I’m a pawn, a piece of chattel, a toy–used and forgotten.
When you’re done with me, you can walk away with no regrets. That’s how my husband sees me. I try to be the best wife possible for him. After all, he took me on when no one else would. Now–he’s in debt and owes more money to the loan shark than we can possibly repay.
But, don’t worry, he’s come up with a solution, it’s just not one I was expecting.
…I’ve been TRADED.
“You sent her home with him, right?” My eyes dropped to my shoes and he growled. “Tell me you didn’t, Ashton. Tell me you didn’t take the girl in lieu of payment.” I lifted my chin and he got his answer. “Jesus, fuck.”
“I made him a deal,” I said. “I get Elena for three months, and he pays back half of what he owes.”
“Half? Are you crazy? Does she have a golden pussy or something? She must have. There must be a good reason for this . . . insanity.”
By this point my dad had rounded the table, grabbing handfuls of my shirt, pulling me flush against him, his face was millimeters from mine as he shouted his displeasure. My fists clenched at my sides. At six-one I was a big bastard but Dad was bigger. He could take me without breaking sweat. Even so, my voice was tight when I looked him straight in the eye and replied, “He abuses her, Dad,” the volume dropping slightly when I continued, “I don’t know to what extent but she won’t even look me in the fucking eyes when I talk to her. Can’t make a decision on her own. Swear to Christ, she jumped six fuckin’ feet in the air when I touched her hand. I have no intention of fucking her, but I couldn’t let her leave with him. If I shot him down and let Brock rough him up a little, imagine what that would have meant for her. You know.”
Understanding washed through his features and he lowered me to the ground, releasing my shirt from his grip, smoothing out the crumpled material. “She’s staying with you?”
“Yes.” I made the split-second decision to share my plan with him. “I’ve only got three months to repair what he broke. It’ll be tough but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it a try.
Traded is a little bit dark, a little bit twisted and a lot suspenseful. Elena was verbally and emotionally abused by her husband for years before he devised a plan to trade her for 3 months to clear a debt he owed to a loan shark. Ashton is a restaurateur that reluctantly took over part of the family business bringing him in contact with desperate/despicable people like Dominic (Elena’s husband). Both Ashton and Elena are very well developed characters and the story line flows very well. Rebecca Brooke was able to show that not all domestic violence is physical and that sometimes the help you need to see your situation clearly and get help comes from unexpected places.
Once I picked up this book I could not put it down until the end, even then I didn’t want it to end. It was very easy to get lost in Ashton and Elena’s world.
Rebecca lives near the shore towns of New Jersey, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing she loves reading and watching SOA and TrueBlood.