Review: Need You Tonight by Roni Loren

Review: Need You Tonight by Roni LorenNeed You Tonight by Roni Loren

Series: #5 Loving On the Edge
Genres: BDSM Romance, Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley on March 4, 2014
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
    add to goodreads
four-half-stars  

My first opportunity to read this author came with the book preceding this one which was book four in the series.  I read the teaser at the end and found myself anticipating this one after meeting the male lead briefly in the other book. I was amazed how my perceptions of Master Van were blown out of the water when I got into his book where both his present and his past life through flashbacks were brought out in this story.  No disappointment here for me.

The pacing, tone and direction of this one was so very different from the story before.  I was able to tell that it was connected to a series because of recurring characters popping through and the one scene out at The Ranch that features in this series as the main gathering place, but I loved the unique feel that was specific to Kade and Tessa for their characters and story.  This is a reunion romance of sorts.  It is two stories wrapped up in one with Kade and Tessa of the past and Kade and Tessa of the present.

Tessa McAllen has returned to Texas after divorcing her cheating husband who made it clear that he thought her little better than a useless, ‘cant stand on her own two feet’, gold-digging, ‘frigid in bed’, trophy wife.  Tessa took this sort of verbal abuse to heart after hearing it for years, but no more.  She’s made a list of things that she will accomplish on her way to an independent, better, and happier Tessa.  Getting tangled up with another man is not one of the items on her list so she drags her feet when her friend Sam drags her off to a gourmet cooking class meet and greet at a posh area restaurant where she meets the sensual mysterious man who helps her check off ‘frigid’ from her list.  His intensity and hints of darker needs bring out fear, but her greater emotions are anticipation and excitement to his ideas.  She wanted one night and he wants one more.

Kade Vandergriff, successful businessman and dominant in his private life, learns that the woman who grabbed his attention and left him wanting more is none other than the one who got away.  In high school, they were both cliches.  She was the lovely and popular cheerleader dating the rich boy popular quarterback while Kade was the stuttering smart guy who used to be fat and wanted what he couldn’t have.  It had all ended badly.  Now here she is again in his life, but this time he has the upper hand it seems since she is the one with nothing and he, a success.  Deep down, he knows that there was more to the story back then which is why he put up with her need to hide their friendship before and her ultimate rejection of him.  He was the only one who knew the real Tessa and no matter her choice, she was the only one who saw the real him.

Tessa is afraid to trust especially someone who has the reputation as a player and the experience to back that rep up, but Kade has opened up a whole new world for her and she doesn’t want to give that up out of fear or worry of what others have taught her to think of these craven needs inside her.  She wants to finally acknowledge her true feelings and not just be and do what others want.  She promises herself that it is just physical or ‘pretend play’.  She gives herself permission to enjoy the ‘dirty’ and kinky stuff that she does with Kade.

Kade has known from the beginning that things with Tessa are different.  This is no diverting little affair or play time as usual with a submissive; this thing with Tessa for him is a chance.  He wants it all with her, but he knows that he must come clean about who he really is- that boy she didn’t choose and who took the brunt of her then boyfriend’s angry sadistic abuse- and he must come clean about what he is and wants in a relationship before things go much deeper.  He is nervous that either truth will send her running.  He lost his ex-wife and chance of more than short visits with his daughter do to his lifestyle and he knows the number her ex did on her, but yet he must know before his feelings grow even stronger.

Tessa surprises him in so many ways.

“All my life, everyone’s treated me with white gloves, like I’m some porcelain doll to be left in a box or I’ll shatter.  With foster parents, they were afraid I’d snap and become like my mother.  With Doug, he wanted the untarnished trophy.”

His heart squeezed in his chest at the honest words, and it took everything he had not to reach out and caress her, but he could tell she wasn’t done.

She turned and looked back at him, her gaze stripped clean.  “I want you to hit me because being with you makes me feel less fragile.  You aren’t afraid to push me, to break me.  And sometimes…I wonder how it feels to be broken.”

The admission reached inside him and twisted things around into something new, opening up an ache that echoed through his deepest chambers.  pp. 293-294  Tessa and Kade from Need You Tonight

Tessa seeing the real Kade.

God, every part of him was beautiful.  It was as if the universe forced him to bloom late because high school girls wouldn’t have known what to do with this version.  But she’d sensed it in him back then, beneath the stringy hair, hunched shoulders, and stutter.  That quiet intensity and unshakable strength had always been there.  She’d been drawn to it even when she couldn’t quite pinpoint what was drawing her.

His focus flicked over her face and his eyebrow lifting, “Enjoying the view?”

“You have no idea.” pp. 297-298  Tessa and Kade from Need You Tonight

Kade in awe of Tessa’s gift to him- her trust

He left for a few moments and returned with a glass of water and some ibuprofen.  “You’ll thank me for those in a few hours.”

She took the pills and swallowed them back.  “This definitely goes on record as the first sex I’ve had that required medication afterward.”

“Gold star for me.”

The completely shameless grin he gave her made her laugh. 

“Hey, I’m the one who’s not going to be able to sit down tomorrow.  Don’t I get some stars?”

He climbed in bed next to her.  “Tess, I’d give you all the stars in the sky right now if I could.” p. 303  Tess and Kade from Need You Tonight

Sorry, just had to share those.  I had so many more quotes marked that struck me in this story.

So my thoughts on the story…

As I said, this one strikes its own tone and I loved the gentle pacing to that thrilling scene near the end.

I don’t normally give a ton of warnings and make excuses for a story’s path, but I feel the need to issue one or two just so people know what they can expect and won’t be disappointed.  I’m not anywhere near an expert at erotica or BDSM genres, but in the few that I’ve read, I’ve noticed that heat and kink many times take the lead even to sacrificing story development.  Those stories do have their place, but aren’t what you’ll find here.  This book takes the time to build a huge porch and foundation before putting up the rest of the house if you catch my drift (lots of character and relationship building before the other).

The BDSM is moderate even though there are hints that Kade can go way darker- he’s a sadist.  Tessa is slowly discovering an enjoyment of pain which pleases them both.  Truthfully, much of what is here in the story is on the milder side- fantasy scenes, exhibitionism, spankings, binding, toys, nuances, but that is because it is an introduction for Tessa into Kade’s lifestyle.  And Kade can’t really get to that until they clear the air about their past and deal with the verbal and mental abuse her ex dealt her.  So yeah, my advice…be patient and expect a true romance here that will also have you squirming at times particularly when Kade heats Tessa’s butt with his hand.

My take on the characters was to be very pleased with both of them.  I’m tough to please when it comes to BDSM story characters.  I like heroes who walk that fine line between being a sexy, caring dominant and an arrogant jerk.  I like heroines who are beautifully submissive, but still have a backbone.  I’m not a lover of the bratty sub or the doormats.  Kade and Tessa were fantastic.

Kade had every reason to take out his bitterness and anger over the past on Tessa, but he didn’t.  He patiently guided her and waited for her to move past all her issues even though he had some pretty big stuff of his own to get through- his past with abusive step-dad, attack/beating from Doug, and ex-wife keeping him from his little girl.  He kept himself in check afraid of a second rejection from Tessa even though he pressed on hoping that this time it would be his turn to get the girl.  He knew he had to be honest with her if he wanted a real future together.  That’s scary stuff laying all that on the line which is why I straight up thought he was something truly heroic when he did it.

Tessa only wanted a short-term fling.  Her issues go back to her days of being abandoned by her mother, growing up in the foster system and then her cheating husband.  This is the first time in her life that she is showing her real face and it scares her.  She wants Kade, but is afraid to go for more because she thought he was just using her to scratch an itch and would toss her aside when he got bored.  She also had the right to take her time about all the new stuff and new way of thinking that Kade was throwing at her.  I loved how she processed things.  Bad stuff happens and she just takes a deep breath and keeps on going.  Each new thing with Kade makes her stop and think and then go ahead.  It was neat seeing her trust for Kade literally form and grow before my eyes.

In the end, I was struck once again by my love for this author’s writing, her characters, story development and her ability to write a steamy scene.  I didn’t speak to the action and suspense in this story, but it was there too.  I eagerly await Kade’s bestfriend Colby’s story now.

If you’re like me and enjoy a building story around your passion scenes then this BDSM Contemporary Romance series might be a good fit.  And just as an aside, I found that this one was okay to be read standalone if you are like me and accidentally grab a book out of order though this is not true for every book in the series.

My thanks to Penguin Group for providing the book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.

Delighted Reader Giveaway

We have one paperback copy of Need You Tonight by Roni Loren up for grabs. Just leave a comment below to enter.

US only. Giveaway ends April 10,2014 at 11:59 pm EDT. 

About Roni Loren

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • omg, we are just same. I can’t stand bratty, talk to dang on much subs and although I love a true submissive..her having a backbone is good too. I’ve been looking for a good BDSM read, I have to say…I’m getting a little tired of the genre. I started one and had to put it down because I just wasn’t feeling the characters or the story. Maybe I’ll try Ms. Loren out. Loved the review Sophia 🙂

    • For sure! Try her! I’m not sure about the burn out issue on BDSM is for you, but for me is that too many authors rely heavily on the heat and kink and not enough on substantial plots and characters. When alls said and done, they should still have some romance at the end of the day. Anyhoots, that’s my take on it. I will say that with Roni Loren’s series, I noticed that she matures as an author as the series goes on. The first book was good, but I thought this one was the best out of the three I’ve read. I still have to read #1.5, 2, 3 and the serial (thankfully it is coming out all in one book this fall). These don’t really have to be read in order to enjoy them either which is great if you’re like me and don’t pay attention that you’re grabbing a book in the middle of a series. 😉

      • Shari Delighted Read

        Book 1.5 is Jace’s sister’s book. Book 2 is Jace’s story and I am pretty sure book 3 was The Ranch owner’s story. I think book 3 was where I really saw her writing take off. Really wished I had waited on the serial. it was the one that got me upset over this whole serial trend I am seeing and how it seems like a gimmick to make more money.

        • Yeah, I was happy to see the serial was being compiled into a book. I saw how expensive each part was.

      • I agree…many authors do rely on the heat and kink…that’s not nessarily a bad thing, but like you said, the story just gets lost. And I think that’s where my issue is coming in with BDSM. I’m having issues with some scenes too..sometimes like Anna said, they just feel forced.

        I think Cherise Sinclair grows with each book too. I read four books in her Shadowland series her writing just got better and better. I’m adding Roni to my wishlist (:

        thank you ladies!

        • Yep, the mechanical-technical scenes that leave you with no doubt of what is going on, but they don’t really grab you either.

          I need to read Cherise’s books. I got the first one as a freebie, but just haven’t grabbed it up from the pile. I have the first few Kallypso Masters’ too. Guess I just have to be in the mood.

          • you definitely have to be in the mood. I think with the genre getting so popular, everyone wanted to try to write a story and some of those stories just aren’t working.

            • The jump on the bandwagon factor sure does become an issue b/c then its about quantity and not quality. First they have to be meticulous in their research so the lifestyle is portrayed accurately, but then they need a real story and putting them together seems to be the rub. Knowing that this is the hot sub-genre that’s getting a lot of hype, I’m not as willing to jump in and ‘try new authors’ like I do with some of the other genres. I’ll just pick and choose from the ones a few of you guys like see if its for me.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I too am getting tired of BDSM romances. But i have to say Roni knows how to write a story to go with the BDSM. While there is a club called The Ranch, it isn’t in your face like most of the other ones. I loved this story but it had one scene that I really struggled with. Over the course of this series, she has not shied away from hitting hard topics. Her writing has grown. I did read the serial series from last summer and it was what I started complaining about serials over. I ended up spending like $16 on the serial that if it had been one book, would have only cost around $5. You don’t have to read these in any particular order, but they do all relate. The serial is about the hero’s little sister from book 2, but if I had skipped the serial, I would not have been lost. I hope you give her a try, her writing only gets better with each book.

  • Ahh I enjoyed this one so much Sophia for all of those reasons. It really did work nice as a stand alone but oh I am so going back to read the others. She did a really nice job of it. I knw a lot of people are getting tired of the current BDSM trends but this book to me was a lot like the originals I fell for and enjoy (more along the lines of Cherise Sinclair than the current trendy ones). I’m so glad to hear the others in the series are great too.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Roni Loren writes great, but you will see how her writing has matured if you go back to the first one. I have stuck with this series and love watching her writing grow with each story.

      Yeah, I am tired of BDSM books but mostly from the all sex, hardly any story point of view. I love how Roni keeps the BDSM in control and gives us character stories.

      • I really like the totally sexed out was though as well just not this current bout of them. I don’t know. I guess I’m old school now in my erotica/kink. lol The current trend seems too…idk…forced in style?Planned? Sterile? Not really sure what it is. They just don’t have that same heat/feel/heart/passion as ones from a handful of years ago.

        I love getting to see an authors style advance and grow. So neat to watch it happen 🙂

    • I got to read the first one over the weekend and I liked it, but what I noticed the most was the quality of writing changed and grew between that one and this one. I haven’t read enough BDSM to get tired. I think I’ve read less than ten books in the genre and only by three or four different authors. I haven’t read Cherise Sinclair’s Shadowlands series though I got the first book free. I have to feel my way picking and choosing b/c I don’t like when it gets to read like ‘technical’ kink, gets too hard core, or the characters are neanderthals and brats. I just read Shari’s reviews to decide if it will work for me (she’s my lab rat- hehe- I send her in first to test it).

  • Natasha D

    I can’t wait to read Need You Tonight!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    • It’s really good, Natasha! Good luck on the giveaway!