by Skye Warren
Publication Date: April 14, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Dark, Erotic, Romance
Can love come from pain?
Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her – including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.
Wanderlust is a dark erotic novel that explores dubious consent, captivity, and power play. Not intended for those uncomfortable with the subject matter or under 18 years of age.
“There are some men you just don’t say no to. That was what the waitress had said to me, and I understood it now. I wouldn’t say no, and he wouldn’t force me. I would go along with it, and everything would be consensual. Just like a date. Casual sex.”
Did that make your insides squishy with anxiety? Are you battling yourself on what you should be feeling? Disgust?Remorse? Scared? Perhaps even turned on? Well this little quote in my opinion is the perfect indictor of the type of book it is. It is a twisted dark tale of two people… NOT falling in love… and yet… it is.
My first introduction to Skye Warren’s writing was a brutal one. I like dark… I enjoy it but somehow having it being read to you is a jarring experience. It is one thing reading a book and drawing your own picture of how things are handled as the story develops but it’s quite a different thing when you are there just to go along for the ride. Perhaps I am overthinking but in a way it is it’s own power play for a listener, at least that is how I felt after finishing. I had no control, the author and in turn narrator controlled me auditory senses for 5 hrs and 44 mins of my life.
Lucy James does a fantastic job vocalizing and bringing Evie to life. Evie has lived with her mother for 23 years of her life in constant state of paranoid terror of something bad happening. Her mother has a true sickness as she is obsessed with all the negativity of the world that media loves to focus on. All the scary things that are waiting to get you as soon as you step over the threshold of your house. Meanwhile, while she is so focused on sheltering Evie she invites that which she tries to protect her from straight into their home.
Evie’s life is a constant threat from unknown dangers of stepping outside her sheltered life but like a true survivor she takes the plunge and escapes the nest to discover herself. Unfortunately once outside that is exactly what Evie finds first thing.
“She said I attracted them, the very worst kind of men. And maybe she was right to a point. There was something there, something large and scary lurking under the water. Every once in a while it would surface with a flip of my stomach, like when a man would speak to me with a certain authority, give me an order—or a certain look…”
That is what she finds at a lonely hotel… a man… a dangerous man… a man that can’t be denied… and a man that will not be denied as he doesn’t need a consent. Hunter is a trucker with a dark past and a reputation. A reputation that earns him fear (rightfully so too) and certain degree of power in world where truckers exist in context of long drives and horrible pit stops for greasy food and even quicker stops to fulfill basic human needs (you know sleep and sex) before heading back on the road to repeat the process.
Here we cross into a dark territory where lines are blurred and it’s up to you as a reader/listener to decide whether you can take it. I will be honest at times it was hard for me to do so as conquering of Evie by Hunter is beyond socially acceptable. Sadly there is something in Evie that accepts it as inevitability to her life. Often times I found her own internal monologue sounding reasonable and mature, but what actually would came out of her mouth was a perfect definition of a sheltered and naive ‘little’ girl.
Lucy, the narrator, does a fantastic job of portraying these two women inside of Evie. The fighter and naive girl ever present seeking out escape.
“…You’re mine. I caught you, and I’m not giving you back.”
Hunter is a complex character to nail down as well. Just like Evie he is full of juxtaposition and a perfect anti-hero for our story. Through Evie’s eyes I loved to hate him and hated to love him.
Dark tales are twisted like that and they make you think. They push you out of your comfort and test your limits and this tory was no different. To me this book was full of foreshadowing and dare I say self full filling – not even prophecies but fates. The quotes in the beginning of each chapters are not just random facts (even though they are that) but they also have some significance to the story and in a way foreshadow the events to come in the most ominous way.
This was my first audiobook listen of a dark story and I highly recommend it. This story is tragic but in it’s own way it also gives hope that as messed up as things can get there is still possibility to get to where you wanted even if you had to switch lanes and do some zig-zags to get there. This story is that… the harsh route to the intended destination in the most extreme light. With that being said I don’t romanticize nor do I want such journey but that is life… hard to control where it will take you.
I was a caterpillar, my many limbs held tight to my body, wrapped up in a cocoon. He paved the way, eased me from a small and ugly life to a beautiful one. The transition had been painful at times, but never more than it would be to leave him. But that was the path of a butterfly-to fly away from the one who had made her.
About Skye Warren
Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.