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Lady Jacqueline is the only child of the Baron who likes to have things her way. She lives a life of intrigue, playing men against one another in an effort to overthrow her father and assume his position.
Lord Warner has asked Frank and several other new guards to meet him in the Baron's gardens after work. Little did Frank or the other two guards know that it was a set-up arranged by Lady Jacqueline and Lord Warner. Frank arrives first with Lord Warner close behind. Warner kills the would-be attacker and tells the Lady Jacqueline that he will select another guard for her. She informs Warner that she will choose her own guard. She chooses Frank. Warner insists that he's unacceptable but the Lady Jacqueline insists that Frank be trained as she'll have no other. When Frank tries to apologize to Warner for being the one chosen, Warner insists that he had been trying to protect Frank.
As part of his initiation into the life of the Lady Jacqueline's personal guard, Frank is introduced to Dr. Naran. The doctor, through the use of mind-controlling machinery, turns Frank into a virtual robot. His mind is programmed to do one thing, take care of and guard Lady Jacqueline.
During their time together, the Lady Jacqueline tries every psychological trick she knows to break down the barrier of Frank's resistance to her and her demands. Nage uses this to point out that once someone is psychologically taken, the guilt that was there is now gone. Lady Jacqueline is quite proficient at getting what she wants.
There are many attempts on both the Baron's life and those around him. By the end of the book you're not sure who are the good guys and who are the bad ones. Once you sit back and mentally work your way through the stories one by one, it all becomes clear.
Nage has proven a master at intrigue in the telling of SCORCH. Once I got into the story, I became enthralled with his visual usage of words and characterizations. If you like reading psychological thrillers and stories from the world of D/s, you'll enjoy this one. One wonders what Nage Archer will have for us when his next book is issued.
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