Didn’t really know what to expect and confess to being tentative going into this latest installment of the Loving on Edge series. You see it is a man struggling with his submissive nature and a woman who refuses to hide who she is ever again. They had a moment and then disaster struck. Oh, and there’s more…they have dark pasts.
This is a novella between books eight and nine and tackles two minor characters from earlier in the series, Gibson and Sam. It’s probably a good idea to read the series in order, but I think there is enough in the novella that a reader would do fine getting it out of order.
The story opens with Sam’s best friend, Tessa, and her husband, Kade, stopping by the bar and bringing along Kade’s brother, Gibson. Sam and Gibson have a past. He helped her train as a Domme and things were going well until she discovered in one of their play sessions that her training Dom got off on being her sub. He ran from her and has ignored her since. Samantha is attracted to Gibson and still wants him, but she will not compromise her own nature to be with him.
Gibson got a shock when he enjoyed submitting to Sam, but it also brought out lots of old fears that he worked so hard to escape from. He can’t let himself be seen as weak or vulnerable as much as he likes Sam. So he walked away, but nothing has felt right since. And then when she is attacked and is shaken up, he can’t keep away. She confronts him and challenges him to give them one week on her terms. He agrees. And they both are pushed right to the edge.
The story is a novella so it starts with a crisis that draws the two back together and it works through some deep stuff quickly to get to the sticking point. Now that said, I don’t mean to imply that it raced through things and never delved deep. This story had depth and heart. Gibson faces two demons that stop him up short. There is the perception of society against male submissiveness and then the fears of being controlled instilled in him because he grew up an abused child. Sam grew up in the foster system that passed her around frequently and she had no control and a lot of anger before she also learned that she could be prey so easily. She just wants someone to see who she really is and pick her for once.
This pair are a sadist and a masochist and they do engage in this, but I would say the BDSM is moderate at most. There is spanking, caning, rimming, anal play, exhibitionism, and bondage.
Now, I feel like I should discuss the fact that this was a Domme/sub story. Not my general fare when I choose a BDSM read. Mostly I avoid them and for years I would have said it was because I didn’t like stories of women dominating men. Honestly, it’s probably a little of that, but mostly it was because I’d read ones where it felt like the woman was dominating out of anger and hate rather than it actually being her nature. To me that was abuse and I didn’t want to read that stuff, but then I learned that there were actually a few authors out there who could write a decent and even good Dominant Woman/submissive man relationship. There is respect, there is fun, lust of course, and there is trust and love. The woman is commanding, but the man is not emasculated. Roni Loren is one of those few precious writers for me. She writes a beautiful, poignant, yet hotter than blazes story.
So, yes, another solid win for me and a groan of disappointment that I need to sit back and wait for the next book in the series. If you enjoy BDSM that has developed characters and storyline, get going on this series.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Roni Loren for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #343 ER
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