REVIEW //\\ Black Light: Brave

Black Light: Brave
(Black Light #16)
by Maren Smith

Oh my word this book is a whirling maelstrom of all the feels.

I think Maren Smith has left me a little bit broken after reading, Brave. I cries so many times, so many tears, as my heart broke repeatedly for the heroine’s suffering. She may also have created the most perfect and amazing Dom in Carlson. She isn’t a little, and he isn’t a Daddy but he was as gentle, caring and nurturing as any girl could want and as the heroine definitely needed.

I don’t want to keep referring to her as Puppy, even though this is how she refers to, and thinks of, herself for a LOT of the story. However I don’t want to ruin any special moments of the book, so do forgive me for referring to the heroine as ‘her’. Puppy feels like I’m giving power to Ethen, and even though he is, in fact all of them are, fictional characters in a book, I just can’t bring myself to do it. 🤷‍♂️

Every moment of suffering, every kernel of hope, every second of joy, every tear, every smile, every touch, hug and kiss was suffused with emotion, the depths of which had me reeling. We’ve lived through Piggy and Kitty’s tales and THEY were both powerful reads but this, this one touched the very depths of my soul and to my mind is one of Maren Smith’s best works ever.

There’s actually very little BDSM play in this, and I stress the word play because it’s very much a story of domination and submission. Carlson identifies as a Dom, but acknowledges that he is more of a Head of Household, responsible for his submissive, ensuring her health and wellbeing at all times. So the BDSM aspect was more mental, more emotional, more about forging a connection and forming a bond between the Dominant and his submissive. And boy oh boy was that beautifully done.

Brave is a story of overcoming fear, learning to trust again, believing in oneself and taking control by giving up control. I highly recommend this to all those who’ve enjoyed any Black Light book, enjoy books in the BDSM genre or enjoy a well written story that is full of feels. It can be read stand alone and whilst it does mention spoilers for both previous stories (Black Light Fearless and the short story Shameless in the Roulette Redux anthology) there is enough information provided here to follow the story easily. Roll on Pony and Marcus’ story.

It started with Piggy. It escalated with Kitty. It ends with Puppy.

For almost a year, Ethen O’Dowell has been locked behind bars and yet Puppy is far from free. A legal ward of her parents, she shares her bedroom with Pony, the only part of her old, submissive life that she has left… apart from the guilt, the fear, and the weekly punishments Ethen dishes out every time they visit him. Escape is all Puppy dreams about. Escape and somehow finding the courage to once more become the person she used to be–someone who lived life on her own terms and never let herself be afraid. Sadly, those days are long over, and as the old saying goes, there’s just no getting them back again. Or is there?

It’s a dead night at Black Light when ex-military man Carlson Garvey decides all he wants is a quiet drink and some downtime to practice his Shibari. What he isn’t expecting is the petite brunette who plops down at his table, squeaks out a terrified hello, and promptly flees again. There’s a story here and although he doesn’t know it, Carlson doesn’t need to. He recognizes a broken soul when he sees one.

Sometimes the only thing a broken person needs is the right Dom willing to intervene.

Goodreads –

Amazon US –

Amazon UK –

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