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Mental Health Done Well: Control Freak by Brianna Hale

This story is triggering for people who've suffered from an Eating Disorder. I urge you to not come close if you struggle with this. Other than that, if you'd like to know more about that voice that an Eating Disorder has in a human's mind, keep reading! I know I learned a lot from it and reminded me of my own experience.

by Brianna Hale
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Publication Date: June 27th 2019 by Self-Published
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Rating: ★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
Total control. I need it in every aspect of my life. Some would say that makes me an asshole. A freak. But as long as everything’s exactly how I want it, I’m completely flexible.

I’m kidding.

Okay, I’m not kidding.

Lacey needs someone in her life who’s bigger and scarier than her demons, and she wants that man to be me. Her boss. The Viking in a suit.I hope she understands what she’s getting into. This daddy isn’t going to pat her on the head and tell her she’s a good girl for nothing. Especially not when she’s spinning out of control.

Author's note: this book includes depictions of eating disorder recovery.
Life for Lacey is not easy. Every single day, in every moment of her life, she has this voice in her head shaming her. She can't stop it at all. Because of this voice, she's restricted herself to so much in life. Then she meets Stian, her new boss. With him, she ventures into a world she had no idea existed or could help shut down that voice. But the voice is always there, lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.

I have so many conflicting feelings towards this novel. As I have mentioned before, I have friends who are basically experts at BDSM from what they share of their experiences. But I have never really read a novel that features BDSM in its entirety and it's why I'm so conflicted. One of the reasons why I'm so conflicted is that, in my brain, this act humiliates women so much, and I saw that happening with Lacey and Stian. It wasn't something intentional. Stian just loves the control, loves the feeling of owning someone, owning Lacey. I know there's a fifteen-year difference in age, but at times, Lacey would feel so much more younger than that and it's why it was tough to understand what was going on between themOverall, though, Stian did treat Lacey like a growing plant, giving her love, dedication, attention, which I loved to see.

"You showed me the most vulnerable parts of yourself, and I thought she was beautiful every single time."

Then there's the part where Lacey loves these acts because that nasty Anorexia voice is contained in her brain and doesn't come out so easily. I was glad to see that the author didn't let Lacey being with Stian "fix" her Anorexia. I think I would have been mad if that had happened. I was also glad to see just how supportive Stian was in every single moment. He would ask Lacey about what was going on in her head, gave her space when she needed it, especially when it came to eating.

Every day is a constant battle between what I know is good for me and what my anorexia wants. She’s always with me, spitting insults and cruelty and telling me I’m unlovable, fat and greedy.

Guys, this book was kind of tough to read when it came to the Mental Health aspect. I've never suffered from Anorexia, but I have suffered from Major Depression Disorder, and there's always that voice in my head, telling me that going down the dark path is the best, to just end things. And I sympathized/empathized with Lacey so much. The Anorexia voice that was in Lacey's head has been in my head, shaming me, putting me down, telling me I'll never be good enough. Lacey's experience felt so real and I'm so happy the author did not shy away when it came to this aspect of Anorexia.

Overall, I was glad to read something so serious as this topic of Mental Health is and seeing it a new light I hadn't seen before. I enjoyed so much the emotional aspects of the story. I'm just not entirely sure if the dom/sub was needed? I understand, in a way, why and how it would work, but I think I could have been fine without that part in the story.

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