The Silver Chain by Primula Bond is marketed to lovers of 50 Shades of Grey. As a girl who needs a 50 shades fix every once and awhile, I requested it from Netgalley…only to be monstrously disappointed.
One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever…
Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion.
To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.
As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?
First, this book is set in London, England, which is no big deal, and written by a British author, which again isn’t a big deal — I do it all the time. However, this book is dripping with British terminology and idioms. Basically, as an American, I had a bloody difficult time trying to figure out what was going on! Despite my handicap, I ventured on.
The premise of this book surrounds this silver chain, which I was initially intrigued by because it alludes to bondage and the like. However, this chain might as well have been a slave chain, and NOT in a good way. Instead of a delightful romp including bondage, it read more like statutory rape. The main character, Serena, is a 20-year-old girl who gets involved with a 40-year-old man named Gustav (Eww). I tried to look past the age difference but it just made anything they did together that much more creepy and disturbing. This book wasn’t romantic it was more like To Catch A Predator minus the online relationship. I had a really tough time getting into this book. In fact, I forced myself to finish it since it was an ARC.
Serena was the only character with any semblance of substance. Despite her disgusting taste in men, her story was interesting and her photography was really cool. I only had a problem with her towards the end when she kept getting upset about Gustav’s ex. First, there was no build-up prior to these outbursts to justify her feelings, and second, it was more like a plot device to create conflict than anything to progress the story. The no kissing thing was stupid, and again, their sex scenes were more like manipulation and rape.
Unfortunately, I hated this book. Gustav’s character was flat and bi-polar and Serena was naive and misled. The sex scenes were disturbing and the story itself was so bizarre, it wasn’t believable. Believability is HUGE for me when I’m reading a story. If you can’t convince me your characters and your world are real, I can’t enjoy the story. Bond tried to throw in this plot twist at the end but I was so completely over it. I don’t care what happens next and I won’t be reading the sequel.
STARS: 1 out of 5
Thank you Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review!