Wow! This story knocked me on my ass in more ways than one. This isn’t a light BDSM book. It is full of full on sadists and Doms, the two not always put into the same person. There is sorrow over lose, confusion on what a person wants versus needs and deep thought put into the characters.
Dana is a widow. She has only ever submitted to her husband. While we learn some of their relationship, it is not the focal point of the book so we never learn if Dana experimented before she married Garnet. He was her Dom as well as he was a sadist. Dana is definitely a masochist along with some other features you can learn about in the book. Some of what Dana and Garnet did had me cringing in total agony. But the written words were so beautiful. It was betrayed in a wonderful way that led me to believe Dana and Garnet were soul mates, ripped from each other too early.
I digress. Dana has been a widow for almost two years. A professional designer, she is hired by Zach to help him remodel his home after the death of his wife. She immediately knows he is a Dom based on a the bedroom furniture. It looks normal, but is designed for BDSM elements and she knows the carpenter. Then there is the locked room that Zach won’t show her until the end of the first tour. They are both attracted to each other, but Dana refuses to mix business with pleasure and Zach respects this. But that doesn’t stop Zach from finding out he can about Dana, because when the job is over he is going after her.
Dana has had a few dating relationships, but soon realizes vanilla isn’t her thing. But she doesn’t want to submit. She only wants the pain. Her submission is tied to Garnet and she can’t get past that through most of the book. When the job is over Dana and Zach start dating and learning about each other. Zach is a Dom, but not necessarily a sadist. Well, what he does to her made me think he was a sadist, but he doesn’t deliver the pain Dana craves. She submits one weekend for him. There is nipple clamps, some animal play, anal play, electricity, flogging and much more. Dana submits beautifully, but she doesn’t feel she is a submissive. When she runs into her former sister-in-law and gets chewed out, Dana runs away from Zach.
Both Zach and Dana are seeing the same therapist for dealing with their spouses death. The therapist is BDSM friendly. When Dana talks to her about the issues of the weekend, she suggests Dana needs to explore more. And Dana does. I am going to stop her on explaining the story as you should read the rest.
I had big issues with Dana. I know she was exploring, but she moved extremely too fast forward with Zach and he calls her on it once. I felt a connection between Dana and Zach in the first half of the book and the later half it seemed to fall apart for me. Dana seemed to lose common sense at some points. But what happens at the end of the book, does help to calm down those feelings.
Zach on the other hand fell way to fast for Dana in my opinion. He lets her go without really letting her go at one point which irritated me. She had needs I don’t think he can fulfill, but then Dana keeps going with him on everything he wants to do.
Candace Blevins has an incredible writing style and an in depth knowledge of the BDSM world and community. While I am not partial to reading sadist/masochist books, Candace can write them in such a way that it draws me into the story and won’t let me go. While I may not agree with the choices some of the characters make, the writing of what happens is incredibly vivid. You can almost feel the pain as you read it off the pages.
One note that I wanted to make on a piece of furniture. There is a coffee table Zach has build for the bedroom that really is a cage. Dana is fascinated by it while they are working. She does get to use it when she submits to Zach that weekend, but even she complains he doesn’t use it very long. It seemed to be a big focal point of the first half of the book and seemed a little glossed over when actually used.
Interesting note (for me at least). Davenport is type of couch…never knew that. Chiffon is someone else’s safeword in the book. I won’t go into whose, you need to read to find out.
This is a two part book. This is the first book and ends with a “it’s good for now” ending. There isn’t a HEA yet for Dana here, but there is hope for it in the next book: Safeword: Davenport and Chiffon.