Review: Buttons & Lace (Buttons #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Lace
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 11/11/16
Length:  368 pages
Series:  Buttons #1

Overview

I owe him a debt.

A big one.

The payment can’t be settled with money or favors.

He only wants one thing.

Me.

Every action gets a reward. A button. Once I fill his jar with three hundred and sixty-five buttons, he’ll let me go. 

He’ll let me walk away.

But I have to earn every single one.

By submitting to the darkest, cruelest, and most beautiful man I’ve ever known.

My Thoughts

I love this world that Penelope Sky has created for us in all the series. They are intertwined in the sense that we are constantly learning about the same characters and how they live in the same world, but the stories are so unique that you wonder how they can be this dynamic.

This story brings some of our darkest fears to life as we learn about how horrible things can be when you’re taken against your will. Pearl’s life changed in the blink of an eye and she’ll never be able to go back to what she once knew.

Our leading lady Pearl is a woman who was forced to fight for herself from day one – because she was a foster child and once adopted even, was sent back because the family couldn’t afford to keep her alive. All of this made Pearl the type of woman who would fight her way to the top because she truly believed she could get there, and made her realize that she deserved to be loved and cared for, perhaps more than she was currently. Her boyfriend Jacob was getting moodier by the day, clearly living a life that she wasn’t aware of, and when a dark and mysterious and scary man comes knocking on their door one day looking for Jacob and the money that was owed, we knew that the storm was brewing and was coming fast.

One day life seemed to take a turn for the better, Jacob comes home, telling Pearl that he got a new job, and that life was good and that they should celebrate with a trip to the Bahamas. Pearl was all in until Jacob’s behavior started getting weird again, and then when it couldn’t get odder, a bag is thrown over her head and she’s kidnapped. Life. Was. Over

Fast forward to the life of trafficking and slavery that Pearl has now been initiated into. She knows that she’s going to be terrorized and needs to find a plan. She’s put up for auction and bought for 3x the rate of anyone else because she’s got a lot of fight in her still. The problem though is that she’s been bought by Bones. A man that we’ve heard about many many times before in Penelope’s world, and a man who is disgusting, dangerous and has no morals. He’s the man who ruthlessly kidnapped the sister of the Barsetti brothers and tortured her to the brink of death, just to return her to them so damaged that when she’s freed, he kills her anyway. In front of their eyes.

Now a revenge plan is hatched, the Barsetti brothers want to take away something so important to Bones that he can’t live, torture and kill that person, and sadly, that person is Pearl.

One evil for another. one monster for another. That’s what Pearl has to suffer through in her new life. Being raped, abused, tortured, ordered around. With no hope of freedom or escape. It’s not until she becomes the slave to Crow (a man that i’ve met in another series) that we see that there may be hope on the horizon.

Pearl’s fight that she honed and focused from an early age is the only reason that she’s able to survive, and her ability to fight for compromise is what makes Crow respect and care for her. Want to protect her at all lengths. We see the dynamic between them change into something that’s still vague and a bit fluid, but something that’s not built off a foundation of fear anymore. Crow wants something from Pearl in exchange for her freedom, but the question becomes will she ever be free since the game was always to take her and kill her.

Throughout all this though, we have the trademarks of Penelope Sky. Intense dominating chemistry that’s based on raw emotion and passion sure, but also based on a power struggle since neither realizes who truly holds the power. The scenes that we experience are hot, fast and hard, and they keep the reader so engaged that you find yourself turning pages faster and faster. This adds to the complexity of the story and the depth of the character dynamic as well.

where we find ourselves at the end is a point of question, distrust and loss of faith. Pearl’s world is flipped once again and she finds herself on her own once more – not trusting her judgement at all anymore. We’re left wondering what lies ahead for her future, and does she even have one. Will Bones come looking for her as we know he’s already offered ridiculous amounts of money to get her back. Will Crow be able to protect her from Cane (his brother) and the rest of the world and what will he have to give up to do that. I can’t wait to jump right into Buttons & Hate. Enjoy!