This is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. My heart was broken over and over. I had a hard time knowing how to react other than to feel completely disturbed and lament on how I'd been put through the ringer. Could I reward a story with a high rating if it turned my stomach over and over?Two hundred and twelve breaths.That's how long it took me to risk moving again.4.25 stars. Don't judge a book by its cover is an overused statement, but also completely appropriate here. The writing in The Tied Man was impressive. The style almost felt like British literary fiction, until the story suddenly decided to take a turn into the realm of something dark and twisted. My notes in the book say, "when literary fiction drives into a ditch." That's about it right there.This is the story of one man trapped by a woman who chooses to sell him over and over to be abused in any fashion which the purchaser(s) may prefer. This is also the story of a woman who found this damaged man and lost her heart to a situation which may be broken beyond repair. Did I say already that this book broke my heart?I was shocked.I was horrified.I was disgusted.I was moved.I was hopeful.I was on the edge of my seat (okay, bed...I lounge when I read).I did not like this book.I am already telling people to read it.Are you confused about my "did not like" statement and how it conflicts with my rating? Let me explain : the book was depraved, yet it was an engaging read. I can't write words of joy, or exclaim love for something which made me feel horrible. Yet, I do not regret reading. As well, I do appreciate the author's ability to draw me in to the story.I might have just lost something that wasn't mine to begin with.This was a well-written book that I couldn't stop reading. But I won't represent it with gushing or flashy pictures because that cheapens the experience for me, and turns the book into something less serious than what it is. The reason why this book had such an effect on me is because darkness only gave way to more darkness. So a dancing hippo and pretty font headers won't truly show how this book got into my head.An hour and a half was all I'd wanted - ninety poxy minutes with a woman who was content to share my company without leaving the kind of souvenir that required medical attention.If you've read dark erotica before featuring rape, abuse, or slavery, be prepared to have your mind taken to another level. And that's all I will say about that.Even though the majority of The Tied Man was full of nothing but torment, there was a small slice of hope. It wasn't pretty hope or romantic hope, but it was still a form of love in rare beauty. This is what humanized the story and turned it into something worth reading. So if you're afraid to pick up this book, let me leave you with a passage which might make you change your mind."What did you call me?""Ah. A chuisle. Gaelic. 'My darling.' I prefer the proper translation, mind you.""Which is?"He gave a bashful smile. "My pulse."