put it down a couple of times to add to my DNF pile. These two characters have a lot of emotional and psychological scars.
The first part of the book is letting us in on Evan’s history, through the end of high school, college and law school. He is from a slightly dysfunctional family, that becomes totally dysfunctional when they take in Damien whose mother has died. Damien introduces Evan D/s lifestyle, but Damien is bad, bad news and unfortunately has the rest of Evan’s family under his spell. Olivia, Evan’s twin, loses her self in Damien and in turn Damien rapes her repeatedly and in her way to get away from him, she starves herself to death. Evan while away at school learns what it means to me a good/responsible Master. After, his father dies, Evan decides he does not want to practice law and uses his inheritance to open a brewery.
The second part of the book is about Julie, who has her own troubled past. Her Mother marries a man who repeatedly rapes her the last month she is in high school. She gets away and tries to stand on her own two feet, only to be used and left by a college professor. Deciding not to be walked on anymore and bottling up her emotions; becomes more of the aggressor, when she goes to work for a beer distributor. She gets owner to marry her and she really is a business wiz and turns the company around. In the meantime, her husband needs more than she be/give and goes to be with his boyfriend. So, Julie is running the business and married to her husband in name only.
The last part of the book is about Evan and Julie as individuals and then coming together to overcome their pasts. It is definitely a rocky road to romance for these two individuals. Even though there is still a lot emotional and psychological scars and misunderstandings for these two to get past; these two flawed humans to work out and find their happily ever after. This is a much lighter part of the book, but there are some things from the past that try to get in their way.