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 the story of a woman who is a victim of verbal abuse at it's absolute worse. Elena's husband Dominic belittles, embarrasses and completely wrecks her self confidence. This book was rough to witness and get through at first. The abuse Dominic lashes out on Elena is completely humiliating. Dominic is so horrible he trades his wife for three months to a loan shark he owes money to.
Ashton is repulsed by the treatment he witnesses as Dominic easily offers Elena as a trade. Elena's reactions and mannerisms make Ashton completely aware of how deep the verbal abuse Elena must endure. Ashton accepts the trade and does everything Elena needs to come back to life. He treats her the way every woman should be treated. He shows her what it is to live again and pursue her dreams. Ashton's family and especially his aunt are the support I would hope all women could find in trying to get out of an abusive relationship.
Yes, this book is difficult and will keep a lump in your throat but it is a reminder that there are women who live their whole lives without an Ashton to rescue them.
Rebecca Brooke has given us a story with a topic that we may want to ignore but it's still a story that needs to be told. Your emotions in Traded will be up and down but the ride is worth it.
Way to go Ms. Brooke for reminding us that life is not easy but there is hope for each of us, all of us to find ourselves again.
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.