Pursued (Brides of the Kindred, #6) - Evangeline Anderson

Elise suffered a trauma that we, the reader, are led to believe was sexual in nature. She has pushed the memory into the farthest recesses of her mind to cope. Merrick is a half-breed, part beast kindred and part tranq kindred. He is huge, fierce, and has a wicked facial scar that adds to his intimidation factor. Both of them have a hard time belonging, they go through the motions of life but are not living it. Our H/H are not getting a long at the start of the book despite their obvious connection. They have to put this aside when Elise becomes ill from her extended stay in stasis. Sort of like freezer burn for the soul. They share a bond but it is not stable, which makes it dangerous. To sever the bond they must retrieve a sacred plant from Rageron, the beast kindred planet. The mission is dangerous. Though Elise would prefer distance from Merrick, she must have him intimately near to survive the stasis sickness. On their journey they explore the depth of their feelings for one another and try to heal the hurts of the past.

I have to applaud Evangeline on her portrayal of a sexual assault survivor. The flashbacks Elise suffered were uncomfortable and intense. This is amazing considering she never gets very graphic with the imagery of the attacks. Merrick's patience with Elise over her past, his willingness to forgo his needs to meet hers proves the depths of his love for her. I was confused for a split second over how Elise could forget she had a fiancee, but stasis sickness and her defense mechanisms she uses for unpleasant memories makes it plausible.