This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: BDSM Romance, Erotic Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on July 7, 2015
He was larger than life as a secondary character in Not Until You and now he’s got his own story. Pike Ryland took over his own book much the way he took over Oakley Easton’s organized, uneventful, and safe life and turned it upside down.
[quote]After tucking Reagan in for the night, Oakley plopped down on the couch, settling on the side farthest from Pike. Like that would help. The guy had a gravitational field of a black hole. She could feel the force of it dragging her toward him, threatening to consume her completely if she let her guard down for one second.
56 Oakley from Call On Me[/quote]
Pike Ryland lives the rock star lifestyle and embraces the shallowness that won’t expect more or touch him deeply until one night he steps back long enough to look hard at his life. He feels tired, used up and lonely especially after seeing his closest friends in happy, committed relationships. In a weak moment, he agrees to help with a charity program to help community program, Bluebonnet Place, kids use their music talents to raise money and awareness for their program.
Oakley Easton made a mess of things in her teen years and has spent the last several years making a new, better life for her and her daughter, Reagan. She goes it alone even though she has the support of her brother always there and anytime she needs it. To make ends meet, she augments her job as the Bluebonnet Place center music teacher by moonlighting as a phone sex operator. The pay is good and allows her to work from home. It’s only temporary and just until she earns a higher position. Her life is already full even if it isn’t completely fulfilling. Then the bad boy drummer of Darkfall blows into her world and knocks her feet out from under her. Oakley has been burned badly and no matter how fast her heart beats or how hot he gets her, there is no way she is letting someone with temporary written all over him into her life. But Pike doesn’t let the frost queen act slow him down even just a little.
Pike has never felt so alive and wanting as he does when it comes to the distant Oakley. At first it is a challenge to see the buttoned down woman open up and feel, but then it boomerangs on him and he’s caught up in what they have going on just as deeply. She needs a steady man she can trust who wants the wholesome life and he knows that is just not in him. His past has taught him that he is an all-around disappointment and nobody worthy of that sort of trust, but for this woman he might take the gamble.
I am such a junkie for this series. I love that it paces and develops at the perfect rate to suit the complexities of the characters and their story. I never doubt that the latest installment will be good, but just wonder how that good will manifest.
In this case, there is a man who was abused and tossed aside as a child by the very person who should have cared for him and he learned that lesson so well that he really sees himself as lacking and only good to be someone’s good time. He flits around the edges of the BDSM and kink lifestyle of his friends not really falling into any particular role that can be labeled. My heart just went out for this one who just wanted to be the right fit for someone.
Then there is Oakley. She grew up in a nurturing and settled environment, but had a bad experience in her teens that nearly broke her. She put herself back together and wears an emotional armor as impenetrable as Fort Knox as a result. She is terrified to engage in anything with Pike and fights him and herself all the way. She talks dirty for her job, but really she is not very experienced. But when she finally starts to cut loose, she is a wild gal and fits well with Pike. They enjoy some mild to moderate kink and some D/s dynamics in the bedroom. They help each other heal and trust. It was incredible to watch them grow.
[quote]Everything about that moment was beautiful: the sweat on his skin, the straining muscles on his neck, the filthy words falling out of him. But most of all, it was the way he didn’t look away from her, the way he pinned her with his gaze and gave her everything with that look. No filters, no bullshit. Just him and what they were sharing together.
She wanted to drown in the moment, roll around in the feeling of it.
236 Oakley from Call On Me[/quote]
Another aspect that pulls me in is how connected the story feels so that the hard-fought, sensual romance isn’t told in isolation. For one, there is Oakley’s daughter, Reagan. I loved that moment when she was terrified, but she clung to Pike and sought solace from him. There is also Oakley’s brother and his husband along with Pike’s friends and Ranch ‘family’. I love the playfulness, care, and generosity this group show each other in their little community that accepts and shows no judgment. They are there for each other. Oh, and it’s fun to get updates on where all the past characters are at in life.
Incidentally, this one has a bonus novella about a side character who appears in a few previous books. I remember Theo in Nothing Between Us. He is a submissive, but he carries around guilt for his wife’s death that keeps him from anything meaningful. One night with a powerful Domme brings a very special New Years for Theo.
All in all, it’s another spectacular, orgasmic, top of the charts hit. This is for those who enjoy their romance squirmy hot, their characters deep and a little broken, and their plots slowly drawn out and with depth.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #231 ER
Cliché Klatch #143 ‘Kill me now’
I have been a fan of Roni Loren’s since her first book in this series. It’s hard to believe we are on book 8 and how much she as grown in her writing. *Sigh* Pike, oh Pike! How I have wanted him to fall and hard for a woman and now he gets his chance.
We are introduced first to Sasha, Oakley’s telephone persona that pays a good chunk of the bills. If you ever wonder if calling a sex line and getting someone on the other line is glamorous, think again. Oakley is baking brownies for a school fundraiser, and trying to talk sexy at the same time. It pays the bills and she feels no shame in doing it even though one man left her when he found out. She’s better off now with just her daughter, a rock music career over and a good day job. Oh, and her she got pregnant when she was a star from her manager, who paid her off to have an abortion. She didn’t and it was the best decision, if not hardest decision she has ever had to make.
Pike had a horrible childhood and finally left home as a teenager. He scrapped for everything he has made and is on the brink of stardom. But one night he brings home a groupie and he feels the hollowness of what his life has become. A change needs to be made, but he has no idea where to start until his friend asks him for a favor to help underprivileged kids produce a song. Kids really aren’t his thing and he tries to get out of it until he meets Oakley at the receptionists desk.
Oakley is really inexperienced in sex. Her one relationship ended with her having Reagan, her daughter. And here blows in a guy who has no limits to what he will try. The first several scenes with them on phone sex that had me wetting my own panties. This man…oh I want to hear his voice as he talks dirty to Oakley, but also talks to her like passionate man who cares. He sends her a box of sex toys and they try out a few things. Slowly they start to mean more than just fuck buddies even if Oakley won’t admit it.
There are outside influences that get them. Pike’s band, Darkfall, is about to make it big (which he is a drummer). Landing a concert tour would make them break out on the big scene. Oakley wants nothing to do with the music world again, but she still continues to write for herself. The two were made for each other in how they both used music to sooth their souls.
As always we get to see past characters we adore and like getting a little updated on. There is Jace and his toy shop, Oakley’s brother and his husband, Gibson and what may be his story with Samantha start, Tessa (Oakley’s boss) and Kade and so many more. There were times Reagan played a special part in trusting Pike. Reagan has so development issues I could so relate too as a parent. When she trusts Pike, you know there is a connection that he didn’t know he wanted.
This is a type of story that grabs you, spins you around in a lust filled hug, makes you want to cry, then scream to make them stay together forever. Evoking a wide spectrum of my emotions that left me puddle of goo for Pike and Oakley. These two deal with ups and downs in the story, pasts that won’t let go and a love that sneaks up on them.
While there are past characters in this story, it can be read as a stand alone. I am telling you to buy this one. It’s got all the light kinky goodness and heartfelt moments that will have you begging for more.
I am pairing this book with Nothing to Lose by Bret Michaels.
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