Striking a Balance (Thalia, #2)
by Jennifer Bene

Since I featured Security Binds Her yesterday, I thought I’d post my review of the second story in the series today. Striking a Balance, whilst not particularly dark, is still a full of emotion and a brilliant follow up to the first book.

A really good follow up to Security Binds Her

The first thing I will say is that Striking a Balance must be read after reading Security Binds Her. This book really won’t make any sense without an indepth knowledge of the events that occur in Book #1.

Whilst the first book is a very dark read, this was much more of a contemporary BDSM romance read, though I do believe the next book edgers into darker territory. Having read and loved SBH, I very much wanted to continue on this journey with Thalia. Although the story didn’t quite proceed in the way I imagined it would, it is still a very captivating and engaging read. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, loving how it was more about getting to know James, the hero, and to understand the dynamic between he and Thalia

This picks up from where SBH ends, with Thalia setting off to begin her new life with James. At one point (and this was a fair chunk into the book) I began to wonder why Thalia wasn’t receiving more help following her captivity, rape and torture. I got that letting the authorities know what had happened would put James in the firing line, but with his resources he should have been able to get her some type of support. It was almost enough to reduce my enjoyment of the book, until it wasn’t. Stick with it because, just as I reached that point, we get a very unexpected twist that leads to truths being revealed and a total change in direction of the book.

Most of the time it felt as though Thalia still remained a captive, captive in a different way but still not truly free. This gave a much needed edge to the book and kept me reading. She is so totally lost that at times it was difficult to ‘get’ her character, but that is the whole point. I felt that the author did an amazing job of portraying how very broken Thalia is.

Written in third person the book also allowed me to get a very good feel for James, both as a character and also as a Dom. There were times I wanted to shake the arrogance from him, thankfully Thalia did a damn good job of doing just that when her confession pulled the rug out from under his feet. He has a selfish streak, that was shown by the fact that he watched footage of Thalia, knowing the girl wasn’t a willing trainee slave. But I liked how it made him fallible and human, so much more believable as a ‘hero’.

Finally, and oh my word, that cliffhanger – the only reason I’m not cursing the author is because book #3 is already available, lol!

Thalia may be free, but can she learn to live after the darkness?

Thalia and James have just met under the most insane of circumstances. He purchased her at an underground auction from a man who kidnapped her, tormented her, and sold her to the highest bidder.

In their first few months together Thalia wants to view James as her savior, her knight in shining armor that she can stay with in safety, but she can’t escape the trauma she went through and the lingering effects it has caused. James isn’t sure, now that he has Thalia, if he can handle the depth of submission she displays.

Can James help her strike a balance between who she is as a person and her newfound craving for submission, or will her urge to submit swallow her whole until James has no choice but to set her free?

5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.