Bruce Von Stiers
While I was cruising through a web listing for a publishing association, I came across a link for Tigress Entertainment. That caught my eye, so I clicked the link and was transported to the Tigress Entertainment web site. What I found there was a novel being promoted. This novel was written by the founder of Tigress Entertainment, Valerie Clark. This is a novel of obsession and sexual deviance. The title of the novel is Tormented Without A Trace. I decided that this novel might well be worth checking out. I wasn’t disappointed.
The book opens up with us meeting Natalie. She is a teenager, having some ice cream at a local store. After she leaves the store, Natalie is brutally raped and left for dead.
Flash forward to the present time. Natalie is a rising star in a Wall Street firm. She is on top of her game, or so she thinks. Her boss, Peter, wants Natalie to go to France to help broker a deal with one of the firm’s clients. Natalie doesn’t want to go as she will be getting married in a few weeks and still needed to do things for the wedding.
What we find out about Natalie is that this is a marriage of convenience. Her fiancé, David, is a member of her father’s law firm. Daddy helped pick David out for his little girl. Only now Natalie isn’t so sure that this is the right thing to do. Especially as David is so self absorbed and on power trips. Even during sex he is in control and spends himself on the outside of Natalie’s body as an example of his power over her. With this kind of graphic reference we get to see what the tone of this book is going to be.
Natalie meets a man named Jeremy Dalton at the airport. They end up sitting together on the plane. It is a very welcome surprise when Natalie finds Jeremy at the home of her client. The two of them end up getting together and have some wild sex.
When Natalie gets back to New York, the wheels come off. It seems that her perfect deal is in the toilet and Jeremy seems to be behind it. He is becoming obsessive over Natalie. He even offers up vague threats to her. Natalie is both scared and turned on by these threats. Our girl Natalie is one sick puppy and needs therapy, quick. The story seesaws back and forth between Natalie wanting to be with Jeremy, the deal she needs to broker for her firm and the impending marriage to David.
Natalie and David end up getting married. And then David is murdered. All things point to Jeremy as the killer. The police arrest him and he is put on trial.
As I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel really uneasy. How could a woman let herself be so drawn into a destructive relationship that includes terror and murder? Was Natalie so messed up from her teenaged rape and her family’s indifference that she was all too eager to jump off the deep end?
Tormented Without A Trace reminded me of a mixture of the storylines of films like Fatal Attraction and Endless Love. This novel shows just how far obsessive love and passion can go. This is not a mystery novel, nor is it a romance. It is a study in the way that obsession can destroy people.
Check out the Tigress Entertainment web site for additional information about this novel. The web site can be found at www.tigressentertainment.com