This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Berkley, Heat
Released on August 6, 2013
I picked this book out of a few being offered up for early review because I’ve heard such wonderful things about this author and this series of books. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go on a test drive. I am so glad that I did because this story and its characters were captivating grabbing my interest and emotions not letting them go until the end. This is an erotic romance to be sure, but it has a heartwarming quality to it because the main characters and what they brought to the story.
I hadn’t read the earlier books in the series and this one very obviously contained story threads and characters that had been introduced earlier (which I plan to go back and read), but I was able to follow the story and connect with it just fine.
This book takes up Kelsey’s story who was introduced in the first book under harsh circumstances and also Wyatt whose brother already had his story. Kelsey has gotten her life back on track and has goals for herself. She’s waitressing during the day and domming at night to save money to go to culinary school so she can eventually open a bakery. She takes a look, but don’t touch approach to relationships including how she fantasizes about the handsome Wyatt who comes in every day to the diner for breakfast in his expensive suit oozing of wealth and success.
Ever since his brother brought him to eat at the diner, Wyatt comes not for the food, but to watch Kelsey. She is the bright spot in his day- not that he has plans to do anything about it. He knows he’s messed up and can’t do relationships. Then his father gets him into a jam by insisting that he needs to go to a huge businessman’s retreat in his place and it’s a plus one invitation.
Part of Kelsey’s dangerous past catches up to her and she needs to speed up her plans to earn her way out of town and to her dreams of school. She goes to Grant out at The Ranch where she works as a Domme to get some extra hours and money as an instructor. He reminds her that she must finish the submissive side of her training before she can do this. When Wyatt comes to Kelsey with a proposal for her to act as his lady for a week at an island retreat, she counter-offers with her request that he dust off his dominance and train her for a week. And little did the two of these ‘no relationships no commitments’ types know what they were getting themselves in for.
The plot weaves a slower paced telling of two people that must forsake their pasts and learned to trust that they deserve something good and they have something good going on. I love how they have open communication about their relationship and that trust is built and secrets are dealt with.
Kelsey has the harder fight since there are many darker things for her to overcome plus she has to accept that she is really a submissive at heart. I adored Kelsey. I found her refreshing for one thing. She is resistant to being dominated and likes to take control, but she is not bratty. I’m not a lover of the bratty sub types. She is strong in all the ways that matter and I loved her spirit and compassion even while I was nearly begging for her to open up and let Wyatt into her heart. She has so much to give, but she can’t see it for herself. Wyatt is a wonderful Dom in that he brings out the best in Kelsey and instinctively knows what she needs even when she tries to build walls out of her fears. He had to learn a tough lesson and it has stuck with him. He is totally what he is without apology, but he isn’t ignorantly arrogant and cruel. That being said, Wyatt is refreshing too because he knows how to say sorry when he screws up. He is intense and savvy, but wily in a playful way. These two can get each other going from zero to sixty so fast and left me smiling (or gasping) at times.
So, I loved my first experience with a Roni Loren book and I’ll definitely be going back for more. I recommend this one for those who enjoy moderate BDSM in a gently moving Contemporary Erotic Romance.
My thanks to Net Galley and Penguin for the opportunity to read the book for review purposes.