I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Stray by Erin Lark
Published by Totally Bound on 2013-04-22
Genres: Erotica, Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo
Being human isn't easy, but being a wolf is even worse. For Alyssa, life as a stray has never been easy. And finding a shifter-friendly Dom is close to impossible, especially after the hell she went through with the last one. Beaten and scarred, she's determined to take her life back, one skin at a time. Even if it means falling for Dylan-one of the best alphas in the region-who'd much rather prepare her for another Dom than keep her for himself. The last time Dylan gave his heart to another, the bitch promptly threw it on the ground and stomped on it. Subs be damned if he's going to let it happen again. But when Alyssa-a redhead who's just as fiery in person as she is in bed-steps into his life, he'll do whatever he can to keep her safe. Even if that means falling in love with her. Can Alyssa learn to trust another Dom and accept her skin as a wolf? Or will Dylan lose her to the scars from her past?
Alyssa is a shapeshifter who knows that her happiness will be found in the bsdm world, but after a horrible experience with her last master, Alyssa has been trying to survive as a stray. The challenges being a stray and a shapeshifter sub without a master have Alyssa turning to the one alpha dom who she believes can help her take back her life and maybe find what she is looking for in a lasting relationship.
Dylan doesn’t accept subs on a permanent basis anymore, but he is willing to help train a sub or to help a broken sub back into the world. The last time that Dylan had a permanent sub in his life, she all but destroyed it and only the help of his sub slave, Marnie, allowed Dylan to find his footing again. Dylan has agreed to meet with Alyssa. That meeting will determine if they can come to an agreement on the dom/sub relationship.
Alyssa and Dylan come to terms and, at first, it’s a touch and go situation, but after Alyssa has a very bad reaction, Dylan takes her home and their relationship begins a slow change into a much more intimate one. Both Dylan and Alyssa have baggage from past relationships that they will have to be overcome before their passion can be allowed to reach the next level. There is also the fact that anyone Dylan allows into his life will have to also know that their relationship will include Marnie, who Dylan has also accepted into his life. When Alyssa moves into the house it begins the meshing of three very complex lives into one household – all with needs of their own that will have to be met to allow the relationship to go forward. An attempt to help Alyssa to overcome a particularly bad part of her past with her previous master, has all three of them confronting the very man who tried to destroy Alyssa and what he is still doing. Stopping her old master is just the ticket to healing and Alyssa knows that she can do it with the loving help of Dylan, but can they do it in time to save the sub who is now in danger?
A dom who won’t keep a sub meets a sub who now fears parts of the bsdm lifestyle and together they learn that love can overcome any obstacle to love in Stray. Alyssa has come to terms with what happened to her and now is fighting to regain the life she has always wanted. Dylan accepted Alyssa to train but never expected the passion that came with her or how fast she would merge into his house and life. I was amazed at how much strength that Alyssa showed while facing the very things that she feared with Dylan’s help. Dylan showed me that this dom has a huge heart in his actions not only towards Alyssa, but also Marnie, and later with the new stray that comes into their lives. By the time I turned the last page, I knew that everyone in Dylan’s household would have a loving future filled with the passions that will hold them together, but that they would also bring others in and allow them to heal and find the same type of future when the time comes. Stray has strength and love mixed up with equal parts of determination and passion that when all combined produced a page turner.