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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Bree M. Lewandowski’s The Savage Garden is a variation on Beauty and the Beast. Alma was a performer at The Savage Garden who earned money by getting the attention of men at the club. Alma only chose to work there to pay for her brother’s care. Peter was a quadriplegic at the Lunden Care Facility, but Alma wanted to earn enough money to bring him home to be in her care with the assistance of a personal aide. Vic hired Dane as the new night porter for the club, but when her colleague Kimber recognized the man, she threw a fit, alleging that he hit women, so she was placed on suspension. Kimber’s customer "March" became Alma’s responsibility to seduce. Alma was intrigued by Dane, especially after seeing him outside work. As Dane and Alma become increasingly close, Vic has not been blind to the situation.
Bree M. Lewandowski described the setting of the gentlemen’s club in vivid detail. I could feel the ambiance of every area of the exotic garden. Dane’s disfigurement was not apparent at the start of the story and Kimber’s supposed knowledge of Dane came from an account by her sister. Alma accepted Dane’s version of the event. She also found the book he carried with him to be intriguing. This account does not contain graphic details of anything sexual and is focused on the emotional roller coaster Alma experiences. If Alma did not feel responsible for Peter, she would never have chosen to work at the club. As the story progresses, it becomes evident that she is trying to stop using her body to earn money. I recommend The Savage Garden to mature readers who enjoy exploring emotional feelings in a relationship.