J.R. Ward's The Story of Son (2008) is the main reason I originally bought the Dead After Dark collection.
Imagine my surprise when I decided that, if someone dropped this story into my lap without revealing an author, I don't think J.R. Ward would come to mind very quickly. That's actually not a negative since I get tired of reading the same general story over and over from the same author. Variety is good; formulaic writing may make money, but I don't particularly enjoy reading it.
Claire Stroughton is an attorney, and not a character I "liked" at the beginning of the story. She grows emotionally during the story, though. During the course of going to what she believes to be a meeting to handle the estate of her best (i.e., richest) client, she's actually imprisoned to serve as a blood donor for Son.
And what she finds is truly sad because Son is as much a prisoner as she is. Locked away by his family for decades, he doesn't even have a name!! Women are brought to meet his needs, and then he wipes their memories before they get returned to their regular lives.
Only something doesn't go quite as planned with Claire's stay.
Can Claire save them? Can they actually build a life together?
I might argue that Son is amazingly wonderful for someone who has spent his life treated not even one-tenth as well as we treat our dogs, but this is a work of fiction and not the t.v. show I watched last night on attachment issues for children like the ones raised in overcrowded orphanges in places such as Siberia for months before being adopted. In real life, I'd expect Son to have more than a few serious issues.
Overall, though, I liked Son, and I enjoyed the building of the relationship. This was a perfect selection for a shorter story instead of a full novel, too, and I didn't feel "cheated" by not having more time with Claire and Son, as can sometimes happen for me with short stories.
To participate in Short Story Saturday, co-sponsored by Alpha Heroes and Literary Escapism, visit Literary Escapism's blog for January entries.
My overall personal rating of The Story of Son is a B.