SET ME FREE by M.R. Leahy Release Day Blitz: Lauren's Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Set Me Free is a dark romanceI do not advise anyone who is sensitive to certain subjects or sexual situations to read it as it does contain certain situations.

Torn and betrayed by her family, Emmalyn is taken and forced to live with her mother and stepfather, who happens to be the leader of one of the biggest sex trafficking rings around. 

Thrown into a world of sex and slavery, Emmalyn is roomed with Kodah. A hot-headed boy, whose only weakness is her. 

Both lost and tortured in this endless hell, they cling to the hope that one day they will make it out, that one day they will be set free.


Copyright to M.R. Leahy 2016
(Subject to Change)

I know I shouldn’t feel this comfortable in a stranger’s arms, but for some reason, I can’t help it. He looks at me like I hold the light to his darkness, like I’m a treasure.
Lying my head back down on the pillow, we continue to stare at each other, his hands running up and down my back in soothing motions. I’m not sure how long we stayed like that before he finally spoke, his voice breaking the silence for the first time.
“What’s your name?” he asks, his voice soft, barely above a whisper
“Emmalyn.” The way he whispers my name sends shivers across my body
“What’s your name?” I ask, my voice small and shy
Silence follows as we lie there. I think he has fallen asleep when his hand caresses my face. Opening his mouth, Kodah says the very thing to give me hope, to give me a fighting chance, and steals my heart while sealing our fate. “I’m going to get us out of here, Emmy, and when I do, I’m going to keep you.”

Fair warning: The concept of Set Me Free is absolutely mortifying. Imagine you’re eight years old for a moment and have been taken from your home, by your estranged mother, and given over to your step-father who runs a child slavery ring.

Your whole purpose? To train as a sex slave. To make him look tough. To show he doesn’t have a heart. To prove a point.

Doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?

Kids held and trained as sex slaves, one by her mother and step-father… What was I thinking?   

To be honest, I don’t know. I’m not usually one to dabble in the dark reads; I stick to my light and fluffy or angst ridden stories. But something about M.R. Leahy’s blurb intrigued me. And I can’t tell me how happy I am that I took the plunge down her seriously fucked up rabbit hole.

To be fair, not all kids held at this “training facility” are being trained as sex slaves. We’re talking equal opportunity slavery here. And many of the children have been sold into the system by their own parents to cancel out a debt they owe, including Kodah, Emmy’s roommate. A few years older than Emmy, Kodah feels a fierce need to protect her from their very first encounter. He’s determined to taste freedom with Emmy by his side, and will do whatever it takes to achieve it.

“I’m going to get us out of here, Emmy, and when I do, I’m going to keep you.”

Emmy and Kodah’s story spans years. YEARS. They suffer through unspeakable situations, leaning on one another for support. Lucky for us, the author doesn’t go into too great of detail when it comes to the abuse Emmy and Kodah incur. Thank God! It’s enough just knowing something has happened, we don’t need the specifics to feel their pain.

We both have battle scars that will stay with us forever, but if we make it out of this, that’s just what we’ll have…forever.

Set Me Free has somewhat of a dystopian feel. These children are being held at a compound with its own rules and social norms. Emmy’s step-father is their king, and they are simply pawns for him to further his empire. Their world is vastly different than the one you and I live in.

By the end of the story, M.R. changes the entire mood. We’ve moved from a dystopian-like novel to something altogether different, setting up the next installment for a completely new feel. Yes, there will be a continuation to Emmy and Kodah’s story. We are left hanging, but only off a tiny cliff, one M.R. Leahy has promised not to leave us dangling from for long.

This book was a complete surprise, a breath of fresh air, a story you should most definitely pick up immediately. You’ll devour it and be begging for more in no time. If I could give Set Me Free more than 5 stars, I would, and I {almost} never say things like that.


M.R. Leahy was born in Amarillo, TX, where she was briefly raised before moving to a small Island in the middle of the Puget Sound called Whidbey Island. Growing up she lived with her mom and younger sister and a few cousins scattered close by.

As soon as she could, M.R. Leahy left the small island to get a feel for what the world had in store. After jumping around a few places, she landed in beautiful Wilmington, NC where she not only met the love of her life but became pregnant with her first child. Not long after finding out about the life they created they married and moved to San Diego, CA so they could be closer to family and start the beginning to their forever.

M.R. Leahy now has two beautiful boys and is living life to the fullest, not taking anything for granted. She now spends her time being a stay at home mom. When she's not making lunches and kissing booboos, you can find her nose deep in a book getting lost in the many different worlds authors provide, or writing and creating different stories of her own.

M.R. Leahy writes dark romances but also has her hands in contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her possibilities are endless.

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