Need is the second book in Sherri Hayes' Finding Anna series so this review will contain spoilers for the first book Slave. I have absolutely loved both of these books so would highly recommend them but if you haven't read the first book then look away from this review now if you don't want spoilers.
Need picks up the story immediately after the ending of Slave, Stephan has just informed Brianna that she isn't his slave - she is free to come and go as she pleases and do whatever she wants with the rest of her life. However, he has also asked her to consider staying with him and giving them a chance at building a relationship. Brianna is confused about her feelings towards Stephan, her experiences with men have made her very wary but he makes her feel safe and cared for and she is frightened by the idea of a life without him. She knows that he is into the D/s lifestyle though and she isn't sure if she can be the submissive he wants her to be.
Slave has to have been one of the most surprising books I have read in ages, it was nothing like I expected it to be but I absolutely loved it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel. I was a little bit nervous that Need wouldn't be able to live up to my expectations but I'm glad to say that it was just as good as I hoped it could be. I'm sure anyone who enjoyed the first book will love the sequel just as much if not more. The book is an emotional and heart wrenching read and one that you will devour. Clear the calendar before you start reading because I guarantee you won't want to stop.
To say I had a crush on Stephan after reading the first book would be an understatement but that crush has grown into fictional hero worship of epic proportions and I absolutely adore him now. I want to pull that man out of the damn books and claim him as my very own!! Why, oh why can't I find a guy like him in real life? He really is the perfect guy and I love watching him with Brianna - he is just what she needs to help her recover from her traumatic past. Stephan has to be one of the most patient men I've ever come across, he cares so much for Brianna that he is willing to take things at whatever pace she finds comfortable. He is there for her night and day and drops everything for her if she needs him for any reason but he also pushes her a little more all the time helping her to slowly build her confidence. I love the fact that he isn't just interested in getting her comfortable with having a physical relationship with him - he wants to help her learn to trust other people again, he wants her to get past her fears of being outside and he is encouraging her to go to college and get an education so she can make something of herself. Even if she chooses not to be with him in the long term he wants to give her the skills she would need to survive on her own.
Brianna is someone my heart went out to the moment I met her. She is emotionally scarred by the things she has been through but she has a great inner strength that she is only just starting to realise is there. She suffers with panic attacks and flashbacks but she desperately wants to be normal and to get her life back on track. She still struggles to know what is expected of her and sometimes it's a case of taking one step forwards and two steps back but I think that just makes her recovery all the more realistic. It would be a slow process for anyone who has been through what she has and I'm really enjoying watching her progress.
Need will tug on your heartstrings, it will put a goofy smile on your face and it will have you falling head over heels for these characters. It will also leave you in need of cold shower because although their relationship progresses slowly that doesn't make it any less hot and the chemistry between Stephan and Brianna is off the charts! The ending just about killed me and it's going to be a long wait for the release of the third book in the series. I just want more - more of Stephan, more of Brianna plus more of Logan and Lily. Sherri Hayes is an auto-buy author and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.