Savannah/Savi escaped eleven years of abuse at the hands of her father and finally made a safe life for herself and her daughter. But when her father once again threatens her peace of mind—and her daughter’s safety—Savi runs to Damian Orlando for protection. Eight years earlier as Savannah, she shared one perfect day with Damian that changed both their young lives and resulted in a secret she no longer can hide. But being with Damian reawakens repressed memories and feelings she wants to keep buried. After witnessing a scene with Damian on Savi’s first night at his private club, however, she begins to wonder if he could help her regain control of her life and reclaim her sexuality and identity.
Damian, a wounded warrior, has had his own dragons to fight in life, but has never forgotten Savannah. He will lay down his life to protect her and her daughter, but doesn’t believe he can offer more than that. She deserves a whole man, something he can never be after a firefight in Iraq. Damian has turned to SM to regain control of his life and emotions and fulfills the role of Service Top to “bottoms” at the club. However, he could never deliver those services to Savi, who needs someone gentle and loving, not the man he has become.
Will two wounded survivors find love and healing in each other’s arms?
Readers who have a history of past abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional) may be triggered by scenes in this story. Before reading this book, please be aware that it is primarily about an incest survivor dealing with the sexual aftermath of years of abuse. She has dealt with non-sexual issues in years of therapy, but has tamped down anything related to sex. In this story, she struggles to find healing through a trusting, consensual BDSM relationship. If you believe that reading about PTSD flashbacks of incest, whipping for catharsis, mindf**ks, and related topics might be triggering for you, but you still choose to read it, please make sure you only read this book in a safe environment with supportive people available to you.
The BDSM scenes in this book (some of them beginning and advanced sadomasochism techniques) are the result of many conversations with submissives and Dominants who have worked through similar abuse issues using activities in the BDSM community and lifestyle. Therefore, the BDSM is portrayed as healing rather than titillating. If you are looking for the latter only, this might not be an enjoyable read.
But if you want to delve into the roller-coaster journey of a young couple trying to work through intense issues in a compelling story that pulls you into the characters’ world and doesn’t let you go, then you might find healing and entertainment in this story. The author, also a child-sexual abuse survivor, has found that writing the story has provided catharsis for her, and hopes other survivors who read it will see that they are survivors, too, and no one is ever so wounded she or he can’t find love.
While I have read the previous books in the Rescue Me Saga multiple times, this is only the second time I have read Nobody’s Perfect? Why? Because in it, Ms. Masters deals with so many difficult issues that it’s a very emotional read for me. Even though this book focuses on Damian and Savannah’s relationship, this is a series that builds upon itself so you need to have read the previous books first to be able to grasp the enormity of the situation when Savi shows up at Damian’s front door asking for protection.
We first met Savannah in Masters at Arms, the series prequel, when Damian rescued her from a couple of sadists who were abusing her in the hotel where he worked. They spent a “magical” day together but because of circumstances beyond both of their control, they were separated for almost a decade. Fate being a fickle witch, their paths crossed again when Damian was in California on a family matter in Nobody’s Hero. As a result of that incident, Savannah finds herself being hunted by her former abuser and goes to the only man who has ever made her feel safe – Damian. Being a former Marine and having Adam in his corner, Damian is able to provide Savannah with a safe haven and a means to begin to heal from the abuse she suffered at her father’s hands. As Damian sets out to show Savi that nobody’s perfect but that she is perfect for him, he learns to accept the same truth about himself as she embraces the discovery of his amputation without issue. While the sex is indeed hot – and sometimes funny when Damian and Savannah begin talking about Chico and Chiquita as separate entities – I loved the focus on healing, acceptance, and intimacy. Because of Savi’s abuse-related triggers and Damian’s PTSD triggers, there is a lot of time spent on overcoming the triggers (particularly Savannah’s) and accommodating those that can’t be overcome easily (for both of them).
As awful as it sounds, I liked that Ms. Masters brought Savannah’s monsters back into her life. It forced Savannah to face some terrible truths from her past that she had repressed, while giving her an opportunity to learn her own strength. And because Damian, Adam and the others rescued her, it gave Damian the opportunity to “slay her dragons” metaphorically and give her tormentors a little taste of their own medicine. I also liked that rather than wrapping the book up after Savi’s abusers have been dealt with, the author chose to continue to move their story forward and we got to see further development of Damian and Savannah’s relationship in this installment. I enjoyed the therapeutic nature of their “date scene” and how she continued to make progress through the remainder of Nobody’s Perfect. I really liked that even though the subject matter and most of the book was quite heavy, the author was able to make me laugh quite a bit at the end of the book with their pillow talk. As distressing as their journey was, I love Damian and Savannah’s story and look forward to re-reading Somebody’s Angel soon.