RYDER: You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, Laurel. And if that’s all of you I ever get to see, I’ll be the luckiest man in the world for having seen it.
I swallow hard. He wasn’t supposed to make it sweet. He was supposed to leave it dirty and inappropriate, so I could tell myself all he wanted was sex. That all he cared about was getting me naked, or if not that, then at least seeing me naked.
Instead, he turned it sweet. And I couldn’t tell myself any lies to keep me on my high horse.
Books one and two of Wilder's dark, addictive erotic trilogy depicted the amnesiac X now known by her birth name, Isabel Maria de la Vega as a captive; in this powerful third book, she emerges as her own woman. It takes the near death of her lover Logan to snap her out of her self-destructive concupiscence for the brutal Caleb. However, once she's partially free of his ferocious grasp, Isabel begins to have flashbacks to an idyllic childhood that ended when a fatal car crash left her orphaned, in a coma, and easy prey for the much older Caleb. The more she learns, the more she understands how Caleb's obsession may have saved her body, only to imprison her soul. He refuses to let go of her even now that she's living with Logan. As Isabel gains emotional strength, Wilder gradually dials back the use of second-person voice that marked the earlier books, allowing her to claim her own story; Logan calls her Is, a fitting name for a woman finally learning how to exist on her own terms. This superb contemporary erotic novel stands alone but will best be appreciated as the culmination of a remarkable trilogy.