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Michael Dunellen on Books

Book Reviews and Other Things

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Joey W. Hill
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Mila Kerr
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Jamie McGuire
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In Flight (Up In The Air, #1)
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Madeline Sheehan
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Sylvia Day

Judgment (Judgment, #1)

Judgment (Judgment, #1) - Denise  Hall Note: I didn't change the review but I added the part in the end inside the spoiler warning.Okay, this one requires a bit (or maybe a whole lot) of suspension of disbelief. Basically there is a kidnapping ring operating out of a mountain fortress that makes a habit of bringing attractive young women in against their will in order to train them as slaves. Despite that fact that none of the men running this place seem to be natives of the country in question and the fact that this country is a major trading partner, a NATO ally, and an important tourist destination (I have actually visited the country in question myself) they bestow rather-impossibly-high diplomatic status on said individuals who then apparently like to flaunt it. Basically, that cost the book a couple of stars for me right there.So on to the action...I never had a huge problem with any of the punishments handed out for the most part. They weren't done in anger (with one or two glaring exceptions), adequate care seemed to be provided afterward, and they really did seem aimed at curbing misbehavior under the rules laid out rather than just being mean. I always tend to root for our heroine and even though I knew Callie (I refuse to call her Mischief) was going to lose and she did so honorably, I felt like she more than tried - even with patriotic fervor. There comes a point when fighting isn't the smart thing to do anymore.The display scene at the beginning was just weird. We never found out what happened to the girls who were not picked. It just didn't make a whole lot of sense.I had no problem with the hairbrush spanking followed by the hand spanking. It was next day that got simply ridiculous. She wouldn't have been able to walk before the end.The Eating Hall kept making me think of Hogwarts. Instead of dividing the girls up by hobby, they might consider picking up a sorting hat.The blindfolding for two months - The first night was okay. That kind of made sense. Two months? This guy needed serious help.The street fair - I accepted it at first but it doesn't really make sense how they got separated. I am thinking it was some sort of test but I can't quite see why. Otherwise, he was something more of an idiot than I would give him credit for. The funny thing is I would give him extra credit for being willing to violate his own rules to look after Callie in the early part of the book.Finally, I just have to say something about the way the Personals were kept in the gilded cage. These are guys. Guys are lazy. They want women to wait on them, not the other way around. Feeding your woman by hand isn't that odd at times in BDSM relationships, but always? And not letting her go to bed unless you pull back the covers and tuck her in. You can tell this was not written by a man.So if you can get past the non-consent part and maybe you don't know who Joran ver der Sloot is, you may enjoy this.----I was so bothered by the ending that I finally wrote my own. Only read it though if you have read the book. It is very much set in the present so you will hopefully get most of the cultural references.Chapter 12“Master...” I whispered. He had come. My heart hammered in my chest as I reached my hand up to touch his cheek. He had come for me. He turned toward the door.There was knock on the door and then it opened. A woman entered.“Excuse me, Gentlemen, but Ms. McGuire’s attorney has arrived.”The Captain reacted in surprise. “Attorney? She doesn’t have an attorney.”“I’m sorry, Captain, but she does, and it’s Gloria Allred.”“What?”“And she’s demanding to see her client immediately and alone.”“Gloria Allred? How does she even know she’s here?”“I think her parents contacted Gloria around the time they went on television.”“TV?”“They were on with both Greta and Nancy Grace in the last hour.”“Why? We were just about to release her into the Ambassador’s custody. Her family was never contacted.”“Captain, everyone in this building heard about it as soon as the missing person’s request came back. You may not be aware of this but Ms. McGuire has been trending on Twitter for hours. The Blogosphere is going crazy. Her Facebook Page has a million likes. A mob just showed up outside - it is kind of like the night of Whitney Houston’s death.”My master broke in. “Facebook Page? Mischief doesn’t have a Facebook page.”“Her parents set up one for her several years ago. It has gotten much more popular in the last few hours. Oh, and the Commissioner has already scheduled a Press Conference.”“Press Conference?”“It isn’t everyday that a 10-year-old missing persons case gets solved halfway around the world. People are saying that this is the biggest case since Natalee Holloway and Elizabeth Smart. The TV trucks all pulled up outside in the last few minutes.”She turned to my Master.“Oh, and your people are trying to contact you about the Wikileaks documents.”“Wikileaks?”“Yes. It was a major document dump. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but apparently everyone is learning quite a bit about how you and your associates do business.”My Master seemed to become enraged. “Mischief is coming with me and we are leaving this instant.”At this moment, two more men entered the room.“Ambassador Tane?”“I am. And you are?”“Detective Marty Deaks, LAPD. And this is Special Agent Callen, NCIS.”“And why does that concern me?”Callen answered. “We have some questions we would like to ask you about some missing persons.”“How dare you! I am sure you are aware that I have diplomatic immunity.”“Well, about that, 'Ambassador,' our Director just got off the phone with the State Department and while there did seem to be some record of that, he spoke directly with Secretary Clinton and she has never heard of you. She asked that we ask you about that as well.”My master lunged for the man and I realized later I must have fainted.Chapter 13After that, everything is still something of a blur.I really don’t remember much about the Press Conference. I sat there silently while Gloria fielded all the questions. From what I understand now, that wasn’t that unusual.After that, two US Marshals arrived and I was whisked away under guard to a safehouse.I found out later what was released on Wikileaks.The first was a detailed schematic of Judgement, showing every level, every guard post and every security camera. Some of the security camera footage was also posted to YouTube - which would normally have violated the Terms of Service - but Google decided to leave them up.The second was a list of all the Masters, Sub-Masters, and Guards in the facility - their full names, country of origin, and known aliases. The third was a list of the location and current Master of every Elite outside of Judgement. There were a lot of important people around the world on the list, including State Department officials and even a Supreme Court Justice.We never found out who posted them but they used the username Oracle.By morning, governments around the world had reacted. Masters were arrested all around the globe. The Italian police and military created a roadblock on the road to Judgement. No one could go in or out but there was a media circus just beyond the barricades.The police also intercepted a convoy of vans that was approaching. Inside, as you might expect, were several dozen women locked in cages.Soon, the President was on television demanding that Judgement be surrendered. The Marshalls guarding me were talking about something called Seal Team 6.WIthin hours, the most recent Newcomers were sent out the gate, fully clothed, and carrying a white flag. The military forces moved in and took control. No lives were lost.It was over.Chapter 14My son and daughter were brought to the United States to live with my parents. But there was still the question of what was going to happen to me? The answer was Dr. Keith Ablow.He came to see me after several other doctors had come in and tried to help. Nothing was working.He worked with me for several weeks.The first day he told me to say out loud, “This one loves her master.” That was easy. I said it over and over for hours.The next day, he changed it to “Mischief loves her master.” This was harder because I was never used to saying my own name like that, but he insisted, and I felt like I could not disobey him.The next day, it became “Mischief likes her master.” I didn’t understand but I complied.“Mischief is okay with her master.” I was completely confused.“Mischief does not like her master.” I was shocked. I could not say that. He insisted. I cried and refused.After sitting all day and only sleeping that night from exhaustion, he returned. He insisted that I try again.I still could not do it. So he had me say it one word at a time. I said it once but burst into tears.The next day, he insisted we try again. It was slow and I didn’t say it many times but I was able to say it.The next day he said it was time for another big step. “Callie does not like her master.”I just started at him but he insisted again. I said it a few times.The next day he returned and we worked on the same phrase. This time it got easier.Next, he had me say: “Callie McGuire has no master.” This day it was much easier.“Callie McGuire is Free.”The next morning, I woke up screaming and sobbing. Every single memory is my life became crystal clear. I was no longer Mischief. I was Callie McGuire. And I was Free. A week later, I was released.Sometimes when I am alone, I whisper “Callie McGuire hates Daymon Tane.”Chapter 15My life had changed so much so fast. But the changes would continue.There was a time when when the public’s attention span moved on and I became yesterday’s news.Most of the Masters were tried in Italy but it turned out some of them were already wanted for other crimes. I didn’t attend all the trials but I did make sure I attended the ones for Boyden, Shipe, Grayson, and Deaton, obviously . I sat right in front every time, smiling at them. None of them seemed happy to see me.Tane wasn’t actually an Ambassador, as you probably knew all along - it turned out the Captain that Mischief was so enthralled with actually was a Master, one of his customers, and his name was on the Wikileaks list. He ended up leaving the interrogation room in handcuffs and the Elite he kept in the secret dungeon in his home was found and released.With all the surveillance video from Judgement at their disposal, the Prosecutors never needed to call me or anyone else as a witness. Faced with the Death Penalty or Life in Prison without the possibility of parole, Tane chose the latter.All of the slaves were returned home. Some of them had a difficult transition. I did what I could for them with the resources of the Mischief Foundation. (I know it may sound odd, but it felt right to me).Afterward of the 20th Revised Expanded Anniversary Edition of JudgementWhen my book came out. “Judgement: How Callie McGuire became Mischief” (I never liked the name but it did sell really well), I thought that the public would not want to hear the details of my life. But apparently, a recent novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey” made the public more understanding that this sort of thing could happen. I sold the movie rights for $6 Million Dollars. I didn’t see Tane again until a few months ago. I never contacted him and he never contacted him.One day, my attorney called and said he that he asked to see him. My husband and children objected but I felt like this would finally close the circle.The following week, I arrived at the Supermax Maximum Security Prison in Florence, Colorado.I was taken to a visitor’s room. He was brought in in chains. There was a glass wall between us.“I have missed you terribly. I haven’t been able to bear being without you.”Not meeting his eyes, I looked at the floor and said “This one is happy to see her master. This one misses her master.”He seemed slightly startled. “That is good to hear, my little mischief-maker.”I looked him directly in the eyes and laughed. “Actually, Mas-ter, that was a joke.”I saw a flash of anger in his eyes but he recovered quickly. “You were aptly named, my dear.”“I did give you fair warning right from the beginning when I said: I want to go home. I’ll be nothing but trouble for you until you let me go. It seems you might have done well to actually listen.”I help up my hand and showed him what I held in my fingers.“I have the two cents now.”He sat silent for a moment and then spoke again.“Do you ever wonder?”“Wonder what?”“What would have happened if we hadn’t been separated that day in the park.”“No, and we didn’t get separated.”“What do you mean?”“Do you remember one of the first things you said to me?”“I’m not sure.”“Let me remind you: Americans. The first instinct is always to fight. And I replied?”“And win,” he whispered.“Ahhh, you do remember.”“What of it?”“Well, it turns out that even though I didn’t know it at at the time, we weren’t separated in the park that day.”“What?”“I mean I waited for just the right moment and moved away from you. Then I headed straight into the street in front of the car.”“Impossible. I don’t believe you.”“Oh, I’ll bet you don’t. But it’s true. You were never my home and I was never your trained monkey.”“But you loved me.”I lowered my eyes, and moaned “This one loves--oh! Loves her Master, heart and--and soooul!” “And you did.”I laughed again and looked up.“No, you only thought I did. Or rather a part of me I did. But Mischief was never me. I was always there, just waiting patiently for the opportunity to escape. It took me 10 years but your arrogance gave me the perfectly opportunity and I took full advantage.”“No way. I would have known.”“Obviously not.”“Impossible.”“It was very possible. You actually would have a made a decent Dominant from what I understand about that sort of thing. You probably could have walked in a club and found a submissive who would have loved you as deep as you thought I did. But hurting me until I couldn’t think straight and looked to you for comfort... that isn’t love..”“If we had met under different circumstances, I might have loved you. But that was never a possibility at your Neverland where you boys never grew up.”We sat in silence again.“I know there is a question you are dying to ask me, Daymon. Go ahead.”“Does your husband ever play with you?”“We actually tried it once. He spanked me with his hand. He didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. We never bothered to try again.”And with that, I got up to leave.“Oh, I almost forgot. I have been waiting to say this ever since you told me I would not disrespect a Judgement Master again.. Fuck You.”I turned and left.It has been an amazing journey thus far.My husband and I could never have another child after what Tane had done to me at Judgement. But we raised Nathan and Patricia (she is named after my grandmother, by the way) and adopted Cassandra, who was born into a life of slavery in Central Africa but was liberated due to a project from my Foundation. I am so happy to have all 3 of them.Judgement sat empty for a few years but the embarrassment of have it on Italian soil proved too much for the government. They eventually had the entire complex raised. I visited it once with my family and we each spread a handful of salt on the ground.People still ask me to this day if sometimes I look in the mirror and Mischief looks back. That never happens.And I don’t whisper “Callie McGuire hates Daymon Tane.” anymore, either.