Genres: Erotic Romance
Released on December 1, 2014
Source: Book Tour Provided
I read the blurb and my curiosity was grabbed instantly. A woman is out for her first night at a sex club to explore her submissiveness with a man she really wants to be interested in. Things get interesting when the man’s twin- the man who walked away from her eight years before- ends up being the one to walk into her room and make her body spark and sizzle. Oh yeah, this all held a great deal of promise and heat.
This is part of a series began by other authors, but from what I could tell, the connection to the previous books is based on the club setting, Serve, and not on plot. This functions as a standalone nicely.
The story opens with fashion designer, Ridley Ethridge, gathering up her courage and putting some things in motion. She will both explore her submissive nature by letting a man she trusts initiate her and she will exorcise the ghost of a man from her past. Will is safe, dependable and most important, he didn’t leave while his brother, Garrett, who left her when things got real is the opposite. The trouble is that it is Garrett who she thinks of and compares all other men to. Her hard work for her own design label is just starting to pay off and now she wants to work on her love life. She timidly dons the mask and lets the man who enters her private room at the club work her body to a high pitch and send her soaring only to find when the mask is off that she is facing Garrett and she needs to get away before she lets him break her heart a second time because he hasn’t changed.
Garrett Reaver spent his last eight years as an Army Ranger. He fell for Ridley, but then his mom left, devastating him and his family. He couldn’t take it if- no when- Ridley did the same, so he made sure to be the one who left and destroyed any possibility of a new chance. He kept away from even his family and walled in his emotions doing his dangerous missions and then moving on to contract work for more of the same. He returns home for a little R&R on the club scene and Will asks him to step in with a new sub. He enjoys her and then removes the blindfold to see his past is right there and forcing cracks in the walls he built up.
Once I started reading this story, I was uneasy because the page count meant this was going to tear along pretty fast. The author introduces a second chance romance along with the complicated dynamics of a new Dominant/submissive relationship that needed more time. I tabled these concerns and let the spirit of the story carry me along- hot, fast and engaging. My opinion about the romance and the relationship never changed and actually grew stronger that this story needed more teasing out, but I could tell that this was not meant to be a deep one so I went with it.
As to the story, whew boy, it sizzled. I was squirming and fanning myself in turn. Garrett was a powerful male, a dirty talker and a determined man of action while Ridley had gumption, feistiness, and sensuality to match. These two were exciting and made a scene spark with emotion, dialogue and off the charts raw need. I was glad to have the surrounding storyline to anchor all that these two had going on. Garrett had deep abandonment issues and made some jerk moves toward Ridley as a result. She was hurt by his actions and words, but she was a straight up gal who gave him more than one chance to get his mess together. He made a pretty big grand gesture in the end that soothed some of my ire with him and made his lady swoon.
The BDSM elements were mild- spanking, rope, mild exhibitionism, vibrator, flogger. The D/s dynamic was where all the tension was. My earlier mentioned unease with this aspect was that I felt that Garrett relied on knowledge of the teen girl he used to date and his own desires to push hard and fast the adult woman. Because of the turmoil of their past, I was concerned that he wasn’t in a good place to act as her Dom. She’s an untried submissive even if she has taken the tour and researched the lifestyle. I know this is fiction, but I would rather see more time taken on this sort of relationship even if it’s a short-term one.
Anyway, I had a good time with this one (cold drink nearby was a must) and would definitely read more. Those looking for something hot, quick, but with some feeling and depth should give this one a look.
My thanks to Barclay Publicity for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was my April To Be or Not to Be…Read vote winner. Thanks guys for helping me find another author for my short list of erotic romance reads.