eARC Review – Control Freak

Title: Control Freak

Author: Brianna Hale

Publisher: Kindle Edition

Publication Date: June 27th, 2019

311 pages


Goodreads Synopsis

Total control. I need it in every aspect of my life. Some would say that makes me an asshole. A freak. But as long as everything’s exactly how I want it, I’m completely flexible. 

I’m kidding. 

Okay, I’m not kidding. 

Lacey needs someone in her life who’s bigger and scarier than her demons, and she wants that man to be me. Her boss. The Viking in a suit. I hope she understands what she’s getting into. This daddy isn’t going to pat her on the head and tell her she’s a good girl for nothing. Especially not when she’s spinning out of control. 

Author’s note: this book includes depictions of eating disorder recovery.


(TRIGGER WARNING: Eating disorders, medical concerns, BDSM, explicit language, sexual scenes)

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with the ebook copy of Brianna Hale’s newest Romance novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Compared to other books I’ve read recently, this is very different. I love romances and erotica don’t get me wrong. I read Fifty Shades along with the rest of you. I’ve just been on a YA Contemporary and Fantasy kick lately so I haven’t done an Adult Romance in awhile. It was nice to get out my box for a few hundred pages.

I finished this book all in one day. I tend to gobble romance novels up very quickly – they are just so easy to read. I couldn’t put this one down, for several reasons.

This story took a young woman struggling with anorexia and placed her in the path of working as the assistant for an older, very attractive man. She has very deep-seeded mental health issues stemming from her battle with anorexia – so she is pretty vulnerable at this point. You get a very good sense of how hard she is struggling. but also trying to beat her demons. She describes her eating disorder as they other voice inside her head, that convinces her she is too overweight to be lovable. It can be a lot, especially if you struggle with something similar (as I do).

Frankly, I thought the author depicted anorexia well. I do not suffer from it, but I could relate to the body dysmorphia aspect and having that voice inside your head telling you that you aren’t good enough. It was fairly cathartic actually – but could be triggering for other.

Then you add in the aspect of a BDSM sexual relationship. Now, I’m not well versed with this, but I found that Hale did a better job of depicting it in a healthy way than Fifty Shades was. The book followed Lacey’s journey in recovery and entering into this relationship well. Obviously, there has to be a downside moment before the big ending, but I think it was done well.

Time for critiques. I docked this book 1 star for these reasons: I felt the relationship between Lacey and her boss happened too quickly and without a lot of lead up or transition. It was very quick and I feel like it could have been described better. Also, having been educated in the mental health field, I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how Lacy’s therapist’s character was portrayed. It was definitely better than most – but could be improved upon. For these reasons, I gave it a 4/5.

Happy reading, book friends!

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