Two damaged women are brought together in an extraordinary way. Over a single weekend of savagery and erotic romance these women’s lives are forged together in an almost unbreakable bond. With their troubled lives exposed, they form a short, unlikely, but intense loving relationship which is destroyed in a moment of bigotry and hate. A fast-moving plot with Anietta Strong at her best, creating diverse characters in a book which those with an open mind will enjoy. With vivid descriptions of brutal atonement and mention of one woman’s childhood abuse, it is upsetting at times and it is certainly not for the faint of heart. It is an inspirational story of recovery from extreme adversity.
Has your weekend gone as you had hoped?’ I asked Jen as an awkward silence followed. It felt like we were both marking time. I always felt nervous when building up to something of great importance and even eating now seemed irrelevant. I knew this from my competitive past, when I had to while away the hours before setting out into the combat arena. It was impossible to do anything beforehand and even sleep wasn’t possible. Now, sitting with a guest who was the main focus of my nervousness, I found I wasn’t particularly hungry either.
‘To be honest I imagined my weekend was going to be rather mundane. I suppose I should have given Mrs Gallagher a call to tell her I’d be back later than I planned. I expected to be sharing my cottage with my dog and going for some long walks on the beach to unwind. Instead, I’m here with you eating probably one of the best steaks I’ve ever tasted. How about you?’ Jen had neatly passed the question back. I had spent many hours trying to imagine how I would deal with Jennifer Wallace, when the moment arose to meet her as a client. I had met hundreds of men in this situation, but none had created the level of intensity Jen had. I had to put this all down to her being a woman; I had tried to tell myself it would be no different, but I was just kidding myself, it was different.
‘I must admit I was so looking forward to meeting you properly. When we first met at the airport, you left a massive impression on me. If you want the truth, I became rather obsessed with you. I kept thinking about you. I have even imagined I might be falling in love with you. Has that shocked you?’ I admitted.
‘Wow! Love……..! That is very strong Petra, so, what is love? I must admit I feel attracted to you, but I can’t explain why? My problem is I don’t have any natural sexual feelings any longer. Any feelings I do have are possibly unnatural ones? I am not even sure why I want you to beat me, but I do, and I cannot explain that either. Who knows, perhaps I’m in love with you too? Maybe this is why it has to be you carrying out the wicked deed. I cannot imagine anyone else doing this……., it just has to be you, Petra. I think I shall work things out in my head when once I have been home a few days, when I’ve had one of those long walks on the beach at the height of a storm. My mind will be clear, and I will call you, tell you what I have concluded. Better still, you could come and spend a weekend with me, and I’ll be able to answer your question.’ Jen had just given me an extraordinary answer to what was on the surface a very simple question.
‘You aren’t making this easy for me are you.’ I replied. With time pressing I realised I had to draw the discussion back to what I had planned. I needed to explain to Jen the agenda of events leading up to ten that evening. ‘Jen, at 8.45, which is about thirty minutes away, we will part company. I will give you a hug and we will shake hands and then we will go and make our own separate preparations. How you prepare for what is to take place is up to you. What you choose to do, or not, is also up to you. That includes leaving the apartment if you wish. It certainly includes calling a halt to your punishment — is that quite clear?’ I put the question squarely to Jen.
‘I understand, but I won’t change my mind.’