Collared - Kari Gregg "Swear that you want me. Me, Conner. And that you'll never let go"

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The above is at the end of the book and had me grabbing for the tissues! Even just writing it now I am tearing up. I finished this a few days ago and with one thing and another I have pushed back writing the review, in a way I am glad as I now have a clearer picture of the story and the characters. This, for me was an emotional read, I fully connected with Conner and his struggle with the daily changes in his nature to be totally submissive. Needing a Master. Not wanting, but needing with his whole being. His confusion and pain his hurt and betrayal, his loss of status as a person and the love and need of the two men in his life.

This is a dystopian novel set in a time where mayhem ensues in the wake of mutated food sources, which have triggered aggression in the majority of the population. Connor however is a statistical anomaly to the disruption caused by the mutation, instead his dominant traits are suppressed leaving him increasingly subservient. Not only is it affecting him, but his body is also giving off a scent which is irresistible to those who are dominant - leaving it impossible for him to function without the protection of a Master. Scott had been his Master, but the aggression had affected him more so than others and a relationship that had once been happy had turned abusive leaving Conner not only battered but now also afraid... with some fight still in him he was able to escape but now he was at the mercy of all who would own him!

Connors boss David, becomes aware of the impossible situation of having him work as the Director of IT without a collar to identify him as having a Master, with staff breaking equipment just to be near Conner, it was causing havoc in the building and putting Connor in danger, so even though David is straight and has a Fiancee he is willing to collar him temporarily until he is able to find him a permanent replacement. The Fiancee is a real bitch by the way and I would happily scratch her eyes out!!

Now enter the enigmatic Emmett Drake. He is cocky and arrogant, so self assured and confident not a man willing to accept no as an answer... and he wants Conner. Emmett has such a profound effect on Conner he was just mush! with incoherent ramblings his heart pounding in his ears and legs like jelly! Good grief, he had my knees trembling, never mind Connors!

Conner is trying to become accustomed to his nature, his only want is a Master to care for him, someone to guide him and after David's kindness in taking him in, wrapping him in his arms and making him feel safe, he wants that man to be him, but despite his longing and yearning for David... his body was screaming for Emmett... Yep. Mine too!

My heart was breaking for Conner, in this world where he is stripped of the right to vote, to work, to sit on a jury. Striped of everything that made him a man before the mutation... now in the eyes of the Law he is a slave, a pet, something bought and sold no longer a person but a toy to be played with. Conner did not like what he had become, so dependent and frightened, but there was no stopping it - as hard as he tried to battle it the more confused and upset he became, his mind was in chaos but he could no longer fight the inevitable.

David doesn't see Conner the submissive, to be manipulated and used, he sees inside his soul to the sunshine within, he sees the good and the funny side to Conner, the person that needs to be loved and nurtured, not hurt and damaged. Emmett Drake sees the submissive in Conner that needs to be controlled, the sub that needs direction and focus, rules and punishment! and bless... poor Conner just wants to be loved, cared for and serve his Master.

Kari Gregg is not an author I have read, but I have already loaded my Kindle with another of her books. Her writing brought the characters to life for me... I got them! but most of all I empathised with Conner. There is an issue with the world building, as such there was none, just snippets of information that we picked up from the TV or newspapers, or conversations the characters had. But we never glimpsed the mess the world had become!?! But in retrospect, for me that was OK, because this was really a book focused entirely on the three characters... however, I was gutted!!! This is a HFN. And... what I really wanted was to see the dynamics of the relationship in action... in other words I wanted more! So yes I was sobbing my poor little heart out at the end with emotion, but also because I wanted to see what happened! Please Ms. Gregg, tell me you have a tale tucked up your sleeve you are ready to indulge us with?!?

I loved this book and even though I would have liked the end to be elaborated on I still enjoyed Conner's Journey. I would not call it a BDSM story it is a D/s novel and I highly recommend it.

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