Title: Missing Link
Series: The Finders
Author: Addison Jane
Hosted By: Francessca’s Romance Reviews
Samantha Ashley knows the true meaning of betrayal.
When her father gets involved with evil, high powered Charlie, in order to bail himself out, he hands her over as payment. Charlie now owns every part of her. A fate over the years she has come to loathe, but accept. A chance at a normal life seems unattainable. She will never feel the touch of a man she loves, never be able to exist outside of Charlie's strict confinements.
Lincoln (Link) Davids is sexy and fearless. One touch from him lights her skin on fire. One night she rescues Link from Charlie's evil clutches. Link vows to save her from her prison but she's determined to push him away, knowing that Charlie would delight in ripping him to shreds.
Charlie is becoming more abusive, demanding her submission and threatening her life. With Link's promise of protection, will she finally find the strength to run, or will Charlie's increasing aggression finally cause her to lose more than just her freedom.
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This story has a lot of potential. I found myself feeling very anxious at times, for Samantha, which is certainly one of the goals, but there are definitely a few grammatical errors, as well as times when I feel that people are not reacting in a natural manner. There are also parts of the story that just leave so many questions, and I'm not sure if that is due to this being the first in a series, or just...holes in the story. Basically, Samantha gets handed over to Charlie, a man about 20 years her senior, after her father gambles her away. Samantha's mom had died several years before, and her father seems to have become an addict and gambler in the years since, and she has been left to raise her younger brother Devin. I really wish we had been able to get to know Samantha and Devin, as siblings, for a few chapters, or maybe to get some sense of who Samantha was, as a young 20 year old girl, but we see her yelling at her dad and then just...accepting her fate? She calmly walks into this new life with Charlie.
Skip ahead three years, and she is just trying to exist within the confined world that Charlie gives her. According to her, things are getting worse, and his anger and physical punishments are getting worse, but it's hard to get a sense for that since we didn't get to see any parts of that. I just kept wondering, why is Charlie getting worse now? I think we are supposed to know the answer based on Luther's involvement, but why now? Maybe this will be addressed in later books within the series, but it felt so...unfinished, in that sense, to me.
Then, one day, Samantha, or Sam, meets Lincoln, or Link. He is snooping around in Charlie's business, and, for some reason, Sam saves him. This was one of those moments that felt a little unrealistic to me, as Charlie seemed to let Link go very easily - definitely more easily than his personality seems like he would. Link keeps finding Sam, though, and letting her know that he is willing to help her out of her situation. She finally takes him up on his offer when she realizes that her life is about to get worse. Link swoops in and saves Sam, but she will soon learn that she will never really be free of Charlie.
This book touches on some pretty tough subjects - physical abuse and assault, "Training" a submissive, unwillingly, and possibly slavery and sexual trading. If these issues bother you, read with caution. Also, as for the other parts that felt a little unrealistic to me, Sam, seems to move on too quickly, and it just does not feel realistic. She moved ahead when her dad gave her away, as previously mentioned, but she also trusted Link really quickly. I get that he's a good guy, but, for a girl who has been held against her will and had to participate in things against her will for three years, three weeks seems like a short time frame to move on. She also seemed to move on very quickly after the events with Teddy, at the end of the book. Teddy...man, that guy broke my heart, but I won't say more. I do want to see what happens with the rest of the guys that make up The Finders. They have set themselves a mission to find the lost and save people that maybe can't save themselves.
"Daddy, you can't do this!" I screamed at my father as he threw my belongings into a suitcase. "Daddy, please!"
He didn't look at me, he just continued hurriedly. I had known my Father was in too deep with some not so nice people, but I had never imagined he would use his own daughter as collateral in a deal that had now gone sour. I was his child, his blood; my little brother Devon and I were all he had. Our mother had passed away 5 years ago and we had stuck by each other solidly. His struggles with money had only started in the past year as his gambling and drug addiction worsened. It had quickly consumed him as the more we struggled, the deeper he dove into his dodgy dealings, bets and card games with high powered people while I stayed at home, making sure my 16 year old brother got to school on time, got fed and kept out of trouble. At 20 I was his surrogate parent.
Unbeknown to me, last night he had gone on a bender and joined a poker game with some of the richest men known in the neighbouring cities. He was running out of things to place on the table and after he lost our small house that we had bought with my mother’s life insurance, I thought he would have walked away. But here I was pleading with all my heart for him to not let them take me after he placed on the table his only daughter.
"He will look after you, which is more than what I can do." He muttered quietly, still unable to look me in the eye. Tears flowed freely down my cheeks, staining my beautiful blue blouse. "I’m going to send Devon to live with Aunt May, so don't worry about him. You need to put your head down, be polite and gracious, Sam. And he won't hurt you."
I sniffed and sobbed as I followed him out of my room and down our short hall. Pictures littered the walls, I stopped at one of my Mother and I, her bright green eyes shimmered back at me and I swallowed hard trying to force back the tears that threatened to breach my eyes. I touched my lips lightly and reached out, placing my fingertips to her cheek. Oh how I missed her. People told me I looked just like her. We were both petite at a small 5 foot 2 inches and weighing no more than around 55kgs. But the thing I loved the most that I inherited from her beauty was my long wavy red hair. It was a dark red but in the light it shone a bright orange. Some people were ashamed of their ginger hair, but I wore mine with pride, my Mother always telling me how beautiful and unique it was. She would have never let this happen, she would have never bargained me for money. I felt anger rise in my stomach, anger at my Father. He was selfish and an addict, maybe in some fucked up reality this was actually my escape from a man who just didn't care enough about his own daughter to fight for her, to keep her safe.
I wiped away the tears that had now trickled lightly down my cheeks and took a couple of deep breaths. I didn't want to show this man who had bought me any weakness. I would be polite and accepting but I would be strong. Strength.
I walked into our lounge with my chin up and confidence in my stride. My Dad was handing my suitcase to a large man dressed in a black suit. He looked like a bodyguard; he was huge. And not in the sexy muscle kind of way, but in the eats too many donuts for breakfast and doesn't run enough kind of way. There were two other men that resembled him standing and one sitting in my Father’s large arm chair. He was handsome, older, maybe in his late thirty’s. He had rings glittering on his fingers and a light gold chain hung around his neck. His hair was short, like a buzz cut and a light brown colour, nothing exciting. But when he looked at me, his dark blue eyes bore intensely into my soul. I was about to be owned and the darkness behind those deep pools was unmistakable.
He rose to his feet and quietly moved towards me. I glanced quickly at my Father. He stood, hanging his head shamefully, still unable to look me in the eye. He'd just gambled away his daughter’s freedom, he should feel shame. A soft gentle hand lifted mine and my eyes shot back to the man in front of me. He smiled, almost softly.
"Hello, Samantha." He lifted my hand to his mouth and brushed it across my knuckles. "My name is Charles. I expect you are ready to leave?"
I swallowed and took a deep breath, polite and gracious my father had said. I was unaware of what this man was capable of so for now, I would play the part until I could figure out how to get myself out of this mess my idiot Father had created.
"Yes, Sir." I said, unable to meet his eyes.
His smile grew a little as I expected he was pleased he would not need to drag me kicking and screaming through the door. He kept my hand in his light grasp as he led me past my Father. I didn't even bother to look up at him as Charles stopped briefly,
"Until we meet again Daniel. Thank you for your business."
We walked slowly down the front steps of my small house, his hand still held gently to mine. Strangely I didn't feel scared. Strength. That's all I needed.
"Sam!!" I turned to see Devon sprinting out the front door and racing towards me, tears uncharacteristically streaking his cheeks. He was always the strong one, I was usually the crier. But for right now, I needed to be his strength. I need to show him I was okay. Charles dropped my hand as Devon dived into the arms I didn't realise I had stretched out to him.
"Don't go Sam, Please!"
I looked up at the man who now owned me, pleading for just a moment with my brother, he smiled softly and nodded, climbing into the back of the large SUV parked at the curb.
I took my little brothers face between my hands and held his gaze.
"Listen Devon. You are gonna go to Aunt Mays, you're gonna finish school, you're gonna do your best and I will always be proud of you." He shook his head profusely. "Strength, Dev. I’ll see you soon.
I pulled his face to my shoulder and wrapped my arms around him. I sometimes wonder if I would have run had I known Charles wouldn't allow me to see Devon. But after he threatened Dev's life if I even thought about trying to escape him, I decided to stay as far from my little brother as possible and just hope like hell he's okay.
Purchase Links Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1qxdn5W
Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/1zbR378
About The Author
Hi! I am Addison Jane!
I come from a small country called New Zealand.
I have always had a strong love for reading and writing and Missing Link, whilst not the first story I have written, is the first I will be releasing.
My favourite genre is romance, specifically MC, rockstar and young adult.
I'm a single parent to a beautiful little girl, we live in a quiet little town and I have a small but amazing group of close friends.
My other passion in life is working with kids! I work with them part time along with going to school to complete my graduate diploma.
I am fortunate enough to have a great support base, whom without them, I would never have stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to share my writing with you all!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Addisonjaneauthor?fref=ts
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8324010.Addison_Jane