The Tied Man (The Tied Man, #1) - Tabitha McGowan At Albermarle, you don’t need an excuse for anything. The only real limit’s your imagination. Once you’ve had this experience, there is no going back to ‘let’s pretend.’To say that this book was a mind fuck would not do it justice. The Tied Man showed up in my feed one day and promptly disappeared. I couldn’t let go of the summary, it seemed interesting so I picked it up. I do this sporadically. Sometimes it’s a bust and sometimes I hit the jackpot. Guess which category this book falls under? Lilith Bresson is a well known artist. She has made a name for herself with her work and her behavior. Her “parlor trick” of being able to read minds makes her infamous. She is content to work and live her life in Santa Marita, Spain. Warm, left alone when she needed to work and welcomed by the locals once she finally emerges. With one television interview and an impromptu visit from her estranged father; the warmth and light is ripped from Lilith in more ways than one. Lilith finds herself on a plane, grudgingly agreeing to settle the debt of her father, back to her homeland of England and across a lake to Albermarle Hall. The estate run by Lady Blaine Albemarle herself who requests that this debt be paid in gaining her own “Bresson Original” painted in her image. From the encounter at the gates with Coyle O’Halloran , to the meeting on the jetty with the ever kind Henry Masterson, Lilith is unsure of what is in store.Albermarle Hall stood regal and aloof on its own emerald velvet island. Even in the evening’s damp gloom, I could see the Hall was magnificent. The fortified walls and slit windows told of a time when this place was to be defended to the death. In the daylight, the Hall looked more like a Citadel; I realized it would be one hell of a place to try to leave. The initiation into the life at Albermarle begins immediately. Dressed in the costume that is Ms. Bresson, Lilith is stunned when she meets Blaine’s companion Finn Strachan at dinner. The first time I met him, Finn Strachan stole my breath. My profession was to capture beauty; people who could bring a room to a standstill simply by walking through the door. I had never met anyone quite like the willow-thin young man standing before me: Finn had the face of a fallen angel.Told in both Finn and Lilith’s POV’s, life at Albermarle begins to unravel. The day to day seems slow with ghosts hiding their secrets around every dark corner as the night falls. What emerges in the candle light was not something I was prepared for nor is it something I will quickly forget. Lilith may be the strongest female I have ever read. The way she handles situations, Blaine and most of all Finn is perfection. She is strong for those she cares about while the ghosts of her past still haunt her. From the opening of that heavy door we know she is not playing on team pain. She can’t be bought, she can’t be controlled but as we continue down this dark road is her resolve really that strong? Control. The one thing that shaped my life, and the one thing I felt I was about to lose.Finn, oh my sweet beautiful Finn! This man /boy broke my heart many times over and made me laugh as well. His story, his past and his present had my heart in a vice and the chapters we get from his POV had me holding my breath. This book would not, simply would not work without his POV. What Finn goes through is tough, it’s frightening and it is bile inducing. His “work” belongs in the brutality of a Quentin Tarantino film and the macabre pages of a Stephen King novel. You feel for him, you cheer for him and you weep for him. His character sucks you in as deep as each drag from his cigarettes and two words spoken in Gaelic, spoken from his soul will shatter yours. The journey I took with this book left me knackered; as Finn would say. Just when you see a hint of light, the door is slammed in your face and the shutters are firmly tightened over every window. At times there seemed no end to the cruelty, to the darkness that envelopes the guests and employees of Albermarle Hall. I clung to each tiny bit of hope that things would turn out differently. If there was one lesson my life had taught me, it was that as bad as this was, there was always room for things to get just that little bit worse. The Tied Man is a complicated story that is beautiful in its savagery. It is a brilliantly woven tale of control, abuse and violence. That sounds wrong to put those words together right? Trust me, it’s not. This is not erotica, romance or a book about BDSM. There are no safewords at the Hall. There is the just bloodlust and corruption of the mind when it snaps from the amount of power it wields. It will clearly show you what happens when the smallest moral compass is lost in the abyss and the evil that lives somewhere in your darkest nightmares are left to run free. Congratulations on your moral bankruptcy. Rearrange the following words into a sentence. Off. Fuck.