The Darkness of Perfection by Michael Schneider

He desired perfection. She already was perfect. Can two people build a love forged in the fires of hell?

Nicholas comes from a world of darkness where women are no better than slaves. He believes the secret to true happiness is for his wife to be molded to perfection.

Jayden escaped from a life of terror and found security in her new home. Given a loving home and raised with all the normal expectations of college, career, love and happiness her memories of her earlier life fade into darkness…Jayden is taken from her perfect life and thrust back into a past she’d long forgotten. Broken of spirit, she is given to Nicholas to be his bride. Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This story was oddly compelling, in that it was all too easy to believe that Nicholas could view his life as normal and see nothing wrong with kidnapping Jayden and forcing her to marry him. After all, his family are human traffickers! Given to him as a child, he firmly believes that Jayden belongs to him and has no choice in the matter. He has built her up in his mind as the perfect mate, and is determined that they will have the perfect life together.

Rescued from a horrible future by her mother, they find sanctuary in a small town and build a new life. I found it a little difficult to believe that once they found safety, Jayden’s mother didn’t raise her to be able to protect herself. It’s understandable that they would want a normal life, but shouldn’t you provide the tools to protect your child just in case she was ever found? Have her learn self-defense, take karate classes, or something! At least have a talk with her before she leaves for college, don’t just send her off on her own! Seemed irresponsible and unrealistic. If Jayden’s mother was so fiercely protective and risked so much to rescue Jayden from a life of slavery, then she should have done a better job of preparing her for going off to college on her own.

It also bothered me how Nicholas found Jayden after all these years. Didn’t ring true, as I couldn’t see him taking the same sort of cruise that Jayden’s parent would be able to afford. If his family was so rich and powerful, he would probably have chartered a private yacht if he wanted to go cruising. Seemed forced.

Don’t mean to suggest that I didn’t enjoy the story, as I really did! The narration switched back and forth between Jayden and Nicholas, so we could see things from both of their perspectives. I think that Nicholas really loved her (or at least the idea of her) and honestly didn’t understand that what he was doing was wrong in any way. Jayden cried way too much in my opinion, but she was only 18 and had led a sheltered life.

Was torn between giving this book a 3/5 or 4/5, as some of the inconsistencies bothered me. Ultimately decided it was worth a 4/5 as I really enjoyed he story while reading and it was only afterwards that some of the plot points started to bother me. The author does a fantastic job of giving us a glimpse into the life of a human trafficker, as well as the confusion Jayden experienced while coming to grips with her situation. Will be looking for more from Michael the future, as he’s very talented!

eBook received from The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House in exchange for an honest review
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