Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Release Book Review: Ledger by Kemmie Michaels

Author: Kemmie Michaels
Release Date: May 20th, 2014

Reviewed by: Sandra Long

This was my first time to read Kemmie Michaels' work and I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality that I am puzzled how an avid reader like myself  has not seen and read her work before.  She has a very special talent for story telling. This author puts words together in a way that kept me reading way past my bedtime and completely forgetting to break for dinner, in fact, I did not stop until I finished this book.  There was so much suspense and romance that every page kept my interest and I wanted to see what was on the next page.
Ledger is a very intriguing character. He is a bartender but obviously more sophisticated and intelligent than what we would expect in a bartender or other working class man. There is a mysterious air about him. We keep thinking he is really a doctor or lawyer or some other professional career person in hiding from a past he wants to forget.
Ledger is immediately smitten by a beautiful young lady named Camille "Cam" Foster, who is brought into the bar one night by a regular. The first time they meet Ledger senses a sadness in Cam that he wants to abolish. He seems to have found a kindred spirit and he calls her Dove for most of the book but will not tell her why or why he has a tattoo that says FREEDOM.   They almost immediately begin a relationship that is totally on fire sexually but both keep holding back on exposing their past emotional issues that still influence their lives and who they are today.
We learn before Ledger does that Cam has spent the last 2 years living with a wealthy older man who took a beautiful young woman out of school, shaped her into what he wanted her to be by spending money on clothing, make-up, training in how to act in social situations with the rich and famous. Her boyfriend, Garrett Masters, is a doctor but more than that, he is in the social circle of the towns leading citizens and many of them are in his hip pocket because he knows their secrets and uses them whenever he wants, as blackmail, to get his way. Cam has no hope of getting a restraining order or any help from the police. He even has influence in the work place and Cam's only job skill is knowing how to dress, look and act in social situations.   This helped her get a job in an up-scale clothing store advising and assisting wealthy customers in wardrobe shopping. But even there, Garrett found her and caused problems. He begins stalking her, threatening her, causing problems for Ledger by using his connections with city agencies like having the health inspectors shut down and fine his places of business, having the city take his parking lot through imminent domain as being necessary for street repair crews that are suddenly assigned to make unnecessary repairs to his street. How far will this man go to destroy Cam's friends and relationships and get her back in his control ?
Cam has a  best friend, Shelby, who rescued her from Garrett's clutches and has been supporting her until she could get a job, and Ledger has a best friend, Mason, another bartender who becomes a love interest for Shelby, but it will take all of them and more to protect her from Garrett.
As the story develops, Cam and Ledger's steamy hot relationship starts turning into emotional love. Ledger wants more and more to protect her but it eventually becomes seemingly impossible when Cam disappears. Garrett's obsession with Cam drives him over the edge. We learn she is not his first virtual prisoner but she seems to be the one he will not let go. His mental illness comes to the surface but still  no one seems to want to help find or protect Cam .
This story is about fictional people but this story has been real in many lives. Young women, especially beautiful ones who have grown up poor or middle class, catch the eye of a wealthy older man who thinks his money can buy him whatever he wants. These young women are flattered by the attention and they love the expensive gifts and being introduced to a lifestyle of designer clothes, lavish homes, gala parties, socializing with wealthy people.  They enter these relationships with their eyes wide open and then they realize that to maintain this lifestyle they have to give up who they are and leave their families, friends, education, occupation, anything to do with their past lives. Sometimes these men allow them to walk away and just move on to the next young  beauty.  But some men, like Garrett, become so obsessed with the "ownership" of the woman, that giving them up is seen as rebellion and a humiliation of them and they will not let go. At first the control is financial as these women usually have no means of supporting themselves so they are tied to the man financially. If that no longer works, the verbal and emotional abuse  surface and can be quickly followed by physical abuse.
In this novel Cam had a small but very strong support system. In real like this may or may not be true and these young women may escape the relationship in one piece or in a body bag.  When Cam disappears we wonder which she will be. This author weaves a story that is full of suspense and enough sweet romance to please the most romantic reader as well as enough hot steamy sex to satisfy all you lovers of erotica that gets your blood pumping and your heart pounding.  I definitely give Ledger 2 thumbs up and a 5 star rating. I will definitely be recommending this book and author Kemmie Michaels to my reader friends.

Ledger sees the defeat in her eyes the moment she sits at the bar, devastated and beautiful. The emptiness in her gaze he understands to his core, and he's instantly compelled to help this brown-haired beauty fight the source of her pain. Determined and intense, he needs to use his strength to help her find her own. Cam Foster, in that instant, becomes the dove he wants to free from her cage. From the first night, he needs her.

Cruelly, the past refuses to let her go. The lingering manipulation holds her in that cage as the control she lived under continues to crush the woman she wants to become. Even though Ledger offers her heated passion and a safe haven, she can't find her way out.

Desire and danger fight to pull her life in two directions…but those forces may crumble as Ledger fights harder than any barrier he and his dove face.